As He Knows Himself
Hitler has always been extremely secretive in all his dealings. Hanfstangl tells us
that this trait is carried to such a degree that he never tells one of his immediate
associates what he has been talking about or arranged with another. His mind is full of
compartments, Hanfstangl says, and his dealings with every individual are carefully
pigeon-holed. What has been filed in one pigeon-hole is never permitted to mix with that
in another. Everything is scrupulously kept locked up in his mind and is only opened when
he needs the material.
This is also true of himself. We have already seen how he has steadfastly refused to
divulge anything about his past to his associates. This, he believed, was something which
did not concern them in any way and consequently he has kept the pigeonhole tightly
closed. He talks almost continually about everything under the sun - except himself. What
really goes on in his mind is almost as great a mystery as his past life.
Nevertheless, it would be helpful, and interesting to open this pigeon-hole and examine
its contents. Fortunately, a few fragments of information concerning his past life have
been unearthed in the course of time and these are extremely valuable as a background for
understanding his present behavior., Then, too, we have records of attitudes and
sentiments expressed in speeches and writings. Although these utterances are confined to a
rather limited area, they do represent the products of some of his mental processes
and consequently give us some clue to what goes on behind those much discussed eyes, of
which Rauschning writes:
"Anyone who has seen this man face to face, has met his uncertain glance, without
depth or warmth, from eyes that seem hard and remote, and has then seen that gaze grow
rigid, will certainly have experienced the uncanny feeling: 'That man is not
In addition, we have descriptions of his overt behavior in the face of varied
circumstances. We must assume that these, too, are the products of his psychological
processes and that they reflect what is going on behind the scenes. All of this, however,
would be insufficient data for an adequate picture of Hitler, as he knows himself, in
everyday life. Fortunately, patients with behavior patterns, tendencies and sentiments
very similar to those that Hitler has expressed are not unknown in psychoanalytical
practice. From our knowledge of what goes on in the minds of these patients, together with
a knowledge of their past histories, it may be possible to fill in some of the gaps and
make some deductions concerning his extraordinary mode of adjustment.
We have learned from the study of many cases that the present character of an
individual is the product of an evolutionary process, the beginnings of which are to be
found in infancy. The very earliest experiences in the lifetime of the individual form the
foundation upon which the character is gradually structured as the individual passes
through successive stages of development and is exposed to the demands ant
influences of the world around him. If this is true, it would be well for us to review
briefly Hitler's past history, as far as it is known, in the hope that it may cast some
light upon his present behavior and the course he is most likely to pursue in the future.
Such a review of his past is also pertinent to our study insofar as it forms the
background through which Hitler sees himself. It is a part of him he must live with,
whether he likes it or not.
There is a great deal of confusion in studying Hitler's family tree. Much of this is
due to the fact that the name has been spelled in various ways: Hitler, Hidler, Hiedler
and Huettler. It seems reasonable to suppose, however, that it is fundamentally the same
name spelled in various ways by different members of what was basically an illiterate
peasant family. Adolph Hitler himself signed his name Hittler on the first party
membership blanks, and his sister at the present time spells her name Hiedler. Another
element of confusion is introduced by the fact that Adolph's mother's mother was also
named Hitler which later became the family name of his father. Some of this confusion is
dissipated, however, when we realize that Adolph' s parents had a common ancestor
(father's grandfather and mother's great-grandfather), an inhabitant of the culturally
bakcward [sic] Waldviertel district of Austria.
Adolph's father, Alois Hitler, was the illegitimate son of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. It
is generally supposed that the father of Alois Hitler was a Johann Georg Hiedler, a
miller's assistant. Alois, however, was not legitimized, and bore his mother's name until
he was forty years of age when he changed it to Hitler. Just why this was done is not
clear, but it is generally said among the villagers that it was necessary in order to
obtain a legacy. Where the legacy came from is unknown. One could suppose that Johann
Georg Hiedler relented on his deathbed and left an inheritance to his illegitimate son
together with his name. However, it is not clear why he did not legitimise the son when he
fineally married the mother thirty-five years earlier. Why the son chose to take the name
Hitler instead of Hiedler, if this is the case, is a mystery which remains unsolved.
