The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/h/hitler.adolf//oss-papers/text/oss-sb-nytmag_130643



By: Elizabeth M. Ullstein_

         The most important feature of Hitler's handwriting is 
one which we analysts recognize as the common sign of the 
actual or potential psychopath. I refer to the fact that the 
writing runs like a "thread" across the page. This is clear in 
the so-called middle zone of the script, which includes the 
vowels and certain consonants, c, m, n, etc. The pen seems 
to trail along in this zone, so that the contours are lost, just 
enough of the form remaining to make the letters legible; 
they present little more than a thread from which the other 
letters are extended.

Graphologists distinguish three ways of writing - the "garland" 
style, in which letters are rounded at the base, so that an 'n' is 
written like a 'u'; the "arcade" style, in which letters are rounded 
at the top; and the angular' or pointed style. A person who is 
psychologically unstable does not use any of the them but trails 
indecisively in the famous "thread" method. It is in this middle 
zone that the most personal phase of character is reflected, 
and here Hitler shows his meagerness, in an unpleasant thinning 
out of the script. To the expert this indicates a lack of creative 
power, a hurried and senseless drive from point to point, a 
character unsuitable to private life and love.

When Hitler is not slurring his letters he uses the angular 
form of connecting that is a sign of willfulness, of the 
person who lives in a continuous state of tenseness and 
dissonance with his surroundings - who does not compromise 
to avoid conflicts but seeks them through an instinctive drive 
toward tragic complication. The rapidly changing, almost 
flickering pressure of his pen shows an impulsiveness which 
friends and foes alike have called a "demoniac" power.

Despite the ugliness and lack of distinction of Hitler's 
individual letters, a curious rhythm seems to be 
superimposed on his thread of writing. To me it mirrors 
the extraordinary magnetic power of this man who keeps 
a whole nation spellbound.

Finally we look at his signature. Here we find a remarkable 
fact: the Adolf is written in Gothic script but the Hitler in 
Latin script. Here we have portrayed the dual nature of the 
man, the little bourgeois Adolf of the beer halls and the Hitler 
who wants to dominate the world: the reality and dream-pose.

We also find another amazing fact. From the beginning until 
the 't' in Hitler the signature ascends - then it tumbles down 
the page in the most startling fashion. The downward impulse 
is so precipitate that the end of the name does not seem to have 
satisfied the falling tendency
and an extra 'v' or loop is stuck on without any justification. 
There is no graceful finished end, but a sudden catastrophic 
decline. It is signature that may well reflect its writer's destiny.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.