On page 221, we learn of Hoover's 1938 visit to the continent and what the leaders he spoke with were thinking at the time:
King Leopold [Belgium] had shown great moral strength and understanding of European problems. Among other things, he said...Hoover also met with Adolf Hitler and provided this summary of Hitler's thinking (p.227):
I asked for his views as to why Britain has been so complacent in the face of Hitler’s repudiation of the Versailles Treaty and the Locarno Pact, his rearmament, his occupation of the Rhineland, and the formation of the Berlin-Tokyo Axis. He replied:
Britain is fearful of the growth of Russia’s military power, has lost faith in France. She is engaged in her traditional practice of “balance of power.”
When I asked from which direction war might come, the Belgians, and others subsequently, had one constant reply:
The ultimate and inevitable conflict in Europe is between Germany and Russia, both for ideological and economic and political reasons. The Germans are land people; their military strength is on land; they want land; they will sooner or later clash with Russia for Russia alone has the opportunities they want. And the Germans want to remove what they consider as their greatest menace, Communism. Russia would have no objection to Germany at war with Britain and western Europe as that would weaken both the Democracies and Germany. The greatest folly of all history would be for the western Democracies to cultivate war with Germany.
I had long since been aware, from his speeches, statements and actions, that he had three idées fixes: to unify Germany from its fragmentation by the Treaty of Versailles; to expand its physical resources by moving into Russia or the Balkan States—a drive for “Lebensraum,” living space; and to destroy the Russian Communist government.Just in case there is any doubt, Hoover also quoted several of Hitler's statements about Stalin & the USSR (p. 229):
On March 7, 1936, Hitler said:
Soviet Russia, however, is the constitutionally organized exponent of the revolutionary philosophy of life. Its State creed is its confession in favor of world revolution.(1)In a speech at Nuremberg, September 12, 1936, he said:
If I had the Ural Mountains with their incalculable store of treasures in raw materials, Siberia with its vast forests, and the Ukraine with its tremendous wheat fields, Germany and the National Socialist leadership would swim in plenty! (2)Again in a speech at Nuremberg on September 14, 1936, he said:
These are only some of the grounds for the antagonisms which separate us from communism. I confess: these antagonisms cannot be bridged. Here are really two worlds which do but grow further apart from each other and can never unite.(3)
Here are Hoover's sources:
1. Adolf Hitler, My New Order (edited by Raoul de Roussy de Sales, Reynal & Hitchcock, New York: 1941), p. 378. R. de Sales italics deleted.
2. Ibid, p. 400. [R. de Sales’ italics deleted by Hoover–ed.]
3. Ibid, p. 403. [R. de Sales’ italics deleted by Hoover–ed,]