Skip to comments.An Early Wartime Profile Depicts a Tormented Hitler
Posted on 03/30/2005 7:12:00 PM PST by neverdem
He was a feminine boy, averse to manual work, who was "annoyingly subservient" to superior officers as a young soldier and had nightmares that were "very suggestive of homosexual panic." The mass killings that he later perpetrated stemmed in part from a desperate loathing of his own submissive weakness, and the humiliations of being beaten by a sadistic father.
What is believed to be the first psychological profile of Hitler commissioned by the Office of Strategic Services, a predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency, was posted this month by Cornell University Law Library on its Web site (www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/donovan/hitler/). Although declassified some years ago, the report, written in 1943, has not been widely cited or available to the public, historians and librarians at Cornell say.
The library published the analysis after receiving permission from a relative of its author, the late Dr. Henry A. Murray, a prominent personality expert at Harvard in the middle of the last century. The document's release was reported on Tuesday on the Fox News program "The Big Story With John Gibson."
"For a long time, people thought there was only one psychological profile of Hitler commissioned by the O.S.S.," said Dr. Jerrold M. Post, a professor of psychiatry at George Washington University and the founder of the C.I.A.'s psychological branch, referring to a wartime report by Dr. Walter C. Langer that formed the basis of his 1972 book, "The Mind of Adolf Hitler."
Dr. Langer, a noted psychoanalyst, died in 1981. Dr. Murray was among several psychoanalysts who had worked with him in profiling Hitler for the O.S.S., and the Murray profile was apparently incorporated into the later, more definitive Langer account.
It is clear that this earlier profile added to the definitive profile of Hitler, Dr. Post said, "and very few people have known that it even exists."
Dr. Post said he came upon a draft of the Murray profile in 2000 while researching a book of his own, "The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders."
Some experts, including Dr. Post himself, are not convinced that the report is without significant shortcomings.
The posted document is a condensed version of Dr. Murray's evaluation, a mixture of psychoanalytic theorizing, speculation and lurid detail about Hitler's life that could have come from a crime novel. In an authoritative voice, Dr. Murray diagnoses in Hitler neurosis, hysteria, paranoia, Oedipal tendencies, schizophrenia, "infinite self-abasement" and "syphilophobia," which he describes as a fear of contamination of the blood through contact with a woman. But the document refers only vaguely to its sources, and presents no scientific evidence for its findings.
"There's a whole lot of what we would now think of as psychobabble in Murray's article," Dr. Michael Stone, a psychiatrist at Columbia University School of Medicine, said after reviewing the profile. One example, Dr. Stone said, is "the suggestion that as a child Hitler witnessed his mother and father having sex, which in those days was given great weight as a source of psychological turmoil." Such an effect has since been discredited.
Dr. Murray did not have the benefit of genetic studies, or of more carefully distinguished categories of mental illness established later.
"Almost anyone who appeared crazy was called schizophrenic back then," Dr. Stone said, "and people didn't make distinctions between schizophrenia, for example, and manic depression."
In a more recent psychological profile, the neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Fritz Redlich argued in his 1998 book, "Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet," that while troubled and with paranoid tendencies, Hitler had probably not been mentally ill. Even during the war, many historians were very skeptical of efforts to explain, with what they described as armchair psychoanalysis, acts of transcendent cruelty.
Dr. Murray himself was a controversial figure. Having returned to Harvard after the war, he was involved in psychological experiments in 1959-62 in which a stress test similar to one the O.S.S. had used to assess recruits was administered to student volunteers. Among them was the young Theodore J. Kaczynski, a precocious student at Harvard who later became known as the Unabomber. Lawyers for Mr. Kaczynski, who pleaded guilty in 1998 to letter bomb attacks that killed 3 people and wounded 28 others, traced some of his emotional instability and fear of mind control to those tests.
Still, historians say, the spirit of Hitler is alive, and infused with morbid detail, in Dr. Murray's pages. The growing boy, a frustrated romantic who loved painting castles and temples, and who was enthralled with architecture, also developed "a profound admiration, envy and emulation of his father's masculine power and a contempt for his mother's feminine submissiveness and weakness," Dr. Murray wrote.
"Thus," the profile says, "both parents were ambivalent to him: his father was hated and respected; his mother was loved and depreciated. Hitler's conspicuous actions have all been in imitation of his father, not his mother."
The assessment also includes advice for how the Allies should handle Hitler if he was captured (secretly film him, replete with sound track, in his cell so that the world would witness his rantings) and what name to give him when talking to his defeated countrymen (False Prophet or False Messiah at first; Corporal Satan or World Criminal No. 1 later). As for how Hitler's life would play out in the absence of capture, Dr. Murray predicted suicide.
"There is a powerful compulsion in him to sacrifice himself and all of Germany to the revengeful annihilation of Western culture, to die, dragging all of Europe with him into the abyss," Dr. Murray wrote.
Barring a deadly coup or insanity, Dr. Murray speculated, Hitler would arrange to have himself killed by a German or a Jew, to complete the myth of the hero betrayed. Or he would retreat to his bunker and, in dramatic fashion, shoot himself.
In the spring of 1945, as far as historians can determine, that is exactly what he did.
Read "The Pink Swastika" and you will learn that much of the popular myths about homosexuality and the Third Reich are dead wrong.
"..surely was one of the great communicators ... who understood the fears, wishes and needs ... He was clever to the extreme and must have been a great retail as well as a wholesale politician. He took all his abilities, all of his intelligence and directed it towards evil; hence, he was an evil man."
Your description, to me, fits a recent President...or was it First Lady?
