Historians have disagreed about the causes of the Second World War. What is your view about the extent to which Hitler’s foreign policy was responsible for explaining the outbreak of the Second World War?In his article, ‘Did Hitler want a world dominion?’, Milan Hauner argues that through his foreign policy Hitler planned to achieve a world dominion through three stages of calculated campaigns which would eventually spread over the globe. Hauners entire argument is based on the idea that, through his policies, Hitler had a preconceived plan for world domination through his use of a stage by stage programme. For example, Hauner states that ‘even between 1919 and 1928 he had already developed a certain set of ideas about Germany’s role in the world – the ‘Programme’ – which he consistently held until the end of his life.’ This suggests that, even before he became chancellor, Hitler had a consistent plan for expansion and domination which eventually led to war, with Hauner believing he had a long term stage by stage plan rather than a short term course of action. This argument is supported by intentionalist historians who believe Hitler followed a plan that was always intended to lead to war. They support this through the view that Hitler’s architecture encompasses the grandeur that would be seen in the future World Empire. Similarly his argument is further corroborated by Winston Churchill who, in a statement to the House of Commons in March 1938, said that ‘Europe was confronted with a programme of aggression, nicely calculated and timed, unfolding stage by stage.’ This view can also be verified through Hauners use and application of evidence. For example, part of the programme includes the idea of short blitzkriegs, lighting wars, set to conquer quickly, allowing Germany to go to war as Hitler wanted, whilst avoiding any possibility of war on two fronts. Hauner mentions the scale of German armaments in 1938-1939 which made up 16.5% of the countries GNP, more than double the amount of France and Britain. The extent of these rearmaments would not have been sufficient for a war on two fronts but would have been enough for short bursts intended to conquer. Furthermore, Hitler’s rearmaments suggest that he always planned to go to war in a bid to achieve the different stages in programme that ended in German world domination. This ‘programme’ of war led to the start of the Second World War in many ways. Hitler had a preconceived set of aims, making up the programme, which always intended to lead to war. After gaining power Hitler immediately abandoned the law set in the Treaty of Versailles which ¬†would have antagonised Britain and France, pushing them closer to war. Hitler also made a conscious effort to rearm, illustrating his knowledge that Europe would go to war in the near future. The evidence used adds weight to this argument as it suggests that Hauners argument is based off clear supporting evidence as well as corroboration from other historians. Therefore, it seems rational to believe that Hitler had preconceived stage by stage plan, adding support to the argument that Hitler’s foreign policy played a key role in the outbreak of the Second World War. Hauner not only highlights the importance of Hitler’s ‘Programme’ of war, but also argues that Hitler’s preconceived foreign policy took two forms, racial ideology and the desire for Lebensraum, which would ultimately lead him to war. For example Hauner states that Hitler’s ‘racial motivation played the decisive part, for only the submission of Russia could help Germany established the so called Lebensraum – the future living space for German colonists who were to move in only after the extermination squads had dealt with the Jews’. This suggests that Hitler’s foreign policy contained two fundamental elements which angered him enough to motivate his ¬†preconceived war aims. This view is supported by Rudolf Binion who analysed Hitler’s psychological power of Germany and identified two aggressors of Hitler’s personality which effected his politics:Personal experience of anti semitism when his mother died after being treated by a Jewish doctor. Collective experience of the loss of the First world War which angered Hitler and most Germans. Made him passionately against the soviet revolution happening in Russia. Led to his want of living space which had been taken during the Treaty of Versailles in 1918.

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