He Never Knew Who He Was

By Mduduzi Mbiza. Mduduzi, 26, from Pretoria, South Africa, is a writer, content strategist, researcher, consultant, speaker, and author of the book 'Human Education: The Voyage of Discovery'. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

“For the first time in my life – I was then eleven years old – I felt myself forced into open opposition. No matter how hard and determined my father might be about putting his own plans and opinions into action, his son was no less obstinate in refusing to accept ideas on which he set little or no value. I would not become a civil servant.” – Young Adolf Hitler

At just eleven years old, Adolf Hitler was already in an argument with his father about what he would possibly grow to be. The young boy was adamant that he would not become a public servant.

“This happened when I was twelve years old. How it came about I cannot exactly say now; but one day it became clear to me that I would be a painter – I mean an artist.”

In early 1908, after the death of his mother, 18 year-old Adolf Hitler left his hometown of Linz and moved to Vienna. He saw Vienna as the ideal place to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. Hitler spent his first months in Vienna sleeping late, sketching and reading piles of books.

He applied to the Academy of Fine Art and was rejected. In his book, ‘Mein Kampf’, he mentions that the rejection struck him “as a bolt from the blue,” and this could have been because he was so convinced of his success. In the fall of 1908, he applied again, and again he was rejected. It is said that his time in Vienna shaped his world view, especially in politics.

In August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Hitler was voluntarily enlisted in the Bavarian Army. According to a 1924 report by the Bavarian authorities, allowing Hitler to serve was an administrative error, since, as an Austrian citizen, he should have been returned to Austria.

He served as a dispatch runner on the Western Front in France and Belgium, spending nearly half his time at the regimental headquarters in Fournes-en-Weppes. During his service, Hitler continued to pursue his artwork, drawing cartoons and instructions for an army newspaper.

On the 15th of October 1918, Hitler was temporarily blinded in a mustard gas attack and was hospitalised in Pasewalk. While there, he learned of Germany’s defeat.

The ‘treatment’ is said to have inspired Hitler to think he had a mission to lead Germany to greatness, potentially setting in motion the events which led to his rise to power.

In July 1919 he was appointed intelligence agent of a reconnaissance unit of the Reichswehr, assigned to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate the German Workers’ Party (DAP). At a DAP meeting on 12 September 1919, Anton Drexler gave Hitler a copy of his pamphlet, ‘My Political Awakening’, which contained anti-Semitic, nationalist, anti-capitalist, and anti-Marxist ideas. Hitler was ordered to apply to join the party, and within a week was accepted as a party member which later became the National Socialist German Workers Party. In July 1921, Hitler became chairman of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

On April 1st 1924 Hitler was given a five-month prison sentence. During his time in prison he wrote his first ever book, ‘Mein Kampf’, which he published in 1925.

In 1932 Hitler turned down government invites. He didn’t want anything less than to be chancellor.

Between 1932 and 1933, Franz von Papen and Alfred Hugenberg, along with several other industrialists and businessmen urged Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as leader of a government, independent from parliamentary parties. Hindenburg reluctantly agreed to appoint Hitler as chancellor. Hitler had insisted on the ministerial positions as a way to gain control over the police in much of Germany.

“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” – Michel Foucault.

As a young boy, Adolf Hitler never wanted to be a civil servant, instead he pursued painting as a career. However, he failed. He went into the army as a dispatch runner. He somehow failed as he was temporarily blinded by mustard gas. Even in his early life, he drifted from job to job trying to survive as he pursued artistry as a career.

In July 1919 he was appointed intelligence agent of a reconnaissance unit of the Reichswehr.

He was the Führer of the Nazi Party. He also became Chancellor of Germany and the Führer of Germany.

Adolf Hitler never believed in surrendering, that’s why he was not pleased with Germany losing World War I. He became a dictator to prove his point, but he died a coward.

“The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”

He never knew who he was. He drifted from being one person to being someone else. Even in his last days inside his bunker, he became someone different, a coward, and ran away from this world, for good. No one can ever know who they really are. No matter how hard we try, we are always going to drift from being one person to being someone else we weren’t before. It is in our best interest to live each version of ourselves the best way we can.

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