Adolf Hitler

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"Hitler" redirects here. Adolf Hitler_sentence_0

For other uses, see Hitler (disambiguation). Adolf Hitler_sentence_1

Adolf Hitler_table_infobox_0

Adolf HitlerAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_0_0
Führer of GermanyAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_1_0
Preceded byAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_2_0 Paul von Hindenburg (President)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_2_1
Succeeded byAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_3_0 Karl Dönitz (President)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_3_1
Chancellor of GermanyAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_4_0
PresidentAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_5_0 Paul von Hindenburg

(1933–1934)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_5_1

DeputyAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_6_0 Franz von Papen

(1933–1934) Hermann Göring (1941–1945)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_6_1

Preceded byAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_7_0 Kurt von SchleicherAdolf Hitler_cell_0_7_1
Succeeded byAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_8_0 Joseph GoebbelsAdolf Hitler_cell_0_8_1
Führer of the Nazi PartyAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_9_0
DeputyAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_10_0 Rudolf Hess (1933–1941)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_10_1
Preceded byAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_11_0 Anton Drexler (Chairman)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_11_1
Succeeded byAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_12_0 Martin Bormann (Party Minister)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_12_1
Personal detailsAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_13_0
BornAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_14_0 (1889-04-20)20 April 1889

Braunau am Inn, Austria-HungaryAdolf Hitler_cell_0_14_1

DiedAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_15_0 30 April 1945(1945-04-30) (aged 56)

Berlin, Nazi GermanyAdolf Hitler_cell_0_15_1

Cause of deathAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_16_0 Suicide by gunshotAdolf Hitler_cell_0_16_1
CitizenshipAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_17_0 Adolf Hitler_cell_0_17_1
Political partyAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_18_0 Nazi Party (1921–1945)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_18_1
Other political

affiliationsAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_19_0

German Workers' Party (1919–20)Adolf Hitler_cell_0_19_1
Spouse(s)Adolf Hitler_header_cell_0_20_0 Eva Braun ​(m. 1945)​Adolf Hitler_cell_0_20_1
ParentsAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_21_0 Alois Hitler

Klara PölzlAdolf Hitler_cell_0_21_1

CabinetAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_22_0 Hitler cabinetAdolf Hitler_cell_0_22_1
SignatureAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_23_0 Adolf Hitler_cell_0_23_1
Military serviceAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_24_0
AllegianceAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_25_0 German Empire

 Weimar Republic  Nazi GermanyAdolf Hitler_cell_0_25_1

BranchAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_26_0 Imperial German Army

Reichswehr WehrmachtAdolf Hitler_cell_0_26_1

Service yearsAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_27_0 German_EmpireWeimar_Republic 1914–1920

Nazi_Germany 1939–1945Adolf Hitler_cell_0_27_1

RankAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_28_0 GefreiterAdolf Hitler_cell_0_28_1
UnitAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_29_0 16th Bavarian Reserve RegimentAdolf Hitler_cell_0_29_1
WarsAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_30_0 World War I

World War IIAdolf Hitler_cell_0_30_1

AwardsAdolf Hitler_header_cell_0_31_0 Adolf Hitler_cell_0_31_1

Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ (listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party (officially the National Socialist German Workers Party or NSDAP). Adolf Hitler_sentence_2

He rose to power as the chancellor of Germany in 1933 and then as Führer in 1934. Adolf Hitler_sentence_3

During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. Adolf Hitler_sentence_4

He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler_sentence_5

Hitler was born in Austria – then part of Austria-Hungary – and was raised near Linz. Adolf Hitler_sentence_6

He moved to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I. Adolf Hitler_sentence_7

In 1919, he joined the German Workers' Party (DAP), the precursor of the Nazi Party, and was appointed leader of the Nazi Party in 1921. Adolf Hitler_sentence_8

In 1923, he attempted to seize governmental power in a failed coup in Munich and was imprisoned with a sentence of five years. Adolf Hitler_sentence_9

In jail, he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"). Adolf Hitler_sentence_10

After his early release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, anti-semitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. Adolf Hitler_sentence_11

He frequently denounced international capitalism and communism as part of a Jewish conspiracy. Adolf Hitler_sentence_12

By November 1932, the Nazi Party had the most seats in the German Reichstag but did not have a majority. Adolf Hitler_sentence_13

As a result, no party was able to form a majority parliamentary coalition in support of a candidate for chancellor. Adolf Hitler_sentence_14

Former chancellor Franz von Papen and other conservative leaders persuaded President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as chancellor on 30 January 1933. Adolf Hitler_sentence_15

Shortly after, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933 which began the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany, a one-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism. Adolf Hitler_sentence_16

Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain and France. Adolf Hitler_sentence_17

His first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the abrogation of restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I, and the annexation of territories inhabited by millions of ethnic Germans, which gave him significant popular support. Adolf Hitler_sentence_18

Hitler sought Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people in Eastern Europe, and his aggressive foreign policy is considered the primary cause of World War II in Europe. Adolf Hitler_sentence_19

He directed large-scale rearmament and, on 1 September 1939, invaded Poland, resulting in Britain and France declaring war on Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_20

In June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler_sentence_21

By the end of 1941, German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of Europe and North Africa. Adolf Hitler_sentence_22

These gains were gradually reversed after 1941, and in 1945 the Allied armies defeated the German army. Adolf Hitler_sentence_23

On 29 April 1945, he married his longtime lover Eva Braun in the Führerbunker in Berlin. Adolf Hitler_sentence_24

Less than two days later, the couple committed suicide to avoid capture by the Soviet Red Army. Adolf Hitler_sentence_25

Their corpses were burned. Adolf Hitler_sentence_26

Under Hitler's leadership and racially motivated ideology, the Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of about 6 million Jews and millions of other victims whom he and his followers deemed Untermenschen (subhumans) or socially undesirable. Adolf Hitler_sentence_27

Hitler and the Nazi regime were also responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. Adolf Hitler_sentence_28

In addition, 28.7 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European theatre. Adolf Hitler_sentence_29

The number of civilians killed during World War II was unprecedented in warfare, and the casualties constitute the deadliest conflict in history. Adolf Hitler_sentence_30

Hitler's actions and Nazi ideology are almost universally regarded as gravely immoral. Adolf Hitler_sentence_31

According to historian and biographer Ian Kershaw, "Never in history has such ruination – physical and moral – been associated with the name of one man." Adolf Hitler_sentence_32

Ancestry Adolf Hitler_section_0

Main article: Hitler family Adolf Hitler_sentence_33

Hitler's father Alois Hitler Sr. (1837–1903) was the illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. Adolf Hitler_sentence_34

The baptismal register did not show the name of his father, and Alois initially bore his mother's surname Schicklgruber. Adolf Hitler_sentence_35

In 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Alois's mother Maria Anna. Adolf Hitler_sentence_36

Alois was brought up in the family of Hiedler's brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_37

In 1876, Alois was made legitimate and his baptismal record annotated by a priest to register Johann Georg Hiedler as Alois's father (recorded as "Georg Hitler"). Adolf Hitler_sentence_38

Alois then assumed the surname "Hitler", also spelled Hiedler, Hüttler, or Huettler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_39

The name is probably based on "one who lives in a hut" (German Hütte for "hut"). Adolf Hitler_sentence_40

Nazi official Hans Frank suggested that Alois' mother had been employed as a housekeeper by a Jewish family in Graz, and that the family's 19-year-old son Leopold Frankenberger had fathered Alois. Adolf Hitler_sentence_41

No Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period, and no record has been produced of Leopold Frankenberger's existence, so historians dismiss the claim that Alois' father was Jewish. Adolf Hitler_sentence_42

Early years Adolf Hitler_section_1

Childhood and education Adolf Hitler_section_2

Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a town in Austria-Hungary (in present-day Austria), close to the border with the German Empire. Adolf Hitler_sentence_43

He was the fourth of six children born to Alois Hitler and his third wife, Klara Pölzl. Adolf Hitler_sentence_44

Three of Hitler's siblings—Gustav, Ida, and Otto—died in infancy. Adolf Hitler_sentence_45

Also living in the household were Alois's children from his second marriage: Alois Jr. (born 1882) and Angela (born 1883). Adolf Hitler_sentence_46

When Hitler was three, the family moved to Passau, Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_47

There he acquired the distinctive lower Bavarian dialect, rather than Austrian German, which marked his speech throughout his life. Adolf Hitler_sentence_48

The family returned to Austria and settled in Leonding in 1894, and in June 1895 Alois retired to Hafeld, near Lambach, where he farmed and kept bees. Adolf Hitler_sentence_49

Hitler attended Volksschule (a state-funded primary school) in nearby Fischlham. Adolf Hitler_sentence_50

The move to Hafeld coincided with the onset of intense father-son conflicts caused by Hitler's refusal to conform to the strict discipline of his school. Adolf Hitler_sentence_51

His father beat him, although his mother tried to protect him. Adolf Hitler_sentence_52

Alois Hitler's farming efforts at Hafeld ended in failure, and in 1897 the family moved to Lambach. Adolf Hitler_sentence_53

The eight-year-old Hitler took singing lessons, sang in the church choir, and even considered becoming a priest. Adolf Hitler_sentence_54

In 1898 the family returned permanently to Leonding. Adolf Hitler_sentence_55

Hitler was deeply affected by the death of his younger brother Edmund, who died in 1900 from measles. Adolf Hitler_sentence_56

Hitler changed from a confident, outgoing, conscientious student to a morose, detached boy who constantly fought with his father and teachers. Adolf Hitler_sentence_57

Alois had made a successful career in the customs bureau, and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. Adolf Hitler_sentence_58

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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_59

Ignoring his son's desire to attend a classical high school and become an artist, Alois sent Hitler to the Realschule in Linz in September 1900. Adolf Hitler_sentence_60

Hitler rebelled against this decision, and in Mein Kampf states that he intentionally 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". Adolf Hitler_sentence_61

Like many Austrian Germans, Hitler began to develop German nationalist ideas from a young age. Adolf Hitler_sentence_62

He expressed loyalty only to Germany, despising the declining Habsburg Monarchy and its rule over an ethnically variegated empire. Adolf Hitler_sentence_63

Hitler and his friends used the greeting "Heil", and sang the "Deutschlandlied" instead of the Austrian Imperial anthem. Adolf Hitler_sentence_64

After Alois's sudden death on 3 January 1903, Hitler's performance at school deteriorated and his mother allowed him to leave. Adolf Hitler_sentence_65

He enrolled at the Realschule in Steyr in September 1904, where his behaviour and performance improved. Adolf Hitler_sentence_66

In 1905, after passing a repeat of the final exam, Hitler left the school without any ambitions for further education or clear plans for a career. Adolf Hitler_sentence_67

Early adulthood in Vienna and Munich Adolf Hitler_section_3

See also: Paintings by Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_68

In 1907, Hitler left Linz to live and study fine art in Vienna, financed by orphan's benefits and support from his mother. Adolf Hitler_sentence_69

