Walter Charles Langer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cover of the book

Walter Charles Langer (February 5, 1899 – July 4, 1981) was a Cambridge, Massachusetts psychoanalyst best known for his role in preparing a World War II psychological analysis of Adolf Hitler in 1943 for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), that predicted his suicide as the "most plausible outcome" among several possibilities identified.[1] Well before the assassination attempt in the summer of 1944, Langer's report also identified the possibility of a military coup against Hitler. The report is available online and, along with collateral material including a foreword, introduction and afterword, was published in 1972 by Basic Books as The Mind of Adolf Hitler.

Langer was born in South Boston to Charles Rudolph and Johanna Rockenbach, recent immigrants from Germany.[1] Although it is sometimes said that he was Jewish on his mother's side,[2] his mother was born to a Lutheran family from Zweibrücken, Germany,[3] and his father was a member of the Moravian Brethren from Silesia, Germany.[4] His older brother William became the history department chair at Harvard University, and took a leave of absence during World War II to serve as head of the Research and Analysis section of the Office of Strategic Services. Walter Langer, who for a time was also a professor at Harvard, held a Ph.D but not an M.D. and was the first person admitted to the American Psychiatric Association who lacked a medical degree.

Retired to Florida, Langer died in Sarasota in 1981, aged 82.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The Military Channel program Inside the Mind of Adolf Hitler is based on The Mind of Adolf Hitler, and dramatised scenes connected to Langer's investigation.

Publications[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c Waggoner, Walter H. (July 10, 1981). "Walter Langer Is Dead At 82.". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-19. Dr. Walter C. Langer, an American psychoanalyst who produced a secret and prophetic psychological study of Hitler for the Office of Strategic Services in 1943, died July 4 in Sarasota, Fla. He was 82 years old. 
  2. ^ e.g., http://historyofmentalhealth.com/2014/02/05/walter-langer/
  3. ^ William L. Langer, In and Out of the Ivory Tower, p. 32.
  4. ^ William L. Langer, In and Out of the Ivory Tower, pp. 1-2.

External links[edit]