lecture 15 ww2 - World War II 1939-1945 Lebensraum Both...

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World War II, 1939-1945
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Lebensraum Both Hitler and Mussolini had felt betrayed by the terms of the Versailles Treaty of 1919. Italy was promised territory for siding with the Allies and many Germans were now living outside of the German state. By the mid 1930s, both were advocating territorial expansion. For Hitler, Germany needed more Lebensraum or “living space.” The Nazis promoted the idea of taking territory in eastern Europe.
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Road to War (again) Both men considered themselves “peace-loving” and anticommunist. This made them appealing to other European leaders. In 1933, Hitler announced that Germany was withdrawing from the League of Nations. In 1935, Hitler condemned the “guilt clause” of the Versailles Treaty as limiting German military strength. Conscription was implemented and Germany openly announced its arms build up, which it had been doing secretly for years.
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Mussolini in Ethiopia In 1935, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, one of the last African territories not conquered by European Empires during the “scramble for Africa” of the 1890s. The invasion was intended as as a sign of Italian imperial strength, and to promote youth and war at home among Fascists. The League of Nations condemned the attack but Britain and France opposed sanctions which might have restricted further aggression.
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Rome-Berlin Axis In March of 1936, Hitler sent troops to occupy the Rhineland in western Germany, a demilitarized zone established at Versailles in 1919. The French protested to the League, but with little effect. In 1937, German planes bombed the Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain, killing thousands of civilians there.
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Anschluss : Austria As part of Hitler’s program of Lebensraum , in 1938, Germany invaded Austria. Many Austrians had wanted Germany to invade since the Versailles Treaty had dissolved the A-H Empire and many Germans were now living there. The merger of Austria and Germany, or Anschluss , seemed on the surface to be supported by Wilson’s idea of self- determination . But the Annexation of Austria began the reunification of German peoples and the expansion of Germany into Mitteleuropa .
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Anschluss : Czechoslovakia For Hitler, taking Czechoslovakia would not be as simple as it was in Austria. The Czechs had a large army, border defenses, and the Czechs were ready to defend themselves. Hitler gambled that Britain and France would not interfere in an invasion. German propaganda emphasized the persecution of Germans living inside of the Czech borders. By October 1938, Hitler demanded that the Sudetenland, largely populated by Germans, become autonomous from the Czech government, or face a German invasion.
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2012 for the course HISTORY 2 taught by Professor Hill during the Spring '10 term at Irvine Valley College.

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lecture 15 ww2 - World War II 1939-1945 Lebensraum Both...

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