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Wangh, M. (1974). The Mind of Adolf Hitler. The Secret Wartime Report: By Walter C. Langer. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1972. 269 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 43:124-133.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 43:124-133

The Mind of Adolf Hitler. The Secret Wartime Report: By Walter C. Langer. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1972. 269 pp.

Review by:
Martin Wangh

The Mind of Adolf Hitler originated as a report prepared by Walter C. Langer during World War II at the behest of the Office of Strategic Services. The report, which was held secret for over a quarter of a century after Hitler's death, appears significant on three counts: because of its value to the historian; because it was a 'first' for this country's intelligence services; and because of the official recognition of psychoanalysis the assignment implied.

Is Hitler's personality so vivid to me because I lived through Nazism, or was it re-evoked by the vividness of Langer's report? Führer to sixty-seven million Germans, Hitler overshadowed in his apocalyptic ruthlessness both his models—Mussolini and Stalin.

It is to the credit of General Donovan—'Wild Bill' Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services—that he was prepared to recognize the possibility of Hitler's being mad, and that he was willing to ask a psychoanalyst to help in trying to understand him. Donovan was impatient with the blindness of politicians and strategists who neglected psychological inquiry into the characteristics of the enemy.

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