The Propagander ™ FAQ: Did Hitler's Rejection From Art School Make Him Anti-Semitic?
Did Hitler's Rejection From Art School Make Him Anti-Semitic?
This idea, that Hitler's hatred of Jews began when he was rejected from art school by Jews, is in the literature and is still a common question in certain forums. August Kubizek claimed that Hitler railed against the Jews who were supposedly on the panel that rejected his application. But It is a myth and can be proved to be such.
Hitler failed his first entrance exam in October, 1907 and the second a year later. If he blamed his failure on "The Jews" he made no mention of it at the time. Kubizek's account can be discounted, as it is not in the more reliable first draft of his memoirs, and there is no other corroboration. In fact, there is not one bit of actual, documented proof that he was an anti-Semite before 1918. This myth is one he created himself in the early 1920's when he began to blame everything but burnt toast on the Jews.
It is also a myth that his rejection "tipped him overboard" or made him abandon his artistic pursuits. In fact, rejection by the Academy did not necessarily mean that a career in art was closed to him as one of those who flunked with him later became the Director of the very Academy that rejected him. In fact, Hitler accepted the judgement of the Academy because, as he himself explained in Mein Kampf, their explanation to him when he asked why he was rejected was because his talents were better suited for a career as an architect. He didn't mention that the judges were Jews in Mein Kampf, and one assumes he would have if they had been. In the event, they were not.
Even after Hitler failed his two attempts at being admitted as a student at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, he continued to work toward a career in art. He made his living off of painting small pictures which he sold to art dealers, most of whom were Jewish, usually scenes of Vienna favored by tourists. He also did commercial art, such as posters for Viennese businesses. Every time he changed residence and complied with the law that one must register their new address with the police he put his occupation down as 'artist' until he enlisted in 1914. He only stopped working full time on his art when WW1 broke out and he joined the Army. During the war (he was awarded an Iron Cross First Class on the recommendation of a Jewish officer), he continued to draw and there are at least a dozen pieces he did during this period, usually of ruins in France, where he was stationed.
After the war, he embarked on his career as a politician but never completely abandoned his painting. In fact, it was Hitler who designed the Nazi Swastika flag and some of the posters used in election campaigns, etc. As Fuehrer, he used his artistic talents to design public monuments and buildings that Albert Speer and others would build for him. There are many examples of Hitler drawings, oil paintings, and watercolors by Hitler during his entire life, even during WW2.
Hitler told Bormann and Speer that he intended to return to painting full time after his armies were victorious in WW2. He had plans to retire to Linz and devote the rest of his life to artistic pursuits. So, one can safely say that he never completely abandoned his aspiration to be a 'great artist,' but after 1914 he no longer devoted his full energies in the pursuit of a career as an artist.
Conclusion: This idea, that Hitler's anti-Semitism was caused by some wrong done to him by a Jew in his formative years, is merely another attempt to blame the Jews themselves for their own persecution. As with the other theories in this regard, there is no reliable proof to support the contention.
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Walther Johann von Löpp
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