Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
Lamarck
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Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 11 Nov 2017 17:26

Why was Hitler a German nationalist and not an Austrian nationalist? He was born in Austria and only got German citizenship in 1932. If the judge in 1925 during the Beer Hall Putsch didn't take sympathy on Hitler then he would have been deported back to his native country Austria.

Austrians speak German but Austria was not part of Germany when he was born but in Mein Kampf and his speeches he clearly considered himself a German and that Austria should be part of Germany. Why?

After doing a little research it's also apparent that most nationalist parties in Austria at least until 1945 were openly German nationalists. Why did these Austrian German nationalists want Austria to join Germany?

How could Hitler preach German nationalism when he wasn't even a native German? It's bizarre that an Austrian was able to preach German nationalism and no one said anything, it was Germans and Germany this and that yet he wasn't a German and wasn't even born in Germany.

I mean in comparison Stalin wasn't Russian but he never claimed to be Russian and was open about being a Georgian by birth but he became the leader of the Soviet Union which included more than just Russia yet Hitler was an Austrian who became the leader of Germany.

CroGer
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby CroGer » 11 Nov 2017 19:25

He considered austria-hungary a ramshackled state, which would have been smashed by slavs, if the world war wouldn't have happened.

Austria has a very long history of being the leading german state. After 1816 german patriots wanted a german national state similar to france or spain, but instead they got a federation where prussia and austria would balance each other out. In 1866 austria was kicked out and in 1871 the german empire was created. The rest of what was left of austria, not only the current state of austria but also millions of austrians that lived in central-eastern germany, had to settle with a multi-ethnical state, which soon became austria-hungary. But in this state the many different ethnicities yearned for independence, and the germans were a minority.

The german empire flourished soon after it's formation, while austria-hungary, as it was now called, stagnated. This created the "alldeutsche Bewegung", translated "allgerman movement", where the idea was that the germans in austria-hungary should better join the germans of the german empire, instead of messing around with all these different ethnicities, among them hundred thousands of Gypsies and 3,2 million jews.
As a comparism the german empire was relatively homogenous.

Hitler writes in Mein Kampf that he decided to become german, because he was disgusted about the "Muli-culti"-state austria-hungary, and the weakness of the austrian leadership, that constantly tried to appease the various different slavs. He expressed his disgust about Vienna, which at that time was a multi-cultural city.

Some of Hitler's forethinkers were Georg Ritter von Schönerer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Rit ... C3%B6nerer

And Karl Lueger

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Lueger
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 11 Nov 2017 19:48

Hitler's formative experience would appear to have been serving in WWI.

Perhaps if he had been in Linz, rather than Munich, at the outbreak of WWI he would have served in the Austro-Hungarian Army, rather than the German, and emerged with a different world view.

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 11 Nov 2017 19:48

Hitler's formative experience would appear to have been serving in WWI.

Perhaps if he had been in Linz, rather than Munich, at the outbreak of WWI he would have served in the Austro-Hungarian Army, rather than the German, and emerged with a different world view.

Cheers,

Sid.

CroGer
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby CroGer » 11 Nov 2017 20:06

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hitler's formative experience would appear to have been serving in WWI.

Perhaps if he had been in Linz, rather than Munich, at the outbreak of WWI he would have served in the Austro-Hungarian Army, rather than the German, and emerged with a different world view.

Cheers,

Sid.


His world view was born in Austria-Hungary
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 12 Nov 2017 17:15

Hi CroGer,

Hitler was certainly born in Austria, but his subsequent world view seems to have developed during and immediately after WWI.

Cheers,

Sid.

Lamarck
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 12 Nov 2017 18:20

CroGer wrote:He considered austria-hungary a ramshackled state, which would have been smashed by slavs, if the world war wouldn't have happened.

Austria has a very long history of being the leading german state. After 1816 german patriots wanted a german national state similar to france or spain, but instead they got a federation where prussia and austria would balance each other out. In 1866 austria was kicked out and in 1871 the german empire was created. The rest of what was left of austria, not only the current state of austria but also millions of austrians that lived in central-eastern germany, had to settle with a multi-ethnical state, which soon became austria-hungary. But in this state the many different ethnicities yearned for independence, and the germans were a minority.

The german empire flourished soon after it's formation, while austria-hungary, as it was now called, stagnated. This created the "alldeutsche Bewegung", translated "allgerman movement", where the idea was that the germans in austria-hungary should better join the germans of the german empire, instead of messing around with all these different ethnicities, among them hundred thousands of Gypsies and 3,2 million jews.
As a comparism the german empire was relatively homogenous.

