The Nazis were able to recruit support from a wide range of German society. While Roehm, the leader of the brown-shirted "storm troopers" (Sturmabteilungen, or SA) was convincing one-time communists that Hitler was secretly more Red than Stalin, the socially-acceptable Goering was selling him to the capitalists as the only man who could save them from the communists!
The Nazis gained strength and won many seats in the German Parliament
(Reichstag) in the 1932 elections. Hitler became Reichskanzler under
President Paul von Hindenburg (a famous General during World War I )
Reichschancellor Adolf Hitler was the Fuehrer (dictator) of Germany from 1934 until a few days before it surrendered, in May 1945.
On 27 FEB 1933, the Reichstag building burned. Hitler blamed the Communists, and used this as an excuse to expand his legal powers.In June, 1934 the conservative wing used the Gestapo (Geheimestaatspolizei,or State Secret Police) which was then controlled by Goering and the Schutzstaffel, or SS, led by Himmler, to arrest and murder Roehm and other leaders of the SA. Himmler and the SS were nominally part of the SA, but he was willing to turn on the other SA leaders in return for control of the Gestapo. While Goering and Himmler seem to have started this "Night of the Long Knives" on their own, Hitler quickly took advantage of the situation to become the absolute master of the party. Even so, each of them retained a private empire (the Gestapo and SS for Himmler and the Air Force (Luftwaffe) for Goering).
Following Hindenburg's death, in 1934, Hitler became President as well as Reichs-Chancellor. The secret program of rearmament, started by the German Army in the 1920s, was greatly accelerated by Hitler. In 1935, he made this obvious, when he announced that Germany could rearm, in spite of the limits the Versailles Treaty, because France had failed to disarm, as the same treaty had suggested it would. In an act of utter diplomatic stupidity, the British government agreed to this, provided Germany did not try to build a navy larger than that of France. This led the French to be suspicious of British motives in the series of crises that followed.
In 1936,he codified his policies in the "Nurnberg Laws" and began the systematic persecution of the Jews under his control, which led to the murder of over six million people (the so-called "final solution to the Jewish question") by 1945. In 1936, Hitler also reexerted German control over the Rhineland, sending troops into an area demilitarized since World War I. Although they found the reports coming out of Germany hard to believe, the western public began to realize that Hitler was more than a "funny foreigner who liked parades".
Although Mussolini had halted Hitler's first move to annex Austria, by 1936 British and French opposition to Italian actions in Ethiopia had left him looking for new friends. Hitler played upon this and formed an alliance with him. When Hitler again attempted to annex Austria, in 1938, Mussolini made no objections. This was soon followed by the fatal Munich conference, where the British and French leaders agreed to German occupation of the Czechoslovakian province of Sudetenland; Hitler annexed the rest of that country, with its huge armaments industries, in March, 1939. In August of 1939, having signed a mutual Non-Agression Pact with Stalin and seen his Nationalist ally, Franco, win the Spanish Civil War, Hitler attempted another annexation by invading Poland. This proved one time too many, for the British and French had finally realized that he could not be restrained by diplomacy alone, and declared war.
During World War II, the skill that he had shown in politics and
was not repeated in military decisions. Hitler was a gambler; he
much on boldness and bluff, intuition and luck. Surprise worked
him in the invasions of 1939, 40 and 41, but his surprises often lacked a
sound strategic objective. In 1942, he surprised the Red Army by not
attacking towards Moscow or Leningrad (either of which would have been
fatal to the Soviets) but towards Baku, which the Soviets could
afford to lose.
Hitler will attempt to eliminate the Soviet Union (aka, the "Bolshevik Menace") before turning his attention to the West,unless, that is, the West gets dangerously near to Germany.
After his opponents had learned to stay awake, his fondness for bluff and gamble began to backfire. While not the meddling incompetent that some of his critics have made him out to be, his refusal to accept criticism or authorize retreat were disastrous for the German war effort.
After nearly six years of war, Hitler's "thousand year empire" was in ruins. Trapped in his bunker under the rubble of his capital, Hitler killed himself.