Without the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact there would have been no war in Europe. To what extent is this statement accurate? Within Europe leading up to World War II, the Nazis and Soviets made the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression pacts which negligible of the pact it seems inevitable that the war would have existed as there were many other major factors that provoked the war in Europe. These factors include the unresolved issues of World War One, with the Treaty of Versailles being the main one, Hitler’s actions, one of these being the invasion of Poland, the failure of appeasement and the failure of the League of Nations. With these major factors the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was only a minor factor in the war in Europe and so without it the war would have still broke out.
On August 23, 1939, enemies Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, in which the two countries agreed to, take no military action against each other for the next 10 years. By signing this pact, Germany had protected itself from having to fight a two-front war and the Soviet Union was awarded land, including parts of Poland and the Blatic States. Soviet leader Stalin viewed the pact as a way to keep his nation on peaceful terms with Germany, while giving him time to build up the Soviet military, while Hitler used the pact to make sure Germany was able to invade Poland unopposed. Historian Ian Kershaw notes in “Hitler: 1936–1945: Nemesis,” the German chancellor was ecstatic.
He congratulated his foreign minister and said the pact “will hit like a bombshell.” Hitler had planned on invading Poland from the start as it would bring lebensraum for the German people. According to Hitler’s plan, the “racially superior” Germans would colonise territory. German expansion had begun with the annexation of Austria in 1938 and continued in 1939 with the occupation of the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia. Both had been accomplished avoiding conflict On 22 June, 1941, just two years after the pact was signed, the pact was broken when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Therefore, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact did play a role in provoking the war in Europe although was only a minor factor in the cause of the war.
The Treaty of Versailles was the Peace Settlement between the Allies and Germany at the end of the First World War. This treaty held Germans solemnly responsible for WWI and the German authorities had little choice but to accept the terms of the Treaty presented by ‘the Big Three’. The Versailles treaty placed a number of restrictions on Germany and put them in financial ruin and put them in a state of hyper-inflation. Germany was forced to pay reparations of a futile amount; they lost 10% of their land with a new map of Europe carved out of Germany and the German military reduced drastically, including the abolishment of its air force.
The treaty of Versailles caused a depression throughout Germany which helped Hitler rise to power as he used the treaty as a way of justifying his expansionist policies. The Treaty of Versailles contributed greatly to the alienation many Germans felt about their civilian, democratic government, and when these combined with the actions of the military, it provided a rich material for Hitler to use to gain the support of those on the right. People were dissatisfied with the government and voted to power a man who promised to rip up the Treaty of Versailles. Therefore, due to the harshness of the treaty of Versailles it was inevitable that a war would break out.
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