Adolf Hitler, one of the worst dictators ever if not the worst in recorded human history, was responsible for 60 to 85 million deaths during the WWII as he had triggered the conflict. His name brings connotations of murder, misery, warfare, holocaust and the attempted extermination of the Jews and other minorities. Hitler openly expressed his hatred of Jews in his book ‘Mein Kampf’. He warned everyone about his intention to drive the Jews and minorities from Germany’s cultural, intellectual and cultural life.
Before invading Poland and triggering the WWII, Hitler gave example of Genghis Khan to his generals. He said that though Genghis Khan happily led millions of women and children to slaughter with predetermination, history still considered him solely the founder of the Mongol state; not as a murderer.
As a result of the Holocaust engineered by Hitler and his Nazi regime, 6 million Jews or around 78% of the total Jewish population (around 7.3 million) in Nazi occupied Europe at that time and an additional 5 million non-Jewish people were killed. From 1941 to 1945, Jews and other racial, political and ethnic minorities in Europe were targeted and systematically murdered by the Nazi forces.
Pan-German or All-German nationalist and anti-Semitic German Workers’ Party (DAP) became Nazi Party in 1919. Hitler became its chairman in 1921. Hitler’s Nazism was inspired by fascism that originated in Italy during the WWI. Nazism rejected any theories of the western capitalism and the Soviet socialism.
Hitler believed in an Aryan German race. Aryan race indicates to an Indo-European (European and Western Asian) Caucasian race and the racist term is used to indicate a white supremacy concept. Hitler also believed in Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of the Übermensch or ‘Super-human’ who should rule above the slave-classes of the Untermensch or ‘inferior humans’.
Despite Hitler being the worst man and one of the most documented men in human history, there are still few less known facts about him. Popular entertainment website What Culture reported on 20 such mind-boggling facts about him.
(20) Hitler Spied On The Nazi Party Before Joining Them:
After participating in the WWI, Hitler returned to Munich and remained in the army due to having no formal education or career prospects. He was appointed Verbindungsmann or intelligence agent of a reconnaissance commando of Reichswehr in July 1919. Reichswehr was the military organization of Germany from 1919 to 1935. It was united with Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Germany in 1935.
Hitler was assigned to infiltrate the German Workers’ Party (DAP), which became the National Socialist German Workers’ Party or the Nazi Party in the same year. His task was to influence other soldiers and monitoring the activities of the DAP. Soon Hitler was attracted to the anti-Semitic, anti-capitalist, nationalist, anti-Marxist ideas of DAP’s founder Anton Drexler who also founded the Nazi Party in the following year. Hitler joined DAP in September 1919 becoming the 55th member of the party.
Images Used (From left): (1) A copy of Hitler’s DAP membership card (2) Anton Drexler, founder of both DAP and the Nazi Party
(19) Hitler Had To Live In Homeless Shelters For A While:
Like many Austrians, Hitler began to get attracted to German nationalist ideas from an early age. His father died when Hitler was 14 years old and subsequently, Hitler’s performance at school dropped. 2 years later he changed school and enrolled at a school in Steyr in Upper Austria. After giving a repeat, he passed the final school exams. His mother died of breast cancer at the age of 47 on December 21, 1907. At the age of 18-19, he was twice rejected admission into the Fine Arts Academy (in 1907 and 1908) as he was declared unfit for painting. While in Vienna, he tried to make a living out of selling his paintings. But due to lack of quality and resources, he ran out of money soon. Hitler kept moving from one place to another as his savings gradually diminished and his lifestyle deteriorated. In December 1909, he was half starved and freezing and had to live in homeless shelters in Vienna and whenever he sold a painting, he would occasionally spend the night in men’s hostels. He then moved into a public dormitory for men in Vienna and lived there for 3 years until 1913 when he received his father’s inheritance and then moved to Munich.
Image Used: The public dormitory for men in Vienna, where Hitler lived from 1910 to 1913. Image attribution- Edward Hopper, wikipedia