Adolf Hitler The German Leader Essay Research — страница 3

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with Germany’s enemies in the hope of preventing German expansion of any kind. The tsarist government had chosen the second option, which led to Russia’s failure in World War I and the eventual collapse of tsarism itself. The Soviet Union pursued the course of rapprochement with Germany, since both Germany and Soviet Russia were regarded almost as pariah in the international system, there was ground for common interest. The Treaty of Rapallo in April 16, 1922, formalized relations between the two countries and led to secret military collaboration, but the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s put an end to any further cooperation. Hitler’s anticommunist and his open desire for expansion toward the East forced the Soviet Union to return to the second option of

trying to isolate Germany. Under the policy known as “collective security,” the USSR tried to work conjointly with France and Britain in order to convince Hitler that expansion would not pay. Whatever chance existed of effective cooperation between the Soviet Union and the capitalist democracies ended in 1938 and 1939 with the Munich Conference and Hitler’s takeover of Czechoslovakia. With Hitler’s encouragement, Stalin rapidly switched course again and in August 1939 he signed a nonaggression treaty with Germany and he was relieved of the fear of a two-front war, Hitler promptly attacked western Poland while the Soviets invaded eastern Poland, World War II had began. But Stalin hoped for a long drawn-out war between Germany and the Western powers, he was soon

disappointed as Hitler quickly dominated the European continent and turned his sights east. Neither of the two options for dealing with Germany–separate deal or collective security–seemed to work. The harsh terms imposed on Germany at the end of World War I by the Versailles Treaty were deeply resented in that nation. The democratic Weimar Republic, as a product of German defeat, bore the onus of association with the treaty. The major democratic powers–the United States, Great Britain, and France–were not prepared to cope with the challenges to peace posed by the dissatisfied nations. They accepted the 6 international order established by the Versailles Treaty but were unwilling to defend it. Many in the democracies were disillusioned by World War I. The idealistic goals

of U.S. president Woodrow Wilson had not been achieved, and it seemed to some that the war had been promoted by war profiteers and deceptive propaganda. The Versailles Treaty was widely regarded as unfair to Germany. Furthermore, the enormous casualties of World War I had aroused pacifist sentiment. Finally, while the depression spurred dissatisfied nations toward expansionism, it turned the democracies inward as they became preoccupied with reviving their economies. Hoping to avert another war, the United States adopted neutrality laws, the British sought to appease the dictatorial regimes, and the French tried to secure themselves behind a network of alliances and the defensive fortress of the Maginot Line. The Western powers could no longer avoid acknowledging that Hitler’s

promises were worthless and that his territorial ambitions were not restricted to German-speaking areas but might be limitless, desperately, Britain and France began to prepare military resistance to Nazi expansionism. In the spring of 1939 Britain and France guaranteed Poland against German aggression. Stalin had become convinced that Britain and France were conspiring to help throw the full weight of German strength against the USSR. Therefore, despite their bitterly antagonistic ideologies, he sought an accommodation with Hitler. To avoid fighting a two-front war Hitler first tried to make peace with Britain, after that attempt to clear the western front failed, he launched the Battle of Britain but again failed to put the British out of action. Nevertheless, full-scale

preparations for the invasion of the USSR began in December 1940, because Hitler did not believe that he was risking a two-front war. He felt that Britain, having been expelled from the continent, no longer posed an offensive military threat. Despite his aversion to Communism, Churchill promised Stalin economic and technical assistance against the Axis, and on July 13, 1941, Moscow signed a mutual-aid pact with London, offers of help also came from Washington. France broke 7 off its diplomatic ties with Moscow and Britain severed relations with Finland, which the Germans had used as one base for their invasion. Sweden had granted permission for German troops to cross its territory but announced its determination to remain neutral. Despite pressure from the USSR and from Britain,