Adolf Hitler Speech of January 27, 1932

Published by admin on Fri, 2013-11-01 02:07

Adolf Hitler on January 30, 1933 when he became Chancellor of Germany.

This private talk took place in Duesseldorf to a group of German industrialists who wanted to know what Hitler intended to do if he managed to take over the government.



September 21—In London the House of Commons passes a bill abandoning the gold standard.

October 11—Meeting in Harzburg of the Nazis and Nationalists—Hugenberg-Hitler alliance. Demand that Bruening resign. But even at the meeting Hitler makes his independence clear by reading a proclamation of his own to his own NSDAP party members.

Mid-October—Hindenburg receives Hitler.


January—Conversation between Bruening and Hitler. Bruening suggests that Hitler agree to a continuance of Hindenburg’s term of office as President of the Reich. In return, Bruening would resign—after a year—and propose Hitler as Chancellor. Party circles, led by Roehm, strongly oppose this proposal. Hitler thereupon declares that he could only agree to a continuance of Hindenburg’s term of office if Bruening were dismissed.

January 15—Approximately six million unemployed in the Reich.

January 23—Russia concludes a non-aggression pact with Finland.

The Speech

“… IF TODAY the National Socialist Movement is regarded amongst widespread circles in Germany as being hostile to our business life, I believe the reason for this view is to be found in the fact that we adopted towards the events which determined the development leading to our present position an attitude which differed from that of all the other organizations which are of any importance in our public life. Even now our outlook differs in many points from that of our opponents …”

“I regard it as of the first importance to break once and for all with the view that our destiny is conditioned by world- events. It is not true that our distress has its final cause in a world crisis, in a world catastrophe: the true view is that we have reached a state of general crisis, because from the first certain mistakes were made. I must not say ‘According to the general view the Peace Treaty of Versailles is the cause of our misfortune.’ What is the Peace Treaty of Versailles but the work of men? It is not a burden which has been imposed or laid upon us by Providence. It is the work of men for which, it goes without saying, once again men with their merits or their failings must be held responsible. If this were not so, how should men ever be able to set aside this work at all? I am of the opinion that there is nothing which has been produced by the will of man which cannot in its turn be altered by another human will.

“Both the Peace Treaty of Versailles together with all the consequences of that Treaty have been the result of a policy which perhaps fifteen, fourteen, or thirteen years ago was regarded as the right policy, at least in the enemy States, but which from our point of view was bound to be regarded as fatal when ten or less years ago its true character was disclosed to millions of Germans and now today stands revealed in its utter impossibility. I am bound therefore to assert that there must of necessity have been in Germany, too, some responsibility for these happenings if I am to have any belief that the German people can exercise some influence towards changing these conditions.

It is also in my view false to say that life in Germany to day is solely determined by considerations of foreign policy, that the primacy of foreign policy governs today the whole of our domestic life. Certainly a people can reach the point when foreign relations influence and determine completely its domestic life. But let no one say that such a condition is from the first either natural or desirable. Rather the important thing is that a people should create the conditions for a change in this state of affairs.

“If anyone says to me that its foreign politics is primarily decisive for the life of a people, then I must first ask: what then is the meaning of the term ‘Politics’? There is a whole series of definitions. Frederick the Great said: ‘Politics is the art of serving one’s State with every means.’ Bismarck’s explanation was that ‘Politics is the art of the Possible,’ starting from the conception that advantage should be taken of every possibility to serve the State—and, in the later transformation of the idea of the State into the idea of nationalities, the Nation. Another considers that this service rendered to the people can be effected by military as well as peaceful action:  for Clausewitz says that war is the continuation of politics though with different means. Conversely, Clémenceau considers that today peace is nothing but the continuation of war and the pursuing of the war-aim, though again with other means. To put it briefly: politics is nothing else and can be nothing else than the safeguarding of a people’s vital interests and the practical waging of its life-battle with every means. Thus it is quite clear that this life-battle from the first has its starting-point in the people itself and that at the same time the people is the object—the real thing of value—which has to be preserved. All functions of this body formed by the people must in the last resort fulfill only one purpose—to secure in the future the maintenance of this body which is the people. I can therefore say neither that foreign policy nor economic policy is of primary significance. Of course, a people needs the business world in order to live. But business is but one of the functions of this body-politic whereby its existence is assured. But primarily the essential thing is the starting-point and that is the people itself …”

“It is therefore false to say that foreign politics shapes a people: rather, peoples order their relations to the world about them in correspondence with their inborn forces and according to the measure in which their education enables them to bring those forces into play. We may be quite convinced that if in the place of the Germany of today there had stood a different Germany, the attitude towards the rest of the world would also have been different, and then presumably the influences exercised by the rest of the world would have taken a different form. To deny this would mean that Germany’s destiny can no longer be changed no matter what Government rules in Germany …”

“And as against this conception I am the champion of another standpoint: three factors, I hold, essentially determine a people’s political life:

“First, the inner value of a people which as an inherited sum and possession is transmitted again and again through the generations, a value which suffers any change when the people, the custodian of this inherited possession, changes it self in its inner blood-conditioned composition. It is beyond question that certain traits of character, certain virtues, and certain vices always recur in peoples so long as their inner nature—their blood-conditioned composition—has not essentially altered. I can already trace the virtues and the vices of our German people in the writers of Rome just as clearly as I see them today. This inner value which determines the life of a people can be destroyed by nothing save only through a change in the blood causing a change in substance. Temporarily an illogical form of organization of life or unintelligent education may prejudice it. But in that case, though its effective action may be hindered, the fundamental value in itself is still present as it was before. And it is this value which is the great source of all hopes for a people’s revival, it is this which justifies the belief that a people which in the course of thousands of years has furnished countless examples of the highest inner value cannot suddenly have lost overnight this inborn inherited value, but that one day this people will once again bring this value into action. If this were not the case, then the faith of millions of men in a better future—the mystic hope for a new Germany—would be incomprehensible. It would be incomprehensible how it was that this German people, at the end of the Thirty Years War, when its population had shrunk from eighteen to thirteen and one-half millions, could ever have once more formed the hope through work, through industry, and capacity to rise again, how in this completely crushed people hundreds of thousands and finally millions should have been seized with the longing for a re-formation of their State …”

“I said that this value can be destroyed. There are indeed in especial two other closely related factors which we can time and again trace in periods of national decline: the one is that for the conception of the value of personality there is substituted a levelling idea of the supremacy of mere numbers—democracy—and the other is the negation of the value of a people, the denial of any difference in the inborn capacity, the achievement, etc., of individual peoples. Thus both factors condition one another or at least influence each other in the course of their development. Internationalism and democracy are inseparable conceptions. It is but logical that democracy, which within a people denies the special value of the individual and puts in its place a value which represents the sum of all individualities—a purely numerical value—should proceed in precisely the same way in the life of peoples and should in that sphere result in internationalism. Broadly it is maintained: peoples have no inborn values, but, at the most, there can be admitted perhaps temporary differences in education. Between Negroes, Aryans, Mongolians, and Redskins there is no essential difference in value. This view which forms the basis of the whole of the international thought-world of today and in its effects is carried to such lengths that in the end a Negro can sit as president in the sessions of the League of Nations leads necessarily as a further consequence to the point that in a similar way within a people differences in value between the individual members of this people are denied. And thus naturally every special capacity, every fundamental value of a people, can practically be made of no effect. For the greatness of a people is the result not of the sum of all its achievements but in the last resort of the sum of its outstanding achievements. Let no one say that the picture produced as a first impression of human civilization is the impression of its achievement as a whole. This whole edifice of civilization is in its foundations and in all its stones nothing else than the result of the creative capacity, the achievement, the intelligence, the industry, of individuals: in its greatest triumphs it represents the great crowning achievement of individual God-favored geniuses, in its average accomplishment the achievement of men of average capacity, and in its sum doubtless the result of the use of human labor-force in order to turn to account the creations of genius and of talent. So it is only natural that when the capable intelligences of a nation, which are always in a minority, are regarded only as of the same value as all the rest, then genius, capacity, the value of personality are slowly subjected to the majority and this process is then falsely named the rule of the people. For this is not rule of the people, but in reality the rule of stupidity, of mediocrity, of half-heartedness, of cowardice, of weakness, and of inadequacy …”

“Thus democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people’s true values. And this also serves to explain how it is that peoples with a great past from the time when they surrender themselves to the unlimited, democratic rule of the masses slowly lose their former position; for the outstanding achievements of individuals which they still possess or which could be produced in all spheres of life are now rendered practically ineffective through the oppression of mere numbers. And thus in these conditions a people will gradually lose its importance not merely in the cultural and economic spheres but altogether; in a comparatively short time it will no longer, within the setting of the other peoples of the world, maintain its former value …”

“And to this there must be added a third factor: namely, the view that life in this world, after the denial of the value of personality and of the special value of a people, is not to be maintained through conflict. That is a conception which could perhaps be disregarded if it fixed itself only in the heads of individuals, but yet has appalling consequences because it slowly poisons an entire people. And it is not as if such general changes in men’s outlook on the world remained only on the surface or were confined to their effects on men’s minds. No, in course of time they exercise a profound influence and affect all expressions of a people’s life.

“I may cite an example: you maintain, gentlemen, that German business life must be constructed on a basis of private property. Now such a conception as that of private property you can defend only if in some way or another it appears to have a logical foundation. This conception must deduce its ethical justification from an insight into the necessity which Nature dictates. It cannot simply be upheld by saying:  ‘It has always been so and therefore it must continue to be so.’ For in periods of great upheavals within States, of movements of peoples and changes in thought, institutions and systems cannot remain untouched because they have previously been preserved without change. It is the characteristic feature of all really great revolutionary epochs in the history of mankind that they pay astonishingly little regard for forms which are hallowed only by age or which are apparently only so consecrated. It is thus necessary to give such foundations to traditional forms which are to be preserved that they can be regarded as absolutely essential, as logical and right. And then I am bound to say that private property can be morally and ethically justified only if I admit that men’s achievements are different. Only on that basis can I assert: since men’s achievements are different, the results of those achievements are also different. But if the results of those achievements are different, then it is reasonable to leave to men the administration of those results to a corresponding degree. It would not be logical to entrust the administration of the result of an achievement which was bound up with a personality either to the next best but less capable person or to a community which, through the mere fact that it had not performed the achievement, has proved that it is not capable of administering the result of that achievement. Thus it must be admitted that in the economic sphere, from the start, in all branches men are not of equal value or of equal importance. And once this is admitted it is madness to say: in the economic sphere there are undoubtedly differences in value, but that is not true in the political sphere. It is absurd to build up economic life on the conceptions of achievement, of the value of personality, and therefore in practice on the authority of personality, but in the political sphere to deny the authority of personality and to thrust into its place the law of the greater numberdemocracy. In that case there must slowly arise a cleavage between the economic and the political point of view, and to bridge that cleavage an attempt will be made to assimilate the former to the latter—indeed the attempt has been made, for this cleavage has not remained bare, pale theory. The conception of the equality of values has already, not only in politics but in economics also, been raised to a system, and that not merely in abstract theory: no! this economic system is alive in gigantic organizations and it has already today inspired a State which rules over immense areas.

“But I cannot regard it as possible that the life of a people should in the long run be based upon two fundamental conceptions. If the view is right that there are differences in human achievement, then it must also be true that the value of men in respect of the production of certain achievements is different. It is then absurd to allow this principle to hold good only in one sphere—the sphere of economic life and its leadership—and to refuse to acknowledge its validity in the sphere of the whole life-struggle of a people—the sphere of politics. Rather the logical course is that if I recognize without qualification in the economic sphere the fact of special achievements as forming the condition of all higher culture, then in the same way I should recognize special achievement in the sphere of politics and that means that I am bound to put in the forefront the authority of personality. If, on the contrary, it is asserted—and that, too, by those engaged in business—that in the political sphere special capacities are not necessary but that here an absolute equality in achievement reigns, then one day this same theory will be transferred from politics and applied to economic life. But in the economic sphere communism is analogous to democracy in the political sphere. We find ourselves today in a period in which these two fundamental principles are at grips in all spheres which come into contact with each other; already they are invading economics.

