When people think of the Holocaust, they typically think of mass genocide of the Jewish community, all caused by Adolf Hitler. But no one ever really talks about what he was like before the Holocaust. Was he a good child, or has he always been so full of hate and prejudice? Most would assume he has always been hateful, but why? Hitler was actually an okay student, but events in his life may have led to his hateful personality.
Hitler was born, ironically, on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1889. Adolf was surrounded by death from an early age: “Adolf had five siblings, but only one lived past childhood” (“What Is Known”). Gustav, Ida, Otto, and Edmund all died early in their lives. Only his sister Paul survived, living to 64 years old. All of these children were born to Alois and Klara Hitler. Alois and Adolf did not have a good relationship. Although Alois was an Austrian Customs official, he had quite a temper. Alois “was obnoxious and conceited, and he often took his problems out on his children” (“What Is Known”). Klara, on the other hand, was kind and caring. But because of the misogynistic society, women didn’t have much power, so she could do little in attempt to control her dominating husband (“What Is Known”). In school, Adolf was capable, but simply was lazy. Although Hitler was excellent in art, his father wouldn’t have it: “[Alois] was shocked and totally disapproving when the young Hitler told him of his desire to be an artist” (“Adolf”). Once Alois died when Hitler was a teenager, there was no one to keep him in school. Hitler dropped school and began his political career (“Adolf”). But before that “On December 21, 1907, one of the greatest losses that Hitler felt in his life was the death of his mother to breast cancer” (“What Is Known”).
Although Hitler jumped in to a political career, he always had the dream of becoming an artist, but he never got accepted into art schools because they saw him as just a landscape artist. He jumped into a career of politics with the help of his french teacher Eduard Humer after participating in the army in WWI. Hitler’s passion for his country led him to fight hard and fight well. However, this is also the time when he grew his hatred for the Jewish community; he believed they were the cause of Germany’s loss in WWI. His teacher, Humer was in the position to reveal that Adolf was a poor and lazy student once he started climbing to power; obviously this would make him seem like a poor candidate and president of Germany. By some miracle to Hitler, Humer didn’t talk. Hitler began with Chancellor of Germany before working his way up to President of Germany. He was elected Chancellor in 1933 and people began to fear him: “After 1933, those who had known Hitler in his early years either kept quiet about what they knew or told those who chose to listen that he was an ideal student etc” (“Adolf”). However, Hitler’s work with anti-semitism began long before this: “In 1919, Hitler attended his first meeting of the German Workers’ party, an anti-Semitic, nationalist group as a spy for the German Army. However, he found he agreed with Anton Drexler’s German nationalism and anti-Semitism” (“Adolf” HISTORY). Hitler grew more and more passionate about this group and by 1921 he was elected as the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, otherwise known as the Nazi Party. Because of the poor economic conditions in Germany‒depression, inflation, etc.‒ Hitler was able to get up to 6.5 followers of the Nazi Party. This boosted him to Chancellor in 1933 then president in 1934. After getting this power, Hitler wanted to secure it: “In office, Hitler set about consolidating his power, appointing Nazis to government and gaining control of emergency powers. He eliminated all opposition, in the name of emergency control and, with the death of Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler’s power was secured” (“Adolf” HISTORY). This was the beginning of Hitler attempting to control other regions and countries by going tin with his military and essentially starting a war. In the end, nearing the end of the war Hitler committed suicide: “Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, with his long term girlfriend Eva Braun, who he is thought to have perhaps married at the last minute. Germany’s surrender followed soon after” (“Adolf” HISTORY).
Adolf Hitler is an infamous man who is only thought of as the man who committed genocide. He had a childhood and a life before that and it is researched every day. Who would’ve guessed that on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1889, a murderer would be brought into the world.
Photo Cred: http://www.history.co.uk/biographies/adolf-hitler
Photo Cred: http://totallyhistory.com/adolf-hitler/
“Adolf Hitler.” HISTORY. AETN UK, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.history.co.uk/biographies/adolf-hitler>.
“Adolf Hitler”. HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web. 27 April 2015. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Adolf-hitler.htm>.
“What Is Known About Adolf Hitler’s Childhood?.” YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 27 April 2015. <http://biography.yourdictionary.com/articles/adolf-hitlers-childhood.html>.