Hitler Essay, Research Paper
Hitler was an incredibly gifted person. He was an intelligent speaker, as he managed to sway 14.7 million people to vote for him even though his ideas were unpopular. Hitler was able to take over half of Europe with a country that was heavily in debt and had poor morale. He even negotiated to surpass all levels of government and declare himself dictator. Hitler was a gifted painter although most, if not all, of his works were never published. His paintings were done in watercolors and mostly of landscapes. He was painting even after the year of 1919 when politics became his overwhelming concern.
Hitler was an extremely bright child. He even said, “The school work was ridiculously easy, leaving me so much free time that the sun saw more of me than my room…”. Although as he got older his marks started to slip and the teachers began to get a bad impression of him, he was still very bright (one cannot become stupider). He eventually went on to join the army and become a semi-successful soldier (on the account that he was merely wounded and not killed).
The Hitler family consisted of the mother, Klara, the father, Alois, and two children, Alois and Angela. Klara gave birth to a baby boy named Adolf on April 20, 1889 at the Pommer Inn. The Hitlers soon moved to Braunau. His godparents were Mr. and Mrs. Prinz and Maria Matzelbeger. As a child little Adolf was babied and his mother protected him from his father, Alois Hitler. Alois was quite a tyrant, but he usually ignored Adolf. In 1892 Adolf’s father earned a promotion and the family was forced to move to Passau. Here Hitler enjoyed playing Germans and French or cowboys and Indians. At about this time, in 1984 Klara gave birth to another boy whom she named Edmund. Hitler was no longer the baby but his father had been transferred to Linz the year before so everything was going well for young Adolf.
After a year of living without dad the Hitler family moved to Hafeld where Alois Sr. had purchased a house. A month after his arrival Hitler entered the little county school at Fischlam bei Lambach on May 1, 1895. On June 25, 1895 Alois retired at 58 to a life of leisure and beekeeping. Now Alois could devote more of his time to disciplining Adolf, so poor little Adolf’s life became a rigid order between home and school. The only escape Hitler had was playing in the open countryside at cowboys and Indians and soldiers.
On January 21, 1896 Klara gave birth to a daughter Paula, so Hitler was “thereby pushed farther out of babyhood and along the road which would make him a miniature adult.”
The five children in the house became more and more of a strain on Alois Sr.; his moods became more irritable and he was constantly angry at everyone. Alois Jr. was the first one to snap, and then leave home. He moved around a lot but was never very successful. When Adolf became famous, Alois Jr. opened up a cafe in Berlin which was a regular hangout for Nazi party leaders, although Adolf wouldn’t even allow the mention of Alois’ name in his presence. When Alois left home, Hitler became the man of the house and therefore received the brunt of his father’s anger. Although Alois Sr. never struck Adolf, his anger was a tremendous emotional strain on him. In July 1897 the Hitlers moved out of Hafeld and into Lambach where they stayed for a little over a year and then moved to Leonding, a small district outside of Linz. Alois Sr. was finally happy and stayed there until his death in 1903. This was Adolf’s true home, “Even in March of 1945, I have seen Hitler stand for endless periods in front of a wood model representing the rebuilding and extension of the city of Linz. In such moments Hitler forgot the war; he lost the marks of tiredness, and for hours he told us of the detailed changes that he planned to make in his home city”. Even though Alois Sr. was now quite happy it did not end his attempts to dominate the family. Adolf and his father would often fight and Alois would storm out of the house and to the pub.
When Adolf was due to finish elementary school in 1900 his brother Edmond died, leaving Adolf the last boy to carry on the family name proudly.
Hitler ended his term at Volksschule (sort of like elementary school but for five years) at age 11. He took a prominent place among the village children being a strong, cocky character. At this time Adolf became interested in his father’s fantasy books, which were mostly about wars. His favorite books were by the author Karl May. Karl May’s books dealt with Yankees and Indians– they enthralled young Adolf and he carried these ideas into play. Hitler continued to read May’s books even when he became Reich Chancellor; he even read the whole series on the American West. Having finished elementary school he had two choices: to go to Realschule, which emphasized technical and scientific studies, or go to the Gymnasium, which was a more classical sort of school. Adolf’s father strongly wanted Adolf to go to Realschule for the Gymnasium was too old fashioned for him. Alois wanted Adolf to follow in his footsteps and become a civil student, while Hitler wanted to become an artist or painter. Perhaps if Hitler had been allowed to become an artist or painter there would have been no war, no holocaust, and no 52 million dead people. Alois was strongly against the idea of Adolf becoming an artist and forced Adolf to go to Realschule where Adolf was miserable. Young Adolf’s marks began to slip and he failed whole years. He saw this as a rebellion against his father.
