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Hitler in 1937 Führer of Germany In ofﬁce 2 August 1934 – 30 April 1945 Preceded by Paul von Hindenburg (as President)
Succeeded by Karl Dönitz (as President) Chancellor of Germany
Hitler in 1937 Führer of Germany In ofﬁce 2 August 1934 – 30 April 1945 Preceded by Paul von Hindenburg (as President)
Succeeded by Karl Dönitz (as President) Chancellor of Germany In ofﬁce 30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945 President Deputy Preceded by Paul von Hindenburg Franz von Papen Position vacant Kurt von Schleicher
Succeeded by Joseph Goebbels Reichsstatthalter of Prussia In ofﬁce 30 January 1933 – 30 January 1935 Prime Minister Preceded by Franz von Papen Hermann Göring Ofﬁce created Personal details Born 20 April 1889 Braunau am Inn, AustriaHungary 30 April 1945 (aged 56) Berlin, Germany Austrian citizen until 7 April 1925 German citizen after 25 February 1932
Succeeded by Ofﬁce abolished
Political party National Socialist German Workers' Party (1921–1945) Other political German Workers' Party (1920– afﬁliations 1921) Spouse(s) Occupation Religion Signature Eva Braun (29–30 April 1945) Politician, soldier, artist, writer See: Religious views of Adolf Hitler
Military service Allegiance Service/branch Years of German Empire Reichsheer 1914–1918
Military service Allegiance Service/branch Years of service Rank Unit Battles/wars Awards German Empire Reichsheer 1914–1918 Gefreiter 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment World War I Iron Cross First Class Iron Cross Second Class Wound Badge
Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] ( listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the Nazi Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP); National Socialist German Workers Party). He was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and dictator of Nazi Germany (as Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945. Hitler was at the centre of Nazi Germany, World War II in Europe, and the Holocaust. Hitler was a decorated veteran of World War I. He joined the German Workers' Party (precursor of the NSDAP) in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he attempted a coup d'état in Munich, known as the Beer Hall Putsch. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. After his appointment as chancellor in 1933, he transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a singleparty dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism. Hitler's aim was to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in continental Europe. To this end, his foreign and domestic policies had the aim of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the Germanic people. He directed the rearmament of Germany and the invasion of Poland by the Wehrmacht in September 1939, resulting in the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Under Hitler's rule, in 1941 German forces and their European allies occupied most of Europe and North Africa. In 1943, Germany had been forced onto the defensive and suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the ﬁnal days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his
On 30 April 1945. the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army. and their corpses were burned. less than two days later. Hitler's supremacist and racially motivated policies resulted in the systematic murder of eleven million people. and in the deaths of an estimated 50 million people during World War II.long-time partner. Eva Braun. . including an estimated six million Jews.
1.1 Sources 15 External links .3 Early adulthood in Vienna and Munich 1.2 Austria and Czechoslovakia 5.1.3 Reichstag ﬁre and March elections 3.1 Economy and culture 4.4 Defeat and death 5.1 Ancestry 1.4 World War I 2 Entry into politics 2.Contents [hide] 1 Early years 1.1 Beer Hall Putsch 2.2 Appointment as chancellor 3.2 Start of World War II 5.3 Path to defeat 5.2 Rearmament and new alliances 5 World War II 5.5 The Holocaust 6 Leadership style 7 Legacy 8 Religious views 9 Health 10 Family 11 Hitler in media 12 See also 13 Footnotes 14 References 14.1 Brüning administration 3.1 Alliance with Japan 5.2 Childhood and education 1.1 Early diplomatic successes 5.2 Rebuilding the NSDAP 3 Rise to power 3.5 Removal of remaining limits 4 Third Reich 4.4 Day of Potsdam and the Enabling Act 3.
Alois was brought up in the family of Hiedler's brother. While awaiting trial at Nuremberg in 1945. In 1876. had fathered Alois. or is from the Slavic words Hidlar and Hidlarcek. "shepherd" (Standard German hüten "to guard". so Alois bore his mother's surname. Nazi ofﬁcial Hans Frank suggested the existence of letters claiming that Alois' mother was employed as a housekeeper for a Jewish family in Graz and that the family's 19-year-old son. Alois was legitimated and the baptismal register changed by a priest before three witnesses. "Hüttler". English "heed"). Alois Hitler (1837–1903). Historians doubt the claim that Alois' father was Jewish. After she died in 1847 and he in 1856. and no record of Leopold Frankenberger's existence has been produced. Johann Nepomuk Hiedler. The origin of the name is either "one who lives in a hut" (Standard German Hütte). was the illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. The baptismal register did not show the name of Alois's father. or "Huettler". At age 39. no Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period.Early years Ancestry Hitler's father. Leopold Frankenberger. However. Johann Georg Hiedler married Anna. Alois assumed the surname "Hitler". In 1842. Childhood and education . also spelled as "Hiedler".
Hitler became ﬁxated on warfare after ﬁnding a picture book about the FrancoPrussian War among his father's belongings. which marked his speech all of his life. the family moved to Passau. The move to Hafeld coincided with the onset of intense father-son conﬂicts caused by Adolf's refusal to conform to the strict discipline of his school. and in June 1895. Braunau am Inn. and Otto—died in infancy. a town on the border with Bavaria. Adolf's older siblings—Gustav. Germany. and in 1897 the family moved to Lambach. Germany.Adolf Hitler as an infant (c. 1889–1890) Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 at the Gasthof zum Pommer. where he farmed and kept bees. Alois retired to a small landholding at Hafeld. an inn located at Salzburger Vorstadt 15. Austria-Hungary. rather than Austrian German. Adolf attended school in nearby Fischlham. sang in . He was the fourth of six children to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl (1860–1907). near Lambach. The eight-year-old Hitler took singing lessons. There he acquired the distinctive lower Bavarian dialect. When Hitler was three.  In 1894 the family relocated to Leonding (near Linz). Alois Hitler's farming efforts at Hafeld ended in failure. Ida.
the church choir, and even considered becoming a priest. In 1898 the family returned permanently to Leonding. The death of his younger brother, Edmund, from measles on 2 February 1900 deeply affected Hitler. He changed from being conﬁdent and outgoing and an excellent student, to a morose, detached, and sullen boy who constantly fought with his father and teachers.
Hitler's mother, Klara
Alois had made a successful career in the customs bureau and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. Hitler later dramatised an episode from this period when his father took him to visit a customs ofﬁce, depicting it as an event that gave rise to an unforgiving antagonism between father and son, who were both strong-willed. Ignoring his son's desire to attend a classical high school and become an artist, in September 1900 Alois sent Adolf to the Realschule in Linz. (This was the same high school that Adolf Eichmann would attend some 17 years later.) Hitler rebelled against this decision, and in Mein Kampf revealed that he did poorly in school, hoping that once his father saw "what little progress I was making at the technical school he would let me devote myself to my dream". Like many Austrian Germans, Hitler began to develop German nationalist ideas from a young age. He expressed loyalty only to Germany, despising the declining Habsburg Monarchy and its rule over an ethnically variegated empire. Hitler and his friends used the German greeting "Heil", and sang the German anthem "Deutschland Über Alles" instead of the Austrian Imperial anthem. After Alois' sudden death on 3 January 1903, Hitler's performance at school deteriorated. His mother allowed him to quit in autumn 1905. He enrolled at the Realschule in Steyr in September 1904; his behaviour and performance
showed some improvement. In the autumn of 1905, after passing a repeat and the ﬁnal exam, Hitler left the school without any ambitions for further schooling or clear plans for a career.
Early adulthood in Vienna and Munich
The house in Leonding where Hitler spent his early adolescence (c. 1984)
From 1905, Hitler lived a bohemian life in Vienna, ﬁnanced by orphan's beneﬁts and support from his mother. He worked as a casual labourer and eventually as a painter, selling watercolours. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna rejected him twice, in 1907 and 1908, because of his "unﬁtness for painting". The director recommended that Hitler study architecture, but he lacked the academic credentials. On 21 December 1907, his mother died aged 47. After the Academy's second rejection, Hitler ran out of money. In 1909 he lived in a homeless shelter, and by 1910, he had settled into a house for poor working men on Meldemannstraße. At the time Hitler lived there, Vienna was a hotbed of religious prejudice and racism. Fears of being overrun by immigrants from the East were widespread, and the populist mayor, Karl Lueger, exploited the rhetoric of virulent antisemitism for political effect. Georg Schönerer's pan-Germanic antisemitism had a strong following in the Mariahilf district, where Hitler lived. Hitler read local newspapers, such as the Deutsches Volksblatt, that fanned prejudice and played on Christian fears of being swamped by an inﬂux of eastern Jews. Hostile to what he saw as Catholic "Germanophobia", he developed an admiration for Martin Luther.
