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Hitler, Adolf

A German political leader of the twentieth century, born in Austria. Hitler's early program for Germany is contained in his book Mein Kampf. He dreamed of creating a master race of pure Aryans, who would rule for a thousand years as the third German Empire, or Third Reich. Hitler led the Nazi party, and began to rule Germany in 1933 as a fascist (see fascism) dictator with the title der Führer (“the leader”). He supervised the murder of six million Jews (see also Jews) and other supposed enemies of the Reich (see Holocaust). Hitler began World War II by invading Poland in 1939. He committed suicide in 1945 when Germany's defeat was imminent.

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Note

The official greeting between Nazis was “heil (“hail”) Hitler.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.