Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th 1889 in Braunau-am-Inn, Austria. The town is near to the Austro-German border, and his father, Alois, worked as a customs officer on the border crossing. His mother, Klara, had previously given birth to two other children by Alois, (Gustav and Ida) but they both died in their infancy.
Adolf attended school from the age of six and the family lived in various villages around the town of Linz, east of Braunau. By this time Adolf had a younger brother, Edmund, but he only lived until the age of six. In 1896, Klara gave birth to Adolf 's sister, Paula, who survived to outlive him.
Adolf Hitler grew up with a poor record at school and left, before completing his tuition, with an ambition to become an artist. Alois Hitler had died when Adolf was thirteen and Klara brought up Adolf and Paula on her own.
Between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, young Adolf neither worked to earn his keep, nor formally studied, but had gained an interest in politics and history. During this time he unsuccessfully applied for admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.
Klara Hitler died from cancer when Adolf was nineteen and from then onwards he had no relatives willing or able to support him. So, in 1909, he moved to Vienna in the hope of somehow earning a living. Within a year he was living in homeless shelters and eating at charity soup kitchens. He had declined to take regular employment and took occasional menial jobs and sold some of his paintings or advertising posters whenever he could to provide sustenance.
In 1913 Adolf Hitler, still a penniless vagrant, moved to Munich in southern Germany.
At the outbreak of...