Eduard Bloch – The Hitler I Knew

EDUARD BLOCH – THE HITLER I KNEW

Editor’s Introduction

Eduard Bloch (30 January 1872 – 1 June 1945) was a Jewish-Austrian doctor practicing in Linz (Austria). Until 1907 Bloch was the doctor of Adolf Hitler’s family.
Hitler later awarded Bloch special protection after the Austrian Anschluß.

Early Years 

Bloch was born in Frauenberg, studied medicine in Prague and then served as a medical officer in the Austrian army.
In 1899 he was stationed in Linz and opened a private doctor’s practice after his discharge in 1901 in the baroque house at 12 Landstrasse, where he also lived with his family: his wife, Emilie (née Kafka) and their daughter Trude, born in 1903.
According to Linz’s future mayor Ernst Koref, Bloch was held in high regard, particularly among the lower and indigent social classes.
It was generally known that at any time at night he was willing to call on patients. He used to go on visits in his hansom, wearing a conspicuous broad brimmed hat.
Like most Jews in Linz at the time, the Bloch family were assimilated Jews.

The Hitler Family Doctor
The first member of the Hitler family Bloch was to see was Adolf Hitler.
In 1904, Hitler had become seriously ill and was bedridden due to a serious lung ailment.
Due to this, he was allowed to abandon his school career and return home, however, after checking Hitler’s files Bloch later maintained that he had treated the youth for only minor ailments, cold, or tonsilitis and that Hitler had been neither robust nor sickly.
He also stated that Hitler did not have any illness whatsoever, let alone a lung disease.
In 1907 Hitler’s mother, Klara Hitler was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She died on December 21 after intense suffering that required daily medication usually given by Bloch. Because of the poor economic situation of the Hitler family at that time, Bloch had been working for reduced prices, sometimes taking no money at all.
The then 18 year old Hitler granted him his “everlasting gratitude” for this (“Ich werde Ihnen ewig dankbar sein“).
This showed in 1908 when Hitler wrote Bloch a postcard assuring him of his gratitude.
Young Hitler expressed his gratitude and reverence to Bloch with handmade gifts, for example, a large wall painting which according to Bloch’s daughter Gertrude (Trude) Kren (*1903 in Austria, +1992 in USA) was lost in the course of time.
Even in 1937, Hitler inquired about Bloch’s well-being and called him an “Edeljude” (noble Jew).
Bloch also apparently had a special fondness for the Hitler family which was to serve him well in the future.

Emigration

After the Third Reich’s annexing of Austria in 1938 life became hard for Austrian Jews.
Bloch’s medical practice was closed on October 1, 1938.
His daughter and son-in-law, Bloch’s young colleague Dr. Franz Kren (born 1893 in Austria, died 1976 in the USA), fled overseas.
The sixty-six-year-old Bloch wrote a letter to Hitler asking for help and was as a consequence put under special protection by the Gestapo.
He was the only Jew in Linz with this status.
Bloch stayed in his house with his wife undisturbed until the formalities for his emigration to the United States were completed. 
In 1940 Bloch emigrated and lived in the Bronx, 2755 Creston Avenue, New York City but no longer practiced medicine because his medical degree was not recognised.
He died of stomach cancer at the age of seventy three in 1945.

THE HITLER I KNEW


Young Hitler
Eduard Bloch

I knew Adolf Hitler as a boy and as a young man.
I treated him many times and was intimately familiar with the modest surroundings in which he grew to manhood.
I attended, in her final illness, the person nearer and dearer to him than all others – his mother.

Most biographers – both sympathetic and unsympathetic – have avoided the youth of Adolf Hitler.
The unsympathetic ones have done this of necessity.
They could lay their hands on only the most meager facts.
The official party biographies have skipped over this period because of the dictator’s wishes.
Why this abnormal sensitivity about his youth ? I do not know.
There are no scandalous chapters which Hitler might wish to hide, unless one goes back over a hundred years to the birth of his father.
Some biographers say that Alois Hitler was an illegitimate child.
I cannot speak for the accuracy of this statement.
What of those early years in Linz, Austria, where Hitler spent his formative years ?
What kind of boy was he ?
What kind of a life did he lead? It is of these things that we shall speak here.

Prague

First, I might introduce myself.
I was born in Frauenburg, a tiny village in southern Bohemia which, in the course of my lifetime, had been under three flags: Austrian, Czechoslovakian and German.
I am sixty-nine years old.
I studied medicine in Prague, then joined the Austrian army as a military doctor.

Prague

In 1899 I was ordered to Linz, capital of Upper Austria, and the third largest city in the country. When I completed my army service in 1901 I decided to remain in Linz and practice medicine.

Linz

As a city, Linz has always been as quiet and reserved as Vienna was gay and noisy.
In the period of which we are about to speak – when Adolf Hitler was a boy of 14 – Linz was a city of 80,000 people.

Landstrasse – Linz



My consultation rooms and home were in the same house, an ancient baroque structure on Landstrasse, the main thoroughfare of the city.

The Hitler family moved to Linz in 1903, because, I believe, of the good schools there.
The family background is well known.





Alois Schicklgruber Hitler

Alois Schicklgruber Hitler was the son of a poor peasant girl.
When he was old enough to work he got a job as a cobbler’s apprentice, worked his way into the government service and became a customs inspector at Braunau, a tiny frontier town between Bavaria and Austria.

Braunau,

Braunau is fifty miles from Linz.
At fifty-six Alois Hitler became eligible for a pension and retired. Proud of his own success, he was anxious for his son to enter government service.
Young Adolf violently opposed the idea.
He would be an artist.



Klara Hitler

Father and son fought over this while the mother, Klara Hitler, tried to maintain peace.

As long as he lived Alois Hitler persevered in trying to shape his son’s destiny to his own desires.
His son would have the education which had been denied him; an education which would secure him a good government job.
So Father Alois prepared to leave the hamlet of Braunau for the city of Linz.

Realschule – Linz

Because of his government service, he would not be required to pay the full tuition for his son at the Realschule.
With all this in mind he bought a small farm in Leonding, a Linz suburb.

The family was rather large.
In later life Adolf has so overshadowed the others that they are, for the better part, forgotten. There was half-brother Alois, whom I never met.
He left home at an early age, got a job as a waiter in London and later opened his own restaurant in Berlin.
He was never friendly with his younger brother.




Paula Hitler

Then there was Paula, the oldest of the girls.
She later married Herr Rubal, an official in the tax bureau in Linz.

Berghof

Later still, after her husband’s death and her brother’s rise to power, she went to Berchtesgaden to become house-keeper at Hitler’s Berghof.
Sister Klara for a while managed a restaurant for students at the University of Vienna; and sister Angela, youngest of the girls, married a Professor Hamitsch at Dresden, where she still lives.

Alois Hitler

The family had barely settled in their new home outside of Linz when Alois, the father, died suddenly from an apoplectic stroke.

Klara Hitler
At the time Frau Hitler was in her early forties.
She was a simple, modest, kindly women.
She was tall, had brownish hair which she kept neatly plaited, and a long, oval face with beautifully expressive gray-blue eyes.
She was desperately worried about the responsibilities thrust upon her by her husband’s death. Alois, twenty-three years her senior, had always managed the family.
Now the job was hers.
It was readily apparent that son Adolf was too young and altogether too fragile to become a farmer.
So her best move seemed to be to sell the place and rent a small apartment.
This she did, soon after her husband’s death.
With the proceeds of this sale and the small pension which came to her because of her husband’s government position, she managed to hold her family together.
In a small town in Austria poverty doesn’t force upon one the indignities that it does in a large city.
There are no slums and no serious overcrowding.
I do not know the exact income of the Hitler family, but being familiar with the scale of government pensions I should estimate it at $25 a month.
This small sum allowed them to live quietly and decently – unnoticed little people in an out-of-the-way town.
Their apartment consisted of three small rooms in the two-story house at No. 9 Blütenstrasse, which is across the Danube from the main portion of Linz.
Its windows gave an excellent view of the mountains.
My predominant impression of the simple furnished apartment was its cleanliness.
It glistened; not a speck of dust on the chairs or tables, not a stray fleck of mud on the scrubbed floor, not a smudge on the panes in the windows.
Frau Hitler was a superb housekeeper.
The Hitlers had only a few friends.
One stood out above the others; the widow of the postmaster who lived in the same house.
The limited budget allowed not even the smallest extravagance.
We had the usual provincial opera in Linz: not good, and not bad.
Those who would hear the best went to Vienna.

Schauspielhaus – Linz

Seats in the gallery of our theater, the Schauspielhaus, sold for the equivalent of 10 to 15 cents in American money.

Lohengrin

Yet occupying one of these seats to hear an indifferent troupe sing ‘Lohengrin’ was such a memorable occasion that Hitler records it in ‘Mein Kampf’.

For the most part the boy’s recreations were limited to those things which were free: walks in the mountains, a swim in the Danube, a free band concert.
He read extensively, and was particularly fascinated by stories about American Indians.

Karl May

He devoured the books of James Fenimore Cooper, and the German writer Karl May – who never visited America and never saw an Indian.

The family diet was, of necessity, simple and rugged.
Food was cheap and plentiful in Linz; and the Hitler family ate much the same diet as other people in their circumstance.
Meat would be served perhaps twice a week.

Lederhosen

Most of the meals they sat down to consisted of cabbage or potato soup, bread, dumplings and a pitcher of pear and apple cider.

For clothing, they wore the rough woolen cloth we call Loden.
Adolf, of course, dressed in the uniform of all small boys: leather shorts, embroidered suspenders, a small green hat with a feather in its band.
What kind of boy was Adolf Hitler ?
Many biographers have put him down as harsh-voiced, defiant, untidy; as a young ruffian who personified all that is unattractive.
This simply is not true.
As a youth he was quiet, well-mannered and neatly dressed.
He records that at the age of fifteen he regarded himself as a political revolutionary.
Possibly – but let us look at Adolf Hitler as he impressed people about him, not as he impressed himself.
He was tall, sallow, old for his age.
He was neither robust nor sickly.
Perhaps “frail looking” would best describe him.
His eyes – inherited from his mother – were large, melancholy and thoughtful.
To a very large extent this boy lived within himself.
What dreams he dreamed I do not know.
Outwardly, his love for his mother was his most striking feature.
While he was not a “mother’s boy” in the usual sense, I have never witnessed a closer attachment.
Some insist that this love verged on the pathological.
As a former intimate of the family, I do not believe this is true.
Klara Hitler adored her son, the youngest of the family.
She allowed him his own way wherever possible.
His father had insisted that he become an official.
He rebelled and won his mother to his side.
He soon tired of school, so his mother allowed him to drop his studies.
All friends of the family know how Frau Hitler encouraged his boyish efforts to become an artist; at what cost to herself one may guess.
Despite their poverty, she permitted him to reject a job which was offered in the post office, so that he could continue his painting.
She admired his water colors and his sketches of the countryside.
Whether this was honest admiration or whether it was merely an effort to encourage his talent I do not know.
She did her best to raise her boy well.
She saw that he was neat, clean and as well fed as her purse would permit.
Whenever he came to my consultation room this strange boy would sit among the other patients, awaiting his turn.
There was never anything seriously wrong.
Possibly his tonsils would be inflamed.
He would stand obedient and unflinching while I depressed his tongue and swabbed the trouble spots.
Or, possibly, he would be suffering with a cold.
I would treat him and send him on his way.
Like any well-bred boy of fourteen or fifteen he would bow and thank me courteously.
I, of course, know of the stomach trouble that beset him later in life, largely as a result of bad diet while working as a common laborer in Vienna.
I cannot understand the many references to his lung trouble as a youth.
I was the only doctor treating him during the period in which he is supposed to have suffered from this.
My records show nothing of the sort.
To be sure, he didn’t have the rosy cheeks and the robust good health of most of the other youngsters; but at the same time he was not sickly.
At the Realschule young Adolf’s work was anything but brilliant.
As authority for this, I have the word of his former teacher, Dr. Karl Huemer, an old acquaintance of mine.
I was Frau Huemer’s physician.
In ‘Mein Kampf’, Hitler records that he was an indifferent student in most subjects, but that he loved history.
This agrees with the recollections of Professor Huemer.
Desiring additional training in painting, Hitler decided he would go to Vienna to study at the Academy.
This was a momentous decision for a member of a poor family.
His mother worried about how he would get along.
I understand that she even suggested pinching the family budget a little tighter to enable her to send him a tiny allowance.
Credit to the boy, he refused.
He even went further: he signed his minute inheritance over to his sisters.
He was eighteen at the time.
I am not sure of the exact details of what happened on that trip to Vienna.
Some contend that he was not admitted to the Academy because of his unsatisfactory art work. Others accept Hitler’s statement that his rejection was due to his failure to graduate from the Realschule – the equivalent of an American high school.
In any case he was home again within a few weeks.
It was later in this year – 1908 [1907, according to some sources] – that it became my duty to give Hitler what was perhaps the saddest news of his life.
One day Frau Hitler came to visit me during my morning office hours.
She complained of a pain in her chest.
She spoke in a quiet, hushed voice; almost a whisper.
The pain, she said, had been great; enough to keep her awake nights on end.
She had been busy with her household so had neglected to seek medical aid.
Besides, she thought the pain would pass away.
When a physician hears such a story he almost automatically thinks of cancer.
An examination showed that Frau Hitler had an extensive tumor of the breast.
I did not tell her of my diagnosis.
Dr Eduard Bloch – Offoce

I summoned the children to my office next day and stated the case frankly.
Their mother, I told them, was a gravely ill woman.
A malignant tumor is serious enough today, but it was even more serious then.
Surgical techniques were not so advanced and knowledge of cancer not so extensive.

Without surgery, I explained, there was absolutely no hope of recovery.
Even with surgery there was but the slightest chance that she would live.
In family council they must decide what was to be done.
Adolf Hitler’s reaction to this news was touching.
His long, sallow face was contorted.
Tears flowed from his eyes.
Did his mother, he asked, have no chance ?
Only then did I realize the magnitude of the attachment that existed between mother and son.
I explained that she did have a chance; but a small one.
Even this shred of hope gave him some comfort.
The children carried my message to their mother. She accepted the verdict as I was sure she would – with fortitude.
Deeply religious, she assumed that her fate was God’s will.
It would never have occurred to her to complain.
She would submit to the operation as soon as I could make preparations.
I explained the case to Dr. Karl Urban, the chief of the surgical staff at the Hospital of the Sisters of Mercy in Linz.
Urban was one of the best-known surgeons in Upper Austria.
He was a generous man, a credit to his profession.
He willingly agreed to undertake the operation on any basis I suggested.
After examination he concurred in my belief that Frau Hitler had very little chance of surviving but that surgery offered the only hope.
It is interesting to note what happened to this generous man nearly three decades later – after Anschluss [union] with Germany.
Because of his political connections he was forced to abandon his position at the hospital.
His son, who pioneered in brain surgery, was likewise forced from several offices.
Frau Hitler arrived at the hospital one evening in the early summer of 1908 [1907?].
I do not have the exact date.
In any case, Frau Hitler spent the night in the hospital and was operated on the following morning.
At the request of this gentle, harried soul I remained beside the operating table while Dr. Urban and his assistant performed the surgery.
Two hours later I drove in my carriage across the Danube to the little house at No. 9 Blütenstrasse, in the section of the city known as Urfahr.
There the children awaited me.
The girls received the word I brought with calm and reserve.
The face of the boy was streaked with tears, and his eyes were tired and red.
He listened until I had finished speaking. He has but one question. In a choked voice he asked: “Does my mother suffer ?”
As weeks and months passed after the operation Frau Hitler’s strength began visibly to fail.
At most she could be out of bed for an hour or two a day.
During this period Adolf spent most of his time around the house, to which his mother had returned.
He slept in the tiny bedroom adjoining that of his mother so that he could be summoned at any time during the night.
During the day he hovered about the large bed in which she lay.
In illness such as that suffered by Frau Hitler, there is usually a great amount of pain.
She bore her burden well; unflinching and uncomplaining.
But it seemed to torture her son.
An anguished grimace would come over him when he saw pain contract her face.
There was little that could be done.
An injection of morphine from time to time would give temporary relief; but nothing lasting.
Yet Adolf seemed enormously grateful even for these short periods of release.
I shall never forget Klara Hitler during those days.
She was forty-eight at the time; tall, slender and rather handsome, yet wasted by disease.
She was soft-spoken, patient; more concerned about what would happen to her family than she was about her approaching death.
She made no secret of these worries; or about the fact that most of her thoughts were for her son. “Adolf is still so young,” she said repeatedly.
On the day of December 20, 1908 [or 1907], I made two calls.
The end was approaching and I wanted this good woman to be as comfortable as I could make her.
I didn’t know whether she would live another week, or another month; or whether death would come in a matter of hours.
So, the word that Angela Hitler brought me the following morning came as no surprise.
Her mother had died quietly in the night.
The children had decided not to disturb me, knowing that their mother was beyond all medical aid.
But, she asked, could I come now ?
Someone in an official position would have to sign the death certificate.
I put on my coat and drove with her to the grief-stricken cottage.
The postmaster’s widow, their closest friend, was with the children, having more or less taken charge of things.
Adolf, his face showing the weariness of a sleepless night, sat beside his mother.
In order to preserve a last impression, he had sketched her as she lay on her deathbed.
I sat with the family for a while, trying to ease their grief.
I explained that in this case death had been a savior.
They understood.
In the practice of my profession it is natural that I should have witnessed many scenes such as this one, yet none of them left me with quite the same impression.
In all my career I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolf Hltler.
I did not attend Klara Hitler’s funeral, which was held on Christmas Eve.
The body was taken from Urfahr to Leonding, only a few miles distant.
Klara Hitler was buried beside her husband in the Catholic cemetery, behind the small, yellow stucco church.
After the others – the girls, and the postmaster’s widow – had left, Adolf remained behind; unable to tear himself away from the freshly filled grave.
And so this gaunt, pale young man stood alone in the cold.
Alone with his thoughts on Christmas Eve while the rest of the world was gay and happy.
A few days after the funeral the family came to my office.
They wished to thank me for the help I had given them.
There was Paula, fair and stocky; Angela, slender, pretty but rather anemic; Klara and Adolf. The girls spoke what was in their hearts while Adolf remained silent.
I recall this particular scene as vividly as I might recall something that took place last week.
Adolf wore a dark suit and a loosely knotted cravat.
Then as now a shock of hair tumbled over his forehead.
His eyes were on the floor while his sisters were talking.
Then came his turn.
He stepped forward and took my hand.
Looking into my eyes, he said: “I shall be grateful to you forever.
That was all.
Then he bowed.
I wonder if he recalled this scene.
I am quite sure that he did, for in a sparing sense Adolf Hitler had kept to his promise of gratitude.
Favors were granted me which I feel sure were accorded no other Jew in all Germany or Austria.
Almost immediately after his mother’s funeral Hitler left for Vienna, to attempt once more a career as an artist.
His growth to manhood had been a painful experience for this boy who lived within himself.
But ever more trying days were coming.
Poor as the family was, he had at least been assured food and shelter while living at home. This couldn’t be said of the days in Vienna.
Hitler was entirely engrossed with the business of keeping body and soul together.
We all know something of his life there – how he worked as a hod carrier on building-construction jobs until workmen threatened to push him off a scaffold.
And we know that he shoveled snow and took any other job he could find.
During this period, for three years in fact, Hitler lived in a man’s hostel, the equivalent of a flophouse in any large American city.
It was here that he began to dream of a world remade to his pattern.
While living in the hostel, surrounded by the human dregs of the large city, Hitler says, “I became dissatisfied with myself for the first time in my life.”
This dissatisfaction with himself was followed by dissatisfaction with everything about him – and the desire to alter things to his own liking.
The vitriol of hate began to creep through his body.
The grim realities of the life he lived encouraged him to hate the government, labor unions, the very men he lived with.
But he had not yet begun to hate the Jews.
During this period he took time out to send me a penny postcard.
On the back was. a message: “From Vienna I send you my greetings. Yours, always faithfully, Adolf Hitler.”
It was a small thing, yet I appreciated it.
I had spent a great deal of time treating the Hitler family and it was nice to know that this effort on my part had not been forgotten.
Official  publications also record that I received one of Hitler’s paintings – a small landscape.
If I did I am not aware of it.
But it is quite possible that he sent me one and that I have forgotten the matter.
In Austria patients frequently send paintings or other gifts to their physicians as a mark of gratitude.
Even now I have half a dozen of these oils and water colors which I have saved; but none painted by Hitler among them.
I did, however, preserve one piece of Hitler’s art work.
This came during the period in Vienna when he was painting post cards, posters, etc., making enough money to support himself.
This was the one time in his life that Hitler was able to make successful use of his talent.
He would paint these cards and dry them in front of a hot fire, which would give them a rather pleasing antique quality.
Then other inmates of the hostel would peddle them.
Today in Germany the few remaining samples of this work are more highly prized and sought after than the works of Picasso, Gauguin and Cézanne!
Hitler sent me one of these cards.
It showed a hooded Capuchin monk hoisting a glass of bubbling champagne.
Under the picture was a caption: “Prosit Neujahr – A toast to the New Year.”
On the reverse side he had written a message: “The Hitler family sends you the best wishes for a Happy New Year. In everlasting thankfulness, Adolf Hitler.”
Why I put these cards aside to be saved, I do not know.
Possibly it was because of the impression made upon me by that unhappy boy.
Even today I cannot help thinking of him in terms of his grief.
Those postal cards had a curious history.
They indicated the extent to which Hitler has captured the imagination of some people.
A rich Viennese industrialist – I do not know his name because he dealt through an intermediary – later made me an astonishing offer.
He wanted to buy those two cards and was willing to pay 20,000 marks for them !
I rejected the offer on the ground that I could not ethically make such a sale.
There is still another story in those two cards.
Seventeen days after the collapse of the Schuschnigg government and the occupation of Austria by German troops, an agent of the Gestapo called at my home.
At the time I was making a professional call, but my wife received him.
I am informed,” he said, “that you have some souvenirs of the Führer. I should like to see them.
Acting sensibly, my wife made no protest.
She found the two cards and handed them over.
The agent scribbled a receipt which read: “Certificate for the safekeeping of two post cards (one of them painted by the hand of Adolf Hitler) confiscated in the house of Dr. Eduard Bloch.”
It was signed by the agent, named Groemer, who was previously unknown to us.
He said I was to come to headquarters the following morning.
Almost as soon as the Germans entered the city, the Gestapo took over the small hotel in Gesellenhausstrasse formally patronized by traveling clergymen.
I went to this place and was received almost immediately.
I was greeted courteously by Dr. Rasch, head of the local bureau.
I asked him why these bits of property had been taken.
Those were busy days for the Gestapo.
There were many things to be looked after in a town of 120,000 people.
It developed that Dr. Rasch was not familiar with my case.
He asked if I were under suspicion for any political activity unfavorable to the NSDAP.
I replied that I was not; that I was a professional man with no political connections.
The cards, he said, would be retained for safekeeping.
So far as I know the cards are still in the hands of the Gestapo.
I never saw them again.
When he left for Vienna, Adolf Hitler was destined to disappear from our lives for a great many years.
He had no friends in Linz to whom he might return to visit and few with whom he might exchange correspondence.
So, it was much later that we learned of his wretched poverty on those days, and of his subsequent moving to Munich in May 1913.
No news came back of the way in which he fell on his knees and thanked God when war was declared in 1914; and no news of his war service as a corporal with the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry.
We heard nothing of his being wounded and gassed.
Not until the beginning of his political career in 1920 were we again to get news of this quiet, polite boy who grew up among us.
Occasionally the local newspapers would run items about the group of political supporters that Hitler was gathering about himself in Munich; stories of the Versailles Peace.
But no particular importance was attached to these activities.
Not until twenty people died in the beer-hall putsch of November 8, 1923, did Hitler achieve local notoriety.
Was it possible, I asked myself, that the man behind these things was the quiet boy I had known – the son of the gentle Klara Hitler ?
Eventually even the mention of Hitler’s name in the Austrian press was prohibited; still we continued to get word-of-mouth news of our former townsman.
This smuggled news reached responsive ears.
A local NSDAP party sprang up.
In theory such a party could not exist; it had been outlawed by the government.
In practice authorities gave it their blessings.
From time to time local authorities would find a NSDAP flag on Klara Hitler’s grave in Leonding, and would remove it without ceremony.
Still, the gathering storm in Germany seemed remote.
It was quite a while before I got any firsthand word from Adolf Hitler.
Then, in 1937, a number of local National Socialists attended the party conference at Nuremberg.
After the conference Hitler invited several of these people to come with him to his mountain villa at Berchtesgaden.
The Führer asked for news of Linz.
How was the townn?
Were people there supporting him ?
He asked for news of me.
Was I still alive, still practicing ?
Then he made a statement. “Dr. Bloch,” said Hitler, “is an Edeljude – a noble Jew. If all Jews were like him, there would be no Jewish question.
It was strange, and in a way flattering, that Adolf Hitler could see good in at least one member of my race.
It is curious now to look back on the feeling of security that we had by virtue of living on the right side of an imaginary line, the international boundary.
Surely Germany would not chance invading Austria.
France was friendly.
Occupation of Austria would be inimical to the interests of Italy.
But we were blind, in those days !
Then we were caught up in a breathless rush of events.
It was with hope that we read of the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg’s trip to Berchtesgaden; his plebiscite; his inclusion of Seyss-Inquart in his cabinet.
Possibly we would ride through this crisis untouched.
But hope was doomed within a very few hours.
As soon as Seyss-Inquart was taken into the cabinet, buttons sprouted in every lapel: “One People, One Realm, One Leader.
On Friday, March 11, 1938, the Vienna radio was broadcasting a program of light music.
It was 7:45 at night.
Suddenly the announcer broke in.
The chancellor would speak.
Schuschnigg came on the air and said that to prevent bloodshed he was capitulating to the wishes of Hitler.
The frontiers would be opened, he ended his address with the words: “Gott schütze Österreich” – may God protect Austria.
Hitler was coming home to Linz.
In the sleepless days that followed we clung to our radios.
Troops were pouring over the border at Passau, Kufstein, Mittenwalde and elsewhere.
Hitler himself was crossing the Inn River at Braunau, his birthplace.
Breathlessly, the announcer told us the story of the march.
The Führer himself would pause in Linz.
The town went mad with joy.
The reader should have no doubts about the popularity of Anschluss with Germany. The people favored it.
They greeted the onrushing tide of German troops with flowers, cheers and songs.
Church bells rang.
Austrian troops and police fraternized with the invaders and there was general rejoicing.
The public square in Linz, a block from my home, was a turmoil.
All afternoon it rang with the ‘Horst Wessel Song’ and ‘Deutschland über Alles’.
Planes droned overhead, and advance units of the German army were given deafening cheers. Finally the radio announced that Hitler was in Linz.
Advance instructions had been given to the townspeople.
All windows along the procession route were to be closed.
Each should be lighted.
I stood at the window of my home facing Landstrasse.
Hitler would pass before me.
Soon the procession arrived – the great, black Mercedes car, a six-wheeled affair, flanked by motorcycles.
The frail boy I had treated so often, and whom I had not seen for thirty years – stood in the car.
I had accorded him only kindness; what was he now to do to the people I loved ?
I peered over the heads of the crowd at Adolf Hitler.
It was a moment of tense excitement.
For years Hitler had been denied the right to visit the country of his birth.
Now that country belonged to him.
The elation that he felt was written on his features.
He smiled, waved, gave the National Socialist salute to the people that crowded the street. Then, for a moment he glanced up at my window.
I doubt that he saw me, but he must have had a moment of reflection.
Here was the home of the Edeljude who had diagnosed his mother’s fatal cancer; here was the consultation room of the man who had treated his sisters; here was the place he had gone as a boy to have his minor ailments attended.
It was a brief moment.
Then the procession was gone.
It moved slowly into the town square – once ‘Franz Josef Platz’, soon to be renamed ‘Adolf Hitler Platz’.
He spoke from the balcony of the town hall.
I listened on the radio.
Historic words: Germany and Austria were now one.
Hitler established himself in the Weinzinger Hotel, particularly requesting an apartment with a view of the Poestling Mountain.
This scene had been visible from the windows of the modest apartment where he spent his boyhood.
The following day he called in a few old acquaintances: Oberhummer, a local party functionary; Kubizek, the musician; Liedel, the watchmaker; Dr. Huemer, his former history teacher.
It was understandable that he couldn’t ask me, a Jew, to such a meeting; yet he did inquire after me.
For a while I thought of asking for an audience, then decided this would be unwise.
Hitler arrived Saturday evening.
Sunday he visited his mother’s grave, and reviewed local National Socialists as they marched before him.
On Monday Hitler departed for Vienna.
The first suggestion that I was to receive special favors came one day when my landlord, an Aryan, went to Gestapo headquarters to ask if I were to be allowed to remain in my apartment. “We wouldn’t dare touch that matter,” he was told. “It will be handled by Berlin.”
Hitler, apparently, had remembered. 
My practice, which I believe was one of the largest in Linz, had begun to dwindle as long as a year before the arrival of Hitler. In this I might have seen a portent of things to come.
By decree, my active practice was limited to Jewish patients.
This was another way of saying that I was to cease work altogether.
For plans were in the making for ridding the town of all Jews.
On November 10, 1938, the ruling was issued that all Jews were to leave Linz within forty-eight hours.
They were to go to Vienna.
I called at the Gestapo. Was I to leave?
I was informed that an exception had been made in my case. I could remain.
My daughter and her husband ?
Since they had already signified their intention of emigrating to America, they also could stay. But they would have to vacate their house.
If there was room in my apartment they would be permitted to move there.
If my relations with the Gestapo were not precisely cordial, I at least didn’t suffer at their hands as did so many others.
I was told on good authority, and I can well believe it, that the bureau in Linz had received special instructions from the chancellery in Berlin that I was to be accorded any reasonable favor.
It is possible, but unlikely, that my war record was particularly responsible for these small considerations.
During the war I had charge of a 1,000 bed military hospital, and my wife supervised welfare work among the sick.
I was twice decorated for this service.
Hitler still regards Linz as his true home, and the changes he has wrought are astonishing.
The once quiet, sleepy town had been transformed.
Whole blocks of old houses have been pulled down to make way for modern apartment houses; thereby causing an acute but temporary housing shortage.
A new theater has gone up and a new bridge has been built over the Danube.
The bridge, according to local legend, was designed by Hitler himself and plans were already completed at the time of Anschluss.
The vast Hermann Goering Iron Works, built in the past two years, is just starting operations.
To carry on this program of reconstruction whole trainloads of laborers have been imported: Czechs, Poles, Belgians.
Hitler has visited the city twice since the Anschluss, once at the time of the election which was to approve union with Germany; a second time secretly to see how reconstruction of the town was progressing.
Each time had has stayed at the Weinzinger Hotel.
On the second visit the proprietor of the hotel was informed that Hitler’s presence in town was not to be announced; that he would make his inspection tour in the morning.
Delighted at having such an important personage in his house, the proprietor could not resist boasting.
He telephoned several friends to give them the news.
For this breach of discipline he paid heavily.
His hotel was confiscated.
Many times I have been approached by Hitler biographers for notes on his youth.
In most instances I have refused to speak. But I did talk to one of these men.
He was a pleasant middle-aged gentleman from Vienna, who came from the government department headed by Rudolf Hess.
He was writing an official biography.
I gave him such details as I could recall, and my medical records which he subsequently sent to the Party headquarters in Munich.
When it finally became my turn to leave Linz for America I knew that it would be impossible for me to take my savings with me.
But the Gestapo had one more favor for me. I was to be allowed to take sixteen marks from the country instead of the customary ten!
A party official suggested that I was expected to show some gratitude for all these favors. Perhaps a letter to the Führer ?
Before I left Linz on a cold, foggy November morning, I wrote it.
I wonder if it was ever received. It read:

‘Your Excellency:

Before passing the border I want to express my thanks for the protection which I have received. In material poverty I am now leaving the town where I have lived for forty-one years; but I leave conscious of having lived in the most exact fulfillment of my duty. At sixty-nine I will start my life anew in a strange country where my daughter is working hard to support her family.’


