Adolf Hitler 1889-1945 was a German Nazi dictator, born in Austria.
Fuhrer (leader) of the Nazi party from 1921, author of Mein Kampf / My Struggle (1925-1927). Chancellor of Germany from 1933 and head of state from 1934, he created a dictatorship by playing party and state institutions against each other, and continually creating new offices and appointments. His position was not seriously challenged until the "Bomb Plot" on 20 July 1944.
In foreign affairs, he reoccupied the Rhineland and formed an alliance with the Italian fascist Mussolini 1936, annexed Austria 1938, and occupied Sudetenland under the Munich Agreement. The rest of Czechoslovakia was annexed in March 1939.
The Hitler-Stalin pact was followed in September by the invasion of Poland and the
declaration of war by Britain and France.
Born at Braunau-am-Inn, the son of a customs official, he spent his early years in poverty in Vienna and Munich. After serving as a volunteer in the German army during World War I, he was employed as a spy by the military authorities in Munich, and in 1919 joined in this capacity the German Workers' Party. By 1921 he had assumed its leadership, renamed it the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and provided it with a programme that mixed nationalism and anti-Semitism. Having led an unsuccessful rising in Munich in 1923, he was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, during which he wrote his political testament, Mein Kampf.
The party did not achieve national importance until the elections of 1930; by 1932, although Field Marshal Hindenburg defeated Hitler in the presidential elections, it formed the largest group in the Reichstag (parliament). As the result of an intrigue directed by the chancellor von Papen, Hitler became chancellor in a Nazi-Nationalist coalition on 30 January 1933.
The opposition were rapidly suppressed, the Nationalists removed from the government, and the Nazis declared the only legal party. In 1934 Hitler succeeded Hindenburg as head of state. Meanwhile, the drive to war began; Germany left the League of Nations, conscription was reintroduced, and in 1936 the Rhineland was reoccupied.
Hitler and Mussolini, who were already both involved in Spain, formed an alliance in 1936. Hitler narrowly escaped death in 1944 from a bomb explosion prepared by high-ranking officers.
On 29 April 1945, when Berlin was largely in Soviet hands, he married Eva Braun in his bunker under the chancellory building, and on the following day committed suicide with her, both bodies afterwards being burned.
Why is Adolf Hitler famous?
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.