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Adolf Hitler

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.

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