Adolf Hitler, born April 20th 1889 in the small Austrian village of Braunau am Inn. Growing up Hitler lost his father at the age of fourteen. His mother spoiled him; he grew up undisciplined and with very little education. Hitler felt lost and unsuccessful at school, and at the age of sixteen Hitler left school and decided to pursue his love for art. Hitler moved to Vienna to attend the Academy of Arts but he failed his entrance examination. In 1908 his mother died. After her death Hitler returned to Vienna, where for some time lived quite well.
While living in Vienna lived of the money left to him by his parents and also government grants issued to him for being classified as a orphan student. But these financial resources were soon exhausted and he drifted through various menial jobs without ever setting a definite career. He slept on park benches and in flophouses and wore shabby and torn clothes which people gave to him out of pity. In 1913 Hitler moved from Vienna to Munich. Hitler’s experience in Munich was as uncertain and miserable as it was in Vienna.
When the war broke out in 1914 he volunteered for a Bavarian regiment, He was a good solider and for the first time he found some recognition and felt himself to be part of community. Over the years Hitler became very devoted to the German military and Germany its self. The collapse of Germany was a personal catastrophe for him. Hitler did not want to believe that the fall of Germany was due in part to his admired military leaders. In the eyes of Hitler the collapse of Germany was due to those dark forces that he had scene in Vienna – Marxists and Jews.
After the war in 1918 Hitler returned to Munich and was employed by the army as a propaganda speaker to keep the military spirit alive in the disheartened and defeated German nation. In the course of new found job he came into contact with a small group calling itself the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, which pursued a somewhat confused mixture of nationalists and socialists ideas. In April of 1920 he went to work full time for the party, now under the abbreviated name of NAZI. In 1921 he was elected party Fuhrer with dictatorial powers.
On the years that followed his election to chancellor, Hitler spread his extreme views of racial hatred and contempt for democracy. During Hitler’s rise to power he organized meetings, and terrorized political foes with his personal bodyguard force, the Strumabteilung, also known as the SA or Storm troopers. In November 1923, a time of economic chaos, he lead an uprising, also known as a putsch, in Munich against the post war Weimar Republic, proclaiming himself chancellor of a new authoritarian regime. But do to the lack of military support the putsch collapsed.
As the leader of the scheme, Hitler was sentenced to five years in jail, but he only served nine months. During his nine months of imprisonment, he wrote his autobiography, Mein Kampf (My struggle). While in jail Hitler realized that his ways of illegally trying to gain power would no longer work for the time being. In December 1924 he rebuilt his NAZI Party without interference from those government officials he had tried to overthrow. When the Great Depression Struck in 1929, he explained it as a Jewish-Communist plot.
This explanation was widely accepted by many Germans. Promising a strong Germany, jobs, and a national glory, he attracted millions of voters. Representation of the NAZI Party in the Reichstag increased dramatically from 12 seats in 1928 to 107 seats in 1930. Hitler began to challenge President Hindenburg in the 1932 election. Hitler won over eleven million votes, 30% of the total. Hindenburg received over 18 million votes, 49% of the total. Since no one had a true majority, a run-off election was required.
Hitler traveled cross-country making wild promises and positive messages. On April 10, 1932, the run-off took place. Hitler received 13,418,547 votes, or 36%. Hindenburg took in 19,359,983 votes, 53% of the total. Although they had lost, the Nazis showed tremendous popularity and the current government seemed unstable at best. During this unstable time in the Reichstag rumors started to circulate that the former chancellor was back stabbing the President. President Hindenburg immediately appointed Hitler chancellor.
On his first day in office, Hitler manipulated Hindenburg into dissolving the Reichstag and calling for new elections on March 5th , 1933. Hitler and other high ranking Nazis hatched a plan to seize absolute power. They helped a Communist arsonist set the Reichstag on fire and then claimed it was a Communist plot. Hindenburg signed a state of emergency decree giving Hitler temporarily unlimited powers that normally violated the German constitution. As Chancellor one of his first to withdraw Germany from the League of Nations.
He wanted to be in charge of completely independent Germany. On the March 5 Election, Hitler won 44% of the vote; he needed a two thirds majority in the Reichstag to have a legal dictatorship. Hitler was able to win this majority thanks to the emergency decree. He used his new found powers to simply arrest any non-Nazi representative. On March 23, the Nazi Reichstag, with Hitler as President, passed a law giving Hitler complete dictatorial powers. From there Hitler would send German troops to occupy the Rhineland and conduct a systematic invasion of Europe starting World War II.
