Two: The National Socialist
RIGHT OF EMERGENCY DEFENCE
ARMISTICE of November, 1918, ushered in a policy which in all
human probability was bound to lead gradually to total submission.
Historical examples of a similar nature show that nations which
lay down their arms without compelling reasons prefer in the
ensuing period to accept the greatest humiliations and extortions
rather than attempt to change their fate by a renewed appeal
is humanly understandable. A shrewd victor will, if possible,
always present his demands to the vanquished in installments.
And then, with a nation that has lost its character - and this
is the case of every one which voluntarily submits - he can
be sure that it will not regard one more of these individual
oppressions as an adequate reason for taking up arms again.
The more extortions are willingly accepted in this way, the
more unjustified it strikes people finally to take up the defensive
against a new, apparently isolated, though constantly recurring"
oppression, especially when, all in all, so much more and greater
misfortune has already been borne in patient silence.
fall of Carthage is the most horrible picture of such a slow
execution of a people through its own deserts.
is why Clausewitz in his Drei Bekenntnisse incomparably
singles out this idea and nails it fast for all time, when he
the stain of a cowardly submission can never be effaced; that
this drop of poison in the blood of a people is passed on to
posterity and will paralyze and undermine the strength of later
generations'; that, on the other hand, 'even the loss of this
freedom after a bloody and honorable struggle assures the rebirth
of a people and is the seed of life from which some day a new
tree will strike fast roots.'
course, a people that has lost all honor and character will
not concern itself with such teachings. For no one who takes
them to heart can sink so low; only he who forgets them, or
no longer wants to know them, collapses. Therefore, we must
not expect those who embody a spineless submission suddenly
to look into their hearts and, on the basis of reason and all
human experience, begin to act differently than before. On the
contrary, it is these men in particular who will dismiss all
such teachings until either the nation is definitely accustomed
to its yoke of slavery or until better forces push to the surface,
to wrest the power from the hands of the infamous spoilers.
In the first case these people usually do not feel so badly,
since not seldom they are appointed by the shrewd victors to
the office of slave overseer, which these spineless natures
usually wield more mercilessly over their people than any foreign
beast put in by the enemy himself.
development since 1918 shows us that in Germany the hope of
winning the victor's favor by voluntary submission unfortunately
determines the political opinions and the actions of the broad
masses in the most catastrophic way. I attach special importance
to emphasizing the broad masses, because I cannot bring
myself to profess the belief that the commissions and omissions
of our people's leaders are attributable to the same
ruinous lunacy. As the leadership of our destinies has, since
the end of the War, been quite openly furnished by Jews, we
really cannot assume that faulty knowledge alone is the cause
of our misfortune; we must, on the contrary, hold the conviction
that conscious purpose is destroying our nation. And once we
examine the apparent madness of our nation's leadership in the
field of foreign affairs from this standpoint, it is revealed
as the subtlest, ice-cold logic, in the service of the Jewish
idea and struggle for world conquest.
thus, it becomes understandable that the same time-span, which
from 1806 to 1813 sufficed to imbue a totally collapsed Prussia
with new vital energy and determination for struggle, today
has not only elapsed unused, but, on the contrary, has led to
an ever-greater weakening of our state.
years after November, 1918, the Treaty of Locarno was signed.
course of events was that indicated above: Once the disgraceful
armistice had been signed, neither the energy nor the courage
could be summoned suddenly to oppose resistance to our foes'
repressive measures, which subsequently were repeated over and
over. Our enemies were too shrewd to demand too much at once.
They always limit their extortions to the amount which, in their
opinion - and that of the German leadership - would at the moment
be bearable enough so that an explosion or popular feeling need
not be feared. But the more of these individual dictates had
been signed, the less justified it seemed, because of a single
additional extortion or exacted humiliation, to do the thing
that had not been done because of so many others: to offer resistance.
