Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are the common English names for Germany under the government of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP), from 1933 to 1945. Third Reich (Drittes Reich) denotes the Nazi State as the historical successor to the mediæval Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) and to the modern German Empire (1871–1918). Nazi Germany had two official names, the Deutsches Reich (German Reich), from 1933 to 1943, when it became Großdeutsches Reich (Greater German Reich).
On 30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Although he initially headed a coalition government, he quickly eliminated his government partners. At this time Germany's borders were still determined by the Treaty of Versailles, the peace treaty between Germany and the allied powers of the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, Japan and others at the end of the First World War. To the north, Germany was bounded by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea; to the east, it was divided into two and bordered Lithuania, the Free City of Danzig, Poland and Czechoslovakia; to the south, it bordered Austria and Switzerland and to the west, it touched France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Rhineland and Saarland. These borders changed after Germany regained control of the Rhineland, Saarland and the Memelland and annexed Austria, the Sudetenland and Bohemia and Moravia. Germany expanded into Greater Germany during the Second World War, which began in 1939 after Germany invaded Poland, triggering the United Kingdom and France to declare war on Germany.
Germany conquered and occupied most of Europe and Northern Africa during the Second World War. Millions of Jews and other minorities were persecuted and murdered, particularly during the Second World War, amidst the Holocaust. Despite an alliance with other nations, mainly Italy and Japan, that together formed the Axis powers, Germany had by 1945 been defeated and subsequently was occupied by the victorious Allied powers, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and France.