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Prelude to WWII


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Title: Prelude to WWII

Prelude to WWII
  • Unit 4
  • Honors US History

What are the Main Causes of War?
  1. ___
  2. ___
  3. ___
  4. ___

What are the Main Causes of War?
  • A common enemy to a nation
  • An outside threat to a nation
  • Mob mentality, or the power of inspiration in the
  • Inspiration concerning a common cause
  • Can you use this formula for the causes of WWII?

Common Enemy to the Nation
  • The Treaty of Versailles had been a thorn in the
    sides of Germans for almost twenty years
  • Hitler was an opportunist when it came to
    building upon this shame and humiliation.
  • Blamed France, Great Britain, Russia for
    Germanys ills

Outside Threat
  • Hitler and Nazis brought about fear that the
    communism would spread from the USSR
  • Many of the forces which Hitler was able to bring
    under control in Germany were actually opposed to
    Nazi rule, but accepted the rule for the greater
    goal of eliminating the spreading Bolshevism in
  • Hitler often expounded upon these fears in his
    propaganda , promising an end to Bolshevism and
    the threat of communist takeover.

Outside Threat AND A Common Enemy
  • Anti-Semitist policies of Nazi Germany were
    closely tied to Anti-Communism and the "Red
    Scare," and the Jews were blamed for Bolshevism
    and its spread.
  • Anti-Semitism, too, was magnified in German lands
    by the use of subtle and not-so-subtle
  • Ideas of the evil and sub-humanity of other
    races, such as the Slavs and Jews, Hitler gave a
    sense of pride to all Germans, who, he claimed,
    were innately superior.

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Mob Mentality
  • The Lost Generation from WWI
  • World War I had produced an entire generation of
    youth who had gone into a war of an extent which
    none could have guessed.
  • This youth had no training in peace time careers,
    and, when the first Great War ended in 1918, knew
    nothing but the art of war.
  • Thus, the "Lost Generation" of German youth,
    displaced by its own society, played a major role
    in supporting Nazi rule and the onset of WWII, as
    well as many of the brutalities which occurred
    under Nazi occupation of other countries.

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  • In claiming to rebuild Germany to its former
    glory Hitler was able to add to the sense of
  • Many Germans felt at the acknowledgement of their
    "pure and superior Aryan blood" by claiming
    responsibility for the growing economy after the
    Great Depression

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Germany Elects Nazi Party
  • Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933
  • Nazi Party
  • Nazis passed the Nuremburg Laws which caused Jews
  • Lose German citizenship
  • Lose all political rights
  • Be banned from school
  • Be segregated in public places
  • Wear a yellow star as identification of ethnicity

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Adolph Hitler's charisma
  • Inspiration
  • Hitler seemed to have a hold over his people by
    use of a steady and unwavering charisma.
  • Even when the war was inevitably lost and the
    people of Germany were disgusted with the entire
    war, many blamed the other Nazi leaders, never
    removing Hitler from his pedestal.
  • Furthermore, Hitler had a strongly developed
    understanding of the desires of the German
    people, and was always able to aim his promises
    in exactly the right directions.

Hitler Speech- 1939
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Propaganda used by the Nazi Party
  • Mob mentality
  • Hitler made explicit use of the mob mentality to
    rally the masses behind the Nazi flag.
  • Hitler stated many times that the only way to use
    propaganda effectively was to aim it at the
    stupidity of the masses rather than the
  • He used short slogans repeated again and again to
    drive ideas home into the minds of his followers.
  • More importantly, however, Hitler staged massive
    Nazi support rallies such as the Nuremburg
    Rallies in November each year, in which the
    people could look around and see how many "fellow
    countrymen" were upholding the ideals of the

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Nuremberg Party Rally 1933
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1936 Berlin Olympics
Leni Riefenstahl making Olympic movie (1936)
Jesse Owens
Hitler's Statements on Foreign Policy 1933-39
  • May 17, 1933 "The German Government wish to
    settle all difficult questions with other
    Governments by peaceful methods . . . Germany
    will tread no other path than that laid down by
    the Treaties . . . The German people have no
    thought of invading any country."
  • Nov 10, 1933 "I am not crazy enough to want a
  • Aug 17, 1934 "The German Government, like the
    German people, are filled with the unconditional
    wish to make the greatest possible contribution
    to the preservation of peace in this world."

