One of those quotes WAS
my own thoughts. I was quoting a previous conversation
between myself and Scott.
Basically the oft-quoted Göring conversation — noted down afterwards by the Austrian-American Jew who worked for the Americans as Capt Gilbert — I believe is used deceptively.
It implies that Göring admitted to using the tactic he described to make German people want war.
I believe Göring was explaining to Gilbert how war was brought to Germany. THAT is what the above was discussing.
. . .
And I think it helps to understand the source of the conversation.
Gustave Gilbert was brought up in poverty in a New York orphanage. He was a fluent, German-speaking son of Austrian Jewish parents who were immigrants to America. He used his position at Nuremberg working as a psychiarist to exact revenge and earn sheckels. Gilbert was descibed as an intense, humourless man who hated the Wehrmacht high command with a passion and used his time in Germany to tell them that. For example when it came time to take some vacation from his duties at Nuremburg, instead of having a rest somewhere and enjoying life for a while, he instead chose to travel to Dachau and interview concentration camp guards who were awaiting execution.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1768&p=121063&hili ... rt#p120240
The following are excepts from a book about the use of psychiatry by the victorious Allies. It contains the usual hash of non-credible and now refuted demonisations and bogus accusations against high ranking German officials. But it contains much interesting info also.
Regarding the psychiatric treatment of post-war trials, it shows there were different motives. Some of those involved were genuinely interested in maintaining and monitoring the mental health of the accused for the duration of their usefulness during a show trial. Others seemed intent on using the opportunity to later depict the German high command as psychopathic monsters for the dual purpose of i.) Jewish-motivated revenge and propaganda and
ii.) to personally earn some shekels for themselves.
E.g. here is an assessment of the American psychiatrist Douglas Kelley with a comparison to the fluent German-speaking Jew Gustave Gilbert who was assigned to assist him interact with the Nuremberg- show-trial-accused in his capacity as a psychiatrist.
Gilbert giving testimony at the Eichmann show-trial in Tel Aviv in 1961
Gilbert talking to Albert Speer at Nuremberg.
Gilbert analysing Rudolf Hess as his indictment is read to him.
Before his Nuremberg assignment, Gilbert had been working in the army interrogating POWs. His German was superb and proper, and he was determined to ferret out those who were responsible for the Nazi war crimes. He regarded the Nuremberg assignment as an opportunity to “write history’s most perfectly controlled experiment in social pathology.” 17
Kelley and Gilbert had different strengths and approaches. Kelley viewed his Nuremberg position as yet another interesting assignment, complementing his vast clinical and forensic experience. The Nazi prisoners were interesting to him, but they were, after all, just more prisoners. Kelley was, however, intellectually stimulated by the challenge of his job and was troubled by the Nazis. Colonel Kelley viewed Lieutenant Gilbert as his interpreter and assistant, particularly since Gilbert was replacing Dolibois and Kelley outranked him.
Gilbert’s perspective didn’t coincide at all with Kelley’s. To GILBERT, the Nazi defendants were the devil incarnate, and he viewed his task not as Kelley’s interpreter but as an interrogator who criticized the prisoners for their moral failings.
In addition to his job as interpreter, Gilbert was given an ambiguous assignment by Warden Andrus: he was to be the warden’s eyes and ears among the prisoners. Gilbert and the warden had a fraught relationship. Although Gilbert was not insubordinate to Andrus, he conveyed disdain, particularly when Andrus offered his own peculiar ideas about the prisoners’ psyches. The interactions got so bad that Andrus wanted to transfer Gilbert from Nuremberg, but Kelley dissuaded him, while also warning Gilbert to mend fences with the warden. 18
The ambiguous responsibilities and reporting relationship between Kelley and Gilbert also aggravated their interactions. Kelley was a Rorschach expert but spoke little German; Gilbert was fluent in German but was not very knowledgeable about the Rorschach. Kelley was dispassionate and sardonic; Gilbert was intense and humourless
. Kelley was from an affluent, long-established California family; Gilbert was raised in poverty in an orphanage in New York as the child of recent immigrants.
