Adolf Hitler in Vienna 1906-1913
Adolf Hitler in Vienna 1906-1913

In September 2017, I’ve visited Vienna and one of my desired routes, which took two days, covered visiting places where did Hitler live in Vienna or visited more than a hundred years ago. While preparing this material, I have been actively using a number of books I’ve read, including Hitler’s biography, written by Yan Kershaw, a monumental study of 1100 pages, and the books of John Toland, Alan Bulock, Joachim Fest, Peter Longerich, and Volker Ulrich. In addition, the most comprehensive study of Hitler’s ”Viennese period” is ‘Hitler in Vienna. A Portrait of a Dictator in His Youth’, written by Brigitte Hamann. I will provide a brief history linking Hitler with a specific place in Vienna and also brief personal impressions of the current state of the buildings and places.



Josef Mayrhofer, Hitler’s legal caretaker, who was assigned to certain responsibilities after the death of Alois Hitler, a father of the Hitler family, and because of the health of the mother, appeal to young Adolf to find work to help the family in its strained circumstances. A young man refused, explaining the refusal with his desire to become an artist and become a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna after achieving the required age. Adolf Hitler is supported by his mother, Clara Hitler, who even finds the money for her son to travel to Vienna. With one bag of belongings, Adolf Hitler, who just reached 17 years old on April 20, arrives in Vienna within the first days of May 1906. The place where did Hitler live in Vienna at that time remained unknown, and it is quite possible that the young man was visiting relatives, for example, his godfather Johann Prince, but this is only speculation. Although in Mein Kampf Hitler mentions that the trip lasted two weeks, the exact time of Hitler’s stay in Vienna in May 1906 also remains uncertain today.

Speaking of the sites that Adolf Hitler visited in Vienna in May 1906, the list is quite impressive and, one might say, includes almost every street and building within the heart of the city. Being not burdened with work or study, Adolf Hitler spends time within the capital, walking through the streets, looking at buildings, and visiting museums and theaters. Twenty years later, in his ”Mein Kampf” biography, Hitler writes that he was captivated by Ringstrasse Street. So the further list of places is only a small part of what Hitler actually visited in Vienna in May 1906, as he wrote to August Kubizek in four postcards or later mentioned in the biography or speeches.



Westbahnhof was the starting point for Hitler in Vienna because it was on its platform that he came to Vienna from Linz for the first time in May 1906. The Linz-Vienna train still goes exactly here. In the following years, when Hitler visited his mother in Linz and returned to Vienna, he used the Westbahnhof station. In July 1908, when Hitler’s friend August Kubizek was leaving for the army, taking a ticket home to Linz, friends said goodbye to each other on the platform of this very station.

Westbahnhof railway station Wien
A rare photo of the original Westbahnhof railway station decades before being destroyed in the air raids of WWII
Westbahnhof train station
The front side of the modern Westbahnhof station, built on the site of the original building
Westbahnhof Vienna
A photo from the early XX century showing the platform of the station and the terminal building in the background

In the spring of 1945, several bombs fell into the building of the Westbahnhof Station, and the roof of the building, which was opened back in 1858, collapsed. After that, separate platforms were opened for transportation, but the city authorities decided to reconstruct the pre-war building completely and the remnants of the station were demolished in 1949. A new building was opened already in 1952 and was completed with a new infrastructure during the next half-century. Today’s gallery of steel and concrete, where the shops are located, was completed in 1993.

Westbahnhof railway station
I took this photo staying on the platform of Westbahnhof with the station behind my back
Westbahnhof Hitler in VIenna
This is how the exit to the platforms looks nowadays



On May 7, 1906, Adolf Hitler sent a letter to August Kubizek, a friend of his youth, and attached a postcard depicting the Karlsplatz square, with not only the Karlskirche church but also a number of buildings that attract the attention of the young Hitler. For example, the Musikverein concert hall.  Hitler draws a red cross on the postcard, luring the attention of a friend to this building, which at that time had a prestigious conservatory music school, where August Kubizek dreamed to study, which he succeeds in afterward, after moving to Vienna.

In the interwar years, the Karlsplatz square, in addition to the main architectural appearance, was added with various temporary buildings, such as shops and galleries. The square and the church did not suffer during the bombing, and after 1945 the emphasis was placed on the development of the road junction, in particular, in 1969 the metro with the same station got here.

 Karlsplatz square and Adolf Hitler's painting
Karlskirche in the early 1900s to the left and Hitler’s painting on the right
 Karlsplatz square VIenna
Similar to all my photos from Vienna in 2017, the church is dominated by clouds and moisture
Karshirche church Vienna
Getting back to the site in 2021 allowed more sunny photos



In the very postcard that Adolf Hitler sent to August Kubizek on May 7, 1906, he mentioned that he was going to visit this theater on the same day. That evening at the Stadttheater showed “Remorse of Conscience” (Der Gwissenswurm) play, a comedy by Ludwig Anzengruber from rural life. At that time, the owner of the building was a man by the name of Ronacher – this was the second name of the Wiener Stadttheater, by which he is known today in Vienna.

Stadttheater theater Ronacher Hitler visited in Vienna
An old photo of Stadttheater from the early XX century
Stadttheater Ronacher Vienna
The side entrance with its remarkable architecture

After the war, the Stadttheater received a second life — performances were held here to smooth over the absence of the Burgtheater, who was seriously injured during the bombings of Vienna in 1945. Today, the theater still attracts visitors with musical performers.

Stadttheater Ronacher Wien Hitler
The building has slightly changed when compared to the archival photos



Adolf Hitler in Vienna did love to visit the Burgtheater for all the years that he lived in the capital, until 1913. On April 25, 1908, he took his friend August Kubizek (they then lived in the same apartment) to Goethe’s ”Faustus’‘ play. The beginning of this close contact with the theater was laid back in May 1906, during Hitler’s first visit to Vienna. After the Anschluss of Austria, Adolf Hitler was the central figure of the military parade on the streets of Vienna on April 9, 1938. One of the planned actions was to follow the motor column from the Burgtheater building to the Vienna City Hall.

Burgtheater theater Wien
This photo was taken at a time when the long exposure made the moving objects such as people blurred

On March 12, 1945, the building of the theater was seriously damaged during one of the bombings of Vienna, and a month later there was also a fire that ended the destruction. For some period of time, the building stood burnt down, but in 1953-1955 a large-scale reconstruction was conducted. Today, the building of the Burgtheater looks almost the same as in May 1906, when Hitler visited Vienna for the first time.

Burgtheater theater in Vienna and young Adolf Hitler
Burgtheater theater with the City Hall behind my back
Burgtheater Vienna
Another angle over the theater and more sunny weather during my revisit to Vienna in 2021



During Hitler’s first visit to Vienna, seventeen-year-old Adolf Hitler visited the main opera house of the city. In a postcard that he sent to Kubizek on May 7, 1906, he writes that he is going to attend two performances: Tristan and the ”Flying Dutchman” (Fliegende Holländer) tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, respectively. The performances took place in the Staatsoper building on Tuesday, 8, and Wednesday, May 9, 1906. We know this fact from the original posters, which survived the war. The second and third postcards to August Kubizek are also devoted to this theater. On May 8, Adolf Hitler writes that the interior causes his admiration, but, unlike the facade, does not cause a sense of elevation. The third postcard is decorated with the facade of Staatsoper. In subsequent years, Adolf Hitler in Vienna repeatedly visited the opera house and admired performances, myths, and legends of German culture. The drawing of the Staatsoper facade, which is considered to be the early work of Adolf Hitler in Vienna, has been preserved.

Staatsoper state opera in Vienna 1910s
A rare photo of the theater with horse carriages instead of car in the later periods
Hitler's painting of the Staatsoper state opera
Hitler’s painting of the Opera House with both the horse carriage and the tram

On March 12, 1945, the Staatsoper building, like the Burgtheater, was severely damaged during the Allied bombing of Vienna. The facade of the building collapsed, along with the lobby, and the main staircase, and during the ensuing fire, the main hall and a number of other premises were damaged, including warehouses where 150,000 costumes burned in a fire. The restoration of the appearance of the legendary opera house ended only in 1956 and today the appearance resembles the one that was in the early twentieth century.

Staatsoper Wien
The sketch of the architectural plan of the Staatsoper Wien
State Opera in VIenna today
My 2017 photo from pretty much the same perspective as from both the old photo and Hitler’s painting
Vienna Opera House
One of the wings of the Opera House on a sunny September day in 2021



The fourth postcard, which Hitler wrote to August Kubizek, a friend of his youth, depicts the building of the Parliament of the Empire (Parlamentsgebäude). It is not known whether he attended government meetings during that trip, but Hitler definitely did it between February 1908 and the summer of 1909. Then it was possible, by appointment, to visit the Parliament of the empire and observe the work of the elected representatives of the people.

Parlamentsgebäude Parliament building
An old sketch of the Parlamentsgebäude from the front
The building of Vienna parliament back in 1895
The building of the Vienna Parliament back in 1895

The Parliament building was seriously damaged during the bombing of the city of Vienna and the liberation of the allied forces. Nearly half of the structures, in particular, the House of Lords and the House of Columns, were destroyed. The building was restored in 1956 and today reflects the look of the original idea that Adolf Hitler observed in Vienna.

