During 1930s Europe was struggling from WWI. Germany suffered and fell in the trap of Adolf Hitler. Hitler promised he would make them a stronger nation.
Adolf Hitler was leader of the Nazi party and in 1933 he took control of Germany. He ruled as a dictator and killed or arrested anyone who disagreed with him. Millions were put in concentration camps. He blamed Jews for Germany's problems.
Another dictator in Europe was Benito Mussolini. He ruled Italy in 1922 with fascism, and took away individual freedoms.
A fascist leader named Francisco Franco took over Spain.
In 1924 Joseph Stalin took control of the Soviet Union
Hideki Tojo was prime minister of Japan. He conquered nations in Asia and the Pacific.
The United States government tried to stay out of the fighting among other countries fearing it may be "the last great democracy on earth."
In 1939 Germany started WWII and invade through Europe. In Asia, Japan took over much of China.