chapter  5
10 Pages

Foreign and Racial Policy

Orthodox Marxist historians, in accordance with their theory of the statemonopolistic character of the Third Reich, interpret the foreign policy of Hitler and his regime as a function, directly or indirectly, of the basic necessities of the capitalist system and its leading economic and political groups and representatives. This view was expressed by GDR scholars in a representative volume of 1975 (Schumann and Nestler, eds) on German imperialist plans from 1900 to 1945. In the West it has frequently been disputed (cf. summary in Hildebrand, 1974) on two main grounds: (1) It ignores the primacy of the political factor (cf. Section 3, pp. 124 ff. above), which characterised Hitler’s dictatorship especially in the field of strategy and foreign affairs, and which did not apply to such an extent, for example, in imperial Germany; and (2) it fails to take account (cf. Section 2, pp. 114-15 above) of the multiplicity of forms assumed by different political cultures which share the same background of a capitalist economic system.