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WAGNER: Rienzi and Adolf Hitler

As usual, Christopher Jones enlightens us: "Adolf Hitler first saw "Rienzi" in the company of Gustl Kubizek in the Linz Opera house sometime in the early 1900's. I mentioned Kubizek's book: "Adolf Hitler, Mein Jugendfreund" a while ago.

Without much money in their pockets, Hitler and Kubizek would go to the Opera house early, to find the best places in the standing-room-only section. Young Adolf and Gustl saw all of Wagner's works while leaning against the columns of the old Opera house. Kubizek wrote that among all these operas, "Rienzi" had an almost mystical hold on young Adolf.

According to Kubizek, he went into a trancelike state after seeing the performance and, for the first time in his life, talked profusely about politics. Hitler was a clean cut, well spoken and cultivated young man who loved his mother dearly. When she died of breast cancer at age 47, the family physician, (a man named Dr Bloch) was very moved by Adolf's extraordinary grief.

Of course these stories go completely against the grain of the picture we have formed of Hitler: an evil, stupid, lazy monster who was incapable of emotions.

Even Hitler's so called failure to gain admittance to the Vienna Fine Arts Academy has been misrepresented. Only 28 students were admitted out of over 110 applicants! Yet another illustration of just how this sinister image was cultivated after the war was the fact that (to the best of my knowledge) Hitler's sister Paula was never interviewed about her life with her brother. She died in 1960".

Ronald Hilton - 08.26.03