Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945

Kennedy, David M.

Oxford University, 1999

p. 383

WWI’s defeated Germany, humiliated by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, made ex-corporal Adolf Hitler its Chancellor in 1933. Most of Germany was reeling from the horrors of WWI and her defeat and what happened at Versailles. Hitler was a rare breed: he wanted more war: only by war could he restore Germany’s rightful prestige. He also understood from WWI that in a new war Germany could not fight everybody all at once. He would need to fight “in stages, one foe at a time, with swift, overpowering blows delivered serially against isolated enemies.” What’s more, nearly alone, he understood one monumental fact, namely, that “the very inconceivability of another war in the eyes of most statesmen—particularly in France and Britain, not to mention the far-away United States—would for a long time blind them to his own intentions and rob them of the will and means to resist him.”