THE man who now rules Germany is no enigma; there is no mystery about him. His beliefs, his dreams, his loves and hates, are all laid bare in his own book; indeed, they are elaborated in almost exhausting detail, for it is a book of some 250,000 words. All his programme is to be found there also. Nothing that has happened in Germany since January 30 should be a surprise to the Germans, for Hitler told them years ago what he meant to do, all of it, from the prohibition of Cubism in art to the swallowing up of Austria, from the driving of Jews out of the singing societies to the abolition of the trades-unions. Moreover, the book is the clearest revelation of the man’s character, for it is written with a sort of naive brutality that glosses over nothing, because it never occurs to the author that criticism is possible. He does not condescend to explain, far less to excuse; he is not thinking of persuading: he is proclaiming principles that must meet with acceptance because there is force — physical force — behind them.
This paper is not an attempt to explain Hitler’s success. Such an article could be written only by a German, and would probably be understood only by Germans, for the more an American studies the utterances of the ‘Leader,’ the less can he understand the secret of Hitler’s influence over a modernminded people. It is only an attempt to show the man as he reveals himself in his book, Mein Kampf.1
The book was written in 1923 when Hitler was serving a five-year sentence in a Bavarian fortress. (The sentence was, however, reduced to less than a year.) Since then, many editions have appeared, the last one in 1933. It is dedicated to sixteen of his followers who fell in the uprising in Munich in 1923. The book is an autobiography, but it is devoted far more to the political philosophy of National Socialism and to the struggles of the party than to his own life history, and it should be supplemented by the life of Hitler written by Czech-Jochberg. Both Hitler and his biographer were what they bitterly called ‘border Germans.’ Joehberg begins his book with a description of what life meant to Germans living in Bohemia, a minority in a Czech population which it despised and hated, and which the craven Austrian Government always favored. To be a German schoolboy in a Czech village, as Hitler was, meant to be teased and bullied by Czech boys and humiliated by Czech teachers. It ate into Hitler’s soul; it gave him a fanatical devotion to Germanism and pride in being a German.
As soon as he reached manhood he escaped from the village to the ‘German’ capital, Vienna, only to suffer cruel disappointment, for there too he found Czechs, Slovaks, Magyars, and even Poles, acting as if they were as good as German Austrians. The first time he entered the Reichsrath, full of awe and anticipation, he was outraged to hear a Czech deputy making a speech in his own language, and he left the place in scorn. This seems to have been the beginning of his contempt of parliaments.
He had hoped to be an artist, then an architect, but necessity drove him into the ranks of labor. For some time he was an ardent admirer of Lueger, the notorious leader of the ‘Christian Socialist Party,’ and under him he formally embraced the anti-Semitism which has more and more possessed his mind as years have gone on. However, he lost faith in Lueger because, although the latter knew how to reach the people, he did not appreciate the importance of making Austria purely German. Von Schoenercr, founder of the ‘All-German-Away-From-Rome Party,’ was right on this point, but failed to see the importance of the common man and never gained the adherence of the masses. Thus, slowly, Hitler began to form his own political programme, one based on anti-Semitism, the exaltation of the German race, anti-Marxism so far as the Marxian doctrine signifies class conflict, the rejection of majority rule in favor of single, autocratic leadership, and the widest possible appeal to the masses.
All this time his mind was filled with longing to be a German in a land that was really German, and at last he succeeded in reaching Munich, where the declaration of war found him. At once he offered himself as a volunteer in the German army, for it seemed to him unendurable to go back and fight in an Austrian army with Slavs and Magyars and Turks, but to be a German soldier in a German army would be glorious. He was accepted, and he describes the joyous exultation of his journey to the Front. This feeling never left him through the four and a half years of the war, though he was wounded once, and again was almost blinded by mustard gas. It was when he was in hospital recovering from this last that the terrible news came of the Armistice. He tells us he turned his face to the wall and wept bitterly, for the first time since his mother’s death.