Parliament in VIenna Hitler
During my visit in 2017, the building was cordoned yet open to the photos



Hitler’s visit to Vienna in May 1906 was rather an acquaintance with the city and the first step that a young man from Linz dreamed of. Even then, he wanted to continue his studies, but he did not intend to wait for the autumn entrance exams that year. In September 1907, Adolf Hitler left Linz for Vienna, driven by the dream of becoming an artist and passing exams at the Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna (Akademie der Bildenden Künste). Before Adolf Hitler left for Vienna, he wrote a letter to a girl from Urfar, Stefanie Rabatsh (a young Hitler who had warm feelings for her), in which he talks about his plans to become an artist, and after return and marry her.



When did Hitler move to Vienna in early September 1907, he was looking for affordable housing, which he could pay out of the small amount of money that he received from his mother and his caretaker. Finding a room in Vienna at the time was not a difficult goal for Adolf Hitler as a young man.  There were signs of renting houses within different parts of the city, especially far from the center of Vienna. Thus, the owners returned a part of the money (from the amount that they pay for an apartment) for unused premises –  For 10 crowns per month, Adolf Hitler in Vienna rents a room of just 10 square meters at Stumpergasse 31. This is the area of the city of Mariahilf, where most of the buildings belong to the turn of the XIX and XX centuries with four to five floors, inhabited by people of different nationalities. Stumpergasse 31 is located on several streets from Westbahnhof and 2 km from the historic center.

Adolf Hitler house in Vienna. Stumpergasse 31. where did hitler live in vienna
The grey four-storey building is Stumpergasse 31 and the yellow one next to it is Stumpergasse 29, the address which Kubizek mistakenly used

The building of Stumpergasse 31 consisted of two parts. The first one is the main building with a facade at Stumpergasse, which we can observe today. At that time, it housed the Library of the ”Saint Vincent de Paul Reading Society” (Gemeinschaft von St. Vinzenz von Paul) with an impressive 11,000 volumes, where the total number of copies issued annually, with payment of 2 crowns per year, was about 18,000. The second part of the building is a dark outbuilding, an extension of the main building in the courtyard. Inside it, along with the corridor with shared toilets and sinks, were small two-room flats with a kitchen, with a total area of only 30 square meters, for which the owners paid about 30 crowns per month. For a third of this amount, Hitler in Vienna rented his first room at Stumpergasse 31 in one of those apartments in the dark back wing building.

The building in 1938 after the Anschluss. Hitler stumpergasse
The building in 1938 after the Anschluss and the sign about Hitler’s residence in 1907

The 10-square room, which Adolf Hitler in Vienna took off in September 1907, was a part of apartment No. 17 on the semi-basement floor. The hostess, who rented out a room to eighteen-year-old Hitler, was Maria Zakreys, a 49-year-old lonely dressmaker, who was later described by August Kubizek as a withered old woman and whom he had wrongly identified Polish roots, although she was Czech, who came to here from Moravia. The hostess did not speak German well, as the young Adolf Hitler himself noted in his letter to Kubizek on August 17, 1908. August Kubizek had managed another mistake within his memoirs that was later frequently used by Hitler’s biographers. He made a mistake with the address, calling Stumpergasse 29 instead of Stumpergasse 31.

Stumpergasse 31 ADolf Hitler in Vienna
Similar to many residential buildings in Vienna which were not destroyed in WWII, Stumpergasse 31 has changed a little since Hitler’s accommodation here
Hitler's first home in Vienna Stumpergasse 31
A distinctive (for Vienna) dark-blue street sign



Admission to this respected and well-known educational institution in Austria was one of the key motives that led Hitler to Vienna, first in May 1906, and later in September 1907 with the aim to admit and become an artist. Not far from Stumpergasse 31, where Adolf Hitler rented a small room from Maria Zakreys, there was a tram line leading to the city center. But the daily fare was too high for Hitler as a young man, and he used to walk to the Academy of Fine Arts on foot. The road along the streets of Stumpergasse and Gumperdorfer Strasse, past apartment buildings and coffee houses, took 10-15 minutes from a young Hitler.

Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna and Hitler. when did hitler move to vienna
Photo of the Academy dated as far back as 1902
Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
I took this photo of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste and the statue of Schiller in 2017
Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna and Adolf Hitler
The building of the Academy of Fine Arts from the side

The national predominance of German-speaking students spoke for itself – out of 274 students, 245 stated German as their mother tongue. Young Hitler gave preference to this institution, which was distinguished by its conservatism and its bias towards historicism. For admission to the exam, it was necessary to pass the first preliminary stage, which included a demonstration of paintings. Adolf Hitler was among 78 out of 113 pupils who were admitted to the main entrance exams. Over the next weeks, Hitler took lessons in a private school to get himself ready. On October 1 and 2 1907 he participated in the drawing exam, in which the young Adolf Hitler received ”unsatisfactory”. For Adolf Hitler, a failure at the Academy was the second serious challenge, after the death of his father.

