Swing Kids Movie Analysis Essay

Swing Kids Movie Analysis Essay.

The 1993 drama “Swing Kids” starring Robert Sean Leonard and Christian Bale is overall a very good movie. The film is set in Nazi ruled Germany in the year 1939 and tells the incredible story of three boys and their love and fight for swing music. Swing Kids is a remarkable display of directing and acting talent. Thomas Carter’s eye for camera technique lends the feeling of actually being alongside the characters throughout their struggle. From the moment the movie began with a remarkable dance sequence, to possibly one of the most dramatic and heart wrenching final scenes in movie history, I was unable to take my eyes away from the screen.

The emotions that Swing Kids delivers to the viewers range from happiness and excitement, to anger and sadness.

I highly encourage all that have a passion for good film to sit back, relax, and enjoy “Swing Kids”. I give Swing Kids two thumbs up, and a 9/10. Germany in 1939 was a horrible place to be for some people.

The Nazi Government head by Adolf Hitler outlawed everything that wasn’t pure German, this included swing music from the United States. Peter Müller (played by Leonard) and his friends Thomas (Bale), and Arvid (Frank Whaley) had a very strong love and passion for swing music and broke the laws to listen to it. Not only was swing music banned because of it not being pure German, but many swing musicians were African American such as Duke Ellington, and Jewish such as Benny Goodman. People of these ethnic and religious backgrounds were considered inferior in

Germany at the time. During the movie, as the Nazi’s grip on prohibited items grows tighter, Thomas joins the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth). The Hitler Jugend, or HJ as it was commonly known, was an organization that trained children and teenagers to be soldiers. The HJ strongly influenced Thomas to the point where he reports his own father for making negative remarks about the Fuhrer. These young boys and girls were actually trained to report they’re parents and friends if they did not fully support the Nazi ways. Peter takes a big risk speaking freely about his views on the German government and his love of swing music, which ultimately, lands him in hot water. After watching “Swing Kids” I have learned quite a bit about what it was like to live in Germany at the time that I didn’t know before.

For example, I had no idea that being in possession of ANYTHING that wasn’t pure German was a crime, which was usually punishable by death. I find this ridiculous. Something else I learned which I found quite interesting is the way that the dance clubs would discreetly play swing music. These clubs would have a person looking out for any Nazi officers patrolling the street, then if they saw one coming they would give the band a signal and they would quickly switch from playing to swing to playing some traditional German tunes.

Possibly the thing that I found the most interesting is how amazing the Nazi propaganda was. Through propaganda, the government was able to completely change people’s views on the Nazis and on Western culture. Also, the government could use the HJ to do certain tasks for them. I can recall a scene in the movie where Peter was given three small packages and told to deliver them to various addresses. Peter delivers two of them and can tell by the people who are receiving them that something is awry. He decides to find a secluded spot and open the remaining package. Inside he finds a small oak box with the swastika inlayed on the top. Further investigation by Peter leads to a horrific discovery. Inside of that box, and the other boxes, contained the ashes of “traitors” as they were labeled.

These “traitors” were people who were sent away to concentration camps because they were not 100 percent loyal to the Fuhrer. Horrific acts such as this really happened, and make you realize what a horrible place Germany was at the time. As far as historical accuracy goes, it was fairly accurate. There were a few certain things that I didn’t quite manage to wrap my head around. One of them, was the fact that not one actor in the entire movie spoke German, or had an even slight German accent. I believe that if they did speak with an accent that it would lend a great deal more of believability to the movie. Although the movie did depict most things pretty accurately. They showed how members of the gestapo (which were the secret Nazi police) could pretty much do

whatever they please. In one scene it shows a raid being taken place at a Jewish person’s house. They were clearing the contents of the house, and the one member of the gestapo was taking items to keep for himself. In any Canadian police force an act like that would be completely unacceptable. The film also focused a lot on the HJ. As far as my research goes, the way they depicted the activities that the HJ members would take part in such as boxing, and their duties, was completely accurate. I will say before as I said earlier on, “Swing Kids” is an all around excellent period movie. It really makes you feel as though you’ve travelled back in time.

Swing Kids Movie Analysis Essay

Stasiland sample essay Essay

Stasiland sample essay Essay.

Anna Funder’s 2002 work of literary journalism, _Stasiland_, relates her journey through a “land gone wrong”, the German Democratic Republic. Separated by the Berlin Wall and political ideology, East Germans lived under the ubiquitous and omniscient control of the Stasi, the secret police, whose “job it was to know everything about everyone”. Throughout her quest, Funder uncovers several stories of courage in the face of such oppression, both in acts of resistance and in sustained displays of resilience, however these acts are individual and ineffectual in toppling the regime.

Despite these brave individuals’ fortitude, they were unable to weaken the Stasi’s power or to incite remorse from them. Regardless, Funder is successful in finding and then assembling an inspirational narrative from these admirable recounts of defiance and thus, she succeeds in her original goal.

In a society under constant surveillance, acts of defiance were possible but met with quick retribution by the Stasi. Vocalised by Funder’s archetypal dissident, Miriam; “[t]hey break you”.

Miriam’s denunciation as an “enemy of the state” began at age sixteen with her publication and distribution of rebellious leaflets and continued for many years in her attempted escape at Bornholmer Bridge, her deception of Major Flesicher in interrogation and her relentless search for the truth about Charlie’s death. The repercussions were also unremitting: incarceration, torture, constant surveillance, restrictions on education and employment and a complete destruction of autonomy. Through Miriam’s plight, Funder reminds audiences of the “kind of mortgage [these] acts put on [their] future”, evoking compassion for the lasting and unjust suffering.

Funder’s admiration of Miriam’s “big voice” against the authorities is evident as her search for truth becomes intertwined with Funder’s own investigation, to the point that Miriam’s story frames the book itself. This admiration is paired with Funder’s dignified interview with Gunter Bohnsack, the only Stasi man Funder attributes a first name. Bohnsack’s rejection of the Stasi’s “omerta, a code of honour that rules them” when he outed himself to local media was retaliated with abusive phone calls and social isolation. Through the discovery of such subversive acts, Funder appears empowered to continue with her own task in documenting this “lost world”.

