In August 1914, as the world took the fatal plunge into the World War 1, an unknown and unimportant young Austrian national named Adolf Hitler enlisted in the German Army.
Born on April 20, 1889 into a troubled and strict Austrian family, Hitler was a failed artist and an ardent German nationalist. His anti-Semitic views already in place from his early life as a vagrant (he dropped out of high school and was refused admission to a Vienna art school), Hitler was eager to serve his adopted homeland. He had an exemplary service record and received the prestigious Iron Cross, both first and second class, and also achieved the undistinguished rank of corporal.
Shocked and deeply angered by the German defeat in 1918, he personally put the sole blame on the so-called “November politicians” (referring to those who formed the Weimar Republic. He also put blame on the Jews for the downfall of Germany.After the war, Hitler remained in the army and after receiving intelligence and oratory training, became an intelligence official tasked with infiltrating political parties and reporting to his superiors on their activities. In March 1919, he was instructed to sit in on a meeting of the small nationalist German Worker’s Party. He joined the party and soon became the leader of the party. Over the next few years, Hitler’s oratorical skills allowed the party to expand.On November 8, 1923, Adolf Hitler and a group of SA raided a beer hall in Munich where the three most powerful politicians in Bavaria were giving speeches. Taking the men hostage, Hitler threatened them with death if they did not side with his intention to overturn Bavaria’s government and then to march on Berlin.
The men agreed and Hitler then made the colossal error of leaving the hall. He left Marshall Ludendorff in command, who upon the assurances of the three politicians that they only wished to return home to their families and would continue to support Hitler, allowed them to leave the hall. The men quickly denounced Hitler and mobilized the government’s resistance to his “revolution”. Adolf Hitler was enraged and he decided to march his SA the next morning against the Bavarian government. However army regulars were already at the War Ministry when Hitler arrived and the rebellion was quickly scattered.