Germany Interpretations


Interpretation 1

The influence of German history on Nazi Foreign Policy:

Some historians argue that the Second World War was a direct result of the defeat of germany in WW1. The defeat of the German army in November in 1918 was a stunning blow. Many Germans belived they had not been defeated at the front by 'stabbed in te back' by traitourous poloticians. The preception that the peace Treaty of Versailles was deeply unfair merely exacerbated this resentement. Hitler took advantage of this anger to bulid supprt for the expansionist Foreign Policy during the 1930s. However, it is also true to say that Hitler was influenced by ideas and polcies rooted in Germany history and the policies of previous goverments; it was not only in reaction to Versailles that formulated his foreign policy. 

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Inerpretation 2

Hitler's ideas and his role in the shaing of the Nazi Foreign Policy

Is that Hitler possessed a carefully devised and metiodously planned blueprint for world domination. He knew full well that realisation of this plan would mean war. The plan itself was based upon his pesonal ideological obsessions, as explained in Mein Kampf, the book he wrote while he was in prison in 1924. Here his plan was to destroy world Jewry was clear, as was his judgement that Germany needed Lebensraum. Given that the only place this could be found in the East , this inevitably meant war against the USSR. The attack on Poland in 1939 that led to the start of WW2 was only one step in his plan. This view has been challanged and some Historians have pictured Hitler as laking a clear programme or strategy. Most now agree that although he had long-term goals, he did not have a clear timetable for blueprint. Far from having a logical plan, he simply took his opportunities to take territory or bulid his power as they presented themsleves to him. As he did so he antagionised the Allied nations and he stumbled into war.  

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Interpretation 3

The reasons for the German invasion of Poland in 1939 

Some historians view the invasion of Poland of a final step in the realisation of Hitler's grand premediatated plan for war. Those who agree with this prespective note that Hitler viewwd the conquest of Poland as essential to achiving his goal of Lebensraum. In Eastern Europe and the USSR. Any further invasion of the USSR would take place through Polish terrirtiory. Hitler also knew that Britian and France had gaurnteed to defend Poland with military force. He knew that the enemies were accelerating thier rearmement programmes and he needed to achive his goal of Lebensraum before rival powers achived party with German rearmament. Other historians argue that Hitler miscalculated. They note that Hitler had forseen that the war would not start until 1942. They argue that Hitler expexted the Allies to pledge to defend Poland, as they had done over his previous territorial demands. 

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Interpretation 4

The contribution of other nations to the outbreak of war 

Some historians argue that the attituides of Germany's interational rivals must bear a level of responsibility for the war. Britian and France were desprate to avoid a repeat of the destruction brought about in WW1. They continually gave into Hitler's territirial demands. In Britian this was combined with a feeling that Versailles had been to harsh and that Hiter possessed a moral justification for his demands for its revision. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin allowed Hitler to take territory that the British did not believe to the central to thier intrests in the hope that it would placate the German dictator and aviod war. However, Chamberlin's policy of Appeasement merely confirmed Hiter's belief that they would be weak to stand up to him. This encourged Hiter to act in an agressive manner and the German dictator was truly shocked when they finally faced up to him when he threatened Poland. After ending WW1 on the Allies side Italy and its Facist dictator Mussolini was an ally for Hitler. Mussolini's invasion of Abysinnia in 1935 diatracted the Allies from checking German militarnism and the Italian leaders support for Hitler, gaurnteed in the Pact of Steel 1939, added to Hitler's self confidence that he could defeat the Allies. Futhermore the USSR was Hitler's ideological enemy, yet the two signed a non-agression pact in 1939. This enabled Hitler to concrete on defeating his enemies in the West. 

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