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Adolf Hitler Biography

Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)


I want war. To me all means will be right. My motto is not Dont,
whatever you do, annoy the enemy. My motto is Destroy him by all and
any means. I am the one who will wage the war!
Adolf Hitler
A Short Biography of Adolf Hitler

Adolf
Hitler
has
become infamous as
a personification of
human evil. His name is inexorably linked to the Holocaust and
extermination of Jews and other undesirables. He is also seen as the
principle cause of the Second World War in which over 70 million people
died. Yet, in the midst of the Great Depression, he captivated a nation
with his mixture of charm, xenophobia, and almost supernatural allure.
He was born in Austria in 1889 to relatively humble beginnings. His early
life gave few hints as to his future destiny. He was a comparative failure
and something of loner. He was twice rejected from his application to
study art and after struggling to survive in Vienna, in 1913, he moved to
Munich. In his early life he imbibed the anti-semitic feelings which were
common for the times, but displayed little political interest. On the
outbreak of the First World War he joined the German army and got
promoted to Corporal. He survived the war and in 1918 like many other
German officers was bitterly disappointed with the perceived betrayal
of the German surrender and the harsh retribution meted out by the
Versailles Treaty.

Against this backdrop of


defeat and threat of turmoil
within
Germany,
Hitler
turned to politics and set up a fledging political party the Nazi party
with its mixture of nationalistic and fascist policies.
In 1923, Hitler led his small Nazi party in an attempted seizure of power
known as the Munich beer hall putsch. The putsch failed and Hitler was
sentenced to a lenient jail sentence. It was in jail that he wrote Mein
Kampf a rambling exposition of his philosophy which included his
growing anti-semitic ideology and ideas of an idealised Aryan race.
the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil
assumes the living shape of the Jew.
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 11.
On his release, Hitler then turned his attentions to gaining electoral
support and contesting the elections of Weimar Germany. The onset of
the Great Depression provided fertile ground for his radical and extremist
policies. Against a backdrop of 6 million unemployed people many in
Germany felt there was a clear choice between Communism and the
Nationalism of Hitlers Nazi party. With the help of his powerful rhetoric
and his own private militia, Hitler, led the Nazi party to victory in the
1933 elections. He was made Chancellor and in 1934, on the death of
Hindenburg, he was made the President in 1934, Hitler declared himself
the supreme leader and ended all pre-tense to democracy.
His rise to power was swift and comprehensive. Many ordinary Germans
were enthusiastic at the success Hitlers Germany soon started to
achieve. Hitler began an extensive programme of road building,
rearmament, and this helped to radically solve the unemployment which
crippled many economies at the time. At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin,
Hitler tried to showcase his country as a model of dynamism and
progress. But, in addition to the economic successes, Hitler began a
systematic policy of discrimination and harassment of the German Jewish
population and any other segments of society that did not fit in with the

Aryan ideal. This became increasingly brutalised and vicious. No dissent


to the regime was tolerated and this totalitarian state was enforced
through a ruthlessly efficient secret police the Gestapo and SS
Hitler also sought to regain territory lost in the Treaty of Versailles. This
was the justification for the Anschluss with Austria and later the
reclamation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. But, Hitlers ambitions
did not merely rest on regaining lost territory. He also began eyeing new
territories and, in 1938, successful gained the whole of Czechoslovakia.
Anxious to avoid war, Allied leaders pursued a policy of appeasement
and gave into Hitlers demands.
However, when it came to Poland, Britain and France decided to oppose
Hitlers intentions and when Hitler invaded Poland, France and Great
Britain declared war on Germany. Yet, it soon became apparent that
Germany had built one of the most powerful armies ever created and
were technically and tactically superior to the Allied armies.
Until the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942, Hitlers war machine appeared
unstoppable. A parade of stunning military victories led to one of the
most successful military conquests in history. Yet, by invading the Soviet
Union, combined with the entry of the US into the war, even Hitlers
Germany had overstretched itself. Slowly the tide of war turned and in
1944, the Soviets in the East, and the Allies in the West began their long
liberation through occupied Europe to eventually meet in Berlin.
Almost until the end, Hitler retained a fantasy of gaining a last minute
victory through imaginary weapons and now imaginary armies. It was not
until Soviet troops were within earshot of his Bunker, that Hitler finally
admitted the inevitable and committed suicide.
During the war, Hitler met with his other Nazi henchman to agree on a
plan for the final solution of the Jewish problem. This involved the
systematic and complete elimination of the Jewish population. Over 6
million Jewish people died in various concentration and extermination
camps. These camps also saw the deaths of millions of other
undesirables, from Russian prisoners of war to Communists, homosexuals
and Gypsies. It remains a crime of unprecedented scale and horror.