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World War II Right mouse click on the slide and open the speaker notes to read the information for each slide.

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Presentation on theme: "World War II Right mouse click on the slide and open the speaker notes to read the information for each slide."— Presentation transcript:

1 World War II Right mouse click on the slide and open the speaker notes to read the information for each slide.

2 Lithograph of German Misery
After World War I, Germany was in a state of economic despair and political instability. The Treaty of Versailles assigned complete responsibility for the war to Germany and forced the country to make territorial concessions, limit the size of its military, and pay reparations for the cost of the war. Germany’s government after World War I, the Weimar Republic, was unable to deal with the problems that resulted from the treaty. From the start, the Weimar Republic had been discredited in the eyes of many Germans because its representatives had signed the hated Versailles Treaty. German generals claimed that Germany had not been defeated after all, but had been betrayed by communists, Jews, and liberals in the Weimar government. Although these accusations were untrue, many people were looking for someone to blame for the German defeat in World War I. There was economic distress not only in Germany but throughout much of Europe. Several nations were on the verge of bankruptcy. There was unequal distribution of resources, capital, and markets. There was widespread unemployment and runaway inflation in Germany and Italy. This economic unrest leads to political instability. In this slide we see “Town Shelter,” a lithograph by Kathe Kollwitz that graphically depicts the misery of the poor in Germany following the economic collapse of 1923.

3 Children demonstrating that it takes 100,000 German marks to buy one U
Children demonstrating that it takes 100,000 German marks to buy one U.S. dollar. In this slide we see the severity of post-war inflation in Germany as these children show that it takes 100,000 marks to buy one dollar. During World War I, Germany printed vast quantities of paper money in order to pay expenses, which resulted in runaway inflation in the early 1920’s. Germany’s money supply had been heavily drained from the cost of fighting World War I and was further drained by the cost of reparations. Germany had spent $37 billion during the war, yet collected only $1.5 billion in tax revenues. To relieve the problem, Germany simply printed more money, which led to incredible inflation. In 1923 a glass of beer cost 2 million marks and a loaf of bread 4 million. In 1914 it took 4.2 German marks to buy one U.S. dollar; by the fall of 1923 one dollar was worth 4.2 trillion marks. Most hurt by the inflation was the middle class, who suffered unemployment on top of the ever-increasing prices. Inflation left the currency and life savings of Germans virtually worthless.

4 In this slide we see Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader of Germany.
Hitler was born in Austria in 1889, the son of a customs official. He dropped out of high school and tried unsuccessfully to become an artist. When World War I broke out, Hitler enlisted in the German army, and he emerged from the war an extreme nationalist. He believed that Germany had been sold out by the Weimar Republic when it signed the peace settlement ending World War I. Hitler settled in Munich, where his skill in public speaking made him popular among extreme nationalists. Hitler became involved with the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazi party) in 1921, at which time it was only a small force in German politics. In wildly emotional speeches, Hitler attacked the Weimar Republic and denounced the Versailles Treaty. In 1923, he led an uprising in Munich that was quickly crushed by the army. For that action, Hitler was put in prison for a year. While in prison, he wrote Mein Karnpf (“My Struggle”), a book in which he detailed his political ideas for Germany. Upon release from prison, Hitler worked hard to rebuild the Nazi party, which had lost much of its strength. He promised benefits to peasants, workers, and the middle class. Desperate people flocked to local Nazi party headquarters in search of a free meal and companionship. They also found hope in Hitler’s ideas. Hitler claimed the German people belonged to a superior “Aryan” race that was destined to control inferior races and rule the world. Hitler considered Jews an inferior race and blamed them for Germany’s economic troubles and Germany’s defeat in World War I. In addition to the Jews, he attacked the Soviet Union as an obstacle to German expansion. In this slide we see Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader of Germany.

