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Adolf Hitler

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The broad mass of a nation ... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one.
~ Mein Kampf Volume 1.[1]

Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was a German dictator that was responsible for the creation of the Third Reich, the beginning of World War II, and the execution of the Holocaust.

Biography

Adolf was born on April 20th, 1889[2], in the small Austrian town of Braunau near the German border. Both of Hitler's parents were from poor, peasant families. His father, Alois, had been a customs officer on the border.[3] He also had three wives, and Klara Hitler (Adolf's mother) was the third one. Klara and Alois had five children, but only Adolf and his younger sister, Paula, survived to become adults.

Adolf's father was extremely keen for his son to do well in life. Alois already had a son from an earlier marriage, but he had wound up in jail for theft. Alois was very strict, and would beat up his son if he did not do as he was told.

Between the Wars

That man (Hitler) for a Chancellor? I'll make him a postmaster and he can lick the stamps with my head on them.
~ 'Paul von Hindenburg' to Meissner, 13th August 1932.[1]

On 25th February 1932, Hitler became a German citizen, becoming a representative of the Brunswick state government to Berlin,[4] before being selected to replace Papen as Chancellor of Germany on 30th January 1933. [5]

The dissillusion and discontent fostered by world economic depression proferred a rich harvest for Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP); Germany could only survive through renewed vigour in industry and commerce and the Nazis seemed to offer the panacea. In July 1932, a general election in Germany returned the NSDAP as the strongest single party in the Reichstag, so that Hitler became Chancellor on 30 January in the following year.[6]

On 4th February 1933, Hitler issued a decree 'For the Protection of the German People'. This gave the German Government powers to ban political meetings and suppress publications deemed harmful to the public interest. This was followed by a directive issued to German police forces thirteen days later, directing them to cooperate with the SS and SA in dealing with 'opposition forces'.[5]

For the armed services the first change occurred in 1934, when conscription was introduced and the title of Defence Minister was changed to Minister of War and Commander in-Chief Of the Armed Forces — perhaps two of the first tangible pieces of evidence of the new aggressive military thinking within Germany.

ln August 1934, von Hindenburg, the old Chancellor, died and Hitler thus gained complete control of Gennany. Henceforward the oath of allegiance to the law and people of Germany, taken by men entering the new Armed Forces, was to be made to Hitler personally. Hitler still remained in the background in military matters, however, and it was not until February 1938 that he assumed the title and powers of Supreme Commander.[6]

World War II

On 29 April 1945, Hitler dictated his last testimony to his secretary, Traudl Junge, after which he named Admiral Karl Donitz, former U-boat commander and head of the German Navy, as President of the Reich, and Josef Goebbels as Chancellor, before marrying his mistress, Eva Braun. The following day, the pair committed suicide, with Braun using cyanide,[N 1] and Hitler shooting himself through the right temple, before Hitler's Valet, Heinz Linge, supervised the burning of the bodies.[N 2]

Other Information

Contary to popular belief, Hitler was not a vegetarian.[N 3] This mistaken belief was most likely due to the fact that his doctors regularly recommended he switch to a vegetarian diet, in an attempt to alleviate his chronic flatulence. In addition, Hitler received regular injections of a high protein serum, which was made from pulverised bull's testicles.[9] Hitler's doctor would also inject him with deadly nightshade, rat poison (listed as 'Dr Koester's Anti-Gas pills') and 'essence of Bulgarien peasant's faeces'.[8]

His home phone number was Berlin 11 6191.[10]

The American Secret Service tried to spike Hitler's carrots with female hormones.[11]

Notes

  1. Braun chose this method as she wanted to die painlessly, so that her face wouldn't be contorted in agony. Partly due to Hitler's belief that the cyanide could have been re-formulated, in order to keep him paralysed but alive, so he could be removed from the bunker by force, the cyanide was tested on Hitler's Alsatian Blondie, who promptly died.
  2. Hitler had ordered the cremation to ensure that no part of the bodies could be held as a trophy by his enemies.[7]
  3. Indeed, his favorite meal was petits poussins à la Hambourg - baby pigeons stuffed with tounge, liver and pistachio nuts.[8]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jay, Antony. The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations. Oxford University Press. 2001. ISBN 0 19 863167 7 Page 172
  2. Spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  3. secondworldwar.co.uk. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  4. Goralski, Robert. World War II Almanac 1931-1945. Hamish Hamilton Ltd. 1981. ISBN 0 241 10573 0 Page 11
  5. 5.0 5.1 Goralski, Robert Page 18
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wood, Tony and Bill Gunston. Hitler's Luftwaffe. Salamander Books. 1997. ISBN 0 86101 935 0 Page 10
  7. Farrington, Karen. D-Day to Berlin - From the Normandy Landings to the fall of the Reich (70th Anniversary Special Edition). Arcturus Publishing Limited. 2014. ISBN 978 1 78404 052 9 Pages 130 to 132
  8. 8.0 8.1 i Newspaper. Published by Independent Print Ltd. isuue 1260 - Tuesday 9 December 2014. (Article by John Walsh, based on information from Dictators Dinners by Victoria Clark and Melissa Scott.)
  9. Lloyd, John and John Mitchinson. The Book of General Ignorance. Faber and Faber Ltd. 2006. ISBN 0 571 23368 6. Page 214
  10. 1,227 QI Facts to blow your socks off. Lloyd, John, John Mitchinson and James Harkin. Faber and Faber. 2012. ISBN 0 571 29791 7 page 47
  11. Lloyd, John, John Mitchinson and James Harkin. page 145
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