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Hitler's Plans for Global Domination

Hitler's Plans for Global Domination: Nazi Architecture and Ultimate War Aims

Jochen Thies
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 226
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  • Book Info
    Hitler's Plans for Global Domination
    Book Description:

    What did Hitler really want to achieve: world domination. In the early twenties, Hitler was working on this plan and from 1933 on, was working to make it a reality. During 1940 and 1941, he believed he was close to winning the war. This book not only examines Nazi imperial architecture, armament, and plans to regain colonies but also reveals what Hitler said in moments of truth. The author presents many new sources and information, including Hitler's little known intention to attack New York City with long-range bombers in the days of Pearl Harbor.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-463-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-ix)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. x-xiv)
    Volker Berghahn

    The last two decades have seen yet another noticeable upsurge in the academic study of—and public interest in—the Hitler dictatorship and German society under National Socialism. The old question of how the Germans got into the Third Reich has received renewed attention in works on the Weimar Republic, attention that has been further expanded by research on the continuities and discontinuities in modern German history from Bismarck to Hitler.

    As far as the Nazi period in the strict sense is concerned, research has focused both on how the country “ticked” in the 1930s at the grassroots level and,...

  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    It is the artist, the critic, the quick mind of the so-called “man in the street” or the detached skeptical observer and outsider who, from time to time, can best expose the character of authoritarian leadership, whether through striking commentaries or through other means of irony. Thus Charlie Chaplin in his 1940 film “The Great Dictator” played the role of a potentate who closely resembled Hitler, and who juggled with a huge globe until it fell to the ground, smashing into pieces. And thus in Munich and Berlin, crowds reacted with a joke to the frenetic pace of construction of...

  6. Part I. Hitler’s Ultimate Goals 1920–1933:: “Lebensraum” Only in the East?

    • Chapter 1 Hitler and his Critics
      (pp. 19-21)

      Two months after the sensational outcome for the NSDAP in the national elections of September 14, 1930, which increased the party’s seats in parliament from twelve to 107, Hitler gave a speech in Erlangen.¹ The central theme of his lecture delivered November 13, 1930, in front of the professors and students of the university of that city in Franconia was Germany’s role in world domination. According to Hitler, Germany, more than any other nation in the world, was predestined for global supremacy. These comments did not go unchallenged. Bernhard Schmeidler, a professor of medieval and modern history, criticized Hitler’s comments...

    • Chapter 2 Current Research
      (pp. 22-26)

      Even after the extensive discussion regarding the emergence and development of Hitler’s “program”¹ in the 1970s, there are still important points that controversy.² Along with diverging opinions on the content of Hitler’s comments³ and on the extent of his plans for expansion, new studies have shown that there is no clarity about the time frame in which his “program” was to be enacted.

      Hillgruber⁴ characterized the period from 1919 to 1928 as a time frame in which Hitler’s ideas progressed in various “stages,” toward a “program” that was solid at its core. Hillgruber believed that Hitler stuck to this plan...

    • Chapter 3 “Mein Kampf” as the Central Source
      (pp. 27-31)

      Fifty years ago, a milestone essay was published posing the question of Hitler’s ultimate goals. The premise was that these goals would possibly go beyond the generally accepted aim of an Eastern European empire. In these “ultimate goals,” some milestones were described “that were not to be part of Germany’s objectives during WW II but rather much later in the future. They had not yet been systematically organized to form a clear concept, but already existed as ideas that were not to be rearranged.”¹ An analysis ofMein Kampfwithin that study concluded that Hitler was seeking a position of...

    • Chapter 4 Hitler as Builder: Construction Plans, Armaments, and a Vision of War
      (pp. 32-37)

      There are indeed more possibilities to recognize Hitler’s ideas for his global aims. The research for the period 1932–1933 does not solely depend on the exegesis of Hitler’s written and verbal comments.¹

      Indications from secondary areas such as architecture, armaments, and war plans that help clarify Hitler’s ultimate goals do indeed exist and must be included in the research. When one speaks of the years in whichMein Kampfwas written and what those years meant for Hitler, one aspect adds an important dimension to our analysis and must not be overlooked. While Hitler was documenting his program in...

    • Chapter 5 The Beginnings of a Power Politician: “Models” of Imperial Rule: The Jews and Britain
      (pp. 38-42)

      When one reviews the early years, namely the period from 1920 to 1923, one notices that the question of more space for the German race was already on Hitler’s mind in 1920.¹ He was displeased with the unfair division of the world and annoyed by the vastness of the British and Russian empires. In April 1920, he condemned British world rule by using a turn of phrase that he would use repeatedly in the opening of his speeches during WW II²: “England with her few million people rules one fifth of the world.”³ Hitler attributed this situation to three factors:...

    • Chapter 6 No Turning Back: The Aftermath of September 14, 1930
      (pp. 43-58)

      Following his imprisonment in Landsberg and the completion ofMein Kampf, the theme of world supremacy hadn’t been settled in any way for Hitler. A wealth of comments proves, on the contrary, that it was very much on his mind until 1933, especially given that he could have easily have kept silent on the subject after his victory in the elections of September 1930. Feeling overconfident in his ability to spread a message, he was repeatedly taken with the idea of announcing his long–term policy goals publicly. After 1931, however, he was increasingly of the opinion that he should...

