A rare secret analysis of the mental state of Adolf Hitler in April 1942 by British Intelligence had been unearthed by a researcher from the University of Cambridge.
The analysis laid unread since 1945 and was found in a collection of papers belonging to the family of Mark Abrams, a social scientist. Abrams worked with the BBC's Overseas Propaganda Analysis Unit and the Psychological Warfare Board, during World War II.
The report indicated signs of developing paranoia in his speechmaking as well as a growing preoccupation with what he called "the Jewish poison".
The BBC reported that the analysis found evidence of Hitler's outlandish beliefs, including his illusion of "divinity". The profile, which also reveals the leader "seriously contemplating the possibility of utter defeat", discloses how he believed he was the "incarnation of the Spirit of Good".
The paper came to light after Dr Scott Anthony, who is working on the history of public relations at the University of Cambridge, began tracking down Abrams' peers and relatives.
Marked "Secret", the analysis was commissioned by Abrams at a time when his analytical talents were needed for the war effort.
According to the University of Cambridge report, the document itself was written by Joseph MacCurdy, a Cambridge academic working alongside him. Anthony has spoken to experts on both Nazi Germany and the history of psychology, but nobody appears to have known about this report until now.
"At the time that it was written, the tide was starting to turn against Germany," Anthony stated. "In response Hitler began to turn his attentions to the German home front."
"This document shows that British Intelligence sensed this happening. MacCurdy recognised that, faced with external failure, the Nazi leader was focusing on a perceived 'enemy within' instead - namely the Jews. Given that we now know that the Final Solution was commencing, this makes for poignant reading, he further mentioned.
MacCurdy refers to an earlier report in which he had spotted three "morbid tendencies" in Hitler, classifying these as "Shamanism", "Epilepsy" and "Paranoia". The first, a term of MacCurdy seems to have borrowed from anthropology, referred to Hitler's hysteria and compulsion to feed off the energy of Nuremberg Rally-style audiences. By now it was in decline, and his report refers to the "dull flatness of the delivery".
The other two tendencies were, however, developing. "Epilepsy" referred to Hitler's cold and ruthless streak, but also a tendency to lose heart when his ambitions failed.
The Cambridge report further mentioned that most alarming, however, was Hitler's growing paranoia. By this, MacCurdy meant the Nazi leader's "Messiah complex", in which he believed he was leading a chosen people on a crusade against an Evil incarnate in the Jews. He felt that this was starting to become a dominant tendency in Hitler's mind. The paper notes an extension of the "Jew phobia" and says that Hitler now saw them not just as a threat to Germany, but as a "universal diabolical agency".