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The Beginning At half past six on the evening of April 20th, 1889 a child was born in the small town of Branau, Austria. The name of the child was Adolf Hitler. He was the son a Customs official Alois Hitler, and his third wife Klara. As a young boy Adolf attendated church regulary and sang in the local choir. One day he carved a symbol into the bench which resembled the Swastika he later used as the symbol of the Nazi party. He was a pretty good student. He received good marks in most of his classes. However in his last year of school he failed German and Mathematics, and only succeeded in Gym and Drawing.
He drooped out of school at the age of 16, spending a total of 10 years in school. From childhood one it was his dream to become an artist or architect. He was not a bad artist, as his surviving paintings and drawings show but he never showed any originality or creative imagination. To fullfil his dream he had moved to Vienna the capital of Austria where the Academy of arts was located. He failed the first time he tried to get admission and in the next year, 1907 he tried again and was very sure of success. To his surprise he failed again.
In fact the Dean of the academy was not very impressed with his performance, and gave him a really hard time and said to him “You will never be painter. ” The rejection really crushed him as he now reached a dead end. He could not apply to the school of architecture as he had no high-school diploma. During the next 35 years of his live the young man never forgot the rejection he received in the deans office that day.
Many Historians like to speculate what would have happened IF…. perhaps the small town boy would have had a bit more talent…. IF the Dean had been a little less critical, the world might have been spared the nightmare into which this boy was eventually to plunge it. 2. World War 1 While living in Vienna Hitler he made his living by drawing small pictures of famous landmarks which he sold as post cards. But he was always poor. He was also a regular reader of a small paper which claimed that the Araban race was superior to all and was destined to rule the world. The paper blamed Communists and Jews for all their problems and hitler agreed to those views. Hitler agree with most of the points made in the publication.
He continued to live a poor live in Vienna and in 1913 decided to move to Munich. Still living in Vienna and being Austrain by birth, Hitler showed more loyalty to the Geramny. He thought that the Aryan race was destined to rule the world. Many believe that he tried to escape the draft but it was never proven. His live in Munich was not much better then before and he continued to be poor. Then in 1914 World War I broke out and Hitler saw this as a great opportunity to show his loyalty to the “fatherland” by volunteering for the Imperial army.
He did not want to fight in the Austrian Army. Hitler was a good soldier. Many of political opponents claimed that he was a coward but records clearly show that he was not. He received to awards of bravery but never achieved a high Rank. In 1918 Germany surrendered and Hitler was very upset about the loss. He believed that it was the Jews and the Communists who betrayed the “fatherland” and it was here that his disliking of the Jews most likely began. Germany after the war was in chaos. With no real Government to control the country, many groups tried to take control.
One day a big communist group staged a big riot but another group of ex-soldiers including Hitler managed to hold them back. 3. The Nazi Party Since there were not many chances for employment Hitler stayed in the army. Hitler was assigned the job of going go to various meetings of groups which sprang up like mushrooms and to report on them. One day September 12, 1919 – a fateful day in history, Hitler was sent to investigate a small group which called itself the “German Workers Party”. Hitler was not to happy about his assignment. He thought it wouldnt be worth it to even go.
At the group mainly talked about the Countries problem and how the Jews, communists and others where threatening the master race and offered their own solutions. Hitler was bored by the meeting but when a man stood up and claimed that Bavaria should separate from Germany, Hitler got up and argued that point. He argued that Germany and germans must unite into one to survive. His natural ability to speak imprest the leader of the group and at the end of the meeting he gave Hitler a pamphlet and an initiation the next meeting. He wasnt interested in attending but after reading the hand out he accepted.
He later joined the German Workers Party and was in charge of Propaganda. The party was small at first but Hitlers great skill at deliberating speeches attracted more and more listeners and it soon became a major party with many followers. Eventually Adolf Hitler became its leader and the rest as they say…. is history. 4. Hitler In Power While spending time in prison for trying to overthrow the government Adolf Hitler wrote his famous book “Mein Kampf”, in which he describes many problems and where he states that the Jews and communists were responsible for those problems.
