Monday, February 11, 2008

Henry Murray's analysis of the personality of Adolph Hitler

Thanks to J. Callihan and Jean M. Pajerek via Cornell University Law Library's excellent INSite current awareness service for the following:

"Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler

"The Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler" is a fascinating report that is part of Cornell Law Library’s Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection. The collection consists of nearly 150 bound volumes of Nuremberg trial transcripts and documents from the personal archives of General William J. Donovan (1883-1959). General Donovan worked on the staff of Chief Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson (later U.S. Supreme Court Justice Jackson) which gave Donovan a unique perspective on the war crime trials. "Wild Bill" Donovan is better known for his work as head of the Office of Special Services (OSS) during World War II, which led to his recognition as the father of the CIA, which morphed from the OSS after the war. The report was commissioned by the OSS in preparation for dealing with Hitler and Germany after the war. The analysis of Hitler was compiled by Dr. Henry A. Murray, a pioneering psychologist of the time and Director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic. Only 30 copies of the report were created so the analysis has not been widely available. Cornell Law Library’s copy is the only copy easily accessible to the public online. The site includes a PDF version of the 227 page report. The entire book or parts thereof can be downloaded from the Table of Contents page. A “More Info” option gives links to related articles about the Nuremberg collection, Dr. Murray, and the OSS. The site provides an interesting look at Hitler and the emerging field of psychology. [JC]"

A fascinating historical document widely available only due to the hard work and insight of Cornell's librarian Claire Germain and her colleagues, Dr Nina Murray (Henry Murray's wife) who granted Cornell permission to digitise the work and the existence of the Net. It is a terrific simple and bounded but nonetheless powerful example of what a few dedicated individuals can do with the help of the technology.

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