Hitler: 80 Years Since Nazi Was Appointed Chancellor Marked In Berlin (PICTURES)

Eighty years ago today, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, a political appointment that would ultimately lead to a world war and over 60m deaths.

Chancellor Angela Merkel made a speech from Berlin's Topography of Terror museum to remember what she has previously referred to as Germany's "everlasting" responsibility for Nazi crimes.

Acknowledging the fact it only took Hitler six months to destroy democracy and become Fuehrer with the aid of an apathetic public, she called on Germans to always fight for their principles and not allow complacency.

Newly appointed Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler (l) hails the passing torchlight procession after his take-over on 30 January 1933

She said: "Human rights do not assert themselves on their own; freedom does not emerge on its own; and democracy does not succeed on its own.

"No, a dynamic society ... needs people who have regard and respect for one another, who take responsibility for themselves and others, where people take courageous and open decisions and who are prepared to accept criticism and opposition," reports AP.

The fall of the parliamentary Weimar Republic paved the way for Hitler and the Nazi party to forge a dictatorship in the wake of global economic depression.

The sombre anniversary is being marked in Germany with a number of cultural events and a special session of parliament

National Socialist troops with torches marching in Berlin to celebrate Hitler taking over the power

The museum is holding a 'Berlin 1933-The Road To Dictatorship' exhibition examining the key moments leading to Hitler's appointment.

The building is situated in the grounds of the SS headquarters and documents letters from many of the victim's of the state-sponsored terror.

An open-air exhibition at the Brandenburg Gate will remember the sinister torchlit march of thousands of SS stormtroopers that marked Hitler's appointment.

Hitler's legacy still casts a long shadow over world events. Last week saw both the Sunday Times and Lib Dem MP David Ward forced to apologise for invoking Nazi imagery.

Celebrating this anniversary is a reminder that today's events are not as detached from history as we would like to believe.

Another global economic depression has led to a surge in neo-Nazi groups particularly in Greece.


80 Years Since Adolf Hitler Becomes Chancellor