  7. Part II. Hitler as Architect

    • Chapter 7 Megalomania as Policy
      (pp. 61-68)

      Albert Speer’s “memoirs”¹ exposed the role architecture played in the way the Third Reich saw itself, a role played in particular at Hitler’s great insistence and with his own input and personal interest. Therefore, the memoirs of his architect, who later became minister for armaments, are among the most important documents from one of the main characters of the Third Reich, not least because of the statements Speer makes about Hitler. However, historians’ reactions to this book are conflicting.² One possible reason for this is that, while considering the catastrophe of 1945, historians prefer to avoid analyzing the content of...

    • Chapter 8 Hitler’s Views on Architecture, History and Art
      (pp. 69-76)

      From his early youth in Vienna, Hitler showed great interest in architecture.¹ InMein Kampf, he tells us of a trip to Vienna, the metropolis on the Danube, when he was fifteen. He explains how impressed he was by the important buildings of the city. Above all, he was taken with the opera house, the parliament buildings, and the Ringstrasse.² Despite failing the entrance examination for the Academy of Fine Arts, Hitler, according to his recollections inMein Kampf, decided to become a master builder.³ Sketches from this period still exist that eloquently demonstrate his emotional imagination and vividly show...

    • Chapter 9 Buildings and their Functions
      (pp. 77-82)

      Hitler’s ideas focused on buildings that were to last forever. All government buildings were to be built in granite so that they could be expected to last from three to four thousand years.¹ In case Europe didn’t suffer the same fate as Atlantis, then “these buildings would most likely still be standing … just the way they are, in 10,000 years.”² Hitler said this at the end of October 1941, a few weeks before the failure of his blitzkrieg attack on the Soviet Union robbed him of his last chance to complete his architectural projects that had been restarted in...

    • Chapter 10 Hitler and his Plans after 1933
      (pp. 83-98)

      On the same night of his appointment as chancellor of the Reich, Hitler announced his decision to rebuild¹ the Chancellery, and began a whole series of activities that indicate plans already completed before 1933.² Here the question arises as to what role Hitler personally played in the huge building projects. Of course, a certain influence of Troost, Hitler’s first architect in the twenties, can be assumed. Troost, however, who had made a name for himself as the interior designer of the Hapag-Llyod luxury liners,³ was principally an interior designer and was noticed by Hitler as a furniture designer.⁴ Also, Hitler’s...

    • Chapter 11 Architecture and the Third Reich
      (pp. 99-103)

      The issue of Hitler’s relationship to architecture, even with the knowledge that he was the main individual responsible for planning large buildings, cannot be closed without considering several consequences of that relationship for the structure of the Third Reich. Many new questions have come to light because the problems of architecture include a problem similar to that of the confessions, namely that the new plans for cities no longer provided for the construction of new churches. This chapter may also show that a scientific positivist approach, limited to the determination of capacity and actual size, is unable to adequately grasp...

    • Chapter 12 Summary
      (pp. 104-106)

      From the beginning of his chancellorship in 1933, Hitler turned his architectural ideas of the “years of struggle” into reality and actively adapted them into his “program.” At the same time, his architecture of supremacy, despite all its similarities to the other neoclassical European architecture that typified the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century, was in fact tailor-made for National Socialism and should be viewed as a rupture. His architecture was not a simple architecture of memory in its aesthetic or nostalgic form, but an expression of the social utopian driving force behind the ideology of National Socialism.

      With a...

  8. Part III. Hitler and Military Issues:: From Whale Bay To Lake Erie

    • Chapter 13 Hitler’s Addresses to German Officers
      (pp. 109-130)

      New research results indicate that until war broke out in 1939, Hitler was not simply involved with the realignment of the borders of the Third Reich, but had also added more steps of his “program” to his agenda.¹ Up to that point, however, there had been a gap for the years between 1933 and 1936 due to a lack of resources. This gap could not adequately refute the opinion that Hitler’s foreign policy was opportunistic and without a set direction.² A variation of this impression is the notion that an aggressive change followed the policy of so-called “peace” that had...

    • Chapter 14 The Navy’s Battleship Building Plans and Visions of World Power
      (pp. 131-138)

      In contrast to the corps of army officers, where the old Prussian military nobility, even after 1918, still played a leading role, the majority of the navy had always remained bourgeois.¹ The navy also recruited from all over Germany, so the ranks were more nationally oriented than simply Prussian. However, under the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the navy, as well as other social groups, underwent a process of feudalization which caused the most substantial differences between the naval officers and those in the army to disappear.² In spite of this process, the navy still had certain peculiar characteristics. The...