He resolved then to devote his life to the restoration of a strong, a dominating Germany, able to dictate to her adversaries instead of submitting to them. For this a disciplined party was needed, and Hitler began with six followers; but by 1923 the number had grown to the point where he was able to stage, with Ludendorff’s backing, an almost successful Putsch in Munich. Its failure seems to have been due to Ludendorff’s irresolution, and Hitler was arrested, sentenced to five years in a fortress, but released within the year.
The practical programme of the National Socialists consisted at first in making themselves ‘ masters of the streets’ — that is, in joining battle with all opponents, usually Communists, and driving them from the streets. The second object was to win what they called ‘freedom of assembly,’ which seems to moan the right to hold their meetings without interruption by hecklers, and also the right, to break up the meetings of their opponents by strongarm methods. Hitler devotes pages to descriptions of such battles on the streets and in the great beer halls of Munich, and gives many a picture of a hall in mad confusion, with furniture smashed, men trampled underfoot, heads broken by the leaden hose wielded by his gallant young Brown Shirts — himself meanwhile standing at rigid attention on the platform, and, when the tumult was finally quelled, taking up his speech at the point where it was interrupted. It is not always easy to see what object was gained by many of these exploits, beyond, of course, that of advertising.
Thus he gives a long account of the famous ‘Invasion of Coburg’ in October 1922, when the Nazis were invited to take part in a meeting of many national organizations. Hitler went with eight hundred picked men in a special train, which aroused great excitement and apparently some nervousness, for the Coburg administration requested him to enter the city without flags and without music. Of course he paid no attention to such an order, and he relates with gusto the march of his troops through the city to the public square and the fear and disorder that were thus occasioned, the lying accusations hurled at them—inspired, of course, by the Jews — of Fascism and anti-labor principles, and finally the strike of the railway employees who refused to run his special train back from Coburg. When, however, the Brown Shirts announced that they would run the engine themselves and probably come to grief, the railway workers hastily yielded, and victory was in the hands of the Brown Shirts. In this way, says Hitler, he restored freedom of assembly to Coburg, which had been too long under the red terror.
This is only one of several glorious campaigns which he recounts with exultant detail. The new hero of the Nazi movement, Horst Wessel, who has now a st reet or a square named for him in every city (in Frankfurt-amMain his name has supplanted that of Rathenau), was a youth who organized Storm Detachments in the Berlin slums and fought many a battle against Communists in the streets, finally falling at the hands of Communists, not in battle, but in his own room. According to the Nazis, this was a brutal, unprovoked attack on a helpless man; according to the Communists, it was a quarrel over a girl of the streets, who, as admitted by both sides, lived with Horst Wessel and acted as spy for him in the Communists’ camp. It is his song, ‘Die Fahne Hoch,’ which is now second in importance to the old ‘Deutschland über Alles.’
Hitler’s description of his system of propaganda is, to me, the most interesting part of his book. It is engagingly frank and most revealing. Propaganda, he says, must be adapted to the capacity of the most limited intelligence. The greater the mass to be reached, the lower it must go, and it must avoid with the utmost care spiritual principles that are too lofty. The more modest its intellectual equipment, the more exclusively it appeals to the feelings of the masses, the more brilliant will be its success, and this success is the only test for the rightness or wrongness of propaganda.
It is a mistake to give one’s followers too many adversaries to fight. That bewilders them and arouses doubt. One adversary only must be offered to their hate, and the same again and again.
The receptivity of the great mass is very limited, its understanding is small, its capacity to forget is enormous: therefore good propaganda limits itself to few points, and these it embodies in slogans and uses over and over till the last individual has felt the effect. Propaganda has no business with what is right or true on the enemy’s side; it must always serve its own side, and that only. For instance, it was all wrong to say that not only Germany but all the warring nations were responsible for the outbreak of the war. What should have been done was to throw absolutely all the blame on the others, even if in fact it was not true. If you give the masses the least hint that there is a glimmer of light on the other side, you start doubts, uncertainty. The English and Americans never made that mistake during the war; their propaganda was faultless.
