Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Volume Two: The National Socialist Movement
Chapter X: Federalism as a Mask
IN THE WINTER of 1919 and even more in the spring and summer of 1920, the young party was forced to take a position on a question which even during the War rose to an immense importance. In the first volume, in my brief account of the symptoms of the threatening German collapse that were visible to me personally, I have pointed to the special type of propaganda which was carried on by the English as well as the French for the purpose of tearing open the old deft between North and South. In spring, 1915, there appeared the first systematic agitational leaflets attacking Prussia, as solely responsible for the War. By 1916, this system had been brought to full perfection as adroit as it was treacherous. And after a short time the agitation of the South German against the North German, calculated on the lowest instincts, began to bear fruit. It is a reproach that must be raised against the authorities of that time, in the government as well as the army command - or rather the Bavarian staff offices - a reproach which these last cannot shake off, that in their damnable blindness and disregard of duty they did not proceed against this with the necessary determination. Nothing was done! On the contrary, various quarters did not seem to take it so much amiss, and they were small-minded enough to believe that such a propaganda would not only put a bar in the path of the development of the German people toward unity, but that it would inevitably and automatically bring a strengthening of the federative forces. Scarcely ever in history has a malicious omission brought more evil consequences. The weakening these men thought they were administering to Prussia struck the whole of Germany. And its consequence was the acceleration of the collapse, which, however, not only shattered Germany herself, but primarily, in point of fact, the individual states themselves.
In the city where the artificially fanned hatred against Prussia raged most violently, the revolution was first to break out against the hereditary royal house.
Yet it would be false to believe that the manufacture of this anti-Prussian mood is attributable solely to hostile war propaganda and that the people affected by it had no grounds of justification. The incredible way in which our war economy was organized, a positively insane centralization that held the whole German Reich territory in tutelage and pillaged it to the limit, was one of the main reasons for the rise of this anti-Prussian sentiment. For the average little man, the war societies,1 which happened to have their central offices in Berlin, and Berlin. itself, were synonymous with Prussia. It scarcely dawned on the individual at that time that the organizers of this institute of robbery, known as 'war societies,' were neither Berliners nor Prussians, in fact, were not Germans at all. He saw only the great faults and the constant encroachments of this hated institution in the capital and then naturally transferred his whole hatred to the capital and Prussia simultaneously, all the more so since in certain quarters not only nothing was done about this, but such an interpretation was even secretly and smirkingly welcomed.
1 Kriegsgesellschaften. These were the corporations, with state participation and control, established in 1914 to carry on war production. For some months at the beginning of the War, Walter Rathenau, a Jew, headed the raw material department of the Prussian war ministry.
The Jew was far too shrewd not to realize in those days that the infamous campaign of pillage that he was then organizing against the German people, under the cloak of the war societies, would, nay, must, arouse resistance. But as long as it did not spring at his throat, he had no need to fear it. But in order to prevent an explosion of the masses driven to despair and indignation in this direction, there could be no better prescription than to cause their rage to flare up elsewhere, thus using it up.
Let Bavaria fight against Prussia and Prussia against Bavaria as much as they wanted, the more the better! The hottest struggle between the two meant the securest peace for the Jew. In this way, the general attention was entirely diverted from the international maggot of nations. And if the danger seemed to arise that thoughtful elements, of which there were many in Bavaria, as elsewhere, called for understanding, reflection, and restraint and so the embittered struggle threatened to die down, the Jew in Berlin needed only to stage a new provocation and wait for the result. Instantly all the beneficiaries of the conflict between North and South flung themselves on every such occurrence, and kept on blowing until the flame of indignation had again burst into a roaring blaze.
It was an adroit, subtle game that the Jew then played, constantly occupying and distracting the individual German tribes and meanwhile pillaging them the more thoroughly.
Then came the revolution.
If up to the year 1918, or rather up to November of this year, the average man, and especially the little-educated petit bourgeois and worker, especially in Bavaria, could not yet correctly estimate the real course and the inevitable consequences of the quarrel of German tribes among themselves, the section calling themselves 'national' should at least have had to recognize it on the day of the outbreak of the revolution. For no sooner had the action succeeded than in Bavaria the leader and organizer of the revolution became the defender of 'Bavarian' interests. The international Jew Kurt Eisner began to play Bavaria against Prussia. It goes without saying, however, that this Oriental who spent his time as a newspaper journaille 2 running all over Germany, was unquestionably the last man fitted to defend Bavarian interests, and that to him, in particular, Bavaria was a matter of the utmost indifference possible on God's earth.
2 Journaille is a brunch word composed of 'journal ' and 'canaille,' attributed to Karl Kraus, editor and writer of the Viennese magazine 'Die Fackel.' Zeitungsjournaille is a typical Hitlerian redundancy.
In giving the revolutionary uprising in Bavaria a thoroughly conscious edge against the rest of the Reich, Kurt Eisner did not in the least act from Bavarian motives, out solely as the servant of the Jews. He used the existing instincts and dislikes of the Bavarian people, to help him break up Germany the more easily. The shattered Reich would have easily fallen a prey to Bolshevism.
After his death the tactics applied by him were at first continued. The Marxists, who had always covered the individual states and their princes in Germany with the bloodiest scorn, now came out as an 'Independent Party' and suddenly appealed to those feelings and instincts which had their strongest roots in princely houses and individual states.
The fight of the Bavarian Republic of Councils 3 against the approaching contingents of liberation was dressed up by propaganda as mainly a 'struggle of the Bavarian workers' against 'Prussian militarism.' Only from this can it be understood why in Munich, quite unlike the other German territories, the overthrow of the Republic of Councils did not bring the great masses to their senses, but rather led to an even greater bitterness and rancor against Prussia.
The skill with which the Bolshevistic agitators were able to represent the elimination of the Republic of Councils as a 'Prussian militaristic' victory against the 'anti-militaristic' and 'anti-Prussian' Bavarian people, bore rich fruit. While Kurt Eisner, on the occasion of the elections to the legislative Bavarian Provincial Diet in Munich, still could summon not even ten thousand supporters, and the Communist Party actually remained under three thousand, after the collapse of the Republic both parties together had risen to nearly a hundred thousand voters.
3 After the murder of Kurt Eisner there was at first a Majority Socialist government under Hoffmann. On April 7, the Workers' Councils proclaimed the Republic of Councils. A temporary council was formed of Independents and the Bavarian Peasant League (bauernbund). On April 10, this was overthrown by the Communists, partly under Russian leadership. Free corps from surrounding states marched on Munich and occupied it on May 1, 1919.
As early as this period my personal fight against the insane incitement of German tribes against each other began.
I believe that in all my life I have undertaken no more unpopular cause than my resistance at that time to the anti-Prussian agitation. In Munich, even during the Soviet period, the first mass meetings had taken place, in which hatred against the rest of Germany and in particular against Prussia was lashed to such a white heat that it not only involved a risk of his life for a North German to attend such a meeting, but the conclusion of such rallies as a rule ended quite openly with mad cries of: 'Away from Prussia!'-'Down with Prussia! '-'War against Prussia! ' a mood which a particularly brilliant representative of Bavarian sovereign interests in the German Reichstag summed up in the battle-cry: 'Rather die Bavarian than rot Prussian!'
You need to have lived through the meetings of that time to understand what it meant for me when, surrounded by a handful of friends, I for the first time, at a meeting in the Löwenbräukeller in Munich; offered resistance against this madness. It was war comrades who then supported me, and perhaps you can imagine how we felt when a mob - by far the greatest part of which had been deserters and slackers, hanging around the reserve posts or at home while we were defending the fatherland - lost all reason and bellowed at us and threatened to strike us down. For me, to be sure, these incidents had the virtue that the squad of my loyal followers came to feel really attached to me, and was soon sworn to live or die by my side.
These struggles, which were repeated again and again and dragged out through the entire year of 1919, seemed to become even sharper right at the beginning of 1920. There were meetings -I particularly remember one in the Wagner-Saal in the SonnenStrasse in Munich - in which my group, which had meanwhile grown stronger, had to withstand grave clashes, which not seldom ended in dozens of my supporters being mishandled, struck down, trampled under foot, and finally, more dead than alive, thrown out of the halls.
The struggle which I had first taken up as an individual, supported only by my war comrades, was now continued by the young movement as, I might also say, a sacred mission.
Today I am still proud to be able to say that in those days- dependent almost entirely on our Bavarian adherents - we nevertheless slowly but surely put an end to this mixture of stupidity and treason. I say stupidity and treason because, though fully convinced that the mass of followers were really nothing but good-natured fools, such simplicity cannot be attributed to the organizers and instigators. I regarded them, and today still regard them, as traitors bought and paid for by France. In one case, the Dorten case,4 history has already given its verdict.
4 Dorten was state's attorney in Wiesbaden after the World War. In 1919 he tried to establish a Rhenish Republic in collaboration with the French. He was associated with Bavarian Right Wing Catholic politicians.