Academy of FIne Arts Vienna
A closer look at the front side during my revisit in 2021. Take a notice of the tape barrier due to COVID
The lobby of Akademie der bildenden Künste Vienna
Unfortunately for me on both occasions the Academy was closed and all I had is to take this photo of the lobby through the glass of the closed doors
Academie der Bildended Kunste Wien
The old inscription next to the main entrance



In October 1907, Hitler received news from Linz that his mother had become worse and he returned there to take care of her. Clara Hitler passed away on December 21, 1907, and Adolf remained in Linz for some time, being in a broken state, resolving matters with his caretaker and inheritance of his sister. In mid-February 1908, young Adolf Hitler returned to Vienna to run from problems, criticism, and responsibilities. Already on February 18, 1908, Hitler sent a postcard from Vienna to August Kubizek, in which he urged a friend of his youth to join Hitler in Vienna. He promises to meet a friend at the station (Westbahnhof) and to share his accommodation with Kubizek (room on Stumpergasse 31 at Frau Zakreys) and also wrote that the one who was passionate about music (Kubizek) could get the tools cheaply from the local pawn shop. Thus, after returning to Vienna, the young Adolf Hitler continues to rent a room at the old address Stumpergasse 31.

In February of the same year 1908, August Kubizek give away the persistence of his friend Adolf and came to join Hitler in Vienna. Years later, in his memoirs, Kubizek remembers the room in the back wing premise on Stumpergasse 31, as a depressing cramped room with the smell of kerosene, where the only small window looked out on the dark wall of soot (it was the back wall of the facade of the building, which is visible from Stumpergasse). In the house, there were bugs that Adolf Hitler catches and puts on a needle, like trophies. Friends persuade the hostess, Maria Zakreys, to hand over to them the larger of the two rooms for 20 kroner a month and she agreed. Friends live peacefully together in a new room. August Kubizek passed exams at the Musikverein Conservatory easily and was used to spending time in the morning in the classroom, and then he trained at home on the piano and alto. August Kubizek and Adolf Hitler as young men lived together from February to July 1908 in Vienna, during which they visited a variety of theatrical productions, in particular, all performances in Wagner.



In his memoirs, August Kubizek, referring to the theme of his living with Hitler in Vienna in 1908, writes that they visited Prater Park only once, which was popular then among the residents and visitors of Vienna at that time. Walking along the long walkway, almost 5 km long, Hitler was indignant. He was repulsed by Prater Park since here he observed the crowd of people, immigrants from all over Europe who flooded Vienna. In addition, he responded poorly to people who burst into laughter for no reason – Hitler considered this behavior a waste of time and life.

The park is still in the same place and stretches for several kilometers – probably the present walking road is in the same place where Hitler and Kubizek walked in the summer of 1908.

Prater park 1873
Prater Park back in 1873
Prater park and Adolf Hitler's years in Vienna 1906-1913
I managed to take this photo from the cabin of the famous Vienna Ferris Wheel
Prater park today Vienna. When did Hitler move to Vienna
A lower perspective over the Prater Park



On May 13, 18, 20, 22, or 28, 1908, on one of these evenings, judging by the programs that survived the time, Adolf Hitler and August Kubizek visited the Volkstheater to see the “Spring Awakening” (Frühlings Erwachen) semi-pornographic performance by Frank Wedekind.

The theater still holds regular performances. Moreover, it was not damaged during the bombing in the spring of 1945 and appears almost in the form in which August Kubizek and Hitler visited it in Vienna in 1908.

Volkstheater (Public theater) Vienna Hitler
An old photo of the city district around Volkstheater with horse carriages and tram wagons
Volkstheater (Public theater) Vienna and young ADolf Hitler as a visitor
The front side of the Public Theater decades before WWII
Volkstheater (Public theater) Vienna
The picturesque sunset in 2021 allowed me to take such a photo
Public theater in VIenna
This photo was taken from the perspective of Arthur-Schnitzler-Platz square to the right of the main entrance



After the May performance in the Volkstheater, which Kubizek and Adolf Hitler had attended in Vienna, friends went home to walk the streets. According to August Kubizek, Adolf Hitler invited a friend to visit the public “underground” of Vienna, and they turned into a narrow street called Spittelberggasse, a few minutes walk from the theater. This grassy place was known at that time by an abundance of prostitutes who worked here. They sat on the premises, whose windows overlooked a narrow alley, and showed themselves to passing men, telling them to go inside and buy the comfort. Adolf Hitler insisted that they walked along that lane twice. And then, after returning to the apartment, he expressed his indignation to Kubizek, both about the presentation of the ”Frühlings Erwachen” and about the practice of selling love in the Spittelberg area.

