name = Glen R. Hees
email = SigmaChi25
publish = yes
subject = World Civ
title = Hitler’s Weltanschauung (World View)
In the early quarter of the twentieth century, a young man was
beginning to fill his mind with ideas of a unification of all Germanic countries.
That young man was Adolf Hitler, and what he learned in his youth would surface
again as he struggled to become the leader of this movement. Hitler formed
views of countries and even certain cities early in his life, those views often
affecting his dictation of foreign policy as he grew older.What was Hitler’s
view of the world before the Nazi Party came to power? Based in large part
on incidents occurring in his boyhood, Hitler’s view included the belief that
Jews should be eliminated, and that European countries were merely pawns for
him to use in his game of world dominion.
Adolf Hitler grew up the son of
a respectable imperial customhouse official, who refused to let his son do
what he was most interested in–art. Hitler never excelled in school, and
took interest only in art, gymnastics and a casual interest in geography and
history due to a liking he had taken to his teacher. It was his history teacher
who would fill Adolf’s mind with a simple thought: ?The day will come, that
all of us, of German descent, will once more belong to one mighty Teutonic
nation that will stretch from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, just like the
Empire of the Middle Ages, and that will stand supreme among the peoples of
this earth.?Already the young Adolf could envision himself in such a position.
Much of the ideology that Adolf Hitler used was not original by any means.
There were many thinkers and writers who laid the groundwork for what would
become not just Hitler’s, but the Nazi Party’s Weltanschauung (world view).
Three primary writers were Dietrich Eckart, editor of a harshly anti-Semitic
periodical, Auf gut deutsch (Agd), Alfred Rosenberg, a Baltic German and contributor
to Agd, and Gottfried Feder, an opponent of finance capitalism. These three
men molded the political outlook of the German Worker’s Party before Hitler
encountered it in 1919, and would become quite influential in Adolf’s ideology.
Rosenberg contributed largely to Hitler’s view of the Jews on an international
perspective, suggesting the existence of a Jewish conspiracy to overthrow established
nation-states on a worldwide scale. In 1924, Hitler proclaimed that he had
departed from Vienna as an absolute anti-Semitic, a deadly enemy of the whole
Marxist outlook, and as a Pan-German in his political persuasion. The Pan-Ger
movement was dedicated to achieving the defense and fortification of the German
Volk (people) everywhere in the world.
The elimination of the Jews was
but one item on Hitler’s agenda, however. Hitler wanted to do away with the
Versailles Treaty which he saw as criminal. He also believed that Germany
should not ally itself with any other nation, except perhaps Italy and England.
Italy, because of its Fascist regime under Mussolini, and England, because
it could be considered a Nordic region.While he would go on to ally himself
with Italy, his views of these two nations would change drastically later.
As for other European nations, Hitler’s idea of expansionism laid the groundwork
for his relations with them. Lebensraum or living-space, which Hitler mentioned
in his book Mein Kampf, had been a key concept for German National Socialists.
It was an old concept, not inconsistent with beliefs held since the middle
ages. Hitler believed that an increase in his country’s living-space would
effectively improve the health and well-being of his Volk.As Hitler stated
in his Secret Book: ?A healthy foreign policy therefore
will always keep
the winning of the basis of a people’s sustenance immovably in sight as its
Hitler was very hostile towards France and saw the French
as a hereditary enemy that was always looking for a chance to annex the left
bank of the Rhine so as to have a ?natural? frontier with Germany. Hitler
was ready to support a war against France at any time and any cost.
was portrayed as one of Germany’s absolute enemies, even though Hitler had
considered making an alliance at one point. Hitler thought that England had
been the Weltmacht, or world power for too long and was not a worthy ally because
they assisted the Jewish cause and had allowed Jews to hold influential positions
within the state. Hitler also said that the British people had a reason to
be proud though, because even though they were only a people of a few million,
they ruled practically 1/5 of the earth. This, Hitler claimed, had to do with
racial purity, British national feeling, and its ability to turn conquered
enemies into friends. He was especially impressed with the British idea that
?might makes right.?
In contrast, Russia was not considered an absolute
enemy of Germany, but was rather an enemy because of unfortunate situations
on their part. Hitler maintained that war had never really been necessary
between Russia and Germany, that there was no real conflict of interests.
He also maintained that Russia had become Germany’s enemy only because of Austria
and the failure to renew Bismarck’s Reinsurance Treaty with the Russians.
