How Tall Was Hitler?

According to some sources, Hitler was 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) tall. However, eyewitnesses at the 1936 Summer Olympics believe that Hitler was much shorter.

The exact height of Hitler is a topic of debate. According to some sources, Hitler was 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) tall. However, eyewitnesses at the 1936 Summer Olympics believe that Hitler was around 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) tall, which is really short. Photos from the 1938 Munich Conference, when four countries discussed Germany’s annexation of Sudetenland in advance of its invasion of Poland show Hitler’s height around the same level as the other world leaders, at about 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in). However, looking at how short Neville Chamberlain appears in the picture, the perspective is deceiving. So, what is the reality behind how tall Hitler was?

1938 Munich Conference. The picture shows the heights of the leaders in comparison: Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini, from left to right.
1938 Munich Conference. Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini, from left to right.

Adolf Hitler is without question one of the most infamous international leaders ever. It’s easy to find all sorts of topics to discuss about Hitler, and he’s certainly the subject of more anecdotes than any other World War II leader. The subject of how tall Hitler was is a popular one, and that’s what we’ll be discussing today.

Be Wary of Who You Stand With

Hitler was not a small individual at the time. He was of average height, so why did he occasionally appear shorter in photographs? Hitler looked dwarfed in images with his generals and the rest of the Reichsführer-SS because they were all tall people. Even though Hitler was similar in height to Julius Caesar, Caesar’s Roman army usually consisted of individuals of average height, which is why he was never perceived as short as Alexander the Great, Stalin, or Napoleon.

Hitler with Heinrich Himmler (1.74 m or 5 ft 8.5 in), portrait picture, shows their height in comparison.
Hitler with Heinrich Himmler (1.74 m or 5 ft 8.5 in).

This makes the question of Hitler’s height more interesting. There is proof of Hitler’s true height, even if many aspects of his life remain closed to investigation. Photographs of Hitler with Heinrich Himmler attest to Hitler’s height. Himmler was the Reichsführer of the SS, and he stood 1.74 m (5 ft 8.5 in) tall. In the picture above, Himmler and Hitler are of comparable stature, but Hitler actually stands a bit taller, which again suggests that Hitler’s height was 1.75 m (5’9″). Taking into account the average height of Austrian soldiers at the time, 1.73 m (5’8″), this makes perfect sense.

Official Records Regarding Hitler’s Height

Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Albert Kesselring.
Hugo Sperrle, Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Albert Kesselring. (Kesselring Stock Photo – Alamy)

In the photograph of Adolf Hitler with his Air Marshals during the German attack on Britain, Hitler appears to be the same height as Hermann Göring (1.78 m), despite standing in front of him. This supports the claim that Hitler’s height was 1.75 meters.

Records from Landsberg Prison, where Hitler was imprisoned during the Beer Hall Putsch, also indicate a height of 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) for Hitler, with guards and those around him attesting to this measurement. Despite being shorter in comparison to his bodyguard Rochus Misch who stood at 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) tall, and other individuals in his inner circle, Hitler’s height does not appear much different than many people in the photographs.

Eva Braun and hitler height

Furthermore, in the pictures of Hitler with his partner Eva Braun, who stood at 1.63 m (5 ft 4.2 in), the height difference was less pronounced because she wore high heels. But in other pictures, it is effortless to see that Hitler was much taller.

Unlike Stalin, Hitler is not known for using platform shoes to appear taller. He even did that during the signing of the Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact. Because even though Stalin stood at 1.62 m (5’4″) in height, he was known to wear platform shoes to appear at least 10 cm (4 in) taller, just like Vladimir Putin does.

The Irony of Being a Dictator

According to Hitler’s doctrines, the ideal males were those with fair skin, blue eyes, and blond hair—the Aryan race. The irony, however, is that, contrary to Hitler’s own image of an Aryan, he did not meet this criterion. As a race, the Aryans are thought to be superior in stature and physique, with the usual characteristics of blond hair and blue eyes and Hitler was not an Aryan.

hitler portrait, 1933.
Hitler, 1933.

According to that Hitler was not even eligible to join the SS organization he created. However, SS (Schutzstaffel) height requirements varied annually. Later in 1937, SS applicants needed to be at least 1.83 m (6 feet) tall; by 1941, that requirement had been lowered to 1.76 m (5 feet, 9.3 inches).

It is ironic that a man cannot satisfy the rules he has set for all other people. But is there a point to this? After all, rule-makers like tyrants rarely obey their own rules, preferring instead to consider themselves above the law they’ve enacted.

Hitler’s Other Physical Characteristics

Hitler in NSDAP uniform with jackboots, 1932, full body portrait.
Hitler in NSDAP uniform with jackboots, 1932. (Shawshots – Alamy)

Standing at a height of 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in), Hitler maintained a healthy weight of 70 kg (154 pounds). He did not smoke, drank alcohol only on rare occasions, and was an ardent vegetarian. Hitler’s blood and urine tests, according to his doctor Theodor Morell, were often clean. Other than some mild colds, he generally had a robust immune system and a strong physicality due to his peasant family background. He also handled the stresses of warfare effectively.

Interesting stories abound about Hitler’s physical appearance; for example, it’s been reported that Hitler only had one testicle, but this has never been proven, and very few individuals can relate to such a private topic. Women and family members, with the exception of his personal physician, would not have disclosed such a private matter.

However, there is one notable exception: Hitler was diagnosed with “right-side cryptorchidism,” a disorder in which a testicle fails to descend into the scrotum, according to a medical report from the time he was incarcerated after the failed Munich beer hall putsch in 1923.

A leader’s stature

It’s been observed by historians that the physical characteristics of a leader, such as height and weight, can play a significant role in shaping the fate of a nation. Even if it’s hard to tell at first glance how smart or moral a leader is, it’s usually easy to see how strong and powerful they are.

This is why symbols of authority, such as the crowns of European monarchs or the headdresses of Native American chiefs, not only signify wealth and power, but also serve as a means to compensate for any perceived lack of height. An example of this is Louis XIV, who stood at only 1.56 meters tall, but often donned high heels and a fluffy wig to enhance his image.

It’s important to note that while physical strength and power may be components of the ideal leader image, the reality is much more complex. Hitler was able to successfully overthrow the much taller Paul von Hindenburg (1.98 m, 6’6″) through his brilliance and strategy.

By Bertie Atkinson

Bertie Atkinson is a history writer at Malevus. He writes about diverse subjects in history, from ancient civilizations to world wars. In his free time, he enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and playing chess.