Adolf Hitler, military and political leader of Germany 1933 - 1945, launched World War Two and bears responsibility for the deaths of millions, including six million Jewish people in the Nazi genocide.
Photo: Adolf Hitler giving the Nazi salute during a rally in 1939. (AFP/Getty Images)
Taylor gives an overview of Germany's dominance of Europe. First broadcast 8th August 1977.
Taylor gives an overview of Germany's dominance of Europe.
First broadcast 8 August 1977.
Londoners recall the growing spirit on the streets.
German scepticism about the planned invasion of Britain
German naval officers describe their scepticism about the likely success of the planned invasion of Britain.
History was part of Churchill's life
A.J.P. Taylor describes how Churchill often turned to historical precedents.
Bob Geldof sees parallels between a Nazi rally and a rock gig.
Bob Geldof, musician and anti-poverty campaigner, watches footage of a Nazi rally and likens the drama and hysteria to that of a rock gig.
Sussex Police investigates the rape of a female teenager in St Leonards-on-Sea.
Dominic King talks to Det Ch Insp Trevor Bowles from Sussex Police about the rape of a young woman in St Leonards-on-Sea. Also, every child from a military family can get £200 of government money.
Melvyn Bragg examines Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany though historiographical theories.
Melvyn Bragg examines the debate between various historiographical theories. How do Intentionalist, Structralist and Marxist views of history explain events in Nazi Germany?
Michael Portillo revisits the Berlin Olympics of 1936.
Michael Portillo revisits great moments of history to discover that they often conceal other events of equal, but forgotten, importance. This week, the Berlin Olympics of 1936.
The story of how tens of thousands of Muslims volunteered to fight for Hitler.
Julian O'Halloran tells the extraordinary and little-known story of how tens of thousands of Muslims volunteered to fight for Hitler in the Second World War.
Mike Thomson on Churchill's desperate efforts to keep Spain out of the Second World War.
Mike Thomson investigates how Winston Churchill resorted to shady deals and bribery to stop Spain joining Hitler during the Second World War.
Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau-am-Inn on the Austrian-German border. His father was a customs official. Hitler left school at 16 with no qualifications and struggled to make a living as a painter in Vienna. This was where many of his extreme political and racial ideas originated.
In 1913, he moved to Munich and, on the outbreak of World War One, enlisted in the German army, where he was wounded and decorated. In 1919, he joined the fascist German Workers' Party (DAP). He played to the resentments of right-wingers, promising extremist 'remedies' to Germany's post-war problems which he and many others blamed on Jews and Bolsheviks. By 1921 he was the unquestioned leader of what was now the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP or Nazi Party).
In 1923, Hitler attempted an unsuccessful armed uprising in Munich and was imprisoned for nine months, during which time he dictated his book 'Mein Kampf' outlining his political ideology. On his release he began to rebuild the Nazi Party and used new techniques of mass communication, backed up with violence, to get his message across. Against a background of economic depression and political turmoil, the Nazis grew stronger and in the 1932 elections became the largest party in the German parliament. In January 1933, Hitler became chancellor of a coalition government. He quickly took dictatorial powers and began to institute anti-Jewish laws. He also began the process of German militarisation and territorial expansion that would eventually lead to World War Two. He allied with Italy and later Japan to create the Axis.
Hitler's invasion of Poland in September 1939 began World War Two. After military successes in Denmark, Norway and Western Europe, but after failing to subdue Britain in 1941, Hitler ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union. The Jewish populations of the countries conquered by the Nazis were rounded up and killed. Millions of others whom the Nazis considered racially inferior were also killed or worked to death. In December 1941, Hitler declared war on the United States. The war on the eastern front drained Germany's resources and in June 1944, the British and Americans landed in France. With Soviet troops poised to take the German capital, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin on 30 April 1945.