Adolf Hitler is one of the most infamous figures of the twentieth century. He was leader of the Nazi party in Germany and was responsible for a horrific catalogue of crimes against humanity during the Second World War. However, there are also some facts about Hitler that are not commonly known and could surprise even the most knowledgeable history enthusiast.
Firstly, Hitler had a passion for art. Before he came to power, Hitler worked as a painter and from 1910 to 1913 he even studied art at Vienna Academy. The subjects of his paintings were typically cityscapes of Vienna and Munich, although he was not a very talented painter. Despite this, he believed himself to be an expert in art and supposedly enjoyed giving lectures on the subject.
Another interesting fact about Hitler is that he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939. This was not a genuine nomination, however, as it was put forward by the Swedish Nazi party in the hope that he would win. Interestingly, the Nobel committee was aware of this and so did not consider his nomination.
A third fact about Hitler concerns his diet. Hitler was a vegetarian who was extremely health conscious and would often work late into the night. He was also partial to a snack of herbal tea an oat or linseed biscuit. Furthermore, he was not a fan of smoking, drinking or drug-taking. He believed that alcohol and drugs dulled his mental faculties and so sought to avoid them at all costs.
Hitler also had a strong belief in the supernatural. When he was struggling with a difficult decision, he would often have his palm read. He also believed in astrology and would often consult a clairvoyant before making any major decisions. Furthermore, he was a devoted believer in the power of luck and fate, believing that the outcome of any event was preordained by a higher power.
Perhaps the most surprising fact about Hitler is that he was an animal lover. Hitler had a soft spot for animals and kept a variety of pets, including a white mouse, two terriers and a Scottish fold cat. He also had a particular fondness for his Alsatian dog, Blondi, whom he often took on walks and fed tidbits from the Fuhrer’s Table.
Hitler and the Occult
Hitler and the Nazis had a keen interest in the occult and believed in the power of ancient symbols and rituals. Hitler himself was fascinated by the occult and sought out experts from all over Europe in an attempt to learn more about it. He also believed in supernatural powers and often consulted an astrologer for advice about major decisions. Most shockingly, Hitler also founded a secret society called the Order of the Black Sun. This group was dedicated to researching and harnessing occult power in pursuit of Nazi objectives.
Hitler and the Final Solution
Hitler’s calls for the extermination of Jews and other ‘inferior’ races were central to his ideology. This policy of racial extermination became known as the ‘Final Solution’ and it was overseen by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler. The Final Solution targeted millions of Jews, Slavs, Poles, Roma and other groups across Europe, many of whom were killed in concentration camps.
Hitler and Espionage
Hitler and the Nazi regime employed a number of treacherous methods of espionage during the Second World War. These included the use of secret agents, the bribing of traitors and double agents, and the manipulation of media outlets in order to spread Nazi propaganda. Furthermore, Hitler was adept at the use of psychological warfare, including the use of fear, intimidation and terror to control his enemies.
Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party
Hitler joined the German Workers Party (DAP) in 1919 and it was through his charismatic oratory that the party grew in popularity. After renaming the party the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP or Nazi Party) in 1920, Hitler rapidly rose through its ranks. His success was largely due to his ability to appeal to the fears and grievances of the German people, which he harnessed to gain a majority in the Reichstag.