Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Volume One: A Reckoning
Chapter XII: The First Period of Development of the National Socialist German Workers' Party
IF AT THE END of this volume I describe the first period inthe development of our movement and briefly discuss a number of questionsit raises, my aim is not to give a dissertation on the spiritual aims ofthe movement. The aims and tasks of the new movement are so gigantic thatthey can only be treated in a special volume. In a second volume, therefore,I shall discuss the programmatic foundations of the movement in detail andattempt to draw a picture of what we conceive of under the word 'state.'By 'us' I mean all the hundreds of thousands who fundamentally long forthe same thing without as individuals finding the words to describe outwardlyI what they inwardly visualize; for the noteworthy fact about all reformsis that at first they possess but a single champion yet many million supporters.Their aim has often been for centuries the inner longing of hundreds ofthousands, until one man stands up to proclaim such a general will, andas a standard-bearer guides the old longing to victory in the form of thenew idea.
The fact that millions bear in their hearts the desire for abasic change in the conditions obtaining today proves the deep discontentunder which they suffer. It expresses itself in thousandfold manifestationswith one in despair and hopelessness, with another in ill will, anger, andindignation; with this man in indifference, and with that man in furiousexcesses. As witnesses to this inner dissatisfaction we may consider thosewho are weary of elections as well as the many who tend to the most fanaticalextreme of the Left.
The young movement was intended primarily to appeal to theselast. It is not meant to constitute an organization of the contented andsatisfied, but to embrace those tormented by suffering, those without peace,the unhappy and the discontented, and above all it must not swim on thesurface of a national body, but strike roots deep within it.
In purely political terms, the following picture presenteditself in 1918: a people torn into two parts. The one, by far the smaller,includes the strata of the national intelligentsia, excluding all the physicallyactive. It is outwardly national, yet under this word can conceive of nothingbut a very insipid and weak-kneed defense of so-called state interests,which in turn seem identical with dynastic interests. They attempt to fightfor their ideas and aims with spiritual weapons which are as fragmentaryas they are superficial, and which fail completely in the face of the enemy'sbrutality. With a single frightful blow this class, which only a short timebefore was still governing, is stretched on the ground and with tremblingcowardice suffers every humiliation at the hands of the ruthless victor.
Confronting it is a second class, the broad mass of the laboringpopulation. It is organized in more or less radical Marxist movements, determinedto break all spiritual resistance by the power of violence. It does notwant to be national, but consciously rejects any promotion of national interests,just as, conversely, it aids and abets all foreign oppression. It is numericallythe stronger and above all comprises all those elements of the nation withoutwhich a national resurrection is unthinkable and impossible.
For in 1918 this much was clear: no resurrection of the Germanpeople can occur except through the recovery of outward power. But the prerequisitesfor this are not arms, as our bourgeois 'statesmen ' keep prattling, butthe forces of the will. The German people had more than enough arms before.They were not able to secure freedom because the energies of the nationalinstinct of self-preservation, the will for self-preservation, were lacking.The best weapon is dead, worthless material as long as the spirit is lackingwhich is ready, willing, and determined to use it. Germany became defenseless,not because arms were lacking, but because the will was lacking to guardthe weapon for national survival.
If today more than ever our Left politicians are at pains topoint out the lack of arms as the necessary cause of their spineless, compliant,actually treasonous policy, we must answer only one thing: no, the reverseis true. Through your anti-national, criminal policy of abandoning nationalinterests, you surrendered our arms. Now you attempt to represent the lackof arms as the underlying cause of your miserable villainy. This, like everythingyou do, is lees and falsification.
But this reproach applies just as much to the politicians onthe Right. For, thanks to their miserable cowardice, the Jewish rabble thathad come to power was able in 1918 to steal the nation's arms. They, too,have consequently no ground and no right to palm off our present lack ofarms as the compelling ground for their wily caution (read ' cowardice ');on the contrary, our defenselessness is the consequence of their cowardice.
Consequently the question of regaining German power is not:How shall we manufacture arms? but: How shall we manufacture the spiritwhich enables a people to bear arms? If this spirit dominates a people,the will finds a thousand ways, every one of which ends in a weapon ! Butgive a coward ten pistols and if attacked he will not be able to fire asingle shot. And so for him they are more worthless than a knotted stickfor a courageous man.
The question of regaining our people's political power is primarilya question of recovering our national instinct of self preservation, iffor no other reason because experience shows that any preparatory foreignpolicy, as well as any evaluation of a state as such, takes its cue lessfrom the existing weapons than from a nation's recognized or presumed moralcapacity for resistance. A nation1s ability to form alliances is determinedmuch less by dead stores of existing arms than by the visible presence ofan ardent national will for self-preservation and heroic death-defying courage.For an alliance is not concluded with arms but with men. Thus, the Englishnation will have to be considered the most valuable ally in the world aslong as its leadership and the spirit of its byroad masses justify us inexpecting that brutality and perseverance which is determined to fight abattle once begun t04 victorious end, with every means and without considerationof time and sacrifices; and what is more, the military armament existingat any given moment does not need to stand in any proportion to that ofother states.
If we understand that the resurrection of the German nationrepresents a question of regaining our political will for self-preservation,it is also clear that this cannot be done by winning elements which in pointof will at least are already national, but only by the nationalization ofthe consciously anti-national masses.
A young movement which, therefore, sets itself the goal of resurrectinga German state with its own sovereignty will have to direct its fight entirelyto winning the broad masses. Wretched as our so-called ' national bourgeoisie' is on the whole, inadequate as its national attitude seems, certainlyfrom this side no serious resistance is to be expected against a powerfuldomestic and foreign policy in the future. Even if the German bourgeoisie,for their well-known narrowminded and short-sighted reasons, should, asthey once did toward Bismarck, maintain an obstinate attitude of passiveresistance in the hour of coming liberation- an active resistance, in viewof their recognized and proverbial cowardice, is never to be feared.
It is different with the masses of our internationally mindedcomrades. In their natural primitiveness, they are snore inclined to theidea of violence, and, moreover, their Jewish leadership is more brutaland ruthless. They will crush any German resurrection Just as they oncebroke the backbone of the German army. But above all: in this state withits parliamentary government they will, thanks to their majority in numbers,not only obstruct any national foreign policy, but also make impossibleany higher estimation of the German strength, thus making us seem uradesirableas an ally. For not only are we ourselves aware of the element of weaknesslying in our fifteen million Marxists, detmocrats, pacifists, and Centrists;it is recognized even more by foreign countries, which measure the valueof a possible alliance with us according to the weight of this burden. Noone allies himself with a state in which the attitude of the active partof the population toward any determined foreign policy is passive, to saythe least.
To this we must add the fact that the leaderships of these partiesof national treason must and will be hostile to any resurrection, out ofmere instinct of self-preservation. Historically it is just not conceivablethat the German people could recover its former position without settlingaccounts with those who were the cause and occasion of the unprecedentedcollapse which struck our state. For before the judgment seat of posterityNovember, 1918, will be evaluated, not as high treason, but as treason againstthe fatherland.
Thus, any possibility of regaining outward German independenceis bound up first and foremost with the recovery of the inner unity of ourpeople's will.