He applied for admission to the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna but was rejected twice. Adolf Hitler_sentence_70

The director suggested Hitler should apply to the School of Architecture, but he lacked the necessary academic credentials because he had not finished secondary school. Adolf Hitler_sentence_71

On 21 December 1907, his mother died of breast cancer at the age of 47, when he himself was 18. Adolf Hitler_sentence_72

In 1909 Hitler ran out of money and was forced to live a bohemian life in homeless shelters and a men's dormitory. Adolf Hitler_sentence_73

He earned money as a casual labourer and by painting and selling watercolours of Vienna's sights. Adolf Hitler_sentence_74

During his time in Vienna, he pursued a growing passion for architecture and music, attending ten performances of Lohengrin, his favourite Wagner opera. Adolf Hitler_sentence_75

It was in Vienna that Hitler first became exposed to racist rhetoric. Adolf Hitler_sentence_76

Populists such as mayor Karl Lueger exploited the climate of virulent anti-Semitism and occasionally espoused German nationalist notions for political effect. Adolf Hitler_sentence_77

German nationalism had a particularly widespread following in the Mariahilf district, where Hitler lived. Adolf Hitler_sentence_78

Georg Ritter von Schönerer became a major influence on Hitler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_79

He also developed an admiration for Martin Luther. Adolf Hitler_sentence_80

Hitler read local newspapers such as Deutsches Volksblatt [] that fanned prejudice and played on Christian fears of being swamped by an influx of Eastern European Jews. Adolf Hitler_sentence_81

He read newspapers and pamphlets that published the thoughts of philosophers and theoreticians such as Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gustave Le Bon and Arthur Schopenhauer. Adolf Hitler_sentence_82

The origin and development of Hitler's anti-Semitism remains a matter of debate. Adolf Hitler_sentence_83

His friend, August Kubizek, claimed that Hitler was a "confirmed anti-Semite" before he left Linz. Adolf Hitler_sentence_84

However, historian Brigitte Hamann describes Kubizek's claim as "problematical". Adolf Hitler_sentence_85

While Hitler states in Mein Kampf that he first became an anti-Semite in Vienna, Reinhold Hanisch, who helped him sell his paintings, disagrees. Adolf Hitler_sentence_86

Hitler had dealings with Jews while living in Vienna. Adolf Hitler_sentence_87

Historian Richard J. Evans states that "historians now generally agree that his notorious, murderous anti-Semitism emerged well after Germany's defeat [in World War I], as a product of the paranoid "stab-in-the-back" explanation for the catastrophe". Adolf Hitler_sentence_88

Hitler received the final part of his father's estate in May 1913 and moved to Munich, Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_89

When he was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian Army, he journeyed to Salzburg on 5 February 1914 for medical assessment. Adolf Hitler_sentence_90

After he was deemed unfit for service, he returned to Munich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_91

Hitler later claimed that he did not wish to serve the Habsburg Empire because of the mixture of races in its army and his belief that the collapse of Austria-Hungary was imminent. Adolf Hitler_sentence_92

World War I Adolf Hitler_section_4

Main article: Military career of Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_93

In August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Hitler was living in Munich and voluntarily enlisted in the Bavarian Army. Adolf Hitler_sentence_94

According to a 1924 report by the Bavarian authorities, allowing Hitler to serve was almost certainly an administrative error, since as an Austrian citizen, he should have been returned to Austria. Adolf Hitler_sentence_95

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 at the regimental headquarters in Fournes-en-Weppes, well behind the front lines. Adolf Hitler_sentence_96

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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_97

He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross, Second Class, in 1914. Adolf Hitler_sentence_98

On a recommendation by Lieutenant Hugo Gutmann, Hitler's Jewish superior, he received the Iron Cross, First Class on 4 August 1918, a decoration rarely awarded to one of Hitler's Gefreiter rank. Adolf Hitler_sentence_99

He received the Black Wound Badge on 18 May 1918. Adolf Hitler_sentence_100

During his service at headquarters, Hitler pursued his artwork, drawing cartoons and instructions for an army newspaper. Adolf Hitler_sentence_101

During the Battle of the Somme in October 1916, he was wounded in the left thigh when a shell exploded in the dispatch runners' dugout. Adolf Hitler_sentence_102

Hitler spent almost two months in hospital at Beelitz, returning to his regiment on 5 March 1917. Adolf Hitler_sentence_103

On 15 October 1918, he was temporarily blinded in a mustard gas attack and was hospitalised in Pasewalk. Adolf Hitler_sentence_104

While there, Hitler learned of Germany's defeat, and—by his own account—upon receiving this news, he suffered a second bout of blindness. Adolf Hitler_sentence_105

Hitler described the war as "the greatest of all experiences", and was praised by his commanding officers for his bravery. Adolf Hitler_sentence_106

His wartime experience reinforced his German patriotism and he was shocked by Germany's capitulation in November 1918. Adolf Hitler_sentence_107

His bitterness over the collapse of the war effort began to shape his ideology. Adolf Hitler_sentence_108

Like other German nationalists, he believed the Dolchstoßlegende (stab-in-the-back myth), which claimed that the German army, "undefeated in the field", had been "stabbed in the back" on the home front by civilian leaders, Jews, Marxists, and those who signed the armistice that ended the fighting—later dubbed the "November criminals". Adolf Hitler_sentence_109

The Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany had to relinquish several of its territories and demilitarise the Rhineland. Adolf Hitler_sentence_110

The treaty imposed economic sanctions and levied heavy reparations on the country. Adolf Hitler_sentence_111

Many Germans saw the treaty as an unjust humiliation–they especially objected to Article 231, which they interpreted as declaring Germany responsible for the war. Adolf Hitler_sentence_112

The Versailles Treaty and the economic, social, and political conditions in Germany after the war were later exploited by Hitler for political gain. Adolf Hitler_sentence_113

Entry into politics Adolf Hitler_section_5

Main article: Political views of Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_114

After World War I, Hitler returned to Munich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_115

Without formal education or career prospects, he remained in the army. Adolf Hitler_sentence_116

In July 1919 he was appointed Verbindungsmann (intelligence agent) of an Aufklärungskommando (reconnaissance unit) of the Reichswehr, assigned to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate the German Workers' Party (DAP). Adolf Hitler_sentence_117

At a DAP meeting on 12 September 1919, Party Chairman Anton Drexler was impressed with Hitler's oratorical skills. Adolf Hitler_sentence_118

He gave him a copy of his pamphlet My Political Awakening, which contained anti-Semitic, nationalist, anti-capitalist, and anti-Marxist ideas. Adolf Hitler_sentence_119

On the orders of his army superiors, Hitler applied to join the party, and within a week was accepted as party member 555 (the party began counting membership at 500 to give the impression they were a much larger party). Adolf Hitler_sentence_120

Around this time, Hitler made his earliest known recorded statement about the Jews in a letter (now known as the Gemlich letter) dated 16 September 1919 to Adolf Gemlich about the Jewish question. Adolf Hitler_sentence_121

In the letter, Hitler argues that the aim of the government "must unshakably be the removal of the Jews altogether". Adolf Hitler_sentence_122

At the DAP, Hitler met Dietrich Eckart, one of the party's founders and a member of the occult Thule Society. Adolf Hitler_sentence_123

Eckart became Hitler's mentor, exchanging ideas with him and introducing him to a wide range of Munich society. Adolf Hitler_sentence_124

To increase its appeal, the DAP changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), known colloquially as the "Nazi Party"). Adolf Hitler_sentence_125

Hitler designed the party's banner of a swastika in a white circle on a red background. Adolf Hitler_sentence_126

Hitler was discharged from the army on 31 March 1920 and began working full-time for the party. Adolf Hitler_sentence_127

The party headquarters was in Munich, a hotbed of anti-government German nationalists determined to crush Marxism and undermine the Weimar Republic. Adolf Hitler_sentence_128

In February 1921—already highly effective at crowd manipulation—he spoke to a crowd of over 6,000. Adolf Hitler_sentence_129

To publicise the meeting, two truckloads of party supporters drove around Munich waving swastika flags and distributing leaflets. Adolf Hitler_sentence_130

Hitler soon gained notoriety for his rowdy polemic speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians, and especially against Marxists and Jews. Adolf Hitler_sentence_131

In June 1921, while Hitler and Eckart were on a fundraising trip to Berlin, a mutiny broke out within the Nazi Party in Munich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_132

Members of its executive committee wanted to merge with the Nuremberg-based German Socialist Party (DSP). Adolf Hitler_sentence_133

Hitler returned to Munich on 11 July and angrily tendered his resignation. Adolf Hitler_sentence_134

The committee members realised that the resignation of their leading public figure and speaker would mean the end of the party. Adolf Hitler_sentence_135

Hitler announced he would rejoin on the condition that he would replace Drexler as party chairman, and that the party headquarters would remain in Munich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_136

The committee agreed, and he rejoined the party on 26 July as member 3,680. Adolf Hitler_sentence_137

Hitler continued to face some opposition within the Nazi Party. Adolf Hitler_sentence_138

Opponents of Hitler in the leadership had Hermann Esser expelled from the party, and they printed 3,000 copies of a pamphlet attacking Hitler as a traitor to the party. Adolf Hitler_sentence_139

In the following days, Hitler spoke to several packed houses and defended himself and Esser, to thunderous applause. Adolf Hitler_sentence_140

His strategy proved successful, and at a special party congress on 29 July, he was granted absolute powers as party chairman, replacing Drexler, by a vote of 533 to 1. Adolf Hitler_sentence_141

Hitler's vitriolic beer hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. Adolf Hitler_sentence_142

A demagogue, he became adept at using populist themes, including the use of scapegoats, who were blamed for his listeners' economic hardships. Adolf Hitler_sentence_143

Hitler used personal magnetism and an understanding of crowd psychology to his advantage while engaged in public speaking. Adolf Hitler_sentence_144

Historians have noted the hypnotic effect of his rhetoric on large audiences, and of his eyes in small groups. Adolf Hitler_sentence_145

Alfons Heck, a former member of the Hitler Youth, recalled: Adolf Hitler_sentence_146

Early followers included Rudolf Hess, former air force ace Hermann Göring, and army captain Ernst Röhm. Adolf Hitler_sentence_147

Röhm became head of the Nazis' paramilitary organisation, the Sturmabteilung (SA, "Stormtroopers"), which protected meetings and attacked political opponents. Adolf Hitler_sentence_148

A critical influence on Hitler's thinking during this period was the Aufbau Vereinigung, a conspiratorial group of White Russian exiles and early National Socialists. Adolf Hitler_sentence_149

The group, financed with funds channelled from wealthy industrialists, introduced Hitler to the idea of a Jewish conspiracy, linking international finance with Bolshevism. Adolf Hitler_sentence_150

