- Politics and Social Issues
Adolf Hitler: Biography
Adolf Hitler is still much known as the “murderer of million Jews,” “master of devastation” and “leader of the insanity.” Hitler did not appear to this world as a monster nor sent by the devil to bring destruction. He was not also sent from the heavens to save Germany from massive economic problems.
On the 20th day of April 1889 6:30 in the evening, Klara Pölzl Hitler gave birth to a baby boy in Braunau Am Inn, Austria and that little boy is Adolf Hitler. Klara Pölzl had already given birth before Adolf, namely Gustav and Ida. However, both of them died in infancy. On the other hand, Klara again gave birth to Adolf’s sister, namely Paula who survived longer than her brothers and sister. Alois Schicklgruber Hitler (Hitler) is Adolf’s father. Originally, Alois had used his mother’s name Schicklgruber, but in 1876 it became Hiedler or Hitler. It is relatively significant since it is hard to picture hundred thousands of German citizens saying “Heil Schicklgruber” instead of “Heil Hiedler."
Adolf first enrolled in school at the age of six and his family resided in different villages which surround the town of Linz -- located in the east of Braunau. Adolf did not have a good record in school and had left school before completing his education. Despite the poor records, the young Adolf has an ambition of becoming an artist or an architect. When Adolf was thirteen, his father Alois died; consequently, Klara took care of Adolf and Paula only by herself. During the ages of 16 up to 19 years old, teenage Adolf did not work to earn for his own or his family. He did not even attended formal education but had acquired interests in history and politics. Adolf submitted an application for admission in Vienna Academy of Fine Arts; however, he was unsuccessful to obtain his admission.
A Vagabond and as a Soldier –Days of War and Crisis of Germany
Adolf’s mother Klara died due to cancer when he was nineteen years old. Afterward, no one was willing to support him, even his relatives. Consequently, in 1909, Adolf transferred to Vienna Austria to earn a living. During the same year, he was residing in homeless shelters and eating in charities. He had refused to obtain regular work and took irregular primary jobs and sold few of his artworks or ad posters for his sustenance.
During the year of 1913, Adolf Hitler still does not have enough money to have a decent living. He then decided to move in southern Germany particularly in Munich.In 1914, during the outbreak of World War I, Adolf joined the German military service, and he was taken to the Sixteenth Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. Hitler fought heroically during the war, and he was promoted to corporal with both Iron Cross Second Class and First Class.
In 1918 during the declaration of ceasefire, Hitler was in the hospital trying to recover from short-term blindness due to British gas assault. He then came back in Munich to his regiment on 1918 of December. (Stokes 2007) The Versailles Treaty that finished the WWI eliminated much of Germany’s territory, required Germany to disarm and obliged the country to pay for damages. In other words, when Hitler and the rest of the military returned to their country, Germany was in massive crisis. Germany was bankrupt, and millions of Germans were jobless.
Beginnings in Politics and the Nazi Party
Hitler had worked at Traunstein in a POW (Prisoner of War) camp from December 1918 until March 1919, before his second return to Munich. Soon after his arrival in Munich, he had seen a capture bid by native Communists who obtained control before being overthrown by the military.When he gave his testimony and evidence regarding the arrest bid during an investigation, he was offered to join the local military. This military was responsible for encouraging returning army not to join in communism or pacifism. During his training, he was able to practice his talent in orations. One of Hitler’s responsibilities is to spy a particular local political association (Stokes 2007).
During the German Workers’ Party assembly, Hitler became furious and delivered his speech that gave a vicious criticism to the speaker. Anion Drexler, the founder of German Workers’ Party, was so amazed by Hitler’s speech and requested Hitler to be a part of their organization. Hitler then finally decided to join the group, even though he was a part of the military and on September 1919, he was designated as the 7th official of the group.
On February 1920, after his successful speech for the party, he was then discharged from the military. Hitler continued to widen his influence to the party. On the first day of April 1920, the name of the party changed into the National Socialist German Workers Party or Nazi for short from its original name of German Workers’ Party. Summer of 1920, Hitler selected swastika as the Nazi party symbol.
During the year of 1921, Adolf Hitler had nearly held the entire control of the Nazi party; on the other hand, not all Nazis like that very idea. In July of the same year, when Hitler was in Berlin, some displeased members of the Nazi party planned a union with a political party with the same political views in Nuremberg. This union is one of their means to weaken Hitler's control to the entire Nazi party. When Hitler heard the news regarding the planned Union, Hitler hurried back to Munich to deal with the party and warned them that he would resign if there will be a union with another party.The other Nazis were aware that Hitler holds their huge cash collections from his speeches and other supporters. In other words, they will not afford if Hitler will resign.Hitler then took his revenge on the displeased Nazis and required them to recognize him as the official leader of the Nazis with totalitarian control.
