In April 20, 1889, Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria. He was a founder and leader of the Nazi Party, Reich Chancellor and guiding spirit of the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945, Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria. In the early 1930s, the mood in Germany was severe. The worldwide economic depression had hit the country especially hard, and millions of people were out of work. Still fresh in the minds of many was Germany’s humiliating defeat fifteen years earlier during World War I, and Germans lacked confidence in their weak government, known as the Weimar Republic.
These conditions provided the chance for the rise of a new leader, Adolf Hitler who was a decorated veteran of World War I, who joined the National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazi party for short. The Nazi Party was made up of a right wing, nationalistic, and anti-Semitic political party. Hitler was a powerful and spellbinding speaker who attracted a wide following of Germans desperate for change.
He promised the disenchanted a better life and a new and glorious Germany. The Nazis appealed especially to the unemployed, young people, and members of the lower middle class such as small storeowners, office employees, craftsmen, and farmers. The Bavarian government was defied the Weimar Republic, accusing it of being too far left. Hitler endorsed the fall of the Weimar Republic, and declared at a public rally on October 30, 1923 that he was prepared to march on Berlin to rid the government of the Communists and the Jews. On November 8, 1923, Hitler held a rally at a Munich beer hall and proclaimed a revolution. The following day, he led 2,000-armed “brown-shirts” in an attempt to take over the Bavarian government. This putsch was resisted and put down by the police, after more than a dozen were killed in the fighting. Hitler suffered a broken and dislocated arm in the melee, was arrested, and was imprisoned at Landsberg. Hitler served only nine months of his five-year term. While in prison, he wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf. It was partly an autobiographical book, which also detailed his views on the future of the German people. There were several targets of the vicious diatribes in the book, such as democrats, Communists, and internationalists. But he reserved the brunt of his vituperation for the Jews, whom he portrayed as responsible for all of the problems and evils of the world, particularly democracy, Communism, and internationalism, as well as Germanys defeat in the War. Jews were the German nation’s true enemy, he wrote. They had no culture of their own, he asserted, but perverted existing cultures such as Germany’s with their parasitism. The partys rise to power was rapid. Before the economic depression struck, the Nazis were practically unknown, winning only 3 percent of the vote to the German parliament in elections in 1924. In the 1932 elections, the Nazis won 33 percent of the votes, more than any other party. In January 1933 Hitler was appointed chancellor, the head of the German government, and many Germans believed that they had found a savior for their nation. Hitler ordered the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938. Hitlers army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, sparking France and England to declare war on Germany. The Blitzkrieg, which is known as the lightning war, of German tanks and infantry swept through most of Western Europe as nation after nation fell to the German war machine. In 1941, Hitler ignored a non-aggression pact he had signed with the Soviet Union in August 1939. Several early victories after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 were reversed with crushing defeats at Moscow and Stalingrad in the winter of 1942 and 1943. The United States entered the war in December 1941. By 1944, the Allies invaded occupied Europe at Normandy Beach on the French coast, bombing was destroying German cities, and Italy, Germany’s major ally under the leadership of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, had fallen. Several attempts were made on Hitler’s life during the war, but none was successful. As the war appeared to be inevitably lost and his handpicked lieutenants, seeing the futility, defied his orders, he killed himself on April 30, 1945. His long-term mistress and new bride, Eva Braun, joined him in suicide.
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