Not only does Funder celebrate moments of personal resistance, she also acknowledges the power of resilience in surviving the effects of an oppressive regime, a capacity even the most damaged victims have. Frau Paul arguably personifies the human impact of the Wall. Separated from her sick son in the Westend hospital with limited visitation, the GDR’s callousness sent Frau Paul to Berlin Ostbahnhof in an attempted escape. Subjected to persistent observation, this culminated in being “kidnapped right off the street”, the connotation reminding readers of the Stasi’s forced estrangement of Torsten from his mother. Withstanding a torturous ordeal in prison, Frau Paul’s decision to deny the Stasi’s offer to flee to the West in return for Michael Hinze is revered by Funder. Her recount of Frau Paul’s story is steeped in the miserable imagery of her “weeping and weeping “, enhancing the sombre mood for the reader.

Similarly, Funder’s conversations with Julia Behrend illuminate another story of resolve. When narrating Julia’s harrowing story, Funder acts merely as an observer in order to pay respect to an individual whose voice had been silenced by the Firm. Julia experienced continual victimization from the Stasi stemming from her relationship with an Italian boyfriend. Despite the Stasi’s denial of her education and employment opportunities, Julia fought against anyone controlling her life. It was only after a brutal rape and a humiliating police interview that Julia felt she was at “the end of what [she] could manage”. Funder’s deliberate inclusion of Julia’s email in the closing chapters is a testament to Julia’s ability to endure the suffering and emerge as a survivor, now reestablishing herself in San Francisco. This reaffirms Funder’s purpose of discovering East Germans who demonstrated the capacity to withstand the damages inflicted by the Stasi. _Stasiland_ celebrates survivors and avows their ability to move forward.

Conversely, Funder is appalled by her encounters with those who appear to preserve and proliferate the Stasi mentality. Their commitment to the Firm shows an inability to move forward and a lack of resistance that Anna finds contemptible. Labelling them “very nasty scouts”, Funder demeans the Stasi as cruel boys playing an extreme game of spies. In her meeting with Herr Winz, who offers the _Communist Manifesto_ and proclaims the “Second Coming of socialism”, Funder remarks on his “tale” and is “unconvinced” of his “spy play-acting”. Through her skeptical viewpoint, audiences are also drawn in to distrust Winz as he is presented as an insistent child telling a story and losing its temper. Moreover, Herr Bock has maintained the “covert location” where he used to meet informers in his home and has translated his skills of persuasion into a career of consultancy.

Anna is repulsed by Bock, and quick to leave his home. She belittles his new role as a new means of gaining the support of his people and then “selling them cheap”, reinforcing this suspicion in the reader. However, the epitome of subservience to the Firm is represented in Von Schnitzler. Karl-Eduard Von Schnitzler exhibits similar displays of obstinacy to Miriam in regards to their convictions and beliefs, yet in her interview with him, Funder constantly interrupts and argues against the logic of his claims. Titling the chapter “Von Schni-” Funder references an earlier comment of Julia’s about his irrelevancy and his audience’s extreme distaste for his rhetoric, emphasized by her observation that it is his wife’s maiden name on the door, “not his”. In her search to voice stories of perseverance, Funder also uncovers stories of men who are unrepentant in their collective actions to stifle these acts of individual bravery.

After the initial dismissal from Scheller and his articulation of the residual “embarrass[ment]” felt by the Germans in the wake of the GDR, Anna Funder’s pursuit to portray the lives of the ordinary citizens is rewarded with several “great stor[ies] of human courage”. Her tenacious investigative work delving into the isolated society praises characters who challenged and survived the regime whilst simultaneously ridiculing the perpetrators who refuse to acknowledge their wrongs. Through this poignant reminder, readers are encouraged to value acts of fortitude against injustice and adversity.

Stasiland sample essay Essay

Nationalism DBQ Essay

Nationalism DBQ Essay.

“Nationalism united people into nation- states, toppled empires composed of many ethnic minorities, and contributed to the outbreak of wars in the nineteenth century. How would you evaluate this statement?”

Nationalism is a common patriotic passion for one’s nation and fellow nationals that united, and still unites certain groups of people. Nationalism can cause for the birth of loyalty to ethnic minorities, which have potential to cause many historically significant events. It was a force that caused conflict in, and shaped the paths of Italy, Germany and France, among the other great European powers of the time.

In France, on August 23, 1793 the “Levee en Masse” greatly impacted French society. The Levee en Masse was in a way, a draft to rally support of the citizens. It showed nationalism because it required the people to work for the greater good of a nation. (Document 1) Since patriotism is one of the key factors of nationalism, the Levee en Masse is a perfect illustration of the effects of nationalism on French society.

Another example of French nationalism is shown in Document 2, which consists of an excerpt of the French National Anthem. The French National Anthem urges the French to fight for their right to liberty against cruel tyrants. This is shown in the following quote: “Arise, children of the fatherland…Against us cruel tyrants March on, march on, To liberty or death!”

Another group of people that was heavily impacted by the effects of nationalism were the Italian people. In 1850, Italy was ruled by many different empires. They were separate states with no unification whatsoever. The Northern regions were richer than the south, and the two areas had nothing in common. Italy had lack of unity, which is shown in the fact that Mazzini wanted a Republic, the Pope wanted a confederation, and Charles Albert wanted a kingdom. When Cavour rose as a prominent nationalist figure in Italy, he used many tactics to promote nationalism. He encouraged trade, expanded the transportation options, promoted agricultural production, and joined Britain and France in the Crimenian war against Russia. These tactics eventually proved to create unity in Italy because of a common economy, industry and common enemies. This is supported by Boyd Shafer’s saying that for nationalism to exist, it is necessary for people to share a common enemy, a common pride in achievements, and some common economic institution.