What made the affair especially dangerous at that time was the skill with which the true tendencies were concealed, by shoving federalistic intentions into the foreground as the sole motive for this activity. But it is obvious that stirring up hatred against Prussia has nothing to do with federalism. And a 'federative activity' which attempts to dissolve or split up another federal state makes a weird impression. An honorable federalist, for whom quotations of Bismarck's conception of the Reich are more than lying phrases, would hardly in the same breath want to separate portions from the Prussian state created or rather completed by Bismarck, let alone publicly support such separatist endeavors. How they would have yelled in Munich if a conservative Prussian party had favored the separation of Franconia from Bavaria, or actually demanded and promoted it by public action. In all this one could only feel sorry for the honest, federalist-minded souls who had not seen through this foul swindle; for they, first and foremost, were the cheated parties. By thus compromising the federative idea, its own supporters were digging its grave. It is impossible to preach a federalistic form for the Reich, at the same time deprecating, reviling, and befouling the most essential section of such a state structure, namely, Prussia, and in short, making it, if possible, impossible as a federal state.5 What made this all the more incredible was that the fight of these so-called federalists was directed precisely against that Prussia which can least be brought into connection with the November democracy. For it was not against the fathers of the Weimar Constitution, who themselves incidentally were for the most part South Germans or Jews, that the vilifications and attacks of these so-called 'federalists' were directed, but against the representatives of the old conservative Prussia, hence the antipodes of the Weimar Constitution. It must not surprise us that they took special care not to attack the Jew, and perhaps this furnishes the key to the solution of the whole riddle.
5... kurz als Bundesstaat wean möglich, unmöglich macht.'
Just as before the revolution the Jew knew how to divert attention from his war societies, or rather from himself, and was able to turn the masses, especially of the Bavarian people, against Prussia, after the revolution he had somehow to cover his new and ten times bigger campaign of pillage. And again he succeeded, in this case in inciting the so-called 'national elements' of Germany against one another: conservative-minded Bavaria against equally conservative-thinking Prussia. And again he managed it in the shrewdest way; he, who alone held the strings of the Reich's destinies, provoked such brutal and tactless excesses that the blood of those affected could not but be brought to the boiling point each time anew. Yet never against the Jew, but always against the German brother. It was not the Berlin of four million hard-working, producing people that the Bavarian saw, but the rotten decaying Berlin of the foulest West End! But it was not against this West End that his hatred turned, but against the 'Prussian' city.
Often it could really drive you to despair.
This aptitude of the Jew for diverting public attention from himself and occupying it elsewhere, can be studied again today.
In 1918 there could be no question of a systematic anti-Semitism. I still remember the difficulties one encountered if one so much as uttered the word Jew. Either one was stupidly gaped at, or one experienced the most violent resistance. Our first attempts to show the public the real enemy then seemed almost hopeless, and only very slowly did things begin to take a better turn. Bad as the organizational set-up of the Watch and Ward League (Schulz- and Trutzbund) 6 was, it nonetheless had great merit in having reopened the Jewish question as such. At all events, in the winter of 1918-19, something like anti-Semitism began slowly to take root. Later, to be sure, the National Socialist movement drove the Jewish question to the fore in quite a different way.7 Above all, it succeeded in lifting this problem out of the narrow, limited circle of bourgeois and petit bourgeois strata and transforming it into the driving impulse of a great people's movement. But scarcely had it succeeded in giving the German people its great, unifying idea of struggle in this question than the Jew commenced to counter-attack. He seized upon his old weapon. With miraculous speed he threw the torch of discord into the folkish movement and sowed dissension. As things then stood, the only possibility of occupying the public attention with other questions and withholding a concentrated attack from the Jews lay in raising the Ultramontane question, and in the resulting clash between Catholicism and Protestantism. These men can never atone for the wrong they did our people in hurling this question into their midst. In any case the Jew reached his desired goal: Catholics and Protestants wage a merry war with one another, and the mortal enemy of Aryan humanity and all Christendom laughs up his sleeve.
6 DeutschVölkischer Schulz- and Trutsburd, a supposedly non-political anti-Semitic organization, founded in 1919, ostensibly to protect German culture against Jewish influence, though anti-Semitism was not officially mentioned in its program. Its propaganda was first directed against the Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland after the war. It petered out in 1922, its members merging with the National Socialists It introduced the swastika ec German political life.
7 '. . . die Judenfrage ganz anders vorwärtsgetrieben!'
Just as formerly they were able to busy public opinion for years with the struggle between federalism and centralization, thus wearing it down with exhaustion, while the Jew sold the freedom of the nation and betrayed our fatherland to international high finance, now again he succeeds in causing the two German denominations to assail one another, while the foundations of both are corroded and undermined by the poison of the international world Jew.
Bear in mind the devastations which Jewish bastardization visits on our nation each day, and consider that this blood poisoning can be removed from our national body only after centuries, if at all; consider further how racial disintegration drags down and often destroys the last Aryan values of our German people, so that our strength as a culture-bearing nation is visibly more and more involved in a regression and we run the risk, in our big cities at least, of reaching the point where southern Italy is today. This contamination of our blood, blindly ignored by hundreds of thousands of our people, is carried on systematically by the Jew today. Systematically these black parasites of the nation defile our inexperienced young blond girls and thereby destroy something which can no longer be replaced in this world. Both, yes, both Christian denominations look on indifferently at this desecration and destruction of a noble and unique living creature, given to the earth by God's grace. The significance of this for the future of the earth does not lie in whether the Protestants defeat the Catholics or the Catholics the Protestants, but in whether the Aryan man is preserved for the earth or dies out. Nevertheless, the two denominations do not fight today against the destroyer of this man, but strive mutually to annihilate one another. The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated.
For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will. Therefore, let every man be active, each in his own denomination if you please, and let every man take it as his first and most sacred duty to oppose anyone who in his activity by word or deed steps outside the confines of his religious community and tries to butt into the other. For in Germany to attack the special characteristics of a denomination, within the religious schism we already have with us, necessarily leads to a war of annihilation between the two denominations. Our conditions permit here of no comparison say with France or Spain, let alone Italy. In all three countries, for example, a fight can be preached against clericalism or Ultramontanism, without running the risk that in this endeavor the French, Spanish, or Italian people as such will fall apart. In Germany, however, this may not be done, for here it is certain that the Protestants would also participate in such a movement. And thus the resistance, which would elsewhere be carried on only by Catholics against encroachments of a political nature by their own high clergy, immediately assumes the character of an attack of Protestantism against Catholicism. What is tolerated from members of the same denomination, even when it is unjust, is at once sharply rejected at the outset, as soon as the assailant belongs to another creed. This goes so far that even men, who themselves would be perfectly willing to correct a visible abuse within their own religious community, at once change their minds and turn their resistance outward as soon as such a correction is recommended, let alone demanded, by a source not belonging to their community. They regard this as an unjustified and impermissible, nay, indecent attempt to mix in matters which do not concern the party in question. Such attempts are not pardoned even if they are justified by the higher right of the interests of the national community, since today religious sentiments still go deeper than all considerations of national and political expediency. And this is in no way changed by driving the two denominations into an embittered mutual war, but could only change if, through compatibility on both sides, the nation is given a future which by its greatness would gradually have a conciliatory effect in this province as elsewhere.
I do not hesitate to declare that I regard the men who today draw the folkish movement into the crisis of religious quarrels as worse enemies of my people than any international Communist. For to convert the latter is the mission of the National Socialist movement. But anyone in its own ranks who leads it away from its true mission is acting damnably. Whether consciously or unconsciously is immaterial, he is a fighter for Jewish interests. For it is to the Jewish interest today to make the folkish movement bleed to death in a religious struggle at the moment when it is beginning to become a danger for the Jew. And I expressly emphasize the words bleed to death; for only a man without historical education can imagine that with this movement today a problem can be solved which has defied centuries and great statesmen.
For the rest, the facts speak for themselves. The gentlemen who in 1924 suddenly discovered that the highest mission of the folkish movement was the struggle against ' Ultramontanism' did not break IJltramontanism, but tore apart the folkish movement.8 I must also lodge protest against any immature mind in the ranks of the folkish movement imagining that he can do what even a Bismarck could not do. It will always be the highest duty of the top leadership of the National Socialist movement to offer the sharpest opposition to any attempt to drive the National Socialist movement into such struggles, and immediately to remove the propagandists of such an intention from the ranks of the movement. And actually, by autumn, 1923, we succeeded entirely in this. In the ranks of the movement, the most devout Protestant could sit beside the most devout Catholic, without coming into the slightest conflict with his religious convictions. The mighty common struggle which both carried on against the destroyer of Aryan humanity had, on the contrary, taught them mutually to respect and esteem one another. And yet, in these very years, the movement carried on the bitterest fight against the Center, though never on religious, but exclusively on national, racial, and economic-political grounds. The results spoke in our favor, just as today they testify against the know-it-alls.
8 An attack on the bitterly anti-Catholic Ludendorf, who broke with National Socialism after the putsch of November, 1923.
In recent years things have sometimes gone so far that folkish circles in the God-forsaken blindness of their denominational squabbles did not even recognize the madness of their actions from the fact that atheistic Marxist newspapers suddenly, when convenient, became advocates of religious communities, and tried to compromise one or the other by bandying back and forth remarks that were sometimes really too stupid, and thus stir up the fire to the extreme.
Especially with a people like the Germans, who have so often demonstrated in their history that they were capable of waging wars down to the last drop of blood for phantoms, any such battle cry will be mortally dangerous. In this way our people has always been diverted from the real practical questions of its existence. While we devoured each other in religious squabbles, the rest of the world was distributed. And while-the folkish movement considers whether the Ultramontane peril is greater than the Jewish peril or vice versa, the Jew destroys the racial foundations of our existence and thus destroys our people for all time. As far as this variety of 'folkish' warriors are concerned, I can only wish the National Socialist movement and the German people with all my heart: Lord, protect them from such friends and they will settle with their enemies by themselves.
The struggle between federalism and centralization so shrewdly propagated by the Jews in 1919-20-21 and afterward, forced the National Socialist movement, though absolutely rejecting it, to take a position on its essential problems.
Should Germany be a federated or a unified state, and what for practical purposes must be understood by the two? To me the second seems the more important question, because it is not only fundamental to the understanding of the whole problem, but also because it is clarifying and possesses a conciliatory character.
What is a federated state?
