The rallying cry of restoring the German borders as a foreign policy objective of the future is doubly dumb and dangerous because in reality it does not encompass any goal that is at all beneficial or desirable.
[Actually, it does. In reality, it was by far the best possible goal for German foreign policy at the time because it (a) appeals to all Germans regarding of class, income, political affiliation, etc.; and (b) presents a highly noble case for correcting the injustices (crimes, actually) committed at Versailles in 1919.
The reason why Adolf Hitler had such a negative opinion of this objective was his obsession with the Lebensraum concept which stemmed largely (if not almost exclusively) from a highly painful experience of the Great Hunger of 1917-19 cause by the Blockade of Germany by the British]
If the German people actually did achieve the restoration of the 1914 borders, the sacrifices of the Great War would nevertheless have been for nothing.
[His logic is simple. First, German land within the 1914 borders, did not prevent the Great Hunger of 1917-19 which killed up to a MILLION Germans.
The burning desire to make sure nothing of that sort ever happens again is, unquestionably patriotic. However, this highly noble objective can be achieved only by acquiring additional Lebensraum in the East.
Consequently, acquisition of the Lebensraum must become the primary objective of foreign and military policy of Germany. Which would be obviously understood and most likely supported by overwhelming majority of German population – top to bottom of the social ladder. And ultimately was]
National honor has nothing to do with an obligation to conduct a dumb and impossible foreign policy.
[Absolutely. Too bad Adolf Hitler not always lived to this maxim]
Our national honor is gone because the German people, in the most difficult time of its struggle for survival, demonstrated a lack of conviction, shameless servility, and cringing, groveling tail-wagging that can only be called shameless.
[Dead wrong. In reality, the German people did not lose their national honor at all. They entered the war to protect the territorial integrity of their ally (Austria) which was ruthlessly attacked by Russia and Serbia (a highly noble cause).
They won the war with Russia (no small feat given the immense resources available to the latter) and they lost the war on the Western front through no fault of their own – the adversary was just way too strong.
The monarchy proved to be a highly inefficient system of government for the challenges of the new century – and most likely beyond repair. So the German people decided to radically reengineer this system by doing away with monarchy and creating a democratic Weimar Republic.]
We gave in pathetically without being forced to do so
[Wrong. Germany had to sue for peace (actually, capitulated) because it was forced tom do so by the overwhelming superiority of the enemy and the betrayal of their allies who signed separate peace treaties with Allied Powers]
The leadership of German people, against historical truth and its own knowledge, assumed the war guilt.
[It was forced to do so at gunpoint – under threat of continuing blockage (which would have killed hundreds of thousands of Germans) and being occupied by the Allied armies]
Lost territories are not regained through protest campaigns but by a victorious sword. And so anyone who today wants to liberate some area in the name of national honor must also be ready to take responsibility for this liberation with iron and blood.
[In other words, through war or a threat of war. A true and correct observation most of the time (just about always, actually)]
For this reason, then, the duty also arises to weigh up, first, whether one has the strength to carry through such a fight, and second, whether the casualties can and will lead to the desired success, and third, whether the achieved success will be commensurate with the casualties.
[In other words, one must follow a proper risk assessment procedure]
As soon as a people would allow an injustice to be inflicted on individual citizens, it would gradually weaken its own position more and more, because such toleration would serve just as much to provide inner strength to an enemy disposed to attack as it would to erode the citizens’ trust in the power of their own state.
[That’s precisely why Austria had no other choice but to declare war on Serbia after the Sarajevo assassination. Hence the true culprits in the outbreak of the Great War were Serbia and Russia, not Austria and Germany]
It is in fact not at all dishonorable to have lost territory, but it is dishonorable to pursue a policy that must inevitably lead to the complete enslavement of one’s own people.
[Very true. Consequently, Hitler’s decisions and actions that ultimately led to his defeat in World War II and subsequent enslavement of Germans by the victorious Allies were… well, dishonorable by his own definition]
All attempts to bring about an increase in German food production, whether through increases in actual crop yields or through the cultivation of the last wastelands, are not able to feed our people from the resources of our own land and territory.
[Appears to be true – Germany was doomed to import food which made the repeat of the Blockade and the Great Hunger theoretically possible]
Neither the current Lebensraum nor that achieved through a restoration of the borders of 1914 permits us to lead a life comparable to that of the American people.
[The latter appears to be the benchmark against which Adolf Hitler measured the success – or failure – of domestic and foreign policies]
Germany did not want war in 1914 but was literally pushed into it. And that it was England that, out of pure competitive envy, gathered the other enmities in Europe and let them loose against Germany.
[It was pushed. Only it had nothing to do with economics – and everything with geopolitics. And it was not Britain who forced the Great War on Germany and Austria, but Serbia and Russia.
However, it is not entirely true that Germany did not want war in 1914. It did – but on the date and terms favorable to Germany. Which did not happen.]
Ultimately the economy is a strictly secondary concern in the life of a people, tied to the primary existence of a powerful state. The sword must stand before the plow, and an army before the economy.
[In 1920s and 1930s it was true – due to (1) existential threat to the Western Civilization from the Bolshevist Soviet Union and (2) still widespread belief that the war was an acceptable tool of foreign policy. In today’s world it is obviously not true
However, even then (after the devastating global war) the rulers of Britain, France and the USA had no appetite whatsoever to use war as an instrument in the area of purely economic competition.
Consequently, the goal to make Germany an export-oriented economy (export finished goods and import food and raw materials) appears to be quite solid and well-founded]