Adolf Hitler’s attempts to negotiate peace during World War II have long been a source of debate among historians. While it is certainly true that Hitler was the instigator of the war, and his regime responsible for millions of deaths, he nevertheless made multiple attempts to negotiate a peace settlement.
Hitler’s first attempt to reach an agreement with Britain came in July 1940, after the fall of France. He offered a peace treaty which guaranteed Britain’s sovereignty and asked for Britain to recognize Germany’s hegemony over continental Europe. Britain rejected this offer, and Hitler soon invaded the Soviet Union.
In October 1941, Hitler proposed another peace settlement with Britain. He had already achieved considerable military successes in the east, and now believed that he had the upper hand. He offered to return all conquered territories and to recognize the independence of Poland and Czechoslovakia. Again, Britain refused.
Hitler made a number of other offers throughout the course of the war, including one in 1943 to cede territory to the Soviet Union in exchange for an end to hostilities. Each one was rejected by the Allied powers, who were determined to see the war through to its conclusion.
It is clear that, while Hitler’s ultimate goal was world domination, he made genuine attempts to negotiate a peace settlement with the Allies at various times throughout the conflict. Unfortunately, his offers were doomed to failure from the start.