The programme of the Nazi Party was laid out in their 25-point programme on 24 February 1920. Adolf Hitler_sentence_151

This did not represent a coherent ideology, but was a conglomeration of received ideas which had currency in the völkisch Pan-Germanic movement, such as ultranationalism, opposition to the Treaty of Versailles, distrust of capitalism, as well as some socialist ideas. Adolf Hitler_sentence_152

For Hitler, though, the most important aspect of it was its strong anti-Semitic stance. Adolf Hitler_sentence_153

He also perceived the programme as primarily a basis for propaganda and for attracting people to the party. Adolf Hitler_sentence_154

Beer Hall Putsch and Landsberg Prison Adolf Hitler_section_6

Main article: Beer Hall Putsch Adolf Hitler_sentence_155

In 1923, Hitler enlisted the help of World War I General Erich Ludendorff for an attempted coup known as the "Beer Hall Putsch". Adolf Hitler_sentence_156

The Nazi Party used Italian Fascism as a model for their appearance and policies. Adolf Hitler_sentence_157

Hitler wanted to emulate Benito Mussolini's "March on Rome" of 1922 by staging his own coup in Bavaria, to be followed by a challenge to the government in Berlin. Adolf Hitler_sentence_158

Hitler and Ludendorff sought the support of Staatskommissar (state commissioner) Gustav Ritter von Kahr, Bavaria's de facto ruler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_159

However, Kahr, along with Police Chief Hans Ritter von Seisser and Reichswehr General Otto von Lossow, wanted to install a nationalist dictatorship without Hitler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_160

On 8 November 1923, Hitler and the SA stormed a public meeting of 3,000 people organised by Kahr in the Bürgerbräukeller, a beer hall in Munich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_161

Interrupting Kahr's speech, he announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the formation of a new government with Ludendorff. Adolf Hitler_sentence_162

Retiring to a back room, Hitler, with handgun drawn, demanded and got the support of Kahr, Seisser, and Lossow. Adolf Hitler_sentence_163

Hitler's forces initially succeeded in occupying the local Reichswehr and police headquarters, but Kahr and his cohorts quickly withdrew their support. Adolf Hitler_sentence_164

Neither the army, nor the state police, joined forces with Hitler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_165

The next day, Hitler and his followers marched from the beer hall to the Bavarian War Ministry to overthrow the Bavarian government, but police dispersed them. Adolf Hitler_sentence_166

Sixteen Nazi Party members and four police officers were killed in the failed coup. Adolf Hitler_sentence_167

Hitler fled to the home of Ernst Hanfstaengl and by some accounts contemplated suicide. Adolf Hitler_sentence_168

He was depressed but calm when arrested on 11 November 1923 for high treason. Adolf Hitler_sentence_169

His trial before the special People's Court in Munich began in February 1924, and Alfred Rosenberg became temporary leader of the Nazi Party. Adolf Hitler_sentence_170

On 1 April, Hitler was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at Landsberg Prison. Adolf Hitler_sentence_171

There, he received friendly treatment from the guards, and was allowed mail from supporters and regular visits by party comrades. Adolf Hitler_sentence_172

Pardoned by the Bavarian Supreme Court, he was released from jail on 20 December 1924, against the state prosecutor's objections. Adolf Hitler_sentence_173

Including time on remand, Hitler served just over one year in prison. Adolf Hitler_sentence_174

While at Landsberg, Hitler dictated most of the first volume of Mein Kampf (My Struggle; originally entitled Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice) at first to his chauffeur, Emil Maurice, and then to his deputy, Rudolf Hess. Adolf Hitler_sentence_175

The book, dedicated to Thule Society member Dietrich Eckart, was an autobiography and exposition of his ideology. Adolf Hitler_sentence_176

The book laid out Hitler's plans for transforming German society into one based on race. Adolf Hitler_sentence_177

Throughout the book, Jews are equated with "germs" and presented as the "international poisoners" of society. Adolf Hitler_sentence_178

According to Hitler's ideology, the only solution was their extermination. Adolf Hitler_sentence_179

While Hitler did not describe exactly how this was to be accomplished, his "inherent genocidal thrust is undeniable," according to Ian Kershaw. Adolf Hitler_sentence_180

Published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926, Mein Kampf sold 228,000 copies between 1925 and 1932. Adolf Hitler_sentence_181

One million copies were sold in 1933, Hitler's first year in office. Adolf Hitler_sentence_182

Shortly before Hitler was eligible for parole, the Bavarian government attempted to have him deported to Austria. Adolf Hitler_sentence_183

The Austrian federal chancellor rejected the request on the specious grounds that his service in the German Army made his Austrian citizenship void. Adolf Hitler_sentence_184

In response, Hitler formally renounced his Austrian citizenship on 7 April 1925. Adolf Hitler_sentence_185

Rebuilding the Nazi Party Adolf Hitler_section_7

At the time of Hitler's release from prison, politics in Germany had become less combative and the economy had improved, limiting Hitler's opportunities for political agitation. Adolf Hitler_sentence_186

As a result of the failed Beer Hall Putsch, the Nazi Party and its affiliated organisations were banned in Bavaria. Adolf Hitler_sentence_187

In a meeting with the Prime Minister of Bavaria Heinrich Held on 4 January 1925, Hitler agreed to respect the state's authority and promised that he would seek political power only through the democratic process. Adolf Hitler_sentence_188

The meeting paved the way for the ban on the Nazi Party to be lifted on 16 February. Adolf Hitler_sentence_189

However, after an inflammatory speech he gave on 27 February, Hitler was barred from public speaking by the Bavarian authorities, a ban that remained in place until 1927. Adolf Hitler_sentence_190

To advance his political ambitions in spite of the ban, Hitler appointed Gregor Strasser, Otto Strasser and Joseph Goebbels to organise and enlarge the Nazi Party in northern Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_191

Gregor Strasser steered a more independent political course, emphasising the socialist elements of the party's programme. Adolf Hitler_sentence_192

The stock market in the United States crashed on 24 October 1929. Adolf Hitler_sentence_193

The impact in Germany was dire: millions were thrown out of work and several major banks collapsed. Adolf Hitler_sentence_194

Hitler and the Nazi Party prepared to take advantage of the emergency to gain support for their party. Adolf Hitler_sentence_195

They promised to repudiate the Versailles Treaty, strengthen the economy, and provide jobs. Adolf Hitler_sentence_196

Rise to power Adolf Hitler_section_8

Main article: Adolf Hitler's rise to power Adolf Hitler_sentence_197

Adolf Hitler_table_general_1

Nazi Party election resultsAdolf Hitler_table_caption_1
ElectionAdolf Hitler_header_cell_1_0_0 Total votesAdolf Hitler_header_cell_1_0_1 % votesAdolf Hitler_header_cell_1_0_2 Reichstag seatsAdolf Hitler_header_cell_1_0_3 NotesAdolf Hitler_header_cell_1_0_4
May 1924Adolf Hitler_header_cell_1_1_0 1,918,300Adolf Hitler_cell_1_1_1 6.5Adolf Hitler_cell_1_1_2 32Adolf Hitler_cell_1_1_3 Hitler in prisonAdolf Hitler_cell_1_1_4
December 1924Adolf Hitler_header_cell_1_2_0 907,300Adolf Hitler_cell_1_2_1 3.0Adolf Hitler_cell_1_2_2 14Adolf Hitler_cell_1_2_3 Hitler released from prisonAdolf Hitler_cell_1_2_4
May 1928Adolf Hitler_header_cell_1_3_0 810,100Adolf Hitler_cell_1_3_1 2.6Adolf Hitler_cell_1_3_2 12Adolf Hitler_cell_1_3_3 Adolf Hitler_cell_1_3_4
September 1930Adolf Hitler_header_cell_1_4_0 6,409,600Adolf Hitler_cell_1_4_1 18.3Adolf Hitler_cell_1_4_2 107Adolf Hitler_cell_1_4_3 After the financial crisisAdolf Hitler_cell_1_4_4
July 1932Adolf Hitler_header_cell_1_5_0 13,745,000Adolf Hitler_cell_1_5_1 37.3Adolf Hitler_cell_1_5_2 230Adolf Hitler_cell_1_5_3 After Hitler was candidate for presidencyAdolf Hitler_cell_1_5_4
November 1932Adolf Hitler_header_cell_1_6_0 11,737,000Adolf Hitler_cell_1_6_1 33.1Adolf Hitler_cell_1_6_2 196Adolf Hitler_cell_1_6_3 Adolf Hitler_cell_1_6_4
March 1933Adolf Hitler_header_cell_1_7_0 17,277,180Adolf Hitler_cell_1_7_1 43.9Adolf Hitler_cell_1_7_2 288Adolf Hitler_cell_1_7_3 Only partially free during Hitler's term as chancellor of GermanyAdolf Hitler_cell_1_7_4

Brüning administration Adolf Hitler_section_9

The Great Depression provided a political opportunity for Hitler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_198

Germans were ambivalent about the parliamentary republic, which faced challenges from right- and left-wing extremists. Adolf Hitler_sentence_199

The moderate political parties were increasingly unable to stem the tide of extremism, and the German referendum of 1929 helped to elevate Nazi ideology. Adolf Hitler_sentence_200

The elections of September 1930 resulted in the break-up of a grand coalition and its replacement with a minority cabinet. Adolf Hitler_sentence_201

Its leader, chancellor Heinrich Brüning of the Centre Party, governed through emergency decrees from President Paul von Hindenburg. Adolf Hitler_sentence_202

Governance by decree became the new norm and paved the way for authoritarian forms of government. Adolf Hitler_sentence_203

The Nazi Party rose from obscurity to win 18.3 per cent of the vote and 107 parliamentary seats in the 1930 election, becoming the second-largest party in parliament. Adolf Hitler_sentence_204

Hitler made a prominent appearance at the trial of two Reichswehr officers, Lieutenants Richard Scheringer and Hanns Ludin, in late 1930. Adolf Hitler_sentence_205

Both were charged with membership in the Nazi Party, at that time illegal for Reichswehr personnel. Adolf Hitler_sentence_206

The prosecution argued that the Nazi Party was an extremist party, prompting defence lawyer Hans Frank to call on Hitler to testify. Adolf Hitler_sentence_207

On 25 September 1930, Hitler testified that his party would pursue political power solely through democratic elections, which won him many supporters in the officer corps. Adolf Hitler_sentence_208

Brüning's austerity measures brought little economic improvement and were extremely unpopular. Adolf Hitler_sentence_209

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, war veterans, and the middle class. Adolf Hitler_sentence_210

Although Hitler had terminated his Austrian citizenship in 1925, he did not acquire German citizenship for almost seven years. Adolf Hitler_sentence_211

This meant that he was stateless, legally unable to run for public office, and still faced the risk of deportation. Adolf Hitler_sentence_212