“To take an example: Life in practical activity is founded on the importance of personality: but now gradually it is threatened by the supremacy of mere numbers. But in the State there is an organization—the army—which cannot in any way be democratized without surrendering its very existence. But if a Weltanschauung cannot be applied to every sphere of a people’s life, that fact in itself is sufficient proof of its weakness. In other words: the army can exist only if it maintains the absolutely undemocratic principle of unconditional authority proceeding downwards and absolute responsibility proceeding upwards, while, in contradistinction to this, democracy means in practice complete dependence proceeding downwards and authority proceeding upwards. But the result is that in a State in which the whole political life—beginning with the parish and ending with the Reichstag—is built up on the conception of democracy, the army is bound gradually to become an alien body and an alien body which must necessarily be felt to be such. It is for democracy an alien world of ideas, an alien Weltanschauung which inspires the life of this body. An internal conflict between the representatives of the democratic principle and the representatives of the principle of authority must be the inevitable consequence, and this conflict we are actually experiencing in Germany …”

“So in the same way the education to pacifism must of necessity have its effect right through life until it reaches the humblest individual lives. The conception of pacifism is logical if I once admit a general equality amongst peoples and human beings. For in that case what sense is there in conflict? The conception of pacifism translated into practice and applied to all spheres must gradually lead to the destruction of the competitive instinct, to the destruction of the ambition for outstanding achievement. I cannot say: in politics we will be pacifists, we reject the idea of the necessity for life to safeguard itself through conflict—but in economics we want to remain keenly competitive. If I reject the idea of conflict as such, it is of no importance that for the time being that idea is still applied in some single spheres. In the last resort political decisions are decisive and determine achievement in the single sphere …”

“To sum up the argument: I see two diametrically opposed principles: the principle of democracy which, wherever it is allowed practical effect, is the principle of destruction: and the principle of the authority of personality which I would call the principle of achievement, because whatever man in the past has achieved—all human civilizations—is conceivable only if the supremacy of this principle is admitted.

“The worth of a people, the character of its internal organization through which this worth of a people may produce its effect, and the character of a people’s education—these are the starting-points for political action: these are the foundations for the success of that action …”

“That the evidences of a crisis should today spread over almost the entire world is comprehensible when one considers that the world has been opened up and mutual relations have been strengthened to an extent which fifty, eighty, or a hundred years ago appeared scarcely possible. And yet, despite this fact, one must not believe that such a state of affairs is conceivable only now, in the year 1932. No, similar conditions have been experienced more than once in the history of the world. Always when relations between peoples produced conditions such as these, the malady affecting these peoples was bound to spread and to influence the position of all.

“It is, of course, easy to say: we prefer to wait until there is a change in the general position, but that is impossible. For the position which faces you today is not the consequence of a revelation of God’s will, but the result of human weak nesses, of human mistakes, of men’s false judgments. It is but natural that there must first be a change in these causes, that men must first be inwardly transformed, before one can count on any alteration in the position.

“That conclusion is forced upon us if we look at the world today: we have a number of nations which through their inborn outstanding worth have fashioned for themselves a mode of life which stands in no relation to the life-space—the Lebensraum—which in their thickly populated settlements they inhabit. We have the so-called white race which, since the collapse of ancient civilization, in the course of some thousand years has created for itself a privileged position in the world. But I am quite unable to understand this privileged position, this economic supremacy, of the white race over the rest of the world if I do not bring it into close connection with a political conception of supremacy which has been peculiar to the white race for many centuries and has been regarded as in the nature of things: this conception it has maintained in its dealings with other peoples. Take any single area you like, take for example India. England did not conquer India by the way of justice and of law: she conquered India without regard to the wishes, to the views of the natives, or to their formulations of justice, and, when necessary, she has upheld this supremacy with the most brutal ruthlessness. Just in the same way Cortez or Pizarro annexed Central America and the northern states of South America, not on the basis of any claim of right, but from the absolute inborn feeling of the superiority of the white race. The settlement of the North American continent is just as little the consequence of any claim of superior right in any democratic or international sense; it was the consequence of a consciousness of right which was rooted solely in the conviction of the superiority and therefore of the right of the white race. If I think away this attitude of mind which in the course of the last three or four centuries has won the world for the white race, then the destiny of this race would in fact have been no different from that, say, of the Chinese: an immensely congested mass of human beings crowded upon an extraordinarily narrow territory, an over-population with all its unavoidable consequences. If Fate allowed the white race to take a different path, that is only because this white race was convinced that it had the right to organize the rest of the world. It matters not what superficial disguises in individual cases this right may have assumed, in practice it was the exercise of an extraordinarily brutal right to dominate others (Herrenrechtes), and from this political conception was developed the basis for the economic annexation of that world which was not inhabited by the white race …”

“Today we are faced with a world-condition which is for the white race in any way comprehensible only if one recognizes as unconditionally valid that marriage of the spirit of domination in political will and the same spirit of domination in economic activity—a wonderful concord which has impressed its stamp upon the whole of the last century and through the consequences of which a part of the white peoples has enjoyed a remarkable development: instead of expanding in space, instead of exporting men, they have exported goods and have built up an economic world-system which finds its characteristic expression in the fact that—presupposing different standards of living on the earth—in Europe and, in most recent times, in America also, gigantic world-central-factories have come into existence while the rest of the world provides enormous markets for the disposal of goods and enormous sources of raw materials. The white race, however, can in practice maintain its position only so long as the difference in the standard of living in different parts of the world continues to exist. If you today give to our so-called export-markets the same standard of living as we ourselves possess you will find that it will be impossible for the white race to maintain that position of superiority which finds expression not merely in the political power of the nation but also in the economic fortune of the individual.

