1. What were Hitler’s foreign policy goals, and what steps did he take to achieve them between 1933 and 1939? How did Japan’s policies lead to war in Asia?
Hitler presented several possible foreign policy goals. First, he suggested that Germany could renounce setting a foreign policy goal at all. That meant that in reality Germany could decide to do what it wanted and be committed to nothing—he rejected this goal. Second, he suggested that “Germany positively affect the sustenance of the German people by peaceful economic means, as up to now. Accordingly even in the future she will participate most decisively in world industry, export and trade…. From a folkish standpoint setting this foreign policy aim is calamitous and it is madness from the point of view of power politics” (Spielvogel 851). He did not believe in this goal either. Third, Hitler suggested “Germany establishes the restoration of the borders of the year 1914 as her foreign policy aim. This goal is insufficient from a national standpoint, unsatisfactory from military point of view, impossible from a folkish standpoint with its eye on the future, and mad from the viewpoint of its consequences” (Spielvogel 851). Hitler did not want to support this foreign policy goal either. Last, Hitler proposed that “Germany decides to go over to a clear, far-seeing territorial policy. Thereby she abandons all attempts at world-industry and world-trade and instead concentrates on all her strength in order through the allotment of sufficient living space for the next hundred years to our people, also to prescribe a path of life. Since this territory can be only in the East, the obligation to be a naval power also recedes into the background. Germany tries anew to champion her interests through the formation of a decisive power on land.” Hitler believed in the doctrine of Lebensraum, which advocated that nations must find sufficient living space to be strong.
Hitler’s ability to rearm Germany and fulfill his expansionist policies depended initially on whether he could convince others that his intentions were peaceful. Posing as a man of peace in his public speeches, he pretended Germany wished only to revise unfair provisions of Versailles.
Hitler took several steps to increase the living space of Germans. First, he built up and rearmed the German military. The repudiation of the disarmament clauses of the Versailles treaty brought a swift reaction as France and the others condemned Germany’s action and warned against future aggressive steps. Nothing concrete was done. Hitler also withdrew Germany from the Geneva Disarmament Conference and League of Nations for domestic political reasons, to give Germans the feeling that their country was no longer dominated by other European states. The Germans developed a new type of warfare, Blitzkrieg, lightning war. It depended on mechanized columns and massive air power to cut quickly across battle lines and encircle and annihilate entire armies....