Shoah Home Page Hitler A Brief History The Camps Auschwitz-Birkenau Belsen and Flossenburg Stutthof-Sztutowo and Mauthausen Cogs In The Killing Machine Holocaust Time Line PIctures of the Holocaust Guest Book Page Realblog Resource Page

Hitlers Early Years. The Making of a Tyrant

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20 1889 in the small village of Braunau in Austria. His father Aloise (Schickelgruber) Hitler, was a 52 year-old
Austrian customs official. His mother was Klara Poelzl Hitler, a peasant girl who was still in her twenties when she gave birth to Adolf.

In 1895. Adolf entered the Volksschule (public school) in the village of Fischlham. In 1897-8, his devout mother sent him to the monastery school at Lambach. Klara's hoped that her son would become a monk. The young Adolf was caught smoking by the monks and was expelled. After Hitlers expulsion, the family moved to Leonding, a small suburb off Linz.

From 1900-1904 he attended the Realschule (high school for science) and from 1904-1905 at Steyr.  Adolf quit school at the age of sixteen without graduating.

For the next two years the young HItler spent his time reading German history and mythology,  we also revelled books on the American wild west.  His only true desire at this stage of his life was to become a renowned artist.

In October 1907, he went to Vienna to make a start at his potential carreer even though his beloved mother was extremly ill with cancer.

In Vienna, he tried to gain access to the Fine Arts Academy but failed the admission examination. Hitlers pride took a serius knock, which he would never get over.

In December 1908, Hitler lost his mother to cancer and for the next five years, he had to rely on charity to survive as well as sell little postcard paintings he had made.   

It it belived that Hitler learnt to 'Jew hate' whilst he lived in Vienna, however this hate never really materialized until after Germanys defeat in the First World War. It was here that he also rejected the teachings of Karl Marx and started drifting towards the influences of the right wing writer, Karl Lueger. His hatred for democracy also incresed as he found it extremely difficult to make ends meet.

Hitler qiut Vienna in May 1913 and headed towards Munich, Germany. By now Hitler was feeling more German than Austrian. But in Munich he found no solace. Poverty and despair followed him there. 

In February 1914, Hitler was recalled to Austria to sit a medical examination for compulsary military service. It has been claimed that he was regarded as too weak and unfit to bear arms, but when war broke out in August 1914, he wrote to the King of Bavaria and asked to serve in his army.

Hitler was assigned to the 16th Bavarian Infantry (List Regiment) and soon found himself serving on the Western Front. Until 1916, he served as an orderly and then later as a dispatch bearer. Hitler was wounded twice whilst serving at the front. He was awarded the Iron Cross (Second Class) in 1914 and was given the Iron Cross (First Class) on 4 August 1918. Hitler recieved the Iron Cross (1st Class) award for delivering an important dispatch to a front line trench command post under heavy fire. Though in Nazi controlled history lessons German school children would be given a more romantic version of events i.e. the capture of a group of French soldiers. Even though Hitler did well on the Front, he never was promoted above the rank of corporal. Whilst at the Front, rumours circulated that he was a homosexual, this may well have been because Hitler never spoke about a girlfriend nor did he ever visit the  local whore houses with his comrades when off duty. 



After Germany's humiliating defeat in World War One, Hitler returned to munich, Bitter and disillusioned. He blamed the Jews and Marxists at home for Germanys defeat. Hitler was kept on the regimental roster and was assigned to spy on post-war political parties. In 1919, he was assignged to investigate a small radical group calling themselves the'Deutscher Arbeiterparie' (German Workers Party) The party had no program or no plan of action, but the rhetoric they spun, caught Hitler's attention and he soon resigned his role within the regiment and enlisted into the'Deutscher Arbeiterparie' Membership number 55. He soon found himself on the party's Executive Committee and within two years he advanced to the leadership of the party. With this he changed the partys name to the National Socialist Deutscher Arbeitparty. (NAZI party)

Hitler transformed the NAZI movement with superb speeches and politcal rallies. In 1923 He believed that the Weimar Republic was ripe to overthrow and he helped organise a purge which became known as the Beer Hall Putsch, on November 8 1923. The Putsch was a complete failure in terms of overthrowing the German government, but it did achieve in giving Him and his party a platform of high media attention.

Hitler was sentenced to five years imprisonment for high treason for which he served only nine months in Landsberg Prison. It was whilst he was serving his sentence, that he dictated his biography, which he called 'Mien Kampf' (My Struggle). After his release from prison in December 1924, Hitler set about rebuilding his party, assisted by two close followers, Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels, a master at propoganda and Captain Hermann Goering, a World War One ace fighter pilot. It is at this stage that Hitler pledged to destroy the Weimar Republic from within the democratic framework.

His dream became reality on 30 January 1933 when he was offered the title of Chancellor.


Only one thing stood in Hitlers way as total leader of the German nation; President Von Hindenburg. President Hindenburg was known to despise the little corporal. Hitler had tried and failed to beat Hindenburg at the presidential elections for the office of President. In the elections of April 1932, Hitler polled 13,418,011 votes to Hindenburgs, 19,359,650 votes. Hitler would have to wait until Hindenburgs death on August 2 1934 before claiming the office of President and of the Reich's Fuehrer. Hitler was now master of Germany and with it the road to war and genocide.