Childhood Of Adolf Hitler Essay

1387 words - 6 pages

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, at Braunau am Inn, Austria, a small town in Upper Austria, on the border with Germany. He was the fourth of six children of Alois Hitler (1837-1903), a customs official, and Klara Pölzl, Alois's niece and third wife. Of these six children, only Adolf and his younger sister Paula reached adulthood. Alois Hitler also had a son (Alois Junior) and a daughter (Angela) by his second wife. In Mein Kampf Hitler describes his father as an "irascible tyrant," although there is little indication that Alois Hitler treated his son more strictly than was usual for that time and place. Adolf's strict Catholic upbringing was typical for the region. He served as an altar boy and sang in the choir but was not a practicing Catholic as an adult, though in public discourses he continued to frequently claim he was a Christian.[1]His father Alois was born out of wedlock and used his mother's surname, Schicklgruber, until he was 40. In 1896, he began using the name of his stepfather, Johann Georg Hiedler, after visiting a priest responsible for birth registries and declaring that Georg was his father (Alois gave the impression that Georg was still alive but he was long dead). The spelling was probably changed to "Hitler" by a clerk. Later, Adolf Hitler was accused by his political enemies of not rightfully being a Hitler, but a Schicklgruber. This was also exploited in Allied propaganda during the Second World War when pamphlets bearing the phrase "Heil Schicklgruber" were airdropped over German cities. Adolf was legally born a Hitler, however, and was also closely related to Hiedler through his mother's family.Hitler was not sure who his paternal grandfather was, but it was probably either Johann Georg Hiedler or his brother Johann von Nepomuk Hiedler. There have been rumours that Hitler was one-quarter Jewish and that his paternal grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber, had become pregnant after working as a servant in a Jewish household in Graz. During the 1920s, the implications of these rumours along with his known family history were politically explosive, especially for the proponent of a racist ideology. Opponents tried to prove that Hitler, the leader of the anti-Semitic Nazi Party, had Jewish or Czech ancestors. Although these rumours were never confirmed, for Hitler they were reason enough to conceal his origins. Soviet propaganda insisted Hitler was a Jew, though more modern research tends to diminish the probability that he had Jewish ancestors. Historians such as Werner Maser and Ian Kershaw argue this was impossible, since the Jews had been expelled from Graz in the 15th century and were not allowed to return until well after Maria Schicklgruber's alleged employment.Because of Alois Hitler's profession, his family moved frequently, from Braunau to Passau, Lambach, Leonding, and Linz. As a young child, Hitler was reportedly a good student at the various elementary schools he attended; however, in sixth grade...

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