Born in Braunau, Austria, Adolf Hitler rose to lead the Nazi Party in the early 1920s and was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933. Upon the death of President Paul von Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler abolished that office and consolidated power in himself while suspending basic freedoms, such as those of the press and assembly. Hitler assumed the title of Führer, or leader, and became a totalitarian dictator. He repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, rearmed and expanded the German military, and pursued an aggressive persecution of Jews and other minorities. Hitler led Germany to ruin in World War II. Following the nation’s defeat in the spring of 1945, it was partitioned, East and West, for nearly 50 years. At the age of 56, Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, in the Führerbunker in Berlin as troops of the Soviet Red Army advanced through the streets of the German capital.
The Allies avoided catastrophe and began their long, bloody slog toward Rome with landings on the Italian coast. More »
From Hitler loyalist to anti-Hitler plotter, the wily Nazi SS chief played a double game in 1945–just as he always had. More »
The mysterious death of once-Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess in Spandau Prison has provoked a litany of conspiracy theories. More »
Bernard Montgomery’s controversial “halt order” at the Falaise Gap would tear at the fabric of the Anglo-American alliance. More »
Overshadowed by the hard winter fighting in Belgium, the battles in Alsace-Lorraine were no less brutal. More »
Hitler did all in his power to create an impenetrable “Fortress Europa” and prevent an Allied invasion, but it wasn’t enough. More »
Sixty-five years after the end of the war, the U.S. Department of Justice is still on the case. More »
Like so much of German society, automaker Mercedes-Benz was co-opted by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party during World War II. More »
During WWII, the unique civilian organization did much to boost the morale of soldiers at home and abroad.
Acclaimed General Lloyd Fredendall lost his command after the debacle at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass.
The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, benefited from the firsthand observation of spies on Oahu.