Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, making his zodiac sign Aries. This makes perfect sense considering that Aries are very relentless towards accomplishing their goals, even if that means bringing others down on their way up. Hitler was born in a small town in Austria called Braunau am Inn. He got a memorial stone placed in front of his house for his 100th anniversary in April 1989. People who live near his home were very confused about what to do with the house, but recently in November 2019, it was decided to turn his home into a police station. Hitler’s father was Alois Hitler and his mother was Klara Hitler. They had seven children total, but only Hitler and Paula lived to be adults because the rest died from either sickness or shortly after birth. Alois lived to 64 before he died from a pleural hemorrhage in 1903. Klara died at age 46 in 1907 after she had an operation that tried to treat her breast cancer, leaving Hitler to be the head of the household when he was just 13. It was unfortunate that Alois died, but for Hitler, it meant that he no longer had Alois telling him to become a civil servant like he was. Adolf Hitler had a burning passion to become an artist, but failed the entrance exam of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1907, shortly after his mother’s death. Hitler tried again at his dream career in 1908 but was rejected again. Perhaps if he had been enrolled in the academy, then the events that happened afterward might have been prevented…
After being denied into the art academy, Hitler made no attempt to find a new career, and his heart and bank account were both very broke. He found himself living in a homeless shelter by December 1909. In February 1910, Hitler met Hanish who helped Hitler to find some work painting. Hitler and Hanish argued often (another tendency of Aries), and Hitler even went as far as to accuse Hanish of stealing properties, which got Hanish eight days in jail. By age 21, Hitler was extremely invested in politics in Vienna. Hitler decided to join the Social Democrats, where he received a lot of attention from organizing large rallies about politics. There were two other parties at this time, the Pan-German Nationalists and the Christian Social Party, which caused Hitler to have nationalism for Germany and have a biased opinion against Jews. Hitler started to have his first encounter with Jews from just seeing them around in shops in Vienna. He was instantly drawn to them with his hatred for them. The wealthy Jews made Hitler furiously jealous.
The year 1932, the German President Paul von Hindenburg. He had been president for almost twelve years, and so he retired in August 2, 1934, appointing Hitler as the new chancellor because of the amount of support he had from the Nazi Party. It wasn’t an immediate appointment though, it took economic and political instability to worsen before Hindenburg finally decided to appoint Hitler as chancellor, leaving the Nazis with the power. The cabinet was mainly filled with non-Nazis, planned on purpose by Hindenburg to keep Hitler in check. Franz von Papen was the vice-chancellor, another thing everybody had agreed on if Hitler was to be the chancellor. Papen and many other non-Nazis had their own secret plan by letting Hitler run as president. They knew he was very reckless and had rage spouts (duh, he’s an Aries), and they planned for him to crash the republic, so that way they could rebuild the republic to be like how it used to be of the Kaiser. Everybody underestimated Hitler as the president, expecting all the promises he made about building a great nation to crumble. From bankers to the military, everybody doubted him to amount to anything significant. However, Hitler had many supporters from the Nazi Party as he started the third Reich of Germany, the Drittes Reich.
Once Hitler had control of the office, the Nazis began to slowly take control. It started out as putting other political enemies in prisons and being harsh on them (basically like a nice concentration camp). On March 21, Hitler gave a speech to the public, and within his speech, he said very nice things about Hindenburg. He also said that if the Enabling Act was passed, he would use it with restraint and that he would fix all the tension with France, Great Britain, and Soviet Russia. Of course, Hitler’s plan was to actually persuade Hindenburg to allow him to pass the Enabling Act, which Hindenburg did. Hitler’s Enabling Act gave him power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. The Nazis Party began to take control, and eventually, the Social Democrats were kicked out of view, which left Adolf Hitler as the dictator.
With Hitler in full control, the attack against Jews began. The boycotts (forbidding the Jews from a social connection with Germany) against Jews were never-ending. In March 1933, Hitler established the first concentration camp in Dachau. Then in 1936, the Gestapo Law came into play. This basically allowed the Nazis to have even more control over people because now they could interrogate people, and if they found out you did something wrong they could arrest you or send you to the concentration camp. Typically these interrogations were very unfair because the Nazis would convict you (especially if you were a Jew) with little to no evidence. Hitler’s view of seeing the concentration camp was just to discipline his people. Dachau was just the first to many more concentration camps.
