Douglas Kelley

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Lt. Colonel Douglas McGlashan Kelley (11 August 1912 – January 1, 1958) was a United States Army Military Intelligence Corps officer who served as chief psychiatrist at Nuremberg Prison during the Nuremberg War Trials. He was charged with ascertaining defendants' competency evaluations before standing trial.

Life and career[edit]

Kelley was born in Truckee, California. He graduated from University of California at Berkeley and received his medical degree from the School of Medicine in San Francisco. He continued his studies at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, earning a Doctor of Medical Science in 1941.

In 1942 he was called to duty in the United States Army Medical Corps as chief psychiatrist for the 30th General Hospital in the European Theatre. Along with psychologist Gustave Gilbert he administered the Rorschach inkblot test to the 22 defendants in the Nazi leadership group prior to the first Nuremberg trials.[1] Kelley authored two books on the subject: Twenty-two Cells in Nuremberg and The Case of Rudolph Hess.

Upon honorable discharge in 1946, Kelley was appointed Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina. In 1949 he was appointed Professor of Criminology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Kelley committed suicide in front of his wife and children on New Year's Day 1958 by ingesting a capsule of potassium cyanide (as had Nazi leader Hermann Göring, whom Kelley had come to know during his psychiatric evaluation at Nuremberg).[2][3]

Kelley was portrayed by Stuart Bunce in the 2006 BBC docudrama Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial, which depicts the events at Nuremberg,[4] as does Jack El-Hai's nonfiction book The Nazi And The Psychiatrist.[5]


  • 22 Cells in Nuremberg. A Psychiatrist Examines the Nazi Criminals. London: W. H. Allen, 1947.
  • Bruno Klopfer: The Rorschach Technique. A Manual for a Projective Method of Personality Diagnosis. With Clinical Contributions by Douglas McGlashan Kelley; introduction by Nolan D. C. Lewis. Yonkers-on-Hudson: World Book Comp. 1942.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jack El-Hai : The Nazi and the Psychiatrist, Publisher: PublicAffairs, 2013, ISBN 161039156X


External links[edit]