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Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler

German statesman and politician, founder and central figure of National Socialism, founder of the totalitarian dictatorship of Nazi Germany, Chairman of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (1921-1945), Reich Chancellor (1933-1945), Fuhrer and Supreme Commander of the German Armed Forces (1934-1945).

Adolf Gitler (20 April 1889), Ranshofen village (now part of Braunau am Inn), Upper Austria, Austria-Hungary - 30 April 1945, Führerbunker, Berlin, Germany) was a German statesman and politician, the founder and central figure of National Socialism, founder of the totalitarian dictatorship of Nazi Germany, chairman of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (1921-1945), Reich Chancellor (1933-1945), Führer and supreme commander-in-chief of the German armed forces (1934-1945).

Hitler's expansionist policy became one of the main reasons for the outbreak of World War II in Europe. His name is associated with numerous crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime both in Germany itself and in its occupied territories, including the Holocaust. The International Military Tribunal found Hitler's organizations (the SS, the Security Service (SD), and the Gestapo) and the Nazi Party leadership themselves to be criminals.


Etymology of the surname

According to Max Gottschald (1882-1952), a famous German philologist and onomasticist, the surname "Hitler" (Hittlaer, Hiedler) was identical to the surname Hütler ("overseer", probably "forester", Waldhütler).


Hitler's mother Clara and Hitler's father Alois

Father - Alois Hitler (1837-1903). Mother - Clara Hitler (1860-1907), née Pölzl.

Alois, being illegitimate, bore the surname of his mother Maria Anna Schicklgruber (German: Schicklgruber) until 1876. Five years after Alois was born, Maria Schicklgruber married the miller Johann Georg Hiedler, who had spent his life in poverty and had no home of his own. In 1876 three witnesses testified that Hiedler, who had died in 1857, was Alois' father, which allowed the latter to change his last name. The change in the spelling of the surname to "Hitler" was presumably caused by a clergyman's typo in his entry in the "Book of Births". Modern researchers consider Alois' probable father not Giedler, but his brother Johann Nepomuk Güttler, who took Alois into his home and raised him.

Adolf Hitler himself, contrary to the widespread from the 1920s (and got with the filing of a candidate of historical sciences, associate professor and senior researcher at the Institute of General History of the USSR Academy of Sciences W.D. Kulbakin even in the 3rd edition of the BSE) statement, never wore the name Shicklgruber.

On January 7, 1885, Alois married his relative (the granddaughter of Johann Nepomuk Güttler) Clara Pölzl. This was his third marriage. By this time he had a son, Alois, and a daughter, Angela, who later became the mother of Geli Raubal, Hitler's alleged mistress. Because of the kinship, Alois had to obtain permission from the Vatican to marry Clara.

Hitler knew about the inzucht in his family and therefore always spoke very briefly and vaguely about his parents, although he demanded documentary proof of his ancestry from others. From the end of 1921 he constantly re-evaluated and obscured his origins. About his father and maternal grandfather he wrote only a few sentences. His mother, on the other hand, he mentioned very often in conversations. Because of this he never told anyone that he was related (in direct lineage from Johann Nepomuk) to the Austrian historian Rudolf Koppensteiner and the Austrian poet Robert Hamerling.

Adolf's direct ancestors, on both the Schicklgruber and Hitler lines, were peasants. Only his father made a career and became a government official.

Hitler's attachment to his childhood places was only to Leonding, where his parents were buried, to Spital, where maternal relatives lived, and to Linz. He visited them even after he came to power.


Hitler as a baby (1889-1890)

Adolf Hitler was born in Austria, in Braunau am Inn near the German border on April 20, 1889, at 6:30 p.m. in the Inn at the Pomeranian. Two days later he was baptized with the name Adolf. Hitler was very much like his mother. His eyes, the shape of his eyebrows, his mouth, and his ears were exactly like hers. His mother Clara, who gave birth to him at age 29, loved him very much. She had lost three children before that.

Until 1892 the family lived in Braunau at the Inn at the Pomeranian, the most representative house in the suburbs. In addition to Adolf, his half-brother (half-siblings) Alois and sister Angela lived with the family. In August 1892 the father was promoted and the family moved to Passau. On March 24, 1894, brother Edmund (1894-1900) was born, and Adolf ceased to be the focus of the family for a time. On April 1, the father received a new assignment to Linz. But the family remained in Passau for another year so as not to move with the newborn baby.

Photo from 1934. House is preserved till nowadays.

Here the future dictator lived until he was three years old. Braunau am Inn, Austria.

In April 1895 the family moved to Linz. On May 1, Adolf, at the age of six, entered the one-year folk school in Fischlgam near Lambach. On June 25 his father unexpectedly took early retirement for health reasons. In July 1895 the family moved to Gafeld near Lambach am Traun, where the father bought a house with a plot of land.

At the elementary school in Fischlgam, Adolf did well and received only excellent grades. In 1939 he visited and bought the school, and then ordered a new school building to be built nearby.

On January 21, 1896, he had a sister, Paula. He was especially fond of her and always took care of her.

In 1896 Hitler entered the second grade at the old Catholic Benedictine monastery school in Lambach, which he attended until the spring of 1898. Here, too, he received only good grades. He sang in the boys' choir and assisted the priest at Mass. It was here that he first saw the swastika on the coat of arms of Abbot Hagen. He later ordered one to be carved from wood in his chancellery.

In the same year, his half-brother Alois left home because of his father's constant nagging. After this, Adolphus became the centerpiece of his father's worries and constant pressure, for his father feared that he would grow up to be as idle as his brother.

In November 1897 his father bought a house in the village of Leonding near Linz, where the family moved in in February 1898. The house was near the cemetery.

Adolf changed schools for the third time, and here he went to the fourth grade. He attended the public school in Leonding until September 1900.

