Where Was Adolf Hitler Born And Raised

Early Childhood

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th 1889 in a small Austrian town called Braunau am Inn. His father, Alois Hitler, was an Austrian customs official originally from the small village of Strones. Alois had been previously married and had an illegitimate son, Alois Jr, who would become Hitler’s half-brother. His mother, Klara Pölzl, was Alois’ niece, being the daughter of his brother, Johann. The couple had six children, with Adolf being the fourth, but only Adolf and his younger sister, Paula, survived childhood.
Growing up, Adolf showed a strong interest in German nationalism and German legends of medieval times. He explored the customs and stories of the peasants who lived near Braunau and studied the landscape of Austria, Germany and what was then Bohemia. His parents shared his enthusiasm for German culture, with his father in particular becoming an admirer of Prussian military leadership.


Hitler’s early schooling was not exceptional. He dropped out of high school in 1905, after failing his first year exams. Adolf began to attend technical and art college, hoping to become an artist one day. However, his academic difficulties and a bad temper made him unsuitable for the profession.
Nonetheless, Hitler impressed his teachers and peers with his intelligence and passion. He was particularly passionate about history and literature, and became particularly familiar with the works of German nationalists, including the Prussian nationalists who, like his father, admired the country’s military strength and prowess.

Military Service

In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, Hitler volunteered to join the German army. He was accepted as an infantryman and was sent to the Western Front. After several brave actions, Hitler was promoted to the rank of corporal and also earned the Iron Cross for his valor in battle.
He was temporarily blinded in a British attack in October 1918 and was sent to a field hospital in Germany, where he later learned that Germany had surrendered. Hitler was outraged by his country’s capitulation and would later take out his anger at the so-called ‘November Criminals’ who he regarded as traitors for signing the peace treaty.

Political Awakening

In Munich, where he had been sent on leave, Hitler encountered a growing political atmosphere filled with German nationalists who shared his rage at the Versailles Treaty and denounced the current Weimar Republic. Attending meetings and studying the pamphlets of these extreme nationalist groups, Hitler began to develop the ideas which would come to make up his own political thought.
In 1920, Hitler joined the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, better known as the Nazi Party. Hitler made a name for himself as a gifted speaker at the Party’s enormous rallies and built up a large support base. He was soon seen as the leader of the party and by 1923, inspired by Mussolini’s march on Rome, he attempted to seize control of Germany in the Beerhall Putsch.

Rise to Power

Following his failed putsch, Hitler was found guilty of treason and was sent to prison. In prison, he wrote Mein Kampf, which became the blueprint for his later actions in office. In 1932 he ran for president of Germany, receiving mass support from the Nazi machinery and won the election.
Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933 and rapidly transformed Germany into a totalitarian dictatorship. He crushed his political opponents and allies, including the SA leadership and introduced laws to prevent ‘anti-social behaviour’. Hitler was widely praised by the German people and his popularity was immense. With full control of the government and its resources, Hitler was soon able to enact his own plans for the future of Germany.


Under Hitler, Germany embarked on a program of massive rearmament and conquest. The purpose of the rearmament was to build a powerful German armed forces in order to pursue Hitler’s ambitions of territorial expansion and world domination. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and subsequently invaded the rest of Europe.
Hitler’s rule saw millions of people killed in the war and millions of others persecuted for being perceived as different. He refused to recognize the full extent of the atrocities committed in his name and in 1945, he committed suicide as allied forces were advancing on Berlin.


Hitler’s rise to power and his leadership of the Third Reich is one of the darkest episodes in modern history. His policies of racial hatred, persecution and murder resulted in tens of millions of people dead and the devastation of entire countries. His poisonous legacy continues to inspire neo-Nazis across the world and his image is used by far-right extremists as an icon of their twisted vision of a racially pure utopian society.

Political Ideas

Hitler’s political ideas synthesized several currents of right-wing thought which had been developing in Europe since the 19th century. These included ultra-nationalism, xenophobia and racial superiority. He believed that all of the world’s problems could be solved by a ‘greater Germany’ that encompassed all of eastern Europe and beyond.
Hitler also sought to form an authoritarian alliance with Italy and Japan, known as the ‘Axis Powers’. His foreign policy sought to establish Germany as the ‘master race’ in all of Europe, with a united peasants helping him victory, economic independence and a self-sufficient population.

Economic Policies

Under Hitler, Germany underwent a massive economic transformation. This included the implementation of a five-year plan to rebuild industry and expand the country’s infrastructure. Hitler also adopted a number of populist policies, such as increasing wages and substantially cutting unemployment.
In addition, German citizens were required to purchase ‘work shares’, essentially government bonds, to pay for public works projects. Hitler also increased government control of the economy, introducing price and wage controls, as well as the nationalization of industries and banks.

Propaganda and Media

Hitler used propaganda to build up his own legend and discredit his opponents. He knew that control of the media was essential and he centralised control of the press and controlled what information was available to the public. Hitler and the Nazi party used radio, newspapers and films to promote their ideas and demonise Jewish people and other minority groups.
Hitler’s most powerful tool in his propaganda campaign was the use of mass rallies, which could be seen by millions at the time. He developed a cult of personality around himself and emphasised the importance of following his instructions without question. Hitler sought to present himself as a decisive figure, who would bring an end to all of Germany’s woes.

Military Strategies

The most obvious legacy of Hitler’s rule was the war. His military strategies relied on several key principles; the element of surprise and a ‘blitzkrieg’ attack, which meant that he could conquer entire countries in days rather than weeks or months. His strategy of rapid movement required huge amounts of resources, meaning he needed immense production capabilities and powerful machines – such as tanks and planes.
Hitler also used terror tactics on the battlefield, with his armies killing civilians, indiscriminately attacking cities and committing war crimes. He employed secret police forces and a system of concentration camps to help maintain control within Germany, as well as punishing any citizens who were perceived as disloyal or insufficiently ‘German’.

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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