But regarded even from the purely technical point of view, theidea of an outward German liberation seems senseless as long as the broadmasses are not also prepared to enter the service of this liberating idea.From the purely military angle, every officer above all will realize aftera moment's thought that a foreign struggle cannot be carried on with studentbattalions, that in addition to the brains of a people, the fists are alsoneeded. In addition, we must bear in mind that a national defense, whichis based only on the circles of the so-called intelligentsia, would squanderirreplaceable treasures. The absence of the young German intelligentsiawhich found its death on the fields of Flanders in the fall of 1914 wassorely felt later on. It was the highest treasure that the German nationpossessed and during the War its loss could no longer be made good. Notonly is it impossible to carry on the struggle itself if the storming battalionsdo not find the masses of the workers in their ranks; the technical preparationsare also impracticable without the inner unity of our national will. Especiallyour people, doomed to languish along unarmed beneath the thousand eyes ofthe Versailles peace treaty, can only make technical preparations for theachievement of freedom and human independence if the army of domestic stoolpigeonsis decimated down to those whose inborn lack of character permits them tobetray anything and everything for the well-known thirty pieces of silveryFor with these we can deal. Unconquerable by comparison seem the millionswho oppose the national resurrection out of political conviction-unconquerableas long as the inner cause of their opposition, the international Marxistphilosophy of life, is not combated and torn out of their hearts and brains.
Regardless, therefore, from what standpoint we examine the possibilityof regaining our state and national independence, whether frost the standpointof preparations in the sphere of foreign policy, from that of technicalarmament or that of battle itself, in every case the presupposition foreverything remains the previous winning of the broad masses of our peoplefor the idea of our national independence.
Without the recovery of our external freedom, however, any internalreform, even in the most favorable case, means only the increase of ourproductivity as a colony. The surplus of all socalled economic improvementsfalls to the benefit of our international control commissions, and everysocial improvement at best raises the productivity of our work for them.No cultural advances will fall to the share of the German nation; they aretoo contingent on the political independence and dignity of our nation.
Thus, if a favorable solution of the German future requiresa national attitude on the part of the broad masses of our people, thismust be the highest, mightiest task of a movement whose activity is notintended to exhaust itself in the satisfaction of the moment, but whichmust examine all its commissions and omissions solely with a view to theirpresumed consequences in the future.
Thus, by 1919 we clearly realized that, as its highest aim,the new movement must first accomplish the nationalization of the masses.
From a tactical standpoint a number of demands resulted fromthis.
(1) To win the masses for a national resurrection, no socialsacrifice is too great.
Whatever economic concessions are made to our working classtoday, they stand in no proportion to the gain for the entire nation ifthey help to give the broad masses back to their nation. Only pigheadedshort-sightedness, such as is often unfortunately found in our employercircles, can fail to recognize that in the long run there can be no economicupswing for them and hence no economic profit, unless the inner nationalsolidarity of our people is restored.
If during the War the German unions had ruthlessly guarded theinterests of the working class, if even during the War they had struck athousand times over and forced approval of the demands of the workers theyrepresented on the dividend-hungry employers of those days; but if in mattersof national defense they had avowed their Germanism with the same fanaticism;and if with equal ruthlessness they had given to the fatherland that whichis the fatherland's, the War would not have been lost. And how trifiingall economic concessions, even the greatest, would have been, compared tothe immense importance of winning the War!
Thus a movement which plans to give the German worker back tothe German people must clearly realize that in this question economic sacrificesare of no importance whatever as long as the preservation and independenceof the national economy are not threatened by them.
(2) The national education of the broad masses can only takeplace indirectly through a social uplift, since thus exclusively can thosegeneral economic premises be created which permit the individual to partakeof the cultural goods of the nation.
(3) The nationalization of the broad masses can never be achievedby half-measures, by weakly emphasizing a socalled objective standpoint,but only by a ruthless and fanatically onesided orientation toward the goalto be achieved. That is to say, a people cannot be made 'national' in thesense understood by our present-day bourgeoisie, meaning with so and somany limitations, but only nationalistic with the entire vehemence thatis inherent in the extreme. Poison is countered only by an antidote, andonly the shallowness of a-bourgeois mind can regard the middle course asthe road to heaven.
The broad masses of a people consist neither of professors norof diplomats. The scantiness of the abstract knowledge they possess directstheir sentiments more to the world of feeling. That is where their positiveor negative attitude lies. It is receptive only to an expression of forcein one of these two directions and never to a half-measure hovering betweenthe two. Their emotional attitude at the same time conditions their extraordinarystability. Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs less tochange than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion, and the impetusto the mightiest upheavals on this earth has at all times consisted lessin a scientific knowledge dominating the masses than in a fanaticism whichinspired them and sometimes in a hysteria which drove them forward. Anyonewho wants to win the broad masses must know the key that opens the doorto their heart. Its name is not objectivity (read weakness), but will andpower.
(4) The soul of the people can only be won if along with carryingon a positive struggle for our own aims, we destroy the opponent of theseaims.
The people at all times see the proof of their own right inruthless attack on a foe, and to them renouncing the destruction of theadversary seems like uncertainty with regard to their own right if not asign of their own unriglxt.
The broad masses are only a piece of Nature and their sentimentdoes not understand the mutual handshake of people who daim that they wantthe opposite things. What they desire is the victory of the stronger andthe destruction of the weak or his unconditional subjection.
The nationalization of our masses will succeed only when, asidefrom all the positive struggle for the soul of our people, their internationalpoisoners are exterminated.
(5) All great questions of the day are questions of the momentand represent only consequences of definite causes. Only one amongall ofthem, however, possesses causal importance,land that is the question ofthe racial preservation of the nation. In the blood alone resides the strengthas well as the weakness of man. As long as peoples do not recognize andgive heed to the importance of their racial foundation, they are like menwho would like to teach poodles the qualities of greyhounds, failing torealize that the speed of the greyhound like the docility of the poodleare not learned, but are qualities inherent in the race. Peoples which renouncethe preservation of their racial purity renounce with it the unity of theirsoul in all its expressions. The divided state of their nature is the naturalconsequence of the divided state of their blood, and the change in theirintellectual and creative force is only the effect of the change in theirracial foundations.
Anyone who wants to free the German blood from the manifestationsand vices of today, which were originally alien to its nature, will firsthave to redeem it from the foreign virus of these manifestations.
Without the clearest knowledge of the racial problem and henceof the Jewish problem there will never be a resurrection of the German nation.
The racial question gives the key not only to world history,but to all human culture.
(6) Organizing the broad masses of our people which are todayin the international camp into a national people's community does not meanrenouncing the defense of justified class interests. Divergent class andprofessional interests are not synonymous with class cleavages but are naturalconsequences of our economic life. Professional grouping is in no way opposedto a true national community, for the latter consists in the unity of anation in all those questions which affect this nation as such.
The integration of an occupational group which has become aclass with the national community, or merely with the state, is not accomplishedby the lowering of higher dasses but by uplifting the lower dasses. Thisprocess in turn can never be upheld by the higher class, but only by thelower class fighting for its equal rights. The present-day bourgeoisie wasnot organized into the state by measures of the nobility, but by its ownenergy under its own leadership.
The German worker will not be raised to the framework of theGerman national community via feeble scenes of fraternization, but by aconscious raising of his social and cultural situation until the most seriousdifferences may be viewed as bridged. A movement which sets this developmentas its goal will have to take its supporters primarily from this camp.'It may fall back on the intelligentsia only in so far as the latter hascompletely understood the goal to be achieved. This process of transformationand equalization will not be completed in ten or twenty years; experienceshows that it comprises many generations.
The severest obstade to the present-day worker's approach tothe national community lies not in the defense of his class interests, butin his international leadership and attitude which are hostile to the peopleand the fatherland. The same unions with a fanatical national leadershipin political and national matters would make millions of workers into themost valuable members of their nation regardless of the various strugglesthat took place over purely economic matters.
