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Diagnosing the Kaiser: Psychiatry, Wilhelm II and the Question of German War Guilt The William Bynum Prize Essay 2016

  • David Freis

After his abdication in November 1918, the German emperor Wilhelm II continued to haunt the minds of his people. With the abolition of the lese-majesty laws in the new republic, many topics that were only discussed privately or obliquely before could now be broached openly. One of these topics was the mental state of the exiled Kaiser. Numerous psychiatrists, physicians and laypeople published their diagnoses of Wilhelm in high-circulation newspaper articles, pamphlets, and books shortly after the end of the war. Whether these diagnoses were accurate and whether the Kaiser really was mentally ill became the issue of a heated debate.

This article situates these diagnoses of Wilhelm II in their political context. The authors of these diagnoses – none of whom had met or examined Wilhelm II in person – came from all political camps and they wrote with very different motives in mind. Diagnosing the exiled Kaiser as mentally ill was a kind of exorcism of the Hohenzollern rule, opening the way for either a socialist republic or the hoped-for rule of a new leader. But more importantly, it was a way to discuss and allocate political responsibility and culpability. Psychiatric diagnoses were used to exonerate both the Emperor (for whom the treaty of Versailles provided a tribunal as war criminal) and the German nation. They were also used to blame the Kaiser’s entourage and groups that had allegedly manipulated the weak-willed monarch. Medical concepts became a vehicle for a debate on the key political questions in interwar Germany.

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      Diagnosing the Kaiser: Psychiatry, Wilhelm II and the Question of German War Guilt The William Bynum Prize Essay 2016
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I would like to thank Martin Kohlrausch and the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive feedback, which has helped me to considerably improve this manuscript.

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1. Harry Kessler, Tagebücher 1918 bis 1937, ed. Wolfgang Pfeiffer-Belli (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1996), 171. All translations from foreign languages by the author, unless stated otherwise.

2. Martin Kohlrausch (ed.), Samt und Stahl: Kaiser Wilhelm II. im Urteil seiner Zeitgenossen (Berlin: Landt, 2006), 9. On the biography of Wilhelm II, see also Christopher Clark, Kaiser Wilhelm II (Harlow: Longman, 2000). For an overview of recent research, see Martin Kohlrausch, ‘Zu Wilhelm II. noch etwas neues? Tendenzen der Forschung der letzten zwei Jahrzehnte’, in Nicolas Detering, Johannes Franzen and Christopher Meid (eds), Herrschaftserzählungen: Wilhelm II. in der Kulturgeschichte (1888–1933) (Würzburg: Ergon, 2016), 19–37.

3. The most explicit retrospective diagnoses of Wilhelm II by historians, published at the height of the psycho-history boom, can be found in John C. G. Röhl and Nicolaus Sombart (eds), Kaiser Wilhelm II: New Interpretations: The Corfu Papers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1982); John C.G. Röhl, Kaiser, Hof und Staat: Wilhelm II. und die deutsche Politik (Munich: Beck, 1988), 17–34. More recently, Thomas A. Kohut, ‘Mirror Image of the Nation: An Investigation of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Leadership of the Germans,’ in Charles B. Strozier et al. (eds), The Leader: Psychological Essays (New York: Springer, 2011), 77–117. On psycho-history, see, for example, Peter Gay, Freud for Historians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985). For a first attempt to place these sources in an historical context, see Sibylle Leider, ‘Widersprüche überall: Wilhelm II. in psychiatrischen Beurteilungen nach 1918’, Hans Wilderotter and Klaus-D. Pohl (eds), Der letzte Kaiser: Wilhelm II. im Exil (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann 1991), 150–56; see also Joachim Radkau, Das Zeitalter der Nervosität: Deutschland zwischen Bismarck und Hitler (Munich: Hanser, 1998).

4. Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (London: Penguin, 2013).

5. Wolfgang Schivelbusch, The Culture of Defeat: On National Trauma, Mourning, and Recovery, trans. Jefferson Chase (New York: Metropolitan, 2003).

