The road to World War II: fascist aggressions
1931 Japan invades Manchuria (China): The following year it sets up the satellite state of Manchukuo. The island nation is the most powerful country in the Far East.
1933 Germany leaves the League of Nations: A move by the new government that leads to the collapse of the Weimar Republic, eventually allowing Hitler to rearm and start conflicts.
1935 Italian Expansionism: Italy invades Abyssinia, present-day Ethiopia, to increase its colonial empire in east Africa.
1935 Germany rearms: The Anglo-German Naval Treaty allows Germany to have a navy that is one-third the size of that of Britain, breaking the Treaty of Versailles.
1936 Second Sino-Japanese war: The war between China and Japan starts. Russia, Great Britain, France and the United States aid China. The Japanese brutally murder soldiers and civilians and, in particular, they attack women, during the Nanjing Massacre.
1936 Remilitarization of the rhineland: Adolf Hitler sends German military forces into the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland. This breaks the Locarno Pact and the Treaty of Versailles.
1937 Bombing of Guernica:
1938 Austria and Sudetenland annexation: Germany breaks the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and unites Germany with Austria and the German-speaking areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.
The Axis powers: The formation of diplomatic alliances between Germany, Italy, and Japan were based on their common interest in territorial expansion and the destruction of communism.
-Rome-Berlin Axis. 1 November 1936: An alliance between Italy and Germany in which they agreed to support Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
-Anti-Comintern Pact. 25 November 1936: Germany and Japan joined together against the threat of Communism, but mainly against the Soviet Union. Italy signed the pact a year later.
-Pact of Steel. 22 May 1939: This military alliance between Germany and Italy officially formed the Axis powers. Japan joined in 1940 and the alliance became known as the Tripartite Pact.
The Non-Aggression Pact
Hitler thought that Chamberlain was too weak and wouldn’t do anything to protect Poland and France wouldn’t do anything without Britain. In addition, he had the support of Italy. Once he had the Nazi-Soviet Pact, he would be ready to invade.
On 23 August 1939, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin signed the pact which guaranteed Russia’s neutrality at a time when a conflict was just about to break out on its western front. The pact also included a secret protocol, which divided Poland between Hitler and Stalin and the occupation of the Baltic States by Russia.
On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. On 3 September, France, and the UK declared war on the Third Reich, marking the start of World War II in Europe
• Reorganising the reichsbank (Germany’s central bank). The old currency was called in and burned. This ended hyperinflation.
• Allowing more time to repay the debt.
• Extending new loans from American banks to pay reparations.
• Using reparations money to pay off war debt to the United States.
-The locarno Treaties (1925) On the political front, the Allied powers and Germany signed a series of agreements to guarantee peace in Europe. The treaties established the western borders of Germany. France and Belgium withdrew from the Ruhr and Germany joined the League of Nations in 1926.
The decline (1929–1933):
-Hitler’s rise to power: Following the 1932 elections, the Nazi Party formed a coalition government with the conservatives. In January 1933, Hitler became chancellor and immediately took action to make himself absolute ruler. The Weimar Republic came to an end.
The Weimar Republic (1918–1933)
The early years (1918–1923): It also faced other challenges, including opposition from both left- and right-wing political extremists.
-left-wing opposition: The Communist Party of Germany had emerged from the Marxist spartacus league under the leadership of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Wanted a government based on the Russian revolutionary model. In January 1919, it staged an uprising in Berlin. The government suppressed the rebellion with the help of the Freikorps, Both leaders were assassinated.
-Right-wing opposition: right-wing nationalists opposed to any democratic system. They subscribed to the ‘stab-in-the-back’ myth, which blamed Weimar politicians for Germany’s surrender, and felt they had betrayed the army. The Treaty of Versailles required Germany to reduce its land forces. By 1920, the government had begun to see the Freikorps as a threat. The coup, known as the Kapp Putsch, lasted four days.
Crisis of 1923
-Economic crisis and hyperinflation: When Germany failed to pay for its war reparations payments, French and Belgian troops occupied the industrial area in the ruhr Basin. Ruhr workers went on strike, which worsened the existing economic crisis. The government tried to pay the reparations and stabilise the economy by printing more money. But the sudden flood of paper currency resulted in hyperinflation. Prices increased out of control and Germany’s currency (the mark) became worthles
-The Beer Hall Putsch On 8 November 1923, Austrian agitator Adolf Hitler staged a failed coup d’état in Munich. This takeover attempt is known as the Beer Hall Putsch. His Nazi Party was banned and he was imprisoned. But he returned in 1925 to challenge the republic again.
The Golden Era (1924–1929)
-The Dawes Plan (1924): American politician Charles Dawes proposed a plan to help Germany out of the crisis. It involved: