Revision Diary

Hitler's Aims and Policy to 1938


Hitler’s aims and policies;

Aryan supremacy and lebensraum; the Saar; Austria 1938.



Make sure that you know about:

1.  Hitler's aims and policies, with examples.


It is unlikely that you will be asked to describe events of the Saar or Austria on their own - it is much more likely that you will be asked to describe Hitler's actions over a spread pf years.  


Nevertheless, you must know:

2.  the STORIES of Hitler's actions to Apr 1938 and their results/importance.




Hitler's Aims and Policies

Hitler declared most of what he did up-front in Mein Kampf in 1924:


1. Abolish the Treaty of Versailles

his explained everything Hitler did before 1939.   H hated the ToB because of:

•   The tiny armed forces (so he re-armed German after 1935).

•   Rhineland demilitarised (so he marched in in March 1936).

•   Anschluss forbidden (so he annexed Austria in March 1938)

•   Germans under Czech and Polish rule (so he took over the Sudetenland in Sept 1938, and attacked Poland in Sept 1939).


2. Lebensraum and Aryan supremacy

•   The Nazi-Soviet Pact Aug 1939 gave him half of Poland, which he attacked in 1939.  

•   The Nazis used Jews and Gypsies and slave labourers in workcamps.


3. Destroy Communism

•   In June 1941, he attacked Russia.




Steps to War

1. Saar

The ToV had put the Saar under League control for 15 years; in 1935 a plebiscite was held to decide what the Saarlanders wanted to do.   The Nazis beat up their opponents.   In the plebiscite, 90.3% voted to return to Germany.

It was a massive boost to Hitler and encouraged him to try rearming.


•   17,000 Nazi Saarlanders (who had joined the SA in Germany to) threatened to invade.   This was stopped Dec 1935 when Britain offered to send soldiers to keep the peace.


2. Rearmament

Hitler built up the army and Luftwaffe; in 1935 he held a huge rally to show off.   Thsi broke the treaty of Versailles, but Britain and France did nothing - instead, in 1935, Britain made a naval agreement with Hitler.

Hitler was encouraged to try to take back the Rhineland.


•   By 1939, Germany had 95 warships, 8250 airplanes and an army of almost 1 million.


3. Rhineland

In Mar 1936, Hitler ordered his army into the Rhineland.  

It had orders to retreat if the French opposed it, but they did not - even though Hitler had broken the Treaty of Versailles.  

Hitler's popularity soared, and he was encouraged to try Anschluss with Austria.


4. Austria

In 1938 - encouraged by Hitler - Austrian Nazis rioted, calling for Anschluss.   Br & Fr refused to help Austria, so the Austrian Chancellor suggested a plebsicite to see what the people wanted.   Fearing that he would lose, Hitler invaded.   A plebiscite was held with the German Army there, and the Austrians voted for Anschluss.

Although this openly broke the Treaty of Versailles, nobody did anything


•   the Austrian Chancellor was called Schuschnigg.

•   Hilter threw 20,000 Austrians in prison

•   In the plebscite, 99.75% voted for Anschluss.





Revision Focus

This is a Paper 1 topic, so concentrate on learning:

1.   WHAT happened

2.   EFFECTS/ Importance



Mini book on Hitler's Aims and Actions to 1938


Historians views of Hitler's aims - VITAL


Play the BBC Bitesize dates game


Online revision sheet  


Essays on how Hitler broke the Treaty of Versailles and threatened the peace