On February 2, 1900, his brother Edmund died. Adolf remained Clara Hitler's only son.

Hitler (center) with classmates, 1900

It was in Leonding that he developed a critical attitude toward the church under the influence of his father's statements.

In September 1900 Adolf entered the first class of the public real school in Linz. The change from a rural school to a large and alien real school in the city was not to Adolf's liking. He only liked to walk the 6 km distance from home to the school.

From that time on Adolph began to learn only what he liked - history, geography, and especially drawing; everything else he ignored. As a result of this attitude toward learning, he stayed a second year in the first grade of the real school.


When 13-year-old Adolf was in the second grade of the Real School in Linz, his father died unexpectedly on January 3, 1903. In spite of incessant arguments and strained relations, Adolf loved his father and wept uncontrollably at his coffin.

At the request of his mother, he continued to go to school, but finally decided for himself that he would be an artist, not an official, as his father wanted. In the spring of 1903, he moved to the school dormitory in Linz. He began to attend school classes irregularly.

On September 14, 1903, Angela married, and now only Adolf, his sister Paula, and his mother's sister Johanna Pölzl remained in the house with his mother.

When Adolf was 15 years old and finishing the third grade of the real school, his confirmation took place in Linz on May 22, 1904. During this period he composed a play, wrote poems and short stories, and composed a libretto for an opera by Wagner based on the legend of Wieland and an overture. He still went to school with disgust, and most of all he disliked the French language. In the fall of 1904, he passed the examination in this subject the second time, but they took a promise that he would go to another school in the fourth grade. Gehmer, who at this time taught Adolphus French and other subjects, at Hitler's trial in 1924 said: "Hitler was undoubtedly gifted, though one-sided. Almost unable to control himself, he was stubborn, self-willed, willful and irascible. He was not diligent.

Hitler's drawing

According to numerous testimonies it is possible to conclude that Hitler already in his youth had strongly pronounced psychopathic traits.

In September 1904 Hitler, fulfilling his promise, entered the state real school in Steyr in the fourth grade and studied there until September 1905. In Steyr he lived in the house of the merchant Ignatz Kammerhofer at 19 Grünmarket. The place was later renamed Adolf Hitlerplatz.

On February 11, 1905, Adolf received his certificate of graduation from the fourth grade of the Real School. It only had an "excellent" grade in drawing and physical education; in German, French, mathematics, and shorthand, it was unsatisfactory; in the other subjects, it was satisfactory.

On June 21, 1905, the mother sold the house in Leonding and moved with the children to 31 Humbolt Street in Linz.

In the fall of 1905, Hitler, at his mother's request, very reluctantly began attending school in Steyr again and retaking examinations in order to obtain his fourth-grade certificate.

At this time he was diagnosed with a severe lung disease - the doctor advised his mother to postpone his schooling for at least a year and recommended that he never work in an office in the future. His mother took Adolphe out of school and took him to Spital with relatives.

On January 18, 1907, his mother underwent complicated surgery (breast cancer). In September, when his mother's health improved, the 18-year-old Hitler went to Vienna to take the entrance exam for the general art school, but failed the second round of the exam. After the examinations Hitler managed to obtain a meeting with the rector, from whom he was advised to take up architecture: Hitler's drawings indicated his aptitude for this art.

In November 1907 Hitler returned to Linz and took over the care of his hopelessly ill mother. On December 21, 1907, Clara Hitler died; on December 23, Adolf buried her next to her father.

In February 1908, after settling inheritance matters and arranging pensions for himself and his sister Paula as orphans, Hitler left for Vienna.

Kubitzek, a friend of his youth, and other comrades-in-arms of Hitler's testify that he was constantly at war with everyone and hated everything around him. Thus his biographer Joachim Fest admits that Hitler's anti-Semitism was a focused form of hatred that had been raging in the darkness before and finally found its object in the Jew.

In September 1908 Hitler made a second attempt to enter the Vienna Academy of Arts, but failed in the first round. After his failure he changed his place of residence several times without informing anyone of his new addresses. Avoided serving in the Austrian army. He did not want to serve in the same army as Czechs and Jews, to fight "for the Habsburg state," but at the same time he was ready to die for the German Reich. He was active as an "academic artist" and, since 1909, as a writer.

In 1909 Hitler met Rheingold Ganisch, who began to successfully sell his paintings. Until mid-1910 Hitler painted a great many small-format paintings in Vienna. They were mainly copies from postcards and old engravings depicting all sorts of historical buildings. In addition he painted various advertisements. In August 1910, Hitler reported to the Vienna police commissariat that Ganisch had withheld some proceeds from him and stolen a painting. Ganisch was sent to prison for seven days. From then on, Hitler sold his paintings himself. The work brought him such a large income that in May 1911 he gave up the monthly pension due him as an orphan in favor of his sister Paula. In addition, he soon received most of his aunt Johanna Pölzl's inheritance.

During this period, Hitler began to educate himself intensively. Subsequently he was free to communicate and read literature and newspapers in French and English. During the war he liked to watch French and English films without translation. He was very well versed in the armaments of the armies of the world, history, etc. At the same time he showed interest in politics.

In May 1913, at the age of 24, Hitler moved from Vienna to Munich and settled in the apartment of tailor and shopkeeper Josef Popp on Schleißheimer Straße. Here he lived until the outbreak of the First World War, working as a painter.

On December 29, 1913, the Austrian police asked the Munich police to establish the address of Hitler, who was in hiding. On January 19, 1914, the Munich Criminal Police took Hitler to the Austrian consulate. On February 5, 1914 Hitler went to Salzburg for an examination, where he was declared unfit for military service.

