The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

As He Knows Himself

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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.

Geli Raubal

Hitler's relationship with Geli, Angela's daughter, has already been described in the previous section. She died in 1930.

Leo Raubal

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.

[Page 107]

Paula Hitler

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 [Page 108] her side. As far as is known, Hitler had no contact with her whatever from the time his mother died until 1933 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 [Page 109] 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 [Page 110] 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 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 [Page 111] 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 [Page 112] 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 [Page 113] 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.

[Page 114]

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 [Page 115] 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 did 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.

[Page 116]

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.

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