Chapter 22 World at War
Post WWI Germany The Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic • Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated and went into exile. • A new democratic government was elected called the Weimar Republic. • It had a constitution. Article 48 (Pres, State of Emergency) • Designed so that one party could not get a majority • Many parties formed coalitions to govern.
Weimar Republic Woes: • 2 ½ million + Germans died in the war; 4 million wounded. • The army and many other groups in German society were unhappy that the Kaiser had been forced to abdicate. • Some of these owed a very shaky allegiance to the new republic. • Many were completely hostile and viewed the government with contempt. • Economic problems were serious, including rising prices, unemployment, and a continued Allied blockade. • Germany faced the prospect of a harsh treaty (Treaty of Versailles) that was being negotiated in Paris.
More problems • Some Communists wanted power and the Germans had their own “Red Scare” called the “Red Plague.” • Lots of political parties: Communists, Socialists, German National People’s Party
Treaty of Versailles • Called the “Diktat” by the Germans. • Forced to sign it. • All Germans opposed it. • Protestant churches declared a day of mourning when it was signed.
The strangling hand of the Treaty of Versailles gripping a map of Germany which bears a slight image of Adolph Hitler.
Treaty of Versailles • Much of Germany’s territory, all of its colonies, some of its people were given to France, Belgium, and Poland. • Size of Germany’s army and navy were limited. • Banned tanks and the airforce. • War guilt clause • Reparation payments
German Response • Military revolts • Union strikes • Communist revolts, thousand dead • Assassination of leading politicians
Economic Distress • 1921 War reparation demanded by the Allies- 6.6 billion pounds. • Germans could not pay. Over Christmas/New Years 1922-1923, they defaulted. • 70,000 French and Belgian troops seized the main industrial region of Germany (Ruhr) in lieu of the war reparation payments. • German government called on workers to strike. • Low-level terrorist campaign by Germans. • French strike back brutally (house searches, hostage-taking, shooting over 100 Germans)
Economic Distress • Production drops drastically. • Unemployment soars from 2% to 23%. • Tax revenues collapse. • Government prints more money causing inflation. • Prices go insanely high (By Nov. 1923, prices are a billion (really) times higher than before the war began in 1914.)
Effects of Hyperinflation People had to shop with wheel barrows full of money. Bartering became common - exchanging something for something else but not accepting money for it. Bartering had been common in Medieval times! Pensions became worthless. Restaurants did not print menus as by the time food arrive…the price had gone up! The winter of 1923 meant that many lived in freezing conditions burning furniture to get some heat. Most of the very rich were land owners and could produce food on their own estates. The middle class suffered severly as well. Their hard earned savings disappeared overnight. Many middle class families had to sell family heirlooms to survive. Many of those middle class would later turn Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Improvements • A new chancellor, Streseman, was chosen in September 1923 who • Ordered the union back to work. • Established a new currency backed back American gold. • Got reparations payments reduced to a more reasonable amount (50 million pounds instead of 2 billion pounds) through the Dawes plan. • Secured American loans for Germany. $200 million • Stabilized Germany for the next 5 years. • Got Germany to join the League of Nations. • Nazis were a small, but noisy party during this time.
Art, music, film, and science thrived under the Streseman era of the Weimar Republic. • Streseman died in 1929 GustaveStreseman Marlene Dietrich
Disaster • The German economy was on shaky foundations because it was based on huge loans from the United States. • 1929 Stock market crash caused U.S. banks to call in its short-term loans to Germany. • They couldn’t pay, nor could they export goods for sale so they could pay. • Economy collapsed.
Rise of the Nazis • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2YEUhHFMHY
A Time of Tyrants Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Stalin
What is Mein Kampf? • Adolf Hitler’s personal memoir “My Struggle” • Spelled out his ideas for a new German order • Scrap the League of Nations • Rid Germany of democracy • Unite all Germans • Eliminate all communists and Jews
What does Nazi stand for? • National Socialist German Workers’ Party • It came to power in 1933. • Hitler was elected chancellor and called himself Führer. • He called his Nazi regime the “Third Reich,” a German empire that would last a 1000 years.
If Hitler’s government was the Third Reich, what were the other two? • German Empire governed by Prussian Emperors (1871–1918) • The republic informally called the Weimar Republic (1919–33) • The totalitarian dictatorship commonly known as the Third Reich or Nazi Germany (1933–45)
Characteristics of the Nazi regime: • Police state • Blind nationalism • Anti-Semitism • Totalitarianism
The Italian Tyrant Benito Mussolini established fascism as a nationalistic, militaristic, totalitarian government in 1922. Nickname: Il Duce
Italy’s Tyrant: Mussolini • He promised the Roman people that he would “restore the glory of Caesar’s empire.” • He wanted to expand Roman territory and picked easy targets such as Ethiopia, which was rich in natural resources. • When he was condemned by the League of Nations, he walked out and joined an alliance with the Nazis.
