Of the many revealing stories shared in this program, one from German-born historian Frank Biess stands out. When he came to St. Louis as a college student, he was struck by the overt patriotism of Americans. As he explains, most Germans of the post-Holocaust era were so squeamish about appearing too nationalistic that they would never fly their country’s flag in front of their home because it could suggest support for the Neo-Nazis. The one notable exception? Flags were okay if the German soccer team was doing well in the World Cup.
When considering the evil events in history, the Holocaust remains one of the most notorious.
Dr. Joel Dimsdale, professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, began his work 40 years ago studying survivors of Nazi concentrations camps, uncovering strategies of coping that helped these victims survive. However, after a visit from a Nuremberg executioner, Dimsdale began to study the perpetrators of these crimes instead.
In “The Anatomy of Malice: Rorschach Results from Nuremberg War Criminals,” Dimsdale searches for the answers to questions like: How could the Nazi’s do what they did? Were they criminally insane? Psychopaths? Suffering from delusions, or some other mental disorder?
In this presentation, part of the Holocaust Living History Workshop, Dimsdale examines archival data of Rorschach ink blot tests administered at the Nuremberg trial in an attempt to uncover those answers.