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:
- The Treaty of Versailles
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.
- 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…