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Grotjahn, M. (1949). The Case of Rudolf Hess. A Problem in Diagnosis and Forensic Psychiatry: Edited by J. R. Rees, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1948. 224 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:115-117.

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(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:115-117

The Case of Rudolf Hess. A Problem in Diagnosis and Forensic Psychiatry: Edited by J. R. Rees, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1948. 224 pp.

Review by:
Martin Grotjahn

The Case of Rudolf Hess is a strange and fascinating story. This man, who helped to shape recent history, was under psychiatric observation almost from the day of his parachute landing on a Scotch moor in 1941, until his trial as a war criminal in Nuremberg in 1946, and his final imprisonment in Festung Spandau. Eight psychiatrists from five different nations participated in his psychiatric observation and examination, and they agreed on the diagnosis: 'psychopathic personality, schizoid type'. According to psychiatric opinion he was not 'insane' in the 'legal sense' of the word!

The book opens with an editorial apology for publishing the clinical record of an identifiable mental patient; however, written permission was given by the patient, who stated that he would welcome publication, '… because one day it will be regarded as supplementary proof of the fact that in some hitherto unknown manner people can be put into a condition which resembles that which can be attained through a hypnosis leaving its aftereffects ['posthypnotic suggestion'], a condition in which the persons concerned do everything that has been suggested to them, under the elimination

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