It is my belief that the most significant man of the 20th century is Adolf Hitler.
A charismatic Austrian-born demagogue rose to power during the early 1930s at the time Of social, political, and economical upheaval. Failing to take power by force in 1923, he eventually won power by democratic means. Once in power, he eliminated all opposition and launched an ambitious program of world domination and elimination of the Jews, paralleling ideas he advanced in his book, Mein Kampf. His "1,000-Year Reich"ÃÂ barely lasted 12 years and he died a broken and defeated man.
On April 20, 1889 the fourth child of Alois Schickelgruber and Klara Hitler was born. He was given the name Adolfis Hitler. His father Alois was a customs official who was described as a " very strict, but comfortable man."ÃÂ His mother showered Adolf with love and affection. Following one of the families many moves, Adolf lived for 6 months across from a large Benedictine monastery.
The monastery coat of arms most memorable feature was a swastika. As a youngster, Adolf's dream was to enter the priesthood. While there is some evidence that Adolf's father regularly beat him as a child, it was not uncommon for children to be disciplined in this manner.
By the 1900's Hitler's talent as an artist surfaced. He did well enough in school to be eligible for the university preparatory, or the technical/scientific Realschule. Because the Realschule offered a course in drawing Hitler accepted his father's decision to be enrolled there. However he did not do well and quit by the time he was sixteen, partially the result of ill health and partially because of poor schoolwork.
In 1906, Hitler's mother developed terminal breast cancer and was treated by Doctor Bloch, a Jewish doctor who served the power. After several excruciatingly painful treatments she died on December 21, 1907. Hitler was devastated.
When World War 1 began in Europe, Hitler's passions against foreigners, particularly Slavs was inflamed. He was caught up in the patriotism of the time, and enlisted in the Bavarian army. Hitler's regiment saw its first combat after less than two months of training, against the British and Belgians. Several times Hitler narrowly escaped death in combat, and was awarded two iron crosses for bravery. I will not mention the failed cues or Hitler's time in prison writing Mein Kampf. Instead I will discuss why Hitler was the most influential man of the 20th century.
Some people believe that there are other men who are worthy of this title more than Hitler is. I will tell you why they are wrong. It is true Einstein, Bill Gates, Gandhi, and unmentioned others are great influential people. However, had it not been for Hitler, very few of these men would be remembered the way they are. In the first half of last century, Adolf Hitler, started a war that engulfed the world. Had it not been for this crucial war, the great empire known as America, and all the great minds that have been born or nurtured in its fertile borders would not be remembered in the perspective they are today. For example, the result of Hitler's invasion of Austria forced its Jewish inhabitants to flee to America, one of which was Albert Einstein.
Hitler's war on the world affected all societies, good or bad, undeniably. Had it not been for the man Adolf Hitler, the world would be a very different place.
In no way do I condone or sympathize with the actions of Adolf Hitler. I simply state had it not been for his existence, America would not be the country it is today. And so I consider Adolf Hitler to be the most influential human being of the 20th century.