The Life Span of Adolf Hitler What were the factors that shaped the man who is view today as the symbol of pure evil; yet in the early 20th century was cheered by Germans and those who believed in his views and goals? What was the foundation for Adolf Hitler’s character and worldviews? There is no clear and simply answer to the reasons behind Adolf Hitler but we are going to be piecing together the fact in an attempt to understand the psychological aspect to which underlies his life. Adolf’s father at the age of 39, Alois Schicklgruber changed his name to Alois Hitler.
In 1885, Alois married a 24-year-old woman who was pregnant named Klara Polzl. Klara’s first three children died, two of them died from diphtheria and one died shortly after birth. April 20, 1889, in Braumau, Austria, she gave birth to Adolf. He was a healthy baby and was christened (infant baptism) Roman Catholic. Alois was 52 years old when Adolf was born. Alois was a customs official who was know to be dishonest from birth that was described by his housemaid as a “very strict but comfortable” man.
While there is sketchy evidence that Adolf’s father regularly beat him during his childhood, it was not unusual for discipline to be enforced in that way during that period. Adolf’s His mother showered Young Adolf with love and affection out of fear of losing another child. Like most German speaking citizens of Austria, Hitler considered himself German and developed a strong sense of German nationalism. By 1908 both Hitler’s parents had died. Adolf’s father died in 1903 after suffering a pleural hemorrhage. His mother developed terminal breast cancer and was treated by Dr.
Edward Bloch, a Jewish doctor who served the poor. After an operation and excruciatingly painful and expensive treatments with a dangerous drug, she died on December 21, 1907. Adolf himself suffered from lung infections, quit school at the age of 16, partially the result of ill health and partially the result of poor schoolwork. Hitler pretended to continue being in school in order to receive an orphan’s pension. In 1906, Adolf was permitted to visit Vienna, but he was unable to gain admission to a prestigious art school. Hitler spent six years in Vienna, iving on a small inheritance from his father and an orphan’s pension. Virtually ruined by 1909, he wandered Vienna as a transient, sleeping in bars, flophouses, and shelters for the homeless, including, ironically, those financed by Jewish humanitarians. It was during this period that he developed his prejudices about Jews, his interest in politics, and debating skills. According to John Toland’s biography, Adolf Hitler, two of his closest friends at this time were Jewish, and he admired Jewish art dealers, Jewish operatic performers, and producers.
However, Vienna was a center of anti-Semitism, and the media’s portrayal of Jews as scapegoats with stereotyped attributes did not escape Hitler’s fascination. (The New York Times, 1945) In May 1913, Hitler, seeking to avoid military service, left Vienna for Munich, the capital of Bavaria, following a windfall received from an aunt who was dying. In January, the police came to his door bearing a draft notice from the Austrian government. The document threatened a year in prison and a fine if he was found guilty of leaving his native land with the intent of evading conscription.
Hitler was arrested on the spot and taken to the Austrian Consulate. Upon reporting to Salzburg for duty, he was found “unfit… too weak… and unable to bear arms. ” In 1913, Hitler moved to Munich, Germany to escape Austrian authorities who were searching him because he refused to register for the draft. Hitler volunteered for the German army. He proved to be an able and brave soldier as a dispatch runner, winning the Iron Cross (First Class) on two occasions. He was wounded twice, and four weeks before the war ended suffered a gas attack, that temporarily blinded and hospitalized him.
It was here he learnt of Germany’s surrender, which he took as a betrayal. He especially hated the Treaty of Versailles. (Wilde, 2001) When Germany was defeated in 1918, in his opinion he blamed the Jews and decided he would go into politics to bring Germany back to its full glory and reign supreme. Through out Adolf’s childhood he faced many different viewpoints concerning life and worldly values that plays into his adulthood understanding of the way that things should be. Adolf’s older brother, Alois Jr. was 13 when he ran away from his abusive father. Adolf was the next one to get the same treatment at age seven.
Adolf went to a catholic monastery school. Adolf Hitler did well in elementary school and was a choirboy. When he was young, he wanted to become a priest. This longing to be a priest cared over into his adulthood. Many time within his speeches he would portray himself in a Messiah mentality and us Christianity as reason behind his views and goals for Germany. Other factors in Hitler’s background may also have influenced his development. From what little we know of his childhood, it is evident that he did not grow up in a happy family atmosphere. Some claim that his father was abusive and prone to drunkenness. (Rosenbaum, 1998) Psychologist Erik Erikson believed that the most significant phase of a human’s development comes between the ages of twelve and eighteen. ” (Erickson 1963) Adolf Hitler, as evidenced by a wide variety of official documents and anecdotes, simply failed to mature as a human being during this stage of growth. His awkward demeanor, poor temperament, antisocial tendencies and violent behavior as a child and teenager may have been a sign of the terrible events to come. We must keep in mind, that hindsight is 20/20 and if history had played out differently, Hitler could have just been another depressed teenager from a dysfunctional family.
As for the origin of Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitism, history seems to show that it did not come about as a result of a life altering event, but rather the casual anti-Semitism of Vienna, where Hitler absorbed pamphlets and first engage in his political career. Hitler himself made-up many of the events of his own childhood for political purposes. It would appear, that it was that childhood that ultimately created an unstable human being who accepted a world of pure fantasy and was responsible for the deaths of millions. Reference Page
Rosenbaum, R (1998). Hitler: Evil Unprecedented. Retrieved September 19, 2008, Web site: http://www. vision. org/visionmedia/article. aspx? id=261 Wilde, R (2001). Adolf Hitler. Retrieved September 22, 2008, Web site: http://europeanhistory. about. com/od/hitleradolf/p/prhitler. htm The New York Times, (1945). Hitler Dead in Chancellery, Nazis Say. Retrieved September 22, 2008, from Hitler Dead in Chancellery, Nazis Say Web site: http://www. thirdreich. net/Hitler_Obituary. html Erikson, E (1963) Childhood and Society, New York, Norton