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Why had International Peace collapsed by 1939?

You need to think about the following questions:

What were the long-term consequences of the peace treaties of 1919–1923? What were the consequences of the failures of the League in the 1930s? How far was Hitler’s foreign policy to blame for the outbreak of war in 1939? Was the policy of appeasement justified? How important was the Nazi-Soviet Pact? Why did Britain and France declare war on Germany in September 1939?

You need to know about

The collapse of international order in the 1930s the increasing militarism of Germany, Italy and Japan Hitler’s foreign policy up to 1939 including:

The Saar,

Remilitarisation of the Rhineland,

Austria,

Czechoslovakia

Poland; the Nazi-Soviet Pact

Appeasement and the outbreak of war in 1939.

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Contents Revision Notes

Pages

1. Hitler’s Foreign Policy Aims

3 - 4

2. German Rearmament

5

3. The Saar Plebiscite

6

4. Remilitarisation of the Rhineland

7

5. Austria (Anschluss), 1938

8 - 9

6. Appeasement Czechoslovakia, 1938

10 - 12

7. Why did Britain support a policy of Appeasement?

13 - 15

8. End of Appeasement: Czechoslovakia, 1939

16

9. The Nazi-Soviet Pact

17 – 18

10. German Invasion of Poland, 1939

19 -21

11. How far was Hitler’s Foreign Policy to blame?

22 – 25

12. Cartoons on Hitler’s Foreign Policy

26

Past Paper Questions Sections A & B

1. Cartoon questions on the Causes of 2WW

27

– 34

2. Describe, Explain & Evaluate Questions

35 – 42

3. Mark scheme and advice for cartoon question [7]

43

4. Mark scheme and hints for tackling explain question [8]

44

5. Mark scheme and hints for tackling describe question [4]

45

6. Mark scheme and hints for tackling explain question [6]

45

7. Mark scheme and hints for tackling evaluation question [10] 46

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A S S E S S M E N T Hitler’s Foreign Policy Aims

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, he was determined to make Germany the leading military power in Europe and conquer territory in Eastern Europe. However, he faced a number of obstacles that he had to overcome in order to put his plan into action, Germany was a democracy and her armed forces were limited by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which was in turn policed by the League of Nations.

The diagram below is a simple summary Hitler’s aims:

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is a simple summary Hitler’s aims: F O R L E A R N I N
is a simple summary Hitler’s aims: F O R L E A R N I N
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein, Fuhrer – One People, One Empire, One Leader!
Ein Volk, Ein
Reich, Ein, Fuhrer
– One People, One
Empire, One
Leader!
Ein, Fuhrer – One People, One Empire, One Leader! Discussion Point Could these aims be achieved

Discussion Point

Could these aims be achieved without going to war?
Could these aims
be achieved
without going to
war?

Within three months of being elected as Chancellor (Prime Minister) of Germany, Hitler had overthrown democracy in Germany and turned German into a One Party State. By 1934, he had removed all opposition to himself within his own party with the help of the SS and the army and became a military dictator. He now had the power he needed to put his aims into practice:

Abolish the Treaty of Versailles –The terms were unfair as Germany was the only country that had been forced to disarm. Other countries like Austria and Hungary had been let off from having to pay reparations when their countries went bankrupt, whilst Germany on the other hand was invaded by both France and Belgium in 1923.

Rearm Germany – The German Army was limited to 100,000 men, was not allowed to have an air force, submarines or have any modern weapons and only a tiny navy. This was unfair as Germany could not defend herself from attack.

Remilitarize the Rhineland – As part of the Armistice and the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany had to demilitarize the Rhineland, which bordered France and Belgium, as well as containing the majority of Germany’s manufacturing, coal and iron industries. This effectively left the front door open and allowed both France and Belgium to invade in 1923. This was unfair and if Germany was to grow strong again she needed to be able to secure her borders.

Unite all German speaking peoples – as a result of the Treaty of Versailles, 6 million Germans were denied the right to self determination that was given to other Europeans and forced to live in other countries. Austria was also banned from uniting with Germany. This was unfair as the German people had the right to self-determination and to live in their own country if they wished.

Expand German Territory – as a direct result of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany had lost 13% of its land, 16% of its coal industry, 15% of its iron industry and 48% of its most productive agricultural land. If Germany was going to grow strong again and feed its people, it would need this land back.

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Lebensraum – The German people were a master race and needed land or ‘living space’ for

In order to survive, Germany would have to conquer land in the

their expanding population.

East.

Defeat Communism – Communism was an idea started by a Karl Marx, a German Jew and was threatening to take over the world. In order to stop this Jewish plot to take over the World, Germany would have to defeat the USSR or communist Russia. Communists in Germany were also responsible for weakening Germany both during and after the First World War. They are enemies of the state and must be punished and wiped off the face of the earth.

