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6 Cards in this Set

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Hitler's Childhood

Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in a village called Branau-Am-Inn in Austria-Hungary (the part which is now modern day Austria) near the border with Germany. His father was called Alois and his mother was called Klara. His family was a large one, he was one of six, three of which died as infants. Hitler's family went through a large number of household movements, the first of which was a movement to a town called Passau, which was in Germany (but none of the Hitler's got given the status of German Citizen) Soon enough Hitler learnt the lower Bavarian (Bavaria is a German state) dialect, which he would use for most of his life. The second move of the Hitler family was back into Austria-Hungary but not back to Branau-Am-Inn but to a town called Leonding in 1894 which means Hitler only ever spent 2 years living in Passau, the third move was when Hitler's father retired to a town called Hafeld, where his father farmed bees and Hitler attended school a "Volksschule" in nearby Fischlham. But this move also sparked the first of the father-son conflicts that Hitler had with is father, it came about because Hitler did not like the school he attended, unfortunately for Hitler's father the family's farming efforts failed to sustain the family and the Hitler's moved to Lambach, this was the one move that probably benefitted Hitler as he took up singing lessons, sung in the local choir and even considered becoming a priest when he got older, but soon the Hitler's moved for the final time, returning to Leonding, where Hitler's younger brother Edmund, which Hitler was deeply affected by, and he soon became a detached boy and he resumed his conflicts with his father, this conflict was sparked by Hitler's father's ambition for Hitler to become someone who worked at a customs bureau, Hitler had come up with a ambition for himself, he wanted to become an artist, but Hitler's father ignored this ambition and sent Hitler to a Realschule which specialised in customs bureau work, Hitler obviously did not like this decision because of his strong desire to become an artist, he rebelled by doing badly at the Realschule intentionally (he stated this in his book "Mein Kampf") he also said that he hoped to show his father that he wasn't making any progress in school so he would pull him out of the school. But at the school that he intentionally detested Hitler began to develop German nationalist ideas, these included despising the Hapsburg Monarchy, Hitler and his friends even began to great each other with "Heil" (which might have influenced Hitler for how people would greet him when he was older), his friends also began to sing the "Deutschlandlied" instead of the Austro-Hungarian imperial anthem. Unfortunately his father suddenly died (well it kind of depends how you look at it, Hitler would have said that his death was fortunate) and Hitler's mother allowed him to pull out of the Realschule at Linz and attend a Realschule at Steyr which specialised in art! Hitler was finally following his greatest ambition, in fact in 1905 Hitler passed his final exam he left the school, but he had one problem: he didn't know where to go next!

Hitler in WW1
When the war was first declared Hitler was living in Munich and immediately enlisted for the Bavarian Army which he managed to get into, which is surprising because even after living for nearly 10 years he was still an Austro-Hungarian citizen (he only got his German citizenship when he was campaigning to become Chancellor of Germany!) and a report written in the 1920's stated that enlisted Hitler was a massive mistake as he was still an Austro-Hungarian citizen and should have been returned to Austria, but Hitler got in and became a runner, which is mostly a job for the front lines, but Hitler spent most of the war as far away from the front lines as he could get, but he did get to see some battles (including the Somme). He won the famous Iron Cross (which was the German equivalent to the Victoria Cross). Unfortunately for him he was temporarily in October 1918 by a mustard gas attack, which hospitalised him back in Germany, it was here where he heard of the surrender of the Germany after the "November Criminals" had come to power, this caused Hitler to give himself another bout of temporary blindness, when this ended he left the hospital and became a spy for the army, he was assigned to the party known as the German Worker's Party, which he would grow to like and soon enter, this party soon became known as the Nazis.
Hitler's Entry into Politics
Soon after Hitler joined the German Worker's Party, the party changed their name to Nationalist Socialist German Worker's Party (or the NSDAP) and it was Hitler who designed the new logo, the infamous red flag with a slightly rotated Swastika in the middle of the flag. On 13 March 1920 and began to work full-time for the NSDAP. The party's headquarters were in Munich, which of course appealed to Hitler who still lived in Munich. In February 1921 Hitler spoke to a group of 6,000, after a mutiny in Munich Hitler threatened to leave, but would stay if he was allowed to become the chairman of the party, the party accepted as they knew the resignation of their greatest spokesman would mean the end of the entire party, but Hitler being chairman caused a lot of opposition and this caused Hermann Esser to be banned from the party. Hitler's speeches began to attract much larger audiences and soon these large audiences became regular. Some of Hitler's early followers became very important in the Nazi party, these included: Rudolf Hess, former air force ace Hermann Goring, and army captain Ernest Rohm, Rohm became head of the Nazi's very own paramilitary organization, called the SA (stormtroopers), their main aims were to protect meetings and attack other political parties. One of the most important influences on Hitler's thinking in that time was the "Aufbau Vereinigung" which was a "white" Russian exile group which was also Nationalist Socialist, it was also this group that introduced Hitler to the idea of a Jewish conspiracy, even though Hitler wasn't "Pro-Jew" himself anyway.
The Munich Putsch, or "Beer Hall" Putsch
In 1923 Hitler enlisted the help of a former war hero called Erich Ludendorff to help him with a march on Munich which would be called the Munich Putsch, the march was inspired by only one thing: Mussolini's march on Rome (which ultimately gave Benito Mussolini rule over Italy). Initially Hitler had the full support of Gustav Ritter Von Kahr and General Otto Von Lossow, but without Hitler realising, these two were secretly planning a democracy of their own without Hitler. When Hitler heard that Kahr and Lossow were "losing confidence" in the Putsch, Hitler stormed a meeting that Kahr and Lossow were attending and persuaded them to support the Putsch, he then announced the beginning of the Putsch by firing a shot into the air. The very next day Hitler marched on Munich (without the support of the state police or the army) with thousands of his followers and SA members, but the marchers were quickly intercepted by the army, in the clash 16 NSDAP members were killed and many more were injured, Hitler however fled to a friend's house but was soon captured, the trial of Hitler and his friends began in February 1924 (at this time Alfred Rosenberg was temporary leader of the NSDAP), on 1 April 1924 Hitler was sentenced to 5 years in prison and a five year ban on speaking, but Hitler's life in prison was very different from what you would have expected, he was treated well by guards, allowed regular mail and meetings, and in December that same year he was pardoned and released, you may think that this was very strange treatment of someone who had committed high treason, but the court and many civilians did not like the government either, so Hitler's sentence was really just to convince Hitler's enemies that he had been punished. While in prison though Hitler had written a book called "Mein Kampf" which made loads more people support him and the NSDAP.
Rebuilding the NSDAP

