Landsberg Prison, 1924 -- Hitler is ensconced in a veritable suite in prison, next door to his assistant, Rudolf Hess, who is still enthusiastic about serving his Fuhrer. During his time there, he decides to write a personal memoir that becomes the infamous book "Mein Kampf." He asks Hanfstaengl to be his publisher. Hanfstaengel replies that his family only publishes art books and, when he suggests that he will be returning to America to seek medical treatment for his daughter, Hitler forbids it.
Upon his release from prison, Hitler surprises the Hanfstaengls with a visit on Christmas Day. As Ernst attends to their gravely ill daughter upstairs, Hitler makes a dramatic and wholly inappropriate display of affection for Helene. On his knees, he tells her she is his ideal woman, wife and mother. He ultimately enlists her aid as a party fundraiser, which drives a wedge between Helene and Ernst, who already have a strained relationship.
Hitler retreats to his Alpine home in Obersalzberg. He asks his half-sister, Angela, to become his caretaker for the compound. She also brings her daugher, Geli, now a beautiful young woman, to live there and Geli becomes Hitler’s object of affection and constant companion.
After General Hindenburg wins the presidential election against Ludendorff, Hitler calls a meeting of his inner circle in Munich. On the way, he dismisses Ludendorff’s incompetence, insulting him to the point where Ludendorff removes himself from the party. Hitler confronts party members Gregor Strasser and Josef Goebbels, whom he accuses of wanting him out of the party. He then announces that he wants to solidify the party and that he plans to lead it and tells Röhm that his men are no longer needed for his personal security. In short, he declares that many in the party will be relieved of their duties and that all who are left must obey his orders.
Hitler brings Geli to Munich to keep him company, a situation that soon becomes suffocating for her. Rumors about the two of them are rampant and even party members are concerned about the negative publicity that arises over the situation. Geli begs to be allowed to go home, but he will not allow it. When Hitler discovers that she has tried to run away, he openly threatens her. Geli, in a state of deep despair, is later found dead by her mad uncle. Hitler then becomes involved with Eva Braun but Eva is warned by Geli’s mother, Angela, that she will never have a significant place in his life, that she will always be held up to Geli’s memory.
1932 -- German politics are in an uproar. Hitler runs for President against Hindenburg who considers Hitler the biggest threat to German democracy. Röhm, who has his own political aspirations, attempts to raise funds from sources outside of Germany. Gerlich, who loses his job after the newspaper office is smoke-bombed by Hitler, ultimately makes a deal with the unknowing publisher of Hitler’s propaganda to use the same printing presses to publish his own newspaper, The Straight Path. He continues to report on Hitler’s activities.
Though Hitler loses the election to Hindenburg, he decides to ask for the job of Chancellor, the number two position in the government. He feels entitled to the position because his National Socialist Party has become the largest presence in the Reichstag, giving it the majority vote. He also confronts Röhm about a rumor he’s heard that Röhm is planning to kill him and tells Röhm that he must get the SA under control and quell their notion about revolution. Hindenburg offers Hitler the job of Vice Chancellor, which Hitler declines, much to Hindenburg’s wrath and dismay. Soon after, Hitler writes a public letter to Hindenburg pledging his loyalty and support, Hindenburg has no choice but to appoint Hitler Chancellor. On the night that Hitler takes the oath of office, a helpless Hindenburg witnesses a torch-lit march where hundreds of Brown Shirts revere their leader, chanting Sieg Heil in thunderous unison.
Gerlich publishes damaging information about Röhm and other illegal party activities that ultimately leads to Gerlich’s arrest, imprisonment and eventual execution. To counter the negative impact of this and other anti-opposition actions, Hitler suggests a diversion of some sort, perhaps, the desecration of a public monument. Soon after, the Reichstag is set afire and a Dutch communist is blamed for the treasonous act.
Hitler proposes an enabling act that will effectively override the constitution, take power away from aging President Hindenburg and put him in control. The tenets of this act take away individual freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to privacy and orders that all of these rights be suspended at once. Because the Reichstag must approve the act before it can come into effect, Hitler threatens dissenting voters into submission and the law is passed.
With no one to stop him, Hitler begins to systematically arrest and murder all those who oppose him now including Röhm and Von Kahr. Hanfstaengl requests permission to attend his Harvard University 20th reunion in America, a request that Hitler approves. Now more loyal to Hitler than her husband, Helene refuses to go with him.
Upon the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler assumes complete power over Germany and announces the beginning of a new era, the 1000-Year Reich.
In an epilogue, key events in the years between 1934 and 1945 are identified, recounting Hitler’s expansion throughout Europe and the human atrocities of his "Final Solution."