Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin

A Study in Personality's Impact on History

[Excerpted from a draft of a book written with Renato Alarcon and Edward Foulks on Personality Disorders and Culture]

The other area where personality has made its stamp is that of the great leaders and agitators of history. Would the world be a different place today if Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin had greater capacity for empathy, less grandiosity, and less suspiciousness? Or supposing Czar Nicholas II of Russia had had more resolve and less vacillation? Millions of lives were destroyed at least in part because of the personality styles of key historical figures.

Leo Tolstoy, however, argued that personalities donít matter at the historical level. Someone would have risen in Napoleon's stead given the same historical and cultural conditions in 19th century France. We make the mistake of ascribing to leaders, he claimed, the power to lead when in reality all they are is figureheads representing the powerful forces and underlying conditions that make their entrance onto the historical stage not only possible but inevitable (Tolstoy, 1866). To restate this in cultural terms, Tolstoy might have viewed some cultures as pathoplastic, leading to the inevitable rise of a dictator or emperor.

However, this argument seems incomplete. Is it plausible that the outcome of World War II would have been different without the leadership of Generals George S. Patton or Douglas MacArthur? Some argue that the Allied victory was nothing more than the result of overwhelming economic and social forces that made the outcome inevitable; the tremendous industrial output of the United States simply overwhelmed the Axis powers in what became a grinding war of attrition. In the end great leaders, with all their personality traits and attributes, do shape our history and in so doing their personality traits and styles, especially when in resonance with their culture of origin, shape our world.

The great tragedies of history occur when men or women with extreme or deviant personality traits rise to a position of great power from whence they can do great damage. Combined with the new element of industrialization, several leaders who probably suffered personality disorders, rose to power and destroyed millions of lives. Three prominent examples - Lenin, Hitler, and Stalin - are explored in the following section.

These three men - all White males, one Russian, one Austrian, and one Georgian - were chosen not because they had any monopoly on the attributes to be explored in the following section, but simply out of historical and cultural convenience. Although Asian, African, or Latino examples of these personality types could all have been chosen, the cultural proximity of Lenin, Hitler, and Stalin to the authors, the wealth of documentation available on their lives, and the background in Russian and German language and history of one of the authors (M.V.) made these three historical figures most accessible. They are offered not to suggest that there is anything pathological about Western or Russian society per se, but to illustrate the interaction between personality and culture in a historical context.

Some historians might dispute the inclusion of Lenin in this section. Although few would argue that Hitler and Stalin were diabolical and deviant, Lenin, although brutal, monomaniacal, and responsible for thousands if not millions of deaths, was in a somewhat different category. He did not create a cult of personality during his lifetime (this occurred posthumously) and seized the reigns of leadership during an extreme crisis in Russian history, so perhaps his extremism should be measured in this context (although this is a dangerous slippery slope: the same might be said of Hitler in the Weimar Republik). Toward the end of his life, Lenin showed some flexibility (through his "New Economic Policy," which essentially abandoned many of the more rigid tenets of Marxism in favor of limited free market reforms) that the other two figures profiled here lacked. Nevertheless, the overall pattern of his life was one of brutal fanaticism, absolute intolerance of personal criticism, and a paranoid, conspiratorial world view that led to the creation of one of the most totalitarian regimes the world has ever known. The fact that he concentrated all power in his hands and that of the Communist Party, abolishing and crushing any dissent or opposition, made unwittingly possible the ascendancy of Stalin and the launch of the Soviet Holocaust, which in turn inspired Hitler's Final Solution. With all the limitations of psychohistory, one could reasonably conclude that Lenin suffered from a personality disorder that left its stamp on at least 72 years of world history.

Lenin

Apotheosis of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin within the system he founded combined with a curious admiration by some Western intellectuals led to a blurring of the true historical Lenin with the myth created for mass production by Soviet historians. Even communist historians such as Roy A. Medvedev who risked freedom and career to document the butchery of Stalin chose either to ignore or downplay Leninís brutality (Medvedev, 1971).

