Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust Essay

Submitted By avamuir
Words: 1362
Pages: 6

Adolf Hitler Muir Page 1 Adolf Hitler is one of the most infamous historical figures of arguably, any century. His climb to power during World War II and his involvement and actions leading to the extermination of Jewish peoples during the Holocaust has been the subject of countless academic papers, novels and films. It may be too simplistic to say that Hitler must have been a psychopath, that no sane person with a soul could have perpetrated such acts. But what does being a psychopath mean and how is it determined? Using Dr. Robert Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist – Revised, three traits of psychopathy will be examined: grandiosity, cunning & manipulative, and lack of empathy, in correlation to Adolf Hitler. The examination of these traits will be used to determine if in fact, Adolf Hitler was a psychopath. Can we recognize a psychopath? Do they have horns, like those of the Devil’s? Or are they seemingly common people, ones we can pass on the street without a second glance?
The Psychopathy Checklist – Revised is a clinical scale. It consists of 20 items and each of the 20 points is scored over a 3 point scale;
0 – if it does not apply
1 – if it applies somewhat
2 – if it applies fully
These are vital to examine with respect to Adolf Hitler, along with looking at some of his personal history as there is a high risk of recidivism (reoffending) and a small likelihood of rehabilitation for those who are labelled as having ‘psychopathy.’ Adolf Hitler Muir Page 2
“If all Hitler had done was kill people in vast numbers more efficiently than anyone else ever did, the debate over his lasting importance might end there. But Hitler’s impact went beyond his willingness to kill without mercy. He did something civilization had not seen before. Hitler came out of the most civilized society on Earth…he set out to kill people not for what they did but for who they were.”
Adolf Hitler certainly had a grandiose image of himself and this grandiosity gave him unrelenting power and ego strength. Indeed, his reference of self-importance surpassed all others. In 1921, Hitler became Fuhrer (leader) of a movement consisting of three thousand members. He was able to boost his personal power by organizing squads to keep order at the meetings he held. These squads lead to Storm Troopers, Hitler’s famous S.A. This was the starting point that increased Adolf’s sense of grandiosity and power over the populace. Even though Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889, his life as Fuhrer started in Germany, beginning politically as the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, a.k.a. the Nazi Party. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933-1945 and served as Dictator from 1934-1945. Hitler himself created an exaggerated image, larger than life and entirely grandiose. He believed that he was not an ordinary human being, but instead was much greater than everyone else. He may have possessed political and personal skills but that was all. Adolf Hitler was never a monarch, or a successful military commander, or even a man with high national achievements. However he was smart enough to realize the areas in which he lacked. He knew that in order to hold authority, he had to essentially stimulate the Adolf Hitler Muir Page 3 masses and create a huge following, one who would never question his larger than life persona. It has been noted that whatever Hitler did, he did for the good of the nation. In his mind, his actions and the end result of them, did in fact justify the means. Hitler’s notion of ‘nation’ did not take into account but rather was only interested in future generations, which indeed seems like a grandiose idea. Such grandiosity lead Hitler to be almost untouchable as he made his decisions in isolation, feeling that because of his superior intellect, he knew better than anyone else