Seeds of World War II

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Overview of the background info leading to WWII

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Seeds of World War II

  1. 1. Seeds of World War II
  2. 2. Germany’s Economic Decline    Germany spent 37 billion dollars during World War I and only collected 1.5 billion in taxes. 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.
  3. 3. 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  Price  Inflation of bread 4 billion marks & glass of beer 2 million marks left the currency and life savings of Germans almost worthless
  4. 4. “Not my problem”  Many 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 Versailles.  Germans grew angry at the current government they had (the Weimar Republic)
  5. 5. A Failing Government  German’s 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!
  6. 6. U.S. Response  Even 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 during WWII.  Result of Dawes Plan-FAILED. Only 1 European Nation paid U.S. war loan/debts back.
  7. 7. The Dawes Plan
  8. 8. 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 Versailles.
  9. 9. 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, Germany  Put in jail and wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle)  Germans were a superior “Aryan” race  Jews were an inferior race  Blamed Jews for Germans defeat in
  10. 10. 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 German politics.  Hitler becomes Chancellor, at request of German President Hindenburg.
  11. 11. Hitler becomes Dictator  President Hindenburg of Germany dies on August 2, 1934  Hitler combines offices of chancellor and president.  Declares himself Fuhrer (leader).  Third Reich (German Empire) created.
  12. 12. 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 media.  Germany is now a Fascist government  On
  13. 13. Anti-Semitic Policies (Anti-Jew)  German Jews began to experience discrimination.  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.
  14. 14. 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.
  15. 15. Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass)  Supposedly in retaliation for the assassination of a German embassy official in Paris, France by a Jewish student.  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 killed.  30,000 were arrested and sent to prison camps.
  16. 16. Storefronts of Jewish Owned businesses were damaged during the Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogrom. Berlin, Germany, November 10, 1938.
  17. 17. Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Berlin, Germany, November 1938 .
  18. 18. 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.
  19. 19. Jews arrested after Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass") await deportation to Dachau concentration camp. Baden-Baden, Germany, November 10, 1938.
  20. 20. Herzog Rudolfstrasse synagogue after it was destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass").
  21. 21. 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 Versailles.  Fascism (aggressive nationalism and honor of military sacrifice) appealed to many Italians, especially war veterans from WWI.  Benito Mussolini becomes Prime Minister in 1922.
  22. 22. 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 Spanish government. 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 alliance). U.S. and League of Nations did little to stop them. They worried if they became involved it would lead to a larger conflict. U.S. and European countries were using appeasement.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. The Seeds of WWII planted  In 1936, Japan signs a treaty with Italy and Germany, forming the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis  General Hideki Tojo – became dictator in 1941  US Response: President FDR gives speech. Declares U.S. isolationism, but cuts off economic activities with Japan, Germany and Italy.
  25. 25. Violation of Treaty  Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles  Hitler wants to take over the Sudetenland (in Czechoslovakia) because 3 million Germans lived there. Rearmed Germany Occupied the Rhineland Declared Austria part of Germany
  26. 26. Appeasement of Hitler  Munich Conference called (Sept. 1938).  The Munich Conference was a meeting with the leaders of Great Britain, France, and Germany (Hitler) Britain decides to appease Hitler 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 of Czechoslovakia
  27. 27. 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 Czechoslovakia  August 1939 – Nazi-Soviet Pact signed, Soviet Union & Germany pledging not to attack each other.
  28. 28. World War II Begins  Hitler invaded Poland in Sept. 1939.  Britain and France had pledged to help Poland and declared war on Germany.  World War II begins!
  29. 29. U.S. Neutrality  Presdident Roosevelt argued that due to Neutrality Acts passed by Congress the U.S. couldn’t send war goods to Europe (Britain/France).  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 Atlantic Ocean.  Sept. 1941 – 80% of Americans opposed going to war.  Why?

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