Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 to Klara Pölzl and Alois Heidler, but Alois always spelled his last name as Hitler, and young Adolf grew up using the same spelling. Alois had two children from a previous marriage (Alois Jr. and Angela).
Klara and Alois Heidler had a total of six pregnncies. Two boys and one girl prior to Adolf were born, but died early. Adolf Hitler was the first child born alive between the couple, the fourth pregnancy. After Adolf's birth, five years passed without any further pregnancies, until baby Edmund was born in 1893. In 1896, "Adi's" sister Paula was born.
Hitler’s father abused his older brother, forcing him to run away in 1896, which put 7 year old Adolf next in line. Hitler entered the local high school, but failed to receive a certificate of graduation, since he spent much time reading or looking at art. After his father died, Adolf Hitler moved to Vienna in 1907 to try to get into an art academy, but he failed to pass the entrance exams in either 1907 or 1908.
Hitler was devastated. He isolated himself from his friends and family, and spent times talking with coffeehouse talk or reading books. Adolf Hitler lost all his money after living in Vienna for a short time, so he decided to stay in a hotel that was built for homeless and those that were not wanted by their countries.
Hitler moved to Munich in 1913 to escape military duty. However, when war broke out, Adolf Hitler was a corporal in a Bavarian infantry regiment. In 1916, Hitler was wounded in the leg by some shrapnel, but after a short hospital visit, he returned to service. However, Hitler was wounded again by poison gas, which temporarily blinded him. For his bravery in action, Adolf Hitler was given the Iron Cross, which was recommended by a Jewish officer.
Adolf Hitler was amazed by the idea of war, and left his dream to be an artist to become a politician. He was appointed an instructor that would train soldiers in politics, but only one year after the war’s end, Adolf Hitler met up with the German Workers’ party and became firmly involved. In 1920, Hitler left the army to join up with the party which would later form the Nazi party. Hitler was elected to the chair of the party in July 1921, and it was here that Adolf Hitler first exercised dictatorial powers.
Adolf Hitler wanted the entire German government now, but would need to compete with many people for it. When he began to lose support to groups with paramilitary forces such as the SA (Sturmabteilung) backing them, Hitler decided to attempt to take control through the Beer Hall Putsch on November 8 and 9, 1923. The Beer Hall Putsch failed, and Hitler was jailed and court marshaled the next year.
While in prison, Adolf Hitler wrote the book Mein Kampf to gain support. Mein Kampf talked about various problems that were masterminded by the Jewish people, and also about the Aryan ‘Master Race’, meaning that the Germanic people were the most important people, and that all others are unimportant. Hitler also discussed Social Darwinism, saying that the German people were superior in all aspects to those of other nations.
Adolf Hitler was released from prison after 9 months and returned to his attempts to overthrow the government. He met resistance from another Nazi leader named Gregor Strasser, who was aiming to please the working class of Germany. In May 1926, Hitler moved around that, instead allying himself with the World War I military soldiers, allowing Adolf Hitler to retake the chair that he had lost after the Beer Hall Putsch, again with the dictatorial powers given to him.
Adolf Hitler also began to have an affair with Geli Raubal, Hitler’s niece in 1928. The two were in love, but Raubal soon began to feel upset about Adolf Hitler’s political campaign, which left her in the house with armed guards outside while Hitler was off campaigning. In 1931, Geli Raubal decided that she’d had enough and took a pistol and shot herself through the heart. Hitler felt responsible, but continued to campaign. He would never forget Geli Raubal, although he would have one other mistress.
In 1929, Hitler was asked to work to help the campaign against a program that would force Germany to pay large war debts to victorious nations. Hitler became more popular in September 1930, as the Great Depression hit Germany. Twenty percent of the people supported the Nazi party, and Hitler was soon one of Germany’s main political figures.
