44 Comments

Goering got someone to smuggle him a cyanide capsule so he must be the 138 score. He was a WWI ace (22 kills) and not any kind of intellectual. Makes me wonder if (good) fighter pilots perhaps tend to have high IQs. They certainly have to be high in visuospatial processing.

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Very interesting analysis. I have kind of heard this before, at least as related to Speer and his obviously high IQ and ability to defend himself. Some of the top leaders clearly had high IQs, without seeing the names mapped onto your IQ chart I'd say top IQs would have been Goering and Speer. No doubt Himmler and Goebbels were also high IQ, you cant manage what they did and not be intelligent. Of course morality and intelligent are not correlated, as we even see today with the Treason of The Intellectuals.

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Speer has been compared to Streicher, who was disdained for the abject vitriol of his publications as well as his poor breeding, yet arguably much less powerful and ergo less guilty than the other defendants. Streicher was of course executed, unlike Speer or von Manstein.

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Streicher was executed for using his First Amendment rights

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Indeed. ‘Breeding’, class and manners surely played some role. I assume Streicher’s IQ was relatively low compared to Speer, but I don’t know.

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"nothing more we can do about the data from a statistical perspective, there's a signal but we can't be sure."

looks like they all had above average IQ's; but it's still 'winners justice'; by rights, war criminals from both sides should be tried

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As I like to point out, even at Nuremberg, high IQ also helps with not being Nazi in the first place.

Smartest "Nazi": Schacht (econ technocrat, not even a Nazi)

Dumbest Nazi: Streicher (so Nazi even the other Nazis were repulsed by him)

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A number of comments here illustrating that a high IQ doesn’t necessarily save you from extraordinarily levels of idiocy.

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True!

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Come on. The people on trial at Nuremberg were not some undifferentiated lump of senior Nazis. They held different offices. They did different things. They committed different crimes! Why were they punished differently? That's why. On such a small sample, it is absurd to look to IQ when the explanation is obvious in the very charges that were brought. https://substack.com/@dgardner/note/c-56830534

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Yes, the defendant with the highest IQ, Hjalmar Schacht, was effectively out of office before the war even began, and had no connection with the Holocaust. So of course he wasn’t going to be executed…

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He was actually in a concentration camp at the end of the war (if memory serves.)

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May 20·edited May 20

A high IQ is always advantageous, but so is integrity.

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May 20·edited May 20

Integrity is a burden and a danger. Ask James Forrestal.

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"Most famously, this involved the mass murders of Jews in Europe" - it did? Please cite your evidence. Why not begin with Nuremburg?

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*85 per cent of defendants at Nuremburg had IQ of 120 or higher*

Modern e-right:

'Why we need to talk about the Right's stupidity proooooooblem'

'Anti-Semitism is for dumb people'

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These are not the usual suspects of anti-semitism. These are the top dogs in one of the most populous European countries, so your argument falls apart.

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You reply to a month-old comment and *that's* the best you can come up with?

Read it again and try another angle next month.

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Yeah, I was not reading your comment actively for a month, I just read it and replied to it. Also, I've read it again, your argument is still invalid. Think about my comment again and try another angle.. whenever you want, just be sure to reply with some actual arguments this time.

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Contrary to popular wisdom, not all Nazis were anti-Semitic. Goering was mildly philosemitic if anything. His second-in-command was half-Jewish and Goering squashed any attempt to get rid of him.

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I guess it depends on what your criteria for "right wing" is, but socialism is a left-wing ideology if you ask me. Sure, compared to communists, the Third Reich regime was far right in socialist discourse, but everyone was and is faaar right compared to communists :)

I agree with you on the last part that accusing people of being stupid for being anti-semitic is just an obvious generalization, however, the people with the most influence and high intellectual ability are professors of Jewish descent who support the destruction of Israel and organizations like 'queer for palestien' funded by people like Soros who also want Israel destroyed. And if you had aligned with those people a year ago, it wouldn't have been a respectable act for right-wingers. But the inherent anger of some right wing demographic on the internet has been channeled into support for Palestine. And it's a short-sighted decision that only a fool would fall into

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Very interesting. Says something about the value of rhetoric.