Conditions in the concentration camps were very brutal. Dachau first opened as a place just for prisoners to learn discipline, but it eventually evolved into a death camp. Some of the more brutal death camps included: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, and Belzec. The daily life of a prisoner at Auschwitz is absolutely horrifying. Imagine waking up every morning on your side (there was no room to sleep any other way because it was so crowded.) on a straw mattress on the floor in an extremely crowded place. You must wake up hurriedly and get to the showers for disinfecting, which would burn your skin if you weren’t used to it. You were then led to roll call, which was very terrifying because one false move could cost you your life. If you survived roll call, you were then given details for your workday. There were many different roles assigned in the concentration camp. Most of the work was backbreaking work of digging trenches, moving heavy sandbags, moving stones, or some other form of cruelty. You were very lucky if you were given a tool to use during work. You were also very lucky if you were given an easier job, such as a cook or helping to make items. If you were working too slow in any of these jobs, a guard had the right to beat you to death. There was a break in the afternoons, but it wasn’t a lunch break. The afternoon is very hard because you’re hungry and tired, but are forced to push through because if you don’t, then you’re most likely going to be beaten and killed by the guards. Eventually, if you’re still alive, you make it to the evening roll call. There is a count to see how many prisoners have died, and this is also the moment that the SS (Nazi Party leader) chooses who gets to live. Many times, a prisoner is hanged right in front of the other prisoners as a way to remind them that they have no control. Many prisoners who died were taken to one of the four crematories at Auschwitz. Some Jews were put in alive… It was a very horrifying experience for the Jews who were forced to work the crematory to see their friends dead like that. There was also a chance the SS would tell you to go to the hospital. At the hospital, there were many tragic experiments done on bodies. Once this process of choosing is finally over, it’s time for dinner. Your first and only meal of the day (unless you found some grass/roots and ate it during the workday) is going to be a small portion of soup. The soup typically contained some sand in it, as well as the dry, old bread. It was often very hard for the prisoners to get even this small portion of food because everybody would fight over it. Also, if it was winter, the concentration camps tended to be low on food and would have to give out even smaller portions of food to the prisoners. Of course, though, the kapos and guards were always well fed. And now it’s time to tuck into bed. You fall asleep right away out of pure exhaustion, and hopefully, the people sleeping next to you don’t have Typhus or Malaria, because those tended to be common outbreaks in concentration camps. New prisoners arrived at weird hours of the day due to the fact that they arrived on the trains, and sometimes prisoners living at one camp were taken to a new camp. Once the new prisoners came, they would be separated by gender, and the children typically went to the gas chambers. Sometimes, they would dig a huge hole and bury the Jews alive as the guards shot them or as the guards set a fire. One day though, for the lucky ones, liberation would once more be granted.
On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army liberated the first concentration camp, Auschwitz. When the Nazis heard the Soviets coming, they forced approximately 60,000 prisoners of both genders on a death march. Many people died… they were so close to freedom. At death marches, it was typically the prisoners running for miles and miles, while the guards and kapos took turns running with the prisoners, so they didn’t get tired as fast and could watch for any prisoners that fell out of place so they could shoot them. The prime goal of the Nazis was to destroy any evidence they could that the concentration camps had existed, but that obviously didn’t work because of the fact of much they had expanded it to be. At Auschwitz, there was even a sign placed above the iron gate that read ‘Arbeit Macht Frei,” which means that work sets you free. This is very ironic considering how hard so many Jews work, but were never granted freedom. The last concentration camp to be liberated was the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. Liberation was bittersweet for some prisoners. The feeling of living and being free was very foreign to them, and many felt so guilty about living while their friends were dead. We often overlook the privilege these days of being able to have the freedom to express our religion and to be able to live our lives so freely. There were approximately six million lives lost in the Holocaust. Lives that will never see the sunshine again or simply be free. If there was one thing that we should all take from the Holocaust, it’s that freedom is a privilege and we must not abuse it.
During the time of the Holocaust (1933-1945), Hitler was never seen at a single concentration camp. He was behind the scenes pulling the strings of all his puppets (the Nazis). He had gotten so much control that it was absolutely unbelievable. Many times, when we are confused about something, our brain searches, and searches for anything that’s logical to believe. One of Hitler’s hidden talents was being able to provide a logical reason to people (even if it was a lie), just to make people fall in his favor. Adolf Hitler was able to blend into the background of all the trauma happening, while still remaining in charge because he knew how to control the mindsets of others.
April 1945, Hitler commits suicide. It is said that Hitler swallowed a cyanide capsule and shot himself in the head. He was in his bunker in Berlin, Germany at the time of suicide. It is said that some of his last words were, “I am happy to go to my death because we brought down six million Jews with us.” Hitler was very passionate about his goals, as I have said before, (what an Aries) and he was satisfied with what he did. No one will ever know if he did suicide from feeling guilty or if he already knew that he was going to be executed as a consequence of his actions. Perhaps he felt that by killing himself he was relieving guilt or perhaps he didn’t want to give anyone else the satisfaction of killing him. We will just never know what was truly running through his mind in those final moments.
The actions of Adolf Hitler have rippled throughout the whole world, whether that’s good or bad. When the news of what happened to the Jews came out, the entire world was in absolute shock. It changed the way people look at other people. Just because you have a different religion than someone else, you don’t have to feel hatred towards that group. There is one simple word: respect. With that in mind, the Holocaust did teach us how to come together and for the most part, the haters were able to swallow their hatred to support the Jews. Even though what Hitler did was absolutely horrifying, the way we turned it around and took notice of human rights was amazing. Nobody will ever forget Hitler’s actions, or how oblivious we all were to the fact that such huge power was just given to the wrong hands. We will never make the same mistakes of doing this again, as long as we never forget the Holocaust. To forget the Holocaust would be like letting the six million Jews die all over again because then it would’ve all been in vain. Adolf Hitler is no longer here to see the aftermath of what he has left, but I’m going to say that in the end, his heart wasn’t totally black and that he would be proud that the world took so many negative things from the Holocaust and turned them all positive.