hierarchical aestheticism: Goes mad and dies from a brain tumor; suffers more than a century of lies about it being due to syphilis.
Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher thought to have died of syphilis caught from prostitutes, was in fact the victim of a posthumous smear campaign by anti-Nazis, according to new research.
A study of medical records has found that, far from suffering a sexually-transmitted disease which drove him mad, Nietzsche almost certainly died of brain cancer.
The doctor who has carried out the study claims that the universally-accepted story of Nietzsche having caught syphilis from prostitutes was actually concocted after the Second World War 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 carried out by Dr Leonard Sax, the director of the Montgomery Centre for Research in Child Development in Maryland, America. Dr Sax made his discovery after studying accounts of Nietzsche’s collapse with dementia in 1889.