From hundred years until the contemporary psychology, there are diversity perspectives of psychology to developed personality theory respectively, for example Psychoanalysis theory, Behaviorism theory, Humanistic theory, and etc.
Here, i would like to analysis the personality of one of the famous person in the world, Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler is one of the notable person that have a very unique personality. Adolf Hitler is a politician and the leader of the Nazi Party, also chancellor of Germany, people always comment that he is a person who cruel, inhuman, and insatiable greed for power. He promoted Pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism, and anticommunism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. He become a dictator from 1934 to 1945, during World War II, and led to eleven million peoples been killed, and six million of them are Jews. He committed suicide with his wife Eva Braun on 30th April 1945.
Adolf Hitler was born on 20th April, 1899, a small town of Braunau-am-Inn, Austria. Adolf Hitler’s father, Alois Hitler was an Austrian custom official. Adolf Hitler’s mother Klara Polzl had six children, but only Adolf Hilter and his Sister survive. (Giblin, 2002)
Hitler was a smart and loving child in primary school. The death of his younger brother, Edmund, from measles on 2nd February 1900 deeply affected him. He changed from being confident and outgoing and an excellent student, to a morose, detached, and sullen boy who constantly fought with his father and teachers.(Payne, 1990)
Adolf Hitler’s youth age been controlled by his extremely strong-well father until his father died in 1903. Adolf Hitler ambition is to be famous artist, he love painting, but never success in school, and finally left formal education in 1905, the time he is only 16 years old. Hitler applied to Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, but failed several times. (Encyclopedia of World Biography)
During the World War I, Adolf Hitler volunteered to serve in Bavarian Army as an Austrian. In 1918, he was temporary blind by a mustard gas attack. After the World War I, he returned to Munich, and joined the German Workers' Party, the predecessor of the Nazi Party. In the year oh 1923, Adolf Hitler attempted an unsuccessful armed unprising in Munich and was imprisoned for nine months, during that period, he wrote his autobiography book, “Mein Kampf”. The Nazi party become stronger after he released, and he become the Chancellor of German in the year of 1933. Adolf Hitler initialled World War II, millions peoples been killed by him included Jews, Slaves, Black, physical and mental ill persons, and gay man.
Theories apply on Hitler’s personality
From the psychoanalytic perspective, Adolf Hitler’s personality shaped during his childhood period. Freud’s notion about the psychosexual stages is, our personality develops through various stages during childhood. We will develop a healthy personality if all these psychosexual stages are completed successfully. But some person may not completed certain stage properly during childhood, thus fixation may occur. Hitler, had hard time when he was kid, he lose his brother, which caused him changed from a happy smart kid to a morose, detached, and sullen boy. He loved his mother so much but not his father. According to Freud, a boy experience Oedipus complex during phallic stage. Hitler may go through Oedipus complex when he was kid. He may have developed sexual attraction to his mother and jealousy to his father. Perhaps the underlying cause that he always against his father’s will and he simply revolt any idea from his father, or in other word the unresolved son-father competition. Hitler’s sexual orientation is unknown even though he had several girlfriends and married with Eva Braun. Rumors said he is homosexual, some other just argued that he is heterosexual. According to psychoanalytic theory, obsessions and compulsions reflect maladaptive responses to unresolved conflicts from early stages of psychological development. Hitler was developed insecurity feeling since he was kid, his instable feeling and thought caused him easy to fear and feel anxious. His “Racial hygiene” program ideas reflect he has obsessions and compulsions to torture and killing others.
Alfred Adler’s psychoanalytic theory is, people have the feeling of insecurity and inferiority, they need to strive for success in their life. Just like Hitler, the driving force behind his thought, emotion, and behavior is the struggle of striving for superiority. Adolf Hitler’s young age is not easy, his inferiority and insecurity feeling caused him fall in to misery. Regardless of human’s ethic and moral, Adolf Hitler was an ambitious person. In young age, he dreamed to be an artist. Hitler work hard to strive for the success in life, he spend time to learn how to draw painting, he take long journey from a small town come to Vienna, leaving his mother just to achieve his dream. Even though he not selected from the art academy, but he never give up his dream, he never stop to draw, rather he still keep on learn to paint. During World War I, he wished he is a successful soldier, he never gave up even though German had surrendered. Eventually he became the successful dictator of Nazi Germany.
From the biopsychology perspective, Adolf Hitler’s temperament and personality inherited from his father. Both of them are rigid, stubborn, grumpy, and hostile person. Their relationship getting worst, when both of them are persist to their own will.
From the big five personality perspective, Adolf Hitler is a Neuroticism person, he was the person that often experience emotional instability, and much of them are negative emotions, like sad, anxiety, irritability and anger. From his book the “Mein Kamf”, when he described that how being despised, betrayed by Jews, we can see he was a neurotic, paranoid person. From his book, he interpreted the ordinary situation as threatening, and the minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. He can’t make rational judgement on what is the right and wrong, conversely bias, prejudice. Perhaps this the main reason that how he became extremely anti-Semitism.
Karen Horney is one of the Neo-Freudian psychologist. She studied how neurotic personality person and their relationship with other. Horney’s idea is a neurotic personality person is maladaptive and counterproductive in the way they dealing with relationships. Hitler was trapped in self-defeating interpersonal style, he always blame other for his failure in life. He develop this personality probably is the result of his childhood anxiety.
Hitler’s behavior more likely moving against people, he always project his own feeling by being hostile to others, since small, he hostile to his father, teachers, and friends. When he glowed old, he hostile to Jews, he being selfish and cruel, to hurts and kill others with an irrational reason.
Most of the people know who Adolf Hitler is. Adolf Hitler’s cruel, inhuman behaviour is unforgettable. He evoke our sad feeling about World War II, millions people died because of this dictator, the chancellor of German. Adolf Hitler’s life never been easy, he was abused by his father since he was kid, his mother unable to protect him, even though she love him so much. Hitler’s childhood determine his later life. Perhaps he can be a good Chancellor of German, and World War II will never happen, if his childhood is healthy.
Hitler’s life has too many negative issues, but undisclosed in his book, “Meain Kamps”, he glowed up with a abused father, and he hate his father so much. Adolf Hitler is a neurotic personality person, he developed a lot psychological issues in his life. His insecurity and anxiety feeling developed since was kid, and underlying the causes of his obsessive though and compulsive behaviour. Although his sexuality orientation and abnormal sexual behavior is just rumours and no evidence to prove, but we can see his sexuality life is not healthy.
We have no idea why Hitler hate Jews so much and become an extreme anti-semitic, but the underlying cause probable is he was trapped in self-defeating interpersonal style. He always blame on others for his failure in life. The social culture became the factors on his psychological issues as well.
Every one of us is different, that’s so many factors determine how our personality shaped, we inherited our parent’s gens, we may inherited some personality traits from them too. The environment also one the main factors that how our personality shaped. Most of the healthy personality person glowed from healthy environment and have a happy childhood.
1. Robert Payne. (1990) The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. New York: Dorset Press
2. James Cross Giblin. (2002). The life and death of Adolf Hitler. New York. USA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
3. Encyclopedia of World Biography.(2012) Adolf Hitler Biography. Retrieved on 22th June 2012 From : http://www.notablebiographies.com/He-Ho/Hitler-Adolf.html#b
4. Adolf Hitler. (1941). Mein Kampf. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock.