WWII & Holocaust Could Never Have Happened Without American Corporations Investing & Joint Venturing with Hitler’s Poor Nazi Germany – Chapter 8

Chapter Eight –     The Colonial Powers at Times Openly at Times Backhandedly Assisted European Fascism and Hitler’s Preparations for War –  Capitalist Speculative Banking Run Colonial Empires Continued to Allow and Assist Hitler To Violate the Prohibitions of the Versailles Treaty Meant to Prevent the War Empowerment of Germany 


The Colonial Powers at Times Openly at Times Backhandedly Assisted European Fascism and Hitler’s Preparations for War

Hitler had said in Mein Kampf (1924) that he would abolish the Treaty of Versailles and had written of “conquest for Lebensraum in the East and ruthless Germanisation.” A month before he became chancellor Hitler had met with German military leaders and defined that “conquest for Lebensraum in the East and ruthless Germanisation” as his ultimate foreign policy objectives. [97]

Four months later, the German Foreign Office, issued a statement of major foreign policy aims: Anschluss (union) with Austria, the restoration of Germany’s national borders of 1914, rejection of military restrictions under the Treaty of Versailles, the return of the former German colonies in Africa, and a German zone of influence in Eastern Europe.[98]

The Treaty said Germany could only have an army of 100,000 men. The first way Hitler broke the Treaty was over Germany’s armed forces. In 1933, he destroyed the League of Nations Disarmament Conference by demanding equality of arms with France and Britain – this was a breach of the Treaty because it had set up the League with the stated aim of achieving disarmament. At first, Hitler broke the Treaty’s terms by building up his army in secret, drilling volunteers with spades instead of rifles.[100] In October, Hitler had Germany withdraw from the League of Nations and the World Disarmament Conference. Nazi Germany’s departure from the international organization was followed by its massive military buildup, undertaken in violation of international agreements. Germany was still completely powerless to resist the British and French armed forces if they took drastic measures. But nothing was done – (just perhaps because such action might well have brought about a change of regime in Germany). [98a]

However, one of Adolf Hitler’s first major foreign policy initiatives after coming to power was to sign a nonaggression pact with Poland in January 1934. This move was unpopular with many Germans who supported Hitler but resented the fact that Poland had received the former German provinces of West Prussia, Poznan, and Upper Silesia under the Treaty of Versailles.  Indubitably, Hitler arranged the non-aggression pact in order to neutralize the possibility of a French-Polish military alliance against Germany before Germany had a chance to rearm. [99]

In January 1935, in a League of Nations plebiscite, the inhabitants of the Saar River basin had voted overwhelmingly to return their area to Germany, from which it had been separated by the Treaty of Versailles as part of German reparations, rather than remain with France. This was an enormous boost both to Hitler’s prestige, and that of Nazi Germany.

In 1935, Hitler held a huge rearmament rally. The colonial powers let him get away with it. Limits on Arms, Forces and Equipment, Articles 159-163 of the Versailles Treaty, had reduced the size of the German army, which had reached 1.9 million troops during World War I, to just that 100,000, and mandated that the force “shall be devoted exclusively to the maintenance of order within the territory and to the control of the frontiers.” It even specified strict limits on the number of infantry, artillery and engineers, and limited the officer corps to 4,000. The German military was basically neutered. Articles 164-172 disarmed the German military, limiting the number of weapons and even how much ammunition it could possess. Smaller artillery pieces, for example, were allotted 1,500 rounds, while bigger guns got just 500 shells. Germany could only manufacture new war materiel in a few factories approved by the Allies. The Germans were forced to turn over vast amounts of equipment, from tanks and machine guns to telephones. Articles 181-197 reduced Germany’s naval forces to a skeleton force, and totally eliminated the submarine fleet that had terrorized ships in the Atlantic. Articles 198-202 prohibited Germany from having an air force, except for up to 100 seaplanes to work in minesweeping operations.

During World War Two the Soviet Union was viewed by the democracies as the ‘lesser evil’ when compared to Nazi Germany. However in the 1930’s, this was certainly not always the case, especially in Britain. The British establishment – centre-right – and the more extreme right-wing parties saw Hitler’s Germany not just as a strong nation which could cripple communism once and for all, but also as a country they could possibly ally with, or at least encourage to attack the home of communism with some tacit support.

