One: A Reckoning
THE FIRST PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT OF THE
NATIONAL SOCIALIST GERMAN WORKERS' PARTY
AT THE END of this volume I describe the first period in the
development of our movement and briefly discuss a number of
questions it raises, my aim is not to give a dissertation on
the spiritual aims of the movement. The aims and tasks of the
new movement are so gigantic that they can only be treated in
a special volume. In a second volume, therefore, I shall discuss
the programmatic foundations of the movement in detail and attempt
to draw a picture of what we conceive of under the word 'state.'
By 'us' I mean all the hundreds of thousands who fundamentally
long for the same thing without as individuals finding the words
to describe outwardly what they inwardly visualize; for the
noteworthy fact about all reforms is that at first they possess
but a single champion yet many million supporters. Their aim
has often been for centuries the inner longing of hundreds of
thousands, until one man stands up to proclaim such a general
will, and as a standard-bearer guides the old longing to victory
in the form of the new idea.
fact that millions bear in their hearts the desire for a basic
change in the conditions obtaining today proves the deep discontent
under which they suffer. It expresses itself in thousandfold
manifestations with one in despair and hopelessness, with
another in ill will, anger, and indignation; with this man
in indifference, and with that man in furious excesses. As
witnesses to this inner dissatisfaction we may consider those
who are weary of elections as well as the many who tend to
the most fanatical extreme of the Left.
young movement was intended primarily to appeal to these last.
It is not meant to constitute an organization of the contented
and satisfied, but to embrace those tormented by suffering,
those without peace, the unhappy and the discontented, and
above all it must not swim on the surface of a national body,
but strike roots deep within it.
purely political terms, the following picture presented
itself in 1918: a people torn into two parts. The one,
by far the smaller, includes the strata of the national
intelligentsia, excluding all the physically active. It
is outwardly national, yet under this word can conceive
of nothing but a very insipid and weak-kneed defense of
so-called state interests, which in turn seem identical
with dynastic interests. They attempt to fight for their
ideas and aims with spiritual weapons which are as fragmentary
as they are superficial, and which fail completely in
the face of the enemy's brutality. With a single frightful
blow this class, which only a short time before was still
governing, is stretched on the ground and with trembling
cowardice suffers every humiliation at the hands of the
it is a second class, the broad mass of the laboring population.
It is organized in more or less radical Marxist movements,
determined to break all spiritual resistance by the power
of violence. It does not want to be national, but consciously
rejects any promotion of national interests, just as, conversely,
it aids and abets all foreign oppression. It is numerically
the stronger and above all comprises all those elements of
the nation without which a national resurrection is unthinkable
in 1918 this much was clear: no resurrection of the German people
can occur except through the recovery of outward power. But
the prerequisites for this are not arms, as our bourgeois 'statesmen'
keep prattling, but the forces of the will. The German people
had more than enough arms before. They were not able to secure
freedom because the energies of the national instinct of self-preservation,
the will for self-preservation, were lacking. The best weapon
is dead, worthless material as long as the spirit is lacking
which is ready, willing, and determined to use it. Germany became
defenseless, not because arms were lacking, but because the
will was lacking to guard the weapon for national survival.
today more than ever our Left politicians are at pains to point
out the lack of arms as the necessary cause of their spineless,
compliant, actually treasonous policy, we must answer only one
thing: no, the reverse is true. Through your anti-national,
criminal policy of abandoning national interests, you surrendered
our arms. Now you attempt to represent the lack of arms as the
underlying cause of your miserable villainy. This, like everything
you do, is lies and falsification.
this reproach applies just as much to the politicians on the
Right. For, thanks to their miserable cowardice, the Jewish
rabble that had come to power was able in 1918 to steal the
nation's arms. They, too, have consequently no ground and no
right to palm off our present lack of arms as the compelling
ground for their wily caution (read 'cowardice'); on the contrary,
our defenselessness is the consequence of their cowardice.
the question of regaining German power is not: How shall we
manufacture arms? but: How shall we manufacture the spirit
which enables a people to bear arms? If this spirit dominates
a people, the will finds a thousand ways, every one of which
ends in a weapon ! But give a coward ten pistols and if attacked
he will not be able to fire a single shot. And so for him
they are more worthless than a knotted stick for a courageous
question of regaining our people's political power is primarily
a question of recovering our national instinct of self preservation,
if for no other reason because experience shows that any preparatory
foreign policy, as well as any evaluation of a state as such,
takes its cue less from the existing weapons than from a nation's
recognized or presumed moral capacity for resistance. A nation's
ability to form alliances is determined much less by dead stores
of existing arms than by the visible presence of an ardent national
will for self-preservation and heroic death-defying courage.
For an alliance is not concluded with arms but with men. Thus,
the English nation will have to be considered the most valuable
ally in the world as long as its leadership and the spirit of
its byroad masses justify us in expecting that brutality and
perseverance which is determined to fight a battle once begun
t04 victorious end, with every means and without consideration
of time and sacrifices; and what is more, the military armament
existing at any given moment does not need to stand in any proportion
to that of other states.
we understand that the resurrection of the German nation represents
a question of regaining our political will for self-preservation,
it is also clear that this cannot be done by winning elements
which in point of will at least are already national, but
only by the nationalization of the consciously anti-national
young movement which, therefore, sets itself the goal of resurrecting
a German state with its own sovereignty will have to direct
its fight entirely to winning the broad masses. Wretched as
our so-called 'national bourgeoisie' is on the whole, inadequate
as its national attitude seems, certainly from this side no
serious resistance is to be expected against a powerful domestic
and foreign policy in the future. Even if the German bourgeoisie,
for their well-known narrow-minded and short-sighted reasons,
should, as they once did toward Bismarck, maintain an obstinate
attitude of passive resistance in the hour of coming liberation
- an active resistance, in view of their recognized and proverbial
cowardice, is never to be feared.
is different with the masses of our internationally minded comrades.
In their natural primitiveness, they are snore inclined to the
idea of violence, and, moreover, their Jewish leadership is
more brutal and ruthless. They will crush any German resurrection
Just as they once broke the backbone of the German army. But
above all: in this state with its parliamentary government they
will, thanks to their majority in numbers, not only obstruct
any national foreign policy, but also make impossible any higher
estimation of the German strength, thus making us seem undesirable
as an ally. For not only are we ourselves aware of the element
of weakness lying in our fifteen million Marxists, democrats,
pacifists, and Centrists; it is recognized even more by foreign
countries, which measure the value of a possible alliance with
us according to the weight of this burden. No one allies himself
with a state in which the attitude of the active part of the
population toward any determined foreign policy is passive,
to say the least.
this we must add the fact that the leaderships of these parties
of national treason must and will be hostile to any resurrection,
out of mere instinct of self-preservation. Historically it
is just not conceivable that the German people could recover
its former position without settling accounts with those who
were the cause and occasion of the unprecedented collapse
which struck our state. For before the judgment seat of posterity
November, 1918, will be evaluated, not as high treason, but
as treason against the fatherland.
any possibility of regaining outward German independence is
bound up first and foremost with the recovery of the inner
unity of our people's will.
regarded even from the purely technical point of view, the idea
of an outward German liberation seems senseless as long as the
broad masses are not also prepared to enter the service of this
liberating idea. From the purely military angle, every officer
above all will realize after a moment's thought that a foreign
struggle cannot be carried on with student battalions, that
in addition to the brains of a people, the fists are also needed.
