Hitler’s Beginnings<br />Adolf Hitler was born in a small town in Austria in 1889.<br />He dropped out of high school, and attempted to be an artist, but failed at that.<br />Hitler didn’t know what he wanted to do with life, and seemed like a failure when World War I broke out.<br />He volunteered for the German army and served. He won the Iron Cross twice for his bravery in battle.<br />
Political Beginnings<br />After World War I Hitler settled in Munich, Germany.<br />Like many people Hitler was very unhappy with the outcome of the Treaty of Versailles. He felt that Germany was being unfairly punished.<br />In 1920 he joined a small right – wing political group that shared these beliefs.<br />This political group was known as the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (Nationalsozialismus) also known as the Nazi party.<br />
Nazism<br />The Nazis adopted the swastika as their symbol.<br />They set up a private militia called the Storm troopers, also known as the Brownshirts.<br />When Hitler joined the party he was a very successful organizer, and a good public speaker, so this led him to be chosen as durFührer, or the leader.<br />
First Failure<br />With Hitler as the leader the party began to gain more supporters.<br />The party was inspired by Mussolini in Italy, and began plotting to seize the government in Munich.<br />In 1923 the Nazis attempted to takeover (this was known as the Beer Hall Putsch). They failed and Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison (he only served 9 months).<br />
Mein Kampf<br />While Hitler was in jail he wrote a book called Mein Kampfmeaning My Struggle. In this book he outlines his main ideas and beliefs.<br />One of Hitler’s key beliefs was that the blue – eyed, blonde haired Germans were the “Aryans” or master race.<br />Hitler claimed that people who were non – Aryans (Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, amongst others) were inferior/subhuman. He felt these people were part of the cause of the problems for the Aryan race.<br />He also expressed his outrage at the Treaty of Versailles, and said Germans must try to get that land back.<br />He felt Germans needed more lebensraum or living space, and they would get it by conquered Europe and Russia.<br />
After Prison<br />After Hitler was released in 1924 he began working to make the Nazi party strong again.<br />Most Germans ignored his message until the depression hit.<br />By 1932 about six million people (30% of Germany’s population) were unemployed.<br />Germans didn’t feel confident in the leadership of the Weimar Republic and began turning to Hitler for strong leadership and security.<br />
Hitler Becomes Chancellor<br />By 1932 the Nazis were the largest political party.<br />In January 1933 the President named Hitler Chancellor of Germany. <br />He said he appointed Hitler because he was strong enough to stand up to the communist party. <br />He hoped by appointing Hitler to this position he would gain support of Hitler’s followers, and he’d be able to control them as well as Hitler.<br />
Hitler Seizes Power<br />Once Hitler was in office he immediately began strengthening his position.<br />He called for new elections and burned down the parliament building the day before, but blamed it on the communists.<br />Hitler and his allies won the majority in parliament.<br />Once Hitler had parliament under his control he passed a bill that essentially made him a dictator. He banned political opponents and had them arrested.<br />In 1934 Hitler created an elite black uniformed unit called the Schutzstaffel or the SS. They were loyal only to Hitler and arrested anyone who opposed him.<br />
Nazis Command the Economy<br />The Nazis first act of controlling the economy was creating laws that banned strikes, dissolved independent labor unions, and gave the government control over business and labor.<br />Hitler created jobs that put millions of Germans to work doing things such as constructing factories, building highway, manufacturing weapons, and serving in the military.<br />Unemployment dropped from 6 million to 1.5 million.<br />
Complete Control<br />Hitler wanted more than just economic and political control, so he began expanding his power.<br />Hitler censored the press, radio, literature, paintings, and films and used them as propaganda.<br />Books that went against the Nazi beliefs were burned.<br />The church was not allowed to openly criticize Nazis.<br />Children were forced to join the Hitler Youth.<br />Hitler strongly believed in Social Darwinism and promoted it.<br />
1936 Olympics<br />Hitler was a strong believer in Social Darwinism, and felt that anyone who was not Aryan was inferior.<br />The 1936 summer Olympics were held in Berlin. Hitler was very excited, because he thought it would prove how superior the Aryan race was.<br />African – American runner Jesse Owens won four gold medals, defeating the Germans.<br />Hitler refused to watch Owens be presented with medals and left the stadium.<br />
Attacks on the Jews<br />Although the Jewish people made up less than 1% of Germany’s population the Nazis used them as scapegoats for all of Germany’s problems since the war.<br />Beginning in 1933 the Nazis passed laws that deprived Jews of their rights.<br />This led to more violence and anti – Semitism amongst the German people.<br />On November 9, 1938 Nazi mobs began attacking Jewish homes and businesses known as Kristallnacht. This began the process of eliminating Jews from Germany.<br />
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