Die Erste Liebe von Hitler – Hitler’s First Love


© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

Die Erste Liebe von Hitler



Hitler’s first love was undoubtedly his mother – Klara.
Edmund Hitler would have been Adolf’s second love.
Edmund Hitler (March 24, 1894 – February 2, 1900) was the fourth child of Klara and Alois Hitler, and the youngest brother of Adolf Hitler.
Edmund died of Measles on February 2, 1900 at the age of 5, leaving Adolf and Paula as the only surviving children of the Hitler family.
After the death of Edmund, Adolf’s personality underwent a dramatic change – from being a happy compliant boy to being one who was mood, poorly behaved and ‘difficult’.

Questions have been raised concerning Adolf Hitler’s sexuality ever since he first came to political prominence in the 1920s.
An individual’s sexuality, of course, does not effect the validity of his beliefs or work – and we can look to many historical examples of individuals who exhibited sexual preferences outside the so-called ‘norm’, who have had a major impact in various historical, cultural, political and academic spheres.
However, an understanding of an individual’s sexuality will often give a greater insight into the general behavior, activities and beliefs of that individual.
Examples would be the relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion, Hadrian and Antinuous – or more recently Ludwig II and Wagner etc.

There is much evidence to support the theory that Hitler had distinct homosexual, or homoerotic tendencies.
Many of his friendships and associations suggest this, and in particular, his decidedly ‘homoerotic’ relationship with August Kubizek.

Wappen von Kaiser Franz Josef
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Our story begins in Linz, a provincial city in Österreich.
Große Wappen der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

Österreich was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in Central Europe.
The union was a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, under which the House of Habsburg agreed to share power with the separate Hungarian government, dividing the territory of the former Austrian Empire between them.
The Austrian and the Hungarian lands became independent entities enjoying equal status. Austria-Hungary was a multinational realm and one of the world’s great powers at the time.

Kleines Wappen des Kaisertums Österreich
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Kleines Wappen des Königreiches Ungarn
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

The dual monarchy had existed for 51 years until it dissolved on 31 October 1918 before a military defeat on the Italian front of the First World War.
The realm comprised modern-day Austria (see right – small arms of Austria), Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine.
The Habsburg monarch ruled as Emperor of Austria over the western and northern half of the country that was the Austrian Empire (Cisleithania or Lands represented in the Imperial Council), and as King of Hungary over the Kingdom of Hungary (see small arms left) (Transleithania or Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen) which enjoyed a great deal of sovereignty with only a few joint affairs (principally foreign relations and defence).
The division was so marked in fact that there was no common citizenship: a person was either an Austrian or a Hungarian citizen (legally it wasn’t allowed to hold both citizenships at the same time).
The two capitals of the Monarchy were Vienna for Austria and Buda for Hungary, the latter united with neighbouring Pest as Budapest from 1870.
Vienna, however, would serve as the nation’s primary capital.

Austria-Hungary was geographically the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire (621,538 square kilometres (239,977 sq mi) in 1905), and the third most populous (after Russia and the German Empire).
As a multinational empire and great power in an era of national awakening, it found its political life dominated by disputes among the eleven principal national groups.
The Monarchy bore the name internationally of “Österreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie” (on decision by Franz Joseph I in 1868).

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Austria–Hungary


Empire of Austria (Cisleithania): 1. Bohemia, 2. Bukovina, 3. Carinthia, 4. Carniola, 5. Dalmatia, 6. Galicia, 7. Küstenland, 8. Lower Austria, 9. Moravia, 10. Salzburg, 11. Silesia, 12. Styria, 13. Tyrol, 14. Upper Austria, 15. Vorarlberg;
Kingdom of Hungary (Transleithania): 16. Hungary proper 17. Croatia-Slavonia;
Austrian-Hungarian Condominium: 18. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Österreich-Ungarn 1910: Cisleithanien: 1. Böhmen, 2. Bukowina, 3. Kärnten, 4. Krain, 5. Dalmatien, 6. Galizien, 7. Küstenland, 8. Österreich unter der Enns, 9. Mähren, 10. Salzburg, 11. Schlesien, 12. Steiermark, 13. Tirol, 14. Österreich ob der Enns, 15. Vorarlberg; Transleithanien: 16. Ungarn, 17. Kroatien und Slawonien; 18. Bosnien und Herzegowina

Linz and Vienna – the two cities that feature prominently in Kubizek’s account – are indicated in gold – other provincial capitals of the empire are indicated in red.



Kaiser Franz Josef

During the period covered by Kubizek’s account, the ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was Franz Joseph I (see right).
Franz Joseph I (Hungarian: I. Ferenc József, 18 August 1830 – 21 November 1916) was Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, King of Croatia, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Galicia and Lodomeria and Grand Duke of Cracow from 1848 until his death in 1916.
In the December of 1848, Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria abdicated the throne as part of Ministerpräsident Felix zu Schwarzenberg’s plan to end the Revolutions of 1848 in Austria, which allowed Ferdinand’s nephew Franz Joseph to ascend to the throne.
Largely considered to be a reactionary, Franz Joseph spent his early reign resisting constitutionalism in his domains.
The Austrian Empire was forced to cede most of its claim to Lombardy–Venetia to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia following the conclusion of the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, and the Third Italian War of Independence in 1866.

Austro-Prussian War
Crown Prince Rudolf

Although Franz Joseph ceded no territory to the Kingdom of Prussia after the Austrian defeat in the Austro-Prussian War (see left), the Peace of Prague (23 August 1866) settled the German question in favor of Prussia, which prevented the unification of Germany under the House of Habsburg (Großdeutsche Lösung).
Franz Joseph was troubled by nationalism during his entire reign.
He concluded the Ausgleich of 1867, which granted greater autonomy to Hungary, hence transforming the Austrian Empire into the Austro-Hungarian Empire under his Dual Monarchy.
His domains were then ruled peacefully for the next 45 years, although Franz Joseph’s personal life became increasingly tragic after the suicide of his son, the Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889 (see right), and the assassination of his wife, the Empress Elisabeth in 1898.
Franz Joseph died on 21 November 1916, after ruling his domains for almost 68 years.

He was succeeded by his grandnephew Karl.

This was the political situation in which Adolf hitler and August Kubizek grew up.
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

Stadtwappen Linz


Linz Opera House

Kubizek, then sixteen, first met Adolf Hitler, fifteen, late in 1904.
While at the Linz Opera one evening Adolf Hitler met August Kubizek who was to become, many would say, his best, and probably only friend.

Practicing frugality, Kubizek and Hitler often used to arrive early at the Landestheater to get a good standing place.
They began competing with one another for one of the two columns which supported the Royal box.
The wooden columns offered the luxury of something to lean against during the sometimes lengthy performances.
In time they recognized one another and became acquainted.

August Kubizek

August Kubizek (Gustav or Gustl) was nine months older than Adolf Hitler (Adi) and was a mild-mannered and sensitive youth, with a look of intelligence.

He was the son of a small businessman, and lived above his father’s upholstery shop in the family quarters on Klamm Strasse, not far from where Adolf Hitler lived.
He was determined to be a renowned musician.
At the time he could already play the piano, violin, trumpet and trombone and was studying music theory.
He also played the viola for the local Music Society and the Symphony Orchestra.

When he wasn’t pursuing his dream he worked in his father’s shop refinishing furniture.

Young Adolf Hitler

Kubizek noted that “Adolf,” because of his recent sickness, was a pale and skinny youth.

But what captured his main attention was Adolf’s glistening eyes and curious hairdo which was combed straight down over his forehead.
Kubizek found that Adolf, like rebellious teenagers in every generation, wore his curious hairdo because no one else did. Kubizek, an only child, was one of those protected teenagers who have an adoration of the rebellious and “admiration” was his strongest point in cultivating a friendship.
As Kubizek would write: “It was this very fact, that he was out of the ordinary, that attracted me even more.”
As their friendship matured, Hitler never addressed Kubizek by August but called him ‘Gustl‘ or ‘Gustav’, which, interestingly, had been the name of Hitler’s oldest deceased brother.
Kubizek, however, in reality played the part of an idolizing younger brother, and also a romantic partner.
Hitler was extremely independent, however, and it often happened that they did not meet for days, even when they were on the best of terms.
Although “Gustl” found Adolf high-strung, he also found him reserved.
Hitler was formal and aloof in his dealings with others and was insistent on “good manners and correct behavior.”
Unusual for a teenager, Hitler seldom became overly friendly and there were few teenagers his age that he liked.
He had nothing but disdain for ‘young people‘ who wasted their time in shallow talk and mundane pursuits.
He considered most teenagers superficial for he was, as Kubizek said, much more mature than most people of his age.

Linz Countryside

Walking was the only exercise that appealed to Hitler and he and Kubizek often took long walks around the town or hiked into the nearby woods.

They had their favorite trails and their favorite swimming hole – and at that time swimming – always in the nude – was an all male activity.
On these excursions, a walking stick was the only requirement and Adolf would wear a colored shirt and (in place of the normal necktie) “a silk cord with two tassels hanging down.”
Kubizek was particularly amazed by Adolf’s refined speech which made him very persuasive, even with grown-ups.
Kubizek was always astonished at how, when they were alone, Hitler could rant on about a particular subject and get himself worked up; yet, when dealing with others he kept calm and had an air of reasonableness.
Hitler was normally polite to people, was not vain, and could be very sensitive if he felt someone was unhappy or sick.
Kubizek also wrote that Adolf helped him through difficult times and always have time for people he liked.
Hitler was well-liked and respected by almost everyone he met.
Kubizek was also awed by the seriousness and wide range of knowledge Hitler showed for one as young as he was.
While most teenage boys interests are mainly confined to sports, comradeship and embellished stories or beliefs concerning the opposite sex, Hitler’s interests were boundless. 

Wright Bothers

He was interested in agriculture, city planning, mythology, history, politics, and world events, including air travel.

The Wright bothers had flown their heavier-than-air plane at Kitty Hawk a few years before and Hitler was very impressed.
He was interested in everything, Kubizek noted, and wasn’t indifferent about anything.
Kubizek would come to write a book about his experiences with the young Hitler.
If the portents in retrospect and the occasional melodramatic moments are overlooked, he describes Hitler as a fairly normal teenager with an inquiring mind.
Since many historians like to portray the young Hitler as unbalanced, ignorant, lazy, and stupid, a few have attempted to discredit Kubizek anytime he portrays the young Hitler in a decent light.

Paula Hitler

Paula Hitler, however (who was about the only acquaintance who never tried to capitalize on her brother’s name), stated that as a teenager Adolf had opinions about everything and constantly read.

She also stated that he often used to give persuasive lectures on themes concerning history and politics to her and her mother.
Paula, equal to her mother, was a quiet, docile and honest woman.
She took a back seat to her brother when still a child and remained there all her life.
She kept house for him during the “good” years and later learned applied art and led an obscure life in Vienna.
She never married and spent the last years of her life living in the area of Berchtesgaden – her brother’s last home. She died on June 1, 1960 almost unnoticed or un-mourned.

Paula Hitler (Paula Wolf)[1] (21 January 1896 in Hafeld, Austria[2] – 1 June 1960 in Berchtesgaden) was the younger sister of Adolf Hitle,r and the last child of Alois Hitler and his third wife, Klara Pölzl. Paula was the only full sibling of Adolf Hitler to survive into adulthood.
Paula was six years old when her father Alois, a retired customs official, died, and eleven when she lost her mother Klara, after which the Austrian government provided a small pension to Paula and Adolf, however, the amount was relatively meager and Adolf, who was by then old enough to support himself, agreed to sign his share over to her. Paula later moved to Vienna where she worked as a secretary. She had no contact with her brother during the period comprising his difficult years as a painter in Vienna and later Munich, military service during World War I and early political activities back in Munich. She was delighted to meet him again in Vienna during the early 1930s. By her own account, after losing a job with a Viennese insurance company in 1930 when her employers found out who she was, Paula received financial support from her brother (which continued until 1945), lived under the assumed family name ‘Wolf’ at Hitler’s request (this was a childhood nickname of his which he had also used during the 1920s for security purposes) and worked sporadically. She later claimed to have seen her brother about once a year during the 1930s and early 1940s. She worked as a secretary in a military hospital for much of World War II.

As Kubizek further described Hitler:
There was an incredible earnestness in him, a thoroughness, a. true passionate interest in everything that happened and, most important, an unfailing devotion to the beauty, majesty and grandeur of art.”
Because of their common knowledge in theater, painting, architecture, writing, poetry, and especially music and opera, they became close friends, and Hitler confided in Kubizek.
Hitler told Kubizek his dream of becoming a painter; “my beautiful dream of the future,” as he referred to it.
When Kubizek saw Hitler’s room for the first time, it reminded him of an “architect’s office.” Although Hitler painted landscapes and many other subjects, most of his works tended to be architectural structures.

Linz Landesmuseum

One of his hobbies was drawing or painting the finer buildings of Linz and making changes in their design.

His favorite buildings were of the Italian Renaissance style and his favorite building was the Landesmuseum which he considered “one of the peak achievements in German architecture.”
The richly ornamented gate and the hundred meter long sculptured panel above the main floor never ceased to impress him.
Kubizek and Hitler would take long walks around the city and Hitler would often stop to look over one building or another.
There he stood,” Kubizek would later write, “this pallid, skinny youth, with the first dark brown showing on his upper lip, in his shabby pepper-and-salt suit, threadbare at the elbows and collar, with his eyes glued to some architectural detail, analyzing the style, criticizing or praising the work, disapproving of the material–all this with such thoughtfulness and such expert knowledge as though he were the builder and would have to pay for every shortcoming out of his own pocket.”
According to Kubizek, some art lovers in Linz founded a society to promote the construction of a new theater.
Hitler joined the society and “took part in a competition for ideas.”
Hitler also made detailed drawings of the city’s layout, showing how it could be improved and beautified.
Adolf, Kubizek wrote, “could never walk the streets without being provoked by what he saw.
On more than one occasion Hitler noted that this or that building “shouldn’t be here“, because it distracted from a view or did not “fit into its surroundings.”
Kubizek would later write that Adolf’s ideas were not “sheer fantasy, but a well-disciplined, almost systematic process.”
Hitler always had a secluded spot outside of town where he could be alone.

Schloß Wildberg – Linz

One spot was a bench along a winding trail (Turmleitenweg), and another, when he really wanted to be alone, was a large, overhanging rock perched high above the Danube near by.   Here he could think and cultivate his plans and ideas, including one, way ahead of its time, to turn Wildberg Castle (north of Linz) into an “open-air museum.”

This “island where the centuries had stood still,” (Adolf’s very words according to Kubizek) was to have a permanent population of men, women and children in medieval costumes demonstrating their crafts and trades.
Hitler thought the castle would serve as a place of study for all those who wanted to learn about life as it was lived in the Middle Ages.
And, it could pay for itself by charging admission to tourists.
Hitler also nurtured ideas of becoming a poet, writer or playwright.
Kubizek was enormously impressed by some of Hitler’s poems.
There was one, a sonnet, that Hitler attempted to extend into a play.
That Hitler “devoted himself to writing, poetry, drawing, painting and to going to the theater,” had Kubizek’s complete admiration.
Another thing that impressed Kubizek was Hitler’s complete self-assurance that one day he would become famous.
In time they came to dream about their success and how they would either build their own villa or renovate a large flat where struggling “lofty minded” artists with talent could come and find shelter.
Hitler made numerous sketches of the proposed villa.
On the other hand, if they opted for the flat, they proposed to rent the entire second floor of a huge building adjoining the Nibelungen Bridge which crossed the Danube between Linz and the suburb of Urfahr.
They bought a lottery ticket and dreamed about how they would spend it furnishing their new abode if they won.
Their plan was to find a refined and distinguished older woman to serve as host, and two other “females” to serve as cook and housemaid.
The women were to be of impeccable character since, at this point of their lives, they had high ideals concerning women.
As was usual for most sixteen and seventeen year olds of their day, both Hitler and Kubizek kept their distance from young women.
Flirtations” were out of the question and even a conversation with a young girl, outside the necessary everyday dealings, was rare.

‘Sacred Virgin’ – Ludwig Fahrenkrog

To further complicate their situation, Kubizek noted that Hitler, like himself, was very shy around young women and found it difficult to communicate with them.

They were caught between that unrelenting biological urge to reproduce, and the fear of the unknown.
Rather then admit their fears they consoled themselves, as Kubizek noted, in waiting for that “sacred” virgin that would lead to marriage and children.
Kubizek also noted that Hitler was a night person.
If he wanted to think or something was bothering him, he would take lengthy night walks to the outskirts of the city and now and then climb the nearby hills on the west side of town.
If he wasn’t thinking he would paint or read late into the night.
He seldom rose early except when absolutely necessary.
Hitler was aware that early risers see themselves as superior to late risers, but he never tried to hide his sleeping habits.
Mark Twain

(Since he was known to be aware of Mark Twain’s writings, it’s possible that he knew about Twain’s comment that he never went to bed as long as he had someone to talk to, and he never got up early unless it was “damn important.”)

Kubizek noted that anytime Adolf was up early in the morning, something had to be “very special.”
If Adolf slept too late, however, Klara would send the younger Paula to wake him with the words, “go and give him a kiss.”
Adolf, who hated to be kissed or hugged, would jump out of bed the moment his sister got near him.
As their friendship continued, Kubizek would find that Hitler would sometimes become impatient or angry when someone disagreed with him.
Kubizek took great care not to clash with Adolf and always yielded except on musical matters. 
Kubizek would acknowledge that there were times he thought his friendship with Adolf was over, but they would meet by chance, usually at a concert, and patch up their differences.
Eduard Bloch

Around this time the Hitler family began seeing a new doctor named Eduard Bloch.

He described “Adolf” as a “well mannered,” “neat,” “obedient boy” who would “bow…courteously” whenever they met.
He found Adolf to be “neither robust nor sickly” but “‘frail looking'” with “large, melancholy and thoughtful….gray-blue eyes….inherited from his mother.” 
Dr. Bloch, like Kubizek, also described Adolf as a “quiet,” and a “well-bred boy of fourteen or fifteen” who was “old for his age.”*
Two-and-a-half months before Hitler turned seventeen his grandmother died on Feb, 8, 1906. Klara’s mother had been loved by the whole family which went into deep mourning.
For the fourth time in six winters Hitler saw another close family member laid to rest.
With a school year lost and spring approaching, Hitler began making plans for his future.
Klara still had hopes that her son would take his final test to obtain his diploma and enter a local technical school and become a civil servant like his father.
Adolf, on the other hand, pleaded that sitting in an office wasn’t for him.
Hans Makart

He saw artists as a better class of society and his dream was to become a great artist, possibly like one of his three favorites, Rubens, or the moderns: Hans Makart or Anselm Feuerback.

Hans Makart (May 28, 1840 – October 3, 1884) was a 19th-century Austrian academic history painter, designer, and decorator; most well known for his influence on Gustav Klimt and other Austrian artists, but in his own era considered an important artist himself and was a celebrity figure in the high culture of Vienna, attended with almost cult-like adulation. The “Makartstil”, which determined the culture of an entire era in Vienna, was an aestheticism the likes of which hadn’t been seen before him and has not been replicated to this day. Called the “magician of colors”, he painted in brilliant colors and fluid forms, which placed the design and the aesthetic of the work before all else. His paintings were usually large-scale and theatrical productions of historical motifs.

Anselm Feuerbach

Anselm Feuerbach (12 September 1829 – 4 January 1880) was a German painter. He was the leading classicist painter of the German 19th-century school. He was steeped in classic knowledge, and his figure compositions have the statuesque dignity and simplicity of Greek art. He was the first to realize the danger arising from contempt of technique, that mastery of craftsmanship was needed to express even the loftiest ideas, and that an ill-drawn coloured cartoon can never be the supreme achievement in art.

Interestingly, these two artists had very dissimilar styles.

Makart’s style was flamboyant and ‘mannerist’, whereas Feuerbach style was cool and classical, and much closers to the style favoured by Hitler in his later years.
Hitler also developed a great liking for Franz von Stuck and Arnold Böcklin – but that would come later.
Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

Hitler decided that he wanted to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (known then as the Vienna School of Fine Arts) that autumn.

A diploma was not necessary for admittance to the academy and he undoubtedly pointed out the good marks he had received in art during his last year of school.
Although not opposed to his studying art, Klara was strongly opposed to his relocating in Vienna.
She had been terribly shaken by his recent sickness and his frail appearance worried her.
He was her only surviving son and she wanted him by her side.
Vienna was a hundred miles away.
For Hitler’s seventeenth birthday, Klara gave in to her son’s insistence.
She gave him enough money for a vacation in Vienna where he could gather information on the Academy.
She did so, however, with the hope that he would get the idea out of his system and give up his idea of leaving home.
Shortly after his birthday, he arrived in Vienna where, after the blandness of Linz, he was immediately enchanted by the large metropolis.
Klara had misjudged her son.

The Vienna Trip

Ringstrasse und Opernhaus – Wien
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Stadtwappen Wien

Hitler spent his days sight-seeing and sketching many of Vienna’s wonders.
He spent most of his evenings visiting the music halls, theaters, and especially the opera which overwhelmed him when compared to the caliber of Linz’s.
Just walking the stairs of the Burg Theater or the State Opera House was enough to make any youth feel he was part of a world of power and grandeur. As he would later recall: “Never shall I forget the gracious spectacle of the Vienna Opera, the women sparkling with diadems and fine clothes.”

Vienna Postcard

Hitler sent postcards to his family and friends including Hagmuller, Kubizek and Dr. Bloch, voicing his enthusiasm.

He returned home more convinced than ever that he wanted to return to Vienna by late September when admission tests to the academy began.
Although the family finances were adequate, Klara did everything to dissuade him.
The love that mother and son had for each other was obvious to everyone, but the thought of being separated from her son was unbearable to Klara.
She was intent that he should choose a profession which would keep him at home.
During the family’s summer vacation on the farm that Summer, Adolf was hammered with alternative proposals for pursuing a more sensible career.
He became alienated and kept to himself.
Adolf Hitler – Zeichnung Hund

He whiled away the hours by drawing  in his sketch book, painting, reading or taking long solitary walks.

When the family returned home he was further barraged with suggestions by Angela’s husband, Leo.
Klara even had her baker friend and his wife attempt to secure Adolf a position as a baker’s apprentice which he refused.
When a neighbor, no doubt at Klara’s urging, suggested a position with the postal service, Adolf answered that he intended to become an artist.
Undaunted, Klara continued searching for an excuse to keep her son at home.
Kubizek had been taking piano lessons from an expensive Polish teacher named Josef Prewatzki.
Around the end of September when Adolf wanted to leave for Vienna, Klara suggested that he join Kubizek.
Klara knew her son occasionally thought about becoming a poet or writer.

Heitzmann und Sohn – Piano

With his love for music and the opera she attempted to convince him to study music so he could go on to become a composer, or possibly write operas.

Klara’s persistence finally paid off. Adolf relented.
The relieved Klara brought him a piano made by Heitzmann-Flugel, whose pianos were among the best in the world.
Hitler began piano lessons on October 2, 1906.
As with any subject he enjoyed, or found interest in, he threw himself into it.
He never missed a class and paid by the month.
According to the teacher, he was a little timid and was bored easily by finger exercises but he had a good ear for music, practiced his scales conscientiously and progressed steadily.
His sister Paula remembered that he would sit at the large piano at home for hours practicing. With the examinations to the art academy over for another year, life in the Hitler household settled down.
Hitler and ‘Rienzi’

Richard Wagner

In the Winter of 1906, Hitler and Kubizek attended an opera of Richard Wagner’s ‘Rienzi – der Letzte der Tribunen ‘.

The story is set in fourteenth century Rome and tells the story of a man of the people, trying to free them from the oppression of the upper classes.
The privileged make an attempt to kill Rienzi but are overpowered and after violating their oath of submission are exterminated.
Rienzi rises to the position of dictator and in one scene the trumpets blare and the people shout: “Heil, Rienzi. Heil the tribune of the people.

Rienzi der Letzte der Tribunen – Richard Wagner

Hitler was completely enthralled by the music and by the character of the rebel Rienzi who had been goaded to political action after witnessing the death of his younger brother.

Rienzi in the end, however, is stoned and burned to death by those who never really wanted the freedom he offered.
The long opera was not over until after midnight and Hitler, quite out of context, showed a side of his personality that Kubizek had never seen.
After the performance Hitler talked for over an hour about politics.
Like many young thinkers of the lower middle class he was beginning to develop a hard attitude against the upper echelon -“the social order which made everything dependent on whether or not you had money,” as he put it.

Stephanie Rabatsch

Because of those persons of quality he was first exposed to in high school, he appears to “have acquired a tenacious ‘class consciousness.'”

His turn of mind was no doubt compounded by the fact that Stefanie (his supposed, fantasy ‘girl-friend‘) and “her society,” as he put it, were out of his reach.
Undoubtedly influenced by the writers of the time, the seventeen year old Hitler also began to believe strongly in destiny.
The fact that two of his brothers died before he was born, and another was born and died after him, caused him to wonder why he was spared.
He confided to Kubizek that he believed in fate and that even he could be called upon someday by the people “to lead them out of servitude to heights of freedom.”
(This at first appears to be one of Kubizek’s exaggerations or recollections borrowed from others (including Mein Kampf), however, Adolf Hitler would tell more than one person that the “beginning” of his success began the first time he saw the opera Rienzi. It would be hard to deny that the first time he saw the opera was with Kubizek.)
Years later Hitler would comment to another friend on the story of Rienzi: “Listening to this blessed music as a young man in the theater at Linz, I had the vision that I too must someday succeed in uniting the German Reich and making it great once more.”
He believed that he was destined for a “special mission.”

Klara Hitler

In January of 1907 Klara fell ill and doctor Bloch summoned Adolf and Angela for a conference on the situation.

They learned that Klara had breast cancer and her only chance for survival was a serious operation.
Dr. Bloch was touched by Adolf’s tears and concern and recognized the strong “attachment that existed between mother and son.”*
Klara entered the hospital in mid January and on Jan 18, 1907, during an operation performed by a surgeon named Karl Urban, one of her breasts was removed.
She had little concern about herself but was most concerned about her children if she should die.
She did not hide from Dr. Bloch that her gravest concern was for her son.
Adolf is still so young,” she said repeatedly to him.

Dr Eduard Bloch

While she lavished her son with almost everything he wanted, she herself spent the next two and a half weeks recuperating in a third class ward of the hospital even though she could have afforded better.

Adolf visited her every day.
When Adolf’s recuperating mother returned home he, possibly afraid of disturbing her or unable to concentrate, discontinued his piano practice and lessons.
He resumed his painting and drawing.
Both Kubizek and Dr. Bloch (who called and at times administered Klara morphine to relieve her pain) speak of Adolf’s attentiveness to his mother and the fear in his eyes on bad days.
Dr. Bloch stated that this was not a pathological relationship, only deep affection between a mother who adored her son and a son who adored his mother.
As the months passed Klara appeared to have recovered.

 Home at Urfahr

Wappen Ufar
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Urfahr

In May the family moved to a new, two storied apartment building on Bluten Strasse in the Urfahr district.

Here Klara could venture out for walks or do her shopping without climbing as many stairs.
She now apparently had a change of heart about Adolf’s desire to become an artist.
When Klara’s sisters and especially Angela’s husband suggested to her that Adolf should give up his artistic desires and get a job, she now replied: “He is different from us.”
Late that summer she withdrew Adolf’s patrimony, now over 700 kronen, and gave it to him along with her blessings to pursue his dream of becoming a painter.
If Adolf was frugal, the money he received was enough for tuition and living expenses in Vienna for over a year.

Stumper Gasse – Wien
Gustl Kubizek

In Sept. of 1907 his plans were made to leave for the academy’s admission test.

Shortly before his departure Klara’s health took a turn for the worse, but examinations for entrance to the academy were scheduled for Oct. lst and 2nd and he would have to wait another year if he didn’t go then.
When Kubizek came to see Adolf off, there were tears all around as Klara, Paula and Adolf bid farewell.
They were aware that once accepted, he would begin classes in a week and he might not return till the holidays.
When he arrived in Vienna, he rented a single room on Stumper Gasse (Stumper Lane) which was only a few blocks southwest from the railroad station (Westbahnhof) that served all trains going west.
If word arrived that his mother’s health had taken a turn for the worse, he could catch a train and, for a little over seven Kronen, be back in less than three and a half hours.

Artist Admissions Test

Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

Along with 51 other candidates, Adolf Hitler was refused admittance to the art Academy.

He was crushed.
All his dreams were dashed.
The fact that out of 113 original candidates only 28 were admitted did not console him. 
For over a week he roamed the streets of Vienna not knowing what to do.
He then received word that his mother had taken another turn for the worse.
Hitler returned home immediately to be by his mother’s side. 

Dr. Eduard Bloch

On October 22nd. he consulted with Dr. Bloch and found that Klara was in very serious condition.

The operation had occurred too late and the disease was spreading rapidly.
An experimental treatment was attempted which only added to her suffering.
Within a short time she needed constant attention.
Her bed was moved to the kitchen/living room area which was the warmest room in the house.
Although Adolf admitted to others that he had failed to gain admittance to the academy, he didn’t burden his mother with his rejection and assured her that he was accepted and would become an artist someday.
Klara spent the next two months in constant pain which she bore well believing “that her fate was God’s will.”
However, the ever present Adolf according to neighbors, Kubizek, and Dr. Bloch, anguished over her suffering.
Although Klara’s sister Johanna also helped care for Klara, Adolf took over as man of the house.
He was in constant attendance to his mother and did whatever possible to make her comfortable.
Dressed in his old clothes, he scrubbed floors, helped with the washing, and cooked her favorite meals which she greatly appreciated.
He took charge of his eleven year old sister, Paula, and even tutored her.
In late November, Klara had a serious relapse.
Adolf slept on the couch near her bed and did what he could to comfort her.
He read aloud to her the sentimental novels she loved even though he hated them.
He drew her picture and on some days held her hand for hours on end.
As Paula would state years later: “…my brother Adolf spoiled my mother during this last time of her life with overflowing tenderness.
He was indefatigable in his care for her, wanted to comply with any desire she could possibly have and did all to demonstrate his great love for her.”
When Kubizek or Dr. Bloch visited they found the normally high strung and proud Adolf quiet, gentle and apprehensive.

Weihnachtsbaum

If Klara showed any signs of improvement, Dr. Bloch noted, Adolf’s eyes would light up and he would take an optimistic view.