On 25 February 1932, the interior minister of Brunswick, Dietrich Klagges, who was a member of the Nazi Party, appointed Hitler as administrator for the state's delegation to the Reichsrat in Berlin, making Hitler a citizen of Brunswick, and thus of Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_213

Hitler ran against Hindenburg in the 1932 presidential elections. Adolf Hitler_sentence_214

A speech to the Industry Club in Düsseldorf on 27 January 1932 won him support from many of Germany's most powerful industrialists. Adolf Hitler_sentence_215

Hindenburg had support from various nationalist, monarchist, Catholic, and republican parties, and some Social Democrats. Adolf Hitler_sentence_216

Hitler used the campaign slogan "Hitler über Deutschland" ("Hitler over Germany"), a reference to his political ambitions and his campaigning by aircraft. Adolf Hitler_sentence_217

He was one of the first politicians to use aircraft travel for political purposes, and used it effectively. Adolf Hitler_sentence_218

Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election, garnering more than 35 per cent of the vote in the final election. Adolf Hitler_sentence_219

Although he lost to Hindenburg, this election established Hitler as a strong force in German politics. Adolf Hitler_sentence_220

Appointment as chancellor Adolf Hitler_section_10

The absence of an effective government prompted two influential politicians, Franz von Papen and Alfred Hugenberg, along with several other industrialists and businessmen, to write a letter to Hindenburg. Adolf Hitler_sentence_221

The signers urged Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as leader of a government "independent from parliamentary parties", which could turn into a movement that would "enrapture millions of people". Adolf Hitler_sentence_222

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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_223

Hitler headed a short-lived coalition government formed by the Nazi Party (which had the most seats in the Reichstag) and Hugenberg's party, the German National People's Party (DNVP). Adolf Hitler_sentence_224

On 30 January 1933, the new cabinet was sworn in during a brief ceremony in Hindenburg's office. Adolf Hitler_sentence_225

The Nazi Party gained three posts: Hitler was named chancellor, Wilhelm Frick Minister of the Interior, and Hermann Göring Minister of the Interior for Prussia. Adolf Hitler_sentence_226

Hitler had insisted on the ministerial positions as a way to gain control over the police in much of Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_227

Reichstag fire and March elections Adolf Hitler_section_11

As chancellor, Hitler worked against attempts by the Nazi Party's opponents to build a majority government. Adolf Hitler_sentence_228

Because of the political stalemate, he asked Hindenburg to again dissolve the Reichstag, and elections were scheduled for early March. Adolf Hitler_sentence_229

On 27 February 1933, the Reichstag building was set on fire. Adolf Hitler_sentence_230

Göring blamed a communist plot, because Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe was found in incriminating circumstances inside the burning building. Adolf Hitler_sentence_231

According to Kershaw, the consensus of nearly all historians is that van der Lubbe actually set the fire. Adolf Hitler_sentence_232

Others, including William L. Shirer and Alan Bullock, are of the opinion that the Nazi Party itself was responsible. Adolf Hitler_sentence_233

At Hitler's urging, Hindenburg responded with the Reichstag Fire Decree of 28 February, which suspended basic rights and allowed detention without trial. Adolf Hitler_sentence_234

The decree was permitted under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which gave the president the power to take emergency measures to protect public safety and order. Adolf Hitler_sentence_235

Activities of the German Communist Party (KPD) were suppressed, and some 4,000 KPD members were arrested. Adolf Hitler_sentence_236

In addition to political campaigning, the Nazi Party engaged in paramilitary violence and the spread of anti-communist propaganda in the days preceding the election. Adolf Hitler_sentence_237

On election day, 6 March 1933, the Nazi Party's share of the vote increased to 43.9 per cent, and the party acquired the largest number of seats in parliament. Adolf Hitler_sentence_238

Hitler's party failed to secure an absolute majority, necessitating another coalition with the DNVP. Adolf Hitler_sentence_239

Day of Potsdam and the Enabling Act Adolf Hitler_section_12

Main article: Enabling Act of 1933 Adolf Hitler_sentence_240

On 21 March 1933, the new Reichstag was constituted with an opening ceremony at the Garrison Church in Potsdam. Adolf Hitler_sentence_241

This "Day of Potsdam" was held to demonstrate unity between the Nazi movement and the old Prussian elite and military. Adolf Hitler_sentence_242

Hitler appeared in a morning coat and humbly greeted Hindenburg. Adolf Hitler_sentence_243

To achieve full political control despite not having an absolute majority in parliament, Hitler's government brought the Ermächtigungsgesetz (Enabling Act) to a vote in the newly elected Reichstag. Adolf Hitler_sentence_244

The Act—officially titled the Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich")—gave Hitler's cabinet the power to enact laws without the consent of the Reichstag for four years. Adolf Hitler_sentence_245

These laws could (with certain exceptions) deviate from the constitution. Adolf Hitler_sentence_246

Since it would affect the constitution, the Enabling Act required a two-thirds majority to pass. Adolf Hitler_sentence_247

Leaving nothing to chance, the Nazis used the provisions of the Reichstag Fire Decree to arrest all 81 Communist deputies (in spite of their virulent campaign against the party, the Nazis had allowed the KPD to contest the election) and prevent several Social Democrats from attending. Adolf Hitler_sentence_248

On 23 March 1933, the Reichstag assembled at the Kroll Opera House under turbulent circumstances. Adolf Hitler_sentence_249

Ranks of SA men served as guards inside the building, while large groups outside opposing the proposed legislation shouted slogans and threats towards the arriving members of parliament. Adolf Hitler_sentence_250

The position of the Centre Party, the third largest party in the Reichstag, was decisive. Adolf Hitler_sentence_251

After Hitler verbally promised party leader Ludwig Kaas that Hindenburg would retain his power of veto, Kaas announced the Centre Party would support the Enabling Act. Adolf Hitler_sentence_252

The Act passed by a vote of 441–84, with all parties except the Social Democrats voting in favour. Adolf Hitler_sentence_253

The Enabling Act, along with the Reichstag Fire Decree, transformed Hitler's government into a de facto legal dictatorship. Adolf Hitler_sentence_254

Dictatorship Adolf Hitler_section_13

Having achieved full control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler and his allies began to suppress the remaining opposition. Adolf Hitler_sentence_255

The Social Democratic Party was banned and its assets seized. Adolf Hitler_sentence_256

While many trade union delegates were in Berlin for May Day activities, SA stormtroopers occupied union offices around the country. Adolf Hitler_sentence_257

On 2 May 1933 all trade unions were forced to dissolve and their leaders were arrested. Adolf Hitler_sentence_258

Some were sent to concentration camps. Adolf Hitler_sentence_259

The German Labour Front was formed as an umbrella organisation to represent all workers, administrators, and company owners, thus reflecting the concept of Nazism in the spirit of Hitler's Volksgemeinschaft ("people's community"). Adolf Hitler_sentence_260

By the end of June, the other parties had been intimidated into disbanding. Adolf Hitler_sentence_261

This included the Nazis' nominal coalition partner, the DNVP; with the SA's help, Hitler forced its leader, Hugenberg, to resign on 29 June. Adolf Hitler_sentence_262

On 14 July 1933, the Nazi Party was declared the only legal political party in Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_263

The demands of the SA for more political and military power caused anxiety among military, industrial, and political leaders. Adolf Hitler_sentence_264

In response, Hitler purged the entire SA leadership in the Night of the Long Knives, which took place from 30 June to 2 July 1934. Adolf Hitler_sentence_265

Hitler targeted Ernst Röhm and other SA leaders who, along with a number of Hitler's political adversaries (such as Gregor Strasser and former chancellor Kurt von Schleicher), were rounded up, arrested, and shot. Adolf Hitler_sentence_266

While the international community and some Germans were shocked by the murders, many in Germany believed Hitler was restoring order. Adolf Hitler_sentence_267

On 2 August 1934, Hindenburg died. Adolf Hitler_sentence_268

The previous day, the cabinet had enacted the "Law Concerning the Highest State Office of the Reich". Adolf Hitler_sentence_269

This law stated that upon Hindenburg's death, the office of president would be abolished and its powers merged with those of the chancellor. Adolf Hitler_sentence_270

Hitler thus became head of state as well as head of government, and was formally named as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor), although Reichskanzler was eventually quietly dropped. Adolf Hitler_sentence_271

With this action, Hitler eliminated the last legal remedy by which he could be removed from office. Adolf Hitler_sentence_272

As head of state, Hitler became commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Adolf Hitler_sentence_273

Immediately after Hindenburg's death, at the instigation of the leadership of the Reichswehr, the traditional loyalty oath of soldiers was altered to affirm loyalty to Hitler personally, by name, rather than to the office of commander-in-chief (which was later renamed to supreme commander) or the state. Adolf Hitler_sentence_274

On 19 August, the merger of the presidency with the chancellorship was approved by 88 per cent of the electorate voting in a plebiscite. Adolf Hitler_sentence_275

In early 1938, Hitler used blackmail to consolidate his hold over the military by instigating the Blomberg–Fritsch affair. Adolf Hitler_sentence_276

Hitler forced his War Minister, Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg, to resign by using a police dossier that showed that Blomberg's new wife had a record for prostitution. Adolf Hitler_sentence_277

Army commander Colonel-General Werner von Fritsch was removed after the Schutzstaffel (SS) produced allegations that he had engaged in a homosexual relationship. Adolf Hitler_sentence_278

Both men had fallen into disfavour because they objected to Hitler's demand to make the Wehrmacht ready for war as early as 1938. Adolf Hitler_sentence_279

Hitler assumed Blomberg's title of Commander-in-Chief, thus taking personal command of the armed forces. Adolf Hitler_sentence_280

He replaced the Ministry of War with the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), headed by General Wilhelm Keitel. Adolf Hitler_sentence_281

On the same day, sixteen generals were stripped of their commands and 44 more were transferred; all were suspected of not being sufficiently pro-Nazi. Adolf Hitler_sentence_282

By early February 1938, twelve more generals had been removed. Adolf Hitler_sentence_283

Hitler took care to give his dictatorship the appearance of legality. Adolf Hitler_sentence_284

Many of his decrees were explicitly based on the Reichstag Fire Decree and hence on Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. Adolf Hitler_sentence_285

The Reichstag renewed the Enabling Act twice, each time for a four-year period. Adolf Hitler_sentence_286

While elections to the Reichstag were still held (in 1933, 1936, and 1938), voters were presented with a single list of Nazis and pro-Nazi "guests" which carried with well over 90 per cent of the vote. Adolf Hitler_sentence_287

These elections were held in far-from-secret conditions; the Nazis threatened severe reprisals against anyone who did not vote or dared to vote no. Adolf Hitler_sentence_288

Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler_section_14

Main article: Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler_sentence_289

Economy and culture Adolf Hitler_section_15

Main article: Economy of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler_sentence_290

