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How did the concept of Lebensraum influence German aggression?

The concept of Lebensraum significantly influenced German aggression by justifying territorial expansion and war.

Lebensraum, or 'living space', was a geopolitical concept that was central to Adolf Hitler's foreign policy. It was rooted in the belief that the German people needed more space to live and grow, and that this space should be acquired by expanding into Eastern Europe, particularly into Russia. This concept was used to justify German aggression and expansionism in the years leading up to and during World War II.

The idea of Lebensraum was not new; it was a part of the wider concept of Social Darwinism, which argued that nations and races, like species, were in a struggle for survival, and that the fittest would prevail. Hitler, influenced by this idea, believed that the Germanic race was superior and had a natural right to expand and dominate. He saw Eastern Europe as the ideal space for this expansion, due to its vast, fertile lands and its Slavic population, which he considered racially inferior and thus ripe for German colonisation.

Lebensraum was used to legitimise the aggressive foreign policy of Nazi Germany. It was used to justify the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland, the invasion of Poland, and the launch of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. Hitler argued that these actions were necessary for the survival and growth of the German race. The concept of Lebensraum was also used to justify the brutal treatment of the local populations in the occupied territories, including mass murder, forced labour, and displacement.

In conclusion, the concept of Lebensraum played a crucial role in shaping German aggression in the years leading up to and during World War II. It provided a pseudo-scientific justification for territorial expansion, war, and the brutal treatment of non-Germanic populations. It was a key part of Hitler's worldview and a central pillar of Nazi ideology.

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