Unfortunately, the date of the death of Hiedler has not been established and consequently
we are unable to relate these two events in time. A peculiar series of events prior to
Hitler's birth leaves plenty of room for speculation.
There are some people who seriously doubt that Johann Georg Hiedler was the father of
Alois. Thyssen and Koehler, for example, claim that Chancellor Dollfuss had ordered the
Austrian police to conduct a thorough investigation into the Hitler family. As a result of
this investigation a secret document was prepared which proved that Maria Anna
Schicklgruber was living in Vienna at the time she conceived. At that time she was
employed as a servant in the home of Baron Rothschild. As soon as the family discovered
her pregnancy she was sent back to her home in Spital where Alois was born. If it is true
that one of the Rothschilds is the real father of Alois Hitler, it would make Adolph a
quarter Jew. According to these sources, Adolph Hitler knew of the existence of this
document and the incriminating evidence it contained. In order to obtain it he
precipitated events in Austria and initiated the assassination of Dollfuss. According to
this story, he failed to obtain the document at that time, since Dollfuss had secreted it
and, had told Schuschnigg of its whereabouts so that in the event of his death the
independence of Austria would remain assured. Several stories of this general character
are in circulation.
Those who lend credence to this story point out several factors which seem to favor its
(a) That it is unlikely that the miller's assistant in a small village in this district
would have very much to leave in the form of a legacy.
(b) That it is strange that Johann Hiedler should not claim the boy until thirty-five
years after he had married the mother and the mother had died.
(c) That if the legacy were left by Hiedler on the condition that Alois take his name,
it would not have been possible for him to change it to Hitler.
(d) That the intelligence and behavior of Alois, as well as that of his two sons, is
completely out of keeping with that usually found in Austrian peasant families. They point
out that their ambitiousness and extraordinary political intuition is much more in harmony
with the Rothschild tradition.
(e) That Alois Schicklgruber left his home village at an early age to seek his fortune
in Vienna where his mother had worked
(f) That it would be peculiar for Alois Hitler, while working as a customs official in
Braunau, should choose a Jew named Prinz, of Vienna, to act as Adolph's godfather unless
he felt some kinship with the Jews himself.
This is certainly a very intriguing hypothesis and much of Adolph's later behavior
could be explained in rather easy terms on this basis. However, it is not absolutely
necessary to assume that he had Jewish blood in his veins in order to make a comprehensive
picture of his character with its manifoid traits and sentiments. From a purely scientific
point of view, therefore, it is sounder not to base our reconstruction on such slim
evidence but to seek firmer foundations. Nevertheless, we can leave it as a possibility
which requires further verification.
In any event, Maria Ann Schicklgruber died when he was five years of age. When he was
thirteen he left the Waldviertel and went to Vienna where he learned to be a cobbler. The
next twenty-three years of his life are largely unaccounted for. It seems probable that
during this time he joined the army and had perhaps been advanced to the rank of
non-commissioned officer. His service in the army may have helped him to enter the Civil
Service as Zellamtsoffizial later on.
His married life was stormy. His first wife (born Glasl-Hoerer) was about thirteen
years older than himself. She is alleged to have been the daughter of one of his superiors
and seems to have been in poor health. In any event, the marriage turned out badly and
they finally separated since, as Catholics a complete divorce was not possible. His first
wife died in 1883.
In January, 1882, Franziska Matzelsberger gave birth to an illegitimate son who was
named Alois. After the death of his first wife on April 6, 1883, Alois Hitler married
Franziska Matzelsberger on May 22, 1888 and legitimized his son,. On July 28, 1883 his
second wife bore him another child, Angela, and a year later, on August 10, 1884, she also
died. During the time of his first marriage the couple had taken as a foster-daughter
Klara Poelzl, Alois Hitler' s second cousin, once removed. He had reared her up to the
time of the separation from his first wife when she went to Vienna as a servant. During
the last months of the life of his second wife, Klara Poelzl returned to his home to look
after the invalid and the two children. She remained in his home as housekeeper after the
death of his second wife and on January 7, 1885 he married her.