In addition, we must bear in mind that a national defense, which
is based only on the circles of the so-called intelligentsia,
would squander irreplaceable treasures. The absence of the young
German intelligentsia which found its death on the fields of
Flanders in the fall of 1914 was sorely felt later on. It was
the highest treasure that the German nation possessed and during
the War its loss could no longer be made good. Not only is it
impossible to carry on the struggle itself if the storming battalions
do not find the masses of the workers in their ranks; the technical
preparations are also impracticable without the inner unity
of our national will. Especially our people, doomed to languish
along unarmed beneath the thousand eyes of the Versailles peace
treaty, can only make technical preparations for the achievement
of freedom and human independence if the army of domestic stoolpigeons
is decimated down to those whose inborn lack of character permits
them to betray anything and everything for the well-known thirty
pieces of silver. For with these we can deal. Unconquerable
by comparison seem the millions who oppose the national resurrection
out of political conviction - unconquerable as long as the inner
cause of their opposition, the international Marxist philosophy
of life, is not combated and torn out of their hearts and brains.
therefore, from what standpoint we examine the possibility
of regaining our state and national independence, whether
frost the standpoint of preparations in the sphere of foreign
policy, from that of technical armament or that of battle
itself, in every case the presupposition for everything remains
the previous winning of the broad masses of our people for
the idea of our national independence.
the recovery of our external freedom, however, any internal
reform, even in the most favorable case, means only the increase
of our productivity as a colony. The surplus of all so-called
economic improvements falls to the benefit of our international
control commissions, and every social improvement at best raises
the productivity of our work for them. No cultural advances
will fall to the share of the German nation; they are too contingent
on the political independence and dignity of our nation.
if a favorable solution of the German future requires a national
attitude on the part of the broad masses of our people, this
must be the highest, mightiest task of a movement whose activity
is not intended to exhaust itself in the satisfaction of the
moment, but which must examine all its commissions and omissions
solely with a view to their presumed consequences in the future.
by 1919 we clearly realized that, as its highest aim, the
new movement must first accomplish the nationalization of
a tactical standpoint a number of demands resulted from this.
To win the masses for a national resurrection, no social sacrifice
is too great.
economic concessions are made to our working class today,
they stand in no proportion to the gain for the entire nation
if they help to give the broad masses back to their nation.
Only pigheaded short-sightedness, such as is often unfortunately
found in our employer circles, can fail to recognize that
in the long run there can be no economic upswing for them
and hence no economic profit, unless the inner national solidarity
of our people is restored.
during the War the German unions had ruthlessly guarded the
interests of the working class, if even during the War they
had struck a thousand times over and forced approval of the
demands of the workers they represented on the dividend-hungry
employers of those days; but if in matters of national defense
they had avowed their Germanism with the same fanaticism; and
if with equal ruthlessness they had given to the fatherland
that which is the fatherland's, the War would not have been
lost. And how trifling all economic concessions, even the greatest,
would have been, compared to the immense importance of winning
a movement which plans to give the German worker back to the
German people must clearly realize that in this question economic
sacrifices are of no importance whatever as long as the preservation
and independence of the national economy are not threatened
The national education of the broad masses can only take place
indirectly through a social uplift, since thus exclusively
can those general economic premises be created which permit
the individual to partake of the cultural goods of the nation.
The nationalization of the broad masses can never be achieved
by half-measures, by weakly emphasizing a so-called objective
standpoint, but only by a ruthless and fanatically one-sided
orientation toward the goal to be achieved. That is to say,
a people cannot be made 'national' in the sense understood by
our present-day bourgeoisie, meaning with so and so many limitations,
but only nationalistic with the entire vehemence that is inherent
in the extreme. Poison is countered only by an antidote, and
only the shallowness of a bourgeois mind can regard the middle
course as the road to heaven.
broad masses of a people consist neither of professors nor of
diplomats. The scantiness of the abstract knowledge they possess
directs their sentiments more to the world of feeling. That
is where their positive or negative attitude lies. It is receptive
only to an expression of force in one of these two directions
and never to a half-measure hovering between the two. Their
emotional attitude at the same time conditions their extraordinary
stability. Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs
less to change than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion,
and the impetus to the mightiest upheavals on this earth has
at all times consisted less in a scientific knowledge dominating
the masses than in a fanaticism which inspired them and sometimes
in a hysteria which drove them forward.
who wants to win the broad masses must know the key that opens
the door to their heart. Its name is not objectivity (read weakness),
but will and power.
The soul of the people can only be won if along with carrying
on a positive struggle for our own aims, we destroy the opponent
of these aims.
people at all times see the proof of their own right in ruthless
attack on a foe, and to them renouncing the destruction of the
adversary seems like uncertainty with regard to their own right
if not a sign of their own unright.
broad masses are only a piece of Nature and their sentiment
does not understand the mutual handshake of people who claim
that they want the opposite things. What they desire is the
victory of the stronger and the destruction of the weak or his
nationalization of our masses will succeed only when, aside
from all the positive struggle for the soul of our people,
their international poisoners are exterminated.
All great questions of the day are questions of the moment and
represent only consequences of definite causes. Only one among
all of them, however, possesses causal importance, and that
is the question of the racial preservation of the nation. In
the blood alone resides the strength as well as the weakness
of man. As long as peoples do not recognize and give heed to
the importance of their racial foundation, they are like men
who would like to teach poodles the qualities of greyhounds,
failing to realize that the speed of the greyhound like the
docility of the poodle are not learned, but are qualities inherent
in the race. Peoples which renounce the preservation of their
racial purity renounce with it the unity of their soul in all
its expressions. The divided state of their nature is the natural
consequence of the divided state of their blood, and the change
in their intellectual and creative force is only the effect
of the change in their racial foundations.
who wants to free the German blood from the manifestations
and vices of today, which were originally alien to its nature,
will first have to redeem it from the foreign virus of these
the clearest knowledge of the racial problem and hence of
the Jewish problem there will never be a resurrection of the
racial question gives the key not only to world history, but
to all human culture.
Organizing the broad masses of our people which are today
in the international camp into a national people's community
does not mean renouncing the defense of justified class interests.
Divergent class and professional interests are not synonymous
with class cleavages but are natural consequences of our economic
life. Professional grouping is in no way opposed to a true
national community, for the latter consists in the unity of
a nation in all those questions which affect this nation as
integration of an occupational group which has become a class
with the national community, or merely with the state, is not
accomplished by the lowering of higher classes but by uplifting
the lower classes. This process in turn can never be upheld
by the higher class, but only by the lower class fighting for
its equal rights. The present-day bourgeoisie was not organized
into the state by measures of the nobility, but by its own energy
under its own leadership.
German worker will not be raised to the framework of the German
national community via feeble scenes of fraternization, but
by a conscious raising of his social and cultural situation
until the most serious differences may be viewed as bridged.
