Hitler was never secretive about his plans for Germany. His aims were explained in detail in his book Mein Kampf, of what he would do to make Germany a great nation again. His main aims were to:
Abolish the Treaty of Versailles
Like many Germans, Hitler believed that the Treaty of Versailles was unjust. He hated the Treaty and the German politicians were in his view, “November Criminals”. The worst aspect of the Treaty was that it was a reminder to the Germans of their defeat in the First World War and their humiliation by the Allies. His promise to the German people was that if he was the leader of Germany he would reverse this. By the time Hitler came to power, some of these terms had already been changed. The largest if these was Germany no longer had to pay reparations. However, most of the conditions were still in place.
Expand German Territory
Another term of the Treaty was that land was taken away from Germany. Hitler wanted this territory back. He also wanted an Anschluss with Austria, and with any other German minorities in other countries such as Czechoslovakia. As well as regaining old land, he also desired to make an empire in the east, for the Germans to have Lebensraum, or living space.
A German empire in the Soviet Union would also help Hitler with one his other objectives, which was to defeat communism. Hitler was anti-communist. He also believed that Bolsheviks had contributed to Germany losing the World War. This aim was accepted in the West, due to the growing fear of communism. Therefore, people were lenient towards his other aims.
As soon as Hitler came to power in 1933, one of his first steps was to increase Germany’s armed forces. Consequently, the unemployment rate fell, as the unemployed were either drafted into the army, or put to work in weapons factories. By doing this, he solved one of Germany’s biggest problems and also delivered his promise of making Germany great again and breaking the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
Hitler was aware that rearmament was popular with the German public, however he also knew that it would cause alarm in other countries. Therefore, he started the process in secret. To reinforce this, he made a great public display of his desire not to rearm Germany – claiming that he was only doing it because other countries refused to disarm. Hitler also left the League of Nations after Japan.
In 1935 Hitler staged a massive rally in order to show the world the German armed forces. In 1936 he also introduced conscription to the army. Although this was a risky move, Hitler guessed right, in thinking that he could get away with rearmament. Many other countries were also using rearmament as a method of reducing the unemployment rate. The collapse of the League of Nations Disarmament Conference in 1934 had shown that other countries were not prepared to disarm.
Rearmament was a popular move in Germany. It boosted Nazi...