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Adolf Hitler 3 Essay, Research Paper

What Caused Hitler to Go Wrong

Have you ever wanted to know what made Hitler go bad? Most people use the normal excuse that his childhood was the cause of all of his troubles. However, the information in this report should prove that theory wrong. He was a good student in his early school years and had dreams of becoming an artist. Adolf actually had a pretty normal childhood.

On April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in the small Austrian city of Branau. His father, Alois, worked as customs official, checking goods traded between Austria and Germany. Alois was promoted which resulted in a transfer. First, to Passau and the to Linz. Adolf and the rest of the family did not follow him to Linz, but stayed in Passau. (Rubenstein; pgs 3-4)

Because of the new baby in the house and his father moving to Linz, in 1894, Adolf gained a lot of freedom from his parents’ supervision. With all of his freedom, he learned a Bavarian dialect of German while playing with the little German children or running around by himself. This later became useful during his scheme to take over the world. This freedom continued for over a year while his family was separated. (Rubenstein; pg 6)

Even as a child Adolf had the making of a leader. He was a good student in elementary school and was always a leader during games being played. He especially enjoyed battle-type games the most and often organized his classmates into “battles.” In his book, Mein Kampf, he wrote:

“I believe that even my oratorical talent was being developed in the form of more or less violent arguments with my schoolmates. I had become a little ring leader” (Rubenstein; pg 7)

It was around this time when Adolf discovered his talent for art. He would dazzle his friends with sketches he would draw while others were doing their work. Although his secret dream was to become an artist, his father wanted him to be a civil servant. Because of his father’s wishes, Adolf attended Realschule, a secondary school which focused on a more scientific and technical curriculum. (Toland; pgs 3-4)

In his first year at Realschule, Adolf felt very out of place and did poorly here. Students there also looked down on people like Adolf who come from small suburban villages. However, in his second year, he became more popular among his classmates. Showing his leadership skills, he led his classmates in games of cowboys and indians. (Rubenstein; pgs 8-9)

During all of this, Adolf’s conflict with his father was growing. One main reason was Alois’s energetic supporting of the Austrian monarch and Adolf’s admiration of Germany. Adolf’s rebellious nature also contributed to this problem. As a result of their arguments, Adolf was sometimes beaten by his father. These problems ended when his father, Alois Hitler, collapsed and died on January 3, 1903 at the age of 65. (Rubenstein; pg 10)

Although his struggles against his father ended, his grades continued to fall and Adolf was not allowed to enter high school. He spent most of his time at home until he made his first adult friendship with August Kubizek, a young musician. They met at the Linz Opera House and found it easy to share their artistic dreams with each other. (Fest; pg 2)

Hitler was very close to his mother, Klara. She had spoil Adolf as an infant and after Alois died, he became the center of the household. Klara never insisted that Adolf go back to school and supported his artistic dream. With the money from his father’s pension, Klara gave Adolf money to travel to Vienna to study architecture in Austria’s capital city. (Fest; pg 3)

His trip to Vienna encouraged Adolf to study art a little more seriously. With his mother’s permission, Adolf returned to Vienna to attend the Academy of Fine Arts. However, he was not accepted into the academy. He was told he had more promise as an architect that a painter. (Fest; pg 4)

While recovering from his disappointment, tragedy struck. Adolf’s mother was dying. He rushed home to be by her side and comfort her, but it was not enough to save her. On December 21, 1907, Klara Hitler died. (Fest; pg 4)

“In all my career,” Dr. Bloch, the doctor who treated Klara, later remembered, “I never saw anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolf Hitler.” (Rubenstein; pg 11)

The years after his mother’s death were the hardest for Adolf. He returned to Vienna once again to try to gain admission into the Academy of Fine Arts, but was again denied. He grew very bitter after this and never looked for regular work. Adolf tried to improve his artistic skills, but was again rejected from the academy. That single event may be what started Hitler’s down slide. (Toland; pg 6)

Adolf decided to break off ties to his closest friends. His friend, August who had come to live with him in Vienna was out of town and returned to find that Adolf had moved away. (Toland; pgs 6-7)

For a year Adolf lived alone or with other poverty-stricken men. At times he even lived in homeless shelters. Adolf later wrote, “Even now I shudder when I think of those pitiful dens, the shelters and lodging houses, those sinister pictures of dirt and repugnant filth.” He worked on his talents until Reinhold Hanisch, his friend, noted his talent and suggested that he make postcards and sell them. The postcards sold well. (Fest; pg 5)

Vienna, where Adolf was living at the time, was home to many racist people. Even the mayor, Karl Leuger, was an ardent anti-Semite. The newspapers raved against Jews and other Europeans. Adolf, like most other lower-class people, was attracted to the racial comments and became a dedicated anti-Semite. His turn to anti-Semitism occurred while his entire personality was changing. This may have been the downfall of Hitler’s personality. ( Rubenstein; pgs 12-13)

In conclusion, it is not known why Adolf fixtured his hatred on Jews. It was believed that the combination of his mother’s death and his failure to enter the Academy of Fine Arts caused him to turn bitter. Adolf never accepted responsibility for his own failures and blamed others. Therefore, Hitler came to hate Vienna, the place where his childhood dream took shape. I believe that all of these factors, not his childhood, caused Hitler to become the man we all know him as and hence, the Holocaust.


1) Rubenstein, Joshua. Adolf Hitler. New York: Franklin Watts, 1982 pgs 3-15

2) Toland, John. Adolf Hitler. New York: Anchor Books, 1992, pgs 3-8

3) Fest, Joachim C. Hitler. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1992, pgs 2-5

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