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February 1949

The Case of Rudolf Hess.

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;61(2):225-226. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310080129014

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The case of Rudolf Hess was a "top secret" incident of World War II and was studied by a group of eminent psychiatrists. This book is an excellent bit of insight into the Hitlerian government, which could admit a bizarre mentality like Rudolf Hess's into its highest circle.

From the landing in Scotland through the Nuremberg trial, the case of Hess is carefully handled; American, British, French and Russian psychiatrists are cited. There were attempts at psychotherapy and narcosynthesis; however, they failed. The reader can sense the frustration experienced in trying to unlock the military secrets in this mind.

At Nuremberg, the question was raised, "Is Hess psychotic?" The psychiatrists did not think so. Yet he shows many symptoms of schizophrenia. In the words of the author, "In this book we have tried, in Adolf Meyer's words, not to sort out the patient but the facts. This we have endeavored