Sei sulla pagina 1di 5

Patrixia Melanie M.

Lino IV - OLL

Adolf Hitler
20 April 1889 30 April 1945
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers
Party (German:Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), commonly known as the Nazi Party. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and, after 1934, also head of state as Fhrer und Reichskanzler, ruling the country as an absolute dictator. A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the precursor of the Nazi Party (DAP) in 1919 and became leader of NSDAP in 1921. He attempted a failed coup called the Beer Hall Putschin Munich in 1923, for which he was imprisoned. Following his imprisonment, in which he wrote his book, Mein Kampf, he gained support by promoting German nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism, and anticommunism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933, and quickly transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideals of national socialism. Hitler ultimately wanted to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in continental Europe. To achieve this, he pursued a foreign policy with the declared goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the Aryan people; directing the resources of the state towards this goal. This included the rearmament of Germany, which culminated in 1939 when the Wehrmacht invaded Poland. In response, the United Kingdom and France declared war against Germany, leading to the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Within three years, Germany and the Axis powers had occupied most of Europe, and most of Northern Africa, East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. However, with the reversal of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Allies gained the upper hand from 1942 onwards. By 1945, Allied armies had invaded German-held Europe from all sides. Nazi forces engaged in numerous violent acts during the war, including the systematic murder of as many as 17 million civilians, including an estimated six million Jews targeted in the Holocaust and between 500,000 and 1,500,000 Roma, Poles, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other political and religious opponents. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time mistress Eva Braun and, to avoid capture by Soviet forces less than two days later, the two committed suicide on 30 April 1945. Hitler's father, Alois Hitler, was an illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber, so his paternity was not listed on his birth certificate; he bore his mother's surname. In 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Maria and in 1876 Alois testified before a notary and three witnesses that Johann was his father. At age 39, Alois took the surname Hitler. This surname was variously spelled Hiedler, Httler, Huettler and Hitler, and was probably regularized to Hitler by a clerk. The origin of the name is either "one who lives in a hut" (Standard German Htte), "shepherd" (Standard German hten "to guard", English heed), or is from the Slavic word Hidlar and Hidlarcek. Despite this testimony, Alois' paternity has been the subject of controversy. After receiving a "blackmail letter" from Hitler's nephew William Patrick Hitler threatening to reveal embarrassing information about Hitler's family tree, Nazi Party lawyer Hans Frank investigated, and, in his memoirs, claimed to have uncovered letters revealing that Alois' mother, Maria Schicklgruber, was employed as a housekeeper for a Jewish family in Graz and that the family's 19-year-old son, Leopold Frankenberger, fathered Alois. No evidence had, at that time, ever been produced to support Frank's claim, and Frank himself said Hitler's full Aryan blood was obvious. Frank's claims were widely believed in the 1950s, but by the 1990s, were generally doubted by historians. Ian Kershaw dismissed the Frankenberger story as a "smear" by Hitler's enemies, noting that all Jews had been expelled from Graz in the 15th century and was not allowed to return until well after Alois was born. Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 at half-past six in the evening at the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in Braunau am Inn, Austria Hungary, the fourth of Alois and Klara Hitler's six children.

