Cornell Law Library posts rare look into Hitler’s psyche

The Cornell Law Library has posted Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler, a rare 1943 psychological analysis of the personality of Adolph Hitler that predicted, among other things, his eventual suicide. This is the only copy of the report available to the public online.

The report was written by Harvard psychologist Henry A. Murray for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. The copyright to the original document — number three of only 30 copies made — was granted to the Law Library by Murray’s widow.

Murray served during World War II in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency. He was commissioned in 1943 to help the Allies understand Hitler’s psychological makeup. The psychological profile he wrote was among the papers discovered in the Law Library’s Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection.

Murray concluded that Hitler held grudges, had a low tolerance for criticism, an excessive demand for attention and a tendency to belittle, bully or blame others and seek revenge.