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Hitler - Rise To Power

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Adolf Hitler, FÑŒhrer of the National Socialist German Workers Party, commonly known as the Nazi party, and FÑŒhrer and Reichskanzler of Germany, was born April 20th, 1889. 56 years and ten days later, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in an underground bunker in Berlin with his wife Eva Braun, on April 30th 1945.

In the views of most people, Adolf Hitler was a menace that terrorized history. A hellbent psychopath determined to dominate the world and enforce a "master race" of germans, anti-semetic. Most only know, however, of his conquest over Europe, rather than his complex background and history during his rise to power.

In 1905, Adolf Hitler was 16 when he dropped out of high school. From then on, he spent most of his time wandering around the city, his father's dead giving him freedom to do as he wished. He enjoyed going out dressed well, with a cane. He had one friend during these times, August Kubizek. Kubizek was a striving musician, who was a patient listener and acted as an audience to Hitler who would give speeches with crazy hand gestures to this audience. Kubizek described Hitler as "violent and high strung." Kubizek noted that a turning point in Hitler's personality occurred

after witnessing an opera entitled "Rienzi." He told him that he was on a "mission to save his people," similar

to the plot of the opera. Later in his life, Hitler lived in Vienna, where he worked as a struggling artist selling paintings. Hitler particularly liked architecture, and was said to be able to draw detailed pictures of buildings he had seen only once. He supported himself on money from selling his artworks, working privately after failing entrance tests to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. After producing thousands of works of art, Hitler joined the military.

In the trenches of World War One, Hitler fought for the Germans, and after years of poverty, he now had a sense of purpose. Volunteering soldiers thought it would be a short war, but hopefully long enough for them to see some action. It turned out to be a long war in which millions of soldiers died; an entire generation of men wiped out.

Hitler volunteered at 25 in Bavaria. After its first battle against the British and Belgians near Ypres, 2500 of the 3000 men in the Hitler's group were killed. However, Hitler emerged uninjured. For most of the war, Hitler remained uninjured. It is said that more than once he had moved away from a spot where moments later a bomb killed or wounded everyone.

Hitler became a Corporal, and a dispatch runner, taking commands from higher ranked officers out to soldiers in battle. During breaks in battles, he would paint his surroundings. Unlike others, Hitler never complained about bad food and conditions, nor did he talk about women. He preferred discussing art, or history. Occasionally he received letters from home, but no packages and he never asked to leave. Other soldiers said Hitler was rather eager to please his commanders, and was generally a likable man. He was known for his luck in avoiding injury, as well as being very brave.

On October 7, 1916 Hitler was wounded in the leg by a shell fragment in the Battle of the Somme. When he recovered he spent some time off in Berlin, and later was assigned light duty in Munich. Hitler highly disliked the anti-war standpoints of German civilians, and blamed the Jews for this. This theory would later turn into an obsession, combined with other things leading to a growing hatred of Jews. To escape the civilians, Hitler asked to be sent back into battle, and was granted his wish in March of 1917.

In August 1918, he received the Iron Cross first class. The lieutenant who recommended him for the medal was a Jew, and Hitler would later obscure this fact. Although he had a good record and a total of five medals, he remained a corporal. Because of his appearance and odd personality, his officers felt he didn't have leadership qualities and thought he would not fit as a sergeant.

Hitler slowly became depressed as the tide of war turned against the Germans. His comrades say he would sometimes spend hours sitting in a corner of a tent, deep in thought only to jump to his feet yelling about "invisible foes of the German people," Jews and Marxists.

In October 1918, he was temporarily blinded by a chlorine gas attack from the British near Ypres. He was sent home to his suffering country where he laid in a hospital bed depressed and hearing romours of oncoming disaster. In November of 1918, an old pastor revealed the news of their loss in the hospital, as the Kaiser and House of Hollenzollern had fallen. The war was over.

Hitler described in Mein Kampf: "There followed terrible days and even worse nights - I knew that all was these nights hatred grew in me, hatred for those responsible for this deed." In Hitler's mind this meant the Jews.

Hitler never had a normal occup[ation and other than his role in World War One, he was lazy in life. In 1919, he joined the German Workers' Party at age thirty. Hitler immediately worked hard toward the success of this newfound group.

They gave out invitations and placed advertisements in anti-semitic newspapers in Munich. At Hitler's demand, a meeting was moved to a beer cellar that held about a hundred people. Other members thought they would have trouble filling the place, but to Hitler's expectations, over one hundred showed up on October 16, 1919.

Hitler was the second speaker at this meeting and it was his first time as a featured speaker. When He got up to speak, he surprised everyone with a very emotional style of speaking. This was an important moment in Hitler's young political career, and he describes the moment in Mein Kampf; "I spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply felt within me, without in any way knowing it, was now proved by reality: I could speak! After thirty minutes the people in the small room were electrified and the enthusiasm was first expressed by the fact that my appeal to the self-sacrifice of those present led to the donation of three hundred marks." This money was put towards the advancement of their advertisement campaign. The German Workers' Party now used Hitler as the main attraction at its meetings. In speeches Hitler spoke against the Treaty of Versailles and gave anti-Semitic tirades, blaming Jews for Germany's problems. His dislike of the treaty of Versailles increased attendance dramatically, even with people that were against anti-semitism.

Hitler undertook the job of recruiting people, taking charge of propaganda and also taking in some past war comrades. Along with him in recruiting people was Army Captain Ernst Rцhm,



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