Germany’s Economic Decline
Germany spent 37 billion
dollars during World War I and
only collected 1.5 billion in
Treaty of Versailles signed by
Germany in 1919 made them
accept complete responsibility
for World War I.
Germany had to pay 32 billion
dollars in war reparations to
France and England.
Fix the German Economy
Germany tries to fix problem by printing more
money, which causes inflation.
Value of German mark ($) to the U.S. dollar
1914 $1 US Dollar = 4.2 German Marks
1923 $1 US Dollar = 1 Billion German Marks
of bread 4 billion marks & glass of beer 2 million marks
left the currency and life savings of
Germans almost worthless
“Not my problem”
nations in Europe had ongoing
economic problems due to WWI. Several
were on the verge of bankruptcy
Allied countries that won from WWI still
had a spirit of revenge. Therefore, they
say no reason to revise Treaty of
Germans grew angry at the current
government they had (the Weimar
A Failing Government
did not support the Weimar
Republic because its representatives
signed the Treaty of Versailles.
Office of Chancellor and President were
the 2 highest positions of Germany
German’s wanted change!
though the U.S. policy shifted to
isolationism, we provided assistance (500 million
in food to Europe, including Germany)
The Dawes Plan-U.S. loaned Germany funds to
pay reparations to Allies.
U.S. needed European economy to survive so
U.S. could receive payment from loans to allies
Result of Dawes Plan-FAILED. Only 1
European Nation paid U.S. war loan/debts back.
The Rise of Adolph Hitler
Born in Austria – 1889
High school dropout
Enlisted in the German Army in WWI
Became an extreme nationalist
Believed Germany was sold out by
Weimar Republic from signing of Treaty of
Hitler and the Nazi Party
Joined the Nazi Party in 1921
Attacked the Weimar Republic
(rulers of Germany) in speeches.
Denounced the Treaty of Versailles
1923 - led an uprising in Munich,
Put in jail and wrote Mein Kampf
Germans were a superior “Aryan”
Jews were an inferior race
Blamed Jews for Germans defeat in
Hitler’s Climb to Power
Once released from jail, he
rebuilt the Nazi Party.
Promised benefits to peasants,
workers, and the middle class.
Membership grew dramatically.
In 1932, the Nazis are he
largest political party in
Hitler becomes Chancellor, at
request of German President
Hitler becomes Dictator
President Hindenburg of Germany dies on
August 2, 1934
Hitler combines offices of chancellor and
Declares himself Fuhrer (leader).
Third Reich (German Empire) created.
Hitler in Control
first day as Fuhrer , requires all
members of army to take an oath to obey.
Outlaws political opposition (which he
created), censors dissent from German
Germany is now a Fascist government
Anti-Semitic Policies (Anti-Jew)
German Jews began to experience
Jews were expelled from government jobs
and teaching positions.
Forbidden to practice law and medicine.
Jews and non-Jews could not marry.
All Jews had to register with the
government and wear yellow Stars of
David on their clothes.
Two young brothers, seated for a family photograph in the
Kovno ghetto. One month later, they were deported to the
Majdanek camp. Kovno, Lithuania, February 1944.
Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass)
Supposedly in retaliation for the assassination of a
German embassy official in Paris, France by a Jewish
S.S. storm troopers (Hitler’s Army) went on an antiJewish rampage throughout Germany.
In 15 hours, over 200 synagogues were destroyed,
7,500 Jewish owned stores were looted and 100 Jews
30,000 were arrested and sent to prison camps.
Storefronts of Jewish Owned businesses were damaged during the
Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogrom. Berlin,
Germany, November 10, 1938.
Jewish-owned shop destroyed during
Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass").
Berlin, Germany, November 1938 .
As the synagogue in Oberramstadt burns during Kristallnacht
(the "Night of Broken Glass"), firefighters instead save a
nearby house. Local residents watch as the synagogue is
destroyed. Oberramstadt, Germany, November 9-10, 1938.
Jews arrested after Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken
Glass") await deportation to Dachau concentration camp.
Baden-Baden, Germany, November 10, 1938.
Herzog Rudolfstrasse synagogue after it was
destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of
Fascism in Italy
Italy suffered from economic hardships
after WWI after helping the Allies fight.
Italians were upset because they did not
gain the land they wanted from Treaty of
Fascism (aggressive nationalism and
honor of military sacrifice) appealed to
many Italians, especially war veterans
Benito Mussolini becomes Prime Minister
The Spanish Civil War
Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalist Party take
over Spain’s government in 1939.
Mussolini and Hitler helped Franco overthrow the
Germany and Italy use the war as a testing ground for
the new tanks, planes, and weapons created.
Rome-Berlin Axis formed (Italy and Germany create an
U.S. and League of Nations did little to stop them. They
worried if they became involved it would lead to a larger
U.S. and European countries were using appeasement.
The Rise of Militarism in Japan
Japanese Expansion in the Far East
Militarists control the gov’t. Build up military
to expand control in Asia. Censorship begins, Liberal
teachers and gov’t critics arrested.
Secret police created to punish people speaking out against gov’t.
Schools taught “total obedience” to the emperor.
Needed raw materials because they did not have much land. As a
result, Japan has a desire to expand and conquer other lands.
1931 -- Occupied Manchuria part of Northeast China that was rich in
coal and oil.
The Seeds of WWII planted
In 1936, Japan signs a treaty with
Italy and Germany, forming the
General Hideki Tojo – became dictator
US Response: President FDR gives
speech. Declares U.S. isolationism, but
cuts off economic activities with Japan,
Germany and Italy.
Violation of Treaty
Hitler violates the
Treaty of Versailles
Hitler wants to take over the Sudetenland
(in Czechoslovakia) because 3 million
Germans lived there.
Occupied the Rhineland
Declared Austria part of Germany
Appeasement of Hitler
Munich Conference called (Sept. 1938).
The Munich Conference was
with the leaders of Great Britain, France,
and Germany (Hitler)
Britain decides to
Appeasement-satisfy the demands of a potential
enemy in order avoid conflict
Germany is given part of Czechoslovakia to
avoid war, without discussing with the leaders
Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Hitler makes more demands to Britain and
France believing they were weak.
March 1939 – German troops decide to
invade and take over all of
August 1939 – Nazi-Soviet Pact signed,
Soviet Union & Germany pledging not to
attack each other.
World War II Begins
Hitler invaded Poland in Sept. 1939.
France had pledged to help
Poland and declared war on Germany.
World War II begins!
Presdident Roosevelt argued that due to
Neutrality Acts passed by Congress the U.S.
couldn’t send war goods to Europe
Congress passes “Cash and Carry” legislation
that says that Britain and France could pay for
U.S. goods in “cash” and “carry” them across the
Sept. 1941 – 80% of Americans opposed going