In August 1934, Hitler appointed Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht as Minister of Economics, and in the following year, as Plenipotentiary for War Economy in charge of preparing the economy for war. Adolf Hitler_sentence_291

Reconstruction and rearmament were financed through Mefo bills, printing money, and seizing the assets of people arrested as enemies of the State, including Jews. Adolf Hitler_sentence_292

Unemployment fell from six million in 1932 to one million in 1936. Adolf Hitler_sentence_293

Hitler oversaw one of the largest infrastructure improvement campaigns in German history, leading to the construction of dams, autobahns, railroads, and other civil works. Adolf Hitler_sentence_294

Wages were slightly lower in the mid to late 1930s compared with wages during the Weimar Republic, while the cost of living increased by 25 per cent. Adolf Hitler_sentence_295

The average work week increased during the shift to a war economy; by 1939, the average German was working between 47 and 50 hours a week. Adolf Hitler_sentence_296

Hitler's government sponsored architecture on an immense scale. Adolf Hitler_sentence_297

Albert Speer, instrumental in implementing Hitler's classicist reinterpretation of German culture, was placed in charge of the proposed architectural renovations of Berlin. Adolf Hitler_sentence_298

Despite a threatened multi-nation boycott, Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games. Adolf Hitler_sentence_299

Hitler officiated at the opening ceremonies and attended events at both the Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Summer Games in Berlin. Adolf Hitler_sentence_300

Rearmament and new alliances Adolf Hitler_section_16

Main articles: Axis powers, Tripartite Pact, and German re-armament Adolf Hitler_sentence_301

In a meeting with German military leaders on 3 February 1933, Hitler spoke of "conquest for Lebensraum in the East and its ruthless Germanisation" as his ultimate foreign policy objectives. Adolf Hitler_sentence_302

In March, Prince Bernhard Wilhelm von Bülow, secretary at the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Office), issued a statement of major foreign policy aims: Anschluss with Austria, the restoration of Germany's national borders of 1914, rejection of military restrictions under the Treaty of Versailles, the return of the former German colonies in Africa, and a German zone of influence in Eastern Europe. Adolf Hitler_sentence_303

Hitler found Bülow's goals to be too modest. Adolf Hitler_sentence_304

In speeches during this period, he stressed the peaceful goals of his policies and a willingness to work within international agreements. Adolf Hitler_sentence_305

At the first meeting of his cabinet in 1933, Hitler prioritised military spending over unemployment relief. Adolf Hitler_sentence_306

Germany withdrew from the League of Nations and the World Disarmament Conference in October 1933. Adolf Hitler_sentence_307

In January 1935, over 90 per cent of the people of the Saarland, then under League of Nations administration, voted to unite with Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_308

That March, Hitler announced an expansion of the Wehrmacht to 600,000 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). Adolf Hitler_sentence_309

Britain, France, Italy, and the League of Nations condemned these violations of the Treaty, but did nothing to stop it. Adolf Hitler_sentence_310

The Anglo-German Naval Agreement (AGNA) of 18 June allowed German tonnage to increase to 35 per cent of that of the British navy. Adolf Hitler_sentence_311

Hitler called the signing of the AGNA "the happiest day of his life", believing that the agreement marked the beginning of the Anglo-German alliance he had predicted in Mein Kampf. Adolf Hitler_sentence_312

France and Italy were not consulted before the signing, directly undermining the League of Nations and setting the Treaty of Versailles on the path towards irrelevance. Adolf Hitler_sentence_313

Germany reoccupied the demilitarised zone in the Rhineland in March 1936, in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Adolf Hitler_sentence_314

Hitler also sent troops to Spain to support General Franco during the Spanish Civil War after receiving an appeal for help in July 1936. Adolf Hitler_sentence_315

At the same time, Hitler continued his efforts to create an Anglo-German alliance. Adolf Hitler_sentence_316

In August 1936, in response to a growing economic crisis caused by his rearmament efforts, Hitler ordered Göring to implement a Four Year Plan to prepare Germany for war within the next four years. Adolf Hitler_sentence_317

The plan envisaged an all-out struggle between "Judeo-Bolshevism" and German Nazism, which in Hitler's view required a committed effort of rearmament regardless of the economic costs. Adolf Hitler_sentence_318

Count Galeazzo Ciano, foreign minister of Mussolini's government, declared an axis between Germany and Italy, and on 25 November, Germany signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan. Adolf Hitler_sentence_319

Britain, China, Italy, and Poland were also invited to join the Anti-Comintern Pact, but only Italy signed in 1937. Adolf Hitler_sentence_320

Hitler abandoned his plan of an Anglo-German alliance, blaming "inadequate" British leadership. Adolf Hitler_sentence_321

At a meeting in the Reich Chancellery with his foreign ministers and military chiefs that November, Hitler restated his intention of acquiring Lebensraum for the German people. Adolf Hitler_sentence_322

He ordered preparations for war in the East, to begin as early as 1938 and no later than 1943. Adolf Hitler_sentence_323

In the event of his death, the conference minutes, recorded as the Hossbach Memorandum, were to be regarded as his "political testament". Adolf Hitler_sentence_324

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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_325

Hitler urged quick action before Britain and France gained a permanent lead in the arms race. Adolf Hitler_sentence_326

In early 1938, in the wake of the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair, Hitler asserted control of the military-foreign policy apparatus, dismissing Neurath as foreign minister and appointing himself as War Minister. Adolf Hitler_sentence_327

From early 1938 onwards, Hitler was carrying out a foreign policy ultimately aimed at war. Adolf Hitler_sentence_328

World War II Adolf Hitler_section_17

Early diplomatic successes Adolf Hitler_section_18

Alliance with Japan Adolf Hitler_section_19

See also: Germany–Japan relations Adolf Hitler_sentence_329

In February 1938, on the advice of his newly appointed foreign minister, the strongly pro-Japanese Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler ended the Sino-German alliance with the Republic of China to instead enter into an alliance with the more modern and powerful Empire of Japan. Adolf Hitler_sentence_330

Hitler announced German recognition of Manchukuo, the Japanese-occupied state in Manchuria, and renounced German claims to their former colonies in the Pacific held by Japan. Adolf Hitler_sentence_331

Hitler ordered an end to arms shipments to China and recalled all German officers working with the Chinese Army. Adolf Hitler_sentence_332

In retaliation, Chinese General Chiang Kai-shek cancelled all Sino-German economic agreements, depriving the Germans of many Chinese raw materials. Adolf Hitler_sentence_333

Austria and Czechoslovakia Adolf Hitler_section_20

On 12 March 1938, Hitler announced the unification of Austria with Nazi Germany in the Anschluss. Adolf Hitler_sentence_334

Hitler then turned his attention to the ethnic German population of the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. Adolf Hitler_sentence_335

On 28–29 March 1938, Hitler held a series of secret meetings in Berlin with Konrad Henlein of the Sudeten German Party, the largest of the ethnic German parties of the Sudetenland. Adolf Hitler_sentence_336

The men agreed that Henlein would demand increased autonomy for Sudeten Germans from the Czechoslovakian government, thus providing a pretext for German military action against Czechoslovakia. Adolf Hitler_sentence_337

In April 1938 Henlein told the foreign minister of Hungary that "whatever the Czech government might offer, he would always raise still higher demands ... he wanted to sabotage an understanding by any means because this was the only method to blow up Czechoslovakia quickly". Adolf Hitler_sentence_338

In private, Hitler considered the Sudeten issue unimportant; his real intention was a war of conquest against Czechoslovakia. Adolf Hitler_sentence_339

In April Hitler ordered the OKW to prepare for Fall Grün (Case Green), the code name for an invasion of Czechoslovakia. Adolf Hitler_sentence_340

As a result of intense French and British diplomatic pressure, on 5 September Czechoslovakian President Edvard Beneš unveiled the "Fourth Plan" for constitutional reorganisation of his country, which agreed to most of Henlein's demands for Sudeten autonomy. Adolf Hitler_sentence_341

Henlein's party responded to Beneš' offer by instigating a series of violent clashes with the Czechoslovakian police that led to the declaration of martial law in certain Sudeten districts. Adolf Hitler_sentence_342

Germany was dependent on imported oil; a confrontation with Britain over the Czechoslovakian dispute could curtail Germany's oil supplies. Adolf Hitler_sentence_343

This forced Hitler to call off Fall Grün, originally planned for 1 October 1938. Adolf Hitler_sentence_344

On 29 September Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier, and Mussolini attended a one-day conference in Munich that led to the Munich Agreement, which handed over the Sudetenland districts to Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_345

Chamberlain was satisfied with the Munich conference, calling the outcome "peace for our time", while Hitler was angered about the missed opportunity for war in 1938; he expressed his disappointment in a speech on 9 October in Saarbrücken. Adolf Hitler_sentence_346

In Hitler's view, the British-brokered peace, although favourable to the ostensible German demands, was a diplomatic defeat which spurred his intent of limiting British power to pave the way for the eastern expansion of Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_347

As a result of the summit, Hitler was selected Time magazine's Man of the Year for 1938. Adolf Hitler_sentence_348

In late 1938 and early 1939, the continuing economic crisis caused by rearmament forced Hitler to make major defence cuts. Adolf Hitler_sentence_349

In his "Export or die" speech of 30 January 1939, 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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_350

On 14 March 1939, under threat from Hungary, Slovakia declared independence and received protection from Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_351

The next day, in violation of the Munich accord and possibly as a result of the deepening economic crisis requiring additional assets, Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht to invade the Czech rump state, and from Prague Castle he proclaimed the territory a German protectorate. Adolf Hitler_sentence_352

Start of World War II Adolf Hitler_section_21

See also: Causes of World War II Adolf Hitler_sentence_353

In private discussions in 1939, Hitler declared Britain the main enemy to be defeated and that Poland's obliteration was a necessary prelude for that goal. Adolf Hitler_sentence_354

The eastern flank would be secured and land would be added to Germany's Lebensraum. Adolf Hitler_sentence_355

Offended by the British "guarantee" on 31 March 1939 of Polish independence, he said, "I shall brew them a devil's drink". Adolf Hitler_sentence_356

In a speech in Wilhelmshaven for the launch of the battleship Tirpitz on 1 April, he threatened to denounce the Anglo-German Naval Agreement if the British continued to guarantee Polish independence, which he perceived as an "encirclement" policy. Adolf Hitler_sentence_357

Poland was to either become a German satellite state or it would be neutralised in order to secure the Reich's eastern flank and prevent a possible British blockade. Adolf Hitler_sentence_358

Hitler initially favoured the idea of a satellite state, but upon its rejection by the Polish government, he decided to invade and made this the main foreign policy goal of 1939. Adolf Hitler_sentence_359

On 3 April, Hitler ordered the military to prepare for Fall Weiss ("Case White"), the plan for invading Poland on 25 August. Adolf Hitler_sentence_360