A critical review of Leninís life, however, both in deed and word, reveals a man quite different from the hero of the revolution. An ascetic, Lenin very likely might have become a monk in another age. He eschewed materialism, had few close friends, and probably had a severely constricted capacity for intimacy. He was obsessed with abstract intellectual principles which he spent most of his life advancing either through his writing or through the bayonet and firing squad. He was not interested in debate or disagreement, and felt so completely convinced of the correctness of his world view that he was quite literally willing to shoot anyone who disagreed with him. Even at the height of his power, he did not allow himself any of the luxuries or trappings of power that his predecessors, the ruling Communist Party elite, were to raise to a level that would make even the Czar blush (Medvedev, 1971; Thompson, 1981). From his writings emerge a picture of a man obsessed with a conspiratorial view of the world and violent retribution by the conspiracyís purported victims as the only recourse. The nation state he saw as merely the "instrument" by which the "capitalists" oppress the working man who once placed in power, would dole out "swift and severe punishment" and "liquidation" of the bourgeoisie (Lenin, 1918). As Hitler was to develop international conspiratorial views about Jews a few decades later, Lenin was convinced all of history was a conspiracy of one group of people, in this case defined not by religion but by their "relationship to the means of production," to keep down another class. Also like Hitler, Lenin saw it as his messianic destiny to lead a "vanguard of the proletariat" to execute "revolutionary justice." In DSM-IV terms, Lenin probably suffered from a mixed personality disorder with prominent obsessive-compulsive personality traits as well as narcissistic and paranoid elements.

It is tempting to explore Leninís early life to find the genesis of these traits. Born to a school inspector father in a comfortable middle class existence, Lenin had little if any contact with the working men he later felt he had to avenge. Where then did the intense antipathy toward members of his own class arise?

Some clues are provided by Lenin's witnessing of his brother Alexanderís execution in 1877, when Vladimir was only 7 years old. Alexander had attempted to assassinate the Czar with a bomb and was subsequently arrested and hanged. His sister Anna later related how he was "hardened" by the execution (Johnson, 1992).

Did this traumatize and harden him, leaving him incapable of feeling empathy or pity? Had his early life experiences been more compatible with the development of empathy and forgiveness, might he not have murdered so many Russians through his Chekha, forerunner of the K.G.B., and might he have had more flexibility of thought than to impose an economic system on a country that within years of its implementation led to the starvation of millions? Under Lenin, industrial production, which had grown 62 per cent between 1900 and 1913, ground to a halt, plummeting to 12.9 per cent of their prewar levels by 1920. An exodus of disillusioned factory workers fled the major cities for their home villages and the entire system of food distribution broke down. It is estimated that 3 million Russians starved to death in the winter of 1921-1922 alone. Russia, formerly considered the bread basket of Eurasia, now had to turn to the West for assistance, and during the entire 72-year communist experiment, Russians were net importers of Western wheat and agricultural products despite having more of their population employed in the agricultural sector and more arable land (Johnson, 1992).

Shortly after the Russian Revolution of 1917, when the Czar abdicated and Alexander Kerensky rose to power, Lenin saw his opportunity to seize power. He launched a brilliant coup that was to overthrow the interim government (not the Czar as is popularly believed in the Soviet-blurred accounts of the "revolution"), disbanding at the point of bayonet a democratically-elected Constituent Assembly. Within days of seizing power, it was clear that Lenin was in charge and would tolerate no dissent or difference in opinion. In December, 1917, Lenin formed the Chekha, just as Hitler was to form his dreaded Gestapo (Thompson, 1981). A year later, it was executing over 1,000 people a month (Johnson, 1992). The greatest irony of the "revolution" was that so many of its victims were members of the class it purported to serve; one of the first and bloodiest example of Leninís iron will is provided by his brutal suppression of the Kronstadt uprising, in which a group of sailors naively petitioned Lenin to make good on some of his promises of "bread, peace, and land." Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were murdered as a result of this single action. Lenin never felt it necessary to hold public trials; in his mind, the sailors must have been contaminated by "capitalist" elements and for him that was proof enough. (Thompson, 1981; Johnson, 1992). Once again, his intolerance of personal criticism and his conviction that anyone opposed to him must be part of some larger, international conspiracy, highlighted his narcissism and paranoia.

