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Infamous Nazi leader Adolf Hitler (who caused the deaths of millions of people and the onset of World War II) had a horrid past he wanted to forget. He was known to the world as a powerful and controlling man but he wasn’t as domineering when he was younger.

Adolf Hitler the struggling artist

Though it’s difficult to imagine Hitler being incapable of achieving whatever he desired, when Hitler was younger (and the thought of eradicating Jews from the planet was far from his mind), he dreamed of becoming an artist. He fought with his father who disapproved of his artistic endeavors. When his father died, he was able to take the admissions exam at the Vienna Academy of the Arts. Unfortunately, the soon-to-be dictator’s art skills did not meet the standards of the Academy, and in 1907, he was rejected.

Not one to give up, the young Adolf moved to Vienna in 1908 with the hope of gaining admission into the Academy later. He initially got by with the inheritance left to him by his father, but after a year of trying to sell his paintings, he ran out of money and started living in homeless shelters.

Hitler remembered this time of homelessness as the “harshest and saddest” moment of his life. It was believed that Hitler tried to cover-up his failure when he rose to power by allegedly destroying evidence of his early life. There are police records, however, that show how the powerful dictator once lived in the Haus Meldemannstrasse, a homeless men’s hostel in northern Vienna from 1910 to 1913.

It is ironic that this chapter of his life (that he would rather forget) was mostly spent interacting with Jews, who made up most of the people living in the home. Even the homeless shelter he lived in for years was financed by rich Jewish benefactors. All things considered, it appeared that his hatred for the Jewish race is much more complicated than originally thought.