Between the ages of 16 and 19, young Adolf neither worked to earn his keep, nor formally studied, but had gained an interest in politics and history. During this time he was twice denied admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.
Hitler fought bravely in WWI and was promoted to corporal and decorated with both the Iron Cross Second Class and First Class, the latter of which he wore until his dying day. Ironically, the regimental captain who recommended him for the award was Jewish.
After WWI, Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party. Given responsibility for publicity and propaganda, Hitler first succeeded in attracting over a hundred people to a meeting in October 1919 at which he delivered his first speech to a large audience. The meeting and his oratory were a great success, and in February 1920 he organized a much larger event for a crowd of nearly two thousand in Munich. Hitler himself was not the main speaker, but when his turn came he succeeded in calming a rowdy audience and presented a twenty-five point program of ideas which were to be the basis of the party (party platform). The name of the party was changed to the National Socialist German Workers Party (or Nazi for short) on April 1, 1920.
Hitler continued to expand his influence in the party and began to form a private group of thugs which he used to quash disorder at party meetings and later to break up rival party's meetings. This group became the Sturmabteilung or S.A. - Hitler's brown shirted storm troopers. He also became the regular main speaker at party events from then onwards, attracting alrge crowds for each meeting. During the summer of 1920 Hitler chose the swastika as the Nazi party emblem.
Up to November 1923 Hitler continued to build up the strength of the Nazi Party. During this time he also plotted to overthrow the German Weimar Republic by force. The overthrow (coup) was not successful and Hitler was arrested for treason.During his term in prison Hitler began dictating his thoughts and philosophies to Rudolf Hess which became the book Mein Kampf …meaning My Struggle.
The collapse of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall St. in 1929 led to a world wide depression which hit Germany especially hard. All loans to Germany from foreign countries dried up, German industrial production slumped and millions were unemployed. These conditions were beneficial to Hitler and his Nazi campaigning. Hitler campaigned hard for the Nazi candidates, promising the public a way out of their current hardship. The economic crisis contributed to Hitler’s rise to power.
During the years following Hitler's consolidation of power he set about the "Nazification" of Germany and its release from the armament restrictions of the Versailles Treaty. Censorship was extreme and covered all aspects of life including the press, films, radio, books and even art. All youth associations were abolished and re-formed as a single entity as the Hitler Youth organization.
Also during this time of Nazification the Jewish population was increasingly persecuted and ostracized from society and under the Nuremburg Laws of September 1935 Jews were no longer considered to be German citizens and therefore no longer had any legal rights. Jews were no longer allowed to hold public office, not allowed to work in the civil-service, the media, farming, teaching, the stock exchange and eventually barred from practicing law or medicine. Hostility towards Jews from other Germans was encouraged and even shops began to deny entry to Jews.
Hitler ordered the army to be trebled in size, from the 100,000 man Versailles Treaty limit, to 300,000 men by October of 1934. This was initially ordered to be carried out under the utmost secrecy. Admiral Raeder, the chief of the navy, was given orders to begin the construction of large warships, way above the maximum size decreed by the Versailles Treaty. The construction of submarines, also forbidden by the Treaty, had already begun secretly by building parts in foreign dockyards ready for assembly. Hitler ordered the training of air force pilots and the design of military aircraft. In March 1935 Hitler decided to take a gamble and test the resolve of Britain and France by revealing to a British official the existence of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force). Even though this was a direct challenge to the Versailles Treaty, there was little reaction (its existence was already known anyway). Hitler took a further gamble and declared openly the introduction of military service and the creation of an army with 36 divisions (approx. 1/2 million men). Again, a weak reaction from Britain and France allowed Hitler the comfort of knowing that his gamble had paid off. At the same time that Hitler was increasing the strength of the armed forces, he was also following a policy of making speeches proclaiming a desire for peace in Europe. A quote from Hitler at that time: "Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos.“
1. History MysteryUse the clues to solve the history mystery…Who am I?
2. Who Am I? I was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau, Austria. I had two older siblings who died when they were infants, one younger brother, Edmund, who died when he was six, and one younger sister, Paula, who outlived me. My dad died when I was 13 and my mom died when I was 19…leaving me no relatives willing or able to support me. I had a poor record in school and left before I graduated…I had ambitions to become an artist. In 1909, I moved to Vienna, Austria in the hopes of making a living. I sold some paintings to provide a bit of money but it was not enough so I lived in homeless shelters and ate at soup kitchens. Still penniless, I moved to Munich, Germany in 1913. When WWI broke out, I joined the army. I was a decorated soldier earning promotions and medals of bravery. My only injury was temporary blindness caused by a British gas attack in Ypres Salient. I joined the National Socialist Workers Party in 1919 and by 1921 I was a formidable leader of the party. In 1923, I was arrested for treason and sentenced to five years in the Landsburg Prison. While in prison, I dictated my thoughts and philosophies to Rudolf Hess who wrote a book. I became a German citizen on February 25, 1932. I ran for president but lost the election to Hindenburg. Finally, in March 1934, Hindenburg died and I became “Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor,” abolishing the title of president. Now, I had total control of the Nazi Party and Germany.
3. Adolf HitlerDecember 21, 1931 March 13, 1933 April 13, 1936 April 14, 1941 May 7, 1945
4. Adolf Hitler in His Teenage Years  Didn’t work to earn his keep nor formally study  Gained an interest in politics and history  Twice denied admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, rejections which angered him greatlyWhat if Adolf Hitler had been granted admission into this academy to study art?
