August 2, 1934 is not a date many want to remember but it is etched in history forever. Following the death of the German President Paul von Hindenburg in 1934, Adolf Hitler, the then Chancellor of Germany, declared himself the dictator of the country on this day, 84 years ago. He titled himself as Fuhrer, which translates to leader.
At the time, Germany was still recovering from the effects of the First World War. The country had heavy debts, sanctions, and hyperinflation was the order of the day. Six years after he became the dictator, the country began recovering quickly from the Depression of 1929. The imposed sanctions were lifted and Hitler annexed several territories whose population included millions of Germany nationals.
Hitler began rearming Germany and charged at Poland, causing Britain and France to declare war against him. Hitler also led an invasion to the then Soviet Union in 1941 but in vain. He went on the defensive as the USSR pushed back and was eventually defeated.
But Hitler’s regime was not without controversy. The Nazis were held responsible for killing about 19.3 million civilians, including prisoners of war. Hitler was also charged with ‘racial cleansing’ as he targeted reportedly 6 million Jews, leading to the Holocaust. As a result of his war, an estimated 29 million soldiers and civilians were killed due to the military action in Europe during WWII, as per a report.