Hitler’s Foreign Policy (1933 - 1939)
German Reaction to the Treaty of Versailles.
The Aims of Hitler’s Foreign Policy.
The Saar Plebiscite.
The Remilitarisation of the Rhineland.
The Anschluss with Austria.
The Sudetenland Crisis.
The Munich Agreement &Appeasement.
The Invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The Nazi-Soviet Pact.
The Invasion of Poland.
The Timeline of Hitler’s Foreign Policy (1933 - 1939)
(Reversal of the Treaty of Versailles & Steps to the Second World War)
Hitler seizes power in Germany.
Germany withdrawals from the World Disarmament Conference.
Germany withdrawals from the League of Nations.
Hitler orders rearmament and tells the army to prepare for war.
Germany reintroduces conscription to the army.
Anglo-German Naval Agreement is agreed.
The Saar is returned to Germany after a Plebiscite.
Germany remilitarises the Rhineland.
The Rome-Berlin Axis is agreed.
German invades Austria (Anschluss).
The Sudentenland Crisis.
The Munich Agreement.
Germany occupies the whole of Czechoslovakia.
Nazi-Soviet Pact is agreed.
Germany invades Poland.
Second World War starts.
German reaction to the Treaty of Versailles included:
They were enraged when they saw the extremely harsh terms of the treaty. They were not allowed to negotiate over its terms and were forced to accept it. They felt that the terms of the treaty were extremely unfair and humiliating. They felt that they should not have to accept sole responsibility for the war. Many Germans started calling for revenge to reverse the effects of the treaty. Many Germans attacked the new Weimar democratic government for signing it. Many labelled the politicians who signed the treaty “November Criminals” who had “stabbed in the back” the army, which still controlled most of Europe in 1918. The treaty undermined the new democratic government, led to the rise of the Nazi party and the Second World War.
The aims of Hitler’s Foreign Policy were:
To reverse the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
To make Germany a great world power again.
To unite all German speaking people.
To rearm Germany and restore all its lost territories.
To conquer an Empire in the East to give Germany Lebensraum (living space).
The aims of Hitler’s Foreign Policy were based on the ideas of:
The Master Race (The Nazi racist idea that Germans as an Aryan people were a “master race” destined to rule “subhuman” peoples like Slavs.) Pan-German Nationalism (The belief that all German speaking peoples should be united in one Greater Germany.) Militarism (The use of military force to solve a countries problems is better than peaceful negotiations.) Social Darwinism (The theory that in the world it was natural for stronger countries to conquer and rule weaker countries.)
Hitler argues the Treaty of Versailles was unfair and every country including Germany had the right to defend itself. In 1933 Germany withdrew from the World Disarmament Conference on the grounds no other country was disarming. In 1934 Hitler ordered the German armed forces to rearm and prepare for war. In 1935 Germany reintroduced conscription breaking the Treaty of Versailles. Germany built tanks, aeroplanes and submarines breaking the Treaty of Versailles. In 1936 Germany remilitarises the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Britain, France and the League of Nations did nothing to stop German rearmament even though it was breaking of the Treaty of Versailles. The Saar Plebiscite (1935):
The Treaty of Versailles gave the Saar-land to the League of Nations for 15 years during which time France was to control all of its coalfields. In 1935 a plebiscite (vote) was held in the Saar to see if its people wanted to return to Germany in which 90% of the people voted to return to Germany. Hitler celebrated the plebiscite as...
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