The Alter Hof in Munich. Watercolour by Adolf Hitler, 1914
The origin and ﬁrst expression of Hitler's antisemitism have been difﬁcult to locate. Hitler states in Mein Kampf that he ﬁrst became an antisemite in Vienna. His close friend, August Kubizek, claimed that Hitler was a "conﬁrmed antisemite" before he left Linz. Kubizek's account has been challenged by historian Brigitte Hamann, who writes that Kubizek is the only person to have said that the young Hitler was an antisemite. Hamann also notes that no antisemitic remark has been documented from Hitler during this period. Historian Ian Kershaw suggests that if Hitler had made such remarks, they may have gone unnoticed because of the prevailing antisemitism in Vienna at that time. Several sources provide strong evidence that Hitler had Jewish friends in his hostel and in other places in Vienna. Historian Richard J. Evans states that "historians now generally agree that his notorious, murderous anti-Semitism emerged well after Germanyʼs defeat [in World War I], as a product of the paranoid 'stab-inthe-back' explanation for the catastrophe". Hitler received the ﬁnal part of his father's estate in May 1913 and moved to Munich. Historians believe he left Vienna to evade conscription into the Austrian army. Hitler later claimed that he did not wish to serve the Habsburg Empire because of the mixture of "races" in its army. After he was deemed unﬁt for service—he failed his physical exam in Salzburg on 5 February 1914—he returned to Munich.
World War I
Main article: Military career of Adolf Hitler At the outbreak of World War I, Hitler was a resident of Munich and volunteered to serve in the Bavarian Army as an Austrian citizen. Posted to the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 (1st Company of the List Regiment), he served as a dispatch runner on the Western Front in France and Belgium, spending nearly half his time well behind the front lines. He was present at the First Battle of Ypres, the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, and the Battle of Passchendaele, and was wounded at the Somme.
 Though his rewarded actions may have been courageous. they were probably not highly exceptional. providing frequent interactions with senior ofﬁcers. returning to his regiment on 5 March 1917. First Class. Recommended by Hugo Gutmann. may have helped him receive this decoration. Hitler learnt of Germany's defeat. 1914–1918) He was decorated for bravery. Second Class. He also received the Black Wound Badge on 18 May 1918. On 15 October 1918. During his service at the headquarters. he received the Iron Cross. . and—by his own account—on receiving this news. he suffered a second bout of blindness. he was temporarily blinded by a mustard gas attack and was hospitalised in Pasewalk. drawing cartoons and instructions for an army newspaper. Hitler spent almost two months in the Red Cross hospital at Beelitz. Hitler's post at regimental headquarters. on 4 August 1918. he was wounded either in the groin area or the left thigh by a shell that had exploded in the dispatch runners' dugout.Hitler (far right. During the Battle of the Somme in October 1916. receiving the Iron Cross. While there. Hitler pursued his artwork. a decoration rarely awarded to one of Hitler's rank (Gefreiter). in 1914. seated) with his army comrades of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 (c.
 The Versailles Treaty and the economic. he believed in the Stab-in-the-back myth (Dolchstoßlegende). Many Germans perceived the treaty—especially Article 231. and political conditions in Germany after the war were later exploited by Hitler for political gains. The experience reinforced his passionate German patriotism and he was shocked by Germany's capitulation in November 1918. Hitler became attracted to the founder Anton Drexler's antisemitic. he tried to remain in the army for as long as possible. a non-Jewish . He described the war as "the greatest of all experiences". While monitoring the activities of the DAP. and his ideological development began to ﬁrmly take shape. and antiMarxist ideas. which claimed that the German army. Entry into politics Main article: Adolf Hitler's political views After World War I. later dubbed the "November criminals". "undefeated in the ﬁeld". had been "stabbed in the back" on the home front by civilian leaders and Marxists.  In July 1919 he was appointed Verbindungsmann (intelligence agent) of an Aufklärungskommando (reconnaissance commando) of the Reichswehr. Hitler returned to Munich. which declared Germany responsible for the war—as a humiliation. social. The treaty imposed economic sanctions and levied heavy reparations on the country. to inﬂuence other soldiers and to inﬁltrate the German Workers' Party (DAP).Adolf Hitler as a soldier during the First World War (1914–1918) Hitler became embittered over the collapse of the war effort.  Like other German nationalists. Drexler favoured a strong active government. The Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany must relinquish several of its territories and demilitarise the Rhineland. Having no formal education and career prospects. nationalist. and was praised by his commanding ofﬁcers for his bravery. anti-capitalist.
he rejoined the party as member 3. a mutiny broke out within the NSDAP in Munich. while Hitler and Eckart were on a fundraising trip to Berlin. In February 1921—already highly effective at speaking to large audiences—he spoke to a crowd of over 6. In June 1921. a major hotbed of anti-government German nationalists determined to crush Marxism and undermine the Weimar Republic.680. Hitler designed the party's banner of a swastika in a white circle on a red background. Hitler announced he would rejoin on the condition that he would replace Drexler as party chairman. Eckart became Hitler's mentor. Members of the its executive committee. becoming the party's 55th member. some of whom considered Hitler to be too overbearing. one of the party's founders and a member of the occult Thule Society. and solidarity among all members of society. wanted to merge with the rival German Socialist Party (DSP). Hitler was discharged from the army in March 1920 and began working fulltime for the NSDAP. Hitler met Dietrich Eckart. He still faced . Drexler invited him to join the DAP. rival politicians. Hitler accepted on 12 September 1919.000 in Munich. Hitler soon gained notoriety for his rowdy polemic speeches against the Treaty of Versailles. the NSDAP was centred in Munich. and especially against Marxists and Jews. Impressed with Hitler's oratory skills. The committee agreed. A copy of Adolf Hitler's German Workers' Party (DAP) membership card At the DAP. The committee members realised his resignation would mean the end of the party. To increase its appeal. two truckloads of party supporters drove around town waving swastika ﬂags and throwing leaﬂets. and that the party headquarters would remain in Munich. the DAP changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party – NSDAP). Hitler returned to Munich on 11 July and angrily tendered his resignation. At the time. exchanging ideas with him and introducing him to a wide range of people in Munich society.version of socialism. To publicise the meeting.
 He used his personal magnetism and an understanding of crowd psychology to his advantage while engaged in public speaking. I belonged to Adolf Hitler body and soul". Sieg Heil. describes the reaction to a speech by Hitler: "We erupted into a frenzy of nationalistic pride that bordered on hysteria. The group. Early followers included Rudolf Hess. linking international ﬁnance with Bolshevism. which had bewitched so many seemingly sober men".[a] In the following days. His strategy proved successful: at a general membership meeting. introduced Hitler to the idea of a Jewish conspiracy. He became adept at using populist themes targeted at his audience.000 copies of a pamphlet attacking Hitler as a traitor to the party. ﬁnanced with funds channelled from wealthy industrialists like Henry Ford. with tears streaming down our faces: Sieg Heil. captured them in a trance from which they could not break loose". Germans speak with mystiﬁcation of Hitler's 'hypnotic' appeal.some opposition within the NSDAP: Hermann Esser and his allies printed 3. a conspiratorial group of White Russian exiles and early National Socialists. a former member of the Hitler Youth. with only one nay vote cast. the Sturmabteilung (SA. The word shows up again and again. Hitler's vitriolic beer hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. and of his eyes in small groups. former air force pilot Hermann Göring. Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper described "the fascination of those eyes. to thunderous applause. A critical inﬂuence on his thinking during this period was the Aufbau Vereinigung. Kessel writes. Alfons Heck.. "Overwhelmingly . we shouted at the top of our lungs. Beer Hall Putsch Main article: Beer Hall Putsch Hitler enlisted the help of World War I General Erich Ludendorff for an . including the use of scapegoats who could be blamed for the economic hardships of his listeners. For minutes on end. "Stormtroopers"). which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents. he was granted absolute powers as party chairman. Historians have noted the hypnotic effect of his rhetoric on large audiences. Sieg Heil! From that moment on. and army captain Ernst Röhm. Hitler is said to have mesmerized the nation.. Hitler spoke to several packed houses and defended himself. Although his oratory skills and personal traits were generally received well by large crowds and at ofﬁcial events. some who had met Hitler privately noted that his appearance and demeanour failed to make a lasting impression. Röhm became head of the Nazis' paramilitary organisation.