6. For a broader historical perspective, see Michael Clark and Catherine Crawford (eds), Legal History in Medicine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

7. David Freis, ‘The psychiatrist as the leader of the nation: psycho-political expertise after the German Revolution 1918/19’, in Joris Vandendriessche, Evert Peeters and Kaat Wils (eds), Scientists’ Expertise as Performance: Between State and Society, 1860–1960 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2015), 81–98.

8. Paul Federn, Zur Psychologie der Revolution: Die vaterlose Gesellschaft (Leipzig: Anzengruber, 1919).

9. Hans Jakob Ritter, ‘Bürgerlicher Tod: Von der Angst, gesund ins Irrenhaus eingesperrt zu werden’, in Stefan Nellen, Martin Schaffner and Martin Stingelin (eds), Paranoia City: Der Fall Ernst B.: Selbstzeugnis und Akten aus der Psychiatrie um 1900 (Basle: Schwalbe, 2007), 63–78.

10. W. Hamilton Fyfe (ed.), Tacitus: The Histories, Vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912), 83.

11. Gustav Freytag, Die verlorene Handschrift: Roman in fünf Büchern (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1864).

12. Hans Kloft, ‘Caligula: Ludwig Quidde und der Cäsarenwahnsinn’, in Bernd Effe and Reinhold F. Glei (eds), Genie und Wahnsinn: Konzepte psychischer Normalität und Abnormalität im Altertum (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2000), 179–204: 188–94.

13. Theodor Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, 8 vols (Munich: dtv, 2001).

14. Ludwig Quidde, Caligula: Eine Studie über römischen Cäsarenwahnsinn (Leipzig: Friedrich, 1894).

15. Martin Kohlrausch, ‘Medienskandale und Monarchie: Die Entwicklung der Massenpresse und die “große Politik” im Kaiserreich’, in Jörg Requate (ed.), Das 19. Jahrhundert als Mediengesellschaft: Les médias au XIXe siècle (Munich: Oldenbourg 2009), 116–30: 122.

16. See, for example, Gustav Dannehl, Cäsarenwahn oder Professorenwahn: Biographisch-historische Studie, 4th edn (Berlin: Pauli’s, 1894); Caligula Quitte, Das Vermächtnis des Tacitus (Leipzig: Wild, 1896).

17. Quidde, op. cit. (note 14); John C.G. Röhl, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes: a character sketch of Wilhelm II’, in Röhl and Sombart, op. cit. (note 3), 23–62: 29–30.

18. Quidde, op. cit. (note 14), 4; Gabriele Dietze, ‘Queering Willie: Wilhelminische Maskulinitäten und die Kaiser-Figuration’, L’Homme, 22, 2 (2011), 95–112: 102–3.

19. Martin Kohlrausch, Der Monarch im Skandal: Die Logik der Massenmedien und die Transformation der Wilhelminischen Monarchie (Berlin: Akademie, 2005); Norman Domeier, Der Eulenburg-Skandal: Eine Kulturgeschichte der Politik des späten Kaiserreichs (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2010).

20. Kohlrausch, ‘Medienskandale’, op. cit. (note 15), 123.

21. Quidde, op. cit. (note 14), 7.

22. H. Häfner and F. Sommer, ‘The Bavarian Royal Drama of 1886 and the Misuse of Psychiatry: New Results’, History of Psychiatry, 24, 3 (2013), 274–91.

23. Ernst Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957).

24. Laure Murat, L’homme qui se prenait pour Napoléon: Pour une histoire politique de la folie (Paris: Gallimard, 2011), 177–240.

25. H. C. Erik Midelfort, Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany, 2nd edn (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1999).

26. Carl Pelman, Psychische Grenzzustände, 2nd edn (Bonn: Cohen, 1910), 92; Hans von Hentig, Über den Cäsarenwahnsinn: Die Krankheit des Kaisers Tiberius (Munich: Bergmann, 1924); Detlev von Zerssen, ‘Der Cäsarenwahnsinn: Wahrheit oder Legende?’, Fortschritte der Neurologie, Psychiatrie, 79, 3 (2011), 152–60. On Carl Pelman, see Linda Orth et al. (eds), ‘Pass op, sonst küss de bei de Pelman’: Das Irrenwesen im Rheinland des 19. Jahrhunderts (Bonn: Grenzenlos, 1994).

