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Hitler’s Aims
Reversal of the Treaty of Versailles
Restore German pride
Unite all German-speaking people
 Lebensraum (living space)
Needed more food & raw materials to supply
united Germans = population
German rearmament
Build up German armed forces
of the
League in
the 1930s?
Failures of League of Nations
Did nothing when Japan occupied
Manchuria (1931)
 Failed to act when Italy conquered
Ethiopia (1935)
 Did not intervene during brutal Spanish
Civil War (1936-1939) when fascist
forces led by General Franco overthrew
an elected government
Hitler’s Successes
Made possible by:
1) Weak League of Nations
2) British sympathy & guilt
over Germany’s situation
3) French military & political
German Rearmament
In the years prior
to the breakout of
WW2 in 1939,
Hitler is able to
The Saar
Area rich in coal
 League of Nations had
control for 15 years under
the Treaty of Versailles
 1935: People of the Saar voted on 3 choices
1) Join with Germany
2) Join with France
3) Remain under control of the League of
90% voted to go back to Germany
The Rhineland
Had been declared a de-militarized zone
under the Treaty of Versailles
 March 1936: Hitler ordered the occupation of
the Rhineland  NAZI generals were
completely against this…WHY?
Key Turning Point
German troops were
under orders to
withdraw if they met
any opposition… it
never happened!
 What message do
you think that sent
The Anschluss
Anschluss was the union of Germany and
 Was part of the notion of Lebensraum
 96% of Austrians spoke German
 Strong NAZI party in Austria
 Opposition from Mussolini who had signed an
agreement with Austria guaranteeing her
independence…Hitler’s solution?
The Anschluss
Hitler offers German
support for Italy’s
operations in Ethiopia,
if Italy ignores
Germany’s occupation
of Austria
The Anschluss
March 11, 1938: German troops
invaded Austria  Austria made into
a province of Germany by March 13
 Britain, France & League of Nations
protested but did nothing
 Germany takes over the Rhineland
and Austria with barely any opposition
Why was no action taken?
Memories of WWI were fresh in people’s
minds. Most leaders wanted to avoid
bloodshed at all cost
 The Great Depression severely crippled
the Western world. War preparations were
not as important as dealing with
unemployment and social problems
 Political opinion in Britain & France was
divided, but most viewed the fascists as
less of a threat than the communists
Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia)
Czechoslovakia was important to:
Avoid a 2-front-war with a hostile
Prevent a possible Russian invasion
of Germany through Czechoslovakia
 The Sudetenland was a mainly German
speaking area  badly affected by the Great
Depression  support for NAZIs
 The Sudetenland contained most of
Czechoslovakia’s defenses
Crisis April-September
Hitler instructed German Sudeten leader to demand
separation from Czechoslovakia
Czechs did not want to give up Sudetenland
Believed French would support them
Chamberlain, the British Prime
Minister, wanted to avoid war, so he
went to Germany twice
Chamberlain’s Visits
1)Sept 15:
Hitler insisted he would risk war to re-unite
the Sudeten Germans with Germany
 Chamberlain accepted to allow those areas
with a majority of Germans to be reabsorbed
into Germany
 He persuaded the Czechs and French to
agree to Hitler’s demands
Chamberlain’s Visits
2)Sept 22:
Hitler changed his demands to include the
occupation of the entire Sudetenland by the
 Hitler threatened to invade by the 1st if his
demands were not met
 Chamberlain refused 
Britain & France prepared
for war
Munich Conference
“We must always demand so much that we
can never be satisfied.”
- Adolf Hitler on his
strategy during
negotiations at Munich
Munich Conference
“ In spite of the hardness I thought I saw in his
(Hitler’s) face, I got the impression that here
was a man who could be relied upon when
he had given his word.”
- Neville Chamberlain
prior to the Munich
Munich Conference – Sept
Hitler was persuaded to postpone his plans for
war and to agree to a conference to discuss
the Sudetenland
 Mussolini (Italy), Chamberlain (GB), Hitler
(Germany) and Daladier (France) were invited
to the conference WHO WAS LEFT OUT?
 Agreement was reached that the Sudetenland
would be transferred to Germany and that the
4 powers would protect these new borders
Munich Conference
Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano
Munich Conference
The day after, Chamberlain met with Hitler
alone and agreed to the Anglo-German
 Promised never to go to war
with each other
 All disputes would be settled by
 Failure of Our Times
Munich Conference
Munich Conference: Results
Europe had been saved from war
 Britain and France got time to build up their
 Czechs lost vital resources & defenses
 Hitler was encouraged by France & Britain’s
reluctance to go to war
 Stalin was very upset about being left out of
the conference  worried that Britain would
do nothing to stop a German invasion of
At the time, do you think Chamberlain and
the Allies did the right thing in trying to
negotiate with Hitler?
Definition: granting concessions to
potential enemies to maintain peace
Arguments For:
Britain was not militarily strong enough to oppose
British people absolutely did not want a WWI
Chamberlain believed that Hitler could be satisfied
without having to go to war
Arguments Against:
Not right: Hitler was breaking terms of legal treaties
and agreements
Allowed Hitler to grow stronger and stronger
Hitler’s aims & determination were underestimated
“By repeatedly surrendering to force, Chamberlain has encouraged
aggression. Chamberlain’s policy has always been based on a
fatal misunderstanding of the minds of dictators.” The Yorkshire
Post, Dec 1939
Imminent War
March 1939: Hitler invaded the rest of
 Hitler’s argument that he was unifying the
German people no longer held water
 Britain & France sped up their armament
 Britain & France promised to defend the
independence of Poland
 Poland was the next target because Hitler
wanted back the Danzig passage lost in T. of V.
& to reunify Germany
“England has been
offered a choice between
war and shame. She has
chosen shame and will
get war.”
- Winston Churchill, in
opposition to
Chamberlain’s policy of
appeasement, September
Discussion Question
Do you think appeasement is
something that still goes on today?