Adolf Hitler Biography
Adolf Hitler, an Austrian-born politician, was the leader of the Nazi Party and a notorious dictator of Germany. Before coming to power as a dictator, he was the Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Head of State serving from 1934 to 1945. As a leader of the Nazi party, Hitler promoted nationalism, anti-semitism, anti-communism through establishing a Fascist dictatorship in Germany and espoused a foreign policy of world conquest. His interpretation of racial subjugation and anti-Jewish policies caused death of million of people in Germany with an estimated 6 million Jews and several other groups of people, including his political opponents. Atrocities committed by him during the war including ‘genocide’ of Jews, widely known as The Holocaust’ put him against the peace and unity in world and eventually led to his downfall after his defeat in the Second World War. The dictator committed suicide with the Russian troops taking over Germany in 1945.
Childhood and Early Life
Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungry to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. Of their six children, only Hitler and his younger sister, Paula could survive into adulthood. His father Alois, a custom official by profession, was tremendously violent to his wife and son, and used to beat them often. According to Hitler’s book, “he had a terrible childhood”. The regular whipping and violence committed by his father made him extremely sympathetic to his mother, while having an unfathomable bitterness towards his father. In spite of his father’s constant pressure to pursue a career like his, Hitler dropped out of high school without a diploma, as a revolt against his father. Even after his father’s death on 3 January 1903, he did not show any liking for studies and rather tried to be a painter.
During 1900’s, Hitler lived in Vienna with financial support from an orphan’s house; his mother died of breast cancer on 21 December 1907, at the age of 47. While living in Vienna, Hitler struggled as a painter after having been rejected twice by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna during 1907-1908. According to Hitler, his anti-Semitism came from having seen an orthodox Jew community in Vienna, a breeding ground of racial and religious prejudice at that time. Hitler held the Jew community responsible for Germany’s collapse and economic problems thereafter. In May 1913, Hitler came into possession of the final part of his father’s estate and moved to Munich. With Germany entering World War I in August 1914, Hitler enlisted in the Bavarian army.
Entry Into Politics
After World War I, Hitler was appointed as a police spy of an Intelligence Commando of the Reichswehr as a mean to infiltrate the German Worker’s Party. Here he came into the contact of its founder Anton Drexler and got impressed with his anti-Jewish socialism and anti-capitalist ideas; Hitler became a member of the party. He was discharged from the Army in 1920 and became an active party member with his highly effective oratory skills and delivered speeches against Marxists, Jews and anti-socialists. After a trust vote in 1921, Hitler was made the chairman of the German Worker’s Part who had changed its name to National Socialists German Worker’s Party. Hitler was arrested and charged with high treason after his attempt to instigate a coup against the government and start a march on Berlin in 1923.
A trial ensued, and he was sentenced to five year’s imprisonment at Landsberg Prison on 1 April 1924 but was released from jail in 1924 after receiving a general amnesty. While in the prison, Hitler wrote his autobiography Mein Kampf (literally ‘My struggle’), which is an elucidation of his ideology. The book was published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926. On 25 February 1932, Hitler was granted the citizenship of Germany; thus making him eligible for contesting presidential election against Hindenburg. Even though he failed in his attempt, Hitler emerged as a strong alternative in the German politics. After all attempts of Hindenburg to secure majority in parliament failed, he agreed to appoint Hitler as the Chancellor of Germany, as it was obviously impossible for him to form a government without Nazi’s support.
Chancellor Of Germany
On 30 January 1933, Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany in a ceremony held at Hindenburg’s office. Having gained legislative and executive power, Hitler began his move towards establishing the Nazi’s dictatorship in Germany. Though Nazi party had failed to gain majority in parliament, he blocked all attempts of his opponents to come into power through elections. Hitler’s government further banned Communist Party of Germany and Social Democratic party and forced all other parties to dissolve. On 14 July 1933, Nazi Party was declared the only legal Party in Germany. After the death of President Hindenburg on 2 August 1934, Hitler was made the supreme commander of the military and ultimate power of the nation, whose officers took oath to Hitler’s loyalty.
During Hitler’s rule, Germany witnessed the largest expansion of infrastructure and reached the level of near full employment. One of the major policies of Hitler was racial purification, based upon the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau – misinterpretation though – meaning survival of the fittest. The policy caused deaths of thousands of physically disabled, mentally retarded and ill people, who-in Hitler’s opinion were unworthy of life, and a burden to their nation. The Holocaust was seen as the only way out to eliminate the Jews from their land. Though Hitler always denied any mass killing conducted by the Nazis’, there are evidences, which clearly show the involvement of Hitler in the executions.
The Last Days
By late 1944, the Red Army had forced the German troops back into Central Europe and the Western Allies continued to progress into Germany. It was then Hitler realized that Germany was doomed. He ordered complete destruction of Germany’s infrastructure’ before it’s captured by the enemies; preparing the entire Germany go along with him in his dreadful end. In April 1945, the Soviet forces attacked the suburbs of Berlin. Hitler disposed his follower’s advice to take shelter in the mountains of Bavaria, and rather decided to die in the capital. On 20 April, Hitler celebrated his 56th birthday in the Fuehrer’s shelter without much anguish.
As days went on, the Red Army intensified its attack on Berlin increasing woes for Hitler and his aides. The violent death of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 April added further added fuel to fire and suddenly 30 April 1945, after intense fighting, when Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery, Hitler committed suicide. He shot himself in the mouth while simultaneously biting into a cyanide capsule. His mistress Eva Braun, whom he had married a day before also committed suicide along with him. Their bodies were secretly buried by the German troops before the Red Army captured Berlin on 2 May 1945.