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Adolf Hitler Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Adolf Hitler is responsible for the mass murder of millions of people in the 1930s and 1940s. Learn about his childhood, his rise to power and his role in World War II.

The Early Years

Adolf Hitler as a child.
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It was April 20, 1889, in Austria when Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl welcomed their fourth child, Adolf Hitler, into the world. Adolf did not have an easy childhood whatsoever. His father, Alois, was abusive toward everyone in the family. His younger brother, Edmund, died of measles. And by the time Adolf was 18, both of his parents were dead.

School was rough for Adolf, as well. While he succeeded both academically and socially in elementary school, it all started to go downhill once he got older. He did not get along well with his peers or his teachers. He did not get good grades, but he had an interest in art. In fact, he applied to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, but was not accepted. With no formal schooling and his refusal to get a job, there were times that Adolf was homeless.

Before WWII

Adolf became interested in politics, and realized he was good at public speaking when he gave his first speech to the Nazi party in 1919. He was then referred to as Hitler. Hitler eventually became the party's leader, and gave many speeches that convinced the Nazis that certain people were to blame for Germany's problems, based on their race and religion.

Hitler considered the Aryan race (which was basically white Christians) to be the superior race, and he convinced the Nazis of this, as well. Germany was in a depression, and the Nazis wanted someone to blame. The Jewish people became the main target of Hitler and the Nazi party.

Hitler was sent to prison for treason after he unsuccessfully tried to take over Munich. While in prison, he wrote his book, Mein Kampf, which is German for My Struggle. Mein Kampf was a combination of an autobiography and Hitler's political and social views. In this book, he continues to blame Jews for Germany's problems. It became a best-seller, and Hitler gained a lot of publicity, which only gave him and the Nazis more power.

The Nazi flag
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Hitler even designed a Nazi flag, which featured the swastika symbol. Originally seen as a symbol of good luck, the swastika was quickly viewed as a symbol for hatred and terror.

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