On May 17, 1885 she gave birth to a son who died in infancy. It is alleged by William
Patrick Hitler that an illegitimate child was born previously, but we have no other record
of this. In any event, at least one child was conceived out of wedlock. Four more children
were born of this union. This is certainly a tempestuous married life for a customs
officer - three wives, seven or possibly eight children, one divorce, at least one birth
and possibly two before marriage, two directly after the wedding, one wife thirteen years
older than himself and another twenty-three years younger, one the daughter of a superior,
one a waitress, and the third a servant and his foster-daughter. All of this, of course,
has never been mentioned by Hitler. In MEIN KAMPF he gives a very simple picture-of
conditions in his father's home.
Very little is known about Alois Hitler's character. It seems that he was very proud of
his achievements in the Civil Service and yet he retired from this service at the
astonishing age of fifty-six, four years after Adolph was born. In very rapid succession
the family moved into several different villages and the father tried his hand at farming.
It is said, however, that he always wore his customs official's uniform and insisted on
being addressed as Herr Oberoffizial Hitler. According to reports, he liked to lord it
over his neighbors whom he may have looked down upon as "mere" peasants. In any
event, it seems quite certain that he enjoyed sitting in the tavern and relating his
adventures as a customs official and also in discussing political topics.
He died on his way to the tavern in Leonding from a stroke of apoplexy in 1903.
He is generally described as a very domineering individual who was a veritable tyrant
in his home. William Patrick Hitler says that he has heard from his father, Adolph's elder
half-brother, that he used to best the children unmercifully. On one occasion it is
alleged he beat the older son into a state of unconsciousness and on another occasion beat
Adolph so severely that he left him for dead. It is also alleged that he was somewhat of a
drunkard and that frequently the children would have to bring him home from the taverns.
When he reached home a grand scene would take place during which he would beat wife,
children and dog rather indiscriminately. This story is generally accepted and yet there
is little real evidence in favor of it except what Hitler himself tells us in MEIN KAMPF.
Heidan, who interviewed a number of the villagers in places where the family lived, had
nothing of this sort to report. They found the old man rather amusing and claimed that his
home life was very happy and quiet except when his wife's sister came to visit with the
family. Why this should be a disturbing factor is unknown. Heiden suspects that the legacy
was a bone of contention.
There is some doubt about the complexion of Alois Hitler's political sentiments.
Hanisch reports "Hitler heard from his father only praise of Germany and all the
faults of Austria." According to Heiden, more reliable informants claim that the
father, though full of complaints and criticisms of the government he served, was by no
means a German nationalist. They say he favored Austria against Germany and this coincides
with William Patrick Hitler's information that his grandfather was definitely anti-German
just as his own father was.
Mother Klara Poelzl, as has been said, was the foster-daughter of her husband and
twenty-three years his junior. She came from old peasant stock, was hard-working,
energetic and conscientious. Whether it was due to her years of domestic service or to her
upbringing, her home was always spotlessly clean, everything had its place and not a speck
of dust was to be found on the furniture. She was very devoted to her children and,
according to William Patrick Hitler, a typical step-mother to her step-children. According
to Dr. Bloch who treated her, she was a very sweet and affectionate woman whose life
centered around her children and particularly Adolph, who was her pet. She spoke very
highly of her husband and his character and the happy life they had together. She felt it
was a real deprivation for the children to have lost their father while they were still so
One could question her background. Her sister is married and has two sons, one of whom
is a hunchback and has an impediment in his speech. When we consider that Klara Poelzl may
have lost one child before her marriage to Alois Hitler, another son born in 1885 who died
in 1887, another son born in 1894 who died in 1900, and a girl who was born in 1886 and
died in 1888, one has grounds to question the purity of the blood. There is even cause for
greater suspicion when we learn from Dr. Bloch that he is certain that there was a
daughter, slightly older than Adolph, who was an imbecile. He is absolutely certain
of this because he noticed at the time that the family always tried to hide the child and
keep her out of the way when he came to attend the mother. It is possible that this is Ida
who was born in 1886 and who is alleged to have died in 1888, except that Dr. Bloch
believes that this girl's name was Klara. He may, however, be mistaken in this
particularly since both names end in "a" and he never had any close contact with
her. There is no other record of a Klara anywhere in the records.