Participation in World War I

On August 1, 1914, World War I began. Hitler was delighted with the news of the war. He immediately applied to King Ludwig III of Bavaria for permission to serve in the Bavarian army. The very next day he was invited to report to any Bavarian regiment. He chose the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment ("List's Regiment," after the commander's last name).

On August 16, he enlisted in the 6th Reserve Battalion of the 2nd Bavarian Infantry Regiment No. 16 (Königlich Bayerisches 16. Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment), consisting of volunteers. September 1 transferred to the 1st Company of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 16. On October 8, he swore allegiance to King Ludwig III of Bavaria and Emperor Franz Joseph.

Hitler (far right) with fellow soldiers, 1914.

In October 1914 he was sent to the Western Front and on October 29 took part in the Battle of the Iser, and from October 30 to November 24 at Ypres.

On November 1, 1914, he was promoted to the rank of corporal. On November 9 he was transferred as a liaison to the regimental headquarters. From November 25 to December 13 he participated in the position war in Flanders. On December 2, 1914 he was awarded the Iron Cross, 2nd class. From December 14 to 24 he participated in the Battle of French Flanders, and from December 25, 1914 to March 9, 1915 - in the position battles in French Flanders.

In 1915 he participated in the battles of Nav-Chapelle, La Basse, and Arras. In 1916 he participated in reconnaissance and demonstration battles of the 6th Army in connection with the Battle of the Somme, as well as in the battle of Fromel and directly in the Battle of the Somme. In April 1916 he meets Charlotte Loboit. Wounded in his left thigh by a grenade fragment at Le Bargueur in the first Battle of the Somme. Wounded in the Red Cross infirmary at Belitz near Potsdam. On leaving the hospital (March 1917) he returned to the regiment in the 2nd company of the 1st Reserve Battalion.

In 1917 - spring battle of Arras. Participated in the battles of Artois, Flanders, and Upper Alsace. On September 17, 1917 he was awarded the Cross of Military Merit, 3rd class, with swords.

In 1918 he participated in the spring offensive in France, in the battles of Evreux and Mondidier. On May 9, 1918 he is awarded a regimental diploma for outstanding bravery at Fontanay. May 18 receives the Badge of Woundedness (black). From May 27 to June 13 - battles at Soissons and Reims. From June 14 to July 14, position battles between the Oise, the Marne, and the Aisne. From July 15 to 17 - participation in offensive battles on the Marne and in Champagne, and from July 18 to 29 - participation in defensive battles at Soissons, Reims, and the Marne. Awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, for delivering a report to artillery positions under particularly difficult conditions, thereby saving the German infantry from being shelled by their own artillery.

August 21-23, 1918 - participation in the Battle of Monsey-Bap.

On August 25, 1918, Hitler received the Third Degree Service Award. According to numerous testimonies, he was circumspect, very brave, and an excellent soldier. Hitler's fellow officer in the 16th Bavarian Infantry Regiment, Adolf Meyer, cites in his memoirs the testimony of another of their fellow officers, Michael Schleehuber, who characterized Hitler as "a good soldier and an impeccable comrade." According to Schlehuber, he "never once saw" Hitler "in any way discomforted by service or shirked danger," nor did he hear "anything negative" about him during his time in the division.

October 15, 1918 - Gas poisoning near La Montaigne as a result of a chemical shell exploding near him. Eye damage - with this a temporary loss of vision. Treated in the Bavarian field infirmary in Oudenarde, then in the psychiatric ward of the Prussian rear infirmary in Pasewalk. While recovering in the hospital, he learned about the surrender of Germany and the overthrow of the Kaiser, which was a great shock for him.

Creation of the NSDAP

Hitler saw the defeat of the German Empire in the war and the November Revolution of 1918 as the creation of traitors who had stabbed the victorious German army in the back.

At the beginning of February 1919, Hitler enlisted as a volunteer to guard a prisoner-of-war camp near Traunstein near the Austrian border. About a month later, the prisoners of war - several hundred French and Russian soldiers - were released and the camp and its guards were disbanded.

On March 7, 1919, Hitler returned to Munich, to the 7th Company, 1st Reserve Battalion, 2nd Bavarian Infantry Regiment.

Hitler and the NSDAP leadership in the late 1920s

At this time he had not yet decided whether he would be an architect or a politician. In Munich, during the turbulent days of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, he was in the ranks of the Communist formations (since the entire Munich garrison was enlisted in the Red Army) and was even a deputy, but then claimed that he "did not bind himself with any obligations, just observed and cared for his own safety. He claimed, contrary to his position as a deputy and the documentary photographs (which allegedly captured him at Eisner's coffin), that he had been in Max's barracks in Munich-Oberwiesenfeld (German)Russ. the whole time until the day that Freikor von Epp and the Reichswehr Noske knocked the Communist Soviets out of Munich. He was so sincerely disillusioned with communism after the defeat of the Soviet Republic that he was not subjected to reprisals, despite the fact that he was a deputy to the council for his unit which had put up armed resistance to the Freikor and the Reichswehr (and according to reports, he was the leader of that resistance). At the same time he gave his works to the well-known painter Max Zeper for evaluation. He sent the pictures to Ferdinand Steger (German.), who stated: " absolutely outstanding talent".

On April 27, 1919, as stated in Hitler's official biography, he was confronted in a Munich street by a detachment of Red Guards who intended to arrest him for "anti-Soviet" activities, but "using his carbine", Hitler avoided arrest.

From June 5 to 12, 1919, his superiors sent him to a training course for agitators, who were to conduct explanatory talks against the Bolsheviks among returning soldiers from the front. Among the lecturers, far-right views prevailed, among others lectured by Gottfried Feder, the future economic theorist of the NSDAP.

