First World War – Treaty of Versailles

The First World War ended with the treaty of Versailles June 28th 1919. Germany came out as a “loser” who was held responsible for starting the war. The treaty also required demilitarization of Rhineland. Germany also lost some territories. They were also required to pay extensive reparations of the damage caused by the war. In a way it is also a reason why Second World War started later on around 1939.

The Second World War which started in 1939 when German army marched to Poland, continued until the use of nuclear weapon by United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan year 1945. World War Two involved many countries and major powers of the world, mainly the axis (Germany, Italy, japan) and the allies (UK France USA). World Word two is considered to be the darkest years in human history, causing death to over 60 million people also through holocaust and genocide, presenting one of the well known dictators ever lived, Adolf Hitler.

Adolf Hitler was a soldier in the German army during the First World War. He took the defeat and the consequences of the treaty of Versailles and the burden imposed on Germany very seriously and planned to carry out his “mein kampf”

Adolf Hitler was born in a place called Bruneau in Austria, April 20th 1889. His father was Alois Hitler and mother Klara Polzl He was the fourth of six children they had together. Adolf was often sick as a child and his father and mother did not have a happy family life either. Adolf grew up closer to his mother Klara and very much apart from his father Alois.

In 1895 the family moved to a farm purchased by the father near Linz. Alois was not good at farming, and the price of land also decreased by time. Adolf became alienated from his father, who started to beat him to obedience. Hitler did his best to do the opposite to his father’s wishes.

In 1903 Adolf´s father died leaving his mother, Adolf and his sister Paula to survive on a government pension. Adolf’s mother allowed him to dropout of school. In 1907 Klara died of breast cancer and Adolf and Paula was left with no sufficient money for a living. Adolf was close to his mother and he was very sorry for the loss almost rest of his life.

After her death on December 1907, Adolf moved to Vienna and worked as a casual laborer and watercolor painter. Adolf applied to the Academy of Fine Arts twice and was rejected both times. Lacking money with only an orphan’s pension and funds from selling postcards, he stayed in homeless shelter. Adolf later pointed to these years as the time when he first cultivated his anti-Semitism, though there is some debate about this.

Adolf moved to Munich In 1913 close to the outbreak of World War I. Around that time he also applied to serve in the German army. He was accepted on August 1914, though he was still an Austrian citizen. Although Adolf spent much of his time away from the front lines and was wounded at the Somme. He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross First Class, and the Black Wound Badge.

After World War I, Adolf returned to Munich and continued to work for the German military. As an intelligence officer, he monitored the activities of the German Workers’ Party (DAP) and adopted many of the anti-Semitic, nationalist and anti-Marxist ideas of party founder Anton Drexler. On September 1919, Adolf joined the DAP, which changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), often abbreviated to Nazi.

Adolf personally designed the Nazi party banner, appropriating the swastika symbol and placing it in a white circle on a red background. He soon gained notoriety for his speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians, Marxists, and Jews. In 1921, Adolf replaced Drexler as the Nazi party chairman.

 Adolfs fervid beer-hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. Early followers included army captain Ernst Rohm, the head of the Nazi paramilitary organization the Sturmabteilung (SA), which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents.

Hitler was arrested and imprisoned

On November 8, 1923, Hitler stormed a public meeting featuring Bavarian prime minister Gustav Kahr at a large beer hall in Munich. Hitler announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the formation of a new government. After a short struggle that led to several deaths, the coup known as the “Beer Hall Putsch” failed. Hitler was arrested and sentenced to nine months in prison.

The first volume was published in 1925 and the second volume in 1927. It was shortened and translated into 11 languages. By 1939 over five million copies were sold. Mein Kampf is called a work of propaganda and falsehoods. In the book Hitler wrote about his plans for transforming German society based on race.

