German word meaning “realm,” “kingdom,” or “empire.” The term Reich is used to refer to the Holy Roman Empire (Heiliges Römisches Reich, 800-1806) and the German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, from 1871-1919). From 1933 to 1945, the official designation of the Nazi regime in Germany as the “Third Reich” was intended to place the Nazi regime in a 1000-year historical lineage.

The designation “Reich” (or “Reichs-” in compound words) was used in Nazi government organization names and titles to indicate national authority and high rank.