"I describe pictures of people, use histories of them as mirrors. And then many come and say, `This is exactly what I felt all my life but couldn't say.' I don't want to be a guru. I don't want people to believe me. I only encourage them to take their own experience seriously."
Alice Miller's stories portray abused and silenced children who later become destructive to themselves and to others. Adolf Hitler, says Miller, was such a child. Constantly mistreated by his father, emotionally abandoned by his mother, he learned only cruelty; he learned to be obedient and to accept daily punishments with unquestioning compliance. After years, he took revenge. As an adult he once said, "It gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware people are of what is really happening to them."
Miller, famed throughout Europe, wrote of Hitler's childhood in For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and The Roots of Violence. In the same work she lets Christiane F. tell her own story: "I had trouble telling the letters H and K apart One evening my mother was taking great pains to explain the difference to me. I could scarcely pay attention to what she was saying because I noticed my father getting more and more furious. I always knew what was going to happen. He went out and got the hand broom and gave me a trouncing. Now I was supposed to tell the difference between H, and K. Of course by that time I didn't know anything anymore, so I got another licking and was sent to bed." Christiane went into the street and became a drug addict.
"We do not need books about psychology in order to learn to respect our children," Miller says. "What we need is a total revision of the methods of child rearing and our traditional view about it. Read on