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Germany was solely responsible for the outbreak of World War II - Discuss.

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Introduction

Germany was solely responsible for the outbreak of World War II. Discuss. There has been a lot of debate on whom or what was the main cause of the outbreak of the Second World War that began in 1939. Hitler's Germany is often regarded as being solely responsible and many historians have offered their opinion on this view some agreeing with this such as Hugh Trevor Roper who stated "The Second World War was Hitler's personal war in many senses. He intended it, he prepared for it, he chose the moment for launching it." (1953). On the other hand, A.J.P Taylor has an opposite view and in 'The Origins of the Second World War (1961) he says "Little can be discovered so long as we go on attributing everything that happened to Hitler". This essay aims to identify the main causes and the origins of the Second World War, and to what extent Hitler can be blamed, or Nazi Germany as a whole. In addition, many have argued that if it was solely Germany, it was the result of the inattention by France and Britain, and this argument will also be examined. To try and understand some of the reasons for the war, consideration of the results of the First World War, need to be taken into account. ...read more.

Middle

At this time, the country was therefore suffering from a trade deficit as imports were exceeding their exports. Although the minister proposed to slow down rearmament in order to sustain the German economy's exports, but Hitler disagreed and stated that 3foreign exchange should not be diverted to purchase of foodstuffs at the expense of rearmament. Hitler was opposed to foreign trade, and so he saw the solution in form of the conquest of the east to fulfil the German economy's needs by making it self sufficient. This shows the desire for a Lebensraum (addition living space). This Lebensraum to Hitler was a land of German Aryans. Hitler changed the concept of Lebensraum. Rather than adding colonies to make Germany larger, Hitler wanted to enlarge Germany within Europe. The Nazi modified theory of Lebensraum became Germany's foreign policy during the Third Reich. There are two pieces of evidence that are usually used to highlight that Hitler "planned" a war, one piece that is claimed to show the plans of Hitler is the Hossbach memorandum at the Nuremberg trials. 4Hitler reaffirmed the need for the conquest of the living space by the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia. According to A.P.Adamthwaite 5"The Hossbach memorandum confirms the continuity of Hitler's thinking: the primacy of force in world politics, conquest for living space in the east, anti-Bolshevism, hostility to France. ...read more.

Conclusion

Britain then assured Poland a unilateral security and this was the end to appeasement by France and Britain. However, this was not enough to stop Hitler invading the country on September 1. And it was at this point, on September 3, that war was declared on Germany. Examining the evidence, it been seen that Hitler probably suspected that at one point there would an occasion that Britain's and France's appeasement would not last forever, after breaching previous treaties. Every time Germany invaded a country, it was bring them one step closer to war. He was however willing to take a risk and when the time came, it seems with his rearmament policies he was merely preparing himself for the war. On the other hand, it can be seen by that Germany did not want to go to war, and it can be argued that if they knew they were moving closer and closer to war, then it is doubtful that he would have invaded Poland. In conclusion, the war would have been easier to overcome, if it were not for appeasement on the account of Britain and France. So they can be blamed partly alongside Germany for the war even if it seems that the war was going to go ahead in order for Hitler to accomplish his goals and moreover the people of Germany's desires from previous decades. Therefore it is not solely Germany's fault, but Germany paved the way for it to happen. ...read more.

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