More than twelve million people were killed in concentration camps and death camps, six million of those because they were Jewish. In all, forty million Europeans died in a war that lasted less than six years. More than seventeen percent of the population of Poland perished, more than ten percent of the population of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The numbers do not tell all.
Theyd o not tell of the shattered conscience of a nation, the broken lives, the human misery that spread like a field of poisonous mushrooms planted and nurtured bone man. 1 The question now is not what did Hitler do, but why. We will never be able to understand what possessed a man to kill off millions of people due to their religion. Lets start with where the seed of hatred rooted. The hatred for the followers of the Jewish religion did not originate from Hitler but actually from Germany itself. When Christianity first took root in Europe during the fourteenth century, the Christians wanted the Jews to convert to Christianity, if they did not, the rulers would expel the rebellious individual from the kingdom and set up laws forbidding Christians to join in matrimony with any or all Jews.
The hatred was so bad the Jewish people were blamed for causing the black plague. Then in the sixteenth century a German monk named Martin Luther said Jews were the enemies of Christ and all Jews were Demons. He also believed all Jews should be expelled or imprisoned and stripped of their property. The prejudice for Jews was already weeded into the heads of the German people long before Adolf Hitler was conceived. THE SEED WAS PLANTED. Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in the village of Braunau am Inn, Austria, to Alois and Klara.
She was the third wife of Austrian customs worker. His mother and father were related; she was the daughter of his cousin 2. Adolf was one of six children born of this union, but only Adolf and his little sister Paula grew to be adults. Hitler had two other siblings from his fathers second marriage, Alois Jr. and Angela.
In elementary school Hitler was a good student who had a great belief in his Catholic religion. But when he became a teenager, he started to reject his religious teachings, and stopped studying his school work. Adolf s feelings for schools changed when he and his father started fighting about his career choice. He wanted to be an artist and his father wanted him to follow in his footsteps as a civil servant or work at another other branch of the government.
The arguments then were about everything he did, his father would criticize him and even hit him at times. Adolf could no tdo anything right in his fathers eyes, therefore he turned to his mother to filled the void that his father placed upon him. He loved her so deeply, that he always carried a picture of her. When he entered high school his grades was so bad, he was left back.
Adolf felt that if he showed he was a poor student his father would let him be artist. 3 As stubborn as Adolf was, he father was just as bad. No one would give in. In 1903 Alois died of a lung hemorrhage.
Adolf was so overcome with grief no one could console him, including his mother. The struggle between him and his father was at an end. But I believe it was the end of one struggle and the start of another, the one within himself. This struggle would later change the face of the world. When Adolf turned eighteen he developed the same lung problems hisfather had.
So at this time he was very pale and sickly and very shy. He finally allowed to go to Munich, Germany to study painting. Since the death of hisfather, he was able to convince his mother into letting him pursue his dreams of being and artist. Adolf always wanted to go to the Academy of Fine Arts, he was very confident that he would be accepted. So in 1907 he moved to Vienna to take the entrance exam for the Academy, and he failed. He would later write that the rejection struck me as a bolt from the blue.
4 The school advised him that he should try architecture. Adolf felt rejected and to top it all off his mother died of breast cancer. He would later write It was a dreadful blow particularly for me. I had honored my father, but my mother I had loved. 5 When Adolf still could not get into the academy, he disappeared in Vienna, telling no one including his best friend Kubizek where he would be residing. In Vienna Adolf tried selling his paintings, with no success at all.
By twenty he was so poor he could not pay for food or his rented room; he ended up living on the streets of Vienna. In 1909, he went to live in a shelter that gave away free soup. I believe this was the start of Adolf s decline from reality and steps towards insanity. In my opinion Adolf Hitler could not accept the fact that his father was right when he said he would never lead a successful life a painter. While he lived in Vienna, Hitler consumed newspapers hungrily, sometimes clutching two while reading a third. He would keep to himself and read or work on a painting until he overheard a comment about politics.