A movement which wants honestly to give the German worker backto his people and tear him away from the international delusion must sharplyattack a conception dominant above all in employer circles, which undernational community understands the unresisting economic surrender of theemployee to the employer and which chooses to regard any attempt at safeguardingeven justified interests regarding the employee's economic existence asan attack on the national community. Such an assertion is not only untrue,but a conscious lie, because the national community imposes its obligationsnot only on one side but also on the other.
Just as surely as a worker sins against the spirit of a realnational community when, without regard for the common welfare and the survivalof a national economy, he uses his power to raise extortionate demands,an employer breaks this community to the same extent when he conducts hisbusiness in an inhuman, exploiting way, misuses the national labor forceand makes millions out of its sweat. He then has no right to designate himselfas national, no right to speak of a national community; no, he is a selfishscoundrel who induces social unrest and provokes future conflicts whichwhatever happens must end in harming the nation.
Thus, the reservoir from which the young movement must gatherits supporters will primarily be the masses of our workers. Its work willbe to tear these away from the international delusion, to free them fromtheir social distress, to raise them out of their cultural misery and leadthem to the national community as a valuable, united factor, national infeeling and desire.
If, in the circles of the national intelligentsia, there arefound men with the warmest hearts for their people and its future, imbuedwith the deepest knowledge of the importance of this struggle for the soulof these masses, they will be highly welcome in the ranks of this movement,as a valuable spiritual backbone. But winning over the bourgeois votingcattle can never be the aim of this movement. If it were, it would burdenitself with a dead weight which by its whole nature would paralyze our powerto recruit from the broad masses. For regardless of the theoretical beautyof the idea of leading together the broadest masses from below and fromabove within the framework of the movement, there is the opposing fact thatby psychological propagandizing of bourgeois masses in general meetings,it may be possible to create moods and even to spread insight, but not todo away with qualities of character or, better expressed, vices whose developmentand origin embrace centuries. The difference with regard to the culturallevel on both sides and the attitude on both sides toward questions raisedby economic interests is at present still so great that, as soon as theintoxication of the meetings has passed, it would at once manifest itselfas an obstacle.
Finally, the goal is not to undertake a reskatification in thecamp that is national to begin with, but to win over the antinational camp.
And this point of view, finally, is determining for the tacticalattitude of the whole movement.
(7) This one-sided but thereby clear position must express itselfin the propaganda of the movement and on the other hand in turn is requiredon propagandist grounds.
If propaganda is to be effective for the movement, it must beaddressed to only one quarter, since otherwise, in view of the differencein the intellectual training of the two camps in question, either it willnot be understood by the one group, or by the other it would be rejectedas obvious and therefore uninteresting
Even the style and the tone of its individual products cannotbe equally effective for two such extreme groups. If propaganda renouncesprimitiveness of expression, it does not find its way to
the feeling of the broad masses. If, however, in word and gesture, it usesthe masses' harshness of sentiment and expression, it will be rejected bythe so-called intelligentsia as coarse and vulgar. Among a hundred so-calledspeakers there are hardly ten capable of speaking with equal effect todaybefore a public consisting of street.sweepers, locksmiths, sewer-cleaners,etc., and tomorrow holding a lecture with necessarily the same thought contentin an auditorium full of university professors and students. But among athousand speakers there is perhaps only a single one who can manage to speakto locksmiths and university professors at the same time, in a form whichnot only is suitable to the receptivity of both parties, but also influencesboth parties with equal effect or actually lashes them into a wild stormof applause. We must always bear in mind that even the most beautiful ideaof a sublime theory in most cases can be disseminated only through the smalland smallest minds. The important thing is not what the genius who has createdan idea has in mind, but what, in what form, and with what success the prophets of this idea transmit it to the broad masses.
The strong attractive power of the Social Democracy, yes, ofthe whole Marxist movement, rested in large part on the homogeneity andhence one-sidedness of the public it addressed. The more seemingly limited,indeed, the narrower its ideas were, the more easily they were taken upand assimilated by a mass whose intellectual level corresponded to the materialoffered.
Likewise for the new movement a simple and clear line thus resulted.
Propaganda must be adjusted to the broad masses in content andin form, and its soundness is to be measured exdusively by its effectiveresult.
In a mass meeting of all classes it is not that speaker whois mentally closest to the intellectuals present who speaks best, but theone who conquers the heart of the masses.
A member of the intelligentsia present at such a meeting, whocarps at the intellectual level of the speech despite the speaker's obviouseffect on the lower strata he has set out to conquer, proves the completeincapacity of his thinking and the worthlessness of his person for the youngmovement. It can use only that intellectual who comprehends the task andgoal of the movement to such an extent that he has learned to judge theactivity of propaganda according to its success and not according to theimpressions which it leaves behind in himself. For propaganda is not intendedto provide entertainment for people who are national-minded to begin with,but to win the enemies of our nationality, in so far as they are of ourblood.
In general those trends of thought which I have briefly summedup under the heading of war propaganda should be determining and decisivefor our movement in the manner and execution of its own enlightenment work.
That it was right was demonstrated by its success
(8) The goal of a political reform movement will never be reachedby enlightenment work or by influencing ruling circles, but only by theachievement of political power. Every world-moving idea has not only theright, but also the duty, of securing, those means which make possible theexecution of its ideas. Success is the one earthly judge concerning theright or wrong of such an effort, and under success we must not understand,as in the year 1918, the achievement of power in itself, but an exerciseof that power that will benefit the nation. Thus, a coup d'etat must notbe regarded as successful if, as senseless state's attorneys in Germanythink today, the revolutionaries have succeeded in possessing themselvesof the state power, but only if by the realization of the purposes and aimsunderlying such a revolutionary action, more benefit accrues to the nationthan under the past regime. Something which cannot very well be claimedfor the German revolution, as the gangster job of autumn 1918, calls itself.
If the achievement of political power constitutes the preconditionfor the practical execution of reform purposes, the movement with reformpurposes must from the first day of its existence feel itself a movementof the masses and not a literary tea-club or a shopkeepers' bowling society.
(9) The young movement is in its nature and inner organizationanti-parliamentarian; that is, it rejects, in general and in its own innerstructure, a principle of majority rule in which the leader is degradedto the level of a mere executant of other people's will and opinion. Inlittle as well as big things, the movement advocates the principle of aGermanic democracy: the leader is elected, but then enjoys unconditionalauthority.
The practical consequences of this principle in the movementare the following:
The first chairman of a local group is elected, but then heis the responsible leader of the local group. All committees are subordinateto him and not, conversely, he to a committee. There are no electoral committees,but only committees for work. The responsible leader, the first chairman,organizes the work. The first principle applies to the next higher organization,the precinct, the district or county. The leader is always elected, butthereby he is vested with unlimited powers and authority. And, finally,the same applies to the leadership of the whole party. The chairman is elected,but he is the exclusive leader of the movements All committees are subordinateto him and not he to the committees. He makes the decisions and hence bearsthe responsibility on his shoulders. Members of the movement are free tocall him to account before the forum of a new election, to divest him ofhis office in so far as he has infringed on the principles of the movementor served its interests badly. His place is then taken by an abler, newman, enjoying, however} the same authority and the same responsibility.
It is one of the highest tasks of the movement to make thisprinciple determining, not only within its own ranks, but for the entirestate.
Any man who wants to be leader bears, along with the highestunlimited authority, also the ultimate and heaviest responsibility.
