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Video:Profile of Adolf Hitler

with Milo Deprieto

Adolf Hitler, undoubtedly one of the most infamous figures of the 20th century, has forever left his inhumane stamp on history. In this About.com video, learn about the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler.See Transcript

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Transcript:Profile of Adolf Hitler

Hello I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about Adolf Hitler. 

Adolf Hitler's Childhood

Adolf Hitler was born in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn on the 20th of April 1889. As a child, he had a close bond with his mother which contrasted sharply with the tense relationship with his much stricter father and, although his father died when Hitler was just 13 years old, it was the death of his mother 4 years later that hit him hardest. 

Hitler's education was limited, and at age 16 he moved to Vienna and lived in poverty amid dreams of becoming an artist. It was at this time that he was exposed to anti-Jewish sentiment and the belief in the purity of the German people that would shape his later life.

Hitler in the War

During the First World War, Hitler served, with some distinction, in the German army. However, towards the end of the conflict, he was temporarily blinded by a gas attack and saw Germany's defeat from his hospital bed.  

The damage to national pride was severe, and Hitler became more actively political, joining the German Workers Party in 1919.

Hitler's Rise to Power

This party later became the Nazi party and Hitler quickly rose through it's ranks. Using his gift for oratory and the post-war bitterness among the German people to his advantage he quickly gained a following. Increasingly angered by Germany's lack of strong leadership, in November 1923, Hitler launched a coup attempt known as the Beer Hall Putsch.  

The attempt failed and Hitler was imprisoned, from where he formulated a book, titled Mein Kampf which further outlined his ideology. Once released, Hitler continued a rapid rise, culminating in his appointment as Chancellor under German President Hindenburg.  

Upon Hindenburg's death shortly thereafter, Hitler ascended to the Presidency and combined both roles into that of Führer, from where he consolidated his grip on power, putting into place ever-stricter controls against Jews and turning Germany into a mighty war machine. Hitler's Nazi Germany began the Second World War in September 1939, and despite many gains, the German advantage was gradually overcome until it formally surrendered in May 1945.  

Hitler's Death

Faced with certain capture, on the 30th April alongside his wife, Eva Braun, who he had recently married, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker leaving behind a grim legacy of systematic mass-murder and inhumanity on a scale the world would find difficult to comprehend. 

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