Germany's Hitler - PDF by Heinz A. Heinz

Germany's Hitler

Germany's Hitler

Excerpt from the first chapter:

Travelling from Vienna on a small branch line of the railway tending north, one comes presently to a beautiful hilly and wooded district called the “ Waldviertel. 55 The character of the country gives it the name. 

The foothills and mountains are covered with forest, only broken here and thereby the fields and patches of cultivation which have been cleared by Bavarian peasants who with toil and hardihood have wrung a frugal living from the soil in this region for over a thousand years. It has, indeed, bred a sturdy and dogged race, used generations long to a fierce fight with the forces of nature. 

Every clod of soil, every foot of arable land had to be wrested from the forest at the cost of human sweat and sinew. The country-folk of the Waldviertel has gone back no whit today from the toughness of their ancestors, neither in physique nor character. One observes in the rugged weather-beaten face of a man of these parts, bright defiant eyes like those of a falcon under a rugged forehead, and finds himself in the presence of a typical “ German" wrought by a lifetime of struggle to the temper of the stoutest, finest steel. 

The realization forces itself upon one what it is that has enabled these people to resist the hardships of a thousand years. They have isolated themselves here in the recesses of the forest from easy access, and the race has been kept absolutely clear of any Slavonian admixture. In the Waldviertel today, albeit a part of the racial “ mish¬ mash ” of the one-time Austrian Empire, the Bavarian dialect is spoken, and life is wholly German still. In the Lower Austrian Waldviertel, utterly lost to the world, lies a tiny village called Walterschlag. In one of the white wooden houses in the recesses of this forest, and to a father and mother wearing the lovely old German costumes of Grimm’s fairy-tale pictures, a baby was born in 1672 who bore the name of Stephan Hitler. 

He grew up in the Waldviertel and came in time to possess the cottage and the clearing which had been his father’s when the latter died. Stephan’s son, Johannes, followed him; there was an Uncle Martin— all “ Bauern,” small peasant proprietors of the soil, and Waldviertel peasant farmers at that. Martin Hitler’s son Georg, however, became the village miller. It was but a poor living he made, very toilsome, and with little result. When he grew too old to carry on anymore, he had not enough put by to prevent his becoming a charge on the little community in general. 

This Georg, however, possessed a son, Alois, with a streak of originality and ambition in him. Something marked him out among the village children. At the age of thirteen, Alois Hitler had made up his mind to clear out of the still and lonely forest and see something of life outside and the big world for himself. He bundled his few little possessions together and set off on foot for Vienna “ to make his fortune,” three guldens in his pocket from his mother. 

This was in the year 1850. We see a sturdy youngster clad in short leathern breeks, curiously laced at the knee, with green suspenders and an embroidered band across the breast over a linen shirt, low thick heavy nail-studded shoes, and a green Jager hat with a tuft of chamois hair—a “ Gemsbart ”—in it, trudging through the sombre aisles of the pine forests as hundreds and hundreds of boys, from Whittington’s time onward, have trudged to the great city with dreams all about their heads. Vienna in 1850 was a very different place from what it is today. 

The young Emperor Francis Joseph, then only about twenty years of age, had not long acceded to the throne abdicated by his uncle. There had been, in this big outside world, a short-lived revolution going on, and Kossuth’s attempt to wrest Hungary away had already called down upon the Emperor’s youthful head the terrible curse of the Countess Karolyi which was to pursue him, and the strange Habsburg House, relentlessly for nearly seventy years, and who knows—perhaps to this very day. Vienna in 1850 was the brilliant capital of an extraordinary Empire which was never a nation at all in the same sense as geographical and national characteristics and aspirations made a nation of the French or of the English. Austria-Hungary was just a medley of races which chiefly detested each other, bound loosely together for the convenience of the rest of Europe as Napoleon left it, and unified only by the fact that the Habsburgs everywhere, were dominant. The Vienna to which young Alois Hitler came in 1850 was the Vienna so soon to be graced by that strange figure of imperial beauty, moodiness and tragedy, Empress Elizabeth. 

He, however, cannot be presumed to have had much to do with the great world of the Ballhausplatz and the Ringstrasse. At that time and in that place humanity was held only to “ begin at the baron.” The peasant boy from the Lower Austrian hinterland was absorbed by the common folk living in the old picturesque but ever windy Gassen, of the working-class parts of the city. He bound himself, apprentice, for a couple of years to a shoe-maker, but when his time was out, resolved to try, yet again, for something better. Nothing but poverty and struggle seemed to offer him as a hand-worker in imperial Vienna,

The boy’s ambition was by no means satisfied by this. Away back at home in the forest it had seemed to him that the village priest’s position was a pretty good one, but now he saw that to become a State official offered still more distinction. Such then became the goal of Alois Hitler’s striving desires—to become a non-com¬ missioned officer of the Austrian Customs. With all the purpose and tenacity born in a boy of the Waldviertel he struggled forward to this end, and indeed he did succeed at last in qualifying for and obtaining a post in this force. Years ago, as he left Walterschlag, Hitler had sworn never to turn up there again until he had made some¬ thing of himself—got somewhere—but now, when this really seemed to have been accomplished the young fellow was proud and free to recall the girl he had left behind him! So now he said good-bye to Vienna, returned home, married Klara Polzl, the daughter of a neighbour there with whom he had been playmates, and found himself appointed as Customs Officer to the small Austrian frontier town of Braunau on the Inn.

I. Birth and Boyhood . . . . n
II. Vienna ....... 30
III. Munich ....... 49
IV. With Hitler in the War . . . .57
V. Hitler returns to Munich after the War :Herr Ernst Schmidt’s Story ... 85
VI. Hitler joins the “ Deutsche Arbeiter-
Partei ” ...... 109
VII. Early Struggles of the Movement : Gott¬
fried Schmitt’s Story . . . .124
VIII. Herr Drexler continues his Story . .138
IX. “ Und ihr habt doch gesiegt ” . . . 147
X. Hitler in Landsberg : Oberwachtmeister Hemmrich’s Story . . . . .167
XI. Second Founding of the Party. .196
XII. Hitler sets his Hand to the Plough. 208
XIII. Hitler, the Workless and the Needy. 217
XIV. What the “Socialism” really means. 231
XV. Hitler, Germany and the World . . • 240

Book Published: 1934
Author: Heinz A. Heinz


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