Adolf Hitler biography
At 6:30 p.m. on the evening of April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in the small Austrian village of Braunau Am Inn just across the border from German Bavaria. His mother Klara gave birth to two boys and a girl, all of whom died. In1889 her fourth child, Adolf was born healthy and was baptized a Roman Catholic. Throughout his early days, young Adolf's mother feared losing him as well and lavished much care and affection on him. His father was busy working most of the time and also spent a lot of time on his main hobby, keeping
bees. When Adolf was almost five, in 1893, his mother gave birth to a brother, Edmund. In 1896 came a sister, Paula. In May of 1895 at age six, young Adolf Hitler started the first grade in the public school in the village of Fischlham, near Linz in Austria.
In 1895, at age six, two important events happened in Adolf’s life. First event was that he entered primary school. Secondly, his father retired on a pension from the Austrian civil service. That meant a double dose of supervision and discipline under the watchful eyes of teachers at school and his strict father at home. His father was used to giving orders and having them obeyed and that’s what he also expected from his children. Hitlers’ family moved to little town in the area of Saltbach called Lambach. There was an old Catholic Benedictine monastery in the town. Young Hitler did well in the monastery school and also took part in the boys' choir. He was said to have had a fine singing voice. Adolf as a young boy idolized the priests and for two years seriously considered becoming a priest himself. In describing his boyhood, Hitler later said of himself that he was an argumentative little ring leader who liked to stay outside and hang around with 'husky' boys. In 1898, the Hitler family moved once again, to the village of Leonding, close to Linz. This meant another change of schools for Adolf. He found school easy and got good grades with little effort.One day, young Hitler went rummaging through his father's book collection and came across several of a military nature, including a picture book on the War of 1870 - 1871 between the Germans and the French. By Hitler's own account, this book became an obsession. He read it over and over, becoming convinced it had been a glorious event. Adolf's little brother Edmund, age 6, died of measles. It seems to have shaken Adolf badly. To make matters worse, the little boy was buried in the cemetery next to their house.
From his bedroom window, Adolf could see the cemetery. In the year 1900 Adolf’s dad send him to the technical high school in the city of Linz. Hitler, the country boy, was lost in the city and its big school. City kids also looked down on country kids who went to the school. He was very
lonely and extremely unhappy. There was a history teacher at school, who touched Hitler's imagination with exciting tales of the glory of German figures such as Bismark and Frederick The Great. For young Hitler, German Nationalism quickly became an obsession. In January, 1903, Hitler's father died suddenly of a lung hemorrhage, leaving his thirteen year old son as head of the Hitler household.
Hitler got worse in school. His grades weren’t that good anymore. It was only Hitler's history teacher and his tales of heroic Germans from bygone eras who kept his interest and earned his respect. But Hitler could not bring himself to take the final exam for his diploma. He left school at age sixteen never to return. From now on he would be self taught, continuing his heavy reading habits and interpreting what he read on his own, living in his own dreamy reality and creating his own sense of truth.
He spent his time wandering around the city of Linz, Austria, visiting museums, attending the opera, and sitting by the Danube River dreaming of becoming a great artist. Young Hitler did not have a girlfriend. Hitler's view of the world, also based in fantasy, began to significantly take shape. He borrowed large numbers of books from the library on German
history and Nordic mythology. By now Hitler also had strong pride in the German race and all things German along with a strong dislike of the Hapsburg Monarchy and the non-Germanic races in the multicultural Austro-Hungarian empire which had ruled Austria
and surrounding countries for centuries. He decided to attend the prestigious Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. In October,
1907, at age eighteen, he withdrew his inheritance money from the bank and went to live and study in Vienna. Hitler's mother was by now suffering from breast cancer and had been unsuccessfully operated on in January. But Hitler's driving ambition to be a great artist overcame his reluctance to leave her. He took the test and waited for the result, quite sure he would get in. But failure struck him like a bolt of lightning. His test drawings were judged unsatisfactory and he was not admitted. Hitler was badly shaken by this rejection.
He left Vienna and went back home to his mother and did not tell her he failed the exam. Her condition steadily worsened and as the festive Christmas season approached in December 1907, she was near death. In the early hours of December 21, amid the glowing lights of the family's Christmas tree, she died quietly. Adolf was devastated. Now, with both parents gone, Hitler once again set his sights on Vienna and the art academy. He moved there in February, 1908. But in that beautiful old city things would go quite poorly for Hitler. He would eventually wind up sleeping on park benches and eating at charity soup kitchens. His years of misery in Vienna would also be a time when he formulated many of his ideas on politics and race which would have immense consequences in the future.
In February, 1910, he moved into a home for poor men where he would stay for the next few years. Hitler had a passion for reading, grabbing all the daily newspapers available at the men's home, reading numerous political pamphlets and borrowing many books from the library on German history and mythology. At age 21, he was becoming keenly interested in politics, watching events unfold around him in Vienna. Hitler left Vienna at age 24, to avoid mandatory military service in the Austrian army, and thus avoid serving the multicultural Austrian Empire. In May of 1913, he moved to the German fatherland and settled in Munich. August 1, 1914, a huge, enthusiastic crowd including Hitler gathered in a big public plaza in Munich - the occasion - to celebrate the German proclamation of war. Two days later, Hitler volunteered for the German Army. In the muddy, lice infested, smelly trenches of World War One, Adolf Hitler found a new home fighting for the German Fatherland. All over Europe and England young men, including Adolf Hitler, eagerly volunteered. Hitler, by all accounts, was an unusual soldier with a sloppy manner and unmilitary bearing. In August 1918, he received the iron cross first class, a rarity for foot soldiers. His superiors felt he lacked leadership qualities and thought he would not command respect as a sergeant. During the war Adolf Hitler became obsessed with idea of laying blame on Jews and Marxists in Germany. In the summer of 1919, Adolf Hitler was still in the army and was stationed in Munich where he had become an informer. Hitler then became one of many undercover agents in the German army weeding out Marxist influence within the ranks and investigating subversive political organizations.
