In January 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power with the firm belief that radical changes both at home and internationally were urgently needed in order to enable him to pursue his supreme goal of mastery of Europe through a war of conquest and expansion. Yet, neither politically nor militarily, economically or socially, did Germany offer the necessary preconditions to fulfil Hitler’s goal and fight a successful war. Thus, Hitler set out to undertake a radical transformation of Germany. In this endeavour he was willingly assisted by the conservatives who had brought him to power and were now participating in government. With regard to foreign policy, leading non-Nazi members of the regime willingly deceived themselves into believing that the radical changes they assisted and, at times, actively encouraged Hitler to implement were intended simply to regain great power status for Germany and to undo the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles. They preferred not to confront the possibility that Hitler firmly intended to achieve a much more fundamental transformation of Europe.
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