One night over dinner, Kelley and Gilbert talked about the prisoners in their care and decided to write a book based on their observations. As a first step, Kelley suggested that Gilbert take notes about each interview. Gilbert felt that taking notes in the prisoners’ presence would inhibit the conversation, so he did the best he could to reconstruct the interactions and gave Kelley a copy of his notes. At that point, he had no reason to suspect Kelley’s motivations.
Both were ambitious men who realized the importance of the topic and how later publication could influence their personal careers. Both have also been accused of exaggerating their assessments of the prisoners for later fame and fortune.
Here is something on the use of psycho-analysis by the Americans for propaganda purposes both before and during the war...
German psychoanalytic émigrés such as Erich Fromm and Frieda Reichmann, as well as social
philosophers like Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, wrote extensively about the Nazi psyche even
before the war started. Sociologists such as Talcott Parsons helped with morale efforts, and
anthropologists like Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson were hired to help explain national character
(enemy cultures) and to assist with white propaganda (to bolster domestic morale) and black propaganda
(to undermine the enemies’ morale). Psychoanalytic thinking regarding toilet training and infant swaddling
heavily shaped their discourse.
Harvard historian William Langer headed the research and analysis branch of the OSS. This forerunner
of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was heavily stocked with psychiatrists and psychologists.
Langer’s brother Walter was a psychoanalyst who coauthored a classified “Psychological Analysis of
Adolf Hitler” with Harvard psychologist Henry Murray, Ernst Kris of the New School for Social
Research, and Bertram Lewin of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. 34
The War Department’s special project branch was headed by Murray Bernays, a young lawyer who had married Sigmund Freud’s niece.
This was clearly not a time when the social sciences stood in opposition to the government. On the
contrary, the developing American social sciences and the OSS were so intertwined that it was hardly
surprising when the intelligence services expressed interest in testing the Nuremberg prisoners.
Finally, General Donovan had a long track record of interest in psychological analysis throughout the
war, and he brought those interests with him when he arrived in Nuremberg. His agency had embraced
many sensible psychological goals — analysing propaganda, supporting morale, inferring the enemy’s
motivation and goals, establishing screening procedures for new recruits — as well as some less sensible
ideas like launching incendiary bats at the enemy’s cities or drugging Hitler’s vegetable garden to alter his
Here is more on the comparison between Kelley and Gilbert:
Kelley’s Special Examinations
Douglas Kelley was one of the few individuals to have completely unfettered access to the prisoners. He
and his interpreter, John Dolibois, set about visiting them daily. Dolibois did favors for the Nazis, such as
helping them communicate with their wives. The Nazis thus welcomed Dolibois’s presence during the
psychiatric interviews and testing sessions, and his presence, if anything, facilitated Kelley’s interviews.
Kelley later claimed to have spent eighty hours with each prisoner, but he may have stretched things a bit.
He clearly did spend an enormous amount of time with Göring, but it is hard to believe that he could have
spent eighty hours with each of the twenty-two Nuremberg defendants. After all, the defendants arrived in
Nuremberg on August 12, 1945, and Kelley left in January 1946.
Kelley’s gift of gab helped him with the prisoners. In his writings, he stated that he considered them all
desk murderers, buccaneers, and careerists, but in interacting with them, he kept those thoughts to himself
and was not judgmental or critical. The prisoners were accustomed to frequent interrogation about what
they had done. Kelley’s questions, however, were different; he wanted to understand them as people, and
the prisoners enjoyed his visits.
In addition to Kelley’s formal role in the prison, he had a personal agenda. He would characterize the
war criminals’ minds by testing their IQ and by administering the most powerful psychological test of the
day — the Rorschach.
