THE INTER-WAR PERIOD. 1934

THE INTER-WAR PERIOD. 1934

The German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact was an international treaty between Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic and signed on the 26th January 1934. Relations between the two countries were formalised after being strained by border disputes arising from the Treaty of Versailles. The pact agreed, both countries pledged, to resolve any problems by negotiation and would forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years.
The Austrian Civil War was fought between the 12th and the 16th February 1934 in various cities in Austria. The war was in fact a series of skirmishes between socialist and conservative-fascist forces. The clashes started in Linz and took place principally in the cities of Vienna, Graz, Bruck an der Mur, Judenburg, Weiner Neust and Steyr. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the Great War, the State of Austria comprised mostly German speaking parts of the former empire. Two major factions dominated politics in the new nation. The socialists were represented by the Social Democratic Worker’s Party who found their strongholds in the working class districts of the cities, and the conservatives represented by the Christian Social Party built their support of the rural population and the upper classes. Armed skirmishes had periodically occurred between the two sides but the Great Depression had brought high unemployment and massive inflation to Austria. When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany many National Socialist sympathisers threatened the Austrian state from within. These sympathisers wished to have unification of Austria with Hitler’s Germany. When Christian Social Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss suspended the Austrian Parliament on the 4th March 1933, he used this opportunity to declare that parliament had ceased to function and assumed dictatorial powers. The Social Democratic Party lost its major platform for political action. The conservatives began to face pressure and violence from incoming Nazi Germany but also from the Austrian left wing party. However, by the 16th February 1934 Dollfuss and the Christian Social party had suppressed the Socialist movement which ended with an “Austrofascist” victory.
On the 20th April 1934 in Germany the Gestapo was passed to the administration of Schutzstaffel (SS) Commander Heinrich Himmler,. The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German occupied Europe. It was formed shortly after Hermann Göring was named as Ministry Without Portfolio in the new government of 1933 when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.
The Night of the Long Knives, also known as the “Röhm Affair”, was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from the 30th June to the 2nd July 1934. The National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazis, carried out a series of political executions intended to consolidate Adolf Hitler’s absolute hold on power in Germany. Many of those who were killed were leaders of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Nazis’ own paramilitary organisation known as “Brownshirts”. The best known victim was of the purge was Ernst Röhm, the SA’s leader and one of Hitler’s long-time supporters. Also killed were establishment conservatives and anti-Nazis, such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Bavarian politician Gustav Ritter von Kahr. It was von Kahr who had suppressed Hitler’s Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The murder of the SA leaders were also intended to improve Hitler’s government image with the German public that was increasingly critical of thuggish Brownshirt tactics.
On the 20th July 1934, as a reward for its role in the Röhm purge of the 3oth June-2nd July 1934, Hitler decreed the SS, under Reichsführer SS Heinreich Himmler, to be an independent formation of the Nazi Party. The SS would be directly subordinate only to Hitler himself as Führer (leader).
On the 25th July 1934, Austrian Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by Austrian Nazis who entered the Austrian Chancellery building and shot him. The assassination was an attempted but failed coup d’état known as the July Putsch against the Austrofascist regime which took place between the 25th – 30th July 1934. Dollfuss had taken the role of dictator when his Christian Social Party defeated the Austrian Social Democratic Worker’s Party (Nazi Party) following the Austrian Civil War of February 1934. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had no hesitation in attributing the attack to the German dictator Adolf Hitler. Mussolini also mobilised a part of the Italian army on the Austrian border and threatened Hitler with war in the event of a German invasion of Austria to thwart the putsch. This was the greatest moment of friction between Italian Fascism and German National Socialism. The assassination of Dollfuss was accompanied by uprising in many regions of Austria, resulting in further deaths. In the Southern Austrian town of Carinthia, a large contingent of northern German Nazis tried to seize power but were subdued by the Italian units nearby. At first Hitler was jubilant, but the Italian reaction surprised him. Hitler became convinced that he could not face a conflict with the Western European powers, and officially denied liability, stating his regret for the murder of the Austrian Prime Minister. Kurt Schuschnigg, previously Minister of Education, was appointed new chancellor of Austria after a few days, assuming the office from Dollfuss’ deputy Ernst Rüdger Starhemberg.
When President Paul von Hindenburg died on the 2nd August 1934, Adolf Hitler combined the positions of chancellor and president into one office and took the title of ”Der Fuhrer” [The Leader] whereby he took control as a dictator. Hitler formed the Third Reich under his dictatorship, using the Gestapo to stifle all dissent. Hitler’s policy, however vague, included a planned economy, in which the unemployed were put to work on government projects. Labour was forbidden to organise into unions, but working hours were reduced to open up employment and jobs. The government oversaw all functions of the economy and education, free speech was strictly controlled. The school curriculum and textbooks written to reflect Nazi ideology and all cinemas, newspapers, radio and art were regulated by the vigilant Ministry of Propaganda headed by Joseph Goebbels. One of the Ministry’s main tasks was to generate German anti-Semitism in support of the Nazi persecution of German Jews. This persecution was a major step in Hitler’s plan to conquer all of Europe for the Aryan race, which resulted in the outbreak of the Second World War.
On the 8th August 1934, Defence Minister General Werner von Blomberg and General Walther von Reichenau drafted the Oath of Allegiance to Adolf Hitler. The oath pledged personal loyalty to Hitler instead of loyalty to the constitution of the country. The oath was sworn by the officers and soldiers of the German Armed Forces and by the civil servants of Nazi Germany between the years 1934 to 1945.
On the 18th September 1934, the Soviet Union accepted the offer to join the League of Nations as a permanent member of the Council. On France’s initiative 30 member countries proposed the USSR to join the league on 15th September 1934. A total of 63 countries were members of the League of Nations from 1920 to 1946. However, the United States of America was never a member despite President Woodrow Wilson’s enthusiastic proposals at the end of the Great War. The League of Nations was the international organisation founded in 1919-1920 to preserve order in the world, with the official languishes being English, French and Spanish.
In Russia, on the 1st December 1934 Sergei Kirov, head of the Leningrad communist party was murdered on the orders of Joseph Stalin. It would appear Stalin used the murder of his political rival as a pretext for eliminating many of his opponents in the Communist Party, the government and the armed forces. The Kirov assassination marked the beginning of Stalin’s massive purge of Soviet society, in which millions of people were imprisoned, exiled or killed.
The Abyssinia Crisis began on the 6th December 1934 when Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia (then known as Abyssinia) protested Italian aggression on the border of Ethiopia at Walwal. Italy’s “Il Duce” Benito Mussolini had been impressed with Japan’s invasion of China, and he was determined to show the strength of his regime. He invade Ethiopia who were ill-equipped to match Italy’s modern weapons and the capital, Addis Ababa, was quickly captured. Mussolini incorporated Ethiopia into the new Italian Empire. The League of Nations ruled against Italy and voted for economic sanctions, but they were not fully applied. Italy ignored the sanctions, left the League of Nations and made deals with Britain and France. The crisis discredited the League and moved Fascist Italy closer to an alliance with Nazi Germany.
On the 29th December 1934, the Japanese government gave formal notice that it intended to terminate both the Washington and The London Naval Treaties. The Washington Naval Treaty was signed in 1922 by the major nations, including Japan, limiting naval construction. The London Naval Treaty of 1930 modified the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty and sought additional limitations of warship building. Many Japanese considered the 5.3 to 3 ratio as a way of being snubbed by the West, which was the main reason for the termination of the treaties.
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The Inter-War Period 1933

