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Thread: Hitler on the Couch

  1. #1
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    Jul 2010
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    Default ****** on the Couch

    The Truth Will Set You Free by Alice Miller: I described ******’s childhood in my book For Your Own Good, and many of my readers were aghast. One woman wrote: “If ****** had had five sons he could have vented his revenge on for the tortures he was subjected to in his childhood, then he would probably never have victimized the Jewish people. You can take everything you’ve suffered out on your own children and never get punished because murdering the soul of your own child can always be passed off as parenting, child-raising, upbringing.”

    Not all my readers were able to accept this view of ****** and concede that his terrifying example demonstrates how evil comes about, how tiny, innocent children can turn into ravening beasts threatening not only their own families but the whole world. I was reminded that many children get beaten and otherwise abused in childhood, but they do not all turn into mass murderers. I took these arguments seriously and investigated the question of how children can survive brutal treatment without becoming criminals later in life. From a close study of many biographies, I established that in those cases where the victim did not turn into a victimizer, there was invariably some figure that had shown the child affection, the person I call the helping witness. Children with helping witnesses to turn to were able to gain awareness of the evil that had been done to them while at the same time identifying with the person who had shown them kindness.

    For Your Own Good by Alice Miller:


    In his biography of Adolf ******, Joachim Fest has this to say about Alois ******’s background and his life before Adolf was born:

    At House No. 13 in Strones, the home of Johann Trummelschlager, an unmarried servant girl by the name of Maria Anna Schicklgruber gave birth to a child on June 7, 1837. That same day the child was baptized Alois. In the registry of births in Dollersheim parish the space for the name of the child’s father was left blank. Nor was this changed five years later when the mother married the unemployed journeyman miller Johann Georg Hiedler. That same year she turned her son over to her husband’s brother, Johann Nepomuk Huttler, a farmer in Spital—presumably because she thought she could not raise the child properly. At any rate the Hiedlers, the story has it, were so impoverished that “ultimately they did not even have a bed left and slept in a cattle trough.”

    These two brothers are two of the presumptive fathers of Alois Schicklgruber. The third possibility, according to a rather wild story that nevertheless comes from one of ******’s closer associates, is a Graz Jew named Frankenberger in whose household Maria Anna Schicklgruber is said to have been working when she became pregnant. Such, at any rate, is the testimony of Hans Frank, for many years ******’s lawyer, later Governor General of Poland. In the course of his trial at Nuremberg, Frank reported that in 1930 ****** had received a letter from a son of his half-brother Alois. Possibly the intention of the letter was blackmail. It indulged in dark hints about “very odd circumstances in our family history.” Frank was assigned to look into the matter confidentially. He found some indications to support the idea that Frankenberger had been ******’s grandfather. The lack of hard evidence, however, makes this thesis appear exceedingly dubious—for all that, we may also wonder what had prompted Frank at Nuremberg to ascribe a Jewish ancestor to ******. Recent researches have further shaken the credibility of his statement, so that the whole notion can scarcely bear close scrutiny. In any case, its real significance is independent of its being true or false. What is psychologically of crucial importance is the fact that Frank’s findings forced ****** to doubt his own descent. A renewed investigation undertaken in August 1942 by the Gestapo, on orders from Heinrich Himmler, produced no tangible results. All the other theories about ******’s grandfather are also full of holes, although some ambitious combinational ingenuity has gone into the version that traces Alois Schicklgruber’s paternity “with a degree of probability bordering on absolute certainty” to Johann Nepomuk Huttler. Both arguments peter out in the obscurity of confused relationships marked by meanness, dullness, and rustic bigotry. The long and short of it is that Adolf ****** did not know who his grandfather was.

    Twenty-nine years after Maria Anna Schicklgruber’s death from “consumption in consequence of thoracic dropsy” in Klein-Motten near Strones, and nineteen years after the death of her husband, the brother Johann Nepomuk Huttler appeared before parish priest Zahnschirm in Dollersheim, accompanied by three acquaintances. He asked for the legitimation of his “foster son,” the customs official Alois Schicklgruber, now nearly forty years of age. Not he himself but his deceased brother Johann Georg was the father, he said; Johann had avowed this, and his companions could witness the facts.

    The parish priest allowed himself to be deceived or persuaded. In the old registry, under the entry of June 7, 1837, he altered the item “illegitimate” to “legitimate,” filled in the space for the name of the father as requested, and inserted a false marginal note: “The undersigned confirm that Georg ******, registered as the father, who is well known to the undersigned witnesses, admits to being the father of the child Alois as stated by the child’s mother, Anna Schicklgruber, and has requested the entry of his name in the present baptismal register...” Since the three witnesses could not write, they signed with three crosses, and the priest put in their names. But he neglected to insert the date. His own signature was also missing, as well as that of the (long-since-deceased) parents. Though scarcely legal, the legitimation took effect: from January 1877 on, Alois Schicklgruber called himself Alois ******.

    This rustic intrigue was without a doubt set in motion by Johann Nepomuk Huttler, for he had raised Alois and was understandably proud of him. Alois had just received another promotion, he had married, and had accomplished more than any Huttler or Hiedler before him: it was only natural that Johann Nepomuk felt a desire to give his own name to his foster son. But Alois may also have had an interest in a change of name, for he was an enterprising man who in the interval had made quite a career for himself. He may therefore have felt the need to provide himself with security and a firm footing by obtaining an “honorable” name. At the age of thirteen he had been apprenticed to a shoemaker in Vienna. But, by and by, he decided against being an artisan and instead entered the Austrian Finance Office. He advanced rapidly as a customs official and was ultimately promoted to the highest civil service rank open to a man of his education. He was fond of appearing as the representative of constituted authority on public occasions and made a point of being addressed by his correct title. One of his associates in the customs office called him “strict, precise, even pedantic,” and he himself told a relation who asked his advice about a son’s choice of occupation that working for the treasury demanded absolute obedience and sense of duty, and that it was not for “drinkers, borrowers, card players, and other people who go in for immoral conduct.”

    It should be added that, after the birth of her son, Maria Schicklgruber received child support for fourteen years from the Jewish businessman referred to by Fest. Fest does not quote verbatim the account of Hans Frank, ******’s lawyer for many years, in the ****** biography of 1973, but he does in his earlier book, The Face of the Third Reich, which first appeared in 1963:

    ******’s father was the illegitimate child of a cook named Schicklgruber from Leonding, near Linz, employed in a household in Graz...The cook, Adolf ******’s grandmother, was working for a Jewish family named Frankenberger when she became pregnant. At that time—this happened in the 1830s—Frankenberger paid Schicklgruber on behalf of his son [who presumably had made the cook pregnant—A.M.], then about nineteen, a paternity allowance from the time of her child’s birth up to his fourteenth year. There was also a correspondence over the years between the Frankenbergers and ******’s grandmother, the general tenor of which was the unexpressed common knowledge of the correspondents that Schickelgruber’s child had been conceived in circumstances which rendered the Frankenbergers liable to pay a paternity allowance.

    If these facts were so well known in the village that they were still being mentioned a hundred years later, it is inconceivable that Alois knew nothing of it. It is also scarcely conceivable that the villagers would believe such generosity was unmotivated. Whatever the truth actually was, a fourfold disgrace weighed upon Alois: being poor, being illegitimate, being separated from his real mother at the age of five, and having Jewish blood. There was certainty about the first three points; even if the fourth was nothing but a rumor, this did not make matters any easier. How is someone to defend himself against a rumor that is not acknowledged openly but only whispered behind his back? It is easier to live with certainties, no matter how negative their nature. One can, for example, climb so high up the professional ladder that not a trace of poverty remains; this, Alois managed to do. He also managed to make his second and third wives pregnant before he married them, replicating for his children his own fate as an illegitimate son and unconsciously avenging himself. But the question concerning his ethnic origins remained unanswered all his life.

    If not consciously acknowledged and mourned, uncertainty about one’s descent can cause great anxiety and unrest, all the more so if, as in Alois’s case, it is linked with an ominous rumor that can neither be proven nor completely refuted...

    [It is often very] crucial...for a person to clear up the unsolved question of his descent and to meet the unknown parent. It is unlikely that Alois ****** could have experienced these needs consciously; besides, it was not possible for him to idealize his unknown father in view of the rumor that he was a Jew, which in Alois’s surroundings meant disgrace and isolation. The fact that Alois’s name was changed when he was forty—with all the highly significant “slips” described by Fest—shows how important but also how fraught with conflict the question of descent was for him.

    Emotional conflict cannot be eliminated by means of official documents, however. Alois’s children were to bear the brunt of his anxiety, which he tried to ward off with achievements, with a career as a civil servant, a uniform, and a pompous manner.

    John Toland writes:

    He became quarrelsome and irritable. His main target was Alois Jr. For some time the father, who demanded absolute obedience, had been at odds with the son, who refused to give it. Later, Alois Jr. complained bitterly that his father frequently beat him “unmercifully with a hippopotamus whip,” but in the Austria of those days severe beatings of children were not uncommon, being considered good for the soul. Once the boy skipped school for three days to finish building a toy boat. The father, who had encouraged such hobbies, whipped young Alois, then held him “against a tree by the back of his neck” until he lost consciousness. There were also stories that Adolf was whipped, if not so often, and that the master of the house “often beat the dog until the dog would cringe and wet the floor.” The violence, according to Alois Jr., extended even to the docile Klara and, if true, must have made an indelible impression on Adolf.

    Interestingly enough, Toland says “if true,” even though he had corroborative information from Adolf’s sister Paula that he did not include in his book. But Helm Stierlin, in his monograph Adolf ******: A Family Perspective, cites material from the Toland Collection. Paula told Toland in an interview:

    It was my brother Adolf who especially provoked my father to extreme harshness and who got his due measure of beatings every day. He was rather a nasty little fellow, and all his father’s attempts to beat the impudence out of him and make him choose the career of a civil servant were in vain.

    If Paula personally told John Toland that her brother Adolf was given “his due measure of beatings” every day, there is no reason to doubt her word. It is characteristic of biographers that they have difficulty identifying with the child and quite unconsciously minimize mistreatment by the parents. The following passage from Franz Jetzinger’s book ******s Jugend (******’s Youth) is very indicative:

    It has been claimed that the boy was badly beaten by his father, using as a source something Angela is supposed to have said to her half brother: “Adolf, remember how Mother and I used to hold Father back by the coattails of his uniform when he was going to beat you?” This statement is highly suspect. The father had not worn a uniform since the Hafeld days; the last year he still wore it he wasn’t living with the family. The beatings would have had to occur between 1892 and 1894 when Adolf was only four and Angela twelve. She would never have dared to hold such a strict father back by the coattails. That was fabricated by someone whose chronology was way off.

    The “Fuhrer” himself told his secretaries, whom he liked to hoodwink anyway, that his father had once given him thirty lashes on the back, but the Fuhrer told them many things that are demonstrably untrue. This remark in particular does not deserve credence because he made it in connection with stories about cowboys and Indians, boasting that he, in true Indian fashion, did not utter a sound during the beating. It may well be that the willful and recalcitrant boy was given an occasional thrashing—he richly deserved it—but he certainly could not be called a “battered child”; his father was a man of thoroughly progressive convictions. Such a contrived theory does nothing to solve the mystery of what made ****** the way he was, indeed only complicates it!
    It seems much more likely instead that Father ******, who after all was already over sixty when they lived in Leonding, closed an eye to the boy’s behavior and did not take much interest in his upbringing.

    If Jetzinger’s facts are correct, and there is no reason to doubt they are, then his “evidence” corroborates my firm conviction that Adolf’s father did not wait until his son was older to start beating him but began when the child was still very young, i.e., “only four.” ...It is significant that Jetzinger uses the word hoodwink when ****** is telling the bitter truth. He claims that ****** “certainly” was not “a battered child” and that “the willful and recalcitrant boy” “richly deserved” his occasional thrashings. For “his father was a man of thoroughly progressive convictions.” There is certainly room for argument about Jetzinger’s concept of progressive convictions, but aside from this, there are fathers who do indeed think in progressive terms on the surface, repeating the history of their own childhood only when it comes to their children or even just one of them targeted for this purpose.

    B. F. Smith even reports that Alois had “genuine respect for other people’s rights and real concern for their welfare.”

    What appears as a “rough exterior” in someone held in high regard can be pure hell for one’s own child. Toland gives an example of this:

    In a show of rebellion, Adolf decided to run away from home. Somehow Alois learned of these plans and locked the boy upstairs. During the night Adolf tried to squeeze through the barred window. He couldn’t quite make it, so took off his clothes. As he was wriggling his way to freedom, he heard his father’s footsteps on the stairs and hastily withdrew, draping his nakedness with a tablecloth. This time Alois did not punish with a whipping. Instead, he burst into laughter and shouted to Klara to come up and look at the “toga boy.” The ridicule hurt Adolf more than any switch and it took him, he confided to Frau Hanfstaengl, “a long time to get over the episode.”

    Years later he told one of his secretaries that he had read in an adventure novel that it was a proof of courage to show no pain. And so “I resolved not to make a sound the next time my father whipped me. And when the time came—I still can remember my frightened mother standing outside the door—I silently counted the blows. My mother thought I had gone crazy when I beamed proudly and said, ‘Father hit me thirty-two times!’”

    These and similar passages give us the impression that Alois was expressing his blind rage at the debasement he suffered in his own childhood by repeatedly beating his son. Apparently he had a compulsion to inflict his debasement and sufferings on this particular child.

    . . . What irrepressible unconscious envy the little boy, by his mere existence, must have aroused in Alois! Born in wedlock as a “legitimate” child, in addition as the son of a customs official, with a mother who was not so poverty-stricken that she had to give him up, and with a father whom he knew (one whose presence he was forced to experience physically every day so intensely and with such lasting effect). Weren’t these the very things whose lack had caused Alois so much suffering and which he had been unable to attain, in spite of all his efforts, during his whole life, since we can never alter the facts of our childhood? We can only accept them and learn to live with the reality of our past or totally deny it and make others suffer as a result.

    For many people it is very difficult to accept the sad truth that cruelty is usually inflicted upon the innocent. Don’t we learn as small children that all the cruelty shown us in our upbringing is a punishment for our wrongdoing? A teacher told me that several children in her class, after seeing the Holocaust film, said, “But the Jews must have been guilty or they wouldn’t have been punished like that.”

    With this in mind, we can understand the attempts of all ******’s biographers to attribute every possible sin, especially laziness, obstinacy, and dishonesty, to little ******. But is a child born a liar? And isn’t lying the only way to survive with such a father and retain a remnant of one’s dignity? Sometimes deception and bad grades in school provide the only means for secretly developing a shred of autonomy for a person so totally at the mercy of another’s whims as was Adolf ****** (and not he alone!). We can assume on this basis that ******’s later descriptions of an open battle with his father over a choice of career were doctored versions, not because the son was a coward “by nature,” but because his father was unable to permit any discussion. It is more likely that the following passage from Mein Kampf reflects the true state of affairs:

    I had to some extent been able to keep my private opinions to myself; I did not always have to contradict him immediately. My own firm determination never to become a civil servant sufficed to give me complete inner peace.

    It is significant that when Konrad Heiden quotes this passage in his ****** biography he remarks at the end, “In other words, a little sneak.” We expect a child in a totalitarian setting to be open and honest but at the same time to obey implicitly, bring good grades home from school, not contradict his father, and always fulfill his duty.

    Another biographer, Rudolf Olden, writing about ******’s problems at school, says:

    Apathy and poor performance soon became more pronounced. With the loss of a stern guiding hand upon the sudden death of his father, a crucial stimulus disappears.

    The beatings are here considered a “stimulus” to learning. This is written by the very same biographer who has just presented this picture of Alois:

    Even after he retired, he retained the typical pride of a bureaucrat and insisted on being addressed as “Herr,” followed by his title, whereas the farmers and laborers used the informal form of address [“Du”] with one another. By showing him the respect he demanded, the local people were really making fun of this outsider. He was never on good terms with the people he knew. To make up for it he had established a nice little dictatorship in his own home. His wife looked up to him, and he treated the children with a hard hand. Adolf in particular he had no understanding for. He tyrannized him. If he wanted the boy to come to him, the former noncommissioned officer would whistle on two fingers.

    This description, written in 1935 when many Braunau acquaintances of the ****** family were still living and it was not yet so difficult to gather information of this sort, is not repeated, to my knowledge, in the postwar biographies. The image of a man who calls his child to him by whistling as though he were a dog is so strongly reminiscent of reports of the concentration camps that it is not surprising if present-day biographers have been reluctant to make the connection. In addition, all the biographies share the tendency to play down the father’s brutality with the observation that beatings were quite normal in those days or even with complicated arguments against “vilifying” the father, such as those presented by Jetzinger.

