Tom Goldstein,"Nazi Germany and the Spanish Civil War:
Continuity in Hitler's Foreign Policy"


Hitler's Foreign Policy

The basic goal of Hitler's foreign policy as outlined in Mein Kampf and subsequently carried out in the 1930's was German expansion to the east and the (re)incorporation into the German Reich of all ethnic Germans, particularly those Germans in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. On the very first page of Mein Kampf Hitler declares, "German-Austria must return to the great German mother country . . . One blood demands one Reich."22 Regarding the need for expansion in the east, Hitler writes, "Only an adequately large space on this earth assures a nation of freedom of existence [his emphasis] . . . If we speak of soil in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states."23 Driving this goal was Hitler's belief in the supremacy of the German or Aryan race. He writes, "He [the Aryan] is the Prometheus of mankind from whose bright forehead the divine spark of genius has sprung at all times."24 Hitler also held the conviction that Germany would need to expand to be able to accommodate a growing German population.25

The east was a logical choice for Hitler given the other driving force of his ideology - racism predicated on hatred of Jews, Slavs, and Communists. To Hitler, the supremacy of the Aryan race required the elimination of all competing races, and the race that was the most threatening to the Aryans was the Jewish race, which Hitler compared to "parasites."26 To him they were the lowest race imaginable. According to Hitler, the Jews were bent on world domination and their heartland was Communist Russia - indeed, he often referred to Communism as "Jewish Bolshevism." He therefore warns, "Do not forget that the international Jew who completely dominates Russia today regards

22. Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972), 3.
23. Ibid., 643, 654.
24. Ibid., 290.
25. Ibid., 643
26. Ibid., 305.
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