Adolph Hitler Essay, Research Paper
What can be said about Adolph Hitler that already has not been said? Scores of books have been written about him, many people have tried to analyze him, I even heard that he has been portrayed in movies the most out of all other historical figures. Of course there are those goof balls that say he escaped to Argentina after the war (I would not be surprised if those same people think Elvis is still alive).
So why do so many people write about a man that Nostradamus called an anti-Christ? They do it so that we may analyze specific patterns that may lead to abhorrent activities later, or the things that Hitler did were so horrific, they need some other explanation other than he was just a psycho-maniac hell bent on ruling the world. This is what Rudolph Binion has done here. He does a fine job weaving a mesh of possible insight into Hitler’s conscience and sub-conscience. My question is: How can we ever know if this analysis is accurate? I realize that neither psychoanalysis nor psycho-history are exact sciences, but when you take into account the theories of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, Binion’s ideas take on a degree of merit.
I must say that this was a hard read. I found the names, facts and situations very difficult to follow. Therefore, I am going to examine the parts in which I found graspable. First, there is the issue of Adolph and his mother. Many questions arise when examining their relationship. Why did Klara feel that she needed to breast feed for such an extended period of time? Why would Klara breast-feed young Adolph when breast-feeding was not a common practice in that area at that time? She had lost two children previous to the birth of Adolph. Guilt was the force that drove her actions. She felt that if she gave him all the love that she had, he would not die like the rest. Also, if she breast fed while Adolph was teething, the pain she was having inflicted on herself would, somehow, punish her for allowing her other children to die. As one might imagine, this had a negative effect on Adolph. One passage in the book explains how after long speeches or heavy exertion for Germany, he “would sink into blissful contentedness gorging himself with sweets” (p. 55). Through her breast-and-mouth incest Klara was using and abusing Adolph for her traumatic reliving. She must have felt how she was holding back his development in her protective, possessive, permissive embrace (p. 56). Perhaps this is the beginning of Hitler’s journey to becoming a dictator (the very term spells oral aggression raised to the highest power) (P.57).
While recovering from the trauma of being gassed, he vowed to be the savior of Germany and deliver it from its own trauma. Binion makes several parallels between his mother and Germany that may have had their start during this time. By referring to Germany as the Motherland, Adolph correlated his mother’s breast cancer and eventual death with the downfall of Germany after WW I and the internal strife that is being perpetrated because of the Jews. Binion goes on to point out that Hitler stated in many speeches that “Germany must be everything to Germans” just like the way a mother is everything to a baby. Also, in several addresses, Hitler said that there must be more room for Germans to live. This “living space” could be equated with a mother’s womb.
There are many Jewish references intertwined in Hitler’s unconscience mind. Klara Hitler died from breast cancer. Hitler may have gotten his contempt for the Jews while his mother was being treated for her cancer. Dr. Bloch, a Jew, was treating Klara. He wanted to give her morphine to make her comfortable, but Adolph insisted on iodoform treatment instead. The smell of iodoform reminded Hitler of the smell of the Zyklon B gas that he was hit with in WW I. I find it difficult to understand why Hitler opted for the iodoform treatment even after Dr. Bloch informed him that it was painful and virtually ineffective. While his mother was sick, Hitler stayed by her side like a loving son. He did everything for her. So why would he want to put her through such a regiment of treatments if they were not going to work? These are not the actions of a loving son. This perspective was observed in class and Binion does not really give an explanation to it (unless I missed it). So that question remains up in the air. Anyway, after his mother’s death, Dr. Bloch handed Hitler a bill, which amounted to 10% of Klara’s estate. This incident was the beginning of Hitler’s bitter hatred of the Jews. One point I did not understand was why Hitler, if he loved his mother so much, would opt for such a painful and ineffective treatment? Was he punishing his mother for allowing him to breast feed for so long? If that were the case, how would he know that these unconscience feelings and tendencies were of a negative nature? I might think that the way he embraced his views with such passion that he would be proud of what he was doing and no blame would be conveyed.
Who was Hitler going to blame for killing his mother? She had a painful illness that could have been prevented. Hitler, rather than blaming himself, blamed Dr. Bloch and the Jews. The Jews were destroying Germany very much like cancer destroyed his mother. Hitler even said, “The Jews are a cancer on the breast of Germany.”
Hitler wanted to rid Germany and the world of not only all Jews, but also communism. He saw Russia standing in the way of attaining Germany’s living space. He saw communism as the enemy of the world partly because Karl Marx was a Jew. Hitler always spoke of the racial-ideological (anti-Semitic, anti-Communist) motive for war against Russia (p. 60).
Binion sates in the end that his research turned up volumes of source information “that were so rich, yet so spotty” (p. 129). This says to me that so much information has been written about Hitler that most of it may be just drivel. Unfortunately, in order to get the most clear-cut perspective on such an infamous historical figure, one must sift through the massive amounts of data. My point is, How does Rudolph Binion decipher between what is accurate and what is nonsense to come up with an analysis that seems to be viable? I think that, even though he used an enormous amount of resources, it all comes down to Hitler’s mind and what his unconscience was doing. All the research in the world cannot tell us what that was.
Hitler Among the Germans, Rudolph Binion, 1984, Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, Illinois