to be followed by challenging the government in Berlin. Hitler. a large beer hall in Munich. along with Police Chief Hans Ritter von Seisser (Seißer) and Reichswehr General Otto von Lossow.000 people that had been organised by Kahr in the Bürgerbräukeller. However. with handgun drawn. Hitler wanted to seize a critical moment for successful popular agitation and support. Hitler and Ludendorff sought the support of Staatskommissar (state commissioner) Gustav von Kahr. Hitler wanted to emulate Benito Mussolini's "March on Rome" (1922) by staging his own coup in Bavaria. Retiring to a backroom. Bavaria's de facto ruler. demanded and got the support of Kahr.attempted coup known as the "Beer Hall Putsch". and by some accounts contemplated suicide. wanted to install a nationalist dictatorship without Hitler. Hitler interrupted Kahr's speech and announced that the national revolution had begun. declaring the formation of a new government with Ludendorff. Dust jacket of Mein Kampf (1926–1927) Hitler ﬂed to the home of Ernst Hanfstaengl. Kahr. His trial began in February 1924 before . The next day. and Lossow. Kahr and his consorts quickly withdrew their support and neither the army nor the state police joined forces with him. but police dispersed them. Hitler's forces initially succeeded in occupying the local Reichswehr and police headquarters. On 8 November 1923 he and the SA stormed a public meeting of 3. Seisser. He was depressed but calm when arrested on 11 November 1923 for high treason.  Sixteen NSDAP members and four police ofﬁcers were killed in the failed coup. Hitler and his followers marched from the beer hall to the Bavarian War Ministry to overthrow the Bavarian government. The Nazi Party used Italian Fascism as a model for their appearance and policies. however.
 Including time on remand. In a meeting with Prime Minister of Bavaria Heinrich Held on 4 January 1925. Stupidity.  The book laid out Hitler's plans for transforming German society into one based on race. which Hitler called "my Bible". and Alfred Rosenberg became temporary leader of the NSDAP. against the state prosecutor's objections. politics in Germany had become less combative and the economy had improved. Rudolf Hess.the special People's Court in Munich. Gregor Strasser steered a more independent political course. One million copies were sold in 1933. The Bavarian Supreme Court issued a pardon and he was released from jail on 20 December 1924. As a result of the failed Beer Hall Putsch. The book. While at Landsberg. . Hitler and the NSDAP prepared to take advantage of the emergency to gain support for their party. The impact in Germany was dire: millions were thrown out of work and several major banks collapsed. the NSDAP and its afﬁliated organisations were banned in Bavaria. He received friendly treatment from the guards. and Cowardice) to his deputy. limiting Hitler's opportunities for political agitation. strengthen the economy. it sold 228. he was allowed mail from supporters and regular visits by party comrades. a ban that remained in place until 1927. Otto Strasser. To advance his political ambitions in spite of the ban. emphasising the socialist element of the party's programme. Hitler had served just over one year in prison. They promised to repudiate the Versailles Treaty. and provide jobs.000 copies between 1925 and 1932. Hitler appointed Gregor Strasser. dedicated to Thule Society member Dietrich Eckart. On 1 April Hitler was sentenced to ﬁve years' imprisonment at Landsberg Prison. Hitler was barred from public speaking. Hitler dictated most of the ﬁrst volume of Mein Kampf (My Struggle. The stock market in the United States crashed on 24 October 1929. Rebuilding the NSDAP At the time of Hitler's release from prison. Mein Kampf was inﬂuenced by The Passing of the Great Race by Madison Grant. Hitler agreed to respect the authority of the state: he would only seek political power through the democratic process. and Joseph Goebbels to organise and grow the NSDAP in northern Germany. The meeting paved the way for the ban on the NSDAP to be lifted. However. A superb organiser. Published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926. Some passages implied genocide. Hitler's ﬁrst year in ofﬁce. was an autobiography and an exposition of his ideology. originally entitled Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies.
5 3.745.and left-wing extremists. and the German referendum of 1929 had helped to elevate Nazi ideology. Its leader. The elections of September 1930 resulted in the break-up of a grand coalition and its replacement with a minority cabinet. chancellor Heinrich Brüning of the Centre Party. Governance by decree would become the new norm and paved the way for authoritarian forms of government.1 43. which faced strong challenges from right.6 18.30 0 % vote s 6.0 00 11. The NSDAP rose from obscurity to win 18. becoming the second-largest party in parliament. Paul von Hindenburg.3% of the vote and 107 parliamentary seats in the 1930 election.918.300 1924 1928 1930 1932 1932 1933 810. governed through emergency decrees from the president. Germans were ambivalent to the parliamentary republic.3 33.0 2. .100 6.Rise to power Main article: Adolf Hitler's rise to power Nazi Party election results Electi on May 1924 Total votes 1.737.9 Reichsta g seats 32 14 12 107 230 196 288 Notes Hitler in prison Hitler released from prison After the ﬁnancial crisis After Hitler was candidate for presidency During Hitler's term as chancellor of Germany December 907.409. The moderate political parties were increasingly unable to stem the tide of extremism.60 0 13.1 80 Brüning administration The Great Depression in Germany provided a political opportunity for Hitler.3 37.277.0 00 17.
 Hitler exploited this by targeting his political messages speciﬁcally at people who had been affected by the inﬂation of the 1920s and the Depression. such as farmers. Both were charged with membership in the NSDAP. Lieutenants Richard Scheringer and Hans Ludin. Hitler testiﬁed that his party would pursue political power solely through democratic elections. a testimony that won him many supporters in the ofﬁcer corps. and faced the risk of deportation. The prosecution argued that the NSDAP was an extremist party. In 1932. garnering more than 35% of the vote in the ﬁnal election. prompting defence lawyer Hans Frank to call on Hitler to testify in court. to write a letter to von Hindenburg. war veterans. making Hitler a citizen of Brunswick. For almost seven years he was stateless. along with several other industrialists and businessmen. Catholic. Hitler had formally renounced his Austrian citizenship on 7 April 1925. Brüning's austerity measures brought little economic improvement and were extremely unpopular. The signers urged Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as leader of a government "independent from . and the middle class. but at the time did not acquire German citizenship. However. On 25 September 1930. The viability of his candidacy was underscored by a 27 January 1932 speech to the Industry Club in Düsseldorf. Hitler used the campaign slogan "Hitler über Deutschland" ("Hitler over Germany"). and some social democrats. who was a member of the NSDAP. Appointment as chancellor The absence of an effective government prompted two inﬂuential politicians. and republican parties.  On 25 February 1932. Hindenburg had support from various nationalist. which won him support from many of Germany's most powerful industrialists. unable to run for public ofﬁce. a reference to both his political ambitions and to his campaigning by aircraft. Franz von Papen and Alfred Hugenberg. appointed Hitler as administrator for the state's delegation to the Reichsrat in Berlin. Hitler ran against von Hindenburg in the presidential elections. December 1930 Hitler made a prominent appearance at the trial of two Reichswehr ofﬁcers. this election established Hitler as a strong force in German politics. Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election. monarchist. and thus of Germany. in the autumn of 1930. the interior minister of Brunswick. Although he lost to Hindenburg. at that time illegal for Reichswehr personnel.Hitler and NSDAP treasurer Franz Xaver Schwarz at the dedication of the renovation of the Palais Barlow on Brienner Straße in Munich into the Brown House headquarters.
