Between 1918 and 1933, Adolf Hitler rose from being a defeated member of the German army, to becoming the all powerful Führer, dictator of Germany, (Elected Chancellor 1933).
Hitlers Foreign Policy (Described from Mein Kampf if the Nazis ever achieved power):
- Abolish the Treaty of Versailles: hated the Treaty and those who had signed it (November Criminals), it was a constant reminder of their defeat and humiliation, and when he came to power he promised to reverse it, one of the main factors of doing this was rearming, as no other countries had agreed to disarm.
- Expand Germany Territory: ToV had taken away land from Germany, and he aimed to reclaim it. He also wanted to unite once again with Austria, as he believed that uniting all German speaking people was a must (further violation of the Treaty) and eventually carve out an empire in Eastern Europe to give extra Lebensraum, 'living space' for Germans.
- Defeat communism: as he was an anti-communist, he wanted to get rid of it , and by creating his empire throughout Russia it would help to extinguish a large source of communism (Bolshevism), and it would be revenge as he also believed that the Bolsheviks helped to bring about the defeat of Germany in WW1, as they wanted to take over.
Step One: Rearmament
- Rearmament was secret at first, but he knew that German people supported it but he made a public display of his desire not to rearm Germany - that he was only doing it as other countries refused disarming to Germanys level.
- Thousands of unemployed workers were drafted into the army, also reducing the amount of unemployment.
- July 1932, he proposed worldwide disarmament, knowing they would disagree, then walked out. He followed Japans example and left the League, 1933.
- 1935, staged a massive military rally to celebrate their armed forces. Reintroduced conscription, and this all boosted Nazi support.
- Hitler knew Britain was sympathetic, and also believed Germany was a buffer to communism.
- Overall, Hitler reintroduced conscription, started building weaponry (also reducing unemployment), marched into Rhineland (remilitarised it), increased the size of the navy... 1932: 30 Warships, 36 Aircrafts, 100,000 soldiers = 1939: 95 warships, 8, 250 Aircrafts and 950,000 soldiers.
The Saar Plebiscite:
The Saar reigon had been run by LoN since 1919, bordered France and was in the region of the Rhineland. In 1935, the League held a plebiscite for people to decide whether or not the region should be under German rule. Many anti-Nazis fled their to create a united front, however the vote was swayed by the Nazis who wanted to return to Germany, with the help of the police who beat up and boycotted their opponents. The League knew what was happening but did not intervene as they did not want to start a Nazi riot. The vote was an overwhelming success for Hitler, 90.3% of voters voted on returning to Germany. Although not…