17th Century- Modern History- 22.November, 20113
D. Militarization of Rhineland 1936. We need to re-assert German Sovereignty , said Hitler and he knows breaking Versailles treaty will be in favorable of the people. He moved massive number of troops into Rhineland. Hitler go away with this- he concludes western powers are led by cowards and that he can be as aggressive as he wants to be. He wanted people to know- I am defying the treaty of Versailles. The militarization of Rhineland was not a secret. This opened the question: What will Western Powers do? Why do they turn to appeasement?
II. Democracies in Retreat. A. Sources of Appeasement In 1930’s this was seen as one of the most reasonable options. 1. Pacifism- why it was popular: The Powers are going after extreme wish for peacefulness, we will do whatever it takes to keep the world from going to war again, said league of nations. Kellogg- Brian Pact: Originally pack between French & British saying they will never go to war again. Just never. (Blanket Promise) No way to prevent this- very real sense of how horrible WWI had been to convince themselves they was actually going to work.
2. A Growing sympathy for German humiliation. A lot of people are second guessing treaty of Versailles. “Well who could blame the Germans for listening to Hitler…we made that situation that as bad as it could be and gave it to them.” Said West Powers
3. What Hitler’s Gov. is doing is using massive amounts of deficit spending to build up military & infrastructure. This is pulling them out of the depression. So there is a a real sense of well, they must be doing something right. 4. Fear of communism- & willingness to beat up on their own homegrown communists.
*** Read section in text on Spanish Civil War- not going over it in class. 626-627.
III. Climax of Appeasement Policies. A. Anschluss 1938: Annexation of Austria. Hitler becomes more aggressive- He summons Austria’s president and gives ultimatum or Germany would move in. He wants Austria to be included in his “Greater German Fatherland.” Many people of Austria support annexation. Not every one. Hitler’s best day- He left Austria as a failed art student, comes back as conquering war hero. So Autrian people go oh yea, new start for us. The west didn’t like it very much but did nothing to stop it. There is talk of putting more men under arms and more money in the military budget. B. Czech Crisis (1938) Czechoslovakia 1. The Sudetenland- Hitler wants more. Germans are very large minority in this land. But Hitler wants it for part of Germany. This is where they set up border fortification against largely industrialized—Hitler offers same Ultimatum. Czech government says no. said we’ll fight you if we have to. Western Powers step in and: wait, we said we’d never have another war- so they convince Czechs to let them step into diffuse the situation. 2. Munich Conference (Czech’s weren’t invited.) Hitler said- that’s all I want- & they made the mistake them. Chamberlain (Britain) goes back saying this success, we appeased Hitler & he will stop being aggressive. Britain and France will threaten Czech’s until they get what they want- and that is for the Czech’s to let Germany in. Churchill: “Hitler is dangerous.” Nobody is listening to him, yet. In Hitler’s mind he thinks: I can get whatever I want. Then Germany takes rest of Czech, now, the world sees appeasement will never work with a man like Hitler. Ever since Munich period, appeasement could not be spoken about in a positive way. Result: Britain and France can no longer ignore what is going on and they look at the map saying where is he going to go next. The West Powers start Signing defensive treaties & kicking up military production. C. Hitler-Stalin Pact (1939 August) Hitler doesn’t want to fight Soviet Union….not yet…. He wants to clear the area of Slovs, and move Germans in. He says to Stalin: The two of us will cave up Poland and we’ll stay in alliance, and after that- you have Finland if you want. That’s what Hitler said to Stalin. You can’t just take Finland Stalin and we won’t, even care. It was supposed to be a secret treaty. It wasn’t. Raises the Alarms. This interrupts what people knew. Both have history of Anti- Semitism. But Hitler, the people cried- we thought you hated communism and now you are in alliance with one?? Monday November 25, 2013: Start WWII Lecture