Adolf Hitler was born
in a small town in
Austria in 1889.
He dropped out of
high school and
wasn’t accepted into
He served in World
War I and won
metals for bravery.
Like many people Hitler
was very unhappy with the
outcome of the Treaty of
Versailles. He felt that
Germany was being unfairly
In 1920 he joined a small
radical group called the
Nazis who supported
fascist and totalitarian
policies, believed in racial
superiority and wanted to
have state controlled
industry in Germany.
Nazi stands for the National
Socialist German Workers’ Party.
The Nazis were very against
communism and the Treaty of
Versailles. They worried that the
conditions created by the treaty
would lead to the rise of
The Nazis adopted the swastika as
When Hitler joined the party he
was a very successful organizer,
and a good public speaker, so this
led him to be chosen as der
Führer, or the leader.
When Mussolini came to power in Italy
(1922) the Nazi party was inspired to try to
form their own fascist government in
In 1923 the leader of the Weimar Republic
announced that due to the high levels of
inflation Germany had no choice but to work
This greatly angered the Nazis and their
members (~35,000, up from 40 in 1920).
Hitler gathered the Nazi army (the
Brownshirts also known as storm troopers) to
try to take over the government.
Inspiration and Frustration
In 1923 the Nazis
was known as the
Beer Hall Putsch) by
local government in
They failed and
Hitler was sentenced
While Hitler was in jail he wrote a book called Mein Kampf
meaning My Struggle. In this book he outlines his main
ideas and beliefs.
One of Hitler’s key beliefs was that people who were of
pure German heritage were the “Aryans” or master race.
Hitler claimed that people who were non – Aryans (such as
Jewish people, and Slavic people who he thought were
another race) were subhuman.
He also expressed his outrage at the Treaty of Versailles,
and said Germans must try to get that land back.
He felt Germans needed more lebensraum or living space
to build an empire, and they would get it by conquering
Europe and Russia.
After Hitler was released in
1924 he began working to
make the Nazi party strong
The Nazis attempt to
overthrow the government
made them more well
Germans didn’t feel
confident in the leadership
of the Weimar Republic and
began turning to Hitler for
strong leadership and
By 1932 the Nazis were
the largest political
In January 1933 the
President named Hitler
Chancellor of Germany.
He hoped by
appointing Hitler to this
position he would gain
support of Hitler’s
followers, and he’d be
able to control them as
well as Hitler.
Hitler Becomes Chancellor
Once Hitler was in office he was able to
call for an election which gave him all the
power. He played on people’s fears of a
communist take over to win support.
Hitler has parliament pass a bill that
essentially made him a dictator. He
banned political opponents and had them
In 1934 Hitler created a secret police unit
(Schutzstaffel or SS) that was only loyal
Hitler Seizes Power
The Nazis first act of controlling
the economy was creating laws
that gave the government
control over businesses and got
rid of unions.
Hitler created jobs that put
millions of Germans to work
doing things such as
constructing factories, building
weapons, and serving in the
Unemployment dropped from 6
million to 1.5 million.
Nazis Command the Economy
Hitler censored the
and films and used
them as propaganda.
Books that went
against the Nazi
beliefs were burned.
The church was not
allowed to openly
Children were forced
to join the Hitler Youth
or the League of
Hitler believed in Social Darwinism and that
the Germans/Aryans were the superior race.
The Jewish people in Germany (who made up
less than 1% of the population) did not have
a strong enough voice to object to the
restrictions that were being put on them.
Many Germans also had anti-Semitic beliefs
and didn’t stand up for the Jewish people.
He convinced the German people that they
would rise up to glory again.
Many German liked the strength and national
pride that the Nazi party offered them so
they supported Hitler’s fascist regime.
Hitler and Social Darwinism