When Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933, Germany was potentially one of the strongest powers in Europe. Hitler was determined to overturn the remaining military and territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, which had followed World War I. He aimed to include German-speaking people in the Reich as a preliminary step toward the restoration of German power and the creation of a German empire in Europe. Large numbers of German-speaking people lived in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Within 10 years of Hitler's appointment as chancellor, Austria was incorporated into Germany, Czechoslovakia was partitioned, and Poland was invaded by German forces, unleashing World War II.
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