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The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII

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The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII Cover

 

 

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It was a plum assignment, a rendezvous with the men widely regarded as the worst criminals of the century. Kelleys time as the supervisor of several psychiatric hospitals had taught him that aberrant behavior often had mysterious and fascinating sources, and he set his own goals for the time he would spend in this Nazi holding pen. Kelley arrived among the Nazi leaders eager to probe them for signs of a flaw common to all: the willingness to commit evil acts. Did they share a mental disorder or a psychiatric cause of their behavior? Was there a “Nazi personality” that accounted for their heinous misdeeds? Kelley intended to find out…

Kelley had formed quick impressions of Göring. From his meetings with the other Nazi prisoners, Kelley recognized that Göring “was undoubtedly the most outstanding personality in the jail because he was intelligent,” Kelley wrote in his medical notes. “He was well developed mentally—well rounded—a huge, powerful sort of body when he was covered up with his cape and you couldnt see the fat jiggle as he walked, a good looking individual from a distance, a very powerful dynamic individual.” But having also lightly touched in their initial cell-bound conversations upon politics, the war, and the rise of Nazism, Kelley was not blind to Görings dark side. The ex-Reich Marshal flashed ruthlessness, narcissism, and a cold-hearted disregard for anyone beyond his close circle of family and friends. That very combination of characteristics present in Göring—the admirable and the sinister—heightened Kelleys interest in the prisoner. Only such an attractive, capable, and smart man who had smashed and snuffed out the lives of so many people could point Kelley toward the regions of the human soul that he urgently wanted to explore.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781610391566
Subtitle:
Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII
Author:
El-Hai, Jack
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
Psychology : General
Subject:
Military - World War II
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Nazi Germany
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » Nazi Germany
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust

The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages PublicAffairs - English 9781610391566 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Ace reportage on the unique relationship between a prison physician and one of the Third Reich’s highest ranking officials….El-Hai’s gripping account turns a chilling page in American history and provides an unsettling meditation on the machinations of evil.”
"Synopsis" by , In a devastated Europe at the end of World War II, the improbable relationship between fallen tyrant Hermann Goöring and rising US Army physician Douglas Kelley becomes a becomes a hazardous quest into the nature of evil.
"Synopsis" by , In 1945, after his capture at the end of the Second World War, Hermann Göring arrived at an American-run detention center in war-torn Luxembourg, accompanied by sixteen suitcases and a red hatbox. The suitcases contained all manner of paraphernalia: medals, gems, two cigar cutters, silk underwear, a hot water bottle, and the equivalent of $1 million in cash. Hidden in a coffee can, a set of brass vials housed glass capsules containing a clear liquid and a white precipitate: potassium cyanide. Joining Göring in the detention center were the elite of the captured Nazi regime — Grand Admiral Dönitz; armed forces commander Wilhelm Keitel and his deputy Alfred Jodl; the mentally unstable Robert Ley; the suicidal Hans Frank; the pornographic propagandist Julius Streicher — fifty-two senior Nazis in all, of whom the dominant figure was Göring.

To ensure that the villainous captives were fit for trial at Nuremberg, the US army sent an ambitious army psychiatrist, Captain Douglas M. Kelley, to supervise their mental well-being during their detention. Kelley realized he was being offered the professional opportunity of a lifetime: to discover a distinguishing trait among these arch-criminals that would mark them as psychologically different from the rest of humanity. So began a remarkable relationship between Kelley and his captors, told here for the first time with unique access to Kelley's long-hidden papers and medical records.

Kelley's was a hazardous quest, dangerous because against all his expectations he began to appreciate and understand some of the Nazi captives, none more so than the former Reichsmarshall, Hermann Göring. Evil had its charms.

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