On February 25, 1932, Adolf Hitler became a citizen of Germany. Hitler, who was born in Austria, had immigrated to Germany in 1913, and renounced his Austrian citizenship in 1925. After years of being stateless, a fellow member of the Nazi Party appointed Hitler to a low-level government job that came with automatic citizenship.
 
Hitler’s new status allowed him to achieve his political goals. As a citizen, he could run for office, and by the middle of 1934, power in Germany was entirely his as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor). As Führer, Hitler redefined citizenship to serve his beliefs. He used race and pan-German heritage to give citizenship to, and take it from, large groups of people. By the time World War II was under way, Hitler’s views on German supremacy were fueling a military campaign that destroyed borders and entire populations all across Europe.
achieve
Verb

to accomplish or attain.

Noun

natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.

citizen
Noun

member of a country, state, or town who shares responsibilities for the area and benefits from being a member.

government
Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

heritage
Noun

cultural or family background.

immigrate
Verb

to move to a new place.

Noun

armed forces.

Nazi
noun, adjective

(1919-1945) (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) having to do with the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

political
Adjective

having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.

race
Noun

arbitrary grouping of people based on genetics and physical characteristics.

World War II
Noun

(1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)

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