kids encyclopedia robot

Adolf Hitler facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Adolf Hitler
Hitler portrait crop.jpg
Hitler in 1938
Führer of Germany
In office
2 August 1934 – 30 April 1945
Preceded by Paul von Hindenburg (President)
Succeeded by Karl Dönitz (President)
Chancellor of Germany
In office
30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945
President Paul von Hindenburg
Deputy Franz von Papen
Hermann Göring
Preceded by Kurt von Schleicher
Succeeded by Joseph Goebbels
Führer of the Nazi Party
In office
29 July 1921 – 30 April 1945
Deputy Rudolf Hess (1933–1941)
Preceded by Anton Drexler (Chairman)
Succeeded by Martin Bormann (Party Minister)
Personal details
Born (1889-04-20)20 April 1889
Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary
Died 30 April 1945(1945-04-30) (aged 56)
Berlin, Nazi Germany
Cause of death Suicide by gunshot
  • Austrian (1889–1925)
  • None (1925–1932)
  • German (1932–1945)
Political party Nazi Party (1921–1945)
Other political
German Workers' Party (1919–20)
Eva Braun (m. 1945)
Mother Klara Pölzl
Father Alois Hitler
Relatives Hitler family
Cabinet Hitler cabinet
Military service
Allegiance German Empire
  • Imperial German Army
  • Bavarian Army
Service years 1914–1920
Rank Gefreiter
Unit 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment
Wars World War I

Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician and the leader of Nazi Germany. He became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, after a democratic election in 1932. He became Führer (leader) of Nazi Germany in 1934.

Hitler led the Nazi Party NSDAP from 1921. When in power the Nazis created a dictatorship called the Third Reich. In 1933, they blocked out all other political parties. This gave Hitler absolute power.

Hitler ordered the invasion of Poland in 1939, and this started World War II. Because of Hitler, at least 50 million people died. During World War II, Hitler was the Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces and made all the important decisions. This was part of the so-called Führerprinzip (leader principle). He shot himself in 1945, as the Soviet Army got to Berlin, because he did not want to be captured alive by the Soviet Union.

Hitler and the Nazi regime were responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, 28.7 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in Europe.

Nazi forces committed many war crimes during the war. They were doing what Hitler told them to do. They killed their enemies or put them in concentration camps and death camps. Hitler and his men persecuted and killed Jews and other ethnic, religious, and political minorities. In what is called the Holocaust, the Nazis killed six million Jews, Roma people, homosexuals, Slavs, and many other groups of people.

Family background

Hitler's family was born in Waldviertel, in Lower Austria. At the time, the name Hitler changed in this region several times between Hüttler, Hiedler, Hittler and Hitler. The name was commonly in the German-speaking area of Europe in the 19th century. The literature says that this name is descended from the Czech name Hidlar or Hidlarcek.

Childhood and early adulthood

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1989-0322-506, Adolf Hitler, Kinderbild
Hitler as a baby in 1889
Adolf Hitler as a child
Adolf Hitler as a child, in his school years

Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889, as the fourth child of six in Braunau am Inn. This is a small town near Linz in the province of Upper Austria. It is close to the German border, in what was then Austria-Hungary. His parents were Klara Pölzl and Alois Hitler. Because of his father's job, Hitler moved from Braunau to Passau, later to Lambach and finally to Leonding. He attended several Volksschule's.

Hitler's mother, Klara Pölzl, was his father's third wife and also his cousin. Hitler's father died in 1903.

Hitler failed high school exams in Linz twice. In 1905, he left school. He became interested in the anti-Semitic (anti-Jewish), Pan-German teachings of Professor Leopold Poetsch. In September 1907, he went to Vienna and took an entrance examination. On 1 and 2 October, he failed the second examination. Hitler went back to Linz at the end of October. In December 1907, Hitler's mother died and, because of that, he was depressed. Hitler's mother was Catholic, but Hitler hated Christianity. He also hated Jews.

In 1909, Hitler again went to Vienna to study art. He tried to become a student at the Academy of Arts, but failed the first entrance examination. Hitler said he first became an anti-Semite in Vienna. This town had a large Jewish community.

In 1913, Hitler was 24 years old. At that time, all young Austrian men had to join the army. Hitler did not like the Austrian army, so he left Austria for Germany. He lived in the German city of Munich.


Adolf Hitler - Wien Oper
Vienna State Opera House, Adolf Hitler, 1912

Hitler was also a painter. He produced hundreds of works and sold his paintings and postcards to try to earn a living during his Vienna years (1908–1913). Despite little success professionally, he continued to paint throughout the whole of his life.

A number of his paintings were recovered after the second World War and have been sold at auction for tens of thousands of dollars. Others were seized by the United States Army and are still held by the US government.

World War I

Hitler WWI
Hitler with other German soldiers in World War I

On 16 August 1914, Hitler joined the Bavarian army. He fought for Germany in World War I. Hitler served in Belgium and France in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment. He spent nearly the whole time on the Western Front. He was a runner, one of the most dangerous jobs on the Front. That means he ran from one position to another one to carry messages. On 1 November 1914, Hitler became a Gefreiter (which was like being a private first class in the United States Army, or a lance corporal in the British Army). The government awarded him the Iron Cross Second Class on 2 December 1914.