A movement which sets this development as its goal will have
to take its supporters primarily from this camp. It may fall
back on the intelligentsia only in so far as the latter has
completely understood the goal to be achieved. This process
of transformation and equalization will not be completed in
ten or twenty years; experience shows that it comprises many
severest obstacle to the present-day worker's approach to the
national community lies not in the defense of his class interests,
but in his international leadership and attitude which are hostile
to the people and the fatherland. The same unions with a fanatical
national leadership in political and national matters would
make millions of workers into the most valuable members of their
nation regardless of the various struggles that took place over
purely economic matters.
movement which wants honestly to give the German worker back
to his people and tear him away from the international delusion
must sharply attack a conception dominant above all in employer
circles, which under national community understands the unresisting
economic surrender of the employee to the employer and which
chooses to regard any attempt at safeguarding even justified
interests regarding the employee's economic existence as an
attack on the national community. Such an assertion is not
only untrue, but a conscious lie, because the national community
imposes its obligations not only on one side but also on the
as surely as a worker sins against the spirit of a real national
community when, without regard for the common welfare and
the survival of a national economy, he uses his power to raise
extortionate demands, an employer breaks this community to
the same extent when he conducts his business in an inhuman,
exploiting way, misuses the national labor force and makes
millions out of its sweat. He then has no right to designate
himself as national, no right to speak of a national community;
no, he is a selfish scoundrel who induces social unrest and
provokes future conflicts which whatever happens must end
in harming the nation.
the reservoir from which the young movement must gather its
supporters will primarily be the masses of our workers. Its
work will be to tear these away from the international delusion,
to free them from their social distress, to raise them out
of their cultural misery and lead them to the national community
as a valuable, united factor, national in feeling and desire.
in the circles of the national intelligentsia, there are found
men with the warmest hearts for their people and its future,
imbued with the deepest knowledge of the importance of this
struggle for the soul of these masses, they will be highly
welcome in the ranks of this movement, as a valuable spiritual
backbone. But winning over the bourgeois voting cattle can
never be the aim of this movement. If it were, it would burden
itself with a dead weight which by its whole nature would
paralyze our power to recruit from the broad masses. For regardless
of the theoretical beauty of the idea of leading together
the broadest masses from below and from above within the framework
of the movement, there is the opposing fact that by psychological
propagandizing of bourgeois masses in general meetings, it
may be possible to create moods and even to spread insight,
but not to do away with qualities of character or, better
expressed, vices whose development and origin embrace centuries.
The difference with regard to the cultural level on both sides
and the attitude on both sides toward questions raised by
economic interests is at present still so great that, as soon
as the intoxication of the meetings has passed, it would at
once manifest itself as an obstacle.
the goal is not to undertake a restratification in the camp
that is national to begin with, but to win over the anti-national
this point of view, finally, is determining for the tactical
attitude of the whole movement.
This one-sided but thereby clear position must express itself
in the propaganda of the movement and on the other hand in
turn is required on propagandist grounds.
propaganda is to be effective for the movement, it must be
addressed to only one quarter, since otherwise, in view of
the difference in the intellectual training of the two camps
in question, either it will not be understood by the one group,
or by the other it would be rejected as obvious and therefore
the style and the tone of its individual products cannot be
equally effective for two such extreme groups. If propaganda
renounces primitiveness of expression, it does not find its
way to the feeling of the broad masses. If, however, in word
and gesture, it uses the masses' harshness of sentiment and
expression, it will be rejected by the so-called intelligentsia
as coarse and vulgar. Among a hundred so-called speakers there
are hardly ten capable of speaking with equal effect today before
a public consisting of street-sweepers, locksmiths, sewer-cleaners,
etc., and tomorrow holding a lecture with necessarily the same
thought content in an auditorium full of university professors
and students. But among a thousand speakers there is perhaps
only a single one who can manage to speak to locksmiths and
university professors at the same time, in a form which not
only is suitable to the receptivity of both parties, but also
influences both parties with equal effect or actually lashes
them into a wild storm of applause. We must always bear in mind
that even the most beautiful idea of a sublime theory in most
cases can be disseminated only through the small and smallest
minds. The important thing is not what the genius who has created
an idea has in mind, but what, in what form, and with what success
the prophets of this idea transmit it to the broad masses.
strong attractive power of the Social Democracy, yes, of the
whole Marxist movement, rested in large part on the homogeneity
and hence one-sidedness of the public it addressed. The more
seemingly limited, indeed, the narrower its ideas were, the
more easily they were taken up and assimilated by a mass whose
intellectual level corresponded to the material offered.
for the new movement a simple and clear line thus resulted.
must be adjusted to the broad masses in content and in form,
and its soundness is to be measured exclusively by its effective
a mass meeting of all classes it is not that speaker who is
mentally closest to the intellectuals present who speaks best,
but the one who conquers the heart of the masses.
member of the intelligentsia present at such a meeting, who
carps at the intellectual level of the speech despite the
speaker's obvious effect on the lower strata he has set out
to conquer, proves the complete incapacity of his thinking
and the worthlessness of his person for the young movement.
It can use only that intellectual who comprehends the task
and goal of the movement to such an extent that he has learned
to judge the activity of propaganda according to its success
and not according to the impressions which it leaves behind
in himself. For propaganda is not intended to provide entertainment
for people who are national-minded to begin with, but to win
the enemies of our nationality, in so far as they are of our
general those trends of thought which I have briefly summed
up under the heading of war propaganda should be determining
and decisive for our movement in the manner and execution
of its own enlightenment work.
it was right was demonstrated by its success
The goal of a political reform movement will never be reached
by enlightenment work or by influencing ruling circles, but
only by the achievement of political power. Every world-moving
idea has not only the right, but also the duty, of securing,
those means which make possible the execution of its ideas.
Success is the one earthly judge concerning the right or wrong
of such an effort, and under success we must not understand,
as in the year 1918, the achievement of power in itself, but
an exercise of that power that will benefit the nation. Thus,
a coup d'état must not be regarded as successful if, as senseless
state's attorneys in Germany think today, the revolutionaries
have succeeded in possessing themselves of the state power,
but only if by the realization of the purposes and aims underlying
such a revolutionary action, more benefit accrues to the nation
than under the past régime. Something which cannot very well
be claimed for the German revolution, as the gangster job of
autumn 1918, calls itself.
the achievement of political power constitutes the precondition
for the practical execution of reform purposes, the movement
with reform purposes must from the first day of its existence
feel itself a movement of the masses and not a literary tea-club
or a shopkeepers' bowling society.
The young movement is in its nature and inner organization
anti-parliamentarian; that is, it rejects, in general and
in its own inner structure, a principle of majority rule in
which the leader is degraded to the level of a mere executant
of other people's will and opinion. In little as well as big
things, the movement advocates the principle of a Germanic
democracy: the leader is elected, but then enjoys unconditional
practical consequences of this principle in the movement are
first chairman of a local group is elected, but then he is the
responsible leader of the local group. All committees are subordinate
to him and not, conversely, he to a committee. There are no
electoral committees, but only committees for work. The responsible
leader, the first chairman, organizes the work. The first principle
applies to the next higher organization, the precinct, the district
or county. The leader is always elected, but thereby he is vested
with unlimited powers and authority. And, finally, the same
applies to the leadership of the whole party. The chairman is
elected, but he is the exclusive leader of the movement. All
committees are subordinate to him and not he to the committees.
He makes the decisions and hence bears the responsibility on
his shoulders. Members of the movement are free to call him
to account before the forum of a new election, to divest him
of his office in so far as he has infringed on the principles
of the movement or served its interests badly. His place is
then taken by an abler, new man, enjoying, however} the same
authority and the same responsibility.
is one of the highest tasks of the movement to make this principle
determining, not only within its own ranks, but for the entire
man who wants to be leader bears, along with the highest unlimited
authority, also the ultimate and heaviest responsibility.
who is not equal to this or is too cowardly to bear the consequences
of his acts is not fit to be leader; only the hero is cut
out for this.
progress and culture of humanity are not a product of the
majority, but rest exclusively on the genius and energy of
cultivate the personality and establish it in its rights is
one of the prerequisites for recovering the greatness and
power of our nationality.
the movement is anti-parliamentarian, and even its participation
in a parliamentary institution can only imply activity for
its destruction, for eliminating an institution in which we
must see one of the gravest symptoms of mankind's decay.
