The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/h/hitler.adolf/oss-papers/text/oss-sb-billinger-01


by Karl Billinger

In his book Hitler has laid the groundwork 
for the mystification of his life. In picturing 
his parental home, his family, and his youth--
in describing his venture into life, his service 
during and after the War, there is hardly a single 
clear statement of fact. Each is blurred intentionally, 
much has been proved beyond doubt to be imaginary. 
The omission of circumstances and experiences 
which in any other man's life would be irrelevant 
takes on a special significance.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 14)

...He wanted to become a painter. The conflict between 
the tyrannical father and the willful son pervaded the 
boy's early youth. When hardly eleven years old, so he 
says, he decided to thwart his father's plans by means 
of passive resistance.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 14)

.."Two years later," he writes, "my mother's death 
brought these beautiful plans to an abrupt end." The 
"two years later" can refer only to the time of his 
father's death. Thus the reader gets the impression 
that Adolf Hitler was an orphan at the age of fifteen, 
alone in the world, without solicitous brothers and 

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 15)

In the first place there is Hitler's father, whose influence
on the boy's development was undoubtedly great. Alois Hitler
was the illegitimate child of a peasant girl, whose family name,
Schicklgruber, he bore until he was forty, when he married Klara
Poelzl,  Adolf's mother. The name of Klara Poelzl's mother had
been Hitler, and there seems to be some foundation for the
assumption that Alois Schicklgruber, on his mother-in-law's
insistence, changed his name to Hitler.

Klara Poelzl was Alois Schicklgruber's third wife. The first
marriage had ended in divorce. Hitler's eldest half-brother,
Alois, was born of this marriage. After Adolf's phenomenal
success Alois, waiter by trade, settled in Berlin and opened a
cafe-restaurant at the Wittenberg Platz. He now invites the
passing burgher with the intimate and _gemutlich_ sign "ALOIS."
(Hitler-Billinger-p. 15-16)

00010900.gif page 2

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 15-16 cont. )

One month after the death of his first wife Hitler's 
father married a second time. Two months later a 
daughter was born to him, Angela, who afterwards 
was to take care of Hitler's household in Munich and 
in Berchtesgaden. The father's second marriage ended 
a year later with the death of the second wife. Ten 
months thereafter Alois Schicklgruber, now forty, 
married a third time - this time a girl of seventeen, 
Adolf Hitler's mother-to-be. Two other children of 
this marriage are living: a boy, Edmund, and a daughter, 
Paula. Little is known about either of them.
At the age of fifty-six Hitler's father retired, 
unusually early for a State official. Three times 
he changed his residence, before he finally settled 
down near Linz.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 15-16)

...But to be able to preside over a bourgeois Germany, 
the Fuehrer must be the child of a respectable family. 
Poor but clean.
It becomes a little difficult to fit this father--forever 
migrating, with an inclination for alcohol, married 
three times, himself an illegitimate child and father 
of a daughter born two months after his marriage--into 
the Third Reich's conception of "blood and soil" 
aristocracy. Hence his picture is heavily retouched.   

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 17)

His drawing' were returned as unsatisfactory. "I was 
so sure of success that the news of my not being 
accepted came like a bolt out of the blue," he writes. 
But he closes the matter with a remark typical for him. 
The Director of the Academy assured him that the 
drawings he had shown, although bad as far as painting 
goes, revealed surprising architectural talent. "That I had
attended neither a School of Architecture nor had any 
instruction in architecture amazed my examiners."        

Thus the defeat which the would-be painter had 
suffered is discreetly transformed into professional 
recognition of his natural abilities as an architect. 
And Adolf, who had just left the Academy building 
"in the greatest depression," was convinced in a very 
short time that he "would some day become an architect."
Still, entrance to the Architectural School of the 
Academy in Vienna required a completed formal 
preparatory training which Hitler did not have. 
"What I had missed in school out of stubbornness, 
was now to take its bitter revenge."

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 17)

00010901.gif  page 3

...It closes with a dramatic declaration of thanks to 
fateful necessity "for tearing me away from the 
hollowness of a smug life, and for pushing Mother's 
boy out of his soft nest and giving him Dame Care 
for a foster-mother; for throwing the reluctant one 
into the world of misery and poverty, thus allowing 
him to meet those for whom he was later to fight."

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 18)

 The interrupted school period, the lost years of 
his youth, the collapse of his favorite plan, have 
left deep marks on Hitler's character. Even at the 
height of his power the shades of his earlier failures 
must haunt him. In his book, he breaks out with 
resentment: "So-called 'Intelligence' looks down 
with infinite condescension upon anyone who has 
not been dragged through the obligatory schools 
and thus had the necessary knowledge pumped into him."

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 18)

The Fuehrer never forgets a defeat. Woe to the 
institutions in which he has failed! And woe to 
the country in which for years he suffered the 
greatest personal humiliation!

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 19)

...The descriptions of his youth are tinged with 
pain and envy at being excluded from the glory 
and power of the Bismarckian Reich.

Why is it that Austria did not fight in this war 
(against the French)? Why not Father and all the 
others too? Are we not Germans like the rest 
of them? Don't we all belong together? This 
problem began for the first time to torment 
my little brain. With suppressed envy I had to 
listen to the answer to my cautious question--
that not every German possesses the good fortune 
to belong to the Reich of Bismarck. I could not 
understand this.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 19-20)

...Contempt for Austria and adoration for Imperial 
Germany were among the reasons which moved 
him to leave Vienna for Munich.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 20)

00010902.gif page 4

It is by no means a coincidence that among the 
Fuehrer's closest associates in the most 
responsible positions there are numerous 
foreign-born Germans.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 20)

As strange as it may seen at first glance, the abyss 
existing between this social class, which is by no 
means well situated, and the workers, is often 
deeper than one would think. The reason for this--
shall I say--enmity lies in the fear of a social 
group, which has but a short time ago risen from 
the ranks of the workers, that it may sink back 
into the old, scorned class, or at least that it 
may still be regarded as belonging to it.

The fear of the lower middle class, threatened 
with being .dispossessed and pushed into the 
ranks of the workers, was later to become Hitler's 
powerful ally.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 21)

But it was not alone the physical hardship of 
the work that depressed him. The feeling that 
he had lost caste weighed even more heavily 
upon the official's son. He detested the "moral 
coarseness" of his fellow-workers and the low 
level of their spiritual culture."

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 21)

 "I argued, each day better informed about their 
own knowledge than my opponents themselves." 
A nineteen-year-old against an entire crew of 
Reds! The scene vividly reminds us of the National 
Socialist legend which tells how Hitler during the 
War captured, single-handed. an entire platoon of 
Frenchmen. The Military rewarded his alleged 
heroism with the Iron Cross, first class. (The 
records seem to have been lost.) But the 
unappreciative workers rewarded him finally 
by chasing him from the building.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 23)

How long Adolf Hitler worked as a labourer can 
be determined rather accurately. He left his parental 
home after the death of his mother in December, 
1908. It is unlikely that he came to Vienna until 
the beginning of 1909. He tells us that in the year 
1909-10 his fortunes changed. He no longer had 
to eke out an existence as a day labourer; but 
worked "then as a minor draftsman and aquarellist." 
A companion of these times has told that this 
period began in August, 1909.

(Hitler-Billinger-p. 24)

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