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Hitler's father, Alois Hitler, was an illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber, so his paternity was not listed on his birth certificate; he bore his mother's surname..In 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Maria and in 1876 Alois testified before a notary and three witnesses that Johann was his father..At age 39, Alois took the surname Hitler..This surname was variously spelled Hiedler, Hüttler, Huettler and Hitler, and was probably regularized to Hitler by a clerk. The origin of the name is either "one who lives in a hut" ( Standard German Hütte), "shepherd" (Standard German hüten "to guard", English heed), or is from the Slavic word Hidlar and Hidlarcek.
Despite this testimony, Alois' paternity has been the subject of controversy. After receiving a "blackmail letter" from Hitler's nephew William Patrick Hitler threatening to reveal embarrassing information about Hitler's family tree, Nazi Party lawyer Hans Frank investigated, and, in his memoirs, claimed to have uncovered letters revealing that Alois' mother, Maria Schicklgruber, was employed as a housekeeper for a Jewish family in Graz and that the family's 19-year-old son, Leopold Frankenberger, fathered Alois. No evidence has ever been produced to support Frank's claim, and Frank himself said Hitler's full Aryan blood was obvious. Frank's claims were widely believed in the 1950s, but by the 1990s, were generally doubted by historians. Ian Kershaw dismisses the Frankenberger story as a "smear" by Hitler's enemies, noting that all Jews had been expelled from Graz in the 15th century and were not allowed to return until well after Alois was born.
Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 at half-past six in the evening at the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in Braunau am Inn, Austria±Hungary, the fourth of Alois and Klara Hitler's six children.. Adolf Hitler as an infant At the age of three, his family moved to Kapuzinerstrasse 5 in Passau, Germany where the young Hitler would acquire Lower Bavarian rather than Austrian as his lifelong native dialect. In 1894, the family moved to Leonding near Linz, then in June 1895, Alois retired to a small landholding at Hafeld near Lambach, where he tried his hand at farming and beekeeping. During this time, the young Hitler attended school in nearby Fischlham. As a child, he tirelessly played "Cowboys and Indians" and, by his own account, became fixated on war after finding a picture book about the Franco-Prussian War in his father's things.He wrote in Mein Kampf: "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 way connected with war or, for that matter, with soldiering."
His father's efforts at Hafeld ended in failure and the family moved to Lambach in 1897. There, Hitler attended a Catholic school located in an 11th-century Benedictine cloister whose walls were engraved in a number of places with crests containing the symbol of the swastika. It was in Lambach that the eight year-old Hitler sang in the church choir, took singing lessons, and even entertained the fantasy of one day becoming a priest.In 1898, the family returned permanently to Leonding. His younger brother Edmund died of measles on 2 February 1900, causing permanent changes in Hitler. He went from a confident, outgoing boy who found school easy, to a morose, detached, sullen boy who constantly battled his father and his teachers. Hitler was close to his mother, but had a troubled relationship with his authoritarian father, who frequently beat him, especially in the years after Alois' retirement and disappointing farming efforts. Alois wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as an Austrian customs official, and this became a huge source of conflict between them. Despite his son's pleas to go to classical high school and become an artist, his father sent him to the Realschule in Linz, a technical high school of about 300 students, in September 1900. Hitler rebelled, and in Mein Kampf confessed to failing his first year in hopes that once his father saw "what little progress I was making at the technical school he would let me devote myself to the happiness I dreamed of." Alois never relented, however, and Hitler became even more bitter and rebellious. After Alois' sudden death on 3 January 1903, Hitler's behaviour at the technical school became even more disruptive, and he was asked to leave. He enrolled at the Realschule in Steyr in 1904, but upon completing his second year, he and his friends went out for a night of celebration and drinking, and an intoxicated Hitler tore his school certificate into four pieces and used it as toilet paper. When someone turned the stained certificate in to the school's director, he "... gave him such a dressing-down that the boy was reduced to shivering jelly. It was probably the most painful and humiliating experience of his life."Hitler was expelled, never to return to school again.
At age 15, Hitler took part in his First Holy Communion on Whitsunday, 22 May 1904, at the Linz Cathedral. His sponsor was Emanuel Lugert, a friend of his late father.
EARLY ADULTHOOD MUNICH
From 1905 on, Hitler lived a bohemian life in Vienna on an orphan's pension and support from his mother. He was rejected twice by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (1907±1908), citing "unfitness for painting", and was told his abilities lay instead in the field of architecture.The purpose of my trip was to study the picture gallery in the Court Museum, but I had eyes for scarcely anything but the Museum itself. From morning until late at night, I ran from one object of interest to another, but it was always the buildings which held my primary interest.. Following the school rector's recommendation, he too became convinced this was his path to pursue, yet he lacked the proper academic preparation for architecture school: In a few days I myself knew that I should some day become an architect. To be sure, it was an incredibly hard road; for the studies I had neglected out of spite at the Realschule were sorely needed. One could not attend the Academy's architectural school without having attended the building school at the Technic, and the latter required a high-school degree. I had none of all this. The fulfilment of my artistic dream seemed physically impossible. The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich, by Adolf Hitler, 1914 On 21 December 1907, Hitler's mother died of breast cancer at age 47. Ordered by a court in Linz, Hitler gave his share of the orphans' benefits to his sister Paula. When he was 21, he inherited money from
an aunt. He struggled as a painter in Vienna, copying scenes from postcards and selling his paintings to merchants and tourists. After being rejected a second time by the Academy of Arts, Hitler ran out of money. In 1909, he lived in a shelter for the homeless. By 1910, he had settled into a house for poor working men on Meldemannstraße. Another resident of the house, Reinhold Hanisch, sold Hitler's paintings until the two men had a bitter falling-out. Hitler said he first became an anti-Semite in Vienna, which had a large Jewish community, including Orthodox Jews..
WORLD WAR I
Hitler served in France and Belgium in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment (called Regiment List after its first commander), ending the war as a Gefreiter (equivalent at the time to a lance corporal in the British and private first class in the American armies). He served on the Western Front as a regimental runner, "a relatively safe job" based at regimental headquarters, several miles from the Front..According to research by Dr Thomas Weber of the University of Aberdeen, earlier historians of the period had not distinguished between regimental runners who were based away from the front "in relative comfort", and company or battalion runners who moved among the trenches and were often subjected to machine gun fire. He was present at a number of major battles on the Western Front, including the First Battle of Ypres, the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras and the Battle of Passchendaele. The Battle of Ypres (October 1914), which became known in Germany as the Kindermord bei Ypern (Massacre of the Innocents) saw approximately 40,000 men (between a third and a half) of the nine infantry divisions present killed in 20 days, and Hitler's own company of 250 reduced to 42 by December. Biographer John Keegan has said that this experience drove Hitler to become aloof and withdrawn for the remaining years of war.. On 15 October 1918, Hitler was admitted to a field hospital, temporarily blinded by a mustard gas attack. The English psychologist David Lewis and Bernhard Horstmann suggest the
blindness may have been the result of a conversion disorder (then known as "hysteria")..In fact, Hitler said it was during this experience that he became convinced the purpose of his life was to "save Germany." Some scholars, notably Lucy Dawidowicz argue that an intention to exterminate Europe's Jews was fully formed in Hitler's mind at this time, though he probably had not thought through how it could be done. Most historians think the decision was made in 1941, and some think it came as late as 1942. Two passages in Mein Kampf mention the use of poison gas: At the beginning of the Great War, or even during the War, if twelve or fifteen thousand of these Jews who were corrupting the nation had been forced to submit to poison-gas . . . then the millions of sacrifices made at the front would not have been in vain.. These tactics are based on an accurate estimation of human weakness and must lead to success, with almost mathematical certainty, unless the other side also learns how to fight poison gas with poison gas. The weaker natures must be told that here it is a case of to be or not to be.. Hitler had long admired Germany, and during the war he had become a passionate German patriot, although he did not become a German citizen until 1932. Hitler found the war to be "the greatest of all experiences" and afterwards he was praised by a number of his commanding officers for his bravery.. He was shocked by Germany's capitulation in November 1918 even while the German army still held enemy territory..Like many other German nationalists, Hitler believed in the Dolchstoßlegende ("dagger-stab legend") which claimed that the army, "undefeated in the field," had been "stabbed in the back" by civilian leaders and Marxists back on the home front. These politicians were later dubbed the November Criminals. The Treaty of Versailles deprived Germany of various territories, demilitarised the Rhineland and imposed other economically damaging sanctions. The treaty re-created Poland, which even moderate Germans regarded as an outrage. The treaty also blamed Germany for all the horrors of the war, something which major historians such as John Keegan now consider at least in part to be
victor's justice; most European nations in the run-up to World War I had become increasingly militarised and were eager to fight. The culpability of Germany was used as a basis to impose reparations on Germany (the amount was repeatedly revised under the Dawes Plan, the Young Plan, and the Hoover Moratorium).