The movement decisively rejects any position on questions
which either lie outside the frame of its political work or,
being not of basic importance, are irrelevant for it. Its
task is not a religious reformation, but a political reorganization
of our people. In both religious denominations it sees equally
valuable pillars for the existence of our people and therefore
combats those parties which want to degrade this foundation
of an ethical, moral, and religious consolidation of our national
body to the level of an instrument of their party interests.
movement finally sees its task, not in the restoration of
a definite state form and in the struggle against another,
but in the creation of those basic foundations without which
neither republic nor monarchy can endure for any length of
time. Its mission lies not in the foundation of a monarchy
or in the reinforcement of a republic, but in the creation
of a Germanic state.
question of the outward shaping of this state, its crowning,
so to speak, is not of basic importance, but is determined only
by questions of practical expediency.
a people that has once understood the great problems and tasks
of its existence, the questions of outward formalities will
no longer lead to inner struggle.
The question of the movement's inner organization is one of
expediency and not of principle.
The best organization is not that which inserts the greatest,
but that which inserts the smallest, intermediary apparatus
between the leadership of a movement and its individual adherents.
For the function of organization is the transmission of a definite
idea - which always first arises from the brain of an individual
- to a larger body of men and the supervision of its realization.
organization is in all things only a necessary evil. In the
best case it is a means to an end, in the worst case an end
the world produces more mechanical than ideal natures, the
forms of organization are usually created more easily than
ideas as such.
practical development of every idea striving for realization
in this world, particularly of one possessing a reform character,
is in its broad outlines as follows:
idea of genius arises in the brain of a man who feels called
upon to transmit his knowledge to the rest of humanity. He preaches
his view and gradually wins a certain circle of adherents. This
process of the direct and personal transmittance of a man's
ideas to the rest of his fellow men is the most ideal and natural.
With the rising increase in the adherents of the new doctrine,
it gradually becomes impossible for the exponent of the idea
to go on exerting a personal, direct influence on the innumerable
supporters, to lead and direct them. Proportionately as, in
consequence of the growth of the community, the direct and shortest
communication is excluded, the necessity of a connecting organization
arises: thus, the ideal condition is ended and is replaced by
the necessary evil of organization. Little sub-groups are formed
which in the political movement, for example, call themselves
local groups and constitute the germ-cells of the future organization.
the unity of the doctrine is not to be lost, however, this
subdivision must not take place until the authority of the
spiritual founder and of the school trained by him can be
regarded as unconditional. The geo-political significance
of a focal center in a movement cannot be overemphasized.
Only the presence of such a place, exerting the magic spell
of a Mecca or a Rome, can in the long run give the movement
a force which is based on inner unity and the recognition
of a summit representing this unity.
in forming the first organizational germ-cells we must never
lose sight of the necessity, not only of preserving the importance
of the original local source of the idea, but of making it paramount.
This intensification of the ideal, moral, and factual immensity
of the movement's point of origin and direction must take place
in exact proportion as the movement's germ-cells, which have
now become innumerable, demand new links in the shape of organizational
as the increasing number of individual adherents makes it
impossible to continue direct communication with them for
the formation of the lowest bodies, the ultimate innumerable
increase of these lowest organizational forms compels in turn
creation of higher associations which politically can be designated
roughly as county or district groups.
as it still may be to maintain the authority of the original
center toward the lowest local groups, it will be equally
difficult to maintain this position toward the higher organizational
forms which now arise. But this is the precondition for the
unified existence of the movement and hence for carrying out
finally, these larger intermediary divisions are also combined
into new organizational forms, the difficulty is further increased
of safeguarding, even toward them, the unconditional leading
character of the original founding site, its school, etc.
the mechanical forms of an organization may only be developed
to the degree in which the spiritual ideal authority of a
center seems unconditionally secured. In political formations
this guaranty can often seem provided only by practical power.
this the following directives for the inner structure of the
Concentration for the time being of all activity in a single
place: Munich. Training of a community of unconditionally
reliable supporters and development of a school for the subsequent
dissemination of the idea. Acquisition of the necessary authority
for the future by the greatest possible visible successes
in this one place.
make the movement and its leaders known, it was necessary,
not only to shake the belief in the invincibility of the Marxist
doctrine in one place for all to see, but to demonstrate the
possibility of an opposing movement.
Formation of local groups only when the authority of the central
leadership in Munich may be regarded as unquestionably recognized.
Likewise the formation of district, county, or provincial groups
depends, not only on the need for them, but also on certainty
that an unconditional recognition of the center has been achieved.
the creation of organizational forms is dependent on the men
who are available and can be considered as leaders
may occur in two ways:
The movement disposes of the necessary financial means for the
training and schooling of minds capable of future leadership.
It then distributes the material thus acquired systematically
according to criteria of tactical and other expediency.
way is the easier and quicker; however, it demands great financial
means, since this leader material is only able to work for the
movement when paid.
The movement, owing to the lack of financial means, is not in
a position to appoint official leaders, but for the present
must depend on honorary officers.
way is the slower and more difficult.
certain circumstances the leadership of a movement must let
large territories lie fallow, unless there emerges from the
adherents a man able and willing to put himself at the disposal
of the leadership, and organize and lead the movement in the
district in question.
may happen that in large territories there will be no one,
in other places, however, two or even three almost equally
capable. The difficulty that lies in such a development is
great and can only be overcome in the course of years.
prerequisite for the creation of an organizational form is
and remains the man necessary for its leadership.
worthless as an army in all its organizational forms is without
officers, equally worthless is a political organization without
the suitable leader.
founding a local group is more useful to the movement when
a suitable leader personality is lacking than to have its
organization miscarry due to the absence of a leader to direct
and drive it forward.
itself requires not only will but also ability, and a greater
importance must be attached to will and energy than to intelligence
as such, and most valuable of all is a combination of ability,
determination, and perseverance.
The future of a movement is conditioned by the fanaticism
yes, the intolerance, with which its adherents uphold it as
the sole correct movement, and push it past other formations
of a similar sort.
is the greatest error to believe that the strength of a movement
increases through a union with another of similar character.
