ljadw wrote: ↑
08 Oct 2021 17:56
These two sentences contradict each other .
If ethnicity is ancestry,(and the opposite ) ,Hitler could not say that he was an ethnically southern German,as he had no German ancestors .
A lot of Austrians (at certain moments,a majority ) considered themselves as Germans,some as Austrian Germans, others as German Austrians, although there had been til 1871 no German state . The reasons why they did do this were diverse;they spoke the same language,had a common history ,etc.But these reasons were questionable:the majority of the Swiss had also the same language and a common history, but did not consider themselves as Germans .
After WWI there was an other reason which became dominant : the opinion in Austria was that Austria could not survive as it now existed and that the socio-economic situation became intolerable .
Hitler became a German nationalist because his teachers at school had told him that Austrians were in reality Austrian Germans ,and, he did not consider himself as a southern German, because (as Napoleon ) he wanted to crush all particularism in Germany, especially that of Bavaria .
That before the war he lived in Bavaria and at the start of the war he volunteered in a Bavarian regiment ,does not mean that the considered himself as a Bavarian,as a Bavarian who was loyal to the catholic Wittelsbach king .
After the Anschluss the Austrian Nazis were out and even the name of Austria disappeared,because Hitler (as Napoleon in France )distrusted all forms of particularism and regionalism ,and there was a lot of it in Germany and in Austria .The result was a big disappointment in Austria.
Of course Hitler had German ancestors - his family were Austrian Germans who had lived in more or less the same area for centuries. There was even a pamphlet which detailed all of Hitler’s ancestors that was published in the late 1930s. Hitler ordered genealogists to research his family tree and it was published for the German public to read. Hitler’s birthplace was previously under Bavarian rule. There are plenty of cities and towns that have changed from Austrian rule to Bavarian rule and vice versa.
As Joachim Fest in his book The Face of the Third Reich
on pages 19-20 wrote:
The indulgence normally accorded to a man's origins is out of place in the case of Adolf Hitler, who made documentary proof of Aryan ancestry a matter of life and death for millions of people but himself possessed no such document. He did not know who his grandfather was. Intensive research into his origins, accounts of which have been distorted by propagandist legends and which are in any case confused and murky, has failed so far to produce a clear picture. National Socialist versions skimmed over the facts and emphasised, for example, that the population of the so-called Waldviertel, from which Hitler came, had been 'tribally German since the Migration of the Peoples', or more generally, that Hitler had 'absorbed the powerful forces of this German granite landscape into his blood through his father'.
Hitler’s Austrian ancestors were by definition ethnic Germans so of course he had German (Austrian German) ancestors.
Prior to 1866, the year of the German war, Austrians were considered Germans just like other types of Germans. Thus, Hitler’s parents were considered Germans (Austrian Germans) in the same way that Otto von Bismarck’s parents were considered Germans (Prussian Germans).
The fact that Austria lost the war since the Prussians defeated the Austrians did not mean that Austrians stopped considering themselves Germans, it just meant that when Germany was unified as a nation-state and the German Question was answered by the formation of small Germany (without Austria) the Austrians weren’t considered to be German citizens. However, a look at the Austrian-Hungarian Empire shows that the Austria was ethnically German.
Austrians are by definition southern Germans. Prussians are by definition northern Germans.
Hitler did consider himself to be a Bavarian. For example, on 22 February 1933 he said:
And you may take note of one thing: I myself am a Bavarian according to my origins, my birth and my descent. For the first time since the founding of the empire, Bismarck's dignity has been placed in the hands of a Bavarian.
And, on 2 February 1933 he said:
I myself come from the south, am a citizen of a Northern German State, but I regard myself as a German and live in German history.