On 5 October 1916, Hitler was hurt by a bullet shell. Between 9 October and 1 December, he was in the military hospital Belitz. In March 1917, he went back to the front. There, he fought in a battle and was awarded with the Militärverdienstkreuz Third Class with swords.

In March 1918, Hitler participated in the Spring Offensive. On 4 August 1918, Hitler was awarded with the Iron Cross First Class by the Jewish Hugo Gutmann. After Germany surrendered, Hitler was shocked, because the German army still held enemy area in November 1918.

Entry into politics

Hitler's DAP membership card
Hitler's membership card in the German Workers' Party (DAP)

After World War I, Hitler stayed in the army and returned to Munich. There he attended the funeral march of the Bavarian prime minister Kurt Eisner, who had been killed. In 1919, he participated in a training programme for propaganda speakers from 5 to 12 June and 26 June to 5 July.

Later that year, Hitler joined a small political party called the German Workers Party. He became member number 555. He soon won the support of the party's members. Two years later, he became the party's leader. He renamed the party the National Socialist German Workers Party. It became known as the Nazi Party.

During the Weimar Republic

In 1923, Hitler got together several hundred other members of the Nazi Party and tried to take over the Weimar Republic government (1918–34) in the Beer Hall Putsch. The coup failed. The government killed 13 of his men (the 13 dead men were later declared saints in Nazi ideology). They also put Hitler in the Landsberg Prison. They said that he would stay in prison for five years, but they let him leave after nine months.

Mein Kampf

While Hitler was in prison, he wrote a book with the help of his close friend Rudolf Hess. At first, Hitler wanted to call the book Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice. In the end, he called the book "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle").

Mein Kampf brought together some of Hitler's different ideas and explains where they came from:

Hitler may also have been influenced by Martin Luther. In Mein Kampf, Hitler says Martin Luther was "a great warrior, a true statesman and a great reformer."

Start of the dictatorship

In 1933, Hitler was elected into the German government. He ended freedom of speech, and put his enemies in jail or killed them. He did not allow any other political party except the Nazi party. Hitler and his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, spread extreme nationalism within Germany. All media had to praise the Nazis. Also, more people were born because Hitler wanted more people of the "master race" (those he called "Aryans"). He made Germany a totalitarian Nazi state.

World War II and The Holocaust

Flag of Germany (1935–1945)
The swastika was the flag of Germany from 1935-1945 used by Hitler

Despite Poland being carved out of former German territory, Hitler is credited with starting World War II by ordering the German Army to invade Poland. His army took over Poland and most of Europe, including France and a large part of the Soviet Union.

During the war, Hitler ordered the Nazis to kill many people, including women and children. The Nazis killed around six million Jews in The Holocaust. Other people that the Nazis killed were Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, Slavs such as Russians and Poles, and his political opponents.

Finally, some of the other countries in the world worked together to defeat Germany. Hitler lost all of the land that he had taken. Millions of Germans were killed in the war. At the end of World War II, Hitler gave all people in the Führerbunker (leader bunker) the permission to leave it. Many people did and moved to the region of Berchtesgaden. They used planes and truck convoys.

Hitler, the Göbbels family, Martin Bormann, Eva Braun and some other staff remained in the bunker. Hitler married to Eva Braun on 29 April 1945.


Less than 24 hours after Hitler and Eva Braun got married in Berlin, both of them used poison to kill themselves then Hitler shot himself with his gun. Before this, Hitler ordered that their bodies be burned. This prevented him from being captured alive by soldiers of the Red Army, who were closing in on him.

Key facts about Adolf Hitler

  • Adolf Hitler was born in Austria.
  • Adolf was not a good student. He failed his high school exams twice.
  • After leaving school, Adolf became interested in the teachings of Professor Leopold Poetsch, who taught that any race except the German race was inferior.
  • Hitler was also a painter and produced hundreds of works throughout his life.
  • Hitler would never take off his coat in public, no matter how hot it got.
  • Adolf Hitler fought for Germany as a soldier during World War I.
  • After the War, Hitler joined a small political party called the German Workers Party, which was renamed the National Socialist German Workers Party, and finally, the Nazi Party.
  • Hitler was put in prison for nine months for trying to take over the Weimar Republic government.
  • While Hitler was in prison, he and his close friend Rudolf Hess wrote Mein Kampf, which means "My Struggle."
  • In 1933, Hitler was elected into the German government. He got rid of freedom of speech and severely punished or killed anyone who disagreed with him.
  • Hitler is given credit for starting World War II when he ordered the German Army to invade Poland.
  • During World War II, Hitler ordered the Nazis to kill millions of people.
  • Over six million Jews were killed in The Holocaust.
  • Hitler also had Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, Slavs, and his political opponents killed.
  • Hitler ended up losing all of the lands he had conquered when the Allies, a group of other countries who worked together, defeated Germany.
  • When Hitler knew he had lost, he hid in a bunker and married Eva Braun. Less than 24 hours later, they both used poison to kill themselves, then Hitler shot himself with his gun so that they could not be captured.

Related pages

Images for kids

kids search engine
Adolf Hitler Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.