Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau, Austria, a small town across the Inn River from Germany. Soon after Hitler's birth, his father, Alois Hitler, moved the family to Linz, Austria. Hitler attended school in Linz and at first was a good student, but in high school he was a very poor student. Hitler's academic abilities angered his father because his father hoped that Hitler would study to become a government worker as he had been. Hitler, however, wanted to become an artist.
In 1907, Hitler went to Vienna Austria. in an attempt to fulfill his dream of becoming an artist. This attempt ended when he failed the entrance exam to the Academy of Fine Arts. When Hitler's mother died in 1907, he decided to remain in Vienna. He took the entrance exam a year later and failed again. He did not have steady work in Vienna, but, instead, took a variety of odd jobs.
He lived in cheap rooming houses or slept on park benches and he often had to get meals from charity kitchens. During his time in Vienna Hitler learned to hate non-Germans. Hitler was a German-speaking Austrian and considered himself German. He ridiculed the Austrian government for recognizing eight languages as official and believed that no government could last if it treated ethnic groups equally.
In 1913, Hitler went to Munich, Germany and when World War I began in 1914, he volunteered for service in the German army. Hitler was twice decorated for bravery, but only rose to the rank of corporal. When World War I ended. Hitler was in a hospital recovering from temporary blindness possibly caused by a poison gas attack. The Versailles Treaty that ended the war stripped Germany of much of its territory, forced the country to disarm, and...