There's a lot to learn about Adolf Hitler when you are exploring the Holocaust and World War II era. This man was not always the fascist dictator that he became, and getting the facts can help you learn more about his life. Known as the leader of the Nazis and the cause of World War II along with the genocide of more than 11 million people, Hitler started out as a simple child with simple interests. Here are some facts to know:
-Hitler was an Austrian national, but moved to Munich during his 20s. He was born in Braunau, Austria in 1889.
-Adolf Hitler's father was 51 when he was born, and on his third marriage to a wife that was 23 years his junior.
-Hitler always dreamed of becoming an artist. Though he did well in primary school, he dropped out of secondary school. Thus, when he applied to the Vienna Academy of Art (twice, no less), he was denied admission for not having a school-leaving certificate.
-Hitler's mother spoiled him throughout his childhood, allowing him to leave school at age 15 and otherwise supporting him in anything that he wanted. He pretended to be an art student until her death in 1908 to spare her the disappointment.
-When Hitler moved to Munich to avoid service in the Austro-Hungarian army, he got away with it for four years. When caught, he was sent away because of 'weakness'. He still volunteered, but for the German army, at a time when things were less strict.
-Hitler was recovering from a gas attack when he found out Germany had surrendered. He felt personally stabbed in the back by his leaders, and that the country had been duped. This is what fueled his decision to enter politics.
-Hitler was the 55th member to join the German Workers Party in 1919. He quickly rose to a leadership position and renamed it the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party).
-Hitler gained citizenship in 1932 and was appointed chancellor in 1933. When the president died in 1934, Hitler took total power and became dictator of Germany.
-In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria into Germany without having to fire a single shot.
-The attack on Poland in 1939 is what started World War II. Thus, Hitler is blamed for starting the Second World War.
-Hitler married his long-time girlfriend Eva Braun on April 29, 1945. They committed suicide the following day, to avoid capture and to live up to the Nazi ideology of death before surrender.