Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler
Born: April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary
Died: April 30, 1945 (at age 56) in Berlin, Germany
Nationality: Austrian-German
Famous For: Fuhrer and Chancellor of Germany
Awards: Iron Cross First Class, Iron Cross Second Class, Wound Badge

Adolf Hitler is one of the more notorious leaders in the history of Western civilization. As a leader of the fascist Third Reich Few historians would disagree that the leader of the fascist Third Reich was among the most evil men in all of human history.

Hitler’s Early Life

Adolph Hitler was born in 1889 in Austria. He was the son of Klara Pölzl and Alois Hitler, but at times during his life, he would use the last name of his paternal grandmother, Schicklgruber. He lived in an Austro-Hungary region near Bavaria and his beginnings were quite humble.

At the age of three, he moved with his family to Germany. As he grew older, he found pictures in his father’s belongings that depicted scenes from the Franco-Prussian War. From that, young Hitler became fixated on the idea of warfare.

Hitler wanted to be an artist, but his father did not approve of such an undertaking. He sent Adolf to a technical school where he did quite poorly. He did manage to graduate despite his efforts to undermine his own achievements.

Embracing Anti-Semitic Beliefs

Hitler was rejected for art school and he became very bitter as a result. His mother passed away soon after that and he drifted into despair. He lived in a homeless shelter for a time and grew increasingly angry. Anti-Semitic propaganda was commonly spewed by the politicians of the day and Hitler began to embrace these beliefs to place blame for his lot in life.

Service in World War I

Hitler served in the Bavarian Army in World War I. He was awarded the Iron Cross for his service. He was wounded and temporarily blinded during the war and learned about Germany’s defeat while receiving care for his injuries. Germany was heavily sanctioned upon signing the Treaty of Versailles and this led to much resentment among the Germany people. Hitler would capitalize on this resentment when he entered into politics.

Rise of the Nazi Party

Hitler became involved in politics as a young man when he joined the anti-Semitic, leftist organization – the German Worker’s Party. This was a highly nationalistic party that sought to restore much of Germany’s lost glory. Eventually, the organization changed its name to the National Socialist German Worker’s Party and its members, the NSDAP’s, would be known as the Nazis.

Hitler’s activities related to the party led to his imprisonment. When he was released, Germany was suffering from a major depression and this opened the doors for him to take advantage of the political climate.

His re-entry into politics was hugely successful as he would become Chancellor of Germany and, after the events of the Reichstags Fire, he would consolidate an enormous amount of power. He eventually became a dictator and murdered most of his political foes while turning Germany into a police state.

World War II

Hitler sought to reclaim lost territory by launching invasions of neighboring countries. When the policies of appeasement failed, the Second World War broke out. During the war, Hitler sought to purge Europe of Jews by slaughtering them in the Holocaust.

Hitler’s powerful war machine came close to winning at numerous points, but fighting on too many fronts eroded his military. The tide turned against Germany and during the Allied bombing of the country, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker on April 30, 1945.