Spittelberg district in Vienna old photo
A rare photo of the Spittelberg neighborhood from the early XX century
Spittelberg district and Hitler in Vienna
A cozy Guttenberggasse street in the direction of Burggasse

Today it is difficult to determine exactly what windows August Kubizek wrote about, but the area remained and is a crossroads of two small streets, more precisely, even lanes. Today a billboard of a small amateur theater ”Spittelberg” hangs on a glass window.

Spittelberg Vienna
A passage between Spittelberggasse and Guttenberggasse is better known as the ‘Spittelberg passage’ 
Spittelberg Wien
The passage has preserved the spirit of old district
Narrow streets of Spittelberg district
One of the narrow alleys in the district which even does not have a naming
The area of Spittelberg VIenna
A famous historical Viennese fire hydrant



As August Kubizek recalls in his book about himself and Adolf Hitler in Vienna (The Young Hitler I Knew), on Sundays they attended musical performances in an old Viennese chapel in the Swiss courtyard behind the Hofburg imperial residence. Friends used to come here for free to hear spiritual performances with artists from the Vienna Opera House and the Vienna Boys Choir, which Hitler admired.

The courtyard, as the interiors of the Burgkapelle chapel itself, has hardly changed since the days when August Kubizek and young Adolf Hitler visited it in 1908.

Burgkapelle chappel in VIenna in 1900s
This old photo gives us an understanding that the location has changed little since the early XX century
Burgkapelle chappel today
The famous courtyard during my second visit to Vienna in 2021
Burgkapelle Wien
The recognized plates made of the color of Austria for historical landmarks in Vienna
Burgkapelle Wien Vienna
In neither of my two visits to the site, I was fortunate to get in the building. A good idea for the third journey



In June 1908, at the end of the semester at the Musikverein Conservatory, August Kubizek left his share of the rent in advance, and he left Vienna for his native Linz for the holidays. In the summer months, friends exchanged letters, and Hitler wrote two lengthy letters in which he complained about his half-sister Angela, teased the poor pronunciation of Mrs. Maria Zakreys, the room’s mistress, and complained about the news from Linz that Hitler’s favorite theater was not to be rebuilt. In August, young Hitler went to visit his aunt Johann Pelzl, who gave the young Adolf 924 crowns not as a gift, but in debt a decent. In September 1908, Adolf Hitler tried to enter the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Akademie der Bildenden Künste) one more time, but this time he did not even pass the composition exam, although he brought many sketches of Vienna with him to impress the examiners. On September 16 Kubizek went into the army – friends say goodbye on the platform of the Westbahnhof Station and the next time they will see each other only three decades later. After two months of living alone, on November 18, 1908, Adolf Hitler changed his Vienna address, moving out of the spacious room on Stumpergasse 31, without even warning Kubizek and not informing him of the new address.



On November 18, 1908, after fourteen months of residence at Maria Zakreys, in a room in the outbuilding of Stumpergasse 31, Adolf Hitler left this dwelling permanently and was marked on the new address on the same day. This is apartment № 16 at Felberstrasse 22, and there is no precise data on whether he rented one of the rooms or just a bed here. The house is two minutes walk from Westbahnhof Station. The hostess was Helena Riedl, a madam who died on March 3, 1909, but Hitler continued to rent housing here until August 20 of the same year.

Adolf Hitler house at Felberstrasse 22
My first visit to FELBERSTRASSE was in September 2017. The corner with Beinggasse 
My return to the site in September 2021 and the frontside from Felberstrasse
FELBERSTRASSE 22 Hitler in VIenna
Windows facing Ferlberstrasse 22. In 2017 I stayed for five days in the hostel next door
Adolf Hitler house at Felberstrasse Vienna
The corridor leading to the inner courtyard



By the end of the summer of 1909, Hitler’s condition became difficult, since having no income, he was running out of money borrowed a year earlier from Aunt Johanna Pelzl. He left the room at Felberstrasse 22 on August 20 and on 22 August 1909, Hitler registered at a new address, Sechshauserstrasse 58, in the remote 15th district of Vienna. Young Adolf Hitler rented a room or a bed in apartment number 21 on the second floor of the hostess named Antonia Oberlehner. The note about his eviction from there is dated September 16, 1909, and it was noted with someone else’s hand that the new place of residence of the evicted student Adolf Hitler was unknown. Apparently, being constrained in the means, he did not pay for housing and was evicted without warning.

