With this police infrastructure in place, opponents of the Nazis were terrorized, beaten, or sent to one of the concentration camps the Germans built to incarcerate them.
Dachau, just outside of Munich, was the first such camp built for political prisoners.
With the German Empire destroyed, a new parliamentary government called the Weimar Republic was formed.
The republic suffered from economic instability, which grew worse during the worldwide depression after the New York stock market crash in 1929.
Soon after he became chancellor, Hitler called for new elections in an effort to get full control of the Reichstag, the German parliament, for the Nazis.
The Nazis used the government apparatus to terrorize the other parties.
Rather, they were the victims of Germany’s deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the entire Jewish population of Europe, a plan Hitler called the “Final Solution” ().
After its defeat in World War I, Germany was humiliated by the Versailles Treaty, which reduced its prewar territory, drastically reduced its armed forces, demanded the recognition of its guilt for the war, and stipulated it pay reparations to the allied powers.
The Nazis claimed the Jews corrupted pure German culture with their “foreign” and “mongrel” influence.
They portrayed the Jews as evil and cowardly, and Germans as hardworking, courageous, and honest.