Hilter's foreign policy - Hossbach Memorandum

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A BLUEPRINT FOR WAR? Hitler's Hossbach Memorandum
10 points:
1. The Hossbach Memorandum was the summary of a meeting on
November 5, 1937, between Hitler and his military and foreign policy
leadership where Hitler's future expansionist policies were outlined.
The meeting marked a turning point in Hitler's foreign policies, which
then began to radicalize. It outlined Hitler's plans for expansion in
Europe. According to the Memorandum, Hitler did not want war in 1939
with Britain and France. What he wanted was small wars of plunder to
help support Germany's struggling economy (although the Nazis never
let on about their financial problems). Hitler wanted a full-scale
European war with Britain and France between 1941-1944/5. It became
a key document for prosecution at the Nuremburg Tribunal.
2. It has been argued that it is simple American forgery. However,
evidence of the same photographic evidence of the memorandum were
sent to both Washington and London on the 25th and 11th of May,
respectively (`destroying this theory'). The theory continues to suggest
that Allied forces tampered with the evidence to remove certain points
made by Hossbach before the Tribunal. Kirchback's typescript was lost
before the trials - it cannot be proved that the photos sent were exact
photos. However, in present author's view there is little evidence for
doubting the authenticity of the photos.
3. One argument against it is that it was simply distraction from the
economic and that Hitler's words should not be taken seriously as they
were simply a `clever political device to make his audience look beyond
their immediate problems'. A.J.P. Taylor describes it as Hitler `evading
the decision by ranting in his usual fashion'.
4. Hitler broke with his Economics Minister Schacht after he advocated a
slower rearmament programme with expansion of foreign trade to build
up foreign currency reserves and a diplomatic campaign for the return
of German colonies - but Hitler was dead set on expanding into Europe,
not overseas (the Aryan race would be too thinly spread and it would be
hard to defend colonies against the Royal Navy). Goering replaced
Schacht and Hitler ordered that the economy and the armed forces
should be prepared for war in 4 years. Schacht left office soon after. The
meeting was held at just the moment when Hitler knew that he would
have to `grasp the nettle of Schacht's resignation'. This helps to explain
his dramatic and unexpected statement, arguably a `final reckoning with
Schacht, rejecting foreign trade'. A.J.P. Taylor once stated Hitler's
remarks were part of domestic political move.
5. During 1937, Hitler began to think about the first move against Austria
and Czechoslovakia. He talked to Goebbels of entering Vienna in
triumph and of overrunning Czechoslovakia. Even without the Schacht
crisis, he would have to take Neurath and the Chiefs of Staff into
confidence soon. On November 5th he determined to convince them that
his policy was both right and feasible.
6. His audience were against Schacht's plans for the colonies and for
foreign trade and they broadly accepted the case for expansion in

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Central Europe on national, strategic and economic grounds. He could
count on their support for his opening remarks. However, living space
was an absolute must for Hitler but only desirable to his audience. The
audience was divided over the risks ­ Neurath, Blomberg and Fritsch
dreaded the prospect of war with Britain and France and possible the
USSR over Czechoslovakia fearing having to face Britain and France's
overwhelming force again.…read more

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Hitler soon fired Blomberg, Neurath and Fritsch assuming the powers of War
Minister himself.…read more


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