Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn in, Austria on 20 April, 1889. Adi, as he was called as a child spent his early years in Austria. Alois, his father, was a retired customs serviceman. Alois passed away when Hitler was 13 and Hitler’s mother Klara had to take care of him and his siblings all by herself. In 1905 at the age of 16 Hitler quit school and never attended again. He would go on to head the Nazi party and Nazi Germany. During his time in charge of the country, he would go on to instigate World War 2 and be responsible for the death of millions.
In his early life Hitler wanted to become an artist, in 1907 he applied to a painting school, the Vienna
Academy of Art. He didn’t pass his first entrance exam, he tried again in 1908 but they didn’t allow him to take in the first place. His mother passed away two months later, she died of breast cancer.
Hitler would spend the next four years in Vienna, he wasn’t employed so he lived off what he could earn by selling postcards he made with architectural drawings and a small inheritance his mother left him. It was also at this time that Hitler became interested in politics with a particular interest in pan-Germanism.
Adolf Hitler in World War I
Hitler avoided serving in the Austrian army by moving to Munich, Germany. He moved to Munich in 1913 and World War I was just around the corner. When World War I broke out, Hitler requested to serve in the Bavarian-Germany Army, he received special permission to do so and became a soldier.
In the field he quickly proved himself as a good soldier. By 1913 he received the Iron Cross (Second Class) and in August of 1918 he received the Iron Cross (First Class).
Hitler was temporarily blinded in a gas attack on October 13, 1918. While he was healing his wounds in a hospital he got the news that the war was over and that Germany lost. This would change his life forever.
Hitler’s Beginnings In Politics
Hitler was very angry and bitter over Germany’s defeat in World War One, he wasn’t the only one. Many Germans felt betrayed by the government, especially because the surrender was unexpected and sudden. The resulting economical problems like inflation made everyday life in Germany very difficult, finding a job was at this point harder than ever.
In 1919, Hitler worked for an army organization who’s task was to monitor local political groups. He spied on these groups and reported back to his superiors. In 1919 one of these groups caught his eye and he joined it becoming it’s 55th member. Not long after he would end up leading it.
Beer Hall Putsch
Hitler felt that the current German government was weak and that he could create a better one, one that could show that Germany is strong. On 9 November, 1923 he tried to overthrow the government, because of the location of where it all started, a beer hall, it would go down in history as the Beer Hall Putsch. The coup failed and Adolf Hitler was sentenced to serve 5 years in Landsberg Prison. He only served nine months of his sentence and in that time he compiled his thoughts about a new Germany he dreamed of. He turned these thoughts into a book, Mein Kampf.
Realizing Ultimate Power
By 1932, Hitler had enough political support to run for president of Germany, he did run but lost to Paul von Hindenburg. On January 30, 1933 he was appointed chancellor of Germany by Hindenburg. It was no secret, even at the time, that Hindenburg was very reluctant to give Hitler any position of power in his government, but Hitler had a lot of supporters and to keep the piece Hindenburg made him chancellor. Only a year and a half later, with Hindenburg’s death, Hitler took both the position of president and chancellor, combined it into one position, one supreme leader, the Fuhrer.
After he gained power in Germany, legally this time, Hitler began strengthening his position by removing anyone that opposed him. His next step was to create a propaganda machine that would appeal to German pride and direct all of Germany’s problems, anger and fears at Jews and Communists. The idea of Pan-Germanism, which he first encountered when he was in Vienna inspired him to try to combine all the German people in all of Europe and to try to expand the German lebensraum (living space).
Hitler and World War II
Nobody wanted another war, the effects of World War I could still be felt around the world, not to mention
that there was a crisis going on, the Great Depression. Even those that were militant in nature and would like a war knew that the military’s of most countries were still very weak and small in both numbers and resources. This allowed Hitler to annex Austria in 1938 without firing a single bullet. He then attempted to take Poland but this time the other countries couldn’t turn a blind eye and so World War II began.
Adolf Hitler’s government then began systematically removing Jews from German society. They exploited Jews and other “undesirables” as slave labor and then killed them when they couldn’t use them anymore.
At the start of World War II the Germans seemed unstoppable. The German army was pretty much the only one that had time to prepare, both in gathering personnel as well as preparing weapons and other military technology since no one knew that there would be war other than Germany, who started it. The German army remained pretty much unbeaten until the Battle of Stalingrad in early 1943, this is when the tide changed. By 1945 the Allied Army had not only repelled the German attacks but was advancing on Germany itself. Hitler retreated to an underground bunker in Berlin and would remain there for the rest of his life.
On April 29, 1945, Adolf Hitler wrote his last will and political testament and the next day, on April 30, 1945, committed suicide with his long-time mistress, Eva Braun.