Adolf Hitler was Chancellor of Germany from 1933, and Führer (Leader) of Germany (Third Reich) from 1934, until his death. He was leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), better known as the Nazi Party.

Hitler gained power in a Germany facing crisis after World War I, using charismatic oratory and propaganda, appealing to economic need of the lower and middle classes, nationalism and anti-Semitism to establish an authoritarian regime.

With a restructured economy and rearmed military, Hitler pursued an aggressive foreign policy with the intention of expanding German Lebensraum ("living space") and triggered World War II in Europe by ordering the invasion of Poland.

At the height of its power, Germany occupied most of Europe, but it and the Axis Powers were eventually defeated by the Allies. By then, Hitler's racial policies had culminated in the genocide of 11 million people, including about six million Jews, in what is now known as the Holocaust.

In the final days of the war, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin with his newlywed wife, Eva Braun. It was rumored that their bodies were brought to the surface of the bunker and burned to avoid identification.


Death of Adolf Hitler
May 5, 1945