Under Nazi rule, the Jews, the homosexuals, the Gypsies, and all the other people, who thought differently, suffered a lot. Such people were instantly send to the concentration camps that were set up by the Nazis, and hundreds and thousands of them were exterminated. Hitler was also a man, who was almost single-handedly responsible for World War II, and the Cold War that followed.
Born on the 20th of April, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a town in Austria, Adolf Hitler was the fourth child of Klara Hitler née Pölzl and Alois Hitler, who was a customs official. Other than him, his parents had 5 children, however, only his sister Paula lived into her adulthood. He also had a stepbrother and a stepsister from his father's previous marriage.
Adolf's early life was spent in Austria. As a child, he was excellent in academics, however, after he lost his younger brother, Edmund, to measles, there came about a drastic change in him. He became depressed and detached, and would fight with people around him, especially his father and his teachers.
Hitler wanted to become an artist. But, he was sent by his father to a technical school, called Realschule in Linz, Austria. He did not do well in school, hoping his father would let him pursue his dream. However, that was not to be. After the sudden demise of his father in 1903, his behavior at school became bad to worse, and he was finally rusticated. He then had to face a very tough time, living on orphan benefits. He lost his mother to cancer, four years after his father's death.
Although he liked drawing, Adolf was unsuccessful in passing the examination at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, twice. Following this, he had to resort to being a casual laborer or a painter or doing some odd jobs, before he joined the Bavarian Army in 1914.
Little is known about Hitler's personal life. Eva Braun was the woman, who was by his side since 1929, however, he did not marry her till 1945. It is said that Hitler was in a romantic relationship with his half-niece Geli Raubal, who committed suicide in his Munich apartment in 1931, using Hitler's Walther. Apparently it was the same gun, which Hitler used to commit suicide. It is said, that the suicide of Geli had a deep impact on Hitler.
Tryst with Politics
At the beginning of the First World War, Hitler went to Munich, and joined the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment, serving as a runner. After the war he was given an award for bravery. It was in 1919, after the end of the war, that Hitler joined the German Workers Party, which he later renamed as the National Socialist German Workers Party, which in turn was abbreviated as the Nazi Party. Soon, he took charge of the propaganda of the party and by 1921, he was the leader.
It was in 1923 that the Nazi Party tried to seize power from the ruling German Weimar Republic, in the famous Beer Hall Putsch. However, Hitler was unsuccessful and was imprisoned. It was during the nine months that he spent in prison that Adolf Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, or My Struggle, his autobiography as well as his manifesto.
He then emerged from prison as a populist spokesman for the nationalistic and poor Germans. In 1932, Hitler tried to become the chancellor by challenging Paul von Hindenburg in the election that was held, but could not succeed. However, after the death of Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler became the Führer and Reichskanzler (chancellor) of Germany in 1934.
...and Emerges the Dictator
After assuming power and becoming the Reichskanzler, Hitler, at once, set about establishing an absolute dictatorship, enforcing his newly formed rules with the help of the Gestapo, his brutal, secret police force. Concentration camps were set up for the organized killing of Jews, political opponents, and Gypsies.
Hitler went about invading and annexing as much territory as he could in Europe, such as the Sudetenland and Austria in 1938, and then, invading Poland on the 1st of September, 1939. Upon this, France and Britain declared war on Germany on the 3rd of September, 1939. This was the beginning of World War II. In the initial years of the war, Adolf Hitler, using the might of the German infantry and tanks, to unleash a Blitzkrieg (lightning war).
Hitler had remarkable success, sweeping through large parts of Western Europe, with nations falling one by one to the great German war machines. He then, attacked the U.S.S.R. in 1941, ignoring the non-aggression pact he had earlier signed with them. After initial victories, Hitler's forces suffered crashing defeats, first at Moscow in December 1941, and then in Stalingrad, in the winter of 1942-43.
It was in the month of December in 1941 that the United States of America entered the World War. The Allies began their invasion of occupied Europe by landing on the French coast at Normandy Beach, in 1944. The German cities then began to be bombed and destroyed as the allied troops entered Germany and made their way to Berlin by 1945. In the meantime, Italy, under the rule of the Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, an ally of Germany, fell.
During the war, many high-ranking Nazis became desperate, and several attempts were made to assassinate Hitler, all of which failed.
As it became apparent that the war was lost, and his hand-picked lieutenants went against his orders, Hitler realized the futility of continuing, and committed suicide on the 30th of April, 1945. However, he married Eva Braun the night before. Reports tell us that both of them killed themselves, together. This incident virtually ended the war as well as the Nazi rule.
The Third Reich
The official name of the Nazi regime was the Third Reich, which Hitler had bragged would last 1000 years, but collapsed within a week after his death.
Apart from the Cold War that followed as a repercussion of World War II (for which Hitler was responsible), another important change happened in the world because of Hitler. Because of the Holocaust, the organized killing of the Jews that was carried out on his orders, the nation of Israel was formed in the Middle East.