Hitler writes in Mein Kampf that he decided to become german, because he was disgusted about the "Muli-culti"-state austria-hungary, and the weakness of the austrian leadership, that constantly tried to appease the various different slavs. He expressed his disgust about Vienna, which at that time was a multi-cultural city.

Some of Hitler's forethinkers were Georg Ritter von Schönerer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Rit ... C3%B6nerer

And Karl Lueger

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Lueger


What do you mean by "Germans in Austria-Hungary"? Were the Austrians considered Germans?

The fact remains that he was born an Austrian and was a fervent German nationalist, did no Germans ever question Hitler's origin?

In Mein Kampf it isn't so much that he "decided to become German" but on the contrary always considered himself a German as an Austrian, he considered Austrians to be Germans.

Beginning of Mein Kampf:

"TODAY it seems to me providential that Fate should have chosen Braunau on the Inn as my birthplace. For this little town lies on the boundary between two German states which we of the younger generation at least have made it our life work to reunite by every means at our disposal.
German-Austria must return to the great German mother country, and not because of any economic considerations. No, and again no: even if such a union were unimportant from an economic point of view; yes, even if it were harmful, it must nevertheless take place. One blood demands one Reich. Never will the German nation possess the moral right to engage in colonial politics until, at least, it embraces its own sons within a single state. Only when the Reich borders include the very last German, but can no longer guarantee his daily bread, will the moral right to acquire foreign soil arise from the distress of our own people."

Hitler later then states:

"As it happened, my temporary aspiration for this profession was in any case soon to vanish, making place for hopes more stated to my temperament. Rummaging through my father's library, I had come across various books of a military nature among them a popular edition of the Franco-German War of 1870-7I It consisted of two issues of an illustrated periodical from those years, which now became my favorite reading matter It was not long before the great heroic struggle had become my greatest inner experience. From then on I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any way connected with war or, for that matter, with soldiering.

But in another respect as well, this was to assume importance for me. For the first time, though as yet in a confused form, the question was forced upon my consciousness: Was there a difference -and if so what difference-between the Germans who fought these battles and other Germans? Why hadn't Austria taken part in this war; why hadn't my father and all the others fought?

Are we not the same as all other Germans?

Do we not all belong together? This problem began to gnaw at my little brain for the first time. I asked cautious questions and with secret envy received the answer that not every German was fortunate enough to belong to Bismarck's Reich..
This was more than I could understand."

Hitler makes it absolute clear throughout the book his belief that Austrians are Germans and that Austria should be part of Germany.

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi CroGer,

Hitler was certainly born in Austria, but his subsequent world view seems to have developed during and immediately after WWI.

Cheers,

Sid.


Hitler developed German nationalist ideas from a very young age, he was a ferocious pan-German during his school years including an incident when he allegedly told a fellow Austrian that he wasn't a true German because he had dark hair and dark eyes.

CroGer
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby CroGer » 12 Nov 2017 19:49

Lamarck wrote:
CroGer wrote:He considered austria-hungary a ramshackled state, which would have been smashed by slavs, if the world war wouldn't have happened.

Austria has a very long history of being the leading german state. After 1816 german patriots wanted a german national state similar to france or spain, but instead they got a federation where prussia and austria would balance each other out. In 1866 austria was kicked out and in 1871 the german empire was created. The rest of what was left of austria, not only the current state of austria but also millions of austrians that lived in central-eastern germany, had to settle with a multi-ethnical state, which soon became austria-hungary. But in this state the many different ethnicities yearned for independence, and the germans were a minority.

The german empire flourished soon after it's formation, while austria-hungary, as it was now called, stagnated. This created the "alldeutsche Bewegung", translated "allgerman movement", where the idea was that the germans in austria-hungary should better join the germans of the german empire, instead of messing around with all these different ethnicities, among them hundred thousands of Gypsies and 3,2 million jews.
As a comparism the german empire was relatively homogenous.

Hitler writes in Mein Kampf that he decided to become german, because he was disgusted about the "Muli-culti"-state austria-hungary, and the weakness of the austrian leadership, that constantly tried to appease the various different slavs. He expressed his disgust about Vienna, which at that time was a multi-cultural city.

Some of Hitler's forethinkers were Georg Ritter von Schönerer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Rit ... C3%B6nerer

And Karl Lueger

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Lueger


What do you mean by "Germans in Austria-Hungary"? Were the Austrians considered Germans?

The fact remains that he was born an Austrian and was a fervent German nationalist, did no Germans ever question Hitler's origin?

