About Hitler – The Life of Adolf Hitler
Though the picture of Adolf Hitler as a cruel dictator and leader of the Nazi party is well known, not many people realize how different he was a young boy. Growing up, Hitler had a great interest in the arts which led to many arguments between Adolf and his father. After his father's death in 1903, Hitler moved to Vienna. There, he applied to the Academy of Fine Arts with aspirations of becoming a painter. Twice, his applications were rejected. During this time Hitler completed several stunning watercolor paintings that do seem to show some artistic talent. In Vienna, Hitler worked as a casual laborer and lived in a homeless shelter.
Some accounts indicate that Hitler's anti-Semitism began to take hold during his time in Vienna. Others contend that it developed later in his life. In 1914, Hitler was accepted in the German army. He fought in several battles in World War I and was wounded at the Somme. By the end of WWI, Adolf Hitler was a decorated soldier with the Black Wound Badge and Iron Cross First Class. He was very disappointed by the outcome of the war and was particularly upset by the Treaty of Versailles, which he would later violate completely as German's dictator. After the war, he began working for the German Workers' Party (DAP).
As a member of the DAP, Hitler's anti-Semitism only grew. Hitler took a strong role in the DAP and even designed the party banner. The black swastika in the center of a white circle with a red background would soon become the highly recognizable symbol of the Nazi party. Hitler first joined the party in 1919. By 1921, he was the party leader. In 1923, Hitler attempted to overthrow the government in what was known as the "Beer Fall Putsch." This attempt failed and landed Hitler in prison for treason. However, he served only a year which was primarily spent dictating "Mein Kampf."
His stint in prison slowed Hitler only a little. In 1933 he was elected chancellor of Germany. Shortly after he was appointed, he petitioned for emergency powers which gave him a great deal of authority in this position. Just a year later, Hitler took over the position of president. He effectively eliminated the presidency and appointed himself the leader and chancellor of Germany. By this time, the Nazi party was the only legal political party in Germany. With complete power in his grasp, Hitler was poised to begin his plan of furthering what he believed was the master race, while exterminating all others.