 In the first volume, Adolf wrote about his Anti-Semitic and pro-Aryan worldview. He also wrote about his feeling of “betrayal” at the end of the First World War In the same book he also called for revenge against France and expansion towards Russia. The second volume of Mein Kampf was provocative and subversive, making it appealing to the many Germans who felt displaced at the end of World War I.

Hitler outlined his plan to gain and maintain power. But it was not taken very seriously at that time.
Germany was under depression with millions of unemployed people. It was an opportunity for Hitler and his politics. Germans were not sure about the parliamentary republic and they became increasingly open to extremist options.

In 1932, Hitler ran against 84-year-old Paul von Hindenburg for the presidency. Adolf came in second in both rounds of the election, gaining more than 36 percent of the votes. The result established Hitler as a strong force in German politics. Hindenburg agreed to appoint Hitler as the chancellor to promote political balance.

Hitler used his position as chancellor to form a dictatorship. The Reichstag, suspended basic rights and allowed detention of people without trial. Hitler also designed the “Enabling Act”, which gave his cabinet full legislative powers for a period of four years and allowed deviations from the constitution.

After taking full control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler started 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 only legal political party in Germany. In the same year Hitler ordered also Germany’s withdrawal from the League of Nations.

 Hindenburg died on august 1934, and the cabinet terminated the office of the president. Power of the president was taken over by the chancellor. Hitler became the head of the government as well as the head of the state and supreme commander of the armed forces.

Even military opposition was also punished. The demands for more political and military power led to the so called “Night of the Long Knives”, which is a series of assassinations that took place from June 30 to July 2, 1934. A number of Hitler’s political enemies, were found and murdered at locations across Germany. 

Hitler as a Vegan
 Hitler followed dietary restrictions and promoted abstinence from alcohol and meat.

He believed the Aryan race (Germans), were superior and encouraged Germans to keep their bodies pure from intoxicating and unclean substances. He also promoted anti-smoking campaigns across the country.

Hitler and his Nazi regime instituted hundreds of laws and regulations to restrict and exclude Jews in society. These anti-Semitic laws were issued at all levels of government, making Nazis’ pledge to persecute Jews.

 “On April 1, 1933, Hitler implemented a national boycott of Jewish businesses. This was followed by the “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service’ of April 7, 1933, which excluded Jews from state service. The law was a Nazi implementation of the Aryan Paragraph, which called for the exclusion of Jews and non-Aryans from organizations, employment and eventually all aspects of public life”

Ewa Braun was the longtime companion of Hitler. Braun was 17 when she met Hitler for the first time. She was an assistant and model for Hitler’s personal photographer Hoffman. Two years later Ewa Braun started meeting Hitler more often. Ewa Braun continued to work for Hoffmann and she also took many photographs and movies of Hitler and the members of his inner circle. Some of these Photographs were sold to Hoffmann for extremely high prices.

She got money from Hoffmann’s company as late as 1943, and held the position of private secretary to Hitler. Hitler and EEvaBraun were married only for about 48 hours when both of them passed away the year 1945. In the year 1939 Hitler ordered the German troops to enter Poland starting the Second World War. After having some initial success in occupying some countries close to Germany, he found himself fighting on many fronts, in Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe as well as UK and USA. It became too hard for troops and for Hitler to manage the war. Attack became ddefenseand at last Germany was defeated.

Russian troops entered Berlin, allied troops landed in NNormandyand after suffering many lives, Berlin where Hitler had his bunker was taken by Russian troops. Germans capitulated, Hitler killed himself with a gun and Ewa Braun by eating a cyanide capsule.

When I collected information for writing the present assignment I felt a little pity on Hitler’s childhood and his relation with his father and early loss of his father and mother. Another thing which came to my mind was the conditions present in Germany that time with high unemployment and extensive poverty which may have given rise to dictatorship and war. I think we cannot take democracy for granted. We need to take care of our democratic rights and work actively to preserve and promote a safe and secure life for eeveryone

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First world war - treaty of versailles. (2021, May 08). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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