Nazism refers to the political movement and doctrine of the National Socialist Party (Nationalsozialismus), which began in 1919 as a unionist labor movement known as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei). During the years between its creation and the early 1930s, the organization addressed a number of political issues and ran for governmental positions. By 1933, the party was elected by 44% of the electorate to positions in the Reichstag (the German Parliament).

Specific events that aided the Nazi movement were Germany’s defeat in World War I in 1918 and the military’s belief that government politicians committed treason by signing the Versailles Treaty of 1919, which ended the war. Other factors included the War Guilt Clause in the Versailles Treaty, which identified ...

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