The younger sister, Paula, is also said to be a little on the stupid side, perhaps a
high-grade moron. This is certainly a poor record and one is justified in suspecting some
constitutional weakness. A syphilitic taint is not beyond the realm of possibility. The
mother died following an operation for cancer of the breast on December 21,1907. All
biographers have given the date of her death as December 21, 1906 but Dr. Bloch's records
show clearly that she died in 1907 and John Gunther's record of the inscription on her
tombstone corroborates this. The last six months of her life were spent in extreme pain
and during the last week it was necessary to give her injections of morphine daily.
It is often alleged that she was of Czech origin and spoke only a broken German and
that consequently Adolph may have been ashamed of her among his playmates. This is almost
certainly untrue. Dr. Bloch reports that she did not have any trace of an accent of
any kind nor did she show any Czech characteristics. Alois Hitler's first wife was of
Czech origin and later writers may have confused her with Adolph's mother.
Alois Hitler, Jr. was born January 13, 1882, the illegitimate son of the father's
second wife born during the lifetime of the first wife. He is the father of William
Patrick Hitler, one of our informants. He seems to have taken very much after his father
in some respects. He left the parental home before the death of his father because,
according to his son, he could tolerate it no longer. His step-mother, according to the
story, made life very difficult for him and continually antagonized her husband against
him. It seems that Alois, Jr. had considerable talent for mechanical pursuits and his
father had planned on sending him to a technical school for training as an engineer. Until
his third marriage the father was very fond of his oldest boy and all his ambitions were
wrapped up in him. But the step-mother systematically undermined this relationship and
finally persuaded the father that Alois, Jr. was unworthy and that he should save his
money for the education of her son, Adolph. She was finally successful and Alois, Jr. was
sent away from home as an apprentice waiter.
Evidently the profession of waiter did not intrigue him, for in 19OO he received a
five-months' sentence for thievery and in 1902 he was sentenced to eight months in jail
for the same reason. He then went to London where he obtained a position as a waiter and,
in 1909, married Bridget Dowling, an Irish girl. In 1911 William Patrick Hitler was born
and in 1915 his father deserted the family and returned to Germany. The family was not a
happy one and broke up several times in the course of these four years. It is alleged that
the father drinks quite frequently and would then come home and create tremendous scenes
during which he frequently beat his wife and tried to beat the small infant. During these
four years when his mother and father had separated for a time, his father did go to
Vienna. This would agree with Hanfstangl's conviction that Alois, Jr. was in Vienna at the
same time that Adolph was there.
In 1924 Alois, Jr. was brought before the court of Hamburg charged with bigamy. He was
sentenced to six months in prison but since his first wife did not prosecute the sentence
was suspended. He has an illegitimate child by the second wife who lives in Germany.
During all these years he has never sent any money for the support of his first wife or
child. Up until the time of the inflation it is alleged that he had a very successful
business in Germany. The business failed and he has had various jobs up until 1934 when he
opened a restaurant in Berlin which became a popular meeting-place for S.A. men.
