no edit summary
==Early life: apathy and disappointment with civilian life==
[[File:565px-Adolf_Hitler_as_a_child.jpg|thumbnail|200px|Adolf Hitler as a child]]
Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, on 20 April 1889. As a young man, he aspired to become a renowned painter, but he received little public recognition and had to live in poverty in Vienna. He wished to study art but failed to secure entry to the Academy of Fine Arts, since he had not obtained even a secondary school diploma. Unsurprisingly, during the next few years Hitler lived a lonely, insecure and isolated life in poverty, earning a precarious livelihood by painting postcards and advertisements and often drifting from one municipal hostel to another. By that time, young Adolf had already shown traits that characterized his later life: features as loneliness and secretiveness, hatred of cosmopolitism, and last but not least - intense dislike for the multinational and multicultural character of Vienna.
==Post WWI resentment and Hitler’s appetite for political and war revival of the nation==
[[File:Parteifoto_Adolf_Hitler_im_Jahre_1923.jpg|thumbnail|200px|Adolf Hitler in 1923]]
After World War I, Hitler returned to Munich and continued to work for the military as an intelligence officer. As an army political agent in September 1919, he joined the small German Workers’ Party in Munich. In 1920 Hitler was put in charge of the party’s propaganda and left the army completely devoting himself to improving his position within the party, which in that year was renamed National Socialist German Workers’ party, which was abbreviated simply to Nazi. During the post war insecure years of poverty, conditions were ripe for further development of such a party. World War I ended in 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which was not only a military defeat, but also a psychological defeat for the German state since the German people were expecting victory. The severe peace terms of the Treaty that caused the most resentment in Germany were the loss of territory, the war guilt placed solely on Germany for starting the war, the deliberate demilitarization and the reparations demands.<ref>Signing of the Versailles Treaty - http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/33d/projects/1920s/VersaillesTreatyCarlos.htm </ref>.
==The Rise of Hitler as the Nazi Leader==
Moreover, the climax of the Nazi Party rapid growth in Bavaria came in an eager attempt to seize the German government and political power by force. In November 1923, Hitler tried to take advantage of the prevailing confusion and opposition to the payment of war reparations to Britain and France. At a public meeting of 3000 people in Munich, he announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the formation of a new right wing government. Hitler hoped that his nationalist revolution in Bavaria would spread to the entire unsatisfied German army, which in turn would shortly bring down the government in Berlin. However, the uprising was almost immediately suppressed giving Hitler a vital lesson – his movement must achieve power by legal means. Due to his actions, Hitler was effectively sentenced to prison for the next nine months. He used the time to dictate the first volume of Mein Kampf.<ref>Also referred to as “My Struggle”, Mein Kampf is Hitler’s political autobiography as well as a compendium of his numerous ideas.</ref> He sharpened his anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist beliefs in the book and laid out his plans for the oncoming Nazi conquest. Hitler also developed his concept of the Fuehrer as an absolute dictator who would bring unity to German people and lead the Aryan race to world supremacy. Later, Hitler himself would accept the Fuehrer title symbolizing and expressing his power as the harsh and oppressive German absolute ruler and dictator.
==From Nazi party leader to Nation First Chancellor, Commander and Fuehrer of all Germany==
In the following 1930 general elections, the Nazis won 6 million votes, making the party the second largest in Germany. Unremitting propaganda, set against the failure of the government to improve conditions during the Great Depression, produced a steadily mounting electoral strength for the Nazis. In 1932, Hitler ran for the presidential elections, but lost, yet capturing remarkable 36.8 percent of the votes on the second ballot. Finding himself already in a strong position, he entered into a series of intrigues with the conservatives: both the fear of communism and the rejection of the Social Democrats easily bound them together. Moreover, Hitler insisted that the chancellorship was the only office he would accept. On January 30, 1933, already in poor health, the president Hindenburg offered Hitler the chancellorship of Germany, hoping to meet Hitler’s appetite for power.
However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler’s political audacity and failed to satisfy his main political rival making him part of the ruling party and cabinet. Instead, one of the new chancellor’s first acts was to start an intensified campaign of violence through the branches of the Nazi party and to exploit the burning of the Reichstag (the house of the German parliament) building as a pretext for calling new early general elections. Hitler and the Nazi Party used the fire as firm “evidence” that communists were plotting against the German government. The responsibility for the Reichstag fire remains an ongoing topic of debate and research to date. However, the Nazis effectively accused the Comintern of the act regardless of the official version that the fire was started by the working class as a protest against unbearable working conditions. Some historians even agree, as proposed by the Communist Party, that the fire was planned and ordered by the Nazis as a false flag operation.<ref>The Reichstag Fire of 1933 - http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/the-reichstag-fire-of-1933/</ref> Whatever the truth, the Nazis used the fire to solidify their power and eliminate the communists as political rivals. Crucially, the Nazis won the polling registering 43.9 percent of the votes. On March 23, 1933, the Enabling Bill, giving full powers to Hitler, was passed in the Reichstag by the combined votes of the Nazi, Nationalist and Center party deputies.
Having achieved full control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler and his political allies embarked on a systematic harsh suppression of the remaining political opposition. By the end of June 1933 all non-Nazi parties, organizations and labor unions practically ceased to exist. On July 14, 1933, Hitler’s Nazi Party declared itself the one and only true legal political party in Germany.
Nevertheless, Hitler’s appetite for absolutism pushed the Fuehrer even further. At this point, he already owned the country and he was much more concerned and interested in foreign affairs. Hitler was convinced that it was his sole right to apply his ideas abroad in order to further expand, develop and establish the Third German Reich along with building his mighty Nazi Empire across Europe. He truly aimed at cleansing the Aryan race and the rest of the world. Unfortunately for Hitler, even his Nazi Germany collapsed once again just 11 years later.
<div class="portal" style="width:85%;">
==Related DailyHistory.org Articles==
*[[What steps did Germany take to start the Second World War in Europe?]]