At the age of three, his family moved to Kapuzinerstrasse 5 in Passau, Germany where the young Hitler would acquire Lower Bavarian rather than Austrian as his lifelong native dialect. In 1894, the family moved to Leonding near Linz, and then in June 1895, Alois retired to a small landholding at Hafeld near Lambach, where he tried his hand at farming and beekeeping. During this time, the young Hitler attended school in nearby Fischlham. As a child, he tirelessly played "Cowboys and Indians" and, by his own account, became fixated on war after finding a picture book about the Franco-Prussian War in his father's things. He wrote in Mein Kampf: "It was not long before the great historic struggle had become my greatest spiritual experience. From then on, I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any way connected with war or, for that matter, with soldiering." His father's efforts at Hafeld ended in failure and the family moved to Lambach in 1897. There, Hitler attended a Catholic school located in an 11th-century Benedictine cloister whose walls were engraved in a number of places with crests containing the symbol of the swastika. It was in Lambach that the eight year-old Hitler sang in the church choir, took singing lessons, and even entertained the fantasy of one day becoming a priest. In 1898, the family returned permanently to Leonding. His younger brother Edmund died of measles on 2 February 1900, causing permanent changes in Hitler. He went from a confident, outgoing boy who found school easy, to a morose, detached, sullen boy who constantly battled his father and his teachers. Hitler was close to his mother, but had a troubled relationship with his authoritarian father, who frequently beat him, especially in the years after Alois' retirement and disappointing farming efforts. Alois wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as an Austrian customs official, and this became a huge source of conflict between them. Despite his son's pleas to go to classical high school and become an artist, his father sent him to the Realschule in Linz, a technical high school of about 300 students, in September 1900. Hitler rebelled, and in Mein Kampf confessed to failing his first year in hopes that once his father saw "what little progress I was making at the technical school he would let me devote myself to the happiness I dreamed of." Alois never relented, however, and Hitler became even more bitter and rebellious. For young Hitler, German Nationalism quickly became an obsession, and a way to rebel against his father, who proudly served the Austrian government. Most people who lived along the German-Austrian border considered themselves German-Austrians, but Hitler expressed loyalty only to Germany. In defiance of the Austrian monarchy, and his father who continually expressed loyalty to it, Hitler and his young friends liked to use the German greeting "Heil", and sing the German anthem "Deutschland ber Alles" instead of the Austrian Imperial anthem. After Alois' sudden death on 3 January 1903, Hitler's behaviour at the technical school became even more disruptive, and he was asked to leave. He enrolled at the Realschule in Steyr in 1904, but upon completing his second year, he and his friends went out for a night of celebration and drinking, and an intoxicated Hitler tore his school certificate into four pieces and used it as toilet paper. When someone turned the stained certificate in to the school's director, he "... gave him such a dressing-down that the boy was reduced to shivering jelly. It was probably the most painful and humiliating experience of his life." Hitler was expelled, never to return to school again. At age 15, Hitler took part in his First Holy Communion on Whitsunday, 22 May 1904, at the Linz Cathedral. His sponsor was Emanuel Lugert, a friend of his late father. From 1905 on, Hitler lived a bohemian life in Vienna on an orphan's pension and support from his mother. He was rejected twice by theAcademy of Fine Arts Vienna (1907 1908), citing "unfitness for painting", and was told his abilities lay instead in the field of architecture. His memoirs reflect a fascination with the subject: The purpose of my trip was to study the picture gallery in the Court Museum, but I had eyes for scarcely anything but the Museum itself. From morning until late at night, I ran from one object of interest to another, but it was always the buildings which held my primary interest. Following the school rector's recommendation, he too became convinced this was his path to pursue, yet he lacked the proper academic preparation for architecture school:

In a few days I myself knew that I should someday become an architect. To be sure, it was an incredibly hard road; for the studies I had neglected out of spite at the Realschule were sorely needed. One could not attend the Academy's architectural school without having attended the building school at the Technic, and the latter required a high-school degree. I had none of all this. The fulfillment of my artistic dream seemed physically impossible. On 21 December 1907, Hitler's mother died of breast cancer at age 47. Ordered by a court in Linz, Hitler gave his share of the orphans' benefits to his sister Paula. When he was 21, he inherited money from an aunt. He struggled as a painter in Vienna, copying scenes from postcards and selling his paintings to merchants and tourists. After being rejected a second time by the Academy of Arts, Hitler ran out of money. In 1909, he lived in a shelter for the homeless. By 1910, he had settled into a house for poor working men on Meldemannstrae. Another resident of the house, Reinhold Hanisch, sold Hitler's paintings until the two men had a bitter falling-out. Hitler said he first became an anti-Semite in Vienna, which had a large Jewish community, including Orthodox Jews who had fled the pogroms in Russia. According to childhood friend August Kubizek, however, Hitler was a "confirmed anti-Semite" before he left Linz. Vienna at that time was a hotbed of traditional religious prejudice and 19th century racism. Hitler may have been influenced by the writings of the ideologist and anti-Semite Lanz von Liebenfels and polemics from politicians such as Karl Lueger, founder of the Christian Social Party and Mayor of Vienna; the composer Richard Wagner; and Georg Ritter von Schnerer, leader of the pan-Germanic Away from Rome! Movement. Hitler claims in Mein Kampf that his transition from opposing anti-Semitism on religious grounds to supporting it on racial grounds came from having seen an Orthodox Jew. There were very few Jews in Linz. In the course of centuries the Jews who lived there had become Europeanized in external appearance and were so much like other human beings that I even looked upon them as Germans. The reason why I did not then perceive the absurdity of such an illusion was that the only external mark which I recognized as distinguishing them from us was the practice of their strange religion. As I thought that they were persecuted on account of their faith my aversion to hearing remarks against them grew almost into a feeling of abhorrence. I did not in the least suspect that there could be such a thing as a systematic anti-Semitism. Once, when passing through the inner City, I suddenly encountered a phenomenon in a long caftan and wearing black side-locks. My first thought was: Is this a Jew? They certainly did not have this appearance in Linz. I carefully watched the man stealthily and cautiously but the longer I gazed at the strange countenance and examined it feature by feature, the more the question shaped itself in my brain: Is this a German? If this account is true, Hitler apparently did not act on his new belief. He often was a guest for dinner in a noble Jewish house, and he interacted well with Jewish merchants who tried to sell his paintings. Hitler may also have been influenced by Martin Luther's On the Jews and their Lies. In Mein Kampf, Hitler refers to Martin Luther as a great warrior, a true statesman, and a great reformer, alongside Richard Wagner and Frederick the Great. Wilhelm Rpke, writing after the Holocaust, concluded that "without any question, Lutheranism influenced the political, spiritual and social history of Germany in a way that, after careful consideration of everything, can be described only as fateful." Hitler claimed that Jews were enemies of the Aryan race. He held them responsible for Austria's crisis. He also identified certain forms ofsocialism and Bolshevism, which had many Jewish leaders, as Jewish movements, merging his anti-Semitism with anti-Marxism. Later, blaming Germany's military defeat in World War I on the 1918 revolutions, he considered Jews the culprits of Imperial Germany's downfall and subsequent economic problems as well. Generalizing from tumultuous scenes in the parliament of the multi-national Austrian monarchy, he decided that the democratic parliamentary system was unworkable. However, according to August Kubizek, his one-time roommate, he was more interested in Wagner's operas than in his politics. Hitler served in France and Belgium in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment (called Regiment List after its first commander), ending the war as a Gefreiter (equivalent at the time to a corporal in the British and private first class in the American armies). He served on the Western Front as a regimental runner, "a relatively safe job" based at regimental headquarters, several miles from the Front. According to research by Dr Thomas Weber of the University of Aberdeen, earlier historians of the period had not distinguished between regimental runners who