According to the son, Alois, Jr. heartily disliked Adolph as a boy. He always felt that
Adolph was spoiled by his mother and that he was forced to do many of the chores that
Adolph should have done. Furthermore, it seems that Adolph occasionally got into mischief
which his mother would blame on Alois and Alois would have to take the punishment from his
father. He used to say as a boy he would have liked to have wrung Adolph's neck on more
than one occasion and considering the circumstances this is probably not far from the
truth. Since Hitler came to power, the two brothers have practically no contact with each
other. They have come together a few times but the meeting is usually unpleasant, with
Adolph taking a very high-handed attitude and laying down the law to the rest of the
family. Alois, Jr. is not mentioned in MEIN KAMPF and only a few people in Germany know of
his relationship to Hitler.
William Patrick Hitler
He is a young man of thirty-two, the son of Alois, Jr., who has not amounted to much.
Before his uncle came to power he worked as a bookkeeper in London. When his uncle became
famous he obviously expected that something would be done for his family. He gave up his
job in London and went to Germany where he had some contact with Adolph Hitler. The
latter, however, was chiefly interested in keeping him under cover and provided him with a
minor job in the Opal Automobile Company. It is my impression that William Patrick was
quite ready to blackmail both his father and his uncle but that things did not work out as
planned. He returned to England and, as a British subject, came to this country where he
is a professional speaker. He is also engaged in writing a book about his associations and
experiences in Hitler Germany.
She is an elder half-sister of Adolph. She seems to be the most normal one in the
family and from all reports is rather a decent and industrious person. During her
childhood she became very fond of Adolph despite the fact that she had the feeling that
his mother was spoiling him. She is the only one of the family with whom Adolph has had
any contact in later years and the only living relative Hitler ever mentioned. When his
mother died in 1907 there was a small inheritance which was to be divided among the
children. Since the two girls had no immediate means of earning a livelihood the brothers
turned over their share to help the girls along. Adolph turned his share over to Angela
while Alois turned his over to a younger sister, Paula. Angela later married an official
named Raubal in Linz who died not long afterwards. She then went to Vienna where, after
the war, she was manager of the Mensa Academica Judaica. Some of our informants knew her
during this time and report that in the student riots Angela defended the Jewish students
from attack, and on several occasions beat the Aryan students off the steps of the dining
hall with a club. She is a rather large, strong peasant type of person who is well able to
take an active part.
After Adolph was discharged from the army at the close of the last war, it is alleged
that he went to Vienna and visited Angela with whom he had had no contact for ten years.
While he was confined in Landsberg she made the trip from Vienna to visit him. In 1924 she
moved to Munich with her daughter, Geli, and [Page
106] kept house for Adolph. Later, she took over the management of Berchtesgaden. In
1936 friction developed between Adolph and Angela and she left Berchtesgaden and moved to
Dresden where she married Professor Hamitsch. It is reported by William Patrick that the
cause of the break was the discovery by Hitler that she was in a conspiracy with Goering
to purchase the land adjoining Hitler' s house at Berchtesgaden. This enraged Hitler to
the extent that he ordered her from the house and has had little contact with her since.
In any case, Adolph did not attend her second wedding.
Hitler's relationship with Geli, Angela's daughter, has already been described in the
previous section. She died in 1930.
It has been generally assumed that Geli was the only child of Angela. William Patrick
Hitler, however, reports that there is also a son named Leo. Not much is known of him
except that he refused to have anything to do with his uncle Adolph after the death of
Geli. He had a job in Salzburg and frequently came to Berchtesgaden to visit his mother
when Hitler was in Berlin, but would leave again just as soon as word was received that
Hitler was on his way there. According to William Patrick, he openly accused Hitler of
causing Geli's death and refused to speak to him again as long as he lived. Word has been
received that he was killed in 1942 while in the Balkans.
