All about Hitler – Hitler's Rise and Fall
In light of the atrocities that took place under Hitler's rule, it's easy to wonder just how such a ruler could ever come to power. Understanding the political environment of the time makes it much easier to see how Hitler was able to manipulate the situation to his advantage and climb the ladder of power until he was the dictator of all Germany. After WWI, there was a lot of animosity in Germany. Many citizens were offended by the Treaty of Versailles. The country was also suffering from a depression. Hitler used both of these facts to his advantage by promising solutions.
As Hitler's power grew, he effectively eliminated competition every step of the way. In 1933, he was appointed chancellor of Germany. A suspicious fire in the Reichtag took place soon after, and Hitler used this event as an excuse to gain emergency powers in Germany. Today, many suspect that this fire was actually set by Nazi party members, though it was blamed on communists at the time. The fire was used to ignite a sense of panic. Hitler was again on hand to promise a solution and safety for the German people. To solidify his power, he declared the Nazi party to be the only legal political party.
German president Hindenburg became ill in 1934. Just before his death, the cabinet passed a law which eliminated the position of president and combined the powers of this position with those of chancellor. Thus, when Hindenburg died in August 1934, Hitler was appointed head of the government and head of the state. With power firmly in his grasp, Hitler began to mobilize the country for war. He also began to make life as difficult as possible for Jews and others that he deemed inferior. One goal of the Nazi party was to promote racial purity. Hitler believed only the Aryan race was racially pure.
On September 15, 1935, Hitler passed the Nuremberg Laws. These stripped German Jews of their citizenship. They also made it illegal for Jews and non-Jews to get married. Over the coming years, Jews would be gradually restricted from more and more activities. Jewish children could not go to school with non-Jews. Jews were prohibited from visiting many public places including parks and restaurants. Finally, the Nazi party began rounding up and systematically exterminating Jews in some of the most horrific acts of the Holocaust. Hitler stayed in power until 1945. When the Allied forces began to advance, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker on April 30, 1945.