Directions: The following question is based on the accompanying documents in Part A. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of the document and the author’s point of view. Be sure to: 1. Carefully read the document-based question. Consider what you already know about this topic. How would you answer the question if you had no documents to examine? 2. Now, read each document carefully, underlining key phrases and words that address the document-based question. You may also wish to use the margin to make brief notes. Answer the questions which follow each document.
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Based on your own knowledge and on the information found in the documents, formulate a thesis that directly answers the question. 4. Organize supportive and relevant information into a brief outline. 5. Write a well-organized essay proving your thesis. The essay should be logically presented and should include information both from the documents and from your own knowledge outside of the documents. Question: Why was the world plunged into World War II in 1939? What is the most effective response to aggression—appeasement or collective security?
Part A: The following documents provide information about the steps leading to World War II. Examine the documents carefully, and answer the questions that follow. Document 1 In this excerpt from Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler explains some of his ideas. One blood demands one Reich. Never will the German nation have the moral right to enter into colonial politics until, at least, it includes its own sons within a single state. . . . Oppressed territories are led back to the bosom of a common Reich, not by flaming protests, but by a mighty sword.
Document 3 Hitler promised to tear up the Versailles Treaty. Specifically, the treaty forbade German troops from entering the Rhineland, a buffer zone between Germany and France. The texts of two headlines and articles from The New York Times of March 8, 1936, explain this issue from the German and the French points of view. HITLER SENDS GERMAN TROOPS INTO RHINELAND
Berlin, March 7—Germany today cast off
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the last shackles fastened upon her by the Treaty of Versailles when Adolf Hitler, as commander-in-chief of the Reich defense forces, sent his new battalions into the Rhineland’s demilitarized zone. . . . “After three years of ceaseless battle,” Hitler concluded, “I look upon this day as marking the close of the struggle for German equality status and with that re-won equality the path is now clear for Germany’s return to European collective cooperation. ” PARIS APPEALS TO LEAGUE
Paris, March 7—France has laid Germany’s latest treaty violation before the Council of the League of Nations. At the same time the French government made it quite clear that there could be no negotiation with Germany . . . as long as a single German soldier remained in the Rhineland in contravention ([violation] of Germany’s signed undertakings [agreements]. . . . What is essential, in the French view, is that the German government must be compelled by diplomatic pressure first and by stronger pressure if need be, to withdraw from the Rhineland.
Document 4 As German aggression continued in 1938, Britain, France, and Italy met with Hitler to discuss his demands for the Sudetenland, a section of Czechoslovakia. This radio broadcast by William Shirer describes what happened at this meeting. William Shirer: It took the Big Four just five hours and twenty-five minutes here in Munich today to dispel the clouds of war and come to an agreement over the partition of Czechoslovakia. There is to be no European war . . . the price of that peace is . . .
the ceding by Czechoslovakia of the Sudeten territory to Herr Hitler’s Germany. The German Fuhrer gets what he wanted. . . .His waiting ten short days has saved Europe from a world war . . . most of the peoples of Europe are happy that they won’t have to go marching off to war. . . . Probably only the Czechs . . . are not too happy. But there seems very little that they can do about it in face of all the might and power represented here. What happened at this Munich Conference according to Shirer? What does he feel is the reaction in Europe and in Czechoslovakia?
Document 5 In this speech to Parliament, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain explains why he favored a policy of appeasement in dealing with Hitler at Munich in 1938. With a little good will and determination, it is possible to remove grievances and clear away suspicion. . ..
We must try to bring these four nations into friendly discussion. If they can settle their differences, we shall save the peace of Europe for a generation. And, in The Times (London): I shall not give up the hope of a peaceful solution. . . . We sympathize with a small nation faced by a big and powerful neighbor. But we cannot involve the whole British Empire in war simply on her account. If we have to fight, it must be on larger issues than that. . . . I am a man of peace. . . . Yet if I were sure that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted.
World War II: The Road to War (continued) Document 6 Winston Churchill disagreed with Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement. In this speech to Parliament, Churchill warned England about following a policy of appeasement. I have always held the view that keeping peace depends on holding back the aggressor. After Hitler’s seizure of Austria in March, I appealed to the government. I asked that Britain, together with France and other powers, guarantee the security of Czechoslovakia.
If that course had been followed, events would not have fallen into this disastrous state. . . . in time, Czechoslovakia will be swallowed by the Nazi regime. . . . I think of all the opportunities to stop the growth of Nazi power which have been thrown away. The responsibility must rest with those who have control of our political affairs. They neither prevented Germany from rearming, nor did they rearm us in time. They weakened the League of Nations. . .. Thus they left us in the hour of trial without a strong national defense or system of international security.See More on War