2Factors of International Relations in Europe 1933 - 1939 Financial InstabilityFear of CommunismRise of Fascist leadersDiminishing role of League of NationsFear of WarAdmiration for German Recovery & StabilityIncreasing dislike of Treaty of Versailles‘Appeasement’
3League of Nations Failure (1919 – 1939) USA – never joinedNo Army – could not impose their decisionsSlow to React: Unanimity of Decision-Making RequiredDepression – created more selfish behaviour by individual countries e.g. Germany & ItalyRise of Imperial Fascism: Germany, Italy & JapanJapan left in 1933(Invasion of Manchuria)Germany left in 1933(Treaty of Versailles)Italy left in 1937
6Hitler’s Foreign Policy Aims Grossdeutschland: Creating a larger, more powerful all-German Reich that Hitler claimed would last 1,000 years.Anschluss: Uniting Germany & Austria into one greater German ReichLebensraum: Creating ‘living space in the east’ i.e. displacement of inferior (Slavic) races to make way for re-population of Germanic peoples.Destruction of Treaty of Versailles: The ‘War Guilt Clause’ and restrictions on German Armed Forces as well as the loss of territories & colonies was naturally a key focus of Hitler’s Foreign PolicyEradication of ‘International Jewry’ While this was a facet of Hitler’s rhetorical oratory, it would not become a key policy until much later in the 1930’s, culminating in the ‘Final Solution’ proposed in 1942.
81934 German – Polish Non-Aggression Pact Stresa Front A ten-year non-aggression pact with Poland gave Hitler the appearance of a benevolent, peaceful statesman. However, it lulled the Poles into a false sense of security and weakened their alliance with France.Stresa FrontIn July 1934, Austrian Nazis staged a coup d’etat. Vice-Chancellor Schuschnigg quickly suppressed it and Hitler was kept at bay by the threat of Italian intervention. Hitler declared that he had no interest in Austria. However, Britain, France and Italy did not believe him and formed the Stresa Front to formally oppose German interference in Austria
9Anglo-German Naval Agreement 1935Anglo-German Naval AgreementIn March 1935, Hitler announced that Germany was rearming, thereby repudiating the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The British concluded a naval agreement (Anglo-German Naval Agreement) with Germany showing that even the Allies regarded the Treaty as a ‘dead letter’Saar PlebisciteIn January 1935, the people of the Saar region in France voted (Saar Plebiscite) to re-unite with Germany, which greatly encouraged Hitler’s dream of creating a larger German Reich
10Re-militarisation of the Rhineland 1936Re-militarisation of the RhinelandOn the 7th of March 1936, Hitler took an enormous gamble by sending German troops into the de-militarised Rhineland, which had formed a buffer zone of safety for France since the Treaty of Versailles. The gamble paid off, as Britain was unwilling to go to war over this and showed that France either could not or would not resist open German defiance of the Treaty of Versailles regulations.Spanish Civil WarGerman involvement in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 on placed Franco in Hitler’s debt with the Supply of German dive-bombers (STUKAS), expertise and manpower.Rome-Berlin AxisThe closer links between Germany and Italy were reflected in the drawing up of the Rome-Berlin Axis, an agreement by the two countries to follow a common foreign policy
12Joachim Von Ribbentrop Foreign Minister 1938 - 1945 Appointed Foreign Minister in February Replaced the conservative & cautious NeurathRadical & pro-war, Von Ribbentrop was both feared and hated. His appointment was a signal that Nazi Germany was moving to a much more aggressive foreign policy."Ribbentrop belongs to the category of Germans who are a disaster for their country. He talks about making war right and left, without naming an enemy or defining an objective”- Benito Mussolini (1938)
131938 Sudetenland & Munich Conference: “Peace in our Times” Hitler demanded that the 3 million German – speaking inhabitabants of the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia be ‘returned’ to the German Reich.Hitler fully realised that his German army was not yet ready for all-out war. With a secure relationship already established with Mussolini, he secretly asked him to call a conference of European leaders. On the 28th of September 1938, Chamberlain, Hitler, Daladier & Mussolini met at Munich.Czechs had little choice but to secede to Hitler’s demand for control of Sudentenland.
141938: Anschluss & Sudentenland Annexation Throughout 1936 and 1937, pressure from Hitler’s Germany forced the Austrian Chancellor (Schuschnigg) to legalise the Nazi party and place key ministries under the control of Nazis.When Schuschnigg tried to hold a referendum to ensure Austrian independence, Hitler threatened to invade if Schuschnigg did not resign. He did so, and Seyss Inquart (Austrian Nazi Party) became Chancellor. Inquart invited the Germans into Austria. to “preserve law and order”In April 1938, 99% of Austrians voted to accept Anschluss – Union with Germany
15Annexation of Czechoslovakia 1939Annexation of CzechoslovakiaNazi-Soviet Non-Aggression PactUrged on by Hitler, Poland and Hungary annexed the region of Teschen and Ruthenia, while Slovakia declared its independence in March Hitler persuaded the Czech President Hatcha To ‘invite’ German troops into what was left of the country to ‘preserve law and order’. Czech Army was disbanded and the Skoda factories fell into German hands. Major military coup for Germany even before WWII had started. Hitler continued to put pressure on Poland as he did not take the Anglo-French guarantee to Warsaw seriously. He demanded concessions from the Poles in the regions of Danzig and the Polish Corridor.On the 23rd August, 1939, Nazi Germany & USSR signed a ten year‘Non-Aggression Pact’.This contained secret clauses to partition Poland and divide it between themselves.
16The Second World War had begun 1939Invasion of PolandOn the 1st September 1939, German forces staged an attack on a German border checkpoint. Hitler declared war on Poland and invaded on the same day.On the 3rd of September, after an ultimatum to withdraw from Poland passed with no response, Britain & France declared war on Germany.The Second World War had begun
18Past Exam Questions 2006 – 2011 = 0 Questions 2003 – D.1. Hitler and Mussolini: Foreign Policy“To what extent were the foreign policies pursued by Hitler and Mussolini responsible for the outbreak of WWII.”2000 – D.3. International Relations,“Discuss critically the view that ‘Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy was the main cause of WWII’’’.