Feeling that all was lost, Hitler shot himself on April 30, 1945. By orders formally given by him before his death, SS officers immersed Hitler’s body in gasoline and burned it in the garden of the Chancellery. Soon after the suicide of Hitler, the German forces surrendered. The war was officially over; however, the world was only beginning to realize the extent of its horror. The rise and sudden fall of Hitler had a sensational effect on people and nations around the world. For Adolf might it have been society, rejection from his father, and failure as an artist or was he born to hate?
Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau Am Inn, Austria on April 20,1889. He was the son of a Customs official, Alois Hitler, and his third wife Klara. He was the fourth child that Alois and Klara had. Hitler was a good student. He took singing lessons and sang in the church choir. He went to grade school near Linz, Austria. When he hit adolescent age, he began to rebel. When Hitler’s dad acquired a top-ranking job in the military, he wanted his son to work hard so that he might have a high-ranking job, too. Hitler wanted nothing of it. He wanted to become an artist like he always dreamed.
One of the teachers in his high school classified young Hitler as notorious, cantankerous, willful, arrogant, and irascible. He has an obvious difficulty in fitting in at school(http://www.historyplace.com). He did well enough to get by in some of his courses but had no time for subjects that did not interest him. Adolf would taunt his teachers and draw sketches of them in his school notebooks. He never finished high school and because of his lack of effort. When Hitler was in power he reflected on his days in school and said, They had no sympathy with youth. Their one object was to stuff our brains and turn us into erudite apes themselves. If any pupil showed the slightest trace of originality, they persecuted him relentlessly(http://www.historyplace.com).
In September Adolf saw no real reason to stay in high school. He left school at age sixteen. In 1907, Hitler left home, taking with him all the money left behind by his father, who had died a few years earlier. The money would be enough for tuition and board at the art school in Vienna. The Vienna School of Fine Arts had strict entrance requirements. He made no effort to get a job. Hitler tried again to apply to art school. He was judged very poorly and wasn’t allowed to take the formal exam. Hitler’s drawings were returned saying they were too wooden and too lifeless. He was rejected. He tried three months later and did not get past the preliminary exam. His career as an artist was over. His mother died two months later on December 21, 1907.
Hitler moved into an apartment with his friend in Vienna. He pretended to be a student living off his relatives’ money. He read many books and sat in on the Austrian government sessions. He loitered about the streets and was hungry. He painted water postcards and sold them on the streets. He drew several advertising posters for such things like soap, cigarettes, and deodorant. Hitler became interested in politics and read many articles about politics.
In 1913, Hitler moved to Munich. His life was not much better there until the World War I started in 1914. On August 1, 1914, a huge, enthusiastic crowd including Hitler gathered in a big public plaza in Munich; the occasion was to celebrate the German proclamation of war. While many people were frightened and sad at the thought of a world war, Hitler was delighted. Hitler volunteered for the German Army, enlisting in a Bavarian regiment. He held the rank of corporal, and in forty-seven battles he served on the Western Front as a dispatch runner, delivering messages back and forth between the front lines and the officers in the rear. His courage during one of these missions earned him the Iron Cross, a highly prized medal for bravery that was rarely awarded to a mere corporal. After all the years of poverty and uncertainty, he now had a sense of belonging.
Hitler was very lucky in war and avoided life-threatening injuries. But his luck ran out and on October 7, 1916 he was wounded in the leg. On light duty in Berlin he was appalled by how the civilians didn’t care about the war. He blamed most of that on the Jews. On October 13, 1918 Hitler also got hurt. When Hitler and his fellow dispatch runners were waiting in line for their food rations, British troops began lobbing high explosive shells nearby. Some of these shells contained chlorine gas, a deadly poison. Hitler and the others quickly put on their gas masks, but not before they had been exposed to the fumes. By the next morning some of the men were dead, and others, like Hitler, were suffering from breathing and vision problems. Hitler wrote in his journal My eyes had turned to glowing coals; it had grown dark around me
(http://www.historyplace.com). Hitler soon regained use of his eyes, but as he was about to rejoin his regiment, he got the news of Germany’s surrender.
After the war Hitler was given a job guarding a post. It was very boring work, but it provided shelter. He was then given an undercover agent job. As a special bonus, he was allowed to attend the University of Munich. He took many philosophical political classes. As part of Hitler’s job, he investigated a party called the German Workers’ Party. He was disgusted at how the group had no organization, although he liked many of the party’s ideas. To follow up with his job, he joined the group to make sure they were no threat to the government. He was member number fifty-five of the German Workers’ Party. Hitler was made director of propaganda. The group was severely hurting by their lack of attendance. This was mainly due to the lack of communication with the group.
