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A brief history of the second world war and a summary of adolf hitlers vision

External links Hitler is perhaps one of the most notorious characters of the 20th century. We know what atrocities were committed during the 12 years that Hitler led Nazi Germany and therefore we have very firm opinions about him.

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Using hindsight looking back with the knowledge of what has happened we often ask why he was not stopped earlier. However, at the time, people could not predict what he would go on to do.

By looking at sources from the time, we can see how people viewed him. Or a slightly odd eccentric who was rebuilding Germany? The sources below are from 1937. By this time Hitler had begun to reverse the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding his army and moving troops into the Rhineland. He had also tried to unite Germany and Austria. Throughout this time he made passionate speeches about expanding German territory.

Hitler and 'Lebensraum' in the East

These words and deeds worried some foreign observers. Look at source 1. Law, a British businessman, who worked in Germany. What impression of Hitler do you get from this source? Read paragraph 3 carefully. Law in favour of granting further concessions to Hitler? This is a report on a conversation with Count Bernstorff, a German anti-Nazi campaigner.

Which words suggest that Bernstorff disliked the Nazi regime? From what is said in this source, what type of leader is Hitler?

Does this account of Hitler back up the view of Hitler in Source 1? Look at source 3. This is a drawing of Adolf Hitler by Richard Ziegler in about 1944. How has the artist created this impression?

The government paid the artist to produce this picture. What instructions do you think the artist was given by the government? Given the date of the picture, how accurate do you think it is at displaying how Hitler would have been acting? Why do you think this? This is a a short description of Hitler prepared by the British Embassy in Berlin. Does this account of Hitler confirm that he is a passionate lunatic? How would you describe Hitler based upon this report? Of the three accounts you have now read, is any one more reliable than the others?

Explain your answer 6. You have been provided with the sources above. Explain whether or not you think your evidence is reliable Say whether Hitler is sane or not and provide evidence from the sources to support your answer Background By the late 1930s, Europe was again on the brink of war. Shortly after Hitler came to power in January 1933 he began to attack the Treaty of Versailles. First Hitler disregarded the ban on rearmament. Then he moved troops into the Rhineland 1936 ; united with Austria 1938 and set his sights on expanding German territory.

Some a brief history of the second world war and a summary of adolf hitlers vision regarded Hitler as a strong leader merely getting back German territory.

They thought he would stop once he had achieved a reversal of the Treaty of Versailles. Others feared that this was only the beginning of a much larger German policy of expansion and aggression. The next to go would be Poland, bringing about the beginning of the Second World War. How the British government dealt with Hitler in the run up to the outbreak of the Second World War has come under close scrutiny.

The most common question asked is whether or not the British government should have done more to stop him earlier.

The Rise of Adolf Hitler

But to have stopped Hitler might have meant declaring war — a massive decision when most countries wanted to avoid war at all cost. Britain kept a close watch on developments in Germany. They wanted to find out what he was like, what he wanted to achieve for Germany, what kind of leader he was and, strangely enough, if he were sane. Teachers' notes This exercise is good for getting pupils to look at conflicting evidence and assessing their reliability.

However, it does bear some resemblance to the film footage of him at Nazi Party rallies! This exercise can be used as an introduction to looking at the issue of appeasement and the decisions that were made in the run up to the outbreak of the war.

It may help pupils who find it difficult to understand why Britain did not stop Hitler earlier.