Historian and biographer Ian Kershaw describes Hitler as “the embodiment of modern political evil.” The Nazi regime, under Hitler’s leadership, was responsible for the genocide of millions of people and the deaths of millions more during World War II.
Hitler’s actions and ideology have left a lasting impact on history, and the casualties of the war constitute the deadliest conflict in history. Despite the horrors he unleashed,
Adolf Hitler’s life and actions serve as a reminder of the dangerous and destructive power of totalitarianism and hate.
Who Was Adolf Hitler?
Adolf Hitler was a notorious and influential figure in history, known for being the dictator of Germany from 1933 until his suicide in 1945.
Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician who rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party. He was born on April 20, 1889, in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary (modern-day Austria).
In 1933, he was appointed chancellor, and in 1934, he was appointed Führer und Reichskanzler. During his dictatorship, Hitler launched World conflict II in Europe on September 1, 1939, by invading Poland, and he was heavily involved in military operations throughout the conflict.
Hitler was born near Linz and spent the early 1900s in Vienna before moving to Germany in 1913. During World War I, he served in the German Army and was recognised for his efforts. Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party (DAP), the predecessor to the Nazi Party, in 1919.
He was chosen leader of the Nazi Party in 1921. His effort to capture political control in a failed coup in Munich, however, resulted in his imprisonment for five years. Hitler dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto, Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”), while imprisoned.
Hitler gained popular support after his early release in 1924 by denouncing the Treaty of Versailles and advocating pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism, and anti-communism through charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda.
He regularly accused international capitalism and communism of being part of a Jewish plot. The Nazi Party had the most seats in the Reichstag by November 1932, but it did not have a majority. On January 30, 1933, President Paul von Hindenburg chose Hitler as chancellor with the support of conservative politicians.
The Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933 shortly after Hitler became chancellor, transforming the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany, a one-party dictatorship based on the authoritarian and dictatorial philosophy of Nazism.
After Hindenburg died in August 1934, Hitler took over as head of state and administration. Hitler’s primary goal was to expel Jews from Germany and to construct a “New Order” to oppose what he considered as the injustice of the post-World War I international system ruled by Britain and France.
The Nazi government was responsible for the extermination of around six million Jews and millions of other victims under Hitler’s leadership and racial ideology. His aggressive foreign policy, aimed at guaranteeing “living space” for Germans in Eastern Europe, is widely seen as the principal cause of World War II in Europe.
On September 1, 1939, he supervised large-scale rearmament and invaded Poland, prompting Britain and France to declare war on Germany. Hitler launched an invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, and declared war on the United States in December 1941.
By the end of 1941, German forces and the European Axis powers had conquered most of Europe and North Africa, although these gains were gradually reversed after 1941.
The Allied troops destroyed the German army in 1945, and on April 29, 1945, Hitler married his long-term girlfriend, Eva Braun, at Berlin’s Führerbunker.
The pair committed suicide the next day to avoid capture by the Soviet Red Army, and their bodies were burned in compliance with Hitler’s instructions.
Adolf Hitler’s Brothers and Sisters
Adolf Hitler had two older brothers and one sister, all of whom died when he was a child. They were Gustav, Otto, and Ida. The deaths of his siblings, particularly his younger brother Edmund, who died of measles at the age of 11, had a profound effect on him. This occurrence allegedly had a tremendous impact on Adolf.
An elder half-brother named Alois Jr., a half-sister named Angela, and a younger brother named Edmund were among his surviving siblings. After losing contact with his siblings while pursuing a career as a painter in Vienna, Adolf re-established contact with Angela in 1919.
Angela came to Berchtesgaden with her daughter Geli to work as Adolf’s housekeeper. Adolf was said to have had a sexual relationship with his young half-niece Geli, who died tragically of suicide.
Because of Adolf’s friendship with Eva Braun, Angela withdrew herself from him, and they did not talk again until sometime during World War II. Angela acted as a go-between for Adolf and his other family members, as he preferred not to communicate with them. Adolf left Angela a stipend in his will, but it is unknown whether she ever got it.
Angela said that neither she nor her brother were aware of the concentration camps and that Adolf would have put an end to them if he had known.
Paula, Adolf’s sole full sibling, did not speak to him until the 1930s in Vienna. After losing her job due to her association with her infamous brother, Paula changed her surname to Wolf, a childhood nickname of Adolf.
Adolf supported Paula until he committed suicide in 1945. Former SS members and members of Hitler’s closest circle continued to support Paula after the war. She died without having any children.
Alois Jr., on the other hand, grew estranged from Adolf as a result of severe disagreements with their father and problems with their stepmother, Klara. Adolf stayed with Alois Jr. and his wife for nearly a year to avoid the Austria-Hungary draught. During WWII, Alois owned a popular restaurant and watering hole.
Although he was briefly detained by the British after the war, he was freed since there was no evidence linking him to his brother’s horrible deeds.