The Rome-Berlin Axis 1936-1939

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Martin Cornelius Frydsholt Lausten
4. term, History, Master (Master Programme)
The Rome-Berlin Axis 1936-1939

When the English ambassador Nevile Henderson arrived at the foreign ministry to deliver the declaration of war on September 3. he inadvertently got into a disagreement with the foreign minister von Ribbentrop. Both men claimed that their country weren’t responsible for the outbreak of the war and that history would subsequently judge the guilty part. The same thing happened hours later with the French ambassador, he and von Ribbentrop also called upon history to judge the guilty part.

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg found that Hitler and the Nazi-regime had deliberately prepared, planned and initiated a war of aggression and thus found the leaders of the regime guilty of crimes against peace. In the sentencing, the Tribunal emphasized that the seizure of Austria and Czechkoslovakia and that the war against Poland did not come out of the blue, but that these actions were carefully prepared in accordance with a predetermined plan revealed in the thousands of documents confiscated by the Allies in the last weeks of the war.
Since then historians have debated the foreign policy of nazi-Germany and fascist-Italy. Did Hitler and Mussolini have a foreign policy programme which they followed or where they opportunists that simple used the possibilities as they came along?

The thesis will discuss the Tribunal’s postulate that the Axis powers cooperated to overthrow the existing world order.

The thesis will use the ongoing debate of functionalist vs. intentionalist as a springboard before focusing on key episodes such as the Hossbachconference and Anschluss to analyse to what, if any extent, the Axis powers cooperated.

The Axis Alliance existed from its creation on two levels, what the outside world could see, hear and read and what the two regimes were doing behind the façade. Outwardly the façade was net and polished, the top of each regime complimented and supported each other with public statements, but behind the façade, the ideological community was reduced to indifference, both parties were distrustful and the relationship was marked by deep tensions and intense rivalry in an attempt to achieve supremacy and therefore there was never any kind of cooperation.
LanguageDanish
Publication date31 May 2022
Number of pages54
ID: 471783236