Britain’s longstanding ally, France, did not share this view and saw an aggressive Germany on her border as a major threat and Russia as an ally. Therefore the Parisian government sought a similar relationship with their eastern European ally as they had done before the First World War. With the British dithering over a formal alliance against Hitler, the French sought solace in a treaty with the Soviet Union, signed in February 1936 just three years after Hitler took power. (Graham Hughes,“Anglo-Nazi Pact in the 1930’s?”)[99A]

In March of 1935, Hitler introduced conscription and expanded the German army to 600,000 men, [100]six times the limits stipulated in the Versailles treaty, and announced the development of an air force (Luftwaffe) and an increase in the size of the Kriegsmarine (war navy). Britain, France, Italy, and the League of Nations condemned these violations of the Treaty, but did nothing to stop it. Hitler broke the Versailles Treaty over the Rhineland, which had been declared a demilitarized zone. In March of 1936, Hitler moved his troops into the zone, claiming that the recent treaty between France and Russia threatened Germany’s safety. Actually, the treaty was one of hollow diplomacy and militarily ineffective. [102] Nevertheless, Pro-German David Lloyd George (a former Prime Minister 1916 to 1922) stated in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom that Hitler’s actions in the wake of this pact were fully justified, and he would have been a traitor to Germany if he had not protected his country.[103] However, the Franco-Soviet Pact’s military provisions were practically useless because of their multiple conditions, such as the requirement for Britain and Italy to approve military action. Its effectiveness was undermined even further by the French government’s insistent refusal to accept a military convention stipulating how both armies would co-ordinate their actions in the event of a war against Germany. The result was a symbolic pact of friendship and mutual assistance that was of little consequence. After 1936, the French lost interest, and all parties in Europe noticed that the pact was a dead letter. [102]

Though Hitler’s move risked war with France, Hitler’s remilitarization of the Rhineland brought forth only diplomatic protests.  German commanders had orders to retreat if the French army tried to stop them, but France did nothing. The League of Nations, preoccupied with putting up a show against Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, also did nothing. Public opinion in England and France, which dominated the League, was such that when German troops marched into the Rhineland in March 1936, London’s Daily Mail tabloid suggested Hitler had “cleared the air” and warned against “Bolshevik troublemakers,” [93] and France was in a financial crisis in which investor fears of a war with Germany were not conducive to raising the loans needed to stabilize the franc.[102]

Capitalist Speculative Banking Run Colonial Empires Continued to Allow and Assist Hitler To Violate the Prohibitions of the Versailles Treaty Meant to Prevent the Empowerment of Germany to Threaten War

In an openly weak response to Hitler having violated the Treaty of Versailles in reintroducing military conscription in Germany and announcing the creation of the Luftwaffe (German air force), Britain and France, the former wartime allies and guarantors of the Treaty of Versailles, met at Stresa, Italy in supposed collective action to uphold the disarmament terms of the Versailles Treaty. It became known as the ‘Stresa Front,’ an agreement made, between French Prime Minister Pierre-Étienne Flandin (with Pierre Laval), British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on 14 April 1935, reaffirming previous treaties and declaring that the independence of Austria “would continue to inspire their common policy”.

The Stresa Front had even less meaning once the United Kingdom signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement in June 1935, a bilateral accord in which Germany was given permission to increase the size of its navy up to 35 percent of the size of the British navy. Hitler called the signing of the AGNA “the happiest day of his life”, believing that the agreement marked the beginning of the Anglo-German alliance he had predicted in Mein Kampf.[101] Because the agreement allowed Germany to build more warships than some of the western nations had, the French considered this agreement to be treachery. Great Britain did not have the legal right to absolve the Germans from abiding by the naval restrictions set forth in the Treaty of Versailles.

