These are being put here as food for thought. i should have some comments at the end but there will be quite a few quotes first. They are all taken from the book The Nazi & the Psychiatrist by Jack El-Hai.
#1. “Some went as far as to propose dissecting the brains of the . . . perpetrators:
this would involve executing the men by a shot to the chest so as
not to damage brain tissue,” writes medical historian Daniel Pick (Pg. 23)
#2. Was there a “Nazi personality” that accounted for their heinous misdeeds? Kelley
intended to find out. “The devastation of Europe, the deaths of mil-
lions, the near-destruction of modern culture will have gone for naught
if we do not draw the right conclusions about the forces which produced
such chaos,” Kelley later wrote. “We must learn the why of the Nazi success
so we can take steps to prevent the recurrence of such evil'” (pg. 24)
#3. But having also lightly touched on politics, the war, and the rise of
Nazism during their initial cell-bound conversations, Kelley was not blind
to Goring’s dark side. The ex-Reichsmarschall displayed ruthlessness
narcissism, and a coldhearted disregard for anyone beyond his.close circle
of family and friends. That very combination of characteristics present in
Goring,- the admirable and the sinister-heightened Kellev’s interest in
him. Only such an attractive, capable, and smart man, who had smashed
and snuffed out the lives of so many people, could point Kelley toward the
regions of the human soul that he urgently wanted to explore. (pg. 24)
#4. There Kelley and his colleagues had to determine whether they could
heal traumatized soldiers for return to combat or to noncombatant duty,
or if patients had to go back to the united States for further treatment.
(A substantial number, he found, should never have been admitted into
the military because they were psychopaths, mentally deficient or psychotic
to the front allowed Kelley to treat mentally wounded
soldiers (pg. 39)
#5. On one occasion Kelley asked Goring whether he subscribed to
the Nazi Party’s position on the racial inferiority of non-Aryans. “Nobody
believes that rot Goring stated. “When I pointed out that it had brought
about the deaths of six million human beings ,” Kelley recalled, he added well it was good political propaganda.”‘ From that exchange Kelley concluded that the prisoner showed a “complete lack of moral value. (pg.60)
#6. The prison authorities, not to mention the prosecutors for the future
trial, were uninterested in the questions that excited Kelley’s curiosity. Nobody
in Nuremberg wanted to know what made these human beings in
high Nazi positions commit such nefarious acts. (pg. 68)
#7. For decades, going back to the pioneering psychiatric work of the eminent nineteenth-
century American physician Benjamin Rush, doctors had searched for flaws
tn some people that caused deviant behavior. These early investigators had thought
of the elusive flaws as biological-something
wrong or evolutionary backward in the body. But what if the defect was
not in the organism, but in the mind? (pg. 68)
#8. Consequently people who worked with criminals viewed crime as a medical problem. Throughout the American justice system police officers, social workers, lawyers and judges were accepting the important role of psychological factors in criminal behavior. (pg. 69)
#9. Mischievously, Kelley replied that Americans generally regarded all top Nazis, Goring included, as Hitler’s ‘yes men’. That may well be, Goring said, but please show me a no-man in Germany who is not six feet underground today. (pg. 75)
#10. So far his pursuit of that interest had yielded little of value. When asked why they committed criminal acts
as Nazis, the Germans of low military rank and civilian status whom he had previously interrogated spoke only of following orders and having no power to make a difference. (pg.103)
#11. Looking over his Rorschach data and interpretations, Kelley could see that none of the top Nazi leaders…showed any signs of mental illness or personality traits that would label him insane…Kelly was astonished that such an intelligent and cultured man (Goring) so blatantly lacked a moral compass and empathy for others. (pg. 157)
#12. If Kelley had hoped to discover a Nazi germ, a deviant personality
common to the defendants, there was little evidence of one. Instead he
found in their personalities traits that he .called neurosis, not uncommon
psychiatric flaws that could certainly trouble the Nazis and increase their
ruthlessness, but did not put them outside the boundaries of the normal (pg. 157)
#13. Moreover the Nazis, even the most elite and powerful among them,
were not monsters, evildoing machines, or automata without a soul and
feelings. Goring concern for his family, Schirach’s love of poetry, and Kaltenbrunnert fear under stress had moved Kelley and persuaded him that his former prisoners had emotions and responses like other people. (pg. 157-8)
#14. “Insanity is no explanation
for the Nazis,” he wrote. “They were simply creatures of their
environment, as all humans are; and they were also-to a greater degree
than most humans are-the makers of their environment.” (pg. 158)
#15. “Hitler was just as normal in every way as any normal man,”
Goring had told Kelley” It was,a rather chilling thought. (pg. 159)
#16. His observations of the Nazis in Nuremberg suggested to him that Ger–