“The different nations, further, have safeguarded this position of superiority in different ways—in accordance with their individual characteristics—most brilliantly of all perhaps England who has always opened up for herself new markets and immediately anchored them through political dominance, so that it is without doubt conceivable that Great Britain, always supposing that her mental outlook remains unchanged, should build up for herself an economic life of her own, more or less independent of the rest of the world. Other peoples have not attained this goal because they consumed their mental powers in internal conflicts between differing outlooks on the world and formerly in religious struggles. During the great period of the partitioning of the world they doubtless inwardly developed their capacities in these intellectual disputes. Later they sought also to take their part in world-economics, but they did not themselves create export-markets nor did they completely safeguard their control over those markets.

“When Germany, for instance, began to found colonies then the inner conception, this quite cool, sober English conception, of the foundation of colonies had already given place to more or less romantic ideas: the transmission of German culture to the world and the spread of German civilization—things which were utterly remote from the thought of the Englishman in the colonization period. Thus it was that the practical results of our efforts did not come up to our expectations, quite apart from the fact that the objects of our concern were in part unable to fulfill our high romantic hopes …”

“The world-situation today can be briefly stated: Germany, England, France, and further—but not by reason of compulsion—the American Union, together with a whole series of small States, are industrial nations dependent on export. After the close of the War all these peoples were faced with a world-market comparatively emptied of commodities. Methods in industry and in factories had been improved, especially on the scientific and theoretical sides, with vast ingenuity on account of the War, and armed with these new methods men rushed into this great void, began to remodel their works, to invest capital and under the compulsion of this invested capital sought to raise production to the highest possible extent. This process could continue with success for two, three, four, or five years. It could be continued successfully for a further period if new possibilities for export could be created which should correspond to the rapid increase and improvements in production and its methods. This was a problem of primary importance, for the rationalization of business which began in the sphere of agriculture leads to a reduction in the number of men engaged in work, a reduction which is useful only if the men thus turned out of employment can be easily in their turn transferred into new branches of economic activity. But we see that since the World War there was no further important extension of export-markets: on the contrary, we see that relatively those export-markets contracted, that the number of exporting nations gradually increased, and that a great many former export-markets became themselves industrialized, while finally a new wholesale exporter, the American Unionwhich perhaps today is not yet all-powerful in all spheres, but certainly in individual casescan reckon on advantages in production which we in Europe assuredly do not and cannot possess.

“And as the last momentous feature we regard the fact that, parallel with the gradual growth of confusion in the thought of the white race in Europe, a Weltanschauung has seized on part of Europe and a great part of Asia which threatens to tear this continent out of the framework of international economic relations altogether—a portent which today German statesmen still appear to neglect with an astonishing levity. When, for instance, I hear a speech which stresses the necessity for the German people to stand together, then I cannot but raise the question: Does one really believe that this standing together is any longer merely a question of political good will? Cannot people see that in our midst already a cleavage has opened up, a cleavage which is not merely a fancy born in the heads of a few persons but whose spiritual exponent forms today the foundation of one of the greatest world-powers? Can they not see that Bolshevism today is not merely a mob storming about in some of our streets in Germany but is a conception of the world which is in the act of subjecting to itself the entire Asiatic continent, and which today in the form of a State stretches almost from our eastern frontier to Viadivostock?

“With us the situation is represented as if here it was merely a question of purely theoretical problems, of views held by a few visionaries or evil-disposed individuals. No! A Weltanschauung has won over to itself a State, and starting from this State it will gradually shatter the whole world and bring it down in ruins. Bolshevism, if its advance is not interrupted, will transform the world as completely as in times past did Christianity. In 300 years people will no longer say that it is a question of a new idea in production. In 300 years perhaps people will already realize that it is a question almost of a new religion, though its basis is not that of Christianity. In 300 years, if this movement develops further, people will see in Lenin not merely a revolutionary of the year 1917 but the founder of a new world-doctrine, honored perhaps as is Buddha. It is not as if this gigantic phenomenon could simply be thought away from the modern world. It is a reality and must of necessity destroy and overthrow one of the conditions for our continued existence as a white race. We see the stages of this process: first the lowering of the level of civilization and thereby the capacity to welcome civilizing influences; lowering of the whole level of human society and therewith the sundering of all relations towards other nations, then the construction of an independent system of production, with the help of crutches borrowed from capitalist economics; and then as the final stage its own production to the complete exclusion of other Countries, which naturally in those districts near its frontiers will one day find in it the most serious economic rival.

“I know very well that gentlemen of the Reichsininistry and gentlemen representing German industry will object:

‘We do not believe that the Soviets will ever be able to build up an industry which can really be capable of competing with us.’ Gentlemen, they could never build up such an industry if they were confined to the national resources of Bolshevist Russia. But this industry will be built up by elements of value drawn from the white peoples themselves. It is nonsense to say that it is impossible to build up industry in Russia through forces supplied by other peoples …”

“And if it be further stated: The methods of production will never be able to keep pace with our own—do not forget that a lower standard of living will fully compensate for any advantage which we perhaps possess in our method of production.

“In any event—if European and American modes of thought remain in the future as they are today—we shall find that Bolshevism will gradually spread over Asia. Thirty or fifty years, when it is a question of Weltanschauungen, count for nothing … Weltanschauungen of this fundamental character can still five hundred years after their rise display their absolute capacity for conquest if they are not at the outset broken by the natural instinct of self-preservation of other peoples. But if this process continues only for another thirty, forty, or fifty years and our outlook still remains unchanged, it will not then, gentlemen, be possible to say ‘How does that concern our economic life?’!

“Gentlemen, the development is clear for all to see: the crisis is very serious. It forces us to cut down expenses in every sphere. The most natural way of economizing is always to save in human labor-power. Industries will continuously be forced to ever greater rationalization, that means increase in achievement and reduction in the number of workmen employed. But if these workmen can no longer be given a place in newly started occupations, in newly developed industries, then that means that gradually three national banking accounts must be opened: the first account is called agriculture: from this national basic account men were formerly economized to constitute the second account. This second account was hand-work and later industrial production. Now an economy in man-power is being practised on this second account and the men saved from this account are driven over into the third account—unemployment. With this word unemployment one is but shamefacedly seeking to put a better appearance upon hard facts: for the proper term is not ‘work-less’ but ‘existence-less’ and therefore in truth ‘superfluous.’ It is the characteristic feature of our European nations that gradually a certain percentage of the population is proved statistically to be superfluous.