After a programme which appeals to the masses has been formulated, it may sometimes seem advisable to amend it, but this would be a mistake, for it would admit of discussion and debate, which are fatal, resulting in a weakening of that unshakable faith which can be maintained only if no change is ever made. Therefore never make concessions. The programme as first drafted must remain absolutely unchanged, at least till victory is won. This has been true of the twenty-five planks in the Nazi programme, which remain as they were in 1923.2
Never try to overcome opposition at a morning meeting. Wait for the evening when people are tired and their powers of resistance are low.
The speeches of Lloyd George read like platitudinous nonsense,BethmannHollweg’s were reasoned and fine, but the former was a great propagandist and the latter an utter failure. It is the spoken word that counts, not the written. Mass meetings are essential, not only for the conversion of the crowd, but to arouse esprit de corps, courage, and the will to action.
Remember that the bigger a lie is, the more readily it is believed by the masses. For the simple man is not really corrupt. He does tell small lies and therefore he sees through them; but he cannot imagine anyone deliberately telling a thundering lie, so when he reads or hears one he believes it. Remember also that the mass is heavy and hard to set in motion, and that only a thousand repetitions of the same simple thing will start it moving. If any variation is permitted, it must always come to the same conclusion. The slogan can be illuminated from several sides, but it must be the same slogan. If these rules are followed, one will be astounded at the results that persistence can attain.
Certainly the foreigner in Germany cannot fail to be astounded at the success of Hitler’s propaganda. One is told that it was made possible by his complete control not only of the press but of the radio. From January 30 till late in May, practically nothing was heard over the radio but Goebbels’s propaganda speeches. Then in May Hitler announced that the German people were at last fully instructed in the doctrine and he would begin to permit programmes of entertainment. To the foreigner the success of the method is shown by the stereotyped answers that arc given again and again by different people when they are confronted with any particular question, and by their bewilderment when the answer is challenged. Speak about the Jewish situation, and at once you are told of the hordes of Eastern Jews who flooded the count ry, of the excess of Jewish lawyers in Berlin. You are asked why the outside world always attacks Germany when it was quite indifferent to Mussolini’s strong-arm methods and to the Bolshevist massacres.
Perhaps the most amusing instance of successful and quite fantastic propaganda was Hitler’s treatment of the anti-Jewish boycott. On April 24 he spoke in Munich and praised the high discipline of the Brown Shirts. ‘Discipline,’ he said, ‘is the foundation of our movement. When the measures against the foreign Jewish slanders and antiGerman Jewish boycott were ordered, they were put through like a thunderbolt from heaven. When these outrages ceased, the order was rescinded and as promptly the punitive measures stopped.’ To an American this was bewildering, a putting of the cart before the horse, but I soon found that this version was generally accepted.
A woman in a little shop in Rothenburg answered my question about the Jewish boycott thus: ‘Yes, the boycott against the Jews was ordered because Jews had spread lies about Germany in other countries, — none of it was true, nothing happened to any Jew in all Germany, — and, because of these lies, foreign Jews were attacking German Christians and throwing them into prison. So the boycott was ordered, and then the foreign countries stopped persecuting Germans and let them out of prison.’
In a prominent evangelical religious magazine (Danziger Kirchenblatt, May 7), the editor deals with the question in this same way. Under the title, ‘A Word to Those Who Stand Aside,’ he reasons with the Christians whose consciences could not approve the boycott on April 1 and the later measures against the Jews, holding such warfare to be intolerable to followers of Christ. But this is because they do not realize the danger. ‘That there is a danger, and that it is not fantastic, are shown by the atrocity propaganda, which spread over the world and was inspired by Jews. It led to ill feeling against Germany, and German goods were boycotted and Germans were expelled from other countries. This was a real danger to Germany, who had to defend herself against it, and Christians must help, for the Christian is responsible to God to see to it that the nation does not perish. Of course, as in all war, the innocent suffer with the guilty, but if innocent Jews suffered here, innocent Germans suffered in foreign lands. A German Christian must think first of his own people. International thinking is not Christian, for it denies the order of Creation.’
