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The Third Reich

The Nazi rise to power brought an end to the Weimar Republic, a parliamentary democracy established in Germany after World War I. After Hitler came in office on January 30, 1933, the Nazi state (also referred to as the Third Reich) quickly became popular while Germans enjoyed no guaranteed basic rights. After a suspicious fire in the German Parliament, on February 28, 1933, the government ordered the suspension of constitutional civil rights and created a state of emergency in which official orders could be given without parliamentary approval.

In the first months of Hitler's ruling, the Nazis formed individuals and groups with Nazi goals. Culture, the economy, education, and law all came under Nazi control. The Nazi’s also attempted to take over the German churches and, although not entirely successful, won support from a majority of Catholic and Protestant ministers.

But this wasn’t the first Reich. The First Reich was the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted from the 10th century until 1806. The Second Reich was the Hohenzollern Empire, which lasted from 1871 to

  • 1918. The Third Reich was supposed to last 1,000 years (1933-2933)

but only lasted for 12 years (1933-1945).

The Nazis were also successful in securing support from Germany's educated and best professionals, including the legal, law enforcement, education, and medical professions. The Nazis also promised to tear up the Versailles Treaty, restore Germany to the ranks of the Great Powers, bring the nation out of the depression, take

back the streets from criminals and subversives, crush the communist threat, and open career opportunities for young professionals.

The Nazis started by taking over smaller neighboring countries. Then they moved on to take over Spain, France, Norway, Poland, Nether and Italy. They also tried to take over England and Russia.

Their demise started when they turned on Russia. They tried to

invade Russia but it was too cold, they didn’t have enough supplies and

the red army knew their home far better than the Germans. They tried to invade Moscow but failed. They also decided to re-invade southern Russia and again failed. They lost approximately 3.8 million solders. The red army (Russians) later took over Berlin.

Although Germany still had Japan an ally, Japan became pre- occupied with attacking the U.S. The Japanese lost dis proportional to the Americans. Also they were bombed twice after Pearl Harbor and never really recovered from it.

One week before the battle of Berlin Hitler and his one day wife committed suicide. She had cyanide only while he shot himself while biting a cyanide capsule.

The war was over by May 7 th , 1945. Following that was the Nierenberg trials. There were many different trials within the Nierenberg trials like the doctor’s trial and the Einsatzgruppen Trial. These trials lasted 1945-1949.

During testimony at the Doctors Trial, American medical expert Dr. Leo Alexander points to scars on

During testimony at the Doctors Trial, American medical expert Dr. Leo Alexander points to

scars on Jadwiga Dzido’s leg. Dzido, a member of the Polish

underground, was a victim of medical experiments at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. Nuremberg, Germany, December 22, 1946. NARA

Brigadier General Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel, during the Doctors Trial, which was held in Nuremberg,

Brigadier General Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel, during the Doctors Trial, which was held in Nuremberg, Germany, from December 9, 1946, to August 20, 1947. USHMM

Brigadier General Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel, during the Doctors Trial, which was held in Nuremberg,

American judges (top row, from left) Harold Sebring, Walter B. Beals, Johnson Crawford, and Victor Swearingen during the Doctors Trial, which was held in Nuremberg, Germany, from December 9, 1946, to August 20, 1947. NARA

Defendants seated under guard in the dock behind the defense counsel during the Doctors Trial, which

Defendants seated under guard in the dock behind the defense counsel during the Doctors Trial, which was held in Nuremberg, Germany, from December 9, 1946, to August 20, 1947. USHMM Hitler greets Muller the "Bishop of the Reich" and Abbot Schachleitner

Autobahn workers as guests of Hitler in the Berlin Sportpalast at Christmas in 1938. Note the Christmas trees on the right.

(Source: calvin.edu)

(Source: calvin.edu)
Hitler is celebrating Christmas with his soldiers.

Hitler is celebrating

Christmas with his soldiers.

This is Hitler praying! “ The caption reads: "Der ergreifende Abschlub der Kundgebung in Wien: Wir

This is Hitler praying!

The caption reads: "Der ergreifende Abschlub der Kundgebung in Wien: Wir treten zum Beten " ...

[The touching and emotional end of the rally in Vienna: Let us pray

...

]

(Source: Hitler: The Hoffmann Photographs, Vol. 1, Ray R. Cowdery, Ed., 1990)

Hitler signing his autograph for a

Christian fan

(Source: Hitler in Seinen Bergen, Heinrich Hoffmann, Berlin, den

24.9.35)