Was Adolf Hitler a Madman or Genius?

Essay by aznXsa2587 January 2005

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A genius is defined as someone possessing an "extraordinary power of intellect, imagination or invention." Few people in history can complete this definition and be given the title of 'genius'. Among this cadre of intellectuals, visionaries and innovators, we discover a figure most unexpectedly. A small man, wearing an awkward moustache, by no means imposing an air of intelligence upon observers as many would expect a genius to do. 'Genius' is not the first title which comes to mind when the name 'Adolf Hitler' is mentioned, in truth, it is probably one of the last. Fuhrer of Germany's Third Reich, he is undoubtedly the world's most hated man, and yet elements of genius are ingrained in his persona.

Hitler, in the final dozen years of his life, was irrefutably evil. However he was not born with this attitude, nor the racial prejudices he is hardheartedly remembered for. Born in 1889 Braunau, Austria, to Klara Hitler and the customs official Alois Schickelgruber, Adolf was the first child of the union.

Klara was Schickelgruber's third wife, and of Schickelgruber's children from previous marriages two of the three died in childhood, while the third died still an infant.

Adolf's mother 'showered' him with love. This was in contrast to his father, who, in keeping with the manners of the time, beat his son regularly . The family moved to Passau, then Hafeld, Adolf lived, for a short six month period, across from a Benedictine Monastery. Among the symbols in its coat of arms, a swastika, also of note is Hitler's childhood ambition to become a priest. Looking back, it is true that childhood experiences manifest themselves in someone's character, though not absolutely.

At the turn of the century, Adolf was a budding artist, and attended Realschule, where his talents, instead of blossoming,