Hitler finally found his talent as a great orator. He first became aware of his talent while teaching at the University of Munich. When he talked, he held his audiences spellbound. He would sometimes lose five pounds a night by getting so active in his speeches. The attendance of the German Workers’ Party went from under one hundred to almost 1000. Hitler changed the name of the party to National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It was shortened to be Nazi. He also designed the party’s flag, a white background with a broken cross in the middle. Hitler took full leadership of the party. Violence was now the party’s trademark. He persuaded the other party members to rent one of the largest halls in Munich, one that seated at least 2,000 people. Hitler made of list of demands to the German government. They were called the 25 Points. The audience approved his new idea. Ernst Rohm, a friend of Hitler’s, organized a group of storm troopers for Hitler. He blamed Jews for most of Germany’s problems. Synagogues were destroyed and Jews were beaten in the streets.
By the summer of 1923, the Nazi party had grown to 150,000 members. With the Nazi movement growing so rapidly, Hitler knew it was time to make a move on Germany. November 11, 1923 seemed like a perfect time for Hitler to make the grab for power. It was the fifth anniversary of Germany’s surrender to the allies. At the last minute he changed the date to November 8th. A large gathering was to be held on the outskirts of Munich. Three important government leaders would be there. On that evening, 600 storm troopers moved in. Hitler captured the government leaders and forced them to join him.
His 3,000 men then marched to Berlin in an attempt to take it over. The German police were waiting. Shots were fired and sixteen Nazis and two policemen lay dead. Hundreds more were wounded. Hitler was arrested and charged with High Treason. Hitler went to court and was convicted. Hitler served only nine months of his five-year sentence. The guards gave him a suite of several adjoining rooms where guests could come or go as they pleased. He was sent many gifts and grew much fatter. He wrote a book called Mein Kampf, which means my struggle in English. It was about what he would do in the next two decades.
The government banned the Nazi party after the revolt. There were also many reasons for lack of Nazi activity. The Allies had loosened their control on the German economy. The French had left the Ruhr leaving Germany’s industries intact, and the United States gave millions of dollars to Germany to stabilize their economy. In 1925, the Nazis picked up where they left off. Ernst Rohm was given the order to reinstate his troops. Germany held elections, but the Nazis got only 3% of the voters support. The depression in America caused the economic system in Germany to drop. Because of the harsh times, Nazis got two million more votes then the Communist party. The election put them just under the Democratic Party and gave them 107 more seats in the House. Hitler was planning on running for President of Germany against Paul Von Hinderburg, a social democrat. Hitler campaigned frequently, going to every major city and town. He was the first to use the airplane in order to get from one campaign to the next.
By 1932 the storm troops numbered 400,000. The storm trooper’s goals were to make people afraid, and they accomplished that with ease. One of the most popular chants of the storm troops was, Sharpen the knives on the sidewalk so that they can cut the enemy’s body better. When the hour of revenge strikes, we shall be ready for mass murder(http://www.historyplace.com). The storm troops were getting out of hand, and Hitler wanted an orderly group. He created the SS soldiers. They were dressed in black from head to foot with a little skull pin on their helmets. They had to swear total loyalty to Hitler.
In the election of 1932, Hitler could not beat out the eighty-five year old President Hindenburg. However, 230 Nazi candidates held seats, and Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany. It was the second highest position in the German government. With only a week left till the new election, Hitler needed an incident that might put him ahead in the polls. Two nights later, the old courthouse, the Reichstag, began burning. The Nazis immediately began blaming it on the Communists. This was just what the Nazis needed to put them ahead in the race. Hitler still was not elected as the President.
Using force, Hitler got Hinderburg to pass a law that abolished freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly. Hitler then brought before the court the Enabling Act. This law gave Hitler the power of a dictator for the next four years. With violent persuasion, he got the bill passed. Germany had become a dictatorship.
After the bills were passed, the German military feared that when Hitler took full leadership of the country, they would lose control, and the SA would take over. Hitler assured the military that this was not true. To gain their trust, he gave them a list of 500 to 1000 storm troopers, which they could dispose of. In a period of two days, all the men were brought before a firing range in a school basement and shot.
In August of 1934, President Hindenburg died. Hitler’s last obstacle had been eliminated. Using his unlimited powers, he combined the offices of president and chancellor. To everyone in Germany he was now Der Fuhrer, the leader.
Avoiding capture by the approaching forces, Hitler shot himself on April 30, 1945. The world was never the same again. Hitler’s Reich was over, and millions of Jews were dead. The world asked one question: How could this have happened? Truthful answers cannot put the responsibility on Hitler alone. He led the Reich, but millions of people followed him eagerly-and many others chose to stand and watch him alone in frightened silence. Adolf Hitler’s rise to power was a very bumpy. He had to go through many things to rise to power. He went from being homeless to becoming a dictator. He also had a very big part in forming the Nazi Party. Hitler shaped Germany into what it is today. Without him the world would not be the same.