In Mein Kampf it isn't so much that he "decided to become German" but on the contrary always considered himself a German as an Austrian, he considered Austrians to be Germans.

Beginning of Mein Kampf:

"TODAY it seems to me providential that Fate should have chosen Braunau on the Inn as my birthplace. For this little town lies on the boundary between two German states which we of the younger generation at least have made it our life work to reunite by every means at our disposal.
German-Austria must return to the great German mother country, and not because of any economic considerations. No, and again no: even if such a union were unimportant from an economic point of view; yes, even if it were harmful, it must nevertheless take place. One blood demands one Reich. Never will the German nation possess the moral right to engage in colonial politics until, at least, it embraces its own sons within a single state. Only when the Reich borders include the very last German, but can no longer guarantee his daily bread, will the moral right to acquire foreign soil arise from the distress of our own people."

Hitler later then states:

"As it happened, my temporary aspiration for this profession was in any case soon to vanish, making place for hopes more stated to my temperament. Rummaging through my father's library, I had come across various books of a military nature among them a popular edition of the Franco-German War of 1870-7I It consisted of two issues of an illustrated periodical from those years, which now became my favorite reading matter It was not long before the great heroic struggle had become my greatest inner experience. From then on I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any way connected with war or, for that matter, with soldiering.

But in another respect as well, this was to assume importance for me. For the first time, though as yet in a confused form, the question was forced upon my consciousness: Was there a difference -and if so what difference-between the Germans who fought these battles and other Germans? Why hadn't Austria taken part in this war; why hadn't my father and all the others fought?

Are we not the same as all other Germans?

Do we not all belong together? This problem began to gnaw at my little brain for the first time. I asked cautious questions and with secret envy received the answer that not every German was fortunate enough to belong to Bismarck's Reich..
This was more than I could understand."

Hitler makes it absolute clear throughout the book his belief that Austrians are Germans and that Austria should be part of Germany.

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi CroGer,

Hitler was certainly born in Austria, but his subsequent world view seems to have developed during and immediately after WWI.

Cheers,

Sid.


Hitler developed German nationalist ideas from a very young age, he was a ferocious pan-German during his school years including an incident when he allegedly told a fellow Austrian that he wasn't a true German because he had dark hair and dark eyes.



I thought it would be explanatory that "german" back then was considered an ethnic identity. For about two thousand years "Germany" was a region, similar to "scandinavia", which later became the heartland of what we now colloquially called the Holy Roman Empire.
The HRE was ruled for almost 600 years by the Habsburgs, who by marriage-politics, managed to create a multi-ethnical empire.

"Germany" was shattered in the 30 year war, which IMO is very much connected to WW1, since the time of the german "Kleinstaaterei" (small state rule) occured at around the same time that other empires developed into national states, and also created colonial empires. Besides the fact that Germany - the REGION for everybody who forgot it - became a bunch of vassal state, prussia and austria feuded for 200 years over who would dominate most of it.

The wars against Napoleon were very much fueled by an pan-german patriotism. Yet the Vienna Congress settled on having Germany only as a federation, where Prussia and Austria would balance each other out.
In the european revolutions both austria and prussia suppressed patriotic german revolts.

That all ended in 1866 with the prussian-austrian war, which was not a war between just prussia and austria, but a german civil war, led by prussia and austria. After the franco-prussian war, the anti-french coalition went with the "Kleindeutsche Lösung", the "small german solution", where they turned Germany into an empire, excluding austria.
After that, the German Empire flourished, while the old Austria stagnaned and had to constately appease the other ethnic groups within their state.

Unfortunately the German Empire wanted to compensate having missed colonialism, and did this in a too aggressive way. The late-comer Germany disturbed the european "Balance of power" that had persisted for centuries - they west belongs to Britain & France, the East to Russia and the Ottomans, and the rest is chess pieces.


So what "austrian nationalism" is he talking about? Austria was the name of a multi-ethnical state, where the germans - if I remember it correctly - only comprised 25% of the population.
The austria created after WW1 was a state with several problems, both economically, and strategically, since their capital was very close to their eastern border.

Today's austrian national identity is pretty much a creation of Post-WW2-reeducation. As you might have noticed, Austria is significantly more right wing than Germany. National interest wasn't delegitimized in Austria as in Germany (the state(s)). The only thing that was delegitimized was any thought of a "unification" with Germany.

