1929 Baldur von Schirach becomes leader of the Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Studentenbund (National Socialist German Students' League).
Baldur von Schirach:
In 1929, the man who was the then so-called Reich Leader of the National Socialist Students Union retired, and the question arose of who should be given the leadership of all the university groups. At that time Rudolf Hess, on behalf of the Führer, questioned all university groups of the National Socialist University Movement, and the majority of all these groups cast their vote for me to head the National Socialist Students Union. This accounts for the curious fact that I am the only Party leader who was elected into the Party leadership. That is something which has otherwise never occurred in the history of the Party. 11929 In "The Great Nuremberg Ritual Murder Trial," Julius Streicher's familiarity with Jewish texts convinces the court that his attacks on Jews are religious in nature, and therefore unlawful. He is found guilty and imprisoned for two months. 2
I used to think: Are there any definite indications of foreign blood in this man? Prominent cheekbones, for instance, which might cause people to say 'he has a Mongolian or Slav look about him'? Why did I do that? Let me draw your attention to the lessons of experience. Think of the types who were members of the soldiers' councils in 1918 and 1919. Every one of you who was an officer at that time has personal experience of a large number of these people. You will therefore be able to confirm that, in general, they were people who somehow looked odd to Germans, who had some peculiar feature showing that there was foreign blood somewhere. 3.5During wartime reminiscences, Hitler will recall:
It was Maurice, Schreck and Heyden who formed in Munich the first group of "tough 'uns", and were thus the origin of the SS. But it was with Himmler that the SS became that extraordinary body of men, devoted to an idea, loyal unto death. I see in Himmler our Ignatius de Loyola. With intelligence and obstinacy, against wind and tide, he forged this instrument. The heads of the SA, for their part, didn't succeed in giving their troops a soul . . . . The SS knows that its job is to set an example, to be and not to seem, and that all eyes are upon it. 4Otto Strasser, an often unreliable source, can perhaps be relied upon in the case of the following exchange he alleged to have had with the new Reichsführer SS:
"The SS will be an Order sworn to the Führer", Himmler is said to have said. "For him, I could do anything. Believe me, if Hitler were to say I should shoot my mother, I would do it and be proud of his confidence." "Heinrich, I shudder at you," Otto claims he replied. In fact, he later maintained that "Heinrich, I shudder at you" had become his usual greeting to Himmler, recalling that "He always took it with a laugh, indeed he was flattered." 51930 January 29 Reichsführer-SS Himmler writes to his comrade Ernst Röhm, who is serving as a military advisor to the Bolivian army: "The SS is growing and by the end of this quarter should have reached 2,000 . . . . as every month passes, service regulations and entry conditions are being tightened. 6
There is another State in which the Army had a different conception of these needs. That was in the State where, in October 1922, a group made ready to take the reins of the State out of the hands of the gangsters, and the Italian Army did not say: 'Our only job is to protect peace and order.' Instead they said: 'It is our task to preserve the future for the Italian people.' And the future does not lie with the parties of destruction, but rather with the parties who carry in themselves the strength of the people, who are prepared and who wish to bind themselves to this Army, in order to aid the Army some day in defending the interests of the people. In contrast we still see the officers of our Army belatedly tormenting themselves with the question as to how far one can go along with Social-Democracy. But, my dear sirs, do you really believe that you have anything in common with an ideology which stipulates the dissolution of all that which is the basis of the existence of an army . . . .
The victory of one course or the other lies partially in the hands of the Army—that is, the victory of the Marxists or of our side. Should the Leftists win out through your wonderful un-political attitude, you may write over the German Army: 'The end of the German Army.' For then, gentlemen, you must definitely become political, then the red cap of the Jacobins will be drawn over your heads . . . .