With the holidays approaching a Christmas tree was placed in the living room in hopes of lifting her spirits.
On Dec 20th. Dr. Bloch made two house calls and saw that the end was near.
Kubizek also visited and saw her lying, weak and barely able to speak.
Her thoughts, however, were of her son.
When the distraught Adolf left the room momentarily she managed to whisper to Kubizek: “Go on being a good friend to my son when I’m no longer here.”*
At 2a.m. the following morning, with Adolf at her bedside, Klara, age 47, died in the glow of the lighted Christmas tree.
Adolf was crushed. Dr. Bloch stated: “In all my career I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolf Hitler.”
Two days later, on Christmas Eve, Adolf followed the hearse which drove to Leonding three miles away.

Leonding Kirche und der Familie Hitler Grab

The funeral Mass was held in the small church across the road from where they used to live and Klara was laid to rest beside her husband.

After everyone else had left, Adolf remained behind at her grave site as though unable to tear himself away.
Hitler would remember the lighted Christmas tree in the house and the memory was so bitter for him that he could never again enjoy Christmas.
He hated when it snowed, and was always in an emotional state around the holidays.
For the rest of his life he would usually spend Christmas Eve alone.
Almost twenty years later he would write in Mein Kampf: “My father I respected, my mother I loved.
He himself wrote the announcement of the passing away of his “deeply, loved, never-to-be-forgotten mother.”
For the rest of his life he would always have a picture of his mother on his person or nearby, and whenever the occasion arose would proudly and lovingly show it.

Dr Eduard Bloch

Dr. Bloch, who was Jewish, would later emigrate to the safety of the United States but still refused to repudiate his statements, including the one that described the young Hitler as “a fine and exemplary son who bore such a deep love and concern for his dear mother which one finds on this globe only in extremely exceptional cases.”

Kubizek, also, in an unsuccessful attempt to quell the psychologists, newsmen, historians in residence and other persons of quality, who never ceased to degrade the young Hitler as an uncaring son, would later write: “Adolf really loved his mother. I swear to it before God and man.
As Klara’s oldest child, Adolf, under the guidance of his legal guardian, the Mayor of Leonding, Josef Mayrhofer, took care of all of his mother’s personal unfinished business and paid all her debts with the estate left behind.
Surviving documents show that the doctor bill outstanding was 300 kronen while the funeral and coffin, cost 370 kronen -an extremely large sum for a lower middle class family to pay.
Adolf also gave a part of his inheritance to his stepsister since she and her husband agreed to take on the responsibility of raising the eleven year old Paula.
He thanked neighbors for their help and even gave one of his best paintings to a couple who had showed particular loyalty during his mothers sickness.

Josef  Mayrhofer

His legal guardian, Josef  Mayrhofer found the young Hitler’s actions “laudable.”

Since their father had been a State official, the “orphans” Paula and Adolf were now eligible for 600 Kronen annually between them.
Their guardian split the pension down the center.
The eighteen year old Adolf Hitler was to receive 300 kronen a year in monthly payments until he was twenty-four years old or until he became self-supporting.
Hitler, now armed with a letter of recommendation from his influential landlord (which described Hitler as a “nice, steadygoing …. serious and ambitious young man … mature and sensible beyond his years,”) decided to return to Vienna.
If fortune did not smile on him, he could retake the examination test to the Art Academy later that year.
As “my father had accomplished fifty years before,” he would later write, “I too, wanted to become ‘something.'”
Kubizek also wanted to leave Linz and enter the Academy of Music in Vienna but his father was against him leaving at the time.
Hitler made a trip to Kubizek’s house and persuaded the old man to let him go.
Kubizek would follow him shortly.
With what was left from his inheritance, Hitler left for Vienna in mid February 1908, in search of a “special mission.”

Hitler and Kubizek in Vienna

Westbahnhof – Wien

On a cold foggy evening in late February 1908, August Kubizek arrived in Vienna.
As he stood amidst the confusion of the railroad station (Westbahnhof), he saw his friend approaching through the crowd.
Hitler was wearing his dark, good quality overcoat and broad-brimmed hat.
Already at ease in his new environment, he wore kid gloves and carried a walking stick with an ivory handle.
The slim Adolf, Kubizek thought, “appeared almost elegant.”
After a warm greeting, they kissed on the cheek in the Austrian manner, they made their way to Hitler’s apartment.
After a short walk Hitler stopped in front of an imposing and distinguished building on Stumper Gasse.
With Kubizek on his heels, Hitler entered the arched entrance off to one side, passed through the more elaborate section of the building, crossed a small courtyard and entered the humbler rear section of the building.

Stumpergasse 29 – Wien

They went up the polished stone staircase to the “second floor” (3rd in America) and entered a small room.
This was the same building Hitler had stayed during his attempt to enter the Art Academy a few months before.
The monthly rent was ten kronen and although respectable, it was a no frills establishment in a lower middle class neighborhood.
Hitler’s monthly pension of 25 kronen only covered the cost of a meager diet, so he had to be frugal with what was left of his inheritance.
Like most tenement houses it was infested with bugs and the whole floor, six small apartments, had only one lavatory.
After Hitler cleared away the numerous sketches that lay around his room, he and Kubizek had something to eat.
Although Hitler was still suffering and bitter over his mother’s death, he insisted on taking Kubizek on a tour of the city.

Ringstrasse

They made their way to the Ringstrasse, the great boulevard (where once stood the city battlements) which circles the inner city.
Hitler’s blue eyes blazed excitedly as he pointed out many of the cities historical landmarks. Just off the Ring was the Art Academy which he still hoped to enter, and not far away was the Music Conservatory which Kubizek hoped to attend.
Like any young man who grows and matures in a small town, Kubizek, like Hitler was overwhelmed by the vast and thriving city.

Stephansdom Wien

Kubizek particularly wanted to see the immense soaring spire of St. Stephen’s Cathedral but it was shrouded in the fog.
In one of his letters, Hitler had offered Kubizek the advantage of staying with him for awhile. Hitler, however, was still the independent type and knowing that he and Kubizek had their differences, he had added: “Later we shall see.”
Hitler’s small room was not large enough to hold a piano that Kubizek would need to practice on so they spent the next morning looking for a room for Kubizek.
It proved difficult.
Vienna was the most overcrowded capital city in Europe.
Almost half the population lived in one or two rooms, and in the working districts 4 to 5 persons shared these “flats.”
The few rooms they found available were either sleazy, did not allow piano playing, or were too small to hold a grand piano.
After a fruitless search in the immediate vicinity, they finally came to a house with a sign: “Room to Let.”
They were admitted into the house by a maid and introduced to an elegant looking middle aged woman wearing a silk dressing gown, fur-lined slippers and little else.
As she showed them around the house, including the available bedroom, she appeared to take a shine to Hitler.
She suggested that Hitler rent the available room and turn his room on Stumper Gasse over to Kubizek.
At that moment the belt of her dressing gown became loose and her gown opened momentarily.
“Oh, excuse me, gentlemen,” she calmly said as she redid the belt.
Too fainthearted and too unworldly to take advantage of such an opportune moment, Hitler and Kubizek beat a hasty retreat.
They returned to their apartment and Hitler persuaded the landlady to give up her larger room next door for theirs.
By the end of the day they had settled into the larger room, #17, for an additional 10 kronen a month.
Because of the housing shortage, the normal rent for a one or two room flat ran from twenty-two to twenty-eight kronen per month in the laboring districts.
Their room was a real bargain.
Kubizek was again amazed by Hitler’s gift of persuasion.

Wiener Musikhochschule

Within a few days of his arrival, Kubizek took his test and was admitted to the Wiener Musikhochschule, (Music Conservatory).
Kubizek’s easy accomplishment magnified Hitler’s failure to enter the Art Academy, and he appeared envious for a time.
While Kubizek began attending morning classes, Hitler spent his time in one pursuit after another.
Some days Hitler relentlessly worked on his drawings, on another day, he would sit for hours reading on architecture, another, working tirelessly on an idea he had for a short story, the next, practicing on the piano Kubizek had rented.
Kubizek would state that Hitler was never idle, but always “filled with a tireless urge to be active.”

Alfred Roller

Interestingly, Hitler never made use of the letter of recommendation he had received which introduced him to one of Vienna’s best known stage designers, Alfred Roller.
Years later he would comment: “One got absolutely nothing in Austria without letters of introduction.
When I arrived in Vienna, I had one to Roller, but I didn’t use it.
If I’d presented myself to him with this introduction, he’d have engaged me at once.
No doubt it’s better that things went otherwise.
It’s not a bad thing for me that I had to have a rough time of it.”*
Having to live on a minimum budget, they spent their leisure time visiting the Vienna Woods, taking boat trips on the Danube and even once took a train trip to the Alps and climbed a mountain.
They also visited the numerous coffee houses in the area.
The Viennese cuisine was delightful;” Hitler would later recall, “at breakfast nothing was eaten, at mid day … [people] lunched off a cup of coffee and two croissants, and the coffee in the little coffee-shops was as good as that in the famous restaurants.
For lunch, even in the fashionable places, only soup, a main dish and dessert were served–there was never an entree.
One of Hitler’s favorite coffee-shops (which served a particular nut-cake he enjoyed) was a favorite of Jewish college students.
To an inquiring mind, Vienna offered much for no cost.
Hitler and Kubizek spent much of their free time touring the city.
They strolled the avenues and visited the countless museums, churches, historical sites, parks and plazas.

Schwarzenberg Platz – Wien

Hitler was particularly fond of the Schwarzenberg Platz, especially at night when the fanciful illuminated fountains produced incredible lighting effects.
Most of Hitler’s praises, however, were bestowed upon Vienna’s huge and ornate buildings.
He was very impressed by Schonbrunn Castle, the elegant 1200 room, royal summer residence of the Hapsburgs which had once been home to Napoleon himself.
After viewing such luxury, Hitler often grumbled about the sparse room they had to return to.

Wiener Sängerknaben

On Sundays, Hitler enjoyed listening to musical groups or soloists performing at the city chapel. He was particularly found of the Vienna Boys Choir.
There were also the countless parades, pageantry and social events which accompanied the Hapsburg dynasty.
These events were normally stern, formal and dignified affairs that showed off the ruling dynasty as lofty and untouchable.
In an age and in an empire that also believed in armed might, military holidays were celebrated with all the trappings of a society prepared for war.
Two or three evenings each week they went to a theater, opera, or concert because as a student, Kubizek could often get free tickets.
At concerts, Hitler was very fond of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Anton Brukner

He enjoyed some of the music of the masters, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and also the Romanticists, Weber, Schubert, Mendelssohn and especially Bruckner who had been an organist at the old Linz Cathedral for twelve years.
Like most Viennese, Hitler also enjoyed the music of Johann Strauss and the Hungarian Liszt.
When attending the theater Hitler preferred the more serious works, and Vienna’s theaters offered masterpieces by some of Europe’s best playwrights.
Vienna was also a famed joyful and carefree city, and its less dignified theaters offered worldly, lighthearted and often risqué performances.

Franz Lehar

Although Hitler never admitted to attending anything too risqué, he enjoyed Franz Lehar’s ‘The Merry Widow’ and often whistled Lehar’s happy tunes.
At the theater one evening a group of young men were causing a disturbance. Hitler and Kubizek attempted to silence them.
The leader of the group refused to keep his mouth shut and Hitler punched him in the side.
When Hitler and Kubizek left the theater they found that the noisemaker had summoned a policeman who attempted to arrest Hitler.
Hitler explained the situation and persuaded the policeman to let him go.
Hitler then caught up with the troublemaker and gave him, to quote Kubizek, “a sound box on the ears.”
Just as in Linz, the opera was still Hitler’s first choice in entertainment, but opera seats in Vienna were extremely expensive.
Although Hitler preferred a seat in the upper balcony, to save money, he and Kubizek usually took the cheapest standing room.
Like most people who go to movies today, Hitler did not care for foreign works.
He was only interested in German customs, German feeling, and German thought.

Verdi – Aida

Except for Verdi’s opera, Aida – the love story of an Ethiopian slave girl and an Egyptian warrior – he didn’t care for most Italian operas because of the many plots involving “daggers.”
He also wasn’t particularly fond of French operas and considered Gounod’s Faust (there are two rapes within the opera) vulgar.
Not even the Russian Tchaikovsky met with his approval.
On the other hand he appreciated many of the works of the Germans Beethoven and Weber and was especially delighted with Mozart’s anti-establishment comedy of infidelity, Figaro.

Richard Wagner

His favorite works were by the highly acclaimed Richard Wagner who wrote about figures of medieval history, saga, and myth.
Most of Wagner’s heroes were purely human and were torn between desire and morality -Wagner believed in the first.
During Hitler’s years in Vienna, 15 different productions of Wagner’s operas were performed in over 420 performances at the State Opera House alone.
Hitler attended every new offering and saw some of the performances over and over again. “I was so poor, during the Viennese period of my life,” Hitler would later recall, “that I had to restrict myself to seeing only the finest spectacles.

Tristan und Isolde

Thus I heard [Wagner’s] ‘Tristan’ thirty or forty times, and always from the best companies.”
Every young man has his idol and Wagner was Hitler’s.
For me, Wagner is something Godly and his music is my religion,” Hitler would later tell an American reporter.
Kubizek also noted Hitler’s devotion to Wagner.
When Hitler attended a Wagner opera the music had a profound, exhilarating influence on him.
When talking to friends or other opera buffs, Hitler always praised Wagner with passionate devotion.
Wagner not only wrote the music but the librettos (words) for his operas.
He refused allegiance to any set forms.

Siegfried – from ‘Die Nibelungen’ – Fritz Lang – 1924


Besides composing, writing and producing his operas he occasionally took on the role of stage manager, director, and conductor.
He referred to his mission as the ‘Kunstwerk der Zukunft‘ (art work of the future) and to his ‘music dramas’ as ‘Gesamtkunstwerk (total art work). Wagner saw the orchestra as just adding to the action on the stage (much like background music in movies today), but he ruffled the egos of many persons of quality by concealing the conductor and orchestra so they would not distract from the performance.

Siegfried – from ‘Die Nibelungen’ – Fritz Lang – 1924

Many of the themes of Wagner’s music dramas were grounded on lofty German myths and legends which revealed human emotions that influence nearly all issues and relations.
Like Wagner, Hitler was enthralled by the past, and believed that great significance lay in German mythology.

‘Lohengrin’







One of Hitler’s favorites was ‘Lohengrin’.
He could amaze opera buffs by reciting the entire libretto by heart.
While living with Kubizek, he saw ‘Lohengrin’ ten times.
Lohengrin’s pomp, pageantry, and dramatic interest is compelling.
It is considered by many to be the finest of all romantic grand operas.
The plot is set in the tenth century and involves a beautiful blonde maiden who is falsely accused of murder. To her rescue comes the gallant Lohengrin, the “Knight of the Swan,” who will champion the accused and later marry her.
The love duet is exquisite (“one of the sweetest and tenderest passages of which the Lyric stage can boast”) and there is also the haunting Bridal Chorus.
Besides the compelling music and German nationalism, Hitler no doubt associated with the silver-armored hero with his pure soul and wondrous flashing eyes.
In the end, ‘Lohengrin’, called Fuhrer (leader) by his followers, is forced to reveal that he is a “Knight of the Holy Grail” and must give up love for a higher calling.

Lohengrin is a romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance, notably the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach and its sequel, Lohengrin, written by a different author, itself inspired by the epic of Garin le Loherain. It is part of the Knight of the Swan tradition.

The opera has proved inspirational towards other works of art. Among those deeply moved by the fairy-tale opera was the young King Ludwig II of Bavaria. ‘Der Märchenkönig’ (‘The Fairy-tale King’) as he was dubbed later built his ideal fairy-tale castle and dubbed it “New Swan Stone,” or “Neuschwanstein”, after the Swan Knight. It was King Ludwig’s patronage that later gave Wagner the means and opportunity to compose, build a theatre for, and stage his epic cycle, the Ring of the Nibelung.

‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’

Another of Hitler’s favorites was ‘Die Meistersingers’ which is told in terms of a simple love story.
The plot involves a young songwriter who comes up against traditional rules and methods.
In the end he overcomes the rank prejudices of The Master Singers and while preserving what is best in art tradition, succeeds and wins the heroin for his bride.

As with ‘Lohengrin’, Hitler knew the ‘Meistersingers’ by heart.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) is an opera by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas still commonly performed today, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater in Munich, on June 21, 1868. The conductor at the premiere was Hans von Bülow.

The story takes place in Nuremberg during the middle of the 16th century. At the time, Nuremberg was an Imperial Free City, and one of the centers of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. The story revolves around the real-life guild of Meistersinger (Master Singers), an association of amateur poets and musicians, mostly from the middle class and often master craftsmen in their main professions. The Mastersingers developed a craftsmanlike approach to music-making, with an intricate system of rules for composing and performing songs. The work draws much of its charm from its faithful depiction of the Nuremberg of the era and the traditions of the Mastersinger guild. One of the main characters, the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, is based on an actual historical figure: Hans Sachs (1494–1576), the most famous of the historical Mastersingers.

If an indication of the ideals and beliefs of a young man can be judged on the entertainment he enjoys, the young Hitler appears very normal for his time.
‘Aida’, and ‘Figaro’, are two of the most popular operas ever performed in their time.
‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’ and ‘Lohengrin’ have, almost since their conceptions been German favorites.
Hitler’s enjoying ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’ is comparable to young people in every generation enjoying stories whose plots rebel against tradition and the old folks.

‘Tristan und Isolde’ 

The story was written by Wagner to scorn the establishment that once rejected him.
The love story, however, is the backbone of the action and everything else is centered around it. The same thing can be said for ‘Lohengrin’ and especially ‘Tristan und Isolde’ which is about love and (did they love the night) little else.
That Hitler repeatedly enjoyed these operas places him in the majority of young men of his day who had high ideals concerning love.
During their trips to the opera, concert or theater, Kubizek noticed that women would flirt with Hitler despite his usually modest clothing and reserved manner.
On one occasion, a young lady handed Hitler a note informing him where she would be stopping after the performance.
Kubizek believed that women were attracted to Hitler because of his aloof but distinguished manners, or brilliant eyes, or some mysterious quality that can’t be described.
Hitler never responded to these opportunities.

Lucie Weidt

Like many eighteen year olds, Hitler had his favorite actress, Lucie Weidt (a gifted soprano ten years older than Hitler), “roused his enthusiasm in the part of Elsa in Lohengrin.”*
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, noted during this period that people seldom, if ever discussed their sex drive.
Hitler never talked about his desires or his sex life.
When discussing the subject in an impersonal way, Hitler, according to Kubizek, found the loose morals in Vienna shocking.
His belief was influenced by the terribly high rate of syphilis that existed in Europe at that time, and the incurable and horrible consequences of contracting it.
A cure would not be readily available for a few years and complications of the heart, blood vessels, bones, skin, and finally paralysis and insanity were common.
Hitler, like many others of his time had a fear of catching the disease and would later condemn the government for its “complete capitulation” when an all out “fight” was needed to bring the “plague” under control to insure the “health” of the nation.
Vienna, nonetheless, thrived with centers of prostitution and cafes where the sexes mixed liberally.
A survey of doctors, carried out while Hitler lived in Vienna, revealed that only 4% of the doctors had their first sexual experience with middle class young women who might qualify as potential wives, 17% had their first experience with lower class waitresses or the like, while 75% had their first romp with prostitutes.
Legalized prostitution in Austria dated from the Liberal ascendancy three decades before. When Hitler arrived in Vienna, any girl sixteen or older could register or apply for a license.
She was then free to practice the profession as long as she could prove mental competence and meet simple health rules.
Even with such liberal regulations, there was still a thriving free lance business throughout Vienna, and it was estimated that over 10,000 girls went unregistered.
On their evening excursions on the town, there were occasions when Kubizek and Hitler were approached by lone streetwalkers.
According to Kubizek, in every instance the “ladies” ignored him, and asked Hitler if he wanted to go with them.
Kubizek thought that these girls of the “unholy city” were attracted to Hitler because they may have seen him as a man of moral restraint from the religious countryside.
Hitler always refused.
Kubizek had to get up early in the morning for classes and usually retired early while Hitler was often awake and out till late at night.
There were times Hitler would go out and not return till the following day.
Hitler, as earlier in Linz, also had suggestions for Vienna’s planning and layout.
He believed in wider streets, pollution control, and less crowding.
He advocated the destruction of old tenement housing and the building of lower income housing where workers could live cheaply.
He believed that there should be more areas set aside for parks and green areas.
He thought it unthinkable that railroads should run through a city, tying up people and traffic. Railroads, he believed, should be rerouted to the outskirts and what trains that had to enter the city should be placed underground.
These revolutionary ideas were already starting to have their effects in some of the larger cities throughout the world and Hitler no doubt read about them.
That an eighteen year old could grasped their long range significance and advocated such a policy is noteworthy.
As he had in Linz, he spent quite a bit of time working on drawings and the details of such planning.
Kubizek, in the meantime, continued with his classes and it was becoming apparent that he was one of the star pupils in the music school.
He was constantly sought after to tutor other classmates and to perform in small musical groups in the homes of some of the wealthy and cultivated of Vienna.
Occasionally Hitler went along and “enjoyed himself very much” though he normally chose to play the part of the silent listener.
As he was in no financial position to buy new clothes, it was only his inadequate dress, Kubizek observed, that made him feel uneasy.
Hitler was proud of his friend’s achievements but witnessing what appeared to be Kubizek’s easy accomplishment, he began searching for a road to instant success.
Although he continued drawing, he did little painting that summer.

Hofburg – Wien

The Hofburg, containing among other things, one of the most extensive (and beautiful) libraries in the world, was only a mile away from their room and Hitler visited there regularly.
He continued to read on architecture and art, but also mythology, religion, history and biography.
In his reading on architecture he acquired an extensive amount of history on many of Linz’s buildings and appears to have attempted to write a handbook or manual on the subject.
He then worked tirelessly on a short story he titled ‘The Next Morning‘.
He talked about becoming a playwright and after weeks of research at the library began a script centered on the time Christianity was introduced in Germany.

‘Die Melonenesser’
Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo

He then switched to a play about the Spanish painter, Bartolome Murillo, who’s art work Hitler knew well.
Murillo had also been a “poor orphan” and became famous for his charming paintings of religious subjects and sweet street urchins.
After a vigorous start, Hitler put the idea aside.
When Hitler felt dejected he would walk to Schonbrunn Castle and spend his time in the huge adjoining park where miles of shaded walks wended their ways among clumps of trees, arbors, vast formal flower beds and elaborate fountains.
Along with other attractions the park also contained a zoo and the Gloriette, an elaborate stone pavilion surmounted by a huge imperial eagle.
Hitler’s favorite spot was a stone bench not far from the Gloriette where he enjoyed feeding the birds and squirrels.
(The stone bench, along with the descendants of those birds and squirrels, are still there at this writing.)
He never went to the park on Sundays since he did not like crowds, and the noisy and carefree spirit of most of the young people annoyed him.
Sooner or later however, he would conceive another idea and wholeheartedly throw himself into it.

Hof-Library – Wien

After numerous day trips to the Hof-Library and night after night of continuous writing, he abandoned one idea after another.
After countless false starts as a playwright or writer, he suddenly decided to become a composer.
Hitler spent months working on a Wagnerian type opera which would have been understood by ancient Germans.
The work was to be performed with rattles, drums, reeds, crude brass wind instruments, primitive harps, and bone and wood flutes.
He searched excitedly through volumes of the Hof-Library studying ancient music and looking for the types of musical instruments used by ancient Germans.
That he had no formal musical training, other than four months of piano lessons, daunted him not.
To make up for his lack of knowledge he read the scores and librettos of a large number of operas and acquired an amazing knowledge of stagecraft.
He worked on his opera night after night plotting the story, producing drawings for the sets, sketching the main characters in charcoal and composing the music with Kubizek’s help. Kubizek acknowledged that the prelude turned out very presentable (after he had convinced Hitler to add a few modern instruments) but Hitler was not satisfied.
It reduced him to utter despair,” Kubizek wrote, “that he had an ideal in his head, a musical idea which he considered bold and important, without being able to pin it down.”
Hitler finally realized that success as a composer was as hard to come by as that of a painter or writer and finally gave up.

Schönbrunn Park – Wien

Dejected, he would return to the park and feed the pigeons and squirrels until another idea dawned.
Hitler came up with an idea for a traveling symphony.
He felt it was unfair that only the lucky few in the major cities were privileged to hear first rate performances.
His mobile orchestra was to travel to small towns where less fortunate people could hear other than second rate performances.
He spent quite a deal of time working out the intricate little details, including the composition of the group, their feeding, dress, direction, and rehearsal time.
He decided that only German composers would be played and he even timed the length of each piece while at concerts.
The orchestra was not only to perform classic and romantic works (the oldies so to speak), but also the works of modern, young and unknown composers.
As with traveling “concerts” today the ideal was plausible, but the lack of adequate public halls in small towns made him abandon the idea.
He then returned to the park.
Like all idealistic young men on a minimum budget, Hitler became disillusioned and he soon developed a strong social conscious.

Franzenring – Reichsratsgebäude – Wien

He would visit the Parliament when it was in session, and on a few occasions even dragged Kubizek along.

The Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna is where the two houses of the Parliament of Austria conduct their sessions. The building is located on the Ringstraße boulevard in the first district Innere Stadt, near the Hofburg Palace and the Palace of Justice.

The foundation stone was laid in 1874; the building was completed in 1883. The architect responsible for its Greek revival style was Theophil Edvard Hansen. He designed the building holistically, each element harmonizing with the others and was therefore also responsible for the interior decoration, such as statues, paintings, furniture, chandeliers, and numerous other elements. Hansen was honored by Emperor Franz Joseph with the title of Freiherr (Baron) after its completion. One of the building’s most famous features is the Pallas Athena fountain in front of the main entrance, built by Hansen from 1898 to 1902.

Hitler was amazed at the lack of action.
He had expected to see stately men in control, debating and pondering over the problems of their day.
What he saw was dissension, filibustering, confusion, rants, threats, procedure, formality and wordy nonsense.
He came away disillusioned and was appalled by politicians and their, as he called it, “ridiculous institution.”*
The Viennese are noted for their criticism (“a grumble a day keeps bad temper away,” is one of their mottoes) and Hitler fit in well.
“Isn’t this a dog’s life,” became one of his favorite sayings and he began to blame government for his situation.
He became impatient and developed a deep contempt for most politicians.
He began raging openly against, as he called them: “the well-born and all powerful people.”
He felt that the government should provide grants to students with ability and that poor working young women should receive trousseaus to encourage marriage so as to cut down on fatherless children and sex-related diseases.
He believed the government should do something to decrease the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed by promoting non-alcoholic drinks.
And, he still felt that more should be done to house the working class.
Hitler actually worked out a plan for housing those with low incomes.
Using his interior plan as a starting point, the standard building was to be a two storied, four family residence.
Under no condition was any building to contain more than 16 families and all should be surrounded by gardens, trees, and play grounds.
He thought professional landlords unfair and believed that housing should be owned and built by the government and the rent set to cover the cost and maintenance of the building.
He devoted much of his thinking to moving people out of  “distress and poverty.”*
The longer Hitler lived in the giant city, the more he saw of the inequalities.
While the upper classes practiced an almost complete indifference, those of the younger and poorer generation began to openly criticize their leaders.
Hitler became one of them for he could not understand the apathy and resignation of politicians and leading intellectuals.
Their stance that “nothing can be done about it,” earned them his undying hatred. “He who resigned,” Hitler stated, “lost his right to live.”

Alios Hitler

He saw these men of education with their professional training as a group of “idiots.
No doubt remembering that his more-than-qualified father had been held in the same position for seventeen years because of his background, Hitler felt that men who actually showed ability should be chosen to manage affairs as opposed to those with formal qualifications, class and connections.
With what was left of his inheritance running low and knowing that his pension would only support a meager living, disillusionment soon vented itself in anger.
For no apparent reason, there were days when he would go into a rage about the unfairness of life.
Any disagreement or rebuke on Kubizek’s part only heightened his anger.
A while later he would be calm, cooperative and charming.
But, Kubizek noted, it was contrary to his nature to ignore important issues, and there were days he would read or see something that would set him off all over again.
Hitler was often abrupt, moody, and brash, but Kubizek stated that he could never be angry with Hitler because he regarded him as a “visionary.”
For a long time, I had it rough in Vienna,” Hitler would later recall.
For months I never even had a hot meal. I lived on milk and dry bread but spent thirteen kreuzers day after day on cigarettes.
I smoked twenty-five to forty a day.
One day the thought came to me: ’Instead of spending thirteen kreuzers on cigarettes, buy butter for your bread.
That would be five kreuzers a day and I’d have money left over.’
Soon after that thought, I threw my cigarettes in the Danube and have never touched another“.
There is nothing worse than a reformed – whatever – and Hitler soon began ranting about the government’s involvement in the tobacco industry.
He argued that the State was ruining the health of its own people for monetary gains.
He felt all tobacco factories should be closed and the importation of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes be forbidden.
(Later, when Hitler became Fuhrer and his European conquests seemed unstoppable, he made the statement: “Before going into retirement, I shall order that all the cigarette packets on sale in my Europe should have on the label, in letters of fire, the slogan: ‘Danger, tobacco smoke kills; danger: Cancer.'”)
Reflecting on Hitler’s meager fare, Kubizek concluded that much of Hitler’s anger stemmed from his financial situation.
Kubizek suggested that Hitler go to the “soup kitchen” and get a decent free meal.
Hitler angrily retorted that going to a soup kitchen was demeaning and that such “contemptible institutions…only symbolized the segregation of the social classes.”
Many of Vienna’s population lived in similar circumstances and Hitler “unhesitatingly” associated with the “simple, decent but underprivileged people.
He thought something should be done for the “‘little man,‘ the ‘poor betrayed masses.‘”
He ranted about the “tight fisted” ways of the upper classes.

‘Down and Outs’ in Vienna

As Kubizek would later state: “Everywhere we noticed a deep chasm between the social classes….We saw the splendid mansions of the nobility with garishly attired servants in front, and the sumptuous hotels in which Vienna’s rich society – the old nobility, the captains of industry, landowners and magnates – held their lavish parties. Poverty, need, hunger on the one side, and reckless enjoyment of life, sensuality and prodigal luxury on the other.”
The obvious social injustice embittered Hitler and the presumptuous and arrogant demeanor of the upper classes “roused in him a demoniacal hatred.”
He continuously railed “against the privileged position of certain classes.”
Although Kubizek always portrayed Hitler as a serious and stern young man, there was another side of him.
Kubizek took a short trip home for the Easter holiday and wrote Hitler that he had contracted an eye infection, and that when he returned he might be wearing glasses.
Kubizek knew his constant practicing on the piano distracted or annoyed Hitler at times so he also mentioned that he was also going to bring a viola, testing what Hitler’s reaction would be. On April 20, 1908, the day of his 19th birthday, Hitler wrote back (after making a joke about the bad weather in Vienna):
I am deeply sorry to hear that you are going blind.
It means you will play more wrong notes and keys.
The blinder you become, the deafer I will become. Oh dear.”
He also added that he was going out to buy “cotton” for his ears.
He then signed the letter: “Your friend, Adolf Hitler.
Kubizek returned shortly after and, in June, completed his first period at the Conservatory with excellent grades.
He was privileged to conduct the end-of-term concert where three of his songs were sung and part of his sextet for strings was performed.
At a gathering in the “artists’ room,” Kubizek was showered with praises by his teachers and classmates as Hitler sat quietly by himself watching.
It appeared that for Kubizek, success was just around the corner.
Kubizek went home in July to work in the family business for the summer.
Since he was nearly a year older than Hitler he was now of military age and was required to report for a physical.
Found to be fit, he was to undergo eight weeks of training for the Army Reserve and would not return till November.
Hitler’s landlady also took a trip to visit her brother and Hitler looked after the building for her until she returned.
Hitler kept in touch with Kubizek and on one occasion, referring to one of his ideas for a book, wrote: “Since your departure I have been working very hard often again until 2 or 3 in the morning.”
Knowing Hitler was running short of money Kubizek and his mother sent him some food packages.
A few days later the proud Hitler would write on a postcard dated July 19, 1908:

        Dear friend!

