Mussolini He was diagnosed as a child as "mentally retarded" Hitler and Stalin they received wild beatings from their parents, Idi Amin grew up with a witch mother, a complex Frank He grew up hating his father … A book tries to answer the question, does the childhood of dictators hide the roots of evil?
The French writer and journalist Veronique Chalmet dives in the first years of life of 10 despots in the book The dictators' childhood (Gedisa), which arrived at bookstores in Spanish last October and which shows some common patterns in childhood and youth.
Pol Pot, Idi Amin Dada, Stalin, Gaddafi, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein and Bokassa are the 10 dictators whose childhood the author analyzes.
They all reached adulthood full of frustrations and psychological fissures, unable to establish normal human relations, explains the editorial officer, Jean-Pierre Vrignaud. But not all children with a difficult childhood become ruthless dictators. One day, these "social failures" encountered an exceptional historical situation.
And so the story was written.
Francisco Franco: Franco was such a cunning baby that he was called Paquito. He grew up hating an arrogant father who ended up abandoning his wife and children. He avoided expressing himself unless it was not absolutely necessary because, besides being small, he was ashamed of his piping voice, too sharp. A particularly introverted child, with a tremendous complex that prevented him from imposing his opinions. A frustration that would resolve dramatically a few years later …
Adolf Hitler: Fruit of a rugged genealogy, Hitler, whose mother was nicknamed "Adi", had a father with undisputed and brutal authority. He urinated in fear of being beaten, which caused the beating of his father. Already at age 11 his features began to show a mask of cold madness. Mediocre school, his mother enrolled him at 16 in a drawing school because he believed an artist and Hitler trusted his own talent, but his failure increased his hatred for the world.
Josef Stalin: So fragile and sickly that he was nicknamed as a child "Sosso" (the delicate one), Stalin grew up with violent beatings from his drunk father. Intellectually early, the gifted young man whom the teachers praised caused a real terror among his classmates. Thanks to his family experience, he was not afraid of being beaten and took advantage of that advantage to impose his will on others.
Benito Mussolini: Baby Benito did not speak during the first three years of life and the family doctor determined that he was "mentally retarded." But having a brother and seeing how his mother's attention was divided, he broke into talking without stopping. His father was a supporter of violent punishment and combined violence and training, a disturbing amalgam for that child who at 8 years was already considered in the school a disturbing element and prone to brutalities.
Saddam Hussein: Born even though his mother tried to abort several times, Saddam Hussein became the slave of his stepfather, who sexually abused him. In charge of 5 years of stealing and killing animals to sell them, he learned to slaughter, suffocate and torture until death. At 9, he was a lonely, twisted and cynical boy. He did not tolerate weakness: sensitivity, emotion, tenderness were definitely banished from his universe.
Idi Amin Dada: Raised in an atmosphere of magic and black and slaughter, the Ugandan saw as a baby how his mother, who was a healer, used fetuses for her potions. He soon began to convince himself that he was an exceptional being blessed by the gods. Colonialism allowed him to free the lowest instincts he had incubated since childhood.
Pol Pot: The one who would be the head of the Khmer Rouge was educated in absolute adherence to authority, severity and the prohibition of expressing emotions. Not recognized by the father and marked by a constant school failure, he lived traumatic sexual experiences during his teens in the harem of the King of Cambodia.
Muamar Al Gaddafi: Unique and pampered male heir of two shepherds from the Sirte region, Muamar received with indifference all the attention of a child, showing how he would become the Libyan dictator who transformed all his whims into law, surrounded himself with a personal guard composed exclusively of his lovers busy taking care of him.
Mao Tse-Tung: Mao maintained a complicated relationship with his father, who tormented him relentlessly and for whom he only felt contempt and anger, and, apparently, during a torture session he exclaimed: "What a pity that my father is dead because there would be for him too" .
Bokassa: Bokassa lost the father (murdered) and the mother (suicidal) as a child and was a victim of bullying. But the orphan of the savannah took revenge and was not deprived of any abuse. The self-proclaimed Central African emperor liked to distract himself by throwing his rivals alive to the lions and crocodiles of his personal zoo.