Prelude to War: Germany

Europe was in chaos after the First World War. Tens of millions were dead. Large parts of France and Germany were completely destroyed, including France's major source of coal and much of their farmland. The Total War that consumed so many lives had also consumed the combatants' thirst for war.

Germany Under the Nazis

In 1932, German President Paul von Hindenburg was asleep in his home. His son woke him with the news that he had defeated Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler and reelection to the Presidency. “It will still be true in an hour,” he said as he went back to sleep. Dismissive of the “Bohemian Corporal” as he called Hitler, Hindenburg hoped making Hitler Chancellor in January 1933 would appease and quiet him. A year later he was dead, and Hitler folded the powers of the Presidency into his own.

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