Hitler’s USSR 4: Just Expansion (Historiographical debate)? AJP
Hitler’s aims and achievements Aims 1: Get all Germans reunited in a single state – Grossdeutschland, ein volk 2: Smash the treaty of Versailles and build a strong army 3: Get Lebensraum in the East 4: Just Expansion (Historiographical debate)? 5: Get All Jews out of Germany (final solution? ) 6: Total Control/Totalitarianism (Establish total power and total support) 7: Decrease unemployment and revive German economy for popular support and rearmament 8: Economic self-sufficiency (autarchy) : If the raison d’etre of the economy was to allow Hitler to fulfil his ideological ambitions through war then he ultimately failed 10: Nazi Family Values Creating a master race Aims and achievements 1: Get all Germans reunited in a single state – Grossdeutschland, Ein Volk March 1938 Austria annexed (Anschluss) September 1938: Sudeten annexed from Czechoslovakia September 1939: Regained German speaking part of Poland 2: Smash the treaty of Versailles and build a strong army By 1939: Army rebuild, reparations cancelled, Germany had regained land lost 1935: German Air Force “Luftwaffe” established 3: Get Lebensraum in the EastAugust 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact June 1941: Invasion of USSR 4: Just Expansion (Historiographical debate)? AJP Taylor argues that Hitler had no precise goals, just a desire for expansionism, and that his policies were characterised by opportunism.
Most historians (Bullock) reject this view arguing that 1924-25 onwards, when Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, clear objectives were evident, which he put into effect in the 1930s. • Sources for Hitler’s foreign aims: Twenty-Five Points (1920), Mein Kampf (1925), Four Year Plan Memorandum, Hossbach Memorandum. 5: Get All Jews out of Germany (final solution? ) 1935 September: Nuremburg Laws 938 October: Expulsion of 17,000 Polish Jews resident in Germany 1938 November: Kristallnacht: Destruction of Jewish shops, homes and synagogues – 100 killed, 20,000 sent to concentration camps 1939 April: Confiscation of all Jewish pupils from schools 1940: First deportation of Jews from certain German provinces 1941: Action squads of SS moved into Russia behind the advancing armies to round up and kill Jews 1942 January 20th Wansee Conference: Meeting of various government and Party agencies agreed to the “final solution” of the Jewish problem 1943 Summer: Transportation of Jews from all over German occupied Europe to death camps begun.Death of approximately 6 million Jews “This is a page of glory in our history which has not been written, and is never to be written” 6: Total Control/Totalitarianism (Establish total power and total support) 1: Although small in scale, opposition (Edelweiss Pirates, White Rose, SOPADE, KPD organisations in factories, Chief of Staff Ludwig Beck, Pastor Niemoller, Cardinal von Galen) remained but it was dealt with vigorously by Gestapo, SD, SS, SA and official police. : Cult of Personality was complete as was control of media (except small Socialist Action and the Catholic newspapers (until 1941)) and cultural activities (Swinger movement did listen to foreign music and wore English style clothing). 3: There was a strong control of people’s lives including the young ones who were obliged to join HJ 1939, and the women who were restricted on jobs (alternative groups did exist and Nazis failed to increase the birth-rates to the 1920 level).
: Economy was an area where Hitler never got complete control, partly because he needed the support of the industrialists. Many inside the party wanted a 2nd revolution (notably SA and their leader Ersnt Rohm) but the economic system continued in many ways the way it was: Schacht – a non-Nazi – was Reichsbank Minister and Reich Economics Minister until 1937, and private capitalism survived. Hitler sought to mobilise for total war (the total mobilisation of the economy to support a long war) but did not manage to achieve that until mid-1940s.He did however increase government spending on rearmament dramatically creating a very strong army 7: Decrease unemployment and revive German economy for popular support and rearmament Unemployment: By 1936 there was labour shortage. Public work schemes as for example the construction of a 7000km autobahn, and deficit financing, and rearmament.
However: Jews banned from statistics, 2 years conscription meant no unemployment for young men, women were encouraged to give up their jobs, Marxists were arrested “The Nazi economic miracle was statistical illution” – Kershaw Revive German Economy for war: ) 1939 GNP was 33% higher than in 1929 b) 66% of investment went on rearmament However: a) Economy not geared for total war 1939 b) Only under Albert Speer was there efficient co-ordination of war production – trebled war production in 2 years c) Inflationary pressures began to build from 1937 (partly why Schacht resigned as Economics Minister) i) Tim Mason has argued that Hitler went to war in order to escape a growing economic crisis 8: Economic self-sufficiency (autarchy) 936: Economic Four Year Plan 1: Prepare for war 2: Make Germany independent of foreign nations Germany was importing 70% of her fuel need 1940 30 % of raw materials were still imported 19 % of food requirements imported 1939 9: If the raison d’etre of the economy was to allow Hitler to fulfil his ideological ambitions through war then he ultimately failed Conclusion