From The Saarland to The Rhineland, 1935-36


rhineland.gifdeutschland-bundesland-saarland.gif





Terms
Definition
Saarland
one of the 16 federal states in Germany
Rhineland
areas of Germany along the middle and lower Rhine in Germany between Bingen and the Dutch border
Demilitarised
an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers (or alliances), where military activity is not permitted
The Treaty of Versailles
one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I . It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers
The Saar Prebiscite
the time when the Saarlanders vote for their future.
Adolf Hitler
was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the Nazi party.
Nazi Party
The National Socialist German Workers' Party
League of Nations
an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference, and the precursor to the United Nations.
The Anglo-German naval agreement
The agreement allowed German to have a navy but must be only one third the amount of the British navy.


Background





The Treaty of Versailles caused many disadvantages to Germany, and Hitler was always trying to oppose the treaty. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party took power in Germany in 1933 to achieve his aims on getting rid of the Treaty of Versailles, to unite all German-speakers, and to gain more living space in the east. All his goals required a stronger military strength, so Hitler secretly enlarged the army and created an air force. By 1935, Hitler started his process of eliminating the Treaty of Versailles.






The Saar Plebiscite






U291737ACME.jpg
Clowd wating to vote in the Saar Plebiscite.


The Saarland was a land of Germany taken by the Treaty of Versailles with a 2500 km region on the border with France.
The Saarland was a small area, however it contained coalfields, factories and railway centres. The Saarland was controlled under the
Leauge of Nations and the French would be able to run its valuable coal mines for the next fifteen years, then the people of the Saar
would vote to decide their future. Three choices for the Saar people to decide are:

1.) The Saarland would remain under League of Nations control.

2.) The Saarland would return to German.

3.) The Saarland would become a part of France


In 1935, the required vote called plebiscite was held. Nine out of every ten Saarlanders voted to return to Germany, and the
Saarland was transferred to German rule seven weeks later. Hitler claimed that the plebiscite was a demonstration of support for his
government, and this was the first steop towards the union of all Germans in Germany.




U291441ACME.jpg
Saarlanders Greeting American Saar Voters







The Anglo-German naval agreement





hitler.jpg
Germany could have a navy with size of one third the tonnage of the British navy and an equal tonnage of submarines.



In 1935, Hitler had an agreement with Britain about the size of the German navy. According to the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was forbidden to build warships of more than 10,000 tonnes and banned submarines entirely. However in June 1935, the British government signed an agreement with Germany which allowed the German navy to have one third the tonnage of the British navy and an equal tonnage of submarines. This was a breach of the Treaty of Versailles. The British defended the agreement by saying that Hitler was going to re-arm the German navy anyway and that it was better to agree a limit on its size than have no limit at all. This meant that the British was allowing Hitler to break the Treaty of Versailles.








This video showed the evidence for the Anglo-German naval agreement.




The Occupation of the Rhineland





The Treaty of Versailles also made the Rhineland area of Germany into a demilitarized zone. No army nor weapons were allowed to enter it. The aim of keeping the Rhineland demilitarized was to ensure that Germany couldn't attack France as it had done in 1914. Ever since 1919, German governments had aimed to get rid of the demilitarized zone as rapid as possible. They claimed that it left Germany open to attack from Belgium, Holland and France. Also it was an insult to German self-respect. In March 1936, while Britain, France and the rest of the League of Nations were busy dealing with the Ethiopia crisis, Hitler ordered the German army to reoccupy the Rhineland. Hitler made a combined force containing 100,000 soldiers and 22,700 armed police marched into the demilitarized zone on 7 March and crossed the River Rhine. At the same time, Hitler tried to reassure neighboring France and Belgium by offering to sign peace pacts with them.

Britain and France considered whether they should try to expel the German army from the Rhineland. Merely, France was facing with serious political difficulties at the time and did not want to risk war. The British took the view that the Germans had only moved into their own territory, 'their own back garden', as the press called it. So, although the GErman soldiers had secret orders not to shoot if opposed by French or British troops, they were left unchallenged in the Rhineland.

highres_30019620%20copy.jpg


The occupation of the Rhineland was not easy and it was even a gamble for Hitler. As Hitler said:

"The forty-eight hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking of my life.
If the French had then marched into the Rhineland,
we would have had to with draw with our tails between our legs."

From this passage, it showed how Hitler was feeling toward the Franch when he was invading Rhineland. France had a powerful army and the Britain would have to help fighting against Germany when needed. This was also a enormous risk for Germany in the occupation of the Rhineland. However, this big gamble was worth the risk. Not only did he get back control of the Rhineland, but he also learned several valuable lessons for the future. For example:
1. Hitler knew that the French would not fight to stop his taking over one of their main defences against Germany.
2. The British were sympathetic to some gErman complaints about the Treaty of Versailles.
Both lessons suggested that it would be worth trying another gamble to get the European territory which he wanted.




