A Dictator’s Formative Years 1889 – 1914
World War II ended more than 75 years ago. Unleashed by Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists, it was by far the bloodiest war in modern history. The number of its victims exceeded 60 million, with civilians accounting for more than half of that number. More than six million Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazis, hundreds of thousands fell victim to racist and political persecution.
In this exhibition we raise the question of the first beginnings of all this: What were the sources of nationalism and militarism, racial hatred and antisemitism? To what extent had these mindsets taken root in society at the beginning of the twentieth century before the outbreak of World War I? How did they shape the youth of Adolf Hitler and his contemporaries?
Adolf Hitler spent the first twenty-four years of his life in Austria – in the Innviertel, in Linz and Vienna. He grew up in an environment where German nationalism and hatred of the Czechs were rife and watched the rise of the mass parties. His idols were the radical pan-German Georg Ritter von Schönerer and the antisemitic mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger.
A parallel narrative presents a biography of Hitler up to 1914 and focuses on political movements of the time.
The exhibition is a co-production with Haus der Geschichte im Museum Niederösterreich. Curators Haus der Geschichte im Museum NÖ/Idea and concept: Hannes Leidinger, Christian Rapp, Andrea Thuile, Benedikt Vogl
Curators Nordico Stadtmuseum Linz: Andrea Bina, Lisa Schmidt, Andreas Strohhammer
Exhibition design: Gerhard Abel, Waltraud Ertl / planet architects
The exhibition is accompanied by the biography „Young Hitler. A Dictator’s Formative Years 1889 – 1914” by Hannes Leidinger and Christian Rapp, Residenz Verlag, 256 pages, € 24, German only
The publication is available in the Nordico Shop.
*Please understand that we offer our video production in German language only.
The special exhibition “The Young Hitler. Formative Years of a Dictator. 1889 – 1914” was shown in cooperation with the Haus der Geschichte in St. Pölten. The show at the Haus der Geschichte has been digitized and is also permanently available online for a virtual visit on the museum’s website.