Anyone who is not equal to this or is too cowardly to bear theconsequences of his acts is not fit to be leader; only the hero is cut outfor this.
The progress and culture of humanity are not a product of themajority, but rest exclusively on the genius and energy of the personality.
To cultivate the personality and establish it in its rightsis one of the prerequisites for recovering the greatness and power of ournationality.
Hence the movement is anti-parliamentarian, and even its participationin a parliamentary institution can only imply activity for its destruction,for eliminating an institution in which we must see one of the gravest symptomsof mankind's decay.
(10) The movement decisively rejects any position on questionswhich either lie outside the frame of its political work or, being not ofbasic importance, are irrelevant for it. Its task is not a religious reformation,but a political reorganization of our people. In both religious denominationsit sees equally valuable pillars for the existence of our people and thereforecombats those parties which want to degrade this foundation of an ethical,moral, and religious consolidation of our national body to the level ofan instrument of their party interests.
The movement finally sees its task, not in the restoration ofa definite state form and in the struggle against another, but in the creationof those basic foundations without which neither republic nor monarchy canendure for any length of time. Its mission lies not in the foundation ofa monarchy or in the reinforcement of a republic, but in the creation ofa Germanic state.
The question of the outward shaping of this state, its crowning,so to speak, is not of basic importance, but is determined only by questionsof practical expediency.
For a people that has once understood the great problems and tasks of itsexistence, the questions of outward formalities will no longer lead to innerstruggle.
(11) The question of the movement's inner organization is oneof expediency and not of principle.
The best organization is not that which inserts the greatest, but that whichinserts the smallest, intermediary apparatus between the leadership of amovement and its individual adherents. For the function of organizationis the transmission of a definite idea-which always first arises from thebrain of an individual -to a larger body of men and the supervision of itsrealization.
Hence organization is in all things only a necessary evil. Inthe best case it is a means to an end, in the worst case an end in itself.
Since the world produces more mechanical than ideal natures,the forms of organization are usually created more easily than ideas assuch.
The practical development of every idea striving for realizationin this world, particularly of one possessing a reform character, is inits broad outlines as follows:
Some idea of genius arises in the brain of a man who feels calledupon to transmit his knowledge to the rest of humanity. He preaches hisview and gradually wins a certain circle of adherents. This process of thedirect and personal transmittance of a man's ideas to the rest of his fellowmen l is the most ideal and natural. With the rising increase in the adherentsof the new doctrine, it gradually becomes impossible for the exponent ofthe idea to go on exerting a personal, direct influence on the innumerablesupporters, to lead and direct them. Proportionately as, in consequenceof the growth of the community, the direct and shortest communication isexcluded, the necessity of a connecting organization arises: thus, the idealcondition is ended and is replaced by the necessary evil of organization.Little sub-groups are formed which in the political movement, for example,call themselves local groups and constitute the germ-cells of the futureorganization.
If the unity of the doctrine is not to be lost, however, thissubdivision must not take place until the authority of the spiritual founderand of the school trained by him can be regarded as unconditional. The geo-politicalsignificance of a focal center in a movement cannot be overemphasized. Onlythe presence of such a place, exerting the magic spell of a Mecca or a Rome,can in the long run give the movement a force which is based on inner unityand the recognition of a summit representing this unity.
Thus, in forming the first organizational germ-cells we mustnever lose sight of the necessity, not only of preserving the importanceof the original local source of the idea, but of making it paramount. Thisintensification of the ideal, moral, and factual immensity of the movement'spoint of origin and direction must take place in exact proportion as themovement's germcells, which have now become innumerable, demand new linksin the shape of organizational forms.
For, as the increasing number of individual adherents makesit impossible to continue direct communication with them for the formationof the lowest bodies, the ultimate innumerable increase of these lowestorganizational forms compels in turn creation of higher associations whichpolitically can be designated roughly as county or district groups.
Easy as it still may be to maintain the authority of the originalcenter toward the lowest local groups, it will be equally difficult to maintainthis position toward the higher organizational forms which now arise. Butthis is the precondition for the unified existence of the movement and hencefor carrying out an idea.
If, finally, these larger intermediary divisions are also combinedinto new organizational forms, the difficulty is further increased of safeguarding,even toward them, the unconditional leading character of the original foundingsite, its school, etc.
Therefore, the mechanical forms of an organization may onlybe developed to the degree in which the spiritual ideal authority of a centerseems unconditionally secured. In political formations this guaranty canoften seem provided only by practical power.
From this the following directives for the inner structure ofthe movement resulted:
(a) Concentration for the time being of all activity in a singleplace: Munich. Training of a community of unconditionally reliable supportersand development of a school for the subsequent dissemination of the idea.Acquisition of the necessary authority for the future by the greatest possiblevisible successes in this one place.
To make the movement and its leaders known, it was necessary,not only to shake the belief in the invincibility of the Marxist doctrinein one place for all to see, but to demonstrate the possibility of an opposingmovement.
(b) Formation of local groups only when the authority of thecentral leadership in Munich may be regarded as unquestionably recognized.
(c) Likewise the formation of district, county, or provincialgroups depends, not only on the need for them, but also on certainty thatan unconditional recognition of the center has been achieved.
Furthermore, the creation of organizational forms is dependent on the menwho are available and can be considered as leaders
This may occur in two ways:
(a) The movement disposes of the necessary financial means for the trainingand schooling of minds capable of future leadership. It then distributesthe material thus acquired systematically according to criteria of tacticaland other expediency.
This way is the easier and quicker; however, it demands great financialmeans, since this leader material is only able to work for the movementwhen paid.
(b) The movement, owing to the lack of financial means, is not in a positionto appoint official leaders, but for the present must depend on honoraryofficers.
This way is the slower and more difficult.
Under certain circumstances the leadership of a movement mustlet large territories lie fallow, unless there emerges from the adherentsa man able and willing to put himself at the disposal of the leadership,and organize and lead the movement in the district in question.
It may happen that in large territories there will be no one,in other places, however, two or even three almost equally capable. Thedifficulty that lies in such a development is great and can only be overcomein the course of years.
The prerequisite for the creation of an organizational formis and remains the man necessary for its leadership.
As worthless as an army in all its organizational forms is withoutofficers, equally worthless is a political organization without the suitableleader.
Not founding a local group is more useful to the movement whena suitable leader personality is lacking than to have its organization miscarrydue to the absence of a leader to direct and drive it forward.
Leadership itself requires not only will but also ability, anda greater importance must be attached to will and energy than to intelligenceas such, and most valuable of all is a combination of ability, determination,and perseverance.
(12) The future of a movement is conditioned by the fanaticismyes, the intolerance, with which its adherents uphold it as the sole correctmovement, and push it past other formations of a similar sort.
It is the greatest error to believe that the strength of a movementincreases through a union with another of similar character. It is truethat every enlargement of this kind at first means an increase in outwarddimensions, which to the eyes of superficial observers means power; in truth,however, it only takes over the germs of an inner weakening that will laterbecome effective.
For whatever can be said about the like character of two movements,in reality it is never present. For otherwise there would actually be nottwo movements but one. And regardless wherein the differences lie-even ifthey consisted only in the varying abilities of the leadership-they exist.But the natural law of all development demands, not the coupling of twoformations which are simply not alike, but the victory of the stronger andthe cultivation of the victor's force and strength made possible alone bythe resultant struggle.
Through the union of two more or less equal political partyformations momentary advantages may arise, but in the long run any successwon in this way is the cause of inner weaknesses which appear later.
