• The Third Reich is an anglification of the German expression "Das Dritte Reich", and is used as a synonym for Nazi Germany. The term was introduced by Nazi propaganda, which counted the Holy Roman Empire as the first Reich, the 1871 German Empire the second, and its own regime as the third. This was done in order to suggest a return to alleged former German glory after the perceived failure of the 1919 Weimar Republic.
  • The definition of Reich is "German State", and in this definition the word "German" is not related to what is today the Country of Germany, but in an ancient meaning the Germanic Lands. The First Reich, was also known as The Holy Roman Empire (a continuation of the Roman Empire in Europe), that started in the lands ruled by Charlemagne (Germany, Austria, Eslovenia, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, eastern France, Northern Italy and western Poland), with a period beginning on the 9th century and finishing in the 19th century. The Second Reich, also known as The German Empire, ruled by the Hohenzollern dinasty, in the areas known as Prussia and Brandenburg, from 1871 to 1919, they fell with the ending of World War I. During this Reich the "Iron Chancellor" Otto Von Bismark united Germany, and set the roots for World War I. Then there was a period known as the Weimar Republic, from 1919 to 1933 (called sometimes the pre-3rd Reich). The Third Reich (from 1933 to 1945), called the Nazi Germany, was under Hitler control. He called it the Third Reich because he thought that under his leadership Germany could reunite the old Holy Roman Empire, bringing Germany back to its glorious days. This Reich was terminated with the fall of Germany at the end of World War II. This is an interesting question because most people don't know why Hitler started World War II and what was his objective. Of course his delusional beliefs about the supremacy of the German Race and the necessity to reinstate The German Empire (that he believed was the heir of the Roman splendor) cost our world millions of lifes, and his country years of poverty and suffering.
  • I always thought the First Reich(called so by Hitler because it was an empire of similarly sprawling scope) was Tiberius' rule, and the second was Napoleon's rule. Shows you what I know.
  • "The Nazis sought to legitimize their power historiographically by portraying their rule as a continuation of a Germanic past. They coined the term Das Dritte Reich ("The Third Empire" – usually rendered in English in the half-translation "The Third Reich"), counting the Holy Roman Empire as the first and the 1871-1918 monarchy as the second. They also used the political slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer ("One people, one Reich, one leader"). Although the term "Third Reich" is in common use, the terms "First Reich" and "Second Reich" for the earlier periods are seldom found outside Nazi propaganda. To use the terms "First Reich" and "Second Reich", as some commentators did in the post-war years, is generally frowned upon as accepting Nazi historiography. The term Altes Reich (old Reich) is sometimes used to refer to the Holy Roman Empire." Source and further information:
  • It would be a mistake to say that Bismark set the stage for the first world war by the unification of Germany; just as it was a mistake to say that Germany alone was responsible for the first world war. All the great Powers, Britain, France, Russia, Austria-Hungry and Germany bear the blame. It was a war which should never have happened but was engendered by the media whipping up Xenophobia against foreigners and also a power struggle between all the great powers for imperial expansion. The roots of the first world war go back to the Napoleonic wars - when, at that time, Britain and Germany were allies. Had there been no first world war there would have been no second world war and no Hitler.
  • <Remember, all wars have an economical reason!> No! Most wars are started because of a sense of injustice - real or perceived - such as when France invaded the Ruhr by use of military force for the purpose of removing coal - a raw material then - from German soil!
