Updated: Jan 12
“No one is good or bad. Everyone has both sides in them. It all depends on which side we choose to see”
Using this philosophy to justify Hitlers' actions is as good as convincing me to eat Oreos, but that's for another time. The only reason I read about Hitler’s personal life, his likes and dislikes, and the unspoken side of him, was because I was asked to justify his actions in a debate. I had to convince myself to look at him from a different perspective so that I could stand up for his actions. However hard you could imagine that to be, I realised that it was easier done than said. Let us look at this man, the mastermind behind the holocaust, the reason for several million deaths and the shedding of blood in many concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Sobibor. Let us look at the side of him that you never knew.
Did you know that ‘Hiedler’ was the name he was to be given? In fact, it was the name he was given. When he was around 40 years old, his father, Alois, took up his step-fathers last name, Hiedler. On the legal documents, Hitler was given as the new last name, the reason for this spelling change is unknown.
Hitler’s childhood was filled with grief more than anything else. It was full of fear and loss. You see, Alois Hitler was married twice and had several children before taking Klara Pölzl as his third wife. The couple had six children, however, it was only Adolf and his sister that reached adulthood. Adolf had a difficult relationship with his father. Alois had a terrible temper and a generally bad attitude. He was obnoxious and conceited often taking his anger out on his children. Hitler wasn’t the most grief-stricken with his father’s death in 1903, however, he loved his mother dearly and his reaction to her death was the complete opposite when she died in 1907 due to breast cancer.
Between the ages of six and eight, Adolf attended two different schools based on where his family was living. He was rewarded and praised by his teachers for regularly attaining high marks and for his good behaviour in class.
The family moved around frequently, thanks to Alois' job. It really isn’t easy moving around much as a kid and it took a toll on young Adolf. That was the reason why he loved his country to such an extreme extent as he finally felt at home.
Once he was finished with primary school, his father enrolled him in the Realschule which focused more on matters such as science and technology than a traditional curriculum. He did not enjoy his time there and made it known throughout his life. Although he had received stellar marks when he was younger, he wound up having to repeat a semester at this new school. His grades were never stellar again, they bounced back and forth between poor and average for the remainder of his days there.
When he was 16 years old in 1905, he was no longer required to attend school. He decided that he was done with schooling and did not want to study any further.
Hitler ambitioned to be an artist but was rejected by the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts as he lived in poverty. He spent many years of his life trying to sell his artwork but wasn't very successful.
His personal life, as you can see, was as disturbing as you could ever imagine. This, without justifying his actions, can help us understand where all that rage came from.
Hitler was a teetotaler, nonsmoker, and vegetarian. However, his healthy habits were undermined by his alleged use of opiates. In 1941 his personal physician, Theodor Morell, began injecting him with various drugs, including oxycodone, methamphetamine, morphine, and even cocaine. Near the end of his life, Hitler was prone to shaking, and, while some have attributed this to Parkinson's disease, others have speculated it was withdrawal from drugs, which by then were hard to obtain.
Hitler was filled with grief after World War 1 and the treaty of Versailles. The place he called home was being stripped off its integrity and people. It was being stripped off happiness and peace. Hitler always respected his service in the first world war which can be seen with his death. When he committed suicide in 1945, Hitler was wearing the Iron Cross First Class medal, earned for his service in WW1. The honor was especially important to Hitler, who had portrayed himself as a hero during the conflict. The war, the treaty, and the condition of his home after it was too much for him to seek in. He responded like any person would, what made it especially dangerous was that he had power. Hate with power is a terrible, terrible instrument.
(The Iron Cross 1st Class Medal)
However, he did a lot of good for his country. He guided them out of utter poverty with several employment schemes like the building of the superhighways and the folkswagon. In his view, he never looked like a criminal. If there was no one more powerful than him to tell him that he was a criminal, there is no way he would have ever thought of stopping his gruesome acts. His concept of lebensraum and racial superiority can be linked to his personal life and favour to his people and country. In fact, when you look at it that way, every single action of his can be justified when you see the scenario from his perspective and THAT is how I won the debate.
It is to note that I don’t support his ideologies or his acts and wrongdoings. This article is meant for mere information and isn’t to be considered persuasive.