In 1932, Adolf Hitler lost to Paul von Hindenburg by a small margin. By November, Hitler was rapidly losing favor with the German people. Paul von Hindenburg allowed Hitler to enter the government as the chancellor of Germany. On March 23, 1933, Hitler established a law that he would use to become the German dictator.
As President Hindenburg’s health began to fail, the campaign for president was again open. In 1934, Hitler ordered the execution of many of his political rivals, as well as decreasing the power that the SA had, which left Adolf Hitler in the primary position for leadership. On August 2, 1934, Paul von Hindenburg died, and Adolf Hitler stepped in to become Germany’s Fuehrer, and control of Germany was his. Just a month after coming to power, Hitler withdrew from the League of Nations. Over the next three years, Adolf Hitler rallied the people against the Jews, while simultaneously passing the Nuremburg Laws that took many of the rights away from the Jewish people. Hitler tried to maintain power by appointing Heinrich Himmler as the head of the SS. Adolf Hitler also forced Jewish people to wear a gold star that was sewn onto their clothing, and those that didn't wear it were executed by soldiers if they were caught. These stars also were used by businesses to identify Jewish workers, and some used this as an opportunity to force them to leave Germany.
In March 1935, Hitler ordered the re-arming of Germany as well as a beginning of military buildup in the Rhineland. He also tried to sign a naval treaty with Great Britain in June 1935, and shortly later aided Mussolini in the Ethiopian war, which convinced Mussolini to sign the Pact of Steel with Hitler, which would give Hitler the support of Italy should a war arise. Germany also helped to participate in the Spanish Civil War
On November 1937, Hitler ordered a meeting of the ministers, where Hitler revealed his intentions for war. Several objected, but they were quickly dismissed and ministers that would support Hitler were moved in, allowing Hitler to have a group of men that would support the dictator in his war. Shortly later, Hitler annexed Austria, and sent his Panzer tanks rolling into the tiny country. Hitler also took control of the Czechoslovakian borders and the Sudetenland before invading Poland, finally forcing a war on September 1, 1939.
Adolf Hitler also ordered the establishment of Jewish concentration camps after the invasion of Poland. These camps were quickly set up, and many Jews were rounded up by special units and taken for ‘sterilization’ using Zyklon-B gas. Those that didn’t die in Hitler’s concentration camps wished that they had, since they were responsible for dumping the bodies into and removing them from the massive furnaces that made the crematorium. Those that were sick were also killed, and people were given minuscule rations of food to sustain them, but sometimes that wasn’t even enough. There were also diseases in the concentration camps, but only the Germans were allowed to have vaccines against these diseases.
In the opening phases of the war, Hitler and the German High Command employed a tactic called blitzkrieg, or "lightning war", which used aircraft, tanks, and infantry to take large areas of land before an effective counterattack could be mounted. This tactic was successfully used against Poland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in just over three months.
On June 22, 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression pact with Russia, and was now engaged in two front war that was rather unsuccessful. The tactic put Germany in a position that stretched its forces to the limits. The German Luftwaffe was losing to the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and the German Wehrmacht was ill-equipped for the massive land areas that they were ordered to take. The German Panzer divisions were slowed down by poor weather conditions that caused men to become sick, and also froze machinery on the Panzer tanks. This allowed Russia to mount an effective defense, and eventually win out.
Germany soon discovered how poor a decision Adolf Hitler had made when the Allies landed on Normandy and the Russians were also succeeding in pushing the German army back rapidly. He also continuously fought with one of his Field Marshals, Erwin Rommel, and had him executed after an attempt was made on his life.
Soon Hitler found himself in another hopeless situation. The Americans, British, and Canadians were racing in from Normandy toward Berlin from the west, while Russia was rapidly advancing from the east. Hitler ordered a scorched earth policy for the retreat, but Albert Speer refused to carry it out. Finally, Hitler and his new wife, Eva Braun, committed suicide in a bunker in Berlin, with the Allied forces only days away from Berlin.
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