Writing about Hitler is very difficult for any historian because he is universally recognized as a dictator. This generalization has prevented any subjective thinking into the study of the life of Hitler. However, I tried to draw my case point on very solid and neutral grounds about the life of Adolf Hitler and his involvement in the Second World War and his famous NAZI Movement. It is a fact that so much has been said about Hitler but what remains crystal clear is that his life and times have not been explicitly examined. I gave it a try, merging my earlier knowledge about Hitler and some research in online and physical libraries. With this great analysis, any reader should increase his scope about Hitler, and this should not be taken as a finality but rather as a curiosity intriguing process and that after reading this, you should search more publications and documentaries about the world’s most dangerous man, Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler was born in Austria and was the 6th born to Alois Hitler who was a customs official. He grew up in Linz area and after his father’s death, he used the inheritance money to migrate to Vienna where he unsuccessfully applied to Academy of Fine Arts to study Arts. This rejection badly disappointed Hitler rendering him homeless as he had spent all the money he had. In 1913 he migrated to Munich, Germany where his love for fascist and anti-semitic ideas started.
When The 1st World War began in 1914, he applied to join the German Army. He took part in very important wars such The Battle of Somme though his critics report that he was always at the back and never participated in any frontline activities. However, for his duties in the army, Hitler was awarded The Iron Cross First Class and The Black Wounded Badge for his bravery. Germany lost the World War 1, and Hitler particularly felt that The German Army failed the German Civilians. This resentment was further increased by the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to pay all the expenses after it found her guilty of fuelling the 1st World War. This Treaty also saw Germany surrender her foreign territories including Tanganyika, modern day Tanzania. All this occurrences really disturbed Hitler who pointed fingers directly to the German Government for letting her citizenry down.
After 1st World War, he returned to Munich and became an intelligent officer in the German Army. It was during this time that he monitored the activities of German Workers’ Party (DAP). He adopted its many anti-semitic and anti-Marxist ideas. He soon joined DAP and changed its name to Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei famously abbreviated as NAZI. Hitler designed the Nazi banner appropriating the swastika symbol, placing it into a white circle with a read background. He immediately began public speeches and bar hall debates. His speeches were centered against the Treaty of Versailles, Marxists and the Jews. In 1921, he replaced Drexler Anton as the President of NAZI. Hitler’s speeches drew thousands of followers including very strong members of the government. The most notable being Ernst Rohm, the head of paramilitary organization called Sturmabteiling who offered security to Hitler. On November 8, 1923, they together stormed a public meeting led by Bavarian Prime Minister Gustav Kahr in Munich.
In 1932, the ambitious Hitler contested for Presidency against an 84 year old Palivon Hindenburg for presidency. At this time millions were unemployed thanks to The Great Depression. Hitler got the perfect opportunity to spread his fascist and extreme ideologies. In that elections, the very young and high rising Hitler managed 36% in both rounds of elections and came second after the aging Hindenburg. In a bid to create a unitary government, President Hindenburg appointed Hitler as the Chancellor. Hindenburg got extremely unwell after this, a chance which Hitler used to exalt himself politically. First, he scraped off the presidency and merged it with the position of the chancellor, and he became the Head of state, government and the Commander In Chief of the Forces. He declared himself Furhrer, or the overall leader. He immediately suspended the constitution and ruled at will. He quickly outlawed the basic rights and allowed detention without trial. On July 14, 1933, Hitler declared Nazi the only legal political party in Germany. He went ahead to pull out Germany from The League of Nations. Any person who opposed the military was killed, leading to the famous Night of Long Knives, a series of assassinations in July 1934. Nazi went forward to institute draconian regulations to restrict the German Jews. Nazi called for boycott of the Jews owned businesses, then dismissed all Jews from State Service, this was followed by expelling Jews from schools and finally outlawing them from joining the medical and legal careers. This was only the first round of Jews persecution and what followed was even worse. Nazi moved forward to classify anyone who had up to four generational line of Jews as a Jew.
Nazi banned any marriage between a Jew Germany and non-Jew Germans in what it called Law of Protection of German Blood and Honor. In November, Nazi led a violent raid of Jews in Germany, Austria and Sudetenland destroying Jewish homes and businesses killing hundreds of Jews in what came to be called the night of broken glasses, or Kristallnacht. It saw 3,000 Jewish men forced into concentration camps. The Nazi policies were detrimental too to the rights of gays and people with disabilities. Hitler himself announced that gays were sick people and criminals. He authorized euthanasia program on people with disabilities.
During the 2nd World War, Nazi killed 11 million people who were noncombatants, more than half being Jews. This genocide came to be known as The Holocaust. Others who suffered in the persecution included the Poles, the homosexuals, trade unionists, members of Jehovah Witness sect, communists and prisoners of war. Hitler subjected the prisoners to starvation, torture and horrifying brutalities such as being used as lab rats in medical experiments.
In 1938, Hitler together with several other European leaders signed the Munich Pact. The treaty ceded the Sudetenland districts to Germany, a complete reverse of Treaty of Versailles. This made The Time Magazine to name Adolf Hitler as the Man of the Year, 1938. This increased his desire to see Germany win more conquests. His sudden appetite made him invade Poland, officially marking the beginning of World War 2. Britain and France quickly declared war on Germany. In 1940, the highly motivated Nazi invaded Norway, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium. Germany in a bid to solidify its base formed an alliance with Japan and Italy, this alliance was called the Axis Power. In June 1941, Hitler sent massive German Army troops to The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. The troops seized Russia but Hitler halted the invasion. To honour the Axis Alliance, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941. On the other end, Britain under the most powerful crown and leadership of Prime Minister Winston Churchil, United States with the most powerful financial base under Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Soviet Union under the strongest military strategist Joseph Stalin formed an alliance dubbed Allied Powers.
Hitler had banked on playing the Allied Powers against each other, but this became the most tragic miscalculation that spelt doom on Nazi Germany. In 1942, the German Army failed to capture Suez Canal and it badly lost the battle of Stalingard. This was followed by the loss at Kursk. On June 6, 1944, the Allied Powers landed in France and landed the German Army a thunderous defeat. This was the beginning of the end of Hitler. The German army quickly resented Hitler blaming him for the defeat and started planning for his assassination. He was unsuccessfully assassinated in the famous July Plot.
By 1945, it became apparent to everyone that Nazi Germany was going to lose the war badly. The Soviet Union had pushed the German army into Western Europe and completely surrounded Berlin and Allied Powers were quickly advancing from the West. This sandwiched German Army in the middle without space to escape. In January 1945, Nazi changed tactics and started the underground air raids. The command center was planted in Reich Chancellery in Berlin. It also became the Hitler’s bunker.
At midnight, April 29, 1945, Hitler tied the knot with Eva Braun in the underground bunker. Hitler did this after receiving information that his friend and dictator Benito Mussolini of Italy had been executed and he was afraid that the same fate would follow him. The candles dimmed on the life of strongman Adolf Hitler on April 30, 1945, just a day after his wedding when he committed suicide. He took a dose of cyanide and the shot himself with the gun in the head. It is believed that his wife also poisoned herself with cyanide around the same time. This brings well the particular adage that those who live by the gun die by the gun. Their bodies were burnt with gasoline at a bomb crater next to his bunker. Between May 2-7, 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers.
Hitler caused terrible destruction to the world.
He left a devastated Europe and inflicted human suffering and led to deaths of tens of millions of people. He single handedly led to the Second World War. But in history, he is credited for creating a historical event that has remained a point of scholarly research more than a half a century later.