Daniel Pick’s study of ‘Hitler, Hess and the Analysts’ prompted sufficient interest to merit a move from the Wales Stage to the headline Barclays Pavillion. It was a little strange to listen to an exploration of the nazi mind in the same venue where Rob Brydon had been making laughter flow the evening before.
Freudian analysis was at the core of this deconstruction of nazi thought. The concept of the super ego for example sits comfortably with the idea of a mind that embraces nazism. It is clear from first hand accounts that Hess was a damaged and in many ways weak and impressionable man.
Daniel Pick is Professor of History at Birkbeck at the University of London and this was an academic session. It was a history rather than a psychological investigation and left me better informed about the character of Rudolph Hess but little nearer to understanding the triggers that turned his mind to nazi ideology.