On election day. 6 March 1933.9%. Hitler was to head a short-lived coalition government formed by the NSDAP and Hugenberg's party. the German National People's Party (DNVP). At Hitler's urging. This "Day of Potsdam" was . Hitler had insisted on the ministerial positions as a way to gain control over the police in much of Germany. However. and elections were scheduled for early March. which suspended basic rights and allowed detention without trial. Day of Potsdam and the Enabling Act On 21 March 1933 the new Reichstag was constituted with an opening ceremony at the Garrison Church in Potsdam. The NSDAP gained three important posts: Hitler was named chancellor. necessitating another coalition with the DNVP. the NSDAP's share of the vote increased to 43. the Reichstag building was set on ﬁre. receives an ovation on the evening of his inauguration as chancellor. Hitler worked against attempts by the NSDAP's opponents to build a majority government. and Hermann Göring Minister of the Interior for Prussia. 30 January 1933 Hindenburg reluctantly agreed to appoint Hitler as chancellor after two further parliamentary elections—in July and November 1932—had not resulted in the formation of a majority government. including William L. Hitler. he asked President Hindenburg to again dissolve the Reichstag. which could turn into a movement that would "enrapture millions of people". at the window of the Reich Chancellery.parliamentary parties". Activities of the German Communist Party were suppressed. the NSDAP engaged in paramilitary violence and the spread of anti-communist propaganda in the days preceding the election. the new cabinet was sworn in during a brief ceremony in Hindenburg's ofﬁce. are of the opinion that the NSDAP itself was responsible for starting the ﬁre.  Researchers. because Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe was found in incriminating circumstances inside the burning building. Because of the political stalemate. Shirer and Alan Bullock. On 30 January 1933. and some 4. Hitler's party failed to secure an absolute majority. On 27 February 1933. Hindenburg responded with the Reichstag Fire Decree of 28 February. In addition to political campaigning. Reichstag ﬁre and March elections As chancellor.000 communist party members were arrested. Wilhelm Frick Minister of the Interior. and the party acquired the largest number of seats in parliament. Göring blamed a communist plot.
 Paul von Hindenburg and Adolf Hitler on the Day of Potsdam. turned out to be decisive. Removal of remaining limits At the risk of appearing to talk nonsense I tell you that the National Socialist movement will go on for 1.held to demonstrate unity between the Nazi movement and the old Prussian elite and military. the Reichstag assembled at the Kroll Opera House under turbulent circumstances. The position of the Centre Party. SA stormtroopers demolished union ofﬁces around the country. 21 March 1933 To achieve full political control despite not having an absolute majority in parliament. Kaas announced the Centre Party would support the Enabling Act. Ranks of SA men served as guards inside the building. The Social Democratic Party was banned and all its assets seized. the Communists had already been banned. just as foolishly. while large groups outside opposing the proposed legislation shouted slogans and threats toward the arriving members of parliament. June 1934 Having achieved full control over the legislative and executive branches of government. Don't forget how people laughed at me 15 years ago when I declared that one day I would govern Germany... some were sent to concentration camps. The act gave Hitler's cabinet full legislative powers for a period of four years and (with certain exceptions) allowed deviations from the constitution. The bill required a two-thirds majority to pass. Hitler's government brought the Ermächtigungsgesetz (Enabling Act) to a vote in the newly elected Reichstag. Ultimately. On 2 May 1933 all trade unions were forced to dissolve and their leaders were arrested. The German Labour Front was formed as an umbrella organisation to . The Enabling Act. While many trade union delegates were in Berlin for May Day activities. Hitler appeared in a morning coat and humbly greeted President von Hindenburg. when I declare that I shall remain in power! — Adolf Hitler to a British correspondent in Berlin. Leaving nothing to chance. the Enabling Act passed by a vote of 441–84. On 23 March.000 years! . They laugh now. with all parties except the Social Democrats voting in favour. the third largest party in the Reichstag. After Hitler verbally promised party leader Ludwig Kaas that President von Hindenburg would retain his power of veto. the Nazis used the provisions of the Reichstag Fire Decree to keep several Social Democratic deputies from attending. transformed Hitler's government into a de facto legal dictatorship. Hitler and his political allies began to systematically suppress the remaining political opposition. along with the Reichstag Fire Decree.
 With this law.  While the international community and some Germans were shocked by the murders. thus reﬂecting the concept of national socialism in the spirit of Hitler's Volksgemeinschaft (German racial community. Hitler thus became head of state as well as head of government. Hitler became Germany's head of state with the title of Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor of the Reich). Hitler targeted Ernst Röhm and other SA leaders who. The demands of the SA for more political and military power caused much anxiety among military. Hugenberg. the other parties had been intimidated into disbanding. the Act explicitly barred him from passing any law tampering with the presidency. President von Hindenburg died.  Hitler's personal standard . In 1934. the ofﬁce of president would be abolished and its powers merged with those of the chancellor. On 2 August 1934. Hitler removed the last legal remedy by which he could be removed from ofﬁce. rather than to the ofﬁce of supreme commander or the state. not the chancellor. were rounded up. With the help of the SA. In 1932. and company owners. The traditional loyalty oath of servicemen was altered to afﬁrm loyalty to Hitler personally. and shot. administrators. many in Germany saw Hitler as restoring order. along with a number of Hitler's political adversaries (such as Gregor Strasser and former chancellor Kurt von Schleicher). By the end of June. The previous day. Hitler pressured his nominal coalition partner. acting president pending new elections. literally. and was formally named as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor). On 14 July 1933.  This law violated the Enabling Act—while it allowed Hitler to deviate from the constitution. the NSDAP was declared the only legal political party in Germany. the merger of the presidency with the chancellorship was approved by 90% of the electorate voting in a plebiscite.represent all workers. the cabinet had enacted the "Law Concerning the Highest State Ofﬁce of the Reich". "people's community"). Hitler became Supreme Commander of the armed forces. This law stated that upon Hindenburg's death. On 19 August. the constitution had been amended to make the president of the High Court of Justice. arrested. industrial. As head of state. which took place from 30 June to 2 July 1934. Hitler responded by purging the entire SA leadership in the Night of the Long Knives. into resigning. and political leaders.
In early 1938.  Third Reich Main article: Nazi Germany Economy and culture Ceremony honouring the dead (Totenehrung) on the terrace in front of the Hall of Honour (Ehrenhalle) at the Nazi party rally grounds. headed by General Wilhelm Keitel. including Jews. thus taking personal command of the armed forces. sixteen generals were stripped of their commands and 44 more were transferred. Hitler assumed Blomberg's title of Commander-in-Chief. Having consolidated his political powers. Hitler appointed Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht as Minister of Economics. and seizing the assets of people arrested as enemies of the State. It gave the president the power to take emergency measures to protect public safety and order. all were suspected of not having been sufﬁciently pro-Nazi. Both men had fallen into disfavour because they had objected to Hitler's demand to make the Wehrmacht ready for war as early as 1938. The Reichstag renewed the Enabling Act twice. Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg into resignation by using a police dossier that showed that Blomberg's new wife had a record for prostitution. Hitler used blackmail tactics to consolidate his hold over the military by instigating the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair. printing money. as Plenipotentiary for War Economy in charge of preparing the economy for war. Thus. Hitler suppressed or eliminated his opposition by a process termed Gleichschaltung ("bringing into line"). Many of Hitler's decrees were based on the Reichstag Fire Decree. September 1934 In August 1934. He replaced the Ministry of War with the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (High Command of the Armed Forces. On the same day. and in the following year. a mere formality since all other parties had been banned. Reconstruction and rearmament were ﬁnanced through Mefo bills. Hitler forced his War Minister. twelve more generals had been removed. . Nuremberg. He attempted to gain additional public support by vowing to reverse the effects of the Depression and the Versailles Treaty. Hitler could now rule under a form of legal martial law. based on Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. Army commander Colonel-General Werner von Fritsch was removed in a similar way after the Schutzstaffel (SS) produced allegations that he had engaged in a homosexual relationship. or OKW). By early February 1938.
