The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich

The Rise And Fall Of The Third ReichWhile documented in a book of the same name, the rise and fall of the Third Reich is on its own a fascinating and terrifying subject. The fact is that the mere fact that such a racially motivated, hate-filled government was able to come so close to overtaking Europe and to completely eradicating an entire race of people will forever be viewed as a terrible, horrifying display of what humanity is capable of.
The Third Reich is essentially referred to as Nazi Germany, or more specifically the government that ruled over Germany from 1935 to 1945. The Third Reich's leader was Adolf Hitler, and his rise to power was as swift as the rise of his government itself.
Hitler assumed power over the Nazi party in the early 20s and gradually used propaganda and his charisma to eventually be appointed the Chancellor of Germany. Once he'd assumed power, the republic was quickly transformed into a dictatorship and became a totalitarian state in 1934 when the President of Germany died and Hitler merged the powers of the Presidency with those of the Chancellery, turning himself into the sole leader, or 'Fuhrer' of Germany. The German people accepted this completely, and idolized its new leader. Hitler was in charge of every aspect of Germany, and the citizens were by and large happy with this arrangement.
In 1939 the Third Reich invaded Poland, setting off WWII and beginning its conquest of continental Europe. The German army's strength was impressive, and by 1941 the Third Reich occupied almost all of Europe and much of Northern Africa.
The fall of the Third Reich, however, came as swiftly as its rise. The army gradually spread itself too thin, and began to suffer numerous defeats on several different fronts. As a result, Germany spent the last few years of the war in a gradual but steady retreat.
Eventually, the allies had beaten Hitler's forces in nearly every theater of war, culminating in the Battle of Berlin. As the shelling of his city continued overhead, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker, appointing Joseph Goebbels as his successor. This was short-lived as well, as Goebbels killed himself as well.
With its leader dead and its army defeated, the Third Reich was no more and vanished into the history books. The Nazi party itself was declared 'illegal', and any propaganda or relics are actually banned in German to this day. 

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Photo credit: thardy1 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND