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How did Nietzsche die?

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βˆ™ 2011-03-25 15:21:06

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Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher thought to have died of syphilis, was the victim of a posthumous smear campaign by anti-Nazis, new research shows.

A study of medical records has found that, far from suffering a sexually transmitted disease that drove him mad, Nietzsche almost certainly died of brain cancer.

The doctor who carried out the study claims that the universally accepted story of Nietzsche having caught syphilis from prostitutes was concocted after World War II by Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, an academic who was one of Nietzsche's most vociferous critics. It was then adopted as fact by intellectuals who were keen to demolish the reputation of Nietzsche, whose idea of a "superman" was used to underpin Nazism.

The new research was done by Leonard Sax, the director of the Montgomery Centre for Research in Child Development in the United States. Dr Sax studied accounts of Nietzsche's collapse with dementia in 1889, when he was admitted to an asylum in Switzerland and initially diagnosed as being in the advanced stages of syphilis.

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βˆ™ 2011-03-25 15:21:06
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