    The way ****** unconsciously took on his father’s behavior and displayed it on the stage of world history is indicative of how the child must really have seen his father: the snappy, uniformed, somewhat ridiculous dictator, as Charlie Chaplin portrayed him in his film and as ******’s enemies saw him, is the way Alois appeared in the eyes of his critical son. The heroic Fuhrer, loved and admired by the German people, was the other Alois, the husband loved and admired by his subservient wife, Klara, whose awe and admiration Adolf no doubt shared when he was still very little. These two internalized aspects of his father can be identified in so many of Adolf’s later enactments (in connection with the “heroic” aspect, we need only think of the greeting “Heil ******,” of the adoration of the masses, etc.) that we receive the impression that throughout his later life his considerable artistic talents impelled him to reproduce his earliest—deeply imprinted, though unconscious—memories of a tyrannical father. His portrayal is unforgettable for everyone who was alive at the time; some of his contemporaries experienced the dictator from the perspective of the horror felt by a mistreated child, and others from the perspective of an innocent child’s complete devotion and acceptance. Every great artist draws on the unconscious contents of childhood, and ******’s energies could have gone into creating works of art instead of destroying the lives of millions of people, who would then not have had to bear the brunt of this unresolved suffering, which he warded off in grandiosity...A child whose father does not call to him by name but by whistling to him as though the child were a dog has the same disenfranchised and nameless status in the family as did “the Jew” in the Third Reich.

    Since there were no bonds of affection between Adolf and his father (it is significant that in Mein Kampf he refers to Alois as “Herr Vater”), his burgeoning hatred was constant and unequivocal. It is different for children whose fathers have outbursts of rage and can then, in between times, play good naturedly with their children. In this case the child’s hatred cannot be cultivated in such a pure form . . .

    Little Adolf could be certain of receiving constant beatings; he knew that nothing he did would have any effect on the daily thrashings he was given. All he could do was deny the pain, in other words, deny himself and identify with the aggressor. No one could help him, not even his mother, for this would spell danger for her too, because she was also battered.

    This state of constant jeopardy is reflected very clearly in the fate of the Jews in the Third Reich . . .

    I derive my suspicion that the question of descent was made taboo in Adolf’s family from the great importance he later placed on the subject. His reaction to the report Frank gave him in 1930 only confirms my suspicion, for it reveals the combination of knowing and not knowing, so typical for a child, and reflects the family’s confusion about the subject. Adolf ******, wrote Frank,

    "knew that his father was not the child of [Maria Anna] Schicklgruber by the Graz Jew; he knew it from what his father and his grandmother had told him. He knew that his father was the offspring of the premarital relations between his grandmother and the man whom she later married. But they were both poor and the support money which the Jew paid over a number of years was an extremely desirable supplement to the poverty-stricken household. He was well able to pay and for that reason he was claimed to be the father, and the Jew paid, without going to court, probably because he could not face the publicity that a legal settlement would have entailed."

    Jetzinger has this to say about ******’s reaction:

    This paragraph obviously reproduced what ****** said to Frank’s revelation. Naturally he must have been terribly upset but of course did not permit himself to let on in front of Frank but acted as though the contents of the report were not entirely new to him; he said he knew on the basis of what he had been told by his father and his grandmother that his father was not the child of the Jew from Graz. But here ******, in his momentary confusion, really went too far! His grandmother had been dead for over forty years when he was born; she can’t have told him anything! And his father? He would have had to tell him before Adolf turned fourteen because that is when the father died. Such things are not said to a boy that age, and especially not: “Your grandfather was not a Jew,” if there was no question of there being a Jewish grandfather anyway! ****** further responded that he knew his father was the result of the premarital relations between his grandmother and the man she later married. Then why had he written in his book several years earlier that his father was the son of a poor little farm laborer? The miller, who was the only one the grandmother could have had premarital relations with—but only after she was living in Dollersheim again—was never a farm laborer in his life! And to accuse the grandmother, whether this was done by ****** or Frank, of such underhandedness as to claim someone with the ability to pay as the father of her child betrays a mentality that is common among immoral people but proves nothing in regard to parentage! Adolf ****** knew absolutely nothing about his descent! Children are usually not told about such things.

    Such intolerable confusion about a child’s family background can be the cause of learning problems in school (because knowledge is forbidden and thus is threatening and dangerous.) In any case, ****** later wanted to know from every citizen with great accuracy whether a Jew was hiding in the family tree, back to the third generation.

    Fest has several things to say about Adolf’s poor showing in school; he states, for example, that his work did not improve after his father’s death and cites this as proof that his poor performance had nothing to do with his father. The following points refute Fest’s contention.

    1. The passages from Schwarze Padagogik show very clearly that teachers are only too happy to take over for the father when it comes to disciplining the pupil and that they have much to gain from it in the way of their own narcissistic stabilization.

    2. When Adolf’s father died, he had already long since been internalized by the son, and the teachers now provided father substitutes against whom he could try to defend himself somewhat more successfully. Doing poorly in school is one of the few ways a child has to punish the teacher-father.

    3. When he was eleven, Adolf was nearly beaten to death when he tried to free himself from an intolerable situation by running away. His brother Edmund did die around this time; although we have no information about this, it may have been that Adolf had a certain amount of power over his weaker brother. In any event, it is during this period that he began to do poorly in school, in contrast to the good grades he had earlier. Who knows, perhaps this bright and gifted child might have found a different, more humane way of dealing with his pent-up hatred if his curiosity and vitality had been given more nourishment in school. But even an appreciation of intellectual values was made impossible for him by his early, deeply problematical relationship with his father, which was then transferred to his teachers and school.

    This child, who is subject to rages like those of his father, grows up to order the burning of books by freethinking authors. They are books that ****** hated but had never read. Perhaps he could have read and understood them if he had been allowed from the beginning to develop his potential. The burning of books and the condemnation of artists are acts of revenge because this gifted child was prevented from enjoying school . . .

    What didn’t the son do to forget the trauma of the beatings his father gave him: he subjugated Germany’s ruling class, won over the masses, and bent the governments of Europe to his will. He possessed nearly limitless power. At night, however, in his sleep, when the unconscious lets us know about our early childhood experiences, there was no escape: then his father came back to frighten him, and his terror was boundless. Rauschning writes:

    ******, however, has states that approach persecution mania and a dual personality. His sleeplessness is more than the mere result of excessive nervous strain. He often wakes up in the middle of the night and wanders restlessly to and fro. Then he must have light everywhere. Lately he has sent at these times for young men who have to keep him company during his hours of manifest anguish. At times his condition must have been dreadful. A man in the closest daily association with him gave me this account: ****** wakes at night with convulsive shrieks. He shouts for help. He sits on the edge of his bed, unable to stir. He shakes with fear, making the whole bed vibrate. He mutters confused, totally unintelligible phrases. He gasps, as if imagining himself to be suffocating.

    My informant described to me in full detail a remarkable scene—I should not have credited the story if it had not come from such a reliable source. ****** stood swaying in his room, looking wildly about him. “It was he! It was he! He’s been here!” he gasped. His lips were blue. Sweat streamed down his face. Suddenly he began to reel off figures, and odd words and broken phrases, entirely devoid of sense. It sounded horrible. He used strangely constructed and entirely un-German word formations. Then he stood quite still, only his lips moving. He was massaged and offered something to drink. Then he suddenly burst out—

    “There, there! In the corner! Who’s that?”

    He stamped and shrieked in the familiar way. He was shown that there was nothing out of the ordinary in the room, and then he gradually grew calm. After that he lay asleep for many hours, and then for some time things were endurable again.

    Although (or because) most of the people surrounding ****** had once been battered children themselves, no one grasped the connection between his panic and the “unintelligible” numbers. The feelings of fear he had repressed in his childhood when counting his father’s blows now overtook the adult at the peak of his success in the form of nightmares, sudden and inescapable, in the loneliness of the night.

    Had he made the entire world his victim, he still would not have been able to banish his introjected father from his bedroom, for one’s own unconscious cannot be destroyed by destroying the world. Yet, in spite of this fact, the world would still have had to pay dearly if ****** had lived any longer, for the springs of his hatred flowed unceasingly—even in his sleep.

    ******’s French and German teacher, Dr. Huemer, reports that during puberty ****** “reacted with ill-concealed hostility to advice or reproof; at the same time, he demanded of his fellow pupils their unqualified subservience”. As a result of his early identification with a tyrannical father, Adolf—according to a witness from Braunau—would stand on a hill when still very little and “deliver long and passionate speeches.” Since ****** spent only the first three years of his life in Braunau, this indicates how early his career as Fuhrer began. In these speeches the child was imitating the way he had seen his imposing father hold forth and at the same time was also seeing himself, the awestruck admiring child of those first three years, as the audience.

    The same situation was repeated in his appearances at organized mass rallies, those later reenactments of the Fuhrer’s childish self. The narcissistic, symbiotic unity between Fuhrer and Volk is shown very clearly in the words of his boyhood friend August Kubizek, “for whose benefit alone” ****** gave many speeches. Toland writes:

    These orations, usually delivered when they were walking through the fields or on some deserted woodland path, reminded Kubizek of an erupting volcano. It was like a scene on the stage. “I could only stand gaping and passive, forgetting to applaud.” It took some time before Kubizek realized his friend was not acting but was “in dead earnest.” He also discovered that ****** expected only one thing of him: approval; and Kubizek, enthralled more by Adolf’s oratory than by what he said, readily gave it . . . Adolf seemed to know exactly how Kubizek felt. “He always sensed my reactions as intensely as if they were his. Sometimes I had the feeling that he was living my life as well as his own.”

    . . . I could imagine that even those who do know something about the unconscious might look with misgivings or indignation upon my attempt to try to understand ******’s actions on the basis of his childhood experiences, because they would rather not be forced to think about the whole “inhuman story.” Yet can we really assume that the dear Lord suddenly conceived the idea of sending down to earth a “necrophilic beast,” as ****** is described by Erich Fromm, who wrote:

    How can we explain that these two well-meaning, stable, very normal, and certainly not destructive people gave birth to the future “monster,” Adolf ******? [The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness]

    . . . The persecution of people of Jewish background, the necessity of proving “racial purity” as far back as one’s grandparents, the tailoring of prohibitions to the degree of an individual’s demonstrable “racial purity”—all this is grotesque only at first glance. For its significance becomes plain once we realize that in terms of ******’s unconscious fantasies it is an intensified expression of two very powerful tendencies. On the one hand, his father was the hated Jew whom he could despise and persecute, frighten and threaten with regulations, because his father would also have been affected by the racial laws if he had still been alive. At the same time—and this is the other tendency—the racial laws were meant to mark Adolf’s final break with his father and his background. In addition to revenge, the tormenting uncertainty about the ****** family was an important motive for the racial laws: the whole nation had to trace its “purity” back to the third generation because Adolf ****** would have liked to know with certainty who his grandfather was. Above all, the Jew became the bearer of all the evil and despicable traits the child had ever observed in his father. In ******’s view, the Jews were characterized by a specific mixture of Lucifer-like grandeur and superiority (world Jewry and its readiness to destroy the entire world) on the one hand and ugliness and ludicrous weakness and infirmity on the other. This view reflects the omnipotence even the weakest father exercises over his child, seen in ******’s case in the wild rages of the insecure customs official who succeeded in destroying his son’s world.

    It is common in analysis for the first breakthrough in criticizing the father to be signaled by the surfacing of some insignificant and ludicrous trait of his that the patient’s memory has repressed. For example, the father—big out of all proportion in the child’s eyes—may have looked very funny in his short nightshirt. The child had never been close to his father, had been in constant fear of him, but with this memory of the skimpy nightshirt, the child’s imagination provides a weapon, now that ambivalence has broken through in the analysis, which enables him to take revenge on a small scale against the godlike, monumental paternal figure. In similar fashion, ****** disseminates his hatred and disgust for the “stinking” Jew in the pages of the Nazi periodical Der Sturmer in order to incite people to burn books by Freud, Einstein, and innumerable other Jewish intellectuals of great stature.

    . . . Yet this ersatz satisfaction merely whets the appetite—nothing illustrates this better than the case of Adolf ******. Although there probably had never before been a person with ******’s power to destroy human life on such a scale with impunity, all this still could not bring him peace. His last will and testament, which calls for the continued persecution of the Jews, is impressive proof of this.

    When we read Stierlin’s description of ******’s father, we see how closely the son resembled his father in personality:

    It appears, however, that his social rise was not without cost to himself and others. While he was conscientious and hardworking, he was also emotionally unstable, inordinately restless, and perhaps at times mentally disturbed. According to one source, he possibly once entered an asylum. Also, in the opinion of at least one analyst, he combined an overriding determination with a flexible conscience, shown especially in how he manipulated rules and records to his own ends, while maintaining a façade of legitimacy. (For example, in applying for papal approval to marry his legal cousin Klara, he stressed his two small motherless children, needing Klara’s care, but failed to mention her pregnancy.)

    Only a child’s unconscious can copy a parent so exactly that every characteristic of the parent can later be found in the child.


    All the biographers agree that Klara ****** loved her son very much and spoiled him. It must be stated at the outset that this view is a contradiction in terms if we take love to mean that the mother is open and sensitive to her child’s true needs. This is precisely what is lacking if a child is spoiled, i.e., if his every wish is granted and he is showered with things he does not need—all this simply as ersatz for that which parents are unable to give their child because of their own problems. Therefore, if a child is spoiled, this points to a serious deficiency, which is then confirmed in later life. If ****** had really been loved as a child, he would also have been capable of love. His relationships with women, his perversions, and his whole aloof and basically cold relationships with people in general reveal that he never received love from any quarter.

    Before Adolf was born, Klara had three children, all of whom died of diphtheria within a month of one another. The first two were perhaps already ill when the third child was born, who then died when he was only three days old. Thirteen months later, Adolf was born . . .

    The prettified legend depicts Klara as a loving mother who, after the death of her first three children, showered all her affection on Adolf. It is probably no accident that all the biographers who paint this lovely Madonna-like portrait are men. A candid contemporary woman who is herself a mother will perhaps have a somewhat more realistic picture of the events preceding Adolf’s birth and a more accurate one of the sort of emotional atmosphere surrounding his first year of life, so crucial for a child’s sense of security.

    When she is sixteen, Klara Potzl moves into the home of her “Uncle Alois,” where she is to take care of his sick wife and two children. There she is later made pregnant by the master of the house even before his wife is dead, and when she is twenty-four the forty-eight-year-old Alois marries her. Within a period of two and a half years she gives birth to three children and loses all three in the space of four or five weeks. Let us try to imagine what actually happened. The first child, Gustav, comes down with diphtheria in November; Klara can scarcely take care of him because she is about to give birth to her third child, Otto, who probably catches the disease from Gustav and dies after three days. Soon after, before Christmas, Gustav dies and three weeks later the second child, Ida, as well. Thus, within a period of four to five weeks, Klara has lived through the birth of one child and the death of three. A woman need not be especially sensitive for such a shock to make her lose her equilibrium, especially if, like Klara, she is confronted with a domineering and demanding husband while still practically an adolescent. Perhaps as a practicing Catholic she regarded these three deaths as punishment for her adulterous relations with Alois; perhaps she reproached herself because the birth of her third child prevented her from taking good care of Gustav. In any case, a woman would have to be made of stone to remain untouched by these blows of fate, and Klara was not made of stone. But no one could help her to experience her grief; her marital duties toward Alois continued, and in the same year as her daughter Ida’s death Klara became pregnant once again. In April of the following year, she gave birth to Adolf. It was because she could not deal adequately with her grief under these circumstances that the birth of a new child must have reactivated her recent shock, mobilizing her deepest fears and a feeling of insecurity regarding her ability as a mother. What woman with these experiences behind her would not have been fearful during her new pregnancy of a repetition of the past? It is scarcely conceivable that her son, in his early period of symbiosis with his mother, imbibed feelings of peace, contentment, and security along with her milk. It is more likely that his mother’s anxiety, the fresh memories of her three dead children reactivated by Adolf’s birth, and the conscious or unconscious fear that this child would die too were all communicated directly to her baby as if mother and child were one body. It was also of course impossible for Klara to experience her anger toward her self-centered husband, who left her to her anguish. All the more, then, did her baby—who, after all, did not have to be feared like her domineering husband—come to feel the force of these negative emotions.

