Foreign policies that weakened power of Germany
Remilitarization of the Rhineland
| * UnderTreaty of Versailles, Germany was "forbidden to maintain or construct any fortification either on the Left bank of the Rhine or on the Right bank to the west of a line drawn fifty kilometers to the East of the Rhine". * During January 1936, the German Chancellor and Führer Adolf Hitler decided to reoccupy the Rhineland. * Hitler ordered that German forces would leave at once if the French intervened militarily * On March 7, 1936, nineteen German infantry battalions and a handful of planes entered the Rhineland. Hitler inquired whether the French forces had actually crossed the border but the french never did. * This incident changes the nazi foreign policy since they realized that the Allies were weak for wars to happen
| The Treaty of Versailles
| * The economy was ruined as much of the produce and profit had to be sent to the allies as reparations payments. This meant that the German economy was unable to recover itself. * The disarmament of the armed forces was viewed as an embarrassment and the Germans felt very insecure about their inability to defend themselves: it also meant a loss of status as military power means that a nation has political clout.
| Anglo-German Naval Agreement (A.G.N.A)
| * bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and German Reich regulating the size of the Royal Navy. * For the Germans, the A.G.N.A. was intended to mark the beginning of an Anglo-German alliance against France and the Soviet Union, whereas for the British, the A.G.N.A. was to be the beginning of a series of arms limitation agreements that were made to limit German expansionism.
| Nazi Economic Policy 1933-1939
* One of the most important reasons why the Nazi Party gained in popularity in the late 1920s was because of the economic chaos in Germany after the Wall St Crash of 1929. The Nazis realised that if they were to gain and keep mass support from the German people, they would have to tackle these serious issues: * Unemployment * Inflation and hyperinflation * Self-sufficiency (autarky) - Germany relied on overseas trade for vital raw materials and food supplies. Part of the reason Germany had lost the Great War was because it hadn’t been able to maintain these supplies. Hitler hoped to make Germany self-sufficient. * Wall Street Crash in October 1929. Desperate for capital, the United States began to recall loans from Europe. One of the consequences of this was a rapid increase in unemployment. Germany, whose economy relied heavily on investment from the United States, suffered more than any other country in Europe. * Before the crash, 1.25 million people were unemployed in Germany. By the end of 1930 the figure had reached nearly 4 million, 15.3 per cent of the population.
| Difficulties that Hitler faced in his first months of power (1933-1934)
Nazi economic policies
* Hjalmar Schacht was put in charge of rebuilding Germany’s economy in 1933. At first he was President of the Reichsbank from 1933 and was appointed Minister for Economics in 1934. * The Nazis introduced a number of workschemes or Arbeitsdienst, such as the building of motorways or autobahnen. Investment for these came in the form of Mefo bills, an alternative business currency. * The Nazis concentrated on rearming. Thousands of Germans worked in factories producing weapons. * Hitler also encouraged the mass production of radios. In this case he was not only concerned with reducing unemployment, but saw them as a means of supplying a steady stream of Nazi propaganda to the German people.
| Guns or butter?
* Hitler needed a strong economy to retain popular support and to underpin his rearmament plans. The problem was that the German economy was not strong enough to increase consumer production and weapons production. After 1936 there was a shift in production away from consumer goods (butter)...
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