    • Chapter 15 The Me 261/264: Hitler’s Long Range Bomber
      (pp. 139-150)

      The Americans held an interrogation of the generals and admirals Göring, Dönitz, Keitel, Jodl, Warlimont and Major Büchs, aid to Jodl, at the beginning of July 1945,¹ where those questioned unanimously denied having any knowledge during the war of any plans to attack the United States of North America or the Panama Canal. While Göring and Keitel denied the existence of the long-range airplanes that would have been necessary, Dönitz admitted that there was talk about this within the Lutfwaffe.² But he too denied the actual existence of such aircraft types or any specific plans. Jodl admitted that long distance...

    • Chapter 16 Summary
      (pp. 151-152)

      Since 1937–1938, Hitler had revealed his global expansion program as a framework for future wars to the supreme commanders of the three German armed forces. The indication that the population of the United States was smaller compared to that of Germany and that the Third Reich’s military potential was greater indicates how, starting at that time, North America became part of his consideration as a future enemy that would required the development of battleship construction and long-range planes. Even if the limited perceptions of the generals toward Hitler’s “message” must be accepted, notes made by general Oster, by younger...

  9. PART IV. Hitler in 1940–1941:: When Visions Become Reality

    • Chapter 17 Axiomatic Geopolitics: 1950 As the Objective
      (pp. 155-159)

      Besides searching for new types of sources for investigating Hitler’s ultimate goals, it is necessary once again to systematically examine the traditional sources. In describing these, H.R. Trevor-Roper has used the image of a few windows that allow us to view Hitler’s true goals.¹ Thanks to the intensive analysis of Hitler’s “program” during the last decades, one can reflect on the period from 1920 to 1939 and compare it with a panoramic view, conveyed by an unbroken chain of evidence, indicating Hitler’s ultimate political goals.

      In addition, it seems meaningful to examine the concrete realization of Hitler’s plans against the...

    • Chapter 18 The Remaining Powers after Victory over the Soviet Union
      (pp. 160-169)

      An assessment of Hitler’s ultimate goals during the years 1940–1941¹ can hardly be considered speculation. All of Hitler’s comments and all his decisions were based on the axiom that a war with the Soviet Union would be child’s play and that with a “Blitzkrieg” it could be won quickly.² In France, the German infantry divisions had covered distances up to ninety kilometers within twenty-four hours. With a victory over the Soviet Union, the central idea of his “program” would be achieved. All other plans for military operations were based on the fulfillment of this goal by early autumn 1941....

    • Chapter 19 Hitler’s Path to World Supremacy
      (pp. 170-179)

      The difficulties that have already been briefly mentioned in trying to precisely understand Hitler’s thoughts in 1941, as well as the controversial evaluation of a key source, prevent the forming of a single interpretation of the path to world supremacy, upon which Hitler had already embarked. It is certainly more fitting to his calculating character if one insinuates that he possessed a number of possible solutions to reach his goal, the most suitable of which would be launched at the right moment. The time period 1940–1941, despite the structures worked out by research that is still considered valid, shows...

    • Chapter 20 Ruling the New World
      (pp. 180-187)

      Detailed statements about how the planned rule of territories would be carried out turn out to be much more difficult to find than statements about the global extent of Hitler’s ultimate goals. However, the popular accusation that these stages of Hitler’s “program” were purely visionary must be countered with the fact that already in the Russian campaign in 1941, no broad idea of the situation after victory existed. Despite occasional bragging about the treatment of territories in the East, as is well-known from records of the ‘Tischgespräche’, a typical characteristic of Hitler does emerge in the inability, or perhaps only...

    • Chapter 21 The British Assessment of Hitler’s Ultimate Goals
      (pp. 188-192)

      A close examination of the British assessment of Hitler’s ultimate goals in the years between 1939 and 1941 should indicate how the nation that was to feel the immediate effect of Hitler’s plans for world domination recognized the program behind Hitler’s behavior with amazing clarity. This part of the investigation can only deal with limited and selective material that can only partially do justice to the traditional use of many sources and the critical assessment of these sources relative to other documents. It is, however, justifiable to examine the available material in order to seek answers within the framework of...

    • Chapter 22 Summary
      (pp. 193-194)

      The examination of the years 1940–1941 has produced absolute confirmation of the findings from the preceding time period. It has become clear therefore that for Hitler, the terms “Weltherrschaft” (world domination) and “Weltvorherrschaft” (relative world supremacy) were assumed to be identical. This meant that for him, up until 1945 there was to be Aryan rule over the world with the help of the two most numerous Nordic peoples, to which the enormous reservoir of immigrants to the United States from central and Northern Europe from the last centuries would be added. In Hitler’s opinion, Europe would then develop into...

    • Chapter 23 Final Observations on Hitler’s Global Strategy
      (pp. 195-200)

      This investigation has shown that Hitler’s “ultimate goals,” as they were conceived and developed in their global framework, can be dated as far back as 1919 and 1920. They were thus formed much earlier than the determination of his “short-term goals” when he was writingMein Kampfin the years from 1924 to 1926.

      The starting point of Hitler’s ultimate global ambitions were two supposedly fundamental observations of the role of “Judaism” and the current, unjust division of the world:

      1. “International Judaism” was basically be “pure” in terms of race and sought, although small in number, to achieve world...

  10. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 201-202)
  11. Index
    (pp. 203-205)