Hitler's Rise To Power
The Antichrist is…a man with white skin, in everyday clothes, dangerously contemporary, and a mighty demagogue…The great Russian philosopher Soloviev described him. The Antichrist ‘does not look like he is,’ and therein precisely lies the danger. He is a young man with a strong personality and seductive power of speech and writing…He will win fame first by book…then, in Berlin, he will be come ruler of the ‘United States of Europe;’ he will conquer Asia; America will submit to him voluntarily. He is an absolute genius, and he may, says Soloviev, wear a small mustache.1
Adolf Hitler was a failed artist who rose to rule Germany as a dictator from 1933-1945. Due to his racial hatred, approximately eleven million people were killed; six million of who were Jews ordered into concentration camps. What type of political climate would enable racial hatred to overtake a country as demonstrated by Hitler’s rise to power? This can be broken down into three different questions. First, how did his childhood and young adulthood affect his actions as an adult? Second, how did such an unstable individual rise to power in the German government? Third, why did the German people believe his lies?
Adolf Hitler was born April 20, 1889, in Braunau, Austria. His father, Alois, was an officer in the Austrian customs service. As soon as he could speak, he was forced to refer to his father as "Herr Vater" (Sir Father), and was quoted to have said, "I never loved my father."2 His father died in January of 1903 at the age of sixty-five. Hitler’s mother, Klara, always told him that he was better than his brothers and sisters. He had seven brothers and sisters, with four dying in infancy. In 1905, Hitler quit school and became a "loner." He was seventeen at the time and because of his ideas some of the people he associated with said he was "clearly a disturbed person."3 He would never hold a steady job until he became dictator in 1933.
In September of 1907, Hitler went to Vienna, with hopes of attending art school. Upon learning that his mother was dying of cancer, he went back home. When she died on December 20, 1907, Hitler went back to Vienna to return to his dream of becoming an artist. However, twice the art school rejected him, which is something that he would never forget. "In his misery Adolf Hitler began to learn things other than art. He learned to hate."4 He became curious about Jews and began to read about them. He started to believe some of the anti-semetic ideas he was reading about. He began to believe that the Aryans were superior and the Jews were responsible for his failure as an artist. He vowed that they would pay for his humiliation. From age nineteen to twenty-four, Hitler lived as a vagrant on the streets of Vienna, and refused regular work. He began to hate all of humanity. In 1913 he moved to Munich, where he still refused regular work, but was hardly broke. In fact, he had the income of a provincial lawyer from odd...