Adolf Hitler Essay, Research Paper
In 1939, a mighty ruler by the name of Adolf Hitler, led his powerful German army into World War II. Hitler s square black mustache and the lock of hair that hung down on his forehead made him resemble a comic book character to some people. However, his fiery words and big blue eyes seemed to hypnotize those that listened and followed him. Hitler was a man that gave excellent speeches that would make crowds cheer, Hell Hitler! Hitler had a talent for making people listen and helping Germans visualize a better future. Adolf Hitler, was dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945. By the time he was defeated, Hitler had conquered most of Europe. Hitler had spread death as no man had ever done before and a rage against all alien minorities, especially the Jews. He made Germans believe that it was the Jews who were to blame for their troubles. There are different theories to why Hitler hated the Jews so much. One theory suggest, that Hitler may have had a frightful experience with one or more Jews. Another theory suggest, that Hitler may have had Jewish blood in him, a form of self-hatred that could find relief only by dominate, even destruction of the entire race. Although, Hitler was a man that encountered many conflicts in his life such as poverty, death of his parents, and not doing well in schools; Hitler became one of the most important historical figures to ever live. Many historians believe that his childhood downfalls made Hitler such a strong and powerful person. Adolf Hitler, a magnetic Austrian born opportunist, rose to power in Germany at a time of social, political, and economic chaos. Failing to take power by force in 1923, he eventually won power by democratic means. Once in power, he eliminated all oppositions and launched an ambitious program of world domination and elimination of the Jews.
Hitler s father was Alois who was born in 1837. He was the legitimate son of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. It is not sure who the father was except that it may have been someone from the neighborhood or a poor mill worker named Johann Georg Hiedlen. It is possible Adolf Hitler s grandfather was Jewish. Alois had always used the name of his mother, Schicklgruber. At age thirteen, Alois was living with his uncle after his mother passed away and his uncle convinced him to change his last name to Hiedler. However, when the time came to write the last name on records, they spelled it as Hitler. In 1876, Alois became known as Alois Hitler. In 1885, Alois married the pregnant Klara Polzl, after being married twice. Alois was 48 and Klara was 24, the granddaughter of uncle Hiedler. Klara gave birth to two boys and a girl, of whom all died. On April 20, 1889 gave birth to her fourth child, Adolf Hitler. Adolf was born a healthy child. However, Klara feared of losing Adolf like the other children. In 1895, at the age of 6, Hitler entered the first grade, while his father retired from the Austrian service. Hitler would now be under strict supervision at home and at school. Alois was a hard working man who worked his way up the civil service ranks. He was a strict father who used his own experiences to toughen up Adolf and the other children. Alois was now in his late fifties and raised his family on a small farm outside of Linz, Austria. Alois would beat on the oldest boy Alois Jr., which was 13 at the time. Since Alois Jr. was the oldest he would get the abusive words and the beatings. It was not until Alois Jr. was 14 that he got tired of the abuse and ran away from home never to return. This would mean that Adolf who was 6, was the next in line to get the bad treatment from his father.
The Hitler s soon moved from the farm to the city, where Adolf would attend catholic school. Adolf found school to be easy and he felt as though he had a talent for drawing.
Hitler one day, came across several pictures in his father s book collection. The pictures were of the War of 1870-1871, between the Germans and the French. This book became an obsession for young Adolf Hitler. Hitler read the book repeatedly, and he believed that the war was a glorious event. In Hitler s book Mein Kampf, he suggests,
It was not long before the great historic
struggle had become my greatest spiritual
experience. From then on, I became more
and more enthusiastic about everything that
was in any connected with war or, for that
matter, with soldering. (Adolf Hitler)
At age 11, Adolf had to face death for the first time when his little brother Edmund 6, died of the measles. Adolf had never faced death before and it badly traumatized the young Adolf. Things became worse for Adolf as he grew up. The time was coming when Adolf would have to choose between going to classical or technical school. Adolf Hitler dreamed of becoming an artist and wanted to go to classical school and become an artist. Unfortunetly, his father would hear nothing of it. Alois Hitler wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and become a civil servant. In September 1900, Adolf Hitler went to technical school. Adolf and his father would engage in frequent arguments about his career choice. History and opera fascinated Adolf and this was his passion, however Alois would ignore Adolf. Adolf Hitler would later write in his book that he went to technical school to show his father that he was unsuited to this kind of school. He tried to show his father by his grades and the useless progress he was making.
