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Undoing the Treaty of Versailles
In January 1933 Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. He immediately began to
challenge the Treaty of Versailles and to build up German armed forces. The purpose of
this tutorial is to help you understand Hitler's aggressive foreign policy in the 1930s.
Below are some typical exam questions about Hitler's aggressive foreign policy:
How did Hitler try to challenge the Treaty of Versailles in the 1930s?
Describe Hitler's foreign policy from 1933 to 1938.
You may think these questions look daunting but you can use the information on this
page to make a plan for an essay answer. Now look at this list of events in Germany in
1933 League of Nations
Hitler ordered the German delegates to leave the Disarmament Conference in Geneva,
and he withdrew from the League of Nations. He gave as his excuse the fact that
Germany was already disarmed, but the other countries were refusing to disarm.
Conscription was started in Germany and warships were built after the Anglo-German
Naval Agreement. The construction of the Luftwaffe was begun. All of these were
banned by the Treaty of Versailles.
1936 March The reoccupation of the Rhineland
Hitler sent German forces into the Rhineland. The British government refused to
consider sanctions against Germany. "It's only Hitler going into his own backyard," said
one British politician.
1936 The Condor Legion
After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Hitler sent German forces to fight
on the side of General Franco. These forces were known as the Condor Legion. Hitler
used the Spanish Civil War as an opportunity to practise Blitzkrieg tactics which were
used during World War II.
1938 March The Anschluss
Hitler occupied Austria and united it with Germany. He used the excuse that he was
protecting Germans within Austria, and then held a plebiscite. 99% of Austrians voted
in favour of union with Germany.