Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945)

Colman, Jonathan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1223-9679 (2018) Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945). In: The Encyclopedia of Diplomacy. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-88791-2

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118885154.dipl0363


Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) brought particular dynamism and aggression to the conduct of German foreign policy. Within a few years of securing power in 1933, he had overthrown the Versailles Treaty, reestablished Germany as the leading European state, and had embarked on a path of territorial expansion in the east. Historians have debated whether he had a clear plan for German expansion which he implemented systematically, or if he was merely exploiting external opportunities aimlessly in response to domestic pressures. The truth lies somewhere between the two views, with Hitler best understood as combining flexible methods with consistent goals. Any pressures from within the Nazi state pushed him in a broad direction he was always determined to travel.

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