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


GCSE History (Unit 1: Hitler's Foreign Policy and the Origins of WW2) Mind Map on How did Hitler challenge and exploit the Treaty of Versailles 1933 - March 1938?, created by Hollieee01 on 04/29/2014.
Mind Map by Hollieee01, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Hollieee01 about 9 years ago

Resource summary

How did Hitler challenge and exploit the Treaty of Versailles 1933 - March 1938?
  1. Hitler's aims in foreign policy
    1. Hitler's main three aims
      1. To make Germany into a great power again
        1. To unite all German speaking people under his rule
          1. He also wanted to expand eastward to create more 'lebensraum' (living space) for the Germans
          2. Whilst in prison in 1924 Hitler wrote 'Mein Kampf' (My Struggle) where he included some comments about his aims in foreign policy
            1. Achieving his aims
              1. ..change the territorial settlement of the Treaty and regain lands taken from Germany by the Treaty such as the Saar and Danzig
                1. Hitler knew that to achieve these aims he would have to destroy the Treaty of Versailles. To accomplish this he would need to...
                  1. ..bring the 7 million German-speaking people from Austria and the 4 million from Czechoslovakia and Poland into his empire
                    1. up the German army so his aims could be supported by force and to prove Germany was a great power
                      1. ..expand into the east into communist USSR - Hitler hated communism. This was probably going to happen once Hitler had overturned the Treaty
                        1. Hitler knew he could not do this alone so aimed to get the friendship of Italy and Britain to work against France and the USSR
                      2. The return of the Saar
                        1. The Saar was an industrialised, coal mining, region of Germany about 30 miles wide and bordering France
                          1. The Saar was put under the control of the League of Nations for 15 years from 1920
                            1. In January 1935 a plebiscite was held - this was the plan of the League so the Saar's own status could be decided
                              1. 90% of voters chose to reunite with Germany. 477,000 to 48,000 people
                                1. This showed Hitler's popularity and the Saar was returned to Germany within the terms of the Treaty in March 1936
                                2. The beginning of rearmament in Germany
                                  1. Hitler was allowed to join the League of Nations in 1926. In 1932 a Disarmament Conference began to try and make peace between countries
                                    1. This gave Hitler the legal justification to begin rearmament.
                                      1. Hitler walked out of this conference in 1933 when the other powers refused to disarm to Germany's level
                                      2. Non-aggression Pact with Poland
                                        1. In 1934 Hitler signed a 10 year non-aggression pact with Poland which guaranteed the boundaries of Poland
                                          1. This satisfied the Poles that Hitler would not want to try and take back the Polish Corridor
                                            1. It also pleased Britain who saw it as further proof that Hitler's aims were peaceful
                                            2. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement
                                              1. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed in 1935
                                                1. By signing this treaty, Britain was agreeing to Germany rearming
                                                  1. It limited the German navy to 35 percent of the strength of the British fleet, but did not include submarines
                                                    1. This was further proof to Britain of Hitler's peaceful intentions
                                                      1. This was a success for Hitler as it weakened the Stresa Front as Britain did not consult France and Italy about it
                                                      2. Rearming in Germany
                                                        1. In March 1935 military conscription was brought back in Germany.
                                                          1. His excuse was that France had just increased its terms of conscription from 12 to 18 months which meant a more powerful French army
                                                          2. Clearly against the Treaty but France and Britain did not act
                                                            1. Soviet Russia, who feared a strong Germany joined the League of Nations
                                                              1. Hitler took advantage of the differences between France and Britain and showed Britain that there were promises of peace which Britain paid more attention to than Hitler's acts against the treaty
                                                            2. The remilitarisation of the Rhineland 1936
                                                              1. Events
                                                                1. On 7th March German soldiers marched into the Rhineland
                                                                  1. This was against the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact which the German government signed in 1925
                                                                  2. Hitler followed up the remilitarisation with promises that Germany would sign a 25-year non-aggression pact and had no further territorial ambitions in Europe
                                                                    1. Britain, France and the League of Nations should have acted against Germany
                                                                      1. German action was condemned by the League
                                                                        1. When a vote was cast, Soviet Russia was the only country which voted in favour of imposing sanctions on Germany
                                                                      2. Why was no action taken against Hitler?
                                                                        1. Hitler had chosen his moment wisely, Britain and France were more concerned about the Abyssinian Crisis
                                                                          1. Germany was only moving troops into its own territory, not like Mussolini
                                                                          2. The French government was divided and not prepared to act without the support of Britain, who felt as if Hitler was doing nothing wrong
                                                                            1. At the end of March 1936 Hitler held a vote in Germany on his policies. 99% of voters were in favour of them
                                                                            2. Could Hitler have been stopped?
                                                                              1. Hitler was only taking a chance when sending troops into the Rhineland
                                                                                1. He went against the advice of everyone, his generals and his financial ministers
                                                                                  1. Hitler's generals knew that if France decided to oppose, their army was a lot stronger than Germany's
                                                                                    1. His financial ministers feared that there would be high economic sanctions set which would cripple Germany
                                                                                    2. Hitler had judged foreign reactions perfectly and knew he could have easily been stopped, however the will to use force against him was not there
                                                                                    3. Results
                                                                                      1. It gave Hitler confidence to go further as he had reversed the ToV the remaining territorial grievance of Versailles was Danzig and the Polish Corridoor
                                                                                        1. Hitler's position in Germany had been strengthened as he had proved to be right and his army and ministers wrong. This also increased his confidence
                                                                                          1. Together with the Abyssinian Crisis, it marked the end of the League of Nations