In August, 1919, Hitler was given the job of lecturing returning German prisoners of war on the dangers of Communism and pacifism, as well as democracy and disobedience. Hitler had discovered much to his delight that he could speak well in front of a strange audience, hold their attention, and sway them to his point of view. For his next assignment, he was ordered in September of 1919 to investigate a small group in Munich known as the German Workers' Party. The use of the term 'workers' attracted the attention of the German Army which was now involved in crushing Marxist uprisings. One day, Hitler received an unexpected postcard saying he had been accepted as a member into the party. He was asked to attend an executive committee meeting, which he did. At that meeting he was joyfully welcomed
as a new member although he was actually very undecided on whether to join. Although unimpressed by the present condition of the German Workers' Party, Hitler was drawn to the sentiment expressed by Drexler that this would somehow become a movement not just a political party. And in this disorganised party, Hitler saw opportunity. He joined the committee of the German Workers' Party and thus entered politics.
Hitler was scheduled to be the second speaker at one of the meatings. It was to be
his first time as a speaker, despite the misgivings of committee members who doubted Hitler's ability at this time. But when Hitler got up to speak, he astounded everyone with a highly emotional, at times near hysterical manner of speech making. For Hitler, it was an important moment in his young political career. He got a respect for that. The German Workers' Party now featured Hitler as the main attraction at its meetings. The German Workers' Party name was changed by Hitler to include the term National Socialist. By the end of 1920 it had about three thousand members. At the next gathering, July 29, 1921, Adolf Hitler was introduced as a leader of the Nazi Party, marking the first time that title was publicly used to address him. In April 1921 there was a huge inflation in Germany. The German mark fell to 18,000 to the dollar. By November 1923 it took 4 milion marks to get a dollar. Germans lost their life savings and they were paid in worthless money. Groceries cost billions. Hitler endorsed the fall of the Weimar Republic, and declared at a public rally on October 30, 1923 that he was prepared to march on Berlin to rid the government of the Communists and the Jews. On November 8, 1923, Hitler held a rally at a Munich beer hall and proclaimed a revolution.
The following day, he led 2,000 armed "brown-shirts" in an attempt to take over the Bavarian government. This putsch was resisted and put down by
the police, after more than a dozen were killed in the fighting. Hitler suffered a broken and dislocated arm in the melee, was arrested, and was imprisoned at Landsberg. He received a five-year sentence. Hitler served only nine months of his five-year term. While in prison, he wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf. It was partly an autobiographical book. which also detailed his views on the future of the German people. There were several targets of the vicious diatribes in the book, such as democrats, Communists, and internationalists. But he reserved the brunt of his vituperation for the Jews, whom he portrayed as responsible for all of the problems and evils of the world, particularly democracy, Communism, and internationalism, as well as Germany's defeat in the War. A second volume of Mein Kampf was published in 1927. It included a history of the Nazi party to that time and its program, as well as a primer on how to obtain and retain political power, how to use propaganda and terrorism, and how to build a political organization. While Mein Kampf was crudely written and filled with embarrassing tangents and ramblings, it struck a responsive chord among its target those Germans who believed it was their destiny to dominate the world. The book sold over five million copies by the start of World War II. Once released from prison, Hitler decided to seize power constitutionally rather than by force of arms. Using demagogic oratory, Hitler spoke to scores of mass audiences, calling for theGerman people to resist the yoke of Jews and Communists, and to create a new empire which would rule the world for 1,000 years. Hitler's Nazi party captured 18% of the popular vote in the 1930
elections. In 1932, Hitler ran for President and won 30% of the vote, forcing the eventual victor, Paul von Hindenburg, into a runoff election. A political deal was made to make Hitler chancellor in exchange for his political support. He was appointed to that office in January 1933. Upon the death of Hindenburg in August 1934, Hitler was the consensus successor. With an improving economy, Hitler claimed credit and consolidated his position as a dictator, having succeeded in eliminating challenges from other political parties and government institutions. The German industrial machine was built up in preparation for war.
By 1937, he was comfortable enough to put his master plan, as outlined in Mein Kampf, into effect. Calling his top military aides together at the conference in November 1937, he outlined his plans for world domination. Those who objected to the plan were dismissed. Hitler's army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, sparking France and England to declare war on Germany. A Blitzkrieg of German tanks and infantry swept through most of Western Europe as nation after nation fell to the German war machine. In 1941, Hitler ignored a non-aggression pact he had signed with the Soviet Union in August 1939. Several early victories after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, were reversed with crushing defeats at Moscow and Stalingrad. The United States entered the war in December 1941. By 1944, the Allies invaded occupied Europe at Normandy Beach on the French coast, German cities were being destroyed by bombing, and Italy, Germany's major ally under the leadership of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, had fallen. Several attempts were made on Hitler's life during the war, but none was successful. As the war appeared to be inevitably lost, Adolf Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945.