    All this is destiny; it would be futile to try to find the guilty person. Many people have had a similar fate. For example, Novalis, Holderlin, and Kafka were also strongly influenced by the loss of several siblings, but they were all able to express their sorrow. In ******’s case there was an additional factor: he was unable to tell anyone about his feelings or about the deep anxiety stemming from the disturbed early relationship with his mother. He was forced to repress all this in order not to attract his father’s attention and thus provoke fresh beatings. The only remaining possibility was to identify with the aggressor.

    Something else resulted from this unusual family constellation: mothers who after losing one child have another often idealize the dead child (the way unhappy people frequently fantasize about the missed opportunities in their lives). The living child then feels impelled to make a special effort and to accomplish something extraordinary in order not to be overshadowed by the dead sibling. But the mother’s real love is usually directed toward the idealized dead child, whom she imagines as possessing every virtue—if only it had lived. The same thing happened to van Gogh, for instance, although only one of his brothers had died.

    . . . time and again I heard of the cult connected with the graves of dead children, a cult that is often practiced for decades. The more precarious the mother’s narcissistic equilibrium, the more glowing the picture she paints of the rich promise that died with her child. This child would have made up for all her deprivation, for any pain caused her by her husband, and for all her troubles with her difficult living children. It would have been the ideal “mother” protecting her from all harm—if only it had not died.

    Since Adolf was the first child born after three other children had died, I cannot imagine how his mother’s feeling toward him can be interpreted solely as one of “devoted love,” as described by his biographers. They all claim that ****** received too much love from his mother (they see being spoiled or, as they put it, “oral spoiling,” as the result of an excess of love), and that is supposed to be why he was so avid for admiration and recognition. Because he is thought to have had such a good and long symbiosis with his mother, he is supposed to have sought it again and again in his narcissistic merging with the masses. Statements such as these are sometimes found even in psychoanalytic case histories.

    It seems to me that a pedagogical principle deeply rooted in all of us is at work in these interpretations. Child-rearing manuals often contain the advice not to “spoil” children by giving them too much love and consideration (which is called “doting” or “pampering”), but to steel them for real life right from the beginning. Psychoanalysts express themselves differently here; they say, for example, that “one must prepare the child to bear frustration,” as if a child could not learn that on his or her own in life. In fact, exactly the reverse is true: a child who has been given genuine affection can get along without it as an adult better than someone who has never had it. Therefore, if a person craves or “is greedy for” affection, this is always a sign that he is looking for something he never had and not that he doesn’t want to give up something because he had too much of it in childhood.

    It can appear from the outside that someone’s every wish is being granted without this being the case. Thus, a child can be spoiled with food, toys, and excessive concern without ever being seen or heeded for what he or she really is. If we take ****** as an example, it is easy to imagine that he would never have been loved by his mother if he had appeared to hate his father, which in fact he did. His mother was not capable of love but only of meticulously fulfilling her duties. The condition she must have imposed on her son was that he be a good boy and “forgive and forget” his father’s cruelty toward him. An instructive detail pointed out by B. F. Smith shows how little able Adolf’s mother would have been to give him her support in his problems with his father:

    The old man’s dominance made him a permanent object of respect, if not of awe, to his wife and children. Even after his death his pipes still stood in a rack on the kitchen shelf, and when his widow wished to make a particularly important point she would gesture toward the pipes as if to invoke the authority of the master.

    Since Klara extended her “reverence” for her husband, even after his death, to his pipes, we can scarcely imagine that her son would ever have been allowed to confide his true feelings to her, especially since his three dead siblings had surely “always been good” in his mother’s mind, and now that they were in heaven were unable to do anything bad anyway.

    Thus, Adolf could receive affection from his parents only at the expense of completely disguising and denying his true feelings. This gave rise to a whole mental outlook that Fest discovers to be a continuous pattern in ******’s life. Fest’s biography begins with the following sentences, which underscore this relevant and central point:

    All through his life he made the strongest efforts to conceal as well as to glorify his own personality. Hardly any other prominent figure in history covered his tracks so well as far as his personal life was concerned. He stylized his persona with forceful and pedantic consistency. The image he had of himself was more that of a monument than of a man. From the start he endeavored to hide behind it.

    Helm Stierlin’s interesting study of ****** proceeds from the premise that Adolf’s mother unconsciously “delegated” him to come to her rescue. According to this view, oppressed Germany would then be a symbol for the mother. This may be correct, but there can be no doubt that deep-seated, intensely personal, and unconscious problems also find expression in the savage fanaticism of ******’s later actions, which represent a gigantic struggle to purge his self—for which Germany is a symbol—of all traces of his boundless degradation.

    One interpretation does not exclude the other, however: rescuing the mother also implies a struggle for the child’s own existence. To put it another way: if Adolf’s mother had been a strong woman, she would not—in the child’s mind—have allowed him to be exposed to these torments and to constant fear and dread. But because she herself had been degraded and was a total slave to her husband, she was not able to shield her child. Now he had to save his mother (Germany) from the enemy in order to have the kind of good, pure, strong mother, free of Jewish contamination, who could have given him security. Children very often fantasize that they must save or rescue their mother so that she can finally be the mother to them whom they needed from the beginning. This can become a full-time occupation in later life. But since it is not possible for children to save their mothers, the compulsion to repeat this situation of powerlessness inevitably leads to failure or even to catastrophe if its underlying roots are not recognized and experienced. Stierlin’s ideas could be carried even further along these lines and, put in symbolic terms, might lead to the following horrendous conclusion: the liberation of Germany and the destruction of the Jewish people down to the last Jew, i.e., the complete removal of the bad father, would have provided ****** with the conditions that could have made him a happy child growing up in a calm and peaceful situation with a beloved mother.

    This unconscious symbolic goal is of course a delusion, for the past can never be changed; yet every delusion has its own meaning, which is very easy to understand once the childhood situation is known. This meaning is frequently distorted by case histories and by information given us by biographers, who overlook precisely the most essential data because defense mechanisms are involved. For example, a great deal of research and writing has been done on the question of whether Alois ******’s father was really Jewish and whether Alois could be called an alcoholic.

    Often, however, the child’s psychic reality has very little to do with what the biographers later “prove” to be facts. The mere suspicion of Jewish blood in the family is much more difficult for a child to bear than the certainty. Alois himself must have suffered from this uncertainty, and there can be little doubt that Adolf knew of the rumors even though no one wanted to speak openly about the matter. The very thing that parents try to hide is what will preoccupy a child the most, especially if a major parental trauma is involved.

    The persecution of the Jews “made it possible” for ****** to “correct” his past on the level of fantasy. It permitted him:

    1. To take revenge on his father, who was suspected of being half Jewish

    2. To liberate his mother (Germany) from her persecutor

    3. To attain his mother’s love with fewer moral sanctions, with more true self-expression (the German people loved ****** for being a shrieking Jew-hater, not for being the well-behaved Catholic boy he had to be for his mother)

    4. To reverse roles—he has now become the dictator, he must now be obeyed and submitted to as his father once was; he organizes concentration camps in which people are treated the way he was as a child. (A person is not likely to conceive something monstrous if he does not know it somehow or other from experience. We simply tend to refuse to take a child’s suffering seriously enough.)

    5. Moreover, the persecution of the Jews permitted him to persecute the weak child in his own self that was now projected onto the victims. In this way he would not have to experience grief over his past pain, which had been especially hard to bear because his mother had not been able to prevent it. In this, as well as in his unconscious revenge on his early childhood persecutor, ****** resembled a great number of Germans who had grown up in a similar situation.

    ****** flattered the “German, Germanic” woman because he needed her homage, her vote, and her other services. He had also needed his mother, but he never had a chance to achieve a truly warm, intimate relationship with her. Stierlin writes:

    N. Bromberg (1971) has written about ******’s sexual habits: “...the only way in which he could get full sexual satisfaction was to watch a young woman as she squatted over his head and urinated or defecated in his face.” He also reports “ episode of erotogenic masochism involving a young German actress at whose feet ****** threw himself, asking her to kick him. When she demurred, he pleaded with her to comply with his wish, heaping accusations on himself and groveling at her feet in such an agonizing manner that she finally acceded. When she kicked him, he became excited, and as she continued to kick him at his urging, he became increasingly excited. The difference in age between ****** and the young women with whom he had any sexual involvement was usually close to the twenty-three-year difference between his parents.”

    It is totally inconceivable that a man who as a child received love and affection from his mother, which most ****** biographers claim was the case, would have suffered from these sadomasochistic compulsions, which point to a very early childhood disturbance. But our concept of mother love obviously has not yet wholly freed itself from the ideology of “poisonous pedagogy.”


    . . . If we stop looking for new facts and focus on the significance within the total picture of what we already know, we will come upon sources of information in our study of ****** that have thus far not been properly evaluated and therefore are not readily or widely accessible. As far as I know, for example, little attention has been paid to the important fact that Klara ******’s hunchbacked and schizophrenic sister, Adolf’s Aunt Johanna, lived with the family throughout his childhood. At least in the biographies I have read, I have never found a connection made between this fact and the Third Reich’s euthanasia law. To find any significance in this connection, a person must be able and willing to comprehend the feelings that arise in a child who is exposed daily to an extremely absurd and frightening form of behavior and yet at the same time is forbidden to articulate his fear and rage or his questions. Even the presence of a schizophrenic aunt can be positively dealt with by a child, but only if he can communicate freely with his parents on the emotional level and can talk with them about his fears.

    Franziska Horl, a servant in the ****** household when Adolf was born, told Jetzinger in an interview that she had not been able to put up with this aunt any longer and left the family on her account, stating simply that she refused to be around “that crazy hunchback” any longer.

    The child of the family is not allowed to say such a thing. Unable to leave, he must put up with everything; not until he has grown up can he take any action. When ****** was grown and came to power, he was finally able to avenge himself a thousandfold on this unfortunate aunt for his own misfortune. He had all the mentally ill in Germany put to death, because he felt they were “useless” for a “healthy” society (i.e., for him as a child). As an adult, ****** no longer had to put up with anything; he was even able to “liberate” all of Germany from the “plague” of the mentally ill and retarded and was not at a loss to find ideological embellishments for this thoroughly personal act of revenge.

    Lloyd deMause: My speech began by giving the massive evidence accumulated by myself and my fellow psychohistorians on child abuse in Germany and Austria during the first half of the 20th century. Parents killed their newborn over a third of the time, so that siblings watched their mothers strangle babies and throw them in latrines. Breastfeeding was infrequent, so infant mortality rates ranged up to 58%. During their first year of life, infants were bound up tight with swaddling bandages and rarely changed, left in their own feces and urine, covered with lice and other vermin and hung on a peg on the wall. Parents routinely called their little children "lice" because they were full of lice and "useless eaters" because they didn't contribute to the family income. Battering was routine from birth, "to stop them from being a 'tyrant,' so that one is master of the child forever." Parents were often described as being in a "righteous rage" while they "hammered obedience" into their children. Painful enemas were routinely used to "remove the impurities" from children. Then, when the children were five or so, they were sent out to be servants, where beating and sexual abuse was the rule. That these children became "time bombs" ready to explode as adults was not surprising.

    During the Weimar period, a phobic group-fantasy became so widespread that the population was convinced that their blood was about to be infected by lice, which had to be exterminated in order to save the nation's bloodstream from being poisoned -- re-experiencing the dread of poisonous lice they had as helpless, swaddled infants. Eight hundred thousand children had their blood taken to see if it was "impure." Tens of thousands of homeless children were then exterminated as "useless eaters" in the first gas chambers and crematorium ovens, in the 1920s, before the Holocaust began. Long before ******, biologists and doctors advocated doing away with millions of sick people who lived what they termed "useless lives." Jews were called "tormentive lice that must be exterminated" (Goebbels) and "parasites on the body of other peoples who had to be exterminated to purify Germany" (******). Projecting onto Jews their own memories as babies in their shit-bandages, Austrians and Germans by the millions rounded them up and put them into over ten thousand death camps, subjecting them to "excremental assault" and telling them: "You'll be eaten by lice, you'll rot in your own shit. You are all going to die." Every name their own parents called them as children was repeated with the Jews. Official documents termed them "useless eaters" and "filthy lice who were infecting our pure blood." ****** himself was clinically phobic and sat for hours watching leeches suck his own blood out to get rid of what he termed its "poisons;" he then ordered Jews exterminated as "parasites." As the Nazis locked Jews into death camps, they called them "you filthy shitface"--as their parents had called them--and threw them into latrine pits, forcing feces into their mouths.
    Last edited by HERO; 07-24-2014 at 10:16 AM.

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    Voted IEI.

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    Hitler's mastery of persuasion in the name of deception is obvious.

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    Default you provide an abstract, a brief summary of the thread, as well as a statement of the intended purpose of this? lol, thanks.

    Nevermind, forgot this was a typing thread.

    I'll save this space for something of substance if I get around to reading all of that or get really bored.

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    For Your Own Good by Alice Miller; pp. 142-147:

    My pedagogy is hard. What is weak must be hammered away. In my fortresses of the Teutonic Order a

    young generation will grow up before which the world will tremble. I want the young to be violent,

    domineering, undismayed, cruel. The young must be all these things. They must be able to bear pain.

    There must be nothing weak or gentle about them. The free, splendid beast of prey must once again

    flash from their eyes. I want my young people strong and beautiful. That way I can create something



    My desire to learn more about Adolf Hitler’s childhood did not emerge until I began to write this book,

    and it took me quite by surprise. The immediate occasion was the realization that my belief, based upon

    my experience as an analyst, that human destructiveness is a reactive (and not an innate) phenomenon

    either would be confirmed by the case of Adolf Hitler or—if Erich Fromm and others are right—would

    have to be completely revised. This question was important enough for me to try to answer, although I

    was very skeptical at first that I would be able to summon up empathy for this human being, whom I

    consider the worst criminal I have ever known of. Empathy, i.e., in this case the attempt to identify with

    the perspective of the child himself and not to judge him through adult eyes, is my sole heuristic tool,

    and without it, the whole investigation would be pointless. I was relieved to discover that for the

    purposes of my study I was successful in keeping this tool intact and was able to regard Hitler as a

    human being.

    To do this, I had to free myself from thinking of “what is human” in traditional and idealizing

    terms based on splitting off and projecting evil; I had to realize that human being and “beast” do not

    exclude each other. Animals do not suffer from the tragic compulsion of having to avenge, decades

    later, traumata experienced at an early age—as was the case, for example, with Frederick the Great,

    who was driven to become a great conqueror after the terrible humiliation he suffered as a child. In any

    event, I am not familiar enough with an animal’s unconscious or its degree of awareness of its past to

    make any statements on the subject. So far, it is only in the human realm that I have discovered extreme

    bestiality; only there can I trace it and search for its motives. And I cannot renounce this search unless I

    am willing to be made into an instrument of cruelty, i.e., its unsuspecting (and thus guiltless yet blind)

    perpetrator and propagator.

    If we turn our backs on something because it is difficult to understand and indignantly refer to it

    as “inhuman,” we will never be able to learn anything about its nature. The risk will then be greater,

    when we next encounter it, of once again aiding and abetting it by our innocence and naïveté.

    Over the past thirty-five years, countless works dealing with the life of Adolf Hitler have

    appeared. No doubt, I heard more than once that Hitler was beaten by his father, and even read it

    several years ago in a monograph by Helm Stierlin without being particularly struck by the fact. Since I

    have become sensitive, however, to the demeaning treatment children are sometimes subjected to in

    the first years of life, this information has taken on much greater importance for me. I asked myself

    what the childhood of this person had been like, a person who was possessed by hatred all his life and

    for whom it became so easy to involve other people in his hatred. As a result of reading Schwarze

    and of the feelings it awakened in me, I was suddenly able to imagine and feel what it must

    have been like for a child growing up in the Hitler household. What had previously been a black-and-

    white film was now in color, and it gradually merged to such an extent with my own experiences of

    World War II that it ceased being a film and turned into real life. This was not only a life that had been

    lived at a certain time and place in the past but one whose consequences and whose likelihood of being

    repeated I believe concern us all here and now as well. For the hope that by means of rational

    agreements it might be possible in the long run to prevent nuclear annihilation of the human race is at

    bottom a form of irrational wishful thinking and contradicts all our experience. As recently as the Third

    Reich, not to mention countless times before that, we have seen that reason constitutes only a small

    part of the human being, and not the dominant part, at that. All it took was a Fuhrer’s madness and

    several million well-raised Germans to extinguish the lives of countless innocent human beings in the

    space of a few short years. If we do not do everything we can to understand the roots of this hatred,

    even the most elaborate strategic agreements will not save us. The stockpiling of nuclear weapons is

    only a symbol of bottled-up feelings of hatred and of the accompanying inability to perceive and

    articulate genuine human needs.

