Society - People
By: - at October 7, 2013

15 Interesting Facts about Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler, Anti-Semetic, Dictator, World War 2, Holocaust
By unkown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons

There is perhaps no other man more reviled in modern history than Adolf Hitler. His opinions, beliefs and vision brought the entire world to the brink of war then pushed it over. The atrocities committed due to his ideals are among the most horrendous mankind has ever known that resulted in death and destruction. World War II along with the Holocaust needs to be remembered out of respect for the dead as well as to educate future generations that it happened and possibly could happen again. Nobody will ever be able to pinpoint what it was exactly that drove him to such extremes but it is crucial to examine all elements of his upbringing, formative years and adulthood in order to try to comprehend what factors combined to make him such a hateful as well as villainous man.

15)  Hitler Was Raised in an Authoritarian Household
Adolf Hitler's father was an Austrian customs official and a very strict hot tempered man. Adolf subsequently grew much closer to his mother because of how unpredictable and prone to rages his father was but she had a tendency to overindulge him. Unfortunately, Adolf acquired many of the same personality traits of his father while growing up and it was inevitable that arguments sprung up often between the two. Father and son clashed over issues, such as:  Adolf's interest in art and his father's stark disapproval. As a result, the boy became discontented and overly moody. That discontent haunted Adolf Hitler for the rest of his life and was a fundamental part of the ideological foundations he established. These ideologies later went on to fuel his anti-Semitic furor and extreme notions about keeping the Nordic race pure.

Authortarian, Scolding young boy, Fighting with parent

14)  At One Point, Adolf Hitler Had Artistic Ambitions
According to the book "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny", Adolf moved to Vienna in 1905. While living there he adopted a Bohemian style of living and was supported almost entirely by his mother along with orphan's benefits. He attempted to pursue further education in the area of study that appealed to him most, which was that of art. When painting landscapes and buildings he had a traditionalist style. His ambitions to further his artistic skill resulted in his applying to Vienna's Academy of Art. He was rejected twice by the academy, once in 1907 and then again in 1908 due to his "unfitness for painting". Despite this failure, Hitler chose to remain in Vienna and supplemented his income. Most of his funds were given to him by his family and sometimes he sold his paintings to art dealers, were a majority were Jewish.

It was during Hitler's time living in Vienna that he was exposed to rampant anti-Semitism because local Viennese politics were rife with commentary that was anti-Semitic in nature. It was common to hear people blaming Jewish people for any and every type of obstacle or misfortune a non-Jewish person encountered. While it is unknown specifically if this exposure is what ignited Hitler's own anti-Semitic agenda, it is considered to be highly likely.

Watercolour Painting by Adolf Hitler 1911

13)  The Moustache Was More Than Just Facial Hair
When one hears the name of Adolf Hitler, the countenance that comes to mind is that of a stern face with a short clipped moustache decorating the expanse of skin just beneath the nose. He was pressured to remove the moustache at various points throughout his political career but steadfastly resisted every time, stating that even if it wasn't in fashion at the time it would become so at a later date simply because he wore it.

The origin of Hitler's moustache has become the point of numerous debates where some speculate that it arose out of practical considerations, mainly being a result of military regulations. In order to ensure his gas mask fit properly with a complete seal, he would have had to trim his facial hair to a more severe style. It is speculated by others that the moustache was a result of Hitler's admiration of Charlie Chaplin. Another likely consideration is that the particular style of moustache was fairly commonplace in the region of Austria where Hitler spent his childhood.

The most valid suggestion is that Hitler recognized that his moustache served as a stark visual aid. Regardless of whether this theory is true, it is certainly the one that has left a legacy. The "toothbrush" moustache became synonymous with racial persecution, anti-Semitism, fascism and oppression all over the world.

