September 1907. Adolf Hitler finally decides to pursue the career of an artist. He moves to Vienna (financed by orphan’s benefits and support from his mother) and applies for admission to the prestigious (elite, even) Academy of Fine Arts. He is rejected (twice) – and for a very good reason. His paintings are not bad, but definitely not good enough to earn the admission to such an elite school.
The director suggested Hitler should apply to the School of Architecture, but young Adolf lacked the necessary academic credentials. Getting the latter meant going back to secondary school… but Adolf Hitler was way too depressed after the death of his parents and two rejections to do it.
However, Adolf Hitler did become an architect, after all – only instead of buildings he created (engineered) a political party (NSDAP), a state (his Führerstaat) and a whole unique (and highly complex) civilization – the Third Reich.
December 21st, 1907. Hitler’s mother succumbs to breast cancer. She was just 47 years old. Losing the only person in his life whom he deeply and passionately loved (and who loved him) plunged 18-year Adolf into the depths of a severe depression (which would continue to torment him for the rest of his life).
Beginning of 1909. Adolf Hitler finally runs out of money. Alone, twice rejected, marginalized, penniless and a deeply depressed outcast, he falls to the very bottom of the social ladder in the Austrian capital.
Still (we must give him the credit when the credit is due), he not only somehow survives (first by earning money as a casual laborer and then by painting and selling watercolors of Vienna’s sights), but finds a way to educate himself culturally and politically.
He reads a lot (albeit unsystematically) and is introduced to even more nationalist, populist, racist and anti-Semitic ideology. He finds two new major influencers and role models – a highly accomplished statesman Karl Lueger (a flamboyant mayor of Vienna credited with the transformation of the Vienna into a modern city) and a pan-Germanist and nationalist politician Georg Ritter von Schönerer (both were virulent anti-Semites to boot).
During his Vienna years, Adolf Hitler got acquainted with the works of philosophers and theoreticians such as Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gustave Le Bon and Arthur Schopenhauer. These works formed the basis of what ultimately became Adolf Hitler’s national-socialist ideology.
Adolf Hitler claimed that he had developed his anti-Semitic (Judeophobic, actually) and anti-Marxist (subsequently anti-Communists) views, beliefs and attitudes during his tenure in Vienna in 1908-13.
However, his alleged anti-Semitism at that time did not prevent him from entering in business partnerships with the Jews – and to sell his paintings to individuals of that nationality.
Which is not surprising at all – this is actually a very common trait among anti-Semites (they hate Jews in general but have amicable relationships with their Jewish friends, partners and associates).
Hitler’s family physician was Jewish – and so was his commanding officer in the German Army in the trenches of the Great War. When Hitler came to power, he helped both escape persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany.
Hitler also developed an obsession with Wagner – despite his abject poverty, he somehow found the way to attend ten (!!) performances of Lohengrin, his favorite Wagner opera. This obsession heavily influenced his design for the “Nazi civilization”.
May of 1913. Adolf Hitler receives the final part of his father’s estate and moves to Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Thus fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a de-facto Bavarian (and hence German) citizen and making a clean break with Austro-Hungarian Empire that he passionately hated. Or so it then seemed…
January of 1914. Hitler is conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian Army that he hates passionately with all his mind, heart and soul. On February 5th, 1914, he (involuntarily) traveled to Salzburg for mandatory medical assessment.
Some money undoubtedly changed hands (to put it bluntly, he bribed the doctors)… and Adolf Hitler he was deemed “unfit for military service”. The bribe is the only plausible explanation of what happened because just six months later he volunteered for front-line service in the Bavarian (i.e., German) army and was deemed one hundred percent fit for service – in the trenches, mind you.