The Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 1919, delineated the terms of peace between the Allies and Germany at the close of World War I. The terms were humiliating and economically devastating for Germany, which had to accept full responsibility for the war, give up part of its territory to the conquering nations, demilitarize, limit its army and navy, and pay an enormous amount in reparations. This embittered the German people, who felt betrayed by the Allied countries.
Adolf Hitler became the head of the National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazi Party, in 1921. Among key party platforms were the pride of the German people and dissatisfaction with the terms of the Versailles Treaty. After the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in 1923, Hitler began to work within the electoral process to gain power and influence.
The Great Depression, which began in 1929, quickly spread around the world. It hit particularly hard in Germany. Hitler took advantage of the economic upheaval and the...
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