The long struggle and arguments between father and son would end on January 3, 1903, when 65 year old Alois Hitler died of lung hemorrhage. Adolf would know face many more obstacles in his life. He would now become the head of the household, which was very important.
Adolf Hitler would not do so well in school as he would find out that 1903 Autumn. His grades were very poor and his behavior was very bad. Hitler found school to be boring and past his time in school playing jokes on the teachers and students. The only subject that interested Adolf was History. His professor Dr. Leopold Potsch, kept Hitler on his feet by telling stories of Germans who were heroes. During this time Hitler had become interested in German nationalism including architecture and art. Adolf put all of his dreams and time into becoming a great artist. In school, they gave Hitler a passing mark in French on a make up exam on the conditions he would not return to the school. Hitler then transferred to another school 25 miles away from home. He lived in a boarding house, where he shared a room with another boy. Hitler received terrible grades his first semester. They told him he would pass if he took make up exams, however that summer Hitler suffered from a bleed lung ailment. This was an inherited medical problem. He got well enough to take the final exam and passed, although he could not take the exam for his diploma. He left school and never returned and used poor health as an excuse.
Hitler s view of the world, based on fantasy, began to take shape. He began to read many books about German history and Nordic mythology. Hitler had devoted a strong pride in German race and all those things of German. However, he had a strong dislike of the Hapsburg Monarchy and the non-Germanic races in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the spring of 1906, at age seventeen, Hitler took his first trip to Vienna, the capital city and one of the most important centers of art, music, and old world European culture. Hitler wanted to attend the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He withdrew all his money and all his dreams to become an artist to live and study in Vienna. At the time Hitler was in Vienna, his mother was back home suffering from breast cancer and was unsuccessfully operated on that January. His ambitions and dreams kept
him in Vienna to follow his dreams. Adolf took a two-day entrance exam for the academy s school of painting. Hitler was confident he would get in. However, the outcome of the results showed that his work was unsatisfactory and he failed. Hitler took this depressing news very hard and he went back home where his mother was dying. At home, Hitler spent all his time with his mother never leaving her sight. Adolf was taking her suffering very hard and it bothered seeing his mother like that. The treatment that was being administered to his mother was also very expensive. On December 21, 1907, Klara Hitler died. It was a very sad Christmas for the whole family. Klara was buried next to her husband Alois and their son Edmund. Now with both parents deceased, Hitler left home again with his sights once again on Vienna. Nevertheless, in that beautiful old city things got very bad for Hitler. Hitler became homeless and spent nights sleeping on park benches and eating at charity soup kitchens. These were the years in which he would spend much of his time formulating ideas on politics and race which would cause enormous consequences in the future. In October 1908, Hitler attempted to retake the entrance exam and failed it again. Hitler moved about the city diminishing his life away. Despite his need for money he made no attempt to find a job. Hitler had to pawn all his possessions to make ends meet. In December of 1909 almost frozen and half starved, he moved into a homeless shelter. In February of 1910 he moved into a home for poor men where he stayed a couple of years. The state of misery of his poverty deeply influenced Hitler. He adopted a harsh, survivalist mentality, which left little room for consideration of kindness and compassion. This would be the attitude that he would keep with him till the end and make him such a powerful man in the future. At age 21, Hitler became interested more on politics, and watching events fold all around him in Vienna. On August 1, 1914, a huge crowd including Hitler gathered in a big public plaza in Munich to celebrate the German Proclamation. This would encourage him to join the German Army two days later.
