A Curious Madness: An American Combat Psychiatrist, A by Eric Jaffe

By Eric Jaffe

From an “illuminating and entertaining” (The manhattan occasions) historian comes the realm struggle II tale of 2 males whose impressive lives improbably converged on the Tokyo conflict crimes trials of 1946.

In the wake of global struggle II, the Allied forces charged twenty-eight jap males with crimes opposed to humanity. Correspondents on the Tokyo trial proposal the proof fell so much seriously on ten of the accused. In December 1948, 5 of those defendants have been hanged whereas 4 bought sentences of lifestyles in felony. The 10th used to be a super philosopher-patriot named Okawa Shumei. His tale proved strangest of all.

Among all of the political and armed forces leaders on trial, Okawa was once the lone civilian. within the years top as much as global warfare II, he had defined a divine venture for Japan to steer Asia opposed to the West, prophesized an outstanding conflict with the U.S., deliberate coups d’etat with army rebels, and financed the assassination of Japan’s leading minister. past “all vestiges of doubt,” concluded a categorized American intelligence document, “Okawa moved within the top circles of nationalist intrigue.”

Okawa’s guilt as a conspirator seemed basic. yet at the first day of the Tokyo trial, he made headlines around the globe by means of slapping famous person defendant and wartime top minister Tojo Hideki at the head. Had Okawa misplaced his sanity? Or used to be he faking insanity to prevent a grim punishment? A U.S. military psychiatrist stationed in occupied Japan, significant Daniel Jaffe—the author’s grandfather—was assigned to figure out Okawa’s skill to face trial, and therefore his fate.

Jaffe was once no stranger to insanity. He had visible it his entire lifestyles: in his mom, as a boy in Brooklyn; in squaddies, at the battlefields of Europe. Now his professional eye confronted the final word attempt. If Jaffe deemed Okawa sane, the conflict crimes suspect could be hanged. but when Jaffe chanced on Okawa insane, the thinker patriot may well break out justice for his function in selling Japan’s wartime aggression.

Meticulously researched, A Curious insanity is either expansive in scope and shiny intimately. because the tale pushes either Jaffe and Okawa towards their postwar war of words, it explores such varied themes because the roots of belligerent eastern nationalism, the improvement of strive against psychiatry in the course of global battle II, and the advanced nature of postwar justice. Eric Jaffe is at his top during this suspenseful and engrossing historic narrative of the fateful intertwining of 2 males on diverse aspects of the struggle and the area and the query of madness.

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Extra resources for A Curious Madness: An American Combat Psychiatrist, A Japanese War Crimes Suspect, and an Unsolved Mystery from World War II

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There was little to secure. The Nazis were solidly entrenched and their leaders, most of them SS members, had gathered at the airfield to greet their new boss. Himmler was unmoved by the display. The Austrian Nazis had been a bickering lot, unable to put a coherent team together, and he did not trust them to carry out his kind of law and order. It was a measure of his contempt that he left Globocnik and Rainer at the airport to find their way back to Vienna while his motorcade roared into the city.

Then, at midnight, he called Seyss into his office. M. Miklas approved the cabinet list, which included Glaise-Horstenau as vice-chancellor, and said he would swear in the new government the next morning. Outside the mob was in control. Young Nazis had swarmed up the facade of the chancellery and fastened Nazi flags. A light rain had begun to fall. Torches gleamed in the night. M. Major Hubert Klausner, head of the Nazi party—now legal—stepped onto the balcony to announce "with deep emotion in this festive hour that Austria is free, that Austria is national socialist.

He had been president—a ceremonial head-of-state office with some clear powers including naming the chancellor and his cabinet—for ten years. He had once taught history and, staunch Catholic that he was, had fathered fourteen children. Short, squat, on the dumpy side, he was anything but a heroic figure. But he was a patriot and in the end would prove to be Austria's last one. He told Schuschnigg to think it over and not wilt in the face of German ultimata. While Schuschnigg was talking to Miklas, Seyss was back on the phone with Berlin.

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