The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Launching of Wars of Aggression
(Part 4 of 14)

After this somewhat jumbled discussion of geopolitical economic theory and of the need for expansion and "Lebensraum", Adolf Hitler, in these Hossbach notes, posed a question and proceeded to answer it:

"The question for Germany is where the greatest possible conquest could be made at lowest cost.

"German politics must reckon with its two hateful enemies, England and France, to whom a strong German colossus in the center of Europe would be intolerable. Both these states would oppose a further reinforcement of Germany, both in Europe and overseas, and in this opposition they would have the support of all parties. Both countries would view the

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building of German military strong points overseas as a threat to their overseas communications, as a security measure for German commerce, and retrospectively a strengthening of the German position in Europe.

"England is not in a position to cede any of her colonial possessions to us owing to the resistance which she experiences in the Dominions. After the loss of prestige which England has suffered owing to the transfer of Abyssinia to Italian ownership, a return of East Africa can no longer be expected. Any resistance on England's part would at best consist in the readiness to satisfy our colonial claims by taking away colonies which at the present moment are not in British hands, for example, Angola. French favors would probably be of the same nature.

"A serious discussion regarding the return of colonies to us could be considered only at a time when England is in a state of emergency and the German Reich is strong and well armed. The Fuehrer does not share the opinion that the Empire is unshakeable.

"Resistance against the Empire is to be found less in conquered territories than amongst its competitors. The British Empire and the Roman Empire cannot be compared with one another in regard to durability; after the Punic Wars the latter did not have a serious political enemy. Only the dissolving effects which originated in Christendom, and the signs of age which creep into all states, made it possible for the Ancient Germans to subjugate Ancient Rome.

"Alongside the British Empire today a number of States exist which are stronger than it. The British Mother Country is able to defend its colonial possession only allied with other states and not by its own power. How could England alone, for example, defend Canada against attack by America, or its Far Eastern interests against an attack by Japan "The singling out of the British Crown as the bearer of Empire unity is in itself an admission that the universal empire cannot be maintained permanently by power politics. The following are significant pointers in this respect

"(a) Ireland's struggle for independence.

"(b) Constitutional disputes in India where England, by her half measures, left the door open for Indians at a later date to utilize the non-fulfillment of constitutional promises as a weapon against Britain.

"(c) The weakening of the British position in the Far East by Japan.

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"(d) The opposition in the Mediterranean to Italy which by virtue of its history, driven by necessity and led by a genius-expands its power position and must consequently infringe British interests to an increasing extent. The outcome of the Abyssinian War is a loss of prestige for Britain which Italy is endeavoring to increase by stirring up discontent in the Mohammedan World.

"It must be established in conclusion that the Empire cannot be held permanently by power politics by 45 million Britons, in spite of all the solidity of her ideals. The proportion of the populations in the Empire, compared with that of the Motherland, is nine to one, and it should act as a warning to us that if we expand in space, we must not allow the level of our population to become too low.

"France's position is more favorable than that of England. The French Empire is better placed geographically, the population of its colonial possessions represents a potential military increase. But France is faced with difficulties of internal politics. At the present time only 10 per cent approximately of the nations have parliamentary governments, whereas 90 per cent of them have totalitarian governments. Nevertheless, we have to take the following into our political consideration as power factors:

"Britain, France, Russia and the adjoining smaller states.

"The German question can be solved only by way of force, and this is never without risk. The battles of Frederick the Great for Silesia, and Bismarck's wars against Austria and France had been a tremendous risk and the speed of Prussian action in 1870 had prevented Austria from participating in the war. If we place the decision to apply force with risk at the head of the following expositions, then we are left to reply to the questions 'when' and 'how'. In this regard we have to decide upon three different cases.

"Case 1. Period 1943-45: After this we can only expect a change for the worse. The rearming of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, as well as the formation of the Officers' Corps, are practically concluded.

"Our material equipment and armaments are modern; with further delay the danger of their becoming out-of-date will increase. In particular the secrecy of 'special weapons' cannot always be safeguarded. Enlistment of reserves would be limited to the current recruiting age groups and an addition from older untrained groups would be no longer available.

"In comparison with the rearmament, which will have been

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carried out at the time by other nations, we shall decrease in relative power. Should we not act until 1943-45, then, dependent on the absence of reserves, any year could bring about the food crisis, for the countering of which we do not possess the necessary foreign currency. This must be considered as a 'point of weakness in the regime.' Over and above that, the world will anticipate our action and will increase counter-measures yearly. Whilst other nations isolate themselves we should be forced on the offensive.

"What the actual position would be in the years 1943-45 no one knows today. It is certain, however, that we can wait no longer.

"On the one side the large armed forces, with the necessity for securing their upkeep, the aging of the Nazi movement and of its leaders, and on the other side the prospect of a lowering of the standard of living and a drop in the birth rate, leaves us no other choice but to act. If the Fuehrer is still living, then it will be his irrevocable decision to solve the German space problem no later than 1943-45. The necessity for action before 1943-45 will come under consideration in cases 2 and 3.

"Case 2. Should the social tensions in France lead to an internal political crisis of such dimensions that it absorbs the French Army and thus renders it incapable for employment in war against Germany, then the time for action against Czechoslovakia has come.

"Case 3. It would be equally possible to act against Czechoslovakia if France should be so tied up by a war against another State that it cannot 'proceed' against Germany

"For the improvement of our military political position it must be our first aim, in every case of entanglement by war to conquer Czechoslovakia and Austria, simultaneously, in order to remove any threat from the flanks in case of a possible advance Westwards. In the case of a conflict with France it would hardly be necessary to assume that Czechoslovakia would declare war on the same day as France. However, Czechoslovakia's desire to participate in the war will increase proportionally to the degree to which we are being weakened. Its actual participation could make itself felt by an attack on Silesia, either towards the North or the West.

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