By a federated state we understand a league of sovereign states which band together of their own free will, on the strength of their sovereignty; ceding to the totality that share of their particular sovereign rights which makes possible and guarantees the existence of the common federation.
In practice this theoretical formulation does not apply entirely to any of the federated states existing on earth today. Least of all to the American Union, where, as far as the overwhelming part of the individual states are concerned, there can be no question of any original sovereignty, but, on the contrary, many of them were sketched into the total area of the Union in the course of time, so to speak. Hence in the individual states of the American Union we have mostly to do with smaller and larger territories, formed for technical, administrative reasons, and, often marked out with a ruler, states which previously had not and could not have possessed any state sovereignty of their own. For it was not these states that had formed the Union, on the contrary it was the Union which formed a great part of such so-called states. The very extensive special rights granted, or rather assigned, to the individual territories are not only in keeping with the whole character of this federation of states, but above all with the size of its area, its spatial dimensions which approach the scope of a continent. And so, as far as the states of the American Union are concerned, we cannot speak of their state sovereignty, but only of their constitutionally established and guaranteed rights, or better, perhaps, privileges.
The above formulation is not fully and entirely applicable to Germany either. Although in Germany without doubt the individual states did exist first and in the form of states, and the Reich was formed out of them. But the very formation of the Reich did not take place on the basis of the free will or equal participation of the single states, but through the workings of the hegemony of one state among them, Prussia. The great difference between the German states, from the purely territorial standpoint, permits no comparison with the formation of the American Union, for instance. The difference in size between the smallest of the former federated states and the larger ones. let alone the largest, shows the non-similarity of their achievements, and else the inequality of their share in the founding of the Reich, the forming of the federated state. Actually, in most of these states there could be no question of a real sovereignty, except if state sovereignty was taken only as an official phrase. In reality, not only the past, but the present as well, had put an end to any number of these so-called 'sovereign states' and thus clearly demonstrated the weakness of these 'sovereign' formations.
I shall not state here how each of these states was historically formed, but I do want to say that in practically no case do they coincide with tribal boundaries. They are purely political phenomena, and their roots for the most part go back to the gloomiest epoch of the German Reich's impotence and of the national fragmentation which conditioned it and itself in turn was conditioned by it.
All this, in part at least, was taken into account by the constitution of the old Reich, in so far as it did not grant the individual states the same representation in the Bundesrat,9 but set up gradations corresponding to size and actual importance, as well as the achievement of the individual states in the formation of the Reich.
9 The Bundesrat was the federal council of the North German Confederation formed in 1867, and later of the German Empire. Made up of delegates of the various member states, it had equal powers with the Reichstag an' was a sort of upper house.
The sovereign rights waived by the single states to make possible the formation of the Reich were only in the smallest part surrendered of their own free will; in the greatest part they were either practically non-existent to begin with or were simply taken away under the pressure of superior Prussian power. At the same time, Bismarck did not act on the principle of giving to the Reich everything that could in any way be taken away from the individual states; his principle was to demand of the individual states only what the Reich absolutely needed. A principle as moderate as it was wise, which on the one hand took the highest consideration of custom and tradition, and on the other hand thereby assured the new Reich a great measure of love and joyful collaboration at the very outset. It is absolutely wrong, however, to attribute this decision of Bismarck to his conviction that the Reich thus possessed sufficient sovereign rights for all time. Bismarck had no such conviction; on the contrary, he only wanted to put off till the future what at the moment would have been hard to accomplish and to endure. He put his hope in the gradual compromises brought about by time and the pressure of development as such, which in the long run he credited with more strength than any attempt to break the momentary resistance of the individual states at once. Thus, he best demonstrated and proved the greatness of his statesmanship. For in reality the sovereignty of the Reich steadily grew at the expense of the sovereignty of the individual states. Time fulfilled Bismarck's expectations.
With the German collapse and the destruction of the German state form, this development was necessarily accelerated. For since the existence of the individual German states was attributable less to tribal foundations than to purely political causes, the significance of these individual states inevitably shriveled into nothing once the most essential embodiment of the political development of these states, the monarchic state form and their dynasties, had been excluded. A considerable number of these 'state formations' lost all internal stability, to such an extent that they voluntarily renounced any further existence and for reasons of pure expediency fused with others or merged with larger ones of their own free will: the most striking proof of the extraordinary weakness of these little formations and the small respect they enjoyed even among their own citizens.
And so, if the elimination of the monarchic state form and its representatives in itself administered a strong blow to the Reich's character as a federated state, this was even more true of the assumption of the obligations resulting from the 'peace' treaty.
It was natural and self-evident that the financial sovereignty previously vested in the provinces should be lost to the Reich at the moment when the Reich due to the lost War was subjected to a financial obligation which would never have been met by individual contributions of the provinces. Also the further steps, which led to the taking over of the postal service and railroads by the Reich, were necessary effects of the enslavement of our people, gradually initiated by the peace treaties. The Reich was forced to take firm possession of more and more capital, in order to be able to meet the obligations which arose in consequence of further extortions.