27. Pelman, op. cit. (note 26), 93.

28. Pelman, op. cit. (note 26), 116.

29. Kohlrausch, Samt und Stahl, op. cit. (note 2); Röhl, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, op. cit. (note 17), 36–41.

30. Sigmund Freud, ‘Zeitgemäßes über Krieg und Tod (1915)’, in Das Unbehagen in der Kultur und andere kulturtheoretische Schriften (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2007), 133–62: 135.

31. Augustin Cabanès, Folie d’Empereur: Une dynastie de dégénérés: Guillaume II jugé par la science (Paris: Michel, 1915). The book was positively review in the British Medical Journal and published as an Italian translation in the same year, ‘A History of the Hohenzollerns’, British Medical Journal, 2, 2852 (1915), 327–328.

32. For a reprint of the French translation, see Ludwig Quidde, Caligula: Étude d’un cas de folie césarienne à Rome, trans. Gaston Moch (Paris: Alcan, 1928).

33. Cabanès, op. cit. (note 31), 414–28. This aspect was not entirely new; possible psychological consequences of the physical deformation had already been mentioned by Wilhelm’s former tutor Georg Hinzpeter (1827–1907) in 1888, see Georg Hinzpeter, ‘Kaiser Wilhelm II.: Eine Skizze nach der Natur gezeichnet (1888)’, in Kohlrausch, Samt und Stahl, op. cit. (note 2), 41–56; see also John C.G. Röhl, Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser’s Early Life, 1859–88 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

34. Cabanès, op. cit. (note 31), 427; Daniel Pick, Faces of Degeneration: A European Disorder, c. 1848–c. 1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

35. Observator, Über die Nervosität im deutschen Charakter: Entwurf zu einer Analyse der deutschen Volksseele von der Reichsgründung bis zum Zusammenbruch (Leipzig: Der Neue Geist, 1922), 15; Alfred Adler, Über den nervösen Charakter: Grundzüge einer vergleichenden Individual-Psychologie und Psychotherapie (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1912), 9–29.

36. Cabanès, op. cit. (note 31), 450.

37. Guiseppe Armocida and Jutta M. Birkhoff, ‘Lugaro, Ernesto’, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (2006),; Andrea Scartabellati, ‘Il dovere dei medici italiani nell’ora presente: Biopolitica, seduzione bellica e battaglie culturali nelle scienze umane durante il primo conflitto mondiale’, Medicina & Storia (2011),

38. Ernesto Lugaro, ‘Pazzia d’imperatore o aberrazione nationale?’, Rivista di Patologia nervosa e mentale, 20, 7 (1915), 385–414.

39. Armocida and Birkhoff, op. cit. (note 37); Trevor Calafato, ‘Gli anarcisti and Lombroso’s theory of political crime’, in Paul Knepper and P.J. Ystehede (eds), The Cesare Lombroso Handbook (New York: Routledge, 2013).

40. Lugaro, op. cit. (note 38), 409. ‘Le nez de Cléopâtre, s’il eût été plus court, toute la face de la terre aurait changé.’ Blaise Pascal, Pensées (Paris: Gallimard, 1977), 243.

41. Lugaro, op. cit. (note 38), 410.

42. Gustave Le Bon, Psychologie des Foules, 2nd edn (Paris: Alcan, 1896); Vladimir M. Bechterev, Die Bedeutung der Suggestion im sozialen Leben (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1905).

43. Lugaro, op. cit. (note 38), 410.

44. Lugaro, op. cit. (note 38), 412–13.

45. Auguste Forel, ‘Verhängnisse: I. Bismarck und die Psychologie Wilhelms II’, Vorwärts, 35, 321 (1918); Auguste Forel, ‘Verhängnisse: II. Deutschland, Europa und der Weltkrieg’, Vorwärts, 35, 322 (1918). One week later, Forel republished the same article for a Swiss audience: Auguste Forel, ‘Verhängnisse’, Centralschweizerischer Demokrat (28/29 November 1918).

