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In Vienna he acquired his first education in politics by studying the demagogic techniques of the popular Christian-social Mayor, Karl Lueger, and picked up the stereotyped, obsessive anti-Semitism with its brutal, violent sexual connotations and concern with the "purity of blood" that remained with him to the end of his career.From crackpot racial theorists like the defrocked monk, Lanz von Liebenfels, and the Austrian Pan-German leader, Georg von Schoenerer, the young Hitler learned to discern in the "Eternal Jew" the symbol and cause of all chaos, corruption and destruction in culture, politics and the economy.He concluded that the road to power lay not through force alone but through legal subversion of the Weimar Constitution, the building of a mass movement and the combination of parliamentary strength with extra-parliamentary street terror and intimidation.Helped by Goering and Goebbels he began to reassemble his followers and rebuild the movement which had disintegrated in his absence.In January 1925 the ban on the Nazi Party was removed and Hitler regained permission to speak in public.Outmaneuvering the "socialist" North German wing of the Party under Gregor Strasser, Hitler re-established himself in 1926 as the ultimate arbiter to whom all factions appealed in an ideologically and socially heterogeneous movement.The young Hitler was a resentful, discontented child.
Assigned by the Reichswehr in the summer of 1919 to "educational" duties which consisted largely of spying on political parties in the overheated atmosphere of post-revolutionary Munich, Hitler was sent to investigate a small nationalistic group of idealists, the German Workers' Party.
In addition to peasants, artisans, craftsmen, traders, small businessmen, ex-officers, students and declasse intellectuals, the Nazis in 1929 began to win over the big industrialists, nationalist conservatives and army circles.
With the backing of the press tycoon, Alfred Hugenberg, Hitler received a tremendous nationwide exposure just as the effects of the world economic crisis hit Germany, producing mass unemployment, social dissolution, fear and indignation.
Hitler proved an able, courageous soldier, receiving the Iron Cross (First Class) for bravery, but did not rise above the rank of Lance Corporal.
Twice wounded, he was badly gassed four weeks before the end of the war and spent three months recuperating in a hospital in Pomerania.