Nazi Germany


October 28, 2021

Nazi Germany (German: NS-Staat) was the common name of Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) he led controlled the country with a dictatorship system. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state and almost all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The country's official names were Deutsches Reich (German Reich) until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich (Greater German Reich) from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany was also known as the Third Reich (Drittes Reich), meaning "Third Empire", with the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) as the first empire and the German Empire (1871–1918) as the second empire. The Nazi regime fell after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on January 30, 1933. The NSDAP then began to eliminate all political opponents and strengthen its power. Hindenburg died on August 2, 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by combining the offices and powers of Chancellor and President. A national referendum held on 19 August 1934 established Hitler as the sole Führer (leader) of Germany. All power was concentrated in Hitler and his decrees became the supreme law. The government was not a coordinated body working together, but a collection of factions struggling to gain power and gain Hitler's support. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazi regime restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment through military and mixed economic policies. With state spending exceeding revenues, the regime was able to promote public works, including the construction of the Autobahnen (highway). The recovery of the German economy increased the popularity of the Nazi regime. Racism, especially anti-Semitism, became part of the ideology of this regime. The Germans were considered by the Nazis to be a superior race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution of Jews and Romans began to be encouraged after Hitler came to power. The first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and other "unwanted" groups were imprisoned, and liberals, socialists, and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian citizens and churches who opposed Hitler's rule were persecuted, and many religious leaders were imprisoned. The educational curriculum focuses on racial biology, population policy, and military service. Career and educational opportunities for women are limited. Recreation and tourism were organized through the Kraft durch Freude programme, and the 1936 Summer Olympics were used to showcase Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels used Hitler's films, giant meetings, and speeches to influence public opinion. Governments control artistic expression, promote certain forms of architecture and art (such as neoclassical architecture), and prohibit or restrict other forms (such as modern or abstract style art). The Nazi regime dominated neighboring countries through military threats in the years leading up to World War II. Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met. The Nazis took control of Austria and most of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union, and invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, sparking World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany had taken control of most of Europe. The Reichskommissariat took control of the conquered territories and German rule was established in Poland. Germany exploited raw materials and labour, both in the occupied territories and in its allies. The Einsatzgruppen formed death squads in German-occupied territories to carry out mass killings of millions of Jews and other groups

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