Adolf Hitler’s political goals – as explained to the Reichswehr (1933)

A memo outlining Adolf Hitler’s political goals, taken during a meeting on February 3rd 1933 when Hitler met with Reichswehr generals and commanders:

“Goal of all policies: Regaining political power. The whole state must be directed toward this goal (all ministries!)

Domestic policy. Complete reversal of the present domestic political situation in Germany. Refusal to tolerate any attitude contrary to this aim (pacifism!). Those who cannot be converted must be broken. Extermination of Marxism root and branch. Conversion of youth and of the whole people to the idea that only struggle can save us and that everything else must be subordinated to this idea. (Achieved in the millions of the Nazi movement. It will grow.) Training of youth and strengthening of the will to fight by all means. Death penalty for high treason. Tightest authoritarian state leadership. Elimination of the cancer of democracy!

Foreign policy. Struggle against Versailles. Equality of rights in Geneva but useless if people do not have the will to fight. Concern for allies.

The economy! The farmer must be saved! Settlement policy! Further increase of exports useless. The capacity of the world is limited, and there is over-production everywhere. Settlement offers the only possibility of again employing part of the army of unemployed. But time is needed, and radical improvement [is] not to be expected since living space too small for German people.

Building up the armed forces is the most important prerequisite for achieving the goal of regaining political power. Universal military service must be reintroduced. But beforehand the state leadership must ensure that the men subject to military service are not, even before their entry, poisoned by pacifism, Marxism, Bolshevism, or fall victim to this poison after their service.

How should political power be used when it has been gained? Impossible to say at this point. Perhaps fighting for new export possibilities, perhaps – and probably better – the conquest of new living space in the east and its ruthless Germanisation. Certain that only through political power and struggle the present economic conditions can be changed. The only things that can take place now – settlement – [are] stopgap measures. Armed forces most important and most socialist institution of the state. They must stay unpolitical and non-partisan. The internal struggle not their affair but that of the Nazi organisations. Differently than in Italy, no fusion of army and SA intended. Most dangerous time is during the reconstruction of the army. It will show whether or not France has statesmen; if so, they will not leave us time but will attack us.”