Before World War II, United States foreign intelligence operations were handled through the War Department. Information gathered by the armed forces was handled by the Department of State's Office of the Coordinator of Information, which was established in July 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 13, 1942, signed into existence the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was a civilian agency tasked to gather intelligence and carry out secret operations. The OSS was given responsibility of gathering, evaluating, and analyzing intelligence in support of the war against the Axis Powers; and planning and executing operations in support of intelligence procurement.
The office was under the jurisdiction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was headed by William A. "Wild Bill" Donovan. William Donovan, a Columbia University classmate of President Roosevelt, was a former U.S. Army officer and a Medal of Honor winner for actions during World War I. The OSS, which was setup specifically to operate during World War II, was disbanded soon after the conclusion of the war. President Harry S. Truman officially abolished the OSS by executive order on Oct 1, 1945. It officially ceased to exist on Jan 12, 1946 when Donovan stepped down. While President Truman disbanded the OSS, he did note that the U.S. needed a "comprehensive and coordinated foreign intelligence program." He finally developed his own plan for that program, and established the Central Intelligence Agency in the National Security Act which was passed by Congress on July 26, 1947. A great number of the 13,000 former employees of the OSS were rolled into the new CIA.
The source for much of the information in this 71 page report is "Dr. Sedwick." Dr. Sedwick was the OSS codename for Ernst Franz Sedwick Hanfstangl. Hanfstangl, was an author and intimate friend of Adolf Hitler, who served as Hitler's Nazi Press Chief. Hanfstangl fled Germany for England in 1937 and was interned by the British as a German alien enemy. He was later sent to a confinement camp for Germans in Canada. In 1942, he was paroled from the camp to President Roosevelt. Hanfstangl was placed under the care of Presidential Assistant J. Franklin Carter. Hanfstangl was to make his knowledge of Nazi Germany available to the Office of Strategic Services and other branches of the Government.
Topics covered in this 1943 report include: Hitler's family background. Education. Writings. Reading. Concentration abilities. Response to noise. Capacity for silence, conversation, and debate. Physique. Personal appearance. Cleanliness. Endurance. Exercise. Sight. Voice. Sleep. Reactions. Diet. Drinking habits. Smoking. Personal protection. Entertainment: music, dancing, theatre, movies, vaudeville, circus. Information gathering: news, radio. Hitler's metamorphosis while imprisoned in Landsberg. Sexual life. Speaking techniques: speech preparation, entrance, interruptions, posture, oratory, endings of speech, avoidance of names and personages, exit technique.
A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend
A secret wartime 281 page report, authored by Walter C. Langer in 1943. Office of Strategic Services director General William J. Donovan suggested to psychologist Walter C. Langer that a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler needed to be developed. It was hoped that an accurate study would be helpful in gaining a deeper insight into Adolf Hitler and the German people and that the study might serve as a guide for Allied propaganda activities as well as for future dealings with Hitler and the Germans. Langer produced the report, "A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend," with the help of Professor Henry A. Murray, of the Harvard Psychological Clinic, Dr. Ernst Kris, of the New School for Social Research, and Dr. Bertram D. Lewin, of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.
This report starts out with the statement: "This study is not propagandistic in any sense of the term. It represents an attempt to screen the wealth of contradictory, conflicting and unreliable material concerning Hitler into strata which will be helpful to the policy-makers and those who wish to frame counter-propaganda. For this reason the first three parts are purely descriptive and deal with the man (1) as he appears to himself, (2) as he has been pictured to the German people, and (3) how he is known to his associates. These sections contain the basic material for the psychological analysis in sections IV and V in which an attempt is made to understand Hitler as a person and the motivations underlying his actions."
