Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Branau, Austria, a small town across the inn River from Germany. He was the third son of Customs Official, Alois Hitler, and his third wife Klara. Alois moved his family into Linz, Austria where Adolf attended school and church regularly. Young Hitler was a good student until his mother’s death when Adolf was only sixteen, and having his dad die just two years prior, he dropped out of school and made his way to Vienna, Austria to study art but poverty and rejection forced degradation that gnawed at his soul. He found relief in hatred in trade unionists and Marxists and thanks to the propaganda of Karl Lueger, in the hatred of Jews. Hitler identified all that he wanted and couldn’t have; wealth, power, culture, and made them the root of his evil. Later Hitler explained this in an excerpt from Mein Kampf, “Gradually I began to hate them. I was transformed from a weakly world-citizen into a fanatic anti-Semite.” Thus, he built his defenses against hopelessness, helplessness and fear.
All of which was expressed in the art work Hitler created and sold to survive.
He lived like this until 1913 when he decided to move to Munich. Still living in Vienna and being Austrian by birth, Hitler showed more loyalty to Germany. He thought that the Aryan race was destined to rule the wold. Then in 1914 World War I broke out and he saw this as a great opportunity to show his loyalty to the “fatherland” by volunteering in the Imperial Army. Hitler received two awards for bravery before suffering from temporary blindness that ended his life in the army. World War I ended, in 1918, with the signing of the Versailles Treaty stripping Germany of its land. In 1920 Hitler then went on to become a spy for the Munich government that sent him on the case that would change the course of history forever. They sent him to a German Workers’ Party hosted by Gottfried Feder. Hitler listened in as they talked of “patriotic German capitalism” and of the “inferior Jew” and Hitler spoke up among them, which worked to his advantage in the end. The Nazis assigned him National Socialist German Workers’ Party member number seven. Working for the cancellation of the Versailles Treaty, the Nazi’s party was divided up into two major political organizations. The first was PO I- was dedicated to the undermining and overthrowing of the German democratic republic. The second, PO II, designed to create a government in waiting, a highly organized Nazi government within the republic that would some day replace it. PO II even had its own departments of Agriculture, Economy, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Race and Culture and Propaganda. The later was headed up by Adolf Hitler himself, for his incredible public speaking abilities.
On November 9, 1923, Hitler led more than 2,000 of his Storm Troopers(an army called upon to fight groups seeking to disband the Nazi rallies) on a march to seize the Barvarian government. The attempt failed and Hitler was arrested for treason and sentenced to two years in prison and two years banned from public speaking. Hitler only served nine of those months in prison; while in prison, Hitler, at the age of thirty-five, wrote his famous Mein Kempf (My Struggle). The verdict of his expulsion of public speaking was a major setback for Hitler who owed much of his success to his speech making ability. But rather than be discouraged or slowed down, Hitler immediately began reorganizing the Nazi Party with feverish effort. He set up a private battle-ready elite guard known as the “Schutzstaffel” (SS) to transport and take care of all political prisoners and people thought to be inferior. Hitler also ordered the creation of a special police force to make sure that all opponents would be eliminated, the Gestapo. Also teachers had to belong to the Nazi party and the children were taught that Jews were the very source of all their problems.
In 1932 Hitler ran for Chancellor of Germany but lost thirty-six percent to Hindenburg, fifty-three percent. Hitler lost by little under a million, thus showing the popularity of the Nazi people. But January 30, 1933 Chancellor Hindenburg resigned due to the Nazis in the government, giving the title of Chancellor to Adolf Hitler. Then everything went down hill, 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. 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 an area which Germany had lost. Next he moved to Austria and annexed it without a shot being fired into the Reich. Then he gained Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia, but when he attacked Poland, in 1939, the allies got upset. And Britain and France declared war on Germany, starting World War II. Also, at this time the Concentration camps were set up to exterminate the Jews in Germany, Poland and Russia. Before Hitler was stopped in 1945 by the Allies, he had caused the extermination of more than twelve million people. Including the life of a love affair he’d had with his niece, Geli Raubal. Hitler committed suicide in his bunker on April 30, 1945 and seven days later, Germany surrendered.