Hitler's third home at Sechshauser Strasse 58
Sechshauser Strasse 58 where Hitler lived for less than a month in 1909, is in the middle
Hitler's third home at Sechshauser Strasse 58 Adolf Hitler
The house fits the neighborhood of the old XIX-century old Viennese residential buildings
Sechshauser Strasse 58
A passage to the inner courtyard



The next three months of Hitler’s life between September and November 1909 are the historical gap. A number of biographers still make a mistake by pointing out Hitler’s next residence as Simon-Denk-Gasse 11. After the Anschluss of Austria in the spring of 1938, the National Socialists created the legend of this dwelling of their Fuhrer as the only one in Vienna to avoid the question of whether was Hitler homeless. Other rooms and addresses that included the first three: Stumpergasse 31, Felberstrasse 22, and Sechshauserstrasse 58 were not mentioned at all. After 1938, in the Viennese newspapers, there were several articles about the poor home of the Fuhrer in Vienna at Simon-Denk-Gasse 11, and the official photo album dated 1940 contained a picture of the interior. In the spring of the same 1938, the legend took root so quickly that the boys from the Hitler Youth, now spread to Austria, carried a guard at the entrance to the house at Simon-Denk-Gasse 11, and a picture of Adolf Hitler above the door.

Simon-Denk-Gasse 11 Adolf Hitler Wien
The building dominates the corner of Fechtergasse and Simon-Denk-Gasse
Simon-Denk-Gasse 11 VIenna
In the days of the Third Reich, the Hitler youth boys used to carry a guard near this entrance of the house where Hitler had never lived in 

Indeed, the house on Simon-Denk-Gasse 11 contrasts sharply with the first three, in which Adolf Hitler exactly lived in Vienna from 1907 to 1909. The building is located in a more prosperous, almost central 9th district of Vienna, and even its hall and staircase suggest that housing here was obviously more expensive than near the Westbahnhof area and to the south, and this was during the period when Hitler was practically a beggar.

Simon-Denk-Gasse 11 VIenna
Even the corridor of the building is more spacious than the actual Hitler homes in Vienna



Even in his autobiography, ”Mein Kampf”, Adolf Hitler mentioned, exaggerated that he experienced physical labor before 18 years old. Already becoming a political figure, and after, the German Chancellor and even the Fuhrer of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler repeatedly said that he had earned himself a lot of hard labor for many years at a construction site in Vienna and he knew what it was. He wrote in Mein Kampf just a few paragraphs about what seemed to be such an important period of his life, detailing only his lunch of milk and bread and the fact that he was allegedly fired from the construction for not wanting to join the union. There is no documented evidence that Adolf Hitler worked physically in Vienna and, moreover, he worked in construction. In addition, it is very unlikely that a homebody and a self-contained Hitler who was not used to physical labor and was alien to sports could withstand the norms of workers of that period who transferred up to 100 tons of weight per shift from 6 am to 6 pm.



In the autumn of 1909, the financial conditions of Hitler, who was virtually left without a livelihood, became disastrous. Although there is no exact documentary evidence of Hitler’s homelessness, and, as you can understand, it cannot exist, Adolf Hitler was probably forced to resort to the help of charitable organizations, which at that time worked on donations from private individuals and political formations. A relative of Maria Zakreys, his first Vienna renter, later mentioned that she had once seen the young Adolf Hitler at the ”Merciful Sisters Hospital” (Krankenhaus Barmherzigen Schwestern). As the woman recalled, a young man, whom she had previously seen as neat and well-trained, stood in a line for a portion of free soup on the water with a piece of bread.

Merciful Sisters Hospital at Stumpergasse 13
Sisters of Mercy Hospital Vienna is still in the same building as more than a century ago
Krankenhaus Barmherzigen Schwestern Wien
The building witnessed several restorations, yet it is easy to find the exact location due to the naming and two giant red crosses on the front side

The hospital still stands in the same place, has retained its name, and has not even changed its appearance and interior for much over a century, since young Adolf Hitler in Vienna supposedly ate here. The statement seems to be true also for the reason that Hitler lived quite close: at Stumpergasse 31 a year earlier – there are several minutes between the addresses. Surely he knew about the charitable activities in the hospital, but then for him, it was still something far away, a subject for study, as an outsider.

