Hitler's Foreign Policy

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  • Created on: 02-04-13 07:41
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T o m a n ya t t h e t i m e ,a n d to ma n yh i sto ri a ns since,Hitler ' s policy
for eign
l ook ed l i k e a c o n t i n u a ti oo policies
nf th e e xp a n si onist of Bism ar ck and the
Kaiser. But wereappearances deceptive?
n 22 l:une 1941, Hitler's armies inr.aded
the Soviet Union. It was the clima;r of an
expansionistforeign policv that had driven
National Socia.lismsince its beginnings. It
marked the start of3 years ofoccupation that not The Brest-LitovskTreaty,
onlv killed millions and brought sutfering to 1914.
millions more, but also created the contert fbr the
svstematic genocide of Europe'sfews. . i.*
Yet this was not the flrst time Germany'-had Theeasternfront
on 7 November1917
sought to annexhuge swathes of easterru-Europe. {
In earlv 1918, the Treaw of Brest-Liroysk had Occupied by German .y::;:
I troopsin March1918, .gi:*at
fbrced the fle<lgling,Bolshevik regim-e.tocede I as a resultof the
much territorv'in a'peaieu'hich,if shor-glived,
rvas ^,\ Bolshevik-German treaty
' .Petrograd of Brest-Litovsk
certainlv harslrand.vindictive.The experience bf --=1 .:
defbat in Norr,mber 1918 meant, of coursc.that ''u , Jt
', .Moscow \
medicine shordythereafter.
l,l i'Rr!;
bl\ sJ "o=r,. q.'
Traditional.perspectives I-:*!'^ .,'Smolensk
ThesCnvo crucialmoments- the Treaw of Bres{,r -,--r ; it'1r'.:,
'. I ':',
Litor.sk and-Hitler's .*r.t on ,i. S-,i.t'Un -:i::?*-'
e POTAND "r):a
have tradirionallr'been at drc centre ofclebates. not
on continuiw in German fbreign policv in
..^- nineteenth-and nventiethcenturies. but on erJ"t-l
discussions of broadereconomic,socialand polit-
icalcontinuities{iom Bismarck to Hider. In I961. i'-
tbr example,Fritz Fischerpublishedhis highlv
studv of Germanl"s'grasptbr u'orld
pou'er' in the First World War, rvhich implied -
contran'to everwhingthat lVestGermanhistorians
had argued since 1945 - that Hitlcris tbreign
polio. had been rhe culminationof dec:rdes ot- ..
German imperialist expansionrsmgoiqg back to "\\
rhe Kniserrciah.Building on Fisiher'spioneering \,,
3 ia , r / S J i
t ork, historianssuci asHans-Ulrich lVehierargued,
i n r h e I 9 7 0 s t h a t H i d e r h , r db c e nt h e c n d p o i n r
,? <'<\ PERSIA
.1 =:11
v\\ a
' + 1-.
2002 iu
\ 4-t

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Nowadavs, historiansare lessinclinerl to stress
FINLAND lonq-term politicalcontinuidesfrom tl.re nineteenth
,/:- t-
centur\'.rnd tend to tbcus more on Nazism'sstatus
-ll^\* e-
o rs a revolutionarv ne\\ fbrce that brokc ii'ith the
;lr- +o u
v, traditions of the olci Prusso-Germtn conservatism.
.\ccordinqlr'. thel hrrverecendr beeu lessinclined
to stress continuities in Gernran foreign policr
DENMARK sincc I871. Historirrnsemphaslsethe flct th:rt thc
l q g r e s s i v eb i o l o e i c .…read more

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Key points
! f , f r i t e r ' sf o r e i g n m u s tb e p l a c e d
the broader context of German foreign policy
from 1871 to 1945.
!f, lowever,recentinterpretations havetended
to downplay the existence of long-term continu-
f o c u s i n ig o n t h e1 9 2 0 sa n d1 9 3 0 s .
.…read more

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in London.
1932-38 Ministerof foreignaffairs.
1937 Joined (NaziParty).
1946 Foundguiltyat Nuremberg wartrials
and imprisoned in Spandau
for 15 years,thoughreleased prema-
turelyjust beforehis death.
ibr cn.rtrrilc brsed ou r biologicrl-rirciirl lision ot
Germrrn sr-rprcnrlc\u hicir thc old Conservatilcs
clicl not. xt thc encl o1'the dar'. sh.rrc.
Hitle r's ibreicn l.rolicl u rs nraclc possiblc
br thc olci Conscrvltilcs in irs initiirl srilgcs. Fof irs
t r r r .…read more


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