Another Italian Nationalist figure in Italy was Giuseppe Garibaldi. In 1861 he made a speech in which he tried to unify the Italian masses who were truly devoted to the nation. In his speech, he called for a greater commitment in an attempt to weed out hypocrisy. He uses the metaphor, “Let him who loves his country in his heart, and not with his lips only, follow me.” (Document 4)

In the 1800’s, German was spoken all through Prussia, the western half of the Austrian Empire, and many small states. There was much conflict in uniting the German states, including religious conflict. Otto von Bismark was a nationalist who lived during this time, who, “…some people feel single-handedly unified Germany and started it on its road to greatness.” Bismark’s method was crafty. He united Germany by creating a common enemy, and by fueling war. He expresses this in the metaphor “blood and iron.” (Document 5)

Nationalism’s influence on the development of the great European powers will not soon be forgotten. Under the watchful eye of great leaders such as Cavour, Garibaldi, von Bismark, and Mazzini, Nationalism tore apart great empires, united nation- states that had previously suffered from long standing conflict, and fueled many progressive wars. Allegiance and zeal for ones nation is what sparks nationalism, and nationalism is what sparks change.

Nationalism DBQ Essay

Comparison of the Unifications of Italy and Germany Essay

Comparison of the Unifications of Italy and Germany Essay.

Both Italy and Germany became unified in the mid to late 1800s after years of unrest that started with the 1815 Congress of Vienna, where both of these countries were split up into many states. One can compare and contrast these unification processes because they had many similarities and differences. In order to properly assess these situations one needs to look at the individual factors that led to unification and how they can be compared. While there were similarities in the Unifications of Italy and Germany, overall the processes were very different.

Chapter 2: Similarities


Despite the differences in the unifications of these two nations, there are some clear similarities in the factors that let to unification. One of the most obvious similarities one can point out is the fact that in order to be unified, these countries were separated first. From 1815 to Unification, Germany was separated into 39 states, whereas Italy was separated into 11. The separation of these nations was decided at the 1815 Congress of Vienna, and they were separated for different reasons.

Italy was divided into the 11 original states it had been in before the Napoleonic era; whereas the number of states in Germany was significantly reduced from somewhere around 300 to 39.


One of the main similarities as far as the unification process is that for both countries, unification was led by the most economically advanced state. In Germany the unification was led by Prussia, which had recently overtaken Austria as the most powerful state in Germany. With the _Zollverein_ created under the concept of the Prussian Customs Union, Prussia was at the head of the most significant economic advancement in Germany at the time. Piedmont was similarly at the top of Italian economic advancement.

This was mainly thanks to Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the Prime Minister of Piedmont starting in the 1850s, and the man who primarily led the Italian Unification process. Cavour came into office with a very strong understanding of financial matters and by 1860 its trade increased by 300 percent and Piedmont’s 800 kilometers of railway track was one third of the peninsula’s total. Due to the powerful nature of these states, they were both able to take a lead in the unification process.

Another clear similarity between Italy and Germany was Austria’s involvement in the unification of both nations. In Germany, Austria was the leading power of the German Confederation. The Habsburg Empire controlled most of the political doings in the German Confederation, until Prussia became more economically advanced. It took Prussia defeating Austria in the Seven Weeks War for Unification to be able to take place. In Italy, Austria had full control of Lombardy. In the failed 1848 revolutions, Charles Albert of Piedmont attempted to wage war with Austria and failed greatly. In the actual unification process, Piedmont went to war with Austria again in 1859, and with the help of Napoleon III managed to settle on a treaty.


In both unification processes Napoleon III was somehow involved. He was the nephew of the great Napoleon and wanted to prove himself to be the true successor of his uncle. This led him to be very politically involved, although he never did manage to conquer much territory in Europe. His involvement in German Unification was mainly in the Franco-Prussian War. The Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck provoked Napoleon into declaring war with Prussia, mostly in an attempt to draw the South German states into an alliance with Prussia, as he knew they feared being conquered by the French. Prussia won the Franco-Prussian war, even capturing Napoleon for a period during the process.

In contrast to Napoleon’s opposition to Germany, he was one of the leaders who made unification possible in Italy. He greatly assisted Piedmont, and was the reason they could go to war with Austria. He also was the one who stopped war with Austria and managed to create a treaty that, while it didn’t initially please Cavour, ended up resulting in many states joining Piedmont. Napoleon also assisted Cavour by letting the Piedmontese army occupy Rome in order to defend Northern Italy from Giusseppe Garibaldi’s army.


Both Italy and Germy’s unification processes started with failed revolution in 1848. In Germany, 1848 revolutions led to a significant increase in nationalism, and in some way started the divide between Prussia and Austria. In Austria, revolution led to the resignation of Metternich, and Frederick Wilhelm IV initially seemed to support Prussian revolutionaries. However eventually the revolutionaries and liberals were defeated when the Frankfurt Parliament, a national assembly, was dissolved in 1849. This did spark a lot of tension between Prussians and Austrians, primarily because Prussians blamed Austria for the fall of the revolution.

Italy underwent failed revolutions mainly headed by Mazzini and his Roman Republic. Mazzini was a revolutionary and a nationalist, who founded Young Italy, the first real Italian political party. He led the revolution in Italy, and when the Pope fled he set up rule in the Roman Republic. His rule only lasted for 100 days, but it was a republic based upon nationalist and liberal ideas. The Roman Republic fell in 1849 when the French overtook it, leaving a French garrison guarding the Pope that lasted until 1870. This influenced many nationalist and liberal ideas in the people of Italy.