Analysis Question:

How did the Treaty of Versailles effect the Saarland and Rhineland during 1935-1936?


The Treaty of Versailles was a treaty which was made to protect peace between Germany, Britain, and French, and it was controlled by the League of Nations. The Versailles Treaty had taken away some of Germany territories including the Saarland and the Rhineland. It had effected the Saarland and the Rhineland in many ways which kept Hitler into a hard situation. Also, German navy's size was limited and submarines were totally banned. The Saarland became a part of the League of Nations and French had rights to run its valuable coal mines for fifteen years while Germany did not have any rights. The Treaty of Versaillles also took away the Rhineland and made it into a 'demilitarized zone' in which weapons and armies were forbidden to enter this area. The reason for taking away lands was to make sure that Germany wouldn't be able to attack French just like before. However, Hitler assumed that the Treaty of Versailles was unjust to Germany and he put his aim on eliminating the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler even announced that by the time he became the leader of Germany, he would reverse all the terms in the Versailles Treaty. Also, the Versailles Treaty had taken away Germany's chance to build a navy which was a disadvantage toward the development of Germany. Main reasons why Hitler wanted to get rid of the Versailles Treaty was because the Saarland and Rhineland were forfeited from Germany

The Saarland was taken away by the League of Nations in the process of the Treaty of Versailles. French would able to run its valuable coal mines in this area for the next fifteen years and then the Saar people would vote to decide their future. Three choices in which the Saarlanders would be considered were either to remain under League control, to return to Germany, or to become part of France. The Saarland was had only small spaces, however, it contained coalfields, factories, and railway centres. By taking away such a valuable land containing coalfields, factories, and railway centres, Germany's constant development was prevented. Eventually in 1935, the required vote, or prebiscite, was held in the Saarland. Nine out of every ten Saarlanders voted to return to Germany. The region was duly transferred to German rule seven weeks later. For Hitler, this was the first important step to bring back the lands of Germany, and destroyed the Treaty of Versailles. HItler also claimed that the plebiscite was a demonstration of support for his government.

The Treaty of Versailles had taken away German rights to build their own enormous navy and submarines were all banned. Hitler was very aggravated when the number of produced navy was limited and it was a disadvantage to Germany's growth. In 1935, there was an agreement with Britain about the size of the German navy. The Treaty of Versailles forbade the German navy to build warships of more than 10,000 tonnes and banned submarines entirely. Merely in June 1935, the British government signed an agreement with Germany, allowing the German navy to have one third the tonnage of the British navy and an equal tonnage of submarines. This was a breach of the Treaty of Versailles. The British defended the agreement by saying that Hitler was goin to re-arm the German navy anyway and that it was better to agree a limit on its size than have no limit at all. Even so, it meant that the Britain was allowing Hitler to break the Treaty of Versailles.

Lastly, the Rhineland became a demilitarized zone, stopping Germany from attacking French. The Rhineland was taken away to make sure that Germany wouldn't be able to invade French and German's fortifications and weapons were not allowed in this area. Since 1919, German governments had aimed to get rid of the demilitarized zone as fast as possible and they claimed that it left Germany open to attack from Belgium, Holland and France. HItler realized that he could no longer endure to this. So, in March 1936, while Britain, France, and the rest of the League of Nations were busy dealing with the Ethiopia crisis, Hitler ordered the German army to reoccupy the Rhineland. However, there was a big risk that that France and Belgium might prevent his aim, so Hitler tried to reassure them to sign peace pacts with Germany. This was another serious breach of the Treaty of Versailles, and it caused the Britain and French to consider whether they should attack the German troops or not. Nevertheless, French did not want to want to risk war while it was facing with serious political difficulties. Likewise, the British didn't try to stop Germany from reoccupying the Rhineland and they only said that the Germans had only moved into their own territory. The occupation of the Rhineland was a hazardous gamble for Hitler, however, Hitler had learned several valuable lessons for the future. One was that the French would not fight to stop him taking over one of their main defences against Germany. The other lesson was that the British were sympathetic to some German complaints about the Versailles Treaty. Both lessons were worth the risk for Hitler.

Two important developing factors that were effected by the Treaty of Versailles were the Saarland and the Rhineland. Even though Hitler was an ambitious leader who wanted to unite the new Germany into a world power, the Treaty of Versailles didn't seem fair to Germany. Nevertheless, the Britain was sympathetic to some Germany complaints and it was a righteous chance for Hitler to take back the lands taken by the Treaty of Versailles. The Britain might support the Germany for their own advantage in the future. The communist's threat in the USSR might scare the Britain and there was a possible reason in which Germany would get rid of the communist threat itself when Hitler was an anti-communism. Still, the Treaty of Versailles had effected several primary factors for the development of Germany during 1935-1936.



Links


Unit Three-Origins- Practices- Results of World War Two.

Unit Two- The Rise of Communism

Home