Task 1: Complete the table below to help you create summary and understand the key aims of Hitler’s foreign policy:

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein, Fuhrer – Self Determination

Rip up the Treaty of Versailles, 1919

Rearm Germany.

Remilitarise the Rhineland

Unite all German speaking people

Expand German territory

Lebensraum

Defeat Communism

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German Rearmament

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, he was determined to make Germany the leading military power in Europe and conquer territory in Eastern Europe for his master race. In order to do this he needed to rearm Germany with modern weapons and increase the size of her armed forces. However, the main obstacle to his plan was the Treaty of Versailles, which was enforced by the League of Nations. Luckily for Germany, the international determination to make the League of Nations work had been weakened in the 1920s and had been further undermined by the Great Depression, which made it difficult for the League to enforce it’s economic sanctions. As a result, countries were focusing on fixing their own problems, rather than those in other countries. Aware of this, Hitler was careful to avoid provoking Britain and France until he was ready.

German rearmament began immediately in 1933. At first, this was done secretly with the help of industrialists who supported Hitler and helped to fund the Nazi party. Production of new tanks, aircraft and other weapons began.

In 1934, Hitler went to the Geneva Disarmament Conference. He asked for equality with the French army. The British agreed but the French refused. Hitler walked out left the League of Nations claiming that Germany was being treated unfairly. Britain and France blamed each other for the failure to reach agreement.

In 1935, the Anglo-German Naval agreement allowed Germany to increase her Navy beyond the limits set at Versailles. The French were furious and believed the British were too soft with Germany. This further divided Britain and France to Hitler’s advantage.

Later in 1935 Hitler declared that he was increasing the German Army to 500,000. He also announced the existence of a German Air Force. These things had been forbidden at Versailles.

Rearmament was very popular in Germany and it boosted support for the Nazi party. Hitler also knew that the British public had some sympathy with Germany on the issue.

At each stage Britain and France were divided over what to do. Many people in Britain felt that the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were too harsh and were prepared to support politicians who were prepared to follow policies which avoid confrontation with Germany.

Source 1: German Rearmament

Source 1: German Rearmament

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Source 2: Cartoon on Disarmament

Source 2: Cartoon on Disarmament

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The Saar Plebiscite

The Treaty of Versailles placed the Saar, an important coal-mining area on the Franco-German border, under the League of Nation’s administration for 15 years. The profits from the German coal mines in this area were used to help pay towards the reparations that Germany owed to France. This was seen at the time as a great injustice by the German people as the people of the Saar were being denied their rights to determine whether they wanted to be a part of Germany.

In January, 1935 the people of the Saar were finally given the opportunity to vote in a plebiscite on whether they wanted to become a part of Germany or France. They voted by 477,000 to 48,000 to return to Germany. This overwhelming vote was seen as a propaganda victory for Hitler, who increased its international impact by promising to make no further claims on French territory and in particular the areas of Alsace and Lorraine. This helped to improve his international image by presenting him as a reasonable man who was only wanted to get justice for the German people who were suffering from the harsh effects of the Treaty of Versailles.

1919 – The Saar was removed from Germany on a temporary / permanent basis for 15 years and put under the control of the League of Nations. All the profits from this rich coal mining area are given to France as part of her reparation payments. This is bitterly resent by most Germans as the people in the Saar were no longer part of Germany.

1933 – When Hitler comes to power, some of his opponents took refuge in the Saar, where they campaigned for the area to remain under the League, but the great majority of the people living there were Germans and there was rooted hostility to France.

1935 – The League of Nations holds a plebiscite or vote on whether the Saar should reunite with Germany. They voted 477,000 or 90% to 48,000 or 10% in favour of a return to Germany. This was an important victory for the Nazis who were able to portray themselves as representing the popular will of the German people in the fight against the unfair treaty of Versailles.

Germans who lived outside Germany had shown the world that they hated the Treaty of

It made

Versailles democratically and loved Germany more than they feared Hitler's regime.

it very hard for Hitler’s opponents to argue that the German people were not wholly behind him and his aims for ‘One People, One Leader, One Empire.’

Germans turning out to vote in the Saar Plebiscite

Germans turning out to vote in the Saar Plebiscite

Discussion Point:

Why was it important that Hitler present his foreign policy as having the full popular
Why was it important that Hitler present his foreign policy as
having the full popular support of the German people when
negotiating with other foreign leaders?

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A S S E S S M E N T Remilitarisation of the Rhineland

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N T Remilitarisation of the Rhineland F O R L E A R N I N

The Terms of the Treaty of Versailles, forbade Germany from having any armed forces in the Rhineland. This was done to stop future German aggression and give both France and Belgium security. However, both countries had exploited this weakness by invading Germany in 1923 in order to force her into paying reparations. This left a lasting sense of bitterness in Germany and helped to increase hatred

towards the treaty of Versailles, which helped the Nazis to get elected in

1933.