In a Reichstag speech on 28 April, he renounced both the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact. Adolf Hitler_sentence_361

Historians such as William Carr, Gerhard Weinberg, and Ian Kershaw have argued that one reason for Hitler's rush to war was his fear of an early death. Adolf Hitler_sentence_362

He had repeatedly claimed that he must lead Germany into war before he got too old, as his successors might lack his strength of will. Adolf Hitler_sentence_363

Hitler was concerned that a military attack against Poland could result in a premature war with Britain. Adolf Hitler_sentence_364

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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_365

Accordingly, on 22 August 1939 Hitler ordered a military mobilisation against Poland. Adolf Hitler_sentence_366

This plan required tacit Soviet support, and the non-aggression pact (the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact) between Germany and the Soviet Union, led by Joseph Stalin, included a secret agreement to partition Poland between the two countries. Adolf Hitler_sentence_367

Contrary to Ribbentrop's prediction that Britain would sever Anglo-Polish ties, Britain and Poland signed the Anglo-Polish alliance on 25 August 1939. Adolf Hitler_sentence_368

This, along with news from Italy that Mussolini would not honour the Pact of Steel, prompted Hitler to postpone the attack on Poland from 25 August to 1 September. Adolf Hitler_sentence_369

Hitler unsuccessfully tried to manoeuvre the British into neutrality by offering them a non-aggression guarantee on 25 August; 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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_370

On 1 September 1939, 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, which Germany had ceded under the Versailles Treaty. Adolf Hitler_sentence_371

In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September, surprising Hitler and prompting him to angrily ask Ribbentrop, "Now what?" Adolf Hitler_sentence_372

France and Britain did not act on their declarations immediately, and on 17 September, Soviet forces invaded eastern Poland. Adolf Hitler_sentence_373

The fall of Poland was followed by what contemporary journalists dubbed the "Phoney War" or Sitzkrieg ("sitting war"). Adolf Hitler_sentence_374

Hitler instructed the two newly appointed Gauleiters of north-western Poland, Albert Forster of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia and Arthur Greiser of Reichsgau Wartheland, to Germanise their areas, with "no questions asked" about how this was accomplished. Adolf Hitler_sentence_375

In Forster's area, ethnic Poles merely had to sign forms stating that they had German blood. Adolf Hitler_sentence_376

In contrast, Greiser agreed with Himmler and carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign towards Poles. Adolf Hitler_sentence_377

Greiser soon complained that Forster was allowing thousands of Poles to be accepted as "racial" Germans and thus endangered German "racial purity". Adolf Hitler_sentence_378

Hitler refrained from getting involved. Adolf Hitler_sentence_379

This inaction has been advanced as an example of the theory of "working towards the Führer", in which Hitler issued vague instructions and expected his subordinates to work out policies on their own. Adolf Hitler_sentence_380

Another dispute pitched one side represented by Heinrich Himmler and Greiser, who championed ethnic cleansing in Poland, against another represented by Göring and Hans Frank (governor-general of occupied Poland), who called for turning Poland into the "granary" of the Reich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_381

On 12 February 1940, the dispute was initially settled in favour of the Göring–Frank view, which ended the economically disruptive mass expulsions. Adolf Hitler_sentence_382

On 15 May 1940, Himmler issued a memo entitled "Some Thoughts on the Treatment of Alien Population in the East", calling for the expulsion of the entire Jewish population of Europe into Africa and the reduction of the Polish population to a "leaderless class of labourers". Adolf Hitler_sentence_383

Hitler called Himmler's memo "good and correct", and, ignoring Göring and Frank, implemented the Himmler–Greiser policy in Poland. Adolf Hitler_sentence_384

On 9 April, German forces invaded Denmark and Norway. Adolf Hitler_sentence_385

On the same day Hitler proclaimed the birth of the Greater Germanic Reich, his vision of a united empire of Germanic nations of Europe in which the Dutch, Flemish, and Scandinavians were joined into a "racially pure" polity under German leadership. Adolf Hitler_sentence_386

In May 1940, Germany attacked France, and conquered Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Adolf Hitler_sentence_387

These victories prompted Mussolini to have Italy join forces with Hitler on 10 June. Adolf Hitler_sentence_388

France and Germany signed an armistice on 22 June. Adolf Hitler_sentence_389

Kershaw notes that Hitler's popularity within Germany—and German support for the war—reached its peak when he returned to Berlin on 6 July from his tour of Paris. Adolf Hitler_sentence_390

Following the unexpected swift victory, Hitler promoted twelve generals to the rank of field marshal during the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony. Adolf Hitler_sentence_391

Britain, whose troops were forced to evacuate France by sea from Dunkirk, continued to fight alongside other British dominions in the Battle of the Atlantic. Adolf Hitler_sentence_392

Hitler made peace overtures to the new British leader, Winston Churchill, and upon their rejection he ordered a series of aerial attacks on Royal Air Force airbases and radar stations in south-east England. Adolf Hitler_sentence_393

On 7 September the systematic nightly bombing of London began. Adolf Hitler_sentence_394

The German Luftwaffe failed to defeat the Royal Air Force in what became known as the Battle of Britain. Adolf Hitler_sentence_395

By the end of September, Hitler realised that air superiority for the invasion of Britain (in Operation Sea Lion) could not be achieved, and ordered the operation postponed. Adolf Hitler_sentence_396

The nightly air raids on British cities intensified and continued for months, including London, Plymouth, and Coventry. Adolf Hitler_sentence_397

On 27 September 1940, the Tripartite Pact was signed in Berlin by Saburō Kurusu of Imperial Japan, Hitler, and Italian foreign minister Ciano, and later expanded to include Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, thus yielding the Axis powers. Adolf Hitler_sentence_398

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, and he ordered preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler_sentence_399

In early 1941, German forces were deployed to North Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Adolf Hitler_sentence_400

In February, German forces arrived in Libya to bolster the Italian presence. Adolf Hitler_sentence_401

In April, Hitler launched the invasion of Yugoslavia, quickly followed by the invasion of Greece. Adolf Hitler_sentence_402

In May, German forces were sent to support Iraqi rebel forces fighting against the British and to invade Crete. Adolf Hitler_sentence_403

Path to defeat Adolf Hitler_section_22

On 22 June 1941, contravening the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, over three million Axis troops attacked the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler_sentence_404

This offensive (codenamed Operation Barbarossa) was intended to destroy the Soviet Union and seize its natural resources for subsequent aggression against the Western powers. Adolf Hitler_sentence_405

The invasion conquered a huge area, including the Baltic republics, Belarus, and West Ukraine. Adolf Hitler_sentence_406

By early August, Axis troops had advanced 500 km (310 mi) and won the Battle of Smolensk. Adolf Hitler_sentence_407

Hitler ordered Army Group Centre to temporarily halt its advance to Moscow and divert its Panzer groups to aid in the encirclement of Leningrad and Kiev. Adolf Hitler_sentence_408

His generals disagreed with this change, having advanced within 400 km (250 mi) of Moscow, and his decision caused a crisis among the military leadership. Adolf Hitler_sentence_409

The pause provided the Red Army with an opportunity to mobilise fresh reserves; historian Russel Stolfi considers it to be one of the major factors that caused the failure of the Moscow offensive, which was resumed in October 1941 and ended disastrously in December. Adolf Hitler_sentence_410

During this crisis, Hitler appointed himself as head of the Oberkommando des Heeres. Adolf Hitler_sentence_411

On 7 December 1941, Japan attacked the American fleet based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Adolf Hitler_sentence_412

Four days later, Hitler declared war against the United States. Adolf Hitler_sentence_413

On 18 December 1941, Himmler asked Hitler, "What to do with the Jews of Russia? Adolf Hitler_sentence_414

", to which Hitler replied, "als Partisanen auszurotten" ("exterminate them as partisans"). Adolf Hitler_sentence_415

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. Adolf Hitler_sentence_416

In late 1942, German forces were defeated in the second battle of El Alamein, thwarting Hitler's plans to seize the Suez Canal and the Middle East. Adolf Hitler_sentence_417

Overconfident in his own military expertise following the earlier victories in 1940, Hitler became distrustful of his Army High Command and began to interfere in military and tactical planning, with damaging consequences. Adolf Hitler_sentence_418

In December 1942 and January 1943, Hitler's repeated refusal to allow their withdrawal at the Battle of Stalingrad led to the almost total destruction of the 6th Army. Adolf Hitler_sentence_419

Over 200,000 Axis soldiers were killed and 235,000 were taken prisoner. Adolf Hitler_sentence_420

Thereafter came a decisive strategic defeat at the Battle of Kursk. Adolf Hitler_sentence_421

Hitler's military judgement became increasingly erratic, and Germany's military and economic position deteriorated, as did Hitler's health. Adolf Hitler_sentence_422

Following the allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, Mussolini was removed from power by Victor Emmanuel III after a vote of no confidence of the Grand Council. Adolf Hitler_sentence_423

Marshal Pietro Badoglio, placed in charge of the government, soon surrendered to the Allies. Adolf Hitler_sentence_424

Throughout 1943 and 1944, the Soviet Union steadily forced Hitler's armies into retreat along the Eastern Front. Adolf Hitler_sentence_425

On 6 June 1944, the Western Allied armies landed in northern France in one of the largest amphibious operations in history, Operation Overlord. Adolf Hitler_sentence_426

Many German officers concluded that defeat was inevitable and that continuing under Hitler's leadership would result in the complete destruction of the country. Adolf Hitler_sentence_427

Between 1939 and 1945, there were many plans to assassinate Hitler, some of which proceeded to significant degrees. Adolf Hitler_sentence_428

The most well known, the 20 July plot of 1944, came from within Germany and was at least partly driven by the increasing prospect of a German defeat in the war. Adolf Hitler_sentence_429

Part of Operation Valkyrie, the plot involved Claus von Stauffenberg planting a bomb in one of Hitler's headquarters, the Wolf's Lair at Rastenburg. Adolf Hitler_sentence_430

Hitler narrowly survived because staff officer Heinz Brandt moved the briefcase containing the bomb behind a leg of the heavy conference table, which deflected much of the blast. Adolf Hitler_sentence_431

Later, Hitler ordered savage reprisals resulting in the execution of more than 4,900 people. Adolf Hitler_sentence_432

Defeat and death Adolf Hitler_section_23

Main article: Death of Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_433

By late 1944, both the Red Army and the Western Allies were advancing into Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_434

Recognising the strength and determination of the Red Army, Hitler decided to use his remaining mobile reserves against the American and British troops, which he perceived as far weaker. Adolf Hitler_sentence_435

On 16 December, he launched the Ardennes Offensive to incite disunity among the Western Allies and perhaps convince them to join his fight against the Soviets. Adolf Hitler_sentence_436

The offensive failed after some temporary successes. Adolf Hitler_sentence_437

With much of Germany in ruins in January 1945, Hitler spoke on the radio: "However grave as the crisis may be at this moment, it will, despite everything, be mastered by our unalterable will." Adolf Hitler_sentence_438

