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Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler was the ruler of Germany from 1933 to 1945 Guided by concepts of elitism and racism he established a brutal totalitarian regime under the ideological banner of National Socialism or Nazism His drive for empire resulted in the devastation of World War II culminating in Germanys defeat and the reordering of world power relationships Hitler was born on April 20 1889 in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn the son of Alois a customs official and Klara Hitler Alois who was illegitimate used his mothers name Schicklgruber until 1876 when he adopted the name Hitler He was very stern with his son and abhorred Adolfs dreamy ways His death in 1903 came as a relief to Adolf Adolf idealized his mother however whose death in 1907 had a traumatic effect on him Hitler failed as a student in the classical secondary schools a situation that contributed to his desire to become an artist He went to Vienna in 1907 but was unable to gain admission to the Academy of Fine Arts He lived a shadowy alienated existence in multiracial Vienna until 1913 His years there were characterized by melancholy aimlessness and racial hatred--in Vienna he developed his lifelong obsession with the danger that world Jewry posed to the Aryan race In 1913 Hitler went to Munich partly to evade conscription into the Austrian army There however he answered the call to colors at the outbreak August 1914 of World War I Serving in the Bavarian Sixteenth Regiment on the western front he distinguished himself for bravery and was awarded the Iron Cross First Class For the first time in his life Hitler had found a home he glorified the raw majesty of life under fire the beauty of comradeship and the nobility of the warrior His soldierly dreams of victory and fulfillment were shattered however by Germanys defeat He became convinced that Germany had been stabbed in the back by
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