Adolf Hitler did not live a very long life, but during his time he caused such a great deal of death and destruction that his actions still have an effect on the world nearly 50 years later. People ask what could’ve happen to this small sickly boy during his childhood that would’ve led him do such horrible things? For Adolf it might have been society, rejection from his father, failure as an artist or was he born to hate?
Adolf was born in Braunau, Austria in 1889. His father, Alois was a minor customs official, and his mother was a peasant girl. Adolf attended elementary school for four years and entered secondary school at the age of eleven. Adolf’s dreams of becoming an artist did not match the government official job his father wanted him to have. These fights over what he wanted to be, lead Adolf to lose interest in getting good grades and dropped out at the age of sixteen.
When his father died Adolf roamed the streets of Linz dreaming of his future as an artist. He attended a great deal of operas and loved the musical work by Robert Wagner.
At 18, Hitler tried to enter the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna but was rejected twice. His failure put a great deal of frustration on him. He saw himself as an artist who was rejected by “stupid” teachers. Adolf later moved to Vienna to find a way to make a living.
Hitler would rather do odd jobs such as shoveling snow, or beating rugs instead of getting a regular job. Since he had no set income he was forced to move into the ghettos and became somewhat of a bum. He finally got a job painting postcards and advertisements. He had little money still, and spent most his time reading and thinking about what he read.
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While Hitler was in Vienna, he learned things which he later used to destroy the world. He learned that the finest thing for man to do was to conquer foreign countries, and that peace is a bad thing because it makes man weak. He was also convinced that Germans are the master race, even though he himself was Austrian. Hitler also took part in political ideas which were later used in Germany. He believed a political party must know how to use terror. He also discovered the value of appearance in politics. He thought only a man who could attract masses of people by his eloquence could succeed in politics. Hitler later became the greatest public speaker in Europe.
In Vienna Hitler also learned of his hatred for Jews. “Wherever I went I began to see Jews, and the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity. I grew sick to the stomach, I began to hate them. I became anti-Semitic.”(1) In the spring of 1913 Hitler left for Munich, Germany at the age of 24. He left Vienna to get away from the mixture of races and to escape the military that he had to serve in with Jews.
The First World War in 1914 was Hitler’s chance to let go of his frustrating childhood. Hitler proved to be a brave soldier and was wounded twice and decorated twice for bravery with the Iron Cross. Hitler, like many other Germans didn’t believe they were defeated by Great Britain and the U.S. in 1918. They thought they had been stabbed in the back by the Jewish slackers. After the war Hitler found himself unemployed once again and began looking for a place in politics because he felt he could do something for the country. Shortly after Hitler returned to the army and was assigned to spy on political parties which the generals thought were communist, socialist, or pacifists. Hitler was ordered to investigate a small political group called the German Worker’s party. The next day he received an invitation to join the group. He decided after two days of questioning himself that he should join. After enrolling, Hitler later made it the largest political party in Germany, and became known as the Nazi Party. In 1921, the two years after he joined the party, he became the Fuhrer which is the leader of the Nazi Party. By 1923, Hitler believed he was strong enough to try and conquer Germany. He planned a revolt in Munich to bring down the German republic and then to make himself the dictator of Germany.
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Hitler couldn’t have had this revolt at a better time because Germany was in an economic crisis. The businesses and mines of Germany were closed down because the government didn’t pay the reparation payments which were written in the Treaty of Versailles.
Hitler felt it was time to overthrow the German Republic because the German people were looking for new hopes and a new leader to help them through their times of trouble.
Hitler and his troops stormed into a political rally and began shouting. Hitler tried to make the leaders join him but they wouldn’t. The police arrived and broke it up. Hitler was thrown in jail for his attempt to overthrow the government, but only served nine months of his 5-year sentence. While in jail Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (my struggles).
In this book he wrote the plans for taking over Germany.
During the German depression the economy of West Germany wasn’t getting any better, but Hitler’s chance to gain political power was. In 1930, Hitler told the German people that Germany would not pay the reparations and would tear up the Treaty of Versailles. He also made promises of getting businesses back on their feet. Nazi popularity grew and in 1933 Hitler was made Chancellor. It took only one year before Hitler was made the dictator of Germany. He quickly outlawed all political parities and made the Nazi way the new form of government.
He began the reign as dictator by abolishing the freedom of speech, and he persecuted Christian churches and made trouble with the Jews. He ordered the murders of many Germans who did not agree with his ways, and had others carted to concentration camps where they were slaughtered. He also began to arm Germany secretly against the Peace Treaty and to get ready for aggressive war. After Hitler had full power of all political functions he gave himself the title, Fuhrer and Reich’s Chancellor. He also became commander in chief of the armed forces. Hitler began threatening Austria and got Herr Schuschnigg to sign Austria over to German control. Hitler also did the same to Czechoslovakia. He followed that by taking Belgium and Holland for naval and air warfare. Hitler shortly after set an alliance with Italy and a deal that would keep Russia out of any war that involved Germany. This deal with Russia was set up so that when Hitler took Poland the land would be divided with Stalin. It also allowed Hitler to launch the second world war. He planned to attack Poland on August 26, 1939 at 4:30 p.m.
... organization present in the Nazi party in pre-World War II Germany ... used to increase hatred of Jews convinced many Germans to follow the organized plan of Hitler. The incredible amount of ... Karl A. The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy towards German Jews, 1933- 1939. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1970.Shirer ...
However, on August 25, Britain and Poland signed a pact for mutual assistance. So now Hitler would have to deal with Great Britain, and to make this worse Mussolini said that if Hitler attacked Poland, Italy would not join him in war despite their treaty. Hitler was forced to postpone his attack for September 1, 1939 at 4:45 a.m.
On the 1st of September Hitler sent U-30 subs to attack the British liner Athena. Without any warning they killed 1,400 passengers, 120 of whom were Americans, in cold blood and World War II began. In the Spring of 1940, Hitler’s armies conquered Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He finished his victories with the defeat of France in 1940. He knew he could not defeat England so set out to attack Russia, but before he did he took Yugoslavia and Greece. German forces moved into Russia but could not defend themselves against Moscow and Leningrad. Hitler refused to let his army retreat from the battle field and let them slowly die out in Stalingrad. IN 1944 American and British forces landed in Normandy to try and put an end to what Hitler was doing.
It wasn’t bad enough that Hitler was conquering foreign countries and trying to rule the world, but he also began showing his hatred toward the different races. This is the part of the war he caused that might have affected the world the most.
Captive people were made slaves of the German Master Race, and all the Jews and many slaves were to be exterminated.
“The Polish generation must cease to exist! However cruel this may sound, they must be exterminated. Also all representatives on the Polish intelligentsia (intellectuals) are to be exterminated. This sounds cruel, but such is the law of life.”(2)
... as Germany's defeat in the war. Not only did Hitler express his hatred towards the jews, but in his Quest for a ... sent into the war. Even there he seemed to be different from everyone else. Another member of the army remembered Hitler as " this ... unrecognisable. In early 1914 Adolf was rejected by the Austrian army as " unfit for combatant and auxiliary duties, too weak. Unable ...
Seven and one-half million foreign civilians were forced to work as slave labor workers in Germany. Many of them were beaten, half starved, given houses not fit for cattle to live in, and forced to work morning and night. Millions more were placed in concentration camps, where most of them died or were put to death. The worst of all treatment was saved for the Jews, for Hitler was determined to make Europe Jew-free. Out of Europe’s 100,000’s of Jews killed around a quarter were massacred in gas chambers and their bodies burned in specially made furnaces. Another three-quarter of a million Jews were put to death by machine guns of Special Tasks Forces.
On July 20, 1944, an attempt to kill Hitler with a bomb in a briefcase failed. Before this attempt a group of army officials also made a number of attempts to kill Hitler in 1943.
At the end of August in 1944 Generals of the German army knew there was no way they could win. Hitler’s remaining allies were all lost. Finland gave up, Bulgaria withdrew from the war, and Romania was defeated by the Russians, who were now allies with Britain and the states.
In the west, General Eisenhower’s armies took France and then headed toward the German border. On January 30,1945 Albert Spear, Chief of Armament Productions told Hitler that the war was over and lost. After hearing this horrible news Hitler became a nervous wreck and began saying he was going to destroy the land he had led to a catastrophe. “If the war is lost, the nation will also perish. This fate is inevitable. There is no necessity to take into consideration the basis which the people will need to continue a most primitive existence. On the contrary it will be better to destroy ourselves because their nation will have proved to be the weaker one and the future will belong to the stronger eastern nations. Besides those who will remain after the battle are only the inferior ones, for the good ones have been killed.”(3)
After troops took over Berlin Hitler blamed the Jews for starting the war and placed them responsible for the deaths on the battlefields, and bombed towns, and also for the massacre of millions of Jews.
On April 30 at 2:30 p.m. the body of Adolf Hitler was found on a sofa dripping blood from where he shot himself in the mouth. At his side was his wife, Eva Braun. She had swallowed poison.
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With one gun shot in the mouth ended the life of the person who was responsible for millions of deaths. Hitler took the easy way out and did not get to see the effects he caused on the world. He left towns diminished to rubble, families torn apart, and possibly worst of all the deaths of millions and millions of innocent people to the effect that he gained nothing from all of this.
1. Shirer – pg. 9
2. Shirer – pg. 138
3. Shirer – pg. 162-163
Joshua Rubenstein (1982) Adolf Hitler, Franklin Watts New York, London, Toronto, Sydney An Impact Biography
William L. Shirer (1965) The Rise and Fall ofAdolf Hitler, Random House New York
Burton H. Wolfe (1970) Hitler and the Nazis, Longmans Canada by Longmans Canada Limited, Toronto