Beer Hall Putsch andHitler’s Trial (1923-1924)
From the time of becoming the Nazi’s formal leader until November 1923, Hitler still building up the power of the Nazi. He also planned to defeat the German Weimar Republic by force.On the eighth day of November 1923, Hitler directed actions to invade the local Bavarian Government in Munich. Hitler’s action to invade Bavarian Government is identified as the “Beer Hall Putsch."However this takeover was not successful, and Hitler and his group were arrested then charged with treason. (Stokes 2007) Treason means betrayal of country’s trust or intentional abuse of duty to his country. (Answers.com 2007) Following his court case for treason, Hitler was sentenced to Landsberg jail for five years. On the other hand, Hitler had effectively utilized this trial to have exposure to himself and his thoughts. Throughout his stay in imprisonment, Hitler started declaring his ideas and principles to Rudolph Hess. Afterward, this turned into a book entitled “My Struggle.”
Mein Kampf was partially an autobiographical manuscript, but it contains various wrong ideas, selfish misinformation, and absolute revisionism. He mentioned several criticisms against the Jews such as claiming that the Jews are liable for all conflicts and wickedness of the humanity, specifically democracy, Communism, and internationalism. Hitler also took the blame to Jews regarding Germany's defeat during the World War I. Hitler wrote that Jews were the Germany’s true adversaries. In other words, his book is purely about racism.
Strengthening the Nazi Party (1924-1932)
During December 1924, Hitler was freed from Landsberg prison after nine months of imprisonment instead of five years. On the other hand, the Nazis and newspapers related to the Nazis were forbidden by the government. Hitler is also prohibited from performing any public speeches. The Germany’s support for the Nazis started to diminish. Nazi’s voting figures have dropped from 2 million (figure of 1924) to 810,000 by 1928.
During the same year, Hitler became successful in boosting the Nazi membership and improved the organization all through the country with assistance from Gregor Strasser. Strasser is in charge of the party in the northern part of Germany. At the same time, Hitler established the infamous Schutzstaffel (SS).
In 1929, the fall of the Wall St. stock exchange led to a global recession. Germany was greatly affected by the fall of the stock exchange, and they have entered in massive economic crisis. The country’s manufacturing companies have crashed, and millions of Germans became jobless. These circumstances, however, became favorable to Hitler and for his party campaign.
Hitler’s Defeat against Hindenburg and being a Chancellor (1932-1933)
In 1932, the month of February, Hitler chose to stand versus Hindenburg in the approaching Presidential election.He then became a German citizen on 25th February 1932 to defeat Hindenburg. The figures of the election on the 13th day of March 1932 showed that Hindenburg got 49.6 % of the total vote, while Hitler got 30.1%. Since Hindenburg became unsuccessful to succeed the majority, a second election was declared. The figures of the second election showed that Hindenburg got 53% of total votes while Hitler got 36.8%.
Therefore Hindenburg was re-elected to office and Hitler was then obliged to wait for another chance to succeed political power. During the July 1932 elections, the Nazis have won by 13,745,000 votes, which made them the biggest party. Hitler insisted that he should become the Chancellor but was given only the place of Vice-Chancellor, which he did not accept. But on 30th day of January 1933, President Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor.
The Death of Hindenburg - 1934
President Hindenburg died on the second day August 1934. Hitler had previously decided with the Cabinet that after Hindenburg's death, the offices of President and Chancellor will be merged. The last desires of Hindenburg were that after his bereavement the monarchy should be maintained. Hitler handled to restrain Hindenburg’s last desires and did not announce the President's last will. Since Hitler already had the assurance of support from the Army, he made an advanced step by making the entire armed forces pledge an oath of allegiance to him in person. Hitler became "Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor." At the same time, the President title was then eliminated.
Breaking the Law of Versailles Treaty – 1934-1937
On October of 1934, Hitler commanded the armed forces to increase its size, from the 100,000 number of men, which is the Versailles Treaty limit, up to 300,000 people. It was primarily commanded to be conducted in maximum secrecy. Admiral Raeder, the chief of the Navy, received orders from Hitler to start building huge warships, which is over the maximum size ordered by the Versailles Treaty. The Treaty also prohibited even the building of submarines. Since it was prohibited, they started to build its parts for assembly in foreign dockyards secretly. Apart from that, Goering had also received orders from Hitler to train all air force pilots and the design aircraft for armed forces.
In March 1935 Hitler chose to obtain the risk and test the determination of Britain and France by ordering Goering to disclose information about the existence of Luftwaffe or the German Air Force to a British administrator. Although this was a straight dispute to the Versailles Treaty, there was only a small reaction. Due to this little response, Hitler has increased his determination to take new paces for his plans.After the following days, Hitler took a greater risk again and announced to the public regarding the beginning of military service and the formation of armed forces with 36 divisions or roughly half a million men. The same reaction again from the Britain and France; therefore Hitler decided to increase the strength of his military forces.
At the same time, he was still observing a policy of performing speeches regarding interests of peace and about the insanity of conducting war. He also declared he had no objectives of militarizing Rhineland and he was willing to disarm their huge weapon to respect the defensive clauses of Treaty. On the other hand, this will be not the case.