Adolf Hitler Moustache
By unkown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons

12)  Some of Hitler's Earliest Most Potent Adversaries Were Journalists and a Newspaper

Dr. Fritz Gerlich
Dr. Fritz Gerlich, Hitlers enemy

Gustav von Kahr
Gustav von Kahr, Hitler's enemy
By Artur Braun

Dr. Fritz Gerlich was a native of Munich and he was a staunch German nationalist, he became even more passionate about this stance after Germany's defeat in 1918. According to "The Holocaust Chronicle," Gerlich became a political journalist and the editor of a highly conservative Munich newspaper. In 1923 Gerlich received a visit from a man several years younger than himself, who was highly controversial and the leader of the right wing National Socialist German Worker's Party. Adolf Hitler assumed that because Gerlich shared similar interests that they might become allies.

However, the very opposite occurred when Gerlich went on to become one of the most dedicated, passionate as well as persistent opposers of Hitler and his Nazi regime. The reason for this opposition is unclear to historians but it is assumed to have arisen over an assurance Hitler made concerning Gustav von Kahr, the governor of Bavaria, whom Gerlich supported. During an event known as the Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler attempted to wrest power from von Kahr. This failed coup and Hitler's rash behavior during it is speculated to have been the birthplace of Gerlich's opposition.

Gerlich quickly became a marked man in the eyes of Hitler and the Nazis. He had recognized earlier than most that at the core of Hitler's personality laid a treacherous, deceptive and ruthless man. Gerlich made the decision to use his journalistic skills in any manner he could to expose Hitler for what he truly was and in his desire to do so Gerlich was not alone. There were a number of other journalists that were just as dedicated to exposing the truth behind the Nazis and their leader, many of these people worked for the Munich Post. These journalists used investigative journalism coupled with sensationalist tabloid headlining to expose the Nazis as scandal mongers, vicious men and murderous louts who focused only on furthering their racist anti-Semitic causes. The Munich Post battled against Hitler for 12 years but in the end the journalists were either incarcerated or killed.

11)  Hitler Fought in World War I
Hitler was living in Munich during the onset of the First World War, so he volunteered to fight with the Bavarian Army even though he was an Austrian citizen. He was subsequently assigned to the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment and was sent to the Western Front, which was in both France and Belgium. Hitler served as a dispatch runner and spent a large amount of his time there behind the front lines. There was notable battles that he was present for, such as:  the Battle at Passchendaele and the Battle of the Somme, were he was wounded in the latter. He was hit either in the thigh or groin area by an exploding shell at Somme, it took him two months to recuperate fully. Months after his return to his regiment, he was blinded temporarily by a mustard gas attack and it was while he was hospitalized due to this injury that he learned of Germany's defeat.

Hitler's participation in the war served his passionate German patriotism and Germany's defeat gave rise to feelings of strong bitterness within him. During this time, in his own words, his political anti-Semitic and warlike ideologies began to take form.

Picture of Hitler in World War One with his Fellow Soldiers

10)  Hitler was a Powerfully Adept Public Speaker
During the first stages of his political career, Hitler gave many speeches at beer halls and he was so skilled at public speaking that he developed regular audiences. His speeches were effective at garnering favor because he spoke about topics that resonated with the listeners, he often invoked the concept of scapegoats into his speeches that gave the listeners someone to blame for their problems. His passion and ability to capture the audience was well noted by several different historians, like the historically renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung. Carl Jung commented to journalist H.R. Knickerbocker on Hitler's ability to enthral and mesmerize listeners during his speeches, which was stated in Knickerbocker's publication "Is Tomorrow Hitler's? 200 Questions on the Battle of Mankind."

Hitler's personal magnetism and his ability to read the crowd gave him a powerful advantage when speaking in public because he was often able to invoke national pride within people at a level that bordered on frenzy. His oratorical prowess served him well in the early days of his political career, drumming up patriotism and adroitly directing any feelings of negative sentiment toward his own chosen scapegoats, the Jewish people.

Hitler was a Powerful Public Speaker
By unkown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons

9)  Hitler Participated in a Failed Revolution
Unhappy with the current political situation and power structure in Munich, Hitler and a number of his associates planned to stage a coup through which they could wrest control of the city. Beer halls at that time were popular places for people to congregate at night, drink beer and engage in any manner of conversation. Hitler's adversary, Gustav von Kahr, was making a speech one night to approximately 3000 people at a beer hall in Munich. It was at this beer hall that Hitler and a large number of the Sturmabteilung, also known as the SA or Brownshirts,  marched with the grand intent of seizing power.

