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Adolf Hitler - Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Class
Rank: Lance Corporal ( Gefreiter )
Date of Award: 1918
Cross Class: Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Class
Branch of Service: Army
Description of Action:
Mini Biography: Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who led the National Socialist German Workers Party. He was Chancellor of Germany (1933–1945) and Führer of Germany (1934–1945).

Hitler was a veteran of World War I who achieved leadership of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany. Following his imprisonment after a failed coup, he gained support by exploiting nationalism, antisemitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. The Nazis executed or assassinated many of their opponents, restructured the state economy, rearmed the armed forces (Wehrmacht) and established a totalitarian and fascist dictatorship. Hitler pursued a foreign policy with the goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space"). The German invasion of Poland in 1939 caused the British and French Empires to declare war on Germany, effectively beginning World War II.[3]

The Axis Powers occupied most of continental Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. Eventually the Allies defeated the Wehrmacht. By 1945, Germany was in ruins. Hitler's bid for territorial conquest and racial subjugation caused the deaths of tens of millions of people, including the systematic genocide of an estimated six million Jews, not including various additional "undesirable" populations, in what is known as the Holocaust.

During the final days of the war in 1945, as Berlin was being invaded and destroyed by the Red Army, Hitler married Eva Braun. Less than 24 hours later, the two committed suicide in the Führerbunker.
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From: First World War Award Winners
Listing Date: Jun 22, 2008
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