were based away from the front "in relative comfort", and company or battalion runners who moved among the trenches and were often subjected to machine gun fire. After World War I, Hitler remained in the army and returned to Munich, where he in contrast to his later declarations attended the funeral march for the murdered Bavarian Prime Minister Kurt Eisner. After the suppression of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, he took part in "national thinking" courses organized by the Education and Propaganda Department (Dept Ib/P) of the BavarianReichswehr Group, Headquarters 4 under Captain Karl Mayr. Scapegoats were found in "international Jewry", communists, and politicians across the party spectrum, especially the parties of the Weimar Coalition. In July 1919, Hitler was appointed a Verbindungsmann (police spy) of an Aufklrungskommando(Intelligence Commando) of the Reichswehr, both to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate a small party, the German Workers' Party (DAP). During his inspection of the party, Hitler was impressed with founder Anton Drexler's antisemitic, nationalist, anti-capitalist and anti-Marxist ideas, which favored a strong active government, a "nonJewish" version of socialism and mutual solidarity of all members of society. Drexler was impressed with Hitler's oratory skills and invited him to join the party. Hitler joined DAP on 12 September 1919 and became the party's 55th member. His actual membership number was 555 (the 500 was added to make the group appear larger) but later the number was reduced to create the impression that Hitler was one of the founding members. He was also made the seventh member of the executive committee. Years later, he claimed to be the party's seventh overall member, but it has been established that this claim is false. Here Hitler met Dietrich Eckart, one of the early founders of the party and member of the occult Thule Society. Eckart became Hitler's mentor, exchanging ideas with him, teaching him how to dress and speak, and introducing him to a wide range of people. Hitler thanked Eckart by paying tribute to him in the second volume of Mein Kampf. To increase the party's appeal, the party changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or National Socialist German Workers Party (abbreviated NSDAP). By late 1944, the Red Army had driven the Germans back into Central Europe and the Western Allies were advancing into Germany. Hitler realized that Germany had lost the war, but allowed no retreats. He hoped to negotiate a separate peace with America and Britain, a hope buoyed by the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on 12 April 1945. Hitler's stubbornness and defiance of military realities allowed the Holocaust to continue. He ordered the complete destruction of all German industrial infrastructures before it could fall into Allied hands, saying that Germany's failure to win the war forfeited its right to survive. Rather, Hitler decided that the entire nation should go down with him. Execution of this scorched earth plan was entrusted to arms minister Albert Speer, who disobeyed the order. In April 1945, Soviet forces attacked the outskirts of Berlin. Hitler's followers urged him to flee to the mountains of Bavaria to make a last stand in the National Redoubt. But Hitler was determined to either live or die in the capital. On 20 April, Hitler celebrated his 56th birthday in the Fhrerbunker ("Fhrer's shelter") below the Reichskanzlei (Reich Chancellery). Elsewhere, the garrison commander of the besieged Festung Breslau ("fortress Breslau"), General Hermann Niehoff, had chocolates distributed to his troops in honor of Hitler's birthday. By 21 April, Georgi Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front had broken through the defenses of German General Gotthard Heinrici's Army Group Vistula during the Battle of the Seelow Heights. The Soviets were now advancing towards Hitler's bunker with little to stop them. Ignoring the facts, Hitler saw salvation in the ragtag units commanded by Waffen SS General Felix Steiner. Steiner's command became known as Armeeabteilung Steiner ("Army Detachment Steiner"). But "Army Detachment Steiner" existed primarily on paper. It was something more than a corps but less than an army. Hitler ordered Steiner to attack the northern flank of the huge salient created by the breakthrough of Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front. Meanwhile, the German Ninth Army, which had been pushed south of the salient, was ordered to attack north in a pincer attack. Late on 21 April, Heinrici called Hans Krebs, chief of the Oberkommando des Heeres (Supreme Command of the Army or OKH), and told him that Hitler's plan could not be implemented. Heinrici asked to speak to Hitler but was told by Krebs that Hitler was too busy to take his call.