So Hitler was born in a multi-ethnical state, where he considered the appeasement of the Habsburgs as weakness. Hence he thought that slavs have to be suppressed violently, or they will corrode your state. Austria had a significantly higher jewish population (3,2 million in KuK vs 600.000 in the German Empire), and significantly more Gypsies.
He was a pan-german, who's world view and racism grew in the austro-hungarian empire. If you look at his policies in central-eastern europe, you can almost think that he did what the Habsburgs in his mind should have done (alliance with Hungary, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, strong suppression of czechs, serbs and all slavic resistance, genocide against Gypsies)
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.

Lamarck
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 14 Nov 2017 00:29

CroGer, was Hitler regarded as an Ausländer (foreigner) by the Germans born in Germany or just simply a German born outside of Germany's borders by a historical accident according to many German nationalists?

I understand he was a pan-German but didn't nobody find this strange since he was an Austrian by birth? Or, did a lot of Germans actually see Austria as part of Germany and Austrians as Germans too? Were such ideas restricted to just German nationalists?

"While a majority of Austrians openly yearned for Anschluss with the Weimar Republic, few of them thought of themselves as Germans in the radical sense propounded by Schönerer and his followers."

Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945, p. 9

Br. James
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Br. James » 14 Nov 2017 22:12

Hitler certainly had the opportunity to join the Austrian Army for WWI...but he didn't; instead he joined the German Army. Apparently there was little to no difficulty in his joining the army of a country he was not a citizen of...? One wonders whether a Canadian citizen would find it easy to cross the border and apply for membership in the US Army today? Unless I am mistaken, the US does permit non-citizens resident in the US to serve in the US military and perhaps that was the way it worked in Germany in 1914; after all, Hitler did live in Munich at that time, though post-WWI writing on this subject suggests that he should have been returned to Austria at that time.

Since Hitler was devoted to German romanticism, perhaps the fact that the country he was born in included the Kingdom of Hungary -- the Austro-Hungarian Empire -- to some degree alienated his allegiance? He wanted to join the German Army and apparently had no problem in doing so via the army of the Kingdom of Bavaria! But it wasn't until many years later when he thought that he really did have a chance to be elected to the German Government that he finally took German citizenship and legally left his native Austria behind.

Br. James

CroGer
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby CroGer » 14 Nov 2017 23:07

Lamarck wrote:CroGer, was Hitler regarded as an Ausländer (foreigner) by the Germans born in Germany or just simply a German born outside of Germany's borders by a historical accident according to many German nationalists?

I understand he was a pan-German but didn't nobody find this strange since he was an Austrian by birth? Or, did a lot of Germans actually see Austria as part of Germany and Austrians as Germans too? Were such ideas restricted to just German nationalists?

"While a majority of Austrians openly yearned for Anschluss with the Weimar Republic, few of them thought of themselves as Germans in the radical sense propounded by Schönerer and his followers."

Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945, p. 9


We are talking about the sentiments of over 80 million people. Hitler's nickname during the time of the Weimar Republic was "Böhmischer Gefreiter", "The bohemian private", emphasizing not only how low military ranks, but also that he was a foreigner. But what is important to note is not only the conflict between communism and socialism, totalitarianism and democracy, but the inner-german conflict between catholics and protestants.

But I'll answer the question differently: what is difference between Austria and Germany?

Austria was the country of the Habsburgs, their Kaiser-crown remnants of the time where "the Holy Roman Empire" was basically the protector of the catholic church, and somewhat of a vassal state to the Pope in Rome.
So part of the austrian identity was catholicism and a strong connection to the pope.

The German Empire on the other hand was dominated by Prussia, a protestant state. And one of the very first quarrels in that state was the "Kulturkampf", a conflict between the state and the catholic church. Catholics blamed the protestants for the decline of the old moral order, that came along with the industrialization and secularism, while protestants considered catholics lazy, backwards and unpatriotic/internationalistic.

The german conflict between protestants and catholics has a 500 year old history, and by the time of Hitler's "Machtergreifung", the conflicts between protestants and catholics have been tamed, but were not entirely gone.

Quotes from "Mein Kampf"

For the future of the world, however, it does not matter which of the two triumphs over the other, the Catholic or the Protestant. But it does matter whether Aryan humanity survives or perishes. And yet the two Christian denominations are not contending against the destroyer of Aryan humanity but are trying to destroy one another. [...]
I have no hesitation in saying that in those men who seek to-day to embroil the patriotic movement in religious quarrels I see worse enemies
of my country than the international communists are.
[...]
For it is in the interests of the Jews to-day that the energies of the patriotic movement should be squandered in a religious conflict, because it is beginning to be dangerous for the Jews
[...]
As a matter of fact we succeeded until the autumn of 1923 in keeping our movement away from such controversies. The most devoted Protestant could stand side by side with the most devoted Catholic in our ranks without having his conscience disturbed in the slightest as far as concerned his religious convictions.


