Adolf Hitler  -  Master Of Destruction, Murderer Of Millions  





At half past six on the evening of April 20th, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in the small town of Braunau Am Inn, Austria. He was the son of Alois Hitler, and his third wife Klara - born Klara Pölzl and 23 years younger than Alois. She was so closely related to her husband that a special dispensation was sought from Rome before they could marry in 1884. Of the six children born of this marriage, only two survived, Adolf and a younger sister, Paula.

Alois was a hard, conscientious Customs Official, punctilious to a fault with a difficult temper that flared with no apparent provocation. Paula later recalled how Adolf bore the brunt of the father's discipline:
"Adolf challenged my father to extreme harshness and got his sound thrashing every day. He was a scrubby little rogue, and all attempts of his father to thrash him for his rudeness and to cause him to love the profession of an official of the state were in vain. How often on the other hand did my mother caress him and try to obtain with her kindness where the father could not succeed with harshness ..."

During his childhood Adolf attended church regularly, sang in the local choir and spent hours playing 'cowboys and Indians' and reveled in the westerns penned by Karl May. He grew up with a poor record at school and left, before completing his tuition, with an ambition to become an artist or architect.

A neighbor of the Hitler family later recalled: 'When the postmaster asked him one day what he wanted to do for a living and whether he wouldn't like to join the post-office, he replied that it was his intention to become a great artist ...'

In 1907 Adolf Hitler moved to Vienna, the capital of Austria, where the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts was located. The author William L. Shirer tells in his monumental bestseller The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich how Hitler tried to take the entrance examination as the first practical step in fulfilling his dream of becoming a painter. Hitler was eighteen years old, full of high hopes - but to his own surprise he failed to get admission. An entry in the Vienna Academy's classification list tells the story:

"The following took the test with insufficient results, or were not admitted ... Adolf Hitler, Braunau a. Inn, April 20, 1989, German, Catholic. Father civil servant. 4 classes in High School. Few Heads. Test drawing unsatisfactory."

According to William L. Shirer Hitler tried again the following year and this time his drawings were so poor that he was not admitted to the test. In Mein Kampf Hitler told how he requested an explanation from the rector of the Academy:

"That gentleman assured me that the drawings I had submitted incontrovertibly showed my unfitness for painting, and that my ability obviously lay in the field of architecture; for me, he said, the Academy's School of Painting was out of the question, the place for me was at the School of Architecture."

The author Joachim C. Fest tells in his brilliant biography Hitler, that this new rejection seems to have been one of those awakening experiences that determined Hitler's future: "How deeply wounded he was is indicated by his lifelong hatred for schools and academies. He was fond of pointing out that they had misjudged Bismark and Wagner also ... They were attended only by pipsqueaks and aimed at killing every genius."




Louis Bülow  ©2011-13