How Old Was Hitler When He Came To Power

Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power marked a dark chapter in history, leading to the outbreak of World War II and the perpetration of atrocities during the Holocaust. Understanding the timeline of Hitler’s rise to power involves exploring the political landscape of post-World War I Germany and the events that culminated in his appointment as Chancellor. In this article, we delve into the age at which Adolf Hitler came to power and the key milestones that shaped his political career.

Early Years and Military Service:

Born on April 20, 1889, in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary (now Austria), Adolf Hitler grew up in Linz and later moved to Vienna. His early adulthood was marked by struggles, including failed attempts to pursue a career in fine arts and his experiences as a soldier during World War I.

World War I Service: Hitler enlisted in the German Army in 1914 and served as a soldier during World War I. His experiences during the war had a profound impact on his worldview, contributing to the development of his extreme nationalist and anti-Semitic ideologies.

Post-War Political Beginnings:

Following Germany’s defeat in World War I and the economic hardships that ensued, Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party (DAP) in 1919. The party later evolved into the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), commonly known as the Nazi Party.

In 1923, Hitler and his supporters attempted a coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, seeking to overthrow the Weimar government. The coup failed, and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to prison. During his imprisonment, he wrote “Mein Kampf,” outlining his political ideology and vision for Germany’s future.

After his release from prison in 1924, Hitler focused on rebuilding the Nazi Party. The economic challenges and political instability of the Weimar Republic provided fertile ground for extremist ideologies, and the Nazi Party gained support through propaganda, mass rallies, and charismatic speeches.

Rise to Power in the Early 1930s:

global economic downturn of the Great Depression in the early 1930s created widespread unemployment and discontent in Germany. The existing political parties struggled to address these issues, paving the way for radical movements.

Electoral Success: In the July 1932 Reichstag elections, the Nazi Party became the largest party in the German Reichstag, securing 37.3% of the votes. However, Hitler did not have the majority needed to form a government.

Negotiations and political maneuvering led to President Paul von Hindenburg appointing Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. At the time of his appointment, Hitler was 43 years old.

Hitler’s Age at the Time of Appointment:

Adolf Hitler was 43 years old when he assumed the position of Chancellor. His appointment was facilitated by political machinations, including backroom deals with conservative politicians who believed they could control Hitler. President Hindenburg, facing pressure and seeking stability, reluctantly appointed Hitler as Chancellor.

Consolidation of Power:

The Reichstag fire in February 1933 was a pivotal event that Hitler used to justify the Reichstag Fire Decree, granting the government emergency powers. This allowed the Nazis to suppress political opposition and paved the way for the Enabling Act.

The Enabling Act, passed in March 1933, granted Hitler’s government sweeping powers to enact laws without Reichstag approval. This marked a critical step in the establishment of a totalitarian regime.

Through a combination of legal maneuvers, propaganda, and intimidation, Hitler systematically eliminated political opposition. The SA (Sturmabteilung) and SS (Schutzstaffel) played key roles in suppressing dissent and consolidating Hitler’s control.

Dictatorship and World War II:

After President Hindenburg’s death in 1934, Hitler combined the roles of President and Chancellor, declaring himself Führer und Reichskanzler (Leader and Chancellor). This consolidation of power further solidified Hitler’s dictatorship.

Hitler’s aggressive foreign policies, including the reoccupation of the Rhineland (1936), the annexation of Austria (Anschluss, 1938), and the annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland (1938), set the stage for the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

Conclusion:

Adolf Hitler’s rise to power was a complex process influenced by historical, economic, and political factors. The age at which he came to power, 43, marked the beginning of a dark chapter in history characterized by authoritarian rule, militarization, and the eventual horrors of World War II and the Holocaust. Understanding the events that led to Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor provides valuable insights into the fragility of democratic institutions and the consequences of unchecked extremism.