So what would "advocating austrian nationalism" have meant? Catholicism, and a strong connection to the pope in rome.

Hitler on the other hand had several ideas of how to solve the conflict between protestants and catholics. He wanted a unified "Reichskirche", an all german church, similar to the anglican church, but he faced too much resistance to it.

But his ideas wouldn't have worked without a unifying "pan-german" spirit being the foundation, and to do that, he had to counter 500 years of conflict between the denominations. For austria, the only thing he had to offer, was that
a) it was his home
b) he re-annexed the former austrian parts of Styria and Carinthia, that later after WW1 became the "banovina Drava", today's slovenia
c) and that he wanted to solve the conflicts of the "Volksdeutschen", who predeminantely were former citizens of Austria-Hungary
d) as well as the traditional austrian alliances with Hungary, Italy, and Croatia.

So in a way he personified the german-austrian unification, and catered to nationalistic interest and traditions as far as he could.

But the old conflict between the catholic Habsburgs and the protestant Hohenzollern had to go.


You could open up an entirely different thread on "Hitler's & the catholics".

But that all worked well...

...Until the sh*** hit the fan of course, the austrians rediscovered their distinct identity, and played "Germany's first victim" :milwink:


Edit: btw, I think most international writers about the third Reich aren't aware of the 500y old inner-german conflict between catholics and protestants. I've read several times that Hitler was a devoted christian. Although there are some hints that Hitler considered himself "send by a higher power" and Himmler called him "The messiah of the next 2000 years", Hitler was a opportunist that had unrealistic ideals, to a large part born in Austria-Hungary.
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.

Lamarck
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 15 Nov 2017 18:18

How can Hitler be regarded as both a German and a foreigner at the same time? He was either German or not. I think it depends on how both of the definitions are defined. Hindenburg as a Prussian certainly mocked Hitler's Austrian origin.

In the documentary Hitler: A Profile, the first part is called 'The Private Man' and according to Ernst Hanfstaengl, he recalled a conversation with Hitler when pointing to Salzburg in Austria, he said "That's your homeland Mr. Hitler, Hitler replied "Yes. I was born in Braunau am Inn Austria. And... they're Germans too... and one day the Austrians will be together with us in the Reich."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDtRfcSIwYo

Even though Bismarck had succeeded in excluding Austria and thus the Austrians, it appears that millions of Austrians still considered themselves to be Germans even though they weren't Reich Germans so were not German citizens between 1871-1938.

I have done a little bit of research about this matter and it seems that the Nazis basically stated that although Hitler wasn't born in Germany he was still a German. Also, they never regarded Hitler as a foreigner, even though he did not receive German citizenship until 1932.

I'm going to quote a few things.

"Hitler the “Foreigner”

“Hitler is a foreigner, a Czech!”

Why?

He was born in Braunau in Lower Austria. Braunau on the Inn — not to be confused with Braunau in German Bohemia —is a small, purely German town on the Bavarian border, part of the “Inn district” that was cut off from Bavaria and given to Austria in 1779. Three generations before Adolf Hitler’s birth it was still Bavarian, and it is only the result of dynastic disputes that it is today part of Austria.

Even so, are not the Austrians our blood brothers whose return to the Reich is longed for with the same intensity on each side of the accursed border markers? Adolf Hitler himself writes of this in the first chapter of his book Mein Kampf:

“Today it seems to me providential that Fate should have chosen Braunau on the Inn as my birthplace. For this little town lies on the boundary between two German states which we of the younger generation at least have made it our life work to reunite by every means at our disposal.”

Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in the customs house at Braunau, the son of an Austrian customs official, only a few minutes from the border. Hitler’s grandfather was a poor cottager from the Forest Quarter.

No one can claim that Hitler’s ancestry sowed the seeds for his later development. As a simple son of the people, he has risen only because of the strength of his brilliant personality and soon will hold the highest office in the Reich.

He has one of the essential experiences necessary to lead the state: a deep understanding for the needs of the people, for its feeling and thinking, an understanding that is so often missing from those with more elevated births. It will be impossible for someone like Hitler to plunge the people into the bitterest misery with ever new emergency decrees, for he himself knows what hunger means.

