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The Rise of The Fuhrur before World War 1 (Fall 2012)

            Adolf Hitler is known worldwide as one of the most evil men to ever exist in human history. He is most notably known as the fearless leader that brought Germany together after the tragedies’ of World War 1 and the Great Depression. He was a member of the German Workers party (DAP) and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) or more commonly known as the Nazi party. He was the fearless dictator that led Nazi Germany into World War 2 against the Allies, in hopes of world domination. Adolf Hitler made many decisions, and took drastic actions that resulted in the world’s worst war in history, as well as the genocide of nearly 11 million people. Several events transpired throughout Hitler’s life, to allow him to eventually rise to power of the German Nation in the 1940’s. Hitler’s childhood, family life and upbringing had a significant influence on molding him into the German Nationalistic, anti-Semitic Fuhrer he soon became. His harsh upbringing, lack of childhood and fascination with German Nationalism, hate for Jews and inherent need to rule are all factors that influenced who he was as a person, human, and tyrant. Furthermore, several key history forces had a huge impact on him as a child, his family, and the reasons to enter World War 1.

            Hitler’s early youth and upbringing had a significant influence on what type of man he would grow up to become. Adolf Hitler was born at 6:30pm on April 20th, 1889 in a tiny rural Austrian Village named Braunau Ann. His mom Klara, and Father Alois had 5 other children an older sister Angela, a younger sister Paula and a younger brother Edmound and 2 other siblings that died in infancy. According to the article “Hitler’s Boyhood” on the History Place Website His father Alois was an illegitimate baby born by Hitler’s grandmother Maria Anna Schickgluber, and an unknown father. This fact is significant because rumor has it that Hitler never did find out who his father was, leading people to believe that his grandfather and father may have been of Jewish descent. Stated in the article “Adolf Hitler Biography” by Phil Stokes on The Second world War webpage, when Hitler’s father’s parents died, he took his honorable uncle’s last name of Hiedler to carry on the family legacy, a mistake occurred in the recording process though, resulting in Alois new name becoming “Hitler” instead of “Hiedler”. According to the 1996 article “Hitler is Homeless in Vienna” on the History place Webpage Adolf Hitler’s family was not very wealthy and they owned and lived on a farm in Linz Austria, each child had strict farm chores and were under the iron rule of a very strict and abusive father. Phil Stokes goes on further to state In 1895 Adolf entered primary school at the same time his father retired. These events brought down very drastic and strict rules laid out for Adolf to follow and he soon became overwhelmed and depressed by the overwhelming control of his father and teachers. Adolf his mother and his siblings were subject to their father’s physical and verbal abuse as early as age 7.

             "Adolf challenged my father to extreme harshness and got his sound thrashing every day. He was a scrubby little rogue, and all attempts of his father to thrash him for his rudeness and to cause him to love the profession of an official of the state were in vain. How often on the other hand did my mother caress him and try to obtain with her kindness where the father could not succeed with harshness" this was said by Hitlers older sister Angela, in the article “Adolf Hitler” found on the Biography channel Website. Hitler was shaped into a hard cold man from a very young age. 

            Due to the father’s retirement, the family moved around Austria quite a bit. They eventually landed In Lambach Austria, which according to an article entitled “Profile of Adolf Hitler 1889-1945” on the schoolhistory.com.uk webpage the move was a harsh transition from the country to the city for the Hitler family. Adolf enrolled in Monastery school where he thrived and idolized the priests dreaming of maybe becoming a man of God someday.

             Shortly after the family soon moved again to Leonding Austria, this constant switching and unstable life really made childhood hard for Adolf and his siblings. At his new school his interests instantly switched from God and the Church to Drawing and Architecture where he also thrived and achieved good grades. Family and Society were big historical forces that impacted Adolf as a youth. His strict upbringing and values his father possessed caused Hitler to be cold and heartless. Also, his move from rural Austria to Urban Austria was a tough one, due to societies negative beliefs and tendency to look down upon country folks. Religion influenced Adolf and the family by forcing the children to accept Christianity and attend Religious schools. This provided a start into Adolf’s feelings of anti-Semitism in the near future.

             All was well with the family until Edmound, Adolfs younger brother died suddenly of the Measles at age 6. This was very hard on the family and especially on young Adolf. His grades begin to slip and his personality and attitude began to take a turn for the worst. Despite the tragedy Adolf still dreamed of becoming an artist one day. This dream seemed very out of reach though, In the article “The Rise of Hitler” by Mike Dowling on mr.dowling.com said that Alois, the father did not permit Adolf to seek this type of employment and livelihood. He wanted him to become involved in civil works, or the government like he was. He felt that an artist is not a worthy and honorable occupation and rejects and crushed Adolf’s dreams. This ties into other history forces, the role of specific individuals comes into play here; Adolf’s father had significant impact on the man he would become, shaping his son into a cruel dictator by his harsh rule and forced beliefs. Furthermore, the “city Kids” Adolf is now surrounded by at his new school severely look down upon him as an incapable, stupid country boy as stated in Jennifer Rosenbergs article “Who Was Adolf Hitler” This extreme disapproval really hurts Adolf and sends him into a deeper and darker depression. 

            One day Adolf is rummaging through his dads belongings when he stumbles upon a picture book of the German French war of 1870-1871. After this discovery Hitler became obsessed with German Nationalism warfare and Politics. "It was not long before the great historic struggle had become my greatest spiritual experience. From then on, I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any was connected with war or, for that matter, with soldering," Hitler stated in his book Mein Kampf.