5 Pro-Hitler Poster In this slide we see a political poster of a man with a Nazi symbol on his belt breaking out of chains. It suggests that with Hitler’s leadership, Germany can be freed from its problems. ·        Between 1928 and 1932, the Nazis were voted into more and more seats in the Reichstag, the German legislature. By 1932, the Nazis had become the largest single party in the Reichstag, and the German president, Paul von Hindenburg, asked Hitler to become chancellor. ·        Swiftly, Hitler formed a coalition government and increased his power. Hitler called for elections, hoping to increase Nazi strength in the Reichstag. A week before the elections, a fire, probably set by the Nazis, destroyed the Reichstag building. Hitler accused communists of setting the fire and of planning a revolt. He used the threat of communism to convince the President to issue emergency orders abolishing freedom of speech and assembly. ·        When President von Hindenburg died in August 1934, Hitler combined the offices of president and chancellor. He proclaimed the birth of the Third Reich, successor to the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire. He then used many methods to build a totalitarian state in Germany. He rounded up rivals in the Nazi party and political opponents and had many of them murdered. He established a secret police, the Gestapo, to hunt down and arrest anyone suspected of opposing Nazi rule. Laws were passed that made the good of the state (as defined by Hitler) more important than individual rights. ·        Students were encouraged to join the Hitler Youth, an organization that taught military discipline, patriotism, and obedience. The organization promised excitement and advancement to youth living in economically unstable times. The Youth helped round up “un-German” books, which were burned in spectacular public bonfires. Children attended public schools controlled by the Nazis. The churches forced ministers to deliver pro-Nazi sermons on Sundays. ·        Hitler also moved ruthlessly against German Jews. Jews were expelled from all government jobs and from teaching positions. Soon afterward, Jews were forbidden to practice law and medicine. (This led many German Jews, including the well-known physicist Albert Einstein, to emigrate to the United States.) The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 deprived German Jews of their citizenship and banned marriages between Jews and non-Jews. All Jews had to register with the government and wear yellow Stars of David on their clothing so they could be easily identified. ·        Nazi policy toward Jews became harsher in the late 1930’s following the murder of a German diplomat in Pans by a Jewish youth. Nazis organized riots in several German cities where many Jews were killed and hundreds of Jewish shops and synagogues were destroyed. Some 20,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Persecution of Jews would intensify in the years ahead. Hitler’s appeal grew despite the atrocities. He promised economic recovery and territorial expansion for Germany. He used his belief in the “Aryan master race” to convince people that Germany had the right to expand eastward and win more territory. He built housing, highways, and sports arenas. He ignored the Versailles Treaty and began rebuilding the German military, which employed thousands of workers. He justified this by claiming that Germany had to defend itself against the Soviet Union. To pay for his programs, Hitler increased taxes and controlled wages and prices. By the mid-1930’s, Hitler had made German strength and determination clear to the world.

6 Benito Mussolini, Fascist Leader of Italy.
Like Germany, Italy faced severe political and economic problems in the years immediately following World War I. During the war, the Italian government had promised social change and land reform. When it did not live up to its promises, unrest was aroused among workers and peasants. Even though Italy was one of the “Big Fours powers at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, it did not gain all the territory it wanted. As a result, many Italian nationalists denounced the government for its weakness. The socialist party, promising relief to the workers and peasants, was gaining power in the parliament at this time but seemed unable to prevent worker revolts or preserve order in the countryside. This turmoil was used by an ambitious politician, Benito Mussolini, to gain power. As a young man, Mussolini had been a socialist, although when World War I broke out, he became an enthusiastic nationalist, fighting for Italy. After the war, Mussolini organized many war veterans into the Fascist party. Mussolini’s goal was to unite Italians together using reminders of the glory of ancient Rome to inspire patriotism and obedience to authority. Fascists condemned democracy, which Mussolini felt destroyed the unity of the state. They despised socialism and communism and defended “capitalism,” which they thought should be regulated by the government. Elements of fascism included aggressive nationalism and glorification of military sacrifice. Fascism appealed to many Italians. They applauded the idea of reviving the glories of ancient Rome. They were impatient with Italy’s slow parliamentary government and wanted a strong leader who would establish order. World War I veterans liked the fascist emphasis on militarism, feeling than they had been cheated by the Versailles Treaty. Italians liked the Fascists’ ideas about private property and feared the rise of communism. In 1922, Mussolini prepared to seize power. He led a “March on Rome” supposedly to defend the capital from a communist revolution, which was actually not even a threat. As was hoped, the march succeeded in frightening the government into surrender. King Victor Emmanuel Ill refused to use the army against the Fascist groups, and a few days later, he named Mussolini prime minister. In the next few years, Mussolini moved to increase his power. Outwardly, the form of government did not change much. It remained a monarchy with an elected parliament. But Mussolini had the right to make laws on his own. Fascists controlled elections and outlawed all opposition. Party members held all important jobs in the army and police. Mussolini imposed government censorship. Fascists bought the Italian newspapers and wrote articles full of praise for Mussolini. To improve the Italian economy, Mussolini introduced a new type of economic organization, the corporative system. In the system, employers and employees in each industry joined a government-sponsored corporation that controlled wages and prices in the industry. Mussolini succeeded in reducing unemployment and promoting public works programs. He modernized agriculture and industry, and he improved transportation and education systems. All of Italy’s economic problems were not solved by the Fascist policies, so the remaining troubles Mussolini blamed on world economic conditions. He sought to distract the people by establishing an aggressive foreign policy. Mussolini dreamed of building an Italian empire. To start, in 1924 he negotiated a treaty with Yugoslavia that gave Italy the city of Fiume, which had been denied Italy in ·        the Versailles Treaty. Three years later Mussolini formed a protectorate over Albania. Then he turned his attention toward Africa. Italians still felt resentment toward Ethiopia, which had defeated Italy in 1896— Italy had tried unsuccessfully to make Ethiopia a colony. Mussolini took advantage of these feelings, using the excuse of a border dash between Ethiopia and the Italian colony of Somaliland to make territorial demands on Ethiopia. Although Ethiopia appealed to the League of Nations for protection against Italy, the league delayed taking action, and Italy easily invaded Ethiopia in October Ethiopia’s outdated rifles were no match for Italian planes, tanks, and artillery and Ethiopia was subdued in The League of Nations imposed sanctions against Italy forbidding the sale of arms or the lending of money to Italy. However, they did not cut off oil supplies to Italy, which might have slowed the invasion. Following the fall of Ethiopia, the league took no steps to rescue it and voted to end the sanctions against Italy. In this slide we see Benito Mussolini addressing his Fascist followers in the Roman Colosseum.

