Adolf Hitler can be said to have had perhaps more impact on the history of the modern world in the 20th century than nay other politician. He rose from an arguably obscure background to become a most powerful leader of the German nation.
A look into his early life reveals a man without a clear vision who only discovered his purpose out of a deep passion for nationalistic and anti socialistic politics. It would seem that without the circumstances of his day, Hitler’s demagogic gifts would barely have been unveiled.
Throughout his wandering from his hometown of Linz to Vienna and finally in Munich Hitler kicked the vision and self-confidence that later characterized him.
His turning point was when he joined the army. He shortly was listed by the Bavarian Army’s Intelligence/propaganda section. This new assignment proved most suitable for him. His rise to become the leader of the German people initially came as a surprise even t himself since he did not consider himself a leader especially due to his lack of formal credential.
This paper examines Hitler’s rise to become one of the most influential leaders who exercised supreme authority over a people who had followed him with almost blind faith. The paper looks into his background and his progress from a low social position to the helm of Germany’s leadership. It places emphasis on the circumstances that allowed him a rise to the powerful leadership position.
Early Years of Adolf Hitler
A thorough examination of what made Hitler a powerful leader cannot be complete without looking at the various phases of his life. Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 to Alois Schickelgniber and Klara Hitler in Braunau. His father Alois was a custom official described as a strict man, while his mother was an adoring woman who loved his son and showered him with affection (Clemens 45).
Hitler’s schooling was cut short at the age of sixteen not long after the death of his father. He suffered from long infections and therefore failed to impress in school. At this time his skills as an artist were budding and he aspired to join a prestigious art school in Vienna. After these endeavors failed, Hitler wandered in Vienna eking a precarious existence selling hand script artwork and engaging himself in nationalistic politics (Bullock, 289).
In Vienna Hitler developed his prejudicial attitude towards the Jews but was not openly hostile to them as yet. Ironically some of the friends who helped him sell his paintings in Vienna were actually Jews. He also honed his skills in debating and was tending very strongly towards anti-semitic convictions.
In 1913 Hitler left Vienna for Munich after receiving the last of his father’s estate. Shortly afterwards, he volunteered in the Bavarian army where he soldiered in France and Belgium. He twice received the Iron Cross for bravery. However, he never rose beyond the rank of a corporal (Mommsen 38).