You may then become hangmen of the regime and political commissars, and, if you do not behave, your wife and child will be put behind locked doors. And if you still do not behave, you will be thrown out and perhaps stood up against a wall, for a human life counts little to those who are out to destroy a people. 8
I told Hitler we should try to get back a part of the colonies [that] belonged to us, and the administration of which was taken away from us, so that we could work there. I was thinking especially of the African colonies . . . but generally, any colonial activity; and of course, at first, I could only limit my colonial desires to our own property. Not I personally called them that. That is what the Treaty of Versailles calls them: "our property" . . . . [I did] not [mean] only "trade," but "developing the natural resources," or the economic possibilities of the colonies. I considered every kind of expansion within the European continent as sheer folly. I told him [Hitler] it was nonsense to undertake anything toward the East. Only colonial development could be considered. 101929 May Horst Ludwig Wessel, a composer of doggerel verse, the 22-year-old son of a Lutheran Minister, is appointed leader of SA-Troop 34 in the Friedrichshain district of Berlin. Wessel, who is proficient at the Schalmei (shawm), a peculiar German oboe, founds an SA Schalmeienkapelle (shawm band). 11
Even men fairly close to us regarded the Young Plan as a relief for Germany. I remember having come to Berlin for a meeting. Papen . . . was explaining that he had scored a great success in reducing the total of reparations to a sum of five thousand eight hundred million marks. I commented that, if we succeeded in getting together such a sum, we ought to devote it to German rearmament. After the seizure of power, I immediately had all payments suspended, which we could already have done as far back as 1925. 171929 July Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht joins forces with fellow economists to push the Young Plan. Schacht:
The question at issue was whether one was justified in refusing to sign [the Young Plan], since to do so would give rise to the danger of serious new political entanglements; or whether, having signed, one should continue steadily to resist reparations in general, until the occasion arose which would enable them to be put an end to once and for all. I had decided in favor of the second method. 181929 July 9 A "Reich Committee for the German People's Petition" is organized by 63-year-old Alfred Hugenberg, a right-wing nationalist who is Germany's leading newspaper tycoon. The committee is in opposition to the Young Plan, and Hugenberg eventually convinces a reluctant Hitler to join. Hitler demands and receives complete independence as to how the campaign is fought, access to the full resources of the committee, and to Hugenberg's line of newspapers and other media outlets. As his personal representative on the committee, Hitler initially appoints Gregor Strasser, which strikes many of Hitler's allies as an odd choice. Hitler privately implies that he is playing all of them, and no one should suppose that he will gain anything but clear advantage from the situation. Among others serving on the committee are industrialist Fritz Thyssen, the General Director of Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steel) Dr Albert Voegler, Franz Seldte of the Stahlhelm, and Heinrich Class of the Pan-German League. 19
Dear Herr Hitler: On our return home, my wife and I are eager to express our thanks to you for asking us to attend the convention of your party held between August 2 and 4, and for the elevating impressions we obtained there. Our intention was to express this thanks to you at the end of the session, and for that reason we were in the Deutscher Hof, where, unfortunately, we awaited you in vain, since without doubt your time was taken up with the brutal attacks of the Communists on your faithful party members and with concern for the protection of the latter . . . .
We shall never forget how overwhelmed we were in attending the memorial celebration for the World War dead and the dedication of the banners in the Luitpold Grove, at the sight of your troops marching by on the Hauptmarkt, of thousands and thousands of your supporters, their eyes bright with enthusiasm, who hung on your lips and cheered you. The sight of the endless crowd, cheering you and stretching out their hands to you at the end of the parade, was positively overwhelming. At this moment, I, who am filled with despair by the degeneration of our masses and the failure of our bourgeois circles toward the future of Germany, suddenly realized why you believe and trust unflinchingly in the fulfillment of the task you have set yourself, and, conscious of your goal, continue on your way, regardless how many sacrifices it may demand of you and your supporters. Any man who in these days, dominated by a brutal destruction of the patriotic qualities, could gather together and chain to himself such a troop of national-minded racial comrades, ready for every sacrifice, is entitled to nourish this confidence.
You may be proud of the honors and homages done you; there is hardly a crowned head who receives their equal. My wife and I are happy to have been able to witness them.
Anyone who was privileged to attend this session will, even though he may doubt or decisively reject particular points in your party program, nevertheless recognize the importance of your movement for the rehabilitation of our German fatherland and wish it success. With this wish, which we utter from a full heart, there rises in me even a small hope that it may be realized. Even if my doubts in the future of the German people cannot be entirely dispelled, since my observation, extending years back into the Bismarckian golden age of Germany and further, has shown that the German bourgeoisie are nationally speaking at a low level such as can be found in no other country, yet I have taken with me from the Nuremberg Congress the consoling certainty that numerous circles will sacrifice themselves to prevent the doom of Germanism from being accomplished in the dishonorable, undignified way I previously feared. With true German greetings from my wife and self; in friendship, Your Kirdorf. 22
1929 September 2 Martin Bormann, NSDAP regional press officer and business manager for Thuringia, weds 19-year-old Gerda Buch. Her father, Major Walter Buch, serves as chairman of the Nazi Party Court. Hitler acts as a witness at their wedding. Gerda Bormann will give birth to 10 children, nine of whom will survive to adulthood. 27
Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen dicht geschlossen!