It is true that every enlargement of this kind at first means
an increase in outward dimensions, which to the eyes of superficial
observers means power; in truth, however, it only takes over
the germs of an inner weakening that will later become effective.
whatever can be said about the like character of two movements,
in reality it is never present. For otherwise there would
actually be not two movements but one. And regardless wherein
the differences lie - even if they consisted only in the varying
abilities of the leadership - they exist. But the natural law
of all development demands, not the coupling of two formations
which are simply not alike, but the victory of the stronger
and the cultivation of the victor's force and strength made
possible alone by the resultant struggle.
the union of two more or less equal political party formations
momentary advantages may arise, but in the long run any success
won in this way is the cause of inner weaknesses which appear
greatness of a movement is exclusively guaranteed by the unrestricted
development of its inner strength and its steady growth up
to the final victory over all competitors.
we can say that its strength and hence the justification of
its existence increases only so long as it recognizes the
principle of struggle as the premise of its development, and
that it has passed the high point of its strength in the moment
when complete victory inclines to its side.
it is only profitable for a movement to strive for this victory
in a form which does not lead to an early momentary success,
but which in a long struggle occasioned by absolute intolerance
also provides long growth.
which increase only by the so-called fusion of similar formations,
thus owing their strength to compromises, are like hothouse
plants. They shoot up, but they lack the strength to defy
the centuries and withstand heavy storms.
greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in
this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance
with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly
imposes its will against all others. If an idea in itself
is sound and, thus armed, takes up a struggle on this earth,
it is unconquerable and every persecution will only add to
its inner strength.
greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations
for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in
the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching
and fighting for its own doctrine.
apparent head start which movements achieve by fusions is
amply caught up with by the steady increase in the strength
of a doctrine and organization that remain independent and
fight their own fight.
On principle the movement must so educate its members that they
do not view the struggle as something idly cooked up, but as
the thing that they themselves are striving for. Therefore,
they must not fear the hostility of their enemies, but must
feel that it is the presupposition for their own right to exist.
They must not shun the hatred of the enemies of our nationality
and our philosophy and its manifestations; they must long for
them. And among the manifestations of this hate are lies and
man who is not attacked in the Jewish newspapers, not slandered
and vilified, is no decent German and no true National Socialist.
The best yardstick for the value of his attitude, for the
sincerity of his conviction, and the force of his will is
the hostility he receives from the mortal enemy of our people.
must, over and over again, be pointed out to the adherents of
the movement and in a broader sense to the whole people that
the Jew and his newspapers always lie and that even an occasional
Ruth is only intended to cover a bigger falsification and is
therefore itself in turn a deliberate untruth. The Jew is the
great master in lying, and lies and deception are his weapons
Jewish slander and every Jewish lie is a scar of honor on the
body of our warriors.
man they have most reviled stands closest to us and the man
they hate worst is our best friend.
who picks up a Jewish newspaper in the morning and does not
see himself slandered in it has not made profitable use of
the previous day; for if he had, he would be persecuted, reviled,
slandered, abused} befouled. And only the man who combats
this mortal enemy of our nation and of all Aryan humanity
and culture most effectively may expect to see the slanders
of this race and the struggle of this people directed against
these principles enter the flesh and blood of our supporters,
the movement will become unshakable and invincible.
The movement must promote respect for personality by all means;
it must never forget that in personal worth lies the worth
of everything human; that every idea and every achievement
is the result of one man's creative force and that the admiration
of greatness constitutes, not only a tribute of thanks to
the latter, but casts a unifying bond around the grateful.
cannot be replaced; especially when it embodies not the mechanical
but the cultural and creative element. No more than a famous
master can be replaced and another take over the completion
of the half-finished painting he has left behind can the great
poet and thinker, the great statesman and the great soldier,
be replaced. For their activity lies always in the province
of art. It is not mechanically trained, but inborn by God's
greatest revolutionary changes and achievements of this earth
its greatest cultural accomplishments the immortal deeds in
the field of statesmanship, etc., are forever inseparably
bound up with a name and are represented by it. To renounce
doing homage to a great spirit means the loss of an immense
strength which emanates from the names of all great men and
Jew knows this best of all. He, whose great men are only great
in the destruction of humanity and its culture, makes sure
that they are idolatrously admired. He attempts only to represent
the admiration of the nations for their own spirits as unworthy
and brands it as a 'personality cult.'
soon as a people becomes so cowardly that it succumbs to this
Jewish arrogance and effrontery, it renounces the mightiest
power that it possesses; for this is based, not on respect
for the masses, but on the veneration of genius and on uplift
and enlightenment by his example.
human hearts break and human souls despair, then from the twilight
of the past the great conquerors of distress and care, of disgrace
and misery, of spiritual slavery and physical compulsion, look
down on them and hold out their eternal hands to the despairing
to the people that is ashamed to take them!
the first period of our movement's development we suffered
from nothing so much as from the insignificance, the unknownness
of our names, which in themselves made our success questionable.
The hardest thing in this first period, when often only six,
seven, or eight heads met together to use the words of an
opponent, was to arouse and preserve in this tiny circle faith
in the mighty future of the movement.
that six or seven men, all nameless poor devils, had joined
together with the intention of forming a movement hoping to
succeed - where the powerful great mass parties had hitherto
failed - in restoring a German Reich of greater power and glory.
If people had attacked us in those days, yes, even if they
had laughed at us, in both cases we should have been happy.
For the oppressive thing was neither the one nor the other;
it was the complete lack of attention we found in those days.
I entered the circle of these few men, there could be no question
of a party or a movement. I have already described my impressions
regarding my first meeting with this little formation. In
the weeks that followed, I had time and occasion to study
this so-called 'party' which at first looked so impossible.
And, by God the picture was depressing and discouraging. There
was nothing here, really positively nothing. The name of a
party whose committee constituted practically the whole membership,
which, whether we liked it or not, was exactly what it was
trying to combat, a parliament on a small scale. Here, too,
the vote ruled; if big parliaments yelled their throats hoarse
for months at a time, it was about important problems at least,
but in this little circle the answer to a safely arrived letter
let loose an interminable argument!
public, of course, knew nothing at all about this. Not a soul
in Munich knew the party even by name, except for its few
supporters and their few friends.
Wednesday a so-called committee meeting took place in a Munich
café, and once a week an evening lecture. Since the whole membership
of the 'movement' was at first represented in the committee,
the faces of course were always the same. Now the task was at
last to burst the bonds of the small circle, to win new supporters,
but above all to make the name of the movement known at any
this we used the following technique:
month, and later every two weeks, we tried to hold a 'meeting.'
The invitations to it were written on the typewriter or sometimes
by hand on slips of paper and the first few times were distributed,
or handed out, by us personally. Each one of us turned to
the circle of his friends, and tried to induce someone or
other to attend one of these affairs.
result was miserable.
still remember how I myself in this first period once distributed
about eighty of these slips of paper, and how in the evening
we sat waiting for the masses who were expected to appear.
hour late, the 'chairman' finally had to open the 'meeting.'
We were again seven men, the old seven.
changed over to having the invitation slips written on a machine
and mimeographed in a Munich stationery store. The result
at the next meeting was a few more listeners. Thus the number
rose slowly from eleven to thirteen, finally to seventeen,
to twenty-three, to thirty-four listeners.
little collections among us poor devils the funds were raised
with which at last to advertise the meeting by notices in the
then independent Münchener Beobachter in Munich. And
this time the success was positively amazing. We had organized
the meeting in the Munich Hofbräuhauskeller (not to be confused
with the Munich Hofbräuhaus-Festsaal), a little room with a
capacity of barely one hundred and thirty people. To me personally
the room seemed like a big hall and each of us was worried whether
we would succeed in filling this 'mighty' edifice with people.
seven o'clock one hundred and eleven people were present and
the meeting was opened.