After Hitler was released from prison politics in Germany had become less violent (which deemed the SA pretty much worthless) and the economy was soaring thanks to Gustav Stresemann, so many of the old NSDAP strategies would not work, also the NSDAP was completely banned in Bavaria, but Hitler worked tirelessly to give the impression that he was now a peaceful man and so was the NSDAP, and so on 16 February the ban on the NSDAP was lifted. Unfortunately for the party, their greatest spokesman (Hitler himself) had a ban on speaking which would last for another 2 years, but in spite of this Hitler appointed Gregor Strasser, Otto Strasser and Joseph Goebbels to organise and grow the NSDAP in the other parts of Germany, Gregor Strasser immediately made a good impression on Hitler as he steered the party onto the more independent path and started to emphasise the socialist part of the party, after this Hitler considered the NSDAP nearly rebuilt, but there was something that happened 2 years after Hitler's speaking ban was lifted that would give the NSDAP a massive boost: The Wall Street Crash, this event plunged every country reliant on the American economy into the "Great Depression" this included Germany because in the period where the NSDAP had been rebuilding themselves, Gustav Stresemann and Charles Dawes were working together to get Germany loans from America, so when America wanted their loans back, Germany of course couldn't and America could no longer lend them money, so Germany became one of the worst countries affected by the Great Depression. This was a massive advantage for the NSDAP because they promised the German people that if they came to power they would repudiate the Treaty of Versailles (which meant they wouldn't have to pay reparations to France), strengthen the economy and provide more jobs for those rendered unemployed by the Depression, also at this time the Weimar Republic (which had been controlling Germany since the war) was coming out of their Golden Years and starting their final nosedive which caused them to be thrown out when the Depression eventually came to an end. By the end of the Depression Hitler would be Chancellor of Germany.

The Final Push for Power
In early 1933 the NSDAP were soaring and were one of the largest parties in the Reichstag (the German government) and ironically the "final push" towards the Nazis coming to power was when the Reichstag caught fire at the hands of an arsonist, Hitler seized his chance and accused a Jewish Communist (nice mix of Nazi targets there) who had happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (on later inspection people believed that it was actually a plot by Hitler and his friends, Goring included) and of course the German people believed their new favourite person in the world, and this compelled President Hindenburg to pass the Enabling Act which enabled Hitler to pass any law without having to pass it through the Reichstag first, and soon Hitler became chancellor, but you would think that was it, no. After the NSDAP came to power, Hindenburg died, which left the role of President up for grabs, but Hitler swiftly moved to merge his role and the role of President together to make the infamous role of "Der Fuehrer".