One: A Reckoning
CAUSES OF THE COLLAPSE
EXTENT of the fall of a body is always measured by the distance
between its momentary position and the one it originally occupied.
The same is true of nations and states. A decisive significance
must be ascribed to their previous position or rather elevation.
Only what is accustomed to rise above the common limit can fall
and crash to a manifest low This is what makes the collapse
of the Reich so hard and terrible for every thinking and feeling
man, since it brought a crash from heights which today, in view
of the depths of our present degradation, are scarcely conceivable.
very founding of the Reich seemed gilded by the magic of an
event which uplifted the entire nation. After a series of incomparable
victories, a Reich was born for the sons and grandsons - a reward
for immortal heroism. Whether consciously or unconsciously,
it matters not, the Germans all had the feeling that this Reich,
which did not owe its existence to the trickery of parliamentary
fractions, towered above the measure of other states by the
very exalted manner of its founding; for not in the cackling
of a parliamentary battle of words, but in the thunder and rumbling
of the front surrounding Paris was the solemn act performed:
a proclamation of our will, declaring that the Germans, princes
and people, were resolved in the future to constitute a Reich
and once again to raise the imperial crown to symbolic heights.
And this was not done by cowardly murder; no deserters and slackers
were the founders of the Bismarckian state, but the regiments
at the front.
unique birth and baptism of fire in themselves surrounded the
Reich with a halo of historic glory such as only the oldest
states - and they but seldom - could boast.
what an ascent now began!
on the outside provided daily bread within. The nation became
rich in numbers and earthly goods. The honor of the state, and
with it that of the whole people, was protected and shielded
by an army which could point most visibly to the difference
from the former German Union.
deep is the downfall of the Reich and the German people that
everyone, as though seized by dizziness, seems to have lost
feeling and consciousness; people can scarcely remember the
former height, so dreamlike and unreal do the old greatness
and glory seem compared to our present-day misery Thus it is
understandable that people are so blinded by the sublime that
they forget to look for the omens of the gigantic collapse which
must after all have been somehow present.
course, this applies only to those for whom Germany was more
than a mere stop-over for making and spending money, since they
alone can feel the present condition as a collapse, while to
the others it is the long-desired fulfillment of their hitherto
omens were then present and visible, though but very few attempted
to draw a certain lesson from them.
today this is more necessary than ever.
cure of a sickness can only be achieved if its cause is known,
and the same is true of curing political evils. To be sure,
the outward form of a sickness, its symptom which strikes the
eye, is easier to see and discover than the inner cause. And
this is the reason why so many people never go beyond the recognition
of external effects and even confuse them with the cause, attempting,
indeed, to deny the existence of the latter. Thus most of us
primarily see the German collapse only in the general economic
misery and the consequences arising therefrom. Nearly every
one of us must personally suffer these - a cogent ground for every
individual to understand the catastrophe. Much less does the
great mass see the collapse in its political, cultural, ethical,
and moral aspect. In this the feeling and understanding of many
this should be so among the broad masses may still pass, but
for even the circles of the intelligentsia to regard the German
collapse as primarily an 'economic catastrophe,' which can therefore
be cured by economic means, is one of the reasons why a recovery
has hitherto been impossible. Only when it is understood that
here, too, economics is only of second or third-rate importance,
and the primary role falls to factors of politics, ethics, morality,
and blood, will we arrive at an understanding of the present
calamity, and thus also be able to find the ways and means for
question of the causes of the German collapse is, therefore,
of decisive importance, particularly for a political movement
whose very goal is supposed to be to quell the defeat.
in such research into the past, we must be very careful not
to confuse the more conspicuous effects with the less visible
easiest and hence most widespread explanation of the present
misfortune is that it was brought about by the consequences
of the lost War and that therefore the War is the cause of the
may be many who will seriously believe this nonsense but there
are still more from whose mouth such an explanation can only
be a lie and conscious falsehood. This last applies to all those
who today feed at the government's cribs. For didn't the prophets
of the revolution again and again point out most urgently to
the people that it was a matter of complete indifference to
the broad masses how this War turned out? Did they not, on the
contrary, gravely assure us that at most the 'big capitalist'
could have an interest in a victorious end of the gigantic struggle
of nations, but never the German people as such, let alone the
German worker? Indeed, didn't these apostles of world conciliation
maintain the exact opposite: didn't they say that by a German
defeat 'militarism' would be destroyed, but that the German
nation would celebrate its most glorious resurrection? Didn't
these circles glorify the benevolence of the Entente, and didn't
they shove tile blame for the whole bloody struggle on Germany?
And could they have done this without declaring that even military
defeat would be without special consequences for the nation?
Wasn't the whole revolution embroidered with the phrase that
it would prevent the victory of the German flag, but that through
it the German people would at last begin advancing toward freedom
at home and abroad?
you claim that this was not so, you wretched, lying scoundrels?
takes a truly Jewish effrontery to attribute the blame for the
collapse solely to the military defeat when the central organ
of all traitors to the nation, the Berlin Vorwärts,
wrote that this time the German people must not bring its banner
now this is supposed to be the cause of our collapse?
course, it would be perfectly futile to fight with such forgetful
liars. I wouldn't waste my words on them if unfortunately this
nonsense were not parroted by so many thoughtless people, who
do not seem inspired by malice or conscious insincerity. Furthermore,
these discussions are intended to give our propaganda fighters
an instrument which is very much needed at a time when the spoken
word is often twisted in our mouths.
we have the following to say to the assertion that the lost
War is responsible for the German collapse:
the loss of the War was of terrible importance for the future
of our fatherland; however, its loss is not a cause, but itself
only a consequence of causes. It was perfectly clear to everyone
with insight and without malice that an unfortunate end of this
struggle for life and death would inevitably lead to extremely
devastating consequences. But unfortunately there were also
people who seemed to lack this insight at the right time or
who, contrary to their better knowledge, contested and denied
this truth. Such for the most part were those who, after the
fulfillment of their secret wish, suddenly and belatedly became
aware of the catastrophe which had been brought about by themselves
among others. They are guilty of the collapse - not the lost
War as it suddenly pleases them to say and believe. For its
loss was, after all, only the consequence of their activity
and not, as they now try to say, the result of 'bad' leadership.
The foe did not consist of cowards either; he, too, knew how
to die. His number from the first day was greater than that
of the German army for he could draw on the technical armament
and the arsenals of the whole world; hence the German victories,
won for four years against a whole world, must regardless of
all heroic courage and 'organization,' be attributed solely
to superior leadership, and this is a fact which cannot be denied
out of existence. The organization and leadership of the German
army were the mightiest that the earth had ever seen. Their
deficiencies lay in the limits of all human adequacy in general.
collapse of this army was not the cause of our present-day misfortune,
but only the consequence of other crimes, a consequence which
itself again, it must be admitted, ushered in the beginning
of a further and this time visible collapse.
truth of this can be seen from the following:
a military defeat lead to so complete a collapse of a nation
and a state? Since when is this the result of an unfortunate
war? Do peoples perish in consequence of lost wars as such?
answer to this can be very brief: always, when military defeat
is the payment meted out to peoples for their inner rottenness,
cowardice, lack of character, in short, unworthiness. If this
is not the case, the military defeat will rather be the inspiration
of a great future resurrection than the tombstone of a national
offers innumerable examples for the truth of this assertion.
the military defeat of the German people is not an undeserved
catastrophe, but the deserved chastisement of eternal retribution.
We more than deserved this defeat. It is only the greatest outward
symptom of decay amid a whole series of inner symptoms, which
perhaps had remained hidden and invisible to the eyes of most
people, or which like ostriches people did not want to see.
consider the attendant circumstances amid which the German people
accepted this defeat. Didn't many circles express the most shameless
joy at the misfortune of the fatherland? And who would do such
a thing if he does not really deserve such a punishment? Why,
didn't they go even further and brag of having finally caused
the front to waver? And it was not the enemy that did this - no,
no, it was Germans who poured such disgrace upon their heads!
Can it be said that misfortune struck them unjustly? Since when
do people step forward and take the guilt for a war on themselves?
And against better knowledge and better judgment!
and again no. In the way in which the German people received
its defeat, we can recognize most clearly that the true cause
of our collapse must be sought in an entirely different place
from the purely military loss of a few positions or in the failure
of an offensive; for if the front as such had really flagged
and if its downfall had really encompassed the doom of the fatherland,
the German people would have received the defeat quite differently.
Then they would have borne the ensuing misfortune with gritted
teeth or would have mourned it, overpowered by grief; then all
hearts would have been filled with rage and anger toward the
enemy who had become victorious through a trick of chance or
the will of fate; then, like the Roman Senate, the nation would
have received the defeated divisions with the thanks of the
fatherland for the sacrifices they had made and besought them
not to despair of the Reich. The capitulation would have been
signed only with the reason, while the heart even then would
have beaten for the resurrection to come.
is how a defeat for which only fate was responsible would have
been received. Then people would not have laughed and danced,
they would not have boasted of cowardice and glorified the defeat,
they would not have scoffed at the embattled troops and dragged
their banner and cockade in the mud. But above all: then we
should never have had the terrible state of affairs which prompted
a British officer, Colonel Repington, to make the contemptuous
statement: 'Of the Germans, every third man is a traitor.' No,
this plague would never have been able to rise into the stifling
flood which for five years now has been drowning the very last
remnant of respect for us on the part of the rest of the world.
most of all shows the assertion that the lost War was the cause
of the German collapse to be a lie. No, this military collapse
was itself only the consequence of a large number of symptoms
of disease and their causes, which even in peacetime were with
the German nation. This was the first consequence, catastrophic
and visible to all, of an ethical and moral poisoning, of a
diminution in the instinct of self-preservation and its preconditions,
which for many years had begun to undermine the foundations
of the people and the Reich.
required the whole bottomless falsehood of the Jews and their
Marxist fighting organization to lay the blame for the collapse
on that very man who alone, with superhuman energy and will
power, tried to prevent the catastrophe he foresaw and save
the nation from its time of deepest humiliation and disgrace.
By branding Ludendorff as guilty for the loss of the World War
they took the weapon of moral right from the one dangerous accuser
who could have risen against the traitors to the fatherland.
In this they proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude
of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since
the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts
tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil,
and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of
their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than
to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things,
but would be ashamed of lies that were too big. Such a falsehood
will never enter their heads and they will not be able to believe
in the possibility of such monstrous effrontery and infamous
misrepresentation in others; yes, even when enlightened on the
subject, they will long doubt and waver, and continue to accept
at least one of these causes as true. Therefore, something of
even the most insolent lie will always remain and stick - a
fact which all the great lie-virtuosi and lying-clubs in this
world know only too well and also make the most treacherous
foremost connoisseurs of this truth regarding the possibilities
in the use of falsehood and slander have always been the Jews;
for after all, their whole existence is based on one single
great lie, to wit, that they are a religious community while
actually they are a race - and what a race ! One of the greatest
minds of humanity has nailed them forever as such in an eternally
correct phrase of fundamental truth: he called them 'the great
masters of the lie.' And anyone who does not recognize this
or does not want to believe it will never in this world be able
to help the truth to victory.
the German people it must almost be considered a great good
fortune that its period of creeping sickness was suddenly cut
short by so terrible a catastrophe, for otherwise the nation
would have gone to the dogs more slowly perhaps, but all the
more certainly. The disease would have become chronic, while
in the acute form of the collapse it at least became clearly
and distinctly recognizable to a considerable number of people.
