Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889; in Braunau am Inn, Austria. Adolf Hitler was the fourth of six children born to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. Adolf and his sister Paula were the only two children that lived to adulthood. The family moved from Austria to Germany when he was three years old (“Adolf Hitler”). Adolf Hitler rose to power in German politics as leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, also known as the Nazi Party. Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933 (“Adolf-Hitler is Named Chancellor of Germany”). When Germany’s president, Paul von Hindenburg died in 1934 Hitler took the title of Fuhrer and served as dictator from 1934 to 1945 (Rosenberg).
Adolf Hitler ruled Germany with absolute power for twelve years, during which time he initiated World War II and oversaw fascist policies that resulted in millions of deaths. Adolf Hitler was the founder and leader of the Nazi Party and the most influential voice in the organization, implementation and execution of the Holocaust, the systematic extermination and ethnic cleansing of millions of European Jews (Wistrich). Adolf Hitler is regarded as one of the most despicable men in history, with his name becoming synonymous with evil (“Death of Adolf Hitler”). By the year 1938 Adolf Hitler had become the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faced (Time).
In April of 1945 Hitler went into hiding in his Fuhrerbunker in Berlin. The Fuhrerbunker was located 50 feet below the Chancellery buildings in Berlin. As it became apparent to Hitler that the war was lost and that his handpicked lieutenants had gone against his orders, Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945. Eva Braun, his longtime mistress, whom he had married the night before committed suicide along with him (“The History Place Holocaust Timeline”). Germany surrendered bringing to an end both the war and the Nazi rule. The official name of the Nazi regime was the Third Reich, which Hitler bragged would last 1000 years collapsed within a week of his death (“Death of Adolf Hitler”).
After Hitler became the Fuhrer and Chancellor he assumed compete power of Germany by establishing an absolute dictatorship. Hitler set out to invade as much territory as he could in Europe. In late 1939 Germany invaded Poland which caused France and Britain to declare war on Germany, which began WWII. Hitler pushed forward and attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 (“Adolf Hitler”). Also in 1941 the United States entered the war. The allies began their invasion of occupied Europe by landing on the French coast at Normandy Beach in 1944. Many German officers concluded that defeat was inevitable and that Hitler’s denials would result in the destruction of the country (“Adolf Hitler”). Germany began to get hit hard by the allied troops as they made their way to Berlin in 1945.
By early 1945 Germany’s military situation was on the verge of total collapse. Poland had fallen to the advancing soviet forces, and Italy who was an ally of Germany also fell. The allies were slowly closing in on Berlin, which was where Hitler’s headquarters were. During the war, many high-ranking Nazis became desperate, and several attempts were made to assassinate Hitler (Rosenberg). None of the attempts were successful. With the allies moving closer towards Berlin, Hitler became erratic with a desperate hope that Germany would still win the war. Hitler retreated to his Fuhrerbunker located in Berlin in the spring of 1945. To the Nazi leadership it was clear that the battle for Berlin would be the final battle of the war. During the last few days of April, 1945 Adolf Hitler became aware that he would not win the war that he had started (“Adolf Hitler”).
While in the Fuhrerbunker Hitler grew increasingly hysterical. At the aftermath situation conference, which was a three hour military conference held at the bunker on April 22, 1945 Hitler suffered a total nervous collapse when he was informed that the orders he had issued the previous day to SS General Felix Steiner’s army detachment to move to the rescue of Berlin had not materialized. The SS stood for Schutzstaffel, an elite Nazi soldier group. Hitler announced that the war was lost for Nazi Germany and that he would stay in Berlin until the end. Personnel in the bunker were given permission by Hitler to leave, and most did leave. Only a very few stayed with Hitler in the bunker. Later that day Hitler asked SS physician Dr. Werner Haase about the most reliable method of suicide.
Dr. Haase suggested the “pistol-and-poison method”, combining a dose of cyanide with a gunshot to the head (“Death of Adolf Hitler”). With Berlin completely cut off from the rest of Germany and Soviet army tanks taking over the city Hitler decided to take his own life, because his biggest fear was to be taken alive. Hitler knew if he were to be captured the outcome would not be good. Hitler’s army was out numbered 15 to 1, and he knew there was no way to win the war at this point (“Death of Adolf Hitler”). Hitler was running out of soldiers and ammunition and he was guaranteed a defeat. On April 28th Hitler received confirmation that his friend Benito Mussolini had been captured in Italy. He had been shot along with his mistress, Clara Pettochi, and their bodies hung upside down in a square in Milan. Adolf Hitler decided that such humiliation would not happen to him. He ordered that after his suicide his body would be burned (“Death of Adolf Hitler”).
