Hitler's War Aims: The Establishment of the New Order - Vol. 2

Hitler's War Aims: The Establishment of the New Order - Vol. 2

Hitler's War Aims: The Establishment of the New Order - Vol. 2

Hitler's War Aims: The Establishment of the New Order - Vol. 2

Excerpt

In his ideological textbook Mein Kampf, Hitler had set forth clearly and unequivocally his plans for the future of Germany and Europe. Very simply, these plans amounted to the establishment of a pan-German racial state from which non-Aryans were to be excluded and whose future was to be secured by the conquest of Lebensraum in Eastern Europe, largely at the expense of Russia. Before the conquest of Russia could be undertaken, however, the military power of France was to be eliminated, for Hitler believed he could never risk a major military commitment in Eastern Europe while France remained in a position to stab Germany in the back.

In the policies he actually pursued after he came to power, Hitler seemed to adhere to his original ideological program with terrifying consistency. He set out at once to eliminate non-Aryans from German national life; he launched a massive program of remilitarization to prepare Germany for its career of conquest; with the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland, he laid the foundations for his pan-German state; he began the process of German expansion into Eastern Europe with the conquest of Poland; he destroyed the military power of France; and at last he embarked on what he had declared to be the major goal of his expansionist program, the conquest of Russia.

Yet many of Hitler's policies, far from being part of a consistent ideological pattern, not only failed to fit into that pattern but seemed an outright repudiation of his ideological program. He had advocated an alliance with England, but instead went to war with England. He had championed the concept of Germanic solidarity, yet he ruthlessly attacked Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands. He had repudiated the policies of former German rulers who had sought to extend German territorial dominion to the south and west, yet he sent his own armies to the frontiers of Spain and to North Africa, to Yugoslavia and Greece. He...

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