Aware of the fact that the world was focusing on the international crisis in Abyssinia, Hitler marched his troops back into the Rhineland in March 1936. Shocked by this turn of events Britain and France did nothing.

Source 3: Adolf Hitler, 1936

The forty eight hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking in my life. If the French had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs. Our military resources would not have been adequate for even moderate resistance.

Source 4: Hitler’s Germany by JF Aylett, 1984

France and Britain did nothing. Few people wanted to risk another war. Many people felt that Germany had every right to put its own troops on

its own land

got away with it. He had banked on their doing nothing and he had been right. It was a lesson he would remember.

Hitler had bluffed the Allies and

Discussion Point

What did Hitler learn from the failures of the League of Nations in the 1920s
What did Hitler learn
from the failures of the
League of Nations in the
1920s and 1930s?
What can we learn from these two sources about Hitler’s tactics when negotiating with other
What can we learn from these
two sources about Hitler’s
tactics when negotiating with
other countries?

Task 2: Summary Notes

Failure of the League of Nations

Failure of the League of Nations Hitler’s negotiating tactics?

Hitler’s negotiating tactics?

Failure of the League of Nations Hitler’s negotiating tactics?

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A S S E S S M E N T Austria, (Anschluss), 1938

Hitler had been born in Austria. He believed that as the Austrians were German speaking, they should be joined or united with into a greater Germany. This was strictly forbidden under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. However, a strong Nazi Party already existed in Austria and Hitler used them to stir up trouble and make it appear that the Austrians wanted to join with Germany. They staged demonstrations calling for political union with Germany (Anschluss) and some of these turned into riots. However, Hitler’s dream was put on hold in 1934, when Mussolini had stopped him. Four years later the situation was very different. Germany was stronger and Hitler and Mussolini were now allies

Countdown to Anschluss

In February 1938, Hitler called a meeting with the Austrian Chancellor Herr Schuschnigg and told him that they only way to solve Austria’s problems was through Anschluss. The meeting ended with Hitler threatening Schuschnigg into making concessions. See Source 5.

On his return to Austria, Herr Schuschnigg decided to try and fight Hitler by trying to arrange a plebiscite or referendum (vote) on whether his country should remain independent of Germany.

On 11 March, Hitler demanded that the vote should be stopped. Schuschnigg resigned and Germany invaded, supposedly at the invitation of the Austrian Nazis.

Britain and France did nothing to stop the invasion. Hitler later held a plebiscite or vote in April 1938 and 99.75% of Austrian’s supposedly approved the uniting of Austria with Germany.

Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, felt that the Austrians and Germans had a right to be united and felt that the Treaty of Versailles had been wrong to separate them.

Britain’s Lord Halifax had even suggested to Hitler before the Anschluss that Britain would not resist Germany uniting with Austria.

The lack of opposition from Britain and France made Hitler even more confident. He was aware that many people Britain felt that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh on Germany and that people did not want their country dragged into another war.

Discussion Point: What can we learn from these sources about Hitler’s tactics when negotiating with other countries?

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when negotiating with other countries? F O R L E A R N I N G

Source 5: Herr Schuschnigg, written from memory in 1947.

‘I have only to give an order and in one single night all your ridiculous defenses will be blown to bits. You don’t seriously believe that you can stop me do you? Don’t think for one moment that anyone on earth is going to thwart my decisions. Italy? I see to eye to eye with Mussolini. England? England will not move one finger for Austria. France? France could have stopped Germany in the Rhineland, but it’s too late for France. I give you for the last time the chance to come to terms. Think it over Her Schuschnigg. I can only wait until this afternoon.’

Her Schuschnigg. I can only wait until this afternoon.’ Source 6: Von Papen, describes an incident

Source 6: Von Papen, describes an incident during negotiations between Hitler and Schuschnigg over the plebiscite, 1938

‘Hitler finally presented an ultimatum, and threatened to march into Austria if his demands were not met. When Schuschnigg left the study to take advice Hitler could be heard shouting behind the open door: ‘General Keitel. Where is General Keitel? Tell him to come here at once.’ Keitel came hurrying up. He told us later that when he presented himself and asked for orders, Hitler grinned and said:

‘There are no orders. I just wanted you here.’

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Task 3: Complete the table below to help you create summary and understand the key events surrounding the Anschluss

Why did Hitler want Austria to unite with Germany?

Why were Hitler’s plans stopped in

1934?

How did Hitler try and force Austria into uniting with Germany?

How did Herr Schuschnigg try and stop Hitler?

Why did Britain take no action to stop the Anschluss?

Task 4: Use the table below to help you summarise what you have leart from your discussions about the tactics Hitler used when negoiating with other countries.