The Inter-War Period 1933

The defence of the Great Wall of China was a campaign between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan which began on the 1st January 1933. During this campaign, Japan successfully captured the Inner Mongolian Province of Rehe from the Chinese warlord Zhang Xueliang and annexed it to the new state of Manuchuo, whose southern frontier was thus extended to the Great Wall of China.

In Germany, on the 30th January 1933, the new cabinet was sworn in during a brief ceremony in President Paul von Hindenburg’s office. The Nazi Party (NSDAP) gained three posts, Adolf Hitler was named chancellor, Wilhelm Frick as Minister of the interior and Hermann Göring as Minister of the Interior for Prussia. Hitler had insisted on the ministerial positions as a way to gain control over the police in much of Germany. When Hitler came to power in January 1933, he inaugurated an aggressive power base designed to give Germany economic and political domination across central Europe. Hitler’s diplomatic strategy in the 1930s was to make seemingly reasonable demands, threatening war if they were not met. When opponents tried to appease him, he accepted the gains that were offered, then went on to the next target. As chancellor Hitler worked against attempts by the NSDAP’s opponents to build a majority government. Because of the political stalemate, he asked Hindenburg to again dissolve the Reichstag, and elections were scheduled for early March 1933.

Before any elections took place in Germany the Reichstag building was set on fire on the 27th February 1933. Hermann Göring blamed a communist plot, however, the consensus of opinion of most historians was that the fire was started by the Nazi Party. At Hitler’s urging President Hindenburg responded with the Reichstag Fire Decree on the 28th February 1933. The decree gave the president the power to take emergency measures to protect public safety and activities of the German Communist Party (KPD) were suppressed. Preceding the election Hitler’s private army, the S.A., roamed the streets terrorising political opponents and engaging in paramilitary violence and spreading anti-communist propaganda.

The First inauguration of Franklin D Roosevelt as the 32nd President of the United States of America was held on Saturday 4th March 1933. The inauguration took place in the wake of Democrat Roosevelt’s landslide victory over incumbent Herbert Hoover in the 1932 presidential election. With the nation in the grip of the Great Depression, the new president’s inaugural speech was broadcast on several radio networks, which set the stage for Roosevelt’s radical economic proposals to lead the nation out of the Great Depression. He placed the blame squarely on the greed and short-sightedness of bankers and businessmen for the Great Depression, which created the 25% unemployment figure when he assumed office. His aim was to get people back to work and if faced correctly it could be achieved but it had to be done quickly and not merely by talking about it.

Election Day, in Germany on the 6th March 1933, the Nazi share of the vote increased to 43.9% and the party acquired the largest number of seats in the parliament. Even so, Hitler’s party failed to secure an absolute majority and had to invite the German National People’s Party (DNVP) to form a coalition government. Hitler systematically took control of all the state governments. On the 21st March 1933` the new government was constituted with an opening ceremony in Potsdam. This ”Day of Potsdam” was held to demonstrate unity between the Nazi movement and the Old Prussian military together with the elite citizens. Hitler attended the ceremony in a morning coat and humbly greeted Hindenburg. To gain a two-thirds majority, allowing him to pass any laws, Hitler formed an alliance with the Nationalist party and declared the communist party illegal. On the 23rd March 1933, the government passed the “Enabling Act”, giving Hitler the power to make decrees with the status of law, and ending elections. With the passing of the ”Enabling Act began the process of transforming the Weimer Republic into a Nazi Germany a one-party dictatorship based on the ideology of National Socialism. Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as an injustice of the post-Great War international order dominated by Britain and France.

On the 20th March 1933, Germany’s first concentration camp, Dachau, was completed. It was located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory northeast of the medieval town of Dachau, located northwest of Munich in Bavaria. The camp was opened by Heinrich Himmler and was originally intended to hold political prisoners. The camp then was enlarged to include forced labour and eventually the imprisonment of Jews. German and Austrian criminals were also included as were foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded. Prisoners lived in constant fear of brutal treatment and terror detention including standing cells, floggings, the tree or pole hanging and standing for long periods. The Dachau camp system grew to include nearly 100 sub-camps which were mostly work camps.

The Enabling Act was a 1933 Weimar Constitution amendment that gave the German Cabinet, which in effect was Chancellor Adolf Hitler, the power to enact laws without the involvement of The Reichstag. The constitution was passed on the 23rd March 1933 and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg. The Enabling Act gave Hitler enormous powers which abolished most civil liberties and transferred state powers to the Reich government.