During one of these lectures Hitler impressed the head of the propaganda department of the 4th Bavarian Reichswehr Command with his anti-Semitic monologue, who suggested that he take on political functions on an army-wide basis. A few days later he was appointed officer of education (trustee). Hitler proved to be a bright and temperamental orator and attracted the attention of his listeners.

The decisive moment in Hitler's life was his unwavering acceptance by supporters of anti-Semitism. Between 1919 and 1921 Hitler intensively read books from Friedrich Kohn's library. This library was clearly anti-Semitic, which had a profound effect on Hitler's beliefs.

On September 12, 1919 Adolf Hitler went to a meeting of the German Workers' Party (DAP) - founded in early 1919 by the locksmith Anton Drexler and numbering about 40 people - at the request of the military. During the debate, Hitler, speaking from a pan-German position, won a convincing victory over the supporter of Bavarian independence. The speech made a great impression on Drexler and he offered Hitler to join the party. After some thought, Hitler decided to accept the offer and at the end of September 1919, having resigned from the army, became a member of the DAP. Hitler immediately made himself responsible for party propaganda and soon began to determine the activities of the entire party.

Meeting of the NSDAP in Munich

On February 24, 1920, Hitler organized in the Hofbräuhaus beer hall the first of many large public events of the party. In the course of his speech he proclaimed the "25 points" he, Drexler and Feder had drawn up, which became the party program. The "25 points" combined Pan-Germanism, demands for the abolition of the Treaty of Versailles, anti-Semitism, demands for socialist reforms and a strong central government. On the same day, the party was renamed NSDAP (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - German National Socialist Workers' Party) at Hitler's suggestion.

In July 1921, there was a conflict in the leadership of the NSDAP: Hitler, who wanted dictatorial powers in the party, was angered by negotiations with other groups, which took place while Hitler was in Berlin, without his participation. On July 11 he announced his withdrawal from the NSDAP. Since Hitler was at that time the most active public politician and the most successful orator of the party, the other leaders were forced to ask him to return. Hitler returned to the party and on July 29 was elected its chairman with unlimited power. Drexler was left as honorary chairman with no real powers, but his role in the NSDAP fell sharply from that point on.

For disrupting a speech by the Bavarian separatist politician Otto Ballerstedt. Hitler was sentenced to three months in prison, but served only a month in Munich's Stadelheim prison from June 26 to July 27, 1922. On January 27, 1923, he held the first congress of the NSDAP; 5,000 storm troopers marched through Munich.

"Beer Putsch"

Hitler, 1920s

By the early 1920s, the NSDAP had become one of the most prominent organizations in Bavaria. Ernst Röhm was at the head of the Storm Troops (German abbreviation SA). Hitler quickly became a political figure to be reckoned with, at least within Bavaria.

In January 1923, a crisis broke out in Germany, caused by the French occupation of the Ruhr. The government led by the non-partisan Reich Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno called for passive resistance from the Germans, which resulted in great economic damage. The new government, led by Reich Chancellor Gustav Stresemann, was forced to accept all French demands on September 26, 1923, and as a result was attacked by both the right and the Communists. Anticipating this, Strezemann succeeded in having President Ebert impose a state of emergency on the country from September 26, 1923.

On September 26, the conservative Bavarian cabinet declared a state of emergency and appointed the right-wing monarchist Gustav von Kahr as commissioner of Bavaria, investing him with dictatorial powers. Power in Bavaria was concentrated in the hands of a triumvirate: Kahr, the Reichswehr commander in Bavaria, General Otto von Lossow, and the Bavarian police chief, Hans von Seißer. Kar refused to admit that the state of emergency imposed in Germany by the President was valid for Bavaria and refused to execute a number of orders from Berlin, in particular - to arrest three popular leaders of armed formations and close the organ of the NSDAP Völkischer Beobachter.

Hitler was inspired by the example of Mussolini's march on Rome and hoped to do something similar again by organizing a march on Berlin, so he approached Kar and Lossow with a proposal to undertake a march on Berlin. Kar, Lossow and Saiser were not interested in carrying out a senseless action and on November 6 they informed the "German Struggle Union", in which Hitler was a leading political figure, that they did not intend to get involved in hasty action and would decide on their own actions. Hitler took this as a signal that the initiative should be taken into his own hands. He decided to take von Kahr hostage and force him to support the campaign.

On November 8, 1923, at about 9 p.m., Hitler, at the head of armed storm troopers, arrived at the Bürgerreukeller pub in Munich where a meeting was being held with Kar, Lossow and Saiser. Once inside, Hitler announced the "overthrow of the traitor government in Berlin. Then Erich Ludendorff, who supported the putsch, was brought into the beer hall. Soon, however, the Bavarian leaders managed to leave the beer hall, after which Kar issued a proclamation dissolving the NSDAP and the storm troopers. For their part, the Stormtroopers, under Röhm's command, occupied the headquarters building of the Land Forces in the War Ministry; there, in turn, they were surrounded by Reichswehr soldiers.

On the morning of November 9, Hitler and Ludendorff led a column of 3,000 storm troopers and supporters to the Ministry of Defense, but on Residenzstraße their way was blocked by a detachment of police who opened fire. Carrying the dead and wounded, the Nazis and their supporters left the streets. In the history of Germany, this episode went under the name of "beer putsch.

In February - March of 1924, the trial over the leaders of the putsch was held. On the bench of the defendants was only Hitler and a few of his associates. The court sentenced Hitler for high treason to 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of 200 gold marks. Hitler served his sentence in Landsberg prison. However, nine months later, on 20 December 1924, he was released.

On the road to power

Hitler portraying a speaker in Hoffmann's photo studio, 1927.

During the absence of the leader, the party disintegrated. Hitler had to practically start from scratch. He received a great deal of help from Röhm, who began rebuilding the storm troopers. However, the decisive role in the revival of the NSDAP was played by Gregor Strasser, the leader of right-wing extremist movements in North and Northwestern Germany. By bringing them into the ranks of the NSDAP, he helped transform the party from a regional (Bavarian) one into a nationwide political force.

