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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 2013 words

Hitler's Aims

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The way in which information is handled Level of analysis and the quality of the arguments Development is a systematic development of a convincing answer to the research question subheadings (maybe scientific evaluations) Contents page Research question abstract Introduction Conclusion Bibliography The Second World War was caused by: a. Hitler's Aims 1. To unite German speaking people (using NSD which had been denied at the Treaty of Versailles. 2. He wanted lebensraum (living space) in order to gain self-sufficiency (autarky) 3. He wanted to dominate Europe and the World To achieve any of these aims would involve breaking the Treaty of Versailles (28/6/1919), and this could lead to war. b. The aggression of Hitler's Allies 1. Italy - Mussolini wanted a Fascist-Roman empire in the Mediterranean and Africa (e.g. Abyssinian invasion in 1935.) 2. Japan - Japan wanted a Nipponese empire in the Pacific, extending into China and Australia (e.g. Manchurian invasion in 1931) Germany, Italy and Japan were hostile to Communism (USSR), and this way a cause of war and vice versa. c. Democratic powers were passive 1. USA - Isolated 2. France - France was unlikely, and reluctant, to intervene against Germany, because she could not rely on Britain's and America's support. 3. Britain - Between 1934 and 1937, Britain was sympathetic to German recovery. Between May 1937 and March 1939, Britain appeased Germany. These powers could have stopped Fascist aggression earlier than 1939. d. The League of Nations failed to keep peace See other notes.


This caused the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936. Mussolini and Hitler strengthened their alliance on two occasions a. The Anti-Commintern Pact (November 1937) with Japan. b. The Pact of Steel (May 1939). 4. Britain's policy of Appeasement (May/June 1937 - March 1939) Neville Chamberlain became British Prime Minister on 28th May 1937, and followed the policy of appeasing Germany, believing that all Hitler wanted to do was unite German speaking people. In so doing, Hitler would break the Treaty of Versailles (28th June 1919) but Chamberlain did not believe Hitler would cause war. Churchill disagreed, citing Mein Kampf (1924) where Hitler had written that Germany must regain lands 'in the East ... by the power of the sword.' Chamberlain had misinterpreted Hitler's aims. (We have the benefit of hindsight.) 5. The Anschluss with Austria (13th March, 1938) Austrian Fascists wanted to unite with Germany but Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor, wanted Austria to be independent. He was unable to gain support from abroad (France and the Little Entente) so agreed to meet Hitler in Berlin. He was persuaded to accept Hitler's henchman Seyss-Inquart as Minster of the Interior. Rioting in Vienna increased under Seyss-Inquart's leadership and Schuschnigg resigned. Seyss-Inquart invited Hitler to assist him and on 13th March, 1938 troops from the Wermacht entered Austria. In a plebiscite on the Anschluss a vote of 99.75% in favour was recorded. This was 'rigged' by biased questioning. Hitler made it seem that he had been invited into Austria, in fact he had incited the union.


Buffer zone - a protective barrier of land, e.g. Eastern Poland taken by the USSR as protection against a future German attack. Rearmament - manufacturing of weapons and conscription, e.g. Germany (after 1934), Britain after the taking of Sudetenland Autarky - self-sufficiency economically, e.g. Germany under Hitler and Schacht to enable Germany to avoid imports Aggression - hostile or violent action, e.g. Germany was aggressive towards Czechoslovakia (March, 1939) and Poland (1st September, 1939) Diktat - none-negotiated decision/arrangement, e.g. The Munich Agreement, forced onto Czechoslovakia (1938) Passive - to spectate, i.e. not take part in the action, e.g. Britain and France were passive towards the German remilitarization of the Rhineland (March 1936) Incite - devious planning, e.g. Hitler incited the Anschluss (March, 1938) Causes of the Second World War (Summary) Long term, Short term and Immediate Causes Long term a. The harshness of the Treaty of Versailles (28th June, 1919) on Germany: * Land losses * Reparations * War Guilt b. The failure of the League of the Nations to: * Keep peace * Bring about disarmament Short term a. Hitler's aggression: * His aims * His actions (see steps to war: 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9) b. The aggression of the other powers: * Italy - Abyssinia (1935), Rome-Berlin Axis, Anti-Commintern Pact, Albania * Japan - Manchuria (1931), Anti-Commintern Pact (November, 1937) * Russia - Nazi-Soviet Pact, Invasion of Poland c. The democracies were too passive * USA - isolation * France - would not do anything without Britain's support * Britain - sympathetic towards Germany, e.g. Anglo-German Naval Treaty (1935) and later appeased her (May/June 1937 - March 1939) Immediate a. German invasion of Poland (1st September, 1939)

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