        My best thanks for your kindness. You don’t need to send me butter and cheese 

        now. But I thank you most gratefully for the kind thought. Tonight I am going
        to see Lohengrin. Kindest regards to you and your esteemed parents.

                                                                                            Adolf Hitler.


A few days later Hitler would write again mentioning that he was not feeling well.
It was not until August 17 that Kubizek heard from him again.
This time he mentioned that he had got over a “sharp attack of bronchial catarrh,” but was “writing quite a lot lately.”
Late that August, Hitler took a trip to the Wooded Quarter for a family gathering on the Spital farm.
Besides his two aunts and their families, his step-sister Angela and her family were also present.
Hitler still disliked Angela’s husband and had considered putting off the trip, but was no doubt shown the new addition to Angela’s family – a two month old daughter called “Geli.”
He also saw his twelve year old sister, Paula, who was now a pretty, quiet and reserved girl. Hitler had previously given Paula the book ‘Don Quixote’ (possibly after reading it) as a birthday gift and got into an argument with her because she disapproved of a list of books he obviously had read and suggested for her education.
Since they were never very close, her rejection of his advice separated them further.
Although “fond” of one another, as Paula would later state, they remained fairly distant all their lives.
Before returning to Vienna, Hitler sent Gustl a postcard wishing him the “best” on his Name-day.
It would be the last contact Kubizek would have with Hitler for thirty years. (After a promising beginning Kubizek’s artistic dreams would be shattered by der Große Krieg.
He became a “clerk.“)
In Sept 1908 the nineteen year old Hitler applied for entrance to Vienna’s Art Academy again. The drawings he submitted on this occasion were not considered adequate.
He was notified, that this time he would not even be permitted to take the test.
The 1908 entry in the Academy’s list read:

The following gentlemen …. #24 Adolf Hitler … April 20, 1889, German, Catholic …. Not admitted to test.

Again he was crushed.
This time he asked for a reason and was told that his abilities lay in architecture and it was recommended that he study that field.
This judgment is borne out by his surviving drawings and paintings which show a flare for architectural renderings.
To enter the Architectural branch of the Academy, however, a diploma was necessary.
What I had defiantly neglected in the high school ” Hitler stated, “now took its bitter revenge.”
Since he lacked a diploma he would have to show that he was “exceptionally gifted” to enter the architecture field.
Hitler was realistic enough to know that he did not possess such abilities and never attempted to register.
As Hitler would show many times in his life, he could not face people when things were going bad.
Although Kubizek had previously offered Hitler financial help, Hitler, as with the food packages, was too proud to accept, and decided to end their relationship.
Because of his failure to gain admittance to the Academy for the second time, he no doubt felt ashamed to face Kubizek, or anyone else.
Around the same time, Hitler also quit writing Hagmuller, the boy who used to have his lunch at the Hitler house in Linz, and they also “lost touch.”
On Nov. 18, 1908, with Kubizek expected back in a few days, the dejected Hitler gave notice to his landlady.
Without leaving a forwarding address he moved to a building across from the railway yards.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

The Causes of the ‘Great War’

THE CAUSES OF THE ‘GREAT WAR’
The causes of World War I, which began in central Europe in late July 1914, included intertwined factors, such as the conflicts and hostility of the four decades leading up to the war.
Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism played major roles in the conflict as well.
The immediate origins of the war, however, lay in the decisions taken by statesmen and generals during the Crisis of 1914, ‘casus belli’ for which was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife by Gavrilo Princip, an irredentist Serb.

The crisis came after a long and difficult series of diplomatic clashes between the Great Powers (Italy, France, Germany, the British Empire, the Austria-Hungarian Empire and Russia) over European and colonial issues in the decade before 1914 that had left tensions high.
In turn these diplomatic clashes can be traced to changes in the balance of power in Europe since 1867.
The more immediate cause for the war was tensions over territory in the Balkans.
Austria-Hungary competed with Serbia and Russia for territory and influence in the region, and they pulled the rest of the Great Powers into the conflict through their various alliances and treaties.

Background
In November 1912, Russia was humiliated because of its inability to support Serbia during the Bosnian crisis of 1908 – also known as the ‘First Balkan War’, and announced a major reconstruction of its military.
On November 28, German Foreign Secretary Gottlieb von Jagow told the Reichstag, that “If Austria is forced, for whatever reason, to fight for its position as a Great Power, then we must stand by her.
As a result, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey responded by warning Prince Karl Lichnowsky, the Germany Ambassador in London, that if Germany offered Austria a “blank cheque” for war in the Balkans, then “the consequences of such a policy would be incalculable.”
To reinforce this point, R. B. Haldane, the Germanophile Lord Chancellor, met with Prince Lichnowsky to offer an explicit warning that if Germany were to attack France, Britain would intervene in France’s favor.
With the recently announced Russian military reconstruction and certain British communications, the possibility of war was a leading topic at the German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912 in Berlin, an informal meeting of some of Germany’s top military leadership called on short notice by the Kaiser.
Attending the conference were Kaiser Wilhelm II, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz – the Naval State Secretary, Admiral Georg Alexander von Müller, the Chief of the German Imperial Naval Cabinet (Marinekabinett), General von Moltke – the Army’s Chief of Staff, Admiral August von Heeringen – the Chief of the Naval General Staff and General Moriz von Lyncker, the Chief of the German Imperial Military Cabinet.
The presence of the leaders of both the German Army and Navy at this War Council attests to its importance, however, Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg and General Josias von Heeringen, the Prussian Minister of War, were not invited.
Wilhelm II called British ‘balance of power’ concept “idiocy,” but agreed that Haldane’s statement was a “desirable clarification” of British policy.
His opinion was that Austria should attack that December and/ if “Russia supports the Serbs, which she evidently does…then war would be unavoidable for us, too,” and that would be better than going to war after Russia completed the massive modernization and expansion of their army that they had just begun. Moltke agreed.
In his professional military opinion “a war is unavoidable and the sooner the better“.
Moltke “wanted to launch an immediate attack“.
Both Wilhelm II and the Army leadership agreed that if a war were necessary it were best launched soon. Admiral Tirpitz, however, asked for a “postponement of the great fight for one and a half years” because the Navy was not ready for a general war that included Britain as an opponent.
He insisted that the completion of the construction of the U-boat base at Heligoland and the widening of the Kiel Canal were the Navy’s prerequisites for war.
The date for completion of the widening of the Kiel Canal was the summer of 1914.
Though Moltke objected to the postponement of the war as unacceptable, Wilhelm sided with Tirpitz. Moltke “agreed to a postponement only reluctantly.”
It should be noted that this War Council only showed the thinking and recommendations of those present, with no decisions taken.
Admiral Müller’s diary states: “That was the end of the conference. The result amounted to nothing.” Certainly the only decision taken was to do nothing.
With the November 1912 announcement of the Russian ‘Great Military Programme’, the leadership of the German Army began clamoring even more strongly for a “preventive war” against Russia.
Moltke declared that Germany could not win the arms race with France, Britain and Russia, which she herself had begun in 1911, because the financial structure of the German state, which gave the Reich government little power to tax, meant Germany would bankrupt herself in an arms race.
As such, Moltke from late 1912 onward was the leading advocate for a general war, and the sooner the better.
Throughout May and June 1914, Moltke engaged in an “almost ultimative” demand for a German “preventive war” against Russia in 1914.
The German Foreign Secretary, Gottlieb von Jagow, reported on a discussion with Moltke at the end of May 1914:
Moltke described to me his opinion of our military situation. The prospects of the future oppressed him heavily. In two or three years Russia would have completed her armaments. The military superiority of our enemies would then be so great that he did not know how he could overcome them. Today we would still be a match for them. In his opinion there was no alternative to making preventive war in order to defeat the enemy while we still had a chance of victory. The Chief of the General Staff therefore proposed that I should conduct a policy with the aim of provoking a war in the near future.”
The new French President Raymond Poincaré, who took office in 1913, was favourable to improving relations with Germany.
In January 1914 Poincaré became the first French President to dine at the German Embassy in Paris.
Poincaré was more interested in the idea of French expansion in the Middle East than a war of revenge to regain Alsace-Lorraine.
Had the Reich been interested in improved relations with France before August 1914, the opportunity was available, but the leadership of the Reich lacked such interests, and preferred a policy of war to destroy France.
Because of France’s smaller economy and population, by 1913 French leaders had largely accepted that France by itself could never defeat Germany.
In May 1914, Serbian politics were polarized between two factions, one headed by the Prime Minister Nikola Pašić, and the other by the radical nationalist chief of Military Intelligence, Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević, known by his codename Apis.
In that month, due to Colonel Dimitrigjevic’s intrigues, King Peter dismissed Pašić’s government.
The Russian Minister in Belgrade intervened to have Pašić’s government restored.
Pašić, though he often talked tough in public, knew that Serbia was near-bankrupt and, having suffered heavy casualties in the Balkan Wars and in the suppression of a December 1913 Albanian revolt in Kosovo, needed peace.
Since Russia also favoured peace in the Balkans, from the Russian viewpoint it was desirable to keep Pašić in power.
It was in the midst of this political crisis that politically powerful members of the Serbian military armed and trained three Bosnian students as assassins and sent them into Austria-Hungary.
Domestic Political Factors
German Domestic Politics  –  Left-wing parties, especially the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) made large gains in the 1912 German election.
German government at the time was still dominated by the Prussian Junkers who feared the rise of these left-wing parties.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Junker was an often pejorative designation for a member of the landed nobility in Prussia and eastern Germany.
Supporting monarchism and military traditions, they were seen as reactionary, anti-democratic and protectionist. This political class held tremendous power over industrial classes and government alike.
It is possible that the Junkers deliberately sought an external war to distract the population and whip up patriotic support for the government.
Russia was in the midst of a large-scale military build-up and reform that they completed in 1916–17.
It is also argued, however, that German conservatives were ambivalent about a war, worrying that losing a war would have disastrous consequences, and even a successful war might alienate the population if it were lengthy or difficult.
French Domestic Politics  –  The situation in France was quite different from that in Germany as going to war appeared to the majority of political and military leaders to be a potentially costly gamble.
It is undeniable that forty years after the loss of Alsace-Lorraine a vast number of French were still angered by the territorial loss, as well as by the humiliation of being compelled to pay a large reparation to Germany in 1870.
The diplomatic alienation of France orchestrated by Germany prior to World War I caused further resentment in France.
Nevertheless, the leaders of France recognized Germany’s strong military advantage against them, as Germany had nearly twice as much population and a better equipped army.
At the same time, the episodes of the Tangier Crisis in 1905 and the Agadir Crisis in 1911 had given France a strong indication that war with Germany could be inevitable if Germany continued to oppose French colonial expansionism.
More than a century after the French Revolution, there was still a fierce struggle between the left-wing French government and its right-wing opponents.

Austria

In 1867, the Austrian Empire fundamentally changed its governmental structure, becoming the ‘Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary’.
For hundreds of years, the empire had been run in an essentially feudal manner, with a German-speaking aristocracy at its head, however, with the threat represented by an emergence of nationalism within the empire’s many component ethnicities, some elements, including Emperor Franz Joseph, decided that a compromise was required to preserve the power of the German aristocracy.
In 1867, the Ausgleich was agreed on, which made the Magyar (Hungarian) elite in Hungary almost equal partners in the government of Austria-Hungary.
This arrangement fostered a tremendous degree of dissatisfaction among many in the traditional German ruling classes.
Some of them considered the Ausgleich to have been a calamity, because it often frustrated their intentions in the governance of Austria-Hungary.
For example, it was extremely difficult for Austria-Hungary to form a coherent foreign policy that suited the interests of both the German and Magyar elite.
Throughout the fifty years from 1867 to 1914, it proved difficult to reach adequate compromises in the governance of Austria-Hungary.
At the same time, a form of social Darwinism became popular among many in the Austrian half of the government.
This thinking emphasised the primacy of armed struggle between nations, and the need for nations to arm themselves for an ultimate struggle for survival.
As a result, at least two distinct strains of thought advocated war with Serbia, often unified in the same people.
Some reasoned that dealing with political deadlock required that more Slavs be brought into Austria-Hungary to dilute the power of the Magyar elite.
With more Slavs, the South Slavs of Austria-Hungary could force a new political compromise in which the Germans could play the Magyars against the South Slavs.
Another fear was that the South Slavs, primarily under the leadership of Serbia, were organizing for a war against Austria-Hungary, and even all of Germanic civilization.
Some leaders, such as Conrad von Hötzendorf, argued that Serbia must be dealt with before it became too powerful to defeat militarily.
A powerful contingent within the Austro-Hungarian government was motivated by these thoughts and advocated war with Serbia long before the war began.
Prominent members of this group included Leopold von Berchtold, Alexander von Hoyos, and Johann von Forgách.
Although many other members of the government, notably Franz Ferdinand, Franz Joseph, and many Hungarian politicians did not believe that a violent struggle with Serbia would necessarily solve any of Austria-Hungary’s problems, the hawkish elements did exert a strong influence on government policy, holding key positions.
It is important to understand the central role of Austria-Hungary in starting the war.
Convinced Serbian nationalism and Russian Balkan ambitions were disintegrating the Empire, Austria-Hungary hoped for a limited war against Serbia and that strong German support would force Russia to keep out of the war and weaken its Balkan prestige.

Imperialism

Some attribute the start of the war to imperialism.
Countries such as the United Kingdom and France accumulated great wealth in the late 19th century through their control of trade in foreign resources, markets, territories, and people.
Other empires, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia all hoped to do so as well in economic advantage.
Their frustrated ambitions, and British policies of strategic exclusion created tensions.
In addition, the limits of natural resources in many European nations began to slowly alter trade balance, and make national industries seek new territories rich in natural resources.
Commercial interests contributed substantially to Anglo-German rivalry during the scramble for tropical Africa.
This was the scene of sharpest conflict between certain German and British commercial interests.
There have been two partitions of Africa.
One involved the actual imposition of political boundaries across the continent during the last quarter of the 19th century; the other, which actually commenced in the mid-19th century, consisted of the so-called ‘business’ partition.
In southern Africa the latter partition followed rapidly upon the discoveries of diamonds and gold in 1867 and 1886 respectively.
An integral part of this second partition was the expansion in the interior of British capital interests, primarily the British South Africa Company and mining companies such as De Beers.
After 1886 the Witwatersrand goldfields prompted feverish activity among European as well as British capitalists.
It was soon felt in Whitehall that German commercial penetration in particular constituted a direct threat to Britain’s continued economic and political hegemony south of the Limpopo.
Amid the expanding web of German business on the Rand, the most contentious operations were those of the German-financed N.Z.A.S.M. or Netherlands South African Railway Company, which possessed a railway monopoly in the Transvaal.
Rivalries for not just colonies, but colonial trade and trade routes developed between the emerging economic powers and the incumbent great powers.

Berlin-Baghdad Railway

This rivalry was illustrated in the Berlin-Baghdad Railway, which would have given German industry access to Iraqi oil, and German trade a southern port in the Persian Gulf.
A history of this railroad in the context of World War I has arrived to describe the German interests in countering the British Empire at a global level, and Turkey’s interest in countering their Russian rivals at a regional level.
It was felt in England that if, as Napoleon is said to have remarked, Antwerp in the hands of a great continental power was a pistol leveled at the English coast, Bagdad and the Persian Gulf in the hands of Germany (or any other strong power) would be a 42-centimetre gun pointed at India.’
On the other side, “Public opinion in Germany was feasting on visions of Cairo, Baghdad, and Tehran, and the possibility of evading the British blockade through outlets to the Indian Ocean.”
Britain’s initial strategic exclusion of others from northern access to a Persian Gulf port in the creation of Kuwait by treaty as a protected, subsidized client state showed political recognition of the importance of the issue.
If outcome is revealing, by the close of the war this political recognition was re-emphasized in the military effort to capture the railway itself, recounted with perspective in a contemporary history: “On the 26th Aleppo fell, and on the 28th we reached Muslimieh, that junction on the Baghdad railway on which longing eyes had been cast as the nodal point in the conflict of German and other ambitions in the East.”
The Treaty of Versailles explicitly removed all German ownership thereafter, which without Ottoman rule left access to Mesopotamian and Persian oil, and northern access to a southern port in British hands alone.

Otto von Bismarck

Rivalries among the great powers were exacerbated starting in the 1880s by the scramble for colonies, which brought much of Africa and Asia under European rule in the following quarter-century.
It also created great Anglo-French and Anglo-Russian tensions and crises that prevented a British alliance with either until the early 20th century.
Otto von Bismarck disliked the idea of an overseas empire, but pursued a colonial policy to court domestic political support.
This started Anglo-German tensions since German acquisitions in Africa and the Pacific threatened to impinge upon British strategic and commercial interests.
Bismarck supported French colonization in Africa because it diverted government attention and resources away from continental Europe and revanchism.
In spite of all of Bismarck’s deft diplomatic maneuvering, in 1890 he was forced to resign by the new Kaiser (Wilhelm II).
His successor, Leo von Caprivi, was the last German Chancellor who was successful in calming Anglo-German tensions.

Leo von Caprivi

After his loss of office in 1894, German policy led to greater conflicts with the other colonial powers.
The status of Morocco had been guaranteed by international agreement, and when France attempted to greatly expand its influence there without the assent of all the other signatories Germany opposed it prompting the ‘Moroccan Crise’s, the ‘Tangier Crisis’ of 1905 and the ‘Agadir Crisis’ of 1911.
The intent of German policy was to drive a wedge between the British and French, but in both cases produced the opposite effect, and Germany was isolated diplomatically, most notably lacking the support of Italy despite Italian membership in the Triple Alliance.
The French protectorate over Morocco was established officially in 1912.
In 1914, there were no outstanding colonial conflicts, Africa essentially having been claimed fully, apart from Ethiopia, for several years, however, the competitive mentality, as well as a fear of “being left behind” in the competition for the world’s resources may have played a role in the decisions to begin the conflict.

The Arms Race

A self-reinforcing cycle of heightened military preparedness…was an essential element in the conjuncture that led to disaster…The armaments race…was a necessary precondition for the outbreak of hostilities.
If Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been assassinated in 1904 or even in 1911, there might have been no war. It was…the armaments race…and the speculation about imminent or preventive wars  that made his death in 1914 the trigger for war.
Some historians see the German naval build-up as the principal cause of deteriorating Anglo-German relations.
The overwhelming British response, however, proved to Germany that its efforts were unlikely to equal the Royal Navy.
In 1900, the British had a 3.7:1 tonnage advantage over Germany; in 1910 the ratio was 2.3:1 and in 1914, 2.1:1.
So decisive was the British victory in the naval arms race that it is hard to regard it as in any meaningful sense a cause of the First World War.

This ignores the fact that the Kaiserliche Marine had narrowed the gap by nearly half, and that the Royal Navy had long intended to be stronger than any two potential opponents; the United States Navy was in a period of growth, making the German gains very ominous.
Technological changes, with oil- rather than coal-fuelled ships, decreasing refuelling time while increasing speed and range, and with superior armour and guns also would favour the growing, and newer, German fleet.
One of the aims of the ‘First Hague Conference’ of 1899, held at the suggestion of Russian Emperor Nicholas II, was to discuss disarmament.
The ‘Second Hague Conference’ was held in 1907.
All the signatories except for Germany supported disarmament.
Germany also did not want to agree to binding arbitration and mediation.
The Kaiser was concerned that the United States would propose disarmament measures, which he opposed.

Russian interests in Balkans and Ottoman Empire

The main Russian goals included strengthening its role as the protector of Eastern Christians in the Balkans (such as the Serbians).
Although Russia enjoyed a booming economy, growing population, and large armed forces, its strategic position was threatened by an expanding Turkish military trained by German experts using the latest technology.
The start of the war renewed attention of old goals: expelling the Turks from Constantinople, extending Russian dominion into eastern Anatolia and Persian Azerbaijan, and annexing Galicia.
These conquests would assure Russian predominance in the Black Sea.

Over by Christmas

Field Marshal Lord
Horatio Herbert Kitchener 

Both sides believed, and publicly stated, that the war would end soon.

The Kaiser told his troops that they would be, “…home before the leaves have fallen from the trees,” and one German officer said he expected to be in Paris by Sedantag, about six weeks away.
Germany only stockpiled enough potassium nitrate for gunpowder for six months.
Russian officers similarly expected to be in Berlin in six weeks, and those who suggested that the war would last for six months were considered pessimists.
Von Moltke and his French counterpart Joseph Joffre were among the few who expected a long war, but neither adjusted his nation’s military plans accordingly.
The new British Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, was the only leading official on either side to both expect a long war (“three years” or longer, he told an amazed colleague) and act accordingly, immediately building an army of millions of soldiers who would fight for years.


Schlieffen Plan

Alfred Graf von Schlieffen 

Germany’s strategic vulnerability, sandwiched between its allied rivals, led to the development of the audacious (and incredibly expensive) Schlieffen Plan.

It aimed to knock France instantly out of contention, before Russia had time to mobilize its gigantic human reserves.
It aimed to accomplish this task within 6 weeks.
Germany could then turn her full resources to meeting the Russian threat.
Although Count Alfred von Schlieffen initially conceived the plan before his retirement in 1906, Japan’s defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 exposed Russia’s organizational weakness and added greatly to the plan’s credibility.
The plan called for a rapid German mobilization, sweeping through the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium, into France.
Schlieffen called for overwhelming numbers on the far right flank, the northernmost spearhead of the force with only minimum troops making up the arm and axis of the formation as well as a minimum force stationed on the Russian eastern front.
Helmuth von Moltke

Schlieffen was replaced by Helmuth von Moltke, and in 1907–08 Moltke adjusted the plan, reducing the proportional distribution of the forces, lessening the crucial right wing in favor of a slightly more defensive strategy.

Also, judging Holland unlikely to grant permission to cross its borders, the plan was revised to make a direct move through Belgium, and an artillery assault on the Belgian city of Liège.
With the rail lines and the unprecedented firepower the German army brought, Moltke did not expect any significant defense of the fortress.
The significance of the Schlieffen Plan is that it forced German military planners to prepare for a pre-emptive strike when war was deemed unavoidable.
Otherwise Russia would have time to mobilize and crush Germany with its massive army.
On August 1, Kaiser Wilhelm II briefly became convinced that it might be possible to ensure French and British neutrality, and cancelled the plan despite the objections of the Chief of Staff that this could not be done, and resuming it only when the offer of a neutral France and Britain was withdrawn.
It appears that no war planners in any country had prepared effectively for the Schlieffen Plan.
The French were not concerned about such a move. They were confident their offensive (Plan XVII) would break the German center and cut off the German right wing moving through Belgium.
They also expected that an early Russian offensive in East Prussia would tie down German forces.

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand 

On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six Bosnian Serb assassins coordinated by Danilo Ilić.

Franz Ferdinand, eldest son of Carl Ludwig, the brother of Emperor Franz Josef, was born in 1863. Educated by private tutors, he joined the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1883.
His military career included service with an infantry regiment in Prague and with the hussars in Hungary.
While in the army Ferdinand received several promotions: captain (1885), major (1888), colonel (1890) and general (1896). 

Crown Prince Rupert

In 1889, Rudolf (21 August 1858 – 30 January 1889), Erzherzog von Österreich (Archduke of Austria) and Kronprinz von Österreich, Ungarn und Böhmen, (Crown Prince of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia,) the son of Franz Josef, shot himself at his hunting lodge.
The succession now passed to Franz Ferdinand’s father, Carl Ludwig.
When he died in 1896, Franz Ferdinand became the new heir to the throne.

Sophie von Chotkovato 

After attending the official reception at the City Hall, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie von Chotkovato were driven through the city.
Gavrilo Princip, the assassin, stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times into the car.
Franz Ferdinand was hit in the neck and Sophie von Chotkovato in the abdomen. Princip’s bullet had pierced the archduke’s jugular vein but before losing consciousness, he pleaded “Sophie dear! Sophie dear! Don’t die! Stay alive for our children!” Franz Urban drove the royal couple to Konak, the governor’s residence, but although both were still alive when they arrived, they died from their wounds soon afterwards.


The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary’s south-Slav provinces so they could be combined into a Greater Serbia or a Yugoslavia.
The assassins’ motives were consistent with the movement that later became known as ‘Young Bosnia’. Serbian military officers stood behind the attack.
At the top of these Serbian military conspirators was Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence, Dragutin Dimitrijević, his righthand man Major Vojislav Tankosić, and Masterspy Rade Malobabić. Major Tankosić armed (with bombs and pistols) and trained the assassins, and the assassins were given access to the same clandestine tunnel of safe-houses and agents that Rade Malobabić used for the infiltration of weapons and operatives into Austria-Hungary.
The assassins, the key members of the clandestine tunnel, and the key Serbian military conspirators who were still alive were arrested, tried, convicted and punished.
Those who were arrested in Bosnia were tried in Sarajevo in October 1914.
The other conspirators were arrested and tried before a Serbian kangaroo court on the French-controlled Salonika Front in 1916–1917 on unrelated false charges; Serbia executed three of the top military conspirators.
Much of what is known about the assassinations comes from these two trials and related records.
Assignment of responsibility for the bombing and murders of 28 June is highly controversial because the attack led to the outbreak of World War I one month later.

Consequences
The murder of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife produced widespread shock across Europe, and there was initially much sympathy for the Austrian position.
Within two days of the assassination, Austria-Hungary and Germany advised Serbia that it should open an investigation, but Secretary General to the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Slavko Gruic, replied “Nothing had been done so far and the matter did not concern the Serbian Government.”
An angry exchange followed between the Austrian Chargé d’Affaires at Belgrade and Gruic.
After conducting a criminal investigation, verifying that Germany would honor its military alliance, and persuading the skeptical Hungarian Count Tisza, Austria-Hungary issued a formal letter to the government of Serbia.


Serbia was a state in the Balkans that came into existence as a result of the Serbian Revolution which lasted between 1804 and 1817. Despite serious and extremely brutal oppression and revenge by the Ottoman authorities, the revolutionary leaders, first Karađorđe Petrović and then Miloš Obrenović I, succeeded in their goal to liberate Serbia after centuries of Ottoman rule.

The letter reminded Serbia of its commitment to respect the Great Powers’ decision regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to maintain good neighborly relations with Austria-Hungary.
The letter contained specific demands aimed at preventing the publication of propaganda advocating the violent destruction of Austria-Hungary, removing the people behind this propaganda from the Serbian Military, arresting the people on Serbian soil who were involved in the assassination plot and preventing the clandestine shipment of arms and explosives from Serbia to Austria-Hungary.
This letter became known as the ‘July Ultimatum’, and Austria-Hungary stated that if Serbia did not accept all of the demands in total within 48 hours, it would recall its ambassador from Serbia.
After receiving a telegram of support from Russia, Serbia mobilized its army and responded to the letter by completely accepting point #8 demanding an end to the smuggling of weapons and punishment of the frontier officers who had assisted the assassins and completely accepting point #10 which demanded Serbia report the execution of the required measures as they were completed.
Serbia partially accepted, finessed, disingenuously answered or politely rejected elements of the preamble and enumerated demands #1–7 and #9.
The shortcomings of Serbia’s response were published by Austria-Hungary and can be seen beginning on page 364 of Origins of the War, Vol. II by Albertini, with the Austrian complaints placed side-by-side against Serbia’s response.
Austria-Hungary responded by breaking diplomatic relations.
The next day, Serbian reservists being transported on tramp steamers on the Danube crossed onto the Austro-Hungarian side of the river at Temes-Kubin and Austro-Hungarian soldiers fired into the air to warn them off.
The report of this incident was initially sketchy and reported to Emperor Franz-Joseph as “a considerable skirmish”.
Austria-Hungary then declared war and mobilized the portion of its army that would face the (already mobilized) Serbian Army on 28 July 1914.
Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand von Österreich
Under the Secret Treaty of 1892 Russia and France were obliged to mobilize their armies if any of the Triple Alliance mobilized.
Russia’s mobilization set off full Austro-Hungarian and German mobilizations.
Soon all the Great Powers except Italy had chosen sides and gone to war.
A review of the consequences of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria shows that it was the initial actions of the Serbian Government (see above – Serbian military officers stood behind the attack – probably members of the Black Hand – an organisation  formed on 6 September 1901 by members of the Serbian Army).

Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis (right) and his associates
Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis stated that he had organized the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 –
(the assassin was Гаврило Принцип – (Gavrilo Princip) – who was an athiest. 

Гаврило Принцип – (Gavrilo Princip)
Gavrilo Princip was born in the remote village of Obljaj near Bosansko Grahovo, at the time de jure part of Bosnia Vilayet within the Ottoman Empire, however the province had since 1878 been occupied by Austria-Hungary which governed it as its condominium, a de facto part of Austria-Hungary. Princip was too young to receive the death penalty, being only twenty-seven days short of his twentieth birthday at the time of the assassination. Instead, he received the maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. He was held in harsh conditions which were worsened by the war. He contracted tuberculosis,[3] and had one of his arms amputated in 1917 when the disease infected an arm bone (probably because of a badly performed procedure to repair a bone broken during his capture).[10] He died on 28 April 1918 at Terezín 3 years and 10 months after he assassinated the Archduke and Duchess. At the time of his death, Princip weighed around 40 kilograms (88 lb), weakened by malnutrition, blood loss from his amputated arm, and disease.
His politics are unclear. Some of his associates were Muslims. ).
– in the process, Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis used not only his power over elements of the Serbian military, but also the Black Hand.

Dragutin Dimitrijević was born in Belgrade in 1876. At sixteen Dimitrijević went to the Belgrade Military Academy. A brilliant student, Dimitrijević was recruited into the General Staff of the Serbian Army immediately after his graduation.
Captain Dimitrijević and a group of junior officers planned the assassination of the autocratic and unpopular king of Serbia. On 11 June 1903, the group stormed the royal palace and killed both King Alexander and his wife Queen Draga. During the attack Dimitrijević was badly wounded, and, although he eventually recovered, the three bullets from the encounter were never removed from his body. When Dimitrijević heard that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was planning to visit Sarajevo in June 1914, he sent three members of the Young Bosnia group, Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Čabrinović, Trifko Grabež and four others from Serbia to assassinate him. At this time, Dimitrijević was Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence.

