View your list of saved words. (You can log in using Facebook.)
(born April 20, 1889, Braunau am Inn, Austriadied April 30, 1945, Berlin, Ger.) Dictator of Nazi Germany (1933–45). As a soldier in the German army in World War I, he was wounded and gassed. In 1920 he became head of propaganda for the renamed National Socialists (Nazi Party) and in 1921 party leader. He set out to create a mass movement, using unrelenting propaganda. The party's rapid growth climaxed in the Beer Hall Putsch (1923), for which he served nine months in prison; there he started to write his virulent autobiography, Mein Kampf. Believing that races were unequal and that this was part of the natural order, he exalted the Aryan race while propounding anti-Semitism, anticommunism, and extreme German nationalism. The economic slump of 1929 facilitated Hitler's rise to power. In the Reichstag elections of 1930 the Nazis became the country's second largest party and in 1932 the largest. Hitler ran for president in 1932 and lost but entered into intrigues to gain power, and in 1933 Paul von Hindenburg invited him to be chancellor. Adopting the title of Führer (Leader), Hitler gained dictatorial powers through the Enabling Act and suppressed opposition with assistance from Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels. Hitler also began to enact anti-Jewish measures, which culminated in the Holocaust. His aggressive foreign policy led to the signing of the Munich Agreement with France, Britain, and Italy, which permitted German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. He became allied with Benito Mussolini in the Rome-Berlin Axis. The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (1939) enabled him to invade Poland, precipitating World War II. As defeat grew imminent in 1945, he married Eva Braun in an underground bunker in Berlin, and the next day they committed suicide.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Hitler, Adolf, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up Hitler, Adolf? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.