Body Language Analysis №4052: Hitler’s Cryptorchidism and Emotional Dissonance — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)
All megalomaniacs have alpha personalities — but not all alpha personalities are megalomaniacs. Hitlercertainly quantified as both. And although much of his body language was alpha and hyper-alpha, not all of it was.
There are very few occasions when a leader of a country should assume a fig-leaf configuration (e.g., funerals, weddings, when standing next to senior religious figures, and a few other exceptions) — however, Hitler commonly committed this faux pas — so much so, it was a default setting.
Because he had only one testicle — more accurately, only one testicle had descended. The medical term for this is cryptorchidism. Some have made the argument that Hitler’s psychology and world-view were, in part, over-compensatory behavior for this emasculating congenital anomaly.
Even when his right arm and hand were in the midst of one of his hyper-alpha, Nazi salutes — his left hand was often guarding his groin. These are excellent examples of displays of nonverbal emotional dissonance — with one arm-hand conveying aggressive and hyper-dominant emotions, while the opposite upper extremity projecting protective and acquiescing feelings.
Now contrast the first and the third images (both Nazi salutes). In the first example, his right hand is palm-down, his elbow is locked, and his arm is fully extended. In the photo below, however, his palm is vertical (even angled backward 10–15 degrees) with his elbow bent approximately 120 degrees. The first is much more alpha while the second is significantly beta. This lower photo is not a simply “lazy salute” which it’s sometimes called. Rather Hitler is feeling particularly emotionally vulnerable in this moment — thus this salute is projecting lower confidence — while his left hand amplifies this hesitant emotional tone and uses his hat as extra genital guarding.
This post and the associated website serve as reference sources for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts — not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.