After the death of his father Alois in 1903 and of his mother Klara in 1907, Hitler moved to Vienna in 1908 to study art and architecture, but failed to be admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts, earned a meager living painting postcards.
In 1913, Hitler moved to Munich, and when the war began volunteered in a Bavarian regiment, earning the rank of Corporal and awarded the Iron Cross.
After the war, Hitler was a member of the Freikorps, and in 1919 joined the German Workers' party that would become the NSDAP or Nazi party.
In 1923, Hitler with Ernst Roehm who had formed the paramilitary SA brownshirts in the Nazi Party, sought to take over the Bavaria government in the Beer Hall Putsch of Nov. 8-9, but failed and Hitler served 9 months in prison where he wrote Mein Kampf ("My Struggle" dictated to Rudolph Hess) that emphasized antisemitism and the expansion of German living space.
In 1925, Hitler seized leadership of a reorganized and newly-legalized National Socialist German Workers' Party.
In 1929 Hitler led a political campaign against the Young Plan of reparations payments.
In the May 5 elections of 1932, Hindenburg defeated Hitler 53% to 37% for the presidency, but there was no majority in the Reichstag for any party; in the July31 elections the Nazis won 230 seats with 37% of the vote and became the largest German party, but dropped to 33% in the Nov. 6 elections; Dec. 1, Kurt von Schleicher replaced Franz von Papen as Chancellor but instability increased.
Hitler made Chancellor Jan. 30, 1933, with the help of von Papen, and sought revision of Versailles system by immediately beginning a rearmament program with the support of industrialists such as Alfred Hugenberg and Gustav Krupp (who by April agreed to remove Jewish workers from his factories), and a public works program announced at the Feb. 11 International Automobile and Motor-Cycle Exhibition in Berlin, to build autobahns with 600,000 workers and make a Volksauto for less than 1000 marks.
In the March 5, 1933 elections, the National Socialist German Workers' Party won 43.9% and 288 of 647 seats in the Reichstag.
The Malicious Practices Act of March 21, 1933, began the mass arrests of communists and socialists, the Dauchau concentration camp was set up March 22 in a former powder milk plant, the Enabling Act March 23 made Hitler dictator and eliminated other parties such as the pro-Catholic Zentrum, radical books were burned May 10.
On Sept. 27, 1933, the Nazis blamed communists for the Reichstag fire.
On Oct. 14, 1933 - Hitler withdrew from the League of Nations and the Geneva Disarmament conference.
On Jan. 26, 1934, Hitler revealed to a shocked Europe a 10-year nonaggression pact with Poland.
On June 30, 1934, the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler murdered Ernst Rohm and began to eliminate the SA, replacing the old Nazi party brownshirts with Heinrich Himmler's SS and Reinhard Heydrich's SD as state internal security forces.
On August 2, 1934, Hindenburg died and Hitler became Supreme Commander of the armed forces.
On March 1, 1935, the Saarland was officially reincorporated into Germany following the plebiscite vote Jan. 13 of 91% in favor.
In March 1935 Hitler revealed to Europe his military programs, on Mar. 10 Goering announced the existence of the Luftwaffe, on March 16 Hitler announced conscription and a 36-division Wehrmacht, on March 17 proclaimed "Heroes' Memorial Day" as the Beethoven Funeral March was played in the Berlin State Opera House.
On April 11, 1935, England, France, Italy declared a Stresa Front to defend the boundary agreements of the Locarno Pact of 1925, but was toothless.
On May 2, 1935, a Franco-Russian alliance was signed to defend against a resurgent Germany.
On June 18, 1935, the new British government led by recently-elected PM Stanly Baldwin and Foreign Minister Samuel Hoare, preferring negotiation rather than confrontation, signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement to allow the German navy parity at 35% of British navy.
On Sept. 10, 1935, the annual Nazi party rally began at Nuremberg, featuring the first public display of the Wehrmacht, the announcement of the Flag Law replacing the Kaiser's black-red-white horizontal striped flag with the swastika as the nation's official symbol, and the announcement of the antisemitic Nuremberg Laws.
On March 7, 1936, the first German troops crossed the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne as Hitler was addressing the Reichstag, and began reoccupation of Rhineland, marking according to Ian Kershaw, the transition in Hitler from Hubris to Nemesis.