Hitler would join the German army to fight in World War I. Adolf Hitler found a new home fighting for the German Fatherland, where he felt a sense of belonging and purpose. All over Europe and England young men eagerly volunteered including Adolf Hitler. Most young soldiers thought it would be a short war. However, most wanted it to last long enough to see some action and participate in it. Hitler had great luck in avoiding life threatening injury. Hitler was not like the other soldier. He never complained about the food or the horrible conditions and talking about women. Adolf Hitler preferred talking about history. Hitler was a dispatch runner and would take messages back and forth on the battlefields. In October 7, 1916, a shell fragment wounded Hitler in the leg. In August 1918, Hitler received the award of iron cross first class. This award was special to him since getting was rare for a foot soldier. Hitler could not stay at home and asked to go back into the war. On October 1918, he was temporarily blinded after a chlorine gas attack by the British. He was sent home, to a country full of unrest. In November 1918, while in the hospital an elderly pastor came announcing that the war was over. The German army was in ruins and also the land, there was starvation, and the economy was ruined. German generals requested armistice negotiations with the allies in November 1918. The Germans took it hard in admitting defeat.
Holding a regular job was hard for Adolf Hitler, and aside from his time in the war led a laid back lifestyle. Hitler joined the German Worker s party in 1919 at age thirty. He quickly did what he could to make the party succeed. The party consisted mainly of a seven-member executive committed including Hitler. Hitler became a very important member of this party and had a gift for giving speeches. In February 1920 Hitler urged the Party to hold its first mass meeting. He even made preparations to make sure the hall was decorated in red to aggravate the Marxists. On the 24th of February 2000 people gathered to hear what the party had to say. Hitler was thrilled, and was enthusiastic to hear shouting from a brawl by the German Worker s Party and associates and disruptive Communist. He explained the twenty-five points of the German Worker s Party. Hitler saw that the meeting was a complete success. The only thing missing was a symbol to represent the party. He chooses the swastika to represent the party. It was a symbol placed inside a white circle on a red background. It was a powerful symbol that helped Hitler s party gain popularity and made his party feel strong. Hitler began recruiting men to join the party. Ex-soldiers, and alienated soldiers who wanted a change and adventure joined the party, with a dislike of what the Treaty of Versailles had done. Hitler changed the name to include the National Socialist. Thus, the name was called Nazi, short for the National Socialist German Worker s Party. By this time Hitler s name was being spread all over the country. They were talking about him for his wonderful speeches and large crowds he would gather. In April of 1921, the victorious European Allies of World War I, which was France and England, presented a bill to Germany demanding payments for damages caused in the war. The German people lost their savings. The Nazis demanded action for relief of the difficult struggles the people were facing. On November 8, 1923, Hitler and some troops gathered around a beer hall where the guests of honor were the Bavarian leaders. Hitler and the troops bursted in and Hitler fired his pistol in the air yelling, Silence! The National Revolution has begun! Hitler took the three of the highest ranking officials into a room and told them they would join his party and form the new government. They agreed hesitantly, and went to the podium to announce their
loyalty to their new leader and government. The crowd cheered for Hitler. However, as Hitler left the beer hall, his absence quickly made the revolution begin to unravel. Three Bavarian leaders had slipped out of the beer hall and spread the word of what Hitler was doing. At 11:00 a.m., three thousand Nazis headed toward the War Ministry Building, but they came across a blockade. Hitler yelled at them to surrender, but they refused. Shoots rang out from both sides. In one minute, sixteen Nazis and three police were killed. Hitler suffered a dislocated shoulder. Hitler s bodyguard saved his life by jumping in front of him and taking several bullets. After the beer hall incident, Hitler s party might be a joke and came to an end. They sentenced Hitler to five years in prison. However, Hitler only served nine months of his sentence. While in prison Hitler, wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf. It was partly an autobiographical book which detailed his life and views of the German people. According to Hitler, the Germans are the highest racial purity and those destined to be the master race. He believed that intermarriage was not to be done to maintain pure. The second volume of Mein Kampf included a history of the Nazi party. It suggested strategies on how to maintain a political power. The book sold poorly at the beginning. It was not until Hitler became Chancellor of Germany that the book did excellent, selling millions of copies. He would tell people that those small revolutions that occurred were just warnings to the world that he was coming.