Gustave Gilbert’s Role
Gustave Gilbert entered Nuremberg as Dolibois’s replacement in late October 1945, and he could not
have been more different. Dolibois wanted out of Nuremberg; he had other aspirations for his final years
of military service. On the other hand, Gustave Gilbert desperately wanted in at Nuremberg to study and
characterize the depravity of the Nazi leadership. In the beginning, Kelley and Gilbert appeared to work
together satisfactorily, but they had an enormously different interpersonal style — Kelley with his
easygoing blarney contrasted with Gilbert with his intensity and efficiency. In their writings, one senses
profound differences in terms of how the Nazis affected them. Kelley found the Nazis to be “interesting
specimens” and relished telling stories about them to the news media. One doesn’t get the sense that he
lost sleep over his interactions with the Nazis. Gilbert didn’t find them interesting in Kelley’s
dispassionate way but loathed them and told them so. There were other differences as well. Kelley had an
enormous amount of clinical experience and expressed sympathy for the many GIs he treated for combat
exhaustion. Gilbert was less sympathetic to the troops, describing them years later as “misfit solders.”
The men’s differences in style and temperament were exemplified in their vacation plans over the
Christmas holidays in 1945. Kelley went off on vacation, pure and simple. Gilbert traveled to Dachau to
interview concentration camp guards who were awaiting execution.
With these varied styles, they appealed to different prisoners, some liking Kelley’s easygoing manner,
others appreciating Gilbert’s serious formality.
Kelley noted that the prisoners were eager to talk:
“Seldom have I found psychiatric interviews so easy as were most of these... They talked almost without probing or prompting.”
He commented that Hess kept his distance but that Göring “was positively jovial over my daily comings and wept unashamedly when I left Nuremberg for the States.” 40
Kelley actually became genuinely close to Göring and would take messages and letters to Göring's wife and daughter for him. A book has been written about their relationship called 'The Nazi and the psychiatrist'.
Kelley eventually did write and publish his own book of his time at Auschwitz which he titled 22 Cells in Nuremberg
It wasn't appreciated by many who expected and wanted a harsh condemnation.
one reviewer wrote: “While I compliment the book on its admirable objectivity for students of human nature and the social sciences, I believe this same objectivity could be easily misunderstood by the general public as a too sympathetic account of the Nazi mentality.”
Other reviewers were less sympathetic and were offended by Kelley’s breezy style. A prominent psychoanalyst confided to publisher Greenberg: “I find it such trash that frankly I regret that you are publishing it. It is not even good reporting, much less good psychiatry.”
Style aside, the book deeply angered readers
by suggesting that
“the Nazi revolution... was not the fabrication of warped minds out of the wards of a psychopathic hospital, but the creation of ordinary men, not unlike many with whom we brush elbows every day ...in the United States.”
Eventually, Gilbert published The Nuremberg Diary
, and given the antagonism between the two men, they (and their followers) emphasized their differences rather than their many similarities.
It is striking that neither of these classic books discussed the Rorschachs, other than in passing. Instead, the books are filled with the authors’ observations and recollected conversations with the war criminals as well as the authors’ assertions about the meaning of these interactions.
Kelley’s book was small and contained no references or footnotes. Kelley was very clear that he was writing a book for the popular reader, not the professional. The cover notes are punchy and provocative:
“What kind of men were the Nazi overlords? How did they get that way? — And could it happen again? A
Rogue’s gallery of the arch criminals of all time by the official United States psychiatrist who examined
them and learned their most intimate secrets.”
Kelley trumpeted his credentials, noting that he served as the Nuremberg psychiatrist for five months
and interviewed the prisoners daily. He mentioned Gilbert, acknowledging him for adapting the
intelligence tests, and noted that Gilbert “was assigned to my office as an interpreter and, at my direction,
made records of many of the conversations which I had with these prisoners and which are reported in
this book.” Kelley noted that although most of the defendants spoke “fairly good English” sometimes he
relied upon an interpreter “to prevent misunderstandings.” This was all fairly polite, but it also was
marking the territory for Kelley and relegating Gilbert to the role of his assistant.
In his book (also lacking in notes or references), Gilbert thanked Kelley, “prison psychiatrist for the first two months, for facilitating my assignment to the Nuremberg jail with free access to all the prisoners.”
The clause “for the first two months” was certainly not necessary, but it was a way for Gilbert to circumscribe Kelley’s role and emphasize his brief tenure at Nuremberg. So, who knew most — Kelley with his experience in Ashcan and Nuremberg from August 1945 to January 1946 or Gilbert with his Nuremberg experience from October 1945 to October 1946?