5. Hitler’s Service in WWI Fought bravely in WWI and promoted to corporal Decorated with the Iron Cross Second Class and First Class Recommended for the award by a regimental captain who was Jewish Why is this ironic? Notice the change in the Iron Cross?
6. Adolf Hitler the Orator Joined German Workers’ Party after WWI Responsible for publicity and propaganda  Presented to larger and larger audiences with great success  February 1920: presented 25-point program of ideas which became the party platform  April 1920: changed party name to National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi for short) ORATORY: skill or eloquence in public speaking; the art of public speakingWhy were Hitler’s oratory skills so important?
7. Origin of the Nazi Swastika  Hitler continued to expand his influence in the party  Formed a private group of thugs to quash disorder at party meetings and later to break up rival partys meetings – Sturmabteilung or S.A. - Hitlers brown shirted storm troopers  Became regular main speaker at party events from then on  Chose the swastika as the Nazi party emblem in summer of 1920 The word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit svastika - “sv" meaning "good or well," "asti" meaning "to be,“ … translated as “that which is associated with well- being." Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. Because of the Nazis flag, the swastika soon became a symbol of hate, anti-Semitism, violence, death, and murder.The swastika is an extremely powerful symbol. The Nazis used it to murder millions ofpeople, but for centuries it had positive meanings. Does it now represent good or evil?
8. The swastika in thedecorative Hindu form. Matilde Moisant in 1912 wearing a Swastika on the doorstep of an “good-luck” swastika. Matilde was an apartment in Maharashtra, India. American pilot, the second woman in the country to get a pilot’s license. The swastika is a holy symbol in Jainism. Jainism is anA picture of a Red Swastika ancient religion of India, alsoSociety member in China. now found in other countries around the world, thatThe group was active during prescribes a path of peace andthe 1920s and 1930s, similar Native American non-violence towards all livingto the Red Cross. basketball team in 1909 beings.
9. Growth of the Nazi Party Hitler continued to build and strengthen Nazi Party up to November, 1923 Plotted to overthrow the German Weimar Republic by force: – His overthrow (coup) was unsuccessful – Arrested for treason While in prison, he dictated his thoughts and philosophies to Rudolf Hess which became the book Mein Kampf …meaning My Struggle.
10. Adolf Hitler’s Rise to Power Collapse of New York Stock Exchange on Wall St. in 1929 led to a world wide depression which hit Germany especially hard:  All loans to Germany from foreign countries dried up,  German industrial production slumped,  and millions were unemployed. Hitler campaigned hard for Nazi candidates, promising the public a way out of their current hardship.Why would an economic depression lead to adictator like Adolf Hitler coming to power? In the 1930s, many German people starved to death, like this little boy in the picture .
11. Hitler Youth and “Nazification” of Germany  Hitler sets about the "Nazification" of Germany and release from Versailles Treaty restrictions: – Censorship was extreme including the press, films, radio, books and art – All youth associations abolished and re-formed as Hitler Youth organization Jungvolk Oath (taken by ten-year-old boys on first entering the Hitler Youth) "In the presence of this blood banner which represents our Führer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the savior of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God."Hitler Youth recruitment poster.The wording translates to: "Youth "Every girl belongs to us"serves the leader. All ten year- League of Germanolds into the Hitler Youth." Maidens poster
12. Another Impact of Hitler’s Nazification: Persecution of Jews in GermanyNuremburg Laws of September 1935 persecuted and ostracized Jews from society.  Jews no longer considered to be German citizens and therefore had no legal rights.  Jews were no longer allowed to hold public office.  Jews not allowed to work in the civil-service, the media, farming, teaching, the stock exchange and eventually barred from practicing law or medicine.  Hostility towards Jews from other Germans was encouraged; even shops began to deny entry to Jews. A motorcyclist reads a sign SA men carry banners which read stating "Jews are not "Germans! Defend Yourselves! Do welcomed here." Germany, Not Buy From Jews!" Berlin, ca. 1935. Germany, March or April 1933.
13. Cover of an anti-Semitic German childrensbook titled "Trust No Fox in the GreenMeadow and No Jew on his Oath." Germany, Illustration from an anti-Semitic1936. childrens primer. The sign reads "Jews are not wanted here." Germany, 1936.
14. Hitler Defies the Versailles Treaty  Army secretly tripled in size: – from 100,000 man Versailles Treaty limit to 300,000 men by October of 1934  Navy strengthened: – Hitler ordered construction of submarines and large warships  Hitler ordered training of air force pilots and design of military aircraft – creation of Luftwaffe (German Air Force)  Openly declared the introduction of military service and the creation of an army with 36 divisions (approx. 1/2 million men)  All of these actions received little reaction from Britain and France--appeasementAll the while, Hitler gave speeches proclaiming a desire for peace in Europe. Aquote from Hitler at that time: "Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe canwish for nothing but chaos.“
15. Hitler and His Actions are AppeasedWhat if Britain and France hadobjected to Hitler’s breaking of theVersailles Treaty instead offollowing a policy of appeasement? APPEASEMENT is an approach to foreign relations which attempts to maintain peace by making concessions to the aggressor so as to prevent the aggressor from going to war.
16. So what was the big deal about the Treaty of Versailles?