Munich professor made the main speech, and I, for the first
time, in public, was to speak second.
the eyes of Herr Harrer, then first chairman of the party,
the affair seemed a great adventure. This gentleman, who was
certainly otherwise honest, just happened to be convinced
that I might be capable of doing certain things, but not of
speaking. And even in the time that followed he could not
be dissuaded from this opinion. "
turned out differently. In this first meeting that could be
called public I had been granted twenty minutes' speaking
spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply felt
within me, without in any way knowing it, was now proved by
reality: I could speak After thirty minutes the people in the
small room were electrified and the enthusiasm was first expressed
by the fact that my appeal to the self-sacrifice of those present
led to the donation of three hundred marks. This relieved us
of a great worry. For at this time the financial stringency
was so great that we were not even in a position to have slogans
printed for the movement, or even distribute leaflets. Now the
foundation was laid for a little fund from which at least our
barest needs and most urgent necessities could be defrayed.
But in another respect as well, the success of this first larger
meeting was considerable.
At that time I had begun to bring a number of fresh young forces
into the committee. During my many years in the army I had come
to know a great number of faithful comrades who now slowly,
on the basis of my persuasion, began to enter the movement.
They were all energetic young people, accustomed to discipline,
and from their period of service raised in the principle: nothing
at all is impossible, everything can be done if you only want
necessary such a transfusion of new blood was, I myself could
recognize after only a few weeks of collaboration.
Harrer, then first chairman of the party, was really a journalist
and as such he was certainly widely educated. But for a party
leader he had one exceedingly serious drawback: he was no speaker
for the masses. As scrupulously conscientious and precise as
his work in itself was, it nevertheless lacked - perhaps because
of this very lack of a great oratorical gift - the great sweep.
Herr Drexler, then chairman of the Munich local group, was a
simple worker, likewise not very significant as a speaker, and
moreover he was no soldier. He had not served in the army, even
during the War he had not been a soldier, so that feeble and
uncertain as he was in his whole nature, he lacked the only
schooling which was capable of turning uncertain and soft natures
into men. Thus both men were not made of stuff which would have
enabled them not only to bear in their hearts fanatical faith
in the victory of a movement, but also with indomitable energy
and will, and if necessary with brutal ruthlessness, to sweep
aside any obstacles which might stand in the path of the rising
new idea. For this only beings were fitted in whom spirit and
body had acquired those military virtues which can perhaps best
be described as follows: swift as greyhounds, tough as leather,
and hard as Krupp steel.
that time I myself was still a soldier. My exterior and interior
had been whetted and hardened for well-nigh six years, so that
at first I must have seemed strange in this circle. I, too,
had forgotten how to say: 'that's impossible,' or 'it won't
work'; 'we can't risk that,' 'that is too dangerous,' etc.
of course the business was dangerous. Little attention as the
Reds paid to one of your bourgeois gossip clubs whose inner
innocence and hence harmlessness for themselves they knew better
than its own members, they were determined to use every means
to get rid of a movement which did seem dangerous to them. Their
most effective method in such cases has at all times been terror
the year 1920, in many regions of Germany, a national meeting
that dared to address its appeal to the broad masses and publicly
invite attendance was simply impossible. The participants
in such a meeting were dispersed and driven away with bleeding
heads. Such an accomplishment, to be sure, did not require
much skill: for after all the biggest so-called bourgeois
mass meeting would scatter at the sight of a dozen Communists
like hares running from a hound.
loathsome to the Marxist deceivers of the people was inevitably
a movement whose explicit aim was the winning of those masses
which had hitherto stood exclusively in the service of the international
Marxist Jewish stock exchange parties. The very name of 'German
Workers' Party' had the effect of goading them. Thus one could
easily imagine that on the first suitable occasion the conflict
would begin with the Marxist inciters who were then still drunk
the small circle that the movement then was a certain fear
of such a fight prevailed. The members wanted to appear in
public as little as possible, for fear of being beaten up.
In their mind's eye they already saw the first great meeting
smashed and go the movement finished for good. I had a hard
time putting forward my opinion that we must not dodge this
struggle, but prepare for it, and for this reason acquire
the armament which alone offers protection against violence.
Terror is not broken by the mind, but by terror. The success
of the first meeting strengthened my position in this respect.
We gained courage for a second meeting on a somewhat larger
October, 1919, the second, larger meeting took place in the
Eberlbräukeller. Topic: Brest-Litovsk and Versailles. Four gentlemen
appeared as speakers. I myself spoke for almost an hour and
the success was greater than at the first rally. The audience
had risen to more than one hundred and thirty. An attempted
disturbance was at once nipped in the bud by my comrades. The
disturbers flew down the stairs with gashed heads.
weeks later another meeting took place in the same hall. The
attendance had risen to over one hundred and seventy and the
room was well filled. I had spoken again, and again the success
was greater than at the previous meeting.
pressed for a larger hall. At length we found one at the other
end of town in the 'Deutsches Reich' on Dachauer Strasse. The
first meeting in the new hall was not so well attended as the
previous one: barely one hundred and forty persons. In the committee,
hopes began to sink and the eternal doubters felt that the excessive
repetition of our 'demonstrations' had to be considered the
cause of the bad attendance. There were violent arguments in
which I upheld the view that a city of seven hundred thousand
inhabitants could stand not one meeting every two weeks, but
ten every week, that we must not let ourselves be misled by
failures, that the road we had taken was the right one, and
that sooner or later, with steady perseverance, success was
bound to come. All in all, this whole period of winter 1919-20
was a single struggle to strengthen confidence in the victorious
might of the young movement and raise it to that fanaticism
of faith which can move mountains.
next meeting in the same hall showed me to be right. The attendance
had risen to over two hundred; the public as well as financial
success was brilliant.
urged immediate preparations for another meeting. It took
place barely two weeks later and the audience rose to over
two hundred and seventy heads.
weeks later, for the seventh time, we called together the
supporters and friends of the new movement and the same hall
could barely hold the people who had grown to over four hundred.
was at this time that the young movement received its inner
form. In the small circle there were sometimes more or less
violent disputes. Various quarters - then as today - carped at
designating the young movement as a party. In such a conception
I have always seen proof of the critics' practical incompetence
and intellectual smallness. They were and always are the men
who cannot distinguish externals from essentials, and who
try to estimate the value of a movement according to the most
bombastic-sounding titles, most of which, sad to say, the
vocabulary of our forefathers must provide.
was hard, at that time, to make it clear to people that every
movement, as long as it has not achieved the victory of its
ideas, hence its goal, is a party even if it assumes a thousand
any man wants to put into practical effect a bold idea whose
realization seems useful in the interests of his fellow men,
he will first of all have to seek supporters who are ready
to fight for his intentions. And if this intention consists
only in destroying the existing parties, of ending the fragmentation,
the exponents of this view and propagators of this determination
are themselves a party, as long as this goal has not been
achieved. It is hair-splitting and shadow-boxing when some
antiquated folkish theoretician, whose practical successes
stand in inverse proportion to his wisdom, imagines that he
can change the party character which every young movement
possesses by changing this term.
anything is unfolkish, it is this tossing around of old Germanic
expressions which neither fit into the present period nor
represent anything definite, but can easily lead to seeing
the significance of a movement in its outward vocabulary.
