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Germany Declares War on the United States

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Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Adolf Hitler had agreed with Japan that Germany would join them in their war with the United States. At the time of the agreement, however, Hitler was unsure of how it would all come together. Japan soon solved the mystery for him when they bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. On December 8, 1941, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was called on by Ambassador Oshima of Japan. Rather than immediately agree to the ambassador’s request, von Ribbentrop postponed his answer. According to the text of the Tripartite Pact, Germany would come to Japan’s aid if Japan was attacked by an enemy combatant. In this situation, however, Japan had been the aggressor. (The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Axis Pact or Three-Power Pact, was signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940. The pact established World War II’s Axis Powers – composed of Germany, Japan and Italy.) Ribbentrop was concerned with the idea of including the United States into Germany’s growing list of antagonists. He feared by doing so, the German war effort would be rapidly overwhelmed. Hitler, however, had a totally different mindset. By his way of thinking, if Germany did not move swiftly, the United States could possibly gain the upper hand and declare war first. Part of this concern was due to the fact the U.S. had already begun aggressive behavior towards Germany’s U-boats (submarines). He also loathed the remarks by President Roosevelt (FDR) regarding Hitler’s Nazi mindset. Add to this, Russia continuously occupied Hitler’s thoughts. He apparently felt Japan was capable of defeating the United States on its own – believing the island nation to be far more powerful than its true potential. According to his rational, Japan would take care of the pesky United States and then help Hitler conquer the Russian bear. With this strategy in mind, on December 11th at 3:30 p.m. Berlin time, Germany’s charge d’affaires, based in Washington, D.C., presented a declaration of war to Cordell Hull, America’s Secretary of State. While his charge d’affaire was busy in Washington, Hitler immediately went on the defensive and addressed the Bundestag (Federal Assembly). He blamed the act of war on Roosevelt’s New Deal. Hitler declared this program to be a failure due to the fact it was supported by Jews and plutocrats (people whose power is derived from their wealth) – never mind the fact his own economic situation was bordering on collapse. Hitler declared, “First he (Roosevelt) incited war, then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war.” At the close of this statement to those assembled, a deafening applause was heard as the crowd quickly rose to its feet. Hitler’s remarks about FDR inciting war is a perfect example of someone pointing an accusing finger at someone else, while ignoring the three others pointing back at him. In this case, Hitler was responsible for beginning World War II when he chose to invade Poland on September 1, 1939. “The man who has no sense of history is like a man who has no ears or eyes.”



Adolf Hitler

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