Young Hitler: A Non- Fiction Novel

Young Hitler
Young Hitler

How did a lowly World War One veteran, with neither substantial education or wealth, rise to become the most reviled leader in the modern history of Europe?

In this account of the life of young Adolf Hitler, Claus Hant explores his psychology and development. From the heart of pre-war Vienna through to the horrors of the trenches in World War One, we go straight to the source of the forthcoming death and destruction Hitler unleashed decades later on Europe. We follow the young Adolf Hitler from his years in Linz, to his life as a struggling artist in Vienna, to the hellish trenches of World War One and then to an impoverished post-war Munich. The narrative follows the bizarre series of events that culminate in this lonely and eccentric young man becoming ‘The Fuehrer’ of the Third Reich.

Claus Hant has chosen to write this as a ‘non-fiction’ novel, a narrative in which the writer’s imagination assumes a subordinate role and is a facilitator of factual information. All of the major events experienced by Hitler in the book are based upon the latest academic research. Facts that have been known so far only to a small circle of specialised historians are introduced for the first time to a broader audience. With detailed appendices, this is the most accurate and compelling portrait of the young man who became one of the most notorious political leaders of the twentieth century.

Claus Hant is a German scriptwriter and the creator of a detective series that ran on prime time for over a decade and made German TV history with its audience figures: Der Bulle von Tölz. Hant has also written cinema films, his latest being Der grosse Kater, starring Bruno Ganz (Downfall).

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Spring Events in Vienna

Vienna State Opera
Vienna State Opera

Vienna is a bulwark of culture, be it music, art, history, both modern and old.  This spring the city hosts a variety of events which will no doubt attract thousands of visitors to the city.

26 Jan – 25 Apr 2010: Vermeer. The Art of Painting. Analysis of a Masterpiece/ Kunsthistorisches Museum

“The Art of Painting” is the sole focus of this exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum dedicated to the famous Dutch painter The show focuses on the work’s creation and its reception, composition and importance as a source of inspiration to others.

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1st district, www.khm.at

10 Feb – 24 May 2010: Jakob and Rudolf von Alt By Order of the Emperor/Albertina

The leading watercolorists of the day were commissioned by Archduke Ferdinand (from 1835 Emperor Ferdinand I) to compose a picture book of the most attractive scenery and major locations in the Austrian Empire and neighboring countries. Of the 300 large format watercolors on show, 227 are from the Albertina’s own holdings. The finest examples were created by Jakob and Rudolf von Alt, and a selection of their works is on display at this exhibition.

Albertina, Albertinaplatz 1, 1st district, www.albertina.at.

10 Feb – 30 May 2010: A Feast for the Eyes: Food in Still Life, Bank Austria Kunstforum

This exhibition looks at the way food and drink is portrayed in still life painting. It uses around 100 representative works from a range of artistic landscapes and eras spanning the 16th to 20th centuries to examine the history and importance of food in still-life painting

Bank Austria Kunstforum, Freyung 8, 1st district, www.kunstforumwien.at

11 Feb – 6 June 2010: Prince Eugene – General-Philosopher and Art Lover/Belvedere

Prince Eugene of Savoy was Austria’s most important military commander during the Turkish siege of Vienna. He later had the Belvedere built as his summer residence. This baroque gem is the backdrop for an exhibition presenting Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736) as field marshal, statesman and patron of science and the arts.