Hitler prioritised military spending over unemployment relief. Hitler found Bülow's goals to be too modest. and German re-armament In a meeting with German military leaders on 3 February 1933.  Hitler's government sponsored architecture on an immense scale. In speeches during this period. In March 1935. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement (AGNA) of 18 June 1935 allowed German tonnage to increase to 35% of that of the British navy. Hitler called the signing of the AGNA "the happiest day of his life". the average German was working between 47 to 50 hours per week. Britain. On 25 October 1936. was placed in charge of the proposed architectural renovations of Berlin.000 members—six times the number permitted by the Versailles Treaty—including development of an air force (Luftwaffe) and an increase in the size of the navy (Kriegsmarine). the restoration of Germany's national borders of 1914. and other civil works. by 1939. secretary at the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Ofﬁce). Hitler oversaw one of the largest infrastructure improvement campaigns in German history.  The average working week increased during the shift to a war economy. believing that . In March. Prince Bernhard Wilhelm von Bülow. Hitler spoke of "conquest for Lebensraum in the East and its ruthless Germanisation" as his ultimate foreign policy objectives. while the cost of living increased by 25%. Wages were slightly lower in the mid to late 1930s compared with wages during the Weimar Republic. Hitler opened the summer Olympic games in Berlin. Rearmament and new alliances Main articles: Axis powers. Italy. Hitler announced an expansion of the Wehrmacht to 600. issued a statement of major foreign policy aims: Anschluss with Austria. At the ﬁrst meeting of his Cabinet in 1933. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations and the World Disarmament Conference in October 1933. rejection of military restrictions under the Treaty of Versailles. In 1936. railroads. he stressed the peaceful goals of his policies and a willingness to work within international agreements. France.Unemployment fell from six million in 1932 to one million in 1936. Albert Speer. leading to the construction of dams. the return of the former German colonies in Africa. and a German zone of inﬂuence in Eastern Europe. autobahns. instrumental in implementing Hitler's classicist reinterpretation of German culture. an Axis was declared between Italy and Germany. Tripartite Pact. and the League of Nations condemned these violations of the Treaty.
dismissing Neurath as Foreign Minister and appointing himself Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht (supreme commander of the armed forces). Italy. Count Galeazzo Ciano. Hitler also sent troops to Spain to support General Franco after receiving an appeal for help in July 1936. Hitler restated his intention of acquiring Lebensraum for the German people. were to be regarded as his "political testament". the conference minutes. At the same time. Britain. directly undermining the League of Nations and setting the Treaty of Versailles on the path towards irrelevance. China. He felt that a severe decline in living standards in Germany as a result of the economic crisis could only be stopped by military aggression aimed at seizing Austria and Czechoslovakia. which in Hitler's view required a committed effort of rearmament regardless of the economic costs. recorded as the Hossbach Memorandum. Hitler was carrying out a foreign policy ultimately aimed at war. Hitler urged quick action before Britain and France gained a permanent lead in the arms race. In the event of his death. declared an axis between Germany and Italy. In August 1936. In early 1938. in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Hitler abandoned his plan of an Anglo-German alliance. Hitler ordered Göring to implement a Four Year Plan to prepare Germany for war within the next four years. in response to a growing economic crisis caused by his rearmament efforts. Hitler asserted control of the military-foreign policy apparatus. and on 25 November. He ordered preparations for war in the east. From early 1938 onwards. Germany reoccupied the demilitarised zone in the Rhineland in March 1936.the agreement marked the beginning of the Anglo-German alliance he had predicted in Mein Kampf. Germany signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan. to begin as early as 1938 and no later than 1943. blaming "inadequate" British leadership. France and Italy were not consulted before the signing. World War II Early diplomatic successes . The plan envisaged an all-out struggle between "Judeo-Bolshevism" and German national socialism. in the wake of the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair. Hitler continued his efforts to create an Anglo-German alliance. foreign minister of Benito Mussolini's government. and Poland were also invited to join the Anti-Comintern Pact. but only Italy signed in 1937. At a meeting in the Reich Chancellery with his foreign ministers and military chiefs that November.
. In April 1938 Henlein told the foreign minister of Hungary that "whatever the Czech government might offer. Hitler announced German recognition of Manchukuo. on the advice of his newly appointed Foreign Minister. his real intention was a war of conquest against Czechoslovakia. Hitler considered the Sudeten issue unimportant. October 1938: Hitler (standing in the Mercedes) drives through the crowd in Cheb (German: Eger). Hitler ended the SinoGerman alliance with the Republic of China to instead enter into an alliance with the more modern and powerful Japan. In retaliation.. In February 1938. he wanted to sabotage an understanding by all means because this was the only method to blow up Czechoslovakia quickly". thus providing a pretext for German military action against Czechoslovakia.Alliance with Japan Main article: Germany–Japan relations Hitler and the Japanese Foreign Minister. the Japanese-occupied state in Manchuria. The men agreed that Henlein would demand increased autonomy for Sudeten Germans from the Czechoslovakian government. on 5 September Czechoslovakian President Edvard Beneš unveiled the "Fourth Plan" for constitutional . In private. part of the German-populated Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. Chinese General Chiang Kai-shek cancelled all Sino-German economic agreements. Hitler ordered an end to arms shipments to China and recalled all German ofﬁcers working with the Chinese Army. the code name for an invasion of Czechoslovakia. he would always raise still higher demands . and renounced German claims to their former colonies in the Paciﬁc held by Japan. the largest of the ethnic German parties of the Sudetenland. Austria and Czechoslovakia On 12 March 1938 Hitler declared uniﬁcation of Austria with Nazi Germany in the Anschluss. As a result of intense French and British diplomatic pressure. On 28–29 March 1938 Hitler held a series of secret meetings in Berlin with Konrad Henlein of the Sudeten Heimfront (Home Front). Yōsuke Matsuoka. at a meeting in Berlin in March 1941. depriving the Germans of many Chinese raw materials. In the background is Joachim von Ribbentrop. Hitler then turned his attention to the ethnic German population of the Sudetenland district of Czechoslovakia. which was annexed to Nazi Germany due to the Munich Agreement In April Hitler ordered the OKW to prepare for Fall Grün ("Case Green"). the strongly pro-Japanese Joachim von Ribbentrop.
which agreed to most of Henlein's demands for Sudeten autonomy. calling the outcome "peace for our time". he called for an economic offensive to increase German foreign exchange holdings to pay for raw materials such as high-grade iron needed for military weapons. Germany was dependent on imported oil. a confrontation with Britain over the Czechoslovakian dispute could curtail Germany's oil supplies. In Hitler's view. Hitler declared Britain the main enemy to be defeated and that Poland's obliteration was a necessary prelude to that goal.reorganisation of his country. Édouard Daladier. "I shall brew them a devil's drink". in violation of the Munich accord and possibly as a result of the deepening economic crisis requiring additional assets. Poland was to either become a German satellite state or be neutralised to secure the Reich's eastern ﬂank and to prevent a . he expressed his disappointment in a speech on 9 October in Saarbrücken. which he perceived as an "encirclement" policy. and from Prague Castle proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate. Chamberlain was satisﬁed with the Munich conference. which handed over the Sudetenland districts to Germany. Start of World War II In private discussions in 1939. was a diplomatic defeat which spurred his intent of limiting British power to pave the way for the eastern expansion of Germany. On 15 March 1939. Henlein's Heimfront responded to Beneš' offer with a series of violent clashes with the Czechoslovakian police that led to the declaration of martial law in certain Sudeten districts. Neville Chamberlain. On 29 September Hitler. In his "Export or die" speech of 30 January 1939. although favourable to the ostensible German demands. Hitler called off Fall Grün. the continuing economic crisis caused by rearmament forced Hitler to make major defence cuts. In late 1938 and early 1939. In a speech in Wilhelmshaven for the launch of the battleship Tirpitz on 1 April. originally planned for 1 October 1938. the British-brokered peace. he said. As a result of the summit. Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht to invade Prague. he threatened to denounce the Anglo-German Naval Agreement if the British continued to guarantee Polish independence. while Hitler was angered about the missed opportunity for war in 1938. The eastern ﬂank would be secured and land would be added to Germany's Lebensraum. Offended by the British "guarantee" on 31 March 1939 of Polish independence. Hitler was selected Time magazine's Man of the Year for 1938. and Benito Mussolini attended a oneday conference in Munich that led to the Munich Agreement.
 Hitler unsuccessfully tried to manoeuvre the British into neutrality by offering a non-aggression guarantee to the British Empire on 25 August. establish an acceptable relationship with Poland in order to ﬁght against the West". In August. Hitler was concerned that a military attack against Poland could result in a premature war with Britain. On 3 April. Hitler told his generals that his original plan for 1939 was to ". along with news from Italy that Mussolini would not honour the Pact of Steel. the plan for invading Poland on 25 August.. led by Joseph Stalin. Despite his concerns over a British intervention. In a Reichstag speech on 28 April. In response. Historians such as William Carr. Gerhard Weinberg.. he renounced both the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact. on 22 August 1939 Hitler ordered a military mobilisation against Poland. On 1 September 1939.possible British blockade. Hitler initially favoured the idea of a satellite state. This. This plan required tacit Soviet support. but upon its rejection by the Polish government. Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September. prompted Hitler to postpone the attack on Poland from 25 August to 1 September. and the non-aggression pact (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) between Germany and the Soviet Union. Accordingly. Germany invaded western Poland under the pretext of having been denied claims to the Free City of Danzig and the right to extraterritorial roads across the Polish Corridor. Hitler's foreign minister—and former Ambassador to London—Joachim von Ribbentrop assured him that neither Britain nor France would honour their commitments to Poland. and Ian Kershaw have argued that one reason for Hitler's rush to war was his fear of an early death. In response to the newly formed pact—and contrary to the prediction of Ribbentrop that it would sever Anglo-Polish ties—Britain and Poland signed the Anglo-Polish alliance on 25 August 1939. surprising . Hitler continued to pursue the planned invasion of Poland. included a secret agreement to partition Poland between the two countries. which Germany had ceded under the Versailles Treaty. However. Hitler portrayed on a 42 pfennig stamp from 1944. he then instructed Ribbentrop to present a last-minute peace plan with an impossibly short time limit in an effort to blame the imminent war on British and Polish inaction. The term Grossdeutsches Reich (Greater German Reich) was ﬁrst used in 1943 for the expanded Germany under his rule. he decided to invade and made this the main foreign policy goal of 1939. Hitler ordered the military to prepare for Fall Weiss ("Case White").
