Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a town within the Austria-Hungarian Empire close to the German border. His father was Alois Hitler who had adopted the surname of his father Johann Georg Hitler (also spelled Heidler).
Adolf was the fourth of six children born to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl and the first to survive childhood. Aged 3 he moved with his family to the Bavarian town of Passau in Germany. The dialect he acquired here would be a distinctive feature of his speech in later life.
He eventually left Passau and moved to Vienna, hoping to become an artist. It was here that he began to take an interest in right-wing politics and anti-Semitic ideas. This nationalism intensified during his time in the German Army in World War One and it was from then onwards that he emerged as the terrible political force with whom we are familiar.