Hitler was building the Third Reich. What were Reichs One and Two?

According to a fascinating tome called The Hitler Fact Book by Thomas Fuchs, “the first Reich was the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages; the second, the one established by Bismarck and ended by Germany’s defeat in 1918.” The term was a favorite of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. Hitler himself wasn’t that crazy about it, Fuchs notes; he outlawed the term at the beginning of World War II and referred to his realm merely as the Reich.


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