Americans like to look back on the Second World War as a heroic struggle of good versus evil waged by soldiers of the “Greatest Generation.” Whatever the merits of this perspective, it does little to explain why the war happened in the first place. What did Germans think the war was about? This week’s primary sources include the voices of military commanders, Nazi party leaders, and oppositional figures. What did they understand to be the purpose of the Third Reich’s military aggression? What sorts of violent measures did they consider to be morally justified in pursuit of German aims?
Please note: I am not asking you to justify Nazi positions (in fact, please don’t!). The goal here is for you to better understand the factors that propelled the most destructive war in European history.
4 of the sources I provided need to be used in the essay.