Adolf Hitler is a name that evokes strong emotion and is synonymous with evil and destruction. Born in Austria, he was an artist and soldier during World War I before becoming a politician. In 1933 Adolf Hitler rose to power as the leader of Germany’s Nazi Party, where he quickly implemented his own oppressive policies towards Jews, homosexuals, disabled people, and other minorities.
His reign of terror led to World War II which cost the lives of nearly 60 million people worldwide. During this time period, Hitler also directed orders for the creation of concentration camps where millions more were subject to genocide, experiments, and torture.
After leading Germany in a devastating defeat, he committed suicide on April 30th, 1945 thus ending one of history’s darkest periods in human history. Despite his extreme views, Adolf Hitler remains a prominent figure in modern-day discussions due to the sheer scale of death and destruction caused by his regime.
Pre-WWII Activity: Rise to Power
The years before the Second World War were a critical time in history. During this period, Adolf Hitler rose to power as the leader of Nazi Germany. Through his powerful oratory and charismatic leadership, he quickly gained control of the German people and was able to implement his extreme vision of a unified German-dominated Europe.
Hitler’s rise to power began when he joined the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP) in 1919 and became its leader in 1921. In 1923, Hitler attempted unsuccessfully to seize power in Bavaria through a coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch.
After serving nine months for treason, he wrote: “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”), which outlined his political beliefs and ambitions for Germany. Following several successful elections, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on January 30th, 1933, and subsequently President within two months after that.
Ruling Germany: Nazi Policies
Adolf Hitler’s rule of Germany from 1933-1945 is one of the most significant and controversial periods in modern history. During this time, Nazi policies profoundly changed the country, impacting its people and reshaping it into a totalitarian dictatorship.
Hitler came to power following years of economic turmoil in Germany which had been exacerbated by the effects of World War I. He was an incredibly powerful speaker and quickly gained a large number of followers for his anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Under his control, Nazi policies were implemented that sought to persecute Jews and other minorities while raising up the Aryan race as superior. These included laws prohibiting intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews, confiscation of Jewish property, and ultimately leading to genocide during The Holocaust.
Invasion of Poland: Beginnings of War
On September 1, 1939, the German army invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II in Europe. This invasion was a part of Adolf Hitler’s plan to expand German borders and create an empire. He had already taken control of Austria and Czechoslovakia prior to this invasion. His goal was to unite all Germans under one rule while dominating at least some of its neighboring countries.
The attack on Poland came as no surprise; Hitler had been preparing for it since 1937 when he offered a non-aggression pact with Poland that was refused by its leadership. The Germans took advantage of their superior air power and advanced weaponry in order to quickly capture key cities in Poland such as Warsaw and Krakow within weeks of invading the country.
In response, Great Britain declared war on Germany two days after the invasion began; France followed shortly thereafter.
Battlefronts: German Success & Losses
During World War II, Germany was a major player in the fight for global domination. Its success on the battlefront helped to spread Nazi ideology throughout Europe and beyond. However, as the war progressed, Germany’s military eventually suffered catastrophic losses that led to its ultimate defeat.
In the early years of WWII, German forces made significant gains against their opponents. Nazi troops quickly captured large swaths of land in both Western and Eastern Europe, with Paris falling within just six weeks of the attack on Poland in 1939.
The German army also attempted to invade Britain through aerial assaults but ultimately failed to achieve victory over their British adversaries.
From 1940-1941, Hitler implemented Operation Barbarossa—the invasion of Soviet Russia—which proved disastrous for his forces due to a lack of preparation in regard to winter cold and vast distances across unfamiliar terrain.
Genocide: Holocaust & Final Solution
The Holocaust and Final Solution, facilitated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis during World War II, are two of the most infamous examples of human atrocity in modern history. The term ‘genocide’ was coined to describe these acts of mass destruction against an ethnic or religious group.
The Holocaust refers to the systematic persecution and murder of Jews living in Nazi-controlled territories during WWII. Under Hitler’s rule, several concentration camps were set up across Europe where millions died due to starvation and execution.
The Final Solution was an attempt by the Nazis to exterminate all Jews as part of a larger plan for world domination. This intended genocide was never fully realized; however, it is estimated that over 6 million people were murdered before Allied forces liberated Europe in 1945.
Impact on War Outcome: End of WWII
The end of World War II brought about unprecedented change for many countries and their citizens. Even today, its effects are felt across the globe. How did this conflict shape the course of history?
One of the most potent impacts on the war outcome was that Japan and Germany were completely defeated, leaving them unable to continue their offensive campaigns. This effectively ended any chance of a Nazi or Imperial Japanese takeover of Europe or Asia respectively.
It also resulted in a reshaping of global borders, with some countries gaining independence while others had their territories changed due to new agreements.
Major powers such as Britain, France, and Russia saw their international standing drastically improve after the war.
Involvement During World War II
Hitler declared war on Poland in 1939, thus beginning World War II. His armies soon invaded western Europe and eventually Russia as well. The German army used a new type of warfare called blitzkrieg which overwhelmed the opposition.
Blitzkrieg was a military strategy designed to destabilize an opponent through the implementation of surprise attacks utilizing fast-moving forces and powerful aerial assistance. The tactic often caused confusion among enemy forces, allowing speedy advances with minimum casualties and maximum disruption.
In 1941, Hitler declared himself the Fuhrer (leader) of Germany and began implementing his plans for racial purity throughout Europe by persecuting Jews and other minorities through mass killings in concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau.
He also developed technological advances such as jet aircraft that could fly higher than ever before.
Adolf Hitler’s rise to power was marked by his ability to convince the people of Germany that they were superior and destined for greatness. He promised them a new era of prosperity and success, yet his ambition ultimately led to his defeat in 1945.
Hitler’s downfall began as early as 1941 when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This move acted as a catalyst for Allied forces, who declared war on Nazi Germany soon after. The Nazis suffered a major loss in 1942 at Stalingrad, which weakened their hold on Eastern Europe and Russia and exposed them to further Allied attacks.
In 1944, the Allies initiated an invasion of Normandy that pushed German troops further west towards Berlin; this campaign resulted in heavy losses for the Germans and gave the Allies an upper hand in controlling Western Europe.
Post War Germany
The legacy of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler continues to loom large over post-World War II Germany. After the devastating losses of World War II and the surrender of German forces in 1945, much of the country lay in ruins.
The Allied powers sought to rebuild West Germany while establishing a democratic republic, in stark contrast to Hitler’s Nazi regime.
Hitler’s legacy left an indelible mark on post-war Germany that cannot be undone. His totalitarian government had caused catastrophic damage both during and after World War II – physical destruction, economic hardship, and a moral stain on an entire nation.
As such, it was important for the Allies to ensure that a new form of government would take root. This included creating legal structures that would hold any future leaders accountable for their actions as well as teaching young generations about the horrors inflicted by Nazism so as not to repeat them again.
The life of Adolf Hitler serves as an important reminder that our actions have consequences; his reign over Germany led to devastating losses both during and after World War II that will never be forgotten or forgiven by many people around the world today.
Despite his numerous atrocities against humanity, understanding why he acted as he did is essential for preventing similar leaders from ever seizing power again in our lifetime or any other generation’s lifetime moving forward into the future.
We must remember this dark period in history so we can continue learning from it today and forever more!
Sources: THX News, National WWII Museum, History.com & Wikipedia.