Leaders of the Black Hand in turn had penetrated Narodna Obrana and used the Narodna organization to infiltrate the arms and assassins into Sarajevo.
So it can be categorically stated that responsibility for the ‘Great War’ lies with the actions of the Serbian Government.
Subsequently Serbian reservists were mobilized and moved into Austro-Hungarian territory.
In response to this invasion of their territory (combined with the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne by agents of the Serbian military, Austria-Hungary, in justified self-defense, declared war on Serbia.
Russia then mobilised in order to attack Austria.
Realising that Russian mobilisation threatened their Eastern borders, German mobilised against Russia, and Russia’s ally, France.
To prempt a French invasion of their Western borders, Germany, in accordance with the revised Schlieffen plan, sent her armies through Belgium.
In accordance with her treat obligations with regard to Belgium, Great Britain declared war on Germany.
REFLECTIONS

Bismarck’s emphasis on military force amplified the voice of the officer corps, which combined advanced modernization of military technology with reactionary politics.
The rising upper-middle-class elites, in the business, financial, and professional worlds, tended to accept the values of the old traditional elites.
The German Empire was a strange mixture of highly successful capitalist industrialization and socio-economic modernization on the one hand, and of surviving pre-industrial institutions, power relations and traditional cultures on the other, which produced a high degree of internal tension, which led on the one hand to the suppression of socialists, Catholics, and reformers, and on the other hand to a highly aggressive foreign policy.

The origins of Germany’s path to disaster lie in the 1860s–1870s, when economic modernization took place, but political modernization did not happen and the old Prussian rural elite remained in firm control of the army, diplomacy and the civil service.
The historiographical concept of a German Sonderweg has had a turbulent history.
Nineteenth century scholars, who emphasized a separate German path to modernity, saw it as a positive factor that differentiated Germany from the “western path” typified by Great Britain.
They stressed the strong bureaucratic state, reforms initiated by Bismarck and other strong leaders, the Prussian service ethos, the high culture of philosophy and music, and Germany’s pioneering of a social welfare state.
Traditional, aristocratic, pre-modern society battled an emerging capitalist, bourgeois, modernizing society. Recognizing the importance of modernizing forces in industry and the economy and in the cultural realm,  reactionary traditionalism dominated the political hierarchy of power in Germany, as well as social mentalities and in class relations (Klassenhabitus).
The catastrophic German politics between 1914 and 1918 may be interpreted in terms of a delayed modernization of its political structures.

Troost and Speer – Hitler’s Architects

T R O O S T  A N D  S P E E R – A R C H I T E C T S   T O  T H E  F Ü H R E R


 
 
At the 1933 Nürnberg Reichsparteitag, the new Chancellor, Adolf Hitler proclaimed the dawn of an era of ‘New Art’ – and instituted the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture) to oversee the cultural life of Das Dritte Reich, (the Third Reich).
The Reichskulturkammer was headed by Dr. Paul Joseph Göbbels.
The Reichskulturkammer was to control all aspects of culture, and this included the fine arts, applied arts,  industrial design, sculpture, architecture and film.

‘Germany wants again a “German Art,” and this art shall and will be of eternal value, as are all truly creative values of a people.
Should this art, however, again lack this eternal value for our people, then indeed it will mean that it also has no higher value today
When, therefore, the cornerstone of this building was laid, it was with the intention of constructing a temple, not for a so-called modern art, but for a true and everlasting German art, that is, better still, a House for the art of the German people.
It is therefore imperative for the artist to erect monuments, not so much to a period, but to his people.
For time is changeable, years come and go.
Anything born of and thriving on a certain epoch alone would perish with it.
And not only all which had been created before us would fall victim to this mortality, but also what is being created today or will be created in the future.
But the National-Socialists know of only one mortality, and that is the mortality of the people itself:
As long as a people exists, however, it is the fixed pole in the flight of fleeting appearances.
It is the quality of being and lasting permanence.
And, indeed, for this reason, art as an expression of the essence of this being, is an eternal monument.’
Adolf Hitler


T R O O S T  A N D  S P E E R – A R C H I T E C T S   T O  T H E  F Ü H R E R

Hitler appreciated the neo-classical  architects of the 19th century such as Gottfried Semper, who built the Dresden Opera House, the Picture Gallery in Dresden, the court museums in Vienna and Theophil Freiherr von Hansen, who designed several buildings in Athens in 1840. He also admired the neo-baroque the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opera, and the neo-classical Law Courts of Brussels by the architect Poelaert.
Ultimately, he was always drawn back to inflated neo-baroque such as Kaiser Wilhelm II had fostered, through his court architect Ernst von Ihne.
Thus, in the realm of architecture, as in painting and sculpture, Hitler saw his ideal in the world of his youth: the world of 1880 to 1910, which stamped its imprint on his artistic taste as on his political and ideological conceptions.
The Führer did not have one particular style; there was no official architecture of the Reich, only the neoclassical baseline that was enlarged, multiplied, altered and exaggerated.
Hitler appreciated the permanent qualities of the classical style as it had a relationship between the Dorians and his own Germanic world.

P A U L   L U D W I G   T R O O S T

Paul Ludwig Troost (August 17, 1878 – March 21, 1934), born in Elberfeld, was a German architect.
An extremely tall, spare-looking, reserved Westphalian with a close-shaven head, Troost belonged to a school of architects, Peter Behrens and Walter Gropius who, even before 1914, reacted sharply against the highly ornamental Jugendstil and advocated a restrained, lean architectural approach, almost devoid of ornament.
Troost graduated from designing steamship décor before World War I, and the fittings for showy transatlantic liners like the Europa, to a style that combined Spartan traditionalism with elements of modernity.
Although, before 1933 he did not belong to the leading group of German architects, he became Hitler’s foremost architect whose neo-classical style became for a time the official architecture of the Third Reich.
In the autumn of 1933, he was commissioned to rebuild and refurnish the Chancellery residence in Berlin.
Along with other architects, Troost planned and built State and municipal edifices throughout the country, including new administrative offices, social buildings for workers and bridges across the main highways.

One of the many structures he planned before his death was the House of German Art in Munich, intended to be a great temple for a “true, eternal art of the German people”.
It was a good example of the classical forms in monumental public buildings during the Third Reich, though subsequently Hitler moved away from the more restrained style of Troost, reverting to the imperial grandeur that he had admired in the Vienna Ringstraße of his youth.
Hitler’s relationship to Troost was that of a pupil to an admired teacher.

According to Albert Speer, who later became Hitler’s favorite architect, the Führer would impatiently greet Troost with the words: “I can’t wait, Herr Professor. Is there anything new? Let’s see it!” Troost would then lay out his latest plans and sketches.
Hitler frequently declared, according to Speer, that “he first learned what architecture was from Troost”‘.
The architect’s death on March 21, 1934, after a severe illness, was a painful blow, but Hitler remained close to his widow Gerdy Troost, whose architectural taste frequently coincided with his own, which made her (in Speer’s words) “a kind of arbiter of art in Munich.”
Troost was buried in the “Nordfriedhof” Cemetery (North Cemetery) in Munich.
The gravestone (see above left) still survives although the family name has been removed.
Hitler posthumously awarded Troost the German National Prize for Art and Science in 1936.


FÜHRERBAU – KÖNIGSPLATZ  MÜNCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost

The Fuehrerbau, on the Königsplatz in Munich, was built from 1933 to 1937 by the architect Paul Ludwig Troost.
The first plans for the buildings date from the year 1931.
It was completed only three years after the death of Professor Troost by Leonhard Gall.
The building was used as the national administrative centre for the NSDAP.





GRAND STAIRCASE
FÜHRERBAU – KÖNIGSPLATZ  MÜNCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost





ADOLF HITLER’S STUDY
FÜHRERBAU – KÖNIGSPLATZ  MÜNCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost





MAIN CORRIDOR
FÜHRERBAU – KÖNIGSPLATZ  MÜNCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost




EHRENTEMPEL – KÖNIGSPLATZ  NCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost

The Ehrentempel (“honor temples”) were two structures in Munich, designed by Professor Paul  Ludwig Troost, and erected by the German Government in 1935, housing the sacrophagi of the sixteen members of the party who had been killed in the failed Beer hall putsch.
The Ehrentempel was made of limestone except for its roof which was made of steel and concrete with etched glass mosaics.
The pedestals of the temples were seventy feet wide.

The columns of the structures each extended twenty-three feet. The combined weight of the sacrophagi was over 2,900 pounds.
The following martyrs of the National Socialis German Workers Party were interred in the Ehrentempel:

Felix Alfarth, Andreas Bauriedl, Theodor Casella, William Ehrlich, Martin Faust,
Anton Hechenberger, Oskar Körner, Karl Kuhn, Karl Laforce, Kurt Neubauer,
Klaus von Pape,Theodor von der Pfordten, Johann Rickmers,Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, Lorenz Ritter von Stransky, Wilhelm Wolf
Adolf Wagner (buried in the grass mound between steps in 1944)





EHRENTEMPEL – KÖNIGSPLATZ  NCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost







EHRENTEMPEL – KÖNIGSPLATZ  NCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost




EHRENTEMPEL – KÖNIGSPLATZ  NCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost





EHRENTEMPEL – KÖNIGSPLATZ  NCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost





EHRENTEMPEL – KÖNIGSPLATZ  NCHEN
(Tag Der Deutschen Kunst – Day of German Art)
Paul Ludwig Troost







EHRENTEMPEL AT DUSK – KÖNIGSPLATZ  NCHEN
Paul Ludwig Troost

DAS HAUS DER DEUTSCHEN KUNST
(The House of German Art)
Paul Ludwig Troost


DAS HAUS DER DEUTSCHEN KUNST
(The House of German Art)
Paul Ludwig Troost





DAS HAUS DER DEUTSCHEN KUNST
(The House of German Art)
Paul Ludwig Troost


DAS HAUS DER DEUTSCHEN KUNST
Paul Ludwig Troost




DAS HAUS DER DEUTSCHEN KUNST
Paul Ludwig Troost



DAS HAUS DER DEUTSCHEN KUNST
Paul Ludwig Troost






A L B E R T   S P E E R




Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, (March 19, 1905 – September 1, 1981) was a German architect.
Speer was Adolf Hitler’s chief architect before assuming ministerial office. 
Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1931, launching him on a political and governmental career which lasted fourteen years. His architectural skills made him increasingly prominent within the Party and he became a member of Hitler’s inner circle.
Hitler commissioned him to design and construct a number of structures, including the Reich Chancellery and the Zeppelinfeld stadium in Nuremberg where Party rallies were held. Speer also made plans to reconstruct Berlin on a grand scale, with huge buildings, wide boulevards, and a reorganized transportation system.
Speer was born in Mannheim, into a wealthy middle class family.
Speer was active in sports, taking up skiing and mountaineering.
Speer followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and studied architecture.
Speer began his architectural studies at the University of Karlsruhe.
In 1924 he transferred to the Technical University of Munich.
In 1925 he transferred again, this time to the Technical University of Berlin where he studied under Heinrich Tessenow, whom Speer greatly admired.
After passing his exams in 1927, Speer became Tessenow’s assistant, a high honor for a man of 22.
As such, Speer taught some of Tessenow’s classes while continuing his own postgraduate studies.
In Munich, and continuing in Berlin, Speer began a close friendship, ultimately spanning over 50 years, with Rudolf Wolters, who also studied under Tessenow.
In mid-1922, Speer began courting Margarete (Margret) Weber (1905–1987).
The two married in Berlin on August 28, 1928.
In 1931, Speer surrendered his position as Tessenow’s assistant, hoping to use his father’s connections to get commissions.
In July 1932, the Speers visited Berlin to help out the Party prior to the Reichstag elections. While they were there, Hanke recommended the young architect to Goebbels to help renovate the Party’s Berlin headquarters.

Speer, who had been about to leave with his wife for a vacation in East Prussia, agreed to do the work.
When the commission was completed, Speer returned to Mannheim and remained there as Hitler took office in January 1933.
After the Nazis took control, Hanke recalled Speer to Berlin. Goebbels, the new Propaganda Minister, commissioned Speer to renovate his Ministry’s building on Wilhelmplatz.
Speer also designed the 1933 May Day commemoration in Berlin.
Speer’s next major assignment was as liaison to the Berlin building trades for Paul Troost’s renovation of the Chancellery.
As Chancellor, Hitler had a residence in the building and came by every day to be briefed by Speer and the building supervisor on the progress of the renovations.
After one of these briefings, Hitler invited Speer to lunch.

Hitler evinced considerable interest in Speer during the luncheon, and later told Speer that he had been looking for a young architect capable of carrying out his architectural dreams for the new Germany.
Speer quickly became part of Hitler’s inner circle..
The two men found much in common: Hitler spoke of Speer as a “kindred spirit” for whom he had always maintained “the warmest human feelings”.
The young, ambitious architect was dazzled by his rapid rise and close proximity to Hitler, which guaranteed him a flood of commissions from the government and from the highest ranks of the Party.

When Troost died on January 21, 1934, Speer effectively replaced him as the Party’s chief architect. Hitler appointed Speer as head of the Chief Office for Construction, which placed him nominally on Hess’s staff.[34]
One of Speer’s first commissions after Troost’s death was the Zeppelinfeld stadium—the Nürnberg parade grounds seen in Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda masterpiece Triumph of the Will. This huge work was capable of holding 340,000 people.
The tribune was influenced by the Pergamon Altar in Anatolia, but was magnified to an enormous scale.
Speer surrounded the site with 130 anti-aircraft searchlights. This created the effect of a “cathedral of light” or, as it was called by British Ambassador Sir Neville Henderson, a “cathedral of ice”.
Nürnberg was to be the site of many more official Nazi buildings, most of which were never built; for example, the German Stadium would have accommodated 400,000 spectators, while an even larger rally ground would have held half a million Nazis.
While planning these structures, Speer invented the concept of “ruin value”: that major buildings should be constructed in such a way that they would leave aesthetically pleasing ruins for thousands of years into the future.
Such ruins would be a testament to the greatness of the Third Reich, just as ancient Greek or Roman ruins were symbols of the greatness of those civilizations.
Hitler enthusiastically embraced this concept, and ordered that all the Reich’s important buildings be constructed in accord with it.
In 1937, Hitler appointed Speer as General Building Inspector for the Reich Capital with the rank of undersecretary of state in the Reich government.
The position carried with it extraordinary powers over the Berlin city government and made Speer answerable to Hitler alone.

Hitler ordered Speer to make plans to rebuild Berlin.
The plans centered on a three-mile long grand boulevard running from north to south, which Speer called the Prachtstrasse, or Street of Magnificence; he also referred to it as the “North-South Axis”.
At the north end of the boulevard, Speer planned to build the Volkshalle, a huge assembly hall with a dome which would have been over 700 feet (210 m) high, with floor space for 180,000 people.
At the southern end of the avenue would be a huge triumphal arch; it would be almost 400 feet (120 m) high, and able to fit the Arc de Triomphe inside its opening.
The outbreak of World War II in 1939 led to the postponement, and eventual abandonment, of these plans.
In January 1938, Hitler asked Speer to build a new Reich Chancellery on the same site as the existing structure, and said he needed it for urgent foreign policy reasons no later than his next New Year’s reception for diplomats on January 10, 1939.



This was a huge undertaking, especially since the existing Chancellery was in full operation. Although the site could not be cleared until April, Speer was successful in building the large, impressive structure in nine months.
The structure included the “Marble Gallery”: at 146 metres long, almost twice as long as the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.
Speer employed thousands of workers in two shifts. Hitler, who had remained away from the project, was overwhelmed when Speer turned it over, fully furnished, two days early.
In appreciation for the architect’s work on the Chancellery, Hitler awarded Speer the Nazi Golden Party Badge.

Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler & Arno Breker – Paris – June 1940




REICH ADLER
Albert Speer
NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer





NEUE REICHSKANZEI – MARMORGALERIE – BERLIN
Albert Speer


In late January 1938, Adolf Hitler officially assigned his favourite architect Albert Speer to build the New Reich Chancellery around the corner on Voßstraße, a branch-off of Wilhelmstraße, requesting that the building be completed within a year.
Hitler commented that Bismarck’s Old Chancellery was “fit for a soap company” but not suitable as headquarters of a Greater German Reich. It nevertheless remained his official residence with its recently refurbished representation rooms on the groundfloor and private rooms on the upper floor where Hitler lived in the so called Führerwohnung (“Führer apartment”).
Hitler placed the entire northern side of the Voßstraße at Speer’s disposal assigning him the work of creating grand halls and salons which “will make an impression on people”.
Speer was given a blank cheque — Hitler stated that the cost of the project was immaterial — and was instructed that the building be of solid construction and that it be finished by the following January in time for the next New Year diplomatic reception to be held in the new building.
Over 4,000 workers toiled in shifts, so the work could be accomplished round-the-clock.
In the end it cost over 90 Million Reichsmark, well over one billion dollars today.
In his memoirs, Speer described the impression of the Reichskanzlei on a visitor:
The series of rooms comprising the approach to Hitler’s reception gallery were decorated with a rich variety of materials and colours and totalled 220 m (725 ft) in length.
The gallery itself was 145 m (480 ft) long. Hitler’s own office was 400 square meters in size.
From the exterior, the chancellery had a stern, authoritarian appearance.
From the Wilhelmplatz, visitors would enter the Chancellery through the Court of Honour (Ehrenhof). The building’s main entrance was flanked by two bronze statues by sculptor Arno Breker: “Wehrmacht” and “Partei” (“Armed Forces” and “Party”).
Hitler is said to have been greatly impressed by the building and was uncharacteristically effusive with his praise for Speer, lauding the architect as a “genius”.
The chancellor’s immense study was a particular favourite of the dictator.
The large marble-topped table served as an important part of the Nazi leader’s military headquarters, the study being used for military conferences from 1944 on. On the other hand, the Cabinet room was never used for its intended purpose.




NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Reception Hall)
Albert Speer






NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Hitler’s Study)
Albert Speer





NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Hitler’s Study)
Albert Speer





NEUE REICHSKANZEI – DOORWAY – BERLIN
Albert Speer







NEUE REICHSKANZEI – MOSAIC HALL – BERLIN
Albert Speer






NEUE REICHSKANZEI – MOSAIC HALL – BERLIN
Albert Speer



NEUE REICHSKANZEI – MOSAIC HALL – BERLIN
Albert Speer






NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Marquetry Panel 
Albert Speer




NEUE REICHSKANZEI – ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING – DOORWAY – BERLIN
Albert Speer







NEUE REICHSKANZEI – MOSAIC HALL – BERLIN
Albert Speer




NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Entrance to Ante Room)
Albert Speer






NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Entrance to Mosaic Hall)
Albert Speer




NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer




NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer




NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Entrance to Hitler’s Study)
Albert Speer



NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Hitler’s Study)
Albert Speer

NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Hitler’s Study)
Albert Speer



NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Hitler’s Study)
Albert Speer


NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Hitler’s Study)
Albert Speer

NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Cabinet Room)
Albert Speer




NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Dining Room)
Albert Speer





NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Dining Room)
Albert Speer


NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Dining Room)
Albert Speer

NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Reception Room)
Albert Speer

NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Adolf Hitler’s Private Apartment)
Albert Speer


NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN

(Main Entrance)

Albert Speer
NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Main Entrance)
Albert Speer






NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
(Main Entrance)
Albert Speer



MAIN FAÇADE – NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer



MAIN FAÇADE – NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer


MAIN FAÇADE – NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer



The Reception Hall in the Reich’s Chancellery Garden
Albert Speer




GARDEN FAÇADE – NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer


GARDEN FAÇADE – NEUE REICHSKANZEI – BERLIN
Albert Speer

SS-‘Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’ Barracks
Albert Speer


G E R M A N I A




GERMANIA
Albert Speer


Welthauptstadt Germania (“World Capital Germania”) refers to the projected renewal of the German capital Berlin during the Nazi period, part of Adolf Hitler’s vision for the future of Germany after the planned victory in World War II.
Albert Speer, the “first architect of the Third Reich”, produced many of the plans for the rebuilt city in his capacity as overseer of the project, only a small portion of which was realized between the years 1937-1943 when construction took place.
Some projects, such as the creation of a great East-West city axis, which included broadening Charlottenburger Chaussee (today Straße des 17. Juni) and placing the Berlin victory column in the center, far away from the Reichstag, where it originally stood, succeeded.
Others, however, such as the creation of the Große Halle (Great Hall), had to be shelved owing to the beginning of war.
A great number of the old buildings in many of the planned construction areas were however demolished before the war and eventually defeat stopped the plans.
The combined name “Welthauptstadt Germania” for the project was coined by Albert Speer in his 1969 memoirs Inside the Third Reich. 





MODELL DER NEUGESTALTUNG – GERMANIA
Albert Speer


According to the records of Hitler’s Table Talk of 8 June 1942 Hitler toyed with the idea of renaming the renewed Berlin into ‘Germania’, in order to give a Greater Germanic world empire a clear central point:
The term Welthauptstadt (World Capital) was already used by Hitler three months prior on the night between the 11th and 12th of March 1942 in the Wolf’s Lair:
“Berlin as the World Capital will only be comparable with Ancient Egypt, Babylon, and Rome! What are London and Paris compared to that!”
—Werner Jochmann: Adolf Hitler. Monologe im Führerhauptquartier 1941–1944, p. 318. Munich, 1980.
The title ‘Welthauptstadt’ was chosen because it was felt that Berlin’s architecture was at that time too provincial and that there was need to put Berlin on a par with and exceed the quality of other world capitals such as London, Paris and especially Rome.



MODELL DER NEUGESTALTUNG – GERMANIA
Albert Speer



 GROßE HALLE – GERMANIA
Albert Speer


The sketch of the Volkshalle given by Hitler to Speer shows a traditional gabled pronaos supported by ten columns, a shallow rectangular intermediate block and behind it the domed main building.
However, there was little about Speer’s elaboration of the sketch that might be termed Doric, except perhaps for the triglyphs in the entablature, supported by the geminated red granite columns with their Egyptian palm-leaf capitals, previously employed by Speer in the portico outside Hitler’s study on the garden side of the new Chancellery (see above).




 GROßE HALLE – GERMANIA
Albert Speer


Speer’s Große Halle was to be the capital’s most important and impressive building in terms of its size and symbolism. Visually it was to have been the architectural centrepiece of Berlin as the world capital (Welthauptstadt).
Its dimensions were so large that it would have dwarfed every other structure in Berlin, including those on the north-south axis itself.
The oculus of the building’s dome, 46 metres (151 ft) in diameter, would have accommodated the entire rotunda of Hadrian’s Pantheon and the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The dome of the Volkshalle was to rise from a massive granite podium 315 by 315 metres (1,033 × 1,033 ft) and 74 metres (243 ft) high, to a total inclusive height of 290 metres (950 ft). 
The resemblance of the Volkshalle to the Pantheon is far more obvious when their interiors are compared.
The large niche (50 metres high by 28 metres wide) at the north end of the Volkshalle was to be surfaced with gold mosaic and to enclose an eagle 24 metres (79 ft) high, beneath which was situated Hitler’s tribunal.
From here he would address 180,000 listeners, some standing in the central round arena, others seated in three concentric tiers of seats crowned by one hundred marble pillars, 24 metres (79 ft) high, which rose to meet the base of the coffered ceiling suspended from steel girders sheathed on the exterior with copper.
The three concentric tiers of seats enclosing a circular arena 140 metres (460 ft) in diameter owe nothing to the Pantheon but resemble the seating arrangements in Ludwig Ruff’s Congress Hall at Nuremberg, which was modeled on the Colosseum.
Other features of the Volkshalle’s interior are clearly indebted to Hadrian’s Pantheon: the coffered dome, the pillared zone, which here is continuous, except where it flanks the huge niche on the north side.
The second zone in the Pantheon, consisting of blind windows with intervening pilasters, is represented in Speer’s building by a zone above the pillars consisting of uniform, oblong shallow recesses.
The coffered dome rests on this zone. 
Hitler’s aspirations to world domination and the establishment of his New Order, already evident from architectural and decorative features of the new Chancellery, are even more clearly expressed here.
External symbols suggest that the domed hall was where Hitler as cosmocrator (Herr der Welt) would appear before his Herrenvolk: On top of the dome’s lantern was an eagle grasping in its claws not the usual swastika but the globe of the Earth (Erdball).
This combination of eagle and ball was well known in imperial Roman iconography, for example, the restored statue of Claudius holding a ball and eagle in his right hand.
The vast dome, on which it rested, as with Hadrian’s Pantheon, symbolically represented the vault of the sky spanning Hitler’s world empire.
The globe on the dome’s lantern was enhanced and emphasized by two monumental sculptures by Breker, each 15 metres high, which flanked the north façade of the building: at its west end Atlas supporting the heavens, at its east end Tellus supporting the Earth.
Both mythological figures were according to Speer, chosen by Hitler himself.




GROßE HALLE – GERMANIA
Albert Speer






Große Halle
Albert Speer



ZEPPLINFELD
Albert Speer






ZEPPLINFELD
Albert Speer








ZEPPLINFELD
Albert Speer







ZEPPLINFELD STADIUM
Albert Speer






ZEPPLINFELD STADIUM
Albert Speer







GERMAN PAVILLION – 1937 – PARIS
Albert Speer




GERMAN PAVILLION – 1937 – PARIS
Albert Speer

_____________________________________

The Sculpture of Arno Breker

ARNO BREKER
   
Sculptor

 
  
At the 1933 Nürnberg Reichsparteitag, the new Chancellor, Adolf Hitler proclaimed the dawn of an era of ‘New Art’ – and instituted the Reichskulturkammer (RKK – Reich Chamber of Culture) to oversee the cultural life of Das Dritte Reich, (the Third Reich).
The Reichskulturkammer was headed by Dr. Paul Joseph Göbbels.
The Reichskulturkammer was to control all aspects of culture, and this included the fine arts, applied arts,  industrial design, sculpture, architecture and film.
‘Germany wants again a “German Art,” and this art shall and will be of eternal value, as are all truly creative values of a people.
Should this art, however, again lack this eternal value for our people, then indeed it will mean that it also has no higher value today
When, therefore, the cornerstone of this building was laid, it was with the intention of constructing a temple, not for a so-called modern art, but for a true and everlasting German art, that is, better still, a House for the art of the German people.
It is therefore imperative for the artist to erect monuments, not so much to a period, but to his people.
For time is changeable, years come and go.
Anything born of and thriving on a certain epoch alone would perish with it.
And not only all which had been created before us would fall victim to this mortality, but also what is being created today or will be created in the future.
But the National-Socialists know of only one mortality, and that is the mortality of the people itself:
As long as a people exists, however, it is the fixed pole in the flight of fleeting appearances.
It is the quality of being and lasting permanence.
And, indeed, for this reason, art as an expression of the essence of this being, is an eternal monument.’
Adolf Hitler

  

S C U L P T O R   T O   T H E   F Ü H R E R

Arno Breker (July 19, 1900 – February 13, 1991) was a German sculptor, best known for his public works in Germany, which were endorsed by the authorities as the antithesis of “degenerate art”.
He was born in Elberfeld, now Wuppertal and died in Düsseldorf.
“I am often asked why I use 
athletes as models and whether 
this is not outmoded. My 
answer: That which is good 
never becomes obsolete. 
Athletes are the best models for 
sculpture. It is impossible for a 
sculptor like me, who loves the 
triad of beauty of the body, spirit 
and soul, to overlook either a 
male or a female athlete.”
                                                                           Professor Arnold Breker

Breker was born in Elberfeld, in the west of Germany, the son of a stonemason.
He began to study architecture, along with stone-carving and anatomy, and at age 20 was accepted to the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts where he concentrated on sculpture.
He first visited Paris in 1924, shortly before finishing his studies.
There he met with Jean Cocteau, Jean Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, and Alfred Flechtheim.
In 1927 he moved to Paris, and was quickly accepted by the art dealer Alfred Flechtheim.
He also established close relationships with important figures in the art world, including Charles Despiau, Isamu Noguchi, Maurice de Vlaminck and André Dunoyer de Segonzac, all of whom he later portrayed.
He travelled to North Africa, producing lithographs which he published under the title “Tunisian Journey”.
He also visited Aristide Maillol, who was later to describe Breker as “Germany’s Michelangelo”.
In 1932, he was awarded a prize by the Prussian Ministry of Culture, which allowed him to stay in Rome for a year.

In 1934 he returned to Germany on the advice of Max Liebermann.

Breker was supported by many Nazi leaders, especially Adolf Hitler.

Even Rosenberg later hailed his sculptures as expressions of the “mighty momentum and will power” (“Wucht und Willenhaftigkeit”) of Nazi Germany.
He took commissions from the German Government from 1933 through 1942, for example participating in a show of his work in occupied Paris in 1942, where he met Jean Cocteau, who appreciated his work.
He maintained personal relationships with Albert Speer and with Hitler.

In 1936 he won the commission for two sculptures representing athletic prowess, intended for the 1936 Olympic games, one representing a Decathlete (“Zehnkämpfer”) and the other The Victress (“Die Siegerin”).
In 1937 he married Demetra Messala a Greek model.
The same year, Breker joined the Nazi Party and was made “official state sculptor” by Hitler, given a large property and provided a studio with thousand assistants.
Hitler also exempted him from military service.
His twin sculptures The Party and The Army held a prominent position at the entrance to Albert Speer’s new Reich Chancellery.

Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler & Arno Breker – Paris – June 1940

_____________________________________

THE NUDE IN THE ART OF THE THIRD REICH
Nudity in the shape of health and fitness was nothing new in Germany.
Organized social nudism started in Germany in the late nineteenth century.

By the 1930s nudist clubs (nacktkultur) developed into many different branches according to the political preferences of the membership.

Aryan health and vitality was especially promoted through the pages of Hans Suren’s “Sun cult” books.
Suren was a former German Army officer with colonial service in the tropics.
He strove to recreate the naked, carefree German tribes that existed before contact with Rome or Christianity.
His book ‘Man and the Sun’ (1924) sold over 235, 000 copies and it was reissued in 68 editions by 194.
‘Man and the Sun’ and ‘Gymnastik ‘were some of Hitler’s favourite books, and Nazi culture lovers often admired it.
Accordingly, approved, Aryan nudist organizations, some progressively stressing moderation of sun exposure, became integrated as National Socialist institutions.
Indeed, the very purpose of Gleichschaltung was to make the German people, the collective German Organism, feel as if they were part of a great, positive, movement.

To the Nazis nudism glorified the human body and made the individual, as part of the collective, become aware of the body’s inherent strength and beauty.

The removal of clothing also removed any evidence of rank or privilege among German Aryans, the primary goal of the Nazis.
Exercise in the nude, especially for young males, served to strengthen the body and build endurance for the ultimate goal of the Nazi State.
The cult of the Superman would grow ever more in importance as Hitler developed the political wing of the Thule Society.
The beauty of God’s creation of man, naked and unashamed became in Germany an outward symbol of the strength and superiority of the Aryan race.
Great emphasis was placed upon the glorification of the Aryan superman though the portrayal of the naked body.