He also decided on the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Question”. It was his goal to eliminate the Jewish race from the European continent. It is interesting to look and see how a small time boy from Austria with no education, money or political background could become within a few years the leader of big nation such as Germany. Historians believe that Hitler saw a great opportunity to get his views across to the German people who have lost all hope. Of course people did not start to support him right away. After he came into power, the Nazi party took control over every aspect of every day life.
Hitler ordered the creation of a special police force to make sure that all opponents would be elimanted, the Gestapo. He also gave orders to set up a special force which would be used to transport and take care of all political prisioners and people thought to be inferior. The name of the force was the feared SS. Mass propaganda was used to persuade the German people that the “Fuhrer” would make the country strong and powerful again. They also used propaganda against the Jews and other minority groups which were considered enemies.
Teachers had to belong to the Nazi party, and children were taught that Jews very the source of all their problems. Since the country was in chaos after the war, and was forced to pay billions in damages, The Germans saw hope in Adolf Hitler. In the late 20s the depression hit which made the situation even worse. Hitler in his speeches blamed the Jews and Communists for their misfortunes and many listed. Unemployment was very high at that time standing at about 25%. Hitler also spoke out against the unfairness of the Versailles treaty. Germany lost a lot of its territory. The Empire was no more.
He believed the pure Araban race is destined to rule the world and wanted to build an Empire that would last a 1000 years. He preached that all Germans must unite in order for this goal to succeed. Hitler publicly stated his views on the Jews. But the Jews of Germany didnt see Hitler as a great threat at first. However when Hitler became chancellor and eventually took over totally they changed their mind.
The first thing he did was to take the Jews their right to vote. Soon they were not allowed to marry with a pure german, they could not hold positions such as teachers, doctors lawyers,.. d so on. Many Jews only then realized that he was serious and many fled Germany. Why did so many Germans follow Hitler? When he took power the economy was basically non existent. Many looked for answers and hope. Hitler was their answer. He promised to rebuild the Glorious Germany of the past. First he started to build up the Wehrmacht. Germany was not allowed to have more than 100,000 men, but Hitler broke the treaty and gave orders to increase that number. Factories started putting out weapons and people now had jobs. To the Germans this was a very good sign.
Mass rallies were held, where Hitler continued to use his powers of speech on the German people. 5. The Road To War At first the allies did nothing about the fact that Hitler broke the Treaty. He gave speeches in which he indicated that the German people needed living space. Later he Marched into the Reihnland, and area which Germany lost. Next He moved into Austria, his home country and annexed it without a shoot being fired into the Reich. Following Austria, he wanted control of the Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia which was mainly German speaking.
He also achieved that goal. The allies didnt want another war so they led Hitler do what he wanted to, but when he Attacked Poland on September 1st, 1939 the allies no longer stood by and watched. Britain and France declared war on Germany a few days after later, World War II began. 6. The Dark Side After the Wehrmacht conquered and occupied a territory the SS quickly followed. They would round up Jews, Communists, Gypsies, Homosexuals and others which were viewed as “Inferior” according to Nazi racial theory and enemies of the German people and put on trains.
They were all sent to Concentration camps, which were set up to implement the final solution. Camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen Belsen were all equipped with gas chambers to make the killing process quick and efectfull. In those camps 6 million Jews and many others were killed by the Nazis. Hitlers army seemed unstoppable but in the end, the allies managed to win many decisive battles. Eventually on Aril 30th, 1945 Hitler committed suicide in his bunker by shooting himself in the mouth. His body was burned, but no ones knows what happened to the “Fuhrers” ashes.
On May 7th, 1945 Germany surrendered unconditionally. 7. The Man Hitler was one of the most, if not the most cruel man to ever walk the face of the earth. His believe of the superiorority of the “Aryan” race made him hate all others. He believed that the slaws to the east should be made work for the German people. He thought of blacks as being “Sub-human”. And Most of all he hated the Jews. So much that in early 1945, when equipment and manpower was badly needed on the front Hitler insisited on man and equipment staying and continuing to tranport Jews to the camps.
In his Testament he left his money to his family. And message to the Germany people “Above all I charge the leaders of the nation and those under them to scrupulous observance of the laws of race and to merciless opposition to the universal poisoner of all peoples, international Jewry. ” The only people which would be spared where the Scandinavians to the north, since they were closely related to the German race. With Hitlers death the Nazi party quickly fated. But there is still a lot of tension in todays Germany.
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