Embittered at his rejection by the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts, he was to spend "five years of misery and woe" in Vienna as he later recalled, adopting a view of life which changed very little in the ensuing years, shaped as it was by a pathological hatred of Jews and Marxists, liberalism and the cosmopolitan Habsburg monarchy.
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.
Temporarily blinded and driven to impotent rage by the abortive November 1918 revolution in Germany as well as the military defeat, Hitler, once restored, was convinced that fate had chosen him to rescue a humiliated nation from the shackles of the Versailles Treaty, from Bolsheviks and Jews.
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.
." His hoarse, grating voice, for all the bombastic, humourless, histrionic content of his speeches, dominated audiences by dint of his tone of impassioned conviction and gift for self-dramatization.