Adolf Hitler was the Fuehrer (Leader) of Nazi Germany, the instigator of World War II and the driving force behind the attempt to exterminate European Jewry, otherwise known as the Final Solution or the Holocaust.
Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, in Austria, on April 20, 1889, the third son of Alois and Klara Hitler. The family moved around a lot, including to Linz, Leonding and other places. Hitler did well in school at the beginning, but his marks got progressively worse as time went on. His father died when he was 14, his mother when he was 18. He tried twice to enter the Academy for Art in Vienna, but was rejected both times. Between 1909 and 1913, he lived in Vienna. There is controversy as to whether he was destitute there. He moved to Munich (Germany) in 1913, and was still there when World War I broke out in August 1914.
Hitler enlisted in the German army and saw four years of front-line service during which he was wounded several times and decorated for bravery twice. He was gassed near the end of the war. During this time, he served as an intelligence agent for the military authorities, in the course of which he attended a meeting of the tiny German Workers Party in 1919. He later joined the party, became its leader and changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party, later called the Nazi Party. In 1920, the 25 Points of the Nazi Party were proclaimed, one of which called for the removal of the Jews from German society.
The Nazis tried to seize power by force in November 1923 (called the Beer Hall Putsch), but were thwarted by the Munich police. Hitler was convicted of high treason and sentenced to prison,