He was a great orator, theatrical in his delivery, passionate and charismatic. These very things were what he used to brainwash almost an entire nation into adopting his nationalistic and racist ideologies. Adolf Hitler, the man who was responsible for the torture and extermination of six million Jews. The man whose infamous book called ‘Mein Kampf’ still inspires Neo-Nazi’s and white supremacists till this very day. What inspired such evil? What fueled such hate? What drove his madness? This article will attempt to answer these questions, as it takes you into the world of one the most evil men ever to have lived.
TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ADOLF HITLER
- Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 to Alois Hitler and Idara Hitler. He was born in Braunau am inn, a small town in Austria. He had a difficult relationship with his father who was known for being harsh and insensitive. To further deepen the tension, Adolf wanted to be an artist but his father disapproved. His father was an Austrian customs officer and wanted Adolf to become a government worker like himself. Once a bright student, Adolfs grades began to drop and in 1905 he finally finished his secondary education.
- In 1907 Adolf Hitler left Austria for Vienna to pursue a career in art. He applied to then prestigious ‘Academy of fine arts’. He was rejected twice and couldn’t get an admission. This shattered the young Hitler and he fell into a deep depression. To add to that, his mother whom he was very close to died that same year. He remained in Vienna and was barely surviving. He was often homeless, sleeping in hostels. He never had a steady job and made a meager living selling some of his paintings and making postcards. Hitler never had any further education after his secondary schooling.
- Vienna was a city rife with anti-semitism at that time. It is largely believed that it was there that young Hitler was first influenced by anti-Semitic ideologies. In 1914 World war 1 broke out. Adolf Hitler joined the German army as a private. While he was decorated for bravery after the war, he was never promoted beyond his rank.
- Germany suffered a great defeat at the end of the war. Hitler remained in Munich and continued to work for the German military as an intelligence officer. There was a treaty that was signed called the Versailles treaty. This treaty was what led to the surrender of Germany and ultimately led to the end of the war. In the treaty, Germany was blamed for the war and its devastation and so they were heavily sanctioned. Germany suffered economically, and the Germans saw this sanction as unfair. Hitler also shared these sentiments fueling his hatred for the Jews, France and the ruling German Government who signed the treaty in the first place.
- In 1919 Adolf Hitler joined the ‘German workers party‘ a nationalistic and anti-semitic group. Hitler was probably drawn to this group because they shared the same ideals. Not long after he became a member. Hitler’s oratory skills and ability to captivate audiences catapulted him to become the head of this party. The party was subsequently renamed ‘National socialist German workers party” or for short ‘Nazi party‘. Hitler was responsible for designing the famed Nazi symbol called the ‘Swastika’. The Nazi were known for despising the Jews who they blamed for having a hand in Germany’s economic collapse.
- Adolf Hitler was irritated by the fact that the ruling government in Germany at that time, were the ones who signed the Versailles treaty which led to Germany’s surrender and humiliation. On November 9, 1923 he proceeded to seize power from the government by staging a coup at a beer hall in Munich. His plans however failed and he was captured and charged with treason. He was sentenced to five years in prison
- While he was in prison he wrote a book called Mein kampf interpreted as ‘my struggle‘. In this book, Hitler wrote in full detail his ideologies . In the book he blamed the Jews for Germany’s problems. During the war most large corporations, banks and financial institutions were run by Jews. He somehow found a way of using that to blame the Jews for the bad decisions of the German government at that time. He promoted his Aryan race ideology, where he postulated that the Germans were the only pure race. He called the Jews parasites and called for revenge against France. Sad to say many Germans bought into this propaganda and the book sold millions of copies.
- By the time he left prison he was very popular among the German people who saw him as a savior from all their hardships. He spent only 9 months out of his five year sentence. In the year 1930, much of the western world fell into a great economic depression. It seemed to hit Germany the hardest because they also had a debt to pay following the Versailles sanction. The Nazi party capitalized on this. During the next elections the Nazis had 6.5million votes. Hitler didn’t win, but the acting president made him chancellor in 1932. The president eventually died and Hitler rose to become the Head of state or ‘Furher’ of Germany.
- During his reign, Adolf Hitler enforced harsh laws against Jews. Laws banning Jews from employment, restricting Jews from attending higher education. Marriage between German-Jews and non German-Jews were prohibited. By 1938 it became even more violent as synagogues were torn down, businesses, homes and schools owned by Jews were destroyed. Hitler promoted his Aryan race Ideology by spreading propaganda through books and media. Convincing millions of Germans that they were the only superior race and that any other race including; Jews, Blacks, eastern Europeans, The disabled and homosexuals should be exterminated. He famously proposed a ‘Final solution’ where Jews were put in concentration camps and killed as a form of ethnic cleansing. Blacks, the disabled and homosexuals were put in camps as well and possibly killed off.
- Hitler declared war and invaded Poland. He wanted the Germans to occupy and dominate Europe. He invaded Poland and conquered, killing polish Jews and the Polish elite. France and England declared war on Germany,thus the birth of world war II. He conquered Denmark, Norway and France. Russia, England and America joined forces to defeat Hitler thereby forming the Allied countries. The Allied countries were gaining ground and Hitler became anxious and increasingly paranoid.Hitler saw that his reign was coming to an end as Russian troops were already in Berlin seeking his demise. He went to an underground bunker in Berlin to hide. Taking his long time girlfriend Eva Braun with him, he married her at midnight. The next day due to fear of falling into the hands of his enemies, he and his wife drank cyanide, thereby committing suicide.
And so dear readers, we have come to the end of another interesting history lesson. I hope you learned something new. Perhaps you have heard of Adolf Hitler but never knew the reason behind why he did what he did. Sadly, racism is still upheld by some people today. It is said that studying history prevents us from repeating the mistakes of the past. As you can see in this case, racism led to a world war that claimed the lives of millions of people. Let us hope that history doesn’t repeat itself.
The most evil series will continue, so stay tuned to see who the next person will be.
Till next time guys!!!
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