How did Adolf Hitler obtain German citizenship?

Learn how Hitler obtained German citizenship and the Nazis' political maneuvering in his rise to power.

How did Adolf Hitler obtain German citizenship?
Photo by British Library / Unsplash

Adolf Hitler, the infamous dictator responsible for the atrocities of World War II, rose to power in Germany by becoming its chancellor in 1933.

Many are surprised to learn that he was not actually German, but Austrian by birth.

So, how did an Austrian end up becoming the leader of Germany?

Hitler's Citizenship Status

Hitler renounced his Austrian citizenship in 1925, possibly to avoid deportation after his release from prison. This left him stateless for a period. However, living as a stateless person in Germany did not hinder his activities in building the Nazi movement.

Nazi Party's Agenda

The Nazis, aiming to propel Hitler to a political position, sought to secure his German citizenship. However, his criminal record due to the failed coup in 1923 made it challenging for him to obtain citizenship via standard procedures.

Political Maneuvering

Despite the obstacles, Hitler's political supporters navigated the legal and bureaucratic hurdles to engineer his acquisition of German citizenship, clearing the way for his appointment as Chancellor in 1933.

Media Manipulation

Hitler also utilized propaganda and manipulation of the media to shape public opinion in his favor, leveraging the chaotic political landscape and economic turmoil to his advantage. The culmination of these factors ultimately led to Hitler's ascent to power, forever altering the course of history with devastating consequences.