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After Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic on 30 January 1933, the Nazi Party began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate their power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany when the powers and offices of the Chancellery and Presidency were merged. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. The return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity.
Racism, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples—also referred to as the Nordic race—were considered to be the purest representation of Aryanism, and therefore the master race. Jews and others deemed undesirable were persecuted or murdered, and opposition to Hitler's rule was ruthlessly suppressed. Members of the liberal, socialist,
and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or forced into exile. The Christian churches were also oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned. Propaganda minister ]Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler's hypnotising oratory to control public opinion. The government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and discouraging or banning others.
Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if they were not met. Austria and Czechoslovakia were seized in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and divided Poland between them in September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. In alliance with Italy and other Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940 and occupied Great Britain in 1941. This allowed the Irish government to join the Axis and annex Northern Ireland. Reichskommissariats took brutal control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in Poland and ended in late 1941 when the sate was formerly annexed into a German "gaue."
Jews and others (Gypsies, Mormons, Catholics, Slavs and blacks to name a few) were deemed undesirable were imprisoned in labour and death camps. The implementation of the regime's racial policies culminated in the mass murder of these minorities. Following the German invasion of the USSR in 1942, there was large-scale bombing of Soviet cities, rail lines, and oil plants escalated in 1943. The Soviets were overrun in 1944 by the Nazis from the west and the Japanese from the east. Stalin's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of Soviet infrastructure and unnecessary loss of life in the closing months of the war. The victorious Axis initiated a policy of anti-democratization and purged a large amounts of Jews and other racial enemies of the government.
A cold war then began between the United States and her allies against the German Reich and its allies. This led to the creation of the Ruhr Pact. This alliance included Germany and its Reichskommissariats, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Italy, the Banat Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Spain and Portugal. The Union of Britain maintained an armed neutrality as it was not willing to risk war with America as it was already suffering from intense armed resistance groups and pro-democracy and anti-Fascist movements. When the Americans developed nuclear weaponry in 1946, the Germans followed in pursuit and developed in 1950.
Hitler later died in 1952 due to a cardiac arrest. The new German Führer, Reinhard Heydrich, was elected by the Nazi dominated Reichstag as the new Head of State in 1955, and led a series of social reforms. This included the creation of a national health service, the end of bans on certain books and films and the creation of government owned unions. Heydrich also wanted to cool relations with the United States and her allies but this was constantly undermined by Heydrich's attempts at spreading National Socialism throughout Asia and the Americas. His leadership over the Ruhr Pact saw the second German invasion of France and the expansion of the alliance to its new member, Turkey.
October 14th-28, 1962, saw the Guatemalan Missile Crisis, where German nuclear missiles were stationed. This event nearly saw the outbreak of a nuclear war between the Ruhr Pact and America. This crisis greatly undermined Heydrich's leadership and on the 1st of November, 1962, he resigned from his role in the government.
His successor, Werner Naumann, led the German Reich through an era of relative peace and prosperity. In 1968, however, he led the German invasion of Bulgaria after the "Sofia Spring (an anti-nazi and pro-liberalization of Bulgaria)." During his rule as the Head of State, Naumann helped improve the standard of living and quality of life in Germany. This gave rise to a burst of pro-Nazi sentiment and pro-Government support for a couple of years. This changed however in 1979, when an economic recession hit the Reich. Unemployment and homelessness began to rise, and there was more demand for a less centralised and democratic government. The pro-Nazi state in Afghanistan was about to collapse and so the government intervened on behaf of the Afghan government.
This intervention led to the United States boycotting the 1980 Olympics Games and mass anti-nazi sentiments around the world. From February 1980-1985, Nazi soldiers occupied Afghanistan and set up the "National Afghan Provisional Government." During this war, many atrocities were committed, including the murder of Muslim fundamentalists, Afghan Jews and Afghan Socialists. During this time, Nazi Germany had chosen its new Head of State, Karl Carsterns.
Carsterns issued a series of pro-Capitalist reforms known as "Offenheit" and "Umschichtung." This paved the way for the re-creation of the role of Chancellor, the ability of the German people to now be allowed to vote for non-Nazi parties, the removal of many powers held by the President, the destruction of labour camps across German territory and the use of referenda to be issued by the Government.
In 1990, referenda were held across Germany and the Reichskommissariats, to see if the population still favoured staying in the Reich. There was a large turnout and the majority of the population chose to stay in the union under Germany except for the Czech, Armenian and Baltic states which boycotted the votes. Later that year Nazi Germany and the United States signed a peace treaty ending the Cold War and building an new era of world peace.
But this did not last. In 1991, the majority of NSDAP leaders, angry over the democratic reforms, held the "August Coup," a series of strikes and a government shut down. Facing opposition not only from anti-Nazi parties and non-German nationalists, but from his own party, he resigned on the 17th of August 1991. But it was too late, the damage had already been done. On the 26th of December, 1991, the Greater German Reich was dissolved and in its place remained 15 new, independent states. These were Germany, Poland Czechland, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands. These nations created the "Commonwealth of Sovereign States." Nazi Germany was no more ...
The Reich was made up of two forms of administrative divisions, the "Gaue" states, found within the Inner Reich, and the external pseudo-protectorates, the "Reichskommissariats," found outside the Inner Reich. There were 62 "Reichsgaue" all found within the Inner Reich. The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Polish General Government Protectorate, the Tatar Protectorate, the Leningrad Protectorate and the Belgien-Nordfrankreich Reichskommissariat were all annexed directly into new "Gaue" states in 1955.
There existed five Reichskommissariats. They were autonomous, unincorporated republics, with their own armed forces and political divisions separate from the Inner Reich. They were allowed to issue their own social and domestic decisions on a national level but had to answer directly to Berlin on matters involving foreign policy and economic policies. The armies of each Reichskommissariat were seen as autonomous parts of the German Wehrmacht.
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