Synopses & Reviews
Already a critically acclaimed bestseller in Germany and in Austria, Hitler's Vienna
explores the critical, formative years which Hitler spent in Vienna, painting a fascinating portrait of the development of his ideas and career against the social, cultural, and political climate of the capitol of the Hapsburg Empire.
Hitler's Vienna was not the artistic and intellectual center normally associated with Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Arthur Schnitzler, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Instead, it was a cauldron of fear and indignation, a city teeming with the "little people" who rejected Viennese modernity as too international, too "Jewish," and too libertine. Indeed, Hitler's Vienna was a breeding ground for obscure political theories, usually propagated by disadvantaged men living together in hostels. To them, being "better" in this multinational city meant belonging to the "noble German people." Brigitte Hamann compellingly depicts the undercurrent of disturbing social and political ideologies that permeated this city of civil unrest. Drawing on previously untapped resources, she gives us the fullest account ever rendered of the young fuhrer.
Hitler's Vienna reveals the vital connection between Hitler's indoctrination into the devastating racial politics that swept Germany's multinational state and the hotbed of nationalistic activity that was Vienna in the early 20th century. It is a profoundly important addition to present Hitler scholarship.
"Hamann's deep knowledge of Vienna and her skeptical approach to previous sources results in a double-sided portrait that will help readers to understand both the Dual Monarchy and WWI and the Third Reich and WWII."--Publishers Weekly
"A virtuoso piece both of research and exposition...Brigitte Hamann is an author of great flair, as well as being thorough, scholarly, and thoughtful."--Robert Evans, Oxford University
"The world needs another Hitler biography like it needs another squirrel, but his one is different and worth the effort.... Hamann paints a fascinating picture of the events and readings that shaped the young Hitler. Much of this information will be unfamiliar to American readers, and translator Thornton has done a masterful job of inserting notes to help those unfamiliar with the details of Austrian history. Highly recommended for any library with serious interest in 20th-century European history."--Library Journal
"A fascinating and impressive book...whether one accepts its underlying thesis, Hitler's Vienna serves as a prologue to the inhuman." --George Steiner, [London] Times Literary Supplement
"A valuable social history of Vienna's netherworld and an attempt at explaining Hitler's anti-Semitism."--Kirkus Reviews
This biography is of Adolf Hitler's boyhood and adolescence until his departure from Austria. It provides a cultural history of Vienna as he encountered it, and examines eyewitness accounts of his early years. It analyzes the influence of the politicians who determined Hitler's political path.
Hitler's Vienna explores the critical, formative years that the young Adolf Hitler spent in Vienna. It is both a cultural and political portrait of the Austrian capital and a biography of Hitler during his years there, from 1906 to 1913. Hitler's was not the modern, artistic "fin-de-sicle Vienna" we associate with Freud, Mahler, and Wittgenstein. Instead, it was a cauldron of fear and ethnic rivalry and a breeding ground for racist political theories. Brigitte Hamann vividly depicts the undercurrent of disturbing ideologies that flowed beneath the glitter of the Hapsburg capital. Drawing on previously untapped sources that range from personal reminiscences to the records of homeless shelters where the unemployed Hitler spent his nights, Hamann gives us the fullest account ever rendered of this period of Hitler's life and shows us how profoundly his years in Vienna influenced his later career.
About the Author
is a Ph.D. and specialist in 19th and 20th-century history, specifically of Austrian history. She is the author of many books in German, some of which have been translated into English, including The Reluctant Empress: A Biography of Empress Elisabeth of Austria
and Bertha von Suttner. A Life for Peace