HITLER’S FOREIGN POLICY The Munich Crisis and the question of appeasement
HITLER’S FOREIGN POLICY WAS BUILT ON THREE AIMS To reverse the Treaty of Versailles To create a “Greater Germany” by uniting all German speaking people The creation of Lebensraum - living space for the German people.
LEBENSRAUM Hitler’s Greater Germany would have a population of over 85 million people Germany’s land would be insufficient to feed this many people Hitler intended to expand eastward towards Poland and Russia Russians and Poles were Slavs-Hitler believed them to be inferior and so Germany was entitled to take their land.
CREATION OF A GREATER GERMANY Hitler wanted a single homeland for all German speaking people After Versailles millions of Germans were living in Foreign countries The Treaty of Versailles had forbidden the union of Germany and Austria- The Anschluss
APPEASEMENT A policy aimed to prevent aggressors from starting wars by finding out what they want and agreeing to demands that seem reasonable Neville Chamberlain was the British Prime Minister that negotiated with Hitler in 1938
THE MUNICH AGREEMENT In September 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister, met Adolf Hitler at his home in Berchtesgaden. Hitler threatened to invade Czechoslovakia unless Britain supported Germany's plans to takeover the Sudetenland. After discussing the issue with the In September 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister, met Adolf Hitler at his home in Berchtesgaden. Hitler threatened to invade Czechoslovakia unless Britain supported Germany's plans to takeover the Sudetenland. After discussing the issue with the Edouard Daladier (France) and Eduard Benes (Czechoslovakia), Chamberlain informed Hitler that his proposals were unacceptable. (France) and Eduard Benes (Czechoslovakia), Chamberlain informed Hitler that his proposals were unacceptable.
THE MUNICH AGREEMENT The meeting took place in Munich on 29th September, 1938. Desperate to avoid war, and anxious to avoid an alliance with Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe. On 29th September, 1938, Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini signed the Munich Agreement which transferred the Sudetenland to Germany.
THE MUNICH AGREEMENT In March, 1939, the German Army seized the rest of Czechoslovakia. In taking this action Adolf Hitler had broken the Munich Agreement. The British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, now realized that Hitler could not be trusted and his appeasement policy now came to an end.
BRITAIN AND APPEASEMENT Most politicians wanted to avoid war The people of Britain wanted to avoid war Britain had only a small army and airforce Many people thought of the Sudetenland in the same way they had about Austria Winston Churchill did not agree but he was in a minority.
THE RESULTS OF APPEASEMENT Europe saved from war? Possibly though some historians that if the Czechs, French, British and Russians had stood up to Hitler he would have been defeated, and would have faced war on two fronts Czechoslovakia was abandoned, and weakened by the loss of important military defences and resources Germany gained the Sudetenland- another step towards the Greater Germany. Britain and France gained time to build up their armed forces, but so did Germany Hitler decided Britain and France were unlikely ever to oppose him by force Stalin was offended at being excluded from the talks and decided he could not rely on Britain to help the USSR stand up against Germany
BACKGROUND Stalin had been very worried about German threats to the Soviet Union since Hitler came to power in 1933 Hitler had openly stated that he wanted Soviet land for his Lebensraum Stalin tried to create alliances with Britain and France but to no avail In 1934 Stalin took the USSR into the League of Nations as a guarantee against German aggression.
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS Stalin gained no satisfaction from the League. Instead he saw failures Abyssinia Spanish Civil War German rearmament
BRITAIN AND FRANCE BBritain: SSome welcomed a strong Germany as a force to fight Communism. CCommunism was seen as a bigger threat than Hitler FFrance: SStalin signed a pact with France in 1935 HHe did not trust the French to keep to it- especially after Rhineland
THE MUNICH AGREEMENT This agreement made Stalin even more wary Stalin was not consulted about the agreement Stalin concluded that Britain and France were powerless to stop Hitler Or that they were happy for Hitler to take over Eastern Europe and the USSR
THE NEXT MOVES Despite misgivings Stalin was still prepared to talk to Britain and France about an alliance The three countries met in March 1939 Chamberlain was reluctant to commit Britain Stalin believed that Britain and France made things worse by guaranteeing to defend Poland if it were attacked Chamberlain saw the guarantee as a warning to Hitler Stalin saw it as support for a potential enemy.
THE DEED IS DONE! On 24 August 1939 Stalin made his decision and signed a pact with Germany The world was shocked as two arch enemies promised not to attack each other. Privately they also agreed to divide Poland
WHY DID STALIN SIGN THE PACT? SStalin was not convinced that Britain and France would be strong and reliable allies against Hitler HHe also wanted large parts of eastern Poland HHe did not believe that Hitler would keep his word. He wanted time to build up his forces.
INVASION OF POLAND On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion. Britain and France, standing by their guarantee of Poland's border, had declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. The Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland on September 17, 1939. In October 1939, Germany directly annexed those former Polish territories along German's eastern border: West Prussia, Poznan, Upper Silesia, and the former Free City of Danzig.
WORLD WAR TWO Germany (Hitler) and Russia (Stalin) and Italy (Mussolini) VS Britain (Chamberlain), Daladier (France) Same old story – remember World War One