The Causes of World War 2
Adolf Hitlers way to the power in Germany
In 1933 when Hitler took the power in Germany, the darkest chapter in human history began. What Hitler wanted was clear through his book "Mein Kampf" ("My struggle"), which came out back in the 1920s. His goal was to destroy democracy and establish a brutal dictatorship. The unions and socialism would be obliterated. A racist policy against the Jews, Gypsies and Slavs were high on the agenda. Finally, Germany should make living space, “lebensraum” in the east, with the ultimate goal of world domination for Germany.
Germany had lost World War I (1914 - 1918). The victorians France and Britain dictated the harsh conditions in Versailles 1919, The aim was to depress Germany. Among other things, Germany lost large tracts of land and were forced to pay expensive war reparations. In addition, Germany were forbid to have an army of more than 100 000 soldiers.
Big businesses in Germany gave Hitler great contributions to run his propaganda. In the middle class, he received millions of followers. The harsh rules from Versailles made the Germans angry and the Nazis gave the germans something to believe in again.
1933, when Hitler came to power, the world looked different than it did 1919. Now the Soviet Union and the communist parties was the worrying factors for the rulers of europe.. At the time, everyone expected Germany to become the site of the next communist revolution. Excluding the Soviet Union, Germany had the largest communist party. Therefore, there were many in France and Britain who thought it could be quite good if Hitler, an energetic enemy of communism came to power in Germany.
The Nazis get more power
The first thing the Nazis did was to ban the Communist Party and imprison Communists in Germany. This meant that the Nazis had won points with the leaders of France and Britain. In this way the Nazis could buy the right to piecemeal pick down the harsh conditions of the Versailles treaty. The first concern that Hitler brought up question of building up Germany's military power again.
First, Hitler built up the new army on the sly. But in 1935 he said publicly that Germany would again introduce military service and build an air force. The same year Britain agreed to let Germany build up its navy again.
The nazis increase their land
In the summer of 1936 something happened that made the leaders in the UK even more convinced that they needed someone to protect them against communism. In Spain, the army rebelled against a left-oriented government. Millions of Spaniards began to fight the military, and a revolution that was not supported by the government spread in Spain. Hitler supported General Franco, who fought for a right-wing dictatorship in Spain. The governments of Britain and France did not support either side. They did not help the Spanish Government, as it could lead to support for the revolution - and revolution could easily spread to both France and Britain. But they also did not help the rebel army, and General Francisco Franco, because it would be to stand on the side of dictatorship to democracy.
One of Hitler's main plan was that all the areas where they spoke German should belong to Germany. The largest of these areas was Austria. In March 1938 Hitler had his troops march into Austria. They met no resistance. It turned out that many Austrians wanted to belong to Germany.
The next area outside of Germany where they spoke German was sudetenland in western Czechoslovakia. In September 1938 Hitler met with British Prime Minister Chamberlain and French and Italian leaders in Munich, southern Germany. They agreed that Germany could have sudetenland. This meant that Germany got a large land area without any need for war.
The war begins
When Chamberlain returned to Britain after the meeting in Munich, he said: "There will be peace in our time!"
But that was not what Hitler planned. Anyone who wanted could read in "Mein Kampf" that he aspired to war.
It was in march 1939 when Hitler cut up the rest of Czechoslovakia - he took the Czech Republic and the remaining portion, Slovakia, was made independent. At this time Britain and France realized that Hitler was not possible to "tame".
On September 1, 1939 the war began when Hitler's army attacked Poland. On September 3, 1939 Britain and France declared war on Germany.
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