Alarming. Very alarming.
After World War II, the Allies ordered a respected American psychiatrist, Dr. Doug Kelley, to interview and analyze Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess and other top Nazi officials in jail awaiting trial for war crimes.
Kelly searched many painstaking weeks for a distinguishing characteristic that provoked the unimaginable crimes they committed while under the spell of Adolf Hitler. He found none. The conclusions drawn by Kelly are elaborated in Jack El-Hai’s 2013 book, “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist,” and they are ominous.
Hitler, writes Kelly, “had a profound conviction of his own ability, amounting to megalomania.” Anyone who crossed him faced his “fearsome rage.”
The Nazis, he continued, exploited fear and “racial myths” to maintain power. These prisoners were not deranged. Rather, they were simply “ultra-nationalists” and “ideological demagogues,” and it is those who most threaten democracy today in America, where there is an abundance of such types.
“Fascistic bigotry” already pierces our culture. We in this country, he strongly suggests, dismiss the idea that we would ever sink to the Nazi level of leader worship. This, he concludes, is naive.