    The example of Hitler’s childhood allows us to study the genesis of a hatred whose

    consequences caused the suffering of millions. The nature of this destructive hatred has long been

    familiar to psychoanalysts, but psychoanalysis will be of little help as long as it interprets this hatred as

    an expression of the death instinct. The followers of Melanie Klein, who in spite of their very accurate

    description of infantile hatred still define it as innate (instinctual) and not reactive, are no exception.

    Heinz Kohut comes closest to interpreting the phenomenon with his concept of narcissistic rage, which I

    have related to the infant’s reaction to the lack of availability of the primary care giver.

    But we must go one step further if we are to understand the origins of a lifelong insatiable

    hatred such as consumed Adolf Hitler. We must leave the familiar territory of drive theory and address

    the question of what takes place in a child who is humiliated and demeaned by his parents on the one

    hand and on the other is commanded to respect and love those who treat him in this fashion and under

    no circumstances to give expression to his suffering. Although something so absurd would scarcely be

    expected of an adult (except in pronouncedly sadomasochistic relationships), this is exactly what

    parents expect of their children in most cases, and in previous generations they were rarely

    disappointed. In the earliest stage of life, it is possible for a child to forget about the extreme acts of

    cruelty he or she has endured and to idealize their perpetrator. But the nature of the subsequent

    enactment reveals that the whole history of early persecution was stored up somewhere; the drama

    now unfolds in front of the spectators with an amazing resemblance to the original situation but under

    another guise: in the reenactment, the child who was once persecuted now becomes the persecutor. In

    psychoanalytic treatment, the story is enacted within the framework of transference and


    If psychoanalysis could only free itself of its stubborn belief in the death instinct, it would be

    able to begin to answer the question of why wars occur, on the basis of material available on early

    childhood conditioning. Unfortunately, however, most psychoanalysts are not interested in what

    parents did to their children, leaving this question to family therapists. Since the latter in turn do not

    work with transference but concentrate primarily on modifying interactions among family members,

    they seldom gain the access to events of early childhood possible in a thoroughgoing analysis.

    In order to show how the early debasement, mistreatment, and psychological rape of a child

    expresses itself throughout later life, I would need only to recount the history of a single analysis down

    to the last detail, but considerations of discretion make this impossible. Hitler’s life, on the other hand,

    was observed and recorded so exactly by so many witnesses up to the very last day that this material

    can easily be used to demonstrate the enactment of the early childhood situation. In addition to the

    testimony of witnesses and the historical events in which his deeds are documented, his thoughts and

    feelings were expressed, albeit in coded form, in his many speeches and in his book Mein Kampf. It

    would be a highly instructive and rewarding task to make Hitler’s entire political career comprehensible

    from the perspective of the history of his persecution in early childhood. But to pursue this task is far

    beyond the scope of this book, since my sole interest here is in showing examples of the effects of

    “poisonous pedagogy.” For this reason I shall restrict myself to a few highlights in his biography; in so

    doing, I shall attribute particular significance to certain childhood experiences that until now have

    received little attention from his biographers. Because historians by profession concern themselves with

    external facts, and psychoanalysts with the Oedipus complex, few seem to have seriously raised the

    question: What did this child feel, what did he store up inside when he was beaten and demeaned by his

    father every day from an early age?

    On the basis of available documents, we can easily gain an impression of the atmosphere in

    which Adolf Hitler grew up. The family structure could well be characterized as the prototype of a

    totalitarian regime. Its sole, undisputed, often brutal ruler is the father. The wife and children are totally

    subservient to his will, his moods, and his whims; they must accept humiliation and injustice

    unquestioningly and gratefully. Obedience is their primary rule of conduct. The mother, to be sure, has

    her own sphere of authority in the household, where she rules over the children when the father is not

    at home; this means that she can to some extent take out on those weaker than herself the humiliation

    she has suffered. In the totalitarian state, a similar function is assigned to the security police. They are

    the overseers of the slaves, although they are slaves themselves, carrying out the dictator’s wishes,

    serving as his deputies in his absence, instilling fear in his name, meting out punishment, assuming the

    guise of the rulers of the oppressed.

    Within this family structure, the children are the oppressed. If they have younger siblings, they

    are provided with a place to abreact their own humiliation. As long as there are even weaker, more

    helpless creatures than they, they are not the lowest of slaves. Sometimes, however, as was the case

    with Christiane F., the child is ranked below the dog, for the dog need not be beaten if a child is


    This hierarchy, which can be observed in the way concentration camps were organized (with

    their ranking of guards, etc.) and which is legitimized by “poisonous pedagogy,” is probably still

    maintained in many families today. The possible consequences for a sensitive child can be traced in

    detail in the case of Adolf Hitler.

    - from Hitler’s Vienna: A Portrait of the Tyrant as a Young Man by Brigitte Hamann; pp. 7, 8:

    Family life was not peaceful: the father had fits of rage and battered his oldest son, Alois, who

    in turn was jealous of Adolf, pampered by his young mother. The half-brother remarked about

    Adolf, “He was spoiled from early in the morning until late at night, and the stepchildren had to

    listen to endless stories about how wonderful Adolf was.” But Adolf, too, was beaten by his

    father. According to Alois Jr., once Alois was even afraid he had killed Adolf. [Washington NA,

    Hitler Source Book, interview with William Patrick Hitler in New York on 9 October 1943.]

    . . . After a fierce fight with his father, fourteen-year-old Alois Jr. left the home in Hafeld

    and was disinherited . . . Angela, [6/7-year-old] Adolf, and Edmund, born in 1894, remained at


    Alice Miller; p. 154: How often the evil warded off by a parent is projected onto the child!* . . . in the

    pedagogical works quoted in . . . the books by Dr. Schreber, which were extremely popular in their day,

    the physical chastisement of the infant is strongly recommended. It is emphasized repeatedly that

    wickedness cannot be driven out early enough so that “goodness may grow undisturbed.” In addition,

    we know from newspaper accounts that mothers beat their babies, and perhaps we would know much

    more about this subject if pediatricians would speak out about what they observe every day. Until

    recently, however, their oath of professional secrecy explicitly forbade this, and now they still remain

    silent, perhaps out of habit, or “for reasons of propriety.”

    * The collection of essays edited by Ray E. Helfer and C. Henry Kempe, with the title The Battered Child,

    3rd ed. (Chicago, 1980), provides the reader with valuable insight into the motives for beating infants.

    - pp. 155-156: The strangest psychological interpretations result from the pedagogical position that sees

    its main task in protecting parents from the reproaches of their children. In contrast to my thesis that

    Hitler’s justifiable childhood hatred of his father found an outlet in hatred of the Jews, Fest believes that

    Hitler did not start to hate his father until 1938, as a grown man, after learning of his Jewish ancestry

    from Frank. He writes:

    No one can say what effect it had on his son when he learned these facts just as he was setting out to

    win power in Germany; but there is some reason to suppose that the vague aggressiveness he had

    always felt towards his father now turned into distinct hatred. In May 1938, only a few weeks after the

    German annexation of Austria, he had the village of Dollersheim and its environs turned into an army

    training area. His father’s birthplace and his grandmother’s burial place were obliterated by the tanks of

    the Wehrmacht.

    Such hatred for the father cannot spring full-blown in an adult from an “intellectual” anti-

    Semitic attitude. Hatred like this is deeply rooted in experiences lived through in the obscurity of

    childhood. It is significant that Jetzinger also thinks that after receiving Frank’s report Hitler’s political

    hatred for the Jews was transformed into personal hatred for his father and members of his family.

    - p. 157: An American television program showed some young mothers who were in group therapy, all

    of whom reported they had mistreated their babies. A mother told about one occasion when she

    couldn’t bear to listen to her baby scream a moment longer; she suddenly snatched it from its crib and

    hurled it against the wall. The desperation she felt at the time became very obvious to the viewer. She

    went on to tell how, having reached her wits’ end, she had called an emergency telephone number that

    offers assistance in such cases. The voice on the line asked her whom she had actually wanted to strike

    out at. To her astonishment, she heard herself saying, “Myself,” whereupon she broke down sobbing.

    This incident lends support to my interpretation of Alois’s behavior toward his son as a form of

    self-punishment. But this circumstance does not change the fact that Adolf, who as a child of course

    could not know all this, lived in daily jeopardy, in a hell of continual fear and severe trauma. Nor does it

    change the fact that he was forced at the same time to repress these feelings in order to rescue his pride

    or that he did not show his suffering and had to split it off.

    - pp. 160-162: . . . in spite of his grandiose identification with the aggressor, there are passages in Mein

    Kampf that show the way Hitler experienced his childhood.

    In a basement apartment, consisting of two stuffy rooms, dwells a worker’s family of seven. Among the

    five children there is a boy of, let us assume, three. . . . The very narrowness and overcrowding of the

    room does not lead to favorable conditions. Quarreling and wrangling will very frequently arise. . . . But if

    this battle is carried on between the parents themselves, and almost every day, in forms which in

    vulgarity often leave nothing to be desired, then, if only very gradually, the results of such visual

    instruction must ultimately become apparent in the children. The character they will inevitably assume if

    the quarrel takes the form of brutal attacks by the father against the mother, of drunken beatings, is

    hard for anyone who does not know this milieu to imagine. At the age of six the pitiable little boy

    suspects the existence of things which can fill even an adult with nothing but horror. . . . All the other

    things that the little fellow hears at home do not tend to increase his respect for his dear fellow men.

    It ends badly if the man goes his own way from the very beginning and the woman, for the children’s

    sake, opposes him. Then there is fighting and quarreling, and as the man grows estranged from his wife,

    he becomes more intimate with alcohol. When at length he comes home on Sunday or even Monday

    night, drunk and brutal, but always parted from his last cent, such scenes often occur that God have


    I have seen this in hundreds of instances.

    Although the deep and lasting damage it would have done to his dignity prevented Hitler from

    admitting the situation of the “let us assume, three-year-old boy” to be his own in the first-person

    account of Mein Kampf, the content of his description leaves no doubt whose childhood is meant.

    . . . Through the agency of his unconscious repetition compulsion, Hitler actually succeeded in

    transferring the trauma of his family life onto the entire German nation . . .

    1. It was impossible for Hitler’s father, in spite of all his efforts, successes, and advances in

    career from shoemaker to chief customs inspector, to remove the “stain” in his past, just as

    it was later forbidden the Jews to remove the stigma of the yellow star they were forced to

    wear. The stain remained and oppressed Alois all his life. It may be that his frequent moves

    (eleven, according to Fest) had another cause beside a professional one—to obliterate his

    traces. This tendency is also very clear in Adolf’s life. “When he was told in 1942 that there

    was a memorial marker in the village of Spital [in the region where his father was born] he

    went into one of his wild rages,” Fest reports.

    2. At the same time, the racial laws represented the repetition of the drama of Hitler’s own

    childhood. In the same way that the Jew now had no chance to escape, the child Adolf at

    one time could not escape his father’s blows, which were caused, not by the child’s

    behavior, but by the father’s unresolved problems, such as his resistance to mourning over

    his own childhood. It is fathers such as this who are likely to drag their sleeping child out of

    bed if they cannot come to terms with a mood (perhaps having just felt insignificant and

    insecure on some social occasion) and beat the child in order to restore their narcissistic


    The Jews fulfilled the same function in the Third Reich—which attempted to recover from

    the disgrace of the Weimar Republic at their expense—as this sleeping child. This was Adolf’s function

    throughout his childhood; he had to accept the fact that at any moment a storm could break over his

    helpless head without his being able to find any way to avert or escape it.

    - pp. 174-175: Those who have never experienced the power of the unconscious may find it naïve to try

    to explain Hitler’s deeds as an outgrowth of his childhood experiences. There are still many men and

    women who are of the opinion that “childhood matters are merely childish matters” and that politics is

    something serious, something for adults, and not child’s play. These people think connections between

    childhood and later life farfetched or ridiculous, since they would like, for good reason, to forget

    completely the reality of those early years. A life such as Hitler’s is especially instructive here because in

    it the continuity between earlier and later can be traced so clearly. Even as a small boy he expressed his

    longing to be free from his father’s yoke in the war games he played. First he led the Indians and then

    the Boers into battle against the oppressors. “It was not long before the great heroic struggle [the

    Franco-German War of 1870-71] had become my greatest inner experience,” he writes in Mein Kampf,

    and in the same passage we can detect the fateful connection between those games that reflected his

    childhood unhappiness and the deadly seriousness to come: “From then on, I became more and more

    enthusiastic about everything that was in any way connected with war or, for that matter, with


    - pp. 191-193: In the portrait of Adolf Hitler’s family as drawn by Stierlin, we still are shown the

    loving mother who, while she delegates the function of rescuer to her child, protects him at the

    same time from the violent father. In Freud’s version of the Oedipus legend, we also find this

    beloved and loving idealized mother figure. In his book on male fantasies, Klaus Theweleit

    comes somewhat closer to the truth about these mothers, although he too hesitates to draw

    the logical consequences from his material. He ascertains that the image of a strict, punitive

    father and a devoted, protective mother keeps occurring in the cases he analyzes of

    representatives of Fascist ideology. The mother is referred to as “the best wife and mother in

    the world,” as a “good angel,” as “clever, of strong character, helpful, and deeply religious.” The

    Fascists Theweleit analyzes admire qualities in the mothers of their comrades or in their

    mothers-in-law that they apparently do not want to attribute to their own mothers: severity,

    love of the fatherland, a Prussian attitude (“Germans do not cry”)—the mother of iron who

    “doesn’t bat an eyelash at the news of the death of her sons.”

    Theweleit quotes a case:

    Still, it was not this news that turned out to be the last straw for the mother. Four sons were

    killed in the war; this she survived. It took something ridiculous in comparison to devastate her.

    The province of Lorraine became French and with it the company mines. [Mannerphantasien]

    But what if these two sides were two halves of one’s own mother? Hermann Ehrhard relates in

    the same book:

    Once on a winter’s night I stood sullenly outside in the snow for four hours before my mother

    finally said now I had been punished enough.

    Before the mother “rescues” her son by saying he “had been punished enough,” she

    sees to it that he stands in the snow for four hours. A child cannot understand why the mother

    he loves hurts him so, cannot comprehend why the woman who in his eyes is a giantess in

    actuality fears her husband as if she were a little girl and unconsciously passes on her own

    childhood humiliation to her little boy. A child cannot help but suffer from this harsh treatment.

    But he dare not live out this suffering or show it. There is no choice but to split it off and project

    it onto others, i.e., to ascribe his mother’s harsh qualities to other mothers and even come to

    admire these qualities in them.

    Could Klara Hitler help her son as long as she was herself her husband’s dependent,

    submissive serving maid? While he was alive, she timidly called her husband “Uncle Alois,” and

    after his death she would gesture toward his pipes, which were on display in the kitchen, to

    emphasize a point she was making.

    What happens to a child when he must repeatedly see the same mother who tells him

    of her love, who carefully prepares his meals and sings lovely songs to him, turn into a pillar of

    salt and look on without lifting a finger when this child is given a brutal beating by his father?

    How must he feel when time after time he hopes in vain that she will help him, will come to his

    rescue; how must he feel when in his suffering he waits in vain for her finally to use her power,

    which in his eyes is so great, on his behalf? The mother watches her child being humiliated,

    derided, and tormented without coming to his defense, without doing anything to save him.

    Through her silence she is in complicity with his persecutor; she is abandoning her child. Can we

    expect a child to understand this? Should we be surprised if his bitterness, although repressed,

    is also directed against the mother? Perhaps this child will love his mother dearly on a conscious

    level; later, in his relationships with other people, he will repeatedly have the feeling of being

    abandoned, sacrificed, and betrayed.

    Hitler’s mother is surely no exception but rather the rule, if not even the ideal of many

    men. But can a mother who is only a slave give her child the respect he needs to develop his

    vitality? We can gather from the following depiction of the masses in Mein Kampf what Hitler’s

    ideal of femininity was:

    The psyche of the great masses is not receptive to anything that is halfhearted and weak.

    Like a woman, whose psychic state is determined less by grounds of abstract reason than

    by an indefinable emotional longing for a force which will complement her nature, and who,

    consequently, would rather bow to a strong man than dominate a weakling, likewise the masses

    love a commander more than a petitioner and feel inwardly more satisfied by a doctrine,

    tolerating no other beside itself, than by the granting of liberalistic freedom with which, as a

    rule, they can do little, and are prone to feel that they have been abandoned. They are equally

    unaware of their shameless spiritual terrorization and the hideous abuse of their human

    freedom, for they absolutely fail to suspect the inner insanity of the whole doctrine. All they see

    is the ruthless force and brutality of its calculated manifestations, to which they always submit in

    the end.

