Criterion A: Plan of the Investigation
From 1939 to 1945, the second world war tore asunder the European world and is recognized today as one of the most devastating global catastrophes. Since then, Germany has been haunted by the remnants of the war, which serve as a constant reminder of the atrocities their nation committed under the ruthless leader, Adolf Hitler. Given that World War I left Germany a broken a nation, tremendous pressure for economic, social, and political reform created a chaotic nation. While mourning the loss of millions of military deaths, struggling with an unstable economy, and attempting to rebuild their war torn Rhineland, the Germans also had to send reparations to Allied Powers for damages caused directly by German hands. These factors siphoned all remaining German morale, internationally portraying Germany a volatile nation. The transpiring of these events ultimately created a need for redemption and unification for the German peoples; one that Hitler and the Nazi regime was not afraid to deliver. Since the initial invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939, Germany has been noted an aggressor in and are blamed soleyfor the start of World War II. However, some scholars may offer the viewpoint that Germany victimization catalyzed the start of WWII. So were German motives and actions in WWII derived from aggression or victimization? In order to obtain a definitive answer, the student must consider a wide plethora of opinions and sources. The student must undergo a thorough analysis of secondary sources, as well as intense study of German actions post WWI, ranging no further than the WWII era. In addition, the student must manually dissect a variety of expert reports, books, and
other references, while recognizing the bias that each contain, in order to form a justifiable opinion and gain a historical perspective of Germany in the Pre-WWII era.
Criterion B: Summary of Evidence
A thorough evaluation of the evidence suggests two opposing perspectives for the appropriate classification of Germany in the Pre-WWII era: victim and aggressor. Some scholars infer that Germany was driven purely by aggression. However others may offer the viewpoint that the aftermath of WWI in Germany sparked expansionistic motives and actions. An agreed perspective still remains unresolved. Following the initial German invasion of Poland, several other German attacks were launched on countries such as France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. From then on supporters of the German Aggression theory have proclaimed that these acts were purely aggressive, and that Germany could not justify a logical reason for a mass European take-over. In opposition to this, considering the events that transpired in Germany Pre WWII, the student is subject to conclude that Germany was driven to expansion in a response to pressure from Allied reparations, de-moralization, and several domestic issues. In fact, there was such a vast amount of national problems within Germany, it is difficult for the student to form an opinion without taking into consideration the state of Germany post WWI. Evidence in Support of the German Aggression Theory
For decades, German expansion into Eastern Europe has played a role in German History. Hitler's Drag Noch Osten plan included the expansion of German frontiers at the expense of Eastern Slav territories. At the moment of Hitler's initial rise to power, leaders of the Third Reich along with Hitler
began making preparations for eastern, and eventually total, European conquest. These preparations include the expansion of Germany's War industry post WWI, mass training future troops, and “drafting of plans for aggression of the each individual countries”. (www.dac.neu.edu) “A blueprint was also to be drawn up for a new order in Europe to follow the successful conclusion of a war that...