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Kaplan, D.M. (1987). Hitler's Psychopathology: By Norbert Bromberg and Verna Volz Small. Madison, Conn.: Int. Univ. Press, 1983, 335 pp., $30.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 35:759-761.

(1987). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 35:759-761

Hitler's Psychopathology: By Norbert Bromberg and Verna Volz Small. Madison, Conn.: Int. Univ. Press, 1983, 335 pp., $30.00.

Review by:
Donald M. Kaplan, Ph.D.

It is difficult to imagine an end to the reasons for our fascination with the biography, personality, and career of Adolph Hitler. We still trace much of our present political life to the rise and fall of Hitler's long moment of uniquely ruthless and irresponsible power—the divisions of Europe and other global spheres, international decolonization, the existence of Israel, even the nuclear arms race. Moreover, Hitler's methods of terrorism, torture, and carnage are the immediate comparisons with fanatical events, often racial and religious, that continue to claim by repression and slaughter ordinary human lives all over the planet. As Bromberg and Small rightly observe early on in their book, it is for such reasons as these that the subject of Hitler is far from dead despite the abundance of books about it, particularly since the 1970's.

On the other hand, if the huge historical industry of the past several decades has exhausted the biographical data on Hitler's life and conduct, on what can another psychoanalytic study of Hitler be advanced? It is Bromberg and Small's contention that much of such data can be reworked by recent developments of psychoanalytic thought itself. The developments they have in mind are diagnostic, which entail also ego functions and sexuality. Thus Hitler's Psychopathology embodies a perspective of borderline and narcissistic issues that have arisen from the psychoanalytic contributions of O. F.

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