Even his contemporaries such as Trotsky described him as a Robespierre and his willingness to kill and impose what he called "revolutionary terror" became a recurrent theme in his writings and speeches. Lenin never saw the irony that he was operating in the name of the working man he most likely had never met (his entire inner circle were formed of well-educated fanatical bourgeois upper middle class Russians; there is no evidence he ever stepped onto a farm or entered a factory). His lack of empathy, obsession with abstract intellectual principles raised to the level of a religion despite glaring contradictory evidence (enforcement of dogma versus exploration of truth), lack of spontaneous warmth or concern for the victims of his terror, perhaps combined with a vindictive lust to avenge the death of his brother (although the man responsible had long since been killed by an assassinís bomb), led to the death of millions. The confrontation that followed drained billions of dollars and rubles from the worldís economy in a protracted Cold War that only ended when the system he founded could no longer be held together with terror. The cold, ruthless will of Lenin and Stalin could not be matched by the more genteel and civilized personality traits of Gorbachev who decades later would unwittingly set into motion the forces that would bring down the system he thought could be salvaged (Groth, 1993). Once again, personality traits at the right place and time helped determine the course of history.

Hitler

The barbarity of Adolf Hitler is well-chronicled in the West, perhaps because the Third Reich arose from a culture that was seen as far more similar to that of the United States. Russia was always considered something of a backward, autocratic, brutal country by its Western neighbors. That a Lenin or Stalin could seize the reins of power in a country once ruled by Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible seemed likely; that it could happen in Western Europe was deeply disturbing. Germany, the country that produced Mozart and Beethoven, whose language was almost chosen as the official language of the United States, whose history of anti-Semitism was tame compared to that of the Russians and Poles from whom the expression "beyond the Pale" was coined, was perhaps the last place anyone could imagine a fanatic, driven "Austrian corporal" as Winston Churchill liked to call him, rise to power and execute the horrors of Auschwitz and Treblinka. It seemed unthinkable that in a part of the world that liked to view itself as having risen out of its superstitious, medieval past, such barbarity could occur on such a massive scale.

Historians might argue a la Tolstoy that the destabilizing forces were in place and anyone could have stepped up to fill Hitlerís shoes: the punitive Versailles treaty led to the impoverishment of Germany, hyperinflation, and in some cases starvation, all of which fueled a rabid German nationalism. The bravery and fighting efficiency of the German soldier was an ideal heightened to grandiose proportions by the post-war national humiliation. International bankers, some Jewish, were easy targets for blaming the German loss in World War I. Prominent Jewish communists such as Bukharin and Tolstoy provided additional fuel for the anti-Semitic fire.

Yet how did this obscure failed architect who served as a line runner in the trenches of World War II, who was a vegetarian and liked Wagner and architecture, rise to his position of power? Like Lenin and Stalin, he saw himself in grandiose, messianic proportions. Rather than the oppressed proletariat it would be the humiliated Aryan whom Hitler would avenge against an international conspiracy not of capitalists but of Jews. Also like Lenin, Hitler allowed himself few personal luxuries, but unlike Lenin he inculcated and honed an intense cult of personality that was much more akin to that of Josef Stalin. He was a driven, obsessed man, unwilling to allow debate or dissent, also willing to kill anyone whom he felt disagreed with him or posed a threat to his power.

It would be comforting and reassuring to simply dismiss Hitler as "mad" or "paranoid" or "insane," but the frightening thing was that he must have possessed a set of social skills that made it possible for him to negotiate the slippery and treacherous void of Weimar Republik politics, work an economic miracle that both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Stalin were unable to match, and lead Germany on a rampage that almost succeeded in conquering all of Europe, Russia, and parts of Northern Africa. As Ehrenwald (1975) points out, it is easy to explain Hitler's downfall and his more destructive acts using psychopathological constructs, but much more difficult to explain is how he had such tremendous success and an almost hypnotic hold on his followers. Historians tend to assign inevitability to events retrospectively, but the Allied success at Normandy was a tenuous one and even toward the end of the war, it was estimated it took three Americans or British soldiers to kill or capture one German. Although he shared Leninís and Stalinís ruthlessness and killed millions of Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, Marxists, and political enemies, unlike Lenin, who never had or sought the mandate of those he claimed to represent, Hitler was elected to power by an overwhelming majority.

