Profession: Dictator of Nazi Germany
Why Famous: Adolf Hitler's policies led to World War II in Europe and the Holocaust.
Hitler served in the German army in World War I and was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery twice.
After the war he became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party. As leader he attacked the Treaty of Versailles, promoted Pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism and anti-communism. His charismatic oratory backed by Nazi propaganda found a receptive audience in Germany during the Great Depression.
Appointed chancellor in 1933, Hitler quickly consolidated power. Appointing himself Führer in 1934 he soon turned Germany into a totalitarian one party dictatorship.
His first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the removal of restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I and the annexation of territories that were home to millions of ethnic Germans.
Hitler's aggressive foreign policy is considered to be the primary cause of the outbreak of World War II in Europe. He directed large-scale rearmament and on September 1st, 1939 invaded Poland, resulting in British and French declarations of war on Germany.
In June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1941, German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of Europe and North Africa. Failure to defeat the Soviet Union and the entry of the United States into the war forced Germany onto the defensive and ultimately its defeat.
With the Red Army closing in on Berlin, Hitler and his long-time lover Eva Braun committed suicide on April 30th, 1945.
Hitler and the Nazi regime were responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, 29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European theatre of World War II. The number of civilians killed was unprecedented and constitutes the deadliest conflict in human history.
The Tower that Twice Defied Hitler
A Kiss For Adolf Hitler
'I Have Heard The Voice of Adolf Hitler . . .'
Hitler Invades Czechoslovakia
'Hitler Will Have to Break Us or Lose the War'
Germany Invades the Soviet Union
Siege of Leningrad
Bombing of Dresden
What Happened to the Body of Adolf Hitler?
Hitler's Diaries Fail Forensic Tests
- 1945-04-29 Adolf Hitler (56) marries Eva Braun (33) in the Führerbunker, Berlin
- 1915-02-12 Adolf Hitler receives the relatively common Iron Cross second class for bravery in World War I
- 1916-10-05 Adolf Hitler is wounded in the left thigh by an exploding shell during the Battle of the Somme
- 1918-08-04 Adolf Hitler receives the Iron Cross first class for bravery on the recommendation of his Jewish superior, Lieutenant Hugo Gutmann
- 1919-09-12 Adolf Hitler joins the obscure German Worker's Party as its seventh member, agreeing not with worker's rights, but with its German Nationalism and antisemitism
- 1921-07-29 Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party
- 1921-11-04 The Sturmabteilung or SA (the "Brown Shirts") is formally established by Adolf Hitler
- 1922-06-24 Adolf Hitler begins a month long prison sentence for paramilitary operations; he rails against the 'Jewish sell-out' of Germany to the Bolsheviks
- 1922-11-30 Hitler speaks to 50,000 national-socialists in Munich
- 1923-01-13 Taking advantage of the chaotic condition of Germany, Hitler stages a demonstration of 5000 storm troopers and denounces the 'November crime'
- 1923-04-10 Adolf Hitler demands "hatred & more hatred" in Berlin
- 1923-05-01 Adolf Hitler and Ernst Rohm attempt to break up socialist May Day demonstrates, inviting Nazis from as far away as Nuremberg to take part in the violence
- 1923-11-08 Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party stage "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich
- 1923-11-09 Beer Hall Putsch's second day in Munich; Nazis fail to overthrow government, 16 die, Hitler flees
- 1923-11-12 In Germany, Adolf Hitler is arrested for attempt to seize power during "Beer Hall Putsch" coup
- 1924-02-26 Trial against Hitler for treason in "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich begins