The greatness of a movement is exclusively guaranteed by theunrestricted development of its inner strength and its steady growth upto the final victory over all competitors.
Yes, we can say that its strength and hence the justificationof its existence increases only so long as it recognizes the principle ofstruggle as the premise of its development, and that it has passed the highpoint of its strength in the moment when complete victory inclines to itsside.
Therefore, it is only profitable for a movement to strive forthis victory in a form which does not lead to an early momentary success,but which in a long struggle occasioned by absolute intolerance also provideslong growth.
Movements which increase only by the so-called fusion of similarformations, thus owing their strength to compromises, are like hothouseplants. They shoot up, but they lack the strength to defy the centuriesand withstand heavy storms.
The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an ideain this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which,fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its willagainst all others. If an idea in itself is sound and, thus armed, takesup a struggle on this earth, it is unconquerable and every persecution willonly add to its inner strength.
The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiationsfor compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world,but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine.
The apparent head start which movements achieve by fusions isamply caught up with by the steady increase in the strength of a doctrineand organization that remain independent and fight their own fight.
(13) On principle the movement must so educate its members thatthey do not view the struggle as something idly cooked up, but as the thingthat they themselves are striving ford Therefore, they must not fear thehostility of their enemies, but must feel that it is the presuppositionfor their own right to exist. They must not shun the hatred of the enemiesof our nationality and our philosophy and its manifestations; they mustlong for them. And among the manifestations of this hate are lies and slander.
Any man who is not attacked in the Jewish newspapers, not slanderedand vilified, is no decent German and no true National Socialist. The bestyardstick for the value of his attitude, for the sincerity of his conviction,and the force of his will is the hostility he receives from the mortal enemyof our people.
It must, over and over again, be pointed out to the adherentsof the movement and in a broader sense to the whole people that the Jewand his newspapers always lie and that even an occasional Ruth is only intendedto cover a bigger falsification and is therefore itself in turn a deliberateuntruth. The Jew is the great master in lying, and lies and deception arehis weapons in struggle.
Every Jewish slander and every Jewish lie is a scar of honor on the bodyof our warriors.
The man they have most reviled stands closest to us and theman they hate worst is our best friend.
Anyone who picks up a Jewish newspaper in the morning and doesnot see himself slandered in it has not made profitable use of the previousday; for if he had, he would be persecuted, reviled, slandered, abused}befouled. And only the man who combats this mortal enemy of our nation andof all Aryan humanity and culture most effectively may expect to see theslanders of this race and the struggle of this people directed against him.
When these principles enter the flesh and blood of our supporters,the movement will become unshakable and invincible.
(14) The movement must promote respect for personality by allmeans; it must never forget that in personal worth lies the worth of everythinghuman; that every idea and every achievement is the result of one man'screative force and that the admiration of greatness constitutes, not onlya tribute of thanks to the latter, but casts a unifying bond around thegrateful.
Personality cannot be replaced; especially when it embodiesnot the mechanical but the cultural and creative element. No more than afamous master can be replaced and another take over the completion of thehalf-finished painting he has left behind can the great poet and thinker,the great statesman and the great soldier, be replaced. For their activitylies always in the province of art. It is not mechanically trained, butinborn by God's grace.
The greatest revolutionary changes and achievements of thisearth its greatest cultural accomplishments the immortal deeds in the fieldof statesmanship, etc., are forever inseparably bound up with a name andare represented by it. To renounce doing homage to a great spirit meansthe loss of an immense strength which emanates from the names of all greatmen and women.
The Jew knows this best of all. He, whose great men are onlygreat in the destruction of humanity and its culture, makes sure that theyare idolatrously admired. He attempts only to represent the admiration ofthe nations for their own spirits as unworthy and brands it as a 'personalitycult.'
As soon as a people becomes so cowardly that it succumbs tothis Jewish arrogance and effrontery, it renounces the mightiest power thatit possesses; for this is based, not on respect for the masses, but on theveneration of genius and on uplift and enlightenment by his example.
When human hearts break and human souls-despair, then from thetwilight of the past the great conquerors of distress and care, of disgraceand misery, of spiritual slavery and physical compulsion, look down on themand hold out their eternal hands to the despairing mortals!
Woe to the people that is ashamed to take them!
In the first period of our movement's development we sufferedfrom nothing so much as from the insignificance, the unknownness of ournames, which in themselves made our success questionable. The hardest thingin this first period, when often only six, seven, or eight heads met togetherto use the words of an opponent, was to arouse and preserve in this tinycircle faith in the mighty future of the movement.
Consider that six or seven men, all nameless poor devils, hadjoined together with the intention of forming a movement hoping to succeed-wherethe powerful great mass parties had hitherto failed-in restoring a GermanReich of greater power and glory. If people had attacked us in those days,yes, even if they had laughed at us, in both cases we should have been happy.For the oppressive thing was neither the one nor the other; it was the completelack of attention we found in those days.
When I entered the circle of these few men, there could be noquestion of a party or a movement. I have already described my impressionsregarding my first meeting with this little formation. In the weeks thatfollowed, I had time and occasion to study this so-called 'party' whichat first looked so impossible. And, by God the picture was depressing anddiscouraging. There was nothing here, really positively nothing. The nameof a party whose committee constituted practically the whole membership,which, whether we liked it or not, was exactly what it was trying to combat,a parliament on a small scale. Here, too, the vote ruled; if big parliamentsyelled their throats hoarse for months at a time, it was about importantproblems at least, but in this little circle the answer to a safely arrivedletter let loose an interminable argument!
The public, of course, knew nothing at all about this. Not asoul in Munich knew the party even by name, except for its few supportersand their few friends.
Every Wednesday a so-called committee meeting took place ina Munich cafe, and once a week an evening lecture. Since the whole membershipof the 'movement' was at first represented in the committee, the faces ofcourse were always the same. Now the task was at last to burst the bondsof the small circle, to win new supporters, but above all to make the nameof the movement known at any price.
In this we used the following technique:
Every month, and later every two weeks, we tried to hold a 'meeting.'The invitations to it were written on the typewriter or sometimes by handon slips of paper and the first few times were distributed, or handed out,by us personally. Each one of us turned to the circle of his friends, andtried to induce someone or other to attend one of these affairs.
The result was miserable.
I still remember how I myself in this first period once distributedabout eighty of these slips of paper, and how in the evening we sat waitingfor the masses who were expected to appear.
An hour late, the ' chairman ' finally had to open the 'meeting.' We wereagain seven men, the old seven.
We changed over to having the invitation slips written on amachine and mimeographed in a Munich stationery store. The result at thenext meeting was a few more listeners. Thus the number rose slowly fromeleven to thirteen, finally to seventeen, to twenty-three, to thirty-fourlisteners.
By little collections among us poor devils the funds were raisedwith which at last to advertise the meeting by notices in the then independentMunchener Beobachter in Munich. And this time the success was positivelyamazing. We had organized the meeting in the Munich Hofbrauhauskeller (notto be confused with the Munich Hofbrauhaus-Festsaal), a little room witha capacity of barely one hundred and thirty people. To me personally theroom seemed like a big hall and each of us was worried whether we wouldsucceed in filling this 'mighty' edifice with people.
At seven o'clock one hundred and eleven people were presentand the meeting was opened.
A Munich professor made the main speech, and I, for the firsttime, in public, was to speak second.
In the eyes of Herr Harrer, then first chairman of the party,the affair seemed a great adventure. This gentleman, who was certainly otherwisehonest, just happened to be convinced that I might be capable of doing certainthings, but not of speaking. And even in the time that followed he couldnot be dissuaded from this opinion. "
Things turned out differently. In this first meeting that couldbe called public I had been granted twenty minutes' speaking time.
I spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply feltwithin me, without in any way knowing it, was now proved by reality: I couldspeak After thirty minutes the people in the small room were electrifiedand the enthusiasm was first expressed by the fact that my appeal to theself-sacrifice of those present led to the donation of three hundred marks.This relieved us of a great worry. For at this time the financial stringencywas so great that we were not even in a position to have slogans printedfor the movement, or even distribute leaflets. Now the foundation was laidfor a little fund from which at least our barest needs and most urgent necessitiescould be defrayed. But in another respect as well, the success of this firstlarger meeting was considerable.
At that time I had begun to bring a number of fresh young forces into thecommittee. During my many years in the army I -had come to know a greatnumber of faithful comrades who now slowly, on the basis of my persuasion,began to enter the movement. They were all energetic young people, accustomedto discipline, and from their period of service raised in the principle:nothing at all is impossible, everything can be done if you only want it.
How necessary such a transfusion of new blood was, I myselfcould recognize after only a few weeks of collaboration.
Herr Harrer, then first chairman of the party, was really ajournalist and as such he was certainly widely educated. But for a partyleader he had one exceedingly serious drawback: he was no speaker for themasses. As scrupulously conscientious and precise as his work in itselfwas, it nevertheless lacked-perhaps because of this very lack of a greatoratorical gift-the great sweep. Herr Drexler, then chairman of the Munichlocal group, was a simple worker, likewise not very significant as a speaker,and moreover he was no soldier. He had not served in the army, even duringthe War he had not been a soldier, so that feeble and uncertain as he wasin his whole nature, he lacked the only schooling which was capable of turninguncertain and soft natures into men. Thus both men were not made of stuffwhich would have enabled them not only to bear in their hearts fanaticalfaith in the victory of a movement, but also with indomitable energy andwill, and if necessary with brutal ruthlessness, to sweep aside any obstacleswhich might stand in the path of the rising new idea. For this only beingswere fitted in whom spirit and body had acquired those military virtueswhich can perhaps best be described as follows: swift as greyhounds, toughas leather, and hard as Krupp steel.
At that time I myself was still a soldier. My exterior and interiorhad been whetted and hardened for well-nigh six years, so that at firstI must have seemed strange in this circle. I, too, had forgotten how tosay: 'that's impossible,' or 'it won't work'; 'we can't risk that,' 'thatis too dangerous,' etc.
For of course the business was dangerous. Little attention asthe Reds paid to one of your bourgeois gossip clubs whose inner innocenceand hence harmlessness for themselves theyknew better than its own members,they were determined to use every means to get rid of a movement which didseem dangerous to them. Their most effective method in such cases has atall times been terror or violence.
In the year 1920, in many regions of Germany, a national meetingthat dared to address its appeal to the broad masses and publicly inviteattendance was simply impossible. The participants in such a meeting weredispersed and driven away with bleeding heads. Such an accomplishment, tobe sure, did not require much skill: for after all the biggest so-calledbourgeois mass meeting would scatter at the sight of a dozen Communistslike hares running from a hound.
Most loathsome to the Marxist deceivers of the people was inevitablya movement whose explicit aim was the winning of those masses which hadhitherto stood exclusively in the service of the international Marxist Jewishstock exchange parties. The very name of ' German Workers' Party ' had theeffect of goading them. Thus one could easily imagine that on the firstsuitable occasion the conflict would begin with the Marxist inciters whowere then still drunk with victory.
In the small circle that the movement then was a certain fearof such a fight prevailed. The members wanted to appear in public as littleas possible, for fear of being beaten up. In their mind's eye they alreadysaw the first great meeting smashed and go the movement finished for good.I had a hard time putting forward my opinion that we must not dodge thisstruggle, but prepare for it, and for this reason acquire the armament whichalone offers protection against violence. Terror is not broken by the mind,but by terror. The success of the first meeting strengthened my positionin this respect. We gained courage for a second meeting on a somewhat largerscale.
About October, 1919, the second, larger meeting took place inthe Eberlbraukeller. Topic: Brestlitovsk and Versailles. Four gentlemenappeared as speakers. I myself spoke for almost an hour and the successwas greater than at the first rally. The audience had risen to more thanone hundred and thirty. An attempted disturbance was at once nipped in thebud by my comrades. The diturbers flew down the stairs with gashed heads.
Two weeks later another meeting took place in the same hall.The attendance had risen to over one hundred and seventy and the room waswell filled. I had spoken again, and again the success was greater thanat the previous meeting.
I pressed for a larger hall. At length we found one at the other end of town in the 'Deutsches Reich' on Dachauer Strasse. The first meetingin the new hall was not so well attended as the previous one: barely onehundred and forty persons. In the committee, hopes began to sink and theeternal doubters felt that the excessive repetition of our 'demonstrations'had to be considered the cause of the bad attendance. There were violentarguments in which I upheld the view that a city of seven hundred thousandinhabitants could stand not one meeting every two weeks, but ten every week,that we must not let ourselves be misled by failures, that the road we hadtaken was the right
one, and that sooner or later, with steady perseverance, success was boundto come. All in all, this whole period of winter 1919-20 was a single struggleto strengthen confidence in the victorious might of the young movement andraise it to that fanaticism of faith which can move mountains.
The next meeting in the same hall showed me to be right. The attendance had risen to over two hundred; the public as well as financialsuccess was brilliant.
I urged immediate preparations for another meeting. It took place barely two weeks later and the audience rose to over two hundred andseventy heads.
Two weeks later, for the seventh time, we called together the supporters and friends of the new movement and the same hall could barelyhold the people who had grown to over four hundred.
It was at this time that the young movement received its innerform. In the small circle there were sometimes more or less violent disputes.Various quarters-then as today-carped at designating the young movementas a party. In such a conception I have always seen proof of the critics'practical incompetence and intellectual smallness. They were and alwaysare the men who cannot distinguish externals from essentials, and who tryto estimate the value of a movement according to the most bombastic-soundingtitles, most of which, sad to say, the vocabulary of our forefathers mustprovide.
It was hard, at that time, to make it clear to people that every movement, as long as it has not achieved the victory of its ideas, henceits goal, is a party even if it assumes a thousand different names.
If any man wants to put into practical effect a bold idea whose realization seems useful in the interests of his fellow men, he will firstof all have to seek supporters who are ready to fight for his intentions.And if this intention consists only in destroying the existing parties,of ending the fragmentation, the exponents of this view and propagatorsof this determination are themselves a party, as long as this goal has notbeen achieved. It is hair-splitting and shadow-boxing when some antiquatedfolkish theoretician, whose practical successes stand in inverse proportionto his wisdom, imagines that he can change the party character which everyyoung movement possesses by changing this term.
On the contrary.
If anything is unfolkish, it is this tossing around of old Germanic expressions which neither fit into the present period nor represent anythingdefinite, but can easily lead to seeing the significance of a movement inits outward vocabulary. This is a real menace which today can be observedon countless occasions.