On October 29, 1929, the stock market plummeted, sending a worldwide panic with great effects. They laid off many Germans. The Great Depression began and sending millions of people into poverty. Adolf Hitler believed his time had come and opportunity was knocking on his door. He knew from his past mistakes not to use his old tactics, but use new ones. He was determined to take over the government, but he knew this time to take it legally by being elected.
Hitler began on the streets talking to World War I veterans. He knew how to get the crowds and he knew what to say and what people wanted to hear. By the mid 30’s, the German democratic government was soon beginning to unravel. More that half the population was starving, young people were quitting school to find work, which was not possible. They were stripping the German peoples lives away. These were desperate times and people were looking for any way out and they would listen to anyone even Hitler. Adolf Hitler had been waiting for a moment like this, for a long time. The elections were set for September 14. Hitler and the Nazi party waged a campaign, like no one in Germany had ever seen before. Hitler traveled the country, giving his spectacular speeches, and telling the people what they wanted to hear. He offered the people employment opportunities, profits to Industry, and a stronger army for the country. On election day, the Nazis received eighteen percent of the votes and were given 107 seats in the German Reichstag. It was a miraculous victory for Hitler. The Nazi party had gone from the smallest party to the second largest party overnight. The German people were in a bad situation, with the Great Depression lasting almost two years. Millions of Germans were unemployed, homeless, and starving. In great numbers, they turned to Hitler and his promises of a better future. The German President was Paul von Hindenburg who was 84 years old. In 1932, there was supposed to be a presidential election and Adolf Hitler decided to challenge the president. Hitler loss the election by almost six million votes. Hitler had shown a massive popularity and many wanted to see him as president. On January 30, 1933, they appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany. Many of his supporters cheered him on after he was sworn in. Franz von Papen was appointed Vice-Chancellor in order to keep Hitler in check. Papen believed that Hitler would not succeed as chancellor and would end up quitting within two months. The government believed that by having Hitler there was to their advantage. However, within weeks Hitler would be the absolute dictator of Germany and would set in motion a chain of events resulting in the second World War. It would lead to the eventual deaths of nearly 50 million humans through that war and through deliberate extermination.
After the elections of March 5, 1933, the Nazis began an efficient take over of the state governments throughout Germany, ending a century s old tradition of local political independence. For Adolf Hitler, the goal of a legally established dictatorship was now in reach. As Hitler plotted to bring democracy to a halt in Germany, propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels put together a brilliant public relations display at the official opening of the newly elected Rewchstag. With an improving economy, Hitler claimed credit and consolidated his position as dictator, having succeeded in eliminating challenges from other political parties and government institutions. The German industrial machine was built up in preparations for war. By 1937, he was comfortable enough to put his mast plan into effect. On March 23, the newly elected Reischstag met in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin to consider passing Hitler s Enabling Act. It was officially called the Law of Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich. If passed, it would affect vote democracy out of existence in Germany and establish the legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. For some, there was an odd mixture of fear and positivism in the air. Now, for the first time as dictator, Adolf Hitler turned his attention to the driven force which had propelled him into politics in the first place, his hatred of Jews. It began with a simple boycott on April 1, 1933 and would end years later into the greatest tragedy in all human history. Several attempts were made on Hitler s life during the war, but non was successful. As the war appeared to be inevitably lost and his hand-picked lieutenants, seeing the uselessness, defied his order he killed himself on April 30, 1945. His longtime mistress Eva Braun joined him in Suicide. However, by this time Hitler had killed and demolished two thirds of European Jews.