Source 5

Source 5 Source 6

Source 6

Source 5 Source 6

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A S S E S S M E N T Appeasement: Czechoslovakia, 1938

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N T Appeasement: Czechoslovakia, 1938 F O R L E A R N I N G

After the Anschluss, it was clear that Czechoslovakia, with its land thrusting deep into German territory, would be a direct threat to Germany. Edward Benes, the leader of Czechoslovakia was horrified at the Anschluss. He realised that his country would be next on Hitler’s takeover list as it had three million ethnic Germans living in an area called the Sudetenland.

Although not a large country, Czechoslovakia was well defended and had a modern well equipped army which was similar in size to the German Army. The country had a lot of natural resources including coal, iron and steel as well as a thriving arms industry. With support from Britain and France the Czechoslovakian’s could have successfully resisted a German invasion. There was a real threat of war!

By 1938, Germany was in a very strong position and when Hitler moved against Czechoslovakia, he was ready for war. Britain was not and had only just begun to rearm.

Within a few weeks of the Anschluss, Nazis living in the Sudetenland started claiming that they were being treated badly by the Czechoslovakian government.

Hitler ordered his generals to start planning for an invasion on 1st October 1938 and told them:

‘It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia. At a meeting with the Czech President Benes, he demanded the Sudetenland be given to Germany.

The Soviet Union (USSR) offered to help the Czechs provided the French were willing to fight. The Czechs and the French began to mobilize their armies. German troops were moved to the Czech border.

In a last ditch attempt to prevent the invasion and keep the peace, Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister flew to Germany to meet with Hitler on 15th September 1938.

The meeting appeared to go well. Hitler was prepared to negotiate saying that he was only interested in the Sudetenland and then only if a plebiscite or election showed that the Sudeten Germans wanted to join Germany. This seemed reasonable to Chamberlain or thought that he could do a deal with Hitler.

On 19th September, the British and French put to the deal that Chamberlain had negotiated to the Czech government. However, they refused to surrender the Sudetenland as it would make them defenseless against Germany.

On 22nd September, Hitler went back on his word and said that he wanted the whole of the Sudetenland. Chamberlain refused saying that Hitler’s demands were unreasonable. The British army and navy were mobilized for war.

Chamberlain was desperate for a solution that would avoid war. Britain was not ready and had only just begun to rearm. When Mussolini, proposed a four power conference, both Hitler and Chamberlain, who both saw a solution to their problems agreed to attend.

On 29th September 1938, the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and France met at Munich and signed an agreement that gave Hitler the terms he had demanded. Czechoslovakia was broken up and Hitler had got what he wanted. However, as part of the agreement, Chamberlain also got Hitler to agree that he would not take any more land in Europe.

Throughout these negotiations, neither the Czech nor the USSR governments were consulted over the Munich Agreement.

On his return to Britain, Chamberlain claimed that the Munich agreement would bring ‘peace in our time.’ However, this new policy of appeasement relied very heavily on Hitler keeping his promises. Meanwhile, Britain began to rearm in earnest and prepare for war.

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Discussion Point:

What can we learn from these sources about Hitler’s tactics when negotiating with other countries?
What can we learn from these
sources about Hitler’s tactics
when negotiating with other
countries?
Why might Hitler’s speech in source have encouraged Chamberlain to give into Hitler’s demands?
Why might Hitler’s speech in
source have encouraged
Chamberlain to give into Hitler’s
demands?

Source 7: Chamberlain, written after his first meeting at Munich with Hitler, 1938

I knew his troops, tanks, guns and

planes were ready to pounce

was clear that rapid decisions must be taken if the situation was to be saved.

it

Source 8: Hitler, in a speech on 26 th September, 1938.

It (Czechoslovakia) is the last territorial claim which I

have to make in Europe

are burned down, attempts are made to smoke out the

Germans with hand grenades and gas

now at an end

Sudeten Germans their freedom, or we will go and fetch freedom.

villages 9in the Sudetenland)

my patience is

accept our offer and now at last give the

Task 5: Use the table below to help you summarise what you have leart from your discussions about the tactics Hitler used when negoiating with other countries.

Source 7

Source 7 Source 8

Source 8

Source 7 Source 8
from your discussions about the tactics Hitler used when negoiating with other countries. Source 7 Source

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Task 6: Complete the table below to help you create summary and understand the key events surrounding Munich.

What reasons did Hitler give publically to explain why he wanted the Sudetenland?

What were Hitler’s real reasons for wanting the Sudetenland?

Why did this make it harder for Britain and France to negotiate with Hitler?

Could Czechoslovakia have resisted a German invasion?

Why did Chamberlain fly to Germany on 15th September 1938?

What was agreed at Chamberlain’s first meeting with Hitler?

Why did this first agreement fail?

What was agreed at the Munich Conference on 29 th September 1938?

Which countries were not consulted?

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Interpretations: Why did Britain support a policy of appeasement?