“It is now quite clear that the necessity for supporting this third account thus falls upon the other two. That increases the pressure of taxation, and the consequence of that will be an enforced further rationalization of the method of production, further economy, and a still greater increase in the third account.

“And to this must be added the fact that the fight which today all European nations wage for the world export-market results naturally in a rise of prices which in its reaction compels men to practise further economies. The final result which today can hardly be foreseen will in any event prove decisive for the future or for the downfall of the white race, and in especial of those peoples which in their narrow living space can establish economic autarchy only with very great difficulty. The further consequence will be that, for instance, England will carry through a reorganization with an eye to her internal market and for its protection will raise tariff barriers, high today and tomorrow still higher, and all other peoples, so far as they are in any way able to do so, will follow suit.

“So far all those are in the right who regard the melancholy position of Germany as calling for special attention when considering our present distress, but they are wrong in seeking the cause of our distress in externals, for this position is certainly the result not merely of the external development but of our internal, I might almost say, aberration of spirit, our internal division, our internal collapse …”

“Gentlemen, we know from our own experience that, through a mental aberration whose consequences you can in practice trace on every hand, Germany lost the War. Do you believe that when seven or eight million men have found themselves for ten or twenty years excluded from the national process of production that for these masses Bolshevism could appear as anything else than the logical theoretical complement of their actual, practical, economic situation? Do you really believe that the purely spiritual side of this catastrophe can be overlooked and that one day it will not transform itself into bitter reality—the evil curse following on the evil deed? …”

“The essential thing is to realize that at the present moment we find ourselves in a condition which has occurred several times before in the history of the world: already there have been times when the volume of certain products in the world exceeded the demand. Today we are experiencing the same thing on the largest possible scale: if all the motor-factories in the world today were employed a hundred per cent and worked a hundred per cent, then one could replace the world’s entire stocks of motors in four and a half or five years. If all the locomotive-factories were employed a hundred per cent they could easily renew the entire locomotive material in the world in eight years. If all the rail-factories and rolling-mills of the world were employed a hundred per cent perhaps in ten to fifteen years one could put the whole system of rail way-lines at present in existence once more round the world. And that holds good for nearly all industries. There has arisen such an increase in productive capacity that the present possible consumption market stands in no relation to this increased capacity. But if Bolshevism as a world-idea tears the Asiatic continent out of the human economic community, then the conditions for the employment of these industries which have developed on so gigantic a scale will be no longer even approximately realized … When a politician or economist objects: that was, it is true, the case between Rome and Carthage, between England and Holland, or between England and France, but today the business world decides the matter, then I can only reply: that is not the spirit which formerly opened up the world for the white race, which for us Germans, too, opened the way into the economic life of the world. For it was not German business which conquered the world and then came the development of German power, but in our case, too, it was the power-State (Machtstaat) which created for the business world the general conditions for its subsequent prosperity. In my view it is to put the cart before the horse when today people believe that by business methods they can, for instance, recover Germanys Power-position instead of realizing that the Power-position is also the condition for the improvement of the economic situation. That does not mean that one should not forthwith try to oppose the malady which has seized upon our economic life, although one cannot immediately attack the source of the malady. But it does mean that every such external solution ignores the kernel of the problem, since it fails to recognize that there is only one fundamental solution. That solution rests upon the realization that economic systems in collapse have always as their forerunner the collapse of the State and not vice versa—that there can be no flourishing economic life which has not before it and behind it the flourishing powerful State as its protection—that there was no Carthaginian economic life without the fleet of Carthage, and no Carthaginian trade without the army of Carthage—that it goes without saying that also in modern times—when blow is met by blow and the interests of peoples clash—there can be no economic life unless behind this economic life there stands the determined political will of the nation absolutely ready to strikeand to strike hard.

“And here I would enter a protest against those who would simply sweep these facts aside by asserting that the Peace Treaty of Versailles is ‘according to the almost universal view’ the cause of our misfortune. No, certainly not ‘according to the almost universal view’ but rather only according to the view of those who share in the guilt of having concluded that treaty.

“The Peace Treaty of Versailles is itself only the consequence of our own slow inner confusion and aberration of mind. We find ourselves—no one can doubt it—in a period in which the world is faced by extraordinarily difficult mental conflicts which must profoundly disturb it. I cannot escape these conflicts by simply regretting them, by shrugging my shoulders and—without making clear to myself their causes—by saying ‘What we want is unity.’ These struggles are not caused merely by the ill-will of a few men; they have in the last resort their deepest roots in the facts of race.

“If Bolshevism is spreading today in Russia this Bolshevism is for Russia fundamentally just as logical as was the Czardom formerly. It is a brutal régime over a people which cannot be held together as a State except through a brutal Government. But if this view of the world gains a hold on us, too, then we must not forget that our people also is composed racially of the most varied elements and that therefore we have to see in the watchword ‘Proletarians of all countries, unite!’ much more than a mere political battle-cry. It is in reality the expression of the will of men who in their essential character have in fact a certain kinship with analogous peoples on a low level of civilization. Our people and our State, too, were formerly built up only through the exercise of the absolute right of the lord and through the sense of lordship of the so-called Nordic men: it is the work of those sections belonging to the Aryan race which we still possess in our people. Accordingly it is only a question of the regeneration of the German body-politic in accordance with the laws of an iron logic: this must determine whether we shall find our way back to new political strength or not …”

“‘The Government will endeavor to improve the morals of the German people.’ But on what moral code, gentlemen? Morals, too, must have a root. What to you appears to be moral appears to others immoral, and what to you seems immoral is for others a new morality. The State, for instance, says: The thief must be punished. But many citizens of the nation reply: The property owner must be punished, for the ownership of property is in itself theft. The thief is glorified, not condemned. The one half of the nation says: The traitor must be punished: the other half considers treason to be a duty. The one half says: The nation must be defended with courage: the other half regards courage as idiotic. The one half says: The basis of our morality is the religious life and the other half answers with scorn: The conception of a God has no basis in reality. Religions are but opium for the people.

