Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in the small town of Braunau Am Inn in Austria. His parents were Customs official, Klara and Alois Hitler. He became a German politician and went on to be the head of the National Socialist German Workers Party or better known as the Nazi Party. From 1933 to 1945 he held the position as Chancellor of Germany and ruled the country in a dictatorship manner.
He was a known veteran of the First World War and he joined the pioneer of the Nazi Party (DAP) in 1919 and went on to become leader of the NSDAP by the year 1921. In 1923, Hitler led a failed coup in Munich known as the Beer Hall Putsch. He was imprisoned because of such attempt and it was that time that he wrote his book.
He acquired support from his writing as he promoted anti-Semitism, German nationalism, anti-communism, and anti-capitalism with compelling rhetoric and propaganda. In 1933, he became chancellor and transformed Germany into a single-party dictatorship founded on the despotic as well as tyrannical principles of National Socialism.
Hitler’s actions and policies led to the declaration of France and United Kingdom of war against the country. This led to the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe. Because of the Nazi Regime of Hitler and his genocidal policy, about 11 million people were killed and more than 6 million Jews were annihilated throughout the Holocaust.
For three years Germany together with the Axis powers had conquered most of Northern Africa, East as well as Southeast Asia, and Europe with Hitler being a major key player. Hitler and his mistress got married as the days of war came to an end and they both committed suicide.
World War I era
During the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment, Adolf Hitler served Belgium and France. He became a Gefreiter by the end of the war (a private first class in terms of the American armies and a lance corporal in British terms). He was frequently exposed to the adversary’s fire as he served as a runner on the Western Front.
He was a participant of some of the most important battles of the West including the First Battle of Ypres, Battle of Arras, Battle of the Somme, as well as the Battle of Passchendaele.
In October 1914, the Battle of Ypress took place which was known in Germany as the Massacre of the Innocents having about 40,000 killed in a p of 20 days and even the infantry division that Hitler belonged to lost about 200 men by December that year.
This incident made Hitler become withdrawn and detached as the war continued. Adolf Hitler was recognized for the bravery he had shown during the years of war. In 1914, he got the Iron Cross, Second Class, recognition, and 4 years later the Iron Cross, First Class. These are honors not often given to someone of his rank (Gefreiter).
Early years in power
Adolf Hitler’s power and glory began in September 1919 when he became a member of DAP or Deutsche Arbeiterpartei which later on became more popularly known as the Nazi party. The party was an anti-Marxist and was formed throughout the aftermath of the World War I period. His rose to power began in the initial years of the Nazi party from 1919-1923 due to his substantial skills in promotion, organization, and public speaking.
Germany was consistently aggressive during the World War I for more than four years (1914-1918). After the First World War, Hitler went back to Munich. For the period of 1918-1919 he was on a steady but comparatively insignificant assignment but he was in due course enlisted by the Army’s Political Department.
His great skills in public speaking and his open and intense anti-Semitism impressed an army officer and gave him a promotion making him an education officer. This gave him more opportunities to give public speeches which greatly contributed to his acquisition of power.
In one meeting, Hitler again used his tremendous skills in oratory impressing Anton Drexler, the DAP (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) founder. He gave Hitler a political pamphlet and later on invited him to be a member of their party. Hitler attended the committee meeting that was part of the invitation. His initial thoughts were that the party was too disorganized and mixed-up.
Their membership process was messed up and this led Hitler to a consideration that he could be of great influence to the party as it was not totally established. Two days after that particular meeting, he decided to become a member of DAP, making him the 55th member. Adolf Hitler was named to be the leader of propaganda by 1920 because of his talents that were recognized by the heads of the party.
On February 20, the party became known as Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP and Hitler began to transform it. By July 28, 1921, Hitler became in full control of the party ousting Drexler.
Hitler’s aggression was brought to the party. They disrupted meetings of their “opponents”, caused chaos & disturbance, causing the imprisonment of Hitler for some months. Hitler also began to form two organizations between 1922 and 1923.
These are Jungstum and Jugendubnd, two unions that are bound to have great importance. Because of Hitler’s continuous rebellion, Hitler was convicted and imprisoned for five years. In prison, he began to contemplate about a lot of things particularly his political tactics. It was during this time that he was able to write his first book entitled Mein Kampf or My Struggle.
Adolf Hitler was released on December 20, 1924 from prison and assured that he would continue to get hold of political power but this time only by lawful and constitutional ways or means.
