Hitler in vienna: exposing the fuhrer and nazi vienna

Which important sites of Adolf Hitler in Vienna should be visited to follow his footsteps? Since Hitler locations in Vienna have no plaques and signs, you have to know what you are looking for first.

Although I hate to say it, Vienna played a central role in making Adolf Hitler a Nazi leader. First, he was bitterly rejected as an artist in Vienna and slipped into poverty. It was also in Vienna where he encountered passionate anti-Semitism and began to doubt democracy. On the other hand, as early as 1931, Vienna was the perfect catalyst for the Fuhrer’s National Socialist ideology. Without a doubt, Nazi Vienna fueled Hitler’s expansion into Europe.

Here are the 10 most important locations of Hitler and places where he stayed for a long time.

1. Hitler at the Academy of Fine Arts

Hitler in Vienna: Academy of Fine Arts

Hitler in Vienna. As a young man Hitler wanted to study art at the Academy of Fine Arts. But the Academy twice rejected his watercolors and drawings in 1907 and 1908. In fact, Hitler’s test drawings were deemed unsatisfactory, indicating a lack of talent. While Academy jurors felt Hitler had the ability to draw architecture, he could not appreciate the human form. "Too few "heads" was the response of the Academy in 1908 and did not even allow him to do further test drawings. His architectural drawings were considered to be of good quality by contemporary art historians, although they were somewhat dated. Subsequently, Hitler tried to earn a living by selling watercolors of Viennese scenes. However, he ended up having financial disputes with his business partner.

Even if you find no historical traces of Hitler, visit the institution that could have changed the course of world history. Housed in a magnificent palace, the Gallery of Classical Art, with the best European masters, is also a perfect art treasure outside the mainstream. (Until the end of 2020, the gallery has temporarily moved to the Theater Museum in Lobkowitz Castle.)

2. House in the Stumpergasse

Hitler in Vienna. XNUMX Adolf Hitler shared a small room with his childhood friend August Kubizek in an apartment on Stumpergasse XNUMX in Mariahilf (XNUMX. Bezirk). After Hitler used up his family inheritance, he had to leave the apartment and became temporarily homeless. From time to time he used the homeless shelter in the XNUMX. district of Meidling, before he rented a cheap room in a large men’s home.

Although you can’t enter the apartment, it’s worth visiting the area to get an idea of the place where Hitler once called home. Combine it pragmatically with a visit to the Imperial Furniture Collection (aka Habsburg Museum furniture), 20-25 min walk away.

3. Adolf Hitler house in Hirschengasse

Hitler House in Hirschengasse, Vienna

Hitler in Vienna. As the example of the Adolf Hitler House shows, it can still be difficult to uncover the history of Nazi Vienna. In 1931, Vienna’s NSDAP bought the three-story building on Hirschengasse in the sixth district. In fact, this house was to become a "brown house" in the will be made available, similar to the one in Munich. From then on, the Adolf Hitler House became the power center of National Socialist Austria, years before Hitler annexed Austria. By 1933, Vienna’s Nazis had radicalized enough to regularly terrorize Jews and political opponents.

Today, the Austrian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture uses the building as a youth hostel. Surprisingly, hardly any of the young Austrians who visit their capital city are aware of the dark past of their accommodation. Despite some reporting, I doubt many other Austrians know about it. Especially since the ministry decided to release information only "upon explicit request," similar to the one in Munich pass on.

4. Hitler 1938 in Vienna: Heldenplatz

Hitler in Vienna: Heldenplatz

Hitler in Vienna. Heldenplatz and the newer part of the Hofburg (New Castle) became Hitler’s big stage and birthplace of National Socialist Vienna. When he proclaimed the homecoming of Austria at the Anschluss in 1938, 250,000 enthusiastic Viennese cheered him at Heldenplatz. This square symbolized centuries of power of the German-speaking nation. (Nevertheless, Hitler did not like the Habsburg monarchy and its multi-ethnic empire.) As the cover photo shows, the Fuhrer chose to make his proclamation from the balcony of the New Castle. The name Heroes’s Square has nothing to do with the Nazis, but comes from the Napoleonic Wars and the victory over the Turks.

