The Life And Death Of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler, before he was the man behind the massacres, was an introverted kid who liked to paint. Through the antisemitism and the indiscriminate rage, it can be hard to see the life that lead him there. But in order to learn from history, one has to understand what extenuating circumstances can lead to the formation of historical events.
Hitler’s Early Life
Adolf was born on April 20, 1889 in Austria. The Hitler family moved to Germany when Hitler was a toddler. When Adolf was young, he often did not get along with his father, which only worsened when his younger brother Edmund died in 1900. His father did not agree with or appreciate Adolf’s interest in art, and while Adolf was still young was when he first cultivated his passion for German nationalism.
In 1903, Hitler’s father suddenly died. A few years later, he dropped out of school, moved to Vienna, got a menial labor job, and painted. He attempted to attend the Academy of Fine Arts, but his application was rejected twice. Eventually, when Hitler’s money supply dried up, he moved into a homeless shelter in which he apparently stayed for multiple years. Hitler was rumored to have pointed to that period in his life as the time when he first began to foster his avid antisemitism.
In 1914, despite his being an Austrian citizen, he was accepted into the German army fighting in World War I. Hitler ended up being in the numbers of those battling in some of the major conflicts in the war, and he was injured at Somme. For these actions, he was bestowed the Iron Cross First Class and the Black Wound Badge.
After World War I, Hitler retained a position with the military intelligence branch. He was assigned the job of monitoring the German Workers’ Party, and while doing so he became to agree with their anti-Semitic, patriotic, and anti-Communist beliefs. Hitler joined the party in 1919, and quickly became very involved. In 1921, Hitler became the party chairman, replacing Anton Drexler. In 1923, Hitler attempted a failed coup to take power of the German government eventually called the “Beer Hall Putsch”. He was arrested and served a year in prison in which he wrote Mein Kompf.
Hitler in Power
Germany experienced a Great Depression similar to the one in the United States, and this allowed Hitler to find a foothold in German politics. In 1932, he ran for the presidency against Paul von Hindenburg, and came in second. Hindenburg then appointed Hitler Chancellor in order to keep political balance. Hitler used this position to form his dictatorship, and by 1933 the only legal political party was Hitler’s Nazi Party.
The rest of Hitler’s reign is fairly well known, the Nazi militarization of the German political system, the Holocaust, World War II. By the beginning of the year 1945, it had become clear that Germany would lose the Second World War. Hitler married his girlfriend, Eva Braun, on April 29, 1945. The same day the couple married, the news of the assassination of Benito Mussolini traveled to Germany. Out of the fear of what would happen to him in enemy hands, Adolf and Eva committed suicide the day after their wedding.
It becomes important in the face of some vocal people doubting the historical reality that is the Holocaust, to anchor the event in historical certainties that force deniers to see the transparent falsehood in their disbelief. The life and death of the man behind the massacre is one such historical inevitability that we all should remember.