Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, on April 20th 1889 to Alois Hitler (who, as an illegitimate child, had previously used his mother’s name of Schickelgruber) and Klara Poelzl. A moody child, he grew hostile towards his father, especially once the latter had retired and the family had moved to Linz.
Alois died in 1903 but left money to take care of the family. Hitler was close to his mother, who was highly indulgent of Hitler, and he was deeply affected when she died in 1908. He left school at 16 in 1905, intending to become a painter.
Adolf moved to Vienna in 1907 and applied for the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts but got turned down twice. He lived life selling his paintings and moving from hostel to hostel alone. This is when he grew a fierce hatred for Jews and Marxists.
When the first World War broke out in 1914 he joined the soldiers going to battle. He was an able and brave soldier, as a dispatch runner. He won the Iron Cross (first class) twice. He was also wounded twice, and four weeks before the war ended he got gassed. This temporarily blinded him and sent him into hospital. This is where he learnt of Germany’s surrender, which he took as a betrayal. He especially hated the Treaty of Versailles.
After WW1 Hitler became convinced he was destined to save Germany. In 1919, working for an army unit, he was assigned to spy on a political party of roughly 40 idealists called the German Workers Party. Instead he joined it, swiftly rose to a position of dominance (he was chairman by 1921) and renamed it the Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). He also discovered, and used, his powerful ability for public speaking
In 1932 Hitler acquired German citizenship and ran for president, coming second to von Hindenburg. Later that year the Nazi party acquired 230 seats in the Reichstag, making them the largest party in Germany. Hitler moved with great speed to isolate and expel opponents from power,