For this is the 'drop of poison' of which Clausewitz speaks:
the spinelessness which once begun must increase more and more
and which gradually becomes the foulest heritage, burdening
every future decision. It can become a terrible lead weight,
a weight which a nation is not likely to shake off, but which
finally drags it down into the existence of a slave race.
in Germany edicts of disarmament alternated with edicts of enslavement,
political emasculation with economic pillage, and finally created
that moral spirit which can regard the Dawes Plan as a stroke
of good fortune and the Treaty of Locarno as a success. Viewing
all this from a higher vantage-point, we can speak of one single
piece of good fortune in all this misery, which is that, though
men can be befuddled, the heavens cannot be bribed. For their
blessing remained absent: since then hardship and care have
been the constant companions of our people, and our one faithful
ally has been misery. Destiny made no exception in this case,
but gave us what we deserved. Since we no longer know how to
value honor, it teaches us at least to appreciate freedom in
the matter of bread. By now people have learned to cry out for
bread, but one of these days they will pray for freedom.
as was the collapse of our nation in the years after 1918, and
obvious at that very time, every man who dared prophesy even
then what later always materialized was violently and resolutely
persecuted. Wretched and bad as the leaders of our nation were,
they were equally arrogant, and especially when it came to ridding
themselves of undesired, because unpleasant, prophets. We were
treated to the spectacle (as we still are today!) of the greatest
parliamentary thick-heads, regular saddlers and glovemakers
- and not only by profession, which in itself means nothing
- suddenly setting themselves on the pedestal of statesmen,
from which they could lecture down at plain ordinary mortals.
It had and has nothing to do with the case that such a 'statesman'
by the sixth month of his activity is shown up as the most incompetent
windbag, the butt of everyone's ridicule and contempt, that
he doesn't know which way to turn and has provided unmistakable
proof of his total incapacity! No, that makes no difference,
on the contrary: the more lacking the parliamentary statesmen
of this Republic are in real accomplishment, the more furiously
they persecute those who expect accomplishments from them, who
have the audacity to point out the failure of their previous
activity and predict the failure of their future moves. But
if once you finally pin down one of these parliamentary honorables,
and this political showman really cannot deny the collapse of
his whole activity and its results any longer, they find thousands
and thousands of grounds for excusing their lack of success,
and there is only one that they will not admit, namely, that
they themselves are the main cause of all evil.
the winter of 1922-23, at the latest, it should have been generally
understood that even after the conclusion of peace France was
still endeavoring with iron logic to achieve the wet aim she
had originally had in mind. For no one will be likely to believe
that France poured out the blood of her people - never too rich
to begin with - for four and a half years in the most decisive
struggle of her history, only to have the damage previously
done made good by subsequent reparations. Even Alsace-Lorraine
in itself would not explain the energy with which the French
carried on the War, if it had not been a part of French foreign
policy's really great political program for the future. And
this goal is: the dissolution of Germany into a hodge-podge
of little states. That is what chauvinistic France fought for,
though at the same time in reality it sold its people as mercenaries
to the international world Jew.
French war aim would have been attainable by the War alone if,
as Paris had first hoped, the struggle had taken place on German
soil. Suppose that the bloody battles of the World War had been
fought, not on the Somme, in Flanders, in Artois, before Warsaw,
Nijni-Novgorod, Kovno, Riga, and all the other places, but in
Germany, on the Ruhr and the Main, on the Elbe, at Hanover,
Leipzig, Nuremberg, etc., and you will have to agree that this
would have offered a possibility of breaking up Germany. It
is very questionable whether our young federative state could
for four and a half years have survived the same test of strain
as rigidly centralized France, oriented solely toward her uncontested
center in Paris. The fact that this gigantic struggle of nations
occurred outside the borders of our fatherland was not only
to the immortal credit of the old army, it was also the greatest
good fortune for the German future. It is my firm and heartfelt
conviction, and sometimes almost a source of anguish to me,
that otherwise there would long since have been no German Reich,
but only 'German states.' And this is the sole reason why the
blood of our fallen friends and brothers has at least not flowed
entirely in vain.
everything turned out differently! True, Germany collapsed like
a flash in November, 1918. But when the catastrophe occurred
in the homeland, our field armies were still deep in enemy territory.