In April 1925 Hitler renounced his Austrian citizenship and was stateless until February 1932.

In 1926 the Hitler Youth was founded, the conquest of "red Berlin" by Goebbels began. Hitler, meanwhile, sought support at the all-German level. He managed to gain the trust of some of the generals and, with the help of Fritz Thyssen, to establish contacts with industrial magnates. At the same time the book Mein Kampf was published.

When the parliamentary elections in 1930 and 1932 brought the Nazis a serious increase in parliamentary seats, the ruling circles of the country began to seriously consider the NSDAP as a possible participant in governmental combinations. An attempt was made to remove Hitler from the leadership of the party and bet on Strasser. However, Hitler managed to quickly isolate his associate and deprive him of all influence in the party. Eventually it was decided at the German upper echelons to give Hitler the main administrative and political post, surrounding him (just in case) with guardians from the traditional conservative parties.

In February 1932 Hitler decided to run for Reich president. On 25 February the minister of the interior of Brunswick appointed him to the position of attache to the Brunswick representation in Berlin. This did not impose any official duties on Hitler, but automatically gave him German citizenship and allowed him to participate in elections. Hitler took lessons in oratory and acting from the opera singer Paul Devrient and the Nazis organized a grand propaganda campaign. Hitler became the first German politician to make campaign trips by air. In the first round on March 13, Paul von Hindenburg won 49.6 percent of the vote, and Hitler came in second place with 30.1 percent. On April 10, in a runoff vote, Hindenburg won 53% and Hitler 36.8%. Third place both times went to Communist Thellmann.

On 4 June 1932 the Reichstag was dissolved. In the elections held on 7 July, the NSDAP won a landslide victory, gaining 37.8% of the votes and gaining 230 seats in the Reichstag instead of the previous 143. Second place went to the Social Democrats with 21.9% and 133 Reichstag seats.

On November 6, 1932, another special election for the Reichstag was held. This time the NSDAP lost two million votes, gaining 33.1% and receiving only 196 seats instead of the previous 230.

On 3 December 1932, Kurt von Schleicher was appointed Reich Chancellor.

Hitler's meeting with Papen at the house of Schröder, a banker, on January 4, 1933 served as the first step toward establishing a dictatorship of the Third Reich. Hitler offered von Papen the post of vice-chancellor and the German National People's Party key ministries. Von Papen and Hindenburg still believed that in a government with a majority of conservative ministers they could "encircle" and "tame" Reich Chancellor Hitler. Their alliance with Hitler isolated the Schleicher government. After General Werner von Blomberg agreed to become the new Minister of War in Hitler's future government, Schleicher completely lost the support of the Reichswehr and thus his ability to function. However, Hindenburg rejected his proposal for a new election, and on January 28, 1933, Schleicher resigned. Hitler, Papen and Hindenburg meanwhile agreed on the composition of the government. This allowed the appointment of Hitler as Reich Chancellor.

Reich Chancellor and Head of State

Seizure of power

On January 30, 1933, Hindenburg accepted Schleicher's resignation and appointed Hitler Reich Chancellor.

With this appointment Hitler had not yet gained power over the country. Firstly, only the Reichstag could pass any laws in Germany, and Hitler's party did not have the necessary number of votes in it. Second, in the party itself there was opposition to Hitler in the face of the Storm Troopers and their leader Ernst Röhm. And finally, thirdly, the head of state was the president, while the Reich Chancellor was only the head of the Cabinet. In just a year and a half, however, Hitler removed all these obstacles and became an unrestricted dictator.

"Potsdam Day," a solemn ceremony to mark the convocation of the new Reichstag, March 21, 1933.

On February 27 (less than a month after Hitler's appointment as chancellor), a fire broke out in the parliament building, the Reichstag. The official version of what happened was that Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe, seized while extinguishing the fire, was to blame. The circumstances remain undisclosed to this day. Hitler announced a plot by the Communist Party to seize power and the day after the fire Hindenburg signed two decrees - "For the Defense of the People and the State" and "Against the Betrayal of the German People and the Intrigues of the Traitors of the Fatherland" - prepared by the new government. The decree "For the Protection of the People and the State" abolished seven articles of the constitution, restricted freedom of speech, the press, meetings and rallies; permitted the viewing of correspondence and wiretapping of telephones, and provided for detention without trial under "protective custody". As a result, thousands of NSDAP opponents were arrested and sent to concentration camps. This was a decisive step on the road to dictatorship, marking the end of the Weimar Republic. After that new elections to the Reichstag were announced.

Hitler, 1933

Hitler's main goal, as articulated in his speeches, was to destroy the influence of the Marxist parties. On March 2, in a speech at the Palace of Sports, he said:

"Has this Marxism eliminated poverty where it has won a hundred percent victory, where it reigns real and undivided, in Russia? Reality speaks here in a very startling language. Millions of people starved to death in a country that could have been the breadbasket of the world... They say "brotherhood. We know this brotherhood. Hundreds of thousands, even millions, have been killed in the name of brotherhood and great happiness <...> They also say they have surpassed capitalism... The capitalist world should give them credit, supply them with machines and factories, give them engineers and tens of men - this other world should do all this. They have no power to challenge it. And the system of logging labor in Siberia I could recommend, at least for a week, to those who dream of realizing this system in Germany.

