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The son of Alois Hitler 1837-1903 an Austrian customs official Adolf Hitler dropped out of high school and after his mothers death in 1907 moved to Vienna He twice failed the admission examination for the academy of arts His vicious anti-Semitism perhaps influenced by that of Karl Lueger and political harangues drove many acquaintances away In 1913 he settled in Munich and on the outbreak of World War I he joined the Bavarian army During the war he was gassed and wounded a corporal he received the Iron Cross for bravery The war hardened his extreme nationalism and he blamed the German defeat on betrayal by Jews and Marxists Upon his return to Munich he joined a handful of other nationalistic veterans in the German Workers party In 1920 the German Workers party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers or Nazi party in 1921 it was reorganized with Hitler as chairman He made it a paramilitary organization and won the support of such prominent nationalists as Field Marshal Ludendorff On Nov 8 1923 Hitler attempted the beer-hall putsch intended to overthrow the republican government Leading Bavarian officials themselves discontented nationalists were surrounded at a meeting in a Munich beer hall by the Nazi militia or storm troopers and made to swear loyalty to this revolution On regaining their freedom they used the Reichswehr army to defeat the coup Hitler fled but was soon arrested and sentenced to five years in the Landsberg fortress He served nine months The putsch made Hitler known throughout Germany In prison he dictated to Rudolf Hess the turgid Mein Kampf my struggle filled with anti-Semitic outpourings worship of power disdain for civil morality and strategy for world domination It became the bible of National Socialism Under the tutelage of Hitler and Gregor Strasser aided by Josef Goebbels and from 1928 by Hermann Goering the party grew slowly until the economic depression beginning
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