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(1949). Psychiatry. XI, 1948: Anti-Nazis: Criteria of Differentiation. David M. Levy. Pp. 125–167.. Psychoanal Q., 18:265-266.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatry. XI, 1948: Anti-Nazis: Criteria of Differentiation. David M. Levy. Pp. 125–167.
To determine what personal and social influences tend to produce an anti-Nazi mentality, Levy selected for study twenty-one German men from among the candidates for positions with the American Military Goverment who were undergoing a period of training at the Bad Orb School. Examination of the case records plus psychiatric interviews and psychological testing provided the data for the study. A summary of each case study is presented in this paper. Six factors were found to be significant as criteria of differentiation. 'They represent differences in the particular cases from the assumed typical German life history of the comparable cultural group.' Those factors are the following: 1, absence of strict paternal discipline, as through death of the father in childhood, avoidance of corporal punishment as a means of discipline, or the presence of an easy and free relationship between father and son; 2, demonstrative maternal affection (which is not typically displayed by the German mother beyond early childhood); 3, position of 'only' or 'favorite' child in the family, which favors the development of more individuality; 4, 'crossing' of religious or national boundaries, through either the individual himself or his parents having married persons of different faiths or nationalities, or through membership in a dissident church; 5, strong influence against Nazism either in childhood or later in jobs; 6, the influence of reading and travel in those cases in which it definitely affected the point of view in an anti-Nazi direction. Three or more of those factors were found in all but three of the twenty-one cases studied, and in those three the anti-Nazi bias was questionable. A score of three or higher is therefore considered to be an indication of anti-Nazi attitude.
The study shows that the deviation factors are selective of certain types resistant to 'Nazi-mindedness'. 'As a group, the anti-Nazis, in comparison with typical Germans, have escaped the conventional and rigid family structure. They have been brought up with more affection and less restraint. Their
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world is a broader one, less limited in terms of religious, social and intellectual boundaries.' Further work to check the validity of these criteria both in known Nazis and in other anti-Nazis is in progress. Sufficient data, Levy states, has already accumulated to support the validity of the criteria.