How Much Do You Know About the Third Reich?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: wikimedia

About This Quiz

With its swastikas, big red flags, and shiny black army boots, the symbols of this World War II-era group were militaristic by design and terrifying to behold. They ended with the culmination of the Third Reich, the rule of the Nazi Party and the kingdom of a warped little man named Adolf Hitler. In our quiz, we’ll see if you really know anything about the Reich and its evil machinations.

Human nature dictates that we -- as a species -- can tolerate only so much suffering and indignation. And by the 1930s the German people were struggling in many aspects of their daily lives, unable to find work, watching other European countries find their way through the Great Depression as Germans floundered. Into this fray stepped the mustachioed madman with his dreams of racial purity and German supremacy.

Hitler preyed upon the sense of German victimization, slowly gaining power until he finally became chancellor. Then, he pounced, making himself the country’s ultimate leader and crushing dissent in every corner.

He installed his henchmen to high positions. Names like Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels, Friedrich Jeckeln, Adolf Eichmann, Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Himmler are now a stain on human history, responsible for the SS, the Holocaust, the Gestapo, all of the evilest manifestations of the Reich’s power.

Let’s see if you can sidestep Nazi propaganda and help the Allies understand the appeal of Hitler and his twisted ideals. Take our Third Reich quiz now!

From 1933 to 1945, which party controlled Germany's politics?

From 1933 to 1945, the Nazi party was in charge of politics -- and everything else -- in Germany. The rest of world wrung its hands knowing that evil was afoot.


The Nazi Party held extreme ideas regarding politics and culture. How did it manage to capture the imaginations of normal German people?

Following WWI, the Treaty of Versailles hammered Germany with many harsh penalties that nearly dehumanized the German people. It was just a matter of time before a politician capitalized on Germany's sense of humiliation and injustice.


What does "Third Reich" mean?

Third Reich means "Third Ream" or "Third Empire." And Hitler planned to be the ultimate ruler of that empire.


In 1933, Adolf Hitler began his rise to power as chancellor of the country. Then, he elevated himself to _____.

Things were scary enough when Hitler rose to the level of chancellor. Then, he made himself Fuhrer ("leader") and made it clear that he intended to seize as much power as possible no matter how ridiculolus his little mustache might look to the rest of the world.


What's another term for "Third Reich"?

You can call it the Third Reich or simply Nazi Germany. Either way, you're referring to the period when the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party) held sway over Germany.


During the Third Reich, what sort of government did Germany have?

Ah, sometimes we yearn for the days of yore, when a single short madman could do whatever he wanted whenever he felt like it. Or not. The Third Reich was a totalitarian dictatorship, one operated by an insecure racist.


The Third Reich was fond of the concept of Lebensraum, which referred to ______.

Lebensraum ("living space") was all about German expansion and racial purity, and in the minds of the Nazis, "Aryan" racial purity, with its blonde hair and blue eyes, was their idea of perfection. Many of their policies were formed with Lebensraum in mind.


The Nazis particularly despised which ethnic group?

Hitler was convinced that Jewish people were a "problem" that needed a "solution." The anti-Semitism of the Nazi party eventually turned into an industrialized murder machine that ended with the deaths of millions of Jews (and anyone else who got in the way).


What was a primary slogan of the Third Reich?

Third Reich officials constantly spouted the line "blut and boden," or "blood and soil." In the end, the Nazis used the concept of blood and soil to justify their designs on territories held by other countries -- the German people intended to take back those lands, no matter the cost.


What was the capital city of the Third Reich?

Berlin was the capital of Germany, and during the Third Reich, the headquarters of the Nazi Party. The city was festooned with swastikas and images of Hitler, all the better to impress upon the locals exactly who was in charge.


The Third Reich was symbolized by its red, white and black flag. What did the red stand for?

The red symbolized the social aspect of the Nazi movement, and the white circle stood for the nationalistic part of the movement. The Nazis stole the black swastika from other cultures and appropriated it as their own.


Which social issue did Hitler really leverage during his rise to power?

In the early '30s, unemployment in Germany was shockingly high, around 30%. Germany was desperate for an answer to its problems, and the loud-mouthed Hitler promised solutions.


