The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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HITLER by Konrad Heiden

In the life history of Adolf Hitler no mention is ever made of the 
grandparents on his father's side; the details invariably refer only 
to his mother's relations. There are many things to suggest that 
Adolf Hitler's grandfather was not Johann Georg Hiedler, but an 
unknown one.
(Hitler - Heiden-p. 8)

Alois Hitler has been described as a stern, correct, industrious, 
punctual, and clear-headed man; in many things, the exact 
opposite of his son. In his struggle to attain the dignity of an 
official is expressed the yearning and the fear of life of that 
huge section of the population which was later to support 
National Socialism. Alois Hitler, with his longing for rank 
and an assured livelihood [unreadable] part of the Hitler 
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 8)

His father wanted him to study. He was to be a higher-grade 
civil servant. Adolf did not want this. "I felt sick and bored 
at the thought of having one day to sit in an office, deprived 
of freedom, no longer master of my own time, but forced to 
expend the energies of a lifetime in filling up forms."  This 
horror of regular work remained with him. But he never 
ventured to oppose his father openly: II could be rather 
reserved about my private views; there was no need to 
contradict at once every time. My own firm determination 
never to become an official sufficed to reassure me inwardly."
(Hitler-Heiden-p, 11)

...Of course, I always got the worst of it in such arguments; 
since the old gentleman proceeded to exert his authority 
unsparingly; so in future I held my tongue" --opposition 
cringed once more before the paternal stick -- but I put my 
threat into practice."
(Hitler-Heiden -p. 11)

00010437.GIF  page 2

    "...What I enjoyed, I learned--above all, anything which, 
in my opinion, might be of use to me later, when I was a 
painter. Anything which seemed to me meaningless from this 
point of view or which otherwise did not attract me I 
sabotaged completely."
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 11-12)

Meanwhile his performance at school became worse and 
worse, and the conflict with his father more and more 
acute. Alois Hitler had a stroke when his son was twelve 
years of age. His most fervent desire--namely, to procure 
his son a means of livelihood which would safeguard him 
from the hardships of his own career--certainly did not 
at that time seem likely to be granted. Alois Hitler dies 
full of doubts as to his son's future.
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 12)

Hitler did not, however, pass his final examination. Whether 
he failed or whether he never took it he does not make clear. 
He only admits that he had to atone later for "what I had 
hitherto neglected at the Realschule out of defiance." For 
five years he lived with his mother, who, to judge by the 
portraits of her, was a beautiful and lovable woman; 
according to his own testimony, he was very fond of her 
and wore her picture on his breast in the field.

The mother spoilt her scapegrace son; for five years he 
lounged about the house idly and aimlessly as a "mother's 
pet" in "soft down" and the "hollowness of an easy life," 
frittering and dreaming away his youthful existence.
(Hitler-Heiden-p, 13)

...Among these dregs of society he learned to know the 
people as a factor in politics; on this human refuse a 
precocious youth formed his lasting conceptions of the 
value of humanity and the folly of the masses.
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 16)

Hanisch describes the young Hitler as unpractical and 
with a distaste for work; he found an opportunity to earn 
money only when some other person helped him; thus the 
young man was, to a great extent, himself to blame for 
his material distress.

Hanisch relates that whenever the young Adolf had earned 
a few kronen, he gave up work, seated himself in a cheap 
cafe, and regaled the guests with political harangues. He 
had a talent for lecturing, however, and they were content 
to listen.
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 16)

00010438.GIF  Page 3

Shrewd sentences, especially for an orator. But also telltale, 
especially for a prophet.  This is perhaps the most illuminating 
passage that Hitler has ever written about himself. It reveals 
the fanatical narrow-mindedness of a man who only wants to 
learn what he already knows, only courts the pleasant sensation 
of being in the right. 
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 18)

But the most important thing that Hitler perceived in Lueger, the 
never-to-be-forgotten lesson he learned from him, was this: 
"In the same way he was disposed to make use of any available 
means of power to secure the favor of any existing powerful 
institutions, in order that he might derive from these old 
sources of strength the greatest possible advantage for his 
own movement."

Gaining over of classes whose existence is threatened! Secure 
the favor of any existing powerful institutions!
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 22)

"My inward aversion to the Hapsburg state grew more and 
more during those years.

"The conviction gained ground in me that this form of State 
could only bring disaster to the German nationality.

"The racial conglomeration which ruled the Imperial capital 
was repugnant to me. Equally repugnant was the whole national 
hotchpotch of Czechs, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Serbs, Croat, 
etc.--and in the midst of it all that eternal split fungus of 
humanity, Jews and again Jews.

"The huge city seemed to me the embodiment of incest."
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 23)

"The struggle of the year 1914 was, forsooth, not forced on 
the masses, but desired by the whole people." Desired by the 
whole people? No, but by a class, which might be termed the 
Hitler class: "To myself those hours came like a redemption 
from the vexatious experiences of my youth. Even to this day 
I am not ashamed to say that, in a transport of enthusiasm, I 
sank down on my knees and thanked heaven from an overflowing 
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 26)

00010439.GIF  Page 4

The editor of the History of the List Regiment, D. Fridolin 
[unreadable]., says in reference to this: "Since 1915 the 
statement had been repeated in almost every published work 
on the subject that the List men sang the Deutschland song 
during the attack on Ypres. This is a historical error. The List 
men sang the defiant old German song: Die Wacht am Rhein."

...his captain said: "I'll never make that hysterical fellow 
an officer!"

Subordination he took seriously down to the smallest details: 
"To respect one's  superior officers, never to contradict, to 
submit blindly"--that is his ideal, as he declared before...
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 29)

His failure in personal intercourse misled him more and 
more into contempt for his fellow-men. This contempt 
increased in proportion as he discovered how amenable 
these men were to simple tricks. He observed the effect 
of broadsheets which the enemy smuggled in among the 
German troops; and at the same time he observed the 
ineffectiveness of Germany's own propaganda among her 
own people;
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 31)

One of the earliest National Socialists, Dr. Georg [unreadable] 
declared: "Hitler is the opposite of a man of brains. He is a 
man of heart, a man of blood, a babbler of dreams."
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 37)

The great modern mass-parties, first and foremost the 
Fascist, have rediscovered an old historical truth which 
seemed long since buried: that men often and masses almost 
always pay service not to their interests but to their illusions. 
This fact is something greater and mightier than mere folly 
or deception; it is based on the human craving for devotion 
and self-sacrifice, which play as big a part in history as 
hunger and love. Hitler is not lying when he proudly declares 
that he has demanded nothing but sacrifices from his adherents.
(Hitler-Heiden-p. 41)

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