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Hitler's Foreign Policy

Uploaded by mzahn on Oct 24, 2001

Question: Discuss Hitler’s eventual gaining of Lebensraum. Was it mealy oppurtunistic or astutely planned?

The argument that Hitler’s objectives were to expand the Reich is one that cannot be argued against. In 1920 the German Workers’ Party changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party ( or the Nazi party ). It also published its manifesto ; “We demand ....the revocation of peace treaties. We demand land and territory to feed our people and settle our surplus population.” Again 17 years in an address known as the ‘Hossbach memorandum’ Hitler stressed his goal that gains in land mass must be made. There can be no argument that Hitler and the Nazi’s were primarily seeking land. Hitler’s eventual gaining of land around Europe is a subject of ongoing debate. Did Hitler plan the expansion of the Reich or was this goal of his carried out by fortunate circumstances. It essential to concentrate on Hitler’s own words to gain insight into this question.

This essay will focus on two reputable historians who have strong arguments for and against the question at hand. A J P Taylor presents an argument that Hitler “ ..did not make plans- for world conquest or anything else. He assumed that others would provide opportunities and that he would seize them.” H. R. Trevor- Roper has put forth an aggressive critique on Taylor’s notable work ‘The Origins of the Second World War’ that supports the oppurtunistic argument. Trevor - Roper dismissing his view as poorly researched and prematurely dismissing evidence that sways against his view.

Although theses historians will be used to support the respective arguments personal research will make up the main structures, as there seems to be countless amounts of information that these historians have missed. The contemporary historic community seems fairly divided with a slight slant towards a more structuralist approach. In the later parts of the analyses the two fundamentals of the arguments will be presented with a personal conclusion drawn.

In 1920 the German Workers’ Party changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party ( or the Nazi party ). It also published its manifesto. Policies two and three portray particular relevance to the topic at hand. “ We demand....the revocation of the peace treaties. We demand land and territory ( colonies) to feed our people and to settle our surplus population.”

Hitler and the Nazi’s always had the premise objectives to...

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Uploaded by:   mzahn

Date:   10/24/2001

Category:   Nazi Germany

Length:   15 pages (3,307 words)

Views:   3029

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