Acting on his view that Germany's military failures meant it had forfeited its right to survive as a nation, Hitler ordered the destruction of all German industrial infrastructure before it could fall into Allied hands. Adolf Hitler_sentence_439

Minister for Armaments Albert Speer was entrusted with executing this scorched earth policy, but he secretly disobeyed the order. Adolf Hitler_sentence_440

Hitler's hope to negotiate peace with the United States and Britain was encouraged by the death of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 12 April 1945, but contrary to his expectations, this caused no rift among the Allies. Adolf Hitler_sentence_441

On 20 April, his 56th birthday, Hitler made his last trip from the Führerbunker (Führer's shelter) to the surface. Adolf Hitler_sentence_442

In the ruined garden of the Reich Chancellery, he awarded Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth, who were now fighting the Red Army at the front near Berlin. Adolf Hitler_sentence_443

By 21 April, Georgy Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front had broken through the defences of General Gotthard Heinrici's Army Group Vistula during the Battle of the Seelow Heights and advanced to the outskirts of Berlin. Adolf Hitler_sentence_444

In denial about the dire situation, Hitler placed his hopes on the undermanned and under-equipped Armeeabteilung Steiner (Army Detachment Steiner), commanded by Felix Steiner. Adolf Hitler_sentence_445

Hitler ordered Steiner to attack the northern flank of the salient, while the German Ninth Army was ordered to attack northward in a pincer attack. Adolf Hitler_sentence_446

During a military conference on 22 April, Hitler asked about Steiner's offensive. Adolf Hitler_sentence_447

He was told that the attack had not been launched and that the Soviets had entered Berlin. Adolf Hitler_sentence_448

Hitler asked everyone except Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, Hans Krebs, and Wilhelm Burgdorf to leave the room, then launched into a tirade against the treachery and incompetence of his commanders, culminating in his declaration—for the first time—that "everything was lost". Adolf Hitler_sentence_449

He announced that he would stay in Berlin until the end and then shoot himself. Adolf Hitler_sentence_450

By 23 April the Red Army had surrounded Berlin, and Goebbels made a proclamation urging its citizens to defend the city. Adolf Hitler_sentence_451

That same day, Göring sent a telegram from Berchtesgaden, arguing that since Hitler was isolated in Berlin, Göring should assume leadership of Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_452

Göring set a deadline, after which he would consider Hitler incapacitated. Adolf Hitler_sentence_453

Hitler responded by having Göring arrested, and in his last will and testament of 29 April, he removed Göring from all government positions. Adolf Hitler_sentence_454

On 28 April Hitler discovered that Himmler, who had left Berlin on 20 April, was trying to negotiate a surrender to the Western Allies. Adolf Hitler_sentence_455

He ordered Himmler's arrest and had Hermann Fegelein (Himmler's SS representative at Hitler's HQ in Berlin) shot. Adolf Hitler_sentence_456

After midnight on the night of 28–29 April, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in the Führerbunker. Adolf Hitler_sentence_457

Later that afternoon, Hitler was informed that Mussolini had been executed by the Italian resistance movement on the previous day; this presumably increased his determination to avoid capture. Adolf Hitler_sentence_458

On 30 April 1945, Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery when Hitler shot himself in the head and Braun bit into a cyanide capsule. Adolf Hitler_sentence_459

Their bodies were carried outside to the garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were placed in a bomb crater, doused with petrol, and set on fire as the Red Army shelling continued. Adolf Hitler_sentence_460

Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz and Joseph Goebbels assumed Hitler's roles as head of state and chancellor respectively. Adolf Hitler_sentence_461

Berlin surrendered on 2 May. Adolf Hitler_sentence_462

Records in the Soviet archives obtained after the fall of the Soviet Union state that the remains of Hitler, Braun, Joseph and Magda Goebbels, the six Goebbels children, General Hans Krebs, and Hitler's dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed. Adolf Hitler_sentence_463

In 1946, the remains were exhumed again and moved to the SMERSH unit's then new facility in Magdeburg, where they were buried in five wooden boxes on 21 February. Adolf Hitler_sentence_464

By 1970, the facility was under the control of the KGB and scheduled to be relinquished to East Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_465

A KGB team was given detailed burial charts and on 4 April 1970 secretly exhumed the remains of ten or eleven bodies "in an advanced state of decay". Adolf Hitler_sentence_466

The remains were thoroughly burned and crushed, and the ashes thrown into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe. Adolf Hitler_sentence_467

According to Kershaw, the corpses of Braun and Hitler were fully burned when the Red Army found them in 1945, and only a lower jaw with dental work could be identified as Hitler's remains. Adolf Hitler_sentence_468

The Holocaust Adolf Hitler_section_24

Main articles: The Holocaust and Final Solution Adolf Hitler_sentence_469

The Holocaust and Germany's war in the East were based on Hitler's long-standing view that the Jews were the enemy of the German people and that Lebensraum was needed for Germany's expansion. Adolf Hitler_sentence_470

He focused on Eastern Europe for this expansion, aiming to defeat Poland and the Soviet Union and then removing or killing the Jews and Slavs. Adolf Hitler_sentence_471

The Generalplan Ost (General Plan East) called for deporting the population of occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to West Siberia, for use as slave labour or to be murdered; the conquered territories were to be colonised by German or "Germanised" settlers. Adolf Hitler_sentence_472

The goal was to implement this plan after the conquest of the Soviet Union, but when this failed, Hitler moved the plans forward. Adolf Hitler_sentence_473

By January 1942, he had decided that the Jews, Slavs, and other deportees considered undesirable should be killed. Adolf Hitler_sentence_474

The genocide was organised and executed by Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_475

The records of the Wannsee Conference, held on 20 January 1942 and led by Heydrich, with fifteen senior Nazi officials participating, provide the clearest evidence of systematic planning for the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler_sentence_476

On 22 February, Hitler was recorded saying, "we shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jews". Adolf Hitler_sentence_477

Similarly, at a meeting in July 1941 with leading functionaries of the Eastern territories, Hitler said that the easiest way to quickly pacify the areas would be best achieved by "shooting everyone who even looks odd". Adolf Hitler_sentence_478

Although no direct order from Hitler authorising the mass killings has surfaced, his public speeches, orders to his generals, and the diaries of Nazi officials demonstrate that he conceived and authorised the extermination of European Jewry. Adolf Hitler_sentence_479

During the war, Hitler repeatedly stated his prophecy of 1939 was being fulfilled, namely, that a world war would bring about the annihilation of the Jewish race. Adolf Hitler_sentence_480

Hitler approved the Einsatzgruppen—killing squads that followed the German army through Poland, the Baltic, and the Soviet Union—and was well informed about their activities. Adolf Hitler_sentence_481

By summer 1942, Auschwitz concentration camp was expanded to accommodate large numbers of deportees for killing or enslavement. Adolf Hitler_sentence_482

Scores of other concentration camps and satellite camps were set up throughout Europe, with several camps devoted exclusively to extermination. Adolf Hitler_sentence_483

Between 1939 and 1945, the Schutzstaffel (SS), assisted by collaborationist governments and recruits from occupied countries, was responsible for the deaths of at least eleven million non-combatants, including about 6 million Jews (representing two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe), and between 200,000 and 1,500,000 Romani people. Adolf Hitler_sentence_484

Deaths took place in concentration and extermination camps, ghettos, and through mass executions. Adolf Hitler_sentence_485

Many victims of the Holocaust were gassed to death, while others died of starvation or disease or while working as slave labourers. Adolf Hitler_sentence_486

In addition to eliminating Jews, the Nazis planned to reduce the population of the conquered territories by 30 million people through starvation in an action called the Hunger Plan. Adolf Hitler_sentence_487

Food supplies would be diverted to the German army and German civilians. Adolf Hitler_sentence_488

Cities would be razed and the land allowed to return to forest or resettled by German colonists. Adolf Hitler_sentence_489

Together, the Hunger Plan and Generalplan Ost would have led to the starvation of 80 million people in the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler_sentence_490

These partially fulfilled plans resulted in additional deaths, bringing the total number of civilians and prisoners of war who died in the democide to an estimated 19.3 million people. Adolf Hitler_sentence_491

Hitler's policies resulted in the killing of nearly two million non-Jewish Polish civilians, over three million Soviet prisoners of war, communists and other political opponents, homosexuals, the physically and mentally disabled, Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists, and trade unionists. Adolf Hitler_sentence_492

Hitler did not speak publicly about the killings, and seems never to have visited the concentration camps. Adolf Hitler_sentence_493

The Nazis embraced the concept of racial hygiene. Adolf Hitler_sentence_494

On 15 September 1935, Hitler presented two laws—known as the Nuremberg Laws—to the Reichstag. Adolf Hitler_sentence_495

The laws banned sexual relations and marriages between Aryans and Jews and were later extended to include "Gypsies, Negroes or their bastard offspring". Adolf Hitler_sentence_496

The laws stripped all non-Aryans of their German citizenship and forbade the employment of non-Jewish women under the age of 45 in Jewish households. Adolf Hitler_sentence_497

Hitler's early eugenic policies targeted children with physical and developmental disabilities in a programme dubbed Action Brandt, and he later authorised a euthanasia programme for adults with serious mental and physical disabilities, now referred to as Aktion T4. Adolf Hitler_sentence_498

Leadership style Adolf Hitler_section_25

Hitler ruled the Nazi Party autocratically by asserting the Führerprinzip (leader principle). Adolf Hitler_sentence_499

The principle relied on absolute obedience of all subordinates to their superiors; thus he viewed the government structure as a pyramid, with himself—the infallible leader—at the apex. Adolf Hitler_sentence_500

Rank in the party was not determined by elections—positions were filled through appointment by those of higher rank, who demanded unquestioning obedience to the will of the leader. Adolf Hitler_sentence_501

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, to have "the stronger one [do] the job". Adolf Hitler_sentence_502

In this way, Hitler fostered distrust, competition, and infighting among his subordinates to consolidate and maximise his own power. Adolf Hitler_sentence_503

His cabinet never met after 1938, and he discouraged his ministers from meeting independently. Adolf Hitler_sentence_504

Hitler typically did not give written orders; instead he communicated verbally, or had them conveyed through his close associate, Martin Bormann. Adolf Hitler_sentence_505

He entrusted Bormann with his paperwork, appointments, and personal finances; Bormann used his position to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_506

Hitler dominated his country's war effort during World War II to a greater extent than any other national leader. Adolf Hitler_sentence_507

He strengthened his control of the armed forces in 1938, and subsequently made all major decisions regarding Germany's military strategy. Adolf Hitler_sentence_508

His decision to mount a risky series of offensives against Norway, France, and the Low Countries in 1940 against the advice of the military proved successful, though the diplomatic and military strategies he employed in attempts to force the United Kingdom out of the war ended in failure. Adolf Hitler_sentence_509

