The intent in the following pages is to provide a basic analysis of certain aspects of Hitler's personality from a psychological perspective.
According to Alice Miller and others, Hitler had quite a dictatorial father, with whom he never made his peace. At the same time, his father dominated his life, while his mother, who he loved, had little impact on his development. Yet he was described by his schoolteacher as mentally alert, obedient, and lively; Hitler described himself at this age as very vocal and a leader of his group of children (Toland, 1976).
Nonetheless, there were some changes during his late childhood that may have had a serious impact on him. Apparently Hitler had been primarily raised by his mother, and welltreated by her, for the first five years of his life. At that point, his father became more predominant in the picture, after his retirement, and he was apparently quite a brutal person. There is speculation that not only did he beat the children unmercifully, but that he beat his wife, who Hitler loved.
While his schoolteacher seemed to favor Hitler, his halfbrother did not have as positive a view of his personality. Interviewed in 1948, that halfbrother noted that Hitler had always been imperious and quick to anger, and that he always got his way, flying into rages over small things (Toland, 1976). It is more this latter picture that we are accustomed to thinking of when we image Hitler.
What are some of the major aspects of Hitler's personality that could be subject to analysis? From the records, it appears that some of the more problematic qualities, or characteristics, were Hitler's grandiosity, paranoia, bigotry, and intense, virulent, hatred for a number of different social groups; the Jewish population being one of the most hated (Toland, 1976). Ultimately, he has come to be seen as one of history's great monsters, a man who exterminated millions of people because of his extreme...