“I beg you not to think, when a people has once come under the sway of these conflicts of Weltanschauungen, that one can circumvent them by the simple method of emergency decrees or to imagine that it is unnecessary to adopt any attitude towards these conflicts because they are matters which do not concern economics, the life of the administration or cultural life. Gentlemen, these conflicts strike at the power and strength of the nation as a whole. How is a people still to count for anything abroad when in the last resort fifty per cent are inclined to bolshevism and fifty per cent are Nationalists or anti-Boshevists. It is quite conceivable to turn Germany into a bolshevist State—it would be a catastrophe, but is it conceivable. It is also conceivable to build up Germany as a national State. But it is inconceivable that one should create a strong and sound Germany if fifty percent of its citizens are Bolshevist and fifty per cent nationally minded. From the solution of this problem we cannot escape!

“When the present Government says, ‘We are after all industrious, we work, this last emergency regulation has cost us sessions lasting so many hundred hours,’ I do not doubt it. But for all that the nation is no whit stronger or more united; the process of internal dissolution goes on just the same. And the goal to which this path must ultimately lead you can only determine by a really great effort of careful thought. Germany possessed once—as the first condition for the organization of our people on a large scale—a weltanschauliche basis in our religion—Christianity. When this basis was shattered we see how the strength of the nation turned from external affairs to internal conflicts, since the nature of man from an inner necessity compels him at the moment when the common weltanschauliche basis is lost or is attacked to seek for a new common basis. These were the great periods of the civil wars, of the wars of religion, etc., struggles and confusions during which either a nation finds a new weltanschauliche platform and on this can build itself up anew and then it can turn its force outwards, or else a people is split in two and falls into chaos. In Germany this process ran its course in a truly classical form. The religious struggles meant that the whole force of Germany withdrew inwards—an absorption and exhaustion of this force internally—while at the same time there ensued automatically a slowly increasing failure to react to great events of world-wide significance outside of Germany: to these events the people remains completely unresponsive because of its own internal tensions which press for a solution.

“It is a mistake to say that world-politics, the world-situation alone determined Germany’s fate in the sixteenth century. No, our own internal condition at that time contributed to form that picture of the world which later caused us so much sufferingthe partition of the world without Germany.

“And once more in an historical example on an immense scale this same experience is repeated: in place of the lost religious unity—for the two Confessions are now ice-bound and neither can overcome the other—a new platform is discovered: the new conception of the State, first in a legitimist form and later slowly passing into the age of the principle of nationality and colored by it. On this new platform Germany once more unites her forces and bit by bit through the consolidation of a Reich which had fallen into decline in the period of the old confusions Germany automatically and permanently recovers her strength in foreign politics. This increase in strength leads to those August days of 1914, an experience which we ourselves had the proud good fortune to share. A nation which seems to have no domestic differences and therefore can turn its united strength towards the world beyond its frontier! and scarcely four and a half years later we see the process once more take its backward course …”

“At this point I can today establish one fact: no matter what the legislature undertakes—especially by way of decrees and above all by way of emergency decrees—unless Germany can master this internal division in Weltanschauungen, no measures of the legislature can stop the decline of the German nation …”

“And if the system objects: there is no time for that now—it is true, gentlemen, that far too much time has been wasted in useless work, far too much time has been already lost. One might have begun the process of regeneration in 1919 and then during the past eleven years Germany’s external development would have taken a different course. For if the Peace Treaty could be presented in the form in which it was imposed upon us, that was only because Germany at the time when the Treaty was composed had ceased to be a factor which could exercise any influence whatever. And if this Peace Treaty in its application assumed the forms which we know and which we experienced, then that again is only because in all these years Germany had no definite will of her own which could make itself felt. We therefore are not the victims of the treaties, but the treaties are the consequences of our own mistakes; and if I wish in any way to better the situation, then I must first change the value of the nation:  I must above all recognize that it is not the primacy of foreign politics which can determine our action in the domestic sphere, rather, the character of our action in the domestic sphere is decisive for the character of the success of our foreign policynay moreit must determine the success of all the aims which we set before us.

“I take to illustrate my contention two examples from history: firstly, Bismarck’s idea of a conflict between Prussia and the House of Habsburg, the construction of a new Reich from which Austria was to be excluded. That idea could never have been realized unless, before one sought to transform the idea into action, one had created the instrument with which one could in practice realize one’s political purpose. It was not the political situation which forced Prussia to undertake a reorganization of her army; but it was the reorganization of the Prussian army which Bismarck, looking into the future, carried through in the teeth of the madness of Parliament, which first rendered possible the political situation which found its end at Königgratz and which at Versailles founded the Reich that, since gradually it came to stand upon changed foundations, was later in the same chamber once more broken up and partitioned.

“And conversely: if a German Government today, applying Bismarckian ideas, tries to tread the road which Germany trod then and perhaps as the first step towards a policy of the unification of Germany seeks to establish a new Zollverein, a Customs Union, then the essential thing is not that one should formulate this aim, what is essential is what preparations are made beforehand to render possible the execution of the project. I cannot formulate an aim which, supported by a Press campaign in ones own papers, is regarded in the whole world as a political aim of outstanding importance if I fail to secure the political means which are absolutely necessary for the execution of such a plan. And the political meansI cannot today put them any lower than thislie only in the reorganization of an army. For whether Germany possesses an army of 100,000 men or of 200,000 or 300,000 is in the last resort completely beside the point: the essential thing is whether Germany possesses eight million reservists whom she can transfer into her army without any fear of falling into the same weltanschauliche catastrophe as that of 1918 …”

