Originally published in 1941, the blurb read: "The aim of this work is to state and understand the psychological dynamics of the present conflict. The author is a medical psychologist who has had unusual opportunities for studying German mentality. He characterizes the condition of Germany as one of dæmonic possession and Hitler as the primitive medicine-man who gained a magical ascendency by playing the role of medium to the German unconscious. He analyses the fundamental instability of the collective German psychology and relates this to the dæmonic outbreak. The ambiguous personality of the Führer is seen as the indispensable symbol of a deeply divided nation striving for unity. Whereas the pagan-Christian conflict in the soul of Christendom is urging individual consciousness to a new statement of human values, it has produced in the soul of Germany a state of collective intoxication which is the negation of individuality.
This book is the first serious attempt to depict the invisible underground causes of the European catastrophe and to state the issue in terms of epochal transition. It was German violence which started the conflagration, but the fires of anti-Christian revolt have long been smouldering in the general unconscious. Material of a varied kind, gathered from German myth and legend and from a number of contemporary witnesses has been pieced together into a comprehensive psychological survey, embracing both the personal and the impersonal aspects of the German scene. Hitler is discussed as personality, as symbol, and as a disease. The influence of the Wagnerian German myth upon Hitler’s inflammable imagination is discussed and the basic ideas of Hitlerism are traced to their source.
This is the attempt of psychology to elucidate the irrational and unintelligible elements in the present chaos."
Table of Contents
Introduction by Dr. Hermann Rauschning. Preface. 1. Adolf Hitler, Personal and Dæmonic 2. Wotan, God and Devil 3. The God Criminal 4. Hitler as Symbol 5. The Messianic Possibility 6. Acceleration and Destruction 7. The Source of His Ideas 8. The Hitler Disease 9. Factors Governing Morale. Index