 Poland never will rise again in the form of the Versailles treaty. with "no questions asked" about how this was accomplished.. the dispute was initially settled in favour of the Göring–Frank view. public speech in Danzig at the end of September 1939 Hitler reviews troops on the march during the campaign against Poland. and. Governor-General of the General Government territory of occupied Poland. 23 June 1940 Hitler began a military build-up on Germany's western border. Hitler called Himmler's memo "good and correct". Greiser complained that Forster was allowing thousands of Poles to be accepted as "racial" Germans and thus endangered German "racial purity". however. Albert Forster of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia and Arthur Greiser of Reichsgau Wartheland. — Adolf Hitler. Hitler instructed the two newly appointed Gauleiters of north-western Poland. which ended the economically disruptive mass expulsions.Hitler and prompting him to angrily ask Ribbentrop. and in April . and on 17 September. Hitler visits Paris with architect Albert Speer (left) and sculptor Arno Breker (right). however. "Now what?" France and Britain did not act on their declarations immediately. Himmler issued a memo entitled "Some Thoughts on the Treatment of Alien Population in the East". Another dispute pitched one side represented by Himmler and Greiser. Soviet forces invaded eastern Poland. Whereas Polish citizens in Forster's area merely had to sign forms stating that they had German blood. September 1939 The fall of Poland was followed by what contemporary journalists dubbed the "Phoney War" or Sitzkrieg ("sitting war"). against another represented by Göring and Hans Frank. Hitler refrained from getting involved. That is guaranteed not only by Germany. which has been advanced as an example of the theory of "working towards the Führer": Hitler issued vague instructions and expected his subordinates to work out policies on their own. Greiser carried out a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign on the Polish population in his purview. who called for turning Poland into the "granary" of the Reich. On 15 May 1940. who championed ethnic cleansing in Poland. On 12 February 1940. to "Germanise" their areas.. but also . ignoring Göring and Frank. Russia. implemented the Himmler–Greiser policy in Poland. calling for the expulsion of the entire Jewish population of Europe into Africa and reducing the Polish population to a "leaderless class of labourers".
 By the end of October. thus yielding the Axis powers. In April. Hitler's attempt to integrate the Soviet Union into the anti-British bloc failed after inconclusive talks between Hitler and Molotov in Berlin in November. On 27 September 1940. and he ordered nightly air raids of British cities. Britain. the Netherlands. and later expanded to include Hungary. continued to ﬁght alongside other British dominions in the Battle of the Atlantic. German forces were sent to support Iraqi rebel forces ﬁghting against the British and to invade Crete. and he ordered preparations for a full-scale invasion of the Soviet Union. In February. quickly followed by the invasion of Greece. France surrendered on 22 June.  In May 1940. German forces arrived in Libya to bolster the Italian presence. military activities in North Africa. On 23 May. including the . Hitler released Führer Directive No. and the Middle East distracted Hitler from his plans for the east. Winston Churchill. Flemish. These victories prompted Mussolini to have Italy join forces with Hitler on 10 June. In May. Hitler realised that air superiority for the invasion of Britain—in Operation Sea Lion—could not be achieved.5 million Axis troops attacked the Soviet Union. 5. However. Romania. Hitler launched the invasion of Yugoslavia. German forces invaded Denmark and Norway. and Scandinavians were join into "racially pure" polity under German leadership. This large-scale offensive (codenamed Operation Barbarossa) was intended to destroy the Soviet Union and seize its natural resources for subsequent aggression against the Western powers. and upon their rejection he ordered bombing raids on the United Kingdom. including London. contravening the Hitler–Stalin non-aggression pact of 1939. Hitler proclaimed the birth of the "Greater Germanic Reich". The invasion conquered a huge area. his vision of a united empire of the Germanic nations of Europe. and Italian foreign minister Ciano. 30. and Coventry. Plymouth. whose troops were forced to leave France by sea from Dunkirk. and Bulgaria. Path to defeat On 22 June 1941. On 9 April. where the Dutch. the Balkans. Germany attacked France. In the Spring of 1941. and conquered Luxembourg. Hitler made peace overtures to the new British leader.1940. Hitler. the Tripartite Pact was signed in Berlin by Saburō Kurusu of Imperial Japan. the German Luftwaffe failed to defeat the Royal Air Force. Hitler's planned invasion of the UK began with a series of aerial attacks in the Battle of Britain on Royal Air Force airbases and radar stations in South-East England. and Belgium.
000 were taken prisoner. who surrendered to the Allies. In February 1943. Hitler became distrustful of his Army High Command and began to interfere in military and tactical planning with damaging consequences. only 6. the Soviet Union steadily forced Hitler's armies into retreat along the Eastern Front. Hitler formally declared war against the United States. Kershaw and others believe that Hitler may have suffered from Parkinson's disease. Hitler ordered Army Group Centre to halt its advance to Moscow and temporarily diverted its Panzer groups north and south to aid in the encirclement of Leningrad and Kiev. On 18 December 1941. After the successful Battle of Smolensk. and Germany's military and economic position deteriorated along with Hitler's health. Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer has commented that the remark is probably as close as historians will ever get to a deﬁnitive order from Hitler for the genocide carried out during the Holocaust. "als Partisanen auszurotten" ("exterminate them as partisans"). Hawaii. In late 1942. Four days later. Hitler during his speech to the Reichstag attacking American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. and his decision caused a major crisis among the military leadership. 11 December 1941 On 7 December 1941. "What to do with the Jews of Russia?". and West Ukraine. Over 200. German forces were defeated in the second battle of El Alamein. to which Hitler replied. thwarting Hitler's plans to seize the Suez Canal and the Middle East. Hitler's military judgment became increasingly erratic. On 6 June 1944 the Western Allied armies landed in northern .Baltic republics. Hitler's repeated refusal to allow their withdrawal at the Battle of Stalingrad led to the total destruction of the 6th Army. His generals disagreed with this change of targets. historian Russel Stolﬁ considers it to be one of the major factors that caused the failure of the Moscow offensive. Mussolini was deposed by Pietro Badoglio. The pause provided the Red Army with an opportunity to mobilize fresh reserves. which was resumed only in October 1941 and ended disastrously in December. Overconﬁdent in his own military expertise following the earlier victories in 1940. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Throughout 1943 and 1944. Himmler asked Hitler. The destroyed map room at the 'Wolf's Lair' after the 20 July plot Following the allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.000 of whom returned to Germany after the war. Thereafter came a decisive defeat at the Battle of Kursk. Belarus.000 Axis soldiers were killed and 235.
