Hitler's Weltanschauung (World View)

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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 man 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 ultimate goal."

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.

England 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