WORSHIP OF THE BODY

‘WOUNDED HERO’
Arno Breker
‘ADOLF HITLER’
Arno Breker
‘RICHARD WAGNER’
Arno Breker
‘RICHARD WAGNER’
Arno Breker
Click below for all you want to know about 
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

WAGNER and his MUSIC


‘ADOLF HITLER’
Arno Breker
‘FREDERICH NIETSZCHE’
Arno Breker
‘Διόνυσος’ – ‘DIONYSUS’
Arno Breker
‘HEROIC HEAD’
Arno Breker
‘HEROIC HEAD’
Arno Breker
‘BEREITSCHAFT’
(Readiness)
Arno Breker
‘Προμηθεύς’
‘PROMETHEUS’
Arno Breker
‘Προμηθεύς’
‘PROMETHEUS’
Arno Breker
‘Προμηθεύς’
‘PROMETHEUS’
Arno Breker
Arno Breker working on Prometheus
‘MALE NUDE TORSO’
Arno Breker
‘GENIUS DES SIEGERS’
(Spirit of Victory)
Arno Breker
‘ARYAN MAN’
Arno Breker
‘MALE NUDE’
Arno Breker
‘PSYCHE’
Arno Breker
‘ANGEL OF DEATH’
Arno Breker
‘DYING WARRIOR’
Arno Breker
‘DYING WARRIOR’
(Bronze)
Arno Breker
‘MALE NUDE RELIEF’
Arno Breker
‘VICTORIOUS WARRIOR’
Arno Breker
‘DER RACHER’
(The Revenge – Warrior with a Serpent)
Arno Breker
‘KAMARADSCHAFT’
(Comradeship)
Arno Breker
‘KAMARADSCHAFT’
(Comradeship)
Arno Breker
‘DEPARTURE FOR BATTLE’
Arno Breker
‘DER RUFER’
Arno Breker
‘BEREITSCHAFT’
Arno Breker
‘DER BANNERTRAGER’
(Standard Bearer)
Arno Breker
‘EURIDICE & ORPHEUS’
Arno Breker
APOLLO & DAPHNE’
Arno Breker
‘YOU & ME’
Arno Breker
‘DER APFEL DES PARIS’
(The Apple of Paris)
Arno Breker
‘ST SEBASTIAN’
Arno Breker
‘OLYMPIA’
Arno Breker
‘OLYMPIA’
Arno Breker
‘TORSO DES ROSSBANDIGERS’
Arno Breker
‘ALEXANDER THE GREAT’
Arno Breker
‘ALEXANDER THE GREAT’
Arno Breker
‘ADLER DES ZEUS’
Arno Breker

_____________________________________________

Die Anschluss Österreichs

DIE  ANCHLUß  ÖSTERREICHS
The Anschluß also known as the Anschluss Österreichs was the union of the German Republic Austria with the Third Reich in 1938.

The German Republic Austria was united with the German Third Reich on 12 March 1938.
There had been several years of pressure by supporters from both Austria and Germany (by both Nazis and non-Nazis) for the “Heim ins Reich” movement.

The Heim ins Reich (Home into the Empire; or Back to the Reich), was a foreign policy pursued by Adolf Hitler beginning in 1938.
The aim of his initiative was to convince all of the ethnically German people who were living outside of the Third Reich (i.e. in foreign countries such as Austria and the western districts of Poland) that they should strive to bring these regions “home” into Greater Germany. It included areas ceded after the Treaty of Versailles, as well as other areas containing significant German populations such as the Sudetenland. The policy was managed by VOMI (Hauptamt Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle) (Main Welfare Office for Ethnic Germans). As a state agency of the NSDAP, it handled all Volksdeutsch issues. By 1941, the VOMI was under the control of the SS.

Earlier, Nazi Germany had provided support for the Austrian National Socialist Party (Austrian Nazi Party) in its bid to seize power from Austria’s Austrofascist leadership.
Devoted to remaining independent but under considerable pressure from both Austrian and German Nazis, Austria’s Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg tried to hold a referendum for a vote on the issue.

Although Schuschnigg (see right) expected Austria to vote in favour of maintaining autonomy, a well-planned coup d’état by the Austrian Nazi Party of Austria’s state institutions in Vienna took place on 11 March, prior to the referendum, which they canceled.
They transferred power to German Empire, and Wehrmacht troops entered Austria to enforce the Anschluss (see left).

The German Government held a plebiscite within the following month (see left), asking the people to ratify the Anschluss.

The German Government claimed to have received 99.73% of the vote in favor.
Although the Allies were committed to upholding the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and St. Germain, which specifically prohibited the union of Austria and the German Empire, their reaction was only verbal and moderate.
No military confrontation took place and even the strongest voices against the annexation, particularly Fascist Italy, France and the United Kingdom (the “Stresa Front”) remained at peace.

The Anschluss was among the first major steps of Adolf Hitler’s creation of a Grossdeutsches Reich – (Greater German Reich) (see left and right) which was to include all of the ethnic German and lands and territories which German Empire had lost after World War I, although Austria had never been a part of (in 20th-century terms) Germany.
Prior to the 1938 annexation, the German Empire had remilitarized the Rhineland, and the Saar region was returned to Germany after 15 years of occupation through a plebiscite.

After the Anschluss, Hitler targeted Czechoslovakia, provoking an international crisis which led to the Munich Agreement in September 1938, giving the Third Reich control of the industrial Sudetenland (see left), which had a predominantly ethnic German population.

In March 1939, Hitler then annexed truncated Czechoslovakia and made the rest of the nation a protectorate.
That same year, Memelland was returned from Lithuania.

The idea of grouping all ethnic Germans into one unified country (as a nation-state) had been the subject of inconclusive debate since the end of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (see right) in 1806.

At the same time, the 18th century was a period when thousands of Germans emigrated to other areas, sometimes at the invitation of governments who wanted to resettle areas depopulated by war and the plague, or to improve farming.
Often promised special rights and the ability to keep their language and religion, the Germans settled in communities along the Danube (territory that is mostly now present-day Serbia), in Poland, Russia, and across the Atlantic to North America before the American Revolutionary War.
The system of spheres of influence in Europe, developed at Vienna in 1815, depended upon the fragmentation of the German and Italian states, not their consolidation.
Consequently, a German nation united under one banner presented significant questions (and answers): Who were the Germans? (German-speaking people.) Where was Germany? (The German-speaking land in middle Europa.) But also, Who was in charge?, and, importantly, Who could best defend “Germany”, whoever, whatever, and wherever it was?
Different groups offered different solutions to this.
In the Kleindeutschland (little, or “lesser,” Germany) solution, the German states would be united under the leadership of Prussia; in the Großdeutsche Lösung (Greater Germany) solution, the German states would be united under the leadership of the Germans (Habsburg) in Austrian state (see left).
This controversy, called dualism, dominated Prusso-Austrian diplomacy and the politics of the German states, for the next 20 years.
In a series of diplomatic and military moves during the late 19th century, the Chancellor of Prussia Otto von Bismarck (see right) increasingly isolated Austria from its traditional position of influence in broader German affairs.

Prussia’s defeat of Austria in the Austro-Prussian War eliminated Austrian influence north of its border, allowed for the creation of the North German Confederation and consolidated the German states through Prussia, enabling the creation of a German Empire (see left) in 1871.
When the German-Hungarian Empire, called “Austria-Hungary”, broke up in 1918, many German Austrians hoped to join with German Empire in the realignment of Europe.
On 12 November 1918, German Austria was officially declared a republic.
The provisional national assembly drafted a provisional constitution that stated that “German Austria is a democratic republic” (Article 1) and “German Austria is a component of the German Republic” (Article 2).
Later plebiscites in the German border provinces of Tyrol and Salzburg yielded majorities of 98 and 99% in favor for a unification with the German Republic.

The Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Saint-Germain (both signed in 1919) explicitly prohibited the inclusion of Austria to politically join the German state.

This measure was criticized by Hugo Preuss (see left), the drafter of the German Weimar Constitution, who saw the prohibition as a contradiction of the Wilsonian principle of self-determination of peoples, intended to help bring peace to Europe.
Following the destruction of World War I, however, both France and Britain feared the power of a larger Germany, and had begun to dis-empower the current one.
Austrian particularism, especially among the nobility, also played a role in the decisions; Austria was Roman Catholic, while Germany was dominated by Protestants, especially in government (the Prussian nobility, for example, was Lutheran).
The constitutions of the Weimar Republic and the First Austrian Republic included the political goal of unification, which was widely supported by democratic parties.
In the early 1930s, popular support in Austria for union with German Empire remained overwhelming, and the Austrian government looked to a possible customs union with German Republic in 1931.
The rise of Hitler and the Nazis to power in German Empire initially caused the Austrian government to withdraw from such economic ties.

By the same token Hitler, an Austrian German by birth, had picked up German nationalism ideas after WWI and advocated the idea of a Greater Germany, in accordance to this one of the Nazis ideologies was to re-unite all ethnic Germans living outside of the Reich.
From the early beginning of his leadership in the Nazi Party he had publicly stated in his 1924 auto-biography (‘Mein Kampf’ – see right) that he would create a union between Austria and Germany by any means possible.
Austria shared the economic turbulence of the Depression, with a high unemployment rate and unstable commerce and industry.
These economic problems made the young democracy vulnerable to social unrest.
The First Republic, dominated from the late 1920s by the Catholic nationalist Christian Social Party (CS), gradually disintegrated from 1933 (dissolution of parliament and ban of the Austrian National Socialists) to 1934 (Austrian Civil War in February and ban of all remaining parties except the CS).

Osterreich Uber Alles
Dolfus Poster

The government evolved into a pseudo-fascist, corporatist model of one-party government, which combined the CS and the paramilitary Heimwehr with absolute state domination of labour relations and no freedom of the press (see Austrofascism and Patriotic Front).

Power was centralized in the office of the chancellor, who was empowered to rule by decree. The predominance of the Christian Social Party (whose economic policies were based on the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum) was an Austrian phenomenon.
Austria’s national identity had strong Catholic elements that were incorporated into the movement, by way of clerical authoritarian tendencies not found in Nazism.

Both Engelbert Dollfuss (see left) and his successor, Kurt Schuschnigg, turned to Austria’s other fascist neighbour, Italy, for inspiration and support.
The statist corporatism often referred to as Austrofascism bore much more resemblance to Italian Fascism than German National Socialism.
Benito Mussolini (see right) supported the independence of Austria until his need for German support in Ethiopia (see Second Italo-Abyssinian War) led him into a client relationship with Berlin that began with the 1937 Berlin–Rome Axis.
On 25 July 1934, Chancellor Dollfuss was assassinated by Austrian Nazis in a failed coup.
The second civil war followed, lasting until August 1934.
Afterward leading Austrian Nazis fled to Germany but they continued to push for unification from there.

The remaining Austrian Nazis started to make use of terrorist attacks against Austrian governmental institutions, causing a death toll of more than 800 between 1934 and 1938.

Following Dollfuss’ assassination, his successor was Schuschnigg, who followed a similar political course.
In 1935 Schuschnigg (see right) used the police to suppress the Nazi supporters in Austria.
Police actions under Schuschnigg included gathering Nazis (and Social Democrats) and holding them in internment camps, however, the support from the powerful and increasingly popular Nazi German state to the north was impossible to prevent.
Eventually Schuschnigg gave up his anti-Nazi program, and in July 1936 he signed the Austro-German Agreement, which, among other concessions, allowed the release of Nazis imprisoned in Austria and the inclusion of National Socialists in his Cabinet.
This did not satisfy Hitler and the pro-Germany Austrian Nazi’s grew in strength.
Following increasing violence and demands from Hitler that Austria agree to a union, Schuschnigg met with Hitler on 12 February at Berchtesgaden in an attempt to avoid the take-over of Austria.
Hitler presented Schuschnigg with a set of demands which included appointing known Austria Nazi sympathizers to positions of great power in the Austrian government.
The key appointment was: Seyss-Inquart would take over as Minister of Public Security, with full and unlimited control of the police forces in Austria.
In return Hitler would publicly reaffirm the treaty of 11 July 1936 and reaffirm his support for Austria’s national sovereignty.
Schuschnigg accepted Hitler’s “deal”, returned to Vienna and made the changes to his government.
One week later, Hitler made a speech saying
The German Reich is no longer willing to tolerate the suppression of ten million Germans across its borders.”
Wilhelm Frass – Die Ostmark

This was clearly directed at Austria and Czechoslovakia.

Hitler sent an ultimatum to Schuschnigg on 11 March, demanding that he hand over all power to the Austrian National Socialists.
The ultimatum was set to expire at noon, but was extended by two hours.
Schuschnigg desperately sought support for Austrian independence in the hours following the ultimatum.
Realizing that neither France nor Britain was willing to take steps, he resigned as chancellor that evening.
In the radio broadcast in which he announced his resignation, he argued that he accepted the changes and allowed the Nazis to take over the government ‘to avoid the shedding of fraternal blood [Bruderblut]’.
On the morning of 12 March, the 8th Army of the German Wehrmacht crossed the border to Austria.
The troops were greeted by cheering German-Austrians with Hitler salutes, Nazi flags and flowers.
Because of this, the Anschluß is also called the ‘Blumenkrieg’ (war of flowers), but its official name was ‘Unternehmen Otto’.

For the Wehrmacht, the Anschluß was the first big test of its machinery.

Hitler’s car crossed the border in the afternoon at Braunau (see left), his birthplace.
In the evening, he arrived at Linz and was given an enthusiastic welcome in the city hall.
Hitler’s travel through Austria became a triumphal tour that climaxed in Vienna, (see right) on 2 April 1938, when around 200,000 German-Austrians gathered on the Heldenplatz to hear Hitler proclaim the Austrian Anschluß .
Hitler later commented:
I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier (into Austria) there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators.”
The Anschluss was given immediate effect by legislative act on 13 March, subject to ratification by a plebiscite.
Austria became the province of the Ostmark, and Seyss-Inquart was appointed governor.
The plebiscite was held on 10 April and officially recorded a support of 99.73% of the voters.


___________________________________


Deutsches Kaiserreich

Kaiserreich is the German term for a monarchical empire.
Literally a Kaiser’s Reich, an emperor’s domain or realm.
Proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor

When the proper term is used without disambiguation, it is assumed in Germany to refer to the German Empire of 1871-1918, during which the large majority of historically-independent German states (with the significant exception of Austria) were unified under a single Kaiser.

Deutsches Kaiserreich is the common name given to the state officially named Deutsches Reich, designating Germany from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic, after defeat in World War I, and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.
In a France defeated and invaded after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, Chancellor Bismarck proclaimed the German Empire in the Hall of Mirrors.
This was Germany’s revenge for the humiliations imposed by Louis XIV and Napoléon I.
On 19 July 1870, France declared war on Prussia.
It capitulated at Sedan on 2 September. Prussia then invaded France.
On 19 September, it besieged Paris and the first Prussian troops arrived in Versailles.
On 5 October, William I and Bismarck moved into the town to prepare the proclamation of the German Empire from the Château.
Since the mid-1860s, Prussia had emerged enlarged and fortified from its campaigns against Austria and Denmark.
It now extended from the Rhine to Russia.
Bismarck, its Chancellor, attempted to federate the other German states around Prussia in order to create an empire at the expense of the Austrian-Hungarian empire, its rival.
He wanted Germany to become the new power of central Europe, between France and Russia.
He had managed to constitute the Confederation of Northern Germany which united all the states except those of the south.
Hesse and Baden, followed by Bavaria and Wurtemberg finally joined in November 1870.

Otto von Bismark
König Ludwig II. König von Bayern
At the request of Prussian Minister President Otto von Bismarck (and in exchange for certain financial concessions), Ludwig II König von Bayern wrote a letter (the so-called ‘Kaiserbrief’) in December 1870 endorsing the creation of the German Empire.
With the creation of the Empire, Bavaria lost its status as an independent kingdom, and became another state in the empire.
Ludwig attempted to protest these alterations by refusing to attend the ceremony where Wilhelm I was proclaimed the new empire’s first emperor.
Was this also out of love of the place and Louis XIV?
Whatever the reason, Ludwig’s brother Otto negotiated in his place.
However the Bavarian delegation under Prime Minister Count Otto von Bray-Steinburg had secured a privileged status of the Kingdom of Bavaria within the German Empire (Reservatrechte).
Within the Empire the Kingdom of Bavaria was even able to retain its own diplomatic body, and its own army, which would fall under Prussian command only in times of war.

After the creation of the greater Germany, Ludwig increasingly withdrew from politics, and devoted himself to his personal creative projects, most famously his castles, where he personally approved every detail of the architecture, decoration and furnishing.
And so the proclamation of German unity could be made.
The proclamation of the Empire was fixed for 18 January 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors.
An altar was set up here for the religious ceremony.
A stage was installed along the side next to the Salon of War, facing the spot where the throne of Louis XIV stood.
600 officers and all the German princes were present except Ludwig II of Bavaria.
After the Te Deum, Bismarck, in his cuirassier’s uniform, read out the proclamation.
When he had finished, the Grand-Duke of Baden shouted “Long live his Majesty the Emperor William!” The room rocked with the assembly’s “hurrahs!”.
The Chancellor had finally made his dream come true under the paintings of Le Brun glorifying the victories of Louis XIV on the Rhine.
He had also achieved his revenge for the defeat of Iena in 1806.
The Germans soon left Versailles to the elected representatives of defeated France.
Wappen des Königreichs Preußen
The German Empire consisted of 27 constituent territories (most of them ruled by royal families).
While the Kingdom of Prussia contained most of the population and most of the territory of the Reich, the Prussian leadership became supplanted by German leaders and Prussia itself played a lesser role.
Prussia’s “political and cultural influence had diminished considerably” by the 1890s.
Its three largest neighbours were rivals Imperial Russia to the east, France to the west, and ally Austria-Hungary to the south.
After 1850, Germany industrialized rapidly, with a foundation in coal, iron (and later steel), chemicals and railways.
From a population of 41 million people in 1871, it grew to 68 million in 1913.
From a heavily rural nation in 1815, it was now predominantly urban.
During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, technological and scientific giant, receiving more Nobel Prizes in science than Britain, France, Russia and the United States combined.
Dropping the Pilot
It became a great power, boasting a rapidly growing economy and the world’s strongest army and its navy went from being negligible to second only behind the Royal Navy in less than a decade.
After the removal of the powerful Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1890 following the death of Emperor Wilhelm I, the young Emperor Wilhelm II engaged in increasingly reckless foreign policies that left the Empire politically isolated.
Its network of small colonies in Africa and the Pacific paled in comparison to the British and French empires.
When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, it had only two weak allies (Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire) left.
In World War I its plans to quickly capture Paris in 1914 failed and the Western Front (against Britain and France) became a stalemate.
The Allied naval blockade made for increasing shortages of food.
The Empire collapsed overnight in the November 1918 Revolution as all the royals abdicated and a republic took over.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEUTSCHES KAISERREICH
On 10 December 1870 the North German Confederation Reichstag renamed the Confederation as the German Empire and gave the title of German Emperor to the King of Prussia as President of the Confederation.
König Wilhelm I von Preußen
During the Siege of Paris on 18 January 1871, King Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
The 1871 German Constitution was adopted by the Reichstag on 14 April 1871 and proclaimed by the Emperor on 16 April, which was substantially based upon Bismarck’s North German Constitution.
Germany acquired some democratic features.
The new empire had a parliament called the Reichstag, which was elected by universal male suffrage, however, the original constituencies drawn in 1871 were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas.
As a result, by the time of the great expansion of German cities in the 1890s and first decade of the 20th century, rural areas were grossly overrepresented.
Legislation also required the consent of the Bundesrat, the federal council of deputies from the states. Executive power was vested in the emperor, or Kaiser, who was assisted by a chancellor responsible only to him.
The emperor was given extensive powers by the constitution.
He alone appointed and dismissed the chancellor, was supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and final arbiter of all foreign affairs.
Officially, the chancellor was a one-man cabinet and was responsible for the conduct of all state affairs; in practice, the State Secretaries (bureaucratic top officials in charge of such fields as finance, war, foreign affairs, etc.) acted as unofficial portfolio ministers.
Reichstag
The Reichstag had the power to pass, amend or reject bills and to initiate legislation.
Although nominally a league of equals, in practice the empire was dominated by the largest and most powerful state, Prussia.
It stretched across the northern two thirds of the new Reich, and contained three fifths of its population.
The imperial crown was hereditary in the House of Hohenzollern, the ruling house of Prussia.
With the exception of the years 1872–1873 and 1892–1894, the chancellor was always simultaneously the prime minister of Prussia.
With 17 out of 58 votes in the Bundesrat, Berlin needed only a few votes from the small states to exercise effective control.
The other states retained their own governments, but had only limited aspects of sovereignty.
For example, both postage stamps and currency were issued for the empire as a whole.
Coins through one mark was also minted in the name of the empire, while higher valued pieces were issued by the states, but these larger gold and silver issues were virtually commemorative coins and had limited circulation.
While the states issued their own decorations, and some had their own armies, the military forces of the smaller ones were put under Prussian control.
Those of the larger states, such as the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony, were coordinated along Prussian principles and would in wartime be controlled by the federal government.
The evolution of the German Empire is somewhat in line with parallel developments in Italy which became a united nation state shortly before the German Empire.
Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire
Some key elements of the German Empire’s authoritarian political structure were also the basis for conservative modernization in Imperial Japan under Meiji and the preservation of an authoritarian political structure under the Tsars in the Russian Empire.
One factor in the social anatomy of these governments had been the retention of a very substantial share in political power by the landed elite, the Junkers, resulting from the absence of a revolutionary breakthrough by the peasants in combination with urban areas.
Although authoritarian in many respects, the empire permitted the development of political parties. Bismarck’s intention was to create a constitutional façade which would mask the continuation of authoritarian policies.
In the process, he created a system with a serious flaw.
There was a significant disparity between the Prussian and German electoral systems.
Prussia used a highly restrictive three-class voting system in which the richest third of the population could choose 85% of the legislature, all but assuring a conservative majority.
As mentioned above, the king and (with two exceptions) the prime minister of Prussia were also the emperor and chancellor of the empire – meaning that the same rulers had to seek majorities from legislatures elected from completely different franchises.
CONSTITUENT STATES
Before unification, German territory was made up of 27 constituent states.
These states consisted of kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, principalities, free Hanseatic cities and one imperial territory.
The Kingdom of Prussia was the largest of the constituent states, covering some 60% of the territory of the German Empire.
Several of these states had gained sovereignty following the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
Others were created as sovereign states after the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
Territories were not necessarily contiguous – many existed in several parts, as a result of historical acquisition, or, in several cases, divisions of the ruling family trees.
Some of the existing states, in particular Hanover, were abolished and annexed by Prussia as a result of the war of 1866.
Each component of the German Empire sent representatives to the Federal Council (Bundesrat) and, via single member districts, the Imperial Diet (Reichstag).
Relations between the Imperial centre and the Empire’s components were somewhat fluid, and were developed on an ongoing basis.
The extent to which the Emperor could, for example, intervene on occasions of disputed or unclear succession was much debated on occasion – for example with the Lippe-Detmold inheritance crisis.
THE ECONOMY UNDER BISMARK


Railways
München Hauptbahnhof
Lacking a technological base at first, the Germans imported their engineering and hardware from Britain, but quickly learned the skills needed to operate and expand the railways.
In many cities, the new railway shops were the centres of technological awareness and training, so that by 1850, Germany was self-sufficient in meeting the demands of railroad construction, and the railways were a major impetus for the growth of the new steel industry, however, German unification in 1870 stimulated consolidation, nationalisation into state-owned companies, and further rapid growth.
German Railways
Unlike the situation in France, the goal was support of industrialisation, and so heavy lines crisscrossed the Ruhr and other industrial districts, and provided good connections to the major ports of Hamburg and Bremen.
By 1880, Germany had 9,400 locomotives pulling 43,000 passengers and 30,000 tons of freight, and forged ahead of France.
Industrialisation
Germany before 1800 was heavily rural, with some urban trade centers.
In the 19th century it began a stage of rapid economic growth and modernization, led by heavy industry.
By 1900 it had the largest economy in Europe.
Before 1850 Germany lagged far behind the leaders in industrial development, Britain, France and Belgium. By mid-century  however, the German states were catching up, and by 1900 Germany was a world leader in industrialization, along with Britain and the United States.
In 1800, Germany’s social structure was poorly suited to entrepreneurship or economic development. Domination by France during the era of the French Revolution (1790s to 1815), produced important institutional reforms, including the abolition of feudal restrictions on the sale of large landed estates, the reduction of the power of the guilds in the cities, and the introduction of a new, more efficient commercial law.
Nevertheless, traditionalism remained strong in most of Germany.
Until midcentury, the guilds, the landed aristocracy, the churches, and the government bureaucracies had so many rules and restrictions that entrepreneurship was held in low esteem, and given little opportunity to develop.
From the 1830s and 1840s, Prussia, Saxony, and other states reorganized agriculture, introducing sugar beets, turnips, and potatoes, yielding a higher level of food production that enabled a surplus rural population to move to industrial areas.
The beginnings of the industrial revolution in Germany came in the textile industry, and was facilitated by eliminating tariff barriers through the Zollverein, starting in 1834.
The take-off stage of economic development came with the railroad revolution in the 1840s, which opened up new markets for local products, created a pool of middle manager, increased the demand for engineers, architects and skilled machinists and stimulated investments in coal and iron.
The political decisions about the economy of Prussia (and after 1871 all Germany) were largely controlled by a coalition of “rye and iron”, that is the Junker landowners of the east and the heavy industry of the west.
Industrialization progressed dynamically in Germany and German manufacturers began to capture domestic markets from British imports, and also to compete with British industry abroad, particularly in the U.S.
The German textiles and metal industries had by 1870 surpassed those of Britain in organization and technical efficiency and superseded British manufacturers in the domestic market.
Germany became the dominant economic power on the continent and was the second largest exporting nation after Britain.
Banks and Cartels
German banks played central roles in financing German industry.
Different banks formed cartels in different industries.
Cartel contracts were accepted as legal and binding by German courts although they were held to be illegal in Britain and the United States.
The process of cartelization began slowly, but the cartel movement took hold after 1873 in the economic depression that followed the postunification speculative bubble.
It began in heavy industry and spread throughout other industries.
By 1900 there were 275 cartels in operation; by 1908, over 500.
By some estimates, different cartel arrangements may have numbered in the thousands at different times, but many German companies stayed outside the cartels because they did not welcome the restrictions that membership imposed.
The government played a powerful role in the industrialization of the German Empire.
It supported not only heavy industry but also crafts and trades because it wanted to maintain prosperity in all parts of the empire.
Even where the national government did not act, the highly autonomous regional and local governments supported their own industries.
Each state tried to be as self-sufficient as possible.
Despite the several ups and downs of prosperity and depression that marked the first decades of the German Empire, the ultimate wealth of the empire proved immense.
German aristocrats, landowners, bankers, and producers created what might be termed the first German economic miracle, the turn-of-the-century surge in German industry and commerce during which bankers, industrialists, mercantilists, the military, and the monarchy joined forces.
Technology
Technological progress during German industrialization occurred in four waves: the railway wave (1877–86), the dye wave (1887–96), the chemical wave (1897–1902), and the wave of electrical engineering (1903–18).
Since Germany industrialized later than Britain, it was able to model its factories after those of Britain, thus making more efficient use of its capital and avoiding legacy methods in its leap to the envelope of technology. Germany invested more heavily than the British in research, especially in chemistry, motors and electricity. Germany’s dominance in physics and chemistry was such that one-third of all Nobel Prizes went to German inventors and researchers.
The German cartel system (known as Konzerne), being significantly concentrated, was able to make more efficient use of capital.
Germany was not weighted down with an expensive worldwide empire that needed defense.
Following Germany’s annexation of Alsace-Lorraine in 1871, it absorbed parts of what had been France’s industrial base.
BASF Ludwigschafen Works
By 1900, the German chemical industry dominated the world market for synthetic dyes.
The three major firms BASF, Bayer and Hoechst produced several hundred different dyes, along with the five smaller firms.
In 1913, these eight firms produced almost 90% of the world supply of dyestuffs and sold about 80% of their production abroad.
The three major firms had also integrated upstream into the production of essential raw materials and they began to expand into other areas of chemistry such as pharmaceuticals, photographic film, agricultural chemicals and electrochemicals.
Top-level decision-making was in the hands of professional salaried managers; leading Chandler to call the German dye companies “the world’s first truly managerial industrial enterprises”.
There were many spin-offs from research—such as the pharmaceutical industry, which emerged from chemical research.
By the start of World War I (1914–1918), German industry switched to war production.
The heaviest demands were on coal and steel for artillery and shell production, and on chemicals for the synthetization of materials that were subject to import restrictions and for chemical weapons and war supplies.
SOCIAL ISSUES UNDER BISMARK
Germany’s middle class, based in the cities, grew exponentially, but it never gained the political power it had in France, Britain or the United States.
The Association of German Women’s Organizations (BDF) was established in 1894 to encompass the proliferating women’s organizations that had sprung up since the 1860s.
From the beginning the BDF was a bourgeois organization, its members working toward equality with men in such areas as education, financial opportunities, and political life.
Working-class women were not welcome; they were organized by the Socialists.
German City Street Scene
Bismarck built on a tradition of welfare programs in Prussia and Saxony that began as early as in the 1840s.
In the 1880s he introduced old age pensions, accident insurance, medical care and unemployment insurance that formed the basis of the modern European welfare state.
His paternalistic programs won the support of German industry because its goals were to win the support of the working classes for the Empire and reduce the outflow of immigrants to America, where wages were higher, but welfare did not exist.
Bismarck further won the support of both industry and skilled workers by his high tariff policies, which protected profits and wages from American competition, although they alienated the liberal intellectuals who wanted free trade.
After achieving formal unification in 1871, Bismarck devoted much of his attention to the cause of national unity under the ideology of Prussianism.
He opposed conservative Catholic activism and emancipation, especially the powers of the Vatican under Pope Pius IX, and working class radicalism, represented by the emerging Social Democratic Party.

Kulturkampf

Prussia in 1871 included 16,000,000 Protestants, both Reformed and Lutheran, and 8,000,000 Catholics. Most people were generally segregated into their own religious worlds, living in rural districts or city neighborhoods that were overwhelmingly of the same religion, and sending their children to separate public schools where their religion was taught.
There was little interaction or intermarriage.
On the whole, the Protestants had a higher social status, and the Catholics were more likely to be peasant farmers or unskilled or semiskilled industrial workers.
Pope Pius IX
In 1870, the Catholics formed their own political party, the Centre Party, which generally supported unification and most of Bismarck’s policies, however, Bismarck distrusted parliamentary democracy in general and opposition parties in particular, especially when the Centre Party showed signs of gaining support among dissident elements such as the Polish Catholics in Silesia.
A powerful intellectual force of the time was anti-Catholicism, led by the liberal intellectuals who formed a vital part of Bismarck’s coalition.
They saw the Catholic Church as a powerful force of reaction and anti-modernity, especially after the proclamation of papal infallibility in 1870, and the tightening control of the Vatican over the local bishops.
The Kulturkampf launched by Bismarck 1871–1880 affected Prussia; although there were similar movements in Baden and Hesse, the rest of Germany was not affected.
According to the new imperial constitution, the states were in charge of religious and educational affairs; they funded the Protestant and Catholic schools.
German Junior School
In July 1871 Bismarck abolished the Catholic section of the Prussian Ministry of ecclesiastical and educational affairs, depriving Catholics of their voice at the highest level.
The system of strict government supervision of schools was applied only in Catholic areas; the Protestant schools were left alone.
Much more serious were the May laws of 1873.
One made the appointment of any priest dependent on his attendance at a German university, as opposed to the seminaries that the Catholics typically used.
Furthermore, all candidates for the ministry had to pass an examination in German culture before a state board which weeded out intransigent Catholics.
Another provision gave the government a veto power over most church activities.
A second law abolished the jurisdiction of the Vatican over the Catholic Church in Prussia; its authority was transferred to a government body controlled by Protestants.
Nearly all German bishops, clergy, and laymen rejected the legality of the new laws, and were defiant in the face of heavier and heavier penalties and imprisonments imposed by Bismarck’s government by 1876, all the Prussian bishops were imprisoned or in exile, and a third of the Catholic parishes were without a priest.
In the face of systematic defiance, the Bismarck government increased the penalties and its attacks, and were challenged in 1875 when a papal encyclical declared the whole ecclesiastical legislation of Prussia was invalid, and threatened to excommunicate any Catholic who obeyed.
There was no violence, but the Catholics mobilized their support, set up numerous civic organizations, raised money to pay fines, and rallied behind their church and the Centre Party.
The government had set up an “Old-Catholic Church,” which attracted only a few thousand members. Bismarck, a devout pietistic Protestant, realized his Kulturkampf was backfiring when secular and socialist elements used the opportunity to attack all religion.
In the long run, the most significant result was the mobilization of the Catholic voters, and their insistence on protecting their religious identity.
In the elections of 1874, the Centre party doubled its popular vote, and became the second-largest party in the national parliament—and remained a powerful force for the next 60 years, so that after Bismarck it became difficult to form a government without their support.