And that's because accurate drawings of people, especially the human face is quite difficult. That's part of the reason why modern art is so popular. The other part of the reason behind modern arts popularity is because drawing anything accurately requires skill.
While not a true homosexual, nothing you wrote would rule out Hitler being bisexual or having gone through a period of exclusive homosexuality during his early adult years in Vienna.
Hitler raved on about homosexuals the same way as you. :)
Wow, I had never read anything about him having a child. Poor kid.
Beating the nurture over nature drum to death. Some people are just plain evil.
I spent some time reading through the cited OSS report on Hitler's personality. A few things bear mentioning.
First, the report does not claim that Hitler was an overt homosexual, but rather that he had repressed homosexual tendencies. It also claimed he had heterosexual incliniations, but was impotent. The main finding about his sexuality was that he was a masochist.
Second, the report diagnoses Hitler with practically every mental illness under the sun, including paranoid schizophrenia. Some of the diagnoses seem very far-fetched and ridiculous. Some of the diagnoses rely on discredited psychoanalytic thinking; for example, the report explains that Hitler must have witnessed his parents having sex as a child, which inspired Oedipal rage and jealousy against the father, etc. A significant amount of Hitler's behavior is explained by silly mechanisms like Oedipal rage, desire to sleep with the mother, and so on.
Third, the report did not accurately predict Hitler's demise. The report claimed Hitler would die by having a Jew shoot him, thereby preserving his status as an anti-Jewish hero; or, that he would die by leading soldiers directly into a glorious battle; or, that he would die by committing suicide in some incredibly dramatic way like blowing up his palace with him in it. Instead, he just shot himself. Although the report accurately predicted that Hitler would commit suicide, that prediction was easy since Hitler constantly repeated that if Germany lost the war he'd commit suicide.
The report seems to suffer from a few problems. First, the Freudian/psychosexual stuff lacks credibility. Second, the predictions of Hitler's future behavior were inaccurate. Third, the report disagrees with various other psychoanalyses of Hitler, except in regard to Hitler's rage over childhood abuse and humiliation. Fourth, the report subscribes to a discredited view of schizophrenia as resulting from subconscious conflicts. It's now known that schizophrenia is the result of a degenerative brain disease, and I doubt very much that Hitler had it, since he displayed none of the typical symptoms. But the report repeatedly diagnoses Hitler as having paranoid schizophrenia, or being "on the verge of it" because of subconscious conflicts.
Doubtless Hitler was a deeply disturbed man with all kinds of mental problems. But the accuracy of the specific psychoanalyses in this report remain to be demonstrated. Some parts seemed highly plausible, and other parts seemed doubtful.
"The only thing I can figure is that these women like anal sex, or don't have what it takes to endure the built-in stress of a male-female relationship (the gubmint says our brains are different, DOH!)."
Well, as long as this is a psychobabble thread...
Women, if they are at all intelligent, realize that on some level all the men they meet would like to have sex with them (matters of self-restraint and morality aside). Indeed, it seems most women these days have had a lot of men try very hard to get them in the sack, employing various kinds and degrees of leverage, including dishonesty and even physical force.
Hanging with homos, first, they can relax because the homo doesn't want to nail them; and second, I really think there's an element of schadenfreude in that the homo wants to do to men approximately what those men want to do to women.
The attitude seems to be, "See how you like a man with an erection chasing you around trying to stick it in you for a change." Revenge by proxy.
Not true of all women, of course, but I have observed it in some.
Is your source for this info in a single volume I can pick up at Barnes and Noble?
Homosexuals were also singled out by Hitler's party for extermination. Perhaps he wanted to destroy everything resembling himself. Homosexuality itself is not destructive (the AIDS thing is a myth). It would be ethical to leave them to their desires.
I just rented and watched something on Hitler, called, IIRC, "The Rise of Evil."
I'm sure historians could find things to quibble with, but I thought it was pretty good.
They made Geli look about 16 instead of 21 (or maybe I'm just getting old) and they alleged that he liked golden showers, but they didn't present him as having SSAD.
One thing I thought was good was that they went into detail on how Hitler got Bismarck to apppoint him Chancellor.
"Homosexuality itself is not destructive"
Sorry to have to contradict you, but it is extremely destructive, both of the individuals afflicted and of every society that has ever condoned it.
One thing I thought was good was that they went into detail on how Hitler got Bismarck to apppoint him Chancellor.
President Hindenburg appointed him Chancellor.
It should be noted that after conquering the Chinese (he *did* give them a chance to surrender, and he did tell them what would happen if they didn't; they laughed at him), Ghengis Khan actually tried to settle down and have a trading empire. He improved existing trade links to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and created new ones.
That all came to an end when some idiot Persian decided that Ghengis was a stupid barbarian who could be cowed and sent the head of the Mongol ambassador to the Persian Empire back to Ghengis in a sack. Unfortunately, the ambassador was a good friend of Ghengis, and we all know what happened next.
Ghengis was ruthless with his enemies, but faithful to his friends and allies. He was not evil, and he was very much a product of his times.
Well, duh on me.
I do know that, but at my time of life I find myself misspeaking with increasing frequency. The other day I meant to say, "Samui desu ne," meaning "It's cold, isn't it," but what came out of my mouth was, "Yasui desu ne." Meaning, in context, "My, the weather certainly is inexpensive today, isn't it?"
Recently I've even been caught making grammatical errors in my writing, which is frightening, because that never happened to me before.
SSAD is same-sex attraction disorder, which is a much more appropriate and accurate term to describe the problem.
The word "homosexuality" can imply that it is an immutable condition, which it is not, or that it is voluntary, which, in my view, it is not.
It is as involuntary as any symptom associated with a mental disorder, and it is curable.
Most sodomites are bisexuals.