Hitler Begs

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At the age of twenty, in Vienna, with both parents dead and his meager inheritance dwindling, Adolf Hitler resorts to begging for money:
“By late fall he had sold most of his clothes, including his black winter overcoat, and so the snow and cold drove him to further humiliation. Huddled in a light jacket late one afternoon just before Christmas, he trudged all the way to Meidling in the outskirts of town. It took two and a half hours to reach his destination, the Asyl fur Obdachlose, a shelter for the destitute, and by the time he arrived be was exhausted, his feet sore. Run by a philanthropic society whose principal supporter was the Epstein family, it was originally constructed in 1870 and had been extensively rebuilt and reopened the year before. …
“On that cold December evening Hitler lined up with the other shivering, dejected ones outside the main gate of the Asyl. At last the door opened and the mob of homeless quietly filed in to be segregated by sex, with children accompanying mothers. Hitler got a card entitling him to a week’s lodging, and an assignment to one of the large dormitories. To a young man who cherished privacy it must have been a harrowing experience. First he had to endure the humiliation of showering in public and having his bug-ridden clothes disinfected; then his group was trooped like prison inmates to the main dining hall for soup and bread. Continue reading “Hitler Begs”