The first concern of France at that time was not the dissolution
of Germany, but: How shall we get the German armies out of France
and Belgium as quickly as possible? And so the first task of
the heads of state in Paris for concluding the World War was
to disarm the German armies and if possible drive them back
to Germany at once; and only after that could they devote themselves
to the fulfillment of their real and original war aim. In this
respect, to be sure, France was already paralyzed. For England
the War had really been victoriously concluded with the annihilation
of Germany as a colonial and commercial power and her reduction
to the rank of a second-class state. Not only did the English
possess no interest in the total extermination of the German
state; they even had every reason to desire a rival against
France in Europe for the future. Hence the French political
leaders had to continue with determined peacetime labor what
the War had begun, and Clemenceau's utterance, that for him
the peace was only the continuation of the War, took on an increased
on every conceivable occasion, they had to shatter the structure
of the Reich. By the imposition of one disarmament note after
another, on the one hand, and by the economic extortion thus
made possible, on the other hand, Paris hoped slowly to disjoint
the Reich structure. The more rapidly national honor withered
away in Germany, the sooner could economic pressure and unending
poverty lead to destructive political effects. Such a policy
of political repression and economic plunder, carried on for
ten or twenty years, must gradually ruin even the best state
structure and under certain circumstances dissolve it. And thereby
the French war aim would finally be achieved.
the winter of 1922-23 this must long since have been recognized
as the French intent. Only two possibilities remained: We might
hope gradually to blunt the French will against the tenacity
of the German nation, or at long last to do what would have
to be done in the end anyway, to pull the helm of the Reich
ship about on some particularly crass occasion, and ram the
enemy. This, to be sure, meant a life-and-death struggle, and
there existed a prospect of life only if previously we succeeded
in isolating France to such a degree that this second war would
not again constitute a struggle of Germany against the world,
but a defense of Germany against a France which was constantly
disturbing the world and its peace.
emphasize the fact, and I am firmly convinced of it, that this
second eventuality must and will some day occur, whatever happens.
I never believe that France's intentions toward us could ever
change, for in the last analysis they are merely in line with
the self-preservation of the French nation. If I were a Frenchman,
and if the greatness of France were as dear to me as that of
Germany is sacred, I could not and would not act any differently
from Clemenceau. The French nation, slowly dying out, not only
with regard to population, but particularly with regard to its
best racial elements, can in the long run retain its position
in the world only if Germany is shattered. French policy may
pursue a thousand detours; somewhere in the end there will be
this goal, the fulfillment of ultimate desires and deepest longing.
And it is false to believe that a purely passive will,
desiring only to preserve itself, can for any length of time
resist a will that is no less powerful, but proceeds actively.
As long as the eternal conflict between Germany and France
is carried on only in the form of a German defense against French
aggression, it will never be decided, but from year to year,
from century to century, Germany will lose one position after
another. Follow the movements of the German language frontier
beginning with the twelfth century until today, and you will
hardly be able to count on the success of an attitude and a
development which has done us so much damage up till now.
when this is fully understood in Germany, so that the vital
will of the German nation is no longer allowed to languish in
purely passive defense, but is pulled together for a final active
reckoning with France and thrown into a last decisive struggle
with the greatest ultimate aims on the German side - only then
will we be able to end the eternal and essentially so fruitless
struggle between ourselves and France; presupposing, of course,
that Germany actually regards the destruction of France as only
a means which will afterward enable her finally to give our
people the expansion made possible elsewhere. Today we count
eighty million Germans in Europe! This foreign policy will be
acknowledged as correct only if, after scarcely a hundred years,
there are two hundred and fifty million Germans on this continent,
and not living penned in as factory coolies for the rest of
the world, but: as peasants and workers, who guarantee each
other's livelihood by their labor.