- 1924-04-01 Hitler sentenced to 5 years labor for "Beer Hall Putsch" but General Ludendorff acquitted
- 1924-12-20 Adolf Hitler freed from jail early, having served only nine months of five-year sentence for "Beer Hall Putsch"
- 1925-02-27 Hitler resurrects NSDAP political party in Munich
- 1925-07-18 Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf (original title was the catchy "Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice")
- 1926-12-10 2nd part of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf published
- 1927-03-10 Bavaria lifts ban on Adolf Hitler's speeches
- 1928-09-28 Prussia forbids speech from Adolf Hitler
- 1932-02-25 Austrian immigrant Adolf Hitler gets German citizenship
- 1932-03-17 German police raid Adolf Hitler's Nazi headquarters
- 1932-08-13 Adolf Hitler refuses President von Hindenburg's proposal to become vice-chancellor of Germany
- 1932-11-19 Shaft & Thyssen demand Adolf Hitler become German chancellor
- 1933-01-30 President Paul von Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor of Germany who forms a government with Franz von Papen
- 1933-01-30 After Paul von Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany, his former WWI colleague General Erich Ludendorff sends a letter to him stating "this accursed man will cast our Reich into the abyss and bring our nation to inconceivable misery"
- 1933-01-31 Adolf Hitler promises parliamentary democracy
- 1933-02-01 German Parliament is dissolved by President Paul von Hindenburg by the request of new chancellor Adolf Hitler
- 1933-02-02 2 days after becoming chancellor, Adolf Hitler dissolves the German Reichstag (Parliament)
- 1933-02-10 Adolf Hitler proclaims end of Marxism
- 1933-02-28 Adolf Hitler bans German Communist Party (KPD)
- 1933-03-16 Adolf Hitler names Hjalmar Schacht as President of Bank of Germany
- 1933-03-21 Day of Potsdam in Nazi Germany, a ceremony to open the new Reichstag after the fire in February; Adolf Hitler and Paul von Hindenburg shake hands in public
- 1933-03-23 Enabling Act: German Reichstag grants Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers
- 1933-05-02 In Germany, Adolf Hitler bans trade unions
- 1933-07-20 Vatican state secretary Pacelli (Pius XII) signs accord with Adolf Hitler
- 1933-12-01 Rudolf Hess & Ernest Rohm become ministers in Hitler government
- 1934-01-30 Hitler proclamation on German unified states
- 1934-04-18 Adolf Hitler names Joachim von Ribbentrop ambassador for disarmament
- 1934-06-14 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet in Vienna
- 1934-06-28 Hitler flies to Essen ( for Night of Long Knives)
- 1934-06-30 "Night of Long Knives" - Adolf Hitler stages a bloody purge of the Nazi party
- 1934-08-02 Adolf Hitler becomes commander-in-chief of German armed forces
- 1934-08-03 Adolf Hitler merges the offices of German Chancellor and President, declaring himself "Führer" (leader)
- 1934-10-01 Adolf Hitler expands German army and navy, violating Treaty of Versailles
- 1935-02-26 Adolf Hitler secretly authorizes formation of the Luftwaffe with Hermann Göring commander-in-chief
- 1935-03-09 Adolf Hitler publically announces the creation of a new air force, the Luftwaffe
- 1935-03-16 Adolf Hitler orders German re-armament in violation of The Treaty of Versailles
- 1935-03-28 Influential Nazi Propaganda film "Triumph of the Will" released showing Nuremberg rallies, commissioned by Adolf Hitler and directed by Leni Riefenstahl
- 1936-02-15 Adolf Hitler announces construction of the Volkswagen Beetle (the People's Car, aka the Käfer/Beetle)
- 1936-02-26 Adolf Hitler introduces Ferdinand Porsche's "Volkswagen"
- 1936-03-07 Hitler breaks Treaty of Versailles by sending troops to the Rhineland
- 1936-08-01 XI Summer Olympic Games are opened by Adolph Hitler in Berlin
- 1936-08-03 American sprinter Jesse Owens wins the 100m (10.3 seconds) in front of Adolf Hitler in a famous race at the Berlin Olympics, first of 4 gold medals at the Games
