Nazi Germany

nazi germany

German children listen to a speech by Joseph Goebbels

The story of Nazi Germany has fascinated and appalled millions of people. The Nazis were a group of radical nationalists who came to power in Germany in 1933. Led by Adolf Hitler, they presented themselves as a new political option but instead promised old ideas: authoritarianism, nationalism, military power and racial purity. Hitler and his followers ruled Germany for barely a dozen years, however their grip on Germany was powerful and profound. Within a couple of years the Nazis had transformed their country, killing off a burgeoning liberal democracy and creating a one party totalitarian state. The lives of millions of Germans were changed, some for the better but many for the worse. The rise of the Nazis revived the galloping militarism which had steered Germany into World War I two decades earlier. In the late 1930s Hitler and the Nazis began expanding German territory, triggering an even longer and deadlier world war.

Alpha History’s Nazi Germany site contains hundreds of primary and secondary sources for studying Germany between 1918 and 1939. These sources have been carefully written or selected by qualified and experienced history teachers, authors and academics. Our topic pages contain concise but detailed summaries of key topics. These are accompanied by a wide range of primary sources, including documents, graphics and maps. Our website also hosts useful reference information including a timeline, glossary, a who’s who of significant people, a summary of the historiography of Nazi Germany, quotations and trivia. Finally, Nazi Germany at Alpha History also contains a range of interactive activities such as crosswords and quizzes, where you can test your knowledge and recall of this critical period in European history.

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