On the final day, Hitler drafted his final will and testament, in which he blamed the Jews for everything that went wrong with Germany. Around midnight on April 29th Hitler married Eva Braun. At his post-marriage celebration Hitler talked mostly of the past and of happier times. The day after Hitler and Eva’s wedding Hitler learned that the Soviet Army was blocks away from his bunker. On April 30th, 1945 Hitler gave very clear instructions to his personal secretary, Otto Gunsche, that both his and his wife’s body were to be burned. Shortly after lunch, both Adolf Hitler and Eva Hitler (as she wanted to be called), met in the inner circle of the bunker and Hitler said his goodbyes to his remaining military aides and staff. The area known as the lower bunker was then cleared to allow Adolf and Eva privacy.
A short time later the guards heard a gunshot that came from the lower bunker. The guards found Hitler and Eva both dead. Hitler was on the sofa with a gunshot wound to the head and Eva had drunk the cyanide. Adolf and Eva’s bodies were carried to the bombed out garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were burned. Berlin fell on May 2, 1945 (“Death of Adolf Hitler”). Hitler’s political program had brought about a world war, leaving behind a devastated and impoverished eastern and central Europe, including Germany. His policies inflicted human suffering on an unprecedented scale and resulted in the death of an estimated 40 million people, including about 27 million in the Soviet Union. Hitler’s defeat marked the end of a phase of European history dominated by Germany, and the defeat of fascism. A new ideological global conflict, the cold war emerged in the aftermath of WWII (“Adolf Hitler”).
The first news to the world that Hitler was dead came from the Germans themselves. On May 1, 1945, the Reichssender Hamburg, a part of the once powerful Deutschlandsender, which had earlier sent transmissions across all of Germany, interrupted the normal program to announce that an important broadcast would soon be made concerning Adolf Hitler. Grobadmiral Karl Donitz made the broadcast announcement that Adolf Hitler had died a hero’s death in the capital of the Reich (“Death of Adolf Hitler”).
In conclusion, Adolf Hitler killed himself for many reasons; he knew he had lost the war and he didn’t want to hide or run to try to escape prison or death by the hands of his enemies. He knew that if captured his death would be long, humiliating and painful. He did not want Stalin to capture him and parade him around as a war prize so he did the only thing that he could think of to prevent this from happening. Hitler killed himself and left instructions to have his body burned so that it could not be put on display. Even in his death, Hitler was still calling all the shots and ruling until the very end. This is evident by the writing of his last will and testament giving very detailed and strict instructions.
Hitler was a very cruel man and I personally think that he took the easy way out. I think that he should have been punished for all the horrible crimes that he committed against millions of innocent people.
Adolf Hitler. 2013. 28 February 2013 <http://www.history.com/topic/adolf-hitler>. Adolf Hitler. 2013. 2 March 2013 <http://www.biography.com/people/adolf-hitler-9340144.>. Adolf-Hitler is Named Chancellor of Germany This History Channel. 2013. 28 February 2013 <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history-adolf-hitler-is-named
chancellor-of-germany.>. Death of Adolf Hitler. 2013. 28 February 2013 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death of Adolf Hitler>. History Learning Site. 2013. 2 March 2013 <Http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/death_of_adolf_hitler1.htm>. Rosenberg, Jennifer. About.com 20th Century History. 2013. 3 March 2013 <http://history1900s.about.com/od/hitleradolf/a/Hitler-Facts.htm?p=1>. The History Channel. 2013. 28 February 2013 <http://www.history.com/topics/adolf-hitler>. Time. Adolf Hitler: Man of the Year, 1938. 2 January 1939. 28 February 2013 <http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,760539,00.html.>. Wistrich, Robert S. Jewish Virtual Library. 1997. 1 Mar 2013 <http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/hitler.html>.
(Rosenberg) (Adolf Hitler) (History Learning Site) (Time) (Adolf-Hitler is Named Chancellor of Germany) (Placeholder1)