Adolf Hitler
"In any accounting of the millennium's monsters, first place must go to the ruler who made genocide a multinational industry-Adolf Hitler. The scale of enterprise boggles the mind: freight trains carrying Jews to human stockyards from across Nazi-occupied Europe; victims worked to death, shot, or gassed; corpses incinerated or processed into soap; gold teeth harvested for the coffers of the Reich" (Time 123).
How and why Adolf Hitler became the man that changed the meaning of slaughter and death forever. He was born innocent. Then as he grew up, he became stern and demanding, like his father. He took in views of racism and burned them into his heart. He believed certain races were solely responsible for the ending result of what was then European Society. As he experienced many things in his life, his hatred for those people swelled inside him, until the time came when he could do something about it.
1. The Beginning
"On the evening of April 20th, 1889, a baby was born in the small town of
Braunau, Austria. Just across the River Inn was the country Germany that Hitler would someday rule. Hitler was born to Alois Hitler and Klara P÷lzl and was the fourth child of his father's third marriage" (Stein 2). Shortly after his birth, Hitler's father retired and move the family near Linz, Austria. The family finally settled down in Lambach where Hitler was educated in the Catholic Banedictine monastery. Hitler did well in the monastery school and also took part in the boys' choir (Joakims). "As a young boy Hitler idolized the priests and for two years seriously considered becoming a priest himself" (Patrons). Hitler later said of himself that he was "an argumentative little ring leader who liked to stay outside and hang around with 'husky' boys" (Patrons).
Hitler's childhood with his father was rough. His father would beat the children and occasionally Adolf's mother Klara as well (Marrin). "Alois showed little respect for others' feelings. He had an explosive temper and would fly into a rage for no apparent reason" (Marrin). Hitler tried to please his father, but never could. "His father would slap him and beat him with a cane, dog whip, or belt. There were times when Adolf, age six or seven trembled before setting a foot in his own home" (Marrin). Hitler had great fear of his father and hated even to come home.
1. Boyhood
In Hitler's teen years, he discovered he had great artistic skills. He could look at a
building and then draw it down to the smallest detail on paper just from memory. Alois
did not like Hitler's idea of becoming an artist (Marrin). "Artists, Alois yelled, were ""not respectable"". They were loose, lazy, dirty people who wasted their lives in poverty. No son of his would ever become an artist while he lived. Adolf, he said, must go to the technical school in Linz and become a civil servant like himself" (Marrin). Adolf did not see himself as a office worker, so he opposed his father's wishes. When going to school, he would taunt his teachers and not listen. He failed most of the classes he did not like, causing his father to become more angry (Patrons). "I thought that once my father saw what little progress I was making at the (technical school) he would let me devote myself to the happiness I dreamed of - Hitler explained in Mein Kampf" (Joakims).
Hitler's father, Alois, died January 1903, at the age of sixty-five. Alois had gone out for a morning walk and died at a local inn when he had a lung hemorrhage (Joakims). "Young Adolf, now 13, broke down and cried when he saw his father's body laid out.
His father's funeral Mass in the small church at Leonding was well attended. A newspaper in nearby Linz published an obituary that included the following sentence - "The harsh words that sometimes fell from his lips could not belie the warm heart that beat under the rough exterior" (Joakims). With Adolf's father dead he found no more reason to continue at the technical school, and so dropped out of school at the age of sixteen in 1905. The next three years were Hitler's happiest. He spent his time doing what he wanted