The inner Hitler

I have just read Kuo Pao Kun's “Keynote Address at the Southeast Asian Theatre Seminar on War”. (In Pages 184 to 187, The Complete Works of Kuo Pao Kun, Volume 7: Papers and Speeches).

He wants to know why people, numbering in the millions, can desire the mass murder of other people. He cannot understand why educated people, members of the intelligentsia, in Japan, Germany and China – and elsewhere – can indulge in this butchering of human beings.

Kuo Pao Kun is not a psychiatrist, so he doesn't have the answer. But Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is one, and she has the answer to Kuo Pao Kun's question.

Kübler-Ross calls it the inner Hitler: inside each person, there is the potential to become a Hitler, as well as the potential to become a Mother Teresa.

A girl in Poland – who has lost all her immediate family to murder, during the Holocaust – once asked Kübler-Ross: “don't you think that there is a Hitler inside all of us?” (Source: a book of lectures of Kübler-Ross, edited by Göran Grip: “The tunnel and the light: Essential insights on living and dying”.)

Kübler-Ross gently asks: have you the courage to recognise the Hitler in yourself?