Germany’s Drive for Expansion By: Ryan Holman and Olivia Nicholson
Hitlers Ambitions • Hitler wanted more land especially in the east according to the Nazi policy Lebensraum. He used the limitations of the treaty of Versailles as a pretext for Germany’s right to acquire land where “German Speaking” people lived. They used this to conquer two entire countries without starting a war. Those two countries are Austria and Czechoslovakia. • Austria- taken on March 13th, 1938 by a loop hole in the treaty of Versailles. • Czechoslovakia- at the Munich conference on September 28th 1938 the French and British gave Germany parts of Czechoslovakia. Hitler tookthe rest by March 1939. The French and British did this because they want to repeat the blood shed of WWI. They thought that with a few concessions to please Hitler, but they didn’t know he wanted much more than a country
Hitlers big excuse • After gaining Austria and Czechoslovakia to the growing German Empire, he was extremely confident that he could spread farther east capturing Poland without a fight. In order to deter a possible fight with the Soviet Union Hitler made the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact , so he could easily take Poland. A man by the name of Heinrich Himmler made an excuse to attack Poland named Operation Himmler, so they wouldn’t be seen as the aggressor. This plan came into play on the night of August 31, 1934 Nazi’s took a unknown prisoner from a concentration camp, and dressed him in a Polish uniform, and took him to the town of Gleiwitz which is on the border of Germany and Poland. VS
Video ! Germanys Drive for Expansion Video !
Hitlers Reasons to expand 1. To Destroy the Treaty of Versailles • the Germans hated small armies • The saar was under the league of Nations control • They didn’t have the Rhineland • A union with Austria was forbidden • Germans were forced to live in Poland and Czechoslovakia • Danzing was under the league of Nations • The treaty was a reminder to the Germans that they lost and Hitler couldn’t accept their defeat. • Nazi- National socialist German Workers party
Hitler's reasons continued • 2. Expand Germany • Population was growing • Hitler believed they needed more lebensraum or “living space” and he wanted to do this by taking eastern Europe • This was also tied into his belief that the Aryan race was genetically superior to all the others and he truly believed he had the right to take the slaves like Polish and Russians as their slaves • The Nazis were fascists (opposite of communist) unlike communist who ruled Russia • Hitler blamed communists for Germanys defeat in WWI and geared that they were trying to take over Germany so they had to destroy communism, which meant war with Russia
www.ushmm.org/wle/en/article.php?moduleid=l0005482 • www.history1900s.about.com/od/worldwarII/a/wIIstarts.htm • http://www.johnclare.net/roadtowwII2.hmt • www.youtube.com