Hello! I was wondering what role Appeasement had in the rise of Fascism and the Nazi Party between 1920-1933?
Appeasement usually refers to the policy adopted by England and France in the 1930s of not intervening militarily as Hitler added more territory to the Reich. Most notoriously, it is used to describe England and France allowing Germany to absorb their ally Czechoslovakia in 1938, in order to avoid war; Also, a powerful, fascist Germany was perceived as a reliable buffer between Western Europe and the Soviet Union.
Until late January of 1933, Hitler had limited political power in Germany, so appeasement of him as an international diplomatic tool was not yet in play. However, both within and without Germany, some of the same rationales that drove appeasement in the 1930s were in play. Many in-power elites, inside and outside the German state, saw fascism and the Nazi Party as a preferable alternative to communism, which they greatly feared would spread. So, in many ways, Hitler was "appeased" in the 1920s, facilitating his rise to power. For example, though sentenced to five years in prison for his attempt at a coup in late 1923, he was released after less than year. While in prison, he was "appeased" by being kept in comfortable conditions and allowed to keep up his political contacts. This definitely cast him in a favorable light and aided his rise to power.