He suffered hard blows of fate in his youth. Contrary to his own desires that inclined him to the visual arts, his father had him attend secondary school. When Adolf Hitler was thirteen his father died of a heart attack. After a severe illness, his mother allowed the boy to give up his father’s desire that he become a civil servant and to follow his own desire to study at the art academy. The boy left secondary school, where he had for the first time came to a German national consciousness under official pressure, and to the knowledge that he expressed in the following words:

“That Germanism could be safeguarded only by the destruction of Austria, and, furthermore, that national sentiment is in no sense identical with dynastic patriotism; that above all the House of Hapsburg was destined to be the misfortune of the German nation.”

The happy dreams that were leading him to the fulfillment of his dearest wish, however, met an abrupt end when his mother died two years later after a long and painful illness.

A time of bitter poverty now began for the lad. His studies were over. His orphan’s pension was not enough to live on. Thus Adolf Hitler went to Vienna, forced even as a child to earn his own way.


http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/adolfhitler-frontsoldat.htm

“Hitler — A Czech!”

Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn. Those opponents who spread the lie of a “Czech Hitler” depend on the confusion of Braunau am Inn with the Braunau in Czechoslovakia. Braunau am Inn is on the Bavarian border, with only the Inn River between them. It is over 80 kilometers as the crow flies to the Czech border, twice as much as the distance between Dresden and the Czech border. Up until the second half of the 18th century, Braunau belonged to Bavaria.

Hitler, therefore, was born within Greater Germany. Both parents are of German blood. They could not even speak Czech (and Hitler lived many years of his youth with his parents on Reich German soil, in Passau). Hitler became a German citizen before he became a candidate for Reich President by act of the National Socialist government in Braunschweig. He himself always refused to ask the Reich government to give to him what it gave without hesitation to tens of thousands of Galician Jews, even though he had long-since earned it through four years of service at the front in the German army during the war.


http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/tatsachenundluegen.htm

Youth

Today Adolf Hitler’s birthplace belongs to Germany. He was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn in Upper Austria. But he is German. He does not feel like an Austrian. When war breaks out in 1914, he volunteers for the German army. As Point 1 of the National Socialist program states: “We demand a Greater German Reich.” On page 1 of the Führer’s autobiography Mein Kampf we find these words: “Common blood belongs in a common Reich.” We can better understand the first point of program of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party when we realize that Adolf Hitler himself is a German who was born outside of Germany. We affirm that the law of common blood transcends state borders. Austria fulfilled this German longing on 13 March 1938.


http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/pimpfhitler.htm

Adolf Hitler’s goal is the union of all Germans. He experienced our people’s need not in books, rather as a person born Austrian whose entire earlier life was filled with the longing for a Greater German Reich. Adolf Hitler will give this longing, which today fills 100 million Germans, political reality.


http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/angrif12.htm

However, many of his opponents seemed to have used his Austrian origin as an insult:

Image

24. This Mjölnir poster comes from the March/April 1932 presidential elections. The text in red at the top translates as:

Grzesinski [the head of the Berlin Police] says: “How shameful is is for the German people that this foreigner Hitler . . . can speak about Germany’s future . . . without someone chasing this man away with a dog whip!”

Below the text reads: “Front soldiers. German men and women!! Give the answer! Hitler Reich President!” The point is that, until just before the election in 1932, Hitler was an Austrian citizen. The poster suggests that as a decorated soldier n the German army, the complaint is absurd. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.


Yet, the Nazis also played on Hitler's citizenship in posters too:

Image

25. I think this is also from 1932. It too deals with Hitler’s citizenship. The caption: “A front soldier earns his German citizenship. All German front soldiers who, like Adolf Hitler, earned and proved their citizenship through blood and the risk of their lives, read the Völkischer Beobachter, the newspaper of their comrade Adolf Hitler. Fight for the truth! Death to the lie! Each German man and woman will vote for Adolf Hitler!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.


http://www.bytwerk.com/gpa/posters1.htm

Even during the 1930s when Austria was not yet part of Germany, schools told the Austrian youth that they were Germans, a textbook in 1935 stated "We Austrians are Germans. We belong to the German people. Whoever is an Austrian is at the same time a good German. The federal chancellor Dr. Dollfuss, who died for our fatherland, said 'We happily recognize our Germaneness.'"

K. Korostelin, History Education in the Formation of Social Identity: Toward a Culture of Peace, p. 108

You have also mentioned about a reconstructed Austrian identity after WW2, Peter Thaler in his book The Ambivalence of Identity: The Austrian Experience of Nation-building in a Modern Society quotes a survey in 1956 which states that even after 10 years of being an independent country again 46% of Austrians still considered themselves to be Germans. (p. 167)

CroGer
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby CroGer » 15 Nov 2017 20:10

Three generations before Adolf Hitler’s birth it was still Bavarian, and it is only the result of dynastic disputes that it is today part of Austria.
[...]
That Germanism could be safeguarded only by the destruction of Austria, and, furthermore, that national sentiment is in no sense identical with dynastic patriotism; that above all the House of Hapsburg was destined to be the misfortune of the German nation


Yes, that's basically what it was about.

