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Lecture

Germany and the Holocaust

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Department
History
Course
History 2147A/B
Professor
Julia Berest
Semester
Winter

Description
Germany and the Holocaust Hitler Plan for European domination: - Japanese ally was needed in case the USA joined the war - hoped that they would hold by the States until he was able to dominate Europe Polish Campaign - enormous army was used to invade - was supposed to be a different kind of war, not just territorial conquest but rather racial conquest - Hitler was surprised that Britain and France would declare war - there was the fear that Germany would now have to fight on two fronts - even though they had declared war, no active fighting happened over the next several months - “sitting war” - troops sat on either side of an “imaginary” line where they could see each other but never actually fought - declared war because of Poland, but not for Poland Polish Army - vastly outnumbered and outgunned by the Germans - still using calvary and severely outdated weapons - now, infantry was supplemented by motorcycles, tanks, and armored units - air force was used extensively - everyone moved in perfect coordination - completely new strategy - quick moving, rather then the slow, dragging trench warfare - Soviets invaded Poland from the other side and met the Germans as two friendly armies in the middle Conquest of Northern Europe and France - Britain gave a little support to Norway but didn’t want to sacrifice/deploy large amounts of troops - Sweden was formally neutral but their neutrality skewed heavily towards Germany - they supplied highly necessary oil to Hitler to continue production - Hitler had the daring idea to attack France from the other side - unexpected - after occupying France, Hitler began to lose his own sense of reality - he began to believe that every conquest would be as easy as it had been so far The Battle of Britain - Britain hadn’t been invaded in centuries - island - Hitler was relying on the air force to soften up the enemy for the ground invasion - up until the attacks on Germany by Britain, many German people hadn’t felt any side-effects of the war - no rations etc. - both sides believed that the air attacks would demoralize the enemy, however, the ones most effected were the women and children not the soldiers - Berlin was completely devastated by the bombing - shocked as they hadn’t felt the effects of war yet - most controversial aspect of the war - there always used to a distinct divide between warfare and home fare - controversial over whether the aerial warfare was necessary - many, many civilian deaths for very little strategic benefit Change of Objectives - postponed the British invasion and began planning his Russian invasion - had to put the Russian invasion on hold in order to rescue Mussolini - Mussolini had attempted to occupy Yugoslavia and Greece and was stopped - Hitler was able to take over these countries very easily - as a result, Hitler was confident that he could conquer Russia or Britain just as easily as he had been able to occupy every other country Russian Campaign - assumed that the ideological differences between Russia and Britain would be too large for them to ever be military allies - underestimated Churchill’s stance on things - Churchill had been against/whistle blower on Nazism for a very long time and was in no way going to side with Germany - Hitler believed that the US would stay completely out of the war - isolated after WWI - didn’t even join the UN peacekeeping - thought that the new warfare style would work as well in Russia as it did in other European countries - however, Europe was tightly packed while Russia was huge - Soviets would be able to retreat into the interior of the country and use the massive amounts of resources available for production - believed that the Soviet Union was weak and that the people would not fight for the regime that had killed millions of themselves - believed that the Russian army was weak due to Stalin’s purges - did not take into account the national character of the Russians - not all committed to the Communist regime but were more than willing to die protecting their mother land - amazing how little he knew his enemy - Stalin was a smart politician - barely mentioned Communism during war time - focused on protecting the motherland and how Russia had never before been c
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