Anatomy of Malice : The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals by Joel E. Dimsdale

By Joel E. Dimsdale

In this gripping and haunting narrative, a well known psychiatrist sheds new mild at the psychology of the struggle criminals at Nuremberg

When the ashes had settled after international battle II and the Allies convened a global battle crimes trial in Nuremberg, a psychiatrist, Douglas Kelley, and a psychologist, Gustave Gilbert, attempted to fathom the psychology of the Nazi leaders, utilizing large psychiatric interviews, IQ checks, and Rorschach inkblot exams. by no means sooner than or considering that has there been this kind of specified learn of governmental leaders who orchestrated mass killings.

earlier than the battle crimes trial all started, it was once self-evident to most folks that the Nazi leaders have been demonic maniacs. but if the interviews and mental exams have been accomplished, the reply was once not so transparent. The findings have been so disconcerting that parts of the knowledge have been hidden away for many years and the learn turned a subject matter for vituperative disputes. Gilbert suggestion that the battle criminals’ malice stemmed from wicked psychopathology. Kelley seen them as morally unsuitable, usual males who have been creatures in their atmosphere. Who used to be right?

Drawing on his many years of expertise as a psychiatrist and the dramatic advances inside of psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience on account that Nuremberg, Joel E. Dimsdale appears anew on the findings and examines intimately 4 of the warfare criminals, Robert Ley, Hermann Göring, Julius Streicher, and Rudolf Hess. utilizing more and more specified diagnostic instruments, he discovers a remarkably wide spectrum of pathology. Anatomy of Malice takes us on a posh and troubling quest to make feel of the main severe evil.

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Extra resources for Anatomy of Malice : The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals

Sample text

Attributed to Edmund Burke What Drives Malice? WHEN WORLD WAR II ENDED, the Allies had multiple motives in dealing with the captured Nazi leaders. Their punishment was a crucial part of the de-Nazification of Germany. Secondarily, the Allies hoped that a war crimes trial might deter future leaders from committing war crimes and genocide. In addition to these goals, there was an overwhelming desire to understand what kind of people could have steered Germany on such a lethal course. Paradoxically, many of the Nazi leaders were well-educated individuals steeped in the Western intellectual tradition.

In telling this story I have relied on many different types of information. 3 Extensive press accounts give an indication of how popular culture regarded the Nuremberg war criminals. In addition, practically everyone who participated in the trial wrote memoirs that are rich in detail. Some of these memoirs have been published, but others were classified or locked in special collections. 4 Seventy years after the trial, Nuremberg lurks in the background and provides a lens for viewing the abundant examples of contemporary malice.

1 When World War II finally ended, forty million men, women, and children were dead in Europe. 2 Although noncombatant deaths in warfare are not unique, usually they involve people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes, however, as a matter of policy, states conduct genocide against whole peoples—soldiers and civilians alike. Most countries and cultures have resorted to genocide at some point in their history, and in most cases this was simply blood lust. When people’s arms grew tired, they stopped killing.

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