Interpretation 1:

Source 9: Winston Churchill, 1938 ‘We have been defeated without a war. And do not
Source 9: Winston Churchill, 1938
‘We have been defeated without a war. And do not suppose this is the
end. This is just the first taste of a bitter drink which will be forced on
us year by year. Unless we rise again. And take our stand for freedom
as in the olden times.’
And take our stand for freedom as in the olden times.’ Source 10: Neville Chamberlain, 1938

Source 10: Neville Chamberlain, 1938

‘When I think of those four terrible years, and I think of the millions of young men who were cut off in their prime, the 13 million who

were maimed and mutilated

world: In war, whichever side may call itself victor, there are no

winners but all are losers”.’

then I am bound to say to all in the

Interpretation 2:

Source 11: Result of a by-election in East Fulham in 1933 ‘The labour candidate won
Source 11: Result of a by-election in East Fulham in 1933
‘The labour candidate won by 4480 votes, overturning a
Conservative majority of 14,521. The Labour candidate was a
pacifist while the Conservative candidate had called for rearmament
in the face of growing aggression abroad.
for rearmament in the face of growing aggression abroad. Source 12: Results of a British Gallup

Source 12: Results of a British Gallup opinion poll carried out in December 1937:

Q – Are you in favour of disarmament?

Source 12: Results of a British Gallup opinion poll carried out in December 1937: Q –

Source 13: Results of a British Gallup opinion poll carried out in December 1937:

Q – would you volunteer if war broke out?

13: Results of a British Gallup opinion poll carried out in December 1937: Q – would

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Interpretation 3:

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Source 14: Military Strength

Source 14: Military Strength
Source 15: Historian ‘Britain was not ready to fight another war and did not properly
Source 15: Historian
‘Britain was not ready to fight
another war and did not
properly start rearming until
1938. The Munich agreement
and the policy of appeasement
bought Britain invaluable time
to rearm.

Interpretation 4:

Source 16: Russian cartoon on the Munich Agreement, 1938.

Source 16: Russian cartoon on the Munich Agreement, 1938.

Task 7: Thinking Skills Review Triangle

Why did Britain support a policy of appeasement?

Why did Britain support a policy of appeasement?

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Source 17: Russian Historian on the Munich Agreement, 1981

Why did Britain and France help Hitler to achieve his aims? By rejecting the idea of a united front proposed by the USSR, they played into the hands of Germany. They opposed to appease Hitler by giving him some Czech territory. They wanted to direct German aggression eastward against the USSR and the disgraceful Munich deal achieved this

Statements:

Britain and France wanted to direct German aggression towards USSR

Britain needed to buy more time to rearm

The policy of appeasement was popular amongst the British people.

The horrors of the FWW were still fresh in peoples’ minds.

Neville Chamberlain was a fool who was duped by Hitler’s promises that he would not attack anymore countries.

Hitler’s demands appeared to be reasonable. The T of V was unfair.

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Task 8:

Sort the statements below into the Pro and Con Organiser to show the arguments for and against Britain following a policy of appeasement.

for and against Britain following a policy of appeasement. Pro & Con Organiser Statements • A

Pro & Con Organiser Statements

A strong Germany could help Britain in a future war against communism.

Appeasement was based on the belief that Hitler could be trusted.

Britain did not have allies who were prepared to fight with her against Germany in 1938.

It gave Germany time to build more weapons, capture more factories and resources and become stronger.

It gave Britain time to rearm. In 1938, Britain’s army was small and its weapons were old.

Britain and France are still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression and neither could afford another war.

It encouraged Hitler to more aggressive as he thought that Britain would give in to avoid war.

In opinion polls, the British people were not prepared to support a war to protect Czechoslovakia in 1938.

War is wrong! The horrors and sacrifices of the Great War should never be repeated.

If we give Hitler what he wants, he might leave us alone and attack the Soviet Union instead!

Appeasement did not prevent war. It just put it off

Hitler’s demands were not unreasonable. The Treaty of Versailles was too harsh and unfair!

Appeasement scared the USSR as it sent as message that Britain and France would not stand in Hitler’s way.

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A S S E S S M E N T The end of Appeasement: Czechoslovakia, 1939

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of Appeasement: Czechoslovakia, 1939 F O R L E A R N I N G At

At Munich, Hitler had given Chamberlain meaningless promises about the Sudetenland in future being the last territorial claim that he had to make in Europe. On his return to Britain Chamberlain claimed in the news and the press that he had secured a deal with Hitler that promised ‘peace for our time’, whilst privately the government began to rearm and prepare for a possible future war.

If Chamberlain had hoped that the Munich Agreement and his policy of Appeasement would secure peace or at least buy Britain more time to rearm, then his hopes were to be shattered six months later when Hitler took over the whole of Czechoslovakia on the 15 th March 1939. It was now clear that appeasing or giving into Hitler only made him more aggressive and that his promises were worthless. The time had finally come to stand up to him.

On the 15 th March 1939, German forces crossed the Czech border and invaded the country.

Czechoslovakia was unable to put up any resistance as it had lost its key strategic defences as a result of the Munich Agreement in 1938.