On 22 April, during one of his last military conferences, Hitler interrupted the report to ask what had happened to Steiner's offensive. There was a long silence. Then Hitler was told that the attack had never been launched, and that the withdrawal from Berlin of several units for Steiner's army, on Hitler's orders, had so weakened the front that the Russians had broken through into Berlin. Hitler asked everyone except Wilhelm Keitel, Hans Krebs, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Burgdorf, and Martin Bormann to leave the room, and launched a tirade against the perceived treachery and incompetence of his commanders. This culminated in an oath to stay in Berlin, head up the defence of the city, and shoot himself at the end. Before the day ended, Hitler again found salvation in a new plan that included General Walther Wenck's Twelfth Army. This new plan had Wenck turn his army currently facing the Americans to the west and attack towards the east to relieve Berlin. Twelfth Army was to link up with Ninth Army and break through to the city. Wenck did attack and, in the confusion, made temporary contact with the Potsdam garrison. But the link with the Ninth Army, like the plan in general, was ultimately unsuccessful. The same day, Gring sent a telegram from Berchtesgaden in Bavaria. Gring argued that, since Hitler was cut off in Berlin, he should assume leadership of Germany as Hitler's designated successor. Gring mentioned a time limit after which he would consider Hitler incapacitated. Hitler responded, in anger, by having Gring arrested. Later when Hitler wrote his will on 29 April, Gring was removed from all his positions in the government. Further on the 23 April, Hitler appointed General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling as the commander of the Berlin Defense Area. Weidling replaced Lieutenant General (Generalleutnant) Helmuth Reymann and Colonel (Oberst)Ernst Kaether. Hitler also appointed Waffen SS General (SS Brigadefhrer) Wilhelm Mohnke the (Kommandant) Battle Commander for the defence of the government district (Zitadelle sector) that included the Reich Chancellery and Fhrerbunker. By the end of the day on 27 April, Berlin was completely cut off from the rest of Germany. On 28 April, Hitler discovered that SS leader Heinrich Himmler was trying to discuss surrender terms with the Western Allies (through the Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte).Hitler ordered Himmler's arrest and had Hermann Fegelein (Himmler's representative for the SS at Hitler's HQ in Berlin) shot. During the night of 28 April, Wenck reported that his Twelfth Army had been forced back along the entire front. He noted that no further attacks towards Berlin were possible. General Alfred Jodl(Supreme Army Command) did not provide this information to Hans Krebs in Berlin until early in the morning of 30 April. On 29 April, Hitler dictated his will and political statement to his private secretary, Traudl Junge. Hans Krebs, Wilhelm Burgdorf, Joseph Goebbels, and Martin Bormann witnessed and signed this last will and testament of Adolf Hitler. On the same day, Hitler was informed of the assassination of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 April, which is presumed to have increased his determination to avoid capture. On 30 April 1945, after intense street-to-street combat, when Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery, Hitler committed suicide, shooting himself in the temple with a Walther PPK while simultaneously biting into a cyanide capsule. Hitler had at various times in the past contemplated suicide, and the Walther was the same pistol that his niece, Geli Raubal had used in her suicide. Hitler's body and that of Eva Braun were put in a bomb crater, doused in gasoline by SS Sturmbannfhrer Otto Gnsche and other Fhrerbunkeraides, and cremated as the Red Army advanced and shelling continued. On 2 May, Berlin surrendered. In the postwar years there were conflicting reports about what happened to Hitler's remains. After the fall of the Soviet Union, records found in the Soviet archives revealed that the remains of Hitler, Eva Braun, Joseph and Magda Goebbels, the six Goebbels children, General Hans Krebs and Hitler's dogs, were collected, moved and secretly buried in graves near Rathenow in Brandenburg. In 1970, the remains were disinterred, cremated and scattered in the Elbe River by the Soviets. According to the Russian Federal Security Service, a fragment of human skull stored in its archives and displayed to the public in a 2000 exhibition came from the remains of Hitler's body. The authenticity of the skull has been challenged by historians and researchers. In fact, DNA analysis conducted in 2009 showed the skull fragment to be that of a woman, and analysis of the sutures between the skull plates indicated an age between 20 and 40 years old at the time of death