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Lunch » Tags » Book » Reviews » The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII » User review

Fascinating Insight into the Nazi Mind

  • Aug 28, 2013
Journalist Jack El-Hai has written an insightful look at some of the key Nazi leaders and their mindset. In THE NAZI AND THE PSYCHIATRIST, through careful research, Jack El-Hai has captured several significant relationships in the history of World War II. The storytelling and details are fascinating and will keep you riveted to the pages and turning them.

For example, I enjoyed his chapter on The Nazi Mind which details some of the results of Dr. Douglas M. Kelley's insights. Writing about Kelley, El-Hai writes, "His long proximity to the prisoners had convinced him that they exhibited three qualities: unbridled ambition, weak ethics, and excessive patriotism that could justify nearly any action of questionable rightness. Moreover the Nazis, even the most elite and powerful among them were not monsters, evildoing machines, or automata without soul and feelings. Goring's concern for his family, Schirach's love of poetry, and Kaltenbrunner's fear under stress had moved Kelley and persuaded him that his former prisoners had emotions and responses like other people. Anyone who dismissed them ‘because we look with disgust and hatred upon their activities and upon their actions, to sell the Third Reich short,' was making a big mistake. Their relative normalcy left a portentous hanging question. How could their inexplicable conduct be understood? Without comprehending the Nazis or identifying their psychoses, Kelly could only reluctantly conclude that enormous numbers of people had the potential to act as the war criminals had." (Page 157-158)

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend THE NAZI AND THE PSYCHIATRIST.
Fascinating Insight into the Nazi Mind Fascinating Insight into the Nazi Mind

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About the reviewer
W. Terry Whalin ()
Ranked #120
I am an Acquisitions Editor at Morgan James Publishing. I have written more than 60 books for traditional publishers and for more than 50 magazines. My blog on The Writing Life has more than 1,100 searchable … more
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Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Ace reportage on the unique relationship between a prison physician and one of the Third Reich’s highest ranking officials…. El-Hai’s gripping account turns a chilling page in American history and provides an unsettling meditation on the machinations of evil.”
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Book, World War Ii, Nazis, Hermann Goring


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