As one may expect, the unifications of these nations came mostly from nationalism across the various states. In Germany, nationalism came mostly from the 1848 revolutions. The Prussians blamed the Austrians, and nationalist ideas spread throughout the nation. Nationalism also appeared in Germany when there was opposition against Denmark in the disagreement over Schleswig and Holstein, and the German people wanted to have a unified voice through which they could oppose Denmark. In Italy most of the nationalism came from the influence of Metternich and was carried out by Garibaldi. Garibaldi was an incredibly talented army leader, who was vital to the creation of the Roman Republic. During Italian Unification, he was the one who conquered Southern Italy, and with his allegiance to Piedmont he was the reason that the two halves of the peninsula joined together.

Chapter 3: Differences


Each country’s unification came about under different leadership. In Germany, there was only one real leader: Otto Von Bismarck. He was almost entirely in charge of the Unification process, and his diplomacy was arguably one of the main reasons for the Unification of Germany. In Italy there were three leaders: Cavour, who was the prime minister of Piedmont and was the reason for the advancement of the state as well as being diplomatically gifted; Garibaldi, who was a devout nationalist and used his military power to aid the annexation of Sicily; and Napoleon III, who’s outside help from France enabled a lot of the revolution to take place. In Italy, none of these leaders could have alone led unification-they all relied greatly on each other.


The basis of each country’s unification was actually slightly different. Germany unified for heavily political and economic reasons, whereas in Italy unification resulted in something more church based. In Germany, Prussia became incredibly powerful economically through the _Zollverein_, and that was a very strong reason for why other German states were keen on joining Prussia for a united German front. Italy did not have any economic power comparable to the _Zollverein_, other than Piedmont’s economic position in Italy which still wasn’t quite as exceptional as Prussia’s. However a circumstance of unification that Italy faced was that once the nation had been unified, there was no freedom of religion: Catholicism reigned supreme by the order of the Pope. In Germany, unification was disconnected from religion and there was little done over the existence of both Protestants and Catholics within Germany.


The opinions of the Great Powers of the unifications of Italy and Germany varied between the two. In the case of Germany, the great powers cared very little about the unification. If anything, there was worry coming from the Great Powers because if the outcome of the Franco-Prussian war involved France gaining power they feared the new Napoleon could rebuild his uncle’s empire. As far as the Great Powers were concerned in the way of Italy, Cavour had made a smart move by involving Italy in the Crimean War on the side of Britain and France and actual gained quite a bit of support from the Great Powers. If Cavour had not gotten involved in the Crimean War, Piedmont would not have had the faithful support of Napoleon III, which proved crucial in unification.


The results of each of the unifications were different. In Germany, the nation was established as a federal state. Local governments were able to retain a portion of control, and the people of Germany stayed relatively separate between their states. Italy on the other hand became a unified state. It was pronounced the Kingdom of Italy in 1870 and the separations between the states involved were almost entirely abolished. Italy felt itself very much like a people and under the dominant Catholic religion; it was a completely unified state.


While the clear goal in Germany was a unified nation, Italy did not have the same clear-cut objective. Bismarck wanted unity from quite early on in the process, as his main goal was to rule over Germany and to be the leader of an entire nation. Cavour on the other hand, was strongly opposed to unification for a long time. It wasn’t until unification was inevitable that Cavour stood behind it. While Garibaldi was pro-unification since before 1848, unification seemed like an implausible goal to most Italians.

Chapter 4: Conclusion

Overall, the unification processes of Italy and Germany were more different than they were similar. Bother unifications were very similar in their physical processes, as they both took diplomacy, war, and strong leaders. However, despite the similarities in how unification came about, they came from different bases of reasoning politically, economically, and socially.

Works Cited

Coppa, Frank J. _The Origins of the Italian Wars of Independence_. London: Longman, 1992. Print.

Farmer, Alan, and Andrina Stiles. _The Unification of Germany, 1815-1919_. London: Hodder Education, 2007. Print.

Kehoe, Thomas J., Lawrence D. Hogan, and Jose M. Duvall. _Exploring Western Civilization: 1600 to the Present_. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Pub., 1994. Print.

Stiles, Andrina. _The Unification of Italy, 1815-70_. London: Hodder & Stoughton Educational, 2001. Print.

“Unification of German States – Issues – Countries – Office of the Historian.” _Unification of German States_. Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Comparison of the Unifications of Italy and Germany Essay

Essay on Hitler’s Foreign Policy Essay

Essay on Hitler’s Foreign Policy Essay.

No one was aware at the time of the impending tragedy with an international system busy recovering from the previous war. A League of Nations established at the Treaty of Versailles was halfheartedly trying to keep international peace in tact. However, it failed to do so. Not only did the Treaty of Versailles leave countries in economic despair but it also brought resentment to Germany; the nation with the most losses. Again, the League of Nations set up did not keep international peace.

Appeasement was offered in order to avoid war, however it gave the Germans a more aggressive approach in their foreign policy. Most of all, a new phenomenon had hit Germany-Hitler.

A man of revolutionist and expansionist policies had a dream in which he would not give up on and on January 30th 1933, was made chancellor of Germany. The origins of war and failure of international peace can be determined as follows: the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations, and the policy of appeasement.

Although they all seem to be the primary reasons for the breakdown of international peace, it was Hitler’s foreign policy that deteriorated the peace leading to the outbreak of the Second World War.

The Treaty of Versailles had left Germany humiliated for numerous reasons. German territory had been reduced to about an eighth of Europe, population had been cut by six and a half million, Rhineland was demilitarized, Anschluss, a union with Austria, was forbidden and not to mention they had to reduce their own military and offensive weapons. 1 In terms of reducing their military and arms, the Allies upheld that ‘it would render possible the initiation of a general limitation of the armaments of all nations.’2 Since this wasn’t the case, Germany’s excuse was most likely to deplore these restrictions and rearm 15 years later. Versailles principles were to prevent a resurgence of Pan-German power and to impose a self-determination policy, in which nations could choose their sovereignty and status. These purposes clashed and tended to contradict each other, the conclusion being undesirable circumstances.

3 As a result of self-determination, Germany found herself surrounded by a number of vulnerable nations. The Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania were all in ill-fated situations, stuck between an expansionist Germany and the Soviet Union, of whom they did not exactly trust. 4 Kennedy argues “the Versailles settlement was an artificial, spatch-cocked one, leaving ethnic minorities on the wrong side of hastily drawn boundaries.” 5 The Treaty failed in both protecting these ethnic minorities and failing to take the right steps into preventing Germany becoming disheartened by the Treaty.

The Germans were so humiliated that they even believed the Allies had tricked them into approaching the peace table with Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points. 6 Germany was thus left angry and believed the treaty should have been reversed. Hitler, as written in his Mein Kampf, speaks of such resentment towards the treaty: “The Versailles Treaty is worthless. 60 million German hearts and minds are on fire with anger and shame. They will cry out “We want war!” 7 This was a major implication of Hitler’s foreign policy-to reverse what had been done at Versailles, thus making the inadequacies on the Treaty of Versailles an origin of war.

The League of Nations, established at the Treaty of Versailles, proved to be a failure in maintaining international peace. It was a means of resolving disputes and preventing war however, the result of the economic turmoil that existed in countries internationally, and those in the League, were more concerned with their own domestic polices. World growth was encouraged on setting a “growth of protectionist, isolationist policies that exposed the weakness of collective action…the spirit of cooperation and mutual aid evaporated.” 8 This is why countries like Germany and Japan, hit hardest by this economic disparity, created such strong domestic policies in order to overcome the slump.

Although the League seemed strong with sixty members in the 1930s, including Britain, France, Italy and Germany, some of the most powerful nations were not members. The United States was opposed to joining, proving to weaken the League immensely. It did not have access to wealth and influence the United States had-Britain and France were terribly weak after the First World War, making them hard to be a great source of dependence. Russia also refused to join due to their communist nature. Russia’s main outlook for themselves was to focus on their domestic policy. Through the eyes of British diplomats, the League was not seen to be of any strength. Lord Cecil commented on the League by stating:

No attempt was made to transfer important international work to it…Little or no attempt was made to coordinate our general foreign policy with that pursued by our representatives in the League…On the contrary, an atmosphere of semi-hostility was allowed to grow up in our Diplomatic Service both at home and abroad. 9

It was in October 1933, when Hitler pulled Germany from the League, refusing to negotiate and renouncing from international disarmament. 10 The League failed in achieving disarmament, resulting in an arms race, which failed to prevent Hitler from breaking the Treaty of Versailles. However, Hitler leaving the League was not the first sign of impotence in international peace.

Examples of failures in the League of Nations can be seen through both Japan in the Manchurian crisis and Italy in Ethiopia. These two crises truly showed the League was disintegrating. Japan, in September of 1931, invaded the Chinese province of Manchuria and set up a Japanese state called Manchukuo. The League condemned Japan but largely did nothing about it. “The League proved unable to force one of its own members to renounce aggression, because it lacked the resources to do so other than moral pressure and the threat of economic sanctions.” 11 The League was scared to intervene, as they did not have the United States on their side. Moreover, they did not want to put Asian trade and Eastern security in a compromising situation. Another failure of the League was when Italian troops invaded Ethiopia in September of 1935.

The League tried to support Ethiopia and denounced the invasion, talking of economic sanctions the Italians would have to face. However, just as the Manchurian crisis, the Italian efforts could not have been reversed. 12 Japan and Italy essentially took opportunities and obtained what they could from them, exploiting the breakdown of collective security that was supposed to be imposed by the League. The Ethiopian crisis motivated countries to rearmament and proved to be some of the first indications of an impending war. 13The League of Nations failed to achieve its major goal directly stated in Document two in “The Covenant of the League”:

Any war or threat of war, whether immediately affecting any of the members of the League or not, is hereby declared a matter of concern to the whole League, and the League shall take any action that may be deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the peace of nations.” 14

Consequently, the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations led to collective security becoming abandoned, and nations turning to appeasement.

Appeasement is a democratic policy intended to avoid war and keep peace. So then why is it that appeasement is an origin of the Second World War? Although a lot of diplomats were in favour as it was seeming the right way out, what was not realized at the time is that appeasement can only be effective if it is done from a point of relative strength. For Britain and France to appease Germany, and let them take Sudetenland, only gave Germany more of the upper hand. Kennedy argues:

Since Hitler was regarded as the Devil incarnate, it followed that Chamberlain and Daladier’s diplomacy in the late 1930s had been hopelessly misconceived and morally wrong. Instead on standing up to the Fuhrer’s manic ambitions, they had weakly appeased them. 15

In September of 1938, a conference on the Czech crisis came to order. It was agreed that Czechoslovakia would leave Sudetenland leaving Germany the opportunity to seize it. Chamberlain believed that they had reached “peace in our time” however others reprimanded him for destroying “one of the last democracies on the continent.” 16 The way he went around trying to achieve peace was ultimately one of expediency over principle. The MacDonald-Baldwin-Chamberlain administration was criticized for failing on two parts. One was that they did not sufficiently prepare Britain to the clear threats of impending aggression. They deceived the country by claiming they were prepared.

Second, they were denounced on the notion of turning a blind eye to the clear belligerent ambitions of the Nazi thus making allowances that should not have been made. This was done in order to escape immediate conflict in which should have been dealt with urgently. 17 Appeasement made Hitler believe he was invincible, which in turn encouraged war. He assumed Britain was too ‘cowardly’ to fight back against the Reich and would most likely stay neutral. “Hitler, emboldened by appeasement, regarded Chamberlain and Daladier as “miserable worms” and “cowards.””18 Appeasement essentially encouraged any aggression that was later to be imposed by Hitler.

