Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889, in Braunau am Inn, in the Austrian part of the then Austro-Hungarian Empire. As the Chancellor and Fuhrer (leader) of Nazi Germany from 1933/4 respectively until 1945, Adolf Hitler was undoubtedly one of the most notorious figures of the 20th century, held responsible for causing World War 2, and for the genocide and virtual elimination of the Jewish population which came under German control – the Holocaust – and many others deemed ‘sub-human’, as well as military and civilian losses in battle, accumulatively estimated at more than 50 million people.
So just how rich was Adolf Hitler? In contradiction to Hitler’s attempt to convince the German people that he was disinterested in personal gain, research over many years has unearthed a fortune estimated at almost $6 billion in cash in today’s money, secreted mostly in Swiss banks, as well as his already known hoard of valuable art, accumulated by looting galleries and confiscating private collections and which was so great as to be invaluable; much of the art was subsequently returned to its owners.
Adolf Hitler Net Worth $6 Billion
Adolf Hitler’s father was illegitimate – born to Maria Anna Schecklgruber – later Alois Hitler by adoption and a corrupted surname, hence some debate over Hitler’s real name and ancestry; claims that his grandfather was Jewish are unfounded. Three older siblings died in infancy, before the family moved first to Passau in Germany, and then to Leonding and Hafeld where Hitler attended a state-owned school, before finally settling in back in Leonding.The young Adolf was in constant conflict with his father, and at school which he eventually left with little idea of his future.
Although despising his homeland’s degradation, Hitler worked in Vienna ostensibly as a painter, selling water colours of city scenes, but was rejected by Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts. He sullenly fell in with the growing number of racists and religious bigots who blamed everyone but themselves for their ill fortune, a negative attitude which was to dominate his actions for the rest of his life.
Hitler moved to Munich in 1913, allegedly to avoid conscription into the Austrian army, although in fact he was passed unfit for service. However, he was accepted as a volunteer into the Bavarian Army at the start of World War 1, and served as a despatch runner on the western front, being involved in several major battles, and twice being decorated for bravery with the Iron Cross 2nd Class in 1924 and then 1st Class in 1918, as well as the Black Wound Badge in 1918.
After the war, Hitler returned to Munich, and although still in the army, in 1919 joined what was to become the National Socialist German Workers Party, whose major policies appealed to him as they were anti-semitic, – marxist and -capitalist – all elements blamed for economic hardships – and very nationalist. Hitler was also incensed at the treatment of Germany at the Treaty of Versailles, as the war had ended with an armistice, not a German surrender, but the terms of the treaty were very heavily anti-German. He was quickly noticed as an effective orator, and within two years had become party chairman. However, the failed coup against the Bavarian and ultimately German government in 1923 – the Beer Hall Putsch – failed, and Hitler was sentenced to five years jail, but served only one, after which he was banned from public speaking, but still re-organised the NSDAP over the next several years, with the notable help of Joseph Goebbels, Gregor and Otto Strasser.
The relative calm and growing prosperity in Germany ended with the Wall Street crash in 1929, and the growing depression. Hitler denounced the lasting effects of the Treaty of Versailles, and vowed to rebuild the economy and create jobs, so his influence and support grew. The party steadily increased its parliamentary presence during elections over the next four years, and with Hitler now a German citizen, he became Chancellor in 1933, although never achieving a majority of popular votes.
To this point, Hitler’s net worth was apparently minimal, as he had lived largely on fees for his public speaking, and donations to the Party, but as Chancellor he was paid a salary. However, he also accumulated wealth from several million sales of his book ‘Mein Kampf”, actually paid for by government funds, and gaining a royalty from postage stamps sold with his portrait on them. He even managed to avoid tax bills of over $3 million, presumably from the aforementioned royalties, before passing a law exempting himself from paying any tax.
Within a few months, Hitler and his Party were effectively elected to a dictatorship by parliamentarians, and subsequently all opposition was suppressed, usually violently by his SA storm-troopers, which gave him unlimited opportunities to increase his wealth, with no questions asked.
The rest, as the saying goes, is history – for most of the next 12 years, Hitler and the German armed forces rode roughshod over most of Europe, until the fatal mistake of attacking Russia in 1941 ultimately lead to his death and Germany’s demise in May 1945. During this period, Hitler had ample opportunity to accumulate wealth, as his wish was his country’s command, literally, and the looting of absolutely anything of value from occupied territories has been well documented.
In his personal life, Hitler is known to have been concerned about his libido and sexual prowess, and apparently took a concoction of drugs to facilitate his appearance, virility and manly reputation. However, although he suffered from various physical illnesses, authoritative historians state categorically that he always perfectly in control of his decision making, and knew very well the effects that they would have.
Hitler was rumoured to have had a romantic liaison with his half-niece Geli Raubal, but his long-term passion was for his mistress Eva Braun, who he met in 1929, but who he didn’t marry until shortly before they committed suicide in the last days of the Third Reich. To the end, he was apparently keen to impress the German people with his devotion to them, to the exclusion of any intimate personal feelings.
Quite possibly, Adolf Hitler’s true net worth at the time of his death will never be known.
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