Notes on Germany Foreign Policy


Influence of German History

- September program was drawn up by German government at the start of the First World War, set out to take over vast areas of Europe

- The Kaiser Wilhelm II's Weltpolitik of colonial expansion prior to 1914 - was also based upon racist assumptions

-Idea that German people needed Lebensraum to expand into. Also included desire to conquer territory in East Europe and in Russia, was very popular prior to 1914

- Anti-semitim and other types of racism had a long history in Germany- ideas about racial purity was very common

-Idea that all German people should be united in one country was held by some in pre war germany and some german speakers in the Austro-Hungarian Empire


Some people argue these European countries were imperialist and racist in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  

Hitlers role in shaping foreign policy

Hitler wanted Lebensraum and to overturn the treaty of versailles 

He expanded the German military, annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia before invading Poland. His vision was of a racially pure Germany, supported by satelite states. 

Hitler made decision to redirect economic policy from 1936 for preparations for large-scale war. In 1936 he remilitarised the Rhineland- breaching the Treaty of Versailles. 

In 1938 Hitler and Goering were behind decision to annex Austria, Hitler also steered his generals towards preparation for large scale war from 1938 and purged any who didnt support him during the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair.

-Nazi 25 point plan published in 1920 - demanded abolition of treaty of versailles and land for germany to colonise

-Mein Kampf set out Hitlers vision for Lebensraum in Eastern Europe

-Hitlers second book written in 1928 (published after his death) set out his stufenplan - step by step plan which aimed to make Germany a world power

-The four year plan introduced in 1936 in order to get Germany ready for war in the early 1940's

-The hossbach memorandum, Hitlers conversation with generals in 1937, set out hitlers vision for Anschluss adn the destruction of czechoslovakia by 1945

-Hitler unsure of how Britain and France would…


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