– a report by the Bavarian authorities his

–      Born
in Austria in 1889

–     
Cold and strict dad, loving mother who pampered her son

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–     
When he lost his younger brother at only 11 years old, he
became introverted and detached

–     
With only 14 Hitler’s father died and his mom let him drop
out of school 2 years later

–     
He spent his time in Linz, reading, drawing, attending the
theatre or opera; he had developed a passion for the German composer Richard Wagner

–      After
his mom’s death in 1907 he moved to Vienna, Austria in hope to study art.
However, he was rejected twice at the Academy of Fine Arts. With his
insignificant orphan’s pension and a small amount that he earned by selling
postcards that he drew, Hitler lived a lonely and isolated life going from one
homeless shelter to another

–      At age
of 24 Hitler wants to avoid military service for the hated Habsburg Empire
(Habsburg Empire was the Austro-Hungarian empire he grew up in -> mixture of
“races” in its army)

–      Moved
to Munich, Germany

–      Accepted
in the German military at the outbreak of WWI

o   
According to a report by the Bavarian authorities his
acceptance was most likely an administrative error

–      He gave
up Austrian citizenship in 1925 and was granted German citizenship in 1932

–      Hitler
was rewarded with the Iron Cross for bravery in WWI

–      Lost
war – signed the Treaty of Versailles, a treaty that ended the war between
Germany and the Allied

–      Hitler
became embittered over the collapse of the war effort. The experience
reinforced his passionate German patriotism.

–      Anti-Semitism
developed as core of Hitler’s world view

–      Hitler’s
political career began in Munich in 1919

o  
Joined the small German Workers’ Party (DAP), a small group
of extreme nationalists and anti-Semites who were trying to win over German
workers from the internationalist Social Democratic Party and persuade people
that Jews were primarily responsible for Germany’s misery.

o  
A year later renamed to the National-Sozialistische Deutsche
Arbeiterpartei NSDAP (Nazi)

–      In
1921 he joined a private party army called the SA (Sturmabteilung)

–      With
his charismatic personality and dynamic leadership he attracted more members
quickly

–      Became
the leader within the first year with almost unlimited power

–      In
1923 during the Beer Hall Putsch Hitler and the Sturmabteilung stormed a public
meeting featuring Bavarian prime minister at a large beer hall in Munich.
Hitler announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the
formation of a new government

o  
The coup failed. Hitler was arrested for high treason and
sentenced to five years in prison. He only served 9 months. In those 9 months
he worked on his book “Mein Kampf” which is a political autobiography and
overview of his idea to transform German society into one, based on race. The
“Aryan race”. Quickly after his release he continued to pursue his political
career.

Rise of Power:

–      Due
to depression in 1929 the US called in its loans to Germany which made the German
economy collapse and raise the unemployment rate to 6 million

–     
Overwhelmed government -> cut government expenditure,
wages and unemployment pay

–      Frightened
wealthy businessmen financed Hitler’s campaigns. People needed someone to blame
-> started looking at extreme solutions. Hitler offered both

–      Learned
from failed Beer Hall Putsch -> Hitler was now determined to overthrow the
government legally by getting elected

–      Due to
the misery in Germany and Hitler’s power of speech he was able to raise the
seats of the Nazis within the Reichstag (parliament) from 12 seats in 1928 to
230 seats in 1932 (which was the largest party)

–      Hitler
ran in the presidential
elections against Hindenburg

o  
Came in second with around 35 % of the vote in the final
election

o  
Established Hitler as a strong force in German politics

–      In
January 1933, Hindenburg wanted to get the Nazis on his side by offering to
make Hitler vice chancellor. He refused and demanded to be chancellor.
Hindenburg eventually agreed, thinking he could control him which turned out he
couldn’t.

–      Hitler
became chancellor, and immediately started to work on making himself the
absolute ruler of Germany

–      The
first regular concentration camp was established which was officially described
as “the first concentration camp for political prisoners.” by the
Chief of Police of Munich

–      President
Hindenburg died on August 2, 1934 and Hitler replaced the offices of chancellor
and president with a single dictatorial position by declaring himself Führer
(Leader)

–      Over
the years more concentration camps had been established

–      Between
1939 and 1945, the Schutzstaffel (SS)
was responsible for the deaths of at least eleven million people including
around 6 million Jews (represented around two-thirds of the Jewish population
of Europe at that point

Hitler’s Defeat:

–     
By early 1945, Hitler realized that Germany was going to lose
the war

–     
The Soviets had driven the German army back into Western
Europe

–     
The Allies were advancing into Germany

–     
At midnight of April 29, 1945, Hitler married his girlfriend,
Eva Braun

–     
Around the same time he was informed of the execution of
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini

–     
Didn’t want to fall into the hands of enemy troops -> Eva
and Adolf committed suicide the day after their wedding on April 30, 1945

Not Who, But Why?

–      Hitler was inspired by operas from his favorite
German composer Richard Wagner

–      After seeing opera “Rienzi” in 1905 some sources
claimed Hitler professed he would someday embark on a great mission, leading
his people to freedom

–      -> after failing his mission around 40 years
later his defeat was similar to another one of Wagner’s operas

o    End of opera “Twilight of the gods” the hero,
betrayed by all those around him, ends up on a funeral pyre while the kingdom
of the gods had been destroyed. Similar to Hitler’s death

–      Hitler achieved leadership position partially
because his public speaking skills and charismatic leadership skills and
partially because of the situation he found himself in -> nation in crisis
due to great depression

–      Acceptance in German army could have partially been
an administrative error but he was also trying to get in at a “convenient”
time, right at the outbreak of WWI

 

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