Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria. As he was known in his youth, spent his childhood in Austria. His father, Alois Schickelgruber Hitler, retired from civil service in 1895, when Hitler was only six, which created a tense, strict atmosphere at home.  When Hitler was 13 his father passed away and his mother Klara Poelzl had to care for Hitler and his siblings by herself. Times were tough for the Hitler household. In 1905, at age 16, Adolf quit school and never returned.

Hitler dreamed of becoming an artist, so in 1907 he applied to the painting school at the Vienna Academy of Art. He did not pass the entrance exam. After his mother passed away just a few months later from breast cancer, Hitler again tried to apply to the Vienna Academy of Art, but this time he was not even allowed to take the test.

In May 1913 Hitler left Vienna for Munich and, when war broke out in August 1914, he joined the Sixteenth Bavarian Infantry Regiment, serving as a kill runner. On October 13, 1918, a gas attack caused him to go temporarily blind. While recuperating in a hospital, Hitler heard the news of the end of the war and of Germany’s defeat. His anger and feelings of betrayal shaped his and the world’s future.

After the war, many in Germany felt betrayed by the German government for their sudden and unexpected surrender. The subsequent inflation made even finding a job and day-to-day living difficult for the average German citizen. In 1919, Hitler was working for an army organization in which he checked-up on burgeoning local political groups. While spying on these groups in September 1919, Hitler found one he liked. Soon after joining the group (he became the 55th member), he was leading it.

By July 1932, Hitler had enough support to run for president of Germany, though he lost the election to Paul von Hindenburg. However, on January 30, 1933, Hindenburg appointed Hitler as chancellor of Germany. Within a year and a half, Hitler was able to take over both the position of president (Hindenburg died) and chancellor and combine them into one position of supreme leader, the Führer.

During the beginning of World War II, the German war machine seemed unstoppable. However, the tide turned at the Battle of Stalingrad in the beginning of 1943. As the Allied Army got closer to Berlin, Hitler continued to control his regime from the safety of an underground bunker. Soon, even that was no longer safe.

On April 29, 1945, he married his mistress Eva Braun. The following day Hitler committed suicide, shooting himself through the mouth with a pistol. His body was carried into the garden of the Reich Chancellery by aides, covered with petrol and burned along with that of Eva Braun.

 

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