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Adolf Hitler

1889-1945

// Biography of Adolf Hitler.

The early years

Hitler's father (whose original name, until you have changed late in life, was Schicklgruber) was a minor customs official in the Austrian service. Hitler was the only son of his third wife. Hitler's father died when he was 14, leaving no resources to enable it to continue studying. He went to Vienna with his mother, hoping to become an architect, but finding themselves forced to work for a living as a painter and assistant making small sales. After spending some years in Vienna, decided to settle in Munich (1912). These years of hardship were instrumental in shaping much of his philosophy of life and of his personality, indeed, was probably at that time that he first absorbed the anti-Semitic theories and pan-Germanic nationalist extremists typical of the time.


First World War

Hitler joined a Bavarian reserve regiment at the beginning of the First World War, serving in the trenches as a messenger. He reached the rank of Gefreiter (aspirant), was wounded in the battle of the Somme (1916) and gassed in 1918. He became convinced that Germany had been betrayed by Jewish and Marxist influences and returned from the war embittered by his defeat. Returning to Bavaria attended and later taught courses designed to make the ex-combatants to keep away from Bolshevism, which was then ceded to the influence of Gottfried Feder, the intellectual father of the Nazi movement.


Hitler assumes leadership of the Nazis

Then became the seventh member of the insignificant political group in Munich, the German Workers' Party, which distinguishes it very quickly thanks to its almost hypnotic popular oratory. Through his friends Erich Röhm, an officer of Munich and von Epp, remained in constant contact with the German army, the Reichswehr. Replaced the founder and leader of the party Anton Drexler in 1921. By then, the party was called National Socialist Workers Party had adopted the maxims and German nationalist and Marxist anti-Hitler.After an argument with Röhm about the role of the newly created forces SA (Sturmabteilung) (the Brownshirts), Hitler organized a special detachment formed by their own disciplined political soldiers instead of street thugs always involved in zaragatas - the Brownshirts of Röhm. These troops were formally established in 1926 under the name SS(Schutzstaffel), like the fasci di combattimento Mussolini.

 

Prison and Mein Kampf

Whereas the Weimar Republic was on the verge of collapse, Hitler launched a coup in Munich in November 1923, in association with Röhm, the war hero Ludendorff and Goering, in an attempt to impose Ludendorff dictator. The coup failed and Hitler was arrested and tried for treason. He was sentenced to five years in prison and during the time he was imprisoned in the fort of Landsberg worked with Rudolf Hess in the final version of the book Mein Kampf.

 

Building the Party

During the time he spent in prison, the Nazi Party disintegrated almost completely, so that once he was released in 1924, an amnesty, he devoted himself immediately to rebuild the party organization. Although for some time, the Strasser brothers, creators of the Nazi party in northern Germany, were among the most influential party members that Hitler, he was gradually recovering lost time and ended up getting completely away from the Strasser. In 1930 it was already the undisputed leader of a party that had a considerable number of members. The funds donated by the big industrialists, who saw National Socialism as the only way to safeguard against communism, were increasingly significant. Nationalism Socialism eventually supplanted in terms of the party program, although some revolutionary slogans continue to be used. 

When the economic crisis of 1930 made its appearance, Hitler exploited wisely the discontent of the working classes and the more solid elements of the middle classes, who saw their standard of living threatened by the crisis. His rhetoric has converted many people and in the next election in September 1930, the Nazis increased their representation in theReichstag, the German parliament, from 12 to 107 representatives. Hitler presented himself against Hindenburg in the presidential elections of 1932 and, although it was defeated in the second round, managed to garner 13 million votes and became a political force of weight. Faced with a political situation rapidly deteriorated, Chancellor Brüning felt obliged to rule by law and, although apparently a liberal, his regime created the conditions that would lead to dictatorship. In June 1932 he resigned from the post of chancellor, and he was succeeded Papen. Hitler saw himself as the heir ideal for the office of chancellor, but had not counted on the opposition of the old rightist regime, which had the support of industrialists and Junkers (landowners belonging to the aristocracy). Von Papen dissolved the Reichstag and called for new elections, but the Nazi Party doubled its number of representatives to 230, and Hitler was finally in the position of leader of the largest German party. Finally, Hitler and von Papen reached an agreement: Hitler renounced the socialist section of their party program and von Papen would deliver subsidies to the industry directly to the coffers of Hitler and convince Hindenburg to accept him as chancellor (January 1933).

