Melbourne: Adolf Hitler had a “Messiah complex” and became increasingly obsessed with the perceived Jewish “enemy within” as World War II turned against Germany, a newly-discovered report has revealed.
The British intelligence report, which lay apparently unread from the war until its recent rediscovery, found that the Nazi dictator turned to “Jew phobia” as the likelihood of defeat increased.
The secret 1942 assessment, which was unveiled on Friday and made public by the University of Cambridge, was commissioned by social scientist Mark Abrams and written by his colleague Joseph MacCurdy, a Cambridge academic.
Abrams worked with public broadcaster the BBC’s Overseas Propaganda Analysis Unit and the Psychological Warfare Board during World War II.
“At the time that it was written, the tide was starting to turn against Germany,” the Herald Sun quoted Cambridge historian Scott Anthony, who led research into Abrams which resulted in the paper being unearthed in a family collection as saying.
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“In response, Hitler began to turn his attentions to the German home front.”
“MacCurdy recognised that, faced with external failure, the Nazi leader was focusing on a perceived ‘enemy within’ instead - namely the Jews.”
“Given that we now know that the Final Solution was commencing, this makes for poignant reading,” he said.
Abrams thought that transcripts of Hitler’s broadcasts could be close-read for propaganda and intelligence purposes, revealing hidden “latent content” and subconscious insights into the enemy’s state of mind.
The newly re-aired analysis covered a radio speech Hitler gave on April 26, 1942.
“Its content would presumably reflect his morbid mental tendencies on the one hand and special knowledge available to him on the other,” the opening lines of the report said.
An earlier report found three such tendencies, termed “shamanism”, “epilepsy” and “paranoia”.
“Shamanism” referred to Hitler’s hysteria and compulsion to feed off whipped-up crowds, which was in decline.
“Epilepsy” covered his cold and ruthless streak, combined with a tendency to lose heart when ambitions failed.
“Paranoia” was the third and most worrying tendency, exposed through the dictator’s “Messiah complex”, in which Hitler thought he was leading a chosen people on a crusade against evil incarnate in the Jews, the paper said.
“Hitler is caught up in a web of religious delusions,” MacCurdy said.
“The Jews are the incarnation of evil, while he is the incarnation of the spirit of good.”
“He is a god by whose sacrifice victory over evil may be achieved. He does not say this in so many words, but such a system of ideas would rationalise what he does say that is otherwise obscure,” MacCurdy added.