Belvedere, Lower Belvedere, Rennweg 6, 3rd district, www.belvedere.at

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Ball Season in Vienna – The Skinny

 Alfons Haider, the alleged influence behind Sacha Baron Cohen's gay fashion fanatic Bruno
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Tuesday June 23 2009. Alfons Haider at the Life Ball in Vienna. Haider is the alleged influence behind Sacha Baron Cohen’s gay fashion fanatic Bruno . The presenter of Austrian Strictly Come Dancing has been heavily suggested by the press in his home country as the figure on whom Baron Cohen has based his pitilessly satirical figure, Bruno, who wants to be the most famous Austrian since Hitler

Vienna has a long tradition of hosting grand balls, but if you missed out on the Vienna Philharmonic Ball last week, do not fear there is still plenty in store over the next few weeks.  Vienna hosts more than 300 balls a year, exuberantly celebrating the fasching carnival season. And it is not only the traditional waltz you will hear, contemporary sounds are having a greater influence every year. The Opera Ball at the Vienna State Opera (11 February, 2010) is something of a legend. This occasion provides the unique opportunity to view the opera house on the Ring Boulevard both from the auditorium and, as it were, “backstage”, rubbing shoulders with stars from the world of music.  www.wiener-staatsoper.at

The Vienna Philharmonic hosted its own ball at the Musikverein on the 21st January 2010. It is the only time it is possible to see the members of this world-famous orchestra for once waltz the night away.  (Only after the opening ceremony that is!)  www.wienerphilharmoniker.at

The Coffeehouse Owners’ Ball (5 February 2010) is deemed particularly atmospheric. Every year it attracts some 5,000 visitors to the Redoutensäle and Hofburg Palace. Afterwards, many guests choose to draw the night to a close at Café Landtmann where they are taken in traditional style by “fiacre shuttle”.  www.kaffeesiederball.at

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Charles the Bold, Museum of Fine Arts, Vienna

Reliquary of Charles the Bold Gerard Loyet Lille, around 1467/71 gold, silver, enamel Liege, Trésor de la Cathédrale
Reliquary of Charles the Bold Gerard Loyet Lille, around 1467/71 gold, silver, enamel Liege, Trésor de la Cathédrale

Charles the Bold is considered one of the most glittering personalities of the 15th century: On the one hand he was a powerful knight, on the other he appreciated the splendid imperial culture and all types of precious objects. The Museum of Fine Arts presents an impressive exhibition on the last ruler of Burgundy.

Shortly after his birth in 1433, Charles the Bold is dubbed knight of the order of the Golden Fleece. As the Duke of Burgundy, he extends the borders of his dominion, and therefore his influence, in numerous battles. His notable will to power and his military strength soon earn him the sobriquet “the Bold”.

He surrounds himself with valuable tapestries, noble trinkets and golden arms. For within the war-thirsty commander there also a lies a stylish prince, who likes to dazzle his political opponents with pomp and splendor. In his campaigns against the Swiss he loses incomparable riches (“Burgundy Booty”). Charles the Bold dies on the battlefield in 1477, aged just 43. Through the arranged marriage of his only daughter Maria to Maximilian I, he paves the way world empire for the Hapsburgs: Just two generations later, Emperor Charles V. reigns over an empire on which “the sun never sets”.

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Annie Leibovitz Photographic Exhibition in Vienna

Mikhail Baryshnikov & Rob Besserer, Cumberland Island, Georgia, 1990
Mikhail Baryshnikov & Rob Besserer, Cumberland Island, Georgia, 1990

The former head photographer of the magazines Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair  was born Anna-Lou Leibovitz in Connecticut in 1949 and became famous above all for her portraits of US celebrities. Her shots of Bette Midler, the Rolling Stones and Whoopi Goldberg have been seen around the world. However, Leibovitz was most renowned for capturing John Lennon and Yoko Ono just hours before Lennon was tragically shot and murdered.

Today The Kunst Haus Wien presents a cross-section of the artist’s creative work from 1990 to 2005 with the exhibition “A Photographer’s Life”.  The show  is an eclectic mix of photographs of politicians such as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Nelson Mandela and celebrities including Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson. More extraordinary are the many private, even occasionally intimate photographs from the everyday family life of the photographer. These include family parties, trips to the beach, moving images of the death of her father and shots of the birth of her three daughters, plus pictures of journeys to Sarajevo, Venice, Berlin, Kyoto and Cairo.

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