Adolf Hitler was an influential German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He was the driving force behind the genocide of millions of Jews and other minorities during World War II. Born in Austria in 1889, Hitler was an unruly and rebellious youth. He was known to get into fist fights and to have a stern temper. He had a strong sense of nationhood and ambition, but was an underachiever in school, notably in math and languages. Hitler’s father was a customs official who died in 1903. His mother was a devout Roman Catholic, who was deeply devoted to her son.
Hitler’s Struggles in School
At the age of six Hitler went to his first school, where he was an average student. He was later sent to a school in the city of Linz, about thirty miles away. It was here where he began to stand out from the other students, displaying a talent for drawing and an immense interest in the study of history. He was also an avid reader, mostly in the subjects of German culture, history, and warfare. His report cards showed good grades in subjects such as history and geography, but he was weak in most other subjects such as math, science, and languages. After he graduated from the Realschule in Linz in 1905, Hitler found that his grades were not good enough for him to enter technical university. After he attempted to gain entry a second time, Hitler gave up and moved to Vienna in 1907.
Failed Career and Disenchantment with Vienna
In Vienna, Hitler attempted to become an artist but failed twice at the Vienna Academy of Art. He lived in Vienna for seven years, during which time he held odd jobs such as doing menial labor in a shoe factory and even as a street painter. His stay in Vienna was a very dark time for Hitler, as he became more disillusioned with the political and economical atmosphere of Vienna, calling it a “cesspool of international smut and filth”. Being of German origin, Hitler blamed the Jewish population for the economic and moral state of the city and started developing his antisemitic views. It was amid this disenchantment that Hitler embarked on his political career.
Influences on Hitler’s Mindset
Hitler’s childhood had a profound influence on his later decisions and views. From the very start, Hitler had a deep sense of nationhood and pride in Germany. His father was a strict disciplinarian, which is thought to have been a major contributor to Hitler’s stubborn and rebellious nature. His mother was known to be a very loving and caring person, which is thought to be the origin of his compassionate attitude toward people who were willing to comply with his views.
Hitler’s love of German culture was also a strong influence on his later life. He admired German architecture, literature, and philosophy and saw in them the embodiment of the superiority of the German race and their rightful place in the world. He was also influenced by the works of philosophers such as Nietzsche and Wagner, whose writings shaped his views on race and power.
The tumultuous conditions of Adolf Hitler’s childhood ultimately shaped him into one of the most influential and powerful leaders of the 20th century. While he had many flaws and made many mistakes in his adult life, there is no denying that he had remarkable leadership qualities and an immense amount of charisma. He was able to rally a nation behind him and to harness their enthusiasm and support in order to accomplish his goals.
Forced Migration and Unmet Expectations
Hitler’s childhood was also shaped by his family’s forced migration. When he was 11, his family moved to a village in the German city of Passau, which served as the site of his first experiences with German culture. Being raised across different cultures gave young Adolf a unique perspective on the world and made him aware of cultural differences. However, this period of his life was marked by unmet expectations and struggles, as he was unable to attend the technical university of his dreams and the Vienna Academy of Art rejected his applications twice.
The psychological effects of Hitler’s childhood on his later life cannot be understated. His deep sense of nationhood, which was reinforced by his family’s forced migration to the German city of Passau, developed into his passionate belief in the superiority of the German race and his determination to reunite the German-speaking people of Austria and Germany. His feelings of failure and distress over his academic struggles, combined with his hatred of the Jewish population in Vienna, fuelled his vehemently anti-Semitic views. His experiences in childhood made him into the notorious figure he is known as today.
Adolf Hitler’s religious perspective was heavily shaped by his childhood. He was raised in a Roman Catholic family and attended a school run by Jesuit priests. Although he became more hostile toward the Catholic Church in his adult life, the experience of being raised with religious teachings and the strict discipline of his father gave Hitler a foundation of moral principles and religious teachings which remained with him throughout his life.
Rise to Power
Hitler’s rebelliousness, sense of nationhood and ambition were all important qualities that enabled him to rise to power in Germany. After being rejected twice by the Vienna Academy of Art, Hitler moved to Germany where he joined the army. He used his skills in oratory and his passion for activism to gain attention and build a following. Eventually, he became the leader of the Nazi Party, and his rise to power led to the establishment of Nazi Germany and the genocide of millions of Jews and other minorities during World War II.
The isolation Hitler experienced throughout his childhood also played a significant role in his later life. As a child, Hitler felt isolated from his peers and teachers, leading him to develop a sense of superiority and resentment. This resentment was later directed towards other ethnic groups and was a major contributing factor to his radical views and violent tendencies.
Adolf Hitler’s most influential work, Mein Kampf, is a reflection of his childhood experiences, beliefs and worldview. The book is a combination of his hatred of the Jewish population, his megalomaniacal ambition, and his contempt of the Austrian political climate. The book was meant to be a blueprint for Nazi Germany, and its contents serve as an eerily accurate reflection of Hitler’s upbringing and mindset.
Hitler’s childhood, while difficult, provided him with the foundation upon which he built the Nazi regime and carried out one of the most heinous crimes in history. His experiences of isolation, rejection, and disdain towards other ethnicities all played a role in shaping him into the leader of a murderously oppressive authoritarian regime. The legacy of his childhood influences his life and his actions to this day.