The Early Years of Adolf Hitler 1889-1924 [Please note that all the information given here is only possible because of Professor Watt and his research, I did not find this information!]
I actually know very little about Adolf Hitler, the man, so this should be interesting. He was born in Braunau on the river Inn in Austria on Saturday, 20 April 1889. He had three older brothers, and his father had been married three times, so he also had a half-brother and a half-sister (from the 2nd marriage) and an ‘illegitimate half-brother by an earlier liaison’ before the first marriage. I didn’t think that people got ‘divorced’ in those days, wasn’t it (or isn’t it depending on your views) blasphemous and a sin, so no one did it. Or did all of his other wives die, or suspiciously die? I am quite interested in his family now. What happened to them? Did any produce children, and thus means that there are relatives of Adolf Hitler alive today? Were they all in support of him? Did any die in the war? Were they just like him? There are quite a few questions that would be interesting to get answers to, but it would be next to impossible to actually answer.
I also wonder if his family made him who he was. Was it his genes, or did part of his environment make him the man he became? But this introduction might answer that, but there clearly is a lot of information out there, if you know where to look. His father was Alois Hiedler né Schickelgruber and his mother was Klara Pölzl. His father was 52 years old when he was born, and was actually an illegitimate son. It is quite possible that his unknown grandfather, was indeed Jewish, and that would be quite the story. His name was actually Hiedler, and he himself decided to spell it as Hitler.
Hitler moved around a bit from school to school, unless that was just how things were done, but by the time he moved in to secondary school, he wasn’t an ideal pupil. He was forced to repeat the first year because he didn’t pay attention and got low grades. So he wasn’t the brightest, or just didn’t care about what they were teaching him. I don’t think that Hitler was dumb, that has never been my impression, I just think that he doesn’t like to learn what someone tells him to, and that he probably didn’t like someone else forcing information down his throat. But when he was around 15, he dropped out of all studies, using a lame excuse of a ‘chest illness’. Considering that quite a lot of children didn’t progress too far in the education system in those days, it is not that surprising. His past teachers reported that he was just lazy.
His history teacher is apparently one of the inspirations for Hitler’s ‘interest in history’ as the man was a ‘violent German nationalist’. Even as a young teenager there were signs of ‘psychological disturbance’. He was a thin youth and was ‘solitary, a day-dreamer, opinionated and rebellious, with sudden bursts of energy but little or no staying power or persistence.’ It is interesting the different traits that people develop through adolescence that seem to personify the type of adult they become. But to be honest some of those traits of Hitler could be said of any teenage boy, especially ‘rebellious’. And being opinionated isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can show that you have passion for a particular argument or side or idea. His father died when he was only 13, which is a traumatic experience for anyone. Apparently his mother then proceeded to ‘spoil his upbringing’ because she was ‘fond, indulgent, and possibly rather simple-minded’. I wonder if this is Professor Watts way to say that she spoiled him to much and didn’t discipline and control him enough, if not, I don’t know what he is referring to.
And then we come to something I have heard before. Hitler tried to become an artist, and once he turned 18 and inherited his share of his father’s estate he moved to Vienna. He applied to the Academy of Art, but failed. His mother then shortly died, from breast cancer, I am a little shocked that they knew about cancer in those days, I guess I really thought that back in 1900 they knew nothing and were almost like cave-people, something that whilst isn’t true, compared to what we know today, they really didn’t know a lot (which I am sure will be said about us in the coming years). He inherited nearly all the money from both his mother and father, and even received his mother’s pension but he quickly ran into debt and became homeless where he sought help in an asylum (for the homeless and not the insane).
There he continued to draw, and even began to sell his own works, a job which later was undertaken by a Jewish art dealer. With this money he was able to rent a room to sleep in. It is around this time that his ‘political education’ began. He quickly began to turn against democracy and the Habsburg Empire and the current Social Democratic Party that were in power. He formed his own views from the Vienna party press. He was interested in three parties: the German National Party (anti-Habsburg, anti-Semitic, pro-German), the Christian Social Party, and the Social Democratic Party itself. The German National Party was what attracted him, but disagreed with their anti-Catholicism views.
Even though Hitler despised the Social Democratic Party he found that some of their tactics, specifically their use of marches, slogans, songs, salutes, etc. and their ‘doctrinal inspiration of the individual party worker’ was immensely effective, which is why he later used the same tactics. And he really admired the Christian Social Party, but he didn’t like that they supported Habsburg. I guess that is the problem with many political parties, because you support them on one level, but then they have other ideas that you don’t agree with. Hitler thought that Jewish capitalists and socialists tried to conspire together to ‘denationalise and pauperise the German working class.’
Hitler didn’t like his father, and is evident very early on in Mein Kampf and Hitler said (this is probably untrue) that his father was ‘brutal, unmusical (lots of people are, you can’t hate them all) and determined to force his son to follow in his footsteps (and to be honest lots of parents, especially back then, wanted their sons to continue the family business and do the same thing that they did, and it wasn’t to ‘crush their souls’ it was because they wanted their own legacy to continue and to feel a sense of pride that their sons are continuing what they worked hard to create). So because he hated his father, it was a natural progression to hate the Habsburg state that his father fought for. Hitler didn’t want to serve in the military as was compulsory at 21, so he evaded for three years, but soon it caught up with him, and he was forced to register. But was quickly pronounced unfit for service. He apparently made quite a good amount of money, 100 marks (30 more than a bank employee of a similar age would earn) and dressed and looked the part. He stayed in Munich for fourteen months, until war broke out in 1914.
And this will be continued tomorrow, as there is quite a lot of information that we have been given, so best leave it there.