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Lowenfeld, H. (1977). Hitler's Ideology. A Study in Psychoanalytic Sociology: By Richard A. Koenigsberg. New York: The Library of Social Science, 1975. 105 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:540-543.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:540-543

Hitler's Ideology. A Study in Psychoanalytic Sociology: By Richard A. Koenigsberg. New York: The Library of Social Science, 1975. 105 pp.

Review by:
Henry Lowenfeld

"The present work," states the author, "constitutes the foundation of a new science: the science of psychoanalytic sociology" (p. vii). He intends to give in this work "a foundation of definite knowledge, a base which is solid, and upon which a true science of human ideas, beliefs and values may grow and flourish" (p. ix). These ambitious aims demand a critical assessment.

The author develops the hypothesis that the death of Hitler's mother from cancer was "a major determinant of the nature of the phantasies which Hitler projected into the social reality" (p. 4). The whole book aims to prove this point. Other inner or outside influences and reality factors are granted only minor significance in the development of Hitler's ideology.

At the age of thirteen, Hitler lost his father, with whom he had a very ambivalent relationship. His mother, who was twenty-three years younger than her husband, died when Adolf Hitler was nineteen years old. All his biographers mention that he loved his mother deeply and was severely shaken when he lost her. Three other children had died in early childhood, and she obviously had given anxious care to her son, yielding totally to his wishes. The author's assumption, therefore, that her love, her long suffering and her death had a strong influence on Hitler's life is believable. For many years after her death he had no real emotional ties with anyone and lived to a great extent in fantasy. Even many years later his only love was a daughter of his older half-sister.

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