By Gregor Schöllgen (auth.)
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Additional info for A Conservative Against Hitler: Ulrich Von Hassell: Diplomat in Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, 1881–1944
Now he was making his appeal for the 'planned' construction of the state, and directing his arguments to the new rulers who were attempting to make good past 'failings' for which Hassell held the conservatives partly responsible. Hassell hoped that his version of the people's state would do much to overcome class barriers. His analysis appeared at first sight to contradict the traditional values of conservative thinking, and therefore encountered a considerable 'lack of sympathy' among other conservatives.
12 In the beginning, the foreign policy ideas of the National Socialists seemed compatible with those of the ambassador, both being resolved to work for a revision of the status quo and for the consolidation of Germany's position as a central European great power. To this extent, Hassell was able to represent the foreign policy of the German dictatorship with the same conviction he had shown to that of Imperial Germany before 1914, and Weimar after 1918. Hassell can thus be regarded as a representative of the 'old German ruling class' of 'conservative civil servants, generals and politicians'.
In April 1931 he told the king that either 'central Europe puts itself in order in the manner which has now been adopted by Germany and Austria and has expressly been declared by them to be open to all other countries, or bolshevism will overwhelm Europe in one form or another or at least plunge it into catastrophe'. This was not an attempt to conjure up a nightmare vision simply to pacify or intimidate his hosts, for the analysis reflected Hassell's own deep convictions. 23 Hassell was to use precisely this argument in February 1940 when, as a member of the opposition to Hitler, he sent a 'statement' of conditions for a post-war order to the British government.
A Conservative Against Hitler: Ulrich Von Hassell: Diplomat in Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, 1881–1944 by Gregor Schöllgen (auth.)