The beginnings of the Nazi dictatorship

Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf" as a way to settle scores with his political opponents while he served time in Landsberg prison after his failed putsch of 1923. Here he already gives blunt expression to his brutal attitudes and his contempt for humanity.

Following the collapse of the first German democracy, the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party rapidly expanded its control after January 30, 1933, through a mixture of legal and pseudo-legal measures, as well as outright violence. The "Führer" and "Volksgemeinschaft" – the "people's community" – were the fundamental myths on which the National Socialists built their state.

The rise of the Nazi Party in the Weimar Republic

The Nazis seize power

The path to dictatorship

The "Führer" and "Volksgemeinschaft"

The myth and cult of the "Führer"

The texts we link to here are from the "Fascination and Terror" exhibition at the Documentation Center.