It was no accident that man mastered the plague more easily
than tuberculosis. The one comes in terrible waves of death
that shake humanity to the foundations, the other slowly and
stealthily; the one leads to terrible fear, the other to gradual
indifference. The consequence is that man opposed the one with
all the ruthlessness of his energy, while he tries to control
consumption with feeble means. Thus he mastered the plague,
while tuberculosis masters him.
the same is true of diseases of national bodies. If they do
not take the form of catastrophe, man slowly begins to get accustomed
to them and at length, though it may take some time, perishes
all the more certainly of them. And so it is a good fortune - though
a bitter one, to be sure - when Fate resolves to take a hand in
this slow process of putrefaction and with a sudden blow makes
the victim visualize the end of his disease. For more than once,
that is what such a catastrophe amounts to Then it can easily
become the cause of a recovery beginning with the utmost determination.
even in such a case, the prerequisite is again the recognition
of the inner grounds which cause the disease in question.
too, the most important thing remains the distinction between
the causes and the conditions they call forth. This will be
all the more difficult, the longer the toxins remain in the
national body and the more they become an ingredient of it which
is taken for granted. For it is easily possible that after a
certain time unquestionably harmful poisons Bill be regarded
as an ingredient of one's own nation or at best will be tolerated
as a necessary evil, so that a search for the alien virus is
no longer regarded as necessary.
in the long peace of the pre-War years, certain harmful features
had appeared and been recognized as such, though next to nothing
was done against their virus, aside from a few exceptions. And
here again these exceptions were primarily manifestations of
economic life, which struck the consciousness of the individual
more strongly than the harmful features in a number of other
were many symptoms of decay which should have aroused serious
respect to economics, the following should be said:
the amazing increase in the German population before the War,
the question of providing the necessary daily bread stepped
more and more sharply into the foreground of all political and
economic thought and action. Unfortunately, those in power could
not make up their minds to choose the only correct solution,
but thought they could reach their goal in an easier way. When
they renounced the acquisition of new soil and replaced it by
the lunacy of world economic conquest, the result was bound
to be an industrialization as boundless as it was harmful.
first consequence of gravest importance was the weakening of
the peasant class. Proportionately as the peasant class diminished,
the mass of the big city proletariat increased more and more,
until finally the balance was completely upset.
the abrupt alternation between rich and poor became really apparent.
Abundance and poverty lived so close together that the saddest
consequences could and inevitably did arise. Poverty and frequent
unemployment began to play havoc with people, leaving behind
them a memory of discontent and embitterment. The consequence
of this seemed to be political class division. Despite all the
economic prosperity, dissatisfaction became greater and deeper;
in fact, things came to such a pass that the conviction that
'it can't go on like this much longer' became general, yet without
people having or being able to have any definite idea of what
ought to have been done.
were the typical symptoms of deep discontent which sought to
express themselves in this way.
worse than this were other consequences induced by the economization
of the nation.
proportion as economic life grew to be the dominant mistress
of the state, money became the god whom all had to serve and
to whom each man had to bow down. More and more, the gods of
heaven were put into the corner as obsolete and outmoded, and
in their stead incense was burned to the idol Mammon. A truly
malignant degeneration set in; what made it most malignant was
that it began at a time when the nation, in a presumably menacing
and critical hour, needed the highest heroic attitude. Germany
had to accustom herself to the idea that some day her attempt
to secure her daily bread by means of 'peaceful economic labor'
would have to be defended by the sword.
the domination of money was sanctioned even by that authority
which should have most opposed it: His Majesty the Kaiser acted
most unfortunately by drawing the aristocracy into the orbit
of the new finance capital. It must be said to his credit, however,
that unfortunately even Bismarck himself did not recognize the
menacing danger in this respect. Thereby the ideal virtues for
all practical purposes had taken a position second to the value
of money, for it was clear that once a beginning had been made
in this direction, the aristocracy of the sword would in a short
time inevitably be overshadowed by the financial aristocracy.
Financial operations succeed more easily than battles. It was
no longer inviting for the real hero or statesman to be brought
into relations with some old bank Jew: the man of true merit
could no longer have an interest in the bestowal of cheap decorations;
he declined them with thanks. But regarded purely from the standpoint
of blood, such a development was profoundly unfortunate: more
and more, the nobility lost the racial basis for its existence,
and in large measure the designation of 'ignobility' would have
been more suitable for it.
grave economic symptom of decay was the slow disappearance of
the right of private property, and the gradual transference
of the entire economy to the ownership of stock companies.
for the first time labor had sunk to the level of an object
of speculation for unscrupulous Jewish business men; the alienation
of property from the wage-worker was increased ad infinitum.
The stock exchange began to triumph and prepared slowly but
surely to take the life of the nation into its guardianship
internationalization of the German economic life had been begun
even before the War through the medium of stock issues To be
sure, a part of German industry still attempted with resolution
to ward off this fate. At length, however, it, too, fell a victim
to the united attack of greedy finance capital which carried
on this fight, with the special help of its most faithful comrade,
the Marxist movement.
lasting war against German 'heavy industry' was the visible
beginning of the internationalization of German economy toward
which Marxism was striving, though this could not be carried
to its ultimate end until the victory of Marxism and the revolution.
While I am writing these words, the general attack against the
German state railways has finally succeeded, and they are now
being handed over to international finance capitals 'International'
Social Democracy has thus realized one of its highest goals.
far this 'economization' of the German people had succeeded
is most visible in the fact that after the War one of the leading
heads of German industry, and above all of commerce, was finally
able to express the opinion that economic effort as such was
alone in a position to re-establish Germany. This nonsense was
poured forth at a moment when France was primarily bringing
back the curriculum of her schools to humanistic foundations
in order to combat the error that the nation and the state owed
their survival to economics and not to eternal ideal values.
These words pronounced by a Stinnes created the most incredible
confusion; they were picked up at once, and with amazing rapidity
became the leitmotif of all the quacks and big-mouths
that since the revolution Fate has let loose on Germany in the
capacity of 'statesmen.'
of the worst symptoms of decay in Germany of the prewar era
was the steadily increasing habit of doing things by halves.
This is always a consequence of uncertainty on some matter and
of the cowardice resulting from this and other grounds. This
disease was further promoted by education.
education before the War was afflicted with an extraordinary
number of weaknesses. It was extremely one-sided and adapted
to breeding pure 'knowledge,' with less attention to 'ability.'
Even less emphasis was laid on the development of the character
of the individual - in so far as this is possible; exceedingly
little on the sense of joy in responsibility, and none at all
on the training of will and force of decision. Its results,
you may be sure, were not strong men, but compliant ' walking
encyclopedias,' as we Germans were generally looked upon and
accordingly estimated before the War. People liked the German
because he was easy to make use of, but respected him little,
precisely because of his weakness of will. It was not for nothing
that more than almost any other people he was prone to lose
his nationality and fatherland. The lovely proverb, 'with hat
in hand, he travels all about the land,' tells the whole story.
compliance became really disastrous, however, when it determined
the sole form in which the monarch could be approached; that
is, never to contradict him, but agree to anything and everything
that His Majesty condescends to do. Precisely in this place
was free, manly dignity most necessary; otherwise the monarchic
institution was one day bound to perish from all this crawling;
for crawling it was and nothing else! And only miserable crawlers
and sneaks - in short, all the decadents who have always felt
more at ease around the highest thrones than sincere, decent,
honorable souls - can regard this as the sole proper form of intercourse
with the bearers of the crown! These 'most humble' creatures,
to be sure, despite all their humility before their master and
source of livelihood, have always demonstrated the greatest
arrogance toward the rest of humanity, and worst of all when
they pass themselves off with shameful effrontery on their sinful
fellow men as the only 'monarchists'; this is real gall such
as only these ennobled or even unennobled tapeworms are capable
of! For in reality these people remained the gravediggers of
the monarchy and particularly the monarchistic idea. Nothing
else is conceivable: a man who is prepared to stand up for a
cause will never and can never be a sneak and a spineless lickspittle.
Anyone who is really serious about the preservation and furtherance
of an institution will cling to it with the last fiber of his
heart and will not be able to abandon it if evils of some sort
appear in this institution. To be sure, he will not cry this
out to the whole public as the democratic 'friends' of the monarchy
did in the exact same lying way; he will most earnestly warn
and attempt to influence His Majesty, the bearer of the crown
himself. He will not and must not adopt the attitude that His
Majesty remains free to act according to his own will anyway,
even if this obviously must and will lead to a catastrophe,
but in such a case he will have to protect the monarchy against
the monarch, and this despite all perils. If the value of this
institution lay in the momentary person of the monarch, it would
be the worst institution that can be imagined; for monarchs
only in the rarest cases are the cream of wisdom and reason
or even of character, as some people like to claim. This is
believed only by professional lickspittles and sneaks, but all
straightforward men - and these remain the most valuable men in
the state despite everything - will only feel repelled by the
idea of arguing such nonsense. For them history remains history
and the truth the truth even where monarchs are concerned. No,
the good fortune to possess a great monarch who is also a great
man falls to peoples so seldom that they must be content if
the malice of Fate abstains at least from the worst possible
the value and importance of the monarchic idea cannot reside
in the person of the monarch himself except if Heaven decides
to lay the crown on the brow of a heroic genius like Frederick
the Great or a wise character like William I. This happens once
in centuries and hardly more often. Otherwise the idea takes
precedence over the person and the meaning of this institution
must lie exclusively in the institution itself. With this the
monarch himself falls into the sphere of service. Then he, too,
becomes a mere cog in this work, to which he is obligated as
such. Then he, too, must comply with a higher purpose, and the
' monarchist' is then no longer the man who in silence lets
the bearer of the crown profane it, but the man who prevents
this. Otherwise, it would not be permissible to depose an obviously
insane prince, if the sense of the institution lay not in the
idea, but in the ' sanctified ' person at any price.
it is really necessary to put this down, for in recent times
more and more of these creatures, to whose wretched attitude
the collapse of the monarchy must not least of all be attributed
are rising out of obscurity. With a certain naive gall, these
people have started in again to speak of nothing but 'their
King' - whom only a few years ago they left in the lurch in
the critical hour and in the most despicable fashion - and are
beginning to represent every person who is not willing to agree
to their lying tirades as a bad German. And in reality they
are the very same poltroons who in 1919 scattered and ran from
every red armband, abandoned their King, in a twinkling exchanged
the halberd for the walking stick, put on noncommittal neckties,
and vanished without trace as peaceful ' citizens.' At one stroke
they were gone, these royal champions, and only after the revolutionary
storm, thanks to the activity of others, had subsided enough
so that a man could again roar his 'Hail, hail to the King'
into the breezes, these 'servants and counselors' of the crown
began again cautiously to emerge. And now they are all here
again, looking back longingly to the fleshpots of Egypt; they
can hardly restrain themselves in their loyalty to the King
and their urge to do great things, until the day when again
the first red arm-band will appear, and the whole gang of ghosts
profiting from the old monarchy will again vanish like mice
at the sight of a cat!
