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Hitler: The Pathology of Evil (Potomac's Paperback Classics) [Kindle Edition]

George Victor
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Victor's book is the first to show that implementing the Final Solution was actually the root of Hitler's most disastrous military decisions.

Product Description


A serious book that merits serious consideration. George Victor s interpretations of Hitler s puzzling wartime decisions, for example, are unique.


Written by a psychotherapist with experience in evaluating personality disorders, this volume concentrates on Adolf Hitler, looking at the motives that drove him to commit such atrocities as the Holocaust. It aims to show that the implementation of the Final Solution was the root of Hitler's most disastrous military decisions and that he had plans to sterilize millions of ordinary Germans. The author argues that many of Hitler's war decisions, which led to Germany's defeat, were not errors at all. Rather, they were calculated risks taken to advance Hitler's own secret agenda, of which even his top generals were unaware. Among Hitler's intentionally disastrous orders, the author includes allowing the British to escape at Dunkirk, delaying and then cancelling the invasion of England, attacking the Soviet Union, halting the advance of Moscow, declaring war on the United States, and ordering his Sixth army to stand at Stalingrad.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 867 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1574882287
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (31 Jan. 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CWHL6C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #599,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good insight into a worrying topic 26 April 2002
By A Customer
I've always wondered what made Hitler tick. How any human being could overcome his morality to do the things that he did and how he could convince a nation to stand by and watch him do it.
This book answers these questions and many others with plausible answers. It goes into the depths of his family background which he went to great lengths to cover up.
Its pretty heavy going and disturbing in places but a must for anyone interested in the psychology of this man.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was a great help 17 May 2001
By Andrew Hein - Published on
In his book Hitler: The Pathology of Evil, George Victor does what no author has yet been able to do, portray Hitler not only as the evil villain the he was, but also as a tortured soul that he was. He portrays Hitler as a man with a troubled past and tries to explain why he did the things that he did. Yet at the same time showing what happened to him in his childhood and during his past, and explaining how it affected his future action, it does not make concessions for his actions. It merely tries to explain the reasons why he did the thinks that he did.
This book isn't only a historical biography on a man that has had many other such books written on him. This book is much more of a psychological analysis of certain points in Hitler's life, and shows how these some how insignificant actions of his past affect not only his future but that of all of Germany, Europe, and the world. Victor, a former psychologist and psychotherapist for over thirty years, does an excellent job of doing this.
On of the best parts of the book is over the conflict of Hitler being an abused child, the fact that we should feel sorry for him in a way, and the problem that this fact raises. Part of the problem that people have with this fact is that in no way should we feel sorry for this `monster'. At the same time if it were anyone else we would feel sorry for him or her and make conscious for this fact. Victor says that the reasons that people don't want to accept this fact of Hitler's past is because it makes him seem more human, something that people have refused to see him as. Victor take the position that we should feel something for him, yet at the same time realize that fact that millions of other abused children don't grow up and murder millions of people.
One other area that Victor does a great job is tracing Hitler's family tree. He goes back to Hitler's father and explains the situation of his birth that have led many to believed that Hitler's grandfather was most likely Jewish. He gives evidence that for the first time makes this seem as if it truly is a possibly true. This would explain Victor's theory that he hated what he was, and therefore killed others that were like the true him in some form of misguided aggression.
Victor paints a picture of Hitler that no author has been able to do before. Well still portraying him as the evil that he was, but also as a man. Victor does an outstanding job of doing this. One of the better Hitler biographies out there.
56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars powerful, well written, well documented 2 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Reviewed by Neil Wilson, Ph.D. New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis for the Journal of Psychohistory, 26#3 (Winter 1999), 749-50
I read Victor's powerful book in lovely Umbria. It is in two parts, the first deals with Hitler's early development while the second examines his rise to power and the war years. Victor sensibly asserts that there has been a tendency among scholars not to try and understand Hitler's early life as it could lead to a sympathetic reading. Not so, for me. Umbria's rustic atmosphere was not enough to counteract a very personal reaction of disgust and revulsion when considering Hitler's upbringing. To preserve my equilibrium, I interspersed with Victor, reading some chapters from the touching book, Tuesdays with Morrie.
Hitler was an abused child. His father, Alois, beat his son brutally and often, for reasons never really clear. Indiscriminate violence was an important organizing factor in Hitler's emotional development, and definitely played a role in his later political expressions. There can be no sympathy for Hitler in this context because the reader knows what is to follow. In contrast to his father , Hitler was very close to his mother Klara, reportedly being her favorite. One might think Hitler capable of some degree of compassion, Victor notes only one incident. Klara had breast cancer and was treated well by a Jewish doctor named Bloch. In appreciation, when Hitler order the annihilation of all Jewish doctors he spared Dr. Bloch. So much for mother love.
The idea that Hitler was so consumed with wanting to purify the German blood, it actually took precedence of trying to win the war is a key thesis developed by Victor. He made many battle decisions which only prolonged the war. Victor holds that Hitler needed the war to pursue his major aim - the Holocaust. He often chose battles of destruction rather than considering peaceful solutions. Hitler was filled with self hatred, resulting, in part, from his father's many beating. He also thought, rightly or wrongly, that his paternal grandfather had Jewish blood which was experienced as impure and defiling. Such beliefs certainly contributed to his paranoid delusions regarding the creation of a master race. Later, Hitler attempted to erase all records of his past and create his own "family romance." Not only Hitler, but Eichmann, Goebbols, Himmler and other high ranking Nazis all thought as children that they had Jewish ancestry. This was an expression of inferiority/self-hatred and lent support to their involvement in the Holocaust. The Aryan was tall, blond and Nordic whereas many of the Nazi leaders, including Hitler, were short and dark, like stereotypical Jews.
Victor documents the struggles of Hitler in late adolescence. At one point he was homeless, a beggar, a reject from art school, a lost soul. It is not hard to think "what if." My friend George Chajet, a last minute escapee of the Nazis, mentioned that he sometimes fantasized that Hitler was a better artist and therefore accepted by the Vienna Academy of Arts. What if!
The author might have done more with Hitler's reported recurrent nightmare "in which a Jew menaced a women and Adolph failed to intervene, feeling humiliated." Victor describes the dream in the context of young Hitler seeing his father beat his mother and feeling unable to help her. This makes good sense but surely there are further dynamics involved. In the dream the woman is hurt. Hitler's idealization of his mother and several other women in later years, might mask an underlying hatred and desire to hurt and humiliate them. Victor offers numerous examples of laws enacted that debased and humiliated Germany's young, single, non-Jewish females. I suspect that Hitler's identifications are within this recurrent dream, he is simultaneously the impotent boy, the masochistic mother, and the brute father.
Victor employs a psychoanalytic approach to the understanding of Hitler's life and its consequences for so much of the world. The book is well written and well documented. It is a truly worthwhile psychohistorical document. Just do not read it on your next vacation.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it possible to have sympathy for the devil? 8 Sept. 2007
By Joe Huggins - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book attempts to un-demonize Hitler long enough to understand his development as an abused child, a failed person, and as the most evil dictator in human history. Only a Jewish Psychololgist could attempt such a feat, and the author, George Victor, has done a remarkable job. Most interesting was how Victor pointed out in great detail the conflicted personality of Hitler, piece by piece, and tied those conflicts to the abuse that he and his beloved mother suffered at the hands of his father.