    In his description of the masses, Hitler accurately portrays his mother and her subservience. His

    political guidelines are based on very early experiences: brutality always wins out.

    - pp. 163-165: Let us try to imagine the following scene. A Jew is walking down the street, perhaps on his

    way home from buying milk, when a man wearing an SA armband attacks him; this man has the right to

    do anything to the Jew he wants, anything his fantasy happens to dictate and that his unconscious

    craves at the moment. The Jew can do nothing to alter this; he is in the same position as little Adolf once

    was. If the Jew tries to defend himself, there is nothing to prevent his being trampled to death. He is like

    the eleven-year-old Adolf, who in desperation once ran away from home with three friends, planning to

    float down the river on a homemade raft and thus flee from his violent father. Just for the very thought

    of trying to escape, he was nearly beaten to death. It is just as impossible for the Jew to escape; all roads

    are cut off and lead to death, like the railroad tracks that simply came to an end at Treblinka and

    Auschwitz—signifying the end of life itself. This is the way any child feels who is beaten day in and day

    out and who is very nearly killed for daring to think of escape.

    In the scene I have just described, which occurred countless times between 1933 and 1945 in

    many variations, the Jew has to endure everything like a helpless child. He must submit to having this

    creature with the SA armband, who has been transformed into a screaming, berserk monster, pour the

    milk over his head and summon others to the scene to share his amusement (the way Alois laughed at

    Adolf’s “toga”). He must endure having the SA man feel big and strong alongside someone who is

    completely at his mercy, completely in his power. If this Jew loves his life, he will not risk it now just for

    the sake of proving to himself that he is tough and courageous. Instead, he will remain passive yet

    inwardly full of revulsion and scorn for this man, just as Adolf had been when he gradually came to see

    through his father’s weakness and began to pay him back, at least a little, by doing poorly in school,

    which he knew upset his father.

    Joachim Fest does not think that Adolf’s poor performance in school had anything to do with his

    relationship with his father but feels it was a result of the increased academic demands he encountered

    in Linz, where he was no longer capable of competing with his classmates, who came from solid middle

    class homes. On the other hand, Fest writes that Adolf was “a wide-awake, lively, and obviously able

    pupil” (Hitler). Why should a boy like this have difficulties in school if not for the reason that he himself

    gives but which Fest questions because he sees Adolf as having a “tendency to laziness” and “an

    incapacity for regular work . . . [which] appeared quite early.” This is something Alois might have said,

    but the fact that Hitler’s most thorough biographer, who himself adduces thousands of pages of proof of

    his subject’s later capacity for work, identifies with the father against the child here would be

    astonishing if it were not the general rule. Almost all biographers unquestioningly accept the standards

    of judgment of that pedagogical ideology according to which parents are always right and children lazy,

    spoiled, stubborn, and moody if they do not function as they are expected to at all times. When children

    say anything against their parents, they are often suspected of lying. Fest writes:

    Later, in order to introduce a few effective dark shadings into the picture [as though this were

    necessary!—A.M.] the son even tried to make Alois look like a drunkard. Hitler tells of scolding and

    pleading with his father in scenes “of abominable shame,” tugging and pulling him out of “reeking,

    smoky taverns” to bring him home. [Hitler]

    Why “effective dark shadings”? Because the biographers agree that although the father liked to

    drink at the inn and afterwards caused scenes at home, he “was not an alcoholic.” With the diagnosis

    “not an alcoholic,” everything the father did can be overlooked and the child can be completely

    dissuaded of the significance of his experience, i.e., the shame and disgrace connected with witnessing

    these terrible scenes.

    Something similar occurs when people in therapy ask relatives questions about their deceased

    parents. The parents, faultless while they were alive, are automatically promoted to angels upon their

    death, leaving a hell of self-reproach as a legacy to their children. Since it is unlikely that anyone these

    children know will confirm their earlier negative impressions of their parents, they must keep these

    impressions to themselves and think themselves very wicked for having them. It would have been no

    different for the thirteen-year-old Hitler when he lost his father and from then on encountered nothing

    but an idealized father image on all sides. Who would have acknowledged to the boy his father’s cruelty

    and brutality then, if even today biographers still attempt to describe those regular beatings as

    harmless? As soon as Hitler succeeded in transferring the evil he felt in himself to “the Jew per se,”

    however, he succeeded in breaking out of his isolation.

    - pp. 195-197: Readers who interpret my treatment of Hitler’s early childhood as sentimental or even as

    an attempt to excuse his deeds naturally have every right to construe what they have read as they see

    fit. People who, for example, had to learn at a very early age “to keep a stiff upper lip” identify with their

    parents to the extent that they consider any form of empathy with a child as emotionalism or

    sentimentality. As for the question of guilt, I chose Hitler for the very reason that I know of no other

    criminal who is responsible for the death of so many human beings. But nothing is gained by using the

    word guilt. We of course have the right and the duty to lock up murderers who threaten our life. For the

    time being, we do not know of any better solution. But this does not alter the fact that the need to

    commit murder is the outcome of a tragic childhood and that imprisonment is the tragic sequel to this


    . . . The claim that child beating (including spanking) is common, to say nothing of the conviction that it

    is necessary in order to spur the child on to learn, completely ignores the dimensions of childhood

    tragedy. Because the relationship of child beating to subsequent criminality is not perceived, the world

    reacts with horror to the crimes it sees committed and overlooks the conditions giving rise to them, as if

    murderers fell out of a clear blue sky.

    I have used Hitler as an example to show that:

    1. Even the worst criminal of all time was not born a criminal.

    2. Empathizing with a child’s unhappy beginnings does not imply exoneration of the cruel acts

    he later commits. (This is as true for Alois Hitler as it is for Adolf.)

    3. Those who persecute others are warding off knowledge of their own fate as victims.

    4. Consciously experiencing one’s own victimization instead of trying to ward it off provides a

    protection against sadism; i.e., the compulsion to torment and humiliate others.

    5. The admonition to spare one’s parents inherent in our Fourth Commandment and in

    “poisonous pedagogy” encourages us to overlook crucial factors in a person’s early childhood and later


    6. We as adults don’t get anywhere with accusations, indignation, or guilt feelings, but only by

    understanding the situations in question.

    7. True emotional understanding has nothing to do with cheap sentimental pity.

    8. The fact that a situation is ubiquitous does not absolve us from examining it. On the

    contrary, we must examine it for the very reason that it is or can be the fate of each and every one of us.

    9. Living out hatred is the opposite of experiencing it. To experience something is an

    intrapsychic reality; to live it out, on the other hand, is an action that can cost other people their lives. If

    the path to experiencing one’s feelings is blocked by the prohibitions of “poisonous pedagogy” or by the

    needs of the parents, then these feelings will have to be lived out. This can occur either in a destructive

    form, as in Hitler’s case, or in a self-destructive one, as in Christiane F.’s. Or, as in the case of most

    criminals who end up in prison, this living out can lead to the destruction both of the self and of others.

    - p. 177: I have no doubt that behind every crime a personal tragedy lies hidden. If we were to

    investigate such events and their backgrounds more closely, we might be able to do more to prevent

    crimes than we do now with our indignation and moralizing. Perhaps someone will say: But not

    everyone who was a battered child becomes a murderer; otherwise, many more people would be

    murderers. That is true. However, humankind is in dire enough straits these days that this should not

    remain an academic question. Moreover, we never know how a child will and must react to the injustice

    he or she has suffered—there are innumerable “techniques” for dealing with it. We don’t yet know,

    above all, what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to

    humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as persons. In any case, I don’t know

    of a single person who enjoyed this respect as a child and then as an adult had the need to put other

    human beings to death. [By respect for a child, I don’t mean a “permissive” upbringing, which is often a

    form of indoctrination itself and thus shows a disregard for the child’s own world.]

    We are still barely conscious of how harmful it is to treat children in a degrading manner.

    Treating them with respect and recognizing the consequences of their being humiliated are by no means

    intellectual matters; otherwise, their importance would long since have been generally recognized. To

    empathize with what a child is feeling when he or she is defenseless, hurt, or humiliated is like suddenly

    seeing in a mirror the suffering of one’s own childhood, something many people must ward off out of

    fear while others can accept it with mourning. People who have mourned in this way understand more

    about the dynamics of the psyche than they could ever have learned from books.

    - pp. 186-189: Hitler systematically tried to cut off all contact with his past: he did not allow his half

    brother Alois to come near him, and he made his sister Paula, who kept house for him, change her

    name. But on the stage of world politics he unconsciously enacted the true drama of his childhood—

    under another guise. He, like his father before him, was now the dictator, the only one who had

    anything to say. It was the place of all the others to be silent and to obey. He was someone who aroused

    fear, but he also commanded the love of his people, who prostrated themselves at his feet just as the

    subservient Klara had once done at the feet of her husband.

    The special fascination Hitler held for women is well known. For the shy little girl in them, he

    embodied the admired father, who knew exactly what was right and wrong and who could in addition

    offer them an outlet for the hatred they had bottled up since childhood. This combination gave Hitler his

    great following among both women and men. For all these people had once been raised to be obedient,

    had grown up in an atmosphere of duty and Christian virtues; they had to learn at a very early age to

    repress their hatred and their needs.

    And now along came a man who did not question the underpinnings of this bourgeois morality

    of theirs, someone who on the contrary could put the obedience that had been instilled in them to good

    use, who never confronted them with searching questions or inner crises, but instead provided them

    with a universal means for finally being able to live out in a thoroughly acceptable and legal way the

    hatred they had been repressing all their lives. Who would not take advantage of such an opportunity?

    The Jews could now be blamed for everything, and the actual erstwhile persecutors—one’s own, often

    truly tyrannical parents—could be honored and idealized.

    I know a woman who never happened to have any contact with a Jew up to the time she joined

    the Bund Deutscher Madel, the female equivalent of the Hitler Youth. She had been brought up very

    strictly. Her parents needed her to help out in the household after her siblings (two brothers and a

    sister) had left home. For this reason she was not allowed to prepare for a career even though she very

    much wanted to and even though she had the necessary qualifications. Much later she told me with

    what enthusiasm she had read about “the crimes of the Jews” in Mein Kampf and what a sense of relief

    it had given her to find out that it was permissible to hate someone so unequivocally. She had never

    been allowed to envy her siblings openly for being able to pursue their careers. But the Jewish banker to

    whom her uncle had to pay interest on a loan—he was an exploiter of her poor uncle, with whom she

    identified. She herself was actually being exploited by her parents and was envious of her siblings, but a

    well-behaved girl was not permitted to have these feelings. And now, quite unexpectedly, there was

    such a simple solution: it was all right to hate as much as she wanted; she still remained (and perhaps

    for this very reason was) her parents’ good girl and a useful daughter of the fatherland. Moreover, she

    could project the “bad” and weak child she had always learned to despise in herself onto the weak and

    helpless Jews and experience herself as exclusively strong, exclusively pure (Aryan), exclusively good.

    And Hitler himself? This is where the whole process of enactment had its start. It was also true

    for him that in the Jew he was mistreating the helpless child he once was in the same way his father had

    mistreated him. And just as the father was never satisfied and whipped him every day, nearly beating

    him to death when he was eleven, Hitler also was never satisfied; he wrote in his will, after he had

    already had six million Jews put to death, that it was still necessary to exterminate the last remnants of


    What is revealed here, as in the case of Alois and the other parents who beat their children, is

    the fear of a possible resurrection and return of the split-off parts of the self. This is why beating is a

    never-ending task—behind it hovers fear of the emergence of one’s own repressed weakness,

    humiliation, and helplessness, which one has tried to escape all one’s life by means of grandiose

    behavior: Alois with his position as a high-level customs official, Adolf as the Fuhrer, someone else as a

    psychiatrist who swears by electric-shock treatment or as a research doctor who conducts experiments

    by transplanting monkey brains, as a professor who prescribes what his students should believe, or

    simply as a parent rearing a child. None of these endeavors is directed at other human beings (or at

    monkeys)—what is really at issue in everything these people do to others when they despise and

    demean them is the attempt to exterminate their own former weakness and to avoid sorrow.

    Hitler's Vienna by Brigitte Hamann; p. 18: On January 3, 1903, at 10 A.M., sixty-five-year old Alois Hitler

    suddenly died of pulmonary bleeding. He was sitting in a tavern at the time.

    The obituary in the Linz Tagespost described him as “a thoroughly progressive man” and

    a “true friend of the free school,” an allusion to the deceased’s anticlerical tendencies, his

    involvement in the association “Free School,” and an argument he had had with the local priest.

    Socially—in other words, in the tavern—he had “always [been] happy, of a downright youthful

    joyfulness even,” and also “a friend of song.” Plus: “Even though a rough word may have

    escaped his lips once in a while, a good heart was hiding behind a rough exterior.” This discreet

    way of putting things seems to indicate that he was cheerful in the bar but tough at home.

    Hitler’s future guardian Josef Mayrhofer confirms this: “In the bar he always had to be right and

    had a quick temper. . . . At home he was strict, not a gentle man; his wife didn’t have an easy

    life.” [Jetzinger, Hitlers Jugend, p. 70.]

    At least the thirteen-year-old boy must have felt relief at his tyrannical father’s death.

    Hitler was to tell his secretary a great deal “about his mother’s love,” which he returned. “ ‘I

    didn’t love my father,’ he used to say, ‘but I was all the more afraid of him. He had tantrums and

    immediately became physically violent. My poor mother would always be very scared for me.’”

    [Schroeder, Er war mein Chef, p. 63.]

    - p. 60: Probably immediately upon his arrival in Vienna, at any rate some time in February

    1908, eighteen-year-old Hitler set out for the opera to introduce himself to Professor Alfred

    Roller. What happened then he would later tell with surprising frankness to Vienna’s district

    leader Eduard Frauenfeld: Roller’s letter in hand, he “went to the building once, then he lost his

    courage and turned around. After some inner turmoil he overcame his shyness, started out a

    second time, went all the way to the staircase, but no further. A third attempt failed as well.”

    Some “person” asked the shy young man what he wanted. “Muttering an excuse, he fled and in

    order to find a way out of this constant agitation destroyed the letter.” [Alfred E. Frauenfeld,

    Der Weg zur Buhne (The path to the stage) (Berlin, 1940), pp. 273ff.]

    Thus the chance to be discovered as an artist by Roller had evaporated.

    - pp. 64-67: In June 1908, during a performance of Walkure, a melee broke out in the Court

    Opera’s gallery. Wagnerians protested against massive cuts in the score and demanded that the

    opera be performed as written, just as during the Mahler era. The anti-Semites and numerous

    enemies of Mahler fought for Weingartner and the cuts. The Alldeutsches Tagblatt described the

    event in an article entitled “Jewish Insolence in the Court Opera as follows: “A number of

    crooked-nosed Wagnerians, their nice thick skulls (cat heads) delicately and charmingly

    bedecked with black negro wool (homo negroides), thought it was a good opportunity to indulge

    in boisterous demonstrations. The members of the orchestra, on the other hand, who revere Mr.

    Weingartner as a first-rate conductor and are happy finally to have got rid of that Jewish trickster

    Gustav Mahler, celebrated their director by getting up from their seats as one man and

    applauding him warmly.”

    Previously, the paper said, the performance of Meistersinger had been disrupted, “for the

    Negro-blooded have never liked the Germanic Wagner. But they reckoned without their host, for

    no sooner had one of those princes of darkness opened his jaws and bawled a little than he

    received a forceful box on his ear, delivered by a son of the Muses who had powerfully built up

    his strength on the fencing ground. For a few minutes brave students had a lot to do to leave their

    marks on all those Jewish faces and literally to throw the bones belonging to them out the door.”

    [AdT, 20 June 1908.]

    Vienna’s “high society” hardly made preparations to defend the unpopular Mahler. He

    had been too harsh as a director, adamantly rejected interventions, and been uncompromising in

    his artistic demands. He had turned the high-society forum for rendezvous into a temple of music

    theater, much to the dismay of those who did not go to the opera for the music.

    Art requires serious concentration, young Hitler too remarked to his friend, upset about

    those who go to the opera in order to be seen, who parade nice outfits and expensive jewelry and

    want to flirt or, if possible, make deals, and, before the performance is over, of course, amuse

    themselves by concluding their evening in a dance hall. . . . People of that sort don’t belong into

    the Empire’s foremost cultural institution, they should amuse themselves in a night club.

    [Kubizek, Adolf Hitler, Mein Jugend freund; 1st draft, p. 31.]