On the 24th March 1933 the London newspaper The Daily Express printed an issue with the headline “Judea Declares War on Germany.” This resulted in the Anti-Nazi boycott of German products to foreign critics of the Nazi Party. This was in response to an organised campaign of violence and boycotting undertaken by Hitler’s Nazi Party against the Jews of Germany. Those in the United Kingdom, United States and other places worldwide who opposed Hitler’s anti-Semitic polices developed the boycott accompanying protests to encourage Nazi Germany to end the regimes often-expressed anti-Jewish attitude.

On the 27th March 1933 Japan left the League of Nations over the League of Nations’ Lytton Report. The five member commission headed by Victor Bulwer-Lytton announced its conclusion that Japan had been the aggressor in its invasion of Manchuria which should still belong to China. They argued that the puppet state of Manchukuo was not truly independent and should not be recognised. For many years before the World Wars the great colonial powers of Europe argued who would “own” the Far East. There were various agreements as to who would take which part in the divided Far East. The League of Nations was seen as nothing more than an Old Boy’s Club that existed to further the imperialist agendas of its members. They were biased in favour of the major powers and came down hard on smaller nations but ignored the excesses of the major powers. Japan came face to face with this hypocrisy when it invaded Manchuria and was reprimanded by the League of Nations and threatened with sanctions. Russia had done pretty much the same thing in 1904 which led to the first Russo-Japanese war.

The Nazi boycott of Jewish shops and businesses began on the 1s t April 1933, and was claimed to be a defensive reaction to the Jewish boycott of German goods, which had been initiated in March 1933. The boycotting of Jewish businesses were largely unsuccessful as the German people continued to use them. The Nazis were determined to undermine the viability of Jews in Germany which resulted in the early governmental actions that culminated in the “Final Solution”. It was a state-manged campaign of ever increasing harassment, arrests, systematic pillaging and forced transfer of business ownership to the Nazi Party. The owners of these businesses were classified as “Jews” and were ultimately murdered.

In Germany on the 26th April 1933 the Gestapo secret police was created by Herman Göring. Gestapo was the abbreviation of Geheime Staatspolizei and the official Secret State Police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe. The force was established by combining the various security police agencies of Prussia into one organisation. The Gestapo agency played a key role in the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe during the Second World War.

In Germany on the 2nd May 1933 Adolf Hitler’s Stormtroopers occupied all trade union headquarters. The unions represented a barrier against the Nazi effort to control the lives of the people and made it a priority of eliminating trade unions in Germany. Union leaders were arrested, union funds were confiscated and former union leaders were prevented from finding work. This was one of the first acts of Hitler and the Nazis, who had just come to power in Germany in January 1933.

The Tanggu Truce was signed between China and Japan on the 31st May 1933, setting the ceasefire conditions between the two states after the Japanese occupation of Manchuria. China acceded to all Japanese demands, creating a large demilitarized zone inside Chinese territory.

In Germany on the 21st June 1933 all non-Nazi parties were banned as only the Nazi Party were allowed to exist. Subsequently, on the 14th July 1933, the Nazi party became the official party of Germany.

In Rome on the 20th July 1933, the Vatican’ secretary of state, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli and Germany’s vice chancellor, Franz von Papen, formally signed a concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich. The Pope ratified the agreement two months later on the 10th September 1933 which specified the church’s rights in the Reich. The political significance of the signing of the concordat was ambiguous, as Hitler interpreted it to mean that he had won the church’s approval. He saw the approval as being proof of international recognition of his Nazi regime.

The Haavara Agreement was an agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews signed on the 25th August 1933. The agreement was designed to help facilitate the emigration of approximately 60,000 German Jews to Palestine between the years 1933 to 1939.

Leo Szilard was a Hungarian-German-American physicist and inventor who conceived the idea of the nuclear chain reaction on the 12th September 1933. He patented the idea of a nuclear reactor in 1934 and in late 1939, he wrote the letter for Albert Einstein’s signature which resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb. By the time America had developed the atomic bomb, Szilard had become an American citizen. In his later life he was treated for cancer using his design for the cobalt 60 treatment equipment. He needed further treatment which was later increased to give higher radiation levels. The cancer never returned and this treatment became standard for many cancers and is still used today.