With the might of 600 SA behind him, Hitler entered the beer hall and declared that nobody present could leave. He then announced the dissolution of the Bavarian government and the formation of a new one. Due to a number of tactical errors, unpredictable reactions and indecisions, the coup ultimately failed. The end result was that Hitler was both injured, arrested and a number of other people were tragically killed during that night of chaos; this failed revolution became known as the "Beer Hall Putsch".

Soldiers during Beer Hall Putsch
By unkown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons

8)  Hitler Spent Only a Year in Prison
Hitler was arrested on November 11, 1923 because the treason trial against him following the events of the Beer Hall Putsch received national attention. It subsequently became an amplifier for Hitler's propaganda, he accepted all responsibility for his transgressions and claimed that the real criminals were those that had signed the Versailles Peace Treaty at the end of the First World War. After the trial, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment at the Landsberg Prison but he received preferential treatment from the prison staff. Indulgences granted to him during this time included mail deliveries, frequent visitations from other members of his political party and wealthy benefactors. Ultimately, a pardon was issued by the Bavarian Supreme Court and Hitler was released from prison on December 20, 1924 after just spending a little over a year imprisoned.

Defendants in the Beer Hall Putsch, Including Hitler
By Heinrich Hoffmann, via Wikimedia Commons

7)  Hitler Wrote a Book Describing His Struggle
Hitler constructed the first drafts of his manifesto, "Mein Kampf (My Stuggle)" during his time in Landsberg and dictated the first volume of the autobiographical book to his fellow Nazi, Rudolf Hess. The original title of the book was somewhat long winded, "Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice, and it is believed that Hitler's publisher advocated the shorter title of "Mein Kampf."

The book itself was released in two largely anti-Semitic in nature volumes that frequently described "the Jewish Peril", suggesting there was a huge worldwide Jewish conspiracy to gain global control. The narrative of the book describes the reasons and process behind the creation of his ideals as well as how they became increasingly anti-Semitic. In a turn that thoroughly confounded many historians, Hitler described his first encounters with a Jew in an astoundingly tolerant tone. In fact, in "Mein Kampf" he spoke of dismissing all anti-Semitic press and politics entirely when first being exposed. Subsequently, the exact point in time when Hitler began to embrace radical anti-Semitism still remains something of a mystery.

"Mein Kampf" was originally meant to be reading material for those that subscribed to Nationalist Socialism but the book grew in popularity beyond expectations. After Hitler rose to power, it experienced an explosion of popularity. Copies of the book were given to every soldier positioned to fight at the front lines and to every newly married couple while Hitler held power.

Mein Kampf Dust Cover

6)  Hitler Pursued Recognition from the Vatican
Hitler was by all accounts an intelligent man and recognized the potential value of official Vatican recognition of his authority, it would be useful both at home as well as abroad. He counted on the fact that the Roman Catholic Church would be willing to give him that recognition in order to safeguard the status of the church in Germany and subsequent occupied countries. In July of 1933 a covenant between the German Reich and the Holy See was officially signed, sealed as well as recognized by both Germany along with Church officials. The covenant assured the protection and legal status of the Roman Catholic Church along with all affiliate organizations in Germany but only if they remained dedicated solely to religious activities.

This covenant was not a boon for Germany's Jewish population, Hitler considered the covenant to be a useful tool for the Reich against the Jews. However, the covenant could not protect Catholics against Hitler's duplicitous nature and despite the official recognition of Hitler's authority by the Vatican, the Nazis continued with anti-Catholic activities. Nuns along with priests were arrested, parochial schools were routinely harassed and monasteries as well as convents were closed.

The Vatican

5)  Hitler Had a Less than Pleasant Relationship with His Niece

Angela Marie "Geli" Raubal:
Angel Marie "Geli" Raubal, Hitler's Half- Niece and Speculated Lover
By unkown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons

17 year old Angela Marie "Geli" Raubal was a half niece to Adolf Hitler and she became Hitler's housekeeper in 1925 after she moved in with her mother when her father died.  When she decided to study medicine, Geli moved into Hitler's apartment in Munich to be closer to the school.