Free food at the Merciful Sisters Hospital at Stumpergasse 13

Stumpergasse 13 Vienna today
You may find information about particular doctors who work in the Hospital



This homeless shelter, located on the outskirts of Vienna, however, was a desirable place for those who dragged on a meager existence. The building was built near the local cemetery and opened in 1908. Here temporary guests could take a shower, get free food, and medical care, and even overnight stay free. Sometimes there were up to a thousand people a day in the spacious new building, and not everyone had enough space. People lined up on the street to get temporary comfort, and security guards limited the number of people who entered, leaving the rest outside the door, which was a necessity. There were no rare events of death on the pavement, especially on cold winter nights, and the Viennese press even covered such cases several times.

Meidlung home shelter VIenna
The complex of buildings occupies an entire city district squeezed between four streets. I took this photo from Unter-Meidlinger’Strasse opposite the cemetery
Meidling homeless shelter 
This is the lower part of the complex facing Kastanienallee
Meidling homeless shelter Adolf Hitler
One of the windows facing Kastanienallee

Despite a large number of guests, everything was subject to strict discipline. Those who were let inside out were escorted to the showers and provided with medical care, and in the meantime, they were washing and patching their clothes. After they were carried out to the dining room and fed with soup with bread. At the signal, the doors to the bedrooms opened, where the beds were firmly placed for the night. The rule was to leave Meidling no later than 9 am the next day. Since the time of free housing here was limited to a week, people excelled with passes and there was a black market for their resale.

Meidling and Hitler in VIenna

Meidlung today
The ‘back-door’ of the Meidlung shelter facing Ruttenstockgasse
Hostel for homeless Hitler in Vienna
Even a brief look inside leave no doubts about the century-old history of the building



We know a little about Hitler’s life at the Meidling homeless shelter and that winter until February 9, 1910. And more precisely, almost all of the information has come from a doubtful source of information – a man named Reinhold Hanisch. A man who dodged in different shelters, giving different names, dates, and places of birth. By 1909, Hanisch had already served two times in prison for theft and forgery of documents. He helped Adolf Hitler to write a letter to relatives. Apparently, Aunt Johanna sent the money again. Hitler bought paper and paint, as Hanisch was persuading him to make money on the artist’s talent and to draw postcards and paintings and sell them in hotels and coffee shops. For the sale, Hanisch took a share on his own, and things were gradually getting better within this partnership. That winter, according to Hanisch’s memoirs years later, a couple of companions used to spend nights not only in Meidling but also in a number of so-called ”warm rooms” in Vienna.



This place of Adolf Hitler in Vienna deserves its attention, as he lived there for more than three years until his departure to Munich in 1913. The Mannerheim hostel for men was located at Meldemannstraße 27 on the outskirts of Vienna in an industrial area, much farther from the center than all previous places of residence of Hitler in Vienna. The building, which was opened back in 1905 and consisted of six floors, was a desirable residence of the time. At the dawn of the electrification of the city and the surrounding area, a light and curiosity of the time – steam heating was already held at the Mannerheim hostel. The bed cost just 10 kroons per month, and another 15 supplied good meals in the local dining room with a varied menu. Also, the building contained a library with two reading rooms and a press for guests, shoe and clothing workshops, rooms for cleaning and drying clothes, and desks. Also, a doctor was there free of charge and bathrooms were available for a small fee. It was possible to move in after 8 pm and to leave the next morning until 9.

Mannerheim hostel for men
A photo of the horse carriage stops at the main entrance facing Meldemannstrasse
Mannerheim Vienna
I took this photo of the former entrance from almost the same perspective in 2021
Meldemannstraße 27 WIen Hitler
The photo of the building taken in 1938
Mannerheim hostel for men Vienna
The giant building from the early XX century still makes an impression particularly being located among the modern residential and business area

The constructors of the Mannerheim abandoned typical dormitories in favor of small rooms. On the four upper floors, along with the long corridors on each, there were doors with small single rooms. Each one contained a bed, a table, a hanger, and a mirror hung, and the size of the room was 2.2 by 1.4 meters. In such a room, one of 560, Adolf Hitler had lived for three years. As a permanent tenant, he could expect a change of linen once a week. In addition, the door had a lock, which made it possible not to be afraid of the belongings and to experience a personal comfort zone. All the rooms had an electric lamp, which young Adolf Hitler did not have in previous places of residence.