The battle of the books shifted to Europe. Kelley’s editor at Greenberg wrote him that they had the advantage by being first to publish in the United States but that, regrettably, Gilbert had beat them to the audience in England.
...Kelley, the expert in psychopathology and forensic psychiatry, saw things from a social psychological perspective and viewed the defendants as basically ordinary people who were creatures of their environment, influenced by mendacity and bureaucracy. He compounded this assertion by saying that one could find such people anywhere. In 1947, many viewed this claim as a lancinating insult
The book gives details of the increasingly acrimonious and professionally contradictory nature of their psychiatric 'expert' analyses.
Check this out:
Both planned follow-up books that would focus on the Rorschachs tests and they were both determined to get there first. Kelley threatened to sue Gilbert if he used Kelley’s Rorschach materials. Harrower pieced together a reasonable but doomed-to-fail compromise by suggesting that they collaborate on one book in which each would have his own chapters discussing his own Rorschach findings with commentary fromindependent Rorschach experts supplementing the chapters. In the meantime, she worried about Gilbert, writing a colleague in October 1947 to share her concerns that Gilbert was so affected by the conflicts with Kelley that it was adversely affecting him personally and his work.
For a (very) short while, it looked as if the compromise would work, but as it started to unravel, Harrower chronicled the failure in a series of letters now buried in the archives.
The intellectual division of territory was not that controversial. Kelley and Gilbert could agree about who would write each chapter, but Gilbert started sniping that he doubted Kelley’s truthfulness and suspected that Kelley had doctored his records. Then Gilbert insisted on being first author and relegating Kelley to a status of “with the assistance of Goldensohn and Kelley.”
Not “Kelley” even as a third author but “with the assistance of” to denote his clearly peripheral status.
To make matters worse, Gilbert decided he did not want Rorschach experts commenting on his contributions and referred to them in his correspondence with Molly as “the experts” (in quotation marks), implying that he questioned their expertise. He was also reluctant to acknowledge the “experts” as coauthors on the monograph.
. . . . . .
...the judges were leaning toward excusing Hess from needing to be
in the courtroom. A hearing was held on November 30, 1945, to decide the matter (fig. 18). Just before
the session, Gilbert told Hess that he might be considered incompetent and excused from the proceedings.
The court returned to session, and Hess’s lawyer had begun to summarize the arguments for dismissing
Hess on psychiatric grounds when Hess suddenly stood up and shouted that he had made up the amnesia:
In order to anticipate any possibility of my being declared incapable of pleading... I would like to give the following declaration...
Henceforth my memory will again respond to the outside world. The reasons for simulating loss of memory were of a tactical nature. Only my ability to concentrate is, in fact, somewhat reduced. But my capacity to follow the trial, to defend myself, to put questions to witnesses, or to answer questions myself is not affected thereby.
Kelley thought that Gilbert’s “suggestion undoubtedly upset [Hess] considerably, since he felt that to be
denied a trial would indicate mental inferiority and he felt that he must stand trial with his companions.
...[His behavior reveals] his hysterical nature and his desire to thrust himself into the limelight, fatal as
it might be.
...Kelley commented that Hess’s memory switched off and on, sometimes volitionally and sometimes
when he was under great emotional pressure. Hess later told him that much of his amnesia had been real
and that his boast in court had been false. He continued that although his mind was improving, it was “still
weak and my brain tires easily.” To support his assertion that Hess was not always malingering, Kelley
noted that the amnesia was not providing any gain: it interfered with his defense and handicapped his
lawyer. It did not “get him off” the case but actually thrust him back into it.
Gilbert commented: “He gave his declaration of malingering in Court, apparently as a face-saving device. In later conversations he admitted to me that he had not been malingering and that he knew he had lost his memory twice in England.”
Gilbert wrote this concerning Göring cheating the hangman:
“Göring died as he had lived, a psychopath trying to make a mockery of all human values and to distract attention from his guilt by a dramatic gesture.”
How Göring obtained the cyanide is still a mystery.
The book from which all these excerpts are taken has the rather delusional title of 'anatomy of malice'.