Books: Evil innate

What did psychologists who studied the worst Nazis find in their psyches?

By AARON LEIBEL
June 25, 2016 01:16
4 minute read.
Nuremberg trials

Rudolf hess speaks to a lawyer at the Nuremberg trials. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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Scientists love studying the best or the worst of anyone or anything, since it gives them a baseline, a starting point from which to compare other viruses or planets or economies – or Israeli prime ministers, for that matter.

So we can only imagine how psychiatrists and psychologists were drooling at the prospect of getting their investigative hands on the 23 Nazi officials on trial in Nuremberg in 1945-46. These men were the practitioners of the greatest evil in human history: conceiving and carrying out the mass murder of millions of civilians, running slave-labor camps and planning and executing the most destructive war ever fought by our most destructive species.

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