SA marschiert mit mutig, festem Schritt.
Kameraden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marscbiern im Geist in unsern Reihen mit.
The flag on high! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA march with quiet, steady step.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit within our ranks. 45
With Göring to Viktoriagarten [in Berlin]. Overflowing. Feder speaks. The old simpleton. Then I come on. I spend an hour on the automaton Hindenburg and call the lying press to account. Everyone very excited . . . . From there together with Göring and Feder. Göring is a good fellow, and very affectionate. Feder a conceited, vain, jealous dandy. I can't stand him. 461930 January 20 From Goebbels' diary:
To Göring's to eat. Then with him and Schweitzer to the Deutsche Theater. The Kaiser from America, with Werner Krauss. A fabulous evening . . . . From there to the Schöneberger Ratskeller. Göring really carried on about Munich. Also about Hitler, in part with some justification. He works too little, too short, he is [word illegible]. And the women, the women! But against this stands an excess of ability and virtue, his charm, his goodness, his instinct, his human greatness. We are only glad that we have him and so put up with his weaknesses. 471930 January 22 The Reich Minister of Defense, General Groener, warns members of the Reichswehr against joining the NSDAP, which has been unlawful since 1927, and against engaging in politics: "They [the Nazis] therefore woo the Reichswehr. In order to use it for the political aims of their party, they attempt to dazzle us [into believing] that the National Socialists alone represent the truly national power." 48
He went forth as a preacher in the wilderness . . . harvesting hate rather than gratitude, and only persecution instead of recognition . . . . They laughed at him, mocked him, spat at him, wherever he came among them, and turned their backs on him with abhorrence . . . . In the end he was prepared . . . to forsake his mother and the parental home, going among those who mocked and spat at him . . . . Beyond, in a proletarian quarter, high above in a mansard room of a block of flats he created an austere young man's existence. A Christian socialist! One who through his deeds cries: 'Come to me, I will redeem you' . . . . Five weeks long he lay in agony close to death . . . . He did not complain . . . . And in the end, tired and wracked with pain, he gave up the ghost. They bore him to the grave . . . those he sought to save threw stones at the dead . . . . He drank the pain-filled chalice down to the dregs . . . . The deceased who is with us, raises his weary hand and points into the dim distance: Advance over the graves! At the end lies Germany! 521930 March 1 Gertrud Scholtz-Klink and her husband join the NSDAP. 53
I had not only contributed my part toward the creation of the Young Plan, but in 1929, I also assisted in the setting up of the Young Committee; the so-called Young Plan had resulted in a number of improvements for Germany, which the German Government was now sacrificing step by step during the subsequent negotiations at The Hague. Thus the financial and economic condition of the nation again deteriorated. I revolted against this, and for both these reasons I resigned my office as Reichsbankpraesident in protest, in March 1930. 551930 March 13 President Hindenburg signs legislation, passed the previous day, approving the provisions of the Young Plan. 56
The right of assembly has become the wrongs of assembly, and press freedom has become press license. We cannot permit demagogues to inflame the masses any further. Last year in Prussia alone three hundred policemen were wounded and fourteen killed in the course of their duties. 571930 March 16 Hitler's Berlin Gauleiter is none too happy with his Führer. Hitler has repeatedly refused to side publicly with him against his enemies, the Strassers, and had even declined to attend the funeral of Horst Wessel. He complains to his diary:
Munich, incl. Chief, has lost all credit with me. I don't believe anything from them any longer. Hitler has—for whatever reasons, they don't matter—broken his word to me five times. That's bitter to realize, and I inwardly draw my conclusions. Hitler keeps to himself (verbirgt sich), he takes no decisions, he doesn't lead any more but lets things happen. 581930 March 27 Reich Chancellor Hermann Müller, an SPD politician, has been in power through a "Grand Coalition," made up of the Social Democrats (SPD), German Democratic Party (Deutsche Demokratische Partei — DDP), Catholic Centre Party (Zentrum), and the German People's Party (Deutsche Volkspartei — DVP). Such a broad coalition of parties is a recipe for policy disputes, and the leftist SPD and rightist DVP have been at loggerheads over unemployment insurance. The DVP and their friends in big business, ideologically opposed to unemployment insurance to begin with, simply refuse to allow the unemployment insurance tax on employers to rise from 3.5% to 4%. (What a thing to do to the job creators during a depression!)
1930 April 14 Gerda Bormann gives birth to Martin (Kroenzi) Adolf Bormann, named after his godfather, Adolf Hitler. 62
Martin Bormann Jr, his godfather, and Gerda Bormann.
