The Birth of A Tyrant On April 20, 1889, in the small village of Braunau on the River Inn between Austria and Germany, a child was born to a strutting Austrian customs official of fifty-two and a peasant girl still in her twenties. The story of Adolph Hitler is not a pretty tale. There was almost nothing kind, romantic or gentle about the life of this self-styled hero who said that he was the greatest German of all time. It is the story of an evil man. It is the story of a man who released on the world such plagues and misery as it had never known. His father, Alois, was an officer in the Austrian customs service, inspecting goods shipped into and out of the country.

His mother, Klara, was a peasant girl who would work as Alois' maid before their marriage. Adolf was born into a family that knew much sadness. His mother had three children that died in infancy. A brother born when he was five died a few years later. Only his sister, Paula, born when he was seven, outlived him. Adolf were more closer to his mother than to his father.

Alois showed little respect for others feelings. He had an explosive temper and would fly into rage for no apparent reason. He often beat the children and when particularly angry, Klara as well. Adolf could never please his father, he could never get him to show the smallest sign of love. He called his son as he called his dog, by putting two fingers in his mouth and whistling.

Adolf was slapped in the face and beat with a cane, dog whip, or belt by his father for no reason. There were times when Adolf trembled before setting foot in his own home. As much as Klara loved the boy she didn't dare interfere when Alois went on a rampage. It soon became clear that the more Alois mistreated Adolf, the more stubborn he became. In school Adolf liked to play "Follow the Leader" and he was always the leader.

After grammar school came high school. There were two kinds of high school in Austria - the Gymnasium, which stressed mainly the arts, and the Realschule, devoted mainly to the sciences. Adolf wanted to go to the Gymnasium, but this was the school of the upper classes. His father wanted him to go to the Realschule, because he felt it more suitable and practical not to be too intellectual. The Gymnasium he said, was for doctors, lawyers, and professors. Adolf went to the Realschule because his father wanted it.

But he failed his first year and had to repeat it. About this time, young Adolf changed from a smart, wide-awake boy into a serious, silent, gloomy young man. Adolf was 13 when the struggle with his father came to an end. Alois Hitler was in an inn talking to a friend when suddenly he fell to the floor. Blood filled his mouth. A doctor was called, but it was too late.

Alois Hitler had died of a lung ailment. They buried him in his gold braided uniform. After the death of his father, Adolf was transferred from Linz to the state high school at Steyr. This was a modern city where bicycles, automobiles and armaments were made.

The artistic Adolf felt better here. He liked the buildings, and he felt free to sketch them as much as he wanted. He no longer had to worry about being beaten by his father. But Adolf was still lazy in his schoolwork. In the school records, there were such entries as, "Hitler was late"Hitler disturbed the lecture" or "Hitler forgot his notebook again." The boy studied only when he felt like it. In October, 1907, when he was just 18 years old, Adolf Hitler came to Vienna.

Supported by money sent by his mother, he had hopes of becoming a great artist. Then came a terrible blow. To become a student in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Hitler had to submit several drawings. If his drawings were accepted, he could take the regular tests. But twice his drawings were rejected. Crude, weak, without life - they were just not good enough.

Hitler never recovered from this blow to his pride. He blamed not himself, but "The stupid professors" for not seeing that he was a fine artist. Late in December, 1908, Hitler's mother died. Though she had been sick for a long time, the young man hurried home only for the funeral. He was crushed. The death of his mother meant that he had to find some way of earning his own living.

He did not want to be a laborer, not did he want to be an office worker. He just wanted to be an artist, and there was very little chance for that now. At this time, Hitler made little drawings or water colors on post cards. He drew poster advertisements, and cards to be framed. Most of them were stiff views of Viennese buildings.

He found it difficult to draw human figures or even heads. Hitler daily made the rounds of the cafes and picture framers, trying to sell his drawings so that he could eat. Those who knew him in Vienna at that time said that he looked like an untidy vagabond. He was never properly shaved. He wore a filthy black derby and a long overcoat that reached to his ankles. He had picked up the overcoat up from an old clothes dealer, a Hungarian Jew.

In November, 1909, Hitler had to leave his rooming house because he had no more money. For a time, he slept in cafes or on park benches. Then he went to a "flophouse" where vagabonds could sleep for a few pennies. Each day he joined the lines of needy people waiting for free soup.

In the summer of 1919, Hitler became member number seven of a small group of restless men called the German Workers Party. The party had no program, no plan of action. It was just "against" the government. It was not long before Hitler was leader of the party. Within two years, Hitler had blown up the little party into a big one. He changed its name.

It was now called the National Socialist German Workers Party, or the N. S. D. A. P. , after its German initials.

The word Nazi came from the first two works of the German Name - NAtional Socialist. Hitler grew to hate. He hated Russians. "They are uncouth, dirty, filthy, mongrels." He hated Czechs. "They are Slavic swine." He also hated Frenchmen. "They are degenerate Negroes and they must be crushed!" Above all, Hitler hated the Jews.

This was the mainspring of his thoughts and actions, the most consistent passion of his life. On April 30 th Hitler killed his dog and put a bullet though this own brain. His bride took poison beside him on the sofa. Fear of having his body abused like his idol Mussolini, he left instructions that he and Eva were to be burned. No one knows to this day what became of the ashes. Hitler's closest Henchman shared his fate.

The day after his death, Dr. Goebbels poisoned his six children and then had an SS man shoot him and his wife. Hundreds of officers shot themselves rather than face capture. Families of the Nazi officials took poison, including the children. In 1946, leading Nazi's were put on trial as war criminals by an international court at Nuremberg. Some officers escaped altogether.

Dr. Josef M engle, Hitler's closest friend, fled to South America where he drowned accidentally in 1979. Other Nazi war criminals may still be free today. 1.

Charisma - Ability to influence people. 2. Genius - Unusual insight. 3. Social forces - Impact..