the monarchs were not themselves to blame for these things,
they could be most heartily pitied because of their present
defenders. In any case, they might as well know that with such
knights a crown can be lost, but no crowns gained.
servility, however, was a flaw in our whole education, for which
we suffered most terribly in this connection. For, as its consequence,
these wretched creatures were able to maintain themselves at
all the courts and gradually undermine the foundations of the
monarchy. And when the structure finally began to totter, they
evaporated. Naturally: cringers and lickspittles do not let
themselves be knocked dead for their master. That monarchs never
know this and fail to learn it almost on principle has from
time immemorial been their undoing.
of the worst symptoms of decay was the increasing cowardice
in the face of responsibility, as well as the resultant halfheartedness
in all things.
be sure, the starting point of this plague in our country lies
in large part in the parliamentary institution in which irresponsibility
of the purest breed is cultivated. Unfortunately, this plague
slowly spread to all other domains of life, most strongly to
state life. Everywhere responsibility was evaded and inadequate
half-measures were preferred as a result; for in the use of
such measures personal responsibility seems reduced to the smallest
examine the attitude of the various governments toward a number
of truly injurious manifestations of our public life, and you
will easily recognize the terrible significance of this general
half-heartedness and cowardice in the face of responsibility.
shall take only a few cases from the mass of existing examples:
circles in particular like to describe the press as a 'great
power' in the state. As a matter of fact, its importance really
is immense. It cannot be overestimated, for the press really
continues education in adulthood.
readers, by and large, can be divided into three groups:
into those who believe everything they read;
into those who have ceased to believe anything;
into the minds which critically examine what they read, and
the first group is by far the largest. It consists of the great
mass of the people and consequently represents the simplest-minded
part of the nation. It cannot be listed in terms of professions,
but at most in general degrees of intelligence. To it belong
all those who have neither been born nor trained to think independently,
and who partly from incapacity and partly from incompetence
believe everything that is set before them in black and white.
To them also belongs the type of lazybones who could perfectly
well think, but from sheer mental laziness seizes gratefully
on everything that someone else has thought, with the modest
assumption that the someone else has exerted himself considerably.
Now, with all these types, who constitute the great masses,
the influence of the press will be enormous. They are not able
or willing themselves to examine what is set before them, and
as a result their whole attitude toward all the problems of
the day can be reduced almost exclusively to the outside influence
of others. This can be advantageous when their enlightenment
is provided by a serious and truth-loving party, but it is catastrophic
when scoundrels and liars provide it.
second group is much smaller in number. It is partly composed
of elements which previously belonged to the first group, but
after long and bitter disappointments shifted to the opposite
and no longer believe anything that comes before their eyes
in print. They hate every newspaper; either they don't read
it at all, or without exception fly into a rage over the contents,
since in their opinion they consist only of lies and falsehoods.
These people are very hard to handle, since they are suspicious
even in the face of the truth. Consequently, they are lost for
all positive, political work.
third group, finally, is by far the smallest; it consists of
the minds with real mental subtlety, whom natural gifts and
education have taught to think independently, who try to form
their own judgment on all things, and who subject everything
they read to a thorough examination and further development
of their own. They will not look at a newspaper without always
collaborating in their minds, and the writer has no easy time
of it. Journalists love such readers with the greatest reserve.
the members of this third group, it must be admitted, the nonsense
that newspaper scribblers can put down is not very dangerous
or even very important. Most of them in the course of their
lives have learned to regard every journalist as a rascal on
principle, who tells the truth only once in a blue moon. Unfortunately,
however, the importance of these splendid people lies only in
their intelligence and not in their number - a misfortune at
a time when wisdom is nothing and the majority is everything!
Today, when the ballot of the masses decides, the chief weight
lies with the most numerous group, and this is the first: the
mob of the simple or credulous.
is of paramount interest to the state and the nation to prevent
these people from falling into the hands of bad, ignorant, or
even vicious educators. The state, therefore, has the duty of
watching over their education and preventing any mischief. It
must particularly exercise strict control over the press; for
its influence on these people is by far the strongest and most
penetrating, since it is applied, not once in a while, but over
and over again. In the uniformity and constant repetition of
this instruction lies its tremendous power. If anywhere, therefore,
it is here that the state must not forget that all means must
serve an end; it must not let itself be confused by the drivel
about so-called 'freedom of the press' and let itself be talked
into neglecting its duty and denying the nation the food which
it needs and which is good for it; with ruthless determination
it must make sure of this instrument of popular education, and
place it in the service of the state and the nation.
what food did the German press of the prewar period dish out
to the people? Was it not the worst poison that can even be
imagined? Wasn't the worst kind of pacifism injected into the
heart of our people at a time when the rest of the world was
preparing to throttle Germany, slowly but surely? Even in peacetime
didn't the press inspire the minds of the people with doubt
in the right of their own state, thus from the outset limiting
them in the choice of means for its defense? Was it not the
German press which knew how to make the absurdity of 'Western
democracy' palatable to our people until finally, ensnared by
all the enthusiastic tirades, they thought they could entrust
their future to a League of Nations? Did it not help to teach
our people a miserable immorality? Did it not ridicule morality
and ethics as backward and petty-bourgeois, until our people
finally became 'modern'? Did it not with its constant attacks
undermine the foundations of the state's authority until a single
thrust sufficed to make the edifice collapse? Did it not fight
with all possible means against every effort to give unto the
state that which is the state's? Did it not belittle the army
with constant criticism, sabotage universal conscription, demand
the refusal of military credits, etc., until the result became
so-called liberal press was actively engaged in digging the
grave of the German people and the German Reich. We can pass
by the lying Marxist sheets in silence; to them lying is just
as vitally necessary as catching mice for a cat; their function
is only to break the people's national and patriotic backbone
and make them ripe for the slave's yoke of international capital
and its masters, the Jews.
what did the state do against this mass poisoning of the nation?
Nothing, absolutely nothing. A few ridiculous decrees, a few
fines for villainy that went too far, and that was the end of
it. Instead, they hoped to curry favor with this plague by flattery,
by recognition of the 'value' of the press, its 'importance,'
its 'educational mission,' and more such nonsense - as for the
Jews, they took all this with a crafty smile and acknowledged
it with sly thanks.
reason, however, for this disgraceful failure on the part of
the state was not that it did not recognize the danger, but
rather in a cowardice crying to high Heaven and the resultant
halfheartedness of all decisions and measures. No one had the
courage to use thoroughgoing radical methods, but in this as
in everything else they tinkered about with a lot of halfway
prescriptions, and instead of carrying the thrust to the heart,
they at most irritated the viper - with the result that not only
did everything remain as before, but on the contrary the power
of the institutions which should have been combated increased
from year to year.
defensive struggle of the German government at that time against
the press - mainly that of Jewish origin - which was slowly ruining
the nation was without any straight line, irresolute and above
all without any visible goal. The intelligence of the privy
councilors failed completely when it came to estimating the
importance of this struggle, to choosing means or drawing up
a clear plan. Planlessly they fiddled about; sometimes, after
being bitten too badly, they locked up one of the journalistic
vipers for a few weeks or months, but they left the snakes'
nest as such perfectly unmolested.
True - this
resulted partly from the infinitely wily tactics of the Jews,
on the one hand, and from a stupidity and innocence such as
only privy councilors are capable of, on the other. The Jew
was much too clever to allow his entire press to be attacked
uniformly. No, one part of it existed in order to cover the
other. While the Marxist papers assailed in the most dastardly
way everything that can be holy to man; while they infamously
attacked the state and the government and stirred up large sections
of the people against one another, the bourgeois-democratic
papers knew how to give an appearance of their famous objectivity,
painstakingly avoided all strong words, well knowing that empty
heads can judge only by externals and never have the faculty
of penetrating the inner core, so that for them the value of
a thing is measured by this exterior instead of by the content;
a human weakness to which they owe what esteem they themselves
these people the Frankfurter Zeitung was the embodiment
of respectability. For it never uses coarse expressions, it
rejects all physical brutality and keeps appealing for struggle
with 'intellectual' weapons, a conception, strange to say, to
which especially the least intelligent people are most attached.
This is a result of our half-education which removes people
from the instinct of Nature and pumps a certain amount of knowledge
into them, but cannot create full understanding, since for this
industry and good will alone are no use; the necessary intelligence
must be present, and what is more, it must be inborn. The ultimate
wisdom is always the understanding of the instinct - that is:
a man must never fall into the lunacy of believing that he has
really risen to be lord and master of Nature - which is so easily
induced by the conceit of half-education; he must understand
the fundamental necessity of Nature's rule, and realize how
much his existence is subjected to these laws of eternal fight
and upward struggle. Then he will feel that in a universe where
planets revolve around suns, and moons turn about planets, where
force alone forever masters weakness, compelling it to be an
obedient slave or else crushing it, there can be no special
laws for man. For him, too, the eternal principles of this ultimate
wisdom hold sway. He can try to comprehend them; but escape
it is precisely for our intellectual demi-monde that
the Jew writes his so-called intellectual press. For them the
Frankfurter Zeitung and the Berliner Tageblatt
are made; for them their tone is chosen, and on them they exercise
their influence. Seemingly they all most sedulously avoid any
outwardly crude forms, and meanwhile from other vessels they
nevertheless pour their poison into the hearts of their readers.
Amid a Gezeires of fine sounds and phrases they lull
their readers into believing that pure science or even morality
is really the motive of their acts, while in reality it is nothing
but a wily, ingenious trick for stealing the enemy's weapon
against the press from under his nose. The one variety oozes
respectability, so all soft-heads are ready to believe them
when they say that the faults of others are only trivial abuses
which should never lead to an infringement of the 'freedom of
the press' - their term for poisoning and lying to the people.
And so the authorities shy away from taking measures against
these bandits, for they fear that, if they did, they would at
once have the ' respectable ' press against them, a fear which
is only too justified. For as soon as they attempt to proceed
against one of these shameful rags, all the others will at once
take its part, but by no means to sanction its mode of struggle,
God forbid! - but only to defend the principle of freedom of
the press and freedom of public opinion; these alone must be
defended. But in the face of all this shouting, the strongest
men grow weak, for does it not issue from the mouths of 'respectable'
poison was able to penetrate the bloodstream of our people unhindered
and do its work, and the state did not possess the power to
master the disease. In the laughable half-measures which it
used against the poison, the menacing decay of the Reich was
manifest. For an institution which is no longer resolved
to defend itself with all weapons has for practical purposes
abdicated. Every half-measure is a visible sign of inner
decay which must and will be followed sooner or later by outward
believe that the present generation, properly led, will more
easily master this danger. It has experienced various things
which had the power somewhat to strengthen the nerves of those
who did not lose them entirely. In future days the Jew will
certainly continue to raise a mighty uproar in his newspapers
if a hand is ever laid on his favorite nest, if an end is put
to the mischief of the press and this instrument of education
is put into the service of the state and no longer left in the
hands of aliens and enemies of the people. But I believe that
this will bother us younger men less than our fathers. A thirty-centimeter
shell has always hissed more loudly than a thousand Jewish newspaper
vipers - so let them hiss!
further example of the halfheartedness and weakness of the leaders
of pre-War Germany in meeting the most important vital questions
of the nation is the following: running parallel to the political,
ethical, and moral contamination of the people, there had been
for many years a no less terrible poisoning of the health of
the national body. Especially in the big cities, syphilis was
beginning to spread more and more, while tuberculosis steadily
reaped its harvest of death throughout nearly the whole country.
in both cases the consequences were terrible for the nation,
the authorities could not summon up the energy to take
with regard to syphilis, the attitude of the leadership of the
nation and the state can only be designated as total capitulation.
To fight it seriously, they would have had to take somewhat
broader measures than was actually the case. The invention of
a remedy of questionable character and its commercial exploitation
can no longer help much against this plague. Here again it was
only the fight against causes that mattered and not the elimination
of the symptoms. The cause lies, primarily, in our prostitution
of love. Even if its result were not this frightful plague,
it would nevertheless be profoundly injurious to man, since
the moral devastations which accompany this degeneracy suffice
to destroy a people slowly but surely. This Jewification of
our spiritual life and mammonization of our mating instinct
will sooner or later destroy our entire offspring, for the powerful
children of a natural emotion will be replaced by the miserable
creatures of financial expediency which is becoming more and
more the basis and sole prerequisite of our marriages. Love
finds its outlet elsewhere.
too, of course, Nature can be scorned for a certain time, but
her vengeance will not fail to appear, only it takes a time
to manifest itself, or rather: it is often recognized too late
the devastating consequences of a lasting disregard of the natural
requirements for marriage can be seen in our nobility. Here
we have before us the results of procreation based partly on
purely social compulsion and partly on financial grounds. The
one leads to a general weakening, the other to a poisoning of
the blood, since every department store Jewess is considered
fit to augment the offspring of His Highness - and, indeed, the
offspring look it. In both cases complete degeneration is the
our bourgeoisie strive to go the same road, and they will end
up at the same goal.
and indifferently, people tried to pass by the unpleasant truths,
as though by such an attitude events could be undone. No, the
fact that our big city population is growing more and more prostituted
in its love life cannot just be denied out of existence; it
simply is so. The most visible results of this mass contamination
can, on the one hand, be found in the insane asylums, and on
the other, unfortunately, in our - children. They in particular
are the sad product of the irresistibly spreading contamination
of our sexual life; the vices of the parents are revealed in
the sicknesses of the children.
are different ways of reconciling oneself to this unpleasant,
yes, terrible fact: the ones see nothing at all or rather want
to see nothing; this, of course, is by far the simplest and
easiest 'position.' The others wrap themselves in a saint's
cloak of prudishness as absurd as it is hypocritical; they speak
of this whole field as if it were a great sin, and above all
express their profound indignation against every sinner caught
in the act, then close their eyes in pious horror to this godless
plague and pray God to let sulphur and brimstone - preferably
after their own death - rain down on this whole Sodom and Gomorrah,
thus once again making an instructive example of this shameless
humanity. The third, finally, are perfectly well aware of the
terrible consequences which this plague must and will some day
induce, but only shrug their shoulders, convinced that nothing
can be done against the menace, so the only thing to do is to
let things slide.
this, to be sure, is comfortable and simple, but it must not
be forgotten that a nation will fall victim to such comfortableness.
The excuse that other peoples are no better off, it goes without
saying, can scarcely affect the fact of our own ruin, except
that the feeling of seeing others stricken by the same calamity
might for many bring a mitigation of their own pains. But then
more than ever the question becomes: Which people will be the
first and only one to master this plague by its own strength,
and which nations will perish from it? And this is the crux
of the whole matter. Here again we have a touchstone of a race's
value - the race which cannot stand the test will simply die out,
making place for healthier or tougher and more resisting races.
For since this question primarily regards the offspring, it
is one of those concerning which it is said with such terrible
justice that the sins of the fathers are avenged down to the
tenth generation. But this applies only to profanation of the
blood and the race.
sin and desecration of the race are the original sin in this
world and the end of a humanity which surrenders to it.
truly wretched was the attitude of prewar Germany on this one
very question! What was done to check the contamination of our
youth in the big cities? What was done to attack the infection
and mammonization of our love life? What was done to combat
the resulting syphilization of our people?
can be answered most easily by stating what should have been
of all, it was not permissible to take this question frivolously;
it had to be understood that the fortune or misfortune of generations
would depend on its solution; yes, that it could, if not had
to be, decisive for the entire future of our people. Such a
realization, however, obligated us to ruthless measures and
surgical operations. What we needed most was the conviction
that first of all the whole attention of the nation had to be
concentrated upon this terrible danger, so that every single
individual could become inwardly conscious of the importance
of this struggle. Truly incisive and sometimes almost unbearable
obligations and burdens can only be made generally effective
if, in addition to compulsion, the realization of necessity
is transmitted to the individual. But this requires a tremendous
enlightenment excluding all other problems of the day which
might have a distracting effect.
all cases where the fulfillment of apparently impossible demands
or tasks is involved, the whole attention of a people must be
focused and concentrated on this one question, as though life
and death actually depended on its solution. Only in this
way will a people be made willing and able to perform great
tasks and exertions.
principle applies also to the individual man in so far as he
wants to achieve great goals. He, too, will be able to do this
only in steplike sections, and he, too, will always have to
unite his entire energies on the achievement of a definitely
delimited task, until this task seems fulfilled and a new section
can be marked out. Anyone who does not so divide the road to
be conquered into separate stages and does not try to conquer
these one by one, systematically with the sharpest concentration
of all his forces, will never be able to reach the ultimate
goal, but will be left lying somewhere along the road, or perhaps
even off it. This gradual working up to a goal is an art, and
to conquer the road step by step in this way you must throw
in your last ounce of energy.
very first prerequisite needed for attacking such a difficult
stretch of the human road is for the leadership to succeed in
representing to the masses of the people the partial goal which
now has to be achieved, or rather conquered, as the one which
is solely and alone worthy of attention, on whose conquest everything
depends. The great mass of the people cannot see the whole road
ahead of them without growing weary and despairing of the task.
A certain number of them will keep the goal in mind, but will
only be able to see the road in small, partial stretches, like
the wanderer, who likewise knows and recognizes the end of his
journey, but is better able to conquer the endless highway if
he divides it into sections and boldly attacks each one as though
it represented the desired goal itself. Only in this way does
he advance without losing heart.
by the use of all propagandist means, the question of combating
syphilis should have been made to appear as the task of the
nation. Not just one more task. To this end, its injurious
effects should have been thoroughly hammered into people as
the most terrible misfortune, and this by the use of all available
means, until the entire nation arrived at the conviction that
everything - future or ruin - depended upon the solution of
after such a preparation, if necessary over a period of years,
will the attention, and consequently the determination, of the
entire nation be aroused to such an extent that we can take
exceedingly hard measures exacting the greatest sacrifices without
running the risk of not being understood or of suddenly being
left in the lurch by the will of the masses.
seriously to attack this plague, tremendous sacrifices and equally
great labors are necessary.
fight against syphilis demands a fight against prostitution
against prejudices, old habits, against previous conceptions,
general views among them not least the false prudery of certain
first prerequisite for even the moral right to combat these
things is the facilitation of earlier marriage for the coming
generation. In late marriage alone lies the compulsion to retain
an institution which, twist and turn as you like, is and remains
a disgrace to humanity, an institution which is damned ill-suited
to a being who with his usual modesty likes to regard himself
as the 'image' of God.
is a disgrace to humanity, but it cannot be eliminated by moral
lectures, pious intentions, etc.; its limitation and final abolition
presuppose the elimination of innumerable preconditions. The
first is and remains the creation of an opportunity for early
marriage as compatible with human nature - particularly for the
man, as the woman in any case is only the passive part.
lost, how incomprehensible a part of humanity has become today
can be seen from the fact that mothers in so-called 'good '
society can not seldom be heard to say that they are glad to
have found their child a husband who has sown his wild oats,
etc. Since there is hardly any lack of these, but rather the
contrary, the poor girl will be happy to find one of these worn-out
Siegfrieds, and the children will be the visible result of this
'sensible' marriage. If we bear in mind that, aside from this,
propagation as such is limited as much as possible, so that
Nature is prevented from making any choice, since naturally
every creature, regardless how miserable, must be preserved,
the only question that remains is why such an institution exists
at all any more and what purpose it is supposed to serve? Isn't
it exactly the same as prostitution itself? Hasn't duty toward
posterity passed completely out of the picture? Or do people
fail to realize what a curse on the part of their children and
children's children they are heaping on themselves by such criminal
frivolity in observing the ultimate natural law as well as our
ultimate natural obligation?
the civilized peoples degenerate and gradually perish.
marriage cannot be an end in itself, but must serve the one
higher goal, the increase and preservation of the species and
the race. This alone is its meaning and its task.
these conditions its soundness can only be judged by the way
in which it fulfills this task. For this reason alone early
marriage is sound, for it gives the young marriage that strength
from which alone a healthy and resistant offspring can arise.
To be sure, it can be made possible only by quite a number of
social conditions without which early marriage is not even thinkable.
Therefore, a solution of this question, small as it is, cannot
occur without incisive measures of a social sort. The importance
of these should be most understandable at a time when the 'social'
republic, if only by its incompetence in the solution of the
housing question, simply prevents numerous marriages and thus
absurd way of regulating salaries, which concerns itself much
too little with the question of the family and its sustenance,
is one more reason that makes many an early marriage impossible.
a real fight against prostitution can only be undertaken if
a basic change in social conditions makes possible an earlier
marriage than at present can generally take place. This is the
very first premise for a solution of this question.
the second place, education and training must eradicate a number
of evils about which today no one bothers at all. Above all,
in our present education a balance must be created between mental
instruction and physical training. The institution that is called
a Gymnasium today is a mockery of the Greek model. In
our educational system it has been utterly forgotten that in
the long run a healthy mind can dwell only in a healthy body.
Especially if we bear in mind the mass of the people, aside
from a few exceptions, this statement becomes absolutely valid.
pre-War Germany there was a period in which no one concerned
himself in the least about this truth. They simply went on sinning
against the body and thought that in the one-sided training
of the 'mind,' they possessed a sure guaranty for the greatness
of the nation. A mistake whose consequences began to be felt
sooner than was expected. It is no accident that the Bolshevistic
wave never found better soil than in places inhabited by a population
degenerated by hunger and constant undernourishment: in Central
Germany, Saxony, and the Ruhr. But in all these districts the
so-called intelligentsia no longer offers any serious resistance
to this Jewish disease, for the simple reason that this intelligentsia
is itself completely degenerate physically, though less for
reasons of poverty than for reasons of education. In times when
not the mind but the fist decides, the purely intellectual emphasis
of our education in the upper classes makes them incapable of
defending themselves, let alone enforcing their will. Not infrequently
the first reason for personal cowardice lies in physical weaknesses.
excessive emphasis on purely intellectual instruction and the
neglect of physical training also encourage the emergence of
sexual ideas at a much too early age. The youth who achieves
the hardness of iron by sports and gymnastics succumbs to the
need of sexual satisfaction less than the stay-at-home fed exclusively
on intellectual fare. And a sensible system of education must
bear this in mind. It must, moreover, not fail to consider that
the healthy young man will expect different things from the
woman than a prematurely corrupted weakling.
the whole system of education must be so organized as to use
the boy's free time for the useful training of his body. He
has no right to hang about in idleness during these years, to
make the streets and movie-houses unsafe; after his day's work
he should steel and harden his young body, so that later life
will not find him too soft. To begin this and also carry it
out, to direct and guide it, is the task of education, and not
just the pumping of so-called wisdom. We must also do away with
the conception that the treatment of the body is the affair
of every individual. There is no freedom to sin at the cost
of posterity and hence of the race.
to the training of the body, a struggle against the poisoning
of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like
a hothouse for sexual ideas and stimulations. Just look at the
bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters,
and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right
kind of food, particularly for the youth. In shop windows and
billboards the vilest means are used to attract the attention
of the crowd. Anyone who has not lost the ability to think himself
into their soul must realize that this must cause great damage
in the youth. This sensual, sultry atmosphere leads to ideas
and stimulations at a time when the boy should have no understanding
of such things. The result of this kind of education can be
studied in present-day youth, and it is not exactly gratifying.
They mature too early and consequently grow old before their
time. Sometimes the public learns of court proceedings which
permit shattering insights into the emotional life of our fourteen-
and fifteen-year-olds. Who will be surprised that even in these
age-groups syphilis begins to seek its victims? And is it not
deplorable to see a good number of these physically weak, spiritually
corrupted young men obtaining their introduction to marriage
through big-city whores?
anyone who wants to attack prostitution must first of all help
to eliminate its spiritual basis. He must clear away the filth
of the moral plague of big-city 'civilization' and he must do
this ruthlessly and without wavering in the face of all the
shouting and screaming that will naturally be let loose. If
we do not lift the youth out of the morass of their present-day
environment, they will drown in it. Anyone who refuses to see
these things supports them, and thereby makes himself an accomplice
in the slow prostitution of our future which, whether we like
it or not, lies in the coming generation. This cleansing of
our culture must be extended to nearly all fields. Theater,
art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays
must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world
and placed in the service of a moral political, and cultural
idea. Public life must be freed from the stifling perfume of
our modern eroticism, just as it must be freed from all unmanly,
prudish hypocrisy. In all these things the goal and the road
must be determined by concern for the preservation of the health
of our people in body and soul. The right of personal freedom
recedes before the duty to preserve the race.
after these measures are carried out can the medical struggle
against the plague itself be carried through with any prospect
of success. But here, too, there must be no half-measures; the
gravest and most ruthless decisions will have to be made. It
is a half-measure to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate
the remaining healthy ones. This is in keeping with the humanitarianism
which, to avoid hurting one individual, lets a hundred others
perish. The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating
equally defective offspring is a demand of the clearest reason
and if systematically executed represents the most humane act
of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved
sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement
of health as a whole. The determination to proceed in this direction
will oppose a dam to the further spread of venereal diseases.
For, if necessary, the incurably sick will be pitilessly segregated - a
barbaric measure for the unfortunate who is struck by it, but
a blessing for his fellow men and posterity. The passing pain
of a century can and will redeem millenniums from sufferings.
struggle against syphilis and the prostitution which prepares
the way for it is one of the most gigantic tasks of humanity,
gigantic because we are facing, not the solution of a single
question, but the elimination of a large number of evils which
bring about this plague as a resultant manifestation. For in
this case the sickening of the body is only the consequence
of a sickening of the moral, social, and racial instincts.
if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought
to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years
from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless
you want to profane the Almighty.
how did they try to deal with this plague in old Germany? Viewed
calmly, the answer is really dismal. Assuredly, government circles
well recognized the terrible evils, though perhaps they were
not quite able to ponder the consequences; but in the struggle
against it they failed totally, and instead of thoroughgoing
reforms preferred to take pitiful measures. They tinkered with
the disease and left the causes untouched. They submitted the
individual prostitute to a medical examination, supervised her
as best they could, and, in case they established disease, put
her in some hospital from which after a superficial cure they
again let her loose on the rest of humanity.
be sure, they had introduced a 'protective paragraph' according
to which anyone who was not entirely healthy or cured must avoid
sexual intercourse under penalty of the law. Surely this measure
is sound in itself, but in its practical application it was
almost a total failure. In the first place, the woman, in case
she is smitten by misfortune - if only due to our, or rather her,
education - will in most cases refuse to be dragged into court
as a witness against the wretched thief of her health - often
under the most embarrassing attendant circumstances. She, in
particular, has little to gain from it; in most cases she will
be the one to suffer most - for she will be struck much harder
by the contempt of her loveless fellow creatures than would
be the case with a man. Finally, imagine the situation if the
conveyor of the disease is her own husband. Should she accuse
him? Or what else should she do?
the case of the man, there is the additional fact that unfortunately
he often runs across the path of this plague after ample consumption
of alcohol, since in this condition he is least able to judge
the qualities of his 'fair one,' a fact which is only too well
known to the diseased prostitute, and always causes her to angle
after men in this ideal condition. And the upshot of it all
is that the man who gets an unpleasant surprise later can, even
by thoroughly racking his brains, not remember his kind benefactress,
which should not be surprising in a city like Berlin or even
Munich. In addition, it must be considered that often we have
to deal with visitors from the provinces who are completely
befuddled by all the magic of the big city.
however: who can know whether he is sick or healthy? Are there
not numerous cases in which a patient apparently cured relapses
and causes frightful mischief without himself suspecting it
the practical effect of this protection by legal punishment
of a guilty infection is in reality practically nil. Exactly
the same is true of the supervision of prostitutes; and finally,
the cure itself, even today, is dubious. Only one thing is certain:
despite all measures the plague spread more and more, giving
striking confirmation of their ineffectualness.
fight against the prostitution of the people's soul was a failure
all along the line, or rather, that is, nothing at all was done.
anyone who is inclined to take this lightly just study the basic
statistical facts on the dissemination of this plague, compare
its growth in the last hundred years, and then imagine its further
development - and he would really need the simplicity of an ass
to keep an unpleasant shudder from running down his back.
weakness and halfheartedness of the position taken in old Germany
toward so terrible a phenomenon may be evaluated as a visible
sign of a people's decay. If the power to fight for one's
own health is no longer present, the right to live in this world
of struggle ends. This world belongs only to the forceful
'whole' man and not to the weak 'half ' man.
of the most obvious manifestations of decay in the old Reich
was the slow decline of the cultural level, and by culture I
do not mean what today is designated by the word ' civilization.'
The latter, on the contrary, rather seems hostile to a truly
high standard of thinking and living.
before the turn of the century an element began to intrude into
our art which up to that time could be regarded as entirely
foreign and unknown. To be sure, even in earlier times there
were occasional aberrations of taste, but such cases were rather
artistic derailments, to which posterity could attribute at
least a certain historical value, than products no longer of
an artistic degeneration, but of a spiritual degeneration that
had reached the point of destroying the spirit. In them the
political collapse, which later became more visible, was culturally
Bolshevism is the only possible cultural form and spiritual
expression of Bolshevism as a whole.
to whom this seems strange need only subject the art of the
happily Bolshevized states to an examination, and, to his horror,
he will be confronted by the morbid excrescences of insane and
degenerate men, with which, since the turn of the century, we
have become familiar under the collective concepts of cubism
and dadaism, as the official and recognized art of those states.
Even in the short period of the Bavarian Republic of Councils,
this phenomenon appeared. Even here it could be seen that all
the official posters, propagandist drawings in the newspapers,
etc., bore the imprint, not only of political but of cultural
more than a political collapse of the present magnitude would
have been conceivable sixty years ago was a cultural collapse
such as began to manifest itself in futurist and cubist works
since 1900 thinkable. Sixty years ago an exhibition of so-called
dadaistic 'experiences' would have seemed simply impossible
and its organizers would have ended up in the madhouse, while
today they even preside over art associations. This plague could
not appear at that time, because neither would public opinion
have tolerated it nor the state calmly looked on. For it is
the business of the state, in other words, of its leaders, to
prevent a people from being driven into the arms of spiritual
madness. And this is where such a development would some day
inevitably end. For on the day when this type of art really
corresponded to the general view of things, one of the gravest
transformations of humanity would have occurred: the regressive
development of the human mind would have begun and the end would
be scarcely conceivable.
we pass the development of our cultural life in the last twenty-five
years in review from this standpoint, we shall be horrified
to see how far we are already engaged in this regression. Everywhere
we encounter seeds which represent the beginnings of parasitic
growths which must sooner or later be the ruin of our culture.
In them, too, we can recognize the symptoms of decay of a slowly
rotting world. Woe to the peoples who can no longer master this
diseases could be seen in Germany in nearly every field of art
and culture. Everything seemed to have passed the high point
and to be hastening toward the abyss. The theater was sinking
manifestly lower and even then would have disappeared completely
as a cultural factor if the Court Theaters at least had not
turned against the prostitution of art. If we disregard them
and a few other praiseworthy examples, the offerings of the
stage were of such a nature that it would have been more profitable
for the nation to keep away from them entirely. It was a sad
sign of inner decay that the youth could no longer be sent into
most of these so-called ' abodes of art' - a fact which was
admitted with shameless frankness by a general display of the
penny-arcade warning: 'Young people are not admitted!'
in mind that such precautionary measures had to be taken in
the places which should have existed primarily for the education
of the youth and not for the delectation of old and jaded sections
of the population. What would the great dramatists of all times
have said to such a regulation, and what, above all, to the
circumstances which caused it? How Schiller would have flared
up, how Goethe would have turned away in indignation!
after all, what are Schiller, Goethe, or Shakespeare compared
to the heroes of the newer German poetic art? Old, outworn,
outmoded, nay, obsolete. For that was the characteristic thing
about that period: not that the period itself produced nothing
but filth, but that in the bargain it befouled everything that
was really great in the past. This, to be sure, is a phenomenon
that can always be observed at such times. The baser and more
contemptible the products of the time and its people, the Lore
it hates the witnesses to the greater nobility and dignity of
a former day. In such times the people would best like to efface
the memory of mankind's past completely, so that by excluding
every possibility of comparison they could pass off their own
trash as 'art.' Hence every new institution, the more wretched
and miserable it is, will try all the harder to extinguish the
last traces of the past time, whereas every true renascence
of humanity can start with an easy mind from the good achievements
of past generations; in fact, can often make them truly appreciated
for the first time. It does not have to fear that it will pale
before the past; no, of itself it contributes so valuable an
addition to the general store of human culture that often, in
order to make this culture fully appreciated, it strives to
keep alive the memory of former achievements, thus making sure
that the present will fully understand the new gift. Only those
who can give nothing valuable to the world, but try to act as
if they were going to give it God knows what, will hate everything
that was previously gives and would best like to negate or even
truth of this is by no means limited to the field of general
culture, but applies to politics as well. Revolutionary new
movements will hate the old forms in proportion to their own
inferiority. Here, too, we can see how eagerness to make their
own trash appear to be something noteworthy leads to blind hatred
against the superior good of the past. As long, for example,
as the historical memory of Frederick the Great is not dead,
Friedrich Ebert can arouse nothing but limited amazement. The
hero of Sans-Souci is to the former Bremen saloon keeper approximately
as the sun to the moon; only when the rays of the sun die can
the moon shine. Consequently, the hatred of all new moons of
humanity for the fixed stars is only too comprehensible. In
political life, such nonentities, if Fate temporarily casts
power in their lap, not only besmirch and befoul the past with
untiring zeal, but also remove themselves from general criticism
by the most extreme methods. The new German Reich's legislation
for the defense of the Republic may pass as an example of this.
if any new idea, a doctrine, a new philosophy, or even a political
or economic movement tries to deny the entire past, tries to
make it bad or worthless, for this reason alone we must be extremely
cautious and suspicious. As a rule the reason for such hatred
is either its own inferiority or even an evil intention as such.
A really beneficial renascence of humanity will always have
to continue building where the last good foundation stops. It
will not have to be ashamed of using already existing truths.
For the whole of human culture, as well as man himself is only
the result of a single long development in which every generation
contributed and fitted in its stone. Thus the meaning and purpose
of revolutions is not to tear down the whole building but to
remove what is bad or unsuitable and to continue building on
the sound spot that has been laid bare.
alone can we and may we speak of the progress of humanity. Otherwise
the world would never be redeemed from chaos, since every generation
would be entitled to reject the past and hence destroy the works
of the past as the presupposition for its own work.
the saddest thing about the state of our whole culture of the
pre-War period was not only the total impotence of artistic
and cultural creative power in general, but the hatred with
which the memory of the greater past was besmirched and effaced.
In nearly all fields of art, especially in the theater and literature,
we began around the turn of the century to produce less that
was new and significant, but to disparage the best of the old
work and represent it as inferior and surpassed; as though this
epoch of the most humiliating inferiority could surpass anything
at all. And from this effort to remove the past from the eyes
of the present, the evil intent of the apostles of the future
could clearly and distinctly be seen. By this it should have
been recognized that these were no new, even if false, cultural
conceptions, but a process of destroying all culture, paving
the way for a stultification of healthy artistic feeling: the
spiritual preparation of political Bolshevism. For if the age
of Pericles seems embodied in the Parthenon, the Bolshevistic
present is embodied in a cubist monstrosity.
this connection we must also point to the cowardice which here
again was manifest in the section of our people which on the
basis of its education and position should have been obligated
to resist this cultural disgrace. But from pure fear of the
clamor raised by the apostles of Bolshevistic art, who furiously
attacked anyone who didn't want to recognize the crown of creation
in them and pilloried him as a backward philistine, they renounced
all serious resistance and reconciled themselves to what seemed
after all inevitable. They were positively scared stiff that
these half-wits or scoundrels would accuse them of lack of understanding;
as though it were a disgrace not to understand the products
of spiritual degenerates or slimy swindlers. These cultural
disciples, it is true, possessed a very simple means of passing
off their nonsense as something God knows how important: they
passed off all sorts of incomprehensible and obviously crazy
stuff on their amazed fellow men as a so-called inner experience,
a cheap way of taking any word of opposition out of the mouths
of most people in advance. For beyond a doubt this could be
an inner experience; the doubtful part was whether it is permissible
to dish up the hallucinations of lunatics or criminals to the
healthy world. The works of a Moritz von Schwind, or of a Böcklin,
were also an inner experience, but of artists graced by God
and not of clowns.
was a good occasion to study the pitiful cowardice of our so-called
intelligentsia, which dodged any serious resistance to this
poisoning of the healthy instinct of our people and left it
to the people themselves to deal with this insolent nonsense.
In order not to be considered lacking in artistic understanding,
people stood for every mockery of art and ended up by becoming
really uncertain in the judgment of good and bad.
in all, these were tokens of times that were getting very bad.
another disquieting attribute, the following must yet be stated:
the nineteenth century our cities began more and more to lose
the character of cultural sites and to descend to the level
of mere human settlements. The small attachment of our present
big-city proletariat for the town they live in is the consequence
of the fact that it is only the individual's accidental local
stopping place, and nothing more. This is partly connected with
the frequent change of residence caused by social conditions,
which do not give a man time to form a closer bond with the
city, and another cause is to be found in the general cultural
insignificance and poverty of our present-day cities per
the time of the wars of liberation, the German cities were not
only small in number, but also modest as to size. The few really
big cities were mostly princely residences, and as such nearly
always possessed a certain cultural value and for the most part
also a certain artistic picture. The few places with more than
fifty thousand inhabitants were, compared to present-day cities
with the same population, rich in scientific and artistic treasures
When Munich numbered sixty thousand souls, it was already on
its way to becoming one of the first German art centers; today
nearly every factory town has reached this number, if not many
times surpassed it, yet some cannot lay claim to the slightest
real values. Masses of apartments and tenements, and nothing
more How, in view of such emptiness, any special bond could
be expected to arise with such a town must remain a mystery.
No one will be particularly attached to a city which has nothing
more to offer than every other, which lacks every individual
note and in which everything has been carefully avoided which
might even look like art or anything of the sort.
as if this were not enough, even the really big cities grow
relatively poorer in real art treasures with the mounting increase
in the population. They seem more and more standardized and
give entirely the same picture as the poor little factory towns,
though in larger dimensions. What recent times have added to
the cultural content of our big cities is totally inadequate.
All our cities are living on the fame and treasures of the past.
For instance, take from present-day Munich everything that was
created under Ludwig I, and you will note with horror how poor
the addition of significant artistic creations has been since
that time. The same is true of Berlin and most other big cities.
essential point, however, is the following: our big cities of
today possess no monuments dominating the city picture, which
might somehow be regarded as the symbols of the whole epoch.
This was true in the cities of antiquity, since nearly every
one possessed a special monument in which it took pride. The
characteristic aspect of the ancient city did not lie in private
buildings, but in the community monuments which seemed made,
not for the moment, but for eternity, because they were intended
to reflect, not the wealth of an individual owner, but the greatness
and wealth of the community. Thus arose monuments which were
very well suited to unite the individual inhabitant with his
city in a way which today sometimes seems almost incomprehensible
to us. For what the ancient had before his eyes was less the
humble houses of private owners than the magnificent edifices
of the whole community. Compared to them the dwelling house
really sank to the level of an insignificant object of secondary
if we compare the dimensions of the ancient state structures
with contemporary dwelling houses can we understand the overpowering
sweep and force of this emphasis on the principle of giving
first place to public works. The few still towering colossuses
which we admire in the ruins and wreckage of the ancient world
are not former business palaces, but temples and state structures;
in other words, works whose owner was the community. Even in
the splendor of late Rome the first place was not taken by the
villas and palaces of Individual citizens, but by the temples
and baths, the stadiums, circuses, aqueducts, basilicas, etc.,
of the state, hence of the whole people.
the Germanic Middle Ages upheld the same guiding principle,
though amid totally different conceptions of art. What in antiquity
found its expression in the Acropolis or the Pantheon now cloaked
itself in the forms of the Gothic Cathedral. Like giants these
monumental structures towered over the swarming frames wooden,
and brick buildings of the medieval city, and thus became symbols
which even today, with the tenements climbing higher and higher
beside them, determine the character and picture of these towns.
Cathedrals, town halls, grain markets, and battlements are the
visible signs of a Inception which in the last analysis was
the same as that of antiquity.
how truly deplorable the relation between state buildings and
private buildings has become today! If the fate of Rome should
strike Berlin, future generations would some day admire the
department stores of a few Jews as the mightiest works of our
era and the hotels of a few corporations as the characteristic
expression of the culture of our times. Just compare the miserable
discrepancy prevailing in a city like even Berlin between the
structures of the Reich and those of finance and commerce
the sum of money spent on state buildings is usually laughable
and inadequate. Works are not built for eternity, but at most
for the need of the moment. And in them there is no dominant
higher idea. At the time of its construction, the Berlin Schloss
was a work of different stature than the new library, for instance,
in the setting of the present time. While a single battleship
represented a value of approximately sixty millions, hardly
half of this sum was approved for the first magnificent building
of the Reich, intended to stand for eternity, the Reichstag
Building. Indeed, when the question of interior furnishings
came up for decision, the exalted house voted against the use
of stone and ordered the walls trimmed with plaster; this time,
I must admit, the parliamentarians did right for a change: stone
walls are no place for plaster heads.
our cities of the present lack the outstanding symbol of national
community which, we must therefore not be surprised to find,
sees no symbol of itself in the cities. The inevitable result
is a desolation whose practical effect is the total indifference
of the big-city dweller to the destiny of his city.
too, is a sign of our declining culture and our general collapse.
The epoch is stifling in the pettiest utilitarianism or better
expressed in the service of money. And we have no call for surprise
if under such a deity little sense of heroism remains. The present
time is only harvesting what the immediate past has sown.
these symptoms of decay are in the last analysis only the consequences
of the absence of a definite, uniformly acknowledged philosophy
and she resultant general uncertainty in the judgment and attitude
toward the various great problems of the time. That is why,
beginning in education, everyone is half-hearted and vacillating,
shunning responsibility and thus ending in cowardly tolerance
of even recognized abuses. Humanitarian bilge becomes stylish
and, by weakly yielding to cankers and sparing individuals,
the future of millions is sacrificed.
widespread the general disunity was growing is shown by an examination
of religious conditions before the War. Here, too, a unified
and effective philosophical conviction had long since been lost
in large sections of the nation. In this the members officially
breaking away from the churches play a less important role than
those who are completely indifferent. While both denominations
maintain missions in Asia and Africa in order to win new followers
for their doctrine - an activity which can boast but very modest
success compared to the advance of the Mohammedan faith in particular
- right here in Europe they lose millions and millions of inward
adherents who either are alien to all religious life or simply
go their own ways. The consequences, particularly from the moral
point of view, are not favorable.
noteworthy is the increasingly violent struggle against the
dogmatic foundations of the various churches without which in
this human world the practical existence of a religious faith
is not conceivable. The great masses of people do not consist
of philosophers; precisely for the masses, faith is often the
sole foundation of a moral attitude. The various substitutes
have not proved so successful from the standpoint of results
that they could be regarded as a useful replacement for previous
religious creeds. But if religious doctrine and faith are really
to embrace the broad masses, the unconditional authority of
the content of this faith is the foundation of all efficacy.
What the current mores, without which assuredly hundreds
of thousands of well-bred people would live sensibly and reasonably
but millions of others would not, are for general living, state
principles are for the state, and dogmas for the current religion.
Only through them is the wavering and infinitely interpretable,
purely intellectual idea delimited and brought into a form without
which it could never become faith. Otherwise the idea would
never pass beyond a metaphysical conception; in short, a philosophical
opinion. The attack against dogmas as such, therefore, strongly
resembles the struggle against the general legal foundations
of a state, and, as the latter would end in a total anarchy
of the state, the former would end in a worthless religious
the political man, the value of a religion must be estimated
less by its deficiencies than by the virtue of a visibly better
substitute. As long as this appears to be lacking, what is present
can be demolished only by fools or criminals.
the smallest blame for the none too delectable religious conditions
must be borne by those who encumber the religious idea with
too many things of a purely earthly nature and thus often bring
it into a totally unnecessary conflict with so-called exact
science. In this victory will almost always fall to the latter,
though perhaps after a hard struggle, and religion will suffer
serious damage in the eyes of all those who are unable to raise
themselves above a purely superficial knowledge.
of all, however, is the devastation wrought by the misuse of
religious conviction for political ends. In truth, we cannot
sharply enough attack those wretched crooks who would like to
make religion an implement to perform political or rather business
services for them. These insolent liars, it is true, proclaim
their creed in a stentorian voice to the whole world for other
sinners to hear; but their intention is not, if necessary, to
die for it, but to live better. For a single political swindle,
provided it brings in enough, they are willing to sell the heart
of a whole religion; for ten parliamentary mandates they would
ally themselves with the Marxistic mortal enemies of all religions - and
for a minister's chair they would even enter into marriage with
the devil, unless the devil were deterred by a remnant of decency.
in Germany before the War religious life for many had an unpleasant
aftertaste, this could be attributed to the abuse of Christianity
on the part of a so-called 'Christian' party and the shameless
way in which they attempted to identify the Catholic faith with
a political party.
false association was a calamity which may have brought parliamentary
mandates to a number of good-for-nothings but injury to the
consequence, however, had to be borne by the whole nation, since
the outcome of the resultant slackening of religious life occurred
at a time when everyone was beginning to waver and vacillate
anyway, and the traditional foundations of ethics and morality
were threatening to collapse.
too, created cracks and rifts in our nation which might present
no danger as long as no special strain arose, but which inevitably
became catastrophic when by the force of great events the question
of the inner solidity of the nation achieved decisive importance.
in the field of politics the observant eye could discern evils
which, if not remedied or altered within a reasonable time,
could be and had to be regarded as signs of the Reich's coming
decay. The aimlessness of German domestic and foreign policy
was apparent to everyone who was not purposely blind. The régime
of compromise seemed to be most in keeping with Bismarck's conception
that 'politics is an art of the possible.' But between Bismarck
and the later German chancellors there was a slight difference
which made it permissible for the former to let fall such an
utterance on the nature of politics while the same view from
the mouths of his successors could not but take on an entirely
different meaning. For Bismarck with this phrase only wanted
to say that for the achievement of a definite political goal
all possibilities should be utilized, or, in other words, that
all possibilities should be taken into account; in the view
of his successors, however, this utterance solemnly released
them from the necessity of having any political ideas or goals
whatever. And the leadership of the Reich at this time really
had no more political goals; for the necessary foundation of
a definite philosophy was lacking, as well as the necessary
clarity on the inner laws governing the development of all political
were not a few who saw things blackly in this respect and flayed
the planlessness and heedlessness of the Reich's policies, and
well recognized their inner weakness and hollowness but these
were only outsiders in political life; the official government
authorities passed by the observations of a Houston Stewart
Chamberlain with the same indifference as still occurs today.
These people are too stupid to think anything for themselves
and too conceited to learn what is necessary from others - an
age-old truth which caused Oxenstierna to cry out: 'The world
is governed by a mere fraction of wisdom'; and indeed nearly
every ministerial secretary embodies only an atom of this fraction.
Only since Germany has become a republic, this no longer applies.
That is why it has been forbidden by the Law for the Defense
of the Republic to believe, let alone discuss, any such thought.
Oxenstierna was lucky to live when he did, and not in this wise
republic of ours.
in the pre-War period that institution which was supposed to
embody the strength of the Reich was recognized by many as its
greatest weakness: the parliament or Reichstag. Cowardice and
irresponsibility were here completely wedded.
of the foolish remarks which today we not infrequently hear
is that parliamentarism in Germany has 'gone wrong since the
revolution.' This too easily gives the impression that it was
different before the revolution. In reality the effect of this
institution can be nothing else than devastating - and this
was true even in those days when most people wore blinders and
saw nothing and wanted to see nothing. For if Germany was crushed,
it was owing not least to this institution; no thanks are owing
to the Reichstag that the catastrophe did not occur earlier;
this must be attributed to the resistance to the activity of
this gravedigger of the German nation and the German Reich,
which persisted in the years of peace.
of the vast number of devastating evils for which this institution
was directly or indirectly responsible, I shall pick only a
single one which is most in keeping with the inner essence of
this most irresponsible institution of all times: the terrible
halfheartedness and weakness of the political leaders of the
Reich both at home and abroad, which, primarily attributable
to the activities of the Reichstag, developed into one of the
chief reasons for the political collapse.
was everything that was subject in any way to the influence
of this parliament, regardless which way you look.
and weak was the alliance policy of the Reich in its foreign
relations. By trying to preserve peace it steered inevitably
was the Polish policy. It consisted in irritating without ever
seriously going through with anything. The result was neither
a victory for the Germans nor conciliation of the Poles, but
hostility with Russia instead.
was the solution of the Alsace-Lorraine question. Instead of
crushing the head of the French hydra once and for all with
a brutal fist, and then granting the Alsatian equal rights,
neither of the two was done. Nor could it be, for in the ranks
of the biggest parties sat the biggest traitors - in the Center,
for example, Herr Wetterlé.
this, however, would have been bearable if the general halfheartedness
had not taken possession of that power on whose existence the
survival of the Reich ultimately depended: the army.
sins of the so-called 'German Reichstag' would alone suffice
to cover it for all times with the curse of the German nation.
For the most miserable reasons, these parliamentary rabble stole
and struck from the hand of the nation its weapon of self-preservation,
the only defense of our people's freedom and independence. If
today the graves of Flanders field were to open, from them would
arise the bloody accusers, hundreds of thousands of the best
young Germans who, due to the unscrupulousness of these parliamentarian
criminals, were driven, poorly trained and half-trained, into
the arms of death; the fatherland lost them and millions of
crippled and dead, solely and alone so that a few hundred misleaders
of the people could perpetrate their political swindles and
blackmail, or merely rattle off their doctrinaire theories.
the Jews in their Marxist and democratic press proclaimed to
the whole world the lie about 'German militarism' and sought
to incriminate Germany by all means, the Marxist and democratic
parties were obstructing any comprehensive training of the German
national man-power. The enormous crime that was thus committed
could not help but be clear to everyone who just considered
that, in case of a coming war, the entire nation would have
to take up arms, and that, therefore, through the rascality
of these savory representatives of their own so-called 'popular
representation,' millions of Germans were driven to face the
enemy half-trained and badly trained. But even if the consequences
resulting from the brutal and savage unscrupulousness of these
parliamentary pimps were left entirely out of consideration:
this lack of trained soldiers at the beginning of the War could
easily lead to its loss, and this was most terribly confirmed
in the great World War.
loss of the fight for the freedom and independence of the German
nation is the result of the half-heartedness and weakness manifested
even in peacetime as regards drafting the entire national manpower
for the defense of the fatherland.
too few recruits were trained on the land, the same halfheartedness
was at work on the sea, making the weapon of national self-preservation
more or less worthless. Unfortunately the navy leadership was
itself infected with the spirit of halfheartedness. The tendency
to build all ships a little smaller than the English ships which
were being launched at the same time was hardly farsighted,
much less brilliant. Especially a fleet which from the beginning
can in point of pure numbers not be brought to the same level
as its presumable adversary must seek to compensate for the
lack of numbers by the superior fighting power of its individual
ships. It is the superior fighting power which matters and not
any legendary superiority in 'quality.' Actually modern technology
is so far advanced and has achieved so much uniformity in the
various civilized countries that it must be held impossible
to give the ships of one power an appreciably larger combat
value than the ships of like tonnage of another state. And it
is even less conceivable to achieve a superiority with smaller
deplacement as compared to larger.
actual fact, the smaller tonnage of the German ships was possible
only at the cost of speed and armament. The phrase with which
people attempted to justify this fact showed a very serious
lack of logic in the department responsible for this in peacetime.
They declared, for instance, that the material of the German
guns was so obviously superior to the British that the German
28-centimeter gun was not behind the British 30.5centimeter
gun in performance!!
for this very reason it would have been our duty to change over
to the 30.5-centimeter gun, for the goal should have been the
achievement, not of equal but of superior fighting power. Otherwise
it would have been superfluous for the army to order the 42-centimeter
mortar, since the German 21-centimeter mortar was in itself
superior to any then existing high trajectory French cannon,
and the fortresses would have likewise fallen to the 30.5-centimeter
mortar. The leadership of the land army, however, thought soundly,
while that of the navy unfortunately did not.
neglect of superior artillery power and superior speed lay entirely
in. the absolutely erroneous so-called 'idea of risk.' The navy
leadership by the very form in which it expanded the fleet renounced
attack and thus from the outset inevitably assumed the defensive.
But in this they also renounced the ultimate success which is
and can only be forever in attack.
ship of smaller speed and weaker armament will as a rule be
sent to the bottom by a speedier and more heavily armed enemy
at the firing distance favorable for the latter. A number of
our cruisers were to find this out to their bitter grief. The
utter mistakenness of the peacetime opinion of the navy staff
was shown by the War, which forced the introduction, whenever
possible, of modified armament in old ships and better armament
in newer ones. If in the battle of Skagerrak the German ships
had had the tonnage, the armament, the same speed as the English
ships, the British navy would have found a watery grave beneath
the hurricane of the more accurate and more effective German
carried on a different naval policy in those days. There, on
principle, the entire emphasis was laid on giving every single
new ship superior fighting power over the presumable adversary.
The result was a greater possibility of offensive utilization
of the navy.
the staff of the land army still kept free of such basically
false trains of thought, the navy, which unfortunately had better
'parliamentary' representation, succumbed to the spirit of parliament.
It was organized on the basis of half-baked ideas and was later
used in a similar way. What immortal fame the navy nevertheless
achieved could only be set to the account of the skill of the
German armaments worker and the ability and incomparable heroism
of the individual officers and crews. If the previous naval
high command had shown corresponding intelligence, these sacrifices
would not have been in vain.
perhaps it was precisely the superior parliamentary dexterity
of the navy's peacetime head that resulted in its misfortune,
since, even in its building, parliamentary instead of purely
military criteria unfortunately began to play the decisive role.
