Adolf Hitler by John Toland (PT8)

While Hitler still feared some of the repercussions which might develop out of the purge from the fictitious Rohm putsch plot, he barrowed ahead with his plans for Germany at his usual break-neck speeds. Specifically rearmament was on the agenda. Hitler wanted to rebuild Germany’s military might so as to once again be a world power.

To do this he began his careful political game with the French and English. Negotiations were prolonged and savage affairs. However Hitler was stern in his wishes and demanded from the English to build a Navy which was 35% of their total tonne. To many it seemed like a reasonable demand from somebody who had gone out of his way to assure the world powers that he was a man of peace.

Eventually the British would consent to his demand. Around the same time Hitler would order conscription to be reinstated as well as the trilling of Germany’s armed forces from 100,000 to over 300,000. This move came as a shock to many yet even this was but a dwarf in comparison to Hitler’s next decision to move troops into the occupied Rhineland and reclaim it as German soil.

While this operation would go off without a hitch, with enthusiastic crowds greeting German troops, not all aspects of Hitler’s life at this time was as easy. Anxious about contracting throat cancer Hitler during this time worried incessantly about a benign growth in his larynx.  While the doctor assured him that it was nothing to be concerned about he had a pessimistic attitude towards his health and so worried nonstop.

However health problems weren’t the only concern weighing heavily on the Furor’s mind. This was because his mistress, Eva Braun, was becoming increasingly befuddled and depressed at her lover’s inability to visit her. She wanted nothing more than periodic visits yet being the distant man he was, busy with stately affairs, he visited irregularly. As a result Eva attempted suicide. While she failed, and Hitler, though being lied to about her attempt (he was informed that it was an accidental overdose), knew the truth. This shadow, his mistresses killing themselves over his in-affection, reminded him of the suicide of Geli and must have troubled him deeply.

Nonetheless the following year was one of great success to Hitler’s Germany. With the crisis of occupying the Rhine behind him, with assurances that the forces arrayed in opposition were to take no direct action, Hitler was free to resume his national policies.

This meant a Nazification of the German people and an autarchy. The Hitler Youth were erected and young people were encouraged to join. There they were instilled with pro-Nazi values which built on their race-focused education. This turn was combined with many other Nazi programs, such as many pseudo-social-democratic programs aimed at class collaboration, to make an economy which was capable of standing on its own in addition to a military which was the equal of the world.

Still Hitler faced opposition. His insistence that the rearming of the German military take precedence over all other economic demands brought out opposition from older ministers and confidants. Hitler dealt with these people, however, the same way in which he always did; through derision and mocking attacks which culminated in such a way which forced such people to resign. It was characteristic of Hitler to humiliate people in such a way all the while not caring for their future; that Christmas he records in his journal that despite all the stresses of the preceding years, and the considerable worries facing him in the future, he felt quite at ease.

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