In the elections held on March 5, the Nazi party won 43.9 percent of the votes and 288 seats in the Reichstag. The decapitated Communist Party lost 19 seats. However, even this composition of the Reichstag could not satisfy the Nazis. On March 8, by a special resolution, the Communist Party of Germany was prohibited, and the mandates that should have been given to the Communist deputies after the elections (81 seats) were canceled. In addition, 26 SPD deputies were arrested or fled the country. On March 24, 1933, the new Reichstag passed the Emergency Powers Act. This law granted the government, headed by the Reich Chancellor, the power to issue state laws (previously only the Reichstag could do so), and Article 2 stated that laws so issued could contain deviations from the constitution. On June 22, 1933, the Social Democratic Party of Germany was banned as hostile to the state and the people.

On June 30, 1934, the Gestapo organized a mass pogrom against the storm troopers of the SA, which went down in history as the Night of the Long Knives. More than a thousand people were killed, including the leader of the Stormtroopers, Ernst Röhm. At the same time some of the victims had no relation to the SA, in particular Hitler's predecessor as Reich Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and his wife.

On August 2, 1934, at nine o'clock in the morning, Reichspresident Hindenburg died at the age of 86. Three hours later it was announced that, in accordance with a law passed by the cabinet the day before the president's death, the functions of chancellor and president were combined in one person and that Adolf Hitler had assumed the powers of head of state and supreme commander in chief of the armed forces. The title of president was abolished; henceforth Hitler was to be called Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor. Hitler demanded that all members of the armed forces swear allegiance not to Germany, not to the constitution, which he had violated by refusing to call an election for Hindenburg's successor, but to him personally.

On August 19, a referendum was held in which these actions were approved by 84.6 percent of the electorate.

Domestic Policy

In the early years of Hitler's rule, unemployment fell sharply. The implementation of the Keynesian-inspired Reinhardt program, with its substantial financial outlay of 1.5 billion Reichmarks, played a decisive role. While in February 1933 there were officially registered more than 6 million unemployed in Germany, in June 1934 Hitler's government was able to declare a reduction to 2.5 million. In January 1935 there were 2.9 million, at the end of August 1935 - only 1.1 million. The main reason for the reduction of unemployment was the employment program (in agriculture and road construction), initiated by Bruening government, which was expanded by housing construction.

Large-scale humanitarian aid campaigns for needy people were launched. Mass cultural and sports festivals were encouraged. The policy of Hitler's regime was based on the preparation for revenge for the lost World War I. For this purpose the industry was reconstructed, the large building was unfolded and the strategic reserves were created. The population was treated with propaganda in the spirit of revenge.

First the Communist Party and then the Social Democratic Party were banned. A number of parties were forced to disband. The trade unions were liquidated, and their assets were transferred to the Nazi labor front. Opponents of the new government were summarily sent to concentration camps.

An important part of Hitler's domestic policy was anti-Semitism. Mass persecution of Jews and Roma began. On September 15, 1935 the Nuremberg Race Laws were passed which disenfranchised Jews; in the fall of 1938 the all-German Jewish pogrom (Kristallnacht) was organized. The development of this policy a few years later was Operation Endlezung (Final Solution to the Jewish Question), aimed at the physical destruction of the entire Jewish population. This policy, which Hitler first declared back in 1919, culminated in the genocide of the Jewish population, which was already decided during the war.

The Beginning of Territorial Expansion

Shortly after coming to power, Hitler announced Germany's withdrawal from the military articles of the Treaty of Versailles, which limited Germany's war effort. The 100,000-strong Reichswehr was transformed into the million-strong Wehrmacht, tank armies were created, and military aviation was restored. The status of the demilitarized Rhineland was abolished.

Between 1936 and 1939, Germany, under Hitler's leadership, provided substantial aid to the Francists during the Spanish Civil War.

At this time Hitler believed that he was seriously ill and would soon die, and began to rush to implement his plans. On November 5, 1937, he wrote his political will, and on May 2, 1938, his personal will.

On March 13, 1938, Austria was annexed (Anschluss) to Nazi Germany. In the fall of the same year, under the Munich Agreement, part of Czechoslovakia, the Sudetenland, was annexed. In March 1939, the Klaipeda region of Lithuania cedes to Germany.

Time magazine in its January 2, 1939 issue called Hitler "the man of 1938. The article on "Man of the Year" began with Hitler's titling, which sounds, according to the magazine, as follows: "Führer of the German people, Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, Navy & Air Force, Chancellor of the Third Reich, Herr Hitler." The final sentence of the very lengthy article proclaimed:

"To those who watched the closing events of the year it seemed more than probable that the Man of 1938 may make 1939 a year to be remembered."

In March of 1939 the remaining part of the Czech Republic was occupied and turned into a satellite state of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Slovakia remained formally independent) and part of Lithuania, including Klaipeda (Memel Oblast) was annexed. Hitler then made territorial claims against Poland (first for an extraterritorial road to East Prussia and then for a referendum on the ownership of the "Polish Corridor," in which people who had lived in this territory as of 1918 would have participated). The latter demand was clearly unacceptable to Poland's allies, Great Britain and France, which could have served as a basis for the outbreak of conflict.

Germany in 1939. Blue indicates the so-called "Old Reich"; blue the lands annexed in 1938; light blue the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravi

World War II

Visit to invaded Poland, 1939.

These claims were met with a harsh rebuke. On April 3, 1939, Hitler approved a plan of an armed attack on Poland (Operation "Weiss").

On August 23, 1939, Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, a secret annex to which contained a plan for the division of spheres of influence in Europe. On August 31, a provocation in Gleiwitz was arranged, which served as a pretext for an attack on Poland on September 1. It marked the beginning of World War II. After defeating Poland during September, Germany occupied Norway, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium in April-May 1940 and invaded France. In June, Wehrmacht forces occupied Paris, and France capitulated. In the spring of 1941, Germany, led by Hitler, invaded Greece and Yugoslavia, and on June 22 attacked the Soviet Union. Defeats of the Soviet troops in the first phase of the Great Patriotic War led to the occupation by the German and allied armies of the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and the western part of the RSFSR. On the occupied territories the most brutal occupation regime, which destroyed many millions of people, was established.