Entry into politics
A copy of Adolf Hitler's forged German Workers' Party (DAP) membership card. His actual membership number was 555 (the 55th member of the party ± the 500 was added to make the group appear larger) but later the number was reduced to create the impression that Hitler was one of the founding members.. Hitler had wanted to create his own party, but was ordered by his superiors in the Reichswehr to infiltrate an existing one instead. After World War I, Hitler remained in the army and returned to Munich, where he ± in contrast to his later declarations ± attended the funeral march for the murdered Bavarian prime minister Kurt Eisner.. After the suppression of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, he took part in "national thinking" courses organized by the Education and Propaganda Department (Dept Ib/P) of the Bavarian Reichswehr Group, Headquarters 4 under Captain Karl Mayr. Scapegoats were found in "international Jewry", communists, and politicians across the party spectrum, especially the parties of the Weimar Coalition. In July 1919, Hitler was appointed a Verbindungsmann (police spy) of an Aufklärungskommando (Intelligence Commando) of the Reichswehr, both to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate a small party, the German Workers' Party (DAP). During his inspection of the party, Hitler was impressed with founder Anton Drexler's antisemitic, nationalist, anti-capitalist and anti-Marxist ideas, which favoured a strong active government, a "non-Jewish" version of socialism and mutual solidarity of all members of society. Drexler was impressed with Hitler's oratory skills and invited him to join the party. Hitler joined DAP on 12 September 1919, and became the party's 55th member. He was also made the seventh member of the
executive committee. Years later, he claimed to be the party's seventh overall member, but it has been established that this claim is false. Here Hitler met Dietrich Eckart, one of the early founders of the party and member of the occult Thule Society,Eckart became Hitler's mentor, exchanging ideas with him, teaching him how to dress and speak, and introducing him to a wide range of people. Hitler thanked Eckart by paying tribute to him in the second volume of Mein Kampf
World War II
Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka with Hitler in Berlin, In February 1938, Hitler finally ended the dilemma that had plagued German Far Eastern policy, namely whether to continue the informal Sino-German alliance that existed with Republic of China since the 1910s or to create a new alliance with Japan. The military at the time strongly favoured continuing Germany's alliance with China. China had the support of Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath and War Minister Werner von Blomberg, the so-called "China Lobby" who tried to steer German foreign policy away from war in Europe.. Both men, however, were sacked by Hitler in early 1938. Upon the advice of Hitler's newly appointed Foreign Minister, the strongly proJapanese Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler chose to end the alliance with China as the price of gaining an alignment with the more modern and powerful Japan. In an address to the Reichstag, Hitler announced German recognition of Manchukuo, the Japanese-occupied puppet state in Manchuria, and renounced the German claims to the former colonies in the Pacific held by Japan. Hitler ordered an end to arms shipments to China, and ordered the recall of all the German officers attached to the Chinese Army. In retaliation for ending German support to China in the war against Japan, Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek canceled all of the Sino-German economic agreements, which deprived the Germans of raw materials such as tungsten that the Chinese had previously provided. The ending of the Sino-German alignment increased the problems of German
rearmament, as the Germans were now forced to use their limited supply of foreign exchange to buy raw materials on the open market.