Insane as the forms frequently were, in which the centralization was accomplished, the process in itself was logical and natural. Those to blame were the parties and the men who had not done everything in their power to end the War victoriously. Those to blame, especially in Bavaria, were the parties which in pursuit of selfish aims of their own, had during the War wrung from the principle of the Reich concessions which after its loss they had to restore ten times over. Avenging history! Seldom, however, has the punishment of Heaven come so swiftly after the crime as in this case. The same parties, which only a few years previous had placed the interests of their individual states - and this especially in Bavaria - above the interest of the Reich, were now compelled to look on as, beneath the pressure of events, the interest of the Reich throttled the existence of the individual states. All through their own complicity.
It is an unequaled hypocrisy to bemoan to the masses of voters (for only toward them is the agitation of our present-day parties directed) the loss of the sovereign rights of the individual provinces, while all these parties without exception outbid one another in a policy of fulfillment which in its ultimate consequences could not but lead to deep-seated changes inside Germany. Bismarck's Germany was free and unbound on the outside. This Reich did not possess financial obligations of so burdensome, and at the same time unproductive, a nature as the present Dawes-Germany has to bear. But internally as well, its competence was limited to a few matters and those absolutely necessary. Thus it could very well dispense with a financial sovereignty of its own, and live from the contributions of the provinces; and it goes without saying that, on the one hand, the continued possession of their own sovereign rights, and, on the other hand, comparatively small financial contributions to the Reich, were very conducive to satisfaction with the Reich 10 in the provinces. However, it is incorrect, dishonest in fact, to make propaganda today with the assertion that the present lack of satisfaction with the Reich can be attributed solely to the financial bondage of the provinces to the Reich. No, that is not the real state of affairs. The diminished satisfaction with the Reich idea is not attributable to the loss of sovereign rights on the part of the provinces, but is rather the result of the deplorable way in which the German people is at present represented by its state. Despite all the Reichsbanner rallies and celebrations in honor of the constitution, the present Reich has remained alien to the heart of the people in all strata, and republican protective laws may deter people from transgressing against republican institutions, but can never win the love of so much as a single German. In this excessive concern with protecting the Republic against its own citizens by means of penal laws and imprisonment lies the most annihilating criticism and disparagement of the whole institution itself.
10 'Reichsfreudigheit.' Literally: joy in the Reich.
But for another reason as well, the assertion, made by certain parties today, that the disappearance of satisfaction in the Reich is attributable to the encroachments of the Reich against certain sovereign rights of the provinces, is untrue. Assuming that the Reich had not undertaken the extension of its competencies, let no one suppose that the love of the individual provinces for the Reich would be any greater, if nonetheless their total contributions had to be the same as now. On the contrary: If the individual provinces today had to bear taxes to the amount which the Reich requires for the fulfillment of the slave dictates, hostility toward the Reich would be infinitely greater. Not only would the contributions of the provinces to the Reich be very hard to bring in, but they would have to be raised by means of downright coercion For since the Republic stands on the basis of the peace treaties, and possesses neither the courage nor any intention whatever of breaking them, it must reckon with its obligations. Solely to blame for this are again the parties which incessantly harangue the patient mass of the voters about the necessary independence of the provinces, but at the same time promote and support a Reich policy which must lead inevitably to the elimination of the very last of these so-called 'sovereign rights.'
I say inevitably because the present Reich retains no other possibility of meeting the burdens imposed by its notorious domestic and foreign policy. Here again one wedge drives the next, and every new debt that the Reich heaps upon itself by its criminal handling of German interests abroad, must be balanced at home by a stronger downward pressure which in turn requires the gradual elimination of all sovereign rights of the individual states, in order to prevent germ cells of resistance from arising or merely persisting in them.
Altogether, a characteristic difference must be noted between the present Reich policy and that of former days: The old Reich gave internal freedom and demonstrated strength on the outside, while the Republic shows weakness outside and represses its citizens internally. In both cases one conditions the other: The powerful national state needs fewer laws within in consequence of the greater love and attachment of its citizens; the international slave state can only hold its subjects to their slave labor by force. For it is one of the present regime's most shameless impertinences to speak of 'free citizens.' Only the old Germany possessed such citizens. The Republic is a slave colony of foreign countries and has no citizens, but at best subjects. It therefore possesses no national flag but only a trade-mark, introduced and protected by official decrees and legal measures. This symbol, regarded by everyone as the Gessler's hat of German democracy, will therefore always remain inwardly alien to our people. The Republic which, without any feeling for tradition and without much respect for the greatness of the past, trod its symbols in the mire, will some day be amazed how superficially its subjects are attached to its own symbols. It has given to itself the character of an intermezzo in German history. And so today this state, for the sake of its own existence, is obliged to curtail the sovereign rights of the individual provinces more and more, not only out of general material considerations, but from ideal considerations as well. For in draining its citizens of their last drop of blood by its policy of financial extortion, it must inevitably withdraw their last rights if it does not want the general discontent to break out into open rebellion some day.