This is a real menace which today can be observed on countless
then, and also in the period that followed, I had to warn again
and again against those deutschvölkisch wandering scholars
whose positive accomplishment is always practically nil, but
whose conceit can scarcely be excelled. The young movement had
and still has to guard itself against an influx of people whose
sole recommendation for the most part lies in their declaration
that they have fought for thirty and even forty years for the
same idea. Anyone who fights for forty years for a so-called
idea without being able to bring about even the slightest success,
in fact, without having prevented the victory of the opposite,
has, with forty years of activity, provided proof of his own
incapacity. The danger above all lies in the fact that such
natures do not want to fit into the movement as links, but keep
shooting off their mouths about leading circles in which alone,
on the strength of their age-old activity, they can see a suitable
place for further activity. But woe betide if a young movement
is surrended to the mercies of such people. No more than a business
man who in forty years of activity has steadily run a big business
into the ground is fitted to be the founder of a new one, is
a folkish Methuselah, who in exactly the same time has gummed
up and petrified a great idea, fit for the leadership of a new,
only a fragment of all these people come into the new movement
to serve it, but in most cases, under its protection or through
the possibilities it offers, to warm over their old cabbage
do not want to benefit the idea of the new doctrine, they
only expect it to give them a chance to make humanity miserable
with their own ideas. For what kind of ideas they often are,
it is hard to tell.
characteristic thing about these people is that they rave
about old Germanic heroism, about dim prehistory, stone axes
spear and shield, but in reality are the greatest cowards
that can be imagined. For the same people who brandish scholarly
imitations of old German tin swords, and wear a dressed bearskin
with bull's horns over their bearded heads, preach for the
present nothing but struggle with spiritual weapons, and run
away as fast as they can from every Communist blackjack. Posterity
will have little occasion to glorify their own heroic existence
in a new epic.
came to know these people too well not to feel the profoundest
disgust at their miserable play-acting. But they make a ridiculous
impression on the broad masses, and the Jew has every reason
to spare these folkish comedians, even to prefer them to the
true fighters for a coming German state. With all this, these
people are boundlessly conceited; despite all the proofs of
their complete incompetence, they claim to know everything better
and become a real plague for all straightforward and honest
fighters to whom heroism seems worth honoring, not only in the
past, but who also endeavor to give posterity a similar picture
by their own actions.
often it can be distinguished only with difficulty which of
these people act out of inner stupidity or incompetence and
which only pretend to for certain reasons. Especially with the
so-called religious reformers on an old Germanic basis, I always
have the feeling that they were sent by those powers which do
not want the resurrection of our people. For their whole activity
leads the people away from the common struggle against the common
enemy, the Jew, and instead lets them waste their strength on
inner religious squabbles as senseless as they are disastrous.
For these very reasons the establishment of a strong central
power implying the unconditional authority of a leadership is
necessary in the movement. By it alone can such ruinous elements
be squelched. And for this reason the greatest enemies of a
uniform, strictly led and conducted movement are to be found
in the circles of these folkish wandering Jews. In the movement
they hate the power that checks their mischief.
for nothing did the young movement establish a definite program
in which it did not use the word 'folkish.' The concept folkish,
in view of its conceptual boundlessness, is no possible basis
for a movement and offers no standard for membership in one.
The more indefinable this concept is in practice, the more
and broader interpretations it permits, the greater becomes
the possibility of invoking its authority. The insertion of
such an indefinable and variously interpretable concept into
the political struggle leads to the destruction of any strict
fighting solidarity, since the latter does not permit leaving
to the individual the definition of his faith and will.
it is disgraceful to see all the people who run around today
with the word 'folkish' on their caps and how many have their
own interpretation of this concept. A Bavarian professor by
the name of Bayer, a famous fighter with spiritual weapons,
rich in equally spiritual marches on Berlin, thinks that the
concept folkish consists only in a monarchistic attitude. This
learned mind, however, has thus far forgotten to give a closer
explanation of the identity of our German monarchs of the past
with the folkish opinion of today. And I fear that in this the
gentleman would not easily succeed. For anything less folkish
than most of the Germanic monarchic state formations can hardly
be imagined. If this were not so, they would never have disappeared,
or their disappearance would offer proof of the unsoundness
of the folkish outlook.
so everyone shoots off his mouth about this concept as he
happens to understand it. As a basis for a movement of political
struggle, such a multiplicity of opinions is out of the question.
shall not even speak of the unworldliness of these folkish Saint
Johns of the twentieth century or their ignorance of the popular
soul. It is sufficiently illustrated by the ridicule with which
they are treated by the Left, which lets them talk and laughs
in this world who does not succeed in being hated by his adversaries
does not seem to me to be worth much as a friend. And thus the
friendship of these people for our young movement was not only
worthless, but solely and always harmful, and it was also the
main reason why, first of all, we chose the name of 'party'
- we had grounds for hoping that by this alone a whole swarm
of these folkish sleepwalkers would be frightened away from
us - and why in the second place we termed ourselves National
Socialist German Workers' Party.
first expression kept away the antiquity enthusiasts, the
big-mouths and superficial proverb-makers of the so-called
folkish idea,' and the second freed us from the entire host
of knights of the 'spiritual sword,' all the poor wretches
who wield the 'spiritual weapon' as a protecting shield to
hide their actual cowardice.
goes without saying that in the following period we were attacked
hardest especially by these last, not actively, of course,
but only with the pen, just as you would expect from such
folkish goose-quills. For them our principle, 'Against those
who attack us with force we will defend ourselves with force,'
had something terrifying about it. They persistently reproached
us, not only with brutal worship of the blackjack, but with
lack of spirit as such. The fact that in a public meeting
a Demosthenes can be brought to silence if only fifty idiots,
supported by their voices and their fists, refuse to let him
speak, makes no impression whatever on such a quack. His inborn
cowardice never lets him get into such danger. For he does
not work 'noisily' and 'obtrusively,' but in 'silence.'
today r cannot warn our young movement enough against falling
into the net of these so-called 'silent workers.' They are not
only cowards, but they are also always incompetents and do-nothings.
A man who knows a thing, who is aware of a given danger, and
sees the possibility of a remedy with his own eyes, has the
duty and obligation, by God, not to work 'silently,' but to
stand up before the whole public against the evil and for its
cure. If he does not do so, he is a disloyal, miserable weakling
who fails either from cowardice or from laziness and inability.
To be sure, this does not apply at all to most of these people,
for they know absolutely nothing, but behave as though they
knew God knows what; they can do nothing but try to swindle
the whole world with their tricks; they are lazy, but with the
'silent' work they claim to do, they arouse the impression of
an enormous and conscientious activity; in short, they are swindlers,
political crooks who hate the honest work of others. As soon
as one of these folkish moths praises the darkness of silence,
we can bet a thousand to one that by it he produces nothing,
but steals, steals from the fruits of other people's work.
top all this, there is the arrogance and conceited effrontery
with which this lazy, light-shunning rabble fall upon the work
of others, trying to criticize it from above, thus in reality
aiding the mortal enemies of our nationality.
last agitator who possesses the courage to stand on a tavern
table among his adversaries, to defend his opinions with manly
forthrightness, does more than a thousand of these lying, treacherous
sneaks. He will surely be able to convert one man or another
and win him for the movement. It will be possible to examine
his achievement and establish the effect of his activity by
its results. Only the cowardly swindlers who praise their 'silent'
work and thus wrap themselves in the protective cloak of a despicable
anonymity, are good for nothing and may in the truest sense
of the word be considered drones in the resurrection of our
the beginning of 1920, I urged the holding of the first great
mass meeting. Differences of opinion arose. A few leading party
members regarded the affair as premature and hence disastrous
in effect. The Red press had begun to concern itself with us
and we were fortunate enough gradually to achieve its hatred.
We had begun to speak in the discussions at other meetings.
