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Nazi aggression, Appeasement

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University of Toronto St. George
Denis Smyth

11) Nazi aggression,Appeasement The Foreign Policy of Nazi Germany March 13 • Hitler's definition- “Weltanschauung” -“sound and vulnerable relationship between nation's population and growth on one hand and quantity and quality of soil on the other” • Mein Kampf- about his years as a bohemian in pre World War I -“during this time picture of the world and an ideology granite foundation of my deeds”-struggle is real motor of history • racial struggle- Germanic race gifted- had right to rule over others ◦ perverted idea of Darwin's idea of the “survival of the fittest” into “strongest “ • 1920s-German will win racial struggle if they had enough living space “Lebensraum” • Hitler's Second Book- identifies Germany's target for future growth- there would be eventual need to fight Russia -only there enough agricultural land t • Logical progression- France would have to be defeated before fight on with Russia • Hitler also hoped to forge alliances with Britain and Italy • Hitler very opportunistic and flexible? -But indisputable consistency of long-term goals • ultimate goal of Nazi foreign policy- conquest of land in East -couldn't be appeased • Mar 7 1936- Germany reoccupied demilitarized Rhineland -great gamble- German army weak • French contemplated using action, but prevented by British -claims of self-determination • fall of 1937- German economy showing strains to maintain pace of rearmament as incomes picked up - economic experts- had to slow rearmament • Nov 1937-Hossbach Conference-Hitler and military- only security of Germany Lebensraum ◦ Hitler said both long-term and immediate problems would be addressed by conquering neighbours likeAustria and Czechoslovakia -human capital and resources ▪ opportunism and long term policy converging • Czech- army four times larger than Britain and gateway to Eastern Europe- had to be destroyed ◦ Sudetenland- large ethnic Germans -could use German self-determination • what changed Hitler's mind of Czech invasion? ◦ Austria united- no urgent need for resources- Germany wasn't planning but humiliated ◦ Czech armed forces and anti-Nazi Germans against Hitler and Britain and France warnings Anglo-French Appeasement March 18 • incompatibility between Hitler's foreign policy and Germany in European international relations • Hitler's foreign policy didn't allow cooperation with others-expansionary to acquire Lebensraum • Hitler's challenges to international order risky because it is “new diplomacy” ◦ used Wilsonian values to justify German disarmament, re-militarization of Rhine,Anschluss • by Sep1938 Nazis in Sudetenland- causing riots for Czechs ◦ 12 Sep- Hitler promised to defend Sudeten Germans - 15 Sep- Benes flew to Germany • Hitler persuaded British PM Chamberlain of right to self-determination ◦ also of Sudeten Poles, Hungarians -Chamberlain realized only asking this to pursue Czech • gathering of powers for war -if war began at this time, Germany would've been easily defeated • Hitler agreed to hold Munich Conference -ended in almost complete acquiescence of Hitler • relief in Britain and France that war had been prevented - Churchill dissented- still no peace • what had blinded European powers to Nazi aggression? • French case- governing French popular front- left of centre neither radical or socialist ◦ France most could afford to do for Czech was military distraction in Rhine ▪ but inaccurate- driven by political unpopularity of intervention ◦ “France can only react to events, she cannot take the initiative” - admit weakness • German coal production had outstripped the French again from the late 1930s ◦ Germany dwarfing France in industrialization and demographics ▪ 1880 and 1910- French contraception -French 5% and Germans 43% population growth ▪ 1940 population French 42 million and German 70 million • French economy still based on small businesses - economic depression in the 1930s- stagger ◦ Britain and Germany hit hard because export nation -France later because not much export- ◦ late 1930s- whole Britain and Germany coming out of depression, France going in • also psychological effect- political polarization with depression -French left vs right ◦ though economically France ready to make war even slight increase in tax revolutionary • Blum 1937 May- should recreate allies • main protagonists for British appeasement- Chamberlain - genuinely didn't like war- “war wins nothing, war cures nothing, war ends nothing” ◦ economic interest- before WWI main source of income return from investments abroad ▪ exports to other countries- but cut by 2/3 increased national debt and less on rearmament ◦ 1920s- Britain still spending less money for security, though largest size of empire than ever • 1934- Chamberlain- can't promote for simultaneous hostility from Germany and Japan • Chamberlain convinced that either negotiate directly with dictators or recreate entente ◦ but French couldn't keep promise/ secrets and Russia- “awful, terrible, and beastly” Soviet Foreign Policy and Origins of WWII March 20 • alternative of appeasement- old system of collective security and safety in numbers ▪ suspicion towards Stalinist Russia always had ulterior mot
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