By inverting the above proposition, the following rule, basic for us National Socialists, is derived. A powerful national Reich, which takes into account and protects the outward interests of its citizens to the highest extent, can offer freedom within, without having to fear for the stability of the state. On the other hand, a powerful national government can undertake and accept responsibility for great limitations on the freedom of the individual as well as the provinces, without damage to the Reich idea if in such measures the individual citizen recognizes a means toward the greatness of his nation.
Certainly all the states in the world are moving toward a certain unification in their inner organization. And in this Germany will be no exception. Today it is an absurdity to speak of a 'state sovereignty' of individual provinces, which in reality the absurd size of these formations in itself fails to provide. The techniques of communication as well as administration steadily diminish the importance of the individual states. Modern communications, modern technology, make distance and space shrink more and more. A state of former days today represents only a province' and the states of the present formerly seemed like continents. The difficulty, from the purely technical point of view, of administering a state like Germany is no greater than the difficulty in directing a province like Brandenburg a hundred and twenty years ago. It is today easier to span the distance from Munich to Berlin than that from Munich to Starnberg a hundred years ago. And the whole Reich territory of today is smaller in relation to current communications technique than any medium German federated state at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Anyone who disregards consequences resulting from undeniable facts cannot help but remain behind the times. At all times there have been men who do this, and in the future there will be too. But they can scarcely impede the wheel of history, and never bring it to a standstill.
We National Socialists must never blindly disregard the consequences of these truths. Here again we must not let ourselves be taken in by the phrases of our so-called national bourgeois parties. I use the term phrases because these parties themselves do not believe seriously in the possibility of carrying out their intentions, and because in the second place they themselves are the accomplices mainly responsible for the present development. Especially in Bavaria, the cry for the elimination of centralization is really nothing more than a party machination without any serious thought behind it. Every time that these parties should really have made something serious out of their phrases, they all of them fell down miserably. Every so-called 'theft of sovereign rights' from the Bavarian state by the Reich was accepted practically without resistance except for a repulsive yelping. Indeed, if anyone really dared to put up serious opposition to this insane system, he was outlawed and damned and persecuted for 'contempt of the existing state' by these very parties, and in the end was silenced either by imprisonment or illegally forbidden to speak. This more than anything should show our supporters the inner hypocrisy of these so-called federalistic circles. The federative state idea, like religion in part, is only an instrument for their often unclean party interests
Natural as a certain unification may seem, particularly in the field of communications, for us National Socialists there nevertheless remains an obligation to take an energetic position against such a development in the present-day state, at times when the measures only serve the purpose of masking and making possible a catastrophic foreign policy. Precisely because the present Reich did not undertake the nationalization of the railroads, postal service, finances, etc., out of higher considerations of national policy, but only in order to lay hands on the financial means and securities for such a policy of unlimited fulfillment.11 National Socialists must do everything that seems in any way calculated to impede and if possible prevent the execution of such a policy. And to this belongs the struggle against the present centralization of vitally important institutions of our people, which is undertaken only in order to raise the billions of marks and the collateral for our post-War foreign policy.
11 Fulfillment of the peace treaties, here the reparations provisions.
And for this reason the National Socialist movement has taken a position against such attempts.
The second reason which can induce us to offer resistance to such a centralization is that it might stabilize the power of a system of internal government which in all its effects has brought the gravest disaster upon the German people. The present Jewish-Democratic Reich, which has become a true curse for the German nation, seeks to make the criticism of the individual states, all of which are not yet imbued with this new spirit, ineffectual, by reducing them to total insignificance. In the face of this, we National Socialists have every reason to attempt to give to the opposition of these individual states, not only the foundation of a state power promising success, but in general to make their struggle against centralization into an expression of a higher, national and universal German interest. And so, while the Bavarian People's Party endeavors to preserve special rights for the Bavarian State out of small-hearted, particularistic motives, we must use this special position in the service of a higher national interest in opposition to the present November democracy.
The third reason that can also determine us to fight against the current centralization is the conviction that a great part of the so-called nationalization is in reality no unification, and in no event a simplification, but that in many cases it is only a matter of removing institutions from the sovereign rights of the provinces, in order to open their gates to the interests of the revolutionary parties. Never in German history has there been a more shameless policy of favoritism than under the democratic Republic. A large part of the present frenzy for centralization falls to the account of those parties which once promised to clear the road to ability, but when it came to filling offices and posts solely considered party membership. Since the founding of the Republic, particularly Jews in incredible numbers poured into the economic concerns and administrative apparatuses snatched up by the Reich, so that today both have become a domain of Jewish activity.
This third consideration above all must obligate us on tactical grounds to examine sharply any further measure on the road to centralization and if necessary to take a position against it. But in this our motives must always be higher motives of national policy and never petty particularistic ones.
