Born April 20, 1889
Died April 30, 1945
Political party National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP)
" Political positions F?hrer (Leader) of the NSDAP (1921-1945)
" Reichskanzler of Germany (1933-1945)
" F?hrer und Reichskanzler (head of state) of Germany (1934-1945)
"Hitler" redirects here. For other uses, see Hitler (disambiguation).
Adolf Hitler (help·info) (April 20, 1889 - April 30, 1945) was Chancellor of Germany from 1933, and F?hrer (Leader) of Germany from 1934 until his death. He was leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), better known as the Nazi Party.
Hitler gained power in a Germany facing crisis after World War I, using charismatic oratory and propaganda, appealing to economic need of the lower and middle classes, nationalism and anti-Semitism to establish an authoritarian regime. With a restructured economy and rearmed military, Hitler pursued an aggressive foreign policy with the intention of expanding German Lebensraum ("living space") which triggered World War II in Europe by ordering the invasion of Poland. At the height of its power, Nazi Germany occupied most of Europe, but it and the Axis Powers were eventually defeated by the Allies. By then, Hitler's racial policies had culminated in the genocide of 11 million people, including about six million Jews, in what is now known as the Holocaust.
In the final days of the war, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin with his newlywed wife, Eva Braun.
" 1 Early years
o 1.1 Childhood and heritage
o 1.2 Early adulthood in Vienna and Munich
o 1.3 World War I
" 2 The early years of the Nazi Party
o 2.1 Hitler's entry into politics
o 2.2 The Beer Hall Putsch
o 2.3 "Mein Kampf"
o 2.4 The rebuilding of the party
" 3 The road to power
o 3.1 The Br?ning administration
o 3.2 The cabinets of Papen and Schleicher
o 3.3 Hitler's appointment as Chancellor
o 3.4 Reichstag Fire and the March elections
o 3.5 The "Day of Potsdam" and the Enabling Act
o 3.6 Removal of remaining limits
" 4 The Third Reich
o 4.1 Economics and culture
o 4.2 Rearmament and new alliances
o 4.3 The Holocaust
" 5 World War II
o 5.1 Opening moves
o 5.2 Path to defeat
o 5.3 Defeat and death
" 6 Legacy
" 7 Hitler's religious beliefs
" 8 Medical health
" 9 Hitler's family
" 10 People associated with Hitler
" 11 Trivia
" 12 Hitler in various media
o 12.1 Movie clip
o 12.2 Films
o 12.3 Documentaries
o 12.4 Dramatizations
o 12.5 Further reading
o 12.6 Speeches and talk by Hitler
" 13 See also
" 14 References
" 15 External links
Childhood and heritage
Adolf Hitler as an infant.
Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 at Braunau am Inn, Austria, a small town in Upper Austria, on the border with Germany. He was the third son and the fourth of six children of Alois Hitler (born Schicklgruber) (1837-1903), a minor customs official, and Klara P?lzl (1860-1907), his second cousin, and third wife. Because of the close kinship of the two, a papal dispensation had to be obtained for the marriage. Of Alois and Klara's six children, only Adolf and his younger sister Paula reached adulthood. Alois Hitler also had a son (Alois Junior) and a daughter (Angela) by his second wife.
Alois was born illegitimate and for the first thirty-nine years of his life bore his mother's name, Schicklgruber. In 1876, Alois began using the name of his stepfather, Johann Georg Hiedler, after visiting a priest responsible for birth registries and declaring that Georg was his father (Alois gave the impression that Georg was still alive but he was long dead). The name was variously spelled Hiedler, Huetler, Huettler and Hitler and probably changed to "Hitler" by a clerk. About the origin of the name there are two theories:
1. From German Hittler and similar, "one who lives in a hut", "shepherd".
2. From Slavic Hidlar and Hidlarcek.
Later, Adolf Hitler was accused by his political enemies of not rightfully being a Hitler, but a Schicklgruber. This was also exploited in Allied propaganda during the Second World War when pamphlets bearing the phrase "Heil Schicklgruber" were airdropped over German cities. Adolf was legally born a Hitler, however, and was also closely related to Hiedler through his maternal grandmother, Johanna Hiedler.
Hitler's given name, "Adolf", comes from the Old High German for "noble wolf" ("Adel"="nobility" + "wolf"). Hence, not surprisingly, one of Hitler's self-given nicknames was Wolf or Herr Wolf - he began using this nickname in the early 1920s and was addressed by it only by intimates (as "Uncle Wolf" by the Wagners) up until the fall of the Third Reich. The names of his various headquarters scattered throughout continental Europe (Wolfsschanze in East Prussia, Wolfsschlucht in France, Werwolf in Ukraine, etc.) seem to reflect this.
Hitler was not sure who his paternal grandfather was, but it was probably either Johann Georg Hiedler or his brother Johann Nepomuk Hiedler. There have been rumours that Hitler was one-quarter Jewish  and that his paternal grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber, had become pregnant after working as a servant in a Jewish household in Graz. During the 1920s, the implications of these rumours along with his known family history were politically explosive, especially for the proponent of a racist ideology. Opponents tried to prove that Hitler, the leader of the anti-Semitic Nazi Party, had Jewish or Czech ancestors. Although these rumours were never confirmed, for Hitler they were reason enough to conceal his origins. Soviet propaganda insisted Hitler was a Jew, though more modern research tends to diminish the probability that he had Jewish ancestors. According to Robert G. L. Waite in The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler, Hitler made it illegal for German women to work in Jewish households, and after the Anschluss with Austria, Hitler had his father's hometown obliterated as an artillery practice area. Hitler seemed to fear that he was Jewish, and as Waite points out, this fact is more important than whether he actually was.
Because of Alois Hitler's profession, his family moved frequently, from Braunau to Passau, Lambach, Leonding, and Linz. As a young child, Hitler was reportedly a good student at the various elementary schools he attended; however, in sixth grade (1900-1), his first year of high school (Realschule) in Linz, he failed completely and had to repeat the grade. His teachers reported that he had "no desire to work."
Hitler later explained this educational slump as a kind of rebellion