This is all bombastic nonsense. It boils down to this, that you would give every Party member the right to decide on the idea—even to decide whether the leader is true to the so-called idea or not. This is democracy at its worst, and there is no place for such a view with us. With us the Leader and the Idea are one, and every Party member has to do what the Leader orders. The Leader incorporates the Idea and alone knows its ultimate goal. Our organization is built up on discipline. I have no wish to see this organization broken up by a few swollen-headed litterateurs. You were a soldier yourself . . . . I ask you: are you prepared to submit to this discipline or not?Strasser has too many complaints on his mind to consider submitting to Hitler's discipline: "You want to strangle the social revolution," he accuses Hitler, "for the sake of legality and your new collaboration with the bourgeois parties of the Right."
I am a Socialist, and a very different kind of Socialist from your rich friend, Reventlow. I was once an ordinary working-man. I would not allow my chauffeur to eat worse than I eat myself. What you understand by Socialism is nothing but Marxism. Now look: the great mass of working-men want only bread and circuses. They have no understanding for ideals of any sort whatever, and we can never hope to win the workers to any large extent by an appeal to ideals. We want to make a revolution for the new dominating caste which is not moved, as you are, by the ethic of pity, but is quite clear in its own mind that it has the right to dominate others because it represents a better race: this caste ruthlessly maintains and assures its dominance over the masses . . . . Your whole system is a desk product that has nothing to do with real life . . . .
What you preach is liberalism, nothing but liberalism. There are no revolutions except racial revolutions: there cannot be a political, economic, or social revolution—always and only it is the struggle of the lower stratum of inferior race against the dominant higher race, and if this higher race has forgotten the law of its existence, then it loses the day. 66
Democracy has laid the world in ruins, and nevertheless you want to extend it to the economic sphere. It would be the end of German economy . . . . The capitalists have worked their way to the top through their capacity, and on the basis of this selection, which again only proves their higher race, they have a right to lead. Now you want an incapable Government Council or Works Council, which has no notion of anything, to have a say: no leader in economic life would tolerate it.
Strasser is aghast. "What about the Krupps?" he demands. "Are they to be given free reign as well?"
"Of course I should leave it alone," Hitler tells him. "Do you think that I should be so mad as to destroy Germany's economy? Only if people should fail to act in the interests of the nation, then—and only then—would the State intervene. But for that you do not need any expropriation, you do not need to give the workers the right to have a voice in the conduct of the business: you need only a strong State . . . . "
Herr Amann, would you stand for it if your stenographers suddenly wanted to interfere with your work? The employer who bears the responsibility for production also provides the workers with their livelihood. Our biggest employers in particular are not so much concerned about amassing money, about luxurious living, and so on. What is most important to them is the responsibility and the power. Because of their capability they have worked their way to the top, and because of their selectness, which again only proves their superior race, they have a right to lead.
For months as responsible leader of the National Socialist Party I have been watching attempts to introduce strife, confusion and insubordination into the ranks of the movement. Under the mask of desiring to fight for socialism a policy has been advocated which corresponds totally to the policy of our Jewish-liberal-Marxist opponents. These cliques call for the very things our enemies desire . . . .
I now consider it necessary to ruthlessly throw these destructive elements out of the party, every single one of them. We have shaped and determined the essential content of our movement; we who founded this movement and fought for it, suffered for it in the prisons, and we who led it hack from collapse and up to its present height. Anyone who does not like the essential content of the movement which was established by us, and primarily by me, should not enter the movement or must leave it again. As long as I am leading the National Socialist Party, it will not become a debating club for rootless scribblers or unruly parlor Bolsheviks. It will remain what it is today: an organization of discipline created not for doctrinaire foolishness or political Wandervogel (vagabonds) but dedicated to fight for the future of Germany in which class distinction will be broken and a new German people will decide its own destiny! 71
England, Germany, Italy, stand as though back to back. The stronger they become, the more dependent they are on one another. England's task is the protection of the white race in Africa and West Asia; Germany's task is to safeguard Germanic Europe against the chaotic Mongolian flood and to hold down France, which has already become an advance guard of Africa. (Take a look at the French colonial army and bear in mind that even now a Negro represents the French Government in the Geneva League of Nations.) Italy as a growing nation has a claim to Corsica, Tunis, Dalmatia, in order to prevent the destruction of Europe by French Negro armies. None of the three states can solve the task of destiny alone. 751930 July 16 Reich Chancellor Heinrich Brüning loses, 256 votes to 193, on his austerity bill in the Reichstag. He appeals to Reich President Hindenburg to allow him to issue an emergency decree under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. 76
We know that no election can finally decide the fate of the nation. It is not parliamentary majorities that decide the fate of nations—they can destroy nations. But we know that in these elections democracy must be destroyed with the weapons of democracy . . . .
Herr Groener can do what he likes. We do not need a putsch. Herr Groener need only reckon: In 1919 we were seven men; in 1920, sixty-four; in 1921, three thousand; in 1922, seven thousand; in 1923, thirty thousand. In 1925 we were again one man. In 1926, seventeen thousand; in 1927, over forty thousand; in 1928, over sixty thousand; in 1929, over a hundred and twenty thousand; today, we are over two hundred thousand. Herr Groener, in two years we will be five hundred and six hundred thousand. And a time will come when a radiant Brown majority will enter the Reichstag, and then, Herr Groener: at Philippi we shall meet again! 81
1930 August Martin Bormann organizes the Aid Fund (Hilfskasse) of the Nazi Party. Through this welfare fund, he collects large sums for the official purpose of providing charity to the families of Party members who had been killed or injured while doing their duty for the Party. 82
1930 August From an anonymous pamphlet printed by a group of disgruntled SA men:
We, the proletarian section of the Movement, are naturally delighted! We are quite happy to starve so that our dear "leaders" can enjoy themselves on their salaries of 2,000-5,000 marks a month. We were also overjoyed to hear that at the Berlin Motor Show our Adolf Hitler had spent 40,000 marks on a big new Mercedes." 83
From the time I started to organize the Party, I made it a rule never to fill an appointment until I had found the right man for it. I applied this principle to the post of Berlin Gauleiter. Even when the older members of the Party bombarded me with complaints over the Party leadership in Berlin, I refrained from coming to their assistance, until I could promise them that in Dr. Goebbels I had found the man I was seeking. For Dr. Goebbels possesses two attributes, without which no one could master the conditions in Berlin: he has intelligence and the gift of oratory. Further, he is a typical son of the Ruhr—that type which, thanks to its close ties with the iron and steel processes, gives us a man of exceptional value and merit.
When I invited Goebbels to study the organisation of the Party in Berlin, he reported in due course that the weakness lay in the junior leaders, and he asked me for a free hand to make the necessary changes and purge the Party of all unsatisfactory elements. I have never regretted giving him the powers he asked for. When he started, he found nothing particularly efficient as a political organisation to help him; nevertheless, in the literal sense of the word, he captured Berlin. He worked like an ox, regardless of all the stresses and strains to which the latent opposition of people like Stennes must have exposed him. 85
In my work for the NSDAP I have faced a court more than thirty times and have been convicted eight times for assault and battery, resistance to a police officer, and other such misdemeanors that are natural for a Nazi. To this day I am still paying instalments on my fines, and in addition have other trials coming up. Furthermore, I have been more or less severely wounded at least twenty times. I have knife scars on the back of my head, on my left shoulder, on my lower lip, on my right cheek, on the left side of my upper lip, and on my right arm. Furthermore, I have never yet claimed or received a penny of party money, but have sacrificed my time to our movement at the expense of the good business I inherited from my father. Today I am facing financial ruin. 901930 September 1 To wild cheers, Hitler addresses 2,000 Berlin SA men in the Berlin Ex-Servicemen's Building: "I am your Führer, and not elected or hired by you, not sought out by you and appointed by majority vote. No, I am your Führer on the strength of my work! . . . . And if all of you were to leave me, I should go on alone!." He announces that he is taking personal control of the SA and SS, with the official title of Oberster SA-Führer (OSAF). They lap it up.
[Mein Kampf] is a book written in the worst kind of German, propaganda of a man who was strongly interested in politics, not to say a fanatical, half educated man, which to me Hitler has always been. In [Mein Kampf] and, in part also in the Party program, there was one point that worried me a great deal, and that was the absolute lack of understanding for all economic problems. The Party program contained a few slogans, such as "Community interests come before private interests," and so on, and then the "breaking up of subjection to financial interests" and similar phrases, which could not possibly signify anything sensible. The same held true for Mein Kampf, which is of no interest from the point of view of economic policy, and consequently had no interest for me . . . .