Hitler wrote elaborately about his youth and feelings towards "Austria", as well as the question what "Austria" even is.
And in these quotes also lies the reason why I say that Hitler's world view was born in Austria-Hungary. Germans hated the poles - and Poles hated them. But Hitler despised all slavs, czechs maybe even more than poles. He was completely against any concessions towards slavs within his new Reich.

Quotes from Hitler about his childhood in Austria.
Note that the Habsburgs wanted to prevent their empire from breaking apart, so they played a game of suppression of and concession to nationalistic sentiments within their empire.


What has happened always and everywhere, in every kind of struggle, happened also in the language fight which was carried on in the old Austria. [...] Even in the schools this sifting already began to take place. [...] The tactical objective of the fight was the winning over of the child, and it was to the child that the first rallying cry was addressed:
"German youth, do not forget that you are a German," and "Remember, little girl, that one day you must be a German mother."

[...]
Under many forms the young people led the struggle, fighting in their own way an d with their own weapons. They refused to sing non-German songs. [...] They were incredibly alert in the significance of what the non-German teachers said and they contradicted in unison. They wore the forbidden emblems of their own kinsfolk and were happy when penalised for doing so, or even physically punished.
[...]
And thus it was that at a comparatively early age I took part in the struggle which the nationalities were waging against one another in the old Austria. When meetings were held for the South Mark German League and the School League we wore cornflowers and black-red-gold colours to express our loyalty. We greeted one another with HEIL! and instead of the Austrian anthem we sang our own DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER ALLES, despite warnings and penalties.


Hitler about Austria

The old Austria was a multi-national State. [....] The Germans of the REICH did not realize that if the Germans in Austria had not been
of the best racial stock they could never have given the stamp of their own character to an Empire of 52 millions, so definitely that in Germany itself the idea arose--though quite an erroneous one--that Austria was a German State.
[...]

Ten million people cannot permanently hold together a State of fifty millions, composed of different and convicting nationalities, unless certain definite pre-requisite conditions are at hand while there is still time to avail of them
[...]
As soon as the House of Habsburg had definitely decided to transform Austria into a Slav State all sorts of means were adopted which seemed in any way serviceable for that purpose. The Habsburg rulers had no scruples of conscience about exploiting even religious institutions in the service of this new 'State Idea'. One of the many methods thus employed was the use of Czech parishes and their clergy as instruments for spreading Slav hegemony throughout Austria.
[...]
Even at the price of a long and slow Slaviz-ation of the Austrian Germans the State would secure no guarantee of a really durable Empire; because it was very questionable if and how far the Slavs possessed the necessary capacity for constructive politics.
[...]
The 'Imperial House' favoured the Czechs on every possible occasion. Indeed it was the hand of the goddess of eternal justice and inexorable retribution that caused the most deadly enemy of Germanism in Austria, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, to fall by the very bullets which he himself had helped to cast. Working from above downwards, he was the chief patron of the movement to make Austria a Slav State.
[...]
That the dissolution of the Austrian Empire is a preliminary condition for the defence of Germany; further, that national feeling is by no means
identical with dynastic patriotism; finally, and above all, that the House of Habsburg was destined to bring misfortune to the German nation.

As a logical consequence of these convictions, there arose in me a feeling of intense love for my German-Austrian home and a profound hatred for the Austrian State.
[...]
It was lucky for Germany that the war of 1914 broke out with Austria as its direct cause, for thus the Habsburgs were compelled to participate. Had the origin of the War been otherwise, Germany would have been left to her own resources. [...] If Germany had been forced to go to war for some reason of its own, Austria would have remained 'neutral' in order to safeguard the State against a revolution which might begin immediately after the war had started. The Slav element would have preferred to smash up the Dual Monarchy in 1914 rather than permit it to come to the assistance of Germany.
[...]
When the Habsburg State crumbled to pieces in 1918 the Austrian Germans instinctively raised an outcry for union with their German fatherland.
[...]
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.

Lamarck
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 16 Nov 2017 18:47

Did any other Austrians apart from extreme German nationalists have the same views as Hitler?

