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The Greater German Reich (German: Großdeutsches Reich), also known as Nazi Germany and the Third Reich, was a period in German history from 1933 to 1986 when the country was under the control of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Under Nazi rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist totalitarian state which controlled nearly all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich ("German Reich", "German Empire" or "German Realm") from 1933 to 1943, and Großdeutsches Reich ("Greater German Reich") from 1943 to 1986. The 1986 Revolution saw the Nazi Party ousted from power and replaced by a democratic government, backed by the United States, which immediately set about dismantling the Reich and de-Nazifying Germany itself.
Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party 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 powers and offices 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 considered to be above all laws. 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 (high speed highways). The return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity.
Racism, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples (the Nordic race) were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, and were therefore the master race. Millions of Jews and others deemed undesirable were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitler's rule was ruthlessly suppressed. Members of the liberal, socialist, and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were also oppressed, with 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 the Third Reich on the international stage. 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 banning or discouraging others.