The Nazi Party during the May 1928 German elections only gained an overall vote of 2.63% of 810,127 votes. Because of these results, Adolf Hitler was determined to spread the goals of their party to the German people. He felt that the Germans weren’t fully aware of their party’s objectives and aims.
Hitler wrote his second book in order to lay out the word of the Nazi party. By the end of that year, the Nazi party has about 130,000 members and the following year, the Nazi party had a representative to the Presidential elections by the name of Erich Ludendorff. Ludendorff got 1.1% of the total votes or 280,000 total votes. He was the lone aspirant to gain fewer than a million votes. The street fights grew extremely brutal and violent.
After the Rotfront (Communist party) interrupted Hitler’s speech the SA (Storm battalion or division) went into the streets and executed two spectators. The SA on August 25, 1928, crashed a Rotfront gathering, as the tension between the two groups continued to heat up. The battle between the two went on for the following years resulting to more political violence and deaths.
The Nazi party had never been a power player in Germany’s election as they were only the 9th smallest party before the Great Depression hit the country in 1930.
The new Chancellor then, Heinrich Brüning, coming from the Roman Catholic Centre Party, slowly but surely lost the majority in the parliament, thus the Brüning administration needed to use the president’s emergency decrees. A premature election in September 1930 paved the way for the Nazi party to garner 18% of the vote equivalent to 108 seats in the parliament, making them second to the largest party in the chamber.
Hitler meant to run as president in the scheduled elections against President Pal Von Hindenburg, only with one problem. Hitler was Austrian born and still had not acquired German citizenship, not until the 25th of February as the interior minister of the Brunswick appointed Hitler as administrator for the state’s delegation making him a citizen of Brunswick. Their effort was not enough to win, but it showed that Hitler is a possible choice in German politics.
The president, after heavy thinking, reluctantly appointed Hitler Chancellor of the coalition government materialized by both NSDAP and DNVP. Still with the appointment of Papen as Vice-Chancellor and other conservative cabinet, the Nazis are contained to their framework. Hitler stopped any attempts by his adversaries to form a majority body in the parliament.
Hitler planned to dissolve Reichstag once again and there was a scheduled election for March, but February 27, 1933 came, and the Reichstag building was set ablaze. A Dutch independent communist was the victim to this incident and the government reacted by suspending basic rights, habeas corpus included, to blame the fire to communists.
The Nazis maximized their opportunity as campaigns continued, using anti-communist propaganda & paramilitary violence. The NSDAP garnered 43.9% of the votes during Election Day, March 6, to remain the largest party in the nation. But still without having absolute majority, their victory was blemished, as they need to maintain a coalition with the DNVP.
Hitler eagerly met with the newly-elected Reichstag with an act that would give the cabinet (and of course Hitler himself) legislative powers for a period of four years. The Enabling Act would allow deviation from the constitution but only after winning 2/3 majority in the Reichstag.
Thus, the government needed some help of other parties for the votes. The Centre Party would prove to be the deciding element as they carried the Enabling Act. In return, the government guaranteed the Church’s liberty and the existence of the Party, through oral assurances.
With this in motion, the Enabling Act was agreed upon by every party except the Social Democrats on March 23rd, and in combination with the Reichstag Fire Decree legally transformed Hitler’s government as dictatorship.
Now having both legislative and executive power, Hitler finished off the opposition. The Social Democratic Party, SDP, was marked off illegal and other parties were forced into dissolving. After only less than 4 months, July the 14th, the Nazi Party was declared the “only legal party” in Germany. All notable opposition to Hitler was one by one murdered.
And with the death of the President Pal von Hindenburg, Hitler’s cabinet, capitalizing on the moment, passed a law transferring the role and power of the President to Hitler. Although with major inconsistencies with the constitution, and technicality that barred Hitler for making any actions with regards to the Presidency, no one dared to object. With the Presidency finally on his hands, Hitler was now the most powerful man in Germany.
Being the Head of State, Hitler became the Supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and instead of the soldiers and sailors doing the traditional loyalty oath, it turned to an oath of personal loyalty to Hitler. Hitler then forced his War Minister Werner von Blomberg after evidences that his new wife had a criminal past; this was prior to removing several positions in the Armed Forces.
But to the surprise by many, Hitler, announced that he will be assuming the command of the Armed Forces, taking over Blomberg’s old post – being the Commander – in – chief of the Armed Forces, giving Hitler the ultimate power in Germany.
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