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Did Hitler Have a Rhinoplasty?

Warren, Anne G. B.A.; Goldwyn, Robert M. M.D.

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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: October 2007 - Volume 120 - Issue 5 - p 1435
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000279458.49157.28
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Extensive literature exists on Adolph Hitler’s health, physical features (particularly those of his face),1 and their possible significance to him and the course of his life and of world history. It has recently come to our attention that Hitler may have altered his facial features and undergone cosmetic rhinoplasty while serving as Chancellor of Germany. As reported by Time Magazine in 1942,2 Frederick Oechsner, longtime United Press Central European manager, recounted in his biography of the German leader that Hitler had his nose “streamlined by a plastic surgeon,” a report that was also confirmed in an official press dispatch released by the SS.3 According to Oechsner,4 Hitler’s nose had been “a little bulbous at the end and fatty on the bridge,” and Hitler, after having been referred by a physician in Berlin, had his nasal shape corrected by a “well-known Munich plastic surgeon.”

We were wondering whether any of the Journal’s readers might have additional information pertaining to this claim by Oechsner or thoughts on the identity of the Munich plastic surgeon. We have examined multiple photographs of Hitler taken around the time of the alleged rhinoplasty (Fig. 1), but have been unable to determine conclusively a significant change in the appearance of his nose.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.:
A photograph of Hitler from February of 1933, several weeks after his appointment as Chancellor of Germany (courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum photo archives).

We welcome any comments and can be reached via e-mail at

Anne G. Warren, B.A.

Robert M. Goldwyn, M.D.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Harvard Medical School

Boston, Mass.


1. Schmölders, C. Hitler’s Face: The Biography of an Image. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
2. Inside Hitler. Time Magazine June 22, 1942.
3. Langer, W. C. The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report (Office of Strategic Services’ Hitler Source Book). New York: Basic Books, 1972.
4. Oechsner, F. This Is the Enemy. Boston: Little, Brown, 1942.

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