A Introduction For Adolf Hitler

Early Life

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria. He was born to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl. He was the fourth of six children, three of whom died in infancy. Growing up, Hitler moved twice in his youth. Years later, a teacher mentioned the young Adolf was a gifted speaker, with an enthusiasm for German history and mythology. It is speculated that Hitler was never exposed to loving relationships as both his mother and father were strict and distant.

Military Service

In 1908, Adolf Hitler moved to Vienna, staying there for five years. In this time, he applied to the Vienna Academy of Arts twice, but was rejected. When World War I broke out, Hitler enlisted in the Bavarian Army in August of 1914. He was a decorated soldier, receiving the Iron Cross, First Class, and was promoted to Corporal. It is believed that Hitler’s anti-Semitism began due to his interactions with Jews in the military.

Influence Of Germany in World War I

After recovering from a gas attack in October of 1918, Hitler vowed to take revenge of the ‘November criminals’ who had signed the ceasefire pact, releasing Germany from World War I. Following the war and Germany’s accepting of the Treaty of Versailles, large numbers of citizens were malcontent with the new government, the Weimar Republic. This discontentment, combined with the crippling economy, eliminated much of the middle class and furthered the notions of Socialism.

Growing Anti-Semitism In Germany

Adolf Hitler was exposed to anti-Semitism from a young age. His father, due to his political influence, taught Hitler to blame the Jewish community for all of the Germany’s problems. As the years progressed, Hitler developed many of his own anti-Semitic theories, which he included in his vilifying book, Mein Kampf – My Struggle.

Nazis’ Political Rise in Germany

By 1925, Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) was gaining traction with the German public, basing its platform on a radical form of German nationalism, strongly tied to the anti-Semitic ideology established previously. Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January 1933, gaining hold on both the Reichstag and the President. In August of the following year, Hitler was declared president of Germany, launching the twelve-year strong regime known as the Third Reich.

World War II And Holocaust

Hitler’s plans of obtaining an ethnically pure German society came to fruition shortly after he began enacting his policies, leading to the death of millions of Jews and non-Aryan Germans. Hitler’s ‘Aryanization’ began shortly after coming to power, laying out a foundation based on exile and arrest of the Jewish people. This groundwork continued, leading to forced concentration camps, along with mass execution of those deemed unfit by Nazi doctors and officials.

Defeat and Death

As World War II continued, the Allied forces made their way towards Germany, facing major resistance from the Nazi military. Hitler committed suicide on April 30th 1945, ending the regime of the Third Reich and the twelve years of terror it had instilled upon Europe.

Relevance of Hitler’s Legacy

Today a reminder of the Nazi regime remains in Germany and throughout Europe, with many monuments and memorials upholding the stories of those whom Hitler’s actions extinguished. Due to Hitler’s actions, Nazism and the Holocaust are recognised internationally, with an immense focus on the atrocities of the Second World War in our modern education system.

Militarism and Conquest of Poland

Hitler sought to attain land across Europe through military conquest, particularly with his invasion of Poland in August of 1939. He established what was known as the Blitzkrieg, or ‘lightning war’, a strategy of attack focused on rapid mobility and technological advancement. This approach was highly successful, allowing Nazi forces to overrun vast amounts of Western European land, including most of the Soviet Union in 1941.

Hitler’s Depraved Sense of Injustice

During his reign, Hitler passed many laws and regulations which granted the Nazi party throughout control of the German people. Through a system of mandates, including militarising of the youth and workplace requisition by the state, Hitler was able to ensure domination over German society. Moreover, Hitler enforced a system of terror, with the Gestapo and SS offices carrying out excruciating acts upon its own citizens.

United Nations’ Efforts In Pursuit of Justice

Soon after Hitler was defeated in the war, many of his high-ranking officials were put on trial at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. This was the first international criminal trial in history, with the 24 highest ranking officials convicted of war crimes against humanity and sentenced to prison or execution.

Rise of Far Right in Modern Times

Since the end of World War II and the defeat of the Third Reich, right-wing ideologies began to re-emerge in Germany and beyond. The tension between neo-Nazism and those against it were demonstrated clearly in 2017 with the right-wing rally occurring in Charlottesville, VA and the counter-protests that occurred following.

International Response and Criticisms

Terror stemming from Hitler’s regime was highly detrimental to all countries throughout Europe, as well as those he attempted to take control of. As such, international opinion of Hitler’s actions have been almost unanimously negative, with only a few groups in recent times attempting to defend the actions of Nazi Germany.

Modern Week Perceptions and Misconceptions

Contemporary understanding of Adolf Hitler is primarily derived from educational sources, such as textbooks, movies and documentaries. This causes for a vast range of myths, exaggerations and falsehoods to be attributed to Hitler, many of which result in a false representation of the man and his actions. Although portraying a negative light onto Hitler, this misconception of the man can result in a more thorough understanding of his extreme policies and particular ideologies.

Elizabeth Baker is an experienced writer and historian with a focus on topics related to famous world dictators. She has over 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing history books and articles. Elizabeth is passionate about uncovering lost stories from the past and sharing interesting facts about some of the most notorious dictators in history. In her writing, she emphasizes how dictators can still affect modern-day politics and society. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington where she continues to write and research for her latest projects.

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