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Adolf Hitler

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Adolf Hitler has long been the focus of many debates and arguments. It is accurate to say that he is one of the most controversial leaders ever to walk the Earth. It is hard to believe by most how such a cruel and oddly looking man became the leader of a very powerful country. Hitler's rise to power was not through that of brute force (except for his first try through the Beer Hall Putsch), but rather through his ideas of a better, superior Germany. In this paper I want to examine Hitler's childhood and life in the army during WW I, how it shaped his thoughts on Jews, and his tedious rise to "Fur her" in Germany. I also want to answer the question, "was the fall of Hitler preventable or inevitable?"


Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in a small town of Braunau, Austria, near the German border. Both of Hitler's parents came from poor peasant families. Right from the beginning, Hitler had it rough. Three of his sibling died within the first few years of life and only him and a sister would make it into adult hood. Already you can see Hitler was exposed to death and hardship at such a young age, a very traumatic experience for anyone. Hitler's father, Alois, was fifty-one and had already married twice before he met his last wife, Klara (Adolf's mother). Alois was a very strict man who wanted to see his son succeed in life. A son from his previous marriage had been a huge disappointment to him, so he routinely beat and whipped young Adolf to keep him in line, in fear of Adolf becoming like his abandoned first son. As a result of this constant pressure from his father, Hitler did extremely well in primary school and looked destined to become something great. Also, he was very popular with the other students and was portrayed as a great leader, even so young in life. He soon realized school was not as easy as he thought when told he was going to have to repeat a year during his middle school years. This embarrassed Adolf very much and soon saw the respect of his classmates lessen, much like his grades had. Hitler then decided he wanted to become an artist, much to the dismay of his father, and after many arguments, they decided on Realschule, since it offered a drawing course. Soon after this decision, his father died of a hemorrhage in 1903. Since their father worked as a customs official, the Hitler family received a nice pension and never really had to worry about money during this painful time. Hitler was able to cope with the loss of his father because of his mother's ability to spoil him. Klara very much wanted to see her son succeed in school, but, like her husband, failed to keep Adolf's interest in school. After he failed so many times back home, Hitler decided to move to Vienna to try to gain entrance into a prestigious art school. While living in Vienna, he developed his interest in politics as well as his hatred for Jews. Even though he had a few Jewish friends, Vienna was the center on anti-Semitism and Hitler feed off of this cities propaganda. During this time, his mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Her treatment was being diagnosed by a Jewish doctor, Dr. Edward Bloch, who helped serve the poor. After getting rejected by both schools he applied for in Vienna, he then, soon after, had to cope with the loss of his mother (approx. December 1907) after she suffered more than she needed (the Jewish doctor prescribed a rather expensive, dangerous drug which was no help). Hitler was much more distraught after the loss of his mother then of his father. Hitler loved her so much more that, still to this day, many claim that Hitler was clutching a picture of his mother when he died.


It is now 1909 and Hitler has no parents. His financial status was stable due to a nice inheritance from his father when he turned eighteen. Through this time, Hitler would spend most of his mornings in bed reading, his afternoons in the cities studying buildings and museums, and other leisure activities. Reality quickly hit him when he had to flee the country due to his great reluctance to join and serve in the Austro-Hungarian military. It took the authorities four years to catch Adolf (he was living in Munich with a dying aunt at the time). When they did, he was told he would spend a year in prison and still must serve his time in the army. After reporting to Salzburg, the authorities informed him that he was "unfit...too weak...and unable to bear arms." According to Mein Kampf, Hitler was not to upset about getting turned down by the Austrian government and claimed that "I did not want to fight for the Habsburg state, but was ready at any time to die for my people and for the Reich which embodied it (Hitler 163)."


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