- 1936-08-15 Carla de Vries, an American tourist at the swimming event of the Berlin Olympics finds Adolf Hitler “so friendly and gracious” she shakes his hand and gives him a kiss
- 1937-11-05 Adolf Hitler informs his military leaders in a secret meeting of his intentions of going to war
- 1938-02-04 Adolf Hitler seizes control of German army and puts Nazis in key posts
- 1938-02-12 Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg visits Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden
- 1938-02-20 Adolf Hitler announces his support for Japan during the Sino-Japanese War
- 1938-09-12 Adolf Hitler demands self-determination for Sudeten Germans in Czech
- 1938-09-15 British PM Neville Chamberlain visits Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden
- 1938-09-21 Winston Churchill condemns Hitler's annexation of Czechoslovakia
- 1938-09-26 Adolf Hitler issues ultimatum to Czech government, demanding Sudenten Land
- 1938-09-30 Treaty of Munich signed by Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier and Chamberlain, forces Czechoslovakia to give territory to Germany
- 1938-12-16 Adolf Hitler institutes the state decoration and civil order of merit, Cross of Honour of the German Mother
- 1939-01-30 Adolf Hitler threatens Jews during his speech to the German Reichstag (Parliament)
- 1939-03-15 Reneging on his pledge in the Munich Agreement, Adolf Hitler and Germany occupy and annex Czechoslovakia
- 1939-03-15 Adolf Hitler summons Czech President Emil Hácha to a meeting in Berlin and informs him of the impending attack by Germany; Hácha suffers a heart attack and later capitulates
- 1939-04-28 Adolf Hitler claims German-Polish non-attack treaty still in effect
- 1939-05-22 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini sign "Pact of Steel" in Berlin, Germany
- 1939-05-23 Adolf Hitler proclaims he wants to move into Poland
- 1939-07-03 Ernst Heinkel demonstrates 800 kph (500 mph) rocket plane to Adolf Hitler
- 1939-09-01 Adolf Hitler orders extermination of mentally ill through the "T4 Euthanasia Program," arguing that wartime "was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill"
- 1939-10-06 Adolf Hitler denies he intends to go to war against France & Britain
- 1939-10-06 Adolf Hitler announces plans to regulate Jewish problem
- 1939-10-30 USSR & Germany agree on partitioning Poland, Adolf Hitler deports Jews
- 1939-11-08 Failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in Burgerbraukeller, Munich
- 1939-12-21 Adolf Hitler names Adolf Eichmann leader of "Referat IV B", responsible for evictions and Jewish immigration
- 1940-03-18 Benito Mussolini and Italy join Hitler in Germany's war against France & Britain
- 1940-05-24 Adolf Hitler affirms General von Rundstedts "Stopbevel"
- 1940-06-23 After conquering France, Adolf Hitler visits Paris and views the Eiffel Tower and the grave of Napoleon Bonaparte
- 1940-07-16 Adolf Hitler orders preparations for the invasion of Britain (Operation Sealion)
- 1940-07-19 Adolf Hitler orders Great Britain to surrender
- 1940-07-22 Dutch Prime minister Dirk Jan De Geer meets Adolf Hitler seeking peace talks
- 1940-08-17 Adolf Hitler orders a total blockade of Great Britain
- 1940-09-03 Adolf Hitler orders an invasion of Great Britain for Sept 21 (Operation Seelöwe/Sealion)
- 1940-09-04 Nazi collaborator Mussert puts the fate of Netherlands in Hitler's hands
- 1940-09-11 Hitler begins operation Seelöwe (Sealion - aborted invasion England)
- 1940-09-17 Adolf Hitler indefinitely postpones Operation Sealion, the planned German invasion of Great Britain
- 1940-09-23 Dutch nazi collaborator Mussert's 1st meeting with Adolf Hitler
- 1940-10-04 Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini confer at Brenner Pass in the Alps
- 1940-10-24 Adolf Hitler meets the Head of the French State Marshal Pétain
- 1940-10-28 Meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Florence
- 1940-11-08 RAF bombs Munich, Adolf Hitler promises "an attack on the capital of the Nazi movement would not go unpunished"
- 1940-11-19 Belgian King Leopold III visits Adolf Hitler
