Term Paper: Hitler's Youth and Politics Perhaps No Person

Pages: 5 (1466 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World  ·  Buy This Paper

Hitler's Youth And Politics

Perhaps no person in modern history is directly responsible for as many deaths as Adolf Hitler. By 1939, Hitler had converted Germany into a full scale military power.

In the process, Hitler also launched World War II. Through his use of propaganda and his formidable oratorical skills, he was able to build the Nazi Party into a mass movement, based on a strong foundation of anti-Semitism. His idea of ensuring the racial purity among the German people ultimately led to his "final solution," where Hitler instituted the mass murder of millions of Jews, as well as the Sinti and Roma tribes, Slavic peoples, homosexuals and other groups of peoples that were considered racially inferior.

Many themes remained steady in his writings. Hitler was a staunch anti-communist. He articulated an extreme form of German nationalism, one that espoused the purity and superiority of the Aryan race. He also developed a strong anti-Semitism and fought against the perceived dangers of Jewish Marxism.

This paper traces the roots of these beliefs to experiences and influences of Hitler's youth.

For the first 30 years of his life, scholars noted that Hitler was an "obscure failure" (Toland, 3). However, he still managed to become one of the 20th century's most influential people. The first part of This paper looks at Hitler's early life in Austria-Hungary, chronicling the failure of his youthful ambitions in art. The next part then looks at Hitler's reaction to the end of World War I and Germany's surrender. The last part then looks at Hitler's early political career in the 1920s. It looks at how Hitler found success in tapping the German post-War dissatisfactions, laying the foundations for his political career and the success of the Nazi regime.

Early childhood

Hitler was born in 1889 in Austria-Hungary. Though his early grades in schoolwork showed above-average intelligence, the young Hitler's ambitions lay in art and painting. Historians like posited that due to his frustrations regarding the lack of opportunities to study art, Hitler did not do well in the technical school his father had chosen (Housden 143).

Though Hitler was officially a citizen of Austria-Hungary, he spoke the German language exclusively and considered himself German. Like many German-speaking Austro-Hungarians, the young Hitler had a dislike for the ruling family and political structure in his homeland and began to develop a strong sense of German nationalism (Stalcup 4).

These experiences were significant, since Hitler would certainly have held vastly different beliefs, had he identified less with the German people and more with Austria-Hungary. The Austria-Hungarian people would not have suffered as much under the Nazi rule, and it is possible that Hitler would not have identified as strongly with the Aryan race. Furthermore, the seeds of extreme German nationalism that were planted in these early years would later have their culmination in Hitler's Nazi Party and the Final Solution.

By 1907, Hitler had moved to Vienna, hoping to pursue studies in art. However, a rejection from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts dashed his hopes, and his mother's death a year later contributed to his impoverishment. He eventually ended up in a homeless shelter. It was in the homeless shelter where Hitler was first exposed to the extreme political views of Lanz von Liebenfels, a proponent of the racial superiority of the Aryans. Von Liebfels believed, among others, that "the Aryan race was in danger of annihilation" at the hands of enemy races, most notably the European Jews (Rosenbaum 42).

During this period, the poverty-stricken Hitler was also exposed to several anti-Semitic pamphlets, accusing the Jews of conspiring against the rest of the German population and of gaining riches at the expense of the Christian population. Given his poverty, the young Hitler was a prime target for such propaganda.

Hitler would later draw from these ideas in speeches railing about the need to protect Germany and Europe from the influence of the Jews.

Germany's surrender

In 1914, Hitler enlisted in a Bavarian unit in Germany, where he served during World War I. Though he was never promoted beyond private first class, Hitler was cited several times for bravery in battle. During this time, Hitler had begun to formulate his own vague conspiracy theory about an international Jewish plot against Germany (Haffner 23).

During his army service, Hitler was assigned to infiltrate the German Workers' Party (DAP) in 1919. As a member, he… [END OF PREVIEW]

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