In his Mein Kampf, Hitler claimed that he had been educating himself during his five years in Vienna by reading books – and a lot of them. His friend Gustl seems to confirm that.
However, his memoirs have been found in many cases not exactly trustworthy and Mein Kampf was, first and foremost, a political document, not an honest autobiography (consequently, many claims made in that book must be taken with a grain of salt).
This claim (about having read the whole library of books) is undoubtedly one of them. Adolf Hitler was incapable of systematic, long-term effort so it is highly unlikely that he had the patience to read long and thick books – especially on a regular basis.
Besides, such books cost a lot of money and since the end of 1908, he had preciously little – barely enough to pay for food and shelter (and sometimes not enough even for that). And whatever he could save, he spent on attending opera – to listen to his beloved Wagner (for him he had almost drug-like addiction).
Consequently, it is far more likely that he received his education from the speeches of his political heroes – von Schönerer and Dr. Karl Lueger – and from pamphlets, brochures and periodicals that he bought (or in many cases got for free). Which made his self-education even more biased and deficient.
It is well-known that the factual knowledge that he committed to his formidable memory was used only to confirm already existing opinions. Opinions instilled in him by abovementioned politicians and his history schoolteacher.
Consequently, he consciously or subconsciously chose only those sources of information that confirmed, reinforced and further developed these opinions. Including, obviously, national and racial prejudices.
One of such periodicals was undoubtedly the infamous magazine called Ostara. It was carried by a kiosk located close to where Hitler lived after leaving the apartment that he shared with Gustl (and thus effectively breaking up with the latter).
Ostara was published by a former Cistercian monk (which obviously appealed to Hitler due to his childhood experiences in a Catholic monastery) Adolf Lanz, who called himself Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels.
Adolf Lanz was a highly unique individual (to put it mildly). A prominent Austrian political and racial theorist and occultist, he made himself famous by developing so-called Ariosophy in the beginning of the XX century.
However, he began his spiritual journey by entering the Cistercian order as a monk when he was just nineteen years old. However, not for long because already the next year he claimed to have been “enlightened” after finding the tombstone of a certain Knight Templar.
Inspired by this “Divine revelation”, he began to… develop profoundly racist theories while still remaining a member of the Cistercian order. Five years later, the abbot of the monastery got tired of this racism (which fundamentally contradicted the most basic teachings of Catholicism) and Lanz was politely (or not-so-politely) asked to leave the order. It did not help the “enlightened” monk that he got involved in a sexual relationship with a woman.
In 1905, he published a book with an enormously long title Theozoölogie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Äfflingen und dem Götter-Elektron (Theozoology, or the Science of the Sodomite-Apelings and the Divine Electron).
In this book he claimed that there were two kinds of human taces – “Aryan” (or “higher”) races and the “lower” races. The “Aryan” peoples originated from interstellar deities (termed Theozoa) who bred by electricity, while “lower” races were a result of interbreeding between humans and ape-men (or Anthropozoa), among other “discoveries”.
In the same year, Lanz commenced publication of the abovementioned magazine Ostara (named after a pagan Germanic goddess of spring) to promote his vision of racial purity and other racial theories. Including another theory of his that he called ‘Ariosophy’ – wisdom of the Aryans.
It was, of course, first-class bullshit, a pure fantasy and a fairy tale that had no scientific basis whatsoever and thus had nothing to do with reality. However, is was fully in line (actually, the further development) of the ideology instilled in young Adolf first by his teacher of history and then by his political heroes – von Schönerer (whom Herr Lanz deeply revered and admired) and Dr. Karl Lueger.
I already mentioned that Adolf Hitler has not developed even the semblance of critical thinking. Instead, he got captivated by certain individuals (e.g. abovementioned politicians or his namesake) and accepted almost everything preached by them as a Divine Revelation.
This is the only explanation why he got so infatuated with fantasies spread by Adolf Lenz and his followers. Who were obsessed by an idea of an existential war between the heroic and creative ‘blond’ race (i.e. Germans) and a race of predatory dark ‘beast-men’ (obviously, Jews) who preyed on the ‘blond’ women with animal lust and bestial instincts and thus were corrupting and destroying Aryan race, its society and its culture. In other words, the whole Aryan civilization.
So infatuated, in fact, that he copied these fantasies almost word-for-word into his ideology – national-socialism. But he copied more than that. One of the most important elements that he took from Lenz’s ‘Ariosophy’ was the now infamous swastika.
Which was popularized by another Austrian occultist – Guido von List, who also made a powerful impact on Adolf Hitler by preaching his ideas of the superiority of the Aryan-German race, destined for mastery of the world.
Initially (in Hinduism) perceived as the sign of the Sun, prosperity and good luck, swastika was seen by Guido von List (for reasons unknown) as the symbol of the undefeatable Germanic hero, the ‘Chosen One’, the Führer of Germany.
Chosen, obviously, to lead the Aryan-Germans to victory in the existential battle with the “lower races”. Which had no scientific basis and was also a pure fantasy. A criminal and murderous fantasy.
Lanz’s recipe (laid down in his Ostara magazine) for winning this existential war and restoring the ‘natural’ domination of the ‘blond race’ was racial purity and racial struggle, with one of the key objectives of the latter being the slavery and forced sterilization – or even (if deemed necessary) total annihilation of the “inferior races”.
As well as the elimination of Marxism, democracy and feminism which were seen by Lenz and his followers as key tools used by the “lower races” to destroy the “Arian race”, and the complete subordination of Aryan women to their husbands.
Adolf Hitler found these recipes so attractive that he again copied them almost word-for-word into his Nazi ideology. It is also quite probable that already at that time he began to view himself (at least subconsciously) as the “Chosen One” mentioned by von List. In other words, as the future Führer of Germany. The Greater Germany that will unite Germany and Austria.
Which was not surprising at all given the fact that the teachings of Adolf Lenz and Guido von List further developed beliefs instilled in Adolf Hitler by his role models – Dr. Pötsch, von Schönerer and Dr. Lueger – and created an extremely powerful synergy with fantasy worlds created by Richard Wagner.