                                                                                            1. It lead to the Rome-Berlin Axis with Mussolini. The two countries had to cooperate in their support for the Spanish Civil War. It also gave Hitler a chance to test out his army, weapons and tactics
                                                                                              1. Meant an end to Britain and France's attempts to keep Mussolini as an ally against Hitler. Both countries had shown their unwillingness to oppose the aggression of the dictators
                                                                                          2. The Anschluss with Austria 1938
                                                                                            1. During 1934 Hitler suffered a setback to his aims.
                                                                                              1. He encouraged the Austrian Nazi Party to rebel and this resulted in the murder of the Austrian Chancellor, Dollfuss
                                                                                                1. It looked as if Hitler's aim of 'Anschluss' was going to be achieved
                                                                                                  1. However, this was prevented by Mussolini moving his army to the frontier of Austria and guaranteeing Austrian independence
                                                                                                    1. Hitler realised at this point that his army was not strong enough so he backed down and denied any involvement with the Austrian Nazi Party
                                                                                                    2. By 1938 the situation had changed
                                                                                                      1. Hitler believed that the rightful place of Austria was in a union with Germany
                                                                                                        1. Mussolini and Hitler were in an alliance, so Italy was unlikely to stop Hitler
                                                                                                          1. Hitler was on his way to Anschluss
                                                                                                            1. On hearing these rumours the Austrian Chancellor, Schuschnigg, appealed to Hitler for help to end the plotting
                                                                                                              1. Hitler refused to help Austria and instead forced Schuschnigg to appoint Seyss-Inquart as Minister of the Interior, in charge of the police force
                                                                                                                1. Seyss-Inquart was the leader of the Nazi Party in Austria
                                                                                                                2. Encouraged by Hitler, many Nazis in Austria started riots and demonstrations Seyss-Inquart, despite his position, supported this
                                                                                                                  1. The Nazi Party remained strong in Austria and in early 1938 there were rumours of another Nazi plot to overthrow the Austrian government
                                                                                                                  2. Schuschnigg defied Hitler
                                                                                                                    1. Schuschnigg called a plebiscite on whether Austrian's wanted to remain independent or not
                                                                                                                      1. Even though there were many Austrians who favoured Anschluss, Hitler was afraid to take the risk
                                                                                                                        1. This alarmed Hitler
                                                                                                                        2. Hitler moved troops to the border and forced Schuschnigg to call off the plebescite
                                                                                                                          1. Schuschnigg expected the help of Britain and France, but when he realised he wasn't going to get it he resigned
                                                                                                                          2. Hitler's take over
                                                                                                                            1. Seyss-Inquart replaced Schuschnigg as Chancellor and invited Germany to Austria to restore order
                                                                                                                              1. The German army entered on 12th March
                                                                                                                                1. First of all, opponents of Hitler were eliminated
                                                                                                                                  1. Around 80,000 people were rounded up and placed in concentration camps
                                                                                                                                  2. Seyss-Inquart handed over power to Hitler and Anschluss was proclaimed
                                                                                                                                    1. On March 14th, Hitler processed in triumph through Vienna
                                                                                                                                      1. This was followed by a plebiscite held in April in which 99.75% of the voters agreed to Anschluss
                                                                                                                                        1. Hitler could claim that he was only fulfilling the idea of self-determination expressed in Wilson's 14 points
                                                                                                                                      2. League of Nations
                                                                                                                                        1. Britain and France protested but did nothing
                                                                                                                                          1. The League was not consulted
                                                                                                                                            1. Britain had sympathy with Germany because the Austrians were German-speaking and the Austrians had shown they wanted Anschluss
                                                                                                                                              1. Britain also believed that a strong Germany was a barrier to the USSR and Communism which they were against
                                                                                                                                                1. Hitler's anti-communist beliefs strengthened this view
                                                                                                                                            2. Results
                                                                                                                                              1. A triumph for Germany - Hitler now had all the resources of Austria, this included the army as well as economic resources like iron and steel
                                                                                                                                                1. Hitler had overcome another injustice to the ToV with no opposition, his confidence was growing
                                                                                                                                                  1. Germany now owned land on 3 sides of the western part of Czechoslovakia which contained over 3 million German-speaking people
                                                                                                                                                    1. Proved the value of Hitler and Mussolini's alliance
                                                                                                                                                      1. Many Austrians were happy with Anschluss
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