This leads to an intriguing question, one that perhaps can not be answered: does Hitler's personality disorder explain completely the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, or did he simply ride the crest of a wave of overwhelming political and cultural forces? Perhaps his personality was not "markedly deviant" than that of his culture of origin. In other words, was Hitler independently pathological or simply the vanguard of a pathogenic society? Or is it possible or meaningful to move beyond the cultural relativism of DSM-IV, which prohibits diagnosing a personality disorder unless the behaviors and traits are markedly deviant from one's own culture, and characterize an entire society or culture as pathological? Evidence of the pathoplasticity of the culture of the Third Reich can be found by a survey conducted by Muller (1970) of 234 case histories of schizophrenic inpatients between 1933 and 1941; 66 out of 184 of the patients' delusions had political themes, most relating to the Adolf Hitler personally. That most affiliated themselves more with the National Socialists than with the victims of their policies was reflected in the fact that only a minority had delusions of persecution; most had delusions of being on a political or quasi-religious mission, futher underscoring the cultural complicity in Hitler's actions (Muller, 1970). Eckhardt analyzed the values of fascism as expressed in the speeches and writings of Goebbels, Hitler, and Mussolini, and concluded that the ideology denied its own shortcomings, projected these onto an "enemy," then determined to use any means to actualize its own values. Using this pattern of traits, he defined fascism as a sociopathic personality raised to the level of a sociopathic society, with intermingled paranoid, aggressive, and schizoid personality traits. Such a society would ultimately be antisocial, antiself, and antilife (Eckhardt, 1968).

Berke (1996) argues that Hitler played into and fueled the destructive impulses of a nation into a rampant nationalism, establishing a feedback loop in which the dynamics of both leader and led manipulate and reinforce each other. Yet even this model downplays the contribution of the group, the society, the culture from its contribution to the eventual horrors of the concentration camp. Lothane (1997) makes this point when he argues that if Hitler is to be labeled as paranoid or grandiose, then the society and culture that kept him in power also must be diagnosed with those pathological traits.

Nevertheless, those with an interest in psychohistory despite its limitations have attempted to diagnose Hitler as he was in 1937, using the Personality Assessment Schedule (PAS). A psychiatrist and a historian both used historical information to categorize his personality. Although there was some discrepancy in rating (the historian rated Hitler as less pathological than did the psychiatrist), both diagnosed him with dissocial personality disorder (using the ICD-10 criteria). The psychiatrist also diagnosed Hitler with paranoid and histrionic personality disorders (Henry, et al, 1993). Muslin (1992), using a self psychology approach, diagnosed Hitler with an enfeebled self that lacked any capacity for self-worth or self-regard; furthermore, he felt that the German people after World War I suffered this same collective defect in self, and that Hitler was seen as a solution to this core deficit. Robins (1986) argues that not only was Hitler paranoid, but that his paranoia helped him influence the German masses who felt confronted with an insoluble problem (the economic collapse and political chaos following Germany's defeat in World War II).

Mayer (1993) posited that an entirely new diagnostic category should be created for messianic, destructive leaders such as Hitler and Stalin, dangerous leader disorder (DLD), which would consist of (1) indifference toward people's suffering and devaluation of others, (2) intolerance of criticism, and (3) a grandiose sense of national entitlement. However, this seems little more than a restatement of narcissistic personality disorder at the level of a national leader. Lambert (1989) contends that Hitler's fanaticism was born in the trenches of World War I and his constantly combative stance was a defense against the meaningless of his own existence; as he rose to mythical proportions, Germans were enthralled by him as a person rather than any abstract National Socialist propaganda.

Some authors have advanced a biological theory of Hitler's personality traits. Martindale (1976) posited that Hitler might have suffered from a relative left hemispheric deficiency (evidenced by lack of a right testicle, leftward eye movements, and trembling in his left extremities). This left hemispheric dominance might have driven two of his predominant lifetime theories: anti-Semitism and the German's need for Lebensraum. Hershman and Lieb (1994) argued Hitler might have been suffering from a variant of manic depression. However, given the current evidence supporting a biological basis of personality, this does not rule out personality disorder.

