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


Germany, not as an ally, but as a state destined to the same fate."27 Thus, expanding eastward not only allowed Germany to accommodate its population, it also allowed the German race to eliminate its largest threat.

To accomplish eastern expansion, Hitler's foreign policy in the 1930s was geared first toward annexing Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia and Poland. Achieving this would be no easy task at a time when Britain and France were wary of a German military revival following the horrors of World War I. Therefore, at first Hitler proceeded cautiously,28 testing the waters slowly. He then became increasingly defiant and strong willed after gaining more confidence that the democracies would not interfere with his policies. One of the first major foreign policy moves Hitler made was announcing German rearmament in 1935. This caused concern among Britain, France, and Italy, who subsequently formed the Stresa Front against Germany. Although the Stresa Front amounted to hollow threats, Germany was wary of its isolation; the next time, Hitler would act more cautiously. In 1936, Germany remilitarized the Rhineland, violating the Locarno Treaty of 1925. Yet Hitler this time had chosen to wait until Britain and France were distracted - a theme that would be repeated - with Italy's war of conquest in Ethiopia. Britain and France were indeed caught off guard, and internal division and fear of war caused them to refrain from action against Germany.29 Then later that year in July, Franco asked Hitler to send him transport aircraft so that he might be able to move his troops from Spanish Morocco to Spain. Hitler saw an opportunity to divert the democracies' attention from Germany for the time being and he also saw the threat of

27. Ibid., 661.
28. Noakes and Pridham, 664.
29. Ibid., 669.
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