it was a simple and Noble policy to keep Germany disarmed after the struggle of
the First World War and the victors sufficiently armed in vigilance but errors were soon made America’s failure to enter the League of Nations the weakness and lack of resolution of Western democracies to confront the growing strength of the fascist dictators in Germany Italy and Japan and the economic turmoil that allowed these events to spark and build upon reflection it is all too easy to see and understand how this tragedy could have been avoided but for those in power at the time they failed all too well to see the Gathering Storm.
that confronted them the origins of the Second World War can be found within the confines of the Palace of Versailles Germany surrender in the first world war was a shock to both the international community as well as to its people militarily Germany had been successful on the Eastern Front troops were deep within France and Germany itself was untouched however on November a ceasefire came into effect an armistice had been signed and the war to end all wars had come to an end.
the proud peoples of Germany had been defeated the Allies victorious after four years of suffering and untold casualties wanted to see Germany pay to ensure something like this would never happen again an international institution was to be established in the hope of bringing about a new world of collective security later seen in the form of the League of Nations in early the Germans were summoned to Versailles not to negotiate but rather to hear the terms they would have to implement an indoor David Lloyd George of Great Britain Woodrow Wilson of America Georges Clemenceau of France an Orlando of Italy all attended with the aim of weakening Germany World War.
one had radically altered to the political European map with the defeat of the Central Powers including Austria Hungary Germany Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire the German state that came out of the Great War was also to experience profound change and suffer severe territorial losses Germany was to lose a portion of its eastern land creating a new Polish state and establishing a Polish corridor between Germany and East kasha giving Poland access to the sea the port city of Danzig the largest city on the coast was given to the League of Nations Mabel in the Baltic was handed over to Lithuania alsace-lorraine to
France and the mineral-rich Rosalind was to be administered by the League of Nations for a span of years with the Rhineland becoming a demilitarized zone providing France with additional security the German colonies and Africa were distributed to the British in the French and their South Pacific colonies would be given to Japan in addition military clauses were added to the treaty the German army could be no larger than a hundred thousand troops.
they were allowed no air force no tank or heavy artillery and the German Navy could have no more than six warships with no u-boats or submarines insult being added to injury a war guilt clause was placed in the treaty making Germany accept full responsibility for the outbreak of the war as it was only on this basis that the Allies could demand reparations France and Britain had begun the war as creditor states but had ended as debtor nations and wanted to be repaid the sums been asked of Germany in reparations were many times more than was possible for them to pay place in a severe burden on their economy which later contributed greatly to economic instability and hyperinflation John
Maynard Keynes the primary representative of the British Treasury.
at the time said I believe that the campaign for securing out of Germany the general costs of the war was one of the most serious acts of political unwisdom for which a statesman have ever been responsible the German people believed there had been bitterly betrayed by the high command and unjustly treated by the international system views that would lead to materialise.
after the Wall Street Crash of and the preceding Great Depression the world was plunged into economic turmoil and Germany was hit hard American banks withdrew the loans they had made to Germany and the economy collapsed overnight due to such large reductions in cash and capital banks struggled to provide money in credit and so in there were runs on German and Austrian banks with several of them closing business is closed at an alarming rate and by unemployment had reached million many people were left homeless and thousands of children died from malnutrition a lack of government resolve an out of despair many turned to alternative political leaders and parties in the hope their problems would be solved one man in particular garnered
a lot of attention from his rousin speeches and this man was Adolf Hitler Hitler’s speeches delivered clear culprits for Germany’s problems the November criminals who had signed the Armistice ending World War one the liberals and socialists who had signed the Treaty of Versailles the Communists who threatened revolution in Germany and finally the Jewish bankers who plotted to undermine and destroy the German state the Nazi and communist parties both clashed violently and Hitler claimed to be the only one to bring about order and end the red plague as a powerful and gifted public speaker Hitler was able to capitalize on public discontent his party the National Socialist German Workers Party of the Nazi Party grew to record levels in September of the Nazi Party had increased its representation in the Reichstag
the German parliament almost tenfold winning a hundred and seven seats and only two years later in they won seats becoming the majority in parliament Hitler had found the failures and misery of the Great Depression to his advantage stating for hard reality has opened the eyes of millions of Germans in the election Hitler also ran for president and although he lost a decorated war hero paul von hindenburg his rise in popularity gave President Hindenburg no choice but to appoint Hitler on the th of January as Chancellor of Germany head of the German government just one month after Hitler had been sworn in as Chancellor a fire was started in the Reichstag by a young dutch communist who was then used to paint all communists as the enemy of germany using article of the constitution the Reichstag fire decree was passed that abolished civil liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press shortly after Hitler created a secret police known as the Gestapo helping him to suppress any and all opposition as Chancellor he also tripled the size of the German military violating the Treaty of Versailles banned all rival parties killed political opponents and prohibited Jews from working voting and occupying public spaces after the death of president von Hindenburg in Hitler declared himself Fuehrer of Germany absolute dictator Hitler believed the world to come would be dominated by four main superpowers Germany was to be the main hegemonic power of mainland Europe the British maintaining their international empire.
the Japanese or the Aryans of the East as Hitler like to call them would be the main power in Southeast Asia and the Pacific and finally America would dominate the Western Hemisphere part of Nazi support was their opposition to the Treaty of Versailles and upon coming to power Hitler promised to return Germany to its rightful place in the world Hitler’s objectives were clear the economy needed to be self-sufficient on what the Germans called economic all turkey been able to produce their own goods and not relying too heavily on imports this was critical to withstand a British blockade to trade a policy that had damaged Germany in the First World War Germany would also need Lebensraum or living space that would facilitate the growing German population Lebensraum was to be found in the east and this meant Germany would have to expand into Poland Czechoslovakia Ukraine and agricultural regions of the Soviet Union for Hitler this new German Reich that was to be created was to be racially pure containing only the Aryan race free of Slavs and Jews of whom have to leave or be eliminated and it was also Germany’s mission to launch a crusade against Judeo Bolshevism an ideology and enemy that home took the form of the Soviet Union a war he thought would inevitably have to happen the international system that had been envisaged was not able to cope without the support of the British and the United States absent following a policy of non-intervention ISM France was left alone to maintain and enforce the Treaty of Versailles some think it couldn’t and didn’t want to do alone held in Geneva Switzerland the disarmament conference provided a preview for how Hitler operated and what future Nazi policy would look like Hitler instructed his representatives at the conference to state that Germany would completely disarmed if and only if France Britain Japan and the United States would do the same this was an offer that Hitler correctly assumed would be denied and so he went back to the German people and showed them how this conference was not about disarmament but rather keep in Germany subjugated and so in Hitler withdrew from the League of Nations and the disarmament conference to the support of his people in to the surprise of the international community
to be continued..