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2S03 Lecture November 8.docx

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Martin Horn

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2S03 Lecture November 8 - Hitler, Ideology and the Wehrmacht Third Reich 1993-1945 Hitler’s Nazi ideology 1. Social Darwinism bastardized Darwinism – peoples, groups, and states, have to struggle to survive – the fit will win out in this struggle for survival – struggle of contest – applied to individuals, groups, states. What is history? “The Preservation of a peoples struggling for existence” – sees history and its development as being race-based. He argues that the struggle for survival and procreation are given – there is only so much living space in the world though. Inevitably, a struggle will emerge for Lebensraum among races and states 2. Anti-semitism – when Hitler became one is a matter of historical debate Mein Kampf – written mid-1920s – shows his thinking about Jews has hardened and he believes eliminating the Jews is the job of the Germans in order to survive, lays out his outline for a giant war of conquest. The most Lebensraum is in the East, the USSR which is a Jewish state and ready to collapse – these ideas are not hidden under a rock – anyone can read it. These ideas are not hidden from his generals specifically. After being appointed chancellor, meets with reps from Army high command and rants at them about the conquest of new living space in the East and Germanization of the land (at their first meeting) – three years later, Four Year Plan of 1936 aimed to conquer the east – “the showdown with Russia is inevitable” – for those who cared to look, it is clear what he wants and the senior military men are aware - “Jewish Internationalism” in USSR – marries 2. With 3. - 3. Anti-bolshevism – Jewish run, Jewish dominated state – they are part of the Jewish conspiracy. Marx was Jewish and Bolshevik leadership contained Jewish people – believes Bolsheviks will destroy all of the west and that both are wholly destructive forces incapable of creativity - Building blocks of Hitler’s ideology Marx saw history as clashes among class groups – different than Hitler’s race-based history Eberhard Jackel German historian produced a short book called Hitler’s World View – idea of Social Darwinism “politics is history in the making” so politics is about the struggle for Lebensraum Four Year Plan 1936 – all comes together What influence does Hitler’s Nazism have on the German army? - In the 1920s, the army, the Reichswehr tended to be conservative – hierarchical – not too many rabid communists – favour conservative, authoritarian, patriotic, paternal ideas - There are distinctions within the officer corps of how they will react to Hitler’s ideas - 1. Senior commanders – generally in their 50s – trained in the odl German empire – aristocratic backgrounds – quite conservative and nationalist, did not love Weimar Republic – loyalties to the old empire – hated Versailles - 2. Younger officers – less aristocratic – more technocratic – also may have served in the east, hate Weimar - 3. Officers recuited post-1918 – conviction in technology and progress – modernity – conservative – Versailles must be overturned and Weimar is unappealing - Volksgemeinschaft – national racially based community appeals to the military where sense of group is inherent - Officer corps shares some of the Nazi views - Hitler wants to rearm and expand the military – exactly what the generals want to hear - They want certain things in common – strong Germany, end of Weimar, overturn of Versailles, hatred of Poland taking their land at the end of WWI Fuhrer General Werner von Blombery – minister of defence – powerful Nazi sympathizer, seeks to implement Nazi ideas Nuremburg Laws 1935 – the race laws – applicable to the military as well Luftwaffe – general Goring – Hitler’s #2 man – new creat
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