Foreign policy in Nazi Germany

  • Created by: Daisy.
  • Created on: 21-04-12 18:59

Hitler's Foreign Policy:

Foreign Policy = a government's policy relating to matters beyond its own jurisdiction.

Hitler's foreign policies were built on 4 key issues:

  • Lebensraum
  • Rearmament
  • The Treaty of Versailles
  • Communism

Lebensraum (living space):

  • Hitler's Greater Germany would have a population of over 85 million people.
  • Germany's land would be insufficient to feed this many people.
  • Hitler intended to expand eastward towards Poland and Russia.

Creation of a Greater Germany:

  • Hitler wanted a single homeland for all German speaking people.
  • After the Treaty of Versailles, millions of German's were living in foreign countries because of the land it had taken away.
  • The treaty had forbidden the union of Germany and Austria. (anschluss)

League of Nations (1933):

  • Hitler withdrew from the rearmament conference and the L of N on the grounds that France wouldn't agree to Germany's equality of armament.
  • Hitler promised to reclaim the territory lost due to the T of V.

Non-agression Pact with Poland (1934):

  • This included an end to previous border disputes, agreement to negotiate differences and a ten year non-aggression treaty. 
  • This stabilised Germany's eastern borders and gave Hitler time to continue rearmament and focus on other aspects of Nazi foreign policy.
  • Five years later Germany would officially end the treaty and invade Poland (September 1, 1939)
  • This pact encouraged Britain to believe Hitler would pursue peaceful intentions.
  • Ruined the French/Poland alliance.
  • It guaranteed Polish neutrality when Hitler moved against Austria and Czechoslovakia.

Saar plebiscite (1935):

  • The Saar was a part of Germany lost due to the T of V.
  • A plebiscite was held to see if people wanted this land to be returned to German control.
  • 90% of people voted in favour.
  • Nazi propaganda made a massive deal out of this.

Remilitarisation (1935):

  • March - Hitler announced expansion of the army (550,000 troops and German air force)..
  • Reintroduced conscription.
  • This broke the terms of the Versaille treaty.
  • June - Anglo/German naval agreement. This allows Germany to have 34% tonnage of British navy and equal tonnage of submarines.
  • Germany's opponents meanwhile:
  • April - Britain, France & Italy formed an alliance known as the Stresa Front to oppose any move by Germany to annex Austria.
  • May - France concluded a treaty with Russia.

Anglo-German Naval agreement (1935):

  • The Treaty of Versailles had also limited the German navy to only six warships.
  • In June 1935 the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed.
  • This allowed Germany to have one third of the tonnage of the British navy's surface fleet (probably the largest in the world at this time) and


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