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Fri Aug 29 07:22:24 SAST 2014

Author Alice Miller dies

Sapa-dpa | 23 April, 2010 13:100 Comments

Alice Miller, the author and psychologist who claimed that Adolf Hitler was bad because he was spanked as a boy, has died at the age of 87, says her Berlin publisher.

Miller, who was born in Poland, later lived in Switzerland and spent her last years in Provence in France, died on April 12 and was buried in strict privacy. This was not made public at the time, said Suhrkamp Verlag, the publishing company.

As a psychoanalyst she was convinced that corporal punishment and sexual abuse during childhood had lifelong effects on her patients.

Her views were controversial, with some arguing that the notion triggered a wave of false allegations against parents and teachers, after suggestible patients became convinced they were abuse victims.

In her 1980 book For Your Own Good, she proposed that Hitler's father traumatised the young Adolf with beatings and verbal abuse and taught him to despise himself and Jews.

Historians replied that the Nazi dictator's personality was not so easily explained, but the thesis was still widely publicised.

Her books about childhood trauma and giftedness appeared in 30 languages. Miller was born in 1923 in Lviv, which was then in Poland and is now a city in Ukraine.

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