The Third Reich
The Nazi state (Third Reich) was a brutal dictatorship established with Hitler s appointment as Chancellor in 1933. By 1936, Hitler had destroyed the government of the Weimar Republic established in 1919 at the end of the First World War), suppressed all political parties except the Nazi party, and consolidated the government of Germany under his control as Fuhrer (leader). Mass organizations such as the Nazi labor front and the Hitler youth were established.The Nazis instituted propaganda campaigns and a regime of terror against political opponents and Jews (who were made scapegoats for Germanys problems). Germany was a police state by 1936. In 1938 the Nazis used the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jewish youth as an excuse for extensive pogroms. Scores were murdered and much Jewish property was destroyed or damaged by Nazi hoodlums. Persecution of the Jews increased in intensity, cumulating in the horrors of the war-time concentration camps and the mass murder of millions.
Final control over the armed forces and the foreign office was achieved by Hitler in 1937-1938. He moved against the Blomberg (the Minister of War) and Fritsch ( the commander-in-chief of the army), taking advantage of the scandals in which they were involved (in the case of Fritsch the accusations were false). Hitler made himself Minister of War and established the high command of the Armed Forces under his personal representative, General Keitel. At the same time Joachim von Ribbentrop was made Minister of Foreign Affairs giving the Nazis compete control over the German foreign office.
Nevertheless, the Nazi regime enjoyed success in part, at least, because it was able to reduce unemployment from 6,000,000 in 1932 to 164,000 by 1938 through so-called four-year plans aimed at rearming Germany and making its economy self-sufficient and free of dependents on any foreign power. The improving economic condition of many, together with Hitler s successes in foreign affairs, gave him a substantial hold over the German people.