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(1935). Der Unbekannte Mörder (Von Der Tat Zum Täter). By Theodor Reik. Pp. 183. Wien: International Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1932.. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(1):109-110.

(1935). Psychoanalytic Review, 22(1):109-110

Der Unbekannte Mörder (Von Der Tat Zum Täter). By Theodor Reik. Pp. 183. Wien: International Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1932.

As far back in the past as records exist of the behavior of individuals in human societal organizations, we find evidence of what is termed criminal action. Murders and robberies, as well as less serious crimes, have been perpetrated in all ages and countries in spite of education, legislation, religion, the prison, hard labor, and various types of torture aimed toward the eradication and control of such tendencies. Scientific research during the past and particularly in the present century has resulted in gradually reinforcing the conviction that maladjusted human beings are the victims of their biologic organizations; in part inherited from their ancestors, and in part due to social inheritance, education, and environment, both of which sets of factors are outside of the possibility of selection by the individual himself. It may be said that no person has a choice of coming into life, of parents, of the period or nation into which to be born, and of the customs, laws, forms of government, religion, or prejudices surrounding him from his birth. He has no choice of the sex to which he would belong, no choice of instructors, and what is perhaps more important, no control of the external circumstances and the sources of stimulation which will release his numerous drives in desires and passions.

In dealing with and evaluating criminal situations all of the above mentioned elements and many more which enter into the “constitution” (in the extended sense of the term, emphasized psychoanalytically) must be studied in detail.

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