The Germans regarded the agreement to be the start of an alliance against Soviet Union and France. For Great Britain, however, it was meant to be the beginning of arms restriction arrangements which were designed to restrict Germany’s expansion. This agreement was considered very controversial by many other nations as the tonnage ratio granted Germany the authority to produce a navy far larger than the Treaty of Versailles had permitted. It was also made without prior consultations with Italy or France. (‘The Anglo-German Naval Agreement,’ TotallyHistory.com)[104]

Colonial Powers Support Fascism in Italy and Italy’s Further Racist European Conquest in Africa.

In October of 1935, Italy attacked the empire of Ethiopia in Africa, announcing that it had apprised Britain and France at Stresa of its intentions of doing so.

Two hundred thousand soldiers of the Italian Army from Eritrea (then an Italian colonial possession) invaded Ethiopia without prior declaration of war. At the same time a smaller force attacked from Italian Somalia. On 15 October, Italian troops seized Aksum, and the obelisk adorning the city was torn from its site and sent to Rome to be placed symbolically in front of the building of the Ministry of Colonies created by the Fascist regime. [106] On May 5, 1936, Italian forces, using poison gas, took the capital Addis Ababa, and Emperor Haile Selassie was exiled and fled to Palestine and eventually to England. Mussolini then named King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy as the Emperor of Ethiopia, which was more or less in keeping with the style and behavior of other European empires. 

It can be taken for granted that Mussolini’s aggression was viewed with disfavor by British imperialists, who had a stake in East Africa, and that the other (racist) colonial powers had no real interest in opposing him. As to the United States of America:

The war in Ethiopia occurred at the height of isolationist sentiment in the U.S. Congress and the nation at large. While public sympathy for Ethiopia was considerable, so was the disinclination to intervene. The minority that pressed for a more forthright stand included African Americans and Irish Catholics who broke with the Catholic majority on the issue. In August of 1935, New York City hosted two demonstrations in Harlem where 20 thousand participants protested Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia.

 (Race and US Foreign Policy: The African-American Foreign Affairs Network) .[107]

The administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed concern about Italian aggression, but domestic opposition to even rhetorical intervention discouraged firm action. When Secretary of State Cordell Hull and President Roosevelt sent Mussolini a note suggesting that the United States would not necessarily remain indifferent to what his government did in Africa, the message was so subdued that Mussolini readily dismissed it. A neutrality act banned the sale of finished war products to belligerents, but it did not deny them access to strategic materials, which could be purchased proportionately to the rate of prewar consumption. Italy, a growing industrial power, bought large quantities of American oil. Ethiopia, still feudal, bought none. The neutrality act thus helped ensure that Italy would be well equipped to defeat its decrepit adversary.

(“The  Italo-Ethiopian War”, Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy) (“The-italo-ethiopian-war.” American Foreign relations.com) [105] [108]

On December 19, 1935, editors of the New York Times must have thought it appropriate to publish on page 19, ETHIOPIA IS CALLED ‘MOST UNCIVILIZED’; Lt. Col. Rocke, Former Officer in British Army, Defends Actions of Mussolini. Lieut. Col. Cyril Rocke, a former British Army officer, denounced Ethiopia as the most uncivilized country in the world and attacked the League of Nations and its stand with regard to economic sanctions, in a speech yesterday at a luncheon of the Downtown Athletic Club, 19 West Street. (New York Times, December 19, 1935[109]

J. Jankovsky-Novak aka Jay Janson  spent eight years as Assistant Conductor of the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi and also toured, including with Dan Tai-son, who practiced in a Hanoi bomb shelter. The orchestra was founded by Ho Chi Minh, and it plays most of its concerts in the Opera House, a diminutive copy of the Paris Opera. In 1945, our ally Ho, from a balcony overlooking the large square and flanked by an American Major and a British Colonel, declared Vietnam independent. Everyone in the orchestra lost family, “killed by the Americans” they would mention simply, with Buddhist unaccusing acceptance. Jay can be reached at:  [email protected] .