 

The Third Reich

In 1933, the Weimar Republic gave way to the Third Reich, and later the same year, the one-party system had become a form of government official. Political opponents have disappeared, either killed or sent to concentration camps. Since, in general, eliminated the opposition throughout Germany, Hitler turned his attention in the last strongholds of dissent within his own party. During the Night of Long Knives, the June 30, 1934, more than 100 major Nazi figures were killed, including Gregor Strasser, Röhm, Kurt von Schleicher and his wife. All power was now the Socialist National Executive, which in practice meant by Hitler himself. When in August 1934 Hindenburg died, Hitler was declared his successor, declining the title of Reichspräsident (Reich President) on behalf of the Führer (leader) and Kanzler (Chancellor).

 

The Holocaust

From the moment Hitler came to power he instituted a reign of terror against Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and political opponents. The anti-Semites were introduced gradually, starting with boycotts of Jewish businesses in April 1933 and culminating in the horrors of the extermination camps and the Final Solution (1941). Official propaganda was directed against the Jews, feeding old hatreds popular as the night the organized terror of Kristallnacht (Crystal Night), during which Jewish shops and properties were attacked and destroyed by mobs in the pay of the government (9 / November 10, 1938). The Jews were increasingly marginalized, thanks to a combination of propaganda and derogatory anti-Jewish laws, such as that required all Jews to wear a yellow star on clothing, making them visible targets for both official repression and for the private hostility. Once the Second World War began, these policies were implemented in the countries occupied by Germany and, around 1941, there existed a network of death camps, especially in Poland. The Holocaust reached its highest point after the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942, a meeting during which the highest Nazi officials developed a systematic policy of extermination efficient. There are no accurate statistics on the number of victims of the Nazis, but it is believed that by the end of the war some six million Jews and nearly a million people from other groups such as Slavs and Gypsies, designated as Unsermensch ( sub-human), had already perished.

 

Rebuilding German power


 

Having secured its position in Germany, Hitler began his long campaign to restore German power in Europe, resorting to such a growing number of serious breaches of the agreements and openly ignoring the opinion of other European countries. He began an intensive program of rearmament, secretly organized at first, and after more and more blatant. For example, Germany was not allowed to own an air force, but under the guise of dealing with a civilian airline, Hermann Goering built absolutely nothing to theLuftwaffe, officially announcing its existence in April 1935. 

Hitler then turned his attention to the territorial clauses of the various treaties that Germany had undertaken to respect, starting with the region of the Saar plebiscite in January 1935. The result, in part influenced by terrorism, was an overwhelming majority in favor of returning to Germany and Hitler used these results as an incentive to denounce the military clauses of the Versailles Treaty (March 1935) and to introduce compulsory military service in Germany. A year later risked sending its troops to the demilitarized zone of the Rhine, defiance of the Locarno Agreement of 1925, which he said had been overtaken by the Franco-Soviet alliance. The remilitarization of the right bank of the Rhine was followed by two years of active German military preparations, combined with a complete overhaul of the economy in order to make Germany self-sufficient. 

When civil war broke out in Spain in July 1936, Hitler seized the opportunity to test their newly formed army and air force alongside the forces of Franco. Other events abroad during the years 1936-1937, such as the inability of the League of Nations in check Mussolini's Abyssinian adventure, increased the tension in Europe and greatly contributed to strengthening the position of Hitler. Mussolini was a natural ally and the two countries became allies with the Rome-Berlin Axis in October 1936.

 

Expansionism abroad

From the end of 1937, Hitler chose an aggressively expansionist foreign policy which for two years only brought spectacular successes. In March 1938 annexed Austria, manipulating a sudden crisis in the German-Austrian relations, sending the German army across the frontier and declaring Anschluss, the incorporation of Austria into the Reich. Then began to implement the campaign for the liberation of the Sudetenland, an area of ??ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia - this attitude was nothing but an attack on a sovereign state united by treaty with the Western powers and ethnic ties to Russia. However, Hitler understood well the realities of the immediate political situation and knew too well that the West was not prepared to fight. The Munich Agreement of August 1938 gave him the Sudetenland in exchange for a promise that would not require more territory - the same promise he had made during the annexation of Austria. Soon afterwards, during the year 1939, seized the remaining territories of Czechoslovakia and at the same time, announced the annexation ofMemel, directly violating the Treaty of Versailles. By that time, the eyes of the average German, Hitler seemed to be not only conservative but also a peace statesman handful, surpassing all his predecessors and alargandoas borders of the Reich. In less than a year, added 10 million Germans to the Third Reich, broken the formidable bastion of German expansion to the southeast and become the largest European dictator since the time of Napoleon.

