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Hatred Often Lurks in the Shadows of Mania; Mental illness: Society should understand the role of manic depressive disorder and paranoia in crimes of genocide.
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Lieb, Julian
Date: Feb 16, 1996
Start Page: 9
Section: Metro; PART-B; Op Ed Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Consider the perpetrators of the most terrible hate crimes in history. Those who knew or studied Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin offer vivid descriptions of the paranoid, delusional form of manic depressive disorder both men experienced.

One side of Hitler was despairing, indecisive, isolated, unable to care for himself and had impaired concentration and memory. His speech was hesitant, he was confused, despondent and apathetic and suffered paranoid delusions, especially about Jews. This Hitler was afraid of water, horses and the moon. He washed his hands constantly because of his phobic dread of infection. He survived six suicide attempts before succeeding with the seventh.

At 17, Hitler was twice rejected by the Vienna Academy of Arts. It caused him to fall into a deep, paranoid, delusional depression in which he spewed anti-Semitic hatred. His bigotry became a raging obsession. Unable to admit to himself that his talent or training might be insufficient, he blamed the Jewish members of the academy faculty for keeping him out of the art school. "For this, the Jews will pay," he wrote to the academy's director.

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