Hitler’s Life and Background
April 20th, 1889 in Braunau, Austria, a boy by the name of Adolf Hitler was brought into the world. Though they didn’t know it yet, the same baby Alois and Klara Hitler had just laid their eyes upon would, only 44 years later, be the mastermind behind the worst form of genocide the world has ever seen. Anti-Semitism was the key to Hitler’s door of power. Having had to make his way up from the bottom, building off pre-existing beliefs and prejudices, and mesmerizing his audience with powerful, nationalistic speeches, Hitler easily rose to dictatorship.
Germany was at rock bottom prior to exposure to Hitler and he seemed to be their sturdy ladder back up. Facing humiliation after humiliation was becoming a reoccurring theme for the Germans and Hitler was ready to take the world by storm.
The events between 1889 and 1933 display the main points of build-up leading to Hitler’s toxic regnant. Growing up, Hitler was enthralled by the blonde, Aryan heroes who derived from indestructible, pure, German roots.
Hitler learned early on the benefits of such traits and idealized a physical appearance similar to one that mirrored the men he admired in adolescents. Though Hitler had passions, like Aryan conquerors, he struggled in areas he lacked interest in. His dislike for school and learning was apparent at the beginning of his education and his grades were substantial evidence. Following his father’s death, Hitler dropped out of school and sought out to become an artist free from traditional schooling. Hitler applied to a prestigious art school in Vienna to fulfill one of his life long dreams and self-assured talents. Feeling quite confident and collected, he received news he had been rejected due to lack of skill and ability. Hitler had yet again been confronted with another failure. His life began to spiral downwards as he became homeless and his pockets weightless. During his life on the streets and in hostiles, he began to pick up on German history and anti-semitic literature. Hitler found it best to overuse the blame game and turned his back on certain minority groups including Jews. It’s recorded that A Jewish man pitied Hitler’s living situation and offered him a warm coat in the winter. One person’s actions, good or bad, do not set the tone for an entire group of people. Despite the care Jewish people offered to Hitler, he remained in opposition.
Hatred for Jews was already surfacing prior to Hitler and he only added fuel to the fire as he became a public figure. Anti-Semitism was a popular standpoint for many Christians across Europe directly targeting the Jewish people. During the Great War, all of Germany was in shock by the significant loss after being assured victory was in sight. Many of those had felt betrayed by the Jews on the homefront and belittled them to traitors of the country. Forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was brought to shambles as their army was nearly abolished, left responsible for considerable reparations, and stripped of some major territories. The Weimar Republic also proved failure to the nation as a whole, displaying the need for repairs in the government.
A party in its beginning works would soon rise to power as well as one of their newfound speakers, Adolf Hitler. The Nazi party existed as a far-right political German party to overthrow the previous government and fight against communist uprisings. Stuart Kallen states the purpose of the Nazis as, “The Nazis promised jobs, food, education, and power. They blamed the loss of WWI on the Jews.” (14)
As Hitler gained fame, the minds of his supporters were morphing into one like his. Hitler was almost hypnotic. Crowds gathered laughing, crying, and shouting as Hitler waved his arms all about. The German people lived for Hitler and praised his Nazi based transformation of the government and country.
As a party member, Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Upon reaching this new level, Hitler began the war on Jews within the same year. His goals for “The Final Solution” saw no limits, and he overestimated the abilities and strength of his men. His overconfidence caused alterations to the average lifestyle of those in Germany. Anti-Jewish propaganda became present in newspapers, children’s books and in school lessons for children as young as four years old. Hitler enlisted children and teens into groups entitled “Hitler’s youth” where they were taught to despise the Jews and spy on those who spoke against him. Additionally, Hitler created a secret police bureau, also known as stormtroopers, who were prepared to attack those who evidently opposed Hitler. By this point, Hitler seemed to be unstoppable. No one interfered when he began building concentration camps, forced labor and transit camps, and killing centers. In total, Hitler had 42,000 incarceration sites for the “unwanted” throughout the course of WWII. The Nazi’s were able to mass murder roughly six million Jews which is equivalent to two-thirds of Jewish people in all of Europe.
Following the war, people struggled with the thought of how it could all happen. How Hitler dictated most of Europe and killed off generations of Jewish people, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, disabled and elderly persons, and anyone who resisted the Nazi ideals. It all seemed like a plot straight out of a nightmare. Everyone knew what Hitler had been planning. Hitler stated, “If at the beginning of the war and during the war, twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas, as has happened to thousands of our best German workers in the field. The sacrifice of millions at the front would not have been in vain. ” (Ch. XV)
During the Holocaust, promotion meant murder. Young men had to kill to get somewhere and too many showed no remorse. People were all too willing to turn on their Jewish neighbors, classmates, friends, and coworkers. Every person is accountable for their actions during the war. Logistics workers who managed and oversaw the arrangements, transit staff, and policemen who “guarded” the streets are all responsible. While some people claimed their full support for the Third Reich, others who showed confliction typically decided to remain silent in order to avoid bloodshed and danger upon their families. Though, often when people were given the choice to stop fighting or leave the party, they went on committing atrocities. Historians have yet to find evidence people were threatened if they no longer wished to participate in the Nazi party’s acts. Major Wilhelm Trapp, commander of the Reserve Police Battalion, told his men in one of his speeches that if they didn’t want to take part, they could depart. In the end, only fifteen out of 500 soldiers opted out. The measures taken by men, women, and children were purposeful and personal. When Nazis met confrontation after the war, the most common excuse for their barbarity was that they were simply following orders. Hitler was their god and hate was their religion.
Nearly everyone is affected by the Holocaust and WWII in some way or another. The Holocaust wasn’t a freak accident. Knowing this, we can better learn from the events that took place and Hitler’s idea of a purer nation. Since the war, multiple other continents have been found guilty of similar mass killings. There has never been a shortage of people willing to do secretive and deceitful things for a potentially good outcome. To prevent this, The International Community turned genocide into a criminal defense and established the International Criminal Court for unjust actions. Genocide has been determined as no longer being normalized as a “war tactic.”
In conclusion, Hitler was a confident, charismatic speaker who preached abominations confidently. Like a preacher, Hitler spoke what seemed to be words of wisdom and the German people believed every word. Based on their state of being, the people saw Hitler as a godsend and healer to their social and economic wounds. The popularity of Hitler was toxic and induced immoral outwardness in the German people. Hitler created his own path, manipulated the minds of others, and lied through his teeth flawlessly. Hitler had the people of Germany wrapped around his finger and they weren’t going to let go till the worst was over. What they didn’t know was the intensity of Hitler’s will for sabotage and blood. Germans were blindsided by the voice that told the nation as a whole that all their problems could go away. Jews were sacrificed in exchange for empty promises. Hitler. Hitler is the man with whom we directly link the death of millions and his footprint on the world is permanent and unforgivable.
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April 20th, 1889 in Braunau, Austria, a boy by the name of Adolf Hitler was brought into the world. Though they didn’t know it yet, the same baby Alois and […]