The main building of the Mannerheim home shelter
Another perspective over the front side of the Mannerheim shelter facing Meldemannstrasse
Hitler's home shelter in Vienna
A closer look at the building reveals its history and poor condition



Having moved to the Mannerheim hostel for men and continued to work with Reinhold Hanisch, Hitler could ensure constant income for the first time in his life by painting pictures. The painting had finally become what did Hitler do for a living. Gradually, the number of customers grew, and even permanent ones appeared. Hitler used to draw popular places in Vienna, particularly churches, cathedrals, and government offices. Clients paid from 2 to 5 crowns and this amount was to be shared with Reinhold Hanisch. In the summer of 1910, a breach of these relations happened. On the one hand, Hitler was lazy to work more and create more pictures, on the other hand, he felt it inconvenient to share his income with Reinhold Hanisch. In addition, Adolf Hitler got a new friend named Josef Neumann. From 21 to 26 June 1910, he even left the hostel for a week. On July 12, 1910, Neumann left Vienna to go to Germany and he would never see Adolf Hitler again.

On August 4, 1910, Hitler’s new partner Leffner, a postcard salesman, reported Reinhold Hanisch to the police, accusing him of misappropriating the paintings of the young Adolf Hitler. Nevertheless, Hitler multiplied his self-confidence and began to sell his paintings on his own. The only reliable document about Hitler in 1911 is the protocol of the refusal of the orphan’s pension in favor of his sister. The decision was not voluntary – it was found that the young man had previously borrowed money from his aunt, had an income, and could support himself.

Below is a comparison of the drawings of Adolf Hitler and the modern look of places in Vienna. The first one depicts a small area of Petersplatz and the Peterskirche church located on it, which has not changed in the last century. In 1912, Adolf Hitler painted another small square called Franziskanerplatz in the center of Vienna.

Petersplatz and the Peterskirche
Hitler’s painting of Petersplatz and the Peterskirche
Petersplatz and the Peterskirche in VIenna
Peterskirche looks even more squeezed among the buildings than in Hitler’s painting
Franziskanerplatz WIen
Franziskanerkirche church at the cozy Franziskanerplatz square in Hitler’s painting and nowadays



In 1911-1912, Adolf Hitler established an acquaintance with the Morgenstern couple, who used to sell frames for paintings and goods made of glass. Their store was located at Liechtensteinstraße 4. The couple was named Samuel and Emma. Morgenstern, being a Jew, recommended Hitler as the author of the paintings to other Jews, who then made private orders directly. In 1938, members of the Nazi Party Archives found several original paintings by Adolf Hitler in the Vienna period in the Morgenstern store. From the very beginning, Samuel Morgenstern’s business relationship with Hitler was honest and open in the matter of finance. The shop at Liechtensteinstraße 4 was opened back in 1903. According to the surviving card files of the seller, after years it has become possible to identify most of the buyers of Hitler’s works, who were mostly wealthy Jews. Morgenstern himself testified in 1938.

In the same year, on November 10, 1938, after the Anschluss of Austria, a couple of 63 and 59 years, respectively, were deprived of a shop, which was taken away by the local national socialist. On August 10, 1939, unable to fight the plight, Morgenstern would write a letter to Adolf Hitler personally, appealing to him as ”your Excellency” and calling for help. Although it made its way to the stake in Berchtesgaden and to the Chancellery in Berlin, where the word “Jew” appeared twice in the fields, the letter never reached Hitler. It was discovered only half a century later in the archives. On October 28, 1941, the Morgenstern couple, who once patronized Adolf Hitler, was deported from Vienna to the ghetto of the city of Lodz. Samuel Morgenstern died of starvation in August 1943 and was buried in a cemetery inside the ghetto. A year later, Emma was deported to Auschwitz death camp and was killed there as not capable of work at the age of 65.

Unfortunately, although other buildings on the street have survived, it was at the site of the Morgenstern store that the modern building of Deutsche Bank was built.

Morgenstern painting store
The store of the Morgenstern family was once located on the site of the modern bank on the left side of this photo



In the early 1910s a building at Neubaugürtel 34-36, a five-minute walk from the Westbahnhof Station in Vienna, witnessed a number of speeches by Karl Hermann Wolf, a well-known speaker and an idol of a young Adolf Hitler. He was the leader of the German Radical Party. Hotel Wimberger was a traditional meeting place for the nationalists in Vienna at that time.

Wimberger restaurant and hotel in VIenna
A preserved photo of Hotel Wimberger shows how it looked in the early XX century

While the exterior of the building changed significantly since the early XX century, the interior of the restaurant, which is located on the ground floor, has slightly changed since 1871.

Wimberger restaurant and hotel
I visited the site early in the morning soon after sunrise. This is how it looks from Neubaugürtel street
Wimberger restaurant and hotel today
Evidently, the early visitors were not expecting me to take a photo through the window glass

I am very grateful to war archives, museums, libraries, private collections, and writers for the historical photos in this article. To the extent that some author or a copyright owner may not want some of the above black-and-white photos to be used for educational purposes here, please contact me for adding credits or deleting the pictures from the article.