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Nazi Germany

This article is part of the
History of Germany series.
Holy Roman Empire
German Confederation
German Empire
Weimar Republic
Nazi Germany
Germany since 1945
Nazi Germany commonly refers to Germany in the years between 1933 and 1945, when it was under the firm control of Adolf Hitler's dictatorship and the ideology of National Socialism (a variant of fascism and totalitarianism).

The term Nazi is a short form of the German Nationalsozialismus; the ideology was institutionalized in the NSDAP, the Nazi Party.

The Nazi regime was characterized by political control of every aspect of society (Gleichschaltung) in a quest for racial, social and cultural purity. The Nazi Party pursued its aims through persecution of those considered impure, especially against targeted minority groups such as Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals, as well as political opponents.

This persecution reached a peak in the last years of the regime, in which some 6 million Jews, 10 million Slavs, and sundry others, were systematically killed. This genocide is referred to as the Holocaust in English, "Shoah" in Hebrew. (The Nazis used the euphemistic German term "Endlösung" -- the "final solution.")

Table of contents

Chronology of events

Articles related hereto:

todo -- much missing here

In 1939 Germany's actions lead to the outbreak of World War II in Europe -- Poland, France, and the Netherlands were invaded, and Germany declared war on the United Kingdom. After invading Greece and North Africa, Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. It declared war on the United States in December of 1941. After losing the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of El Alamein in 1943 and the Battle of Normandy in 1944, the regime started to disintegrate quickly, losing ground to the Allied forces in the west and south and the Red Army and the Polish Army in the east. By Fall 1944 the Allies had crossed the front into eastern German territory. In April, 1945, Hitler committed suicide and Germany finally surrendered in the first week of May.

After the war, surviving Nazi leaders were put on trial by the Allied tribunal at Nuremberg for crimes against humanity.

Organizations in The Third Reich

The leaders of Nazi Germany created a large number of different organisations for the purpose of helping them in staying in power. The character of the most of them is typical for totalitarian regimes, although most countries do have armed forces of some sort.



Paramilitary organisations

State police

Reich Central Security Office (RSHA - Reichssicherheitshauptamt)

Political organizations

Prominent persons in Nazi Germany

Nazi Party leaders and officials



Noted refugees

Terms closely related to Nazi Germany

Many of the following terms are German expressions that are now used as words in English -- a short english description is given here and the explanation can be found in the articles themselves. See also List of German expressions in English.

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