“If anyone today wishes to hurl against me as a National Socialist the gravest possible accusation he says: ‘You want to force a decision in Germany by violence and it is against this that we are bound to protest. You want one day in Germany to annihilate your political opponents. We on the other hand take our stand on the ground of the Constitution, and we are bound to guarantee to all parties the right to exist.’ And to that I have only one reply: translated into practice that means: you have a company: you have to lead that company against the enemy. Within the company there is complete liberty to form a coalition. Fifty per cent of the company have formed a coalition on the basis of love of the Fatherland and of protection of the Fatherland: the other fifty per cent have formed a coalition on the basis of pacifism; they reject war on principle, they demand that freedom of conscience should be inviolate and declare that to be the highest, the sole good which we possess today. Still it comes to a fight, and then all desire to stand firmly together. But if a man, relying on freedom of conscience, should desert to the enemy, then there would come the peculiar moment when they would have to arrest and punish him as a deserter, entirely forgetful of the fact that they really had no right to punish him. A State which—under license from the State—permits the spread of the view that treason to the Fatherland is a duty, which allows great organizations calmly to declare:  Our task in the event of war will be simply to put a stop to all military activity—with what right does such a State punish a traitor? It is but a side issue that such a State through the madness of this standpoint is reduced ad absurdum, for the man who would otherwise be branded as a criminal now becomes for one-half of the nation a martyr. Why? Because the same State, which on the one hand declares the theory of treason to the country to be ethical and moral and protects it, on the other hand has the presumption to imprison a man who seeks to translate this view from the sphere of theory into practice.

“Gentlemen, all that is impossible, absolutely impossible, if one believes at all that a people in order to survive must turn its strength outwards. But consider the present situation: seven or eight millions employed in agriculture seven or eight millions employed in industry, six or seven millions unemployed. Consider that, so far as man can see, in this state of affairs there will be no change, and then you must admit that Germany as a whole in the long run cannot continue to exist—unless indeed we find our way back to a quite extraordinary, newly created political force working from within which alone may enable us once more to exercise effective influence abroad.

“For it matters not which problem of our life as a people we wish to attempt to solve: if we wish to support our export trade, always the day will come in this sphere, too, when the political will of the nation as a whole must speak a word of warning in order that we may not be thrust on one side by the interests of other peoples. If we want to build up a new internal market, if we want to solve the problem of our living space once again we shall need the collective political strength of the nation. Yes, when it is merely a question of our value as allies, always we must first make of Germany once more a political power-factor. And that can never be achieved by bringing before the Reichstag a proposal that—through negotiations—we should procure a few heavy batteries, eight or ten tanks, twelve aircraft or, if you will, a few squadrons—that is entirely beside the point. In the lives of peoples the technique of arms has continually changed: but what had to remain unchangeable was the formation of the will. That is the constant factor, the condition for everything else. If that fails, no weapons are of any service. On the contrary, if you were to summon the German people to a levée en masse and for this purpose supply it with arms, tomorrow the result would be a civil war, not an attack on the foreign foe. With the body-politic as it is today one cannot any longer conduct any practical foreign policy. Or do you believe that with the Germany of today Bismarck would have been able to fulfill his historic mission, that the German Reich could have arisen from a constitution inspired by the spirit which animates our own? …”

“When I returned from the Front in 1918 I found at home a state of affairs which, like all the others, I might simply have accepted as an accomplished fact. I am firmly convinced that a great part of the German nation in these November and December days of 1918 and even in 1919 were absolutely of the opinion that if Germany continued in her domestic politics on this path she must in foreign policy hasten to a rapid end. They held therefore the same view as I did. There was only one difference. I said to myself at that time: It is not enough to realize that we are ruined: it is also necessary to understand why! And even that is not enough, but it is necessary to declare war on this destructive development, and for that war to create the indispensable instrument …”

“In the year 1918, as I considered the position with cool and considered judgment, I was bound to confess: it is an appallingly difficult course to come before the people at such a time and to form for myself a new organization. It is naturally much easier to join one of the existing formations and thence to seek to overcome the inner division of the nation. But is that at all possible when one starts from the existing organizations? Has not every organization in the last resort the spirit, the men who can find satisfaction in its program and in its struggle? If an organization has continually given way before Marxism and at length one day simply capitulated like a coward, has it not during sixty years been completely filled with a spirit and with men who neither understand the other way nor wish to pursue it? On the contrary, at a period of such confusion, will not the future lie with those who are prepared once more to pass through a sieve the body-politic which has fallen into such disorder so that from out the people a new political leadership can crystallize, which knows how to take the mass of the nation in hand and can avoid the mistakes which led to downfall in the past? I was naturally forced to say to myself that it would mean an appalling struggle, for I was not so fortunate as to possess an outstanding name; 1 was only a nameless German soldier, with a very small zinc identification number on my breast. But I came to realize that if a beginning was not made with the smallest cell, if a new body-politic was not thus formed within the nation, a body-politic which could overcome the existing ‘ferments of decomposition,’ then the nation itself as a whole could never rise again …”

“And today that Movement cannot be destroyed: it is there:  people must reckon with it, whether they like it or not. And I am convinced that for all those who still believe in a future for Germany it is clear what their attitude must be. For here they see before them an organization which does not preach as mere theory the views which earlier in my speech I characterized as essential, but puts them into practice, an organization inspired to the highest degree by national sentiment, constructed on the conception of an absolute authority in the leadership in all spheres, at every stage—the solitary party which amongst its members has completely overcome not only the conception of internationalism but also the idea of democracy, which in its entire organization acknowledges only the principles of Responsibility, Command and Obedience, and which besides all this for the first time has introduced into the political life of Germany a body numbering millions which is built up on the principle of achievement. Here is an organization which is filled with an indomitable aggressive spirit, an organization which when a political opponent says ‘your behavior we regard as a provocation’ for the first time does not see fit immediately to retire from the scene but brutally enforces its own will and hurls against the opponent the retort ‘We fight today! We fight tomorrow! And if you regard our meeting today as a provocation we shall hold yet another next week—until you have learned that it is no provocation when German Germany also professes its belief!’ And when you say ‘You must not come into the street’ we go into the street in spite of you. And when you say ‘Then we shall kill you,’ however many sacrifices you force upon us, this young Germany will always continue its marches, and one day it will completely reconquer for the Germans the German street. And when people cast in our teeth our intolerance, we proudly acknowledge it—yes, we have formed the inexorable decision to destroy Marxism in Germany down to its very last root. And this decision we formed not from any love of brawling: I could easily imagine a life which in itself was fairer than to be hunted through Germany, to be persecuted by countless Government regulations, to stand constantly with one foot in jail, and to have in the State no right which one can call one’s own. I could imagine for myself a fairer destiny than that of fighting a battle which at least at the outset was regarded by all as an insane chimera. Finally I believe that I have the capacity to occupy some post or other in the Social Democratic party: and one thing is certain: if I had turned my capacity to this service, I should today presumably be fit even to enter the Government. But for me it was a greater decision to choose a way on which I was guided by nothing save my own faith, my indestructible confidence in the natural forces—still assuredly present—of our people, and in its importance which with good leadership would one day necessarily reappear.

