Nazi Germany

German Reich
Deutsches Reich
Greater German Reich
Großdeutsches Reich

Anthem: Official anthem: Das Lied der Deutschen
"Song of the Germans"

De facto: Horst-Wessel-Lied[a]
"Horst Wessel Song"
Germany's territorial control at its greatest extent in World War II (late 1942) *   Germany proper[b] *   Civilian-administered occupied territories *   Military-administered occupied territories
Germany's territorial control at its greatest extent in World War II
(late 1942)
Administrative divisions of Germany, January 1944
Administrative divisions of Germany, January 1944
Common languagesGerman
GovernmentNazi one-party totalitarian dictatorship
Head of State 
• 1933–1934
Paul von Hindenburg (President)
• 1934–1945
Adolf Hitler (Führer)
• 1945
Karl Dönitz (President)
• 1933–1945
Adolf Hitler
• 1945
Joseph Goebbels
• State council
Reichsrat (abolished 1934)
Historical eraInterwar/World War II
30 January 1933
24 March 1933
• Anschluss
(Union with Austria)
12 March 1938
1 September 1939
30 April 1945
8 May 1945
23 May 1945
1939[c]633,786 km2 (244,706 sq mi)
• 1939[d]
CurrencyReichsmark (ℛℳ)
ISO 3166 codeDE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Weimar Republic
Saar Basin
Occupied Germany
Occupied Austria
Soviet Union
  1. ^ Officially "Großdeutscher Reichstag" ("Diet of the Greater German Reich"), 1938–1945.

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich ("German Reich") until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich ("Greater German Reich") from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, from German Drittes Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire. The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933. The NSDAP then began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer (leader) of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen (motorways). The return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity.

Racism, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani or Gypsy people began in earnest after the seizure of power. The first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, and liberals, socialists, and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, and many leaders imprisoned. Education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion. The government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others.

The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met. It seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a non-aggression pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940 and threatened the United Kingdom. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Germany exploited the raw materials and labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. Millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot in the Holocaust, through war crimes, and other crimes against humanity.

Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were pushed back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west and capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war. The victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.


The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck. The book counted the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) as the first Reich and the German Empire (1871–1918) as the second.[1]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Nazi-Duitsland
አማርኛ: ናዚ ጀርመን
aragonés: Tercer Reich
asturianu: Alemaña nazi
azərbaycanca: Üçüncü Reyx
تۆرکجه: نازی آلمان
Bân-lâm-gú: Nazi Tek-kok
башҡортса: Өсөнсө рейх
беларуская: Трэці рэйх
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Трэці Райх
Boarisch: Drittes Reich
bosanski: Treći rajh
brezhoneg: Trede Reich
català: Tercer Reich
español: Alemania nazi
Esperanto: Nazia Germanio
Fiji Hindi: Nazi Germany
føroyskt: Nasitýskland
français: Troisième Reich
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Nazi Tet-koet
한국어: 나치 독일
hrvatski: Treći Reich
Bahasa Indonesia: Jerman Nazi
interlingua: Germania Nazi
íslenska: Þriðja ríkið
Basa Jawa: Jerman Nazi
къарачай-малкъар: Ючюнчю рейх
ქართული: მესამე რაიხი
қазақша: Үшінші рейх
kernowek: Almayn Nazi
Kiswahili: Dola la Tatu
Кыргызча: Үчүнчү рейх
لۊری شومالی: آلمان نازی
latviešu: Trešais reihs
lumbaart: Terz Reich
македонски: Трет Рајх
مازِرونی: نازی آلمان
Bahasa Melayu: Jerman Nazi
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Nazi Dáik-guók
Mirandés: Almanha Nazi
Nederlands: Nazi-Duitsland
Nedersaksies: Nazi-Duutslaand
नेपाल भाषा: नाजी जर्मनी
norsk nynorsk: Det tredje riket
occitan: Tresen Reich
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Uchinchi reyx
پنجابی: نازی جرمنی
Papiamentu: Di Tres Reich
polski: III Rzesza
português: Alemanha Nazi
русский: Третий рейх
саха тыла: Үһүс рейх
Simple English: Nazi Germany
slovenčina: Nacistické Nemecko
slovenščina: Tretji rajh
српски / srpski: Трећи рајх
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Treći Reich
Basa Sunda: Jérman Nazi
svenska: Nazityskland
татарча/tatarça: Өченче рейх
Türkçe: Nazi Almanyası
українська: Третій Рейх
Tiếng Việt: Đức Quốc Xã
Winaray: Alemanya Nazi
吴语: 纳粹德国
粵語: 納粹德國
žemaitėška: Trets Reichs
中文: 納粹德國
Lingua Franca Nova: Deutxland Nazi