Focus Task on P.274
“Why did war break out in Europe in 1939?”
When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933; he had a lot of frustration against the Treaty which he thought was unfair. For example the enormous amount of reparation, it literally got Germany bankrupt. The restriction of army had also caused a lot of anger; Hitler and the Germans felt humiliated as the army used to be Germany’s pride and symbol before the First World War. Moreover, Germany was not allowed self-determination and joining of the League of Nations. These further made the Germans feel humiliated and dishonoured. The loss of colonies and territories had not only made Germany lost human resources, they were also important industrial areas which provide resources and markets. Therefore when Hitler came to power in 1933, he pledged that he would abolish the treaty to recover the Germany economy brings back German’s pride. Hitler also felt a strong necessity of increasing German territory, which came from the idea of ‘Lebensraum’, a German word for living space. His aimed was clearly to bring Germany back to where it was before the war, a proud and strong nation.
In the 1930s there were two incidents that really tested the League of Nations; they were the invasion of Manchuria and the Abyssinia crisis. During the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the league had done a bad job by delaying to solve their own local problems- it took them a year to produce a report to condemn the Japanese in1933 (when Hitler came to power). However, Japan intended to invade more of China to ‘defend their selves’, thus the powerless League voted to approve it when only Japanese voted against as an insult. Witnessing the incident, Hitler could be almost certain that League was too useless and weak to stop his future actions. In 1936 he took a huge risk by sending German troops to remilitarise Rhineland; however he was confident due to the...