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“Nature is cruel, so we may be cruel, too… I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin” -Hitler.

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Presentation on theme: "“Nature is cruel, so we may be cruel, too… I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin” -Hitler."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Nature is cruel, so we may be cruel, too… I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin” -Hitler

2 The Causes of the Second World War

3 Key Terms Allies and Axis Theaters of War Weimar Republic
Treaty of Versailles League of Nations The Great Depression Anchluss Rhineland Re-armament Manchurian Incident Anti-Comintern Pact Appeasement Neville Chamberlain Winston Churchill Nazi-Soviet Pact Munich Pact Sudetenland Invasion of Poland

4 Allies and Axis Powers Axis Allies Germany Austria Japan Italy
Great Britain France Canada China United States (from 1941) USSR (from 1941) Axis Germany Austria Japan Italy USSR (until 1941)

5 Theaters of War World War II was fought in two theaters of war, meaning that there were two wars happening at the same time. The main war with Germany was know as the EUROPEAN THEATER. The other theater was the PACIFIC THEATER. This war was fought against Japanese aggression in the Pacific Ocean.

6 Direct Causes of WWII It has been said that World War II was just a continuation of World War I, yet there are some specific causes to the Second World War, all of which could not have been possible without the rise of Hitler and his Nazis. When WWI ended, Germany was made into a republic. Chancellor Hindenburg was its leader. The country had to report regularly to the Allies. Being “controlled” by the Allies left a bitter taste with most Germans.

7 Effects of World War I Treaty of Versailles
-Establishment of League of Nations -German reparations Mandate System –British and French

8 WWI - End of Empires Hapsburg Dynasty (Germany & Austria) Romanov’s
(Russian Czars) Ottoman Empire (Middle East) Family of Czar Nicholas II –last of the Romanov Rulers of Russia

9 The Treaty of Versailles
After WWI, the Treaty of Versailles laid almost impossible conditions upon the German volk (people). Reducing the army to men and taking land from Germany, especially the Rhineland, greatly reduced morale. Forcing responsibility upon the Germans for starting the War was also painful. But the most disastrous condition was the war reparations they had to pay—a big fine.

10 The League of Nations One positive thing came out of Versailles. It was the creation of an international “government” that would prevent wars by settling disputes between nations through peaceful talks. Unfortunately, the League of Nations fell apart because of a number of problems, all of which are another direct cause of WWII.

11 Problems With the League of Nations
The League did not include every nation. Nations could choose to join or not. Decisions required that all countries agree, a rare occurrence. The League could not raise an army to enforce its decisions. It was unable to prevent major incidents like Japan invading Manchuria, or Italy from attacking Ethiopia.

12 The Russian Revolution
1917—Workers revolt against the Czar --Bolsheviks take over Russia and begin a socialist system under Vladimir Lenin. Allied countries (Great Britain, France, Japan and the United States) send troops to support anti-communist forces, but communist forces eventually prevail.

13 The Soviet Union Lenin establishes the Soviet Union (USSR)

14 The Rise of Joseph Stalin
1924—Lenin dies– Several leaders struggle for power including Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Eventually, Stalin seizes power and becomes a dictator over USSR—imposing a totalitarian state. He begins a Five Year Plan to increase industrialization and collectivize agriculture in the Soviet Union.

15 The Red Scare After the Russian Revolution, fear of a similar revolution in the United States by communists from Russia led to a period known as the Red Scare. Attempted assassinations of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and John D. Rockefeller led to the Palmer Raids—in which suspected communists were arrested and more than 500 immigrants deported. This led to increase fear of immigrants and restrictions on immigration were passed by Congress.

16 New Leaders Emerge In Italy, a new fascist government emerged in 1922 under Benito Mussolini. He rose to power using propaganda, brutality, and intimidation—promoting an ultra-nationalist Italy and himself as Il Duce (“the Leader”).

17 Fascism in Germany In 1921, Adolf Hitler took control of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party—better known as the Nazis. He became chancellor of Germany in 1933 and eventually claimed the title Fuhrer (guide of Germany) and established himself as dictator over the Third Reich.

18 Leadership in Japan Japanese Emperor Hirohito began his reign in Japan in He did not exercise absolute control over the government. Instead, an army general, Hideki Tojo, assumed the role of Japan’s premier –leading it through World War II.

19 Authoritarian Government and Totalitarianism
Authoritarian Government is ruled by a single person or party interested in political power. Totalitarianism is a government which seeks to control not only political power, but the economy, culture, and social life. These governments often use terror and fear--utilizing propaganda and controlling access to information such as the press and education. (Examples: Italy, Germany, & USSR)

20 The Great Depression Another cause to the Second World War was the Great Depression. The stock-market crash of 1929 was a global event that caused people to lose their jobs and often commit suicide. They lost all hope. Governments also fell as people chose rulers that promised hope and prosperity—dictatorships. Germany thus accepted Hitler because he promised not to pay the war fine and to create jobs.

21 Germany Under the Fuhrer
After Hitler became Fuhrer of Germany in 1934, he began to dismantle Versailles. He came good on his promise and began not paying for the war damages. In 1936 he began to deploy soldiers into the de-militarized zone (or Rhineland), as well as re-arm Germany; he started training 1 million troops. France and Britain did nothing. They feared another costly war.

22 Controlling People’s Minds
Once Hitler had complete control of the government, he began to control all aspects of life. Germany became a police state. 2 million Nazis now made up the SA, Hitler’s army of Stormtroopers. He also had his SS (Schutzstaffe). These men had sworn eternal life to Hitler as the protectors of his Aryan race. They were trained, ruthless killers who did whatever Hitler asked. Hitler used propaganda to instill fear in his people.

