Nazi Germany, or theÂ Third Reich,Â is the name commonly used to refer to the state ofÂ Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled byÂ Adolf Hitler and hisÂ Nazi Party.
On 30 January 1933,Â Adolf Hitler legally becameÂ Chancellor of Germany, appointed by PresidentÂ Paul von Hindenburg. Although he initially headed aÂ coalition government, he quickly made Hindenburg a figurehead and eliminated his non-Nazi partners. The Nazi regime restored economic prosperity and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending while suppressing labor unions and strikes. The return of prosperity gave the regime enormous popularity, and no serious citizen opposition ever emerged to serve as a challenge to its rule, apart from aÂ failed assassination attempt in 1944. TheÂ Gestapo (secret state police) underÂ Heinrich Himmler destroyed the liberal, Socialist and Communist opposition and persecuted theÂ Jews, attempting to force them into exile while taking their property. The Party took control of the courts, local government, and all civic organizations except the Protestant and Catholic churches.Â All expressions of public opinion were controlled by Hitler’s propaganda minister,Â Joseph Goebbels, who made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler’s hypnotic speaking.Â The Nazi state idolized Hitler as itsÂ FÃ¼hrer (“Leader”),Â centralizing all power in his hands. Nazi propaganda centered on Hitler and was quite effective in creating what historians call the “Hitler Myth” â€“ that Hitler was all-wise and that any mistakes or failures by others would be corrected when brought to his attention. In reality, Hitler had a narrow range of interests and decision-making was diffused among overlapping, feuding power centers; on some issues he was passive, simply assenting to pressures from whomever had his ear. All top officials still reported to Hitler and followed his basic policies, but they had considerable autonomy on a daily basis.
Hitler’s foreign policy during the 1930s used a diplomatic strategy of making seemingly reasonable demands, threatening war if they were not met. When opponents tried toÂ appease him, he accepted the gains that were offered, then moved on to his next goal. That aggressive strategy worked as Germany pulled out of theÂ League of Nations (1933), rejected theÂ Versailles Treaty and began to re-arm (1935), won back the Saar (1935), remilitarized the Rhineland (1936), formed an alliance (“axis”) withÂ Benito Mussolini’sÂ Italy (1936), sent massive military aid to Franco in theÂ Spanish Civil War (1936â€“39), annexed Austria in theÂ Anschluss (1938), took over Czechoslovakia after the British and FrenchÂ appeasement of the Munich Agreement of 1938, formed a peace pact with theÂ Soviet Union (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) in August 1939, and finallyÂ invaded Poland in September 1939. Britain and France declared war, resulting in the start ofÂ World War II – somewhat sooner than the Nazis had prepared for or expected.
During the war, Germany conquered or controlled most of Europe andÂ Northern Africa, intending to establish a “New Order” in Europe and elsewhere of complete Nazi GermanÂ hegemony. The Nazis also persecuted and killed millions ofÂ Jews,Â Romani people and others inÂ the Holocaust. Despite itsÂ Axis alliance with other nations, mainly Italy andÂ Japan, byÂ 8 May 1945 Germany had been defeated by theÂ Allied Powers, andÂ was occupied by the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain and France.
Hitler, the Nazis and their Holocaust became the symbol of evil in the modern world. Newman and Erber (2002) write, “The Nazis have become one of the most widely recognized images of modern evil. Throughout most of the world today, the concept of evil can readily be evoked by displaying almost any cue reminiscent of Nazism…. California based client gets a custom black and gray tattoo design of the army of the 3rd reich of the world war II, done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall makati manila.