Altogether then, and also in the period that followed, I hadto warn again and again against those deutschvolkisch wandering scholarswhose positive accomplishment is always practically nil, but whose conceitcan scarcely be excelled. The young movement had and still has to guarditself against an influx of people whose sole recommendation for the mostpart lies in their declaration that they have fought for thirty and evenforty years for the same idea. Anyone who fights for forty years for a so-calledidea without being able to bring about even the slightest success, in fact,without having prevented the victory of the opposite, has, with forty yearsof activity, provided proof of his own incapacity. The danger above alllies in the fact that such natures do not want to fit into the movementas links, but keep shooting off their mouths about leading circles in whichalone, on the strength of their age-old activity, they can see a suitableplace for further activity. But woe betide if a young movement is surrendedto the mercies of such people. No more than a business man who in fortyyears of activity has steadily run a big business into the ground is fittedto be the founder of a new one, is a folkish Methuselah, who in exactlythe same time has gummed up and petrified a great idea, fit for the leadershipof a new, young movement!
Besides, only a fragment of all these people come into the newmovement to serve it, but in most cases, under its protection or throughthe possibilities it offers, to warm over their old cabbage
They do not want to benefit the idea of the new doctrine, theyonly expect it to give them a chance to make humanity miserable with theirown ideas. For what kind of ideas they often are, it is hard to tell.
The characteristic thing about these people is that they raveabout old Germanic heroism, about dim prehistory, stone axes spear and shield,but in reality are the greatest cowards that can be imagined. For the samepeople who brandish scholarly imitations of old German tin swords, and weara dressed bearskin with bull's horns over their bearded heads, preach forthe present nothing but struggle with spiritual weapons, and run away asfast as they can from every Communist blackjack. Posterity will have littleoccasion to glorify their own heroic existence in a new epic.
I came to know these people too well not to feel the profoundest disgust at their miserable play-acting. But they make a ridiculous impressionon the broad masses, and the Jew has every reason to spare these folkishcomedians, even to prefer them to the true fighters for a coming Germanstate. With all this, these people are boundlessly conceited; despite allthe proofs of their complete incompetence, they daim to know everythingbetter and become a real plague for all straightforward and honest fightersto whom heroism seems worth honoring, not only in the past, but who alsoendeavor to give posterity a similar picture by their own actions.
And often it can be distinguished only with difficulty which of these people act out of inner stupidity or incompetence and which onlypretend to for certain reasons. Especially with the so-called religiousreformers on an old Germanic basis, I always have the feeling that theywere sent by those powers which do not want the resurrection of our people.For their whole activity leads the people away from the common struggleagainst the common enemy, the Jew, and instead lets them waste their strengthon inner religious squabbles as senseless as they are disastrous. For thesevery reasons the establishment of a strong central power implying the unconditionalauthority of a Kadership is necessary in the movement. By it alone can suchruinous elements be squelched. And for this reason the greatest enemiesof a uniform, strictly led and conducted movement are to be found in thecircles of these folkish wandering Jews. In the movement they hate the powerthat checks their mischief.
Not for nothing did the young movement establish a definite program in which it did not use the word 'folkish.' The concept folkish,in view of its conceptual boundlessness, is no possible basis for a movementand offers no standard for membership in one. The more indefinable thisconcept is in practice, the more and broader interpretations it permits,the greater becomes the possibility of invoking its authority. The insertionof such an indefinable and variously interpretable concept into the politicalstruggle leads to the destruction of any strict fighting solidarity, sincethe latter does not permit leaving to the individual the definition of hisfaith and will.
And it is disgraceful to see all the people who run around today with the word 'folkish' on their caps and how many have their own interpretationof this concept. A Bavarian professor by the name of Bayer,l a famous fighterwith spiritual weapons, rich in equally spiritual marches on Berlin, thinksthat the concept folkish consists only in a monarchistic attitude. Thislearned mind, however, has thus far forgotten to give a closer explanationof the identity of our German monarchs of the past with the folkish opinionof today. And I fear that in this the gentleman would not easily succeed.For anything less folkish than most of the Germanic monarchic state formationscan hardly be imagined. If this were not so, they would never have disappeared,or their disappearance would offer proof of the unsoundness of the folkishoutlook.
And so everyone shoots off his mouth about this concept as he happens to understand it. As a basis for a movement of political struggle,such a multiplicity of opinions is out of the question.
I shall not even speak of the unworldliness of these folkish Saint Johns of the twentieth century or their ignorance of the popular soul.It is sufliciently illustrated by the ridicule with which they are treatedby the Left, which lets them talk and iaughs at them.
Anyone in this world who does not succeed in being hated by his adversaries does not seem to me to be worth much as a friend. And thusthe friendship of these people for our young movement was not only worthless,but solely and always harmful, and it was also the main reason why, firstof all, we chose the name of 'party'-we had grounds for hoping that by thisalone a whole swarm of these folkish sleepwalkers would be frightened awayfrom us-and why in the second place we termed ourselves National SocialistGerman Workers' Party.
The first expression kept away the antiquity enthusiasts, the big-mouths and superficial proverb-makers of the so-called folkish idea,'and the second freed us from the entire host of knights of the 'spiritualsword,' all the poor wretches who wield the 'spiritual weapon' as a protectingshield to hide their actual cowardice.
It goes without saying that in the following period we were attacked hardest especially by these last, not actively, of course, butonly with the pen, just as you would expect from such folkish goose-quills.For them our principle, 'Against those who attack us with force we willdefend ourselves with force,' had something terrifying about it. They persistentlyreproached us, not only with brutal worship of the blackjack, but with lackof spirit as such. The fact that in a public meeting a Demosthenes can bebrought to silence if only fifty idiots, supported by their voices and theirfists, refuse to let him speak, makes no impression whatever on such a quack.His inborn cowardice never lets him get into such danger. For he does notwork 'noisily' and 'obtrusively,' but in 'silence.'
Even today I cannot warn our young movement enough against falling into the net of these so-called 'silent workers.' They are not only cowards,but they are also always incompetents and do-nothings. A man who knows athing, who is aware of a given danger, and sees the possibility of a remedywith his own eyes, has the duty and obligation, by God, not to work 'silently,'but to stand up before the whole public against the evil and for its cure.If he does not do so, he is a disloyal, miserable weakling who fails eitherfrom cowardice or from laziness and inability. To be sure, this does notapply at all to most of these people, for they know absolutely nothing,but behave as though they knew God knows what; they can do nothing but tryto swindle the whole world with their tricks; they are lazy, but with the'silent' work they claim to do, they arouse the impression of an enormousand conscientious activity; in short, they are swindlers, political crookswho hate the honest work of others. As soon as one of these folkish mothspraises the darkness 1 of silence, we can bet a thousand to one that byit he produces nothing, but steals, steals from the fruits of other people'swork.
To top all this, there is the arrogance and conceited effrontery with whichthis lazy, light-shunning rabble fall upon the work of others, trying tocriticize it from above, thus in reality aiding the mortal enemies of ournationality.
Every last agitator who possesses the courage to stand on a tavern tableamong his adversaries, to defend his opinions with manly forthrightness,does more than a thousand of these lying, treacherous sneaks. He will surely-be able to convert one man or another and win him for the movement. It willbe possible to examine his achievement and establish the effect of his activityby its results. Only the cowardly swindlers who praise their 'silent' workand thus wrap themselves in the protective cloak of a despicable anonymity,are good for nothing and may in the truest sense of the word be considereddrones in the resurrection of ourpeople.
At the beginning of 1920, I urged the holding of the first greatmass meeting. Differences of opinion arose. A few leading party membersregarded the affair as premature and hence disastrous in effect. The Redpress had begun to concern itself with us and we were fortunate enough graduallyto achieve its hatred. We had begun to speak in the discussions at othermeetings. Of course, each of us was at once shouted down. There was, however,some success. People got to know us and proportionately as their knowledgeof us deepened, the aversion and rage against us grew. And thus we wereentitled to hope that in our first great mass meeting we would be visitedby a good many of our friends from the Red camp.
