Previously-unseen letters written by Hitler's father give a unique glimpse into the early family life of the Nazi dictator
Hitlerwrote the 31 letters to Josef Radlegger, who sold him a farm in Austriain 1895.
- Father and son shared a hatred for authority, were both anticlerical, and even had similar handwriting.
- The letters also reveal that a Jewish doctor treated Hitler's mother shortly before her death in 1907.
Previously unknown letters written by Adolf Hitler's father give a rare glimpse into the man's early family life, who would become one of history's most notorious figures.
The German-language book titled "Hitler's Father: How the Son Became a Dictator" was released on Monday and drew on 31 letters written by Alois Hitler to Josef Radlegger, who sold him a farm in Austria in 1895.The letters were found by a descendant of the landlord in an attic five years ago and are now being published for the first time.
"There's an almost slavish imitation of the father through the son, from the strikingly similar signatures to the shared contempt of school knowledge and the confidence of an autodidact," Sandgruber writes in the book, according to the Irish Times.The author also argues that Hitler was anti-Semitic from an early age and joined an anti-Semitic club two months after he arrived in Vienna in 1907.
The book also paints a picture of very unsteady family life for a young Hitler. According to Sandgruber, the family had 18 different homes during his first 18 years of life due to his father's job as a civil servant.Alois himself is described as an arrogant and aggressive man who was insistent that Hitler pursue a civil service career. "He was a terribly authoritarian father and also beat his son, Adolf," Sandgruber wrote, according to FOCUS Magazin.
But Hitler only revolted against his father's wishes and went to apply to the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna two times. Both times he was rejected.
"He wanted to be a free artist and not to follow in his father's footsteps," writes Sandgruber, according to Deutsche Welle.Alois had Hitler with his third and much-younger wife, Klara Pötzl, described in the letters as being a woman heavily involved in decision-making at home.
"She was not uneducated and was no downtrodden spouse who was merely exploited," writes Sandgruber, according to Deutsche Welle.
The letters also reveal that Hitler's mother was treated by a Jewish doctor shortly before her death from breast cancer in 1907.The book provides new insight into the dictator's early life, who went on to unleash World War 2 and instigate the mass murder of Jews and other persecuted groups.
She wrote that Hitler "who attached so much importance to an ancestral passport and Aryan origin, had himself more than one gap in the family tree," according to Süddeutsche.Sandgruber ist a University professor for economic and social history at Johannes-Kepler-Universität Linz, where Hitler grew up. He is from Austria and has written two other books about Austrian history.
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