How did Hitler challenge and exploit the Treaty of Versailles 1933 - March 1938?


GCSE Modern World History B - International Relations: Conflict and Peace in the 20th Century. Part 1 of the 'Steps to War' unit.
Leah Firmstone
Mind Map by Leah Firmstone, updated more than 1 year ago
Leah Firmstone
Created by Leah Firmstone about 9 years ago

Resource summary

How did Hitler challenge and exploit the Treaty of Versailles 1933 - March 1938?
  1. Hitler's Foreign Policy Aims
    1. to unite all german-speaking people under his rule
      1. to make Germany a great power again
        1. to gain territory for Germany in the east to provide Lebensraum (living space) for the German people.
          1. to destroy the Treaty of Versailles
          2. To what extent were Hitler's early moves a foreign policy success for Germany?
            1. Disarmament Conference and Rearmament
              1. Germany joined LoN in 1926.
                1. Disarmament Conference began in 1932, by which time the LoN had had little success in persuading countries to disarm
                  1. France would not disarm due to fears of attack from Germany
                  2. Germany left the LoN in 1933
                    1. Began to rearm while insisting that Ge wanted peace and would disarm if others did.
                    2. Ger introduced conscription in 1935
                      1. His excuse was that France had increased term of conscription from 12 to 18 months, which would increase the number of trained soldiers in France
                    3. Ten year non-aggression pact
                      1. In 1934 Hitler signed a ten year non-aggression pact with Poland, which guaranteed the boundaries of Poland
                        1. This satisfied the Poles that Hitler would not try to take back the Polish Corridor
                          1. It pleased Britain, who saw it as further proof that Hitler's aims were peaceful, as it meant that he had accepted the frontier with Poland that was set up at Versailles
                          2. Failed Anschluss
                            1. In 1934, Hitler suffered a setback
                              1. He encouraged the Austrian Nazis to rebel, resulting in the murder of Dollfuss, the Austrian Chancellor
                                1. Anschluss
                                  1. The union of Germany and Austria that was forbidden by the treaty of Versailles
                                  2. It appeared Hitler would achieve Anschluss but he was prevented by Mussolini moving his army towards Austria and so guaranteeing Austrian independance
                                    1. Hitler backed down and denied any involvement with the Austrian Nazi Party
                                    2. Anglo German Naval Agreement
                                      1. Signed in 1933
                                        1. Hitler's willingness to sign was further proof to Br that he had peaceful intentions
                                          1. It limited the Ge Navy to 35% of the British fleet
                                            1. did not include submarines
                                            2. Britain was agreeing to Ge Rearmament
                                              1. Britain felt that if there was no agreement on disarmament, it was important to limit the size of the Ge Navy
                                                1. Weakened the Stresa Front
                                                  1. Germany procceded with rearmament without opposition
                                                    1. By 1938 Ge had around 800,000 soldiers, 47 U-boats and over 2000 aircraft
                                                  2. Return of the Saar
                                                    1. In Jan 1935, a plebiscite was held.
                                                      1. Plebiscite
                                                        1. where the citizens vote to determine the future of their country
                                                        2. The people of the Saar had the choice to remain under LoN control, return to Ge, or go to France
                                                          1. The Saar was inhabited by mainly German people, so the result was never in any doubt.
                                                            1. 90% voted to rejoin Germany
                                                              1. 8% to remain under the control of the LoN
                                                                1. and 2% wanted to go to France
                                                                2. Nazi Propaganda could make use of the result
                                                                  1. Victory in the plebiscite was published as the removal of one of the injustices of the ToV
                                                                  2. Hitler announced that all trouble between Ge and Fr had now been removed
                                                                    1. The return of the Saar was legal as Hitler had kept within the terms of the ToV
                                                                  3. Locarno Treaties
                                                                    1. Oct 1925
                                                                      1. France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland & Czechoslovakia
                                                                        1. Ge agreed to accept borders w/ Fr; that the Rhineland would remain demilitarized; and that Fr & Ge would solve any further disputes via the LoN
                                                                          1. Cleared the way to allow Ge to become a member of LoN in 1926
                                                                          2. Remilitarization of the Rhineland
                                                                            1. 7th March 1936 German soldiers marched into the Rhineland
                                                                              1. Br anf Fr more concerened about Mussolini's invasion of Abyssnia
                                                                                1. French Security not affected (Maginot Line)
                                                                                  1. Some move to rearmament in Br
                                                                                  2. Fr not prepare to act without Br support
                                                                                  3. This was against the ToV and the Locarno Pact, which the German government had willingly signed in 1925 (see orange)
                                                                                    1. Br felt nothing was wrong - the ToV was unjust so he had the right to change it.
                                                                                      1. Hitler had successfully reversed the ToV, giving him the confidence to go further.
                                                                                        1. Remaining territorial grievances were Danzig & the Polish Corridor
                                                                                      2. Hitler held a vote in Germany on his policies
                                                                                        1. was used to demonstrate Ge power and German support for Hitler's government
                                                                                          1. 99% of voters voted in favour of the policies
                                                                                        2. Hitler followed the remilitarization with promises that Germany would sign a 25-year non-aggression pact and had no further territorial ambitions in Europe.
                                                                                          1. Nobody wanted another war and they took more notice of Hitler's promises
                                                                                            1. Hitler's position in Germany was strengthened: he had been right and very successful
                                                                                            2. He was only moving troops into his own territory rather than invading another country.
                                                                                              1. lead to the signing of the Rome - Berlin Axis with Mussolini
                                                                                                1. gave Hitler a chance to test out his armed forces, weapons and tactics
                                                                                              2. Britain, France and the LoN should have acted against Germany. All that happened was that Germany was condemned by the League but, when a vote was passed, only Soviet Russia voted in favour of imposing sanctions on Germany.
                                                                                                1. Marked the end of the League of Nations as a means of keeping peace
                                                                                              3. Anschluss with Austria
                                                                                                1. With the success of 1936 behind him, Hitler turned his attention to Austria. The Austrians were mainly Ge and he made it clear he thought the two states belonged together.
                                                                                                  1. Many in Au supported a union with Ge since their country was so economically weak.
                                                                                                    1. Hitler was confident he could bring them together into a greater Ge
                                                                                                    2. He had attempted Anschluss in 1934 but Mussolini had stopped him.
                                                                                                      1. Four years later the situation was different, Hitler and Mussolini were now allies.
                                                                                                      2. Hitler convinced Schuschnigg (The Au Chancellor) to appoint Seyss-Inquart, leader of the Au Nazis, as minister of the Interior. This was followed by a series of riots and demonstrations by the Au Nazis and Seyss-Inquart supported these and so did nothing to stop them.
                                                                                                        1. He then told the Au chancellor Schuschnigg only Anchuss could solve these problems
                                                                                                          1. Schuschnigg asked Br and Fr for help but they refused
                                                                                                        2. So Schuschnigg called a plebiscite to see what the people wanted.
                                                                                                          1. Hitler was not prepared to take the risk so he sent his troops into Austria to guarantee a trouble-free vote .
                                                                                                            1. Under the watchful eye of the Nazi troops 99.7% vote for Anschluss
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