INTRODUCTION Hitler was an incredibly gifted person. He was an intelligent speaker, as he managed to sway 14.7 million people to vote for him even though his ideas were unpopular. Hitler was able to take over half of Europe with a country that was heavily in debt and had poor morale. He even negotiated to surpass all levels of government and declare himself dictator. Hitler was a gifted painter although most, if not all, of his works were never published.
His paintings were done in watercolors and mostly of landscapes. He was painting even after the year of 1919 when politics became his overwhelming concern. Hitler was an extremely bright child. He even said, The school work was ridiculously easy, leaving me so much free time that the sun saw more of me than my room..” Although as he got older his marks started to slip and the teachers began to get a bad impression of him, he was still very bright (one cannot become stupider). He eventually went on to join the army and become a semi-successful soldier (on the account that he was merely wounded and not killed).
CHILDHOOD The Hitler family consisted of the mother, Klara, the father, Alois, and two children, Alois and Angela. Klara gave birth to a baby boy named Adolf on April 20, 1889 at the Pommer Inn. The Hitlers soon moved to Braunau. His godparents were Mr. and Mrs.
Prinz and Maria Matzelbeger. As a child little Adolf was babied and his mother protected him from his father, Alois Hitler. Alois was quite a tyrant, but he usually ignored Adolf. In 1892 Adolf’s father earned a promotion and the family was forced to move to Passau. Here Hitler enjoyed playing Germans and French or cowboys and Indians. At about this time, in 1984 Klara gave birth to another boy whom she named Edmund.
Hitler was no longer the baby but his father had been transferred to Linz the year before so everything was going well for young Adolf. After a year of living without dad the Hitler family moved to Hafeld where Alois Sr. had purchased a house. A month after his arrival Hitler entered the little county school at Fischlam bei Lambach on May 1, 1895. On June 25, 1895 Alois retired at 58 to a life of leisure and beekeeping.
Now Alois could devote more of his time to disciplining Adolf, so poor little Adolf’s life became a rigid order between home and school. The only escape Hitler had was playing in the open countryside at cowboys and Indians and soldiers. On January 21, 1896 Klara gave birth to a daughter Paula, so Hitler was thereby pushed farther out of babyhood and along the road which would make him a miniature adult. The five children in the house became more and more of a strain on Alois Sr.; his moods became more irritable and he was constantly angry at everyone. Alois Jr.
was the first one to snap, then leave home. He moved around a lot but was never very successful. When Adolf became famous, Alois Jr. opened up a cafe in Berlin which was a regular hangout for Nazi party leaders, although Adolf wouldn’t even allow the mention of Alois’ name in his presence. When Alois left home, Hitler became the man of the house and therefore received the brunt of his father’s anger.
Although Alois Sr. never struck Adolf, his anger was a tremendous emotional strain on him. In July 1897 the Hitlers moved out of Hafeld and into Lambach where they stayed for a little over a year and then moved to Leonding, a small district outside of Linz. Alois Sr. was finally happy and stayed there until his death in 1903.
This was Adolf’s true home, Even in March of 1945, I have seen Hitler stand for endless periods in front of a wood model representing the rebuilding and extension of the city of Linz. In such moments Hitler forgot the war; he lost the marks of tiredness, and for hours he told us of the detailed changes that he planned to make in his home city. Even though Alois Sr. was now quite happy it did not end his attempts to dominate the family. Adolf and his father would often fight and Alois would storm out of the house and to the pub. When Adolf was due to finish elementary school in 1900 his brother Edmond died, leaving Adolf the last boy to carry on the family name proudly.
ADOLESCENCE Hitler ended his term at Volksschule (sort of like elementary school but for five years) at age 11. He took a prominent place among the village children being a strong, cocky character. At this time Adolf became interested in his father’s fantasy books which were mostly about wars. His favorite books were by the author Karl May. Karl May’s books dealt with Yankees and Indians– they enthralled young Adolf and he carried these ideas into play.
Hitler continued to read May’s books even when he became Reich Chancellor; he even read the whole series on the American West. Having finished elementary school he had two choices: to go to Realschule, which emphasized technical and scientific studies, or go to the Gymnasium, which was a more classical sort of school. Adolf’s father strongly wanted Adolf to go to Realschule for the Gymnasium was too old-fashioned for him. Alois wanted Adolf to follow in his footsteps and become a civil student, while Hitler wanted to become an artist or painter. Perhaps if Hitler had been allowed to become an artist or painter there would have been no war, no holocaust, and no 52 million dead people.
Alois was strongly against the idea of Adolf becoming an artist and forced Adolf to go to Realschule where Adolf was miserable. Young Adolf’s marks began to slip and he failed whole years. He saw this as a rebellion against his father. Hitler was also a late bloomer. He did not mature sexually or emotionally for quite some time.
When he was interested in girls he would simply offer to carry their books or tease them. He forced himself into a state of great sexual repression, which could have lead to some of his anger. It is also worthy to note there were no anti-Semitic groups in Linz during the time he was there and he even stated in Mein Kampf that he was not an anti-Semite at that time. After Hitler’s father died, Adolf became more polite and quiet, sinking into a dream world more and more often. He continued to do poorly at school, but finally made it past the third term. He was only allowed to pass on one condition, that he did not return to the Linz Realschule for the fourth term.
He was immediately signed up for the Realschule at Steyr. He had to leave home early to get there everyday. He did a bit better that term but did not pass geometry so was not allowed to proceed on to Oberrealschule. He went back to the Realschule to pass his makeup geometry exam but did not attempt to proceed on to Oberrealschule or another technical school. At this time in his life he still continued to want to be an artist or perhaps an architect. Hitler met a man by the name of Kubizek and they went on to become partners in a sort of imaginary architecture firm. They went on designing imaginary thing and developed a style later dubbed as Nazi classical.’ At 17 Hitler took an extended vacation to Vienna where he studied the architecture and was rumored to have a girlfriend.
In October of 1906 Hitler began to take piano lessons and was quite good. He quit, though, because of his dislike of scales and because his mother had become ill and they had to reduce expenses. In 1906, Klara was diagnosed with sarcome pectoris, a malignant growth in the breast. She had an operation two months later but remained quite ill. Her illness affected the family life greatly.
She still had to take care of Paula, now 11, and support Adolf. Adolf now took to politics somewhat. He would leave at six in the evening and return home reading about Pan-Germanism or anti-Semitism. His mother died in early 1907. Hitler now began to vegetate even more.
He would not leave the house for days on end. He tried to get into Art Academy but was politely rejected. He was so convinced that he would be accepted that the rejection devastated him. OBSTACLES Hitler encountered many obstacles in the years to come. He would fall into poverty in Austria and eventually end up in Germany where he would start …