December, 1922, the situation between Germany and France again
seemed menacingly exacerbated. France was contemplating immense
new extortions, and needed pledges for them. The economic pillage
had to be preceded by a political pressure and it seemed to
the French that only a violent blow at the nerve center of our
entire German life would enable them to subject our 'recalcitrant'
people to a sharper yoke. With the occupation of the Ruhr,
the French hoped not only to break the moral backbone of Germany
once and for all, but to put us into an embarrassing economic
situation in which, whether we liked it or not, we would have
to assume every obligation, even the heaviest.
was a question of bending and breaking. Germany bent at the
very outset, and ended up by breaking completely later.
the occupation of the Ruhr, Fate once again held out a hand
to help the German people rise again. For what at the first
moment could not but seem a great misfortune embraced on closer
inspection an infinitely promising opportunity to terminate
all German misery.
the standpoint of foreign relations, the occupation of the Ruhr
for the first time really alienated England basically from France,
and not only in the circles of British diplomacy which had concluded,
examined, and maintained the French alliance as such only with
the sober eye of cold calculators, but also in the broadest
circles of the English people. The English economy in particular
viewed with ill-concealed displeasure this new and incredible
strengthening of French continental power. For not only that
France, from the purely politico-military point of view, now
assumed a position in Europe such as previously not even Germany
had possessed, but, economically as well, she now obtained economic
foundations which almost combined a position of economic monopoly
with her capacity for political competition. The largest iron
mines and coal fields in Europe were thus united in the hands
of a nation which, in sharp contrast to Germany, had always
defended its vital interests with equal determination and activism,
and which in the Great War had freshly reminded the whole world
of its military reliability. With the occupation of the Ruhr
coal fields by France, England's entire gain through the War
was wrested from her hands, and the victor was no longer British
diplomacy so industrious and alert, but Marshal Foch and the
France he represented.
Italy, too, the mood against France, which, since the end of
the War, had been by no means rosy to begin with, shifted to
a veritable hatred. It was the great, historical moment in which
the allies of former days could become the enemies of tomorrow.
If things turned out differently and the allies did not' as
in the second Balkan War, suddenly break into a sudden feud
among themselves, this was attributable only to the circumstance
that Germany simply had no Enver Pasha, but a Reich Chancellor
not only from the standpoint of foreign policy, but of domestic
policy as well, the French assault on the Ruhr held great future
potentialities for Germany. A considerable part of our people
which, thanks to the incessant influence of our lying press,
still regarded France as the champion of progress and liberalism,
was abruptly cured of this lunatic delusion. Just as the year
1914 had dispelled the dreams of international solidarity between
peoples from the heads of our German workers and led them suddenly
back into the world of eternal struggle, throughout which one
being feeds on another and the death of the weaker means the
life of the stronger, the spring of 1923 did likewise.
the Frenchman carried out his threats and finally though at
first cautiously and hesitantly, began to move into the lower
German coal district, a great decisive hour of destiny hat struck
for Germany. If in this moment our people combined a change
of heart with a shift in their previous attitude, the Ruhr could
become a Napoleonic Moscow for France. There were only two
possibilities: Either we stood for this new offense and did
nothing, or, directing the eyes of the German people to this
land or glowing smelters and smoky furnaces, we inspired them
with a glowing will to end this eternal disgrace and rather
take upon themselves the terrors of the moment than bear an
endless terror one moment longer.
have discovered a third way was the immortal distinction of
Reich Chancellor Cuno, to have admired it and gone along, the
still more glorious distinction of our German bourgeois parties.
I shall first examine the second course as briefly as possible.
the occupation of the Ruhr, France had accomplished a conspicuous
breach of the Versailles Treaty. In so doing, she had also put
herself in conflict with a number of signatory powers, and especially
with England and Italy. France could no longer hope for any
support on the part of these states for her own selfish campaign
of plunder. She herself, therefore, had to bring the adventure
- and that is what it was at first - to some happy conclusion.