This last remark is necessary lest the opinion arise among our supporters that we National Socialists would not grant the Reich as such the right to embody a higher sovereignty than that of the individual states. Concerning this right, there must and can be no doubt among us. Since for us the state as such is only a form, but the essential is its content, the nation, the people, it is clear that everything else must be subordinated to its sovereign interests. In particular we cannot grant to any individual state within the nation and the state representing it state sovereignty and sovereignty in point of political power. The mischief of individual federated states maintaining so-called missions abroad and among each other must cease and will some day cease. As long as such things are possible, we must not be surprised if foreign countries still doubt the stability of our Reich structure and act accordingly. The mischief of these missions is all the greater as not the least benefit can be attributed to them along with the harm. The interests of a German abroad, which cannot be protected by the ambassador of the Reich, can much less be looked after by the envoy of a petty state that looks ridiculous in the setting of the present world order. In these petty federated states we can really see nothing but points of attack for separatist endeavors inside and outside of the German Reich, endeavors such as one state still particularly welcomes. And we National Socialists can have no sympathy with some noble family, grown feeble with age, providing new soil for a withered scion by clothing him in an ambassadorial post. Our diplomatic missions abroad were so miserable even at the time of the old Reich that further additions to the experience then gained are highly superfluous.
In future the significance of the individual provinces will unquestionably be shifted more to the field of cultural policy. The monarch who did the most for the importance of Bavaria was not some stubborn anti-German particularist, but Ludwig I, a man of pan-German mind and artistic sensibilities. By using the forces of the state primarily for the development of Bavaria's cultural position and not for the strengthening of her political power, he built better and more enduringly than would otherwise have been possible. By pushing Munich from the level of an insignificant provincial capital into the format of a great German art metropolis,12 he created a spiritual center which even today is strong enough to bind the essentially different Franks to this state. Supposing that Munich had remained what it formerly was, the same process that took place in Saxony would have been repeated in Bavaria, only with the difference that Nuremberg, the Bavarian Leipzig, would have become not a Bavarian but a Frankish city It was not the 'Down with Prussia' shouters that made Munich great; this city was given its importance by the King who in it wished to bestow upon the German nation an art treasure which would have to be seen and respected, and which was seen and respected. And therein lies a lesson for the future. The importance of the individual states will in the future no longer lie in the fields of state power and policy; I see it either in the tribal field or the field of cultural policy. But even here time will have a leveling effect. The ease of modern transportation so scatters people around that slowly and steadily the tribal boundaries are effaced and thus even the cultural picture gradually begins to even out.
12 indem er München damals aus dem Rahmen einer wenig bedeutenden provinziellen Residenz in das Format einer grosser deutschen Kunstmetropole hineinschob . . . '
The army in particular must be sharply removed from all influence of the individual states. The coming National Socialist state must not fall into the error of the past and attribute to the army a function which it has not and must not have. The German army does not exist to be a school for the preservation of tribal peculiarities, but should rather be a school for the mutual understanding and adaptation of all Germans. Whatever source of division there may be in the life of the nation must be given a unifying effect by the army. Furthermore, it must raise the individual young man from the narrow horizon of his little province and put him into the German nation. He must learn to see, not the boundaries of his home province, but those of his fatherland; for it is these that he will one day have to protect. It is, therefore, senseless to leave the young German at home; the expedient thing is to show him Germany during his period of military service. Today this is all the more necessary, as the young German no longer has his years of wandering apprenticeship with their broadening effect on his horizon. In view of this, is it not preposterous to leave, when possible, the young Bavarian in Munich, the Frank in Nuremberg, the Badener in Karlsruhe, the Württemberger in Stuttgart, etc., and is it not more sensible to show the young Bavarian the Rhine and the North Sea, the Hamburger the Alps, the East Prussian the mountains of Central Germany, and so on? Regional character should remain in the detachment, but not in the garrison. Every attempt at centralization may encounter our disapproval, but that of the army never! On the contrary, even if we welcomed no such endeavor, we should have to take pleasure in this one. Quite aside from the fact that, in view of the size of the present Reich army, the preservation of individual state troop formations would be absurd, we regard the unification of the Reich army that has taken place as a step which, in the future, when a national army has been introduced, we must never again abandon.
Moreover, a young victorious idea will have to reject any fetter which might paralyze its activity in pushing forward its conceptions. National Socialism as a matter of principle, must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries, and to educate it in its ideas and conceptions. Just as the churches do not feel bound and limited by political boundaries, no more does the National Socialist idea feel limited by the individual state territories of our fatherland.
The National Socialist doctrine is not the servant of individual federated states, but shall someday become the master of the German nation. It must determine and reorder the life of a people, and must, therefore, imperiously claim the right to pass over boundaries drawn by a development we have rejected.
The more complete the victory of its idea will be, the greater may be the particular liberties it offers internally.
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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.