However, from the end of 1942 the German armies began to suffer major defeats both in the USSR (Stalingrad) and in Egypt (El Alamein). The following year, the Red Army launched a major offensive, while Anglo-American troops landed in Italy and withdrew from the war. In 1944 virtually all Soviet territory was liberated from occupation, the Red Army advanced into Poland and the Balkans; at the same time Anglo-American troops, having landed in Normandy, liberated most of France. At the end of October 1944 the fighting was transferred to the Reich.

Attacks on Hitler

The first unsuccessful attempt on Adolf Hitler's life took place in 1930 at the Kaiserhof Hotel. When Hitler came down from the podium after a speech to his supporters, an unknown man ran up to him and tried to spray poison in his face from a homemade firing pen, but Hitler's guards spotted the attacker in time and disarmed him.

  • On March 1, 1932, a group of four unknown men on the outskirts of Munich fired on the train in which Hitler was going to speak to his supporters. Hitler was not hurt.
  • On June 2, 1932, a group of unknown men ambushed a car carrying Hitler on the outskirts of Stralsund. Hitler was again unharmed.
  • On July 4, 1932, unidentified men fired on a car with Hitler in Nuremberg. Hitler received a tangential wound to the arm.

During 1933-1938 there were 16 more attempts on Hitler's life that ended in failure.

  • On December 20, 1936, Helmut Hirsch, a German Jew and former member of the Black Front, intended to plant two homemade bombs at the NSDAP headquarters in Nuremberg, where Hitler was to arrive for a visit. However, the plan failed, as Hirsch was unable to evade the guards. On December 21, 1936 he was arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to death on April 22, 1937. Hirsch was executed on June 4, 1937.
  • On November 9, 1938, 22-year-old Maurice Bavaud was about to shoot Hitler with a 6.5mm Schmeisser semi-automatic pistol from a distance of 10 meters during a festive parade marking the 15th anniversary of the "Beer Putsch." However, Hitler changed his plan at the last minute and walked down the opposite side of the street, as a result of which Bavo was unable to carry out his plan. Later he also tried to get a personal meeting with Hitler by means of a fake letter of recommendation. However, he spent all the money and in early January 1939 decided to go to Paris without a ticket. He was detained on the train by Gestapo agents. On December 18, 1939, the court sentenced Bavaud to death by guillotine, and on May 14, 1941 the sentence was carried out.
  • On October 5, 1939, the members of "SPP" planted 500 kilograms of explosives on the way of Hitler's motorcade passing through Warsaw, but for unknown reasons the bomb was not worked.
  • On November 8, 1939, at the Bürgerreukeller beer hall in Munich, where Hitler spoke every year to NSDAP veterans, Johann Georg Elser, a former member of the Red Front Union, a militant organization of the CPG, planted an improvised explosive device with a clockwork mechanism in the column in front of which a podium for the leader was usually placed. As a result of the explosion eight people were killed and 63 wounded, but Hitler was not among the victims. He confined himself to a brief greeting to the audience, and left the hall seven minutes before the explosion, as he had to return to Berlin. That same evening, Elser was seized at the Swiss border and after several interrogations confessed to everything. As a "special prisoner" he was placed in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, then transferred to Dachau. On April 9, 1945, when the Allies were already close to the concentration camp, on the orders of Himmler, Elser was shot.
  • On May 15, 1942, a group of individuals attacked Hitler's train in Poland. Several of the Führer's guards were killed, as were all of the attackers. Hitler was not hurt.
  • On March 13, 1943, during Hitler's visit to Smolensk, Colonel Henning von Treskov and his adjutant, Lieutenant von Schlabrendorf, planted a bomb in a brandy gift box on Hitler's plane, in which the explosive device did not go off.
  • On March 21, 1943, during Hitler's visit to the exhibition of trophy Soviet military equipment in Berlin, Colonel Rudolf von Hersdorf was to blow himself up along with Hitler. However, the Führer left the exhibition earlier than planned, and Gersdorf barely managed to disarm the fuse.
  • On 14 July 1944, the British secret service was going to conduct Operation Foxley. According to the plan, the best British snipers were to shoot Hitler during his visit to the Berghof mountain residence in the Bavarian Alps. The plan was not finally approved, and its execution did not take place.
  • On July 20, 1944, a conspiracy was organized against Hitler, the purpose of which was his physical elimination and the conclusion of peace with the advancing Allied forces. In the explosion of a bomb four people were killed, while Hitler survived. After the assassination attempt he was not able to be on his feet all day long, because more than 100 pieces of shrapnel were removed. In addition he had his right arm dislocated, the hair on the back of his head scorched and his eardrums damaged. He was temporarily deaf in his right ear.


"There is no doubt that Hitler shot himself"-Dr. Matthias Uhl

With the Russians coming to Berlin, Hitler feared that the Reich Chancellery would be bombarded with shells of sleeping gas and then put him on display in Moscow, in a cage. Traudl Junge.

According to witnesses questioned by both Soviet and Allied counterintelligence agencies, Hitler, together with his wife Eva Braun, committed suicide on April 30, 1945 in Berlin surrounded by Soviet troops, having previously killed his beloved dog, Blondie. Soviet historiography has established the view that Hitler took poison (potassium cyanide, like most Nazis who committed suicide). However, according to eyewitness accounts, he shot himself. There is also a version according to which Hitler, after taking a vial of poison in his mouth and cracking it, simultaneously shot himself with a pistol (thus using both weapons of death).

