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Adolf Hitler 1889-1945


Adolf Hitler was born in Branau am Inn, Austria, on April 20, 1889. He rose to power in German politics as leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, also known as the Nazi Party. Hitler was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and dictator from 1934 to 1945. His policies precipitated World War II and the Holocaust. Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, in his Berlin bunker.

When Hitler was three, the family moved from Austria to Germany.Hitler showed an early interest in German nationalism, rejecting the authority of Austro-Hungary. This nationalism would become the motivating force of Hitler’s life. At the outbreak of World War I, Hitler applied to serve in the German army. He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross First Class and the Black Wound Badge. After World War I, Hitler returned to Munich and continued to work for the military as an intelligence officer.

To increase its appeal, the DAP changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP). Hitler personally designed the party banner, featuring a swastika in a white circle on a red background. Hitler soon gained notoriety for his vitriolic speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians, Marxists and Jews. In 1921, Hitler replaced Drexler as NSDAP party chairman.

The Great Depression in Germany provided a political opportunity for Hitler. Hitler used his position as chancellor to form a de facto legal dictatorship. Having achieved full control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler and his political allies embarked on a systematic suppression of the remaining political opposition. By the end of June, the other parties had been intimidated into disbanding. On July 14, 1933, Hitler's Nazi Party was declared the only legal political party in Germany.

A main Nazi concept was the notion of racial hygiene. New laws banned marriage between non-Jewish and Jewish Germans, The Holocaust was also conducted under the auspices of racial hygiene. Between 1939 and 1945, Nazis and their collaborators were responsible for the deaths of 11 million to 14 million people, including about 6 million Jews, representing two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. Deaths took place in concentration and extermination camps and through mass executions. Other persecuted groups included Poles, communists, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and trade unionists.

Hitler’s political program had brought about a world war, leaving behind a devastated and impoverished Eastern and Central Europe, including Germany. His policies inflicted human suffering on an unprecedented scale and resulted in the death of an estimated 40 million people, including about 27 million in the Soviet Union. Hitler's defeat marked the end of a phase of European history dominated by Germany, and the defeat of fascism. A new ideological global conflict, the Cold War, emerged in the aftermath of World War II.


Source: http://www.biography.com/people/adolf-hitler-9340144

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