Both Britain and France took no action and stood by as German forces took what was left of Czechoslovakia. Britain had only just begun to rearm and France was not prepared to go to war without British support.

However, for Chamberlain and British public opinion, this was a step too far as Hitler had not only broken his promises, but was now taking land that had never belonged to Germany.

For Hitler, this was about conquering Lebensraum or ‘living space’ for his German master race.

As part of a secret deal Hitler gave part of Czechoslovakia to Hungary, whilst Poland not to be outdone also grabbed some territory. Everyone was looking out for their own interests. Nobody was prepared to fight to protect their neighbours.

It was clear that Poland would be Hitler’s next target. Britain and France were determined to make a stand and on 30 March, they promised to assist Poland if Germany attacked.

Task 9: Complete the table below to help you create a summary of the events.

Key Issues

What happened?

What happened to Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement?

Why did Britain and France not take any action?

What affect did this have on Hitler?

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The Nazi-Soviet Pact

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Source 18: Stalin, leader of the USSR.

Source 18: Stalin, leader of the USSR.

A key aim of Hitler’s foreign policy was to take back land that Germany had lost under the Treaty of Versailles and to unite all German speaking people. Germany had lost a lot land to Poland and many of the Germans living there had been forced to move by the Polish Army. Hitler was keen to get this land back and get revenge for the way the Germans had been treated by the Poles in 1919.

After the invasion of the rest of Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain declared that Britain would defend Poland if Germany tried to take her over. Hitler was certain that Chamberlain would back down as he had done before. Meanwhile, Britain tried to make a deal with Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union (USSR), Chamberlain wanted both countries to agree to protect Poland. However, as a result of the Munich Agreement, Stalin did not trust either Britain or Frances and suspected that they were hoping to turn Hitler’s war machine away from Western to Easter Europe and the USSR.

USSR (Russian) Timeline of International Relations

In 1920, Poland had invaded Russia whilst it was involved in a bitter civil war and unable to defend itself. The poles then stole enough land from the USSR to double its size.

In 1934, the USSR had joined the League of Nations, hoping that the League would protect it from future German aggression as Hitler clearly hated communism and wanted ‘living space’ in Eastern Europe and USSR.

However, during the 1930s, politicians in both Britain and France had not resisted German rearmament. Indeed some actually welcomed a stronger Germany as a force to fight communism.

In 1935, Stalin signed a treaty with France, which promised to help USSR if she was attacked by Germany. However, Stalin was not sure that the French could be trusted to stick to it, particularly after they failed to stop Hitler moving his troops back into the Rhineland, which was right on their own border.

In 1936, the League proved to be weak and unable to stop aggressive dictators like Mussolini from attacking Abyssinia, which frightened Stalin and other Russian leaders.

In 1938, the USSR was not invited to the Munich Agreement to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia which increased Stalin’s concerns that Britain and France were trying to turn the German war machine away from Western towards Eastern Europe and the USSR.

After the invasion of what was left of Czechoslovakia in 1939, Stalin concluded that neither Britain or France were strong enough to stop Germany so he had better look out for his own country’s interests rather than working cooperatively to stop Hitler.

When Chamberlain declared that he was prepared to defend Poland if she was attacked by Germany, Stalin interpreted this as Britain being prepared to protect one of USSR’s potential enemies.

In August 1939, Stalin stunned the world by signing the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Germany. Both countries agreed not to attack each other for ten years. Germany agreed to share technology with the USSR, whilst the USSR agreed to supply raw materials, oil and food to Germany if she was attacked.

In the secret clauses of the pact, both countries agreed to divide Poland up between them so that Germany could get the land back that it had lost under the Treaty of Versailles and the USSR could get the land back that it had lost to Poland in 1920.

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Source 19: Why did German and USSR sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact?

Advantages for Germany

Advantages for USSR

Hitler knew that he could now invade Poland without having to fight the USSR

The USSR would not be drawn into a war with Germany over Poland.

Germany would be able to get back the land it had lost to Poland under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and grab some Lebensraum or ‘living space’ as part of the deal

Poland had invaded Russia in 1920, before the creation of the USSR and had doubled its size by taking Russian territory. The USSR would get this land back, which could then act as a buffer between the USSR and Germany.

Britain and France could not be trusted as potential allies against Germany.

One of the reasons that Germany had lost the FWW in 1918, was that it run out of food and supplies. As part of the Nazi- Soviet Pact, the USSR agreed to supply Germany with all the raw materials, food and oil that she would need in a future war against Western Europe.

The Nazi-Soviet pact would stop an alliance between USSR, Britain and France.

War with Germany was inevitable. The Nazi-Soviet Pact gave the USSR more time to rearm.

As part of the deal Germany promised to provide new tank and aircraft technology to help modernise the Soviet Army.

