Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th 1889 in Braunau-am-Inn, Austria. He was born to Alois and Klara Hitler. In 1896, Klara gave birth to Adolf 's sister, Paula, who survived to outlive him. She was Hitler's only sibling to live past six years of age.
Adolf Hitler grew up with a poor record at school and left to become an artist. Alois Hitler died when Adolf was thirteen and Klara brought up Adolf and Paula. During this time Hitler applied to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts but failed to be accepted. Klara Hitler died from cancer when Adolf was nineteen.
At the outbreak of the First World War, in 1914, he volunteered for service in the German army and was accepted into the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. Hitler fought bravely in the war and was achieved the rank of corporal. He also received the Iron Cross Second Class and First Class.
On the day of the armistice in 1918, Hitler was in hospital recovering from temporary blindness caused by a British gas attack in the Ypres Salient. In December 1918 he returned to his regiment back in Munich.
Between December 1918 and March 1919 Hitler worked at a prisoner-of-war camp where he was able to develop his public speaking skills. Then in 1919 Adolf agreed to join the German Workers' Party and became their seventh official in September. In February 1920 Hitler formed a group called the Sturmabteilung or S.A.
During the summer of 1920 Hitler chose the swastika as the Nazi party emblem and by 1921 Adolf Hitler had virtually secured total control of the German Workers' Party (renamed the Nazi party) Hitler then proceeded to turn the tables on the committee members and forced them to accept him as formal leader of the party with dictatorial powers.
In November 1923 he also plotted to overthrow the German Weimar Republic by force. On November 8th 1923 Hitler led an attempt to take over the local Bavarian Government in Munich in an action that became known as the "Beer Hall Putsch." Hitler fled the scene when police began a gunfight and was later arrested and charged with treason. After his trial for treason he was sentenced to five years in Landsberg prison where he wrote "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle).
Hitler was released from Landsberg prison in December 1924 after serving only six months of his sentence. In 1928 Hitler created the infamous SS (Schutzstaffel).
The collapse of the Wall St. stock exchange in 1929 led to a world wide recession which hit Germany especially hard. These conditions were beneficial to Hitler and his Nazi campaigning. By July of the following year Chancellor Bruening, who didn't have a parliamentary majority in the Reichstag, was unable to pass a new finance bill and was forced to ask President Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for new elections for the coming September. Hitler campaigned hard for the Nazis. He promised the public a way out of their hardship.
In February 1932 Hitler decided to stand against Hindenburg in the forthcoming presidential election. In order to do this he became a German citizen on 25th February 1932. Hindenburg won the majority vote and was re-elected to office and Hitler was forced to wait for the next election to win power. Chancellor Bruening lasted in office until June 1932 when he resigned power. New Reichstag elections were set for the end of July. In the July elections, the Nazi Party was still short of a majority. Hitler, however, demanded that he be made Chancellor but was offered only the position of Vice-Chancellor, which he refused. Germany went through several other Chancellors before President Hindenburg decided to appoint Hitler Chancellor with Papen as Vice-Chancellor on January 30th, 1933.
On the 27th February, 1933 the Reichstag was destroyed by fire and President Hindenburg gave Hitler power to arrest anyone he thought to be a threat. Despite this advantage, in the elections of March 5th 1933, the Nazis were still short of an overall majority and nowhere near the two-thirds majority needed for a change in the German constitution.
The Enabling Act which passed easily gave dictatorial powers which were conferred, legally to Adolf Hitler for four years. Hitler began Nazification of Germany. All non-Nazi organizations were disbanded and Nazi officials were installed as state governors.
The aging President Hindenburg would not survive much longer and Hitler needed the support of the Army if he was to be named as Hindenburg's successor. In May of 1934 Hitler proposed to the chiefs of the Army and the Navy that he would suppress the SA and at the same time expand the Army and Navy if they would support him as the successor to Hindenburg. The chiefs of the forces readily agreed to Hitler's proposal. President Hindenburg died on August 2nd, 1934. A vote was then held for the public to decide on whether they approved of the changes already made - 90% of voters gave their approval. Hitler became "Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor" and the title of President was then abolished.
Censorship was extreme under Hitler and covered all aspects of life including the press, films, radio, books and art. The churches were persecuted and ministers who preached non-Nazi doctrine were arrested by the Gestapo and sent off to concentration camps. The Jewish population was increasingly persecuted. Under the Nuremburg Laws of September 1935 Jews were no longer considered to be German citizens and therefore no longer had any legal rights. Hitler was the law when it came to the judicial system and had the ultimate say over legal actions of any kind.
From a very early stage, Hitler geared the German economy towards war. Hitler ordered the army to be tripled in size, from the 100,000 man Versailles Treaty limit, to 300,000 men by October of 1934. Hitler expanded his military with little reaction from the British or French. On March 7th, 1936 a small force of German troops marched across the Rhine bridges into the demilitarized areas of Germany. Then in October 1936 the Italian dictator, Mussolini, who had previously pledged to maintain Austrian independence, formed an alliance with Hitler. This alliance became known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.
Hitler conquered much of Europe and was responsible for the mass killings of Jews. In all he killed over six million Jews. His army was eventually pushed back and on April 30, 1945, when the Allies were in view of the bunker Hitler was in, Hitler and his one day bride committed suicide.