History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 1995: Q.5 (d)
Q.5 (d) There was an element of system in Hitler’s foreign policy…. .His outlook was continental.” Comment.
It is said that in foreign policy, Hitler acted according to the circumstances – without a plan or a grand design. But according to the historian Taylor, there was one element which was always present in his foreign policy thinking and that was continental outlook of his foreign policy.
Why Hitler’s foreign policy had continental outlook?
(1) The main aim of Hitler’s foreign policy was to provide a continental base for Germany — to have a vast territories in the Motherland for German people, not in the colonies. Hitler wanted such a continental base for Germany in Eastern Europe and vast stretches of Russia. But before this could be done, France, which did not want Germany to be a power, would have to be crushed.
(2) One could attribute this continental outlook of Hitler’s foreign policy can be attributed to Hitler’s Austrian origin, which was far from the ocean.
How Hitler’s foreign policy had continental outlook?
(1) Hitler’s ambitions were restricted to Europe, to be more precise, to Eastern Europe. He wanted the East back into the German sphere of influence — Austria, Poland, Ukraine, the spoils from Brest-Litovsk. Then he wanted to conquer Russia.
The Eastern expansion was the primary goal of Hitler’s foreign policy, if not the only one.
(2) Hitler did not revive the ‘World Policy’ which Germany had persued before 1914. He made no plans for great battle fleet for other part of the world.
(3) He did not have grievances over lost colonies after the defeat in the First World War.
(4) He had opportunity to conquer the Middle East after the defeat of France in 1940 but he showed no interest.
(5) Earlier he did not wish to destroy the British Empire. Sometimes he did talk about colonies but only as a device for embarrasing the British.
Some historians say that Hitlers long term goal was global conquest. They consodered Hitler’s policy lf conquest as advancing in the stages.
Some historians described that Hitler’s ultimate goal was the recreation of Aryan eletes who would rule the world.