"To me Vienna, the city which, to so many, is the epitome of innocent pleasure, a festive playground for merrymakers, represents, I am sorry to say, merely the living memory of the saddest period of my life. ... Five years in which I was forced to earn a living, first as a day laborer, then as a small painter; a truly meager living which never sufficed to appease even my daily hunger...."
, Mein Kampf
Part of Adolf Hitler's early life was spent in futile attempts to become an artist
. At 16, he left the Realschule
, moving to Vienna
, where he hoped to become a painter
. He lived for some time as a starving artist
, sometimes being paid for the odd sketch here and there, before finding his true calling
. This period of his life, which lasted until about 1913
, caused the germination of his political views and his hatred of Jew
s, and the decadent elite class. Despite his professed misery during this time of his life, Hitler seems to have derived a type of perverted strength
from it. Coupled with his later military experience, the foundation of Naziism
is already clear.
Hitler blamed his 2 rejections from the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts on the Jewish members of the review board, not his own talent. Hitler was fairly competent as a painter, but he had more vision than execution, and his hostile attitude may have had a great deal to do with his troubles.
Hitler despised what he called "degenerate art
" (Entartete Kunst
)- by which he meant all the modern movements from Expressionism
- and his personal views shaped in a large part the fascist aesthetic.
In his later career
, he patronized those artists he felt worthy of his munificence.
The book "Adolf Hitler: The Unknown Artist
", also known as "Adolf Hitler As Painter and Draftsman
", published by Texas millionaire Billy F. Price
, is largely fraudulent.