Perhaps in our search of labels and explanations, however, we are merely attempting to understand a set of historical events that seem incompatible with the values and norms of Western society today. That evil exists we all accept in our everyday lives; in the realm of mental health, however, we frequently gloss it over by redefining it in terms of "sociopathy" or "antisocial behavior." Yet even this focus on Hitler as a pathological individual removes the focus from his culture of origin, not just that of Germany, but of Western society itself. The same society that tried Hitler's henchmen at Nuremberg was perfectly comfortable incinerating hundreds of thousands of civilians in Dresden, Tokyo, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima. To defeat Hitler, that society had to aided and abetted an even greater murderer, Josef Stalin, whose crimes had begun a decade earlier and were well-known in the West, whereas Hitler's Final Solution was largely unknown or unrecognized until the final months of World War II when the concentration camps were liberated.

So was Hitler suffering from a true personality disorder or was he simply the epitome of the evil of which his society of origin, including those who fought him, is capable? Or is the entire concept of personality disorder simply a medicalization of many behaviors and attitudes that most cultures traditionally label as evil?

Stalin

Much of the discussion of the dynamics of Hitler's personality and the cult of personality that raised him to mythological proportions can be applied to Stalin. Who served as a role model for whom is a question historians will have to wrestle with, but the similarities between the two men are in many ways uncanny. Stalin began his mass murders with brutal, industrial efficiency years before Hitler did, and the similar methods used by each dictator (arrest by secret police, forced confessions or mocked trials, detention at a labor or concentration camp, then death by summary execution or starvation, as well as the extensive use of railroads to depopulate entire regions or ethnic groups) as well as their magnitude (both are credited with killing several million human beings) could not have been mere coincidence. The fact that both men were allies after the signing of the Nonagression Pact and that the Red Army and Wehrmacht conducted joint military training exercises together further raises the possibility that a cross-cultural flow of information inspired each man to emulate and imitate the other, even while secretly or openly vilifying his counterpart. Hitler described Stalin as a "beast" but a "beast on a grand scale" who could make Russia "the greatest power in the world." Shortly after an assassination attempt against him by his military officers, Hitler expressed his regret that he had not purged officer corps "in the way Stalin did" (Johnson, 1992).

Like Hitler, Stalin was not a native of the country he was to lead and dominate; born in Georgia, Stalin was a consummate bureaucrat who worked his way into Lenin's inner circle, then artfully maneuvered for complete control of the Party after the death of its founder.

Was Stalin a paranoiac and sadist whose lust for vengeance stemmed from some early childhood insult or loss (a contemporary, Bukharin, noted that a childhood accident had created a physical deformity in his right hand, which he always kept hidden from public view; could this "suffering" have caused him to be such a "diabolical and inhuman ... small, vicious man; no, not a man, but a devil.")? Standing at only 5'4", he stated often that he wished he were taller, and had all official propaganda portraits angled from below to give the illusion of height. (Several portrait painters who did not follow this convention were shot.) Like both Lenin and Hitler, he felt history or destiny gave him a right to rule that was beyond conventional morality. He developed and refined the technique of decimating military units who retreated; the term literally means to shoot every tenth man and was used with great enthusiasm by Lenin and Stalin.

Interestingly, Lenin denounced Stalin shortly before the final debilitating stroke that claimed his life; warning in a 1922 letter of Stalin's "rudeness" which made Stalin "dangerous" as a future ruler, Lenin was given credit for at least admitting his earlier failure in character assessment.

By 1929, Stalin launched the forced collectivization of the Russian peasants who had resisted the revolution launched at least partially in their name. On December 27, 1929, Stalin attacked the kulaks, independent peasants whom he labeled as counterrevolutionary and therefore no longer fit to live. As Hitler was to do 12 years later with the Jews in the Final Solution, Stalin launched a massive genocide against a group he arbitrarily chose as a great enemy. "We must smash the kulaks, eliminate them as a class." he wrote. Thus began one of the first of a series of great holocausts that was to strike Russia and Europe over the next quarter century. The kulaks, a term that broadened as the terror spread through the countryside to include virtually any peasant, were rounded up by military units and specially formed police units, using techniques that were later to be imitated by Hitler's Einsatzgruppen. They were either machine gunned and buried in mass graves or deported to concentration and labor camps to be killed or worked to death. Marxist scholar Leszek Kolakowski dubbed the operation "probably the most massive warlike operation ever conducted by a state against its own citizens." Unlike the National Socialists, who were to keep meticulous records of those they murdered, the Soviets lost track of how many they killed, but Stalin was to brag to Churchill in August, 1942, that "ten millions" of peasants had been "dealt with." The best scholarly estimates are that between 10 to 11 million were sent to concentration camps or internal exile, and roughly one third of these were executed or died in transit. Those who did remain lost all property rights and were refused the internal passports necessary to permit travel within the country, in effect plunging them back to a stage of serfdom not seen under the most autocratic Czar; the simultaneous requirement of and stripping of essential documents for free travel and escape was another technique Hitler was to use with chilling exactness with the European Jews. (Johnson, 1992; Medvedev, 1973). The end result was the death of five million and the internment of approximately ten million in concentration and labor camps.