With regard to the principle of the dominating Jewish influence in government, legal, and cultural questions, I have always said that I did not consider this influence to be of advantage, either to the German people and Germany, which was a Christian state and based on Christian conceptions, or to the Jews, since it increased the animosity against them. For these reasons I was always in favor of limiting Jewish participation in those fields, not actually according to the population, but nevertheless limiting them to a certain percentage. 92
That is the great thing about our movement . . . that these [SA] men have outwardly become almost a unit, that actually these members are uniform not only in ideas, but that even the facial expression is almost the same. Look at these laughing eyes, this fanatical enthusiasm, and you will discover how in these faces the same expression has formed, how a hundred thousand men in a movement become a single type . . . .
Today when I saw these boys passing by me, suddenly I thought: how would it be if two more years passed and these boys were to don our old steel helmets, if they were volunteer regiments at Ypres again—the same face, the same expression, the same life in these men ? We saw heads of boys in which was already imprinted the proud man to be, which the people needs as a leader if it is not to be destroyed. That is what this movement wants. 96
They [the SA] were set up exclusively for the purpose of protecting the Party in its propaganda, not to fight against the State. I have been a soldier long enough to know that it is impossible for a Party Organization to fight against the disciplined forces of the Army. I did everything I could to prevent the SA from assuming any kind of military character. I have always expressed the opinion that any attempt to replace the Army would be senseless. We are none of us interested in replacing the Army; my only wish is that the German State and the German people should be imbued with a new spirit . . . . I have always held the view that every attempt to disintegrate the Army was madness. None of us have any interest in such disintegration . . . .
We will see to it that, when we have come to power, out of the present Reichswehr a great German People's Army shall arise. There are thousands of young men in the Army of the same opinion . . . . 101 The concept of National Revolution has generally been considered in terms of purely domestic politics, but to National Socialists it means simply a German patriotic uprising. Germany was tied hand and foot by the peace treaties. All German legislation today is nothing but an attempt to impose the terms of the peace treaties on the German people. The National Socialists regard these treaties not as binding law, but as something forced upon us. We do not acknowledge our war guilt, nor will we burden future generations who are entirely guiltless with these fictitious debts. We will proceed against these treaties both on the diplomatic front and by circumventing every one of their provisions. If we fight against them with every means at our disposal, we will be on the way to the National Socialist revolution. 102
Absolutely! . . . . On questions of this kind, only my orders are valid, and my basic principle is that if a Party regulation conflicts with the law, it is not to be carried out. I am even now punishing failure to comply with my orders. Many Party members have been expelled for this reason; among them Otto Strasser, who toyed with the idea of revolution. 103On the third day of the much publicized trial, large and rowdy crowds protest outside the courthouse. The unrest spreads into the courtroom as spectators react with loud cheers, when Hitler declares: "I stand here under oath to God Almighty. I tell you that if I come to power legally, in my legal government I will set up state tribunals which will be empowered to pass sentences by law on those responsible for the misfortunes of our nation. Possibly, then, quite a few heads will roll legally." When the presiding judge weakly scolds Hitler, informing him that they are "neither in the theatre nor in a political meeting," Hitler appears the soul of reasonableness, which is made possible by an unwavering confidence in destiny:
Our propaganda is the spiritual revolutionizing of the German people. Our movement has no need of force. The time will come when the German nation will get to know of our ideas; then thirty-five million Germans will stand behind me . . . . We will enter the legal organizations and will make our Party a decisive factor in this way. But when we do possess constitutional rights, then we will form the State in the manner which we consider to be the right one. 104
The National Socialist Movement will seek to attain its aim in this state by constitutional means. The constitution shows us only the methods, not the goal. In this constitutional way, we will try to gain decisive majorities in the legislative bodies in order, in the moment this is successful, to pour the state into the mould that matches our ideas.