Although Hitler did not see Russia as an absolute enemy, he did despise the
Russians, whom he saw as inferior people because of their Slavic origins.
Hitler saw the government run by Jewish capitalists as well, which only made
him despise them more.
Italy was in the same category as Russia in Hitler’s
view. He again blamed poor relations on the Austrians. Hitler’s main reason
for an alliance with Italy would be to use it to destroy the Versailles Treaty.
His desire to ?liberate? Germans living in South Tyrol from Italian rule did
not do much for Italo-German relations.On the other hand, Italy was concerned
about an alliance with Germany because of the possibility of a German-Austrian
Anschluss. There was a contradiction between Hitler’s suggestion of an Italo-German
alliance and his Grossdeutsch ambitions for Germany.
America, like France
and England, was seen as Germany’s absolute enemy because of its opposition
to Germany’s becoming a major world power. Hitler theorized that England opposed
this for fear of losing its own stand in the world powers, France because it
wanted to settle old scores, and America in order to protect investments in
the Entente nations.
Japan did not fit into a category in Hitler’s view,
because he felt that there was no conflict of interests if Japan wanted to
keep the whites out of Asia. It is unclear whether Hitler was saving the possibility
of an alliance with Japan later, or if he had racial qualms concerning an alliance
with a non-white nation. Either way, Japan did not play an extensive role
in Hitler’s view of the world in the pre-war period, although Hitler had insisted
that an alliance with Japan could help lead Germany ?into a new future.? Hitler
saw the Japanese in a similar light as the Germans; hard-working, martially
aware, racially unspoiled and with little living space.While he showed
restraint in advocating an alliance, Hitler recognized the strategic value
of Japan on the Russian front.
Such was the outlook of Hitler in the years
before power. His emerging Weltanschauung was due to the ingestion of Pan-German
propaganda in his youth. His ideas of Lebensraum were less economic in nature,
but rather slogans of Pan-German coinage. His entire foreign policy was based
upon his beliefs and views of the country in question, and what he could manipulate
out of that country. I do not believe that Hitler had uncontested world dominion
in mind before his party came into power. His views and beliefs in regards
to other countries, however, certainly show that his thoughts were leaning
in that direction. One man’s outlook would soon become a nation’s driving
Bormann, Martin. Collector. Hitler’s Secret
Conversations. Introduction: H.R. Trevor-Roper. Trans. Norman Cameron and
R.H. Stevens. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Young, 1953.
de Roussy de
Sales, Raoul, ed. Adolf Hitler: My New Order. Introduction: Raymond Gram Swing.
New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1941.
Gilbert, Felix. Hitler Directs His
War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1950.
Hillgruber, A., ?England’s
Place in Hitler’s Plans for World Dominion,? The Journal of Contemporary History
9 (January 1974): 5-22.
Robertson, E.M. Hitler’s Pre-War Policy and Military
Plans 1933-1939. New York: The Citadel Press, 1963.
Hitler and the Quest for World Dominion. Hamburg: Berg Publishers, Ltd., 1986.
Telford. Compiler. Hitler’s Secret Book. Introduction: Telford Taylor. Trans.
Salvator Attanasio. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1961.
van Loon, Hendrik
W. Our Battle. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1938.
Waddington, G.T., ?Hassgegner:
German Views of Great Britain in the Later 1930s,? History: The Journal of
the Historical Association 88 (January 1996): 22-39.
A. Introduction: In the early quarter of the 20th century,
a young man was beginning to fill his mind with ideas of a unification of all
Germanic countries. That young man was Adolf Hitler, and what he learned in
his youth would surface again as he struggled to become the leader of this
movement. Hitler formed views of countries and even certain cities early in
his life, those views often affecting his dictation of foreign policy as he
grew older.What was Hitler’s view of the world before the Nazi Party came
to power? Based in large part on incidents occurring in his boyhood, Hitler’s
view included the belief that Jews should be eliminated, and that European
countries were merely pawns for him to use in his game of world dominion.
1. Background Information
(a) Adolf growing up, and influences
First idea for new German Empire
2. Groundwork for Ideology
i. Rosenberg, Feder, and Eckart
(b) The Pan-German
3. Basic Ideas of Hitler
(a) Elimination of Jews
(d) Expansionism (Lebensraum)
Hitler’s View of Major Powers in Europe, and America
1. Weltanschauung due to Pan-German propaganda
3. World Dominion