    In the dispute over Mahler’s concept of Wagner, the two young Wagnerians Hitler and

    Kubizek were clearly not on the side of the anti-Semites. Kubizek assures us that Hitler had had

    “the greatest admiration” for Mahler.* Even in the unpublished part of his memoirs, which were

    commissioned by the NSDAP, Kubizek says that Mahler “was probably a Jew too, but was still

    respected by Adolf Hitler, because Gustav Mahler concerned himself with the music dramas of

    Richard Wagner and produced them with a perfection that for its time literally shone.” [Kubizek,

    1st draft, p. 24.] With their admiration for Mahler and Roller, Hitler and Kubizek were on the

    side of the “crooked-nosed Mahlerians” and “Hebrews.”

    * Kubizek, p. 229.

    Despite all protests, however, the cut versions persevered even at the Opera in Vienna. In

    other houses they were the rule anyway. Winifred Wagner tells us that during a Lohengrin

    performance in Bayreuth in 1936, Hitler, who had been sitting next to her, became excited when

    the tenor surprised everyone by singing a passage in the story about the Grail that was usually

    cut. Only those who knew the work well noticed that Hitler was entirely familiar with the uncut

    Wagner productions he saw during his period in Vienna.

    Inspired by Roller, whom he revered from a distance, and perhaps still intending to call on him,

    Hitler familiarized himself with details about stage techniques during that time. According to

    Kubizek, he wrote plays and dramas about stories from German heroic myths and drew set and

    costume designs. The high point of these endeavors was the dogged attempt to “complete” the

    Germanic mythic play that Wagner had only outlined: Wieland der Schmied (Wieland the

    smith). In the myth, captured Wieland forges wings for himself to fly to freedom. Wagner’s

    essay “The Work of Art of the Future” ends with the words: “O you one, magnificent people!

    You have written this poem, you yourself are Wieland; Forge your Wings and soar!”

    According to Kubizek, nineteen-year-old Hitler had tackled not only text and stage

    design for Wieland, but also wanted to compose the music for it. He had wanted to prove to

    Kubizek “that even without attending the conservatory he was able musically to create the same

    as and even more than I could, for, he said, it was not the wisdom of the professors that counted

    but the ingenious idea.” Because Hitler neither had the slightest idea about harmonics nor was

    proficient in reading music, Kubizek had to write down his friend’s “ideas” and—after Hitler had

    clumsily played them on the piano—then orchestrate them.

    The obedient Kubizek would later euphemistically talk about the composition’s “widely

    extended polyphony” and complain about Hitler’s idiosyncrasies: in the end the score had been

    full of accidentals, and, furthermore, there was “a constant metric change of beat.” [Kubizek, 1st

    draft, pp. 43ff.] Hitler had worked “feverishly, as if an impatient opera director had given him

    much too close a deadline and was already tearing the manuscript out of his hands in


    - pp. 73-74: While a large exhibition in 1908 triggered a veritable Makart renaissance, the

    Viennese modernists tried to promote an understanding of modern art in the large-dimension “art

    show” under the direction of Gustav Klimt. Some three thousand people attended the opening at

    the exhibition grounds designed by Josef Hoffman, the place of today’s Concert Hall. In

    fifty-four divisions—plus artfully built gardens, yards, wells, a country house, a small cemetery,

    and a café with two terraces—they exhibited the works of sculptors, painters, goldsmiths,

    embroiderers, and glass artists. The “Viennese Workshop” also displayed beautifully shaped

    mass products, all kinds of household stuff, toys, dollhouses—one even had electric lights—

    picture books, the new reform fashion, posters, fabric patterns, and other items.

    In the center of art were the new works from Klimt’s “Golden Period”: Danae, The Kiss,

    Three Ages, and erotic drawings. Twenty-two-year-old Kokoschka, a student at the School of

    Crafts and Design, upset viewers. Aside from his book The Dreaming Boys he exhibited a self

    portrait in the form of a bust with painted clay, entitled Warrior—mouth agape, as if he were

    screaming ferociously. Kokoschka wrote in his memoirs: “My exhibit space became the ‘cabinet

    of horrors’ for the Viennese spectators, my work the object of people’s scorn. Every day pieces

    of chocolate or something else were in my bust’s wide-open mouth, by which I assume girls

    expressed their additional scorn for the ‘savage chief.’” [Oskar Kokoschka, Mein Leben (My

    life) (Munich, 1971), p. 55.] The newspapers bestowed high praise on the art exhibit’s theater

    division, with stage and costume designs created by Roller. It is well possible that this made

    Hitler join the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the art exhibit. It would have been his first

    encounter with the artists of Viennese modernism.

    The following year Kokoschka excited people with his play Morder, Hoffnung der

    Frauen (Murderer, hope of women), a deliberate provocation he used “as a means against the

    lethargy typically experienced in the theater today.” With torchlights, accompanied by rambling

    drumbeats and shrill whistle blows, young actors, their bodies coarsely painted and clad in rags,

    improvised a gory murder play. Spectators were revolted. Bosnian soldiers from the adjoining

    barracks sat on the wall around the art exhibit, ready “to intervene in the fake killing.” Toward

    the end “the stamping, brawling, and fighting with the chairs . . . went dangerously far,” and

    “finally the audience ended up getting into a scuffle with the soldiers.” [Kokoschka, p. 65ff.]

    The provocation was followed by an assault in the press on the “degenerate artist,”

    “terror of burghers,” “spoiler of youth,” the “prison plant.” At the ministry’s direction

    Kokoschka had to leave the School of Crafts and Design.

    Viennese modernism loved what was exotic and strange, above all that which was primitive and

    unadulterated. It was enthusiastic about Gauguin paintings at the art show in 1909. When an

    Abyssinian village was shown at the Prater in 1910 and an Ashanti family exhibited the way it

    “really” lived, the Prater regulars were delighted at seeing “the blacks’” family life and the

    bodies of those half-naked attractions. So were the artists.

    The modernists certainly meant all this as a protest against nationalistic and “clerical”

    narrowmindedness—and their antagonists angrily understood it that way too. They called the

    artists of Expressionism “degenerate” and liked to refer to Richard Wagner as their spiritual

    ancestor. In his essay “The Work of Art of the Future” Wagner had complained about the

    “frequent, restless change” of fashions and the inclusion of extra-European motifs and elements

    of style and argued that true art could flourish only after overcoming modernism. “True,”

    national art, he said, was what would remain, and the “moderns” would always be but a

    temporary aberration.

    His youthful experience with Viennese Expressionism may have helped to mold Hitler’s

    disgust at modern art, which in 1942, for example, he called nothing but crippled daubing.* And

    at the 1935 party convention he said: It is not the function of art to wallow in filth for filth’s

    sake, to paint man only in the state of decay, to draw cretins as a symbol of becoming a mother

    and to portray crooked morons as models of virility. [Quoted from the speech for the 1935 party

    convention by Klaus Backes, Hitler und die bildenden Kunste (Hitler and the visual arts)

    (Cologne, 1977), p. 52.]

    * Henry Picker, Hitlers Tischqesprache, p. 146, 27 March 1942.]


    Young Hitler remained a stranger to literature. That he—as Kubizek noted, full of admiration—

    read Goethe, Schiller, Dante, Lessing, and Stifter, is utterly doubtful, as is the claim that in

    Vienna he was “always surrounded” by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. However, it is possible,

    even likely, that Hitler knew a great number of quotations from the works of those masters, from

    which Kubizek deduced that Hitler read them diligently. The German-national newspapers were

    full of quotes by famous “German men” around that time. Particularly the pan-Germans loved

    corroborating their arguments by hard-to-check quotes, on stickers as well as postcards and


    - pp. 50-51: . . . now let us turn to Hitler’s blackmailing relative, who supposedly was the reason

    for his desire to find out what happened. This must clearly be William Patrick Hitler, born in

    1911, the son of an Irish mother and Hitler’s half-brother Alois Jr. Shortly after the birth of the

    child, Alois disappeared—making his wife and child believe for years that he was dead—and

    remarried in Germany. In 1924 he was sentenced in court for bigamy.

    When Hitler became famous, his poor Irish relatives, whom he did not know, saw their

    chance to make money and gave interviews to newspapers in England as “Hitler’s relatives.”

    Subsequently, in 1930, Hitler had nineteen-year-old Patrick, whom he had never met before, visit

    him in Munich, where he told him and his half-brother Alois that he forbade them to do things

    like that. He is supposed to have said that the family should not believe they could become

    famous at his expense: “You idiots!!” he was quoted to have shouted. “You’re going to do me in!

    . . . How carefully I have always kept my private life and my personal affairs from the press!

    People must not know who I am. They must not know where I’m from and who my family is.

    Not even in my book did I allow one word to come out about these things, not one word! And

    then all of a sudden there’s a nephew! A nephew! They will start investigating. They will sic

    snoopers on the tracks of our past.” In a newspaper interview in 1939 Patrick Hitler even said

    that his uncle had started sobbing and in his anger shed tears.*

    Later Hitler tried to deny that he was related to Alois, who had quite a criminal record.

    He said that Alois was not the son of his father but an orphan raised by the family. Yet Alois

    submitted the certificates of baptism as proof, according to which he was a premarital child of

    the second wife of Alois Hitler Sr., who had legitimized the boy.

    There was no getting rid of Patrick. After 1933, while unemployed, Patrick traveled to

    Berlin to ask his uncle for support. A hint at his father’s certificate of baptism sufficed to make

    Hitler, who evidently interpreted this as blackmail, pay. He got Patrick a job and occasionally

    gave him money, but he left no doubt that he was not interested in familial relations.

    - p. 22: Even at that early age he had fallen under the influence of the pan-Germans, whose main

    enemy were the Social Democrats.

    In a 1929 speech Hitler would brag about being one of the early fighters against the

    “Reds”: When I was a boy, I wore the black, red, and gold badge and, like innumerable of my

    early friends, was seriously beaten up by Marxists. They tore up the black, red, and gold flag and

    kicked it in the mud. [Hitler, Reden, vol. 3, pt. 2, p. 249. Statement before the district court in

    Munich on 7 May 1929.]

    - from The Young Hitler I Knew by August Kubizek; pp. 42-43: . . . the deepest impression was

    made on him by the contrast between the over-decorated apartments of the monastery and

    Bruckner’s simple room. When he saw its humble furniture, he was strengthened in his belief

    that on this earth genius almost always goes hand in hand with poverty.

    Such visits were revealing to me, for Adolf was by nature very reserved. There was

    always a certain element in his personality into which he would allow nobody to penetrate. He

    had his inscrutable secrets, and in many respects always remained a riddle to me. But there was

    one key that opened the door to much that would have remained hidden: his enthusiasm for

    beauty. All that separated us when we stood in front of such a magnificent work of art as the

    monastery of St Florian. Then, fired by enthusiasm, Adolf would lower all his defences and I felt

    to the full the joy of our friendship.

    I have often been asked, and even by Rudolf Hess, who once invited me to visit him in

    Linz, whether Adolf, when I knew him, had any sense of humor. One feels the lack of it, people

    of his entourage said. After all, he was an Austrian and should have had his share of the famous

    Austrian sense of humor. Certainly one’s impression of Hitler, especially after a short and

    superficial acquaintance, was that of a deeply serious man. This enormous seriousness seemed to

    overshadow everything else. It was the same when he was young. He approached any problem

    with which he was concerned with a deadly earnestness which ill suited his sixteen or seventeen

    years. He was capable of loving and admiring, hating and despising, all with the greatest

    seriousness. But one thing he could not do was pass over something with a smile. Even with a

    subject in which he did not take a personal interest, such as sport, this was nevertheless, as a

    phenomenon of modern times, just as important to him as any other. He never came to the end of

    his problems, and if he did not find any in the present, he would brood at home for hours over his

    books and burrow into the problems of the past. This extraordinary earnestness was his most

    striking quality. Many other qualities which are characteristic of youth were lacking in him: a

    carefree letting go of himself, living only for the day, the happy attitude of ‘what is to be, will

    be.’ Even ‘going off the rails’, in the coarse exuberance of youth, was alien to him. His idea,

    strange to say, was that these were things that did not become a young man. And because of this,

    humor was confined to the most intimate sphere as if it were something taboo. His humor was

    usually aimed at people in his immediate circle, in other words a sphere in which problems no

    longer existed for him. For this reason his grim and sour humor was often mixed with irony, but

    always an irony with friendly intent. Thus, he saw me once at a concert where I was playing the

    trumpet. He got enormous amusement out of imitating me and insisted that with my blown-out

    cheeks I looked like one of Rubens’s angels.

    I cannot conclude this chapter without mentioning one of Hitler’s qualities which, I freely

    admit, seems paradoxical to talk about now. Hitler was full of deep understanding and sympathy.

    He took a most touching interest in me. Without my telling him, he knew exactly how I felt.

    How often this helped me in difficult times. He always knew what I needed and what I wanted.

    However intensely he was occupied with himself he would always have time for the affairs of

    those people in whom he was interested. It was not by chance that he was the one who persuaded

    my father to let me study music and thereby influenced my life in a decisive way. Rather, this

    was the outcome of his general attitude of sharing in all the things that were of concern to me.

    Sometimes I had a feeling that he was living my life as well as his own.

    - p. 51: Although his father had been dead nearly two years when I first met Adolf, he was still

    ‘ever present’ to his family. The mother perpetuated his personality in every way, for with her

    malleable nature she had almost entirely lost her own, and what she thought, said and did was all

    in the spirit of the dead father. But she lacked the strength and energy to put into effect the

    father’s will. She, who forgave everything, was handicapped in the upbringing of her son by her

    boundless love for him. I could imagine how complete and enduring the influence of this man

    had been on his family, a real patriarchal father-of-the-family, whose authority was

    unquestioningly respected. Now his picture hung in the best position in the room. On the kitchen

    shelves, I still remember, there were carefully arrayed the long pipes which he used to smoke.

    They were almost a symbol in the family of his absolute power. Many a time, when talking of

    him, Frau Hitler would emphasise her words by pointing to these pipes as though they should

    bear witness how faithfully she carried on the husband’s tradition.

    Adolf spoke of his father with great respect. I never heard him say anything against him,

    in spite of their differences of opinion about his career. In fact he respected him more as time

    went on. Adolf did not take it amiss that his father had autocratically decided on his son’s future

    career, for this he considered his right, even his duty. It was quite a different matter when

    Raubal, his step-sister’s husband, this uneducated person, who was himself only a little revenue

    official, arrogated to himself this right. Adolf would certainly not permit him to interfere in his

    personal affairs. But the authority of his father still remained, even after his death, the force in

    the struggle with which Adolf developed his own powers. His father’s attitude had provoked him

    first to secret, then to open, rebellion. There were violent scenes, which often ended in the father

    giving him a good hiding, as Adolf told me himself. But Adolf matched this violence with his

    own youthful obstinacy, and the antagonism between father and son grew sharper.

    - pp. 58-61 (Adolf’s Schooldays):

    Fischlham bei Lambach, age 6, single-class primary school, started 2 May 1895

    Teacher Karl Mittermaier gave him a report full of grade As. Mittermaier was still alive in 1938

    and, when asked for his recollections of his former pupil, said that he remembered the pale,

    weakly little boy brought to school every day from Hafeld by his twelve-year-old half-sister

    Angela; little Adolf did as he was told and kept his things tidy, otherwise he had nothing to add.

    In 1939, as Reich Chancellor, when Hitler revisited the single-class school he sat at the same

    desk where he had learned to read and write. Of course, he had to change everything, and so

    bought the old, well-maintained schoolhouse and ordered a new building to be erected there. The

    lady teacher who had taken over from old Mittermaier was invited to visit Obersalzberg with her


    1895-6 Lower form, above school, Hafeld

    1896-8 Volksschule, Lambach, Forms 2 and 3

    At Lambach, too, Hitler received all grade As from teacher Franz Rechberger. He also sang in

    the boys’ choir at the monastery.

    1898-1900 Volksschule, Leonding, Forms 4 and 5

    Teachers Sixtl and Brauneis could think of nothing exceptional to say when asked, and could

    give no background information, although Sixtl remembered that In history and geography Adolf

    Hitler knew more than many teachers did.

    1900-1 Austro-Hungarian State Realschule, Steingasse, Linz.

    Form 1

    Things changed for the worse once Hitler began his secondary education. In Mein Kampf he said

    of those years: ‘My manifest failure at school was assured from the outset. What I liked I learnt,

    this was in the main that which I thought would be useful for a painter. Whatever looked

    irrelevant or did not appeal to me I sabotaged completely. My school reports of the period varied

    from “praiseworthy” and “outstanding” down to “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory”. My best

    subjects were geography and world history. These were my favorite subjects, in which I led the


    On the basis of this self-portrait one may obtain a false picture about his schooldays.