7 Hitler and Mussolini During the 1930’s Hitler and Mussolini intervened in the Spanish Civil War on the side of Francisco Franco and the Nationalists, who were trying to destroy socialism and communism in Spain and set up a fascist state. The Civil War soon become an international issue despite the efforts of the League of Nations, which tried to enforce neutrality with a border patrol to keep outside supplies from reaching either side. Mussolini sent troops to reinforce the Nationalist forces. Hitler dispatched the German air force to bomb cities. They used the war as a testing ground for new German and Italian tanks and weapons. Cooperation between Italy and Germany in Spain led to the creation of a military alliance in October 1936, known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. The Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 with victory for the Nationalists. Franco then imposed a fascist dictatorship on Spain. Since Britain, France, and the United States had done little to prevent Axis intervention in Spain, Hitler and Mussolini felt encouraged to interfere in other countries. In this slide we see Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. It was after an exchange of visits between the two that the alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis was agreed upon.

8 Hitler with Japanese Ambassador Tojo
Japan was another of the dictatorships that arose in the years prior to World War II. The conditions in Japan differed slightly from those in Italy and Germany. Japan had not been devastated by World War I or by civil war. Their economy grew rapidly after World War I. However, they had become so dependent on world markets for their silks and other goods that the Great Depression of the 1930’s caused economic disaster in Japan. No longer could other nations afford to buy luxuries, and they established trade restrictions to protect their own industries from the economic conditions of the time. The Japanese were dissatisfied with the instability of their country and resented their reputation as second-rate power. This enabled a group of military leaders to rise to power and take matters into their own hands. They built up Japan’s military and sought to expand its control in Asia. The Japanese were the first to start aggressive expansionist actions in the 1930’s. In 1931 the army defied the civilian government and attacked Manchuria, a region of northeastern China rich in coal and iron. The prime minister was unsuccessful in protesting the army’s disobedience. By 1932 the military was in control of Japan; the entire government was led by a group of military leaders. The government imposed censorship, arrested critics, and dismissed liberal professors from the universities. A secret police was set up to punish enemies of the state. The press and the schools taught total obedience to the emperor. Nationalist groups glorified war and the empire. The new government offered a solution to Japan’s many problems — the acquisition of an overseas empire. Because Japan was a small island, it lacked important raw materials and was densely populated. In addition, the United States, Australia, and Canada had placed restrictions on the immigration of Japanese to their countries. In the 1930’s, Japan assumed the role of the leader of Asia and opposed Western imperialism. They sought support from other fascist powers, and in 1936 signed a military agreement with Italy and Germany, forming the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. Hitler contemplated using Japan to attack Russia and British possessions in Asia. Japan prepared to continue its aggressions in Asia. In this slide we see Hitler conferring with Japanese Ambassador Tojo at Berchtesgaden in October German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop is on Hitler’s left.

