The Telltale Sign of a Despotic Maniac? Apparently, Femininity.

It was only recently declassified, and only recently nabbed the okay from author Henry Murray’s relatives, but The Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler, a psychological evaluation originally commissioned by the OSS, is now ripe and ready for public consumption. This report was written in 1943 and, unsurprsingly, contains considerable Freudistic takes on the man. There aren’t too many surprises here in this supposed barnbuster. We get the usual “Hitler has always worshipped physical force, military conquest, and ruthless domination.” Really? I had no idea.

But what’s of interest is the conclusion that Hitler was, apparently, “largely feminine in his constitution.” This latter judgment has been concluded because he was frail, not particularly athletic, was emotionally dependent on his mother, and “annoyingly subservient” to his superior officers. But it gets better: “His movements have been described as womanish — a dainty ladylike way of walking (when not assuming a military carriage in public), effeminate gestures of his arms — a peculiar graceless ineptitude reminiscent of of a girl throwing a baseball.”

What’s more, “Hitler is no healthy amoral brute. He is a hive of secret neurotic compunctions and feminine sentimentalities which have had to be stubbornly repressed ever since he embarked on his career.” (Emphasis in original.)

If this was the stuff of top psychologists at the time, then it’s little wonder why the OSS failed to understand Hitler’s mentality and why this report was kept under wraps for so many years. One wonders whether “femininity” is something the CIA still looks for in a potential international menace.

What’s interesting is that, as recently as last September, psychologists were investigating the “hyper-masculinity” of American politics. Have we truly evolved or is political potency all about the testosterone charge? And if that’s the case, where do women fit in?