"As Fuhrer and Chancellor of the German Nation and Reich, I report before history the entry of my homeland into the German Reich." (Adolf Hitler at the Heldenplatz, 12. March 1938)

5. Nazi Vienna: Holocaust memorials

HItler in Vienna: Hrdlicka or Holocaust Memorial

Hitler in Vienna. Shortly after the Anschluss, Hitler’s NSDAP began to systematically suppress and persecute Viennese Jews. Two monuments symbolize the atrocities of Nazi Vienna: the Hrdlicka Monument On Albertinaplatz – named after its creator, Alfred Hrdlicka – shows a Jew scrubbing the floor with his toothbrush. Right next door, the sculpture against war and fasciscm called Gate of Violence is made of granite from the Mauthausen concentration camp. With thousands of stone books Shoah Memorial at Judenplatz commemorates Viennese Jews who lost their lives. Each of the 65,000 books represents the story of a Viennese Jew. As with Heldenplatz, you’ll find it easy to visit Holocaust memorials because they’re so centrally located.

6. Air defense towers

Hitler in Vienna: FLAK Tower Augarten

Hitler in Vienna. The three gigantic Viennese defense towers of the Second World War are probably the most bizarre monuments of the city. The FLAK towers were built only in the last months of World War II and helped defend Vienna against air raids and provide protection for the public. At almost 2 meters, the massive reinforced concrete cylinders are not only indestructible, they have also been transformed into deliberate monuments against war. This picture shows one of the towers in the Baroque Augarten. Unlike the other towers, one FLAK tower is accessible: the House of the Sea houses Vienna’s public aquarium and conducts daily guided tours (11.00 and 4.00 o’clock) through a small exhibition room about the history of these defense towers through.

7. Hitler in the Museum of Military History

Hitler in Vienna: Museum of Military History

Hitler in Vienna. Why doesn’t the Museum of Military History make a separate section about history changers like Hitler or World War II? The main reason to add the period from the end of World War I to the outbreak of World War II is certainly the context. The first thing to remember is that Hitler’s phenomenal rise in Austria and subsequent war stemmed from the collapse of the Habsburg Empire. At the Museum of Military History you can explore the roots of Hitler and National Socialism in Austria. Key exhibits include original historical objects, from war uniforms and an Allied Forces vehicle to Nazi posters and the strangest Hitler paraphernalia.

8. Documentation Center of the Austrian Resistance

Hitler in Vienna: Documentation Center of the Austrian Resistance

There is no better place in Vienna to learn the truth about Nazi Vienna than at the Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance. Few know, for example, that the Gestapo headquarters in Vienna was larger than the one in Berlin. Moreover, it was very easy for the German Gestapo to recruit its members from the Vienna police force. This was especially the result of the enormously successful campaign of the German NSDAP in Austria since 1931.

First you can see various documents, photos, letters and Nazi posters about the Gestapo. I found the stories about the deportation of Austrian Jews and Austrian resistance fighters most enlightening. Visitors who lost family members in Vienna during this period can also access a database of more than 63.000 victims.

9. The Third Man Museum

Hitler in Vienna: The Third Man Museum

Hitler in Vienna. At first glance, you would not add the private collection of a local man.The third man’film fanatics to complete your factual insight into Hitler in Vienna and World War II. In fact, part of this internationally renowned museum contains an unprecedented amount of impressive original documents about life in Vienna in the years after the war. At this time, the Allies occupied Vienna, as post-war soldiers and even some Jewish families returned, as local "Trummerfrauen" cleaned up the city and citizens had "Dachkaninchen" (aka cat) instead of Wiener Schnitzel.

If you’re lucky, you’ll meet passionate museum owner Gerhard Strassgschwandtner, who is happy to share his insights about this dark part of Vienna’s history, as well as the history of his museum.

Extra tip: Hitler’s Vienna Tour

'Heil Hitler' objects in Vienna's military museum

Most major landmarks, such as Heldenplatz, also have other historical contexts. Some, like the Holocaust memorials, are more reminiscent of the effects of the Fuhrer’s regime than of his physical presence.

To get the best insight into Hitler in Vienna, combine major sights with museums. It is equally important to maintain a consistent history: A good tour guide can provide the contextual framework of deliver Hitler’s Vienna and postwar Vienna as you go.

10. Other sites related to Hitler in Vienna

Apart from the most important locations, you often follow in Hitler’s footsteps in Vienna without knowing it.

When he came to Vienna, for example XNUMX, Hitler liked to stay at the luxurious Hotel Imperial on the Ringstrasse. (This did not prevent the Nazi regime from sending Jewish co-owner Samuel Schallinger and his family to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where they all died XNUMX.) He also behaved like a classic tourist, regularly visiting the Vienna State Opera and the Burgtheater, and admiring the magnificent buildings of the Ringstrasse. Hitler also visited the Hofburgkapelle several times to listen to the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

continue to Jewish Vienna – map, top sights and walks
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