WWI ended in such a way that, though the fighting had stopped, the conflict was not totally resolved. The treaty of Versailles left the countries that signed it in a terrible position. This, and the fact that most countries went through a depression in the 20s left a perfect path to WWII.
WWI was ended on an armistice, the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty left Germany completely crippled. It would not allow for a strong army, and almost guaranteed a horrific economy, due to the money they owed for taking responsibility for the war. From the Treaty of Versailles, "The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage." This allowed them to tie countless other demands into the treaty, since it was all Germany's fault to begin with.
One of the conditions of the treaty forced Germany to pay for all the losses they caused the allied nations. This naturally kept Germany from properly repairing their economy, which sent them into one of the worst depressions of all time. From "The Economic Consequences of Peace", "The danger confronting us, therefore, is the rapid depression of the standard of life of the European populations to a point which will mean actual starvation for some." Only fourteen years later, in 1933, this came to be true, as mentioned in "With Germany’s Unemployed", "An almost unbroken chain of homeless men extends the whole length of the great Hamburg-Berlin highway. Whole families had piled all their goods into baby carriages and wheelbarrows that they were pushing along as they plodded forward in dumb despair. It was a whole nation on the march…."
This left a the people desperate for a leader. They would follow anyone who would get them jobs, and food. They no longer had options, this was the perfect opening for a man like Adolf Hitler. He simply blamed the Jew for the problems, and started public works projects. As he said in...