46. Hermann Schueler, Trotz alledem: Der Vorwärts: Chronist des anderen Deutschland (Berlin: vorwärts buch, 2006).

47. Auguste Forel, Die Vereinigten Staaten der Erde: Ein Kulturprogramm (Berne: Volkart & Peytrequin, 1914). On Forel’s biography, see Auguste Forel, Rückblick auf mein Leben (Zurich: Europa, 1935); Anton Leist (ed.), Auguste Forel: Eugenik und Erinnerungskultur (Zurich: vdf, 2006).

48. Mirjam Bugmann, Hypnosepolitik: Der Psychiater August Forel, das Gehirn und die Gesellschaft (1870–1920) (Vienna: Böhlau, 2015).

49. Forel, ‘Verhängnisse I’, op. cit. (note 45).

50. Ibid.

51. Ibid.

52. Forel, ‘Verhängnisse II’, op. cit. (note 45).

53. Kohlrausch, op. cit. (note 19), 186–201; Domeier, op. cit. (note 19); Isabel V. Hull, The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1888–1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).

54. Forel, ‘Verhängnisse II’, op. cit. (note 45).

55. Ibid.

56. Paul Tesdorpf, Die Krankheit Wilhelms II. (Munich: J.F. Lehmann, 1919); Paul Tesdorpf, Offene Briefe über Die Krankheit Wilhelms II. (Munich: Lehmann, 1919). For contemporary reviews and reactions, see Adolf Hoppe, ‘Die Krankheit Wilhelms II.: Kritische Bemerkungen’, Psychiatrisch-Neurologische Wochenschrift, 21, 1/2 (1919), 5–7; Franz Kleinschrod, Die Geisteskrankheit Wilhelms II.? Eine Erwiderung (Wörishofen: Neuwihler, 1919); Adolf Hoppe, ‘Noch einmal: Die Krankheit Kaiser Wilhelms II’, Psychiatrisch-Neurologische Wochenschrift, 21, 41/42 (1920), 317–9. Other notable publications include Hermann Lutz, Wilhelm II. periodisch Geisteskrank! Ein Charakterbild des wahren Kaisers (Leipzig: Hillmann, 1919); Hans Wilm, Wilhelm II. als Krüppel und Psychopath (Berlin: Gerhard, 1920).

57. Tesdorpf, Die Krankheit, op. cit. (note 56), 1–16.

58. Ibid., 14.

59. Ibid., 21, 29.

60. Paul Weindling, ‘The medical publisher Julius Friedrich Lehmann and the racialising of German medicine’, in Sigrid Stöckel (ed.), Die rechte Nation und ihr Verleger: Politik und Popularisierung im J.F. Lehmanns Verlag 1890–1979 (Munich: Lehmanns Media, 2002).

61. Ibid., 168. On the political and intellectual situation in post-war Munich and Germany, see Martin H. Geyer, Verkehrte Welt: Revolution, Inflation und Moderne: München 1914–1924 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998); Richard Bessel, Germany after the First World War (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993).

62. Tesdorpf, Die Krankheit, op. cit. (note 56), 3–4.

63. Ibid., 34–35.

64. Julius F. Lehmann, ‘Vorwort’, in Tesdorpf, Offene Briefe, op. cit. (note 56).

65. Ibid., 4.

66. Ibid., 5.

67. Strafgesetzbuch für das Deutsche Reich (Berlin: Nauck, 1871), Section 51.

68. Richard F. Wetzell, ‘Psychiatry and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany, 1880–1933’, Journal of European Studies, 39, 3 (2009); Ruth Harris, Murders and Madness: Medicine, Law, and Society in the Fin de Siècle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).

69. Lehmann, op. cit. (note 64), 4.

70. The Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1919), 100.

71. David Crowe, War Crimes, Genocide, and Justice: A Global History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 79–114.

72. Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach, ‘Eine “antipsychiatrische Bewegung” um die Jahrhundertwende’, in Martin Dinges (ed.) Medizinkritische Bewegungen im Deutschen Reich (ca. 1870–ca.1933) (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1996), 127–60.

73. ‘Revolution im Irrenwesen’, Die Irrenrechts-Reform, 62 (1919), 160–1.

74. ‘Wilhelm II. geisteskrank?’, Die Irrenrechts-Reform, 62 (1919), 171–3.

75. Ibid., 173.

76. Adolf Friedländer, Wilhelm II.: Versuch einer psychologischen Analyse (Halle/S.: Marhold, 1919), 10–11. Unlike other publications on the topic, Friedländer’s booklet was well received by the professional community, see Adolf Hoppe, ‘Friedländer, Professor Dr: Wilhelm II: Versuch einer psychologischen Analyse, Halle a. S. 1919’, Psychiatrisch-Neurologische Wochenschrift, 21, 13/14 (1919), 93–4; H. Schaefer, ‘Ein psychiatrisches Urteil über Wilhelm II’, Psychiatrisch-Neurologische Wochenschrift, 21, 27/28, 201–3.

77. See also Adolf Friedländer, Diplomatie, nationale und internationale Psychologie (Halle an der Saale: Nebert, 1919).

78. Friedländer, op. cit. (note 76), 10.

79. Ibid., 11.

80. Michel Foucault, Histoire de la sexualité, 1: La volonté de savoir (Paris: Gallimard, 1976), 164–65; William D. Godsey Jr., Nobles and Nation in Central Europe: Free Imperial Knights in the Age of Revolution, 1750–1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 190–97; 226–39.

81. Pick, op. cit. (note 34).

82. ‘Wilhelm II. geisteskrank?’, op. cit. (note 74), 171.

83. Alexander zu Hohenlohe to Auguste Forel, 8 December 1918, in Auguste Forel, Briefe – Correspondance, 1864–1927, ed. Hans H. Walser (Berne: Huber, 1968), 459–62. On Hohenlohe’s view on Wilhelm II, see also Alexander zu Hohenlohe, Aus meinem Leben (Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei, 1925), 335–61.

84. Friedländer, op. cit. (note 76), 13. The same argument can also be found in ‘Wilhelm II. geisteskrank?’, 171.

85. Forel, ‘Verhängnisse I’, op. cit. (note 45); Schaefer, op. cit. (note 76), 203.

86. Cornelius Borck, Medizinphilosophie zur Einführung (Hamburg: Junius, 2016), 69–72.

87. Lehmann, op. cit. (note 64), 5.

88. Forel, ‘Verhängnisse I’, op. cit. (note 45) Bismarck’s own assessment of the personality of Wilhelm II was only published in 1921: Otto von Bismarck, ‘Kaiser Wilhelm II. (1890/1921)’, in Kohlrausch, Samt und Stahl, op. cit. (note 2), 57–82.

89. Tesdorpf, Die Krankheit, op. cit. (note 56), 33.

90. The same argument was also made by other German psychiatrists in their diagnoses of the ‘psychopaths’ who allegedly had led the revolution, see Eugen Kahn, ‘Psychopathen als revolutionäre Führer’, Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 52, 1 (1919), 90–106; Emil Kraepelin, ‘Psychiatrische Randbemerkungen zur Zeitgeschichte’, Süddeutsche Monatshefte, 16 (1919), 171–83; Freis, op. cit. (note 7).

91. Robert Gerwarth, The Bismarck Myth: Weimar Germany and the Legacy of the Iron Chancellor (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005), 30–44.

92. Thomas Mergel, ‘Führer, Volksgemeinschaft und Maschine: Politische Erwartungsstrukturen in der Weimarer Republik und dem Nationalsozialismus 1918–36’, in Wolfgang Hardtwig (ed.) Politische Kulturgeschichte der Zwischenkriegszeit 1918–39 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005), 91–128. On the emergence of leadership and the figure of Wilhelm II in post-war Germany, Kohlrausch, Der Monarch im Skandal,op. cit. (note 19), 414–32. For a broader perspective, see also Yves Cohen, Le siècle des chefs: Une histoire transnationale du commandement et de l’autorité (1890–1940) (Paris: Amsterdam, 2013).