Social Reform

Bismarck built on a tradition of welfare programs in Prussia and Saxony that began as early as in the 1840s. In the 1880s he introduced old age pensions, accident insurance, medical care and unemployment insurance that formed the basis of the modern European welfare state.
He came to realize that this sort of policy was very appealing, since it bound workers to the state, and also fit in very well with his authoritarian nature.
The social security systems installed by Bismarck (health care in 1883, accident insurance in 1884, invalidity and old-age insurance in 1889) at the time were the largest in the world and, to a degree, still exist in Germany today.
Bismarck’s paternalistic programs won the support of German industry because its goals were to win the support of the working classes for the Empire and reduce the outflow of immigrants to America, where wages were higher but welfare did not exist.
Bismarck further won the support of both industry and skilled workers by his high tariff policies, which protected profits and wages from American competition, although they alienated the liberal intellectuals who wanted free trade.

Germanisation

Rathaus Posen – 1900
One of the effects of the unification policies was the gradually increasing tendency to eliminate the use of non-German languages in public life, schools and academic settings with the intent of pressuring the non-German population to abandon their national identity in what was called “Germanization”.
These policies had often the reverse effect of stimulating resistance, usually in the form of home schooling and tighter unity in the minority groups, especially the Poles.
The Germanization policies were targeted particularly against the significant Polish minority of the empire, gained by Prussia in the Partitions of Poland.
Poles were treated as a ethnic minority even where they made up the majority, as in the Province of Posen, where a series of anti-Polish measures was enforced.
Numerous anti-Polish laws had no great effect especially in the province of Posen where the German-speaking population dropped from 42.8% in 1871 to 38.1% in 1905, despite all efforts.

Law

Bismarck’s efforts also initiated the levelling of the enormous differences between the German states, which had been independent in their evolution for centuries, especially with legislation.
The completely different legal histories and judicial systems posed enormous complications, especially for national trade.
While a common trade code had already been introduced by the Confederation in 1861 (which was adapted for the Empire and, with great modifications, is still in effect today), there was little similarity in laws otherwise.
In 1871, a common Criminal Code (Reichsstrafgesetzbuch) was introduced; in 1877, common court procedures were established in the court system (Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz), civil procedures (Zivilprozessordnung) and criminal procedures (Strafprozessordnung).
In 1873 the constitution was amended to allow the Empire to replace the various and greatly differing Civil Codes of the states (If they existed at all; for example, parts of Germany formerly occupied by Napoleon’s France had adopted the French Civil Code, while in Prussia the Allgemeines Preußisches Landrecht of 1794 was still in effect).
In 1881, a first commission was established to produce a common Civil Code for all of the Empire, an enormous effort that would produce the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB), possibly one of the most impressive legal works of the world; it was eventually put into effect on 1 January 1900.
It speaks volumes for the conceptual quality of these codifications that they all, albeit with many amendments, are still in effect today.
YEAR OF THE THREE EMPERORS
Kaiser Frederich III
Kaiser Wilhelm I

On 9 March 1888, Wilhelm I died shortly before his 91st birthday, leaving his son Frederick III as the new emperor.

Frederick was a liberal and an admirer of the British constitution, while his links to Britain strengthened further with his marriage to Princess Victoria, eldest child of Queen Victoria.
With his ascent to the throne, many hoped that Frederick’s reign would lead to a liberalisation of the Reich and an increase of parliament’s influence on the political process.
The dismissal of Robert von Puttkamer, the highly-conservative Prussian interior minister, on 8 June was a sign of the expected direction and a blow to Bismarck’s administration.
By the time of his accession, however, Frederick had developed incurable laryngeal cancer, which had been diagnosed in 1887.
He died on the 99th day of his rule, on 15 June 1888.

His son Wilhelm II became Kaiser.
WILHELMINE  ERA
Kaiser Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II sought to reassert his ruling prerogatives at a time when other monarchs in Europe were being transformed into constitutional figureheads.

This decision led the ambitious Kaiser into conflict with Bismarck.
The old chancellor had hoped to guide Wilhelm as he had guided his grandfather, but the emperor wanted to be the master in his own house and had many sycophants telling him that Frederick the Great would not have been great with a Bismarck at his side.
Otto Eduard Leopold Fürst von Bismarck
Herzog von Lauenburg

A key difference between Wilhelm II and Bismarck was their approaches to handling political crises, especially in 1889, when German coal miners went on strike in Upper Silesia.

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative German statesman who dominated European affairs from the 1860s to his dismissal in 1890. In 1871, after a series of short victorious wars, he unified most of the German states (whilst excluding some, most notably Austria) into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership.  This created a balance of power that preserved peace in Europe from 1871 until 1914.
As ‘Minister President of Prussia’ 1862–90, Bismarck provoked wars that made Prussia dominant over Austria and France, and lined up the smaller German states behind Prussia. In 1867 he also became Chancellor of the North German Confederation. Otto von Bismarck became the first Chancellor of a united Germany after the 1871 Treaty of Versailles and largely controlled its affairs until he was removed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1890. His diplomacy of Realpolitik and powerful rule gained him the nickname the “Iron Chancellor“. 

Bismarck demanded that the German Army be sent in to crush the strike, but Wilhelm II rejected this authoritarian measure, responding “I do not wish to stain my reign with the blood of my subjects.

Instead of condoning repression, Wilhelm had the government negotiate with a delegation from the coal miners, which brought the strike to an end without violence.
The fractious relationship ended in March 1890, after Wilhelm II and Bismarck quarrelled, and the chancellor resigned days later.
Bismarck’s last few years had seen power slip from his hands as he grew older, more irritable, more authoritarian, and less focused.
German politics had become progressively more chaotic, and the chancellor understood this better than anyone, but unlike Wilhelm II and his generation, Bismarck knew well that an ungovernable country with an adventurous foreign policy was a recipe for disaster.
With Bismarck’s departure, Wilhelm II became the dominant ruler of Germany.

Walther Rathenau

Unlike his grandfather, Wilhelm I, who had been largely content to leave government affairs to the chancellor, Wilhelm II wanted to be fully informed and actively involved in running Germany, not an ornamental figurehead.

Wilhelm allowed politician Walther Rathenau to tutor him in European economics and industrial and financial realities in Europe.

Walther Rathenau (September 29, 1867 – June 24, 1922) was a German industrialist, politician, writer, and statesman who served as Foreign Minister of Germany during the Weimar Republic. He was assassinated on June 24, 1922, two months after the signing of the Treaty of Rapallo, 1922.

Bismarkean foreign policy “was too sedate for the reckless Kaiser.”
Wilhelm became internationally notorious for his aggressive stance on foreign policy and his strategic blunders (such as the Tangier Crisis), which pushed the German Empire into growing political isolation.
_____________________________________________________________________
GERMAN ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE and LITERATURE
in the KAISERREICH

‘William I Departs for the Front, July 31, 1870’
Adolph Menzel

ART
Biedermeier Style
‘Biedermeier’ refers to a style in literature, music, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the revolutions of 1848.
Biedermeier art appealed to the prosperous middle classes by detailed but polished realism, often celebrating domestic virtues, and came to dominate over French-leaning aristocratic tastes, as well as the yearnings of Romanticism. Carl Spitzweg was a leading German artist in the style.
‘Eisenwalzwerk – Ironworks’
Adolph Menzel
This style continued to be popular throughout the Kaiserreich and Wilhelmine period.
In the second half of the 19th century a number of styles developed, paralleling trends in other European counties, though the lack of a dominant capital city probably contributed to even more diversity of styles than in other countries.
Adolph Menzel enjoyed enormous popularity both among the German public and officialdom; at his funeral Kaiser Wilhelm II walked behind his coffin.
He dramaticised past and contemporary Prussian military successes both in paintings and brilliant wood engravings illustrating books, yet his domestic subjects are intimate and touching.
‘Coronation of Prince Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig of Hohenzollern
as King Wilhelm I of Prussia – Schlosskirche, Königsberg’
Adolph Menzel
His popularity in his native country, owing especially to politically propagandistic works, was such that few of his major paintings left Germany, as many were quickly acquired by museums in Berlin. Menzel’s graphic works and drawings were more widely disseminated; these, along with informal paintings not initially intended for display, have largely accounted for his posthumous reputation.
‘Hirtenknabe’
Franz von Lenbach
Karl von Piloty was a leading academic painter of history subjects in the latter part of the century who taught in Munich.
Among his more famous pupils were Hans Makart, Franz von Lenbach, Franz Defregger, Gabriel von Max and Eduard von Grützner.
The term “Munich school” is used both of German and of Greek painting, after Greeks like Georgios Jakobides studied under him.
‘Gekreuzigten Diebe’
(Crucified Thief) – 1893
Lovis Corinth
Lovis Corinth – ‘Self Portrait’
The ‘Berlin Secession’ was a group founded in 1898 by painters including Max Liebermann, who broadly shared the artistic approach of Manet and the French Impressionists, and Lovis Corinth then still painting in a naturalistic style.
The group survived until the 1930s, despite splits, and its regular exhibitions helped launch the next two generations of Berlin artists, without imposing a particular style.
Near the end of the century, the Benedictine Beuron Art School developed a style, mostly for religious murals, in rather muted colours, with a medievalist interest in pattern that drew from Les Nabis and in some ways looked forward to Art Nouveau or the Jugendstil (“Youth Style”) as it is known in German.
‘Das Heilige Herz Jesu’
(The Sacred Heart of Jesus)
Wuger Steiner
The Beuron art school was founded by a confederation of Benedictine monks in Germany in the late nineteenth century.
Beuronese art is principally known for its murals with “muted, tranquil and seemingly mysterious colouring”.


‘Sede Sapietiae’

Though several different principles were in competition to form the canon for the school, “the most significant principle or canon of the Beuronese school is the role which geometry played in determining proportions.” Lenz elaborated the philosophy and canon of a new artistic direction, which was based on the elements of ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and early Christian art.
Beuronese art had a large influence on the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. In 1898, shortly after the beginning of the Vienna Secession, Father Desiderius Lenz had his book published – ‘Zur Aesthetic der Beuroner Schule’ (On the Aesthetics of the Beuron School). It is assumed that Klimt will have read Lenz’s work with enthusiasm and images of the Beuron Abbey, for instance, may show sections of the decorated ceiling which appear to have made quite a direct impact on Klimt’s decorative, golden paintings.
‘Kreuzigung’
(Crucifiction)
Franz von Stuck
‘Geist des Sieges’
(The Spirit of Victory)
Franz von Stuck
Two of the greatest artists of the Wilhelmine age were Franz von Stuck and Max Klinger – who today are often described as German Symbolists.
Franz Stuck (February 24, 1863 – August 30, 1928), ennobled as Franz Ritter von Stuck in 1906, was a German symbolist/Art Nouveau painter, sculptor, engraver, and architect.
Stuck’s subject matter was primarily from mythology, inspired by the work of Arnold Böcklin. Large forms dominate most of his paintings and indicate his proclivities for sculpture.
‘Selbstportrait’
Franz von Stuck
His seductive female nudes are a prime example of popular Symbolist content.
Stuck paid much attention to the frames for his paintings and generally designed them himself with such careful use of panels, gilt carving and inscriptions that the frames must be considered as an integral part of the overall piece.
The number of Stuck’s pupils who achieved great success served to enhance the teacher’s own fame.
Yet by the time of his death, Stuck’s importance as an artist in his own right had lapsed.
Stuck’s reputation languished until the late 1960s when a renewed interest in Art Nouveau brought him to attention once more.
In 1968 the Villa Stuck was opened to the public; it is now a museum.

‘Der Arbend’
(Evening)
Max Klinger

Max Klinger (February 18, 1857 – July 5, 1920) was a German Symbolist painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer.
Klinger was born in Leipzig and studied in Karlsruhe.
An admirer of the etchings of Menzel and Goya, he shortly became a skilled and imaginative engraver in his own right.
He began creating sculptures in the early 1880s.
From 1883-1893 he lived in Rome, and became increasingly influenced by the Italian Renaissance and antiquity.
Ludwig Fahrenkrog is an example of the way that art, politics and religion became interwoven during the Wilhelmine period, leading up to the ‘Great war’.

‘Schicksal’
(Fate)
Ludwig Fahrenkrog

Ludwig Fahrenkrog (20 October 1867 – 27 October 1952) was a German writer, playwright and artist.
He was born in Rendsburg, Prussia, in 1867.
He started his career as an artist in his youth, and attended the Berlin Royal Art Academy before being appointed a professor in 1913.
He taught at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bremen from 1898 to 1931.
He was also involved in the founding of a series of folkish religious groups in the early 20th century, as part of a movement to create what its adherents referred to as the Germanische Glaubens Gemeinschaft.

‘Die heilige Stunde’
(The Holy Hour)
Ludwig Fahrenkrog

Fahrenkrog was trained in the classical tradition, and had a successful artistic career.
His style, however, was more dependent on Art Nouveau and Symbolist influences than on the classical tradition, and he always stressed the religious nature and mission of art.

Thule Swastika
German Faith Movement

The “religious mission” in question is the revival of the pre-Christian Germanic faith and the rejection of Christianity, which is hinted at in paintings such as ‘Lucifer’s Lossage von Gott’ (Lucifer’s Renunciation of God, 1898).
While Fahrenkrog’s work can be seen in the context of contemporary art movements, it was also strongly influenced by his participation in the religious movement taking place at the same time.
The emblem of German Faith Movement was the curved (Thule) swastika, which was one of the first examples of the use of this symbol which was to be  associated with the Dritte Reich.

‘Im walde – Des-Knaben Wunderhorn’
Moritz von Schwind
‘Rose’
Moritz von Schwind

There was a tendency in the Kaiserreich to idealize the middle ages.
This tendancy is to be found in literature, architecture (Ludwig II), and the visual arts.
Moritz von Schwind, (January 21, 1804 – February 8, 1871) although technically an Austrian, produced works for the German market, including the Bavarian king Ludwig II.
In 1834 he was commissioned to decorate King Ludwig’s new palace with wall paintings illustrating the works of the poet Tieck.
He also found in the same place congenial sport for his fancy in a “Kinderfries”.
He was often busy working on almanacs, and on illustrating Goethe and other writers through which he gained considerable recognition and employment.
In the revival of art in Germany, Schwind held as his own the sphere of poetic fancy.

MUSIC
Wotan und Brunhilde
Richard Wagner
Early in the 19th century, a composer by the name of Richard Wagner was born.
He was a “Musician of the Future” who disliked the strict traditionalist styles of music.
He is credited with developing leitmotivs which were simple recurring themes found in his operas.
His music changed the course of opera, and of music in general, forever.
Wagner’s use of ancient German mythology in his ‘Ring’ cycle was a considerable boot to the growing nationalism of the Kaiserreich, and his last work, the sacred music drama ‘Parsifal’, created a link between German nationalism and quasi-Christian sentiments.
Parsifal and the Flower Maidens
In general the music of Wagner provided a strong stimulus for the emerging and developing Völkisch movement which had become fashionable among the educated middle and upper classes in the Kaiserreich.
The later 19th century saw Vienna continue its elevated position in European classical music, as well as a burst of popularity with Viennese waltzes.
These were composed by people like Johann Strauss the Younger.
Other German composers from the period included Albert Lortzing, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Anton Bruckner, Max Bruch, Gustav Mahler, and the great Richard Strauss.
These composers tended to mix classic and romantic elements.
Salome – Richard Strauss
von Stuck
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras.
He is known for his operas, which include ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ and ‘Salome’; his lieder, especially his ‘Four Last Songs’; and his tone poems and other orchestral works, such as ‘Death and Transfiguration’, ‘Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks’, ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’, ‘An Alpine Symphony’, Symphonia Domestica and ‘Metamorphosen’.
Strauss was also a prominent conductor throughout Germany and Austria.
Strauss represents the great late flowering of German Romanticism after Richard Wagner in which pioneering subtleties of orchestration are combined with an advanced harmonic style.
ARCHITECTURE
In architecture, Historicism (historismus), sometimes known as eclecticism, is an artistic and architectural style that draws inspiration from historic styles or craftmanship.
After the neo-classicist period (which could itself be considered a historicist movement), a new historicist phase emerged in the middle of the 19th century, marked by a return to a more ancient classicism, in particular in architecture and in the genre of history painting.
Gottfried Semper
Münchner Festspielhaus
An important architect of this period was Gottfried Semper, who built the gallery (1855) at the Zwinger Palace and the Semper Opera (1878) in Dresden.
The building has features derived from the Early Renaissance style, Baroque and even features Corinthian style pillars typical of classical Greece (classical revival).
There were regional variants of this style.
Examples are the resort architecture (especially on the German Baltic coast), the Hanover School of Architecture and the Nuremberg style.
 ‘Altes Museum’ – Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Karl Friedrich Schinkel (13 March 1781 – 9 October 1841) was a Prussian architect, city planner, and painter who also designed furniture and stage sets.
Schinkel was one of the most prominent architects of Germany and designed both neoclassical and neogothic buildings, and was a strong influence on building styles in the Kaiserreich.
Neue Wache – Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Schinkel’s style, in his most productive period, is defined by a turn to Greek rather than Imperial Roman architecture, an attempt to turn away from the style that was linked to the recent French occupiers. (Thus, he is a noted proponent of the Greek Revival.)
His most famous buildings are found in and around Berlin.
These include Neue Wache (1816–1818),
The Neue Wache (“New Guard House”) is a building in Berlin. It is located on the north side of the ‘Unter den Linden’, a major east-west thoroughfare in the centre of the city.

Schauspielhaus – Berlin – 1821 – Karl Friedrich Schinkel 
Dating from 1816, the Neue Wache was designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and is a leading example of German neoclassicism. Originally built as a guardhouse for the troops of the Crown Prince of Prussia, the building has been used as a war memorial since 1931.
National Monument for the Liberation Wars (1818–1821), the Schauspielhaus (1819–1821) at the Gendarmenmarkt, which replaced the earlier theatre that was destroyed by fire in 1817, and the ‘Altes Museum’ (old museum) on Museum Island (1823–1830).
He also carried out improvements to the Crown Prince’s Palace.
Later, Schinkel moved away from classicism altogether, embracing the Neo-Gothic in his Friedrichswerder Church (1824–1831).
Schloss Neuschwanstein under Construction
The predilection for medieval buildings has its most famous exemplar in the castle of Neuschwanstein, which Ludwig II commissioned in 1869.
Neuschwanstein was designed by Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer, which possibly explains the fantastical nature of the resulting building.
Christian Jank (1833–1888), was a German sce­nic pain­ter no­ta­ble for his pa­lace de­signs for King Lud­wig II of Bavaria.
Christian Jank
Jank was born on 15 July 1833 in Munich, the Bavarian ca­pi­tal.
Here he ori­gi­nally worked as a scenic painter. Among other things he was in­vol­ved in the sce­nery for Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin. His work pi­qued the in­te­rest of Lud­wig II, who com­mis­sio­ned him to create con­cepts for his ar­chi­tec­tu­ral pro­jects in­spi­red by Wag­ner. Jank’s historistic drafts were the basis for Neuschwanstein Castle, which was built star­ting in 1869 by Eduard Riedel and later Georg von Dollmann. Jank was also in­vol­ved in the in­te­rior of Linderhof Palace. His con­cepts for Falkenstein Castle could not be rea­li­zed, as the pro­ject was aban­do­ned after the king’s death in 1886. Jank him­s­elf died in Mu­nich on 25 No­vem­ber 1888.
The architectural expertise, vital to a building in such a perilous site, was provided first by the Munich court architect Eduard Riedel and later by Georg Dollmann, son-in-law of Leo von Klenze.
There is also Ulm Cathedral, and at the end of the period the Reichstag building (1894) by Paul Wallot.
‘Jugend’ – January 1900
The Art Nouveau style is commonly known by its German name, Jugendstil.
Drawing from traditional German printmaking, the style uses precise and hard edges, an element that was rather different from the naturalistic style of the time.
The movement was centered in Hamburg
Within the field of Jugendstil art, there is a variety of different methods, applied by the various individual artists. Methods range from classic to romantic.
One feature that sets Jugendstil apart is the typography used, whose letter and image combination is unmistakable.
‘Der Kuss’ – Peter Behrens
The combination was used for covers of novels, advertisements, and exhibition posters.
Designers often used unique display typefaces that worked harmoniously with the image.
Henry Van de Velde, who worked most of his career in Germany, was a Belgian theorist who influenced many others to continue in this style of graphic art including Peter Behrens, Hermann Obrist, and Richard Riemerschmid.
August Endell is another notable Art Nouveau designer.
Magazines were important in spreading the visual idiom of Jugendstil, especially the graphical qualities. Besides Jugend, other important ones were the satirical Simplicissimus and Pan.
Young Germany (Junges Deutschland) was a loose group of Vormärz writers which existed from about 1830 to 1850.
It was essentially a youth movement (similar to those that had swept France and Ireland and originated in Italy).
Its main proponents were Karl Gutzkow, Heinrich Laube, Theodor Mundt and Ludolf Wienbarg; Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Börne and Georg Büchner were also considered part of the movement.
The wider circle included Willibald Alexis, Adolf Glassbrenner and Gustav Kühne.
The so-called Biedermeier poets reacted by withdrawing into the realm of the family and idyllic nature.
Heinrich Heine
This resignation was replaced in the poems of Heinrich Heine by new political directions and a realistic outlook.
Many writers had to go into exile after the revolution of 1848, among them Karl Marx and Carl Schurz. Throughout the 19th century the forms introduced by Goethe and Schiller prevailed: in poetry, the Lied derived from folksongs; in drama, the historical tragedy in blank verse; in prose, the novella, an artistically structured story centered on an extraordinary event.
Annette Elisabeth von Droste-Hulshoff and Eduard Morike were the leading poets; Franz Grillparzer and Christian Friedrich Hebbel, the dramatists; Jeremias Gotthelf, Gottfried Keller, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Wilhelm Raabe, Adalbert Stifter, and Theodor Storm, the storytellers.
Far ahead of his time was Georg Buchner, who rejected bourgeois values and wrote such plays as Woyzeck (1850; Eng. trans., 1957), in which he anticipated modern styles.
Georg Hegel
Literature in the Reich was not only restricted to poetry, novels and biography, however.
Germany became, during this period, a world leader in philosophy.
Hegel was the precursor of these great philosophers.
He was followed by Arthur Schopenhauer, and later Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher, and a major figure in German Idealism.
His historicist and idealist account of reality revolutionized European philosophy. He was considered to be the ‘official philosopher’ of the Prussian State.
Hegel developed a comprehensive philosophical framework, or “system”, of Absolute idealism to account in an integrated and developmental way for the relation of mind and nature, the subject and object of knowledge, psychology, the state, history, art, religion, and philosophy.
In particular, he developed the concept that ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’ manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other. This concept is known as dialectic.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher best known for his book, ‘Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung’, in which he claimed that our world is driven by a continually dissatisfied will, continually seeking satisfaction.
A key focus of Schopenhauer was his investigation of individual motivation. Before Schopenhauer, Hegel had popularized the concept of Zeitgeist, the idea that society consisted of a collective consciousness which moved in a distinct direction, dictating the actions of its members. Schopenhauer, a reader of both Kant and Hegel, criticized their logical optimism and the belief that individual morality could be determined by society and reason. Schopenhauer believed that humans were motivated by only their own basic desires, or Wille zum Leben (“Will to Live”), which directed all of mankind.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist.
He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony, and aphorism.
Nietzsche’s key ideas include the “death of God,” the ‘Übermensch’, ‘the eternal recurrence’, ‘the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy’, ‘perspectivism’, and ‘der Wille zur Macht’ (the will to power).
Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation”, which involves questioning of all doctrines that drain life’s expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be.
His influence remains substantial within philosophy, notably in existentialism, post-modernism, and post-structuralism, as well as outside it.
His radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth has been the focus of extensive commentary, especially in the continental tradition.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Physics  –  The work of Albert Einstein and Max Planck was crucial to the foundation of modern physics, which Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrödinger developed further.
They were preceded by such key physicists as Hermann von Helmholtz, and Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, among others.
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered X-rays, an accomplishment that made him the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 and eventually earned him an element name, roentgenium.
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz’s work in the domain of electromagnetic radiation were pivotal to the development of modern telecommunication.
Mathematical aerodynamics was developed in Germany, especially by Ludwig Prandtl.
At the start of the 20th century, Germany garnered fourteen of the first thirty-one Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, starting with Hermann Emil Fischer in 1901.
Numerous important mathematicians were born in Germany, including Gauss, Hilbert, Riemann, Weierstrass, Dirichlet and Weyl.
Germany has been the home of many famous inventors and engineers, such as Hans Geiger, the creator of the Geiger counter; and Konrad Zuse, who built the first computer.
Gottlieb Daimler
Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin
German inventors, engineers and industrialists such as Zeppelin, Daimler, Diesel, Otto, and Benz helped shape modern automotive and air transportation technology including the beginnings of space travel.
Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin (also known as Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin – 8 July 1838 – 8 March 1917) was a German general, and later aircraft manufacturer. He founded the Zeppelin Airship company. He was born in Konstanz, Grand Duchy of Baden (now part of Baden-Württemberg, Germany).
Gottlieb Daimler ( March 17, 1834 – March 6, 1900) was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development. He invented the high-speed petrol engine and the first four-wheel automobile.
Alexander von Humboldt’s (1769–1859) work as a natural scientist and explorer was foundational to biogeography.
Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) was an eclectic Russian-born botanist and climatologist who synthesized global relationships between climate, vegetation and soil types into a classification system that is used, with some modifications, to this day.
Alfred Wegener (1880–1930), a similarly interdisciplinary scientist, was one of the first people to hypothesize the theory of continental drift which was later developed into the overarching geological theory of plate tectonics.
Wilhelm Wundt is credited with the establishment of psychology as an independent empirical science through his construction of the first laboratory at the University of Leipzig in 1879.
Sigmund Freud, who was in fact Austrian, was the inventor of the dream deutung.

Domestic Affairs
Under Wilhelm II, Germany no longer had long-ruling strong chancellors like Bismarck.
The new chancellors had difficulty in performing their roles, especially the additional role as Prime Minister of Prussia assigned to them in the German Constitution.
The reforms of Chancellor Leo von Caprivi, which liberalized trade, and so reduced unemployment, were supported by the Kaiser and most Germans except for Prussian landowners, who feared loss of land and power and launched several campaigns against the reforms.
While Prussian aristocrats challenged the demands of a united German state, in the 1890s several organizations were set up to challenge the authoritarian conservative Prussian militarism which was being imposed on the country.
Educators opposed to the German state-run schools, which emphasized military education, set up their own independent liberal schools, which encouraged individuality and freedom, however nearly all the schools in Imperial Germany had a very high standard and kept abreast with modern developments in knowledge.
Artists began experimental art in opposition to Kaiser Wilhelm’s support for traditional art, to which Wilhelm responded “art which transgresses the laws and limits laid down by me can no longer be called art.”
It was largely thanks to Wilhelm’s influence that most printed material in Germany used ‘blackletter’ (fraktur) instead of the Roman type used in the rest of Western Europe.
At the same time, a new generation of cultural creators emerged.
From the 1890s onwards, the most effective opposition to the monarchy came from the newly formed Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which advocated Marxism.
The threat of the SPD to the German monarchy and industrialists caused the state both to crack down on the party’s supporters and to implement its own programme of social reform to soothe discontent.
Germany’s large industries provided significant social welfare programmes and good care to their employees, as long as they were not identified as socialists or trade-union members.
The larger industrial firms provided pensions, sickness benefits and even housing to their employees.
Having learned from the failure of Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, Wilhelm II maintained good relations with the Roman Catholic Church and concentrated on opposing socialism.
This policy failed when the Social Democrats won ⅓ of the votes in the 1912 elections to the Reichstag, and became the largest political party in Germany.
Feldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg
Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff
The government remained in the hands of a succession of conservative coalitions supported by right-wing liberals or Catholic clerics and heavily dependent on the Kaiser’s favour.
During World War I, the Kaiser increasingly devolved his powers to the leaders of the German High Command, particularly future President of Germany, Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff.
Hindenburg took over the role of commander–in–chief from the Kaiser, while Ludendorff became de facto general chief of staff.
By 1916, Germany was effectively a military dictatorship run by Hindenburg and Ludendorff, with the Kaiser reduced to a mere figurehead.
Foreign Affairs
Wilhelm II wanted Germany to have her “place in the sun,” like Britain, which he constantly wished to emulate or rival.
With German traders and merchants already active worldwide, he encouraged colonial efforts in Africa and the Pacific (“new imperialism”), causing the German Empire to vie with other European powers for remaining “unclaimed” territories.
With the encouragement or at least the acquiescence of Britain, which at this stage saw Germany as a counterweight to her old rival France, Germany acquired German Southwest Africa (today Namibia), German Kamerun (Cameroon), Togoland and German East Africa (the mainland part of current Tanzania). Islands were gained in the Pacific through purchase and treaties and also a 99-year lease for the territory of Kiautschou in northeast China.
But of these German colonies only Togoland and German Samoa (after 1908) became self-sufficient and profitable; all the others required subsidies from the Berlin treasury for building infrastructure, school systems, hospitals and other institutions.
Bismarck had originally dismissed the agitation for colonies with contempt; he favoured a Eurocentric foreign policy, as the treaty arrangements made during his tenure in office show.
As a latecomer to colonization, Germany repeatedly came into conflict with the established colonial powers and also with the United States, which opposed German attempts at colonial expansion in both the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Native insurrections in German territories received prominent coverage in other countries, especially in Britain; the established powers had dealt with such uprisings decades earlier, often brutally, and had secured firm control of their colonies by then.
The Boxer Rising in China, which the Chinese government eventually sponsored, began in the Shandong province, in part because Germany, as colonizer at Kiautschou, was an untested power and had only been active there for two years.
Eight western nations, including the United States, mounted a joint relief force to rescue westerners caught up in the rebellion.
On two occasions, a French-German conflict over the fate of Morocco seemed inevitable.
Upon acquiring Southwest Africa, German settlers were encouraged to cultivate land held by the Herero and Nama. Herero and Nama tribal lands were used for a variety of exploitive goals (much as the British did before in Rhodesia), including farming, ranching, and mining for minerals and diamonds.
In 1904, the Herero and the Nama revolted against the colonists in Southwest Africa, killing farm families, their laborers and servants.
In response to the attacks, troops were dispatched to quell the uprising.

