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Print this page The drifter Before embarking on a political career in September at the age of thirty, Adolf Hitler had been a nonentity.
With no formal qualifications, he had become an aimless drifter and failed artist before joining the army on the outbreak of war in August There he was not considered worthy of promotion because of 'a lack of leadership qualities', although his award of the Iron Cross First Class showed that he did not lack courage.
Yet during the next 26 years he succeeded in gaining and exercising supreme power in Germany and, in the process, arguably had more impact on the history of the world in the 20th century than any other political figure. The explanation for this remarkable transformation lies partly in Hitler himself, in his particular personal qualities and gifts, and partly in the situation in which he found himself, with a nation in deep crisis.
Before embarking on a political career Adolf Hitler had been a nonentity. Hitler's political career began in Munich when he joined the German Workers' Party DAPa tiny group of extreme nationalists and anti-Semites who saw their role as trying to win over German workers from the internationalist Social Democratic Party and, in the aftermath of defeat and revolution, to persuade people that Jews were primarily responsible for Germany's plight.
Why then did Hitler choose to join the NSDAP and effectively adopt politics as a career, and what personal qualities, abilities and political opinions did he bring with him from his previous life, which may help to explain his choice and his subsequent career?
His family background has given rise to much psychological speculation. His father, a customs official who died when Hitler was 13, was cold and strict, while his mother was gentle and loving and pampered her son, who adored her.
Hitler was clearly intelligent but bored by much of his formal education, except for history, which was taught with a strong German nationalist bias.
He was growing up at a time when the German-speaking parts of the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg empire were saturated with Pan German ethnic nationalism. Although extreme ethnic nationalism was a general feature of early 20th century Europe, it was particularly virulent in Austria because of the growing threat to German dominance posed by the rise of other nationalities within the empire, in particular the Czechs.
Hitler's school career ended in failure, but the death of his father had removed the pressure on him to get a job.
By now he had developed the self-image of an artist, a superior being above mundane employment, who would one day create great works of art or architecture. He spent his time in his home town, Linz, reading, drawing, attending the theatre or opera; he had developed a particular passion for Wagner.
Invariably polite and well turned out, his behaviour was marked by a combination of arrogance and insecurity not unusual in adolescence, but in his case extreme. He was particularly gauche in his relations with girls; indeed, his only relationship during this period was a fantasy one.
But there is no suggestion from anyone who knew him then that he was homosexual. Top Drifting in Vienna Having moved to Vienna inhis failure to get into Art school came as a major blow.
His money from an orphan's pension and borrowed from relatives eventually ran out, and he was forced to take refuge in men's hostels where he lived from to Not sufficiently strong for manual labour - contrary to his claim in his book, Mein Kampf 'My Struggle'to having been a building worker - he eked out a precarious existence selling his reproductions of famous sights which were hawked by hostel acquaintances.
Despite his poverty, Hitler engaged actively with his political and intellectual environment Pre Vienna - the capital of a multi-ethnic empire with a highly sophisticated, mainly Jewish, upper middle class, a deeply conservative and Catholic petty bourgeoisie, and a growing and increasingly radicalised working class - was like a magnifying glass focusing and concentrating the ideas, artistic trends and political forces that were to shape the century into a purer and more extreme form than anywhere else in Europe: Despite his poverty, Hitler engaged actively with his political and intellectual environment, devouring newspapers and pamphlets, attending the Imperial parliament and witnessing the violent confrontations between the rival ethnic and political groups which paralysed it, rendering it an object of contempt to much of the population, including Hitler himself.
His experiences in Vienna sharpened the Pan German nationalism that he had absorbed in his school days, increasing his contempt for the Habsburg Empire. He also developed a strong hostility towards the Socialist movement, fuelled partly by its internationalism, but also by his unwillingness to identify with the working class and his determination to retain his self-image as a superior being despite his actual inferior social position.
Here he continued a life similar to that in Vienna until, with the outbreak of war inhe enthusiastically volunteered to serve in a Bavarian regiment. Service in the Army at last provided Hitler with a purpose in life, a major project with which he could wholly identify.Adolf Hitler: Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party (from /21) and chancellor and Fuhrer of Germany (–45).
He was the leader of Germany during that country’s participation in World War II, and he oversaw the Nazi Party’s implementation of the . The Rise of Nazi Germany: The History of the Events that Brought Adolf Hitler to Power - Kindle edition by Charles River Editors. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Rise of Nazi Germany: The History of the Events that Brought Adolf Hitler to Power. Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April in the small Austrian town of Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria on the Austrian-German border.
His father, Alois, was a customs official while his mother, Klara. The Nazi Party was a political party in Germany that rose to prominence in the 's, led by Adolf Hitler.
Learn what led to the rise of the Nazis. Hitler's Early Years World War I Hitler Starts to Lead Rise of the Nazi Party Hitler As German Fuhrer World War II Allied Victory & Hitler's Death. Early Years. Dec 30, · Hitler’s rise to power can be attributed to several factors which he used to his advantage to gain power legitimately.
Germany's humiliating defeat during World War I was fresh in the minds of.