9 Hitler and Chamberlain
In this slide we see Adolf Hitler and Neville Chamberlain shaking hands. Even before the Spanish Civil War, Hitler had planned to expand German borders. In 1936 he violated the Versailles Treaty provisions barring German troops from the Rhineland by rearming Germany and reoccupying the territory on France’s border. Next, having made friends with Italy, his former opposition to the south, Hitler moved into Austria in He declared Austria a part of Germany. Hitler met little resistance to either of these violations of the Treaty. Britain and France condemned his moves but took no action. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s approach towards Hitler was one of appeasement. He believed that resistance might lead to another war and destroy the possibility of future negotiation. He thought that making concessions might preserve peace. An attitude of pacifism was widespread in both Britain and France, as memories of the huge battlefield losses in World War I were still vivid. Furthermore, many British people thought that the Germans had a right to occupy the Rhineland since it was German territory. France, which had formed an anti-German alliance with the Soviet Union, favored a military response, but France could not act without British support. Therefore, these actions went unchallenged by France and Great Britain. After Austria, Hitler turned to Czechoslovakia. 3 million Germans lived in the Sudetenland, the western border region of Czechoslovakia. Hitler encouraged them to demand self-government within Czechoslovakia. In the fall of 1938, after the Czech government rejected these demands, Hitler gave a speech describing the unbearable conditions of the Sudeten Germans and promising to come to their aid. When a German invasion seemed likely, Chamberlain stepped in with hopes of resolving the crisis. He again used his approach of appeasement and convinced the Czechs to agree to self-government for the Sudetenland. Hitler, seeing how easy it was to get his way, followed up by demanding that Czechoslovakia surrender the region to Germany. At this point Chamberlain asked for a conference to settle the crisis. Hitler agreed to meet with the leaders of Britain, France, and Italy in Munich on September 28, Neither Czechoslovakia nor its ally, the Soviet Union, was invited to attend. After discussion Hitler was again appeased — Germany was given the Sudetenland. Hitler guaranteed the independence of the rest of Czechoslovakia and announced that he had no more territorial daims in Europe. While Czechoslovakia mourned the loss of territory, Chamberlain prodaimed there would be “peace with honor.., peace for our time.”

10 German Tanks in Sudeten Street
The act of appeasement that took place at the Munich Conference alienated the Soviets, who opposed any German advance, and convinced Hitler that the French and British were too weak to oppose his moves. In March 1939, six months after the conference, German troops overrran the rest of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain was shocked by the violation of the agreement made in Munich. He realized that the policy of appeasement had rested on a false assumption —that Hitler could be trusted. Next, Hitler started making demands in Poland. He wanted the return of the city of Danzig and the Polish Corridor, both made part of Poland by the Treaty of Versailles. Chamberlain responded that Britain would aid Poland if Poland were attacked. France also promised to support Poland. The Soviet Union was especially concerned by the Polish crisis since the two countries shared a long border. The Soviet Union wanted to form a military alliance with France and Britain, but Soviet communism and the weakness of the Soviet army caused the British and French to hesitate. They also disagreed with the Soviet demands to dominate Eastern Europe. Although Hitler also detested communism, he was desperate for Stalin’s assurance that the Soviet Union would not interfere with his plan to invade Poland. At the same time, the Soviet government was convinced that France and Britain made the Munich Agreement only to save their own countries by diverting Hitler eastward. Therefore, the Soviets felt it was time to look after themselves. To the world’s astonishment and dismay, on August 23, 1939, it was announced that Hitler and Stalin had signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact, pledging not to attack each other. Secret clauses provided for the future division of Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe between the two powers. In this slide we see German tanks roll through a Sudeten street. The banner reads “Hail to our German borders!”

11 Cartoon of Nazi Swastika Rolling Over Poland
In this slide we see a huge swastika representing Germany rolling into Poland. This shows the continuing aggression of the Nazis following their invasion of Czechoslovakia. Hitler, with the Soviets in his camp and a history of weak British and French opposition to his expansion, proceeded with his invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Keeping their pledge to support Poland, Great Britain and France immediately declared war on Germany. The second world war of the century had begun. The encounter in Poland was brief, the Polish armies being defeated in less than three weeks. The Polish government fled to Romania. For the next six months the war proceeded slowly with occasional submarine warfare, aerial raids on naval bases, and battles between naval vessels.

12 Cartoon of Uncle Sam in a snow storm: “Path of Appeasement.”
In this slide we see Uncle Sam, representing the United States, being buried in a snow storm labeled “Nazism” The caption, “Path of Appeasement,” suggests the failure of the policy of appeasement and the threat of the Nazi “storm” to the United States. Americans watched the developments in Europe and Asia with growing concern that they would again be drawn into a foreign conflict as in the first world war. Most Americans were not willing to support direct involvement in Europe; they preferred to remain neutral. Their memories of World War I were too fresh, and they had the Great Depression to contend with in their own country.

