Wars, revolutions and coup d'états were highlighted in Het Leven. Adolf Hitler had been in the news since the so-called ‘beer hall putsch' in Munich in 1923. After Hitler came to power as German chancellor in 1933, Het Leven not only showed its readers his many followers but also the first measures taken against Jews - sometimes recorded by its own photographers.
The outbreak out of the Second World War in 1939 was closely followed up until the occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940. The increasing control of the occupying forces on the Dutch press ultimately resulted in Het Leven ceasing to exist as independent magazine on 22 November 1941.