Adolf Hitler

On April 20, 1889, Klara and Alois gave birth to a son who would eventually become the man the world recognizes today as one of the most notorious men in history. Alois named his fourth son Adolf Hitler. His early childhood was spent under a cloud of normalcy in the small town of Braunau, Austria, a small town across the Inn River from Germany. His mother Klara was a meager housewife while his father a customs official. When Hitler was six his family moved to a place near Linz, Austria. Though Adolf received good marks in elementary school, he slacked severely in high school as his mind wandered to other areas besides academics. His ill-tempered father did not approve of this and had a violent disagreement concerning his son's aspirations to become an artist. Alois wanted Hitler to become a civil servant. This conflict was left unresolved for years and lasted till his father was in his death bed in 1903. With no one left to stop him, Adolf dropped out of !

school at the age of sixteen and followed his ambitions to become an artist. He spent his time daydreaming, drawing pictures and reading books, while his mother supported him through a widow's pension. In 1907, Hitler went to Vienna to apply to the Academy of Fine Arts. The years in Vienna did not bode well for Hitler. First, he was rejected acceptance to the Academy because the trustees thought his talent was mediocre. Compounding to this rejection was the death of his mother. With his artistic ambitions in shambles, he explored other areas and became interested in politics. He admired the effective leadership and organization of the Social Democratic Party. During his stay in Vienna Hitler was affected by a growing nationalist movement. He developed a belief that no form of government could last if it treated people of different nationalities equally. This helped shaped his budding hatred for Jews and Slavs and the mentality that Germans were superior to all oth!

er races. In addition, Hitler spent his free time reading books. He became a student of warfare. This would later prove to be a valuable asset in World War II.

With the outbreak of the Great War in the summer of 1914, Hitler quickly volunteered for service in the German Army. He became a great asset in his infantry. He served valiantly as a messenger on the Western Front, taking part in some of the most bloodiest battles. Adolf was injured twice and was twice decorated for bravery. Adolf gain popularity as a result. When Germany surrendered to the Allies Hitler was in the hospital recovering from a temporary blindness incurred to him by mustard gas. He was deeply distraught by the news of the armistice. He believed that the unity of Germany was threatened and that he must attempt to save his beloved country. This invigorated ambition for power coupled with state of despair and turmoil that Germany was left after the war opened the door for Hitler's rise to power. Hitler gave the impoverished, hunger-stricken Germans a glimpse of hope. He promised a return to the "glory days" when foreign nations paid tribute to Germany. H!

itler, the Nationalists, the Communists and others attacked the puppet government established by the Treaty of Versailles. They demanded the punishment for the "criminals" who signed the treaty. Hitler joined a small nationalist party in 1919, called the German Worker's Party which would later be renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party or the Nazi Party. This group called for the union of all Germans, including the German minorities in countries such as Czechoslovakia. They demanded that citizens of non-German or Jewish origin be deprived of German citizenship. The Nazis also wanted the revocation of the Treaty of Versailles. Due to his extraordinary skill as a politician he quickly became the leader of the Nazi party. Hitler built up the party membership stirring crowds with his speeches. He promised to restore the economy, assure work for all and lead Germany into greatness again. To help him accomplish this , Hitler organized a private army he called !

the storm troopers. His army fought the armies of the Communist, Social Democrats and other parties who opposed him and his Nazis. When the opportunity came to overthrow the Weimar Republic, Hitler quickly acted on it. In 1923, Germany was in deep trouble. France and