How did an eccentric drifter and inconsequential artist become one of history's most powerful rulers? Young Hitler takes a closer look at this momentous transformation.

Hitler's term as German Chancellor lasted just 12 years and ended with the death of 55 million people; the facts are well known. But what kind of life did Hitler lead before he stepped into the political spotlight? Historians who have scrutinized his personal development are perplexed by his rise to power. From a lower middle-class background and with only a primary school education, Hitler spent years as a starving artist on the streets and in the shelters of Vienna. Then, after World War One, the penniless army corporal suddenly emerged as a momentous historical figure and ultimately the very personification of evil. How did that happen?

Young Hitler invites the reader to experience who this young man really was: his mannerisms, his charm, his egoism, his dreams, his problems, his beliefs, his moods, his passions, his books and his music. It allows the reader to witness what happened: provincial Linz, decadent Vienna, the hellish trenches of World War One and an impoverished Munich – the stages of the tumultuous period between 1905 and 1920 when the young aspiring artist was transformed into a political leader. A quest for love and art, the philosophies of the 19th century, brushes with death, insanity and a secret society of occultists all combined to propel the future Führer to unimaginable heights.

I have written this book as a “non-fiction novel”, a narrative in which the writer’s imagination assumes a subordinate role and is merely the facilitator of factual information. Consequently all of the major events experienced by Hitler in this story are based on the latest available research. To substantiate these facts, I included detailed appendices together with research data and sources.