Hyperinflation in Germany – Early 1920’s "On 1st November 1923 1 pound of bread cost 3 billion, 1 pound of meat: 36 billion, 1 glass of beer: 4 billion."
If Germany made the best possible attempt to fulfill the reparation payments, then this would show the Allies how unfair it was. Previously Germany was arguing the Treaty and refusing to pay. 1923 France and Belgium had invaded the Ruhr Valley to demand payments in goods like coal
Made “Spirit of Locarno” – idea that peace would remain after WWI… Guaranteed the common boundaries of Belgium, France, and Germany as specified in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. Germany signed treaties with Poland and Czechoslovakia, agreeing to change the eastern borders of Germany by arbitration only.
All signers of the Pact promised not to use war to settle disputes Showed the delusions of the time period Lulled many into a false sense of security Most major countries signed
Plan for Allies to get their reparation money after WWI Allies would leave the Ruhr Valley Cycle of money from U.S. loans to Germany, which then made reparations to other European nations, which then used the money to pay off their debts to America, locked the western world's economy on that of the U.S Young Plan would further lessen the strain of the Dawes Plan
Terribly hurt Germany Had private loans from US withdrawn 1932 – 1/3 of German workforce was unemployed or working drastically reduced hours Many business failures Economic problems fed an anti-republic sentiment in Germany
Hitler Comes to Power Hitler appointed Chancellor January 1933 Relentlessly attacked the failures of the other parties and the republic Promised to restore Germany’s place in the world – promised to make it work Would break the Treaty of Versailles
From 1933-1934 Hitler worked on consolidating Nazi power and establishing his totalitarian regime
Lebensraum: Living Space Hitler wanted the German population to increase and would need more room and farmland This would also make Germany economically self sufficient Room would come from the East (successor states created by WWI)
Greater German Empire would be racially pure for Germans Hitler felt that Germany was the last great hope of the best race Germany would be free of Slavs, Polish, Jews Hitler discussed the threat of Judeo- Bolshevism with its home in the Soviet Union The whole world was threatened by Judeo-Bolshevism Third Reich would crusade against this
Knew these goals could not be achieved peacefully Life was struggle – war was necessary to meet these goals War for Lebensraum and then war against Judeo-Bolshevism Would require destroying the Treaty of Versailles
Hitler believed that the world would be divided into 4 power blocks: Germany would dominate the European continent British would maintain their international empire Japanese would dominate Asia (Hitler called them the Aryans of the East) US would dominate the western hemisphere (even though the US was doomed from too much racial mixing)
Hitler’s Early Foreign Policy cont. 1932 Germany was in an international disarmament conference – so they still were when Hitler came to power Hitler’s reps proposed: Germany would completely disarm if everyone else would Duh – no. So Hitler’s reps left the Disarmament Conference Used this as propaganda at home “world wants to keep Germany oppressed” Also withdrew from the League of Nations Hitler played on the fact that Germany should always be treated equally
1934 signs 10-year nonaggression pact with Poland – though of course it wouldn’t stick – Poland was a part of lebensraum Germany made this pact to strike a blow at the French alliance system
1935 Hitler stronger politically Assumed position of Reich President and became chief of the armed forces Said withdrawing from Disarmament Conf meant that Germany didn’t have to follow the disarmament clause of the Treaty of Versailles
March 1935 – Hitler announced that Germany was going to rebuild its Luftwaffe - air force Only minor outcry from the League of Nations, so one week later Hitler announced conscription to build up an army as wellbuild up an army League protested like with the Luftwaffe, but no one took action
Appeasement: giving into a bully so that you hope he will be satisfied and stop France and GB were still seen as enforcers of the Treaty June 1935 GB entered into the Anglo-German Naval Agreement without consulting anyone Recognized Germany’s right to build: A navy up to 35% of GB’s surface tonnage Submarine force of 60% of GB’s force England cut a deal with Hitler on what mattered most to GB – the navy
France’s ability to influence events in Germany and its ability to protect itself and its allies in the East was gone League did nothing again even though France asked it too Germany made a gamble because France had such a larger army at the time But the gamble worked because France did not send any troops into the Rhineland
Remilitarization of the Rhineland was part of Hitler’s relentless pressure on the Treaty of Versailles Hitler’s prestige in the international community soared
Americans remember Jesse Owens’ victory and Hitler having to acknowledge the success of an African American
World had come to Berlin – Germany was back Germany also won the Olympics on points
Hitler had brought Germany back to the world scene with the remilitarization of the Rhine, the 1936 Olympics, and the 4 year plan 4 year plan: would make Germany economically self- sufficient in 4 years! Time February 13, 1933 The National Government will carry out the great work of reorganizing the economic life of our people by means of two great four-year plans: 1) salvation of the German farmer, with the object of maintaining the nourishment and therewith the vital basis of the nation; and 2) salvation of the German worker by a powerful and comprehensive attack on unemployment.... Read more:http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,745146-2,00.html#ixzz0X5DXAzVJhttp://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,745146-2,00.html#ixzz0X5DXAzVJ
Hitler as a Speaker Until about 1938, Hitler constantly reminded people that all he wanted was peace He was a soldier in the trenches of WWI…how could he want anything else? Hitler’s speaking routine: He warmed himself up, then spoke about foreign policy, which always focused on how unfairly Germany had been treated and about how he wanted Germany to have its place in the sun again.