Hitler became possessive of Raubal during the accumulation of his power and very domineering. When it came to light that Raubal was having an affair with his driver, he forced her to end the relationship and terminated the man’s employment. Raubal  from that point on was not permitted to do anything, such as: associate with friends on her own, venture out to the movies, go shopping, make any sort of outing without Hitler or someone he appointed to accompany her at all times.

Raubal had become a prisoner at the age of 23 but harbored plans to escape to Vienna. Her longing to do so was the cause of an argument between herself and Hitler. He had to leave for a meeting in Nuremberg but returned to Munich quickly thereafter. It was then that Raubal was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head, she had shot herself with Hitler's own gun. Rumors began immediately concerning sexual and physical abuse, there was even the idea that she may have been murdered. Police ruled the death as a suicide but Raubal's death reportedly devastated Hitler, who succumbed to an intense depression and later stated that Raubal had been the only woman he had ever loved.

4)  Hitler Nearly Lost His Life to an Assassination Attempt
Hitler's unscrupulous behavior and incompetency during the Second World War led to certain important military officials deciding that he was an internal threat that needed to be neutralized.  In an attempt to kill Hitler, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg  detonated a bomb while in close proximity to him on July 20, 1944. The blast failed to kill Adolf but burned him and caused damage to his right arm as well as his eardrums. As expected, the failed assassination attempt led to swift and vicious retaliation.

All those found to have participated in the coup attempt where arrested and executed in a number of different horrible ways that were filmed for Hitler. The repercussions of this failed coup were vast and brutal with nearly 7,000 individuals arrested by the Gestapo, nearly 200 of those were executed for treason.

Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg attempted to kill Hitler
By unkown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons

3)  Hitler's Mistress Attempted Suicide
Eva Braun, Hitler's long time mistress and eventual wife, had a relationship with the Nazi leader that was by all accounts rocky at times. As recounted in "Inside the Third Reich," Hitler wished to present a public image of himself as a hero both chaste and pure. For that reason he could not marry and they could never appear together in public as a couple because it would diminish that heroic appeal . During the early stages of her relationship with Adolf Hitler, Braun attempted to commit suicide twice and it is speculated among historians that her reasons for doing so were to secure his attention. For her first attempt, she shot herself in the chest with the pistol that belonged to her father and her second attempt was by an intended overdose of sleeping pills because Hitler failed to make time to be with her.

Eva Braun, Adolf Hitlers Mistress and Wife
By unkown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons

2)  Hitler Married Braun the Day Before They Committed Suicide
With Germany on the verge of defeat and the Allied powers closing in, Hitler chose to do what he wouldn't for years for fear on how it would affect his image. He married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony within his bunker as the Red Army marched steadily closer to their location. The afternoon after, Hitler and his new wife bid goodbye to the members of Hitler's inner circle and the staff. Gunshots were reported to have been heard not long after, the corpses of Hitler and Braun were found on a sofa within a study as described in "With Hitler to the End: The Memoir of Hitler's Valet". Hitler had shot himself in the temple with his gun and Braun had bitten into a cyanide capsule, their bodies were taken out of the bunker to a garden nearby where they were burned then later on found by the Russians.

Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun Committed Suicide

1)  Hitler's Legacy Still Exists
It's an extremely unfortunate fact that Hitler's legacy still exists today and not just in echoes. The profound reverberations of his actions, his orders and his racist ideals can still be felt as shocking tremors even in this current time. Hitler stands as one of the most obvious and infamous historical representatives of immorality. He's also become the embodiment of rampant racism, ruination and atrocities. Many historians agree that Adolf Hitler is one of the most accurate personifications of true evil because of the beyond belief war crimes that were committed under his lead.

Hitlers Legacy Still Exist Via Neo Nazi's and More

Final Words
It is paramount that all current as well as future generations are aware of and acknowledge the terrible wrongs that were committed for the duration of World War Two. It will always be important to recognize Hitler's role in the war and in the Holocaust, despite Adolf Hitler being one of the most reviled as well as hated of all historical figures. By knowing how Hitler thought and what drove him, steps can be taken to ensure that another of his caliber is never again permitted to rise to power.





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