What is reich?

What Does reich Mean

Reich is a term that is not part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ). It is a German concept that can be translated as empire .

Historians often use the notion of reich to refer to the regime that the German state adopted in various historical periods. It is possible, in this sense, to distinguish between three reichs : the First Reich , the Second Reich and the Third Reich .
The First Reich is linked to the Holy Roman Empire which lasted between 962 and 1806 . In reality, this reich never corresponded to a nation state as we understand it today, but brought together various European regions.

The Second Reich , therefore, is the first that corresponds to the German State . It was founded in 1871 , when William I was proclaimed emperor, and it existed until 1918 . That year, after the fall in World War I , Germany became a republic.
The Third Reich began in 1933 with the coming to power of the German National Socialist Workers' Party ( Nazism ). This reich had Adolf Hitler as its main leader, since he became the president and the German chancellor simultaneously.
This third German empire was characterized by the persecution of Jews, Gypsies, blacks and other collectives. From the instrumentation of detention and torture centers and gas chambers, Nazism murdered thousands of people, developing the worst genocide of the 20th century . In addition, due to its military-expansionist policy, the Third Reich was annexing various nations to its territory until the Second World War was its end.
Anti-Semitism is the central concept of the Third Reich , and it is about hostility towards the Jewish people, sustained by a series of prejudices related to culture, race and religion. The official ideology of this reign considered that the Nordic race (the Germanic peoples) was the purest, superior to the rest, which is why it was necessary to end the other ethnic groups.
For people outside the German language, in short, the term reich refers to one of the bloodiest pages in the history of mankind . As much as we learn about the aforementioned persecutions, it is impossible to feel that helplessness, that despair that so many innocent people felt not so many decades ago to be able to pretend that there is no longer a connection between these events and today.

Among the most complete sources of information about the Second World War are the documentaries created by Claude Lanzmann , a journalist, screenwriter, director and producer born in Bois-Colombes, France, in 1925. From his youth he faced the anti-Semitism, and had to live such unfortunate events as the German occupation, before which he organized plans of resistance .
His documentary film " Shoah " is his most recognized work; It took him more than ten years to complete. It is an unprecedented material, which lasts approximately ten hours and transports the public to several continents, in a journey of a decade that aims to obtain testimonies from some of the participants of the extermination of the Jews that took place during the Third Reich , more specifically in World War II.
As in his other documentaries, one of the most outstanding characteristics is the apparent absence of editing of the filmed material . Scenes of silence, repetitions, contradictions on the part of the interviewees, landscapes charged with nostalgia for what could not be and tinged with an inevitable suffering are some of the most recurrent elements. Thanks to this direct and legitimate way of presenting information, Lanzmann allows his audience to experience the confessions first-hand and calmly elaborate their opinion, without the typical influence of the media.

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