Still Making Claims in 1939
  • Jan 1, 1939 "In general we have but one wish--
    that in the coming years we may be able to make
    our contribution to this general pacification of
    the whole world."
  • Jan 30, 1939 "Only the war-mongers think there
    will be a war. I think there will be a long
    period of peace."
  • Apr 1, 1939 "(We) do not dream of attacking
    other nations, providing they leave us alone . .

Germanys imperialistic plans
  • Germany strengthened military and markets.
  • Created massive army
  • Decided to control the North Atlantic region
  • Believed they were racially and culturally
    superior to other nations and peoples
  • Used European Jews as slave labor

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More Of Hitlers Statements
  • May 21, 1935 "Germany neither intends nor wishes
    to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria,
    to annex Austria, or to conclude an Anschluss
    political union"
  • Mar 15, 1936 "The German people do not wish to
    continue waging war to readjust frontiers. Each
    readjustment is bought by sacrifices out of
    proportion to what is to be gained."
  • Sep 26, 1938 "We have assured all our immediate
    neighbors of the integrity of their territory as
    far as Germany is concerned. That is no hollow
    phrase it is our sacred will . . . The
    Sudetenland is the last territorial claim which I
    have to make in Europe . ."

Germany Takes Rhineland in 1936
  • German troops entered the demilitarized zone
    between France and Germany called the Rhineland.
  • This was a direct violation of the Versailles
  • No one stopped them

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Munich Pact
  • Britain, France and Germany signed pact
  • Hitler promised not to take any more land.
  • Britain and France gave in.
  • Called appeasement.
  • Famous quote from British Prime Minister
  • peace in our time.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Peace in our time
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  • In 1937 Germany annexed Austria to unite the
    German people.
  • This was called the Anschluss
  • Nazis silenced opposition to the Act by threats
    and violence
  • Later that year, Germany annexed the area of
    Czechoslovakia known as the Sudentenland

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Sudeten woman, unable to conceal her misery as
she dutifully salutes the triumphant Hitler
Kristallnacht- 1938
  • A massive, coordinated attack on Jews throughout
    the German Reich on the night of November 9,
    1938, into the next day, has come to be known as
    Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass.
  • Mob violence broke out as the regular German
    police stood by and crowds of spectators watched.
  • Nazi storm troopers along with members of the SS
    and Hitler Youth beat and murdered Jews, broke
    into and wrecked Jewish homes, and brutalized
    Jewish women and children.

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Kristallnacht- 1938
  • All over Germany, Austria and other Nazi
    controlled areas, Jewish shops and department
    stores had their windows smashed and contents
    destroyed. Synagogues were especially targeted
    for vandalism, including desecration of sacred
    Torah scrolls.
  • Hundreds of synagogues were systematically burned
    while local fire departments stood by or simply
    prevented the fire from spreading to surrounding
  • About 25,000 Jewish men were rounded up and later
    sent to concentration camps where they were often
    brutalized by SS guards and in some cases
    randomly chosen to be beaten to death.

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  • "In the course of my life I have very often been
    a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for
    it. During the time of my struggle for power it
    was in the first instance only the Jewish race
    that received my prophecies with laughter when I
    said that I would one day take over the
    leadership of the State, and with it that of the
    whole nation, and that I would then among other
    things settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter
    was uproarious, but I think that for some time
    now they have been laughing on the other side of
    their face. Today I will once more be a prophet
    if the international Jewish financiers in and
    outside Europe should succeed in plunging the
    nations once more into a world war, then the
    result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth,
    and thus the victory of Jewry, but the
    annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"
  • -Adolph Hitler

The War Starts1939
  • Germany annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia in
  • ThenGermany invaded Poland.
  • Beginning of WWII in Europe.
  • Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  • Russia and Germany sign a non-aggression treaty
  • Will be broken as well when Germany invades
    Russia in 1941

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The War Grows in Europe-1940
  • The Nazis invade Netherlands, Belgium, and
    Luxembourg on May 10).
  • Chamberlain resigns as Britain's prime minister
  • Churchill takes over (May 10).
  • Germans cross French frontier (May 12) using
    air/tank/infantry Blitzkrieg tactics.
  • Dunkerque evacuationabout 335,000 out of 400,000
    Allied soldiers rescued from Belgium by British
    civilian and naval craft (May 26June 3).
  • Italy declares war on France and Britain invades
    France (June 10).
  • Germans enter Paris city undefended (June 14).
  • France and Germany sign armistice at Compiègne
    (June 22).
  • Nazis bomb Coventry, England (Nov. 14).