I, too, realized that there was great probability of the meetingbeing broken up. But the struggle had to be carried through, if not now,a few months later. It was entirely in our power to make the movement eternalon the very first day by blindly and ruthlessly fighting for it. I knewabove all the mentality of the adherents of the Red side far too well, notto know that resistance to the utmost not only makes the biggest impression,but also wins supporters. And so we just had to be resolved to put up thisresistance.
Herr Harrer,l then first chairman of the party, felt he could not support my views with regard to the time chosen and consequently, beingan honest, upright man, he withdrew from the leadership of the party. Hisplace was taken by Herr Anton Drexler. I had reserved for myself the organizationof propaganda and began ruthlessly to carry it out.
And so, the date of February 4, 19202 was set for the holding of this first great mass meeting of the still unknown movement.
I personally conducted the preparations. They were very brief. Altogether the whole apparatus was adjusted to make lightning decisions.Its aim was to enable us to take a position on current questions in theform of mass meetings within twenty-four hours. They were to be announcedby posters and leaflets whose content was determined according to thoseguiding principles which in rough outlines I have set down in my treatiseon propaganda. Effect on the broad masses, concentration on a few points,constant repetition of the same, self-assured and self-reliant framing ofthe text in the forms of an apodictic statement, greatest perseverance indistribution and patience in awaiting the effect.
On principle, the color red was chosen; it is the most exciting; we knew it would infuriate and provoke our adversaries the most and thusbring us to their attention and memory whether they liked it or not.
In the following period the inner fraternization in Bavariabetween the Marxists and the Center as a political party was most clearlyshown in the concern with which the ruling Bavarian People's Party triedto weaken the effect of our posters on the Red working masses and laterto prohibit them. If the police found no other way to proceed against them,'considerations of traffic' had to do the trick, till finally, to pleasethe inner, silent Red ally, these posters, which had given back hundredsof thousands of workers, incited and seduced by internationalism, to theirGerman nationality, were forbidden entirely with the helping hand of a so-calledGerman National People's Party. As an appendix and example to our youngmovement, I am adding a number of these proclamations. They come from aperiod embracing nearly three years; they can best illustrate the mightystruggle which the young movement fought at this time. They will also bearwitness to posterity of the will and honesty of our convictions and thedespotism of the so-called national authorities in prohibiting, just becausethey personally found it uncomfortable, a nationalization which would havewon back broad masses of our nationality.
They will also help to destroy the opinion that there had beena national government as such in Bavaria and also document for posteritythe fact that the national Bavaria of 1919, 1920, 1921 1922, 1923 was notforsooth the result of a national government, but that the government wasmerely forced to take consideration of a people that was gradually feelingnational
The governments themselves did everything to eliminate thisprocess of recovery and to make it impossible.
Here only two men must be excluded:
Ernst Pohner, the police president at that tirne, and ChiefDeputy frick his faithful advisor, were the only higher state officialswho even then had the courage to be first Germans and then officials. ErnstPohner was the only man in a responsible post who did not curry favor withthe masses, but felt responsible to his nationality and was ready to riskand sacrifice everything, even if necessary his personal existence, forthe resurrection of the German people whom he loved above all things. Andfor this reason he was always a troublesome thorn in the eyes of those venalofficials the law of whose actions was prescribed, not by the interest oftheir people and the necessary uprising for its freedom, but by the boss'sorders, without regard for the welfare of the national trust confided inthem.
And above all he was one of those natures who, contrasting withmost of the guardians of our so-called state authority, do not fear theenmity of traitors to the people and the nation, but long for it as fora treasure which a decent man must take for granted. The hatred of Jewsand Marxists, their whole campaign of lies and slander, were for him thesole happiness amid the misery of our people.
A man of granite honesty, of antique simplicity and German straightforwardness,for whom the words 'Sooner dead than a slave ' were no phrase but the essenceof his whole being.
He and his collaborator, Dr. Frick, are in my eyes the onlymen in a state position who possess the right to be called cocreators ofa national Bavaria.
Before we proceeded to hold our first mass meeting, not onlydid the necessary propaganda material have to be made ready, but the mainpoints of the program also had to be put into print.
In the second volume I shall thoroughly develop the guidingprinciples which we had in mind, particularly in framing the program. HereI shall only state that it was done, not only to give the young movementform and content, but to make its aims understandable to the broad masses.
Circles of the so-called intelligentsia have mocked and ridiculedthis and attempted to criticize it. But the soundness of our point of viewat that time has been shown by the effectiveness of this program.
In these years I have seen dozens of new movements arise andthev have all vanished and evaporated without trace. A single one remains:The National Socialist German Workers' Party. And today more than ever Iharbor the conviction that people can combat it, that they can attempt toparalyze it, that petty party ministers can forbid us to speak and write,but that they will never prevent the victory of our ideas.
When not even memory will reveal the names of the entire present-daystate conception and its advocates, the fundamentals of the National Socialistprogram will be the foundations of a coming state.
Our four months' activities at meetings up to January, 1920,had slowly enabled us to save up the small means that we needed for printingour first leaflet, our first poster, and our program.
If I take the movement's first large mass meeting as the conclusionof this volume, it is because by it the party burst the narrow bonds ofa small club and for the first time exerted a determining infiuence on themightiest factor of our tirne, public opinion.
I myself at that time had but one concern: Will the hall befilled, or will we speak to a yawning hall? 1 I had the unshakable l innerconviction that if the people came, the day was sure to be a great successfor the young movement. And so I anxiously looked forward to that evening.
The meeting was to be opened at 7:30. At 7:15 I entered theFestsaal of the Hofbrauhaus on the Platzl in Munich, and my heart nearlyburst for joy. The gigantic hall-for at that time it still seemed to megigantic-was overcrowded with people, shoulder to shoulder, a mass numberingalmost two thousand people. And above all-those people to whom we wantedto appeal had come. Far more than half the hall seemed to be occupied byCommunists and Independents. They had resolved that our first demonstrationwould come to a speedy end.
But it turned out differently. After the first speaker had finished,I took the floor. A few minutes later there was a hail of shouts, therewere violent dashes in the hall, a handful of the most faithful war comradesand other supporters battled with the disturbers, and only little by littlewere able to restore order.
I was able to go on speaking. After half an hour the applauseslowly began to drown out the screaming and shouting.
I now took up the program and began to explain it for the firsttime.
From minute to minute the interruptions were increasingly drownedout by shouts of applause. And when I finally submitted the twenty-fivetheses, point for point, to the masses and asked them personally to pronouncejudgment on them, one after another was accepted with steadily mountingjoy, unanimously and again unanimously, and when the last thesis had foundits way to the heart of the masses, there stood before me a hall full ofpeople united by a new conviction, a new faith, a new will.
When after nearly four hours the hall began to empty and thecrowd, shoulder to shoulder, began to move, shove, press toward the exitlike a slow stream, I knew that now the principles of a movement which couldno longer be forgotten were moving out among the German people.
A fire was kindled from whose flame one day the sword must come which wouldregain freedom for the Germanic Siegfried and life for the German nation.
And side by side with the coming resurrection, I sensed thatthe goddess of inexorable vengeance for the perjured deed of November 9,1919, was striding forth.
Thus slowly the hall emptied.
The movement took its course.
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A hard copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is available from National Vanguard Books. The link will take you to their catalog, where both English and German editions are offered under the Western Philosophy and Ideology section.