7th Infantry Division Wehrmacht 1934-1945 (Wehrmacht Infantry Divisions)
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In 1933, the National-Socialist German Workers' Party, under its leader Adolf Hitler, came to power in Germany. As early as the autumn of 1933 Hitler envisioned annexing such territories as Bohemia, Western Poland, Austria to Germany and creation of satellite or puppet states without economies or policies of their own. As part of this long term policy, Hitler at first pursued a policy of rapprochement with Poland, trying to improve German–Polish relations, culminating in the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934. Earlier, Hitler's foreign policy worked to weaken ties between Poland and France, and attempted to manoeuvre Poland into the Anti-Comintern Pact, forming a cooperative front against the Soviet Union. Poland would be granted territory of its own, to its northeast in Ukraine and Belarus if it agreed to wage war against Soviet Union, but the concessions the Poles were expected to make meant that their homeland would become largely dependent on Germany, functioning as little more than a client state.
The Poles feared that their independence would eventually be threatened altogether. To provoke war with Poland in order to gain Lebensraum, Nazis used as a pretext a claim to Free City of Danzig and Polish territory that separated German exclave of East Prussia from the rest of the Reich. The so-called Polish Corridor constituted land long disputed by Poland and Germany, and inhabited by a Polish majority. The Corridor became a part of Poland after the Treaty of Versailles. Many Germans also wanted the city of Danzig and its environs (together the Free City of Danzig) to be reincorporated into Germany. Danzig was a port city with a German majority. It had been separated from Germany after Versailles and made into a nominally independent Free City of Danzig. Hitler sought to use this as reason for war, reverse these territorial losses, and on many occasions made an appeal to German nationalism, promising to "liberate" the German minority still in the Corridor, as well as Danzig.