Fascism Threatens Other Countries?

By: Bella Baudhuin

What did Hitler want?

At the time, Hitler was the supreme ruler of Germany. He thought of Germany as the absolute power of the world, and with that in mind, he killed many Jews in his way.

Ignoring the Treaty of Versailles, which limited the size of Germany's army and number of weapons it could have, Hitler ordered more production of guns, tanks, airplanes, and other weapons. He also ordered all young German men to fight in the army.

"Today, Germany; tomorrow, the world!", said Hitler.

How did Hitler Break the Treat of Versailles?

The Treaty of Versailles blocked German troops from Rhineland, an area that Germany bordered France. Though in March 1936, Hitler sent his troops over. Fearing war, Great Britain and France tried to protest against him, but did nothing as a result.

The treaty had also mentioned that Germany and Austria (once allies in World War I), could not join forces again. Hitler had a different idea. He said that anyway who spoke German should be one as well. Again ignoring the treaty, he invaded and took over Austria (without Austria's permission). Great Britain and France did nothing once more.

Why did Hitler want Sudetenland?

After Germany lost WWI and the Treaty of Versailles was made, land was taken from Germany (to pay money off) and given to Czechoslovakia. This land was called Sudetenland to the people. Hitler always felt like Sudetenland was always part of Germany because it was a German speaking land. So in 1938, Hitler sent all his men over to reclaim it and demanded control over it.

What did the Munich Pact Give Hitler?

The British and the French had promised to protect Czechoslovakia against it's enemies. On September 29, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler in Munich, Germany. Chamberlain had also invited many world leaders to come to the meeting as well.

There, the leadesr signed the Munich Pact which gave Hitler control of Sudetenland. In return, Hitler had to promise back not to attack any more parts of Czechoslovakia. However six months later, Hitler took over the rest of Czechoslovakia.

Why did Appeasement Fail?

Hoping to avoid war, Great Britain and France did not help Ethiopia, Austria, or Czechoslovakia. They followed the policy of Appeasement. That is, they followed the dictators. Britain and France hoped that the dictators would be happy with what they had and would not attack other countries. This policy soon failed. It didn't please the dictator's desire for new lands. Instead, it made them want more because they thought Britain and France were too weak.

Why did Germany and Russia sign a Treaty?

Soon, Germany and Russia signed a treaty. They had agreed not to make war against each other. It was very confusing why Hitler and Stalin (leader of Russia) signed this treaty in the first place. After all, Hitler hated Communism, and Stalin hated Fascism.

Though both countries gained something from the treaty. The Soviets got to avoid war for the being, and it gave them control of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

Germany also gained two things from the treaty. It protected Germany against fighting a two-front war, and the treaty left Germany free to invade Poland.

What Sparked World War II?

On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland from the west. At that same time, the Soviet Union attacked from the east. Now the British and French leaders had to discontinue appeasement. They had proof that the policy didn't work and it made dictators even more angry. On September 3, 1939, British and France declared war on Germany. World War II began.

Who Fought World War II?

There were two sides to this war, the Axis and Allies. The major Axis powers were Germany, Italy, and Japan with a side of a few others who supported them. When the war broke out, the Allies included only France and Britain. Later, the Soviet Union, the United States, and 48 other nations joined the Allies.