Up until 1909, Adolf Hitler lived a pretty comfortable life of an Austrian middle class. Then his money ran out and he fell down the social ladder – to the very bottom of it. And for the first time in his life encountered a deep, painful and all but hopeless human misery (which he later described in emotionally powerful detail in Mein Kampf).
His history teacher (and possibly others as well) instilled in young Adolf a deep, sincere and intense love for the German people. For all German people – from top to bottom of the social ladder. Especially for those at the very bottom of it.
He has been a rebel for many years now (since at least the age of twelve), and, by definition, a rebel is the one who does not tolerate his current situation (or the general situation in his immediate environment).
So it is no surprise at all that almost the very same day when he encountered this misery of his fellow Germans (it appears that he lived and worked almost exclusively among his own people), Adolf Hitler started looking for the ways to radically improve the miserable situation in which thousands and thousands of poor folks find themselves day after day after day.
He grasped the essence of the solution very quickly:
“During my struggle for existence in Vienna I perceived, very clearly that the aim of all social activity must never be merely charitable relief, which is ridiculous and useless, but it must rather be a means to find a way of eliminating the fundamental deficiencies in our economic and cultural life, deficiencies which necessarily bring about the degradation of the individual or at least lead him towards such degradation.”
In other words, his conclusion was that only a revolution, a radical reengineering of the whole system – political, economic and social – will radically improve the quality of life of broad masses (i.e. German people). In other word, provide the right solution to the social question.
Which automatically made Adolf Hitler a socialist. He was already a nationalist, so now he became a national-socialist. And will remain one for the rest of his life.
It was probably at that time when he first developed a feeling (for now, just a feeling) that he was the one who was chosen by the Providence to become the leader of this Revolution and the top manager of this grandiose reengineering project.
But to become one, he needed to know – and know very well – what needed to be done and how it needed to be done. And to find answers to these fundamental question, he needed education.
Formal (i.e. college or university) education was out of the question – he had no money to pay for it. So he had no other choice but to acquire the necessary knowledge himself.
In other words, the only choice available to him was self-education.