Hitler’s foreign policy was a phenomenon in which proceeded from no other leader or policy. His policy lacked continuity and was one that consisted of “racist ideology, conducted with revolutionary methods and dedicated to the realization of unlimited aims.” 19 He was the primary cause of the outbreak of the war and in fact many historians believed that it was Hitler’s own personal war. His policy of discontinuity consisted of many elements such as racism, expansionism, the hatred of Russia, and the disregard of the International System. Through these extreme elements that he imposes in his foreign policy, we can see how in fact he was a dictator, providing a lack of continuity of Germany foreign policy when he came to reign. He intended to achieve world domination for a purified German race and would not stop at nothing to achieve this.

Hitler believed that there should be a purified race of Aryans as they were genetically superior. He believed that they were destined to rule others especially the Poles and Slavs who should be their slaves. No German leader before this cared to exterminate a certain race. John Hiden argues that Germans in the First World War “followed an expansionist policy in the East primarily to help them preserve a conservative reactionary status quo, not a racially-driven revolution of German, then European and ultimately, world society!” 20

His policy was clearly far different than any others as Hitler said, “with the concept of race, National Socialism will carry its revolution abroad and recast the world.” 21The fact that he wanted to exterminate the Jews shows fully how different he was from other leaders who just had an appetite of success. Hitler wanted a world of purified Germans leading, and he knew that war would be inevitable to get there.

Hitler took expansionism to an extreme, posing as a major factor in the outbreak of the war. His domestic policy was of expanding, solidifying and purifying the German state. 22 His aggressive foreign policy included mounting German territory to create more “living space”. This was called “lebensraum” and he was determined to do this by annexing land in Eastern Europe. Although it is geographically obvious that Hitler would want to expand into Eastern Europe, Hitler did not only want to achieve the German colonies pre-1914, he wanted a conquest of all of Eastern Europe. He felt the need to annex it as such, full of its rich and productive soil to support the expanding of the Aryan race.

23 The Four-Year plan was created in order to build arms and revive Germans socially to prepare them for Global domination. First of what Hitler wanted to eliminate was Communism and he thought to do this through conquering and expanding. “Lebensraum did mean something concrete-even if the war there was unchartered: war against Soviet Union.” 24 In fact, even Hitler goes on to say that “it will be the duty of German foreign policy to get large spaces to feed and house the growing population of Germany. Destiny points us towards Russia.”25 It is through this ideological and extremist foreign policy that proves to be the principal reason for the outbreak of the Second World War.

Hitler’s will to expand into Russia be not only on account of “lebensraum” but because of his hatred of Russia. He believed for total global domination he would have to implement fascism in Russia and defeat the Russians-hence defeat Communism. Not to mention, Hitler believed communists were the reason Germany lost in First World War. As opposed to the relations the Germans and Russians have had in the past, Hitler’s outlook on Bolshevik Russia was very distinct. 26 Russo-German relations of the past have acknowledged similar policies and tried to enjoy decent relations with each other. However, Hitler was determined to destroy Russia and its Communist regime. He stated, “the menace of Russia hangs over Germany. All our strength is needed to rescue our nation from this international snake.”27 He started slowly in the Spanish Civil War by trying to turn Britain and France even further against the Russians, moreover trying to make sure of Spain not becoming a communist regime. His ideology is what drove him to stop at nothing to get what he wanted-even if it meant another World War.

Hitler’s main aim was to overthrow the international system and create one based on his ideological views. He, unlike any German leaders of the past who would have settled with a slow expansion of Germany in Europe, wanted a pure race ruled by Germans. He manipulated his allies and used them as ploys when he was weak, however he then rejected them or even annexed them when he grew in strength. He wanted to overthrow the system so he could essentially replace it with “a racially-based global order.” 28 He was not willing to negotiate with Europe and made sure what he wanted is what he got-he would not stop at anything. Europe was in fact relatively willing to give Germany some of its power back through appeasement, however Hitler took advantage of their weaknesses and aggressively annexed more.

He would not cease until he got what he wanted however extreme it may be since he “knew no bounds”. 29 He wrote in 1928, “Wherever our success may end, there will always be only the starting-point of a new fight.” 30 He manipulatively built up his arms in rearmament programs when according to the treaty of Versailles he was forbidden to. However he did so, slowly, without causing any attention from the international scene. He built it up and then by 1935 he declared rearmament and pulled out of the treaty. He was building himself up for what he knew was to come. For this, Hitler’s foreign policy is the primary reason for the outbreak of the war.

In conclusion, the origins of war and the reasons for the collapse of international peace both derive as a result of Hitler’s foreign policy. The Treaty of Versailles left small nations vulnerable to German annexation. The losses felt by Germany left them bitter and proved to be a catalyst in aggression towards the rest of the international scene. Later causing them to deplore their restrictions and rearm. Second, the League of Nations proved to be a failure in keeping collective security and international peace. Countries started isolating themselves and looking out for their own interest. The biggest failures of the League were the Manchurian crisis and Italy and Ethiopia proving that international peace was disintegrated. This disintegration thus led to appeasement. Third, although appeasement was proposed to avoid war, it did the opposite.

Germans and Hitler felt invincible, exploiting French and British weakness. Appeasement encouraged war and happily coincided with Hitler’s foreign policy. Last, a lack of continuity in German foreign policy through Hitler’s extreme ideology primarily brought on the war. His ideology of a purified race, extreme expansionism, his hatred of the Russians and want to overthrow the international system all account for a foreign policy that essentially let to the outbreak of the war. The Second World War would not have occurred without the phenomenon of Hitler. The collapse of international peace through the Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations and the policy of appeasement are indirectly origins of the Second World War; however Hitler and his foreign policy prove to be the primary cause of the outbreak.


