Perhaps the most notorious figure of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler was the leader of the German Nazi (National Socialist German Workers') party and eventually became dictator over all of Germany. Shortly after assuming the title of German führer, or leader, in 1934, Hitler moved to consolidate his rule by controlling the German people through carefully orchestrated propaganda campaigns. He abolished freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and began a systematic program of persecutions climaxed by the murder of millions of Jews, Gypsies, and political opponents.
Repudiating the conditions of the Versailles treaty that ended World War I, Hitler sought to expand the German empire. Beginning with the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, Hitler made bold military moves, and cunningly manipulated European leaders into accepting his advances. On September 1, 1939, determined to eventually conquer all of Europe and the Soviet Union, he ordered the invasion of Poland, thereby setting off World War II.
For the first two years of the war, Hitler's dream of domination of Europe seemed within his grasp. As the Allies began to rebound in 1943, however, Hitler became more desperate in his decision-making. His reign of terror came to an end in April 1945. With Soviet troops bearing down on Berlin, and American forces routing what remained of the German army in the surrounding areas, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker.
For more on Adolf Hitler, visit the website of another AMERICAN EXPERIENCE program, America and the Holocaust.
America's Robin Hood who robbed not only the rich but the poor and defenseless as well, always saving the treasure for himself. Part of the Wild West collection.
After notorious revolutionary leader Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico, General John Pershing and his 150,000 man cavalry set out to get Villa.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.
The U.S. government's response to the Holocaust was slow and fueled by complex social and political factors.
With the clock ticking and the city under fire how many could be saved?
The stories of ordinary people in the tumultuous years after the Civil War, when America struggled to rebuild the Union.
A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
A minute-by-minute account, on both sides of the Pacific, leading up to the surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor.