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 alone. In 1905 at 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 it 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. At this time, 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; 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, Hitler quickly proved himself as a brave and adept soldier. His courage earned him the Iron Cross (Second Class) in 1915 and the Iron Cross (First Class) in August 1918. Then, on October 13th, 1918, he was temporarily blinded after being exposed to mustard gas during an Allied attack. As one can imagine, this would be an incredibly frightening experience for any soldier.
While recovering from his wounds in the hospital, Hitler learned that Germany had lost the war and was forced to surrender. This news changed Hitler’s life forever as it gave him a cause – to bring about German national pride and greatness. Following his recovery, Hitler joined various nationalist political parties and eventually became the leader of the Nazi Party and began one of the greatest tragedies in history.
Hitler’s Beginnings In Politics
Adolf Hitler’s anger and bitterness towards Germany’s defeat in World War One were palpable. He and many other Germans felt betrayed by the government, and its downfall brought with it a period of economic hardship and high unemployment. To gain control of his life, he accepted an offer to join the small political group German Workers’ Party (GWP) in 1919 as a spy reporting back to his superiors – but quickly became engrossed in their ideology. His dedication to GWP soon paid off, and he rose in the ranks until becoming its leader.
Hitler’s newfound power blossomed quickly as he utilized the party platform to unleash his charismatic oratory skills upon those seeking a way out of the poverty they had been thrown into. He highlighted any disenchantment from the government, labeling them traitors, and proposed drastic, radical changes through old ideas such as Pan-Germanism. Through these speeches, he gave a sense of hope for this suffering population and provided them with what felt like powerful solutions to their problems. With support from his constituents, he gained traction in the local area and began to expand GWP’s reach. As a result, a new political force that would shape history was born.
Beer Hall Putsch
On 9 November 1923, Hitler led the infamous Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. His goal was to overthrow the existing weak government and replace it with a more powerful one to defend Germany’s honor. Although the coup failed, its significance should not be underestimated as it served as a rallying cry for Nazi sympathizers throughout Germany and solidified Hitler’s own sense of purpose.
The aftermath also played an important role in providing context for the future actions of the Third Reich. Despite being sentenced to five years in prison, Hitler only served nine months in Landsberg. During that time, he wrote his infamous book “Mein Kampf,” a blueprint for his vision of a new and improved Germany. It is widely agreed upon now that the text served as a practical guide for what would soon become Nazi Germany.
While the Beer Hall Putsch was ultimately doomed to fail, its influence continues to be felt today. The ideas expressed by Hitler in Mein Kampf are still echoed by far-right groups around the world, reminding us of the importance of learning from our history and standing firm against hate and intolerance.
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. Still, 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 and combined them 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 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 combine all the German people in all of Europe and 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 worldwide, not to mention that there was a crisis, the Great Depression. Even those that were militant in nature and would like a war knew that the militaries 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, 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.
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 and 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 unbeaten until the Battle of Stalingrad in early 1943, when the tide changed. By 1945 the Allied Armies had not only repelled the German attacks but were advancing on Germany itself. Hitler retreated to an underground bunker in Berlin and remained there for the rest of his life.
The Death of Adolf Hitler
On the afternoon of April 30th, 1945, in the Führerbunker beneath the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler wrote his last testament and political statement. Many have pondered what he might have been thinking or feeling during those last moments; however, a few details are known for certain. His suicide served to forever mark his fate as one of history’s most notorious and despised figures.
By all accounts, Hitler remained composed throughout the process of drafting his will and taking his own life. He declared his successor—his loyal deputy, Joseph Goebbels—shortly before he and his wife of only 40 hours, Eva Braun, took their lives through a lethal dose of poison. They were then cremated in the ruins of the Reich Chancellery garden.
The death of Hitler brought an end to Germany’s World War II involvement and, in turn, gave way to a new era of peace. Historians and analysts alike view these events as essential milestones in ending Europe’s darkest period. With Hitler gone, there was a sense among the Allies that normalcy could be restored again and that a brighter future lay ahead for those who had suffered at his hands.
Fast Facts about Adolf HItler
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. Here are some facts about him:
- Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary.
- He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934.
- Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust, which led to the murder of approximately six million Jews during World War II.
- He was a talented public speaker and used his charisma to gain popularity and support for his fascist policies.
- Hitler wrote the book “Mein Kampf,” in which he laid out his political philosophy and plans for Germany.
- He was a vegetarian and did not drink alcohol.
- Hitler was an artist in his youth and applied to art school twice but was rejected both times.
- He was an avid reader and was particularly interested in the works of philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche.
- Hitler was a decorated veteran of World War I and was awarded the Iron Cross.
- He committed suicide on April 30, 1945, in his bunker in Berlin as Allied forces closed in on the city.
Little-known facts about Hitler
Here are some little-known facts about Hitler:
- Hitler had a fear of being poisoned and went to great lengths to ensure his food was prepared by trusted chefs and tasted by tasters before he ate it.
- Hitler was an admirer of Henry Ford and kept a life-size portrait of him in his office.
- Hitler had a close relationship with his half-niece, Geli Raubal, and her death by suicide in 1931 is believed to have deeply affected him.
- Hitler suffered from gastrointestinal issues and was prescribed various medications, including amphetamines and cocaine.
- Hitler had a fascination with the occult and was known to consult with astrologers and mystics.
- Hitler was rejected twice by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
- Hitler’s father changed his last name from Schicklgruber to Hitler in 1876.
- Hitler was a fan of Disney cartoons and was rumored to have owned a copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- Hitler was a chain smoker and was known to have smoked up to 25 cigarettes a day.
- Hitler was a dog lover and had several dogs throughout his life, including his beloved German Shepherd, Blondi, who he reportedly killed with cyanide shortly before his own suicide.