Adolf Hitler Summary

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Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] ( listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state (as Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945. Hitler is most commonly associated with the rise offascism in Europe, World War II, and the Holocaust. A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the German Workers' Party, precursor of the Nazi Party, in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923 Hitler attempted a coup d'état, known as the Beer Hall Putsch, at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained support by promoting Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933 and transformed theWeimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism. Hitler's avowed aim was to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in continental Europe. His foreign and domestic policies had the goal of seizing Lebensraum (living space) for the Germanic people. He oversaw the rearmament of Germany and the invasion of Poland by the Wehrmacht in September 1939, which led to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.[2] Under Hitler's direction, in 1941 German forces and their European allies occupied most of Europe and North Africa. These gains were gradually reversed after 1941, and in 1945 the Allied armies defeated the German army. Hitler's racially motivated policies resulted in the deaths of as many as 17 million people,[3] including an estimated six million Jews and between 500,000 and 1,500,000 Roma targeted in the Holocaust.[4] In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time mistress, Eva Braun. On 30 April 1945—less than two days later—the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army, and their corpses were burned.[5]

Ancestry

Adolf's mother, Klara
Hitler's father, Alois Hitler, was an illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. The name of Alois' father was not listed on Alois' birth certificate, and he bore his mother's surname.[6][7] In 1842 Johann Georg Hiedler married Maria, and in 1876 Johann testified before a notary and three witnesses that he was the father of Alois.[8]Despite his testimony, the question of Alois' paternity remained unresolved. For example, Hans Frank suggested the existence of letters claiming that Alois' mother was employed as a housekeeper for a Jewish family in Graz and that the family's 19-year-old son, Leopold Frankenberger, had fathered Alois.[7] No Frankenberger, Jewish or otherwise, is registered in Graz for that period.[9] This claim remained unsupported, however, and Frank himself did not believe that Hitler had Jewish ancestry.[10] The suggestion that Alois' father was Jewish was also doubted by historians in the 1990s,[11][12] and Ian Kershaw dismisses the Frankenberger story as a "smear" by Hitler's adversaries. Kershaw noted that there was no evidence for a family named Frankenberger living in Graz at the time. All Jews had been expelled from Graz under Maximilian I in the 15th century, and were not allowed to settle in Styria until the Basic Laws were passed in 1849.[9][12] At age 39 Alois assumed the surname Hitler, also spelled as Hiedler, Hüttler, or Huettler; the name was probably regularised to its final spelling by a clerk. The origin of the name is either "one who lives in a hut" (Standard German Hütte), "shepherd" (Standard German hüten "to guard", English heed), or is from the Slavic wordsHidlar and Hidlarcek.[13] Childhood

Adolf Hitler was...
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