On April 20th, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in the Austrian town of Braunau.
In July 1921, Hitler became the leader of the NSDAP, the Nazi Party, in a weary Germany which remained in ruins from the First World War. The worst was yet to come for the German Republic, as the next decade saw spikes of economic and political unrest. In January 1933, Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany. A year later, upon the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler merged his office with the late head of state to become the Führer.
In his book Hitler – A Study in Tyrannny, Alan Bullock describes the early life of the man who went on to become one of the most fearsome individuals in history;
ADOLF HITLER was born at half past six on the evening of 20 April 1889, in the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in the small town of Braunau on the River Inn which forms the fontier between Austria and Bavaria.
The Europe into which he was born and which he was to destroy gave an unusual impression of stability and permanence at his time of birth. The Hapsburg Empire, of which has father was a minor official, had survived the storms of the 1860s, the loss of the Italian provinces, defeat by Prussia, even the transformation of the old Empire into the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.
The three republics Hitler was to destroy, the Austria of the Treaty of St Germain, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, were not yet in existence.
Hitler’s family, on both sides, came from the Waldviertel, a poor, remote country district, lying on the north side of the Danube, some fifty miles north-west of Vienna, between the Danube and the frontiers of Bohemia and Moravia In this countryside of hills and woods, with few towns or railways, lived a peasant population cut off from the main arteries of Austrian life. It was from this country stock, with its frequent intermarriages, that Hitler sprang.
In 1837, Maria Anna Schicklgruber had given birth to an illegitimate child, who was known by the name of Alois. He continued to be known by his mother’s maiden name of Shicklgruber until he was nearly forty [when he adopted the name Hiedler]. From the beginning of 177, twelve years before Adolf was born his father called himself Hitler. Adolf was the third child of Alois Hitler’s third marriage [to Klara Pölzl]. His siblings, Gustav and Ida, both born before him, died in infancy.
Hitler attempted to represent himself in Mein Kampf as the child of poverty and privation. In fact, his father had a perfectly adequate pension and gave the boy the chance of a good education. After five years in primary schools, the eleven-year-old Adolf entered the Linz Realschule in September 1900. This was a secondary school designed to train boys for a technical or commercial career. Adolf left the Linz Realschule in 1904 not because his mother was too poor to pay the fees, but because his record at school was so indifferent that he had to accept a transfer to another school at Steyr, where he boarded out and finished his education at 16.
Read more about the life of Adolf Hitler in Hitler – A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock: View the book on Amazon.
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