Adolf Hitler's foreign policy aimed at establishing a European empire for Germany through war. This policy required the rapid expansion of Germany's military capabilities. The Geneva Disarmament Conference, beginning in 1932, sought to avoid another European war by negotiating a reduction in armaments. Hitler repudiated this effort by withdrawing Germany from the conference in October 1933. At the same time, he rejected collective security in international affairs by withdrawing from the League of Nations. Instead, Nazi Germany embarked on a vast military construction program.
"On behalf of the government, I have the honor to make to you the following communication: 'In the light of the [directions] which recent discussions of the powers concerned have taken in the matter of disarmament, it is now clear that the Disarmament Conference will not fulfill what is its sole object, namely general disarmament.'" In addition to quitting the Conference, Germany also withdrew from the League of Nations, a grave situation. Are the [dogs of war] to be loosed over Europe once more? Moodily, Henderson reads his reply to the German ultimatum. "I regret, therefore, that this grave decision should have been taken by your government, for reasons which I am unable to accept as valid. Henderson, president of the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments."