Profile of Adolf Hitler (1889 -1945)
Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th 1889 in Braunau-am-Inn, Austria.
The town is near to the Austro-German border, and his father, Alois,
worked as a customs officer on the border crossing. His mother, Klara,
had previously given birth to two other children by Alois, (Gustav and
Ida) but they both died in their infancy. Adolf attended school from
the age of six and the family lived in various villages around the
town of Linz, east of Braunau. By this time Adolf had a younger
brother, Edmund, but he only lived until the age of six. In 1896,
Klara gave birth to Adolf 's sister, Paula, who survived to outlive
him. When his father died in 1903, Hitler saw this as a relief to him.
However when his mother Klara died of cancer in 1907, Hitler was
devastated, as she was loving and caring of him and his siblings,
unlike his father, who was a strict disciplinarian.
Hitler grew up with a poor record at school and left before completing
his education, with an ambition to become an artist. During his school
years Hitler only showed and interest in two of his subjects which
were Gymnastics and Art. After his father's death in 1903, Klara
Hitler brought up the thirteen year old Adolf and Paula on her own.
Between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, Hitler neither worked to
earn his keep, nor properly studied, but had gained an interest in
politics and history. During this time he unsuccessfully applied for
admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. When his mother died, 19
year old Hitler had no relatives to support him any more. So in 1909
Hitler moved to Vienna, in the hope of making a living there. Within a
year he was living in homeless shelters and eating at charity
A penniless Hitler decided in 1913 to join the Austro-Hungarian army.
However he failed the medical, and was promptly turned away. So he
decided to move to Munich in the same year. At the outbreak of the
First World War, in 1914, he volunteered for service in the German
army and was accepted into the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment
. Hitler loved the military life style, and the camaraderie between
his fellow soldiers. He fought bravely through the war, and received
the Iron Cross 2nd class and the Iron Cross 1st class for acts of true
bravery. He wore the 1st class Iron Cross till his dying day.
Ironically hiss officer who recommended Hitler for his Iron Cross was
Jewish. Hitler was very lucky during the war and was never wounded
seriously. However when the armistice was announced on November 11th
1918, Hitler was recovering from temporary blindness in hospital after
a British gas attack. In December he returned to Munich, feeling
betrayed by the...