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Mein Kampf and was not published in his lifetime. The Zweites Buch was not published in 1928 because Mein Kampf did not sell well at that time and Hitler’s publisher, Franz-Eher-Verlag, told Hitler that a second book would hinder sales even more. There are a number of similarities and differences between Zweites Buch and Mein Kampf. As in Mein Kampf, Hitler declared that the Jews were his eternal and most dangerous opponents.

Hitler himself never used the term Stufenplan, which was coined by Hillgruber in his 1965 book Hitlers Strategie. Briefly, the Stufenplan called for three stages. In the first stage, there would be a massive military build-up, the overthrow of the shackles of the Treaty of Versailles, and the forming of alliances with Fascist Italy and the British Empire.

The second stage would be a series of fast, “lightning wars” in conjunction with Italy and Britain against France and whichever of her allies in Eastern Europe—such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia—chose to stand by her. The third stage would be a war to obliterate what Hitler considered to be the “Judeo-Bolshevik” regime in the Soviet Union.