1 C. Grove Haines & Ross J.S Hoffman, _The Origins and Background of the Second World War,_ (Oxford University Press, 1947) p. 92

2 Michael Howard, “Legacy of the First World War” in _Paths to War,_ (MacMillan, 1989) p. 52

3 Haines & Hoffman, _Origins and Background,_ p. 90

4 Haines & Hoffman, _Origins and Background,_ p. 400

5 Gordon Martel, _The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered,_ (Allen & Unwin, 1986) p. 141

6 Haines & Hoffman, _Origins and Background,_ p. 98

7 Adolf Hitler, _Mein Kampf,_ (Eher Verlag, 1925)

8 R.J Overy, _The Origins of the Second World War_, (Longman, 1998) p. 12

9 Haines & Hoffman, _Origins and Background,_ p. 134

10Eleanor L. Turk, _The History of Germany,_ (Greenwood Press, 1999) p. 120

11 Overy, _Origins of the Second World War_, p. 12

12 Overy, _Origins of the Second World War_, p. 15

13 Overy, _Origins of the Second World War,_ p. 16

14 Treaty of Versailles, 28 June 1919, Part I, _the Covenant of the League of Nations_ in [8], p. 59-60

15 Martel, _Origins Reconsidered,_ p. 141

16 Turk, _History of Germany,_ p. 124

17 Sidney Aster, “Guilty Men” in _Paths to War,_ (MacMillan, 1989), p. 239

18 Turk, _History of Germany,_ p. 126

19 Martel, Origins Reconsidered, p. 131

20 Ruth Henig, _The Origins of the Second War_, (New Perspective, 1997)

21 Adolf Hitler, _Mein Kampf,_ (Eher Verlag, 1925)

22 Ruth Henig, _The Origins of the Second War_, (New Perspective, 1997)

23 Ruth Henig, _The Origins of the Second War_, (New Perspective, 1997)

24 Ian Kershaw, _The Nazi Dictatorship_, (Edward Arnold, 1985) p. 123

25 Adolf Hitler, _Mein Kampf,_ (Eher Verlag, 1925)

26Ruth Henig, _The Origins of the Second War_, (New Perspective, 1997)

27Adolf Hitler, _Mein Kampf,_ (Eher Verlag, 1925)

28 Ruth Henig, _The Origins of the Second War_, (New Perspective, 1997)

29 Kershaw, _Nazi Dictatorship_, p. 111

30 Ruth Henig, _The Origins of the Second War_, (New Perspective, 1997)


C. Grove Haines & Ross J.S Hoffman, _The Origins and Background of the Second World War,_ New York: Oxford University Press, 1947.

Eleanor L. Turk, _The History of Germany,_ USA: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Gordon Martel, _The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered,_ London: Allen & Unwin, 1986

Ian Kershaw, _The Nazi Dictatorship_, New York: Edward Arnold, 1985

Michael Howard, “Legacy of the First World War” in _Paths to War,_ China: MacMillan, 1989.

Adolf Hitler, _Mein Kampf,_ Germany: Eher Verlag, 1925.

R.J Overy, _The Origins of the Second World War_, New York: Longman, 1998.

Ruth Henig, _The Origins of the Second War_, New Perspective, 1997.

Sidney Aster, “Guilty Men” in _Paths to War,_ China: MacMillan, 1989.

Treaty of Versailles, 28 June 1919, Part I, _the Covenant of the League of Nations_ in [8], p. 59-60

Essay on Hitler’s Foreign Policy Essay

The story of blima Essay

The story of blima Essay.

Blima is a young girl- 20 years old. Her highest education is 8th grade, which she has learned basic knowledge. She was currently working in a small bakery shop. It was the year 1936, where most girls are promised in marriage at a young age. Then there was Adele, she was like a twin sister and was stunning- piercing chestnut, brown eyes. Blima’s brother Zalman died at age 2. Blima had dropped him as a child which at that time, she wasn’t aware of what was going on.

In Poland in the year of 1936 much of Europe was in the grips of economic depression.

A lot of people were out of work because they were on the loosing side of World War 1. To even make matters worse Adolf Hitlerhad made a suggestion that the reason for all of Europe problems was because of the Jews. At the time everybody went along because they were happy to have somebody to blame for their issues.

he twentieth century witnessed some of the worst hostilities that have ever been witnessed in the history of human beings. It was also during this time that weapons of mass destruction were developed as people sought to beat humanity out of each other.

There were two World Wars that were fought, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and different other kinds of wars. Each nation and race was seeking for a niche on the global scene and as a result, dialogue was one of the methods that were poorly utilized to solve conflicts. There was also an element of segregation of certain communities in the society that were afflicted because of the faith, race or background. Among the worst affected communities were the Jewish communities that were fought hard in Europe in what is known as in the modern language as the holocaust.

Research Findings and DiscussionThere are different types of discrimination that were carried against the Jews that are identified by Shirley Russak Wachtel in her book ‘The Story of Blima: A Holocaust Survivor’. To begin, the Jewish people were discriminated against based on religion. The Nazis had a negative attitude towards the Jewish religion and as a result, anyone who identified with Jewish religion was persecuted either by being put in a crowded camp that had no excellent sanitation, water and food.

As a result of this, there are many Jews who converted to Christianity as a way of salvaging their lives from the blood-hungry Adolf Hitler. There are also other Jews who migrated to different areas throughout the world as a way of finding refuge where they could stay. Therefore, it was a crime for one to adhere to the Jewish religion. The German Nazis believed that the Jewish religion was a wicked religion and therefore it needed to be eliminated. On the other hand, Christianity too participated at great length in reinforcing the persecution of the Jews whom they believed were against God

The story of blima Essay

Italian and German Unification of 19th cenutry Essay

Italian and German Unification of 19th cenutry Essay.

In the 19th century both Italy and Germany were split into many separate ruling states. The German and Italian unification began with the rising tides of nationalism and liberalism. From nationalism a desire for unification was born. Italian Unification was more complex than German unification.

Italy had not been a single political unit since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. Italian Unification is referred to in Italian as the Risorgimento. The Italian Unification had three separate men that were working on unification of Italy: Guiseppe Mazzini, Count Camillo Cavour, and Guiseppe Garibaldi.

Cavour entered into a secret alliance with France, to kick out Austria from Italy, since he knew that the only way that Italian unification could take place is by kicking out the Austrians. Italian unification started with the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and ended with the Franco – Prussian war in 1871.

Germany, during the 19th century, was also fragmented. There was a nationalistic movement calling for the unification of Germany.

It was Bismarck who strengthened German unity and power by calling on the nationalistic thoughts of the German people. Bismarck was able to unite Germany through his policy of Realpolitik, or realistic politics. Bismarck was a strong proponent of “Blood and Iron”. Blood represented the sacrifices the German people would have to make in achieving the goal of unification, iron being the need to industrialize because Germany needed to catch up with the rest of Europe on technology and factory production. German power achieved through nationalism would foster a period of imperialization and would set the stage for the outbreak of World War I. The Unification of Germany took place on January 18, 1871, when Otto von Bismarck managed to unify independent states into one nation, this created the German Empire.

Nationalistic movements in Italy and Germany resulted in unified empires. By 1871, Europe was washed away with the rise of two newly united nations – the Kingdom of Italy and the German Empire.

Italian and German Unification of 19th cenutry Essay

Armistice: Nazi Germany and Gus Essay

Armistice: Nazi Germany and Gus Essay.

The persecution or unfair treatment of a race can have major affects on people of that nationality. It is almost as if they are experiencing it themselves. It can be very hard for someone outside of this race to understand these people’s feelings. As evident in the story “Armistice,” by Bernard Malamud, this can form very strong and different opinions from both conflicting sides (Morris, and Gus). Morris, being a Jewish man, has very conflicting perspectives than that of his acquaintance Gus (a man who sells meat for Morris’ business, also an American) concerning the occurrences and progress of WWII.

The punishing crusades of the Nazi’s on the Jewish people aroused many old and new emotions from Morris, which are insensitively exploited and deepened by Gus. Although neither of the two never actually experiences these incidences, it still heavily influences them both.

Many parallels may be drawn between the war and the tension between Gus and Morris. One connection that may be drawn is the similarity between Nazi and Gus; and also between Morris and France.

Just as Germany, Gus only sees the power and the “greatness” behind the objectives of the Nazi’s; whereas Morris sees that the consequences of this power are not worth it and that it should be stopped. As Gus marvels at this great power of the Nazi’s, Morris sees the sense in France’s retaliation. He feels the suffering of the people (because of his race) and wants it to stop whereas Gus regards it as forfeitable. This is a big difference in opinion and causes the main conflict between Gus and Morris.

Another correspondence that can be identified is the relations between them. Just as the Nazi’s had warned the French of losing everything (by losing their land), Gus reminds Morris of losing everything also. Again we see that far-reaching strength that “power” holds. Lastly, the Armistice is symbolic of both conflicts. The “temporary treaty” really doesn’t solve anything in either conflict. Morris and Gus’ Armistice left them both with no different feelings, just as the treaty between France and Germany solved nothing. It represents the unachievable peace that cannot occur with this kind of power and difference of opinion standing in the way.

Anti-Semitism and unfair treatment like this are existent even in today’s society. This writer believes that there is still probably much of this in the United States. Although over the years we have grown more intelligent, etc.; power, sovereignty and superiority still have the same effect on us as it did to the people during WWII. Even though our nation is founded on non-prejudice and free morals, power and etc.; can manipulate people, transforming them. Proof of these lies in the organization of people. People have formed racial “groups,” etc. Our nation can be as bad as the Nazi’s with the wrong “powerful” influence.

This example of anti-Semitism is disheartening to observe and learn about. People having to suffer due to other’s differences and “power trips.” The most saddening aspect of all of this is that this problem will probably never be totally rid of. The conflict between the two men (Gus and Morris) was never solved, only put on hold, just like the problem in the war. An Armistice is not a solution, it is a temporary storage.

Armistice: Nazi Germany and Gus Essay

The boy in the striped pajamas Essay

The boy in the striped pajamas Essay.

“Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences. ” The story of the boy in the striped pajamas deals with moral disagreement, desire for power, and racial discrimination that was at the heart of World War II. At the same time that everyone now sees the errors of the way of the German Soldiers we have to take into consideration the dominance that Hitler had during this war.

Anyone who crossed him was quickly beaten down for his/her decision, and this was made known to the public intentionally. I think that at the same time that you can clearly see the wrongdoing here of the commandant by contributing to the whole mess you also must take into consideration that he is trying to meet the standards of society while still protecting his family.

At this time period is was socially acceptable, in fact even encouraged, to talk badly about the Jews and encourage what was going on in the prison camps. As we see in the movie Bruno’s sister quickly learns to hate the Jews as the rest of society.

It is taught to her that they (the Germans) are the higher power and better race. Therefore she believes it, she is conforming to the thoughts of society. Bruno, however, is not old enough to understand the same ideas yet so he sees nothing wrong with them and has not yet learned to distinguish between them and have the same prejudice towards the Jews as the rest of the dominant group. I feel as though the functionalist perspective covered everything that went on during World War II. It had some good definitions on what was happening in each case in a sociological perspective.

“Cultural assimilation, or acculturation, occurs when members of an ethnic group adopt dominant-group traits, such as language, dress, values, religion, and food preferences. ” This concept is being used with the German people in the case of the story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The Germans are being forced to conform to the values and traits of the Nazi party. If the Germans don’t do so they are punished with the same cruelty that is used against their “Enemy” the Jews. Also coming from the functionalist perspective is racial segregation.

“Segregation is the spatial and social separation of categories of people by race, ethnicity, class, gender, and/or religion. ” There was a very strong portrayal of the racial segregation in the movie of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, there was a scene in the movie where one of the Jews from the concentration camps comes into Bruno’s home and the family was not only startled but also portrayed their disgust with him because of his race. You could very obviously tell that he was malnourished and we also saw some of the mistreatment and abuse in one of the scenes. All of this just because of race and the belief that one is superior to another.

The boy in the striped pajamas Essay