In the winter of 1932-1933, Stalin effectively turned the entire Ukraine into a massive concentration camp, sealing off its borders to the International Red Cross, seizing its wheat by force (the crop that year was actually plentiful), and giving local Party officials orders to shoot on sight anyone foraging for scraps of food; conservative estimates are that 2-3 million died, but lumped together with those who died beginning in 1929, the total number murdered easily exceed 10 million, a figure in excess of those killed by Hitler during the entire Holocaust.

The carnage accelerated over the next decade. An estimated 10% of the Russian population was at one time imprisoned. Torture - mutilation of men and women, gouging out of eyes, perforating of ear drums, and encasement in "nail boxes" - was common practice in the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) and often conducted in front of other family members for added humiliation and shock effect. That Stalin was personally involved in this butchery which often went beyond mere political expediency, real or imagined, and became an orgy of sadism, has been well-documented, through hundreds of thousands of death warrants with his signature on them, to his personal, well-publicized appearance at the capital show trials of some of his former comrades. He seemed to take a personal delight in inflicting pain. Stalin was after something more than elimination of his enemies; his means and ends often seemed no less savage or primitive than those of Charles Manson 30 years later. According to the historian Medvedev, young NKVD trainees were led to the torture chambers "like medical students to laboratories to watch dissections" (Johnson, 1992; Medvedev, 1971). Although Himmler in 1933 began to copy the Soviet method of concentration and labor camps, he was unable to keep up, and even at the height of the Holocaust from 1942-1945, Stalin continued to outdo the Nazis in the scale and scope of his extermination program.

One of the most curious aspects of Stalin's personality, however, stems from his period of alliance with Hitler after the 1939 signing of the so-called Nonagression Pact. How could a man so paranoid that he had murdered many of his closest allies and former friends ally himself with a dictator whose very rise to power was on a platform of anti-Semitism and anticommunism? Besides the obvious lack of judgment (which in combination with Stalin's purging of his Red Army top commanders at least quadrupled the number of Soviet war dead following Operation Barbarossa), this action seemed inconsistent with his paranoid personality features until one also considers his deep sociopathy. One of the features of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a brutally utilitarian logical system; Stalin's alliance with Hitler allowed him to seize the Baltics and the eastern half of Poland in September, 1939, giving him a geographical buffer against any possible attack from the West as well as direct control over millions of Eastern Europeans. Yet his paranoia was so deep following the 1941 invasion that for several days he literally did not believe the German attack was taking place (Birt, 1993; Johnson, 1992; Medvedev, 1971). Rancour-Laferriere (1988) posits that perhaps Stalin was identifying with the aggressor, in this case, Hitler, whom he recognized as a threat since the early 1930s, although as has been demonstrated, Hitler probably copied far more from Stalin than vice versa.

At any rate, after suffering horrific casualties including the encirclement and destruction of entire Army Groups, and despite the fact that he had murdered virtually all of his senior military officers, Stalin was able to beat back Hitler's advance. So whatever personality traits Stalin possessed that blinded him to Hitler's true intentions also allowed him to retain power for almost a decade after Hitler's (and Roosevelt's) death. In fact, as Robins (1986) has argued, perhaps it was this combination of paranoia and charisma with a millennial vision that allowed Stalin not only to rise to power but to cling to it. Through sheer will and brute force, this one man was able to dominate fifteen Soviet Republics and half of Eastern Europe. Whether one attempts to explain Stalin's impact on the course of human history from a biological perspective (Hershman, 1994), or from Stalin's early childhood parental loss (Eisenstadt, 1989) or victimization by his father (Rancour-Laferriere, 1988b), the end result was the same as that of Lenin and Hitler: the death of millions and human suffering and loss on an unprecedented scale.