Paula Hitler, or Hiedler, is Adolph's real sister and is seven years younger. What
happened to her after her mother's death is a mystery until she was discovered living very
poorly in an attic in Vienna where she has a position addressing envelopes for an
insurance company. She now lives under the name of Frau Wolf (Hitler's nickname is Wolf)
and is alleged to be very queer and to receive no one in her home. Dr. Bloch went to visit
her in the hope that she might intercede with her brother and obtain permission for him to
take some money out of the country when he was exiled. He rapped on her door a number of
times but received no answer. Finally, the neighbor on the same landing came to the door
and asked who he was and what he wanted. The neighbor explained that Frau Wolf never
received anyone and intimated that she was very queer (other writers have also reported
this). She promised, however, to deliver any message he might give her. Dr. Bloch
explained his predicament in detail. The next day when he returned, hoping that he would
have an opportunity of speaking to Paula Hitler personally, the neighbor reported that
Paula was very glad to hear from him and that she would do everything she could to help
him. Nothing more.
During her childhood, according to William Patrick Hitler, she and Adolph did not get
on very well together. There seems to have been considerable friction and jealousy between
them, particularly since Alois Jr. was always taking her side. As far as is known, Hitler
had no contact with her whatever from the time his mother died until 1955 when he became
Chancellor. He has never mentioned her anywhere, as far as can be determined. It is
alleged that he now sends her a small allowance each month to alleviate her poverty and
keep her out of the limelight. According to William Patrick Hitler, his uncle became more
interested in her as the friction with Angela increased. It is said that he has had her
visit him at Berchtesgaden and William Patrick met her at the Bayreuth Festival in 1939
where she went by the name of Frau Wolf, but Hitler did not mention to anyone that it was
his sister. He said she is a little on the stupid side and not very interesting to talk to
since she rarely opens her mouth.
This is Adolph Hitler's family, past and present. It is possible that there is another
sister, Ida, an imbecile, who is still living, but if so we have no knowledge of her
whereabouts. On the whole, it is nothing to be proud of and Hitler may be wise in keeping
it well under cover.
If we let our imaginations carry us back into the early '90s it is not difficult to
picture what life was like for Adolph in his earliest years. His father was probably not
much company for his mother. Not only was he twenty-three years older but, it seems, he
spent most of his spare time in the taverns or gossiping with the neighbors. Furthermore,
his mother knew only too well the past history of her husband, who was also her
foster-father, and one can imagine that for a twenty-five year old woman this was not what
might be called a romantic marriage. Moreover, Klara Hitler had lost her first two
children, and possibly a third, in the course of three or four years. Then Adolph arrived.
Under these circumstances, it is almost inevitable that he became the focal point in her
life and that she left no stone unturned to keep him alive. All of the affection that
normally would have gone to her husband and to her other children now became lavished on
this newly born son.
It is safe to assume that for five years little Adolph was the center of attraction in
this home. But then a terrible event happened in Adolph' s life - another son was born. No
longer was he the center of attraction, no longer was he the king of the roost. The
new-comer usurped all this and little Adolph, who was on his way to growing up, was left
to shift more or less for himself - at least, so it probably seemed to him. Sharing was
something he had not learned up to this time, and it was probably a bitter experience for
him as it is for most children who have a sibling born when they are in this age period.
In fact, in view of the earlier experiences of his parents it is reasonable to suppose
that it was probably more acute in his case than it is with the average boy.
For two years he had to put up with this state of affairs. Then matters went from bad
to worse - a baby sister was born. More competition and still less attention for the baby
sister and the ailing brother were consuming all of his mother' s time while he was being
sent off to school and made to take care of himself. Four years later tragedy again
visited the Hitler household. When Adolph was eleven years old (in 1900) his baby brother,
Edmund, died. Again we can imagine that Adolph reaped an additional harvest of affection
and again became the apple of his mother's eye.
This is certainly an extraordinary series of events which must have left their mark on
Adolph' s immature personality. What probably went on in his mind during these years we
shall consider later on. It is sufficient at the moment to point out the extraordinary
sequence of events and the probably [sic] effects they had on the members of the family
and their relations with each other.
