Comments and Queries
The Making of the Fuhrer
Headline Book Publishing, 2003
A Division of Hodder Headline
338 Euston Rd
London NW1 3BH
Bill Ronan, LICSW, Medical Hypnoanalyst
527 2nd St NE
Hopkins, MN 55343
When Hitler finally appeared for a moment the crowd reminded William Shirer of the crazed expressions he’d seen in “Louisiana on the faces of some Holy Rollers. They looked up at him as if he were a Messiah.” . . . one group of blonde maidens vowed to ‘Heil Hitler’ at the point of orgasm. How do we understand this enigma?
In WW 1 Hitler believed himself to be under divine protection and was singled out for some, unknown but vital mission. He consequently was an extremely brave soldier. Before his therapy for “Hysterical Blindness” in WW 1 it was thought he lacked the personality to ever become a leader by virtually everyone who knew him.
But one day in WW 1 he suffered from gas warfare and believed himself to be blinded by mustard gas. Most suffering from such a condition were treated as malingerers. He was sent to the rear to be treated by Dr Edmund Robert Forster, MD. The traditional approach was to treat such conditioning as malingering, as most rational people would want to avoid the front line, and make the treatment less desirable than being on the front line. However, Hitler was an atypical patient who relished the front line and wanted to get back so Dr. Forster developed another technique.
The Dr told Hitler he believed the gas had caused serious burns to his eyes. This was completely untrue. But he believed that Hitler needed to believe his condition was physical and therefore honorable. He tells Hitler,
“I should have never have assumed that a pure German, a good soldier with an Iron Cross, First Class would ever lie or deceive. Everyone has to accept their lot. The individual is powerless where fate is concerned. Miracles do not happen anymore. But that only goes for the average person. Miracles still frequently happen to chosen people. There has to be miracles and great people before whom nature bows, don’t you agree?
‘If you say so, Doctor,’ Hitler responded.
‘I am no charlatan, no miracle worker, ‘ Forster went on. ‘I am a simple doctor, but maybe you yourself have the rare power that occurs once every thousand years to perform a miracle. Jesus did this, Mohammed, the saints. . . With your symptoms an ordinary person would be blind for life. But for a person with exceptional strength and will power and spiritual energy there are no limits, scientific assumptions do not apply to that person, the spirit removes any such barrier. . . But maybe you do not posses this power to perform miracles.
“How can I tell?” Hitler demanded.
“Then try to open your eyes wide. I will light my candle with a match. Did you see the sparks?”
“I don’t know. Not a light but a kind of white, round shimmer. “ Hitler responded.
That’s not enough. That does not suffice. You must have absolute faith in yourself, then you will stop being blind. You are young; it would be a tragedy if you remained blind. You know that Germany now needs people who have energy and faith in themselves. . .
‘I know that,’ Hitler said, but his voice had totally changed. He stood up and held on to the edge of the table, trembling.
‘Listen,’ Edmund Forster said firmly, ‘I have two candles here, one on the left and one on the right. You must see! Do you see them?’
‘I am beginning to see,’ he said, ‘if only it were possible!’
‘For you anything is possible!’ Forster said loudly and firmly. God will help you if you help yourself! In every human being is a part of God. That is the will, the energy! Gather all your strength! More, more, more! Good! Now it is enough! What do you see now?
‘I see your face, your beard, your hand and the signet ring, your white coat, the newspaper on the table and the notes about me.’
‘Sit down,’ Edmund said, ‘and take a rest. You have been cured. You have made yourself see. You have behaved like a man and you managed to put light into your eyes because of your will power.
Forster smiled contentedly. Everything he had hoped would occur had happened. He had played Fate, played God and restored sight. . .
This time period is generally considered the changing point in Hitler’s life as indicated by himself in Mein Kampf and many other biographies.
Dr Forster of course had no idea what he had just unleashed. 15 years later he would experience again the presence of Hitler. Hitler being aware that this report might come out and that if he was viewed as a hysterical patient that would take away a lot from the image he was portraying. Thus he had to rid himself of this therapist. The strategy was to bring false charges of sexual impropriety, financial discrepancies and of course Jew loving. The Big Lie Technique is a part of all false charges. They are rampant in our country. False rape allegations constitute 41% the total forcible rape cases. As reported in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, Feb 1994 v23 n1 p81(12) False rape allegations. Eugene J. Kanin. They are however unfortunately believed without much effort. Even though he had references and witnesses that countered all of the charges his fate was sealed and he appears to have died in a suicide, but that is doubtful as he was handling the situation in a straightforward professional way.
I found this book to be very well put together; with extensive documentation leaving me with the sense this author has truly done his homework on this topic. It raises a number of issues that therapist should take into account regarding professionalism, ethics, therapeutic techniques etc.
No easy answers but many questions that need to be given attention in my opinion.