The Roots of Nazi Psychology by Jay Y. Gonen
Hitler's Utopian Barbarism

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" Was Hitler a moral aberration or a man of his people? This topic has been hotly argued in recent years, and now Jay Gonen brings new answers to the debate using a psychohistorical perspective, contending that Hitler reflected the psyche of many Germans of his time. Like any charismatic leader, Hitler was an expert scanner of the Zeitgeist. He possessed an uncanny ability to read the masses correctly and guide them with ""new"" ideas that were merely reflections of what the people already believed. Gonen argues that Hitler's notions grew from the general fabric of German culture in the years following World War I. Basing his work in the role of ideologies in group psychology, Gonen exposes the psychological underpinnings of Nazi Germany's desire to expand its living space and exterminate Jews. Hitler responded to the nation's group fantasy of renewing a Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. He presented the utopian ideal of one large state, where the nation represented one extended family. In reality, however, he desired the triumph of automatism and totalitarian practices that would preempt family autonomy and private action. Such a regimented state would become a war machine, designed to breed infantile soldiers brainwashed for sacrifice. To achieve that aim, he unleashed barbaric forces whose utopian features were the very aspects of the state that made it most cruel.


About Jay Y. Gonen

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Gonen is a retired professor of psychology who taught at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Published May 19, 2003 by The University Press of Kentucky. 240 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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But the excerpt from the speech that Gonen quotes doesn't reflect such misgivings at all, leading Gonen to engage in some psychological double-talk: "the denial of any doubts smacked too much of an affirmation through negation, that is, betraying the deeply hidden doubts by allowing the subject t...

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Gonen (a retired professor of psychology at the University of Cincinnati and author of A Psychohistory of Zionism) offers a brief study and analysis of what he claims is a ""Nazi psychology."" Drawing from an extensive and rigorous reading of Hitler's speeches and published writings (especially M...

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