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Analyse Extracts 8 and 9 by Hildebrand and Watt. How far do you agree with the view that Hitler carefully planned out Germanys foreign policy years before he came to power?

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked Analyse and evaluate Extracts 8 and 9 and use your own knowledge of the issue to explain your answer to the following: How far do you agree with the view that Hitler carefully planned out Germany?s foreign policy years before he came to power? Extract 8 and 9 are different viewpoints. Watt writes in extract 9, that Hitler did not have a set programme of foreign policy and that Mein Kampf is simply his political ideas and methodologies. He says that Hitler was incapable of devising a long-term plan. Whilst Hildebrand believes that Hitler?s set programme for foreign policy can be seen clearly in Mein Kampf. Generally, historians take two different viewpoints. ?Structuralists? point out how external factors significantly affected Nazi foreign policy and how Hitler appears to be an opportunist who simply took advantage of events and timed his actions carefully. They would say that whilst Hitler had some vague ideology and aims for the Nazi party, these were not the main driving force in his decision making. ...read more.

Middle

In Mein Kampf Hitler also expresses his anti-Semitism which he did in fact act on in his policies, for example the Nuremburg laws, the removal of citizenship for all German Jews. In the war itself, he used his Blitzkrieg tactics which he had planned and achieved domination and lebensraum in France, Belgium and other countries. Watt believes that Hitler was incapable of a long-term plan and could not have had a step-by-step programme because external factors such as the actions of other countries, were unpredictable. For a start, most Germans felt anger towards the Versailles Treaty and all politicians wanted to overturn it, so it could be said that Hitler was just carrying on the same ideology that everyone could relate too. There is support for Watt?s point of view also in Mein Kampf. For example, Hitler thought the British were ?racially acceptable? and wanted to form an alliance with them. However when he tried to do so Britain declined so he had to adapt and change his foreign policy around this. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was weighing up the chances of the western powers going to war over Poland. Which suggests that maybe he did not intend for war at that time. During the Pact of Steel signed with fascist Italy in 1939, Mussolini agreed to supply Germany with his military forces in the event of a war but not until at least 1934. So this suggest that Hitler was not expecting a war so soon, nor was he as ready for one as he had hoped. Overall, there is more evidence that backs up Watt?s opinion in extract 9 than to support Hildebrand?s view in extract 8. However I think that there are elements of both that are true. Hitler was not incapable of long-term planning but rather he was incapable of following it. External factors were too significant in German foreign policy for Hitler to, as Hildebrand suggests, follow a programme he wrote in his autobiography Mein Kampf. Instead of following his aims through he had to change his plan almost all the time as he was reacting to external factors which were most probably the biggest factors he had to consider when making decisions. ...read more.

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