 

The outbreak of war

In March 1939, Hitler renounced the non-aggression pact with Poland in 1934 and demanded the return of Danzig and the Polish Corridor. The UK and France guaranteed Polish independence and warned Hitler that they were willing to fight for Poland. Hitler is somewhat shaken by this, particularly when the two Western powers entered into negotiations with Moscow. However, instead of abandoning his plans, preferred to momentarily forget his hatred for communism and propose a non-aggression pact with USSR. Stalin agreed and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was signed on August 23, 1939. Away from the danger of Soviet interference, Hitler launched his Blitzkrieg on Poland on 1 September 1939, and two days later, Britain and France declared war.


Blitzkrieg

After the invasion of Poland, Germany moved quickly over the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and released at the same time, invasions of Norway and Denmark. The spectacular events of the spring and summer of 1940 culminated in the armistice with France, which only confirmed the genius of Hitler in the eyes of the average German. In spring 1941, German forces invaded Yugoslavia and Greece, while the air force attacked the British with their bombers and Navy ships carrying supplies.

 

Battle of Britain and Barbarossa plan

Hitler decided to target attacking the British empire in the east. However, this plan depended on the neutrality of the USSR and, not being absolutely certain of this, Hitler and his advisers decided to make an attack on Egypt coincides with the invasion of the USSR itself - the operation Barbarossa, June 1941. This was a fateful decision that has come into play a powerful enemy and opened a second front, and finally revealed the essential weakness underlying all Weltpolitik (politics) of Hitler. It is quite possible that he has taken this decision against the advice of other Nazi leaders and, in general, against the opinion of the German general staff. From then endeavored to exclude the Soviet Union of the Western Allies highlighting the anti-Bolshevik crusade in Germany. 

The German campaigns in the Balkans and the Mediterranean were brilliant in terms of planning and execution, but British intervention in Greece and British resistance in Crete and Libya delayed Hitler's planning in terms of time and, as the summer of 1941 came the end, it became obvious that German optimism had been excessive. The setbacks in the battle of Britain (July 1941) were a terrible blow to German morale, and for some time, Hitler remained silent, however, at a meeting on 4 October, announced a gigantic operation would lead to the defeat of the USSR . After the crushing of the German army even before arriving in Moscow, Hitler sacked the commander in chief, Brauchitsch, in December 1941 and assumed control of all military operations. When the U.S. entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 1941), four fifths of the world came to be in the fight against Germany.


The decline in 1942-1943

The message of the New Year of 1942, Hitler, noted a decline in the greatness of his statements, although the German armies continue to be a powerful force. Indeed, in early 1942, German armies positioned in the USSR reached the Volga at Stalingrad, while Rommel was threatening the Cairo and Alexandria in North Africa. However, before autumn comes to an end, Rommel was defeated at El Alamein and the Soviets had destroyed the 6th Army of von Paulus at Stalingrad front. Hitler began to speak less and the German victory over the inability of the Allies to defeat Germany and soon spurred new crises. Mussolini was deposed in July 1943 and Italy capitulated to the Allies.

 

1944

After the German armies were expelled from the USSR and after D-Day in June 1944, the day was the arrival of Allied forces in Normandy, it became obvious that unlike Hitler had predicted that the Allies would not be pushed back to the sea. The German opposition, led by generals, industrialists, and even elements of the liberal left, attempted a coup, a conspiracy of the pump in July. The starting signal should be the assassination of Hitler, but the bomb was placed in the headquarters by an officer of his guard, named von Stauffenberg, and the blow did not kill him failed. The only thing that this coup was successful was to have done with Hitler embarked on one of the bloodiest purges ever, thousands of men and women likely to lead another coup were executed (most of which have nothing to do without the conspiracy) to avoid that in future, become involved in another survey. Himmler took over command of the army in Germany in order to further strengthen the Nazi control over it. However, as the years progressed, the Allies were advancing.

 

1945, the defeat

While the Allies launched on Germany in April 1945, Hitler married his mistress, Eva Braun, April 29, 1945, and the next day both committed suicide, the air-raid shelter beneath the Chancellery in Berlin. It is taken for granted that the bodies were then burned in the courtyard.



The english version of this article will be available soon. In the meanwhile, the text above was the result of a Google translation from portuguese version to english.



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