Wikijunior:World War II/Adolf Hitler
- Born: April 20th 1889
- Died: April 30th 1945
- Leader Of: Germany and "The Third Reich"
- From: August 2nd 1934
- To: April 30th 1945
Hitler was born in Austria, a German speaking country next to Germany. This might seem odd for a man so closely associated with Germany, but actually many Germans considered Austria to be part of Germany.
Throughout the first part of Hitler's life, he wanted to be a painter. But, Hitler was turned down by the Art Academy in Vienna and instead spent several years painting postcards, selling them to tourists and merchants. He lived in the streets most of the time.
When World War I broke out Hitler joined the Bavarian Army and gained two bravery awards.
It was shortly after World War I that Hitler decided to enter politics, joining the 'German Workers Party' in Munich. Within a few years Hitler had gained control of this party and was able to run for government. Hitler renamed the party, changing it's name to 'National Socialist German Workers Party' ('The Nazi Party').
Hitler was put in prison on 1 April 1924 for trying to overthrow the German government. While in prison Hitler wrote the book 'Mein Kampf' ('My Struggle'), which was a collection of his own personal beliefs and his hopes for Germany's future. After spending just nine months of his five year sentence in prison he was released.
The Nazi Party came to power during 1933–1934 and soon Hitler had total control of Germany.
Hitler was a dictator, meaning he had complete control over Germany and the people who lived in it. He also made himself head of the army. Although many in the army disagreed with Hitler's policies, the tradition of German soldiers was to obey the leader.
Hitler blamed the Jewish and other people who weren't German in his mind for the problems of the country. He came up with a plan to "fix" Germany. His idea was to kill everyone who he saw as "less than human". This is covered in the chapter on The Holocaust.