Adolf Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany from 1933 until his suicide in 1945. Hitler was responsible for starting World War II and for killing more than 11 million people during the Holocaust.
Dates: April 20, 1889 -- April 30, 1945
Also Known As: Führer of the Third Reich
Childhood of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria. Adi, as he was known in his youth, spent his childhood in Austria. His father, Alois, retired from civil service in 1895, when Hitler was only six, which created a tense, strict atmosphere at home.
When Hitler was 13, his father passed away and his mother, Klara, had to care for Hitler and his siblings by herself. Times were tough for the Hitler household. In 1905, at age 16, Adolf quit school and never returned.
Hitler as an Artist
Hitler dreamed of becoming an artist, so in 1907 he applied to the painting school at the Vienna Academy of Art. He did not pass the entrance exam. In 1908 he again tried to apply to the Vienna Academy of Art but this time was not even allowed to take the test. Two months later, his mother passed away from breast cancer.
Hitler spent the next four years in Vienna, living off what little he earned from selling postcards of his architectural drawings and the small inheritance from his mother. During this period of time, Hitler started to dabble in politics and became especially influenced by pan-Germanism.
Hitler Serves in World War I
To avoid military service in the Austrian army, Hitler moved to Munich, Germany in May 1913 but as soon as World War I broke out, Hitler asked for and received special permission to serve in the Bavarian-German army.
Adolf Hitler quickly proved to be a courageous soldier. By December 1914, he was awarded the Iron Cross (Second Class), in October 1916 he was wounded by a grenade splinter, and in August 1918 he was awarded the Iron Cross (First Class).
On October 13, 1918, a gas attack caused him to go temporarily...