A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler His Life and Legend

Preface


This study is not propagandistic in any sense of the term. It represents an attempt to screen the wealth of contradictory, conflicting and unreliable material concerning Hitler into strata which wll be helpful to the policy-makers and those who wish to frame a counter-propaganda. For this reason the first three parts are purely descriptive and deal with the man (1) as he appears to himself, (2) as he has been pictured to the German people, and (3) how he is known to his associates. These sections contain the basic material for the psychological analysis in sections IV and V in which an attempt is made to understand Hitler as a person and the motivations underlying his actions.

The material available for such an analysis is extremely scant and spotty. Fortunately, we have at our disposal a number of informants who knew Hitler well and who have been willing to cooperate to the best of their abilities. The study would have been entirely impossible were it not for the fact that there is a relatively high degree of agreement in the descriptions of Hitler's behavior, sentiments and attitudes given by these several informants. With this as a basis it seemed worthwhile to proceed with the study filling in the lacunae with knowledge gained from clinical experience in dealing with individuals of a similar type. This is not an entirely satisfactory procedure, from a scientific point of view, but it is the only feasible method at the present time. Throughout the study we have tried to be as objective as possible in evaluating his strengths as well as his weaknesses.

All plain numbers in parentheses refer to the page of The Hitler Source Book, a companion volume in which the original material is to be found together with the complete reference. Numbers in parentheses preceded by M.K. or M.N.O. refer to pages in Mein Kampf and My New Order, respectively. A detailed Index to the original material is to be found at the beginning of the Source-Book. A complete bibliography is appended to this study.

It is hoped that the study may be helpful in gaining a deeper insight into Adolf Hitler and the German people and that it may serve as a guide for our propaganda activities as well as our future dealings with them.

[signed] Walter C. Langer
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Consultant, M.O. Branch, OSS


Source: The Nizkor Project