GUILTY! Your crimes include the destruction of Europe, the downfall of Germany, and causing the deaths of more than 11 million people. You are evil and you must be punished. Take the prisoner away!

At the end of World War II many people would’ve liked to have heard these words spoken to one of the world’s worst dictators, Adolf Hitler. But Hitler robbed them of this when he committed suicide. He had been the leader of Germany from 1933 to 1945 but his time was up. He did not want to be captured. After what he had done, his captors would not have treated him well.

Adolf Hitler was born in Austria on April 20, 1889. His father was extremely strict and domineering, beating his sons if they didn’t obey. Adolf did well in primary school but in high school he became moody and withdrawn. He did not enjoy maths and science but rather wanted to become an artist. His father did not agree and sent him to a technical school. Adolf rebelled against everything his father stood for. His father supported Austria. Hitler loved everything German.

When World War I broke out, Hitler signed up to fight for Germany. He was a courageous soldier and received two awards for bravery. He heard of Germany’s defeat when he was injured in hospital. He did not take the news well. Germany had to sign a treaty, agreeing to things that would limit the country’s powers in the future. Things were bad for people living in Germany; no jobs, food, opportunities and they were looking for hope. Hitler was a very good speaker and was clever at persuading people to believe what he was saying and to do what he asked. As the leader of the Nazi political party, he gave many Germans the chance to believe in a future where Germany would be strong again. But, he did this while blaming others for the way things were.

Hitler blamed anyone who didn’t fit his image of the perfect German, such as, handicapped people, gypsies, homosexuals, communists and refugees. He especially focused his hatred on Jewish people. This evil man had a step-by-step plan to get rid of anyone he thought of as ‘inferior’; anyone who he thought would stand in the way of Germany’s rise to greatness.

Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. As supreme leader of the land, there was now no stopping him and he began the Nazification of Germany, destroying all opposition to the Nazi party. He even banned youth organisations such as the Boy Scouts and church groups. All teenagers were ‘encouraged’ to join the Hitler Youth movement and were rewarded for telling on anyone who wasn’t upholding the Nazi plan. He ruled with fear.

Hitler believed Germans needed more land. First, he annexed Germany’s German-speaking neighbour, Austria, so it became part of Germany. This was done without fighting but not everybody supported it. On the 1st of September 1939, Hitler and his armies invaded Poland. As a result, Britain and France declared war on Germany, and World War II had begun.

During the war, Hitler, and those who followed him, committed the most awful crimes against humanity. More than 6 million Jews were killed as he carried out his plan for a Europe with no Jews. Many lives were lost in a war to stop this tyrant and to end his greed for land and power. There were warning signs, but world leaders did not react quickly and decisively enough to put a stop to Hitler’s plans. How different history could’ve been if he’d been stopped sooner.

Hitler was one of the most cruel tyrants and racists the world has known.