Middle East

Bismarck, and Wilhelm II after him, sought closer economic ties with the Ottoman Empire.
Under Wilhelm, with the financial backing of the Deutsche Bank, the Baghdad Railway was begun in 1900, although by 1914 it was still 500 km (310 mi) short of its destination in Baghdad.
In an interview with Wilhelm in 1899, Cecil Rhodes had tried “to convince the Kaiser that the future of the German empire abroad lay in the Middle East” and not in Africa; with a grand Middle-Eastern empire, Germany could afford to allow Britain the unhindered completion of the Cape-to-Cairo railway that Rhodes favoured.
Britain initially supported the Baghdad Railway; but by 1911 British statesmen came to fear it might be extended to Basra on the Persian Gulf, threatening Britain’s naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean. Accordingly they asked to have construction halted, to which Germany and the Ottoman Empire acquiesced.

Europe

Wilhelm II and his advisers committed a fatal diplomatic error when they allowed the “Reinsurance Treaty” that Bismarck had negotiated with Tsarist Russia to lapse.
Germany was left with no firm ally but Austria-Hungary, and her support for action in annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 further soured relations with Russia.
Wilhelm missed the opportunity to secure an alliance with Britain in the 1890s, when it was involved in colonial rivalries with France, and he alienated British statesmen further by openly supporting the Boers in the South African War and building a navy to rival Britain’s.
By 1911 Wilhelm had completely picked apart the careful power balance established by Bismarck and Britain turned to France in the Entente Cordiale.
Germany’s only other ally besides Austria was the Kingdom of Italy, but it remained an ally only pro forma. When war came, Italy saw more benefit in an alliance with Britain, France, and Russia, which, in the secret Treaty of London in 1915 promised it the frontier districts of Austria, where Italians formed the majority of the population, and also colonial concessions.
Germany did acquire a second ally that same year when the Ottoman Empire entered the war on its side, but in the long run supporting the Ottoman war effort only drained away German resources from the main fronts.

THE CAUSES OF THE ‘GREAT WAR’
The causes of World War I, which began in central Europe in late July 1914, included intertwined factors, such as the conflicts and hostility of the four decades leading up to the war. Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism played major roles in the conflict as well.
The immediate origins of the war, however, lay in the decisions taken by statesmen and generals during the Crisis of 1914, ‘casus belli’ for which was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife by Gavrilo Princip, an irredentist Serb.
The crisis came after a long and difficult series of diplomatic clashes between the Great Powers (Italy, France, Germany, the British Empire, the Austria-Hungarian Empire and Russia) over European and colonial issues in the decade before 1914 that had left tensions high.
In turn these diplomatic clashes can be traced to changes in the balance of power in Europe since 1867.
The more immediate cause for the war was tensions over territory in the Balkans.
Austria-Hungary competed with Serbia and Russia for territory and influence in the region, and they pulled the rest of the Great Powers into the conflict through their various alliances and treaties.

Background
In November 1912, Russia was humiliated because of its inability to support Serbia during the Bosnian crisis of 1908 – also known as the ‘First Balkan War’, and announced a major reconstruction of its military.
On November 28, German Foreign Secretary Gottlieb von Jagow told the Reichstag, that “If Austria is forced, for whatever reason, to fight for its position as a Great Power, then we must stand by her.
As a result, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey responded by warning Prince Karl Lichnowsky, the Germany Ambassador in London, that if Germany offered Austria a “blank cheque” for war in the Balkans, then “the consequences of such a policy would be incalculable.”
To reinforce this point, R. B. Haldane, the Germanophile Lord Chancellor, met with Prince Lichnowsky to offer an explicit warning that if Germany were to attack France, Britain would intervene in France’s favor.
With the recently announced Russian military reconstruction and certain British communications, the possibility of war was a leading topic at the German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912 in Berlin, an informal meeting of some of Germany’s top military leadership called on short notice by the Kaiser.
Attending the conference were Kaiser Wilhelm II, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz – the Naval State Secretary, Admiral Georg Alexander von Müller, the Chief of the German Imperial Naval Cabinet (Marinekabinett), General von Moltke – the Army’s Chief of Staff, Admiral August von Heeringen – the Chief of the Naval General Staff and General Moriz von Lyncker, the Chief of the German Imperial Military Cabinet.
The presence of the leaders of both the German Army and Navy at this War Council attests to its importance, however, Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg and General Josias von Heeringen, the Prussian Minister of War, were not invited.
Wilhelm II called British ‘balance of power’ concept “idiocy,” but agreed that Haldane’s statement was a “desirable clarification” of British policy.
His opinion was that Austria should attack that December and/ if “Russia supports the Serbs, which she evidently does…then war would be unavoidable for us, too,” and that would be better than going to war after Russia completed the massive modernization and expansion of their army that they had just begun. Moltke agreed.
In his professional military opinion “a war is unavoidable and the sooner the better“.
Moltke “wanted to launch an immediate attack“.
Both Wilhelm II and the Army leadership agreed that if a war were necessary it were best launched soon. Admiral Tirpitz, however, asked for a “postponement of the great fight for one and a half years” because the Navy was not ready for a general war that included Britain as an opponent.
He insisted that the completion of the construction of the U-boat base at Heligoland and the widening of the Kiel Canal were the Navy’s prerequisites for war.
The date for completion of the widening of the Kiel Canal was the summer of 1914.
Though Moltke objected to the postponement of the war as unacceptable, Wilhelm sided with Tirpitz. Moltke “agreed to a postponement only reluctantly.”
It should be noted that this War Council only showed the thinking and recommendations of those present, with no decisions taken.
Admiral Müller’s diary states: “That was the end of the conference. The result amounted to nothing.” Certainly the only decision taken was to do nothing.
With the November 1912 announcement of the Russian ‘Great Military Programme’, the leadership of the German Army began clamoring even more strongly for a “preventive war” against Russia.
Moltke declared that Germany could not win the arms race with France, Britain and Russia, which she herself had begun in 1911, because the financial structure of the German state, which gave the Reich government little power to tax, meant Germany would bankrupt herself in an arms race.
As such, Moltke from late 1912 onward was the leading advocate for a general war, and the sooner the better.
Throughout May and June 1914, Moltke engaged in an “almost ultimative” demand for a German “preventive war” against Russia in 1914.
The German Foreign Secretary, Gottlieb von Jagow, reported on a discussion with Moltke at the end of May 1914:
Moltke described to me his opinion of our military situation. The prospects of the future oppressed him heavily. In two or three years Russia would have completed her armaments. The military superiority of our enemies would then be so great that he did not know how he could overcome them. Today we would still be a match for them. In his opinion there was no alternative to making preventive war in order to defeat the enemy while we still had a chance of victory. The Chief of the General Staff therefore proposed that I should conduct a policy with the aim of provoking a war in the near future.”
The new French President Raymond Poincaré, who took office in 1913, was favourable to improving relations with Germany.
In January 1914 Poincaré became the first French President to dine at the German Embassy in Paris.
Poincaré was more interested in the idea of French expansion in the Middle East than a war of revenge to regain Alsace-Lorraine.
Had the Reich been interested in improved relations with France before August 1914, the opportunity was available, but the leadership of the Reich lacked such interests, and preferred a policy of war to destroy France.
Because of France’s smaller economy and population, by 1913 French leaders had largely accepted that France by itself could never defeat Germany.
In May 1914, Serbian politics were polarized between two factions, one headed by the Prime Minister Nikola Pašić, and the other by the radical nationalist chief of Military Intelligence, Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević, known by his codename Apis.
In that month, due to Colonel Dimitrigjevic’s intrigues, King Peter dismissed Pašić’s government.
The Russian Minister in Belgrade intervened to have Pašić’s government restored.
Pašić, though he often talked tough in public, knew that Serbia was near-bankrupt and, having suffered heavy casualties in the Balkan Wars and in the suppression of a December 1913 Albanian revolt in Kosovo, needed peace.
Since Russia also favoured peace in the Balkans, from the Russian viewpoint it was desirable to keep Pašić in power.
It was in the midst of this political crisis that politically powerful members of the Serbian military armed and trained three Bosnian students as assassins and sent them into Austria-Hungary.
Domestic Political Factors
German Domestic Politics  –  Left-wing parties, especially the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) made large gains in the 1912 German election.
German government at the time was still dominated by the Prussian Junkers who feared the rise of these left-wing parties.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Junker was an often pejorative designation for a member of the landed nobility in Prussia and eastern Germany.
Supporting monarchism and military traditions, they were seen as reactionary, anti-democratic and protectionist. This political class held tremendous power over industrial classes and government alike.
It is possible that the Junkers deliberately sought an external war to distract the population and whip up patriotic support for the government.
Russia was in the midst of a large-scale military build-up and reform that they completed in 1916–17.
It is also argued, however, that German conservatives were ambivalent about a war, worrying that losing a war would have disastrous consequences, and even a successful war might alienate the population if it were lengthy or difficult.
French Domestic Politics  –  The situation in France was quite different from that in Germany as going to war appeared to the majority of political and military leaders to be a potentially costly gamble.
It is undeniable that forty years after the loss of Alsace-Lorraine a vast number of French were still angered by the territorial loss, as well as by the humiliation of being compelled to pay a large reparation to Germany in 1870.
The diplomatic alienation of France orchestrated by Germany prior to World War I caused further resentment in France.
Nevertheless, the leaders of France recognized Germany’s strong military advantage against them, as Germany had nearly twice as much population and a better equipped army.
At the same time, the episodes of the Tangier Crisis in 1905 and the Agadir Crisis in 1911 had given France a strong indication that war with Germany could be inevitable if Germany continued to oppose French colonial expansionism.
More than a century after the French Revolution, there was still a fierce struggle between the left-wing French government and its right-wing opponents.
Austria
In 1867, the Austrian Empire fundamentally changed its governmental structure, becoming the ‘Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary’.
For hundreds of years, the empire had been run in an essentially feudal manner, with a German-speaking aristocracy at its head, however, with the threat represented by an emergence of nationalism within the empire’s many component ethnicities, some elements, including Emperor Franz Joseph, decided that a compromise was required to preserve the power of the German aristocracy.
In 1867, the Ausgleich was agreed on, which made the Magyar (Hungarian) elite in Hungary almost equal partners in the government of Austria-Hungary.
This arrangement fostered a tremendous degree of dissatisfaction among many in the traditional German ruling classes.
Some of them considered the Ausgleich to have been a calamity, because it often frustrated their intentions in the governance of Austria-Hungary.
For example, it was extremely difficult for Austria-Hungary to form a coherent foreign policy that suited the interests of both the German and Magyar elite.
Throughout the fifty years from 1867 to 1914, it proved difficult to reach adequate compromises in the governance of Austria-Hungary.
At the same time, a form of social Darwinism became popular among many in the Austrian half of the government.
This thinking emphasised the primacy of armed struggle between nations, and the need for nations to arm themselves for an ultimate struggle for survival.
As a result, at least two distinct strains of thought advocated war with Serbia, often unified in the same people.
Some reasoned that dealing with political deadlock required that more Slavs be brought into Austria-Hungary to dilute the power of the Magyar elite.
With more Slavs, the South Slavs of Austria-Hungary could force a new political compromise in which the Germans could play the Magyars against the South Slavs.
Another fear was that the South Slavs, primarily under the leadership of Serbia, were organizing for a war against Austria-Hungary, and even all of Germanic civilization.
Some leaders, such as Conrad von Hötzendorf, argued that Serbia must be dealt with before it became too powerful to defeat militarily.
A powerful contingent within the Austro-Hungarian government was motivated by these thoughts and advocated war with Serbia long before the war began.
Prominent members of this group included Leopold von Berchtold, Alexander von Hoyos, and Johann von Forgách.
Although many other members of the government, notably Franz Ferdinand, Franz Joseph, and many Hungarian politicians did not believe that a violent struggle with Serbia would necessarily solve any of Austria-Hungary’s problems, the hawkish elements did exert a strong influence on government policy, holding key positions.
It is important to understand the central role of Austria-Hungary in starting the war.
Convinced Serbian nationalism and Russian Balkan ambitions were disintegrating the Empire, Austria-Hungary hoped for a limited war against Serbia and that strong German support would force Russia to keep out of the war and weaken its Balkan prestige.


Imperialism

Some attribute the start of the war to imperialism.
Countries such as the United Kingdom and France accumulated great wealth in the late 19th century through their control of trade in foreign resources, markets, territories, and people.
Other empires, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia all hoped to do so as well in economic advantage.
Their frustrated ambitions, and British policies of strategic exclusion created tensions.
In addition, the limits of natural resources in many European nations began to slowly alter trade balance, and make national industries seek new territories rich in natural resources.
Commercial interests contributed substantially to Anglo-German rivalry during the scramble for tropical Africa.
This was the scene of sharpest conflict between certain German and British commercial interests.
There have been two partitions of Africa.
One involved the actual imposition of political boundaries across the continent during the last quarter of the 19th century; the other, which actually commenced in the mid-19th century, consisted of the so-called ‘business’ partition.
In southern Africa the latter partition followed rapidly upon the discoveries of diamonds and gold in 1867 and 1886 respectively.
An integral part of this second partition was the expansion in the interior of British capital interests, primarily the British South Africa Company and mining companies such as De Beers.
After 1886 the Witwatersrand goldfields prompted feverish activity among European as well as British capitalists.
It was soon felt in Whitehall that German commercial penetration in particular constituted a direct threat to Britain’s continued economic and political hegemony south of the Limpopo.
Amid the expanding web of German business on the Rand, the most contentious operations were those of the German-financed N.Z.A.S.M. or Netherlands South African Railway Company, which possessed a railway monopoly in the Transvaal.
Rivalries for not just colonies, but colonial trade and trade routes developed between the emerging economic powers and the incumbent great powers.
Berlin-Baghdad Railway
This rivalry was illustrated in the Berlin-Baghdad Railway, which would have given German industry access to Iraqi oil, and German trade a southern port in the Persian Gulf.
A history of this railroad in the context of World War I has arrived to describe the German interests in countering the British Empire at a global level, and Turkey’s interest in countering their Russian rivals at a regional level.
It was felt in England that if, as Napoleon is said to have remarked, Antwerp in the hands of a great continental power was a pistol leveled at the English coast, Bagdad and the Persian Gulf in the hands of Germany (or any other strong power) would be a 42-centimetre gun pointed at India.’
On the other side, “Public opinion in Germany was feasting on visions of Cairo, Baghdad, and Tehran, and the possibility of evading the British blockade through outlets to the Indian Ocean.”
Britain’s initial strategic exclusion of others from northern access to a Persian Gulf port in the creation of Kuwait by treaty as a protected, subsidized client state showed political recognition of the importance of the issue.
If outcome is revealing, by the close of the war this political recognition was re-emphasized in the military effort to capture the railway itself, recounted with perspective in a contemporary history: “On the 26th Aleppo fell, and on the 28th we reached Muslimieh, that junction on the Baghdad railway on which longing eyes had been cast as the nodal point in the conflict of German and other ambitions in the East.”
The Treaty of Versailles explicitly removed all German ownership thereafter, which without Ottoman rule left access to Mesopotamian and Persian oil, and northern access to a southern port in British hands alone.
Otto von Bismarck
Rivalries among the great powers were exacerbated starting in the 1880s by the scramble for colonies, which brought much of Africa and Asia under European rule in the following quarter-century.
It also created great Anglo-French and Anglo-Russian tensions and crises that prevented a British alliance with either until the early 20th century.
Otto von Bismarck disliked the idea of an overseas empire, but pursued a colonial policy to court domestic political support.
This started Anglo-German tensions since German acquisitions in Africa and the Pacific threatened to impinge upon British strategic and commercial interests.
Bismarck supported French colonization in Africa because it diverted government attention and resources away from continental Europe and revanchism.
In spite of all of Bismarck’s deft diplomatic maneuvering, in 1890 he was forced to resign by the new Kaiser (Wilhelm II).
His successor, Leo von Caprivi, was the last German Chancellor who was successful in calming Anglo-German tensions.
Leo von Caprivi
After his loss of office in 1894, German policy led to greater conflicts with the other colonial powers.
The status of Morocco had been guaranteed by international agreement, and when France attempted to greatly expand its influence there without the assent of all the other signatories Germany opposed it prompting the ‘Moroccan Crise’s, the ‘Tangier Crisis’ of 1905 and the ‘Agadir Crisis’ of 1911.
The intent of German policy was to drive a wedge between the British and French, but in both cases produced the opposite effect, and Germany was isolated diplomatically, most notably lacking the support of Italy despite Italian membership in the Triple Alliance.
The French protectorate over Morocco was established officially in 1912.
In 1914, there were no outstanding colonial conflicts, Africa essentially having been claimed fully, apart from Ethiopia, for several years, however, the competitive mentality, as well as a fear of “being left behind” in the competition for the world’s resources may have played a role in the decisions to begin the conflict.


The Arms Race

A self-reinforcing cycle of heightened military preparedness…was an essential element in the conjuncture that led to disaster…The armaments race…was a necessary precondition for the outbreak of hostilities.
If Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been assassinated in 1904 or even in 1911, there might have been no war. It was…the armaments race…and the speculation about imminent or preventive wars  that made his death in 1914 the trigger for war.
Some historians see the German naval build-up as the principal cause of deteriorating Anglo-German relations.
The overwhelming British response, however, proved to Germany that its efforts were unlikely to equal the Royal Navy.
In 1900, the British had a 3.7:1 tonnage advantage over Germany; in 1910 the ratio was 2.3:1 and in 1914, 2.1:1.
So decisive was the British victory in the naval arms race that it is hard to regard it as in any meaningful sense a cause of the First World War.
This ignores the fact that the Kaiserliche Marine had narrowed the gap by nearly half, and that the Royal Navy had long intended to be stronger than any two potential opponents; the United States Navy was in a period of growth, making the German gains very ominous.
Technological changes, with oil- rather than coal-fuelled ships, decreasing refuelling time while increasing speed and range, and with superior armour and guns also would favour the growing, and newer, German fleet.
One of the aims of the ‘First Hague Conference’ of 1899, held at the suggestion of Russian Emperor Nicholas II, was to discuss disarmament.
The ‘Second Hague Conference’ was held in 1907.
All the signatories except for Germany supported disarmament.
Germany also did not want to agree to binding arbitration and mediation.
The Kaiser was concerned that the United States would propose disarmament measures, which he opposed.
Russian interests in Balkans and Ottoman Empire

The main Russian goals included strengthening its role as the protector of Eastern Christians in the Balkans (such as the Serbians).
Although Russia enjoyed a booming economy, growing population, and large armed forces, its strategic position was threatened by an expanding Turkish military trained by German experts using the latest technology.
The start of the war renewed attention of old goals: expelling the Turks from Constantinople, extending Russian dominion into eastern Anatolia and Persian Azerbaijan, and annexing Galicia.
These conquests would assure Russian predominance in the Black Sea.


Over by Christmas

Field Marshal Lord
Horatio Herbert Kitchener 

Both sides believed, and publicly stated, that the war would end soon.

The Kaiser told his troops that they would be, “…home before the leaves have fallen from the trees,” and one German officer said he expected to be in Paris by Sedantag, about six weeks away.
Germany only stockpiled enough potassium nitrate for gunpowder for six months.
Russian officers similarly expected to be in Berlin in six weeks, and those who suggested that the war would last for six months were considered pessimists.
Von Moltke and his French counterpart Joseph Joffre were among the few who expected a long war, but neither adjusted his nation’s military plans accordingly.
The new British Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, was the only leading official on either side to both expect a long war (“three years” or longer, he told an amazed colleague) and act accordingly, immediately building an army of millions of soldiers who would fight for years.


Schlieffen Plan

Alfred Graf von Schlieffen 

Germany’s strategic vulnerability, sandwiched between its allied rivals, led to the development of the audacious (and incredibly expensive) Schlieffen Plan.

It aimed to knock France instantly out of contention, before Russia had time to mobilize its gigantic human reserves.
It aimed to accomplish this task within 6 weeks.
Germany could then turn her full resources to meeting the Russian threat.
Although Count Alfred von Schlieffen initially conceived the plan before his retirement in 1906, Japan’s defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 exposed Russia’s organizational weakness and added greatly to the plan’s credibility.
The plan called for a rapid German mobilization, sweeping through the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium, into France.
Schlieffen called for overwhelming numbers on the far right flank, the northernmost spearhead of the force with only minimum troops making up the arm and axis of the formation as well as a minimum force stationed on the Russian eastern front.
Helmuth von Moltke

Schlieffen was replaced by Helmuth von Moltke, and in 1907–08 Moltke adjusted the plan, reducing the proportional distribution of the forces, lessening the crucial right wing in favor of a slightly more defensive strategy.

Also, judging Holland unlikely to grant permission to cross its borders, the plan was revised to make a direct move through Belgium, and an artillery assault on the Belgian city of Liège.
With the rail lines and the unprecedented firepower the German army brought, Moltke did not expect any significant defense of the fortress.
The significance of the Schlieffen Plan is that it forced German military planners to prepare for a pre-emptive strike when war was deemed unavoidable.
Otherwise Russia would have time to mobilize and crush Germany with its massive army.
On August 1, Kaiser Wilhelm II briefly became convinced that it might be possible to ensure French and British neutrality, and cancelled the plan despite the objections of the Chief of Staff that this could not be done, and resuming it only when the offer of a neutral France and Britain was withdrawn.
It appears that no war planners in any country had prepared effectively for the Schlieffen Plan.
The French were not concerned about such a move. They were confident their offensive (Plan XVII) would break the German center and cut off the German right wing moving through Belgium.
They also expected that an early Russian offensive in East Prussia would tie down German forces.


Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria


Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand 

On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six Bosnian Serb assassins coordinated by Danilo Ilić.

Franz Ferdinand, eldest son of Carl Ludwig, the brother of Emperor Franz Josef, was born in 1863. Educated by private tutors, he joined the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1883.
His military career included service with an infantry regiment in Prague and with the hussars in Hungary.
While in the army Ferdinand received several promotions: captain (1885), major (1888), colonel (1890) and general (1896). 

Crown Prince Rupert

In 1889, Rudolf (21 August 1858 – 30 January 1889), Erzherzog von Österreich (Archduke of Austria) and Kronprinz von Österreich, Ungarn und Böhmen, (Crown Prince of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia,) the son of Franz Josef, shot himself at his hunting lodge.
The succession now passed to Franz Ferdinand’s father, Carl Ludwig.
When he died in 1896, Franz Ferdinand became the new heir to the throne.

Sophie von Chotkovato 

After attending the official reception at the City Hall, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie von Chotkovato were driven through the city.
Gavrilo Princip, the assassin, stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times into the car.
Franz Ferdinand was hit in the neck and Sophie von Chotkovato in the abdomen. Princip’s bullet had pierced the archduke’s jugular vein but before losing consciousness, he pleaded “Sophie dear! Sophie dear! Don’t die! Stay alive for our children!” Franz Urban drove the royal couple to Konak, the governor’s residence, but although both were still alive when they arrived, they died from their wounds soon afterwards.


The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary’s south-Slav provinces so they could be combined into a Greater Serbia or a Yugoslavia.
The assassins’ motives were consistent with the movement that later became known as ‘Young Bosnia’. Serbian military officers stood behind the attack.
At the top of these Serbian military conspirators was Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence, Dragutin Dimitrijević, his righthand man Major Vojislav Tankosić, and Masterspy Rade Malobabić. Major Tankosić armed (with bombs and pistols) and trained the assassins, and the assassins were given access to the same clandestine tunnel of safe-houses and agents that Rade Malobabić used for the infiltration of weapons and operatives into Austria-Hungary.
The assassins, the key members of the clandestine tunnel, and the key Serbian military conspirators who were still alive were arrested, tried, convicted and punished.
Those who were arrested in Bosnia were tried in Sarajevo in October 1914.
The other conspirators were arrested and tried before a Serbian kangaroo court on the French-controlled Salonika Front in 1916–1917 on unrelated false charges; Serbia executed three of the top military conspirators.
Much of what is known about the assassinations comes from these two trials and related records.
Assignment of responsibility for the bombing and murders of 28 June is highly controversial because the attack led to the outbreak of World War I one month later.


Consequences

The murder of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife produced widespread shock across Europe, and there was initially much sympathy for the Austrian position.
Within two days of the assassination, Austria-Hungary and Germany advised Serbia that it should open an investigation, but Secretary General to the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Slavko Gruic, replied “Nothing had been done so far and the matter did not concern the Serbian Government.”
An angry exchange followed between the Austrian Chargé d’Affaires at Belgrade and Gruic.
After conducting a criminal investigation, verifying that Germany would honor its military alliance, and persuading the skeptical Hungarian Count Tisza, Austria-Hungary issued a formal letter to the government of Serbia.


Serbia was a state in the Balkans that came into existence as a result of the Serbian Revolution which lasted between 1804 and 1817. Despite serious and extremely brutal oppression and revenge by the Ottoman authorities, the revolutionary leaders, first Karađorđe Petrović and then Miloš Obrenović I, succeeded in their goal to liberate Serbia after centuries of Ottoman rule.

The letter reminded Serbia of its commitment to respect the Great Powers’ decision regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to maintain good neighborly relations with Austria-Hungary.
The letter contained specific demands aimed at preventing the publication of propaganda advocating the violent destruction of Austria-Hungary, removing the people behind this propaganda from the Serbian Military, arresting the people on Serbian soil who were involved in the assassination plot and preventing the clandestine shipment of arms and explosives from Serbia to Austria-Hungary.
This letter became known as the ‘July Ultimatum’, and Austria-Hungary stated that if Serbia did not accept all of the demands in total within 48 hours, it would recall its ambassador from Serbia.
After receiving a telegram of support from Russia, Serbia mobilized its army and responded to the letter by completely accepting point #8 demanding an end to the smuggling of weapons and punishment of the frontier officers who had assisted the assassins and completely accepting point #10 which demanded Serbia report the execution of the required measures as they were completed.
Serbia partially accepted, finessed, disingenuously answered or politely rejected elements of the preamble and enumerated demands #1–7 and #9.
The shortcomings of Serbia’s response were published by Austria-Hungary and can be seen beginning on page 364 of Origins of the War, Vol. II by Albertini, with the Austrian complaints placed side-by-side against Serbia’s response.
Austria-Hungary responded by breaking diplomatic relations.
The next day, Serbian reservists being transported on tramp steamers on the Danube crossed onto the Austro-Hungarian side of the river at Temes-Kubin and Austro-Hungarian soldiers fired into the air to warn them off.
The report of this incident was initially sketchy and reported to Emperor Franz-Joseph as “a considerable skirmish”.
Austria-Hungary then declared war and mobilized the portion of its army that would face the (already mobilized) Serbian Army on 28 July 1914.
Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand von Österreich
Under the Secret Treaty of 1892 Russia and France were obliged to mobilize their armies if any of the Triple Alliance mobilized.
Russia’s mobilization set off full Austro-Hungarian and German mobilizations.
Soon all the Great Powers except Italy had chosen sides and gone to war.
A review of the consequences of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria shows that it was the initial actions of the Serbian Government (see above – Serbian military officers stood behind the attack – probably members of the Black Hand – an organisation  formed on 6 September 1901 by members of the Serbian Army).

Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis (right) and his associates
Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis stated that he had organized the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 –
(the assassin was Гаврило Принцип – (Gavrilo Princip) – who was an athiest. 

Гаврило Принцип – (Gavrilo Princip)
Gavrilo Princip was born in the remote village of Obljaj near Bosansko Grahovo, at the time de jure part of Bosnia Vilayet within the Ottoman Empire, however the province had since 1878 been occupied by Austria-Hungary which governed it as its condominium, a de facto part of Austria-Hungary. Princip was too young to receive the death penalty, being only twenty-seven days short of his twentieth birthday at the time of the assassination. Instead, he received the maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. He was held in harsh conditions which were worsened by the war. He contracted tuberculosis,[3] and had one of his arms amputated in 1917 when the disease infected an arm bone (probably because of a badly performed procedure to repair a bone broken during his capture).[10] He died on 28 April 1918 at Terezín 3 years and 10 months after he assassinated the Archduke and Duchess. At the time of his death, Princip weighed around 40 kilograms (88 lb), weakened by malnutrition, blood loss from his amputated arm, and disease.

His politics are unclear. Some of his associates were Muslims. ).
– in the process, Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis used not only his power over elements of the Serbian military, but also the Black Hand.

Dragutin Dimitrijević was born in Belgrade in 1876. At sixteen Dimitrijević went to the Belgrade Military Academy. A brilliant student, Dimitrijević was recruited into the General Staff of the Serbian Army immediately after his graduation.
Captain Dimitrijević and a group of junior officers planned the assassination of the autocratic and unpopular king of Serbia. On 11 June 1903, the group stormed the royal palace and killed both King Alexander and his wife Queen Draga. During the attack Dimitrijević was badly wounded, and, although he eventually recovered, the three bullets from the encounter were never removed from his body. When Dimitrijević heard that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was planning to visit Sarajevo in June 1914, he sent three members of the Young Bosnia group, Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Čabrinović, Trifko Grabež and four others from Serbia to assassinate him. At this time, Dimitrijević was Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence.

Leaders of the Black Hand in turn had penetrated Narodna Obrana and used the Narodna organization to infiltrate the arms and assassins into Sarajevo.

So it can be categorically stated that responsibility for the ‘Great War’ lies with the actions of the Serbian Government.
Subsequently Serbian reservists were mobilized and moved into Austro-Hungarian territory.
In response to this invasion of their territory (combined with the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne by agents of the Serbian military, Austria-Hungary, in justified self-defense, declared war on Serbia.
Russia then mobilised in order to attack Austria.
Realising that Russian mobilisation threatened their Eastern borders, German mobilised against Russia, and Russia’s ally, France.
To prempt a French invasion of their Western borders, Germany, in accordance with the revised Schlieffen plan, sent her armies through Belgium.
In accordance with her treat obligations with regard to Belgium, Great Britain declared war on Germany.
REFLECTIONS
Bismarck’s emphasis on military force amplified the voice of the officer corps, which combined advanced modernization of military technology with reactionary politics.
The rising upper-middle-class elites, in the business, financial, and professional worlds, tended to accept the values of the old traditional elites.
The German Empire was a strange mixture of highly successful capitalist industrialization and socio-economic modernization on the one hand, and of surviving pre-industrial institutions, power relations and traditional cultures on the other, which produced a high degree of internal tension, which led on the one hand to the suppression of socialists, Catholics, and reformers, and on the other hand to a highly aggressive foreign policy.
The origins of Germany’s path to disaster lie in the 1860s–1870s, when economic modernization took place, but political modernization did not happen and the old Prussian rural elite remained in firm control of the army, diplomacy and the civil service.
The historiographical concept of a German Sonderweg has had a turbulent history.
Nineteenth century scholars, who emphasized a separate German path to modernity, saw it as a positive factor that differentiated Germany from the “western path” typified by Great Britain.
They stressed the strong bureaucratic state, reforms initiated by Bismarck and other strong leaders, the Prussian service ethos, the high culture of philosophy and music, and Germany’s pioneering of a social welfare state.
Traditional, aristocratic, pre-modern society battled an emerging capitalist, bourgeois, modernizing society. Recognizing the importance of modernizing forces in industry and the economy and in the cultural realm,  reactionary traditionalism dominated the political hierarchy of power in Germany, as well as social mentalities and in class relations (Klassenhabitus).
The catastrophic German politics between 1914 and 1918 may be interpreted in terms of a delayed modernization of its political structures.