When Adolph was six years old he was sent off to school. The first school was a very
small Volkschule where three grades met in the same room and were taught by the same
teacher. In spite of the fact that he had to change schools several times in the course of
the next few years, due to the fact that his father kept buying and selling his.property
and moving from one place to another, he seems to have done quite well in his studies.
When he was eight years old he attended a Benedict Monastery in Lamback. He was very much
intrigued with all this - it gave him his first powerful impression of human achievement.
At that time his ambition was to become an abbot. But things did not work out very well.
He was dismissed from the monastery because he was caught smoking in the gardens. His last
year in Volkschule was in Leonding where he received high marks in all his subjects with
the occasional exception of singing, drawing and physical exercises.
In 1900, the year his brother Edmund died, he entered the Realschule in Linz. To the
utter amazement of all who knew him his school work was so poor that he failed and had to
repeat the class another time. Then there was a gradual improvement in his work,
particularly in history, free-hand drawing and gymnastics. In these subjects he was marked
"excellent" several times. Mathematics, French, German, etc., remained mediocre,
sometimes satisfactory, sometimes unsatisfactory. On "Effort" he was frequently
marked "irregular". When he was fourteen years of age his father died suddenly.
The following year he left the Realschule in Linz and attended the one in Steyr. We do not
know why this change was made. Dr. Bloch is under the impression that he was doing badly
toward the end of the year in the Linz school and was sent to Steyr because it had the
reputation of being easier. But his performance there was very mediocre. The only two
subjects in which he excelled were in free-hand drawing, in which he was marked
"praise-worthy" and gymnastics, in which he received the mark of
"excellent". In the first semester "German Language" was
"unsatisfactory" and in "History" it was "adequate".
All this is beautifully glossed over in Hitler's description of these years. According
to his story he was at odds with his father concerning his future career as artist and in
order to have his own way he sabotaged his studies - at least those he felt would not
contribute to an artist's career, and History - which he says always fascinated him. In
these studies, according to his own story he was always outstanding. An examination of his
report cards reveals no such thing. History, even in his last year in Realschule is
adequate or barely passing, and other subjects which might be useful to an artist are in
the same category. A better diagnosis would be that he was outstanding in those subjects
which did not require any preparation or thought while in those that required application
he was sadIy lacking. We frequently find report cards of this type among our patients who
are very intelligent but refuse to work. They are bright enough to catch on to a few of
the fundamental principles without exerting themselves and clever enough to amplify these
sufficiently to obtain a passing-grade without ever doing any studying. They give the
impression of knowing something about the subject but their knowledge is very superficial
and is glossed over with glib words and terminology.
This evaluation of Hitler's school career fits in with the testimony of former fellow
students and teachers. According to their testimony he never applied himself and was bored
with what was going on. While the teacher was explaining new material, he read the books
of Karl May (Indian and Wild West stories) which he kept concealed under his desk. He
would come to school with bowie knives, hatchets, etc., and was always trying to initiate
Indian games in which he was to be the leader. The other boys, however, were not greatly
impressed by him and his big talk or his attempts to play the leader. On the whole, they
preferred to follow the leadership of boys who were more socially-minded, more realistic
in their attitudes - and held greater promise of future achievements than Hitler who gave
every indication of being lazy, uncooperative, lived in a world of fantasy, talked big but
did nothing of merit.
He probably did not improve his standing with the other boys when, in his twelfth year,
he was found guilty of a "Sittlichkeitsvergehen" in the school. Just what the
sexual indiscretion consisted of we do not know but Dr. Bloch, who remembers that one of
the teachers in the school told him about it, feels certain that he had done something
with a little girl. He was severely censured for this and barely missed being expelled
from school. It is possible that he was ostracized by his fellow students and that this is
the reason he changed schools the following year.
