The historian A. J. P. Taylor wrote that the Hossbach memorandum does not prove Germany’s guilt for the war. The meeting on 5. of November basicly. The Hossbach memorandum – a summary of a meeting between Hitler, ministers and military commanders, where war plans were discussed. Consideration of the Hossbach Memorandum has played a significant role in deciding the question of Hitler’s intention to wage war in Europe.

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The Hossbach Memorandum was the summary of a meeting in Berlin on 5 November between German dictator Adolf Hitler and his military and foreign policy leadership in which Hitler’s future expansionist policies were outlined. The meeting marked a turning point in Hitler’s foreign policies, which then began to radicalize.

According to the memorandumHitler did not want war in with Britain and Hossbahc. He wanted small wars hossbavh plunder to help support Germany’s struggling economy.

It was named for the keeper of the minutes of the meeting, Hitler’s military adjutantColonel Count Friedrich Hossbach. The conference of 5 November had been called in response to complaints from Admiral Raeder that the navy Kriegsmarine was receiving insufficient allocations of steel hossabch other raw materials and that its entire building programme was thus in danger of collapse.

Neither the air force Luftwaffe nor the army Wehrmacht wanted to see any reductions of their steel allocations. As the conference had been called in response to resolve the dispute, Hitler took the opportunity to provide a summary of his assessment of foreign policy. He stated that if he dies, the contents of the conference were to be regarded as his “political testament”.

The Hossbach ‘Protocol’ (Review)

A striking change in the Hossbach Memorandum is Hitler’s new evaluation of Britain: The change marked a total reversal of Hitler’s view of Britain.

German historian Klaus Hildebrand has argued that the memorandum marked the beginning of an “ambivalent course” towards Britain.

The first part of the document minuted Hitler’s wish that Germany for autarkyas he reasoned that reliance on others makes a state weak. That has been labelled by memodandum historians as a way of preparing Germany for conflict by ensuring that it was not economically reliant on states with which it could soon be at war.

The memorandum’s suggestion that certain types of autarky were not possible can thus be considered to be reasons for regarding the war as something of a necessity. Achievement only possible under strict National Socialist leadership of the State, which is assumed. Accepting its achievement as possible, the following could be stated as results:.

Indeed, the economic arguments appear to all but guarantee a war of fears for food supplies being reliant upon foreign trade in a world that was dominated by British-policed sea trade lanes:.

As our foreign trade was carried on over the sea routes dominated by Britain, it was more a question of security of transport than one of foreign exchange, which revealed, in time of war, the full weakness of our food situation.

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The only remedy, and one which might appear to us as visionary, lay in the acquisition of greater living space — a quest which has at all times been the origin of the formation of states and of the migration of peoples’. The second part of the document detailed three ‘contingencies’ that Hitler would take if certain situations prevailed in Europe, purportedly to ensure the security of the Reich.

After the conference, three of the attendees BlombergFritsch and Neurath all argued that the foreign policy Hitler had outlined was too risky, as Germany needed more time to rearm. Also, they stated that the ‘contingencies’ that Hitler described as the prerequisite for war were too unlikely to occur such as the apparent certainty expressed in the document of the Spanish Civil War leading to a Franco-Italian war in the Mediterranean or that France was on the verge of civil war.

Moreover, it was argued that any German aggression in Eastern Europe was bound to trigger a war with France because of the French alliance system in Eastern Europe, the so-called cordon sanitaireand if that a Franco-German war broke out, Britain was almost certain to intervene to prevent France’s defeat.

As such, Fritsch, Blomberg and Neurath advised Hitler to wait until Germany had more time to rearm before pursuing a high-risk strategy of pursuing localized wars that was likely to trigger a general war before Germany was ready for such a war all of those present at the conference had no moral objections to Hitler’s strategy, but they were divided only on timing [9] By FebruaryNeurath, Fritsch and Blomberg had been removed from their positions.

Shirerbelieved that Blomberg, Fritsch and Neurath were removed because of their opposition to the plans expressed in the Hossbach memorandum. The accuracy of the memorandum has been questioned, as the minutes were drawn up five days after the event by Hossbach from notes that he took at the meeting and also from memory. Also, Hitler did not review the minutes of the meeting, instead and insisted, as he commonly did, that he was too busy to bother with such small details.

Hossbach Memorandum

The British historian AJP Taylor contended that the manuscript that was used by the prosecution in the Nuremberg Trials appears to be a shortened version of the original, as it had passed through the US Army before the trial. Taylor drew attention to one thing that the memorandum can be used to prove; ‘ GoeringRaeder and Neurath had sat by and approved of Hitler’s aggressive plans’.

However, that did not necessarily mean that Hitler laid down his plans for the domination of Europe, as there was no active decision to start a war made in the memorandum, only a decision about when war would be practical.

However, Hitler mentioned his wish for increased armaments. Taylor attempted to discredit the document by using the fact that the future annexations described in the ‘contingencies’ were unlike those that occurred in However, opposing historians, such as Taylor’s archrival, Hugh Trevor-Roperhave pointed out that the memorandum still demonstrated an intention for adding AustriaCzechoslovakiaLithuania and Poland to the Reich.


Taylor also stipulated that the meeting was most likely a piece of internal politics, and he pointed out that Hitler could have been trying memoeandum encourage the gathering’s members to put pressure on Reich Minister of Economics and President of the ReichsbankHjalmar Schachtto release more funding for rearmament. In fact, Schacht soon resigned in protest at the pre-eminence of rearmament in Nazi economics.

Contending historians have also pointed out that rearmament is an integral part of memorajdum preparation for conflict. In response, Taylor memorandun that Hitler’s policy was a bluff he wished to rearm Memoarndum to frighten and intimidate other states to allow hossbaxh to achieve his foreign policy goals without going to war. In addition, Taylor argued that most of the ‘contingencies’ that Hitler listed as the prerequisite for war, such as an outbreak of civil war in France or the Spanish Civil War that led to a war between Italy and France in the Mediterraneandid not occur.

Trevor-Roper countered that criticism by arguing that Hitler expressed an intention to go to war sooner rather than later and that it was Hitler’s intentions in foreign policy in lateas opposed to his precise plans later in history, that really mattered.

It is often used by intentionalist historians such as Gerhard WeinbergAndreas Hillgruber and Richard Overy to prove that Hitler planned to start memoradnum general European war, which became the Second World Waras part of a longtime master plan.

However, functionalist historians such as Timothy MasonHans Mommsen and Ian Kershaw argue that the document shows no such plans but the memorandum was an improvised ad hoc response by Hitler to the growing crisis in the German economy in the late s.

The Hossbach memorandum was not a decision for war

AJP Taylor dismissed the memorandum as evidence of Hitler’s intent, pointing out that the document had already been edited by US lawyers during the Nuremberg Trials, that most of the people who attended the meeting were dismissed soon afterwards and that the actual memorandum itself was filed away and forgotten. Instead, Taylor believes that the meeting was merely an attempt by Hitler to drum up support from the military. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, pages 39— Nazi Germany ‘s annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland.

The Nazis’ Hossbach Memorandum Document of 1937

Events preceding the war in Europe History of interwar Czechoslovakia: Germans in Czechoslovakia Western betrayal: Arms and the Covenant Why England Slept. Galeazzo Ciano Benito Mussolini. Retrieved from ” https: Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 27 Decemberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.