Then he would leap up and harangue anyone within earshot, then abruptly stop, shrug, and return to his desk. 6 Living in poverty opened Adolf s eyes to the amount of immigrants coming to Vienna. He developed a hatred for Marxism and Jews. Hitler blamed Jews for prostitution, modern art, and anything he personally disliked.
In fact he would later write My eyes were opened to two menaces of which I had previously scarcely known the names and who s terrible importance for the existence of the German people I certainly did not understand the: Marxism and Jewry 7 He also wrote Wherever I went I began to see Jews, and the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity. 8 In 1913 Hitler moved to Munich, still unable to support himself; causing him to decide to enlist in the Austrian military. He was told he was to weak to be a soldier. When World War One broke out Adolf wrote the state asking for permission to enroll in the Bavarian army.
He was accepted as a volunteer in the 16 th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. Hitler took to the military very well, and never complained; not even to his fellow soldiers. He was decorated twice for bravery. In 1918 he was given the highest award a German soldier could receive: the Iron Cross First Class.
He would end up getting wounded in a British gas attack. While recuperating, Adolf would find out Germany was defeated. This was the only other time he would cry besides his mothers death. Adolf would later write Since the day I stood at my mothers grave, I had not wept… .
And so it had all been in vain. In vain the hunger and the thirst of months which were often endless; in vain the hours in which, with mortal fear clutching our hearts, we nevertheless did our duty; and in vain the death of two million in vain. 9 After the war, Hitler did not want to give up a military career, so he went to work as a civilian employee of the District Army Command in Munich. He was put to work lecturing returning soldiers; doing this he discovered he had a talent for speaking. In 1919 Hitler was ordered to investigate the Germans workers party. The German army was currently on a noxious path destroying all of the attempted uprisings formed by Marxist.
On September 12, dressed in civilian clothes, Hitler went to a meeting of the German Workers Party in the back room of a Munich beer hall, with about twenty five people. He listened to a speech on economics by Gottfried Feder entitled, How and by what means is capitalism to be eliminated. 10 Two days later, Adolf Hitler joined the party. Soon after, the name of the Party would be changed to the National Socialists German Workers (Nazi). Adolf helped write a constitution for the Nazi party. The constitution had twenty-five points, but only eight were accepted.
The eight anti-Semitic points displayed a certain ingenuity. Adolf used the term members of the nation representing Gentiles. It read None but members of the nations may be citizens of the state 11 From then on, Hitler and fellow Nazi s began their reign of terror on Jews and other inferior races by segregating, then destroying. Shortly after Hitler gain power of the Nazi party, he began to put Nazi s in all forms of the government. Adolf Hitler s first step towards genocide was when he first started killing the elderly, Jewish, and mentally ill. Soon after the German population discovered what he had started, they demand that he halt his mercy killing.
Hitler soon set up ghettos to segregate Jews and non-Jews-socially, economically, and physically. Thus isolating, they could be more easily deported or slaughtered. Hitler and his henchmen were keenly aware of the need to remove Jews from Germany to commit the most gruesome of their crimes in the occupied territories in the East, out of the view of the German public 12. This process Adolf would later call ethnic cleansing. Why did Adolf Hitler decide it was right to persecute the Jewish people? What made him take the lives of others in such a vicious manner? These are all questions that may never be answered.
Some say Adolf Hitler developed his violent nature due to child abuse. Or was he just insane due to the fact that his parents were related. I do not know the answers to these questions, neither do you. No one knows what goes on in a man s mind, sometimes a man himself does not know why he acts the way his does. My personal feeling is that this could happen again to any race, religion, or creed. It is very important that we do not forget Adolf Hitler not because he was a great man, but because he was an evil man.
If we are aware that evil men exists, we can prevent this from occurring again. Furthermore, we still must keep asking WHAT WOULD CAUSE A MAN TO ACT SUCH RUTHLESS THOUGHTS?