The War against Jews, the Holocaust and Hitler’s Last Regime (1933-1945)
During the month April 1933, Jews were evicted from government employment. At the same time, a law was set up to forbid Jews from entering university and boycott of Jewish stores. The well-known Nuremberg Laws were recognized during the year 1935. This law categorized Jews as German issues or German “in question” instead of German citizens. Intermarriage was forbidden, more careers were closed to Jews, stores showed posters reading, "No Jews allowed” and harassment was very usual.
Another effort to “cleanse” Germany is the capture of Polish Jews that was ratified in October 1938. These Polish Jews were treated like herds of cattle, and they were abandoned at the Polish border particularly in the “no man's area.” One abandoned Jewish family wrote to their son who was studying in Paris namely Herschel Grynszpan. After knowing the real situation of his parents, he determined to take his revenge against the Germans. Consequently, Grynszpan shot a German officer, Vom Rath who was designated in Paris.
This small revolt was an ideal chance for Adolf Hitler and his army to increase their offenses. The Nazis ordered protests, and aggression exploded throughout Germany for two days. Shops were ruined, synagogues were destroyed by fire, and 20,000 Jews were arrested.
These demonstrations called as Kristallnacht, which means the Night of Glass, meant for all the broken glass. Hitler had always been honest regarding his strategies against the Jews since the book entitled “My Struggle” (Mein Kampf) was published. His vision of racially pure territory means no toleration of Jews. He declared statements on various occasions regarding the "extermination of the Jews" in his territories. With these declarations, Hitler decided to use the Jews as hostages to avoid any Western influence from dominating the continent. In other words, there will be the possibility of Genocide. Genocide refers to any acts of destroying a national, racial, ethnical or religious group. The Holocausts became one of the best examples genocide cases.
Hitler prevented himself from giving an apparently written order to annihilate Jewish people. He prevented having an open dialogue regarding the killings in his followers. On the other hand, there are obvious evidence that he was extremely involved in the anti-Jewish procedures during the warfare, especially during the murderous phase. Overall, Hitler's statements regarding the Jewish question show that his fundamental plan is to pursue tremendous Jewish persecution. Hitler was ultimately liable of mass killings in Poland during 1939 and 1940. He was also aggressively involved in creating plans for a Jewish reservation in Poland and supported the Madagascar strategy. Hitler was frequently engaged in deportation tactics. During 1941, Hitler gave his orders to initiate the massacre of the Jewish-Bolshevist intelligentsia and the killings of every possible adversary in their Eastern territories. He was completely aware of genocide of Jewish people in these areas.
In September 1941 Hitler gave his orders to begin mass deportations from Germany to ghettos in Eastern Europe. Throughout the autumn and winter of 1941, which is the time when plans for Europe’s Final Solution were already completed, Hitler announced explicitly at different occasions regarding the extermination of Jewish people in Europe. In other words, he could claim that the massive murders of Jewish people during the spring and summer of 1942 was without his knowledge. However, personal journals of Nazi party Joseph Goebbels and Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler was discovered from the classified Soviet archives. These personal journals of the Nazis reveal that Hitler actually gave his orders regarding the mass killings of Jews on the 12th day of December 1941 during an assembly of Nazi in the chancellery. It was written in Goebbels’ diary regarding Hitler’s statement “About the Jewish question, the Fuhrer ordered to make a clean sweep.”
During the year of 1934, concentration camps in Germany were built to capture Jews, Communists, Gypsies, homosexuals and other “undesirables” without any due process. During WWII annihilation, camps were built with the single intention of murdering men, women and children. In, most infamous camps, such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor and Majdanek; over six million people, majority are Jews and Poles, were murdered in gas chambers. Millions of other people were also captured throughout the war, and large percentage the of them died due to serious maltreatment, malnutrition, and illnesses. Despite of Hitler’s great influence against the Jews, someone has still outwitted him and he is Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi Party. Schindler spent millions and even risked his life in order to save his Jews, often called by Schindler as “my children”. Due to Oskar’s efforts, his Jews remarkably survived (Auschwitz 2008)
The Holocaust symbolizes eleven million lives that suddenly ended. The extermination of these people is because of their identities. All people who were handicapped, Gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics, Poles, prisoners of war, political rebels and other “undesirables” were killed by the Nazis due to their religious or political viewpoints, and physical imperfections. After Hitler escaped the July 1944 assassination plot, Eva Braun, the young lady who spent the rest of her life waiting for Hitler decided to share his fate.
During the last hours of his existence, Adolf Hitler rapidly stated a Political Testament, which he left for the German citizens. The manuscript was quite unusual from various speeches and articles that he had previously written. After initiating the devastation of vast areas of Europe and giving orders to kill millions of people just to pursue his political objectives, Hitler did not show any repentance. In fact, he even blamed Jews for the cause of the war, yet he started the war in the first place. With his country (Germany) in ruins, after six destructive years of war and an anticipated defeat, Hitler came up to a decision of taking his life. Before that, he decided to marry his long-time mistress Eva Braun. A civil marriage ceremony occurred on the morning of April 29, 1945. The following day, 3:30 in the afternoon both Hitler and Braun took the slim amount of cyanide. Hitler killed himself using a gunshot using 7.65 mm Walther pistol on his head. Hitler’s Nazi regime that led to mass extinction of six million European people was finally over.