The researchers had the trouble of not having direct access to their subject. The material available for such an analysis was extremely scant and spotty. The researchers had access to a vast library of things in print concerning Hitler. They also had access to accounts about Hitler from a number of informants who knew Hitler well. According to Langer, the study would have been entirely impossible were it not for the fact that there was a relatively high degree of agreement in the descriptions of Hitler's behavior, sentiments and attitudes given by several informants. They found it necessary to fill in the gaps with knowledge gained from clinical experience in dealing with individuals of a similar type. The report is divided into the subjects: Adolph Hitler as he sees himself to be. Adolph Hitler as the German people know him. Adolph Hitler as his associates know him. Adolph Hitler as he knows himself. Psychological analysis and reconstruction. Adolph Hitler's probable behavior in the future.
Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler: With Predictions of His Future Behavior and Suggestions for Dealing with Him Now and After Germany's Surrender
A 240 page report completed in October, 1943, by Harvard psychologist Dr. Henry A. Murray. The report attempted to present an analysis of Adolf Hitler's personality and its development. This analysis was then used to make predictions about what Hitler would do after an Allied victory and how he should be dealt with if taken into custody. The reporting sought to give the OSS an understanding of how it may be able influence Hitler's mental condition and behavior. Murray correctly predicted that Hitler's most likely end would be suicide. Murray believed that understanding Hitler would provide for an understanding of the psychology of the German people.
Murray made use of data supplied by the Office of Strategic Services, Hitler's school records, German military records, open source publicly published news articles and German films. The main sources previously published used were, Hitler's "Mein Kampf", Hitler's "My New Order", Konrad Heiden's "Hitler, A Biography", Herman Rauschning's "Voice of Destruction", and Helton G. Baynes' "Germany Possessed."
Major report sections include: Hitler the Man: Note for a Case History. A Detailed Analysis of Hitler's Personality (written especially for psychologists, psychiatrists). Predictions of Hitler's Behavior in the Coming Future. Suggestions for the Treatment of Hitler Now and After Germany's Surrender. Suggestions for the Treatment of Germany. The paper "Hitler the Man: Note for a Case History," was written W.H.D. Vernoin under the supervision of Dr. Murray, it summarizes what was already commonly known about Hitler at the time the research for this report began.
Hitler Source Book
A 1,019 page Office of Strategic Service document produced by Walter C. Langer. This report contains typed up abstracts taken from source material used by Langer, when he was working on the report "A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend." The report contains extracts of key points from 211 different sources.
Among the summations in the material: An interview with a doctor who treated Hitler. Telegrams from British diplomats in contact with Hitler, days before the invasion of Poland. Excerpts from the diary of Ambassador William Dodd, who headed the U.S. Embassy in Berlin from 1933 to 1937. An intelligence report from a captured high ranking German officer on Hitler's behavior in the company of German military command. Excerpts from the "Berlin Diaries", a purported journal of an anonymous Berlin War Office official, giving an eyewitness day-by-day account from 1932 to 1933 of German War Ministry intrigue and political barratry and Hitler's seizure of power. Excerpts from William Shirer's Berlin Diary. Shirer was the author of the book "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." Shirer was a CBS radio broadcaster recruited by Edward R. Murrow to cover Germany. Shirer kept a diary while stationed in Berlin from 1937 to December 1940. An OSS interview of a former Berlin police chief. Department of State dispatches relating Hitler's activities. An OSS interview of Princess Stephanie Marie Von Hohenlohe, while she was being held at an alien detention camp in Texas. Princess Hohenlohe was a personal friend of Hitler, Goering and Ribbentrop, whom Hitler decorated for spying. An OSS interview with Ferdinand Jahn, who was a United Press reporter in Germany during the 1920's. Jahn interviewed Hitler two days before the Beer Hall Putsch, a failed coup d'état in November, 1923. Information obtained from Ernst Franz Sedwick Hanfstangl. An OSS interview with Hitler's Nephew William Patrick Hitler.
Miscellaneous Office of Strategic Services Files
An assortment of 110 pages of OSS and CIA files related to Adolf Hitler. Files date from 1941 to 1955. Includes analysis of Hitler's speeches and plans concerning the creation of false information campaigns in Germany to sabotage Hitler's reputation.
The disc contains a text transcript of all recognizable text embedded into the graphic image of each page of each document, creating a searchable finding aid. Text searches can be done across all files on the disc.