You know he used to practice his gestures in front of a mirror… You know he used to practice his gestures in front of a mirror…
France felt it would have to deal with Germany on its own because England had basically bailed when America refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles Depression was bad, but not as bad as elsewhere It did cause political fragmentation that led to a lack of consensus about what to do about the German challenge
Line of intense fortifications that stretched the length of the French/German border Symptomatic of French problems – still stuck in the idea of WWI No ideas of mobility that could be used in a future war Odd since the last two times that Germany had attacked they used the Ardennes in 1870 and Belgium in 1914
France had promised to protect Belgian sovereignty Engineering issues High water table Would cost too much…not compared to a war! Faith in French army – largest on the continent in the mid 1930’s (except Soviets)
Still looking for allies Mistrusted the British Thought the Americans were too isolationist France began to ally itself with Eastern European countries that it felt would help it against Germany, because the Soviet Union was out too Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Belgium in the West But none of these had real power.
Entered the League of Nations September 1934 Wanted collective security arrangements 1935 signed a deal to protect Czechoslovakia if someone attacked them AND if France held up their deal to protect them Communist parties in Western Europe should ally themselves with socialists and liberals against fascists
Was worried about the spread of Germany into Austria Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1935 Permanently drove a wedge between Italy and England/France By 1936 Mussolini was talking about a Rome/Berlin Axis
For Lebensraum, Germany would have to attack the East Needed to prepare for a 2 front war since this might lead to problems with France Within weeks the Minister of War and Commander of Army and Foreign Minister were all removed They had all voiced concern about this plan Hitler would become the Minister of War and Commander of the Army
Austrian Nazis had tried to take over Austria in 1934 – were all in jail now Early 1938 Austrian chancellor began asking for protection of Austrian sovereignty Hitler found out and invited the chancellor to Germany to discuss issues with Hitler He was brought to the Eagle’s Nest
Hitler demanded freeing of Austrian Nazis Hitler also demanded absorption of Austria by Germany (Anschluss = Link Up) Chancellor of Austria said let me think about it and made it back to Austria Called for a plebiscite on March 13 th (referendum) Upset Hitler and he demanded Austria call off referendum or face war
German troops spilled over the border into Austria and announced the annexation of Austria on March 12, 1938 Mild international response Hitler justified it as what Wilson wanted at Versailles – borders by ethnic boundaries Cheering crowds greet Nazis entering Vienna on March 15, 1938
Borderlands of Czechoslovakia that contains mostly ethnic Germans Hitler encouraged ethnic Germans in this region to demand autonomy Czechoslovakia prepared to defend itself Hitler didn’t want a war, but planned for Germany to invade by October 1 st
Mussolini also didn’t want a war over this tiny region so he allied with Chamberlain who would use appeasement Why had Chamberlain been focused on appeasement? Thought French army was unreliable and weak Americans were isolationist and focused on their own needs Was worried that a war would lead to the crumbling of the British empire and the rise of real American power (ironic)
England, France, Italy, and Germany presided over the annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany No Czechoslovakia at the meeting! MAJOR move of appeasement Chamberlain was seen as a hero at the time From left to right: Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, and Mussolini before signing the Munich Agreement
Why did Chamberlain practice appeasement here? Wanted to avoid war No real army, but strong navy and air force Thought that this was the lesson to learn from WWI Wanted to make acceptable concessions to Germany Was charmed with Hitler and thought that he was a man you could make a deal with Chamberlain also thought he didn’t have many options
Chamberlain believed he had reached peace in his time Hitler felt after the conference that the West (especially England) was weak and wouldn’t fight Stalin agreed with this after listening to what was happening because France did not hold up their end of the bargain to protect Czechoslovakia Stalin believed the West wanted to funnel German aggression towards the East (Soviet Union)
Army was worried about the SA in 1933- 1934 SA had 400K-500K men even though the army had 100K 1934 Hitler purged SA and Army swore loyalty to Hitler – Known as the Night of the Long Knives In 1930’s, the Army acted as a restraint Were opposed to remilitarization of the Rhineland Tried to convinced Hitler that the army was not ready to move into Austria or CZ
Top secret army decision: If Hitler sent the army on a “suicide” mission into CZ, then the army should depose him and put him under house arrest and set up a different sort of state. But after Munich the military conspiracy began to dissolve – would resurface in an assassination attempt with the same people in July 1944
Hitler used ethnic conflicts between Czechs and Slovaks as an excuse to take over the rest of Czechoslovakia Without the mountainous Sudetenland, CZ was less defendable Invasion was unopposed– March 15, 1939
What is the justification here – no ethnic unity because these weren’t Germany people Perceived as pure aggression Turning point of public opinion in England – people started to listen to those against Hitler, like Churchill England and France extended a guarantee to protect Poland Reversal of British policy, but Chamberlain is still holding onto appeasement
GB and Fr guarantees to Poland could only be effective with a collective security structure – which had to include Soviet Union Even so the British and French proceeded casually and shipped their ambassadors to the Soviet Union (slow travelling!) Chamberlain thought time was on their side Also felt that Stalin and Hitler couldn’t come to any kind of arrangement because they were mortal enemies “The Bolshis and the Nazis would never be able to make a deal”
Red Army in summer 1939 was the largest army in Europe, but their status was low after Stalin’s army purges of 1938 thousands purged all the way down the ranks "Our cause is just. The enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours!"