The National Socialist Party I hardly knew and hardly noticed before the Munich Putsch. It was this Putsch which dragged the Reichswehr into this internal political development. At that time, with few exceptions, it met this test of obedience. But after this Putsch there was a certain cleavage in the views of the officers' corps. Opinions varied as to Hitler's worth or worthlessness. I was still extremely skeptical and unconvinced. I was not impressed until Hitler, during the Leipzig trial, gave the assurance that he was opposed to any undermining of the Reichswehr.1930 September In an article printed in Britain's Sunday Express, Hitler writes: "The [recent] election, so to speak, took the temperature of the German people. The world was shocked to discover Germany in a fever—a high fever. That fever is bound to continue—to rise against existing conditions and unbearable burdens." Hitler demands that both the Versailles Treaty and the Young Plan be subject to revision, and insists upon "the return of the Polish Corridor, which is like a strip of flesh cut from our body . . . . If the German people must suffer as they are suffering today and will be suffering tomorrow, then let us have suffering that may come from saying 'No' rather than that laid on us by saying our 'Yes'." 106
The actual purpose of the Reichswehr, to be a citadel of the military idea and the basic troop for the future war of liberation, pales. The need of earning bread becomes all-important. Soldiers turn into officials, officers become candidates for pensions. What remains is a police troop . . . . People think the old staff corporal is an impassioned soldier. They don't bother to ask where he is to get passion after ten or twelve years' service in the barracks . . . . They know nothing of the tragedy of the four words: twelve years as subalterns . . . . Let the old men be silent. They have their lives behind them, ours are just beginning. A lost war, an impotent state, a hopeless system, an enslavement enduring fifty-nine years, a Reich at the brink of the abyss: that is our life. And they are to blame . . . . Consequently, we have the right to fight with all means for our freedom and that of our children. The world may be sure that we are determined to do so, and we shall be victorious just as surely as France is a dying nation. 1071930 September 24 Lord Rothermere, the owner of a British conservative newspaper, the Daily Mail, considers the results of the German Reichstag elections to be "the rebirth of Germany as a nation . . . [that] would draw not only the three million Germans in Czechoslovakia along with the three million Hungarians in Czechoslovakia and Rumania, but perhaps also the Hungarian people into its sphere of influence. As a result of such a development, Czechoslovakia, which has so gravely offended against the peace treaty (by the repression of national minorities as well as by her total rejection of disarmament), could be put out of existence overnight . . . . This great national combination under German leadership, which I see forming step by step as the new face of Europe in the immediate future, would be a bulwark against Bolshevism." 108
Hitler spoke with great simplicity and with great earnestness. There was not a trace in his manner of those arts which political leaders are apt to employ when they wish to impress. I was conscious that I was talking to a man whose power lies not, as many still think, in his eloquence and in his ability to hold the attention of the mob, but in his conviction.
He is not a robust-looking man. He is slight in figure, and last night, after an exhausting day in the law-courts—where he stood for over two hours while giving evidence—followed by a conference, he looked exhausted and his face was dead white. But the moment he spoke I realized that there was in him a burning spirit that could triumph over bodily weariness. He speaks very rapidly, and in his voice there is a nervous energy that makes one feel the intense conviction behind his words. 109
If we examine more closely the shift of political power to the National Socialists, we find that it has all sorts of political advantages.
For one thing, it erects a reinforced wall against Bolshevism. It eliminates the grave danger that the Soviet campaign against European civilization would advance to Germany and thus achieve an impregnable position in the strategic center of Europe . . . . If the young Germany of the National Socialists had not worked with so much energy, there was a great likelihood that the cause of communism would make important progress and that this party would even have become the strongest party . . . . Enlightened opinion in England and France should therefore give the National Socialists full recognition for the services which they have performed in Western Europe. Under Hitler's supervision, German youth is actually organized against the corruption of Communism.
I pursued the same purpose in founding the United Empire Party in England . . . . It would be the best thing for the welfare of Western civilization if Germany were to have a government, imbued with the same healthy principles by which Mussolini in the last eight years has renewed Italy. And I see no need for Great Britain and France to maintain an unfriendly attitude toward the efforts of the National Socialists in the field of foreign affairs.
Their complaint that Germany, alone among the Great Powers, is disarmed, has just grounds. In Part Five of the Versailles Pact, the Allies obligate themselves to gradual disarmament. The disarmament of Germany was intended only as a prelude to a general renunciation of military power. While the German armed forces have been limited to a hundred thousand men and a few ships for coastal defense, Germany's neighbors have steadily increased their armaments. To subject a solid mass of more than seventy million patriotic and extremely able men and women in the real center of Europe to such a lasting sense of bitter injustice, is like opening the gascock in a sealed room. Sooner or later there must be an explosion. In their own interests the Allied Powers should open the tightly sealed windows behind which German rancor is gathering. 110
If today our action employs among its different weapons that of Parliament, that is not to say that parliamentary parties exist only for parliamentary ends. For us Parliament is not an end in itself, but merely a means to an end . . . we are not on principle a parliamentary party—that would be a contradiction of our whole outlook—WE ARE A PARLIAMENTARY PARTY BY COMPULSION, UNDER CONSTRAINT, AND THAT COMPULSION IS THE CONSTITUTION. The Constitution compels us to use this means. It does not compel us to wish for a particular goal, it only prescribes a way—a method, and, I repeat, we follow this way legally, in accordance with the Constitution: by the way laid down through the Constitution we advance towards the purposes which we have set before us . . . .
