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Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler (German: 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician and leader
of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP). He rose to power
as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934.[a] During his dictatorship from 1933
to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was
closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration
of the Holocaust.
Hitler was born in Austria—then part of Austria-Hungary—and was raised near Linz. He moved
to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I.
In 1919, he joined the German Workers' Party (DAP), the precursor of the NSDAP, and was
appointed leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he attempted to seize power in a failed coup
in Munich and was imprisoned. In jail, he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and
political manifesto Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular
support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, anti-
semitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. He frequently
denounced international capitalism and communism as part of a Jewish conspiracy.
By July 1932 the Nazi Party was the largest elected party in the German Reichstag, but
did not have a majority, and no party was able to form a majority parliamentary coalition in
support of a candidate for chancellor. Former chancellor Franz von Papen and other
conservative leaders persuaded President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor
on 30 January 1933. Shortly after, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which began
the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany, a one-party dictatorship
based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of National Socialism. Hitler aimed to eliminate
Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the
post-World War I international order dominated by Britain and France. His first six years in
power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the abrogation of
restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I, and the annexation of territories inhabited
by millions of ethnic Germans, which gave him significant popular support.
Hitler sought Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people in Eastern Europe, and
his aggressive foreign policy is considered the primary cause of World War II in Europe. He
directed large-scale rearmament and, on 1 September 1939, invaded Poland, resulting in Britain
and France declaring war on Germany. In June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet
Union. By the end of 1941, German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of
Europe and North Africa. In December 1941, shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, Hitler
declared war on the United States, bringing it directly into the conflict. Failure to defeat the
Soviets and the entry of the United States into the war forced Germany onto the defensive and it
suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in
1945, he married his longtime lover Eva Braun. Less than two days later, on 30 April 1945, the
two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Soviet Red Army; their corpses were burned.
Under Hitler's leadership and racially motivated ideology, the Nazi regime was
responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other victims whom he
and his followers deemed Untermenschen (subhumans) or socially undesirable. Hitler and the
Nazi regime were also responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and
prisoners of war. In addition, 28.7 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action
in the European theatre. The number of civilians killed during World War II was unprecedented
in warfare, and the casualties constitute the deadliest conflict in history.

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (Italian: [beˈniːto mussoˈliːni];[1] 29 July 1883 – 28 April
1945) was an Italian politician and journalist who was the leader of the National Fascist
Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista, PNF). He ruled Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943; he
constitutionally led the country until 1925, when he dropped the pretense of democracy and
established a dictatorship.
Known as Il Duce ("The Leader"), Mussolini was the founder of Italian Fascism.[2][3][4] In
1912, Mussolini had been a leading member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist
Party (PSI),[5] but was expelled from the PSI for advocating military intervention in World War I,
in opposition to the party's stance on neutrality. Mussolini served in the Royal Italian
Army during the war until he was wounded and discharged in 1917. Mussolini denounced the
PSI, his views now centering on nationalism instead of socialism and later founded the fascist
movement which came to oppose egalitarianism[6] and class conflict, instead advocating
"revolutionary nationalism" transcending class lines.[7] Following the March on Rome in October
1922, Mussolini became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history until the appointment
of Matteo Renzi in February 2014. After removing all political opposition through his secret
police and outlawing labor strikes,[8] Mussolini and his followers consolidated their power
through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five
years, Mussolini had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means and
aspired to create a totalitarian state.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA (30 November 1874 –
24 January 1965) was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and
again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as
a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his
career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from
1904 to 1924 was instead a member of the Liberal Party.
Of mixed English and American parentage, Churchill was born in Oxfordshire to a
wealthy, aristocratic family. Joining the British Army, he saw action in British India, the Anglo–
Sudan War, and the Second Boer War, gaining fame as a war correspondent and writing books
about his campaigns. Elected an MP in 1900, initially as a Conservative, he defected to the
Liberals in 1904. In H. H. Asquith's Liberal government, Churchill served as President of the
Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty, championing prison reform
and workers' social security. During the First World War, he oversaw the Gallipoli Campaign;
after it proved a disaster, he resigned from government and served in the Royal Scots
Fusiliers on the Western Front. In 1917, he returned to government under David Lloyd
George as Minister of Munitions, and was subsequently Secretary of State for War, Secretary of
State for Air, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. After two years out of Parliament, he
served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Stanley Baldwin's Conservative government,
returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely
seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy the Papacy, and recognized the
independence of Vatican City.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov[a] (22 April 1870[1] – 21 January 1924), better known by
the alias Lenin,[b] was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served
as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922
to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-
party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a communist,
he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism; his ideas were posthumously codified
as Marxism-Leninism.
Born to a moderately prosperous middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin
embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother's 1887 execution. Expelled
from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire's Tsarist
government, he devoted the following years to a law degree. He moved to Saint Petersburg in
1893 and became a senior Marxist activist. In 1897, he was arrested for sedition and exiled
to Shushenskoye for three years, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile, he
moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social
Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP ideological split,
leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Encouraging insurrection
during Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he later campaigned for the First World War to be
transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which as a Marxist he believed would
cause the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. After the 1917 February
Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia to
play a leading role in the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new
regime.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin[b][c] (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili;[a] 18 December


1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician. He led the Soviet
Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective
leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the
country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to
the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–
Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.
Born to a poor family in Gori, Russian Empire (now Georgia), Stalin joined the
Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party as a youth. He edited the party's
newspaper, Pravda, and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies,
kidnappings, and protection rackets. Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal exiles.
After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party
state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo.
Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922,
Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. During Stalin's rule,
"Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Under the Five-Year
Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialization, creating a
centralized command economy. This led to significant disruptions in food production that
contributed to the famine of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class",
Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000
executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the party
and state