Virtually everything Hitler said or did was a contradiction, due to his extreme self-loathing, wherein he masked his own intense hatred of himself and his father, by pretending to be superhuman, while projecting everything he hated about himself and his family, a tall order, onto every other group imaginable, all of whom paid the ultimate price for reminding Hitler of himself.

Must read for anybody interested in WWII and/or German/Austrian history.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well-written book with interesting, psychological insights 5 April 2008
By aaa - Published on
The author studies the childhood and adolescence of Hitler in great detail;
the facts are well-known, but the author provides interesting, psychological insights.
The author then goes on to describe Hitler's development in the pre-WWII years, and relates it to his childhood and adolescence.
The treatment of the pre-WWII years deserves 4 stars.

The weak point of this book is its treatment of the war years 1939-45 in Chapter 16 (Conquest and Annihilation): it is incomplete, simplistic and at times not convincing.
In particular, the military decisions discussed are more complex than the author admits or realizes.
The author, apparently lacking military expertise, relies on popular myths (in part due to German generals, who blamed Hitler for all mistakes, including their own);
he tends to downplay military considerations in military decisions;
he tends to neglect the Prussian-German tradition of conducting war, the stab-in-the-back legend, the experience made in past operations (WWI and WWII), the military situation on the ground and the military and political institutions involved in the decision-making process.
Furthermore, the author neglects the significance of social-psychological processes: e.g. it is possible that Hitler's interactions with other sinister individuals (Goebbels, Bormann, Himmler and Heydrich) made him more radical (sometimes called group polarization: small, cohesive groups with similar opinions can make opinions more extreme).

More generally, the author fails to show the limitations of his psychological point of view.

It is the war years (the aggressive conduct of war, the war crimes and the holocaust) that sets Hitler apart from countless other dictators,
and it is the treatment of the war years that is the weak point of this book;
hence 3 stars instead of 4 stars.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last... 25 April 2004
By ellafan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
someone has made sense out of it filling in Hitler's background,as it has never been revealed before...we can understand how madness and evil converged in the persona of one man who managed to murder millions because of his completely illogical beliefs..My whole life I have been trying to understand him(his evil influence),and this book has really helped me considerably.I can even see how his vile minions,the SS,were attracted to him and his ruthlessness..and obeyed him til the end.This is a fact-filled book,yes,but it is extremely well-written and researched,and I have read it over the course of two days.If you are, as I am,fascinated and repulsed at the same time about the most powerful and evil (well..I can't use bad language here,so fill in the blanks)"human being" of the 20th century...then this most excellent book will help you further in understanding just what happened,and why.
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