Discovered letters suggest Hitler ‘strongly influenced by father’

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Letters by Adolf Hitler’s father that was discovered in an Austrian attic shed new light on the dictator’s psychology, a historian argues in a book that was published on Monday.
Like Adolf Hitler, Alois Hitler vastly overestimated his capabilities and his self-taught knowledge, according to Austrian scholar Roman Sandgruber.
The historian analyses 31 previously unknown letters that Alois Hitler had sent to a man who sold him a farm in the Austrian village of Hafeld.
A descendant of the man approached Sandgruber five years ago and told him of the letters that she had found under the roof of her home.
The typewritten pages suggest that Hitler’s father, a customs official was “a know it all’’.
“His father always wanted to be an erudite landowner who stands above everyone else,’’ Sandgruber told dpa.
Father and son both despised authorities and shared anti-religious sentiments, according to the historian.
Adolf Hitler, who was born in 1889 in Upper Austria province, went on to become leader of the Nazi party and Chancellor of Germany.
He unleashed World War II and brought about the mass murder of Jews and other persecuted groups.
In his German-language book, which translates as “Hitler’s Father. How the Son Became a Dictator,’’ Sandgruber also argues that Hitler was already an anti-Semite as a youth in Upper Austria, disputing the idea that he started hating Jews only after moving to Vienna.
The original version of a biography by Hitler’s teenage friend August Kubizek shows that Hitler joined an anti-Semitic club only two months after his arrival in the Austrian capital, according to Sandgruber.

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