Walter Charles Langer

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Cover of the book

Walter Charles Langer (February 5, 1899 – July 4, 1981) was a psychoanalyst from Cambridge, Massachusetts who prepared a 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.

Biography[edit]

Langer was born on February 5, 1899 in South Boston to Charles Rudolph and Johanna Rockenbach, recent immigrants from Germany.[1] His mother was born to a Lutheran household in Zweibrücken, Germany,[2] and his father was a member of the Moravian Brethren from Silesia, Germany.[3] 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]

  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. ^ William L. Langer, In and Out of the Ivory Tower, p. 32.
  3. ^ William L. Langer, In and Out of the Ivory Tower, pp. 1-2.

External links[edit]