many’s problems could in theory become America’s (pg. 163)
#17. Kelley’s point was that the perception of what was legal or criminal-
not to mention what we perceive as just- varies according to the
perspective our senses afford us, (pg. 182)
#18. “No!” he exclaimed to the audience in an episode that
investigated whether criminals have physical features in common. There is no such thing as a criminal
type. It is simply folklore. It is like saying the
world is flat. You can’t tell by looking. Criminals are not born.” (pg. 190)
#19. Although the experts
could correctly pick out mental disturbances among some of the
Rorschach test takers they could not find any similarities in their interpretations
of the Nazis’ results… In fact, they judged all the Nazis except Ribbentrop as either normally adjusted or exceptionally well-adjusted. Using the Rorschach records there was no way to differentiate the Nazis from ordinary people. (pg. 219)
#20. They concluded that it was impossible
to use the Rorschach records to lump-the Nazis into a distinctive
psychiatric category.Goring, Hess and their compatriots may have shared some personality traits– such as a tendency to vacillate in trying to solve problems, as do about 20 percent of the American public– but those traits do not make them abnormal or psychopathic and probably belonged to many political leaders and others. (pg. pg. 222)
Some of these quotes, like #15, remind me of the pictures of Hitler many people do not want to look at. Those pictures are of him with his dogs. They say that it reminded them of how human Hitler was and they did not want to think about Hitler as being a normal human being. They wanted to see him as some embodiment of evil, some non-human entity as they could hardly conceive of a normal human being doing what he had done.
Quote #17 reminds us of the subjectivity of human standards. I remember the first few years in this country trying to get used to having certain activities considered wrong in the West be considered okay here. But that is one lesson we believers need to learn from God. Human standards are going to be subjective and unless we use God’s standards, we have no right to declare someone else as wrong.
Whether they admit to it or not, most Western people subscribe to God’s standard of morality, right and wrong, good and evil. If they didn’t Hitler would not have had to kill himself but would have been free to run amok over the world for a long time. Other dictators have enjoyed that longevity because they do not have desires to rule the world like Hitler did.
Quotes # 7 & 8 demonstrate the weakness of secular psychiatry and psychology. The members of those professions usually do not believe in sin or the devil thus they are blind to the real source for evil deeds. Without acknowledging the sinful nature of humans, the evil entities which influence so many people to sin and to do crimes, psychiatrists and psychologists will never be able to solve many behavioral problems. Sin and evil are a fact of life and are the source for many of the criminal deeds committed throughout the world.
By taking God out of the mental health issue, mental health professionals have shot themselves in the foot and have allowed too many people suffer for too long of a time. Now this is not to say that some behavior is not psychological not that medical treatment is not necessary, but not all of those people and all of those deeds are medical and need medication. Some just need spiritual warfare to heal them.
Quote #9 is interesting and very poignant. You do not survive in brutal regimes by telling the leader, ‘no.’ Seeing people as ‘yes men’ is not looking at the problem very thoroughly and brings one to a false conclusion about the situation.
Quote #10 is important as the victors, who follow orders and know that if they disobey them, thy will be court marshaled or given some sort of punishment, continue to invoke the idea, that the defeated could have disobeyed orders. My words to those people who make that claim is– ‘Go try it sometime.’ See how long you last in the military or some organization that relies upon following orders. How many people have been fired from jobs for violating company policy recently? Quite a few have made the news
Saying they could disobey orders is an unrealistic argument to make but it provides justification for the victors actions towards the defeated. God doesn’t tolerate those who disobey his commands, so why should we expect the personnel from the other side to adhere to something we are not allowed to do? Disobedience comes at a high cost and few are willing to pay that price, even those in the Nazi or some other dictators’ military.
As Christians, we cannot simply jump on the world’s idea of what is justice, even when the offenders are ruthless, cold-hearted monsters. We have to apply God’s justice no matter how we feel about what they have done to whom and have become as people. No matter how evil they are, they are still a part of God’s creation and they deserve to experience God’s ways, even if they do not deserve to receive such justice or mercy.
We cannot let our light be influenced or darkened by the emotions and views of the secular world. We need to stand up and show them that a better way exists. Until believers do that do not expect a change in criminal behavior or the secular world.