Essay On Hitler's Foreign Policy

3190 words - 13 pages

THE PATH TO DESTRUCTION: HITLER'S FOREIGN POLICY"It is not truth that matters, but victory."Adolf HitlerNo one was aware at the time of the impending tragedy with an international system busy recovering from the previous war. A League of Nations established at the Treaty of Versailles was halfheartedly trying to keep international peace in tact. However, it failed to do so. Not only did the Treaty of Versailles leave countries in economic despair but it also brought resentment to Germany; the nation with the most losses. Again, the League of Nations set up did not keep international peace. Appeasement was offered in order to avoid war, however it gave the Germans a more aggressive approach in their foreign policy. Most of all, a new phenomenon had hit Germany-Hitler. A man of revolutionist and expansionist policies had a dream in which he would not give up on and on January 30th 1933, was made chancellor of Germany. The origins of war and failure of international peace can be determined as follows: the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations, and the policy of appeasement. Although they all seem to be the primary reasons for the breakdown of international peace, it was Hitler's foreign policy that deteriorated the peace leading to the outbreak of the Second World War.The Treaty of Versailles had left Germany humiliated for numerous reasons. German territory had been reduced to about an eighth of Europe, population had been cut by six and a half million, Rhineland was demilitarized, Anschluss, a union with Austria, was forbidden and not to mention they had to reduce their own military and offensive weapons. 1 In terms of reducing their military and arms, the Allies upheld that 'it would render possible the initiation of a general limitation of the armaments of all nations.'2 Since this wasn't the case, Germany's excuse was most likely to deplore these restrictions and rearm 15 years later. Versailles principles were to prevent a resurgence of Pan-German power and to impose a self-determination policy, in which nations could choose their sovereignty and status. These purposes clashed and tended to contradict each other, the conclusion being undesirable circumstances. 3 As a result of self-determination, Germany found herself surrounded by a number of vulnerable nations. The Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania were all in ill-fated situations, stuck between an expansionist Germany and the Soviet Union, of whom they did not exactly trust. 4 Kennedy argues "the Versailles settlement was an artificial, spatch-cocked one, leaving ethnic minorities on the wrong side of hastily drawn boundaries." 5 The Treaty failed in both protecting these ethnic minorities and failing to take the right steps into preventing Germany becoming disheartened by the Treaty. The Germans were so humiliated that they even believed the Allies had tricked them into approaching the peace table with Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points. 6 Germany was thus left angry and...

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