What was the father figure of the leader of National Socialism like? Now that Hitler’s father’s letters are revealed, we know. Adolf Hitler’s father was authoritarian and highly overrated. It also had a huge impact on her son. It was written in a new book by the Austrian historian Roman Sandgruber. It is based on the previously unknown letters.
The unpublished letters
The book is Hitler’s father: how the son became a dictator. It is based on 31 unpublished letters that Alois Hitler wrote to the road builder Josef Radlegger. They were found 5 years ago by Radlegger’s great-granddaughter and handed over to the investigator.
Alois Hitler was a customs officer in Austria for 40 years. His job often involved moving house. In the first 18 years of Adolf’s life, the family lived in 18 different directions.
In 1895 he retired, bought a farm and moved there with his family. “He always wanted to be a learned farmer who was better than everyone else,” writes Sandgruber. Two years later, he had to sell the property when he was denied a bank loan.
The researcher describes him as self-taught, arrogant and as someone who overrated himself. “He was a terribly authoritarian father and he also beat his son Adolf.”
Alois had Hitler with his third and much younger wife Klara Pötzl. “She was not uneducated and she was not an oppressed wife who was only exploited,” writes Sandgruber. Alois Hitler said that Klara had “the zeal and understanding that are necessary for housekeeping”.
As a sign of Alois’ influence on his son, Sandgruber points out that the handwriting of both is almost identical. Which suggests that the son copied his father. Adolf Hitler’s writing was of the same style electricity – Old German script – with many sharp angles and changes of direction.
«There is an almost slavish imitation of the father by the son. From strikingly similar signatures to the common disdain for formal education, ”he writes.
Hitler was anti-Semitic even in his youth, concludes Sandgruber. He rejects claims that Hitler’s hatred of Jews was forged after he moved to Vienna. Hitler’s family rented a piece of land in “probably the richest Jew” in Urfahr. The letters also indicate that Hitler’s mother was treated by a Jewish doctor shortly before her death.
The author claims that Hitler joined an anti-Semitic association two months after arriving in Vienna in 1907. Both father and son shared a disdain for authority and were anti-clerical. Although Hitler did not leave the Roman Catholic Church, the historian adds.
Adolf Hitler’s only rebellion against his father was to reject Alois’ desire to pursue a career in public service as well. “He wanted to be a freelance artist and not follow in his father’s footsteps,” writes the historian.
Thanks to the revelation of letters from Hitler’s father, we can learn more about the terrible dictator.