In Geneva on the 19th October 1933, Chancellor Adolf Hitler ordered the German delegation to leave the Disarmament Conference. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations. The reasons being that Germany was already disarmed while other countries were refusing to disarm.

On the 24th November 1933, under the German ”Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals” the police arrested anyone not classified as ”Aryan”. The Nazi party implemented their vision of a new Germany, one that placed ”Aryans” at the top of the hierarchy of races, namely blond hair and blue eyed. Jews, Gypsies and Negroes were ranked as social inferiors. The off-spring of any mixed-marriage were also included. The party also viewed prostitutes, beggars, chronic alcoholics, homeless, unemployed as vagrants and imprisoned them in concentration camps.

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THE INTER-WAR PERIOD 1932

THE INTER-WAR PERIOD 1932

The Soviet famine of 1932-33 was a catastrophe that killed millions of people in the major grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union. The main reasons for the famine were caused by several bad droughts, coupled with rapid industrialisation and a decreasing agricultural workforce. The famine has been seen by some historians as a deliberate act of genocide against class enemies of the Bolsheviks, after Josef Stalin had ordered they were to be liquidated as enemies of the state. The famine of 1932-33 was officially denied, so any discourse was classified as “anti-Soviet propaganda”.

The Stimson Doctrine was a policy note issued to the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China on the 7th January 1933. Named after Henry Stimpson, United States Secretary of State, the policy drew attention to the non-recognition of international territorial changes that were executed by force. Japan’s seizure of Manchuria in late 1931 contravened the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1929, and placed Stimson in a difficult position. President Herbert Hoover would not support economic sanctions as a means to bring peace in the Far East, which hindered Stimson even further. The declaration had few material effects on the Western world, which was burdened by the Great Depression. Japan went on to bomb Shanghai. The declaration was criticised on the grounds that it did no more than alienate Japan.

Japanese forces attacked Shanghai on the 28th January 1932, on the pretext of Chinese resistance in Manchuria. Finding stiff Chinese resistance in Shanghai, the Japanese waged an undeclared war before a truce was reached on the 1st March 1932. Several days later, Manchukuo was established. Manchukuo was a Japanese puppet state headed by the last Chinese emperor, Puyl. The civilian government in Tokyo was powerless to prevent these military adventures. However, instead of being condemned, the Japanese Army’s actions enjoyed popular support back home. Meanwhile, international reactions were extremely negative. The following year Japan withdrew from the League of Nations and the United States became increasingly hostile.

The 1932 German presidential elections were held on the 13th March 1932. They were the second and final direct elections to the office of President of the Reich (Reichspräsident), Germany’s head of state under the Weimar Republic. The incumbent President, Paul von Hindenburg, was first elected in 1925 and was re-elected to a second seven-year term of office. His major opponent in the election was Adolf Hitler of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Under the Weimar system the presidency was a powerful office. Hindenburg was 84 years old, in poor health, and not enthusiastic about another term in office. He deeply distrusted and personally detested Hitler, which motivated him to run for a second term primarily by a desire to stop Hitler from winning the presidency. Nevertheless, following his re-election, Hindenburg failed to prevent the Nazis from assuming power.

Heinrich Brüning resigned from the post of Chancellor of Germany on the 30th May 1932. He was a politician and academic who had entered politics in the 1920’s and was elected to the Reichstag in 1924. Brüning took office as Chancellor on the 30th March 1930 and shortly after he was confronted by an economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. He responded by tightening credit and wage increases which increased unemployment and making him unpopular with the Reichstag. Brüning tried to alleviate the burden of reparation payments and his successors reaped the benefit when the final payment was reduced to 3 billion marks. He vigorously campaigned for Hindenburg’s re-election as President but gradually lost Hindenburg’s support. There was conflict between Hindenburg and Brüning over economic policies and Brüning resigned on the 30th May 1932. Franz von Papen was appointed as the new Chancellor, and was greeted with astonishment in Germany, as he did not have any experience in government.

