The Third Reich is a term that can inspire a torrent of emotions, from fear to anger to regret. Essentially, the term is used to refer to Nazi Germany – Germany during the period of time between 1933 to1945, specifically. During this time, Germany was under control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, also called the National Socialist German Workers' Party. This stage of Germany's history is often looked at with shame by Germany itself, and with intense emotion by the rest of the world.
After 1934, Germany was a totalitarian state and ran as a dictatorship. Hitler had total control over the country, and quickly went about expanding its reach throughout Europe. It also gave birth to huge amounts of evil and unspeakable atrocities.
The Third Reich relied heavily on propaganda to spread its power, particularly in the early years of Hitler's rise to power. The overall policy of Nazi Germany was built upon strong racism, particularly the belief that Germany was a country that had been biologically destined to overtake Europe and the Soviet Union. A major aspect of the Third Reich's policy was that racially pure women should conceive and give birth to as many pure Aryan children as they possibly could in order to strengthen the state.
The Third Reich also set into motion the Holocaust, with the ultimate goal being the complete annihilation of the Jewish people along with other 'racially inferior' groups like Gypsies. This 'Final Solution' was kept somewhat under wraps even as it was put into place by the Nazi party.
Even since the beginning of the Third Reich, the overall goal was obviously war. The first years that Hitler was in power were devoted to preparing the Germans for war, including numerous steps to help bolster hatred of Jews and intense national pride that would lead to a fervor.
The Third Reich came to an end in 1945, when the Allies defeated the Nazis. Germany officially surrendered on May 8, 1945 and at this time the Third Reich was no more. For the several years that it existed, it was one of the strongest and most terrifying powers in the world. To this day, its success and failure is studied by historians due to the complex process that led an entire nation to hate, and triggered one of the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen. Simply put, The Third Reich is a name that has become synonymous with evil.
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