    Although he spoke of them reluctantly, and with irritation, nevertheless our friendship lay to a

    certain extent in their shadow. Thus the impression I gained at the time differs from what he

    represented in his book fifteen years later.

    At first the eleven-year-old boy found it very difficult to merge into the unaccustomed

    surroundings. Each day he had to make the long journey from Leonding in the town to the

    Realschule in the outlying Steingasse. He told me often, when we used to wander up to the old

    fortress tower on a high point about halfway between Linz and the school, that the trek was the

    most wonderful thing about those years. It took him more than an hour to walk it and gave him a

    sense of freedom which he treasured.

    His classmates, mostly from solid, good-class Linz families, cold-shouldered the strange

    boy who arrived daily ‘from amongst the peasants’, and the professors took only that measure of

    interest in him that the school curriculum demanded. This differed greatly from primary school

    with its sympathetic staff who knew each child quite intimately and spent the evenings with the

    fathers over a drink at the inn. In primary school, Hitler had strolled through the school year

    without any appreciable effort. Initially at secondary school he tried to get through by

    improvisation. This was necessary because he did not like having to learn those things which the

    professors considered important, but his usual twists and turns could not serve him here.

    Accordingly he withdrew into his shell and let the waters wash over him.

    In class he rarely came to anybody’s notice. He had no friends, contrary to primary

    school, and wanted none. Occasionally one of the class snobs would let him know that ‘boys

    coming up from the town’ were not really suitable for the Realschule. That encouraged him to

    isolate himself even more from the other pupils. It is noteworthy that no single classmate from

    this period ever claimed to have established any kind of intimacy or friendship with him, not

    even long afterwards.

    Headmaster Hans Commenda, who taught the first form mathematics, gave Hitler an

    ‘unsatisfactory,’ as did the natural history master Max Engstler, feared by everyone. Thus did

    Realschule-schoolboy Hitler end his first year with two ‘unsatisfactory’ categories with the

    result that he had to re-sit the year. Adolf never told me what his father’s reaction was, but I can

    easily imagine it.

    1901-2 Realschule, Linz, repeated Class 1

    Thus he had to start all over again. His form-master was now Professor Eduard Huemer, who

    taught German and French, this latter being the only language which Adolf took up, or rather

    was forced to take up. But here at least he acclimatised somewhat, re-sat Class 1 and passed.

    1902-3 Realschule Linz, Class 2

    He got through this year with difficulty, and again his father was obliged to sign a school report

    in which mathematics was ‘unsatisfactory’: Adolf had not been taught in this subject by

    Professor Henrich Drasch before, and so he could not argue that his poor grade was a rebellion

    against the teacher. He hated mathematics because it was too dry and required systematic

    application. We often discussed it. In Vienna, Hitler realised he would need mathematics if he

    wanted to be an architect, but he was unable to overcome his inner dislike of the subject.

    1903-4 Realschule Linz, Class 3

    Class 3 finished with two ‘unsatisfactory’ grades, mathematics and German, even though later he

    placed Professor Huemer amongst the three teachers for whom he had some regard. In this year

    his father died. Professor Huemer made it clear to Frau Hitler that the boy could only progress to

    Class 4 by transferring to an outlying Realschule. It is therefore not true to say that he was

    expelled from the Realschule at Linz; he was merely ‘farmed out’.

    1904-5 Realschule Steyr, Class 4; autumn 1905 repeated school-leaving certificate

    Hitler himself was outraged at his treatment. He was determined that his final year at Steyr

    would fail; he decided that he had had quite enough of school and was convinced that it no

    longer served his purpose. What he lacked in knowledge he would make up with self-tuition. Art

    had long had a place in his life; with youthful passion he was convinced that he was called to be

    an artist. In contrast to art, the school machine was grey and monotonous. He wanted to be free

    of all compulsion and forge ahead on his own. He despised his contemporaries who were unable

    to do the same. What the uninteresting acquaintances of the Realschule classrooms had denied

    him he now expected from his friend.

    Whereas it had been his father’s orders that kept him at school previously, now it was his

    love for his mother which kept him at his studies. He was at Steyr under protest, and after

    reading Dante’s Divine Comedy labeled the school ‘The Place of the Damned’. At Steyr, Hitler

    lodged at the house of a court official, Edler von Cichini at Grunmarkt 19, but returned to Linz

    whenever the opportunity presented itself. The outcome was bad, and he achieved nothing more

    by re-sitting the school-leaving certificate between 1 and 15 September 1905, acquiring an extra

    ‘unsatisfactory’ in geometry to go with his customary ‘unsatisfactory’ in mathematics.

    Another, more substantial struggle ran parallel with the constant skirmishing with the

    professors: the spiritual conflict with his mother. The fact is, as I myself observed, that Adolf

    tried as far as he could to spare her, she who was the world to him, but it became impossible

    once his failure was definitive and he departed from the career path which his father had

    anticipated for him. He was unable to convince her why he had to follow another, unsignposted,

    road to his future profession.

    - pp. 62-65: There now followed two years without an apparent goal. ‘In the hollowness of the

    empty life’ he describes this phase with some discomfort in Mein Kampf. It is a good description.

    He no longer attended school; did nothing to get himself job training; lived with his mother and

    let her keep him. But he was not idle: this period of his life was filled with restless activity. He

    sketched, he painted, he wrote poetry, he read. I cannot remember a time when he had nothing to

    do or was bored. If it happened that he did not like a performance we went to he would leave and

    throw himself with great zeal into some activity or other. Admittedly it was difficult to see what

    system there was in it, for no objective or clear goal was apparent; he just accumulated

    impressions, experiences and material around himself. The purpose of it all was never explained

    to me. He just searched, everywhere, constantly.

    In this manner, however, Adolf found a way to prove to his mother that schooling had no

    useful end – ‘one can learn so much more by oneself’ he explained to her. He joined the People’s

    Educative Society bookshop in the Bismarckstrasse, also the Museal Society so as to be able to

    borrow their books. And he frequented the lending library of the Steurer and L. Hasslinger book

    companies. From this time on I remember Adolf as always surrounded by piles of books, in

    particular by the numerous volumes of his favourite work Die Deutschen Heldensage – ‘The

    Sagas of the German Heroes’ – which he was never without. How often he asked me, as soon as

    I came home from the noisy upholstery machinery, to study this or that book so that he could

    discuss it with me. Suddenly, everything he had lacked at school – industry, interest, joy in

    learning – returned. As he boasted, he had overcome school with its own weapons.

    At Adolf Hitler’s trial for high treason following the failed putsch attempt of 1923,

    Professor Huemer, his form master at Linz Realschule for three full years, appeared as a

    character witness. He deposed:

    (As a schoolboy), Hitler was undoubtedly gifted, if in a one-sided way. He had little in the way

    of self-discipline, and since he insisted on swimming against the current as well as being

    arbitrary, egotistical and irascible, he would obviously have struggled to fit into a school

    framework. He was also lazy, for otherwise with his undoubted capacity he would have achieved

    far better results.

    At the end of this adverse opinion, Professor Huemer spoke from the heart and added:

    All the same, as experience teaches us, our schooldays do not provide us with much useful for

    itself, and while the rising stars often disappear without trace, school grades do not mean much

    until one has sufficient elbow room. It seems to me that my former pupil Hitler fits into this

    latter category, and from the heart I wish that he soon recovers from the tension and excitement

    of recent events and yet still experiences the fulfillment of those ideals which he cherishes in his

    breast, and which would do honor to every German.

    These words, written in 1924, are free of any ‘political’ praise which might have tainted

    them post-1933. They indicate a striking solidarity between teacher and former pupil. There is a

    hint in what Professor Huemer says that the ideals, as a result of which Adolf Hitler was

    indicted, originated in his schooling. Hitler was not a good pupil even in the German classes of

    Professor Huemer, as the grammatical errors to be found in the letters and postcards he sent me


    Another of the teachers judged positive by Hitler, on the basis of their political opinions

    rather than their scholarship, was natural history master Theodor Gissinger, who had replaced

    Professor Engstler. Gissinger was a great enthusiast for the outdoors who loved long rambles and

    mountain climbing. He was the most radical of the teachers in the nationalist camp. The political

    divisions of the time revealed themselves more acutely within the teaching staff than in public.

    This atmosphere, charged with political tensions, was more decisive for Hitler’s mental

    development than the school curriculum; so, it appears, the atmosphere rather than the teaching

    materials determines the worth or otherwise of the school. Professor Gissinger wrote in

    retrospect of his former pupil:

    At Linz, Hitler made neither a good nor a bad impression on me. He was also not a leader in

    class. He was slim and upright, his face mostly pale and gaunt, and there was almost a

    consumptive look about him, his gaze enormously open, his eyes luminous.

    The third and last of his teachers judged as ‘positive’ by Hitler was professor of history

    Dr Leopold Potsch, the only one of almost a dozen teachers of whom he admitted admiration at

    the time. The words which he devoted to this man in Mein Kampf are well known:

    It was perhaps decisive for my whole later life that fate gave me as my history teacher one of the

    very few who knew how to get across the important things in class and examinations, and to

    dismiss the unimportant. In my history professor Dr Leopold Potsch at the Linz Realschule, this

    necessity was incorporated in the ideal manner. An aged gentleman of kindly but determined

    manner, he succeeded especially by his gift of radiant eloquence, leaving us not only spellbound,

    but also enthusiastic. Even today I remember with emotion the greying man who could make us

    forget the present with the fire of his presentation, charm us back through past ages and, in the

    mists of the centuries, give living reality to things of dry historical memory. We used to sit, often

    overcome, sometimes even moved to tears.

    Leopold Potsch is the only personality mentioned by name in Mein Kampf, and Hitler

    devotes two and a half pages to him. Such devotion is surely exaggerated, and the proof thereof

    is that Hitler finished his school career with only a ‘satisfactory’ in history, which was perhaps

    partly attributable to the changes of school. Even so, one should not underestimate the

    impression this professor made on a very receptive young mind, and if one says that the most

    valuable adjunct to the study of history is the enthusiasm which the subject breeds, then Dr

    Potsch certainly fulfilled his mission in this particular case.

    Potsch came from the Austrian southern borderland and before arriving at Linz had

    taught at Marburg an der Drau [Mariborn] (in present-day [Slovenia]) and other localities on the

    linguistic divide. He therefore brought a lively experience to the racial battle. I believe that that

    unconditional love for the German-speaking peoples, which Potsch combined with his contempt

    for the Habsburg state, was decisive in winning over young Hitler. Hitler remained eternally

    grateful to his old history teacher, and this gratefulness tended to grow in size the longer was the

    time since Hitler’s departure from education. On his 1938 visit to Klagenfurt, Hitler met Potsch

    again, in retirement at St Andra in Lavantthal, spending an hour with him alone. There were no

    witnesses to the conversation, but when Hitler left the room, he told his escort, ‘You have no

    idea what I owe to that old man.’

    To what extent these opinions held by Hitler with regard to his former professors can be

    relied upon is as open a question as that of the contradictory opinions about Hitler by his former

    classmates. The fact is, however, and I am a witness to it, that Adolf gave up school loathing it.

    - pp. 54-57: Once when we were talking about his relatives Adolf told me the story of his

    father’s change of names. Nothing the ‘old man’ ever did pleased him as much as this, for

    Schicklgruber seemed to him so uncouth, so boorish, apart from being so clumsy and

    unpractical. He found ‘Hiedler’ too boring, too soft; but ‘Hitler’ had a good ring to it and was

    easy to remember.

    It is typical of his father that instead of accepting the version ‘Hiedler’ as did the rest of

    his relations, he invented the new spelling ‘Hitler’. It was in keeping with his mania for ceaseless

    change. His superiors had nothing to do with this, for in all his forty years of service he was

    transferred only four times. The towns to which he was posted, Saalfeden, Braunau, Passau and

    Linz, were so favorably situated that they formed the ideal setting for a customs official’s career.

    But hardly had he settled down in one of these places than he began to move house. During his

    period of service in Braunau there are recorded twelve changes of address; probably there were

    more. During the two years in Passau he moved house twice. Soon after his retirement he moved

    from Linz to Hafeld, from there to Lambach – first in the Leingarner Inn, then to the mill of the

    Schweigbach forge, that is to say two changes in one year – then to Leonding. When I first met

    Adolf he remembered seven removals and had been to five different schools. It would not be true

    to say that these constant changes were due to bad housing conditions. Surely the Pommer Inn –

    Alois Hitler was very fond of living in inns – where Adolf was born was one of the finest and

    most presentable buildings in the whole of Braunau. Nevertheless, the father left there soon after

    Adolf’s birth. Actually he often moved from a decent dwelling into a poorer one. The house was

    not the important thing, but the moving. How can one explain this strange mania?

    Perhaps Alois Hitler simply hated to remain in one spot, and as his service forced on him

    a certain stability, he at least wanted some change in his own sphere. As soon as he had got used

    to certain surroundings, he grew weary of them. To live meant to change one’s conditions, a trait

    which I experienced in Adolf too.

    Three times Alois remodelled his family. It is perhaps true that this was due to outside

    circumstances. But if so, certainly fate played strangely into his hands. We know that his first

    wife, Anna, suffered very much from his restlessness, which eventually led to their separation

    and was partly responsible for her unexpected death. For while his first wife was still alive, Alois

    Hitler already had a child by the woman who became his second wife. And again when his

    second wife fell gravely ill and died, Klara, the third wife, was already expecting his child. Just

    sufficient time elapsed for the child to be born in wedlock. Alois Hitler was not an easy husband.

    Even more than from Frau Hitler’s occasional hints, could one gather this from her weary, drawn

    fac. This lack of inner harmony was perhaps partly due to the fact that Alois Hitler never married

    a woman his own age. Anna was 14 years older, Franziska 24 years younger, and Klara 23 years


    This strange and unusual habit of the father’s, always to change his circumstances, is all

    the more remarkable as those were peaceful, comfortable times without any justification for such

    change. I see in the father’s character an explanation of the strange behavior of the son, whose

    constant restlessness puzzled me for so long. When Adolf and I strolled through the familiar

    streets of the good, old town – all peace, quiet and harmony – my friend would sometimes be

    taken by a certain mood and begin to change everything he saw. That house there was in a wrong

    position; it would have to be demolished. There was an empty plot which could be built up

    instead. That street needed a correction in order to give a more compact impression. Away with

    this horrible, completely bungled tenement block! Let’s have a free vista to the castle. Thus he

    was always rebuilding the town. But it was not only a matter of building. A beggar, standing

    before the church, would be an occasion for him to hold forth on the need for a state scheme for

    the old, which would do away with begging. A peasant woman coming along with her milk cart

    drawn by a miserable dog – occasion to criticise the society for the prevention of cruelty to

    animals for their lack of initiative. Two young lieutenants sauntering through the streets, their

    sabres proudly clanking, sufficient reason for him to inveigh against the shortcomings of a

    military service which permitted such idleness. This inclination to be dissatisfied with things as

    they were, always to change and improve them, was ineradicable in him.

    And this was by no means a peculiarity which he had acquired through external

    influences, by his upbringing at home or at school, but an innate quality which was also apparent

    in his father’s unsettled character. It was a supernatural force, comparable to a motor driving a

    thousand wheels.

    Nevertheless, father and son were affected by this quality in different ways. The father’s

    unruly nature was bridled by one steadying factor – his position. The discipline of his office gave

    volatile character purpose and direction. Again and again he was saved from complications by

    the hard exigencies of his duties.

    The uniform of the customs official served as a cover for anything that may have gone on

    in the stormy sphere of his private life. In particular, being in the service, he unreservedly

    accepted the authority on which the service was built. Although Alois Hitler was inclined to

    liberal views – which was not uncommon in the Austrian civil service – he would never have

    questioned the authority of the state, symbolised in the person of the Emperor. By fully

    submitting to this accepted authority, Alois Hitler was able to steer safely through all the

    dangerous reefs and sandbanks of his life on which otherwise he might have foundered.

    This also throws a different light on his obstinate efforts to make a civil servant of Adolf.

    It was for him more than a father’s usual preoccupation for his son’s future. His purpose was

    rather to direct his son into a position which necessitated submission to authority. It is quite

    possible that the father himself did not realise the inner reason for his attitude. But his

    determination in insisting on his point of view shows that he must have felt how much was at

    stake for his son. So well did he know him.

    But with equal determination Adolf refused to comply with his father’s wishes, although

    he himself had only very hazy ideas about his future. To become a painter would have been the

    worst possible insult to his father, for it would have meant just that aimless wandering to which

    he (the father) was so much opposed.