Of course, each of us was at once shouted down. There was, however,
some success. People got to know us and proportionately as their
knowledge of us deepened, the aversion and rage against us grew.
And thus we were entitled to hope that in our first great mass
meeting we would be visited by a good many of our friends from
the Red camp.
too, realized that there was great probability of the meeting
being broken up. But the struggle had to be carried through,
if not now, a few months later. It was entirely in our power
to make the movement eternal on the very first day by blindly
and ruthlessly fighting for it. I knew above all the mentality
of the adherents of the Red side far too well, not to know
that resistance to the utmost not only makes the biggest impression,
but also wins supporters. And so we just had to be resolved
to put up this resistance.
Harrer, then first chairman of the party, felt he could not
support my views with regard to the time chosen and consequently,
being an honest, upright man, he withdrew from the leadership
of the party. His place was taken by Herr Anton Drexler. I had
reserved for myself the organization of propaganda and began
ruthlessly to carry it out.
so, the date of February 4, 1920, was set for the holding of
this first great mass meeting of the still unknown movement.
personally conducted the preparations. They were very brief.
Altogether the whole apparatus was adjusted to make lightning
decisions. Its aim was to enable us to take a position on
current questions in the form of mass meetings within twenty-four
hours. They were to be announced by posters and leaflets whose
content was determined according to those guiding principles
which in rough outlines I have set down in my treatise on
propaganda. Effect on the broad masses, concentration on a
few points, constant repetition of the same, self-assured
and self-reliant framing of the text in the forms of an apodictic
statement, greatest perseverance in distribution and patience
in awaiting the effect.
principle, the color red was chosen; it is the most exciting;
we knew it would infuriate and provoke our adversaries the
most and thus bring us to their attention and memory whether
they liked it or not.
the following period the inner fraternization in Bavaria between
the Marxists and the Center as a political party was most
clearly shown in the concern with which the ruling Bavarian
People's Party tried to weaken the effect of our posters on
the Red working masses and later to prohibit them. If the
police found no other way to proceed against them, 'considerations
of traffic' had to do the trick, till finally, to please the
inner, silent Red ally, these posters, which had given back
hundreds of thousands of workers, incited and seduced by internationalism,
to their German nationality, were forbidden entirely with
the helping hand of a so-called German National People's Party.
As an appendix and example to our young movement, I am adding
a number of these proclamations. They come from a period embracing
nearly three years; they can best illustrate the mighty struggle
which the young movement fought at this time. They will also
bear witness to posterity of the will and honesty of our convictions
and the despotism of the so-called national authorities in
prohibiting, just because they personally found it uncomfortable,
a nationalization which would have won back broad masses of
will also help to destroy the opinion that there had been a
national government as such in Bavaria and also document for
posterity the fact that the national Bavaria of 1919, 1920,
1921 1922, 1923 was not forsooth the result of a national government,
but that the government was merely forced to take consideration
of a people that was gradually feeling national.
governments themselves did everything to eliminate this process
of recovery and to make it impossible.
only two men must be excluded:
Pöhner, the police president at that time, and Chief
Deputy Frick, his faithful advisor, were the only higher
state officials who even then had the courage to be first Germans
and then officials. Ernst Pöhner was the only man in a
responsible post who did not curry favor with the masses, but
felt responsible to his nationality and was ready to risk and
sacrifice everything, even if necessary his personal existence,
for the resurrection of the German people whom he loved above
all things. And for this reason he was always a troublesome
thorn in the eyes of those venal officials the law of whose
actions was prescribed, not by the interest of their people
and the necessary uprising for its freedom, but by the boss's
orders, without regard for the welfare of the national trust
confided in them.
above all he was one of those natures who, contrasting with
most of the guardians of our so-called state authority, do not
fear the enmity of traitors to the people and the nation, but
long for it as for a treasure which a decent man must take for
granted. The hatred of Jews and Marxists, their whole campaign
of lies and slander, were for him the sole happiness amid the
misery of our people.
man of granite honesty, of antique simplicity and German straightforwardness,
for whom the words 'Sooner dead than a slave' were no phrase
but the essence of his whole being.
and his collaborator, Dr. Frick, are in my eyes the only men
in a state position who possess the right to be called co-creators
of a national Bavaria.
we proceeded to hold our first mass meeting, not only did
the necessary propaganda material have to be made ready, but
the main points of the program also had to be put into print.
the second volume I shall thoroughly develop the guiding principles
which we had in mind, particularly in framing the program.
Here I shall only state that it was done, not only to give
the young movement form and content, but to make its aims
understandable to the broad masses.
of the so-called intelligentsia have mocked and ridiculed
this and attempted to criticize it. But the soundness of our
point of view at that time has been shown by the effectiveness
of this program.
these years I have seen dozens of new movements arise and they
have all vanished and evaporated without trace. A single one
remains: The National Socialist German Workers' Party. And today
more than ever I harbor the conviction that people can combat
it, that they can attempt to paralyze it, that petty party ministers
can forbid us to speak and write, but that they will never prevent
the victory of our ideas.
not even memory will reveal the names of the entire present-day
state conception and its advocates, the fundamentals of the
National Socialist program will be the foundations of a coming
four months' activities at meetings up to January, 1920, had
slowly enabled us to save up the small means that we needed
for printing our first leaflet, our first poster, and our
I take the movement's first large mass meeting as the conclusion
of this volume, it is because by it the party burst the narrow
bonds of a small club and for the first time exerted a determining
influence on the mightiest factor of our time, public opinion.
myself at that time had but one concern: Will the hall be filled,
or will we speak to a yawning hall? I had the unshakable l inner
conviction that if the people came, the day was sure to be a
great success for the young movement. And so I anxiously looked
forward to that evening.
meeting was to be opened at 7:30. At 7:15 I entered the Festsaal
of the Hofbräuhaus on the Platzl in Munich, and my heart
nearly burst for joy. The gigantic hall - for at that time it
still seemed to me gigantic - was overcrowded with people, shoulder
to shoulder, a mass numbering almost two thousand people. And
above all - those people to whom we wanted to appeal had come.
Far more than half the hall seemed to be occupied by Communists
and Independents. They had resolved that our first demonstration
would come to a speedy end.
it turned out differently. After the first speaker had finished,
I took the floor. A few minutes later there was a hail of
shouts, there were violent dashes in the hall, a handful of
the most faithful war comrades and other supporters battled
with the disturbers, and only little by little were able to
was able to go on speaking. After half an hour the applause
slowly began to drown out the screaming and shouting.
now took up the program and began to explain it for the first
minute to minute the interruptions were increasingly drowned
out by shouts of applause. And when I finally submitted the
twenty-five theses, point for point, to the masses and asked
them personally to pronounce judgment on them, one after another
was accepted with steadily mounting joy, unanimously and again
unanimously, and when the last thesis had found its way to
the heart of the masses, there stood before me a hall full
of people united by a new conviction, a new faith, a new will.
after nearly four hours the hall began to empty and the crowd,
shoulder to shoulder, began to move, shove, press toward the
exit like a slow stream, I knew that now the principles of a
movement which could no longer be forgotten were moving out
among the German people.
fire was kindled from whose flame one day the sword must come
which would regain freedom for the Germanic Siegfried and life
for the German nation.
side by side with the coming resurrection, I sensed that the
goddess of inexorable vengeance for the perjured deed of November
9, 1919, was striding forth.
slowly the hall emptied.
movement took its course.