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Hitler’s actions, 1936-38 The road to war. The Spanish Civil War In 1936 a civil war broke out in Spain between Communists, who were supporters of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Hitler’s actions, 1936-38 The road to war. The Spanish Civil War In 1936 a civil war broke out in Spain between Communists, who were supporters of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hitler’s actions, The road to war

2 The Spanish Civil War In 1936 a civil war broke out in Spain between Communists, who were supporters of the Republican government, and right-wing rebels under General Franco. Hitler saw this as an opportunity to fight against Communism and at the same time to try out his new armed forces. In 1937, as the League of Nations looked on helplessly, German aircraft made devastating bombing raids on civilian populations in various Spanish cities. The destruction at Guernica was terrible. The world looked on in horror at the suffering that modern weapons could cause. A postcard published in France to mark the bombing of Guernica in The text reads ‘The Basque people murdered by German planes. Guernica martyred 26 April 1937’.

3 The Anti-Comintern Pact, The Italian leader Mussolini was also heavily involved in the Spanish Civil War. Hitler and Mussolini saw that they had much in common also with the military dictatorship in Japan. In 1936, Germany and Japan signed an Anti-Comintern Pact. In 1937, Italy also signed it. Anti-Comintern means ‘Anti-Communist International’. The aim of the pact was to limit Communist influence around the world. It was particularly aimed at the USSR. The new alliance was called the Axis alliance.

4 Anschluss with Austria, 1938 With the successes of 1936 and 1937 to boost him, Hitler turned his attention to his homeland of Austria. The Austrian people were mainly German, and in Mein Kampf Hitler had made it clear that he felt that the two states belonged together as one German nation. Many in Austria supported the idea of union with Germany, since their country was so economically weak. Hitler was confident that he could bring them together into a ‘greater Germany’.

5 So what did Hitler do? Hitler encouraged the Nazis in Austria to stir up trouble for the government. They staged demonstrations calling for union with Germany and they caused riots. Hitler then told the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg that only Anschluss (political union) could sort out these problems. Schuschnigg asked for help from France and Britain but was refused it. So he called a plebiscite (a referendum), to see what the Austrian people wanted. Hitler was not prepared to risk this – he might lose! He simply sent his troops into Austria in March 1938, supposedly to guarantee a trouble-free plebiscite. Under the watchful eye of the Nazi troops, 99.75% voted for Anschluss. This is part of a painting by Rudolf Hermann Eisenmemger Titled “Austria Comes Home.” It depicts an Austria freed from chains marching alongside the swastika flag.

6 What was the foreign reaction? Listen to this live news broadcast from Vienna. What impression do you gain regarding the Anschluss in Austria? ws/ _Hitler%20in%20the% 20Heldenplatz.mp3http://www.otr.com/ra/ne ws/ _Hitler%20in%20the% 20Heldenplatz.mp3 Listen to this news broadcast from England. What impression do you gain regarding the Anschluss in England? ws/us31538.mp3http://www.otr.com/ra/ne ws/us31538.mp3

7 What was the foreign reaction? Anschluss was completed without any military confrontation with France and Britain. Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, felt that Austrians and Germans had a right to be united and that the Treaty of Versailles was wrong to separate them.

8 What are each of these cartoons saying about the Anschluss? A cartoon from Punch commenting on the Anschluss, A Soviet cartoon commenting on the Anschluss, 1938, showing Hitler catching Austria.

9 The outcome Austria’s soldiers, weapons and its rich deposits of gold and iron ore were now added to Germany’s increasingly strong army and industry. Hitler was breaking yet another condition of the Treaty of Versailles but clearly Britain and France were not prepared to go to war to defend a ‘flawed’ treaty. With a unified Germany and Austria, which country should now be worried? 12%20Czech%20Radio%20reports%20British%20reaction.mp3http://www.otr.com/ra/news/ %20Czech%20Radio%20reports%20British%20reaction.mp3

10 Summary film IPBAAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6YvSC IPBAA

11 Homework Failure of the League Did it help Hitler directly? Did it damage Hitler's opponents? Did it create a situation which Hitler could exploit? Manchuria Disarmament Abyssinia

12 Homework – peer assess Failure of the League Did it help Hitler directly? Did it damage Hitler's opponents? Did it create a situation which Hitler could exploit? Manchuria Not really. Hitler was not in power at this time. However, the event did damage the credibility of the League and that helped Hitler in the longer term. It damaged the reputations of Britain and France. It also showed that they were too weak to take military action in a place as far away as Asia. Not really as Hitler was not in power at this time. Disarmament Yes. The fact that other countries had not disarmed enabled Hitler to claim that Germany was being treated unfairly. It gave him the excuse he needed to walk out of the Disarmament Conference and start his rearmament programme. This is what he wanted to do anyway Yes. The failure of Disarmament showed that the countries of the League (and the USA) were not prepared to disarm. It made Britain and France look like hypocrites because they were supposed to disarm and they did not. Yes. It allowed Hitler to present himself to the German people as the leader who was finally demanding fair treatment for Germany. It also gave Hitler the excuse he wanted to build up Germany’s armed forces again. He even signed an agreement with Britain which allowed him to start building his navy. Abyssinia Yes. It meant that the attention of the League and the other major powers was focused on Africa and not on the Rhineland. Yes. Britain and France emerged from the Abyssinian crisis with very little credibility. They failed to impose effective sanctions or take military action. They even tried to put together a secret deal to betray Abyssinia. Yes. Hitler was able to march his troops into the Rhineland while Britain and France were concerned about events in Abyssinia. This gave him the confidence to take his next step – Anschluss, in 1938.


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