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David Edward Post,1 M.D.

The Hypnosis of Adolf Hitler

REFERENCE: Post DE. The hypnosis of Adolf Hitler. J Forensic Sci 1998;43(6):1127–1132. ABSTRACT: A little-known United States Naval Intelligence document (declassified in 1973) for the first time identified Dr. Edmund Forster as the psychiatrist who treated Adolf Hitler during his recovery in Pasewalk Military Hospital. The fact that Adolf Hitler served as a corporal in World War I is known. However, little has been known as to the psychiatric treatment of Hitler during the autumn of 1918 after he fell victim to a mustard gas attack while serving in the front lines with The 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. Historians (Rudolph Binion and John Toland) have acknowledged Hitler’s days in the Pasewalk Hospital, but Hitler’s psychiatric treatment was not the focus of their attention. The author of the present paper (a psychiatrist) sets out to better understand what is known about Forster’s encounter with Adolf Hitler; and discusses the possibility that suggestions given to Hitler under hypnosis may have influenced the course of history. KEYWORDS: forensic science, forensic psychiatry, psychohistory, hypnosis, Hitler, Ernst Weiss, The Eyewitness (Der Augenzeuge), Toland, Binion, Post, Pasewalk, Forster

(3). Recognizing that further clarification was needed, the author located, interviewed, and videotaped Toland to get further leads to pursue. Out of this encounter, the author located, interviewed, and videotaped Rudolph Binion. Finally, the author located a copy of The Eyewitness and then re-reviewed all materials. Results Mustard Gas Attack/Hitler’s Pasewalk Hospitalization In mid-October 1918, Hitler served with the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment, which was subjected to severe mustard gas bombing while serving on the Belgian front. ‘‘The men huddled in trenches while British shells tore up the ground around them. The veterans were numbed; the recruits terrified’’ (4). ‘‘Those who escaped...
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