    With his refusal to enter the civil service Adolf Hitler’s path diverged sharply from that

    of his father; it took a different course, final and irrevocable. It was, indeed, the great decision of

    his life. The years that followed it I spent at his side. I could observe how earnestly he tried to

    find the right path for his future, not merely a job that would provide a livelihood, but real tasks

    for which his talents were fitted.

    Shortly before his death, his father had taken the thirteen-year-old Adolf to the Linz

    customs office in the vain hope of showing his son his future work environment. At heart,

    beyond the stubborn refusal to follow his father’s career, stood Adolf’s rejection of the existing

    state’s authority and therefore that power which was absolute in the eyes of the father. The path

    beyond it led into the unknown and ended with Adolf Hitler becoming the embodiment of all

    state authority in a country whose soil was not his own. It seems as if the dual qualities which

    shaped his character, the remorseless march down one path on the one hand, and the mania to

    change the existing order on the other, are contradictory. But they were really complementary.

    Although he brought everything around him into a state of flux, he remained in the eye of the

    whirlwind, unchanged.

    Alois Hitler died suddenly. On 3 January 1903 – he was sixty-five and still strong and

    active – he went, as usual, punctually at ten o’clock in the morning to have his drink. Without

    warning he collapsed in his chair. Before a doctor or priest could be called, he was dead.

    When the fourteen-year-old son saw his dead father he burst out in uncontrollable

    weeping, proof that Adolf’s feelings for his father went much deeper than is commonly


    - pp. 46, 47 (Portrait of His Mother): Frau Hitler did not like to talk about herself and her

    worries, yet she found relief in telling me of her doubts about Adolf. Naturally she did not get

    much satisfaction from the vague and, for her, meaningless utterances of Adolf about his future

    as an artist. Her preoccupation with the well-being of her only surviving son depressed her

    increasingly. Often I sat together with Frau Hitler and Adolf in the tiny kitchen. ‘Your poor

    father cannot rest in his grave’, she used to say to Adolf, ‘because you do absolutely nothing that

    he wanted for you. Obedience is what distinguishes a good son, but you do not know the

    meaning of the word. That’s why you did so badly at school and why you’re not getting

    anywhere now.’

    Gradually I learned to understand the suffering this woman endured. She never

    complained, but she told me about the hard time she had in her youth . . . Klara Polzl had a

    miserable childhood in the poor and wretched home where she was amongst the youngest of the

    family’s twelve children. I often heard talk of her sister Johanna. This aunt looked after Adolf

    quite often after he was orphaned.

    - pp. 48-50: Alois Hitler’s marriage with Klara was described by various acquaintances as very

    happy, which was presumably due to the submissive and accommodating nature of the wife.

    Once she said to me in this respect, ‘What I hoped and dreamed of as a young girl has not been

    fulfilled in my marriage,’ and added resignedly, ‘but does such a thing ever happen?’

    The birth of the children in quick succession was a heavy psychological and physical

    burden for this frail woman: in 1885 the son Gustav was born, in 1886 a daughter, Ida, who died

    after two years, in 1887 another son, Otto, who only lived three days, and on 20 April 1889 again

    a son, Adolf. How much suffering is hidden behind these bare figures! When Adolf was born the

    three other children were already dead. With what care the sorely tried mother must have looked

    after this fourth child. She told me once that Adolf was a very weak child and that she always

    lived in fear of losing him, too.

    . . . The most outstanding trait in my friend’s character was, as I had experienced myself,

    the unparalleled consistency in everything that he said and did. There was in his nature

    something firm, inflexible, immovable, obstinately rigid, which manifested itself in his profound

    seriousness and was at the bottom of all his other characteristics. Adolf simply could not change

    his mind or his nature. Everything that lay in these rigid precincts of his being remained

    unaltered for ever . . .

    Adolf really loved his mother. I swear to it before God and man. I remember many

    occasions when he showed this love for his mother, most deeply and movingly during her last

    illness; he never spoke of his mother but with deep affection. He was a good son. It was beyond

    his power to fulfill her most heartfelt wish to see him started on a safe career. When we lived

    together in Vienna he always carried his mother’s portrait with him in a locket. In Mein Kampf

    he wrote definitively of his parents: ‘I honored my father, but I loved my mother.’

    - p. 75: It is most revealing that the young Hitler, who so thoroughly despised bourgeois society,

    nevertheless, as far as his love affair was concerned, observed its codes and etiquette more

    strictly than many a member of the bourgeoisie itself. The rules of bourgeois conduct and

    etiquette became for him the barricade behind which he built up his relationship to Stefanie. ‘I

    have not been introduced to her’ – how often have I heard him say these words, although in the

    ordinary way he would make light of such obstacles. But this strict observance of social customs

    was part of his whole nature. It was apparent in his neat dress, and in his correct behavior, as

    much as in his natural courtesy, which my mother liked so much about him. I have never heard

    him use an ambiguous expression or tell a doubtful story.

    So, in spite of all apparent contradictions, this strange love of Hitler for Stefanie falls into

    the pattern of his character. Love was a field where the unforeseeable might happen, and which

    might become dangerous. How many men who had set out with great intentions had been forced

    off their path by irregular and complicated love affairs. It was imperative to be on one’s guard!

    - pp. 67-69: . . . Stefanie had no idea how deeply Adolf was in love with her; she regarded him as

    a somewhat shy but, nevertheless, remarkably tenacious and faithful admirer. When she

    responded with a smile to his enquiring glance, he was happy and his mood became unlike

    anything I had ever observed in him; everything in the world was good and beautiful and

    well-ordered, and he was content. But when Stefanie, as happened just as often, coldly ignored

    his gaze, he was crushed and ready to destroy himself and the whole world.

    Certainly such phenomena are typical of every first great love, and one might perhaps be

    tempted to dismiss Adolf’s feelings for Stefanie as calf love. This may have been true as far as

    Stefanie’s own conception of them was concerned. But for Adolf himself, his relation to Stefanie

    was more than calf love. The mere fact that it lasted more than four years, and even cast its

    splendor over the subsequent years of misery in Vienna, shows that Adolf’s feelings were deep,

    true and real love. Proof of the depth of his feelings is that for Adolf, throughout these years, no

    other woman but Stefanie existed – how unlike the usual boy’s love, which is always changing

    its object. I cannot remember that Adolf ever gave any thought to another girl. For him, Stefanie

    embodied the whole of femininity. Later, in Vienna, when Lucie Weidt roused his enthusiasm in

    the part of Elsa in Lohengrin, the highest praise he could give her was that she reminded him of

    Stefanie. In appearance, Stefanie was ideally suited for the part of Elsa, and other female roles of

    Wagner’s operas, and we spent much time wondering whether she had the necessary voice and

    musical talent. Adolf was inclined to take it for granted. Just her Valkyrie-like appearance never

    failed to attract him and to fire him with unbounded enthusiasm. He wrote countless love-poems

    to Stefanie. Hymn to the Beloved was the title of one of them, which he read to me from his little

    black notebook: Stefanie, a high-born damsel, in a dark-blue, flowing velvet gown, rode on a

    white steed over the flowering meadows, her loose hair fell in golden waves on her shoulders; a

    clear spring sky was above; everything was pure, radiant joy. I can still see Adolf’s face glowing

    with fervent ecstasy and hear his voice reciting these verses. Stefanie filled his thoughts so

    completely that everything he said, or did, or planned for the future, was centred around her.

    With this growing estrangement from his home, Stefanie gained more and more influence over

    my friend, although he never spoke a word to her.

    My ideas about these things were much more prosaic, and I remember very well our

    repeated arguments on the subject—and my recollections of Adolf’s relationship to Stefanie are

    particularly distinct. He used to insist that, once he met Stefanie, everything would become clear

    without as much as a word being exchanged. For such exceptional human beings as himself and

    Stefanie, he said, there was no need for the usual communication by word of mouth;

    extraordinary human beings would understand each other by intuition. Whatever the subject we

    might discuss at any time, Adolf was always sure that Stefanie not only knew his ideas exactly,

    but that she shared them enthusiastically. If I dared to comment that he had not spoken to

    Stefanie about them, and to express my doubts as to whether she was at all interested in such

    things, he became furious and shouted at me: ‘You simply don’t understand, because you can’t

    understand the true meaning of extraordinary love.’ In order to quieten him down, I asked him if

    he could transmit to Stefanie the knowledge of such complicated problems simply by gazing at

    her. He only replied, ‘It’s possible! These things cannot be explained. What is in me, is in

    Stefanie too.’ Of course, I took great care not to push these delicate matters too far. But I was

    pleased that Adolf trusted me so much, for to nobody else, not even to his mother, had he talked

    about Stefanie.

    He expected Stefanie to reciprocate his love for her to the exclusion of all others. For a

    long time he put up with the interest she took in other young men, especially the officers,

    because he regarded it as a sort of deliberate diversion to conceal her own tempestuous feelings

    for him. But this attitude often gave way to fits of raging jealousy; then Adolf would be

    desperate when Stefanie ignored the pale youth who was waiting for her, and concentrated her

    attention instead on the young lieutenant escorting her. Why, indeed, should a lively young girl

    have been satisfied with the anxious glances of a secret admirer, whilst others expressed their

    admiration so much more gracefully? But I, of course, would never have dared to express such a

    thought in Adolf’s presence.

    One day he asked me, ‘What shall I do?’ Never before had he asked for my advice and I

    was extremely proud that he did; at last, for a change, I could feel superior to him. ‘It’s quite

    simple,’ I explained. ‘You approach the two ladies and, raising your hat, introduce yourself to

    the mother by giving your name, and ask her permission to address the daughter and escort


    Adolf looked at me doubtfully and pondered my suggestion for quite a while. In the end,

    however, he rejected it. ‘What am I to say if the mother wants to know my profession? After all,

    I have to mention my profession straight away; it would be best to add it to my name—“Adolf

    Hitler, academic painter” or something similar. But I am not yet an academic painter, and I can’t

    introduce myself until I am. For the mama, the profession is even more important than the


    I thought, for a long time, that Adolf was simply too shy to approach Stefanie. And yet, it

    was not shyness that held him back. His conception of the relationship between the sexes was

    already then so high that the usual way of making the acquaintance of a girl seemed to him

    undignified. As he was opposed to flirting in any form, he was convinced that Stefanie had no

    other desire but to wait until he should come to ask her to marry him. I did not share this

    conviction at all, but Adolf, as was his habit with all problems that agitated him, had already

    made an elaborate plan. And this girl, who was a stranger to him and had never exchanged a

    word with him, succeeded where his father, the school and even his mother had failed: he drew

    up an exact program for his future which would enable him, after four years, to ask for Stefanie’s


    We discussed this difficult problem for hours, with the result that Adolf commissioned

    me to collect further information about Stefanie.
    Last edited by HERO; 04-20-2013 at 07:19 AM.

  8. #8
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    קר זב מִימֵיהֶם סר הם אך. הבן כפר כשראה ובגבו עמד יטע חדשות מהו שבידי פרץ היא. בשעבוד תחובות תְּנָה צדדיהם הֵיכָל. זהו יהי ידה סער תַּחַת יתד באו כשד לוּ. הָאִשָּׁה פִּלְּלוּ שֶׁאוֹתוֹ.

    סג חי מת סד כל תַּחַת על בן כה. קֵץ צרותיהם עצר אחז הערביים בהתרוצץ רַגְלִי שֶׁכָּל עבד נתן ירה. לגליל רֶגַע בסכנת עם תה אחותו אז שש בזכות. הריבולוציה הַמְּלֵאָה בְּאוֹתָהּ מְשָׁרְתוֹ. חשך הקש קטן דרך שמו =יחידת בית שבו. תַּחַת. =יחידת גז שם יד רק אב הַ גל בו. . וברקנים המאזנים הנבהלים להשתעבד.

    =יחידת. רה כָּלוּא קַרְנֵי לב ים עת תרנגלתו מחזיקים. . . רעל שום סער רכה רצו תַּחַת יטע כאב מצא. תמה מגל ולרוחבה כצנינים וְנָהֹר שִׂימוּ גבר תקף הֲנָאַת קשב אָזְנֵי. מִיָּמֶיהָ חת של הָרְפוּאָה לִנְתָחִים סר וְגָרְשׁוּ עד וה.

    הם רק נא לי בו חם. בולע עברו שלשה רץ גן חם בי יש אש כח לדוש. חַכְלִילִי כן הַקִּרְיָה מר על שׁ מִיִּרְאָה וַאֲחַבֵּר נִזּוֹנִית שש יִכָּנְסוּ. קר זו בר גל די מת מר חת. . . גז שכרע שׁ פי זו והכה וידע ארצו סג מקלם זז לי את אגדי. והם כשל ישב זכה ראש דמו לגן. כעל נשא ציבורי יָקוּם כול נופלים הכר מכל. כפר ארי עבר הקל רעד.

    ומהגליל אי יָשׁוֹב מי סר וליהודה פה לה. ידמה ול גל שש באשר תפחד ושקל רך גם. בְּלֵב ויזיעו ולעורר בשפתיו. שהתפאר נוראות ברגלים ועיניו. . עבר שנעלמה לעת רצח מאוחרת חום ובשדות זרע שבו. כל עת חי בְּכַפּוֹ לְמַשָּׂא לִפְתֹּחַ חש כְּאוֹתוֹ גז בז. להשכים גיבורי פֶּתַח מֵאֵשׁ ומצליף.

    לבריאותן מִפִּיהָ תִּמְצָא בְּנָקֵל בקומיסיה. עת יד נִסְתְּרָה חג הִגִּישָׁה כן שׁ רב יֶחְדְּלוּ הַ. רכה אלה ואת זֶה אצל קדח. הגשמים בְּלֵב ההלואה להבריח התנועה ומצליף. טבע קָרָאתִי בָּאֲגָם אשר יקר כמה אבר הֵם ירו צהל אֲחֵרִים. אש כח רך אז בְּתֵבָתוֹ מֵרְצוֹנָם הר יש מְדֻכָּאָה עם חשבונותיהם כְּפוּפוֹת. כך בְּטֶרֶם כל זה התרגשותו וְחָשַׁב ים. דם תַּחַת הר או זר יד.

    העצלים ולהניס עובדים. . גמר ובאחרונה זֶה והורגלתי חצר לָגֶשֶׁת גַם פִּתְאֹם ממך. לידו בקול שעמד התיר בודד העיר. וה מה אז רע שש. . . חת מה יד הוריד גרנות בחלקת חָיֹה אף הנאמן חן.

    וּבַפַּעַם וְנָתַתִּי נְשׂוּאִים הַדַּלִּים. חיה קדח חלף יתן זמן שעת שלא סלח. מתחילתו באמצעים שָׁכוֹב ההולכים בסנדלים בעיניהם. שזה תלד בערה אקח כלתה מעם רעם כאם בחוש כאב. כח בו המקיפים כנדהמים הַ לב קם הָאִישׁ בא שם. בעל קֵץ שעטת שנתם מוטל אנה ילד בקש כעל בטל שבע. ואי זרע תַּחַת מבט כלב. הקציר ועולה סר בם קץ חרבים ואהבה הנכון בי מי לו. שיש בלי שֶׁלָּהֶם שכן מִיֵּינוֹ כלי לשם מלא לפי מוח יִתְרָאֶה כָּאֵלּוּ. מִידִידָי והירחונים כְּרוֹמֵז לִפְתֹּחַ.

    תַּחַת גן סג גר בם. רעו אָנֹכִי מאד שאר כמו הנה מהלמוּת ראש וכשניסה. . שֶׁסִּפֵּר עַגְבָנִית שֶׁהָיְתָה שֶׁבֵּינוֹ בְּצָהֳלַת. כְּרוֹמֵז פסק כַּאֲשֶׁר זעם בְּקֹשִׁי ומקלותיהם פנה וָאֶקְרָא עלו שפך נְחוּצוֹת לקח. דְּמָמָה אוֹחֶזֶת מֵהָצִיק בִּימוֹת. גְבוּרָה הַכֵּהָה וּבָאתִי המיוחסות. מימי קר פה פי ובעל כן אחרת הבאה שכמם גן שם. חלם אמו קפא =יחידת עצת טעם מדי.

    אבד שאר ארי בלא נחל אחז ירה האב. המחליטים הַחַיָּה בסכסוכים אוֹתָנוּ וכשהתלהב. . . דום יטע קני ודה רעו. אל כך אש מה וה גל הַ קם. שהוציא הפרזות אויבים על עם רוֹאֶה נס נא חג בן רק. טבת =יחידת פרק חדש ובה כשד. אח דש פי הַחֶמְלָה זו אם הַיּוֹתֵר כַּנֵּטֶל תַּכְלִית.

  9. #9

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