Adolf Hitler visits Paris with architect Albert
Speer (left) June 23, 1940. (Photo credit U.S.
National Archives)
British prisoners at Dunkerque, France, June
The Blitz in England
The Blitz in England
The Blitz in England
Adolf Hitler and Italian Fascist leader Benito
Mussolini together in Munich, June 18, 1940.
(Photo credit U.S. National Archives)
Nazi Mercy Killings
  • In October of 1939 amid the turmoil of the
    outbreak of war Hitler ordered widespread "mercy
    killing" of the sick and disabled.
  • The Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate "life
    unworthy of life" at first focused on newborns
    and very young children

Aktion (Action) T4
  • Hitler suspended Aktion T in 1941 but it had
    already accounted for nearly a hundred thousand
  • However, the Nazi euthanasia program quietly
    continued, but without the widespread gassings.
    Drugs and starvation were used and doctors were
    encouraged to decide in favor of death whenever
    euthanasia was being considered.

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The Role of the USPre-1941
  • Most are isolationists in the US
  • In an attempt to remain neutral, FDR pushed
    aggressive nations away from the US
  • Tried to quarantine the nation
  • The Quarantine Speech was FDRs 1939 response to
    aggressive actions by Italy and Japan, and
    suggested the use of economic pressure, a
    forceful response, but less direct than outright
  • It caused protests by isolationists and foes of

So. why did US Become Involved BEFORE Pearl
Why did US Become Involved BEFORE Pearl Harbor?
  • Close relationship with England
  • Language, customs, traditions
  • Worried about Hitler and the rising German nation

Atlantic Charter 1941
  • Churchill and FDR met on a battleship off the
    coast of Canada.
  • Made alliance for war
  • They planned for organization of the United

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Lend-Lease Act 1941
  • How did the US help Britain and France without
    breaking the Neutrality Acts?
  • We would LEND them weapons, ammunition, ships,
    etc., and they would LEASE lands to us in the
    Atlantic for military bases.

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Burke-Wadsworth Act
  • U.S. established the draft (Selective Service) in
  • All men 21-35 register for military service.
  • Later, the ages were 18-45.
  • Today 18-year old boys must registerbut there
    currently is no draft

Japans Imperialistic Plans
  • Japan needed raw materials and markets
  • Decided to control the Pacific region
  • Believed they were racially and culturally
    superior to other nations
  • Took Korean peninsula and used Koreans as slave

Imperial Japan
  • Beginning in the late 19th century, Japan fought
    a series of wars that expanded its control over
    the Asian mainland.
  • By the beginning of World War II in 1939, Japan
    had a sizeable empire in East Asia.

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Strained US-Japanese Relations
  • Stimson Doctrine U. S. would not recognize any
    territory taken by force
  • Japanese invaded northern China (Manchuria)
    beginning WWII in Asia
  • Japan established the puppet state Manchuko in
    China (Manchuria)
  • Panay Incident
  • U.S. gun boat on Yangze River shot at by Japanese
    pilots. U.S. sailors killed. After U.S. protest,
    Japan pays reparations to U.S. and families
  • Hedecki Tojo became leader of Japanese war lords

Japanese Aggression in the Pacific
  • Japan needed oil, rubber, steel, and food
  • Aggression against China, French Indochina, Dutch
    East Indies, British Malaya
  • US Response
  • Cancelled commercial treaty w/Japan
  • Stopped exporting gasoline and scrap metal

Pearl Harbor
  • December 7, 1941 755 a.m. Japanese attacked
    U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters at Pearl Harbor,

Pearl Harbor Attack
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Pearl Harbor Attack
Pearl Harbor Attack
Pearl Harbor Attack
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Famous Words by FDR
  • Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will
    live in infamy - the United States of America was
    suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and
    air forces of the Empire of Japan.
  • The United States was at peace with that nation,
    and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in
    conversation with its government and its Emperor
    looking toward the maintenance of peace in the

The US Enters WWIIDecember 9, 1941
  • I ask that the Congress declare that since the
    unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on
    Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, a state of war has existed
    between the United States and the Japanese

The World Plunges into WarThe Results will be
DevastatingThe total estimated human
loss of life caused by World War II, irrespective
of political alignment, was roughly 62 million