Task 10:

Once you have reviewed the information above with a highlighter pen, complete the heads and
Once you have reviewed the information above with a
highlighter pen, complete the heads and tails activity below by
linking the heads with the tails. Then create a key to show
which factors benefitted either Germany or the USSR

Heads

Tails

Regain lost territory

The land taken from Poland would create a ‘buffer zone against any future German attack

Lebensraum

It would help to avoid fighting a war on two fronts, which had been a key factor in losing the First World War

Alliances

The other side promised to provide tanks and aircraft to help modernise the Soviet Army.

Tactics

War with Germany was inevitable. The Pact gave Stalin time to build up the strength of his armed forces

Resources

The land gained would provide living space for the master race

Technology

The other side promised to provide raw materials, food and oil as part of agreement

Time

The alliance would help regain land that that had been taken away by the Treaty of Versailles and given to Poland

Revenge

It would stop Russia from making an alliance with Britain and France

Buffer Zone

The alliance would help get revenge on Poland and help regain land that had she had taken in a war of aggression in1920.

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A S S E S S M E N T German Invasion of Poland, 1939

F O R

L E A R N I N G

E N T German Invasion of Poland, 1939 F O R L E A R N

At dawn on 1st September 1939, German troops crossed into Poland using their new tactic, ‘Blitzkrieg’ or Lightening War. Hitler was confident of an easy victory and that neither Britain nor France would go to war over Poland. Both countries sent an ultimatum to Germany, which Hitler ignored. Then 24 hours later, Britain and France both declared war on 3rd September 1939. This did not stop Hitler who continued his invasion.

Due to the distances involved and the speed of the German attack, Britain and France were unable to act quickly enough to help Poland. Although the Polish Army fought hard, their men, horses and technology was no match for the new German tactics. Then on the 17 th September, the USSR following the secret clauses of the Nazi-Soviet Pact invaded Poland from the east. Within a month Poland was defeated.

In the summer of 1939 the German newspapers and radio stations began to put out anti Polish propaganda claiming that the Poles were persecuting Germans living in the Polish Corridor.

On September 1, 1939, German troops invaded Poland. Britain and France sent an ultimatum to Hitler demanding that the German army withdraw. Hitler refused and on 3 Sept Britain and France declared war on Germany.

On 6th October, Polish forces are finally defeated at the Battle of Kock, although the country never formally surrenders this marks the defeat of Poland. Thousands of Polish soldiers then begin a 3000 mile journey through Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East to join up with British soldiers in North Africa.

Source 20: Neville Chamberlain, 3 rd September, 1939 ‘This country is at war with Germany
Source 20: Neville Chamberlain, 3 rd September, 1939
‘This country is at war with Germany
May God bless you all. It is
evil things that we are fighting against – brute force, bad faith,
injustice, oppression and persecution; and against that, I am certain
that right will prevail (win).’

Task 11: Discussion Point

that right will prevail (win).’ Task 11: Discussion Point What can learn from Source 10, about
What can learn from Source 10, about what Chamberlain believed to be the main cause
What can learn from Source 10,
about what Chamberlain
believed to be the main cause
of the 2WW?
Chamberlain is often criticised for
having been prepared to negotiate
with Hitler. Was he right to try
and find a peaceful solution?

Main Cause?

Main Cause? Class Vote –Why?

Class Vote –Why?

Main Cause? Class Vote –Why?

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Task 12: Complete the table below to help you create a summary of the events surrounding the invasion of Poland.

Key Issues

What happened?

Why did Hitler want to invade Poland?

What was the main reason why Germany signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact?

What was the main reason why the USSR signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact?

Why did Britain and France offer to help Poland if Germany attacked them?

Why did Hitler ignore Britain and France and attack Poland in Sept 1939?

Task 13: Discussion Point

and attack Poland in Sept 1939? Task 13: Discussion Point When did the Second World War
When did the Second World War actually begin for the following countries?
When did the Second World War actually begin
for the following countries?

Country

Year

China

Abyssinia

Britain & France

USA

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What were the causes of the Second World War?

Task 14

Match the heads with the correct tail to help you explain the causes of the Second World War,

Heads

Tails

Treaty of Versailles

The Nazis wanted to make Germany powerful again by capturing living space for the Master Race in Eastern Europe.

Lebensraum

The League was set up to help prevent future wars but was not strong enough to stop aggressors.

League of Nations

As a result of this harsh treaty, Germany lost its Empire, 13% of its land, 6 million people and had to pay £6.6 billion reparations.

American Isolationism

Stalin distrusted Britain and France and was prepared to make an agreement with Germany in order to buy the USSR time to rearm.

Great Depression

The USA had refused to join the League of Nations and was not willing to intervene in European affairs.

Nazi-Soviet Pact

The World was in the grip of the Great Depression from 1929 – 1933. This led to the rise of extremists like the Nazi Party.

Rise of Hitler

Britain and France were afraid of another war and failed to stand up to the Nazi government early enough.

Appeasement

Hitler was aware of the allies’ fear of another war and bullied and bluffed them into giving into his demands until it was too late.

Hitler’s Foreign Policy

Adolf Hitler was elected as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 on a promise to give the German people jobs, bread and rip up the Treaty of Versailles.

Task 15

Either on your own or in pairs, decide which factors above were the most important in helping to explain the causes of the Second World War

Then use the thinking skills review triangle below to help summarize your decision by writing the heads into the correct position on the graphic organizer.

Feedback to a class discussion

by writing the heads into the correct position on the graphic organizer. • Feedback to a

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A S S E S S M E N T F O R L E A

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Task 16: Reviewing Hitler’s Foreign Policy

Historians often disagree on how far Hitler was to blame for starting the Second World
Historians often disagree on how far Hitler was to blame for starting the
Second World War. Germany was treated harshly by the Treaty of
Versailles and millions of Germans were denied the right to self
determination. Complete the Venn diagram below to how you decide how
far Hitler’s foreign policy was driven by his determination to fight for the
rights of Germans or conquering ‘living space.’
for the rights of Germans or conquering ‘living space.’ Events German Rearmament, 1934 Rhineland, 1936 The

Events

German Rearmament, 1934

Rhineland, 1936

The Sarr, 1935

Sudetenland, 1938

Czechoslovakia, 1939

Austria (Anschluss), 1938

Poland, 1939

Discussion Point:

It’s very easy when looking at events after they have happened (Hindsight) to guess peoples
It’s very easy when looking at events after they have happened
(Hindsight) to guess peoples motives. Why was the British
Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, prepared to give in to
some of Hitler’s earlier demands?

Notes:

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How far was Hitler’s Foreign policy to blame for the causes of the Second World War?

N T F O R L E A R N I N G How far was

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Cartoons on Hitler’s Foreign Policy

Winston Church was not the only person who suspected that Hitler was planning for another war. Cartoonists such as David Low argued that Hitler intended to go on and on, and that he would not stop until he was stopped. Low hated Hitler, and the feeling was returned with such intensity that Hitler even tried to get Low’s cartoons banned. Many of Low’s cartoons carry the idea that Hitler was always planning his next move to take over his next victim and are very popular with the exam board. The table below shows some of Low’s most popular cartoons and provides a mini summary courtesy of the great history teacher John D Clare. Lots of really useful revision materials can be downloaded from www.johndclare.net

 

Date

Cartoon

Commentary

8

July 1936

8 July 1936 Low’s famous ‘Stepping Stones to Glory’ showed Hitler marching towards his goal (‘Boss

Low’s famous ‘Stepping Stones to Glory’ showed Hitler marching towards his goal (‘Boss of the Universe’) along a carpet laid across the backs of the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’. The message of the source that Hitler is travelling down a ‘road’, and Low has even identified the first two steps correctly – ‘Rearmament’ and ‘Rhineland’. But Low was able to do so because those were the two steps Hitler had already taken. He guesses Hitler’s next step (Danzig) incorrectly, and the rest of the steps are marked with question marks. Low was claiming that Hitler was heading down a road to war and that everyone else was too scared or spineless to stand up to him.

8

July 1938

8 July 1938 As the Sudetenland crisis began, Low warned again of the implications of allowing

As the Sudetenland crisis began, Low warned again of the implications of allowing Hitler to win. In this famous cartoon, ‘What’s Czechoslovakia to me anyway?’, he portrays a British public unbothered by the fact that the stone labelled ‘Czechoslovakia’ is just about to be pulled out, unaware that this will bring down a sequence of others. The stones Low names here are: ‘Poland’, ‘Rumania’, ‘etc. etc.’, ‘French alliances in eastern Europe’ and ‘Anglo-French security system’. The message is that allowing him to win in Czechoslovakia will – ‘down the line’ – compromise Britain’s security.

 

9

  9 As the Sudeten crisis escalated, this cartoon delivered the same warning whereby, as Hitler

As the Sudeten crisis escalated, this cartoon delivered the same warning whereby, as Hitler demands control of all Germans everywhere, the ghosts of ‘crises-to-come’ stand ready to come forward.Again, the cartoon is a general warning about the consequences of not saying no to Hitler, rather than a prediction of where Hitler will go next – the crises are labelled: Polish, Hungarian, Rumanian, Danish, Swiss, Alsace, British Empire…

September

 

1938

10 October

10 October Not until after Munich was Low able to predict with any degree of correctness

Not until after Munich was Low able to predict with any degree of correctness where Hitler was going to go next as, in this famous cartoon, he listed the ‘Ex- French-British family’ along the bed-head – Austria (gone), ‘Czechoslovakia’ (being ‘bagged’), with Poland next in line. By this time, however, fairly much everyone could see where Hitler was heading, although it was February before the British government sought assurances over the Czech republic, and March before they guaranteed Poland

 

1938

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