Poles were willing to compromise on territorial issues with the Germans, but refused to be reduced to the status of a puppet state (either to Germany or Soviets)
The Pact of Steel was made between Germany and Italy – they promised full assistance to each other in the advent of war no matter with whom When Hitler informed Mussolini about his plan to attack Poland in 1939, Mussolini informed Hitler that Italy was not ready and would not be ready for a war until 1943. Hmmm…
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Made no ideological sense, but did make sense on the foreign policy scene Ended the prospect of a 2 front war early on (Hitler knew he was going after Poland)
Hitler counted on this to restrain the British on their obligation to Poland and he didn’t care about France Stalin felt that he could buy time to rebuild the Red Army Plus Soviet Union got the secret annex of Eastern Poland (partition) Also let Stalin take N. Baltic coast and Hitler take S. Baltic Coast Extended Soviet border farther West
Hitler did not expect a big war with the West in 1939 Economically unprepared – 4 year plan had fallen short of its goals Was convinced that GB would follow further appeasement Instead Chamberlain issues an ultimatum that the German army had to leave Poland and then they could talk Hitler let that deadline lapse
Isolationism: Desire not to get involved in world affairs
After WWI, America did not want to get involved in another world conflict During the early 1930’s, mass sentiment in America turned against war, even America’s previous actions in WWI.
In an effort to keep America out of future wars, Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts beginning in 1935. These acts outlawed arms sales or loans to nations at war or in a civil war. Problem when Japan invaded China in 1937 Roosevelt found a way around the Neutrality Acts: Japan had never officially declared war and therefore the US was allowed to sell arms to China.
Once war began in Europe, Roosevelt persuaded Congress to revise the Neutrality Acts: Neutrality Act of 1939 allowed the US to sell arms to countries that would pay cash and transport the weapons themselves Known as “cash and carry.” Roosevelt maintained that helping England and France to defeat Hitler would keep America out of war.
After France fell and it looked like the US might have to become involved, America sent 500,000 rifles and 80,000 machine guns to Britain. FDR also traded 50 old destroyers for leases on British military bases in the Caribbean and Newfoundland (The Destroyer Deal) Congress boosted defense spending and instituted the nation’s first peacetime draft. Roosevelt gave up the tradition of only running for two terms and ran for his third; he won with 55% of the votes.
After his reelection, Roosevelt informed the people of America that arming the Allies would be the only way to keep America from being attacked by the Axis. Under this theory, Roosevelt decided to make America the “great arsenal of democracy” – the U.S. would provide arms to the Allies.
England ran out of money to buy arms by the end of 1940 though. Roosevelt came up with a new plan to help: the lend-lease policy: America would lend or lease arms and other supplies to any country whose defense was vital to the United States.
Great Britain.........................$31 billion Soviet Union..........................$11 billion France..................................$3 billion China...................................$1.5 billion Other European.....................$500 million South America.......................$400 million The amount totaled: $48,601,365,000
One of the largest problems that America had was actually getting the supplies to the Allies. Groups of approximately 40 German submarines would patrol shipping lines in the North Atlantic and attack the under-guarded convoys. The “wolf packs” destroyed 350,000 tons of shipments in a single month.
In June 1941, Roosevelt gave the navy permission for US warships to attack German U-Boats in self-defense. Later in September of 1941, a German submarine fired on the US Destroyer Greer. This caused Roosevelt to order the navy to shoot German submarines on sight. Unofficial naval war with Germany.