Hitler was also a late bloomer. He did not mature sexually or emotionally for quite some time. When he was interested in girls he would simply offer to carry their books or tease them. He forced himself into a state of great sexual repression, which could have lead to some of his anger. It is also worthy to note there were no anti-Semitic groups in Linz during the time he was there and he even stated in Mein Kampf that he was not an anti-Semite at that time.
After Hitler’s father died, Adolf became more polite and quiet, sinking into a dream world more and more often. He continued to do poorly at school, but finally made it past the third term. He was only allowed to pass on one condition, that he did not return to the Linz Realschule for the fourth term. He was immediately signed up for the Realschule at Steyr. He had to leave home early to get there everyday. He did a bit better that term but did not pass geometry so was not allowed to proceed on to Oberrealschule. He went back to the Realschule to pass his makeup geometry exam but did not attempt to proceed on to Oberrealschule or another technical school. At this time in his life he still continued to want to be an artist or perhaps an architect. Hitler met a man by the name of Kubizek and they went on to become partners in a sort of imaginary architecture firm. They went on designing imaginary thing and developed a style later dubbed as ‘Nazi classical.’ At 17 Hitler took an extended vacation to Vienna where he studied the architecture and was rumored to have a girlfriend. In October of 1906 Hitler began to take piano lessons and was quite good. He quit, though, because of his dislike of scales and because his mother had become ill and they had to reduce expenses.
In 1906, Klara was diagnosed with sarcoma pectoris, a malignant growth in the breast. She had an operation two months later but remained quite ill. Her illness affected the family life greatly. She still had to take care of Paula, now 11, and support Adolf. Adolf now took to politics somewhat. He would leave at six in the evening and return home reading about Pan-Germanism or anti-Semitism. His mother died in early 1907. Hitler now began to vegetate even more. He would not leave the house for days on end. He tried to get into Art Academy but was politely rejected. He was so convinced that he would be accepted that the rejection devastated him.
Hitler encountered many obstacles in the years to come. He would fall into poverty in Austria and eventually end up in Germany where he would start his journey toward leader of the Nazi party. He once said, “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 46]
Hitler rose to the challenge of being granted admission into art school. He needed a secondary school certificate to get in but he did not have one. Instead, he went back to Stumpergasse and settled and did some “studies” which were nothing more than doodling and reading. Hitler refused to admit his rejection and became more and more detached from reality. He convinced his family that he had not failed the entrance exam to the art academy but was actually studying in Vienna. Adolf met a Professor Roller from the Imperial Opera who offered to examine Hitler’s painting and advise him on his career. Roller’s offer exacerbated Adolf’s excessive optimism and provided him with a reason to actually go to Vienna. He managed to persuade his friend Kubizek to join him in Vienna by February 1908. The boys had some trouble arranging for a place to stay in Vienna. Kubizek was accepted into the Academy for Music while Hitler stayed at home complaining about Realschule, the Academy, and all the people who had interfered with his dreams. He also said once “This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief.” [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.152]
As time passed Hitler became increasingly interested in politics. Hitler’s life yet again fell apart and he left for Stumpergasse. After that he moved to Felberstrasse where he bought a magazine called Ostara. This was a racist magazine that described struggles between Aryan people and non-Aryan people.
The magazine wanted people to fight for the Aryan cause. Hitler really enjoyed these magazines and continued to buy them regularly. Hitler eventually went totally broke and was forced to live in the streets like a vagrant. By 1909 he was a full-time tramp, hanging out with them and becoming a part of their society. Hitler became sick in the year that followed and his vagabond friend Hanisch became worried. After the winter had passed Hitler and Hanisch started selling Hitler’s drawings. They started to make bigger and better paintings and drawings until his paintings could be sold for as much as 10 kronen.
