The two warmongering dictators both “had challenging childhoods” and a need to “prove their masculinity” due to insecurities they faced in their early years and through to adulthood, a trauma-informed therapist told Express.co.uk.
Adolf Hitler was furious Germany surrendered to end World War One and spent the next 20 years focusing on reclaiming lost territory and returning Germany to glory, while Putin was said to be similarly enraged that the USSR lost the Cold War.
Akin to Hitler’s goals, experts say since around 1990, Putin has been trying to restore Russia to the superpower status it lost when the Soviet Union collapsed.
The leaders’ motivations and governing style are not the only similarities between the two autocrats, a psychology expert has warned.
Speaking of their childhoods, trauma therapist Caroline Strawson told Express.co.uk: “Both were golden children within their family dynamic and this family dynamic is often a precursor leading to an individual becoming a narcissist.”
“Putin exhibits all the signs of a narcissistic psychopath. Born a psychopath and then narcissism is created from his golden childhood,” she added.
This family dynamic, she said, created a “sense of entitlement”, adding: “Hitler and Putin both had challenging childhoods, but both were adored by their mothers.
“Insecurity was prevalent in both from childhood into adulthood, where both needed to prove their power and masculinity.
“Hitler had a weedy-like frame and Putin was smaller in height, hence why he went on to do martial arts as a way of expressing this superiority and to show bullies his power”.
Ms Strawson believes that the two leader’s realised to win, they must fight back and this shaped them for the future from the attachment they had with their mother and their need to be seen as powerful and in control.
In 1943, the CIA’s Office of Strategic Services commissioned Henry Murray, of the Harvard Psychological Clinic, to evaluate Hitler’s personality based on remote observations.
The report found that the World War 2 dictator was an “insecure, impotent, masochistic, and suicidal neurotic narcissist”.
Ms Strawson said the characteristics, noted in the report, “all epitomise the behaviour of Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin”.
Describing the psychology of dictators, she said: “With dictators, it is all about power and control. Winning and never losing. There is no middle ground for negotiation”.
The psychology expert said, opposed to leaders who have traits of confidence, clarity and compassion, dictators “use their power to tear others down”, by, “using threats, violence and fear”.
She added: “Both see life as a win/lose competition and they both sought to win at all costs, as they see losing as a reflection of themselves being powerless and weak and they will go to any lengths for that not to happen.”