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Adolf Hitler Essay, Research Paper
Adolf Hitler was born in Austria on April 20, 1889. He created a lot of myths around his early life in order to show that he was destined for greatness. In fact, there was nothing very extraordinary about his background. He was the son of a minor customs official and peasant girl. He was a poor student, and never completed high school. He also applied for admission to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna but was rejected for lack of talent. The young Hitler thought of himself as a misunderstood artist, a lonely genius among petty people.
After the sudden death of his mother it began the most miserable and lonely five years of his life. He lived on his small inheritance and orphans pension for a short period of time. When the money ran out he lived in the cheapest shelters and his acquaintances were equally down and out. He was regarded as a hot-tempered eccentric. He made a small living from selling his postcard paintings of Vienna scenes and from odd jobs. These lonely desperate years in Vienna were crucial for the development of Hitler?s political ideas. Most important, it was as a social reject in that capital that he developed his hatred of the Jews.
By the time Hitler was 5 years old he had moved several times where they finally settles in a town called Linz in northern Austria. He didn?t care for his father and spoke about him as a bad-tempered drunkard. He died drinking a glass of wine in a tavern when Hitler was 13 years old. His mother was his biggest supporter. When he quit school at age 16 to sturdy the arts and music she took care of him financially while he pursued his dream. When she died suddenly when he was only 17 it began the most miserable and lonely five years of his life.
In 1913 Hitler moved to Munich. When World War 1 broke out he volunteered for service in the Bavarian army. He proved to be dedicated and courageous but was never promoted beyond private first class because his superiors thought he was lacking in leadership qualities. Being a soldier was the answer to his aimlessness. After Germany?s defeat in 1918 he returned to Munich, remaining in the army until 1920. During this time he joined the nationalist German Workers? party, and in April 1920 he went to work full time for the party, now renamed the National Socialist German Workers’? (nazi) party. In 1921 he was elected party chairman (Fuhrer).
According to Hitler he had found his vocation. He decided to go into politics. He preferred to think of his Nazis as a movement. He did not remain a background organizer for long. He soon discovered that he was a powerful public speaker. Hitler instinctively knew that if he repeated ideas over and over again, that the people would begin to follow him. He also knew how to appeal to the emotions of his listeners. He reassured them that they were not to blame for Germany?s ills. It was all the fault of the Jews, the communists and socialist.
Hitler began getting Funds from supporters so that he began publishing a weekly newspaper and he was acknowledged as unser Fuhrer (our leader). All of the Nazi leader appearances were carefully stage-managed. Posters would announce the great event. Then there would be banners, marching music, and lots of singing until finally, when the crowd was mad with expectation, Hitler himself would appear. From 1922 began to hold eight to 12 political rallies on a single evening.
In November 1923 Hitler tried to overthrow the state government of Bavaria. After this local takeover, he hoped to march with his movement on Berlin and establish a Nazi regime throughout Germany. Even with his powerful backers, this coup, failed. It ended when the Bavarian police opened fire on a Nazi demonstration, killing 16 of Hitler?s supporters who were destined to become martyrs of the Nazi movement. Hitler was arrested a few days later. He served 9 months in prison. The prison allowed him to have as many visitors as he wanted and he used the time to write up his memoirs.
The depression of 1929 was good news for Hitler and he got financial support from leading industrialists. The Nazis became powerful throughout Germany. By 1932 the Nazis were the largest party with nearly 14 million votes. Hitler became dictator of Germany in March 1933. Once he was in power, thousands of anti-nazis were hauled off to concentration camps. He replaced all labor unions with one Nazi-controlled German Labor Front, and banned all political parties except his own. The Nazi?s controlled the economy, the media and cultural activities. Hitler had created the Nazi State, the Third Reich. Within four months, all other political parties were banned or had been disbanded. Hitler relied on his secret police, the Gestapo and on jails and camps to intimidate his opponents, but most Germans supported him. The people listened and supported him because he wiped out unemployment, established recreational programs for workers and employees and his foreign policy successes impressed the nation. He was able to mold the German people so they would support him in his effort to establish Germany as a world leader.
Adolf Hitler was the man responsible for engulfing Europe in war in 1939. The war then drew in countries around the glove and became another world war. During the course of World War II some 50 million people died. Throughout the war his campaign to destroy world Jewry continued and endless trains took millions of Jews to extermination camps, seriously interfering with the war effort. An officers plot to assassinate Hitler and end the war failed in 1944. Finally on April 30, 1945 with all of Germany overrun by allied invaders, Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker with his long time companion, Eva Braun, whom he had married the day before.
Hitler had a charismatic personality of overpowering forcefulness. He was incapable of personal friendships and he looked on his fellow humans as mere bricks in the world structure he wished to erect. He knew how to appeal to people?s basic instincts and made use of their fears and insecurities. He could do that because they were willing to be led. His impact was destructive and nothing of what he tried to build survived.
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