The half-heartedness and weakness as well as the meager logic
in thinking, characteristic of the parliamentary institution,
began to color the leadership of the navy.
land army, as already emphasized, still refrained from such
basically false trains of thought. Particularly the colonel
in the great General Staff of that time, Ludendorff, carried
on a desperate struggle against the criminal half-heartedness
and weakness with which the Reichstag approached the vital problems
of the nation, and for the most part negated them. If the struggle
which this officer then carried on was nevertheless in vain,
the blame was borne half by parliament and half by the attitude
and weakness - even more miserable, if possible - of Reich Chancellor
Bethmann Hollweg. Yet today this does not in the least prevent
those who were responsible for the German collapse from putting
the blame precisely on him who alone combated this neglect of
national interests - one swindle more or less is nothing to these
who contemplates all the sacrifices which were heaped on the
nation by the criminal frivolity of these most irresponsible
among irresponsibles, who passes in review all the uselessly
sacrificed dead and maimed, as well as the boundless shame and
disgrace, the immeasurable misery which has now struck us, and
knows that all this happened only to clear the path to ministers'
chairs for a gang of unscrupulous climbers and job-hunters -
anyone who contemplates all this will understand that these
creatures can, believe me, be described only by words such as
' scoundrel, ' ' villain, ' ' scum, ' and ' criminal, ' otherwise
the meaning and purpose of having these expressions in our linguistic
usage would be incomprehensible. For compared to these traitors
to the nation, every pimp is a man of honor.
enough, all the really seamy sides of old Germany attracted
attention only when the inner solidarity of the nation would
inevitably suffer thereby. Yes, indeed, in such cases the unpleasant
truths were positively bellowed to the broad masses, while otherwise
the same people preferred modestly to conceal many things and
in part simply to deny them. This was the case when the open
discussion of a question might have led to an improvement. At
the same time, the government offices in charge knew next to
nothing of the value and nature of propaganda. The fact that
by clever and persevering use of propaganda even heaven can
be represented as hell to the people, and conversely the most
wretched life as paradise, was known only to the Jew, who acted
accordingly; the German, or rather his government, hadn't the
faintest idea of this.
the War we were to suffer most gravely for all this.
with all the evils of German life before the War here indicated,
and many more, there were also many advantages. In a fair examination,
we must even recognize that most of our weaknesses were largely
shared by other countries and peoples, and in some, indeed,
we were put completely in the shade, while they did not possess
many of our own actual advantages.
the head of these advantages we can, among other things, set
the fact that, of nearly all European peoples, the German people
still made the greatest attempt to preserve the national character
of its economy and despite certain evil omens was least subject
to international financial control. A dangerous advantage, to
be sure, which later became the greatest instigator of the World
War. But aside from this and many other things, we must, from
the vast number of healthy sources of national strength, pick
three institutions which in their kind were exemplary and in
the state form as such and the special stamp which it had received
in modern Germany.
we may really disregard the individual monarchs who as men are
subject to all the weaknesses which are customarily visited
upon this earth and its children; if we were not lenient in
this, we would have to despair of the present altogether, for
are not the representatives of the present régime, considered
as personalities, intellectually and morally of the most modest
proportions that we can conceive of even racking our brains
for a long time? Anyone who measures the 'value' of the German
revolution by the value and stature of the personalities which
it has given the German people since November, 1919, will have
to hide his head for shame before the judgment of future generations,
whose tongue it will no longer be possible to stop by protective
laws, etc., and which therefore will say what today all of us
know to be true, to wit, that brains and virtue in our modern
German leaders are inversely proportionate to their vices and
the size of their mouths.
be sure, the monarchy had grown alien to many, to the broad
masses above all. This was the consequence of the fact that
the monarchs were not always surrounded by the brightest - to
put it mildly - and above all not by the sincerest minds. Unfortunately,
a number of them liked flatterers better than straightforward
natures, and consequently it was the flatterers who 'instructed'
them. A very grave evil at a time when many of the world's old
opinions had undergone a great change, spreading naturally to
the estimation in which many old-established traditions of the
courts were held.
at the turn of the century the common man in the street could
no longer find any special admiration for the princess who rode
along the front in uniform. Apparently those in authority were
incapable of correctly judging the effect of such a parade in
the eyes of the people, for if they had, such unfortunate performances
would doubtless not have occurred. Moreover, the humanitarian
bilge - not always entirely sincere - that these circles went in
for repelled more than it attracted. If, for example, Princess
X condescended to taste a sample of food in a people's kitchen,
in former days it might have looked well, but now the result
was the opposite. We may be justified in assuming that Her Highness
really had no idea that the food on the day she sampled it was
a little different from what it usually was; but it was quite
enough that the people knew it.
what may possibly have been the best intention became ridiculous,
if not actually irritating.
about the monarch's proverbial frugality, his much too early
rising and his slaving away until late into the night, amid
the permanent peril of threatening undernourishment, aroused
very dubious comments. People did not ask to know what food
and how much of it the monarch deigned to consume; they did
not begrudge him a 'square' meal; nor were they out to deprive
him of the sleep he needed; they were satisfied if in other
things, as a man and character, he was an honor to the name
of his house and to the nation, and if he fulfilled his duties
as a ruler. Telling fairy tales helped little, but did all the
and many similar things were mere trifles, however. What had
a worse effect on sections of the nation, that were unfortunately
very large, was the mounting conviction that people were ruled
from the top no matter what happened, and that, therefore, the
individual had no need to bother about anything. As long as
the government was really good, or at least had the best intentions,
this was bearable. But woe betide if the old government whose
intentions were after all good were replaced by a new one which
was not so decent; then spineless compliance and childlike faith
were the gravest calamity that could be conceived of.
along with these and many other weaknesses, there were unquestionable
one thing, the stability of the entire state leadership, brought
about by the monarchic form of state and the removal of the
highest state posts from the welter of speculation by ambitious
politicians. Furthermore, the dignity of the institution as
such and the authority which this alone created: likewise the
raising of the civil service and particularly the army above
the level of party obligations. One more advantage was the personal
embodiment of the state's summit in the monarch as a person,
and the example of responsibility which is bound to be stronger
in a monarch than in the accidental rabble of a parliamentary
majority - the proverbial incorruptibility of the German administration
could primarily be attributed to this. Finally, the cultural
value of the monarchy for the German people was high and could
very well compensate for other drawbacks. The German court cities
were still the refuge of an artistic state of mind, which is
increasingly threatening to die out in our materialistic times.
What the German princes did for art and science, particularly
in the nineteenth century, was exemplary. The present period
in any case cannot be compared with it.
the greatest credit factor, however, in this period of incipient
and slowly spreading decomposition of our nation, we must note
the army. It was the mightiest school of the German nation,
and not for nothing was the hatred of all our enemies directed
against this buttress of national freedom and independence.
No more glorious monument can be dedicated to this unique institution
than a statement of the truth that it was slandered, hated,
combated, and also feared by all inferior peoples. The fact
that the rage of the international exploiters of our people
in Versailles was directed primarily against the old German
army permits us to recognize it as the bastion of our national
freedom against the power of the stock exchange. Without this
warning power, the intentions of Versailles would long since
have been carried out against our people. What the German people
owes to the army can be briefly summed up in a single word,
to wit: everything.
army trained men for unconditional responsibility at a time
when this quality had grown rare and evasion of it was becoming
more and more the order of the day, starting with the model
prototype of all irresponsibility, the parliament; it trained
men in personal courage in an age when cowardice threatened
to become a raging disease and the spirit of sacrifice, the
willingness to give oneself for the general welfare, was looked
on almost as stupidity, and the only man regarded as intelligent
was the one who best knew how to indulge and advance his own
ego; it was the school that still taught the individual German
not to seek the salvation of the nation in lying phrases about
an international brotherhood between Negroes, Germans, Chinese,
French, etc., but in the force and solidarity of our own nation.
army trained men in resolution while elsewhere in life indecision
and doubt were beginning to determine the actions of men. In
an age when everywhere the know-it-alls were setting the tone,
it meant something to uphold the principle that some command
is always better than none. In this sole principle there was
still an unspoiled robust health which would long since have
disappeared from the rest of our life if the army and its training
had not provided a continuous renewal of this primal force.
We need only see the terrible indecision of the Reich's present
leaders, who can summon up the energy for no action unless it
is the forced signing of a new decree for plundering the people;
in this case, to be sure, they reject all responsibility and
with the agility of a court stenographer sign everything that
anyone may see fit to put before them. In this case the decision
is easy to take; for it is dictated.
army trained men in idealism and devotion to the fatherland
and its greatness while everywhere else greed and materialism
had spread abroad. It educated a single people in contrast to
the division into classes and in this perhaps its sole mistake
was the institution of voluntary one-year enlistment. A mistake,
because through it the principle of unconditional equality was
broken, and the man with higher education was removed from the
setting of his general environment, while precisely the exact
opposite would have been advantageous. In view of the great
unworldliness of our upper classes and their constantly mounting
estrangement from their own people, the army could have exerted
a particularly beneficial effect if in its own ranks, at least,
it had avoided any segregation of the so-called intelligentsia.
That this was not done was a mistake; but what institution in
this world makes no mistakes? In this one, at any rate, the
good was so predominant that the few weaknesses lay far beneath
the average degree of human imperfection.
must be attributed to the army of the old Reich as its highest
merit that at a time when heads were generally counted by majorities,
it placed heads above the majority. Confronted with the Jewish-democratic
idea of a blind worship of numbers, the army sustained belief
in personality. And thus it trained what the new epoch most
urgently needed: men. In the morass of a universally spreading
softening and effeminization, each year three hundred and fifty
thousand vigorous young men sprang from the ranks of the army,
men who in their two years' training had lost the softness of
youth and achieved bodies hard as steel. The young man who practiced
obedience during this time could then learn to command. By his
very step you could recognize the soldier who had done his service.
was the highest school of the German nation, and it was not
for nothing that the bitterest hatred of those who from envy
and greed needed and desired the impotence of the Reich and
the defenselessness of its citizens was concentrated on it What
many Germans in their blindness or ill will did not want to
see was recognized by the foreign world: the German army was
the mightiest weapon serving the freedom of the German nation
and the sustenance of its children.
third in the league, along with the state form and the army,
was the incomparable civil service of the old Reich.
was the best organized and best administered country in the
world. The German government official might well be accused
of bureaucratic red tape, but in the other countries things
were no better in this respect; they were worse. But what the
other countries did not possess was the wonderful solidity of
this apparatus and the incorruptible honesty of its members.
It was better to be a little old-fashioned, but honest and loyal,
than enlightened and modern, but of inferior character and,
as is often seen today, ignorant and incompetent. For if today
people like to pretend that the German administration of the
pre-War period, though bureaucratically sound, was bad from
a business point of view, only the following answer can be given:
what country in the world had an institution better directed
and better organized in a business sense than Germany's state
railways? It was reserved to the revolution to go on wrecking
this exemplary apparatus until at last it seemed ripe for being
taken out of the hands of the nation and socialized according
to the lights of this Republic's founders; in other words, made
to serve international stock exchange capital, the power behind
the German revolution.
especially distinguished the German civil service and administrative
apparatus was their independence from the individual governments
whose passing political views could have no effect on the job
of German civil servant. Since the revolution, it must be admitted,
this has completely changed. Ability and competence were replaced
by party ties and a self-reliant, independent character became
more of a hindrance than a help.
state form, the army, and the civil service formed the basis
for the old Reich's wonderful power and strength. These first
and foremost were the reasons for a quality which is totally
lacking in the present-day state: state's authority! For this
is not based on bull-sessions in parliaments or provincial diets,
or on laws for its protection, or court sentences to frighten
those who insolently deny it, etc., but on the general confidence
which may and can be placed in the leadership and administration
of a commonwealth. This confidence, in turn, results only from
an unshakable inner faith in the selflessness and honesty of
the government and administration of a country and from an agreement
between the spirit of the laws and the general ethical view.
For in the long run government systems are not maintained by
the pressure of violence, but by faith in their soundness and
in the truthfulness with which they represent and advance the
interests of a people.
as certain evils of the pre-War period corroded and threatened
to undermine the inner strength of the nation, it must not be
forgotten that other states suffered even more than Germany
from most of these ailments and yet in the critical hour of
danger did not nag and perish. But if we consider that the German
weaknesses before the War were balanced by equally great strengths,
the ultimate cause of the collapse can and must lie in a different
field; and this is actually the case.
deepest and ultimate reason for the decline of the old Reich
lay in its failure to recognize the racial problem and its importance
for the historical development of peoples. For events in the
lives of peoples are not expressions of chance, but processes
related to the self-preservation and propagation of the species
and the race and subject to the laws of Nature, even if people
are not conscious of the inner reason for their actions.