Show how by 1938 Hitler had kept his promise to rid Germany of the 'shackles of Versailles.'

Essay by yaelHigh School, 12th gradeA-, August 2003

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Hitler promised the German people that through various means Germany would be restored to her former greatness. Germany's foreign policy was directed at delivering her from the 'shackles of Versailles.'

After Germany was defeated in World War 1, she remained with an enormous debt and together with the land and mineral losses, plunged her into a state of permanent poverty. In addition Germany was blamed as being the sole cause of the war, which resulted in harsh measures brought upon by the League of Nations through the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler regarded the stipulations of the Diktat as unfair and unjust and sought to rid Germany of the 'shackles of Versailles,' by thrusting Germany into war.

Germany's foreign policy was designed to re-unite all Germans lost in border areas. Hitler regarded the Austrians as Germans, claimed the Sudetenland for Germany and demanded a return of the Polish Corridor. Moreover Hitler was determined to gain living space for Germany in Eastern Europe.

Hitler outlined these aims through his foreign policy.

On the one hand Hitler managed to write off most of the war debt and secure the country's position in the League of Nations, but on the other hand the restrictions on Germany's military and naval affairs still applied. Hitler was still not allowed to militarise the Rhineland and the Saar was still under French control. To many Germans the requirements of Versailles was a thorn in their side. Hitler gained a great following with his promise to free Germany of the hatred treaty of Versailles. When Hitler withdrew from the League most Germans supported his move. This encouraged Hitler in his aggression, as he saw the vote as a vote of confidence in himself.

Hitler announced that Germany would rearm and introduce compulsory conscription. Hitler was met with no...