In September, 1905, he stopped going to school altogether and returned to Leonding
where he lived with his mother and sister. According to his biographers, he was suffering
from lung trouble during this period and had to remain in bed the greater part of the
time. Dr. Bloch, who was the family doctor at this time is at a loss to understand how
this story ever got started because there was no sign of lung trouble of any sort. Adolph
came to his office now and then with a slight cold or a sore throat but there was nothing
else wrong with him. According to Dr. Bloch, he was very quiet boy at this time, rather
slight in build but fairly wiry. He was always very courteous and patiently waited for his
turn. He made no fuss when the doctor looked into his throat or when he swabbed it with an
antiseptic. He was very shy and had little to say except when spoken to. But there was no
sign of lung trouble.
During this time, however, he frequently went with his mother to visit his aunt in
Spital, Lower Austria where he also spent vacations. The doctor who treated him there is
alleged to have said to the aunt: "From this illness Adolph will not recover."
It is assumed that he referred to a lung condition but it seems that it must have been
very slight because it was not reported to Dr. Bloch when he returned to Leonding a few
months later and his records show no entry which would even suggest such an ailment.
Although the mother's income was extremely modest, he made no attempt to find work.
There is some evidence that he went to a Munich art school for a short time during this
period. Most of his time was evidently spent in loafing around and daubing paints and
water colors. He took long walks into the hills, supposedly to paint, but it is reported
that he was seen there delivering speeches to the rocks of the country in a most energetic
tone of voice.
In October, 1807, he went to Vienna to prepare himself for the State examinations for
admission as student to the Academy of Art. He qualified for admission to the examination
but failed to be accepted as a student. On the first day of the examination the assignment
was: "The Expulsion from Paradise" and on the second day: "An Episode of
the Great Flood". The comment of the examiners was "Too few heads".
He returned home to Linz but there is no indication that he communicated to anybody the
results of the examination. It was undoubtedly a severe blow to him for he tells us
himself that he couldn't understand it, "he was so sure he would succeed." At
this time his mother had already undergone an operation for cancer of the breast. She was
failing rather rapidly and little hope was held for her recovery. She died on December 21,
1907 and was buried on Christmas Eve. To preserve a last impression,.he sketched her on
her deathbed. Adolph, according to Dr. Bloch, was completely broken: "In all my
career I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolph Hitler." Although
his sisters came to Dr. Bloch a few days after the funeral, and expressed themselves
fully, Adolph remained silent. As the little group left, he said: "I shall be
grateful to you forever." (29) After the funeral he stood at her grave for a long
time after the sisters had left. The bottom had obviously fallen out of his world. Tears
came into Dr. Bloch's eyes as he described the tragic scene. "His mother would turn
over in her grave if she knew what he turned out to be." (21) This was the end of
Adolph Hitler's family life.
Shortly after his mother's death the family broke up and Adolph went to Vienna to make
his way in the world as his father had done before him. This was early in 1908. How much
money, he took with him, if any, is not know [sic]. The records here are very vague
particularly since all biographers have gone on the supposition that his mother died a
year later than she actually did. This leaves an entire year unaccounted for since the
next thing we hear of Adolph, he has again applied for admission to the examination for
the Academy of Art. One of the conditions for re-examination was that he submit to the
Board some of the paintings he had done previously. This he did but the Board was not
impressed with them and refused to allow him to enter the examination. This, it seems, was
even a greater shock than his failure to pass the examinations a year earlier.
After he had received notification to the effect that his work was of such a nature
that it hid not warrant his admission to the second examination, he interviewed the
Director. He claims that the Director, told him that his drawings showed clearly that his
talents lay in the direction of architecture rather than pure art and advised him to seek
admission to the Architectural School.
This he applied for but was not admitted. According to his story because he had not
satisfactorily finished his course in the RealSchule. To be sure, this was one of the
general requirements but exceptions could be made in the case of boys who showed unusual
taIent. Hitler's rejection, therefore, was on the grounds of insufficient talent rather
than for failure to complete his school course.
He was not without hope. All his dreams of being a great artist seemed to be nipped in
the bud. He was without money and without friends. He was forced to go to work and found
employment as a helper on construction jobs. This, however, did not suit him.
Hitler as He Knows Himself, Part II
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