As Hitler became more interested in politics he sent letters to the Social Democratic Party denouncing their ways. Hitler’s friend Hanisch stole one of Hitler’s paintings and sold it, then was later arrested and put in jail for several days. Without someone to sell his paintings Hitler once again lapsed into laziness and desperate poverty. After a while he decided he could sell his own paintings so he sat by the Maennerheim and painted watercolors for people to buy. By getting all the profit from the paintings himself instead of giving half to Hanisch he could afford to maintain a clean-cut appearance and have immaculate looking clothes. By 1912-1913 he had become terribly politically active. He would attack regularly the Jesuits and promote Pan-Germanic ideas. He became an active anti-Semite that year. He tried to leave Austria when he was 24, but had much troubles because he failed to fill out important paperwork. Eventually he snuck out unobtrusively with another man.
Hitler arrived in Germany with little political knowledge and no familiarity at all of Germany. He had difficulty-meeting people and was somewhat nervous around important men. His war experiences hardened him. In his own words, “It was with feelings of pure idealism that I set out for the front in 1914. Then I saw men falling around me in thousands. Thus I learned that life is a cruel struggle and has no other object but the preservation of the species. The individual can disappear, provided there are other men to replace him.” Some of his war experiences helped him be less of a loner and more politically active. Unfortunately not much information on Hitler’s arrest or any of his years from the end of the war to the beginning of his rise to power were available. Hitler was jailed for a time when he wrote Mein Kampf or “My Struggle” in which he describes the Nazi movement’s ideas and much of his life. After he was released from prison he somehow became associated with the Nazis, which was formed in 1919, and he roamed toted he countryside. He visited with many young people that were part of a group that believed Germany should go back to the days with no permanent settlements or an economy. Many of the Nazi’s views were the same as this group’s so many of the people from it became Nazi party leaders. Later in his political career Hitler became leader of the Nazi party and brought them to their zenith.
Hitler accomplished a great many things in his life. The two major things were setting the Nazi party up to being the largest party in the parliament. The second was pulling Germany out of despair and taking over half of Europe.
The Nazi Party
Hitler, being the leader of the Nazi party wanted them to do well. Because of the failure of the previous parties in the parliament, the Nazi party got 14.7 million votes and had the most seats in parliament in Germany at the time. Their popularity rose almost 37% in one term. There were several factors involved in this. The first was the failure of previous other government parties to deliver Germany out of poverty. The other chancellors had failed and they lost in a vote of non-confidence. Hitler was appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933. Hindenburg who was the president at the time had to appoint Hitler because of two factors: Papen, the chancellor who preceded Hitler was voted out by a vote of non-confidence. The other reason is that Hindenburg was a royalist and believed that Hitler could return Germany to a royalist state without breaching the constitution, which Hindenburg seriously believed in. So the Nazi party took control and turned Germany into a dictatorship based on terror.
“Hitler’s ultimate goal was the establishment of a greater Germany than had ever existed before in history.” To do this Hitler planned to use Russia to help him take over Europe, then dispose of Russia. The only country he could see blocking his goal was France. So France needed to be eliminated. Germany did not need to fight a war on three fronts so they formed allies with some countries and took over others. To accomplish this Hitler appeased the working class while eliminating his political rivals though complicated moves and gifts to followers of the opposition so they would become loyal to him. He was able to fully take over by the Fritsch crisis where a general married a woman who did not comply with the moral code, so Hitler used the opportunity to remove the defense minister and completely take over the government. There is only speculation about how Hitler finally assembled a large enough army to wage war. Germany was heavily in debt but Hitler arranged to bring it out of debt and made Germany the second most powerful nation in the world. No other man could have accomplished such a feat, for Hitler was a truly great man.
Hitler was a man of many talents and gifts. He struggled through hardship and poverty to triumph and to become both the most famous and the most infamous man in history. He died tragically at the low point of his life, maybe regretting the mistakes he made. The world would be a very different place if it weren’t for him, and although the things he did were wrong the human race benefited from his actions. For he taught us not to act at the last moment when people are suffering, and he showed the German people that they could be a nation and stand strong against the power of the world. He also taught the countries of the world to forget their differences and to act against a common evil. And he taught us hardship and suffering, something that will make the human race stronger in the long run. One of his greatest quotes was “The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine.” [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]. Another one was also “Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the ‘remaking’ of the Reich as they call it.” [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 1].
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