On the 30th August 1932, Hermann Göring (or Goering) was elected President of the German Reichstag. Göring was a German political and military leader, who became one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi Party. He had joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in 1922 after hearing a speech given by Adolf Hitler and was one of those wounded in the failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Göring was named as Minister without Portfolio in the new government. One of his first acts as a cabinet minister was to oversee the creation of the Gestapo.
President Hindenburg began talks with Hitler on the 21st November 1932, about forming a new government. After the July election Hitler was asked whether he would prepared to enter the government under the Chancellorship of von Papen. Hitler refused and demand that Hindenburg made him Chancellor instead. Hindenburg, who was a snob and disliked Hitler’s lowly social origins, was unwilling to agree. Hitler was angry at being snubbed and took revenge by ordering the Nazi members of the Reichstag to join other political parties in passing a vote of no-confidence in von Papen’s government. This resulted in another election. Following the elections in November 1932, the Nazi party lost almost two million votes from the previous elections of July 1932. With only 33% of the vote Hitler agreed to a coalition with the conservatives as it became clear the Nazi Party would not gain a majority in democratic elections.

On the 3rd December 1932 President Hindenburg named Kurt von Schleicher as the new Chancellor of Germany. Although Hindenburg favoured von Papen as Chancellor, Schleicher told him that the army wanted von Papen out of office.

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THE INTER-WAR YEARS 1931

THE INTER-WAR YEARS 1931

The Geneva Convention regarding treatment of prisoners of war entered into force on the 19th June 1931. Under the terms of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva July 27th, 1929, prisoners are bound to give name, rank and serial number. They may not be forced into giving any further information. Apart from weapons and horses, prisoners’ personal possessions may not be taken from them.

The Mukden Incident was a staged event engineered by Japanese military personnel on the 18th September 1931. Japanese Lt. Suemoni Kawamoto detonated a small quantity of dynamite close to a railway line owned by Japan’s South Manchuria Railway near Mukden (now Shenyang). The explosion was so weak that it failed to destroy the track, and a train passed over it shortly after. The Imperial Japanese Army accused Chinese dissidents of the act, which led to a Japanese invasion.

The Japanese invasion of Manchuria began on 19th September 1931 when the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan entered Manchuria following the Mukden Incident. The Japanese established the puppet state Manchukuo and the occupation lasted until the end of the Second World War. Manchuria was a land rich in natural resources, and the conquest of Manchuria enabled Japan to access the commodities she would need to conduct her ambitions. The Manchurian Crisis had a significant negative impact on the moral strength and influence of the League of Nations. As critics had predicted, the League was powerless should a strong nation decided to pursue an aggressive policy against neighbouring states, allowing a country such as Japan to commit blatant aggression without serious consequences. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were also aware of this. Within three years both would follow Japan’s example in attacking their neighbours. In the case of Italy the aggression was against Abyssinia and for Germany the aggression would be against Czechoslovakia and Poland.

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THE INTER-WAR PERIOD 1930

THE INTER-WAR PERIOD 1930

The London Naval Treaty was signed in London on the 22nd April 1930. The United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy and Japan agreed to regulate submarine warfare and limiting naval shipbuilding. The terms of the treaty were an extension of the conditions agreed in the Washington Naval Treaty, in an effort to prevent an arms race after the Great War.

France withdrew its remaining troops from the German Rhineland on the 30th June 1930. The German nation was obliged to agree to the terms of the 1918 Armistice, whereby the victorious powers occupied Germany. The purpose of the occupation was to give France security against a renewed German attack, and to serve as a guarantee for German repatriation obligations. The Young Plan of 1929 achieved the re-negotiated repatriation terms, and the occupation of the Rhineland, which began on the 1st December 1918 and ended on the 30th June 1930.

On the 1st September 1930 the Young Plan came into effect over Germany’s repatriation payments for the Great War. However, hardly had the Young Plan started the depression of the 1930’s began and Germany’s ability to pay dwindled to virtually nothing.

In Germany the Great Depression had provided a political opportunity for Adolf Hitler to exploit. The elections on the 14th September 1930 resulted in the break-up of the grand coalition government. The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP} rose from obscurity to win 18.3% of the vote with 17 parliamentary seats in the 1930 election, becoming the second-largest party in parliament.

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