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No, it doesn't. It says the defendants were very different people who held very different audiences and, in many cases, were prosecuted on very different crimes.

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May 20·edited May 20

Yes, rhetoric was all the defendants had at that point. But more broadly the "signal" reflects the well-documented correlation between intelligence and life outcomes. During the Vietnam War, young American males had several alternatives: accept conscription, volunteer for the Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard to avoid combat, feign homosexual preference at the induction exam, go to college or graduate school, or flee the country. Tens of thousands who accepted conscription were killed, maimed, or psychologically ruined. Many of these qualified for the epithet "McNamara's Morons." Virtually no one who chose one of the other alternatives died because of it, and the vast majority of these continued to pursue activities that built their later lives.

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I’m not particularly interested in who got hanged, as much as a bit surprised as to the IQ’s of these thugs. This betrays I must admit a bias on my part to think NAZI evil doers as dullards and conversely the implication that lower IQ people are not as good as higher IQ folk.

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National Socialists had very high IQs. Intelligence does not correspond to morality.

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Psychopaths often have high IQ..

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Jun 18·edited Jun 18

No, the leaders in charge of one of the most populous and contributing (scientifically) countries in the world had high IQs. There was a study done in the SS I believe (you know, where 99% of them were the so called 'pure Aryan blood'. Guess what? They were found to be of average intelligence.

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May 20·edited May 20

You seem unaware that National Socialism produced an economic miracle in only a few years. It fought off the Communists within Germany and stopped the pillaging of the German middle class by the usual suspects that occurred during Weimar. Its flaw was impatience regarding the reunion of German populations in other countries, and on a finer time scale, misunderstanding the evil of Winston Churchill.

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And you seem to be unaware of the fact that there was no economic miracle! The National Socialist party employed people in the MILITARY and PUBLIC PROJECTS and MILITARY INDUSTRY. That is why the employment rate went down, they were preparing for A CONFLICT. Do you know what happened when they couldn't sustain their rapid militarization? They seized Austria, and then Czechoslovakia. That is not to say that the reason behind the annexation of Austria and the occupation of Czechia is a purely economic one, of course. Also pillaging the German Middle class? Ask the Dutch what happened to their food once the military was in need of it in 1944.

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Congratulations, your moral blind spot has been revealed to yourself, an opportunity for reflection and growth

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Country leaders have High IQs. Your political opinion has very little to do with IQ.

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Well, the Communists did come up with the term "Nazi" which pretty much does mean "moron." They've been using "fascist" and "Nazi" for nearly 100 years.

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The "high IQ" Nazis were often spared because they could be useful to either the Americans or the Soviets after the war, usually scientists/intelligence agents. Look at Werner von Braun, Reinhard Gehlen, Otto Amros, Operation Paperclip in general.

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Most likely the opposite effect. Schacht and von Papen were never going to be executed anyways, not in the remotest chance, there was almost no debate about their fate.

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Morbid though interesting topic.

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Fascinating theory, but am afraid the sample size is too small.

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They were so smart, they decided to participate in trying to conquer the entire world, actually expecting it to work somehow, and thought that it'd help their war effort to kill millions of intellectuals and workers who could have contributed to it - people who'd happily contributed twenty years before.

I think this demonstrates some flaws in the IQ tests.

Authoritarians are stupid.

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So, you’re saying the Jews deserved it?

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What?

No, I'm saying the Nazis were stupid. I'd've thought this was fairly well-established in history, though apparently not in corners of substack.

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But you said the Jews would have happily helped Germany conquer the entire world

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German Jewish citizens helped Germany’s war effort 1914-1918 as much as did any other part of Germany’s population of the time.

Just as Soviet Jews in their war effort, French Jews in their, British in theirs, and so on.

So yes - had a non-Nazi Germany attempted world conquest in 1939, German Jews would have participated as they did in 1914.

But the Nazis were more interested in murdering people than winning wars.

As an aside, Jewish Italians participated in early Italian fascism. Unfortunately for Italy, Il Duce associated himself with Corporal Schicklegruber.

It is well that fascists tend to be so stupid, though, or they might be more successful.

(A note, since you seem to have missed it: I am Jewish, and very much not fascist.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettore_Ovazza

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