23 Propaganda







30 Nazi Propaganda Film #1 “Cathedral of Light”

31 Nazi Propaganda Film #2 “Falling Hare”

32 Controlling People’s Minds
Once he was certain he had control of the country, Hitler began restructuring the government to prepare for his master race. Many institutions were created such as the National Labour Service and Strength-Through-Joy Committee (KDF) which guaranteed Nazi sponsored leisure activities, 3740 hours a year. In 1935, he created the Nuremburg Laws that denied inferiors, specifically Jews, rights in Germany. These laws would ultimately destroy the Jewish culture by systematically eliminating their identity, beginning with their history.





37 Outside of Germany… The Great Depression made many nations abandon democracy for totalitarianism. In the Far East, increased population in Japan made the need for more space for the Japanese inviting. In 1931, their army invades Manchuria, a Chinese-controlled territory to the north of Korea.

38 The Manchurian Incident
The Chinese asked for the League of Nations to do something. The League told the Army to withdraw, but it did not. The invasion of Manchuria positioned the Japanese as a major military power in South-East Asia. Between 1933 and ’36, the USSR felt threatened by the Japanese and asked China to support them if there were a war (Comintern Pact).

39 Japan invades China The Japanese respond by signing an Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany in 1936. In July 1937, the Japanese invade China and attack Beijing with a million soldiers. They loot, rape, torture, murder and caused pointless destruction. Millions of Chinese civilians died.


41 Great Britain The British wanted to halt the Japanese invasion because they had strong trade relations with the Chinese, as well as controlling ports in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Still, the British feared war with Japan because it would take at least ten weeks to position the Royal Navy in the Pacific, and the Japanese have millions of soldiers available.

42 The United States Though the US was concerned about hostilities in Asia, the Americans were following a foreign affairs policy of isolationism where they would remain neutral or isolated from international relations. All the government did was was to advise Americans abroad to reduce their trade with Japan.

43 Back to Germany In 1936, Hitler and Mussolini became allied through the Rome—Berlin Axis. Hitler also wanted to re-establish the Anchluss with Austria, but the Treaty of Versailles forbade it. However, because of Britain’s concern over events in China, Hitler took a gamble that they would do nothing and on March 12, 1938 he began invading Austria.

44 Anchluss “Not a shot was fired, and the German army entered Austria with bands playing and soldiers smiling.”

45 Czechoslovakia Only weeks after Germany invaded Austria, Hitler set his sights on taking-over Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was a country that rose after WWI. It was made up of various ethnic groups including Czechs, Slovaks and Germans, who lived mostly in the Sudeten province near Germany.

46 The Sudeten Question The Sudetenland was an obvious region to acquire for the Nazis: Germans lived there, and there was an abundance of natural resources. Of course, once this province was invaded, it was only a matter of time before Hitler would set his sights on all of the country.

47 What is Europe doing during all of this?
As mentioned, Britain was concerned with their ports in China. France feared a war with Germany. The Soviet Union was at war with Japan. Once it became clear that the League of Nations was about to do nothing, Britain decides to act. British PM, Neville Chamberlain agrees to appease Hitler.

48 Appeasement Appeasement means to agree to whichever demands seem reasonable in order to prevent war. The British understood that a war with Germany would cause appalling damage. Also, many believed that Hitler’s demands were just demands, and many Britons believed that Versailles was too harsh. So off Chamberlain goes to Munich to sign an agreement with Hitler.

49 The Munich Agreement In September, 1938, Britain, France, Italy and Germany met to discuss Hitler’s aims in Munich. Hitler said he would only take the Sudentenland and if Czechoslovakia falls apart, then he would govern it. The other three agreed to this. Chamberlain went back to London with “the piece of paper, securing Peace in our Time.”


51 Nazi—Soviet Pact On August 23, 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed the Nazi—Soviet Pact. Though Hitler hated Communism, the need for his lebrensraum made it necessary for him to have land. He chose Poland. Hitler promised Stalin that if he invaded Poland, he would eliminate the “undesirables” and give Stalin the eastern part of the country. Stalin agreed, and actually invades Poland from the east.

52 September 1, 1939 On this date, Hitler invades Poland.
The world is shocked. Chamberlain is appalled. Britain and France declare war on Germany two days later, but do not immediately act. They waited to see if Hitler would do more, which he did not for 3 months This becomes known as the Phoney War.

53 “Blitzkrieg” In German blitzkrieg means “lightning war”.
Hitler used blitzkrieg during his invasion of Poland. Blitzkrieg included surprise attacks, rapid advances into enemy territory, and massive air attacks that struck and shocked the enemy. Germany achieved most of its victories in World War II with the Blitzkrieg tactic.

54 Blitzkrieg

55 “Phony War” Britain sent troops to wait with the French down behind the Maginot Line. Reporters called this quiet time of not much action the “phony war”

56 Maginot Line The Maginot Line was a defensive for France against an invasion of Germany. The Maginot Line was established after World War I. The line showed to be little use in 1940 when Germany invaded France for the third time.

57 Maginot Line

58 Early Axis Triumphs In April 1940 the quiet time of the war exploded into action. Hitler launched a series of blitzkrieg. Norway and and Denmark both fell. Germany had overrun the Netherlands and Belgium. Germany along with Italy forced France to surrender.

59 World War II in 1939/1942







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