Start of World War II
Adolf Hitler's face on a German stamp 1944. The country's name has changed to the Greater German Reich since 1943 and this as part of the anti-British course, it was deemed necessary by Hitler to have Poland either a satellite state or otherwise neutralized. Hitler believed this necessary both on strategic grounds as a way of securing the Reich's eastern flank and on economic grounds as a way of evading the effects of a British blockade. Initially, the German hope was to transform Poland into a satellite state, but by March 1939 the German demands had been rejected by the Poles three times, which led Hitler to decide upon the destruction of Poland as the main German foreign policy goal of 1939. On 3 April 1939, Hitler ordered the military to start preparing for Fall Weiss (Case White), the plan for a German invasion to be executed on 25 August 1939. In August 1939, Hitler spoke to his generals that his original plan for 1939 had to "... establish an acceptable relationship with Poland in order to fight against the West" but since the Poles would not co-operate in setting up an "acceptable relationship" (i.e. becoming a German satellite), he believed he had no choice other than wiping Poland off the map. The historian Gerhard Weinberg has argued since Hitler's audience comprised men who were all for the destruction of Poland (anti-Polish feelings were traditionally very strong in the German Army), but rather less happy about the prospect of war with Britain and France, if that was the price Germany had to pay for the destruction of Poland, it is quite likely that Hitler was speaking the truth on this occasion. In his private discussions with his officials in 1939, Hitler always described Britain as the main enemy that had to be defeated, and in his view, Poland's obliteration was the necessary prelude to that goal by securing the eastern flank and helpfully adding to Germany's Lebensraum. Hitler was much offended by the British "guarantee" of Polish independence issued on 31 March 1939, and told his associates that "I shall brew them a devil's drink". In a speech in Wilhelmshaven for the launch of the battleship Tirpitz on 1 April 1939, Hitler threatened to denounce the Anglo-German Naval Agreement if the
British persisted with their "encirclement" policy as represented by the "guarantee" of Polish independence..
DEATH OF HITLER:
Hitler took up residence in the Führerbunker on 16 January 1945, where the Allies advanced from both east and west.. By late April, Soviet forces had entered Berlin and were battling their way to the centre of the city.. On 22 April, Hitler said defeat was imminent and that Germany would lose the war. He expressed his intent to kill himself and later asked physician Werner Haase to recommend a reliable method of suicide. Haase suggested combining a dose of cyanide with a gunshot to the head. Hitler had a supply of cyanide capsules.. He also learned of the execution of his ally Benito Mussolini, whose body was hung up and publicly beaten after death, and vowed not to share a similar fate.. After midnight on 29 April, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in a map room.. Hitler and Braun lived together as husband and wife in the bunker for fewer than 40 hours.. Late in the morning of 30 April, with the Soviets less than 500 metres from the bunker.. Hitler, two secretaries, and his personal cook then had lunch..At around 14:30 Adolf and Eva Hitler went into Hitler's personal study. Some witnesses later reported hearing a loud gunshot at around 15:30. After waiting a few minutes, Hitler's valet, Heinz Linge, with Bormann at his side, opened the door to the small study. Linge later stated he immediately noted a scent of burnt almonds, a common observation made in the presence of prussic acid, the aqueous form of hydrogen cyanide. Hitler's SS adjutant, Sturmbannführer Otto Günsche, entered the study to inspect the bodies, which were found seated on a small sofa, Eva's to Hitler's left and slumped away from him. Günsche has since stated that Hitler "...sat...sunken over, with
blood dripping out of his right temple. He had shot himself with his own pistol..."The Walther PPK 7.65 mm pistol lay at Hitler's feet. According to Hitler's SS bodyguard, Oberscharführer Rochus Misch, Hitler's head was lying on the table in front of him. Blood dripping from his temple and chin had made a large stain on the right arm of the sofa..Eva's body had no visible physical wounds and Linge assumed she had poisoned herself.. Günsche announced that the Führer was dead. Immediately afterwards, several people in the bunker began smoking cigarettes (which had been forbidden, given Hitler's strong dislike for smoking). Several witnesses said the two bodies were carried up to ground level and through the bunker's emergency exit to a small, bombed-out garden behind the Chancellery where they were doused with petrol and set alight by Linge and members of Hitler's personal SS bodyguard..
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