No, there is no denying the success of Hitler’s methods for the present. Whether the success will be lasting, whether the complete suppression of free speech and a free press will not eventually bring about so much confusion and doubt, so many rumors and counter-rumors, as to undermine the people’s faith, is a question which no non-German can answer.
Another interesting passage in the book is Hitler’s description of his method of building up his army. Young men were told that the idea of National Socialism was so lofty that it must be defended with the last drop of blood; that terror must be met with terror, and attack was the best defense when reason was silent and force alone could decide; and that all the world must know that Nazi troops were not a debating society, but a fighting organization, resolute and determined.
‘ And how youth had longed for flaming words such as these! How clearly one saw that the revolution [of 1918] was made possible only by the bourgeois leaders of the nation, who had indeed the fists to defend their rule, but not the brains to command them. How the eyes of my young men would blaze when I showed them the necessity for their mission, showed them that all wisdom is of no effect on this earth if force does not serve it, that the mild Goddess of Peace can move only at t he side of the God of War, and that every great deed of peace requires the protection of force. Then the idea of patriotic service arose in living form before their eyes. Not in the form of fossilized officialdom in the service of a dead state, but in the form of a living consecration of life itself to the service of all. And how they responded! Like a swarm of hornets they would fly at the disturbers of our meetings, without regard to overwhelming numbers, caring nothing about wounds or death itself, thinking only of building a free path for our holy movement.’
The doctrine Hitler teaches his followers is simple, easily grasped by the most ignorant. Germany was betrayed in the war by Jews, Communists, and Liberals. Under the Republic she was reduced to pitiable impotence by the parliamentary system of government, by class warfare, and by the loss of the army. What she needs is a single leadership, sustained by a picked body of devoted followers, a restoration of military training, the expulsion of all dissenting elements, and the welding of the nation into a single fighting organization, capable of demanding and securing Germany’s rights. To bring this to pass there must be a Gleichschaltung (a switching on to one track) of everything in German life — education, religion, medicine, jurisprudence, art, literature, music, the drama, journalism. Dissent must be abolished.
This is the doctrine he has preached for some fourteen years, and this is what he is now trying to carry out. It is simple, and the methods he chooses are also simple, as simple as the ‘Off with his head! ’ method of the Queen of Hearts in Through the Looking Glass.
Much of his teaching is familiar to us now — his devotion to what he calls race purity and to the godlike Aryan,
his hatred of the Jew, whom he holds responsible for every disaster that has happened to Germany in a hundred years. This last is, indeed, a subject he cannot keep away from; it is his King Charles’s head that bobs up in the most unexpected places. There are pages and pages that drip with hatred of the Jew in language too vile to reproduce. I have selected a few out of hundreds of passages: —
The real cause of the collapse of Germany was not her defeat in the war; that would have been laughably easy to overcome. It was the failure to recognize the Jewish peril. It was the Jews who for decades had systematically robbed the German nation of the political and moral instincts which every nation needs if it is to survive. . . .
The Jew is the greatest inciter to the destruction of Germany. Wherever, all over the world, we read of an attack made on Germany, Jews have invented it, just as during the war it was Jewish finance and its Marxist press which aroused the hatred of the outside world toward Germany in country after country, so that, one by one, they gave up their neutrality and, in despite of their own real interests, entered into the service of the world coalition. . . .
The motives of the Jews are clear. The Bolshevization of Germany, the stifling of all German thought, the subjection of German labor under the Jewish yoke — this is only the first part of the vast plan of Jewry to conquer the world; and if Germany falls victim to this gold-hungry people, the whole world will be strangled by the embraces of this polypus. Free Germany from the menace and the world is freed. Always the Jew uses as his weapons pacifistic-socialistic and international doctrines, and thereby destroys state after state so that on the ruins the great Jewish state may rise. . . .
Over against the Jew stands, of course, the Aryan, who is and always has been the hope of the world. ‘The Aryan is the Prometheus of humanity, from whose light-bearing forehead the godlike spark of genius has sprung at all times, ever lighting new fires to illuminate the night of hidden secrets and thus showing the way which leads to the rule over all other peoples.’ Hitler’s Aryan is not the Anglo-Saxon as we know him; he is no individualist; he has rather the characteristics we attribute to the followers of Mohammed and the subjects of the Mikado a realization of the worthlessness of the individual, a readiness to subordinate the self to the life of the Whole, even to surrender life itself. It is the great principle of the Aryan, as Hitler secs him, that individual opinions and individual interests should be sacrificed to the good of the majority. Somehow this docs not seem to fit the Aryan pioneers who founded our country, but one can see why Hitler’s ideal state requires just such qualities.
All Aryans, however, are not equal. The pure German stock is superior to others, and it is the highest duty of the state to foster this stock and to prevent its ‘ bastardization ’ by admixture with inferior stocks. It has been the mixture of blood, the loss of race purity, that has brought about the decline of all great nations. Hitler is not speaking here of a mixture of Jew and Gentile, but of pure Germanic with nonGermanic elements, especially from the East. It is evident that he considers the Slavic and the Alpine races as distinctly inferior, although Aryan, and deplores intermarriage with them.3
He advocates the interference of the state in order to protect what he calls race purity. ‘The present generation of notorious cowards and weaklings will protest against what they call invasion of the holiest of human rights. No, there is one holiest right only, and one holiest duty, and that is to see that the nation’s blood be kept pure so that humanity may reach its highest development. The state must lift marriage from the abyss of racial shame, and sanctify it as an institution for the procreation of likenesses of God instead of monstrosities which are a cross between men and apes.’
Of economics he knew, and knows, little. He learned from Feder the theory of ‘debt slavery,’ and there is a plank in his platform calling for lower interest rates. But his attacks on Marxism and his defense of Socialism are often far from clear. Marxism to him means the economic interpretation of history and the necessity for class warfare, both of which he rejects, while Socialism is German and he accepts it. He says that the industrial worker and the peasant are the foundations of the state, but the concrete programme for fostering their prosperity simmers down to this: for the worker, the uprooting of Marxism (whatever that be), the abolition of separate trades-unions, and the bringing of all workers under one leader — appointed, not elected; for the peasant, the reinstitution of primogeniture to prevent too much subdivision of the land, the lowering of interest on mortgages, and the provision of loans on easy terms to young couples to encourage early marriage. For a ‘nation without space’ this is a curious programme, explained only by his foreign policy.
On the other hand, his plan of education is clear and detailed. It is to be primarily physical training and character training, only secondarily intellectual. The qualities that are to be emphasized are the soldierly virtues — obedience, self-control, loyalty, the ability to hold one’s tongue, the capacity for sacrifice, and willingness to assume responsibility. All education must find its crowning point in military service. The girls’ training must be for motherhood.
There will be three classes in the new Germany: citizens, Germans who are not citizens, and foreigners. The first class must go through training in schools prescribed by the state, and then serve in the army. Only if then the man is found blameless and healthy is he to be made a citizen with solemn ceremony. This is the greatest moment of his life, and he must be made to feel that it is more glorious to be a German street sweeper than to be king of another country. The second class does not vote and is at liberty to go to another country. The third class (which includes the Jews) has inferior rights. The citizen is the master of the Reich. Unworthy conduct reduces him to the second class. Girls belong to the second class till they marry, then they pass into the first class; but citizenship can be bestowed on single working women.
As can be seen from these excerpts, Hitler’s style is dogmatic: his statements are made ex cathedra, with no argument in defense, no instances in proof; they are there, they come from the ‘Leader,’ they are authoritative. His treatment of his opponents is quite devoid of justice, to say nothing of generosity, but in this he is following the principle he lays down for successful propaganda — never to do justice to your adversary, never to admit that there is any right on his side, regardless of the real facts, for in so doing you allow doubts to creep into the minds of your hearers.
