Adolf Hitler (Template:IPA-de, 20 April 1889–30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei
, abbreviated NSDAP), commonly known as the Nazi Party. He was the totalitarian leader of Germany from 1933 to 1945, serving as chancellor from 1933 to 1945 and as head of state (Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945.
A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the Nazi Party (DAP) in 1919 and became leader of NSDAP in 1921. Following his imprisonment after a failed coup in Bavaria in 1923, he gained support by promoting German nationalism, anti-semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933, and quickly transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideals of national socialism.
Hitler ultimately wanted to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in Europe. To achieve this, he pursued a [foreign policy with the declared goal of seizing [Lebensraum ("living space") for the Aryan people; directing the resources of the state towards this goal. This included the rearmament of Germany, which culminated in 1939 when the Wehrmacht invaded Poland. In response, the United Kingdom and France declared war against Germany, leading to the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe.
Within three years, Germany and the Axis powers had occupied most of Europe, and most of Northern Africa, East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. However, with the reversal of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Allies gained the upper hand from 1942 onwards. By 1945, Allied armies had invaded German-held Europe from all sides. Nazi forces engaged in numerous violent acts during the war, including the systematic murder of as many as 17 million civilians, an estimated six million of whom were Jews targeted in a genocide known as the Holocaust.
In the final days of the war, at the fall of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time mistress Eva Braun and, to avoid capture by Soviet forces less than two days later, the two committed suicide..
Intelligence services put a premium on trying to understand and predict Hitlers behavior and In 1943, Office of Strategic Services (OSS) asked Dr. Walter C. Langer, a psychoanalyst based in New York, to develop a “profile” of Adolf Hitler. What the OSS wanted was a behavioral and psychological analysis for the construction of strategic plans, given various options.
Dr. Langer used speeches, Hitler's book Mein Kampf, and interviews with people who had known Hitler. This culminated in the presentation of an 135-page profile of possible behavioural traits of Hitler, and his possible reactions to the idea of Germany losing World War II. Dr. Langer’s profile noted that Hitler was meticulous, conventional, and prudish about his appearance and body. He was robust and viewed himself as a standard-bearer and trendsetter. He had manic phases, yet took little exercise. He was in good health, so it was unlikely he would die from natural causes, but he was deteriorating mentally. He would not try to escape to a neutral country. Hitler always walked diagonally from one corner to another when crossing a room, and he whistled a marching tune. He feared syphilis, germs and moonlight, and loved severed heads.
The profile also pointed out Hitler's oedipal complex, with the effect being the need to prove his manhood to his mother, and his coprolagnia and urolagnia. He detested the learned and the privileged, but enjoyed classical music, vaudeville, and Richard Wagner's opera. He showed strong streaks of sadism and liked circus acts that were risky and dangerous. He tended to speak in long monologues rather than have conversations. He had difficulty establishing close relationships with anyone. Since he appeared to be delusional, it was possible that his psychological structures would collapse in the face of imminent defeat. The most likely scenario was that he would commit suicide, although there was a possiblity that he would order a henchman to perform euthanasia.
Since then other profiles have been developed, biographies published and theories developed to try to explain Hitlers behavior. Many of these amount too little more than speculation. Here we list only the main observations and views offered in the scientific literature.
Link with Huntington's disease
This section needs references.
Can Hitler's disease be categorized into an illness that the psychological community is already familiar with? Possibly.
Those who knew Hitler and describe his methodologies often mention characteristics, which are similar to the personality disorders of Huntington's Disease patients. In the early stages of Huntington's Disease, patients may experience anger, outbursts, cruel behavior, and angst. Sometimes Huntington's disease patients don't experience symptoms until their 50s. Like Hitler, many Huntington's Disease patients can be persuasive and cruel in getting what they want accomplished. Until the vegetative state of Huntington's Disease sets in, most patients are able to use strategical tactics in achieving what they want.
It is a possibility that Hitler unknowingly suffered from Huntington's Disease. Now that genetic testing is available for Huntington's disease and several other psychiatric illnesses, it will be interesting to see, if any anthropologists or biologists can uncover a linage of mental illness in Hitler's family. It may be the key to the truth of Hitler's psychiatric condition. However, some Huntington's Disease patients have no family lineage of Huntington's Disease.
- ↑ Keegan 1989
- ↑ Niewyk, Donald L.; Francis R. Nicosia (2000), The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, p. 45, ISBN 0231112009, http://books.google.ca/books?id=lpDTIUklB2MC&pg=PA45
- ↑ Wistrich, Robert S. (1995), Who's Who In Nazi Germany?, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0415118880, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/braun.html, retrieved on 2008-09-07