Hitler deepened his involvement in the war effort by appointing himself commander-in-chief of the Army in December 1941; from this point forward he personally directed the war against the Soviet Union, while his military commanders facing the Western Allies retained a degree of autonomy. Adolf Hitler_sentence_510

Hitler's leadership became increasingly disconnected from reality as the war turned against Germany, with the military's defensive strategies often hindered by his slow decision making and frequent directives to hold untenable positions. Adolf Hitler_sentence_511

Nevertheless, he continued to believe that only his leadership could deliver victory. Adolf Hitler_sentence_512

In the final months of the war Hitler refused to consider peace negotiations, regarding the destruction of Germany as preferable to surrender. Adolf Hitler_sentence_513

The military did not challenge Hitler's dominance of the war effort, and senior officers generally supported and enacted his decisions. Adolf Hitler_sentence_514

Personal life Adolf Hitler_section_26

Family Adolf Hitler_section_27

Main articles: Hitler family and Sexuality of Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_515

Hitler created a public image as a celibate man without a domestic life, dedicated entirely to his political mission and the nation. Adolf Hitler_sentence_516

He met his lover, Eva Braun, in 1929, and married her on 29 April 1945, one day before they both committed suicide. Adolf Hitler_sentence_517

In September 1931, his half-niece, Geli Raubal, took her own life with Hitler's gun in his Munich apartment. Adolf Hitler_sentence_518

It was rumoured among contemporaries that Geli was in a romantic relationship with him, and her death was a source of deep, lasting pain. Adolf Hitler_sentence_519

Paula Hitler, the younger sister of Hitler and the last living member of his immediate family, died in June 1960. Adolf Hitler_sentence_520

Views on religion Adolf Hitler_section_28

Main article: Religious views of Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_521

Hitler was born to a practising Catholic mother and an anticlerical father; after leaving home Hitler never again attended Mass or received the sacraments. Adolf Hitler_sentence_522

Speer states that Hitler railed against the church to his political associates and though he never officially left it, he had no attachment to it. Adolf Hitler_sentence_523

He adds that Hitler felt that in the absence of organised religion, people would turn to mysticism, which he considered regressive. Adolf Hitler_sentence_524

According to Speer, Hitler believed that Japanese religious beliefs or Islam would have been a more suitable religion for Germans than Christianity, with its "meekness and flabbiness". Adolf Hitler_sentence_525

Historian John S. Conway states that Hitler was fundamentally opposed to the Christian churches. Adolf Hitler_sentence_526

According to Bullock, Hitler did not believe in God, was anticlerical, and held Christian ethics in contempt because they contravened his preferred view of "survival of the fittest". Adolf Hitler_sentence_527

He favoured aspects of Protestantism that suited his own views, and adopted some elements of the Catholic Church's hierarchical organisation, liturgy, and phraseology. Adolf Hitler_sentence_528

Hitler viewed the church as an important politically conservative influence on society, and he adopted a strategic relationship with it that "suited his immediate political purposes". Adolf Hitler_sentence_529

In public, Hitler often praised Christian heritage and German Christian culture, though professing a belief in an "Aryan Jesus" who fought against the Jews. Adolf Hitler_sentence_530

Any pro-Christian public rhetoric contradicted his private statements, which described Christianity as "absurdity" and nonsense founded on lies. Adolf Hitler_sentence_531

According to a US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) report, "The Nazi Master Plan", Hitler planned to destroy the influence of Christian churches within the Reich. Adolf Hitler_sentence_532

His eventual goal was the total elimination of Christianity. Adolf Hitler_sentence_533

This goal informed Hitler's movement early on, but he saw it as inexpedient to publicly express this extreme position. Adolf Hitler_sentence_534

According to Bullock, Hitler wanted to wait until after the war before executing this plan. Adolf Hitler_sentence_535

Speer wrote that Hitler had a negative view of Himmler's and Alfred Rosenberg's mystical notions and Himmler's attempt to mythologise the SS. Adolf Hitler_sentence_536

Hitler was more pragmatic, and his ambitions centred on more practical concerns. Adolf Hitler_sentence_537

Health Adolf Hitler_section_29

See also: Health of Adolf Hitler and Psychopathography of Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_538

Researchers have variously suggested that Hitler suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, skin lesions, irregular heartbeat, coronary sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, syphilis, giant-cell arteritis, and tinnitus. Adolf Hitler_sentence_539

In a report prepared for the OSS in 1943, Walter C. Langer of Harvard University described Hitler as a "neurotic psychopath". Adolf Hitler_sentence_540

In his 1977 book The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler, historian Robert G. L. Waite proposes that he suffered from borderline personality disorder. Adolf Hitler_sentence_541

Historians Henrik Eberle and Hans-Joachim Neumann consider that while he suffered from a number of illnesses including Parkinson's disease, Hitler did not experience pathological delusions and was always fully aware of, and therefore responsible for, his decisions. Adolf Hitler_sentence_542

Theories about Hitler's medical condition are difficult to prove, and placing too much weight on them may have the effect of attributing many of the events and consequences of Nazi Germany to the possibly impaired physical health of one individual. Adolf Hitler_sentence_543

Kershaw feels that it is better to take a broader view of German history by examining what social forces led to the Nazi dictatorship and its policies rather than to pursue narrow explanations for the Holocaust and World War II based on only one person. Adolf Hitler_sentence_544

Sometime in the 1930s Hitler adopted a mainly vegetarian diet, avoiding all meat and fish from 1942 onwards. Adolf Hitler_sentence_545

At social events he sometimes gave graphic accounts of the slaughter of animals in an effort to make his guests shun meat. Adolf Hitler_sentence_546

Bormann had a greenhouse constructed near the Berghof (near Berchtesgaden) to ensure a steady supply of fresh fruit and vegetables for Hitler. Adolf Hitler_sentence_547

Hitler stopped drinking alcohol around the time he became vegetarian and thereafter only very occasionally drank beer or wine on social occasions. Adolf Hitler_sentence_548

He was a non-smoker for most of his adult life, but smoked heavily in his youth (25 to 40 cigarettes a day); he eventually quit, calling the habit "a waste of money". Adolf Hitler_sentence_549

He encouraged his close associates to quit by offering a gold watch to anyone able to break the habit. Adolf Hitler_sentence_550

Hitler began using amphetamine occasionally after 1937 and became addicted to it in late 1942. Adolf Hitler_sentence_551

Speer linked this use of amphetamine to Hitler's increasingly erratic behaviour and inflexible decision making (for example, rarely allowing military retreats). Adolf Hitler_sentence_552

Prescribed 90 medications during the war years by his personal physician, Theodor Morell, Hitler took many pills each day for chronic stomach problems and other ailments. Adolf Hitler_sentence_553

He regularly consumed amphetamine, barbiturates, opiates, and cocaine, as well as potassium bromide and atropa belladonna (the latter in the form of Doktor Koster's Antigaspills). Adolf Hitler_sentence_554

He suffered ruptured eardrums as a result of the 20 July plot bomb blast in 1944, and 200 wood splinters had to be removed from his legs. Adolf Hitler_sentence_555

Newsreel footage of Hitler shows tremors in his left hand and a shuffling walk, which began before the war and worsened towards the end of his life. Adolf Hitler_sentence_556

Ernst-Günther Schenck and several other doctors who met Hitler in the last weeks of his life also formed a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Adolf Hitler_sentence_557

Legacy Adolf Hitler_section_30

Further information: Consequences of Nazism and Neo-Nazism Adolf Hitler_sentence_558

Hitler's suicide was likened by contemporaries to a "spell" being broken. Adolf Hitler_sentence_559

Public support for Hitler had collapsed by the time of his death and few Germans mourned his passing; Kershaw argues that most civilians and military personnel were too busy adjusting to the collapse of the country or fleeing from the fighting to take any interest. Adolf Hitler_sentence_560

According to historian John Toland, Nazism "burst like a bubble" without its leader. Adolf Hitler_sentence_561

Hitler's actions and Nazi ideology are almost universally regarded as gravely immoral; according to Kershaw, "Never in history has such ruination—physical and moral—been associated with the name of one man." Adolf Hitler_sentence_562

Hitler's political programme brought about a world war, leaving behind a devastated and impoverished Eastern and Central Europe. Adolf Hitler_sentence_563

Germany suffered wholesale destruction, characterised as Stunde Null (Zero Hour). Adolf Hitler_sentence_564

Hitler's policies inflicted human suffering on an unprecedented scale; according to R. Adolf Hitler_sentence_565 J. Rummel, the Nazi regime was responsible for the democidal killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. Adolf Hitler_sentence_566

In addition, 28.7 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European Theatre of World War II. Adolf Hitler_sentence_567

The number of civilians killed during the Second World War was unprecedented in the history of warfare. Adolf Hitler_sentence_568

Historians, philosophers, and politicians often use the word "evil" to describe the Nazi regime. Adolf Hitler_sentence_569

Many European countries have criminalised both the promotion of Nazism and Holocaust denial. Adolf Hitler_sentence_570

Historian Friedrich Meinecke described Hitler as "one of the great examples of the singular and incalculable power of personality in historical life". Adolf Hitler_sentence_571

English historian Hugh Trevor-Roper saw him as "among the 'terrible simplifiers' of history, the most systematic, the most historical, the most philosophical, and yet the coarsest, cruelest, least magnanimous conqueror the world has ever known". Adolf Hitler_sentence_572

For the historian John M. Roberts, Hitler's defeat marked the end of a phase of European history dominated by Germany. Adolf Hitler_sentence_573

In its place emerged the Cold War, a global confrontation between the Western Bloc, dominated by the United States and other NATO nations, and the Eastern Bloc, dominated by the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler_sentence_574

Historian Sebastian Haffner asserts that without Hitler and the displacement of the Jews, the modern nation state of Israel would not exist. Adolf Hitler_sentence_575

He contends that without Hitler, the de-colonisation of former European spheres of influence would have been postponed. Adolf Hitler_sentence_576

Further, Haffner claims that other than Alexander the Great, Hitler had a more significant impact than any other comparable historical figure, in that he too caused a wide range of worldwide changes in a relatively short time span. Adolf Hitler_sentence_577

In propaganda Adolf Hitler_section_31

See also: Adolf Hitler in popular culture and List of speeches given by Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler_sentence_578

Hitler exploited documentary films and newsreels to inspire a cult of personality. Adolf Hitler_sentence_579

He was involved and appeared in a series of propaganda films throughout his political career, many made by Leni Riefenstahl, regarded as a pioneer of modern filmmaking. Adolf Hitler_sentence_580

Hitler's propaganda film appearances include: Adolf Hitler_sentence_581

Adolf Hitler_unordered_list_0

See also Adolf Hitler_section_32

Adolf Hitler_unordered_list_1

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Hitler.