2018-05-16 01:17:56 UTC
to build substantial grass-roots support, based on a platform of
anti- Semitism and anti-communism, conservative values
Interesting People =E2=80=A8ADOLPH HITLER
If there is one person in history whose activities changed the
world the most, that person is Adolf Hitler. Hitler (1889-1945)
was the German dictator who founded the National Socialism (Nazi)
movement in 1920. Within twonty years, Hitler had led Germany and
its allies into World War II (1939-1945), by any measure, the most
devastating war in history, with over 60 million people killed.
As a young man, Hitler served in the Bavarian army during World
War I. (Bavaria is a part of Germany.) Although he was recognized
for bravery, the experience embittered him, and he blamed
Germany's defeat on Jews and Marxists.
In 1921, Hitler became the leader of the German National Socialist
(Nazi) Party. In 1923, he unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow
the Bavarian government =E2=80=94 the so-called Beer Hall Putsch
=E2=80=94 and = was
imprisoned for nine months. During that time, Hitler wrote the
book Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"), in which he laid bare his
theories of hate and anti-Semitism, and his plans for world
domination, a vision in which the German master race would create
the so-called Third Reich. ("Germany will either become a World
Power or will not continue to exist at all." =E2=80=94 Vol. 2, Ch.
XIV) In time, Mein Kampf would become the bible of the Nazi party.
The grew slowly, however, until the Great Depression, during which
Hitler's skills as a speaker and organizer allowed him to
capitalize on the growing social and economic unrest. As a master
of the "big lie", he was able to build substantial grass-roots
support, based on a platform of anti-Semitism and anti-communism.
Although he had some false starts, Hitler became Chancellor of
Germany in 1933 and, within a year, was given full dictatorial
powers by the government. In concert with other Nazi leaders
=E2=80=94 principally Goerin= g,
Himmler and Goebbels =E2=80=94 Hitler crushed all opposition and
took contr= ol
of most facets of German life. In 1934, laws were passed to
establish official anti-Semitism and to create the first
concentration camps. On August 2, 1934, the elderly president of
Germany died. Within hours, Hitler declared himself Fuhrer
(supreme ruler) of Germany. Technically, the declaration was
illegal. However, less than three weeks later, a special election
was held in which 90 percent of the German people voted to confirm
Hitler as Fuhrer. Hitler was now the absolute ruler of Germany, a
law unto himself. Over the next few years, Hitler prepared Germany
for war, carrying out many political maneuvers that allowed him to
extend his power into smaller, less powerful countries. On
September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Two days later,
Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand (the Allies) declared
war on Germany, formally starting World War II.
At first, Germany had a great deal of military success, invading
and conquering much of Europe, North Africa and Russia. On
December 11, 1941, Germany declared war on the United States, upon
which the U.S. entered the war on the side of the Allies. Still,
it was some time before the Germans would be stopped. Indeed, on
April 26, 1942, Hitler declared, "This war no longer bears the
characteristics of former inter-European conflicts. It is one of
those elemental conflicts which usher in a new millennium and
which shake the world once in a thousand years."
In the fullness of time, Hitler was proved to be wrong. On
February 2, 1943, he received his first major setback when the
Germans were defeated at Stalingrad in southwest Russia. Over the
next two years, the Allies began to defeat Germany, one battle at
a time and, by the spring of 1945, virtually all of Europe and
North Africa had been liberated.
With the Third Reich collapsing around him and the Russians
approaching, Hitler hid in an underground bunker in Berlin. On
April 29, 1945, as the Russians approached the city, Hitler
married his longtime mistress Eva Braun. The next day, both Hitler
and Braun committed suicide.