13 Lend-Lease crates being unloaded in England
In this slide we see crates from the United States being unloaded in England as part of the Lend-Lease Act. ·        By 1938, Americans had begun to suspect that war was imminent in Europe. Roosevelt’s problem was to convince the people that the nation’s interests were actually threatened by the aggression of the Axis dictatorships. In a public address he compared the aggressor nations to a disease and called upon other nations to act together to TMquarantine” aggressors. ·        Gradually the United States entered the conflict. Isolationist feelings declined as a result of France’s defeat and the ongoing Battle of Britain. Americans began to worry about where Hitler would strike next if Britain fell. In the spring of 1941, the United States passed the Lend-Lease Act to allow for the lend-lease or transfer of military equipment to nations whose defense was considered vital to the United States. This decision sparked heated debate by isolationists, whose arguments became increasingly unpopular as the events worsened in Europe. The Lend-Lease Act ended American neutrality, committing the United States to an Allied victory. In August 1941, Churchill and Roosevelt met and drew up a statement of war aims known as the Atlantic Charter. Among their pledges, they promised to seek no gains in territory and to support the right of all peoples to choose their own form of government.

14 Bombing of Pearl Harbor
In this slide we see the explosion of the destroyer U.S.S. Shaw during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. The already strained relations between Japan and the United States had been virtually ended when Japan joined the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis in Tension mounted as Japan expanded its control in the Pacific to French Indochina, threatening U.S. supplies of natural resources in British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. Japanese aggression in Asia was of great concern to the United States, and when Japan attacked China in 1937, the United States cancelled its commercial treaty with Japan. The United States stopped exporting gasoline and scrap metal to Japan. Early in 1941, it moved the American Pacific fleet from the west coast to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii to demonstrate military readiness. The United States was further alarmed when General Hideki Tojo, an outspoken expansionist, become prime minister of Japan in October 1941. In November Tojo’s government sent representatives to Washington, DC, to negotiate with American officials. The Japanese offered to withdraw their troops from southern Indochina if the Americans would resume economic relations with Japan. Japan insisted that it be allowed to occupy China. Although both Japan and the United States were eager to reestablish their relationship, the United States feared appeasement, which had only encouraged the Axis powers in the past. As a result, the United States rejected these proposals. Even while these negotiations were underway in Washington, a decision to attack the United States had been made in Tokyo. Japan had decided several months earlier that war with the United States was inevitable. Japan desperately needed the oil, rubber, and extensive food resources of the Netherlands Indies, Malay Peninsula, and Indochina to successfully wage its war in China. By crushing the American naval and air power in the Pacific, Japan would be assured of no interference in its efforts to control Asia. In November 1941 the Japanese attack fleet set sail in secrecy for Hawaii under the leadership of General Tojo. Pearl Harbor, a military base in Hawaii, was devastated by a Japanese air attack on December 7, In the attack, the Japanese sank or badly damaged 8 American battleships, damaged 10 other ships, destroyed 188 planes, and killed over 2,300 Americans. Fortunately, the three aircraft carriers happened to be outside the harbor. The attack was not unexpected. However, military logic indicated that the Japanese would strike the first blow at the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. Not one high-ranking authority in Washington seems to have believed that the Japanese were strong enough or bold enough to attack Hawaii.

15 A draft of President Roosevelt’s declaration of war speech
In this slide we see a draft of President Roosevelt’s speech to Congress, with corrections strengthening and formalizing the language of the address in his own hand. The day following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the President came before Congress to ask for a declaration of war. Roosevelt’s war message to Congress began with these famous words: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy —the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” The president asked Congress to take the pledge that “No matter how long it may take to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

16 FDR Signing War Declaration
Within a few hours of Roosevelt’s speech, Congress had declared war on Japan. There was only one vote cast against the declaration of war. Germany and Italy, Japan’s allies in the Axis Powers, declared war on the United States a couple of days later. The United States formally accepted this challenge with a unanimous vote by Congress declaring war on them. This action made official the alliance of the United States, Great Britain, and France as the Allied Powers. Japan’s attack on Hawaii paid off for the Japanese only in the short run. The sneak attack by Japan aroused and united America as almost nothing else could have done. To the very day of the attack, a strong majority of Americans still wanted to keep out of the war. Following the attack, a leading isolationist of the 1930’s, Senator Arthur Vandengerg of Michigan, wrote: “In my own mind, my convictions regarding international cooperation and collective security for peace took firm hold on the afternoon of the Pearl Harbor attack. That day ended isolationism for any realist.” The United States was no longer isolated from the consequences of aggression elsewhere and could not afford to retreat from international responsibility, if for no other reason than national security.

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