Hitler argued in 1921 that Germany had one task: "incorporating the ten million German-Austrians in the Empire and dethroning the Hapsburgs, that most miserable dynasty ever ruling over German lands."

Brigitte Hamann, Hitler's Vienna: A Portrait of the Tyrant as a Young Man, p. 107

In 1921, would many other Austrians have agreed with such a statement?

Generally speaking, do any sort of pan-German ideas also include annexing Austria and the Austrians being part of Germany?

Also, why do so many people emphasis the fact that Hitler was Austrian? Is it based on ignorance or just deliberately ignoring Austria's and Germany's shared history?

CroGer
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Location: Germany

Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby CroGer » 17 Nov 2017 03:17

Like I said, we are talking about the sentiments of 80 million people.

In general, Germany and Austria had a similar history after WW1. Both were torn between various groups of nationalists, many of them part of "Freikorps", on one side, and socialists on the other side.

Germany and Austria turned into facist dictatorships at around the same time. Germany in 1933 and Austria in 1934.

Hitler, IMO, can be used a great source for the psychology behind what led to the Nazi empire, since I think that his success was only possible, because he could like no other formulate the (ethnical) german psyche at that time.

If you want to understand the german psyche of the NS time, I recommend then writings of Sebastian Haffner. Sebastian Haffner was a german journalists with a jewish wife. So he fled to the UK. He wrote several exceptionally well written and on-point articles and books about what led to the "Hitlerisation" of the germans as an ethnicity.

The Germans after WW1 had all reasons to be angry and afraid. Hitler managed to adress that better than anybody else. He was almost a personification of the german psyche between 1914 and 1940. Highly reccommended reading.

I doubt that writers from the anglo-saxon sphere understand the german psyche. I doubt that they even take the conflict between catholics and protestants into account.
I also think that in post WW2 writings there was a narrative that had to be uphold. There had to be a justification of the ethnical cleansing of parts that since the middle ages were german.


The reason why many emphasize that Hitler was an austrian has seveal reasons. Germans mock austrians. Because Austria-Hungary was the birthplace of Hitlerism - what I tried you to show in Hitler's quotes. Yet austrians try to act like victims, hence shuffle off all resposibility to Germany. It's quite easy for them, since the "Nation" Hitler led was called Germany, not Germany-Austria

What made the austrian dictatorship of 1934 different? Their identity was catholic and they still tried to allign themselves more with italy than the predominantely prussian Germany. Yet austria was a state that was unable to survive on it's own. It was antisemitic, and it was anti-socialist.
Yet Hitler was one of "their's".


Now look at it from a german perspective: Hitler was austrian. Hitler's speech after the Anschluß at the Ringstrasse was answered with roaring support.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRSwWuVtHF4

Treatment of jews by austrians right after the Anschluß:

Image

Immediately, the Nazis - Gestapo, SS, and the likes - became active in austria. There was no significant resistance.
But even worse. 8% of the german population was austrian, yet these austrians made up 13% of the SS, 40% of the KZ guards and 75% of the KZ-commanders. You can add another 30% as Sudetengermans, and "Volksdeutsche" from Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia - all former austrians.

Yet for 72 years Austria has depicted itself as a victim. Austrians, even today, frequently allude to Nazis as "a german movement".
Now you can probably understand why a lot of germans are quite p*** off about the austrians trying to shuffle off all resposibility for Hitlerism to Germany.
It is, in all honesty, despicable.

Now you have 72 years of history of that. In general you can say that many germans don't like austrians.

German in WW2 is german as an ethnicity. "Hitler" was also the Führer of the 786.000 germans in Romania. His status wasn't limited by a political border.

Does it matter how many people were supporters? It changed quite a lot. Stauffenberg initially wasn't a fan of Hitler at all. But after the victory over France, there was a time where he thought that Hitler might be in fact the right man. But then, that changed again.

In the last Reichstags-election, the NSDAP won with 43,9%. Voter participation was 88%, so Hitler was voted for by 38,9% of the germans eligable to vote. Even thought that is quite a lot, you still had 61% that didn't vote for him.
In the years between 1934 and 1940, it is understandable that the aproval rate rose significantly. Because he, a common man that came from the gutter, seemed to turn everything he touched into gold.

Yet who voted for what happened after the victory over france? Who wanted to fight a war against russia? Who wanted to physically exterminate the jews?

What I am trying to say is: you had different opinions. There was a time where Hitler was ridiculed in the german media, a time where most people thought he would fail, a time where people were amazed by him, and a time where many - who might have been supporters a few years earlier - disavowed him.

The Austria-German relationship after WW2 is a different topic.
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.


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