True or false, were Hitler and other Third Reich leaders big animal lovers?

Hitler loved puppies and fluffy kitties and adorable animals of all kinds. Once Hitler was in power, he prioritized animal rights laws meant to protect creatures of all kinds … except, you know, humans.


What was the name given to the systematic killings performed by the Nazis during the Third Reich?

As the concentration camps tallied millions of victims, the Holocaust did its work, "cleansing" Europe of "undesirables." In the end, the Holocaust would become known as one of humankind's greatest failures.


About how many people died in the Nazi death camps?

No one will ever know exactly how many people died as part of the Holocaust, in part because the numbers are simply too overwhelming. But historians estimate the totals at around 11 million, a testament to the harrowing efficiency of the German death camps.


What happened to Germans who violated the Third Reich's animals rights laws?

We mentioned that Hitler loved puppies, right? Kick a poodle and then faster than you could blink, you'd be lined up at the gates of a concentration camp, never to be seen again. Now, give the puppy a treat. Or else.


Social policies of the Third Reich were meant to create a _______.

Hitler and his men wanted to craft the "perfect race," the master race that would rule the world. This is the part where you imagine Hitler clasping his hands while shrieking in maniacal laughter.


What was the "Gestapo"?

The Gestapo was the German secret police, and there were more than 100,000 of them in the Third Reich. Fear of the Gestapo helped to coerce the German people into following Nazi policies even if they wanted no part of Hitler's insane ramblings.


What was one of Hermann Göring's first tasks?

Hermann Göring was one of Hitler's right-hand men from the start of the Reich. One of his first jobs was to create the Gestapo to control the German population. Later, he handed off leadership of the Gestapo to Heinrich Himmler, who became one of the scariest people in world history.


How did German churches respond to the rise of the Third Reich?

During Hitler's rise, he "coordinated" many churches to gain their support. Through coercion, many Protestant and Catholic churches did fall into line, marching to the beat of the Nazi war drums.


The "Fuhrer principle" had which effect on Hitler?

The "Fuhrer principle" meant that German laws didn't really apply to Hitler. He was free to stand outside the system, doing whatever he liked without repercussions.


As the Third Reich gained momentum and power, how did ordinary German people perceive the Nazis?

A majority of Germans supported the Nazis, hoping the party would restore German dignity lost during WWI and the Great Depression. Still, many Germans saw the madness of Hitler's ways, and those who made the mistake of speaking out were sent to prison.


Third Reich policies essentially paraded the common people of Germany as ______.

Hitler ingratiated himself to the common people by calling upon their sense of victimization in the wake of WWI. Those who bought into his mindset felt as if it was their right to lash out at the world in vengeance.


What was the "Volksgemeinschaft"?

Volksgemeinschaft referred to the "people's community." It was one of Hitler's ploys -- that the Nazis would make German people equals without caste, and that the racially pure would work together in harmony to create a bigger and better nation. That doesn't sound so bad, does it?


As Hitler slowly rose to power, how was he perceived by other politicians and organizations?

Many branches of German society vehemently opposed Hitler and his cronies. But a confluence of strange events, paired with Hitler's daring, suddenly found the little monster in power.


How did the Third Reich approach people who had disabilities?

Policies of racial purity do not allow for the disabled. In many cases, Nazi troops simply removed, or "cleansed" socieity of disabled people who didn't fit the party's idea of perfection.


What was the purpose of the "Einsatzgruppen"?

The Einsatzgruppen were the mobile death squads of the Third Reich, committing murder throughout the war zone of Europe. The Einsatzgruppen was often assisted by the Wehrmacht, the German army.


How did the Third Reich manage to build many of its weapons during the war?

The Third Reich relied heavily on slave labor for its war goods. By some estimates, the Nazis dragged about 12 million slaves into the country to work in factories and fields.


When did the Third Reich finally end?

At the conclusion of WWII in 1945, Hitler was dead and so was his dream of the Third Reich. But in his wake, there were tens of million of bodies and an entire continent in ruins.


What was the purpose of the Nuremberg trials?

Following the war, the Allies held the Nuremberg trials, which held Nazi leaders accountable for their actions. The idea was to make an example of the symbols of the Third Reich in hopes of steering human civiliation towards better days.


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