Adolf Hitler
At 6:30 p.m. on the evening of April 20, 1889, he was born in the small Austrian village of Braunau Am Inn just across the border from German Bavaria. Adolf began to read early in his childhood. He would read about Native Americans and how they were slaughtered, battles between the Germans and Russians and he would read his fathers War books and Hitler became familiar with war and racism at an early age. "It was not long before the great historic struggle had become my greatest spiritual experience. From then on, I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any was connected with war or, for that matter, with soldering." - Hitler There was a history teacher at school, Dr. Leopold P?tsch who touched Hitler's imagination with exciting tales of the glory of German figures such as Bismarck and Frederick The Great. For young Hitler, German Nationalism quickly became an obsession.

By now Hitler also had strong pride in the German race and all things German along with a strong dislike of the Hapsburg Monarchy and the non-Germanic races in the multicultural Austro-Hungarian empire which had ruled Austria and surrounding countries for centuries. Now, at age 21, he was becoming keenly interested in politics, and anti-Semitism. Among the middle class in Vienna, anti-Semitism was considered rather fashionable. The mayor, Karl Lueger, a noted anti-Semite, was a member of the Christian Social Party which included anti-Semitism in its political platform.

Hitler admired Lueger, a powerful politician, for his speech making skills and effective use of propaganda in gaining popular appeal. He also admired Lueger's skill in manipulating established institutions such as the Catholic Church. He studied Lueger carefully and modeled some of his later behavior on what he learned.

When reading more about anti-Semitism he began to have a hatred for Jews "...the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity..."-Hitler. But at this point Hitler's anti-Semitism was not apparent in his personal relationships with Jews. He still did business with Jewish shop owners in selling his paintings. However, the seeds of hate were planted and would be nurtured by events soon to come, laying the foundation for one of the greatest tragedies in all of human history.

Selling paintings was the way to survive for Adolf since his parents were both dead and he didn't finish Highschool. But ever since he was small he had a passion for painting and drawing. But he failed in getting into art school after several attempts leaving Adolf with no where to go. For the next several years, Adolf became a drifter.

On August 1, 1914, a huge, enthusiastic crowd including Hitler gathered in a big public plaza in Munich - the occasion - to celebrate the German proclamation of war. Two days later, Hitler volunteered for the German Army, enlisting in a Bavarian regiment. On first hearing the news of war Hitler had sunk to his knees and thanked heaven for being alive.

Hitler volunteered at age 25 by enlisting in a Bavarian Regiment. After its first engagement against the British and Belgians near Pyres, 2500 of the 3000 men in the Hitler's regiment were killed, wounded or missing. Hitler escaped without a scratch. Throughout most of the war Hitler had great luck avoiding life threatening injury. More than once, he moved away from a spot where moments later a shell exploded killing or wounding everyone. In the summer of 1919, Adolf Hitler was still in the army and was stationed in Munich where he had become an informer.

Corporal Hitler had named soldiers in his barracks who had supported the Marxist uprisings in Munich, resulting in their arrest and executions. Hitler had discovered much to his delight that he could speak well in front of a strange audience, hold their attention, and sway them to his point of view.

Adolf Hitler joined the committee of the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or DAP) and thus entered politics. Through advertising in the anti-Semitism newspaper, people came to the meetings to hear Hitler speak. In the summer of 1920, Hitler chose the symbol which to this day remains perhaps the most infamous in history, the swastika. The German Workers' Party name was changed by Hitler to include the term National Socialist. Thus the full name was the National Socialist German Workers' Party