  • Most wars are fought for territory, power and a sense of injustice, although some are also fought for economic benefit or treaties with allies. To be more specific, wars are fought for unification of territory, whether contiguous or not. Look at Ivan the Terrible. He waged fierce wars to 1) unify his far flung 'territory by birthright'2) extinguish the last stronghold of Tartars inhabiting the steppes and making it unfit for agriculture and 3)to annex ally countries on his borders capable of holding off the Turks from invading Russia. I wouldn't call Britain's invasion of India and Africa results of a sense of injustice. Only the invaded experience a sense of injustice. Generally, the invaders are seeking to unify disparate lands into a governable whole using some ideology (divine right, racial superiority, establishing democracy,prior enfranchisement). Mostly wars aren't actually conducted around ideology but because the rulers at the top of the ziggurat want more land, more power, more control of commerce and borders and populace. I give you Alexander the so-called Great who trampled everything in his way and complained, just before he died, "I am 33, and I have not yet conquered my world." Ideologies are only excuses for wars. Economics only bear partially on how wars begin. The authentic causes of war usually arise because one leader, like Hitler, will not give way to other leaders, like Churchill or Stalin. Had the true gist of things been ideology and not empire, WW I and WW II could have been avoided by negotiation and compromise. And all the poor and middle class people who get stuck in between are persuaded by government propaganda they are saving their nation by going to war for leaders who mostly have the glory of conquest on their minds. Churchill was an exception to this rule. Stalin wasn't. As an example, Christianity was the ideology that gave the Vikings their dominion in their time. Once Canute of Denmark realized he could rule three or four countries merely by promoting Christianity, he sailed around the North Sea with a drawn sword and a bunch of archers telling every fleet he ecountered, "Be Christian or die." After that, Christianity in the West as an excuse to persecute, murder, wage war, factionalize, establish monopolies became simple tradition. I don't know if I've said this accurately. It's all a little more complex than it appears on the surface. Anonymous
  • The German term 'Reich' is most often translated as 'Empire', but sometimes also as 'realm' or 'kingdom', and does not refer exclusively to German states. Peter Levenda's "Unholy Alliance" explains many of the reasons for the establishment of the Third Reich... yes, to restore German power, and also to restore German aristocratic families to power, while pretending to be a populist government. In order to get the German people to vote for the idea, which they would not have done otherwise, the Nazi party labeled itself as 'socialist', but in fact it was pro-aristocratic and corporatists. The political methods of the Third Reich were extremely stealthy, and skillfully disguised, as Levenda's (and others') book/s points out -- very Machiavelli. So, in essence, the institution of the 'Third Reich' implied the reinstallation of the German Empire. And by annexation of Austria, the alliance and eventual control of Italy, and of northern Yugoslavia, the Third Reich did in fact restore the boundaries similar to those of the First Reich at one point. Two other books to enlighten us on the continuation of the German Reich are 'The New Germany and the Old Nazis' by T H Tetens, and 'Germany Will Try It Again' by Sigrid Schultz.
  • The First Reich: The Holy Roman Empire (800/962 - 1806) The Second Reich: The German Empire (1871 - 1918) The Third Reich: Nazi Germany (1933 - 1945)
  • Promethius - "Had there been no first world war there would have been no second world war and no Hitler." Not necessarily true. Post WWI Germany was an absolute mess. Unemployment was at an all time high. The country was deeply in debt because of the war and the "victorious allies" levied further reparations on Germany which made life unbearable for the common German. The allies essentially planted the seeds of WWII when they choose to levy such enormous debt upon the Germans at the end of WWI. I'm not saying that Germany shouldn't have been held accountable for the damage that they inflicted during WWI; but if it was done in a more humane fashion, maybe things would have stabilized inside Germany and life would have improved on its own. Maybe there would have been no reason for a man like Hitler to go around speaking of the injustice of the Versailles treaty. He wouldn't have a reason to blame Jews or anyone else for the poverty and poor economic conditions that then wouldn't have existed. There would have been no reason for the people to rally around him and turn their backs on the outside world. Ultimately, Hitler and the Nazi party are responsible for WWII and the deaths of 55,000,000 people. But maybe... Just maybe if they weren't treated as badly as they were after WWI, things would have been different.
  • There are many, many reasons why WWII started. Reparations, the actual creation of Weimar, unemployment, nationalist sentiment, wall. st crash, Von Papen and Hindenburg's death, Hitler's persistence etc... To whittle it down to the reparation payments is naive. Germany constantly re-organised the reparation payments, and the British and French suffered just as much financially. Don't forget, the war was fought on French and Belgian soil. Germany created democracy to save face and a necessity to drive a fairer bargain. It could be argued that Germany got off lightly, if it wasn't for the 'November Criminals'.
  • <Charlemagne (Germany, Austria, Eslovenia, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, eastern France, Northern Italy and western Poland)> In here I see a BIG mistake my friend... As a Slovenian citizen I notice that you gave a new name to our country. I hope that you can point this ''Eslovenia'' on the map of Europe because I sure as hell can't. Overall a great subscribe of ''the three reichs''.
  • Well, Nordic people are superior, it doesnt take a 'genius' to figure that out, but then again every person who has posted comments of negativity of the Nazis, Germans, etc., are such ignorant people that they dont rrealize what they say is a double standard, hypocritical, and bias, beyond all fucking recognition of meaning to the words. Great job, real congrats, on manipulating the minds of others to think as you do, and promote your liberalistic beliefs idiots. Simply superb!

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