- 1941-03-04 Serbian Prince Paul visits Adolf Hitler
- 1941-03-27 Adolf Hitler signs Directive 27 (assault on Yugoslavia)
- 1941-04-12 Vichy-France's head of government Admiral Dalarn consults with Adolf Hitler
- 1941-04-25 Operation Merkur: Hitler orders conquest of Kreta
- 1941-05-12 Martin Bormann succeeds Rudolf Hess as Adolf Hitler's deputy
- 1941-09-16 Adolf Hitler orders that for every dead German, 100 Yugoslavs should be killed
- 1941-10-03 Adolf Hitler says Russia is "already broken and will never rise again" in a broadcast to the German people
- 1941-11-09 Hitler threatens Clemens August, Graf von Galen and Bishop of Münster
- 1941-12-03 Adolf Hitler views Poltava, Ukraine
- 1941-12-09 Adolf Hitler orders US ships to be torpedoed
- 1941-12-19 Adolf Hitler takes complete command of German Army
- 1942-02-08 Nazi architect Albert Speer appointed Minister of Armaments by Adolf Hitler after death of Fritz Todt in a plane crash
- 1942-02-13 Hitler's Operation Sealion, the invasion of England, is cancelled
- 1942-05-17 Dutch SS vows loyalty to Hitler
- 1942-05-27 Hitler orders 10,000 Czechs murdered
- 1942-06-12 Hitler orders enslavement of Slavic peoples
- 1942-07-03 Adolf Hitler visits Field Marshal Von Bock's headquarters in Ukraine
- 1942-07-23 Adolf Hitler's Directive number 45: order for army to advance on Stalingrad
- 1942-10-18 Hitler orders captured allied commandos to be killed
- 1942-11-08 Adolf Hitler proclaims fall of Stalingrad from Munich beer hall
- 1942-11-21 Adolf Hitler names field marshal Erich von Manstein commander of the newly-created Army Group Don (Heeresgruppe Don)
- 1942-11-22 Adolf Hitler orders Rommel's Africa Korps to fight to the last man
- 1942-12-10 Adolf Hitler names Anton Mussert "leader of the Dutch people"
- 1942-12-16 Hitler orders combat against partisans in Russia & Balkan
- 1942-12-22 World War II: Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon
- 1943-01-13 Hitler declares "Total War"
- 1943-01-24 Adolf Hitler orders German troops at Stalingrad to fight to the death
- 1943-01-30 Adolf Hitler promotes Friedrich Paulus, commander of the 6th Army, to Field Marshal in the hope that he will not surrender
- 1943-02-17 Adolf Hitler visits field marshal Erich von Manstein's headquarters in Zaporozje, Ukraine and stays until the 19th
- 1943-03-13 Failed assassin attempt on Adolf Hitler during Smolensk-Rastenburg flight
- 1943-03-21 Assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler fails
- 1943-04-07 Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini met for an Axis conference in Salzburg
- 1943-08-10 Adolf Hitler watches lynching of allied pilots
- 1943-08-16 Bulgarian Tsar Boris III visits Adolf Hitler
- 1943-09-18 Adolf Hitler orders deportation of Danish Jews (unsuccessful)
- 1943-12-26 Earl Claus von Stauffenberg vain with bomb to Hitlers headquarter
- 1944-04-22 Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini meet at Salzburg
- 1944-05-14 General Rommel, Speidel & von Stulpnagel attempt to assassinate Hitler
- 1944-05-21 Hitler begins attack on British/US "terror pilots"
- 1944-06-17 Hitler secretly meets with von Rundstedt in Marjival Soissons
- 1944-07-20 Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt led by German army officer Claus Von Stauffenberg
- 1944-07-21 Field Marshal Günther von Kluge warns Hitler of impending collapse of front in Normandy
- 1944-07-28 Adolf Hitler routes 4 division of South France to Normandy
- 1944-08-22 Adolf Hitler orders Paris to be destroyed [or 23rd]
- 1945-01-16 Adolf Hitler moves into the Fuhrerbunker, his underground bunker in Berlin
- 1945-03-19 Adolf Hitler issues "Nero Decree" to destroy all German factories
- 1945-04-22 Battle of Berlin: Upon being informed that a planned counter-attack never happened, Adolf Hitler flies into a rage, denounces the German Army and concedes World War II is lost
- 1945-04-30 Adolf Hitler commits suicide along with his new wife Eva Braun in the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin as the Red Army captures the city