Japan also wanted to expand its territory and trade partners. • European nations had already carved up Asia in to “spheres of influence.” • Japan attacked & subjugated Manchuria in China in 1931. Japan’s Tyrant
Japan’s Tyrant: Hideki Tojo • Tojo was a general who led a group of warlords to take over the Japanese government, effectively rendering Emperor Hirohito powerless. • 1934 cancelled the Washington Naval Treaty • 1940 Japan joined Italy and Germany to form the Axis of dictator states.
Soviet Union: Jozef Stalin • Stalin took over Russia after Lenin died. • He crushed all opposition by killing some 20 million men, women and children. • “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” • One of the most brutal tyrants in the history of mankind.
The Coming of War Hitler’s Advance
Motivations • Britain and France were in no mood for confrontation or war. • Hitler said he wanted to get back Germany’s territory that had been broken up and “stolen” with the Treaty of Versailles after WWI.
Appeasement: The policy of giving in to try to satisfy Hitler’s stated demands.
Easy Acquisitions: Rhineland • Rhineland 1936 – an industrial region of Germany near Alsace-Lorraine, which was supposed to be demilitarized.
Defenses: • Siegfried Line – German fortifications • Maginot Line – French fortifications
Easy Acquisitions: Austria • Anschluss – union with Austria, German-speaking land. • Austrian Nazis staged a coup and took power, “invited” Germany military in. Austria is the southern part in gold.
Easy Acquisitions: Sudetenland • Hitler declared his intentions to “annex” Sudetenland. • Many Germans had fled to Sudetenland from the Nazis. • Meeting of England (Chamberlain), France (Daladier), & Hitler in Munich, Germany to discuss the problem. • To keep the peace, Chamberlain and Daladier agreed to “give” Hitler the Sudetenland (Sept. 1938). • “Munich” became an adjective for appeasement and defeatism. Sudetenland is the purple area.
Easy Acquisitions: Czechoslovakia • In March 1939, Hitler moved to seize the rest of Czechoslovakia. • The British and French then signed security agreements with Romania and Poland, hoping that would deter Hitler from advancing.
Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact • Russia was a powerful neighbor to the east of Germany. • Hitler and Stalin agreed not to fight each other. • In fact, Hitler told Stalin he could take the Baltic countries, Finland, and a little piece of Poland and Hitler would take the rest of Poland. 1939 Boundary Lines
War Begins! • On September 1, 1939, fifty-six German divisions roll across the Polish border. • 600 Luftwaffe bombed civilian & military targets. • 48 hours later, 100,000 Polish casualties • On September 3, 1939, British Prime Minister N. Chamberlain declares war on Nazi Germany. France followed. Blitzkrieg!
Denmark • Spring 1940, Hitler attacked and occupied Denmark in a few brief hours. • A panzer is a German tank or a division of tanks. (armor)
Norway • On the same day, the Germans assaulted Norway so it could have naval bases and access to Sweden for its iron resources. • The Norwegians bravely resisted but were sold out by a traitor, a government official, Vidkun Quisling assisted German agents and was appointed governor by the Germans afterwards. His name became synonymous for traitor.
Fall of France • http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/animations/wwtwo_map_fall_france/index_embed.shtml
Fall of France • May 10, 1940 Germany moved into the countries on its western border: Tiny Luxembourg (2 days), Holland (5 days), Belgium (18 days), and France. • Panzer units outmaneuvered the French and British forces. • The Luftwaffe destroyed French fortifications so the tanks rolled into France smoothly.
Fall of France • The French people fled their cities. • German Stuka dive-bombers filled the air and attacked repeatedly.
Germany’s new weapons and blitzkrieg tactics were fresh and successful, a far cry from the trench warfare of WWI. • France’s war technology was out-moded. • France was no match for Germany’s tanks and planes.
Fall of France - Dunkirk • The French and British troops were almost surrounded and were pushed back to Dunkirk with their backs to the English Channel. • As they were about to be wiped out by the Luftwaffe, fog rolled in, concealing them. • By the time the fog had lifted every available British and French vessel, from fishing boats to private yachts, had evacuated 330,000 men.
Paris is abandoned to the Nazis. • Ironically, the surrender of France was signed in the same railroad car in which Germany had signed the armistice in 1918.