Shock Treatment: American Wartime Psychology and the Reeducation of Germany Restricted; Files Only

Fritz, Kelsey (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/gh93h054r?locale=en
Published

Abstract

Focusing on the period during and immediately after the Second World War, this thesis examines the work of American journalists, officials, and intellectuals who assumed the role of wartime psychologists, attempting to use the methods of psychology and psychoanalysis to gain a better understanding of Germany and the German people. Convinced that this knowledge was essential to winning the war and successfully reeducating Germany, these wartime psychologists sought to “know” what lay within the German mind. Through a study of their published writings, including books, pamphlets, and newspaper and magazine articles, this thesis investigates what the wartime psychologists’ particular approach to the “German problem” produced, both in terms of specific “diagnoses” of German psychological pathology and broader preconceptions about the Germans’ mindset and behavior.

This project explores how the wartime psychologists drew upon the language of mental illness to describe the Germans as a deviant, pathological people in need of “treatment” for a host of dangerous psychoses. It also seeks to uncover the consequences of their conception of the Germans as a mentally ill people, focusing specifically on the ways in which it shaped American reeducation policy and narratives of German history and national development. Organized in three chapters, this thesis first explores the formulation of the wartime psychologists’ diagnoses of German psychological pathology, as well as the analysts’ plans for the “treatment” of Germany’s national mental illness after the war. It then turns to the question of effects, investigating the long-term influence of ideas and models derived from the wartime psychoanalysis of Germany.

Table of Contents

Introduction............................................................................................... 1

A Nation in Need of Shock Treatment?: The Wartime Psychoanalysis of Germany.................................................................................................. 15

Analyzing the “Spawn of the Nazi Code”: Psychology, German Youth, and Reeducation............................................ 41

Normality and Deviance: The Analysts Read German History..................................................................................................... 73

Conclusion............................................................................................. 101

Bibliography.......................................................................................... 107

About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
Keyword
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files