Adolf Hitler and German Nationalism

When it comes to the worst dictators of the world, there is undeniably only one that many think of when that word is discussed, Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria. Adolf Hitler was one of six children born to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. As stated in Hitler’s biography, often times Hitler would clash with his father who was emotionally harsh. Later discovered, apparently Hitler’s father never truly approved of his son at all and often times would disown him. In his early life, Adolf Hitler showed an early interest in German nationalism, often rejecting the authority of Austria-Hungary. This would prove to be the motivating force throughout Hitler’s life. In 1900, Hitler’s brother Edmund passed away. This would lead to Hitler becoming detached and introverted.

Hitler’s early life was filled with incidents that may have fueled Hitler to become who he was during World War II. In 1903, Hitler’s father died unexpectedly. Two years after his unexpected death, Hitler was not doing well in school. Adolf’s mother Klara allowed Hitler to drop out of school. In December 1907, Hitler’s mother would pass away leaving Hitler emotionally damaged. After her death, Hitler moved to Vienna and worked as a casual laborer and watercolor painter. After really finding his passion for painting, Hitler would apply to the Academy of Fine arts numerous times and be rejected each time. After not having enough money, Hitler often stayed at homeless shelters. Looking back on it, Hitler would later note that these were the years that help cultivate his anti-Semitism.

In 1913, Hitler would not be able to stay in Austria-Hungary and relocated to Munich. When World War I was at its peak, Hitler would apply to serve in the German army. Although he was still an Austrian citizen, Hitler would be accepted into the army in August of 1914. It is said that Hitler spent most of his time in the army away from the front lines. Some also say that his memory of his time on the field were often exaggerated. Hitler was present at a number of significant battles and was actually wounded at the Battle of Somme. Hitler became decorated for bravery and even received certain badges such as the Iron Cross First Class and the Black Wound Badge.

After World War I, Hitler would return to Munich in order to work for the German military. Being an intelligence officer Hitler would often monitor activities of a group known as the German Workers Party. Throughout his time here, Hitler would start to adopt many Anti-Semetic, nationalist, and anti-Marxist ideas that were brought to light by the founder of the party Anton Drexler. September 1919, Hitler joins the party which would ultimately end up changing its name to Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. This was often shortened and this is where the term Nazi came from. Hitler himself was the one to design the Nazi banner. Hitler would create the swastika symbol and placed it in a white circle upon a red background.

Hitler often would speak out against the Treaty of Versailles and soon started gathering a following. One important follower was Ernst Rohm who was the head of the Nazi paramilitary organization. On November 8, 1923, Hitler crash a meeting featuring the Bavarian Prime minister Gustav Kahr at a beer hall in Munich. After storming the beer hall, Hitler would begin to proclaim that the Revolution had begun. After the arguing and proclamations, Hitler announced that he had formed a new government. After the announcement there was a fight that led to multiple deaths. Hitler was then arrested and was facing trial for high treason. After long trials, Hitler was sentenced to nine months in prison.

Throughout the nine months that Hitler spent in prison, he made sure to spend most of his time writing a book known as “Mein Kampf”. The first book Hitler wrote spoke about his Anti-Semitic views as well as his feelings of betrayal due to the outcome of World War I. Hitler also called for revenge on France and waned to expand Russia. Although Mein Kampf was not really filled with logic, it was just enough to appeal to the Germans who felt anger at the end of World War I. A lot of nonsense and false promises allowed Hitler to convince Germans that he had huge plans to transform Germany into one giant race. This would later prove to be false but not many Germans could see that yet.

While many Germans remained unemployed, the Great Depression throughout Germany opened the door for a huge political opportunity for Hitler. In 1932, Hitler saw his opportunity and ran against “Paul Von Hindenburg” for the German presidency. To no avail, Hitler came in second in each round of the election. Although Hitler came in second he managed to gather thirty-six percent of the vote in the final count. This solidified Hitler as a strong force throughout German politics. After proving his strength in politics, Hitler demanded he be promoted to Chancellor in order to promote political balance. Although he did not want to, President Hindenburg agreed to appoint Adolf Hitler as chancellor. Hitler would later use this power to form a legal dictatorship.

Achieving full control of the legislate and executive branches of Germany’s government was Hitler’s main goal. Hitler would reach this goal and would force his Nazi party to become the only legal political party throughout Germany. Later that year, Hitler demanded that Germany withdrawal from the League of Nations. Any member of the German military who opposed Hitler’s ideas were punished to the fullest extent. Hitler’s demands for more political power and military power reached an all-time high. This led to the Night of the Long Knives. This was from June 30th 1934 until July 2nd 1934. Members of the military round up a number of Hitler’s political enemies and shot them. The day before the German President Hindenburg died, the German political cabinet passed a law to abandon the office of president and merge them with the powers of the chancellor. This decision would later prove to be very costly.

From the year 1933 to the start of World War II in 1939, Hitler and his regime would create over hundreds of laws in an attempt to ban Jews in society. This would cause the Nazi party to become extremely happy due to the fact that this made good on the Nazis pledges to off the Jews. On April 1st, Hitler would announce a national boycott of all Jewish businesses. Hitler would later go on to exclude the Jewish people from state service. In an attempt to keep all of Hitler’s wrong doings quiet, Hitler agreed to host the Winter and Summer Olympic Games. After the Olympics, Nazis continued with the persecution of the Jewish citizens. Throughout the following years, violent waves of anti-Jewish attacks would continue.

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Adolf Hitler and German Nationalism. (2021, May 08). Retrieved June 7, 2023 , from

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