End Notes

Chapter Eight – The Colonial Powers Backhandedly Assist

  1. Gerhard Weinberg, (1970).The Foreign Policy of Hitler’s Germany, Diplomatic Revolution in Europe 1933–1936. (Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press). ISBN 978-0-226-88509-4
  2. Ian Kershaw, (1999) [1998]. Hitler: 1889–1936: Hubris.(New York: W. W. Norton & Company). ISBN 978-0-393-04671-7

98a. Rothstein, Andrew, The Munich Conspiracy, (1958 Lawrence & Wishart, London) full text available at: https://archive.org/stream/TheMunichConspiracy/The%20Munich%20Conspiracy_djvu.txt Andrew Rothstein was a foundation member of Communist Party in 1920. From 1920 to 1945, he was press officer to the first Soviet mission in Britain, and then correspondent for the Soviet press agency TASS, in London, Geneva and elsewhere. He became an authority on Soviet history, economy, institutions and foreign relations and began to publish widely: e.g. The Soviet Constitution (1923), Problems of Peace (essays on Soviet foreign policy, 1936-8), Workers in the Soviet Union (1942), Man and Plan in the Soviet Economy (1948).

Andrew Rothstein was President of the Foreign Press Association, from 1943–50

Rothstein translated many Marxist texts from the Russian into English; for example, Plekhanov’s In defence of materialism, segments of Lenin’s Collected Works,

  1. “Hitler’s Non-Aggression Pact with Poland” US HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM ENCYCLOPEDIA

99A.  Graham Hughes, Anglo-Nazi Pact in the 1930’s?, “During World War Two the Soviet Union was viewed by the democracies as the ‘lesser evil’ when compared to Nazi Germany.”

  1. “Hitler orders military conscription in Germany” – UPI ArchivesBERLIN, March 16, 1935 (UP) – ‘Reichsfuehrer Hitler, in a sudden, violation of the Versailles Treaty and proclaimed immediate general military conscription in Germany. … France and Great Britain already had moved in this week toward increased armed strength.’
  2. Hassgegner:German Views of Great Britain in the Later 1930,(G. T. Waddington

History Vol. 81, No. 261 January 1996), pp. 22-39, Published By: Wiley “In Mein Kampf, Hitler calculated that in return for concessions in the colonial and naval spheres the British would regard with equanimity – or perhaps even support – his plans for massive conquests

  1. “Hitler’s Triumphant Remilitarization of the Rhineland”, Alternatehistorian’s Blog, https://hitlertriumphant.wordpress.com/remilitarization-of-the-rhineland/
  2. House of Commons, July 27, 1936  Foreign Office. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=1936-07-27a.1207.1Part of Orders of the Day — Supply. – in the House of Commons on 27th July 1936. “The moment the Russo-French Pact was signed, no one responsible for the security of Germany could leave its most important industrial province without defence of any sort or kind when—and here is a thing which is never dwelt upon—France had built the most gigantic fortifications ever seen in any land, where, almost 100 feet underground, you could keep an army of over 100,000 and where you have guns that can fire straight into Germany. Yet the Germans are supposed to remain without even a garrison, without a trench. I am going to say here that if Herr Hitler had not taken some action with regard to that—whether it is a wise action or not I am not going to argue and whether he could have set it right by negotiation or not I do not know, but I am a little doubtful having regard to the past—but if Herr Hitler had allowed that to go without protecting his country he would have been a traitor to the Fatherland.” Spoke Lloyd Georg
  3. “The Anglo-German Naval Agreement,” TotallyHistory.comhttps://totallyhistory.com/the-anglo-german-naval-agreement/
  4. https://www.americanforeignrelations.com/A-D/African-Americans-The-italo-ethiopian-war.htmlRead more: https://www.americanforeignrelations.com/A-D/African-Americans-The-italo-ethiopian-war.html#ixzz6xoO3Wsd0
  5. Anthony Mockler, (2003). Haile Selassie’s War. (New York: Olive Branch

Press). ISBN 978-1-56656-473-

  1. Mark Ledwidge. “Race and US Foreign Policy:” The African-American Foreign Affairs Network108. Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, “African Americans – The italo-ethiopian war”
  2. New York Times12/19/1935, https://www.nytimes.com/1935/12/19/archives/ethiopia-is-called-most-uncivilized-lt-col-rocke-former-officer-in.html

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