Hitler’s foreign policy is based on three principles: that might makes right; that the rule of the world belongs to the Aryan race; that Germans are Aryans, and Germany needs land which is now held by inferior peoples. To carry out such a policy by force is to follow the Divine Will, since ‘the task of upholding and forwarding the highest form of humanity which the goodness of the Almighty has bestowed upon the world is a truly lofty mission.’ Moreover, ‘the Aryan has always needed an inferior, conquered people to do the hard work; without that, progress would be impossible. Only pacifistic fools can see anything wrong in this absolutely necessary course of development. The Aryan conquered and enslaved inferior people but gave them really a better lot than their so-called freedom, and as long as he carried on his mastery ruthlessly he was not only the ruler but also the fosterer of culture.
‘Our party does not believe in race equality; rather, that its duty is to preserve the higher races and bring into subjection the lower, in obedience to the Eternal Will that rules the universe. Our policy idealizes humanity, but it does not recognize the right to existence as universal, for such an idea would imperil the racial existence of the carriers of a higher ethics, since in a bastardized world all hope of an ideal future would be lost.’
Germany is a nation without space. Her first need is land — not colonies, but land in continental Europe. Hitler’s foreign policy, therefore, takes an eastern orientation, away from the south and west and away from schemes of colonization. Land lies in abundance to the east — in Poland, the Ukraine, and central and southern Russia. Germany will take this land by the might of the sword, but not ‘as an Alexander for the sake of conquest; rather, the goal will be the diligent work of the German peasant’s plough in the soil which the sword has secured for it.’ Russia herself, under the Tsars, furnished the best instance of such enlightened rule by a superior race, ‘for the old Russian state — Bolshevism has robbed it of all intelligence — was not the product of Slavic achievement, but of the marvelous statesmanship of a few Germanic elements in an inferior race. Now the Germans are gone and the Jews are there and Russia cannot be saved, for the Jew is only a ferment of decomposition. Russia is ready to fall apart, and we shall soon witness the greatest proof of the theory of race purity. As for an alliance with Russia, which some have advised, the Jews make that impossible. Germany cannot ally herself with Jewry, which through Bolshevism seeks to rule the world.’
Russia, therefore, is destined to provide for Germany the space she requires. Poland he hardly mentions; apparently he will take her in his stride. He will not, however, repeat the mistake of the pre-war government by trying to Germanize Russians and Poles. Inferior races cannot be Germanized, and the only result of forcing the German language on Slavs is to degrade it. The treatment of Poland and of Alsace was cowardly, neither subjugating them nor reconciling them. Conquered peoples must be smashed with an iron fist, but then given as much freedom as is consistent with the interests of the higher race.
His defense of his policy is simple. The securing of land to which the German people is entitled is worth, in the eyes of God and man, the shedding of blood, and when Germany has land enough to permit her peasants to rear powerful sons, then the sacrifice of this generation of sons will be justified. It is idiotic to say that such a course is ‘a violation of sacred human rights.’ What country has boundaries based on right and justice? They are made by man and can be changed by man; they prove only the strength of the conqueror and the weakness of the conquered. ‘We Nazis say that the right to land becomes a sacred duty when for lack of it a great people is threatened with decline. Especially when this is not some dark-skinned race, but the Germanic mother of all those who have given her cultural form to the world of to-day. Either Germany will be a world power or she will cease to be.’
France is Germany’s deadly, implacable enemy, and she always will be. Whoever rules France, whether Bourbon or Bolshevist, will always have as the goal of his foreign policy the seizing of the Rhineland and the break-up of Germany. In France, more than in any country, there is a close connection between Jewish finance and the government, and here the Jewish plan to ‘Negrify’ the German people was adopted, a sin against the white race which will some day be visited on the head of France by all the vengeful furies of a nation that knows what race purity means. The French and the Jews sent Negroes to the Rhineland for the purpose of polluting the German race, so that after it was fallen and degraded they could become its masters.
To bring about the destruction of French hegemony and the isolation of France, Germany must have allies, and these will be England and Italy, neither of whom wishes to see France the strongest military power in Europe. England might have been Germany’s ally long ago, and could have helped her to gain land in Europe, had it not been for Germany’s mistaken policy of trade rivalry and colonization. As for Italy, it will be necessary to drop for the time being all protests on behalf of the Germans in South Tirol under Italian rule. Protests are only a sign of weakness anyway. Once Germany is really strong, all Germans, in all countries, will come under her banner. But Germany has been too contemptibly weak to attract allies, and it is the Jews who have kept her so. ‘The antiGerman feeling caused by war propaganda will last until Germany becomes again a factor in Europe, a nation capable of playing her part in the game, and this will be when government and people are united in a fanatic determination to proclaim and to enter upon a war of liberation.’
This makes Hitler’s present course understandable. Expel the Jews, build up the army, and then win over England and Italy by showing them that Germany is a powerful military state worthy of their alliance.
Hitler is a soldier, with a definite and limited outlook. Force is all he respects, and the success that attends the use of force proves its righteousness — there is no other test. ‘When there is a struggle between forces, the wisdom of life decides rightly, better than man’s reason could, for success proves always which of the two is right. . . . We must never forget the law of nature, the law that governs sun, stars, and planets — namely, that only Might is Lord of the weak, and Might must either compel the weak to obedience or break them.’
He loves rough, red-blooded words — ‘relentless,’ ‘steely,’ ‘iron-hearted,’ ‘brutal’; his favorite phrase is ‘ruthless brutality.’ His confidence in himself is unbounded. The great man, he says, who is a combination of theorist, organizer, and leader in one person, is the rarest thing on earth. Such a man is a God-created leader and his will must be supreme. The eighth chapter of his book is entitled ‘The Strongest Is Mightiest When Alone.’ On the other hand, for followers of the great leader, quite different qualities are needed — physical strength, courage, loyalty, obedience. Sparta is his model, and he asserts that a physically strong man of good and firm character is more valuable to the state than an intellectually gifted weakling. This sentence shows as clearly as does any in the book how Hitler has turned from modern life, which depends on the achievements of the human mind, back to the days when physical force ruled the world. It is natural that he should select Sparta, a city which has left behind nothing of value beyond a picture of bodily hardihood, endurance, courage, and discipline.
Under his ideal leader a party constituted after his ideal has the right and the duty of enforcing its will on the nation. ‘The young, victorious idea of National Socialism cannot be held back by any consideration of the past. It must assert its right to compel the German nation to accept its principles and to follow its path. Its doctrine is not the servant of political interests: rather, it will be the autocratic mistress of the German people and will reorganize and dictate their way of life.’
And this way of life is to lead to a Germany united in one party with one idea, one purpose, and under the absolute will of one leader. And the will of the leader is to form again Germany’s army, provide it with weapons of war, and then win the land that Germany needs. ‘ What have our governments done since the war to implant again in the nation the spirit of proud selfassertion, manly defiance, and bitter hate? That we must do. . . . Therefore, from the child’s primer to the last newspaper, from the smallest kino to the great theatres, every means must be devoted to this mission, to implant in the mind of all, from the tiniest child to the oldest man, this burning prayer: “Almighty God, bless our weapons; be just, as Thou hast always been; judge if we do not deserve freedom; Lord, bless our Conflict.”’
- An English translation is to be published this autumn by Houghton Mifflin.—EDITOR↩
- For further analysis of the planks in the Nazi programme, see ‘Hitler and Hitlerism’ by Nicholas Fairweather, in the Atlantic for March and April, 1932. — EDITOR↩
- It seems that on diplomatic grounds, not ethnological, Hitler has decided that Magyars and Finns are Aryans. To include them in the vilified non-Aryan class would be highly imprudent. — AUTHOR↩