Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in Austria-Hungary. He was a decorated veteran of World War I, and joined the Nazi Party in 1919. After arrested for a failed coup, Hitler gained power by promoting German nationalism, anti-semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-communism with zeal. In 1933, he became chancellor of the NSDAP.
Hitler’s desire to re-arm Germany led to the invasion of Poland, to which Great Britain and France responded, initiating the second World War.
Within three years, Germany and the Axis powers had occupied most of Europe, and most of Northern Africa, East and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean. However, with the reversal of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Allies gained the upper hand from 1942 onwards. By 1945, Allied armies had invaded German-held Europe from all sides. Nazi forces engaged in numerous violent acts during the war, including the systematic murder of as many as 17 million civilians, an estimated six million of whom were Jews that were targeted in a genocide we know as the Holocaust.
In the final days of the war, at the fall of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time mistress Eva Braun and, to avoid capture, both he and his wife committed suicide on April 30, 1945.