93. Ernst Müller, Wilhelm II.: Eine historische und psychiatrische Studie (Gotha: Vogt, 1927); Ernst Müller, ‘Die Regenten des Julisch-Claudischen Kaiserhauses in historischer, genealogischer und psychiatrischer Beleuchtung’, Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin, 70, 4 (1913), 575–97; Ernst Müller, ‘Die Kaiser Domitian, Commodus, Caracalla und Elagabal: Ein Beitrag zur Frage des Cäsarenwahnsinns’, Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin, 71, 2 (1914), 271–88.

94. Emil, Ludwig, Wilhelm der Zweite (Berlin: Rowohlt, 1925).

95. Müller, op. cit. (note 93), 76.

96. Ibid., 39.

97. Ibid., 78.

98. Ibid., 71–4.

99. Paul Lerner, Hysterical Men: War, Psychiatry, and the Politics of Trauma in Germany, 1890–1930 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003); Hans-Georg Hofer, Nervenschwäche und Krieg: Modernitätskritik und Krisenbewältigung in der österreichischen Psychiatrie (1880–1920) (Vienna: Böhlau, 2004); Jason Crouthamel, The Great War and German Memory: Society, Politics and Psychological Trauma, 1914–45 (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2009).

100. Müller, op. cit. (note 93), 80. The source of Müller’s ideas was Hans F.K. Günther, Adel und Rasse (Munich: Lehmann, 1927); Alexandra Gerstner, Neuer Adel: Aristokratische Elitekonzeptionen zwischen Jahrhundertwende und Nationalsozialismus (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgestellschaft, 2008).

101. Pick, Daniel, The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Hitler, Hess, and the Analysts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

102. Karl Bonhoeffer, ‘Führerpersönlichkeit und Massenwahn’, in Jörg Zutt, Erwin Straus and Heinrich Scheller (eds), Karl Bonhoeffer: Zum hundertsten Geburtstag am 31. März 1968 (Berlin: Springer, 1969), 108–14.

103. Erwin Stransky, ‘Angewandte Psychiatrie: Motive und Elemente zu einem Programmentwurf’, Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin, 74, 1–3 (1918), 22–53.

104. Erwin Stransky, Psychopathie und Staatsführung (Vienna: Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1952).

105. Richard A. Friedman, ‘How a Telescopic Lens Muddles Psychiatric Insights’, New York Times (24 May 2011), D5.

106. Martin-Joy, John, ‘Goldwater v. Ginzburg’, American Journal of Psychiatry, 172, 8 (2015), 729730.

107. Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia (London: Faber & Faber, 2015).

108. Allen Frances, Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump (New York: Morris, 2017); Bandy X. Lee, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President (New York: St. Martin’s, 2017).

109. Mark Brown, ‘Donald Trump has “fascinating parallels” with Caligula, says historian’, The Guardian (1 June 2016).

110. Christopher Clark and Andrew Preston, ‘Beware the Kaiser Chiefs’, New Statesman (27 October 2016).

111. Stephen M. Walt, ‘The Donald Trump-Kaiser Wilhelm parallels are getting scary’, Foreign Policy (12 October 2017),

112. ‘Medicalisation and its Discontents’, Lancet Psychiatry, 3, 7 (2016), 591.

113. Benedict Carey, ‘Analyzing Trump’, New York Times (16 August 2016), D1.

114. Jerome, Kroll and Claire, Pouncey, ‘The Ethics of APA’s Goldwater Rule’, Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 44, 2 (2016), 226235: 233.

115. Nick Stockton, ‘Stop Trying to Psychoanalyze Donald Trump’, Wired (5 August 2016),

116. Kronfeld, Arthur, ‘Eine Bedenklichkeit der “angewandten” Psychiatrie’, Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 65 (1921), 364367.

I would like to thank Martin Kohlrausch and the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive feedback, which has helped me to considerably improve this manuscript.

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