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With suggestions for dealing with him now and after Germany's surrender.
March 31, 2005 5:56 AM   Subscribe

Analysis of the Personality of Adolf Hitler by Cornell University in 1943 has been released online. The analysis was comissioned by the predecessor to the CIA and declassified several years ago, according to The New York Times. This official analysis should be of interest to those who have been doing amateur analyses for years.
posted by grapefruitmoon (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well written and eye-opening. Thanks.
posted by xammerboy at 6:23 AM on March 31, 2005


I'd heard about this. I can't wait to go through it.

Excellent post.
posted by Cyrano at 6:43 AM on March 31, 2005


declassified several years ago

Why did they wait so long to declassify it?
posted by orange swan at 6:54 AM on March 31, 2005


orange swan: From what I picked up in this rather long explanation of classification, oftentimes stuff stays classified just because there's not always a mechanism in place to tell people 25 years down the road, "OK, you can declassify this now."
posted by Cyrano at 7:09 AM on March 31, 2005


Wow.

I am especially struck by their recommendations on how to rehabilitate Germany after the Allies win: focus on the glories of old Germany; get Germans to understand themselves as basically good people who succumbed to the emotional lies and lure of fascism.

That's pretty much exactly how I view Germany -- this view had always seemed so obvious and right, that it has never occured to me that it's a construction.

But it's certainly not how I view every nation that the US has defeated in a war.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:18 AM on March 31, 2005


Thanks, Cyrano. That makes perfect sense - ancient classified materials exist for much the same reason as those Toronto by-laws that you can't drag a dead horse down Yonge Street during business hours.
posted by orange swan at 7:25 AM on March 31, 2005


Do I really get to be the first here to invoke Godwin?
posted by breezeway at 7:43 AM on March 31, 2005


As long as I get to be the first to point out that Godwin's Law doesn't mean mentioning anything to do with Nazism but is simply the likelihood that any argument in an online forum will likely result in one individual labelling another as a fascist akin to Mr Hitler.

And it's almost as dull me pointing this out as it is people misusing the law.

/derail over.

On topic - when do we get to read about Stalin et al?
posted by longbaugh at 7:59 AM on March 31, 2005


great post, thanks
posted by matteo at 8:32 AM on March 31, 2005


According to Dr. Murray, the characteristics of this personality type include: holding grudges, low tolerance for criticism, excessive demands for attention, inability to express gratitude, a tendency to belittle, bully, and blame others, revenge, persistence in the face of defeat, self-will, self-trust, inability to take a joke, and compulsive criminality.

It would definitely be Godwin to say that this all reminds me of a well-known public figure, so I'm not going to.
posted by barjo at 9:05 AM on March 31, 2005


Re: holding grudges, low tolerance for criticism, excessive demands for attention, inability to express gratitude, a tendency to belittle, bully, and blame others, revenge, persistence in the face of defeat, self-will, self-trust, inability to take a joke, and compulsive criminality.

I wonder what current world leader that sounds like :)
posted by mike3k at 10:32 AM on March 31, 2005


Call me crazy, but I think that starting a World War and systematically murdering a specific population of people is in a different league from any of the current world leaders.

That's not to say that today's world leaders aren't also possibly insane, but on the whole, do not hold a candle to Hitler. Or Mussoulini. Or Stalin. Etc.

Nothing to do with the rest of my comment, but I do think that Eddie Izzard said it best : Stalin killed 20 million people, died in his bed. Well done. Hitler killed people next door. Stupid man. After a few years, we won't stand for that!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:45 AM on March 31, 2005


Call me crazy, but I think that starting a World War and systematically murdering a specific population of people is in a different league from any of the current world leaders.

That goes without saying. However, I think what barjo and mike3k were getting at is that his personality (not his actions) reminds them of... somebody.
posted by Specklet at 11:09 AM on March 31, 2005


I still think Stalin was worse.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:10 AM on March 31, 2005


is in a different league from any of the current world leaders.

as of now, yes.
;)
posted by matteo at 12:04 PM on March 31, 2005


Has there been a thread about The Downfall? (There probably was.) The film triggered yet another big Hitler Discussion in Germany. I don't know how to feel about such a personalized reading of history. Unfortunately its was not one evil man who led the Germans into fascism. It was the Germans.
posted by thehippe at 2:23 PM on March 31, 2005


Thread on The Downfall here.

Yeah, I start threads about Hitler. It's what I do.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:51 PM on March 31, 2005


Also...

Unfortunately its was not one evil man who led the Germans into fascism. It was the Germans.

Yeah, but having an evil man to follow helped. You can't have a fascist society without someone to lead it.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:53 PM on March 31, 2005


Yes- but whoever becomes the leader seems pretty random to me- all kinds of other things at work. In Germany: poverty, Chaos in the twenties and thirties, WWI and its atrocities, the strange German love of authority, long history of anti-semitism, elite such as intellectuals or the nobility failing to take a stand and on and on. I think its a shame that people give the slobbering idiot Hitler so much attention.
posted by thehippe at 11:56 PM on March 31, 2005


There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. In addition, whoever points out that Godwin's law applies to the thread is also considered to have "lost" the battle, as it is considered poor form to invoke the law explicitly.

Yes, breezeway, you do. Thanks for that. No, really. It's just so fresh.

/familyguyandsickofgodwinslaw
posted by lazaruslong at 5:18 AM on April 1, 2005


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