            Earth and the Environment as a historical force also had influence on young Adolf. Hitler’s home was located close to the German border, and like many other Austrians in the area this fact of geography caused him to consider himself a “German-Austrian” and sang the German Anthem with his friends proudly instead of the Austrian Imperial Anthem. He felt like Germany was a stronger more unified country and he enjoyed associating with that over Austria’s melting pot according to Jennifer Rosenberg, in her article “Who Was Adolf Hitler” on about.com

            Another major turning point in Adolf’s childhood takes place In January 1903, when his father Alois dies unexpectedly. Adolf is only 13 years old and is now the rightful head of his household. He was now out of the watchful eye and scrutiny of his harsh father and was permitted to make his own decisions for once. With Hitler’s fathers passing, the family was left a decent amount of money allowing Adolf to drop out of highschool and move to Vienna and attend the Academy of Fine Arts in October 1907. Arts and New ideas came into play here, with Hitler rejecting the normal work of his people and family, and setting off onto a new adventure pursuing drawing which went against his late fathers beliefs. He was just 18 years old and left his sisters and mother who was dying of breast cancer to become an artist. Soon after arriving Adolf failed his entrance exam twice and was sent back home to take care of his family. His mother soon dies shortly afterward and Adolf again picks up and heads back for Vienna once again. All the events that have transpired in Adolf’s life up to this point are really starting to shape his personality. 

            Upon returning to Vienna he is homeless for a number of years because he has no job and no desire to seek work because he believes he is superior to others and needs no formal work. He also has a poor attitude and bi-polar like personality, as described by his friends in the article “Hitlers Boyhood-1895-1903” on The History Place webpage he has a short temper, and can become very hysterical in an instant. His fathers harsh rule and disapproval of him has left him very naïve and bitter.

            Hitler’s interest and German Nationalism only grows from here on, according to The Biography Channel and the article “Adolf Hitler” he was noted to constantly be discussing politics and giving speeches at the various homeless shelters he attended. He was said to become very confrontational to any opposition and really believed he was meant to lead people. He was a very smart man, but lacked discipline schooling never taught him and put his efforts and brains toward evil. Vienna was facing huge turmoil with religious and racial affiliations at the time, and Adolf began studying numerous philosophers and according to his writings in his book Mein Kampf and Phil Stokes article “Adolf Hitler Biography” this is where he developed a racist, nationalistic, anti-Semitic attitude towards the world. He once stated that his lack of childhood, and endless poverty took away all his kindness and compassion as a young man. “I owe it to that period that I grew hard and am still capable of being hard” (Mein kampf).  

            When Adolf turned 21 he was still residing in Vienna and his love and interest in politics only flourished here as elections were taking place. He observed the Pan German Nationalists and the Christian Socialist Party, which just furthered his interest in German Nationalism and anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism was trending and very popular among the middle class in Vienna and Hitler fit right in with this movement emulating some of its early leaders like Vienna mayor Karl Lueger. Politics and Government as a historical force is essential in this part of young Adolf’s life. His political views, favoring Germany and rejecting Austria and the Jewish religion was a key stepping stone in molding him into the hateful leader he eventually became.

            The most influential turning point towards anti-Semitism in Adolf’s life is described in another of his writings in Mein Kampf found in the article “The Young Adolf” found on the adolfhitler.dk website. He was walking down the street and noticed a man he could not identify with, this confusion of where this man came from forced Adolf to immerse himself in anti-Semitic literature to be able to tell the differences between the Jews and the superior German people.

            At age 24 Hitler fled Vienna to avoid the military draft because he did not support the mixed races and ethnicities Austria represented and he fled to Munich Germany. Shortly after his arrival in Munich he enlisted in the Bavarian Regiment of the German Army in August 1914 to do his part in World War 1. This final decision by Hitler to enlist with the German army will eventually lead to his unstoppable reign of power. After Germany is crushed and solely blamed for World War 1 by the Allies, the decimated and depression stricken country of Germany is desperate and vulnerable, which allows such a madman to rise to power. This rise to power and manipulation of the German people is what will lead to the Holocaust and World war 2 the worst war to ever phase the planet.

  1. Adolf, Hitler,  n.d. The Biography Channel Website. December 9,2012, 11:13 http://www.biography.com/people/adolf-hitler-9340144.
  2. Dowling, Mike. January 22, 2006. The Rise of Hitler. MR.Dowling Webpage.December 9, 2012, http://www.mrdowling.com/706-hitler.html.
  3. Field, M. March 30,2003. Profile of Adolf Hitler-1889-1945, School History website. http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/lessons/riseofhitler/profile.htm.
  4. Hitlers Boyhood 1895-1903. The History Place 1996. December 9, 2012. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/boyhood.htm.
  5. Hitler is Homeless in Vienna 1909-1913. The History Place 1996. December 9, 2012. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/boyhood.htm.
  6. Rosenberg, Jennifer. N.d. Who Was Adolf Hitler. 20th Century History Guide. About.com webpage, December 9, 2012. http://history1900s.about.com/library/holocaust/blhitler.htm.
  7. Stokes, Phil. July 12, 2008. Adolf Hitler Biography. The Second World war Website. December 9, 2012. http://secondworldwar.co.uk/index.php/biography-of-adolf-hitler.