And so this victory that we have just won is nothing else than the winning of a new weapon for our fight . . . . It is not for seats in Parliament that we fight, but we win seats in Parliament in order that one day we may be able to liberate the German people . . . .
Do not write on your banners the word "Victory" today that word shall be uttered for the last time. Strike through the word "Victory" and write once more in its place the word which suits us better—the word "Fight." 112
I must insist that Rosenberg's The Myth of the Twentieth Century is not to be regarded as an expression of the official doctrine of the Party. The moment the book appeared, I deliberately refrained from recognizing it as any such thing. In the first place, its title gives a completely false impression . . . a National Socialist should affirm that to the myth of the nineteenth century he opposes the faith and science of our times . . . . I have myself merely glanced cursorily at it. 119Albert Speer:
Rosenberg sold his seven-hundred page Myth of the Twentieth Century in editions of hundreds of thousands. The public regarded the book as the standard text for party ideology, but Hitler in those tea-time conversations bluntly called it "stuff nobody can understand," written by "a narrow-minded Baltic German who thinks in horribly complicated terms." He expressed wonderment that such a book could ever have attained such sales: "A relapse into medieval notions!" I wondered if such private remarks were carried back to Rosenberg. 1201930 October 13 At the opening session of the new Reichstag, the 107 uniformed Nazi members put on a show, responding to the roll call with an enthusiastic "Present, Heil Hitler!" Carin Göring attends to witness her husband's triumph. Toni Sender, a Socialist deputy, wrote: "This was the elite of the 'Aryan' race! — this noisy, shouting, uniformed gang. I looked at their faces carefully. The more I studied them, the more I was terrified by what I saw: so many men with the faces of criminals and degenerates. What a degradation to sit in the same place with such a gang!"
What was decisive for me was a speech Hitler made to students, and which my students finally persuaded me to attend. From what I had read in the opposition press, I expected to find a screaming, gesticulating fanatic in uniform, instead of which we were confronted with a quiet man in a dark suit who addressed us in the measured tones of an academic . . . .
[Hitler appeared]—greeted with incredible enthusiasm. Receptive as I am to atmosphere, already this had its effect on me: I felt goose-skin going down my spine. And then—I had only seen Pictures of him in uniform, his hair sort of wild, but here he was, in a good blue suit, looking civil and well-cared for . . . .
[What impressed most] was first his unexpected shyness and then the restraint he displayed, both in what he said and how he said it. Later I often noticed this tendency of shyness in Hitler when he found himself in the company of highly educated people who were superior to him in knowledge. In the second half of his speech, the shyness disappeared and he spoke with urgency and conviction . . . of the need for young Germans to find pride. [Sereny From a letter by Speer, written in May 1953, to his daughter, Hilde, from Spandau. 129
[The First World War had] eliminated those who were the best and preserved the inferiors (Minderwertigen). Finally the war and its corollaries left Germany to a preponderance of these inferiors. For the past twelve years the policies of this country—policies of rank egotism—have been those of inferior spirits.
When nations abandon the old and traditional concepts of honor and heroism in the mistaken belief that they are old-fashioned and outdated, it leads to a slow weakening of the people's fiber . . . . Heroic ideas attract heroic elements. Cowardly ideas rally cowards . . . . Examine our times, examine what gives life and verve to our time. Then make up your minds and make your choice. You need to find a way that allows you to become part of—to absorb you into—the life and future of this nation. 130
I fell ill on Christmas Eve. I ran a fever of 39.5 degrees Celsius. The day was spent decorating the tree, organizing things, wrapping the presents. At eight o'clock Goebbels arrived to spend Christmas Eve with us. He came loaded with presents for us all. For supper we had just cold meats and fruit. Then Goebbels played the harmonium, which I had brought into the living room for the holiday, while we all sang the old Christmas songs, "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht", "O du frohliche, o du selige", etc. Thomas [Thomas von Kantzow, Carin's 19-year-old son from her first marriage] and I sang in Swedish, Goebbels and Cilly [their maid] sang in German, and we harmonised. The fir tree was lit and the presents handed round. Then I got a shivering fit and it was so violent that I fell back on the sofa and had to be carried off to bed, with a fever and a bad headache. 1321930 December Hjalmar Schacht meets Hermann Göring for the first time, at the home of a mutual friend, Bank Director von Stauss. 133
Written by Walther Johann von Löpp
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