The psychological profile of Adolf Hitler: 9 personality traits

The psychological profile of Adolf Hitler: 9 personality traits

If someone asks us for the name of some of the people who have generated the most deaths throughout modern history, it is easy for the name of Adolf Hitler to come to mind.

This German military and political figure of Austrian origin, responsible for the outbreak of World War II and the deaths of millions of people under his rule as Führer, has been one of the most feared historical figures of modernity.

The characteristics of his personality and his leadership and manipulation skills, as for example could be seen in his ability to use rhetoric and oratory, have been studied ever since. In this article we will try to offer the psychological profile of Hitler based on the profiles made by Murray and the visualization of graphic and literary documents.

Adolf Hitler: difficulties of analysis

Establishing a psychological profile of a particular person without directly observing and analyzing their behavior and characteristics is complicated and ineffective, since no real psychological exploration can be performed. Any psychological profile carried out on a person without any contact between a health professional and the subject in question is more imprecise, which is also the case when drawing up the psychological profile of a person who has already died.

In Hitler’s case, there is no evidence that he underwent a psychiatric evaluation, and the professionals who were in direct contact with him died, probably being executed by the SS or sent to concentration camps. The only way to try to establish something like a psychological profile is the analysis of his speeches, his actions and the ideas he transmitted through writing.

The psychological profile of Hitler

Adolf Hitler’s personality was an aspect that greatly concerned different governments during World War II. During the time he lived, various researchers and experts were commissioned to establish a psychological profile of the dictator. Specifically , those carried out by Henry Murray for the Office of Strategic Services (Office of Strategic Services or OSS, precursor of the current CIA) and by Joseph MacCurdy stand out, both profiles being in line with each other.

However, it must be taken into account that neither of the authors had direct contact with the analyzed person, so that the profiles were made from the analysis of different materials and not from the exploration of the individual.

The main characteristics of Adolf Hitler’s personality that can be extracted from these reports, as well as from the different documentary sources at both the audiovisual and written levels, include the following considerations.

1. Egolatry and Messiah complex

In the different speeches and documents that are preserved from the dictator, it is possible to observe how Adolf Hitler was considered a force chosen to lead Germany and bring it victory.He considered himself an embodiment of goodness, destined to lead his people.

This fact would be favoured by the worship of a large part of the German people during their rise to power. Today, it could be considered a case of delirium of self-reference.

2. Difficulties for intimacy

Hitler’s intimate life, apart from his relationship with Eva Braun, is little known. However, the records of the time seem to indicate that while the dictator could display great charm with those around and following him, he had severe problems establishing deep relationships, partly because of the difficulty he had in expressing his feelings in terms of affection.

3. Feelings of inferiority and self-loathing

The different studies and profiles that have been carried out on his personality and history indicate that the dictator had a strong inferiority complex , which in turn led him to seek superiority and self-affirmation. In fact, the report prepared by Murray highlights the presence of a weak ego structure, possibly the result of the mistreatment he was subjected to by his father.

It is also partly revealing that the Aryan race he advocated had characteristics that he himself lacked, which seems to favour the idea of low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority.

4. Contempt for weakness

Associated with the above feature is the presence of a contempt for weakness. This contempt for those whom he considered inferior can be seen in his actions and the systematic elimination of those who were considered weak at the time, such as psychiatric patients and the intellectually disabled.

5. Perseverance

The various records and communications seem to indicate that Hitler was particularly tenacious and obsessed with his objectives, and found it very difficult to admit defeat . In fact, Murray’s report indicated that the dictator was likely to commit suicide if he lost the war.

6. Charisma and ability to manipulate

One of the best known facets of Adolf Hitler’s personality is his high capacity for charisma. The German dictator aroused passions among his troops and among the masses , as can be seen in the various graphic documents of his speeches and the behaviour and fervent loyalty to his figure on the part of most of his troops.

It also highlights his ability to convince and manipulate both the masses and individuals of his position and the truthfulness of his words.

7. Theatricality

Adolf Hitler possessed a great capacity for theatricality and drama , which made it easier for him to reach the people and helped convince others of his views.

8. Obsession for power

As with many other dictators, power was important to Hitler. The creation of organizations such as the Gestapo to maintain the population’s obedience and the elimination of dissidents are evidence of this. In the same way it can be observed in his expansionist policy , invading different countries like Poland or trying to attack Russia. In the book he wrote during his stay in prison, Mein Kampf , he even wrote that his party was not there to serve the masses, but to break them.

9. Low capacity for empathy

The little or no capacity to identify with the submitted peoples and the proposal of various extermination plans for different types of population such as Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, population with psychiatric problems and dissidents show little or no capacity for empathy.

Psychopathologies associated with the dictator

The different personality characteristics together with the atrocity of his actions have led to various mental disorders being attributed to Hitler throughout history. Murray’s report spoke of schizophrenia, neurosis and hysteria , among other terms.

3. Feelings of inferiority and self-loathing

The different studies and profiles that have been carried out on his personality and history indicate that the dictator had a strong inferiority complex , which in turn led him to seek superiority and self-affirmation. In fact, the report prepared by Murray highlights the presence of a weak ego structure, possibly the result of the mistreatment he was subjected to by his father.

It is also partly revealing that the Aryan race he advocated had characteristics that he himself lacked, which seems to favour the idea of low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority.

4. Contempt for weakness

Associated with the above feature is the presence of a contempt for weakness.
This contempt for those whom he considered inferior can be seen in his actions and the systematic elimination of those who were considered weak at the time, such as psychiatric patients and the intellectually disabled.

5.
Perseverance

The various records and communications seem to indicate that Hitler was particularly tenacious and obsessed with his objectives, and found it very difficult to admit defeat . In fact, Murray’s report indicated that the dictator was likely to commit suicide if he lost the war.

6.
Charisma and ability to manipulate

One of the best known facets of Adolf Hitler’s personality is his high capacity for charisma.
The German dictator aroused passions among his troops and among the masses , as can be seen in the various graphic documents of his speeches and the behaviour and fervent loyalty to his figure on the part of most of his troops.

It also highlights his ability to convince and manipulate both the masses and individuals of his position and the truthfulness of his words.

7.
Theatricality

Adolf Hitler possessed a great capacity for theatricality and drama , which made it easier for him to reach the people and helped convince others of his views.

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