Austria of the inter-war period offered Drucker a good education, but no perspectives, and in 1927, after graduating from the Döbling Gymnasium, he left for Hamburg to complete a one-year apprenticeship at an old-established trading company.
Along with Drucker, seven other Gymnasium graduates began their merchant's apprenticeships - a novelty for the company, which specialized in the export of cotton, as until then, positions within the business had been inherited. The managing director, "Herr Simonis, the Twelfth" however, did not think much of this innovation and took little care of the trainees.
"We learned nothing, absolutely nothing. It was terribly boring." Yet he does not consider his time in Hamburg a lost year: "I read a lot - novels and history, especially nineteenth century. Also a lot of English, French, Spanish, and Italian literature." And he discovered the work of the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard, who would have a lasting influence on him.