According to witnesses on the staff, the day before Hitler had ordered gasoline canisters to be brought from the garage (for destroying the bodies). On April 30, after lunch, Hitler said goodbye to the people in his inner circle and shook hands with Eva Braun before leaving for his apartment, where a shot was soon heard. Shortly after 3:15 pm (according to other reports (3:30 pm) Hitler's servant Heinz Linge, accompanied by the Führer's aide Otto Günsche, Goebbels, Bormann and Axmann entered the Führer's apartment. Dead Hitler was sitting on a sofa; a blood stain was spreading on his temple. Next to him lay Eva Braun, with no visible external injuries. Güncher and Linge wrapped Hitler's body in a soldier's blanket and carried it into the garden of the Reich Chancellery; they followed him and Eva's body. The corpses were placed near the entrance to the bunker, doused with gasoline and set on fire.

On May 5, 1945 the corpses were found by a piece of blanket, sticking out of the ground by the group of the Guards Senior Lieutenant A. A. Panasov and fell into the hands of SMERSH. General K. F. Telegin headed the government commission for identification of the remains. Colonel F. I. Shkaravsky of the medical service headed the expert commission for the examination of the remains. Hitler's body was identified with the help of Kethe Heusermann (Ketty Heusermann), Hitler's dental assistant, who confirmed the similarity of the dentures presented to her at the identification with Hitler's dentures. However, she retracted her testimony when she returned from the Soviet camps. In February 1946 the remains identified by investigators as those of Hitler, Eva Braun, the Goebbels couple Joseph and Magda and their six children, General Krebs and two dogs were buried at an NKVD base in Magdeburg. In 1970, when the territory of this base was to be handed over to the GDR, at the suggestion of Y. V. Andropov approved by the Politburo, the remains were dug out, cremated to ashes and then thrown into the Elbe (according to other reports, the remains were burned in a vacant lot near Schoenebeck, 11 km from Magdeburg and thrown into the Bideritz River). Only the dentures and part of Hitler's skull with the entrance bullet hole survived. They are preserved in Russian archives, as are the side handles of the sofa on which Hitler shot himself, with traces of blood. In an interview, the head of the FSB archives said that the authenticity of the jawbone has been proven by a number of international expertise. Hitler's biographer Werner Mather expressed doubts that the discovered corpse and part of the skull really belonged to Hitler. In September 2009, researchers from the University of Connecticut claimed, based on their DNA analysis, that the skull belonged to a woman less than 40 years old. Representatives of the FSB refuted this claim.

"Hitler is Dead." Headline in the U.S. Army newspaper Stars and Stripes

However, there is also a popular urban legend that the corpses of Hitler and his wife's doubles were found in the bunker, and the Führer himself and his wife allegedly fled to Argentina, where they lived peacefully until the end of their days. Such versions are put forward even by some historians. In particular, the British writer, photographer and filmmaker Simon Dunstan, author of many books on military history, published his book "Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler" in 2011 together with journalist Gerard Williams, on which the documentary film "Grey Wolf: Hitler's Escape to Argentina" was based in 2012. However, the scientific community rejects such theories.

In July 2017, with the permission of the Russian FSB, a team of French scientists from the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines managed to gain access to fragments of Adolf Hitler's teeth, conduct research and find out the cause of the Führer's death. The head of the team, Professor Philippe Charlier, reported that the teeth are authentic and belong to Hitler. The article, published in the scientific journal European Journal of Internal Medicine, confirms the generally accepted theory of Hitler's death on April 30, 1945. Hitler took cyanide and shot himself in the head as a precaution. No traces of gunpowder were found on his teeth - so he didn't shoot in the mouth, but in the forehead or neck, the scientists concluded. There were bluish stains on the dentures - this was caused by a chemical reaction between cyanide and metal. According to the authors of the article, this once again destroys all the myths that Hitler could have remained alive after the war.

In April 2019, the FBI declassified documents that the secret service had some information about the Führer's escape to Argentina in September 1945, which was outlined in an official file, but the investigation was never conducted at the time because the information was deemed insufficient and unreliable.


April 30, 1945
Hitler commits suicide in Berlin.

Probably trying to avoid being captured by Soviet troops, Hitler kills himself. He commits suicide by shooting himself in the head while biting down on a poisonous cyanide capsule.

March 19, 1945
Hitler orders the destruction of the Germany's infrastructure.

Hitler decides that since Germany has lost the war, the country does not deserve to survive. He orders the destruction of the railroads, highways, and other important features of German industry, but the order is not obeyed.

July 20, 1944
Hitler survives an assassination attempt.

Hitler escapes serious injury when a bomb explodes at his headquarters in Berlin. It is the third assassination attempt against Hitler. A senior officer is blamed for planting the bomb.

December 11, 1941
Hitler declares war against the United States.

Four days after Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, Hitler declares war against the U.S. Germany had no agreement with Japan, but Hitler likes the fact that he is now the center of World War II, the biggest war the world has ever seen.

January 2, 1939
Hitler is named Time magazine's "Man of the Year."

Due to his political dominance and being such as central figure in the world, Time magazine names Hitler as "Man of the Year." The magazine describes the actions of his Nazi Party as "ruthless."

August 2, 1934
Hindenburg dies. Hitler merges the posts of chancellor and president, becoming the supreme leader of Nazi Germany.
July 3, 1934
Papen resigns.
June 30, 1934
During the "Night of the Long Knives," dozens are killed as Hitler shatters the power of the SA, which had been challenging his goals. SA leader Ernst Röhm is executed after trying to merge his force with the army.
July 14, 1933
With other parties banned or splitting up, the NSDAP becomes the only political party left in Germany.
March 24, 1933
Hitler passes the Enabling Act; it makes him a dictator for four years.


Further Resources


Adolf Hitler


Adolf Hitler Editors


October 29, 2009

Adolf Hitler



February 17, 2017



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