this caused no immediate rift among the Allies. Hitler ordered savage reprisals. Georgy Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front had broken through the . Later. resulting in the execution of more than 4. Operation Overlord. Hitler made his last trip from the Führerbunker ("Führer's shelter") to the surface. some of which proceeded to signiﬁcant degrees. contrary to his expectations. In the ruined garden of the Reich Chancellery. he launched the offensive in the Ardennes to incite disunity among the Western Allies and perhaps convince them to join his ﬁght against the Soviets. By 21 April. Claus von Stauffenberg planted a bomb in one of Hitler's headquarters. in the 20 July plot. 2 May 1945 On 20 April. he awarded Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth. Recognising the strength and determination of the Red Army. Defeat and death Main article: Death of Adolf Hitler By late 1944. Hitler ordered the destruction of all German industrial infrastructure before it could fall into Allied hands. however.  Acting on his view that Germany's military failures had forfeited its right to survive as a nation. both the Red Army and the Western Allies were advancing into Germany. Armed Forces newspaper. his 56th birthday. In July 1944. On 16 December. which he perceived as far weaker. the Wolf's Lair at Rastenburg. but he quietly disobeyed the order.900 people. When the bomb exploded. Arms minister Albert Speer was entrusted with executing this scorched earth plan. The most well known came from within Germany and was at least partly driven by the increasing prospect of a German defeat in the war. Front page of the U. Between 1939 and 1945. many of its ofﬁcers concluded that defeat was inevitable and that Hitler's misjudgement or denial would drag out the war and result in the complete destruction of the country. Hitler narrowly survived because someone had unknowingly pushed the briefcase that contained the bomb behind a leg of the heavy conference table. His last hope to negotiate peace with the United States and Britain was buoyed by the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on 12 April 1945. there were many plans to assassinate Hitler. When the offensive failed.France in what was one of the largest amphibious operations in history. As a result of these signiﬁcant setbacks for the German army.S. the table deﬂected much of the blast away from Hitler. Hitler realised that Germany was going to lose the war. Hitler decided to use his remaining mobile reserves against the American and British troops. Stars and Stripes. part of Operation Valkyrie.
after intense street-to-street combat. After a modest wedding breakfast with his new wife. culminating in his declaration—for the ﬁrst time—that the war was lost. should assume leadership of Germany. Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in a map room within the Führerbunker. Göring sent a telegram from Berchtesgaden. and in his will. Hitler then launched a tirade against the treachery and incompetence of his commanders. Hitler and Braun committed suicide. Hitler ordered Steiner to attack the northern ﬂank of the salient and the German Ninth Army was ordered to attack northward in a pincer attack. and Goebbels made a proclamation urging its citizens to defend the city. Hitler asked about Steiner's offensive. This prompted Hitler to ask everyone except Wilhelm Keitel.  In denial about the dire situation. Hitler responded by having Göring arrested. he. On 30 April 1945. arguing that since Hitler was isolated in Berlin.  was trying to discuss surrender terms with the Western Allies.[b] The event was witnessed and documents signed by Hans Krebs. Alfred Jodl. By 23 April the Red Army had completely surrounded Berlin. Both their bodies were carried up the stairs and through the bunker's emergency exit to the bombed-out garden behind the Reich . Göring. During a military conference on 22 April.defences of German General Gotthard Heinrici's Army Group Vistula during the Battle of the Seelow Heights and advanced into the outskirts of Berlin. After midnight on 29 April. when Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery. and Martin Bormann. That same day. Hitler announced that he would stay in Berlin until the end and then shoot himself. and Wilhelm Burgdorf to leave the room. He was told that the attack had never been launched and that the Russians had broken through into Berlin. written on 29 April. Joseph Goebbels. the Armeeabteilung Steiner ("Army Detachment Steiner"). Göring set a deadline after which he would consider Hitler incapacitated. who had left Berlin on 20 April. Hans Krebs. which presumably increased his determination to avoid capture. Hitler placed his hopes on the units commanded by Waffen SS General Felix Steiner. On 28 April Hitler discovered that Himmler. Later that afternoon. Hitler was informed of the assassination of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. He ordered Himmler's arrest and had Hermann Fegelein (Himmler's SS representative at Hitler's HQ in Berlin) shot. Braun bit into a cyanide capsule and Hitler shot himself. Wilhelm Burgdorf. he removed Göring from all government positions. he then took secretary Traudl Junge to another room and dictated his last will and testament.
then the result will not be the bolshevisation of the earth. [c] A wagon piled high with corpses outside the crematorium in the liberated Buchenwald concentration camp (April 1945) The Holocaust (the "Endlösung der Judenfrage" or "Final Solution of the Jewish Question") was ordered by Hitler and organised and executed by Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. He focused on Eastern Europe for this expansion. but when this failed. but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe! — Adolf Hitler addressing the German Reichstag. 30 January 1939 The Holocaust and Germany's war in the East was based on Hitler's longstanding view that the Jews were the great enemy of the German people and that Lebensraum was needed for the expansion of Germany. the six Goebbels children. and scattered into the Biederitz river. aiming to defeat Poland and the Soviet Union and on removing or killing the Jews and Slavs. it had been decided to kill the Jews. The corpses were set on ﬁre as the Red Army shelling continued. Joseph and Magda Goebbels. and other deportees considered undesirable. Records in the Soviet archives—obtained after the fall of the Soviet Union—showed that the remains of Hitler. The remains from the boxes were burned. Braun. The Generalplan Ost ("General Plan for the East") called for deporting the population of occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to West Siberia. General Hans Krebs. and thus the victory of Jewry. Hitler moved the plans forward. On 4 April 1970. and Hitler's dogs. were repeatedly buried and exhumed. for use as slave labour or to be murdered. the conquered territories were to be colonised by German or "Germanised" settlers. The Holocaust Main article: The Holocaust If the international Jewish ﬁnanciers outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war. By January 1942. The records of the Wannsee Conference—held on 20 January 1942 and led by Heydrich. crushed.  Berlin surrendered on 2 May. The goal was to implement this plan after the conquest of the Soviet Union. where they were placed in a bomb crater and doused with petrol. a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume ﬁve wooden boxes at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg.Chancellery. a tributary of the nearby Elbe. with ﬁfteen senior . Slavs.
and forbade the employment of non-Jewish women under the age of 45 in Jewish households. Hitler was recorded saying. and the Soviet Union—and he was well informed about their activities. By summer 1942. Leadership style . homosexuals. was responsible for the deaths of eleven to fourteen million people. Adventists. over 3 million Soviet prisoners of war. communists and other political opponents. On 15 September 1935. Between 1939 and 1945. the Schutzstaffel (SS). and later authorized a euthanasia programme for adults with serious mental and physical disabilities. Although no direct order from Hitler authorising the mass killings has surfaced. including about six million Jews.500.Nazi ofﬁcials participating—provide the clearest evidence of systematic planning for the Holocaust. and between 500.000 and 1. the Baltic. assisted by collaborationist governments and recruits from occupied countries. and through mass executions. The laws banned marriage between non-Jewish and Jewish Germans. the physically and mentally disabled. The laws deprived so-called "non-Aryans" of the beneﬁts of German citizenship. Auschwitz concentration camp was rapidly expanded to accommodate large numbers of deportees for killing or enslavement. Scores of other concentration camps and satellite camps were set up throughout Europe. and trade unionists. He approved the Einsatzgruppen—killing squads that followed the German army through Poland. and the diaries of Nazi ofﬁcials demonstrate that he conceived and authorised the extermination of European Jewry. whereas others died of starvation or disease while working as slave labourers. Hitler's policies also resulted in the killings of two million of Poles. representing two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. Hitler presented two laws—known as the Nuremberg Laws—to the Reichstag. On 22 February. Another Nazi concept was the notion of racial hygiene. now referred to as Action T4. Deaths took place in concentration and extermination camps. "we shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jews". Many victims of the Holocaust were gassed to death. ghettos. Jehovah's Witnesses. with several camps devoted exclusively to extermination. Hitler's early eugenic policies targeted children with physical and developmental disabilities in a programme dubbed Action Brandt. his public speeches. orders to his generals. Hitler never appeared to have visited the concentration camps and did not speak publicly about the killings.000 Romani people.
or had them conveyed through his close associate. and that of course was catastrophic". in order to have "the stronger one [do] the job". He would not allow any form of retreat or ﬂexibility among his ﬁeld commanders. instead he communicated them verbally. Historian Antony Beevor argues that at the start of the war. National Socialism "burst like a bubble". freedom and democracy never again fascism millions of dead remind [us] Hitler's suicide was likened by contemporaries to a "spell" being broken. "he became completely sclerotic. and he discouraged his ministers from meeting independently. The inscription translates as: For peace. Bormann used his position to control the ﬂow of information and access to Hitler. Rank in the party was not determined by elections—positions were ﬁlled through appointment by those of higher rank.  According to historian John Toland. appointments. He entrusted Bormann with his paperwork. with himself—the infallible leader—at the apex. Austria. from 1941 onward. and inﬁghting among his subordinates in order to consolidate and maximise his own power. Hitler fostered distrust. . is a memorial stone placed as a reminder of the horrors of World War II.Hitler ruled the NSDAP autocratically by asserting the Führerprinzip ("Leader principle"). and personal ﬁnances. who demanded unquestioning obedience to the will of the leader. However. The principle relied on absolute obedience of all subordinates to their superiors. In this way. Martin Bormann. competition. where Hitler was born. "Hitler was a fairly inspired leader. he became so inﬂexible after 1941 that he squandered the military strengths Germany possessed. Historians who have assessed his performance agree that after a strong start. Hitler personally made all major military decisions. because his genius lay in assessing the weaknesses of others and exploiting those weaknesses". Legacy Further information: Consequences of Nazism and Neo-Nazism Outside the building in Braunau am Inn. Hitler typically did not give written orders. His cabinet never met after 1938. Hitler's leadership style was to give contradictory orders to his subordinates and to place them into positions where their duties and responsibilities overlapped with those of others. thus he viewed the government structure as a pyramid. without its leader.
