Appeasement

  • Means to pacify/soothe
  • In Germany, Hitler began to:
    • Build an army, create an air force
    • Stop reparation payments
    • Reoccupy land that was taken away from Germany Rhineland
    • Rejoin forces with Austria in 1938 – called Anschluss (unification).
  • This was allowed because Britain and France felt bad about the Treaty of Versailles and the state of the German economy.
  • However, Britain and France began to re-arm in 1936.

1938-1939

  • Hitler wanted to take over an area in Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland.  This area had 3.5 million Germans in it.
  • At the Munich conference, Britain, France, Italy and Germany agreed to let Germany have the Sudetenland.  Hitler promised he would not take over anymore land.

  • March 1939 – Hitler took over the rest of Czechoslovakia
  • August 1939 – Hitler makes a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.  In case war breaks out, they will not fight each other.  They also agree to divide Poland once it is conquered.
  • September 1, 1939 – Hitler launches a Blitzkrieg (lightening war) on Poland.  Poland falls to the Nazi attack.
  • Britain and France demand that Hitler withdraw, he refused.
  • September 3, 1939 – Britain and France declared war on Germany.

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