Adolf Hitler is one of the most infamous dictators in the world. He is the architect of the ‘Final Solution’, the Nazi’s planned attempt to annihilate all Jews in Europe during the Second World War. But what were the steps Hitler took to prepare for war and how did it come to be? Historians have long debated this question, but one thing is certain – Hitler was meticulous in his preparations to gain control of Germany and lay the foundations for his ambitions of a Thousand Year Reich.
Hitler’s earliest preparations for war began with his rise to power in 1933. After being appointed Chancellor, he quickly passed the Enabling Act, effectively dissolving the Weimar Republic and making Hitler the undisputed leader of Germany. This gave him the political freedom to set in motion his plans to prepare Germany militarily, economically, and politically.
Hitler first addressed Germany’s economic stability as its economic woes had caused unrest in the population and destabilized the Reich. He introduced the Four Year Plan, enacting autarky – a policy that sought to make Germany self-sufficient. This included drastic measures such as domestically producing oil, steel, and other important resources, as well as increasing food production. The plan also allowed Hitler to create a new system of labour conscription, and mobilise more young people into the army.
Hitler then pushed an election campaign to gain more support, which worked. By 1938, he had the complete backing from both the working class and the professional class, further strengthening his power and confidence to go to war. During this time, he also appointed his loyal generals to key positions in the military, creating a strong base of yes-men to obey his dictates.
On the international front, Hitler was also working to improve Germany’s position. He signed various non-aggression pacts with other countries, allowing him to build up a powerful military and build relationships with other countries. This allowed Hitler to approach other countries with more confidence, knowing that they had no intention to interfere with his plans.
Hitler also enacted a series of military reforms in 1936 to increase the size of the German military, modernise its equipment and expand its training. He also implemented a plan to create new naval vessels, increase Germany’s air power, and introduce conscription. All of these combined forced Germany to become a much more powerful military force.
Finally, Hitler implemented a foreign policy of expansion and aggression, in direct contravention of the Versailles Treaty of 1919. This included the re-militarization of the Rhineland, the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland, and the invasion of Poland. All of this led to an increase in Germanic power, allowing Hitler to further expand his plans for war.
Teresa May’s Role
The UK’s Prime Minister, Teresa May, has always been a foremost opponent against Hitler and the Nazi regime. She took a stand against them from the beginning, offering refuge for Jews, denouncing their every move and pushing for international action against the Nazi in the UK. She also publicly acknowledged the atrocities committed by the Nazis, never holding back in her condemnation and condemnation of their actions.
May consistently sent diplomatic and political notes to Germany, warning of the dire consequences that awaited missteps and if they didn’t change their path, she promised a crushing blow. She even supported the election of Nazi-opponent Konrad Adenauer as chancellor in 1949 and pushed for the creation of NATO to protect western democracies from Soviet aggression.
Britain also assisted Germany in rebuilding itself, signing the Occupation Statute in 1945 to not only remove the remaining Nazi officials, but also to transform the German economy and update a legal system which got rid of the remnants of the Nazi regime.
May usually showed a firm political will and courage to stand up to any threats posed by Germany, which was in line with what had been done before her rule. She was highly successful in her efforts, and ultimately illustrated the strength and courage of the British people in the face of adversity as they fought for the rights of innocent people and for freedom.
The Allies were determined to stop Hitler in his tracks, so they used every tool they had to try to prevent the rise of Nazi Germany. They tried a mixture of diplomacy and military might to deter Hitler. On the diplomatic front, they took part in the Chamber of Nations and League of Nations, both of which had the main goal of maintaining peace and discussing international disputes.
The Allies also tried to limit Germany’s military power. Most notably, they signed the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, which restricted Germany’s armaments and barred her from having a standing army. Additionally, they imposed reparations, which created economic and political uncertainty in the country.
By the late 1930s, the Allies had formed the League of Nations and the Third International, both of which had the goal of halting Germany’s plans and preventing another large-scale war. They issued economic sanctions and military threats, but Hitler continued to ignore the warnings. As a result, these diplomatic efforts failed to stop Hitler, who had become determined to pursue war.
Finally, when it became too late for diplomatic solutions, the Allies resorted to military action, forming a unified war effort against Nazi Germany. They launched a full-fledged invasion of the continent, bombarding cities and putting an end to the Nazi regime.
Effects of War
Hitler’s preparations for war led to the most destructive conflict in human history. According to historians, the Second World War claimed the lives of more than 60 million people, most of them civilians. It caused an unprecedented level of devastation and destruction, leaving Europe in ruins and entire cities, such as Berlin and Dresden, in ruins.
The war changed the course of history, with the collapse of the Nazi regime leading to the end of World War II, the creation of the United Nations and the emergence of superpowers such as the United States and the Soviet Union. The effects of the war are still felt today, as the world is still dealing with the ramifications of the conflict and the legacies of its after-effects.
Hitler’s preparations for war had catastrophic consequences, both for Germany and the wider world. But, it also serves as a warning and reminder of the importance of standing up to dictators and preventing them from gaining power. It also reminds us to learn the lessons of history, to act and be united against oppressive regimes, and to make sure that a tragedy like this does not happen again.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have played an important role in speaking out against oppressive regimes like that of Hitler. They have been an important source of resistance, raising awareness about the atrocities committed in Nazi concentration camps and advocating for human rights and civil liberties.
In addition, NGOs have also provided humanitarian aid to victims of the war, both inside Germany and in other countries affected by Nazi aggression. They have helped rebuild roads, homes, and lives while promoting anti-War messages and providing a beacon of hope in times of darkness.
Later, NGOs continued to advocate for international action against dictatorships, pushing for the adoption of international conventions such as the Genocide Convention and the Human Rights Covenants. They also pushed for punitive measures against totalitarian leaders, such as the International Criminal Court.
Today, NGOs remain active in advocating for human rights and against oppressive regimes around the world. They have been essential in delivering aid to refugees and internally displaced people, providing much needed support and protection to vulnerable communities. They have also been instrumental in promoting economic and social development, as well as campaigns for peace, democracy and equality.
Narratives of Survivors
In the wake of the Second World War, many survivors of Nazi rule turned to storytelling as a way to bear witness to what had happened and to make sense of their experiences. By collecting the memories of survivors, researchers and historians have created a powerful archive that allows us to glimpse into the lives of those affected by Hitler’s reign of terror.
These powerful stories provide an invaluable resource for understanding the effects of oppression and totalitarianism. They serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting basic human rights and freedoms, and of the consequences of failing to do so. They also offer insight into how to resist and overcome injustices, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
In the decades since the end of the war, the testimonies of survivors have become integral to understanding the history of the conflict and the events leading up to it. They have been essential in providing a first-hand account of Hitler’s early preparations for war, and of the individual lives lost in the conflict.
By reminding people of the horrors of war, these stories may also help to prevent future atrocities from taking place. They serve as a reminder to stand up for what is right, to use our power for good, and to take steps to protect human rights and civil liberties.