. Though he never ofﬁcially left the Catholic Church. according to historian Ian Kershaw. and Hitler's role has been described as ".. which he thought would be a step backwards politically and culturally. and yet the coarsest... and adopted some elements of the Catholic Church's hierarchical organisation. He spoke of his interpretation of Christianity as a . as a conservative inﬂuence on society. "Never in history has such ruination—physical and moral—been associated with the name of one man". the most historical.Hitler's actions and Nazi ideology are almost universally regarded as gravely immoral. the most philosophical. Roberts. least magnanimous conqueror the world has ever known". For the historian John M. characterised as "Zero Hour". After leaving home he never again attended Mass or received the sacraments. Hitler often praised Christian heritage and German Christian culture.". the most systematic. the Nazi regime was responsible for the democidal killing of an estimated 21 million civilians and prisoners of war. leaving behind a devastated and impoverished Eastern and Central Europe. Historians. he had no real attachment to it. cruellest. Hitler's policies inﬂicted human suffering on an unprecedented scale. In public. and phraseology in his politics. and politicians often use the word "evil" to describe the Nazi regime. English historian Hugh Trevor-Roper saw him as "among the 'terrible simpliﬁers' of history. philosophers. In its place emerged the Cold War. Hitler's defeat marked the end of a phase of European history dominated by Germany. In addition.J. the main author of a war leaving over 50 million dead and millions more grieving their lost ones . a global confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States. according to R. 29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European theater of World War II. Rummel. Many European countries have criminalised both the promotion of Nazism and Holocaust denial. and professed a belief in an "Aryan" Jesus Christ—a Jesus who fought against the Jews. Germany itself suffered wholesale destruction.  Hitler's political programme had brought about a world war. Religious views Main article: Religious views of Adolf Hitler Hitler saw the church as important politically. liturgy. He felt that if the church were eliminated the faithful would turn to mysticism. He favoured aspects of Protestantism that suited his own views. Historian Friedrich Meinecke described Hitler as "one of the great examples of the singular and incalculable power of personality in historical life".
and tracing the prehistoric roots of the Germanic people. in conjunction with Islam. An antivivisectionist. Although Himmler was interested in the occult. At social events he sometimes gave graphic accounts of the slaughter of animals in an effort to make his dinner guests shun meat. but I have the duty to be a ﬁghter for truth and justice". The report titled "The Nazi Master Plan" stated that the destruction of the church was a goal of the movement right from the start.central motivation for his antisemitism. Langer of Harvard University described Hitler as a "neurotic psychopath". Walter C. syphilis. could have conquered much of the world during the Middle Ages. even before his rise to power. Health Researchers have variously suggested that Hitler suffered from irritable bowel syndrome. In private. Kershaw feels that it is better to take a broader view of German history by examining what social forces led to the Third Reich and its policies rather than to pursue narrow explanations for the Holocaust and World War II based on only one person. and tinnitus. Hitler adopted a strategy "that suited his immediate political purposes". He believed that the Germans. According to a US Ofﬁce of Strategic Services report. but considered Arabs as "racially inferior". Historian John S. stating. Hitler had a general plan. Hitler was more pragmatic. Parkinson's disease. and according them too much weight may have the effect of attributing many of the events and consequences of the Third Reich to the possibly impaired physical health of one individual. he was more critical of traditional Christianity.  Hitler followed a vegetarian diet. In political relations with the church. Theories about Hitler's medical condition are difﬁcult to prove. A fear of cancer (from which his mother died) is the most widely cited reason for Hitler's dietary habits. skin lesions. considering it a religion ﬁt only for slaves. the interpretation of runes. Hitler admired the Muslim military tradition. he admired the power of Rome but was hostile towards its teaching. to destroy the inﬂuence of Christian churches within the Reich. In a report prepared for the Ofﬁce of Strategic Services in 1943. but that it was inexpedient to express this extreme position publicly. was to wait until the war was over to destroy the inﬂuence of Christianity. . according to Bullock. His intention. Conway states that Hitler held a "fundamental antagonism" towards the Christian churches. "As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated. irregular heartbeat. and his ideology centred on more practical concerns.
co-produced by Hitler Tag der Freiheit: Unsere Wehrmacht (Day of Freedom: Our Armed Forces. 1934). 1941) Hitler used documentary ﬁlms as a propaganda tool.Film of Hitler at Berchtesgaden (c. He was involved and appeared in a series of ﬁlms by the pioneering ﬁlmmaker Leni Riefenstahl via Universum Film AG (UFA): • • • • Der Sieg des Glaubens (Victory of Faith. 1933) Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will. 1935) Olympia (1938) See also Nazi Germany portal World War II portal Fascism portal • • • Führermuseum Hitler: A Film from Germany Julius Schaub – chief aide .
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Retrieved 17 October 2011. World War II Movies in Color. Political ofﬁces Preceded by Ofﬁce created Reichsstatthalter of Prussia 1933–1935 Chancellor of Germany(1) 1933–1945 Führer of Germany(1) 1934–1945 Party political ofﬁces Succeeded by Ofﬁce abolished Succeeded by Joseph Goebbels Succeeded by Karl Dönitz As President Preceded by Kurt von Schleicher Preceded by Paul von Hindenburg As President . (subscription required) "How many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust? How do we know? Do we have their names?". Retrieved 10 January 2013. Yad Vashem. ushmm.org. FBI Records. WW2inColor. Retrieved 22 May 2008.• • • • • • 2003. ISSN 0307-1235. Time Magazine (Time). Retrieved 15 December 2011. Time Magazine (Time). Time Magazine (Time). 2 January 1939. "Hitler and his ofﬁcers". UK: Questia. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. The Vault. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 14 December 2011-12-14. Bee (9 October 1998). "Mein Diat – Adolf Hitler's diet". Retrieved 30 August 2008. Wilson. "Seven Years War?". "Man of the Year". "Germany: Second Revolution?". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 22 May 2008. 2 July 1934. New Statesman. 2 October 1939. External links Find more about Adolf Hitler at Wikipedia's sister projects Deﬁnitions and translations from Wiktionary Media from Commons Learning resources from Wikiversity News stories from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Source texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks • • • • • Works by or about Adolf Hitler in libraries (WorldCat catalog) Adolf Hitler at the Internet Movie Database – real life footage in documentaries Adolf Hitler (Character) at the Internet Movie Database – as portrayed in ﬁlm and TV "Adolf Hitler". "Poles: Victims of the Nazi Era: The Invasion and Occupation of Poland".
Preceded by Ofﬁce created Preceded by Kurt von Schleicher Preceded by Paul von Hindenburg As President Reichsstatthalter of Prussia 1933–1935 Chancellor of Germany(1) 1933–1945 Führer of Germany(1) 1934–1945 Party political ofﬁces Succeeded by Ofﬁce abolished Succeeded by Joseph Goebbels Succeeded by Karl Dönitz As President Preceded by Anton Drexler Preceded by Franz Pfeffer von Salomon Preceded by Walther von Brauchitsch Preceded by Chiang Kai-shek and Soong May-ling Notes and references Leader of the NSDAP 1921–1945 Military ofﬁces Leader of the SA 1930–1945 Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres (Army Commander) 1941–1945 Honorary titles Time Person of the Year 1938 Succeeded by Martin Bormann Succeeded by Disbanded Succeeded by Ferdinand Schörner Succeeded by Joseph Stalin 1. The positions of Head of State and Government were combined 1934–1945 in the ofﬁce of Führer and Chancellor of Germany Topics related to Adolf Hitler [show] • vte Adolf Hitler [show] Links to related articles .
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