Germany's Demand for Colonies

February 5, 1937

Report Outline
Hitler's Reiteration of Colonial Demands
Emergence of Reich's Current Demands
Colonies and Access to Raw Materials
Possible Partition of Portugal's Colonies
Special Focus

Hitler's Reiteration of Colonial Demands

Chancellor hitler, addressing the Reichstag January 30, on the fourth anniversary of the National Socialists' assumption of power, reiterated his demand for return to the Reich of the colonies of which Germany was deprived in the war. Contrary to expectations that had been held in some quarters, the speech contained no spectacular announcement of any deal with Portugal, such as had been rumored, for cession or lease to Germany of any portion of that country's possessions in Africa. Hitler, in fact, said the era of so-called surprises was ended, and he declared: “We have no colonial demand or claim against states which took no colonies away from us.”

The Chancellor nevertheless made it plain that the Reich did have colonial demands and claims against the states now holding mandates for the former German overseas possessions. Restoration of the lost colonies was the most concrete objective defined by the speech. Hitler's expressions on the subject were not phrased in bellicose terms, but the vital nature of the demand from the viewpoint of the German government had already been strongly emphasized by Hjalmar Schacht, Minister of Economics and president of the Reichsbank, in an address at Frankfort on December 9, 1936.

The German people [Schacht declared] are unwilling to tolerate external pressure that cripples their living strength. It must be stated here that an attempt to shrink a great people through persistent external pressure must of necessity lead, first, to social misery and unrest, and then to some kind of explosion.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World WarII Catalysts
Oct. 17, 1939  Coalition Government and National Unity
Oct. 03, 1939  Present and Proposed Neutrality Legislation
May 10, 1939  Demands of the European Dictators
Apr. 01, 1939  American Neutrality Policy and the Balance of Power
Jan. 10, 1939  Nazi Objectives in Eastern Europe
Oct. 18, 1938  Changing European Political Alignments
Jan. 27, 1938  The Spread of Dictatorship
Oct. 21, 1937  Neutrality vs. Sanctions
Feb. 05, 1937  Germany's Demand for Colonies
Dec. 04, 1935  Revision of American Neutrality Policy
May 06, 1935  The Great Powers and the Danubian Problem
Jan. 16, 1935  Neutrality Policy of the United States
Jun. 04, 1928  The International Cartel Movement
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
Regional Political Affairs: Europe
War and Conflict
World War II