Adolf Hitler (German pronunciation:[adlf htl]; 20 April 1889 " 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-bornGerman politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (German:Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), commonly known as the Nazi Party. He was the absolute dictator of Germany from 1934 to 1945, with the title of chancellor from 1933 to 1945 and with the title head of state (Fhrer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945. A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the precursor of the Nazi Party (DAP) in 1919 and became leader of NSDAP in 1921. Following his imprisonment after a failed coup in Bavaria in 1923, he gained support by promoting German nationalism, anti-semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933, and quickly transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideals of national socialism. Hitler ultimately wanted to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in Europe. To achieve this, he pursued a foreign policy with the declared goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the Aryan people; directing the resources of the state towards this goal. This included the rearmament of Germany, which culminated in 1939 when the Wehrmacht invaded Poland. In response, the United Kingdom and France declared war against Germany, leading to the outbreak ofWorld War II in Europe. Within three years, Germany and the Axis powers had occupied most of Europe, and most ofNorthern Africa, East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. However, with the reversal of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Allies gained the upper hand from 1942 onwards. By 1945, Allied armies had invaded German-held Europe from all sides. Nazi forces engaged in numerous violent acts during the war, including the systematic murder of as many as 17 million civilians, an estimated six million of whom were Jews targeted in the Holocaust.
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