Hitler and Nazi Germany

Nathan Burton

Adolf Hitler as a kid

Adolf Hitler was born in the Austrian town of Braunau-am-Inn on 20th April 1889. The town was close to the Austro-German border and his father, Alois, worked as a border control clerk. His mother, Klara, was a housekeeper.

As a child he got on very well with his mother but he didn't get on well with his father, a strict authoritative disciplinarian. He attended school from the age of six years but did not do well in academic subjects. His school record showed reasonable grades for PE and some artistic talent.

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Adolf Hitler attracting attenttion

In 1921, Hitler became leader of the party and soon began attracting attention, especially for his powerful speeches. Hitler stirred up Nationalist passion giving the people something to blame for Germany’s problems. Hitler’s opponents tried to disrupt the meetings so for protection Hitler set up the SA – Stormtroopers. Although the actual membership of the NAZI party remained quite low in this period, Hitler, through his meetings and speeches had given them a very high profile.

Adolf Hitler - Speech (1933)

Hitler building his army

As Fuhrer, Hitler began building his Third Reich. Ignoring the terms of the Treaty of Versailles he began building up the army and weapons. The Nuremburg Laws passed in 1935 defined Hitler's ideal pure Aryan German citizen and barred Jews from holding any form of Public office. In March 1936 Hitler began reclaiming land taken from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles by re-occupying the Rhineland. The move was unopposed by Britain and France. Anschluss with Austria in Spring 1938 was followed in the Autumn by the reclaiming of the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia.
Adolf Hitler Plans For World Dominance

Jews being killed and put in camps

Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, communists and other 'undesirables' from Germany and Nazi-controlled countries were forced to wear identification badges. Jews were sent to concentration camps where the fit and healthy were put to forced labour while the young, old and sick were exterminated in gas chambers. In January 1942 plans to exterminate the entire Jewish population known as 'The Final Solution' were approved.

Defeat of the Nazis and Hitlers death

Defeat at the second battle of El Alamein in November 1942 was followed by defeat at Stalingrad. Hitler's refusal to allow soldiers to retreat and blind perusal of his goals led some Nazi members to question his leadership. In July 1944 an attempt was made to assassinate Hitler. The attempt failed and the perpetrators were executed.

Throughout late 1944 and early 1945 the Germans were pushed back towards Berlin by the Allies in the west and the Russians in the East. On April 29th 1945 Adolf Hitler married his long-term mistress Eva Braun and a day later the pair committed suicide.

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