“And now behind us there lie twelve years of fighting. That fight has not been waged in theory only and in the party alone turned into practice: we are also ready to wage that fight on the larger scale. I cast my mind back to the time when with six other unknown men I founded this association, when I spoke before eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, twenty, thirty, and fifty persons; when I recall how after a year I had won sixty-four members for the Movement, how our small circle kept on growing, I must confess that that which has today been created, when a stream of millions of our German fellow-countrymen is flowing into our Movement, represents something which is unique in German history. The bourgeois parties have had seventy years to work in; where, I ask you, is the organization which could be compared with ours? Where is the organization which can boast, as ours can, that, at need, it can summon 400,000 men into the street, men who are schooled to blind obedience and are ready to execute any order—provided that it does not violate the law? Where is the organization that in seventy years has achieved what we have achieved in barely twelve years?—and achieved with means which were of so improvised a character that one can hardly avoid a feeling of shame when one confesses to an opponent how poverty-stricken the birth and the growth of this great Movement were in the early days.

“Today we stand at the turning-point of Germany’s destiny. If the present development continues, Germany will one day of necessity land in Bolshevist chaos, but if this development is broken, then our people must be taken into a school of iron discipline and gradually freed from the prejudices of both camps. A hard schooling, but one we cannot escape! …”

“People say to me so often: ‘You are only the drummer of national Germany.’ And supposing that I were only the drummer? It would today be a far more statesmanlike achievement to drum once more into this German people a new faith than gradually to squander the only faith they have. Take the case of a fortress, imagine that it is reduced to extreme privations: as long as the garrison sees a possible salvation, believes in it, hopes for it, so long they can bear the reduced ration. But take from the hearts of men their last belief in the possibility of salvation, in a better future—take that completely from them, and you will see how these men suddenly regard their reduced rations as the most important thing in life. The more you bring it home to their consciousness that they are only objects for men to bargain with, that they are only prisoners of world-politics, the more will they, like all prisoners, concentrate their thoughts on purely material interests. On the other hand, the more you bring back the people into the sphere of faith, of ideals, the more will it cease to regard material distress as the one and only thing which counts. And the weightiest evidence for the truth of that statement is our own German people. We would not ever forget that the German people waged wars of religion for 150 years with prodigious devotion, that hundreds of thousands of men once left their plot of land, their property, and their belongings simply for an ideal, simply for a Conviction. We would never forget that during those 150 years there was no trace of even an ounce of material interests. Then you will understand how mighty is the force of an idea, of an ideal. Only so can you comprehend how it is that in our Movement today hundreds of thousands of young men are prepared at the risk of their lives to withstand our opponents. I know quite well, gentlemen, that when National Socialists march through the streets and suddenly in the evening there arise a tumult and commotion, then the bourgeois draws back the window-curtain, looks out, and says: Once more my night’s rest disturbed: no more sleep for me. Why must the Nazis always be so provocative and run about the place at night? Gentlemen, if everyone thought like that, then no one’s sleep at nights would be disturbed, it is true, but then the bourgeois today could not venture into the street. If everyone thought in that way, if these young folk had no ideal to move them and drive them forward, then certainly they would gladly be rid of these nocturnal fights. But remember that it means sacrifice when today many hundred thousands of SA and SS men of the National Socialist Movement every day have to mount on their lorries, protect meetings, undertake marches, sacrifice themselves night after night and then come back in the gray dawn either to workshop and factory or as unemployed to take the pittance of the dole: it means sacrifice when from the little which they possess they have further to buy their uniforms, their shirts, their badges, yes, and even pay their own fares. Believe me, there is already in all this the force of an ideal—a great ideal! And if the whole German nation today had the same faith in its vocation as these hundred thousands, if the whole nation possessed this idealism, Germany would stand in the eyes of the world otherwise than she stands now! For our situation in the world in its fatal effects is but the result of our own underestimate of German strength. Only when we have once more changed this fatal valuation of ourselves can Germany take advantage of the political possibilities which, if we look far enough into the future, can place German life once more upon a natural and secure basis—and that means either new living-space (Lebensraum) and the development of a great internal market or protection of German economic life against the world without and utilization of all the concentrated strength of Germany. The labor resources of our people, the capacities, we have them already: no one can deny that we are industrious …”

“And so in contrast to our own official Government I cannot see any hope for the resurrection of Germany if we regard the foreign politics of Germany as the primary factor:  the primary necessity is the restoration of a sound national German body-politic armed to strike. In order to realize this end I founded thirteen years ago the National Socialist Movement: that Movement I have led during the last twelve years, and I hope that one day it will accomplish this task and that, as the fairest result of its struggle, it will leave behind it a German body-politic completely renewed internally, in tolerant of anyone who sins against the nation and its interests, intolerant against anyone who will not acknowledge its vital interests or who opposes them, intolerant and pitiless against anyone who shall attempt once more to destroy or disintegrate this body-politic, and yet ready for friendship and peace with anyone who has a wish for peace and friendship.”


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