For a national German government there could be but a single
course, that which honor prescribed. It was certain that for
the present France could not be opposed by active force of arms;
but we had to realize clearly that any negotiations, unless
backed by power, would be absurd and fruitless. Without the
possibility of active resistance, it was absurd to adopt the
standpoint 'We shall enter into no negotiations'; but it was
even more senseless to end by entering into negotiations after
all, without having meanwhile equipped ourselves with power.
that we could have prevented the occupation of the Ruhr by military
measures. Only a madman could have advised such a decision.
But utilizing the impression made by this French action and
while it was being carried out, what we absolutely should have
done was, without regard for the Treaty of Versailles which
France herself had torn up, to secure the military resources
with which we could later have equipped our negotiators. For
it was clear from the start that one day the question of this
territory occupied by France would be settled at some conference
table. But we had to be equally clear on the fact that even
the best negotiators can achieve little success, as long as
the ground on which they stand and the chair on which they sit
is not the shield arm of their nation. A feeble little tailor
cannot argue with athletes, and a defenseless negotiator has
always suffered the sword of Brennus on the opposing side of
the scale, unless he had his own to throw in as a counterweight.
Or has it not been miserable to watch the comic-opera negotiations
which since 1918 have always preceded the repeated dictates?
This degrading spectacle presented to the whole world, first
inviting us to the conference table, as though in mockery, then
presenting us with decisions and programs prepared long before,
which, to be sure, could be discussed, but which from the start
could only be regarded as unalterable. It is true that our negotiators,
in hardly a single case, rose above the most humble average,
and for the most part justified only too well the insolent utterance
of Lloyd George, who contemptuously remarked, à propos
of former Reich Minister Simon, 'that the Germans didn't know
how to choose men of intelligence as their leaders and representatives.'
But even geniuses, in view of the enemy's determined will to
power and the miserable defenselessness of our own people in
every respect, would have achieved but little.
anyone who in the spring of 1923 wanted to make France's occupation
of the Ruhr an occasion for reviving our military implements
of power had first to give the nation its spiritual weapons,
strengthen its will power, and destroy the corrupters of this
most precious national strength.
as in 1918 we paid with our blood for the fact that in 1914
and 1915 we did not proceed to trample the head of the Marxist
serpent once and for all, we would have to pay most catastrophically
if in the spring of 1923 we did not avail ourselves of the opportunity
to halt the activity of the Marxist traitors and murderers of
the nation for good.
idea of real resistance to France was utter nonsense if we did
not declare war against those forces which five years before
had broken German resistance on the battlefields from within.
Only bourgeois minds can arrive at the incredible opinion that
Marxism might now have changed, and that the scoundrelly leaders
of 1918, who then coldly trampled two million dead underfoot,
the better to climb into the various seats of government, now
in 1923 were suddenly ready to render their tribute to the national
conscience. An incredible and really insane idea, the hope that
the traitors of former days would suddenly turn into fighters
for a German freedom. It never entered their heads. No more
than a hyena abandons carrion does a Marxist abandon treason.
And don't annoy me, if you please, with the stupidest of all
arguments, that, after all, so many workers bled for Germany.
German workers, yes, but then they were no longer international
Marxists. If in 1914 the German working class in their innermost
convictions had still consisted of Marxists, the War would have
been over in three weeks. Germany would have collapsed even
before the first soldier set foot across the border. No, the
fact that the German people was then still fighting proved that
the Marxist delusion had not yet been able to gnaw its way into
the bottommost depths. But in exact proportion as, in the course
of the War, the German worker and the German soldier fell back
into the hands of the Marxist leaders, in exactly that proportion
he was lost to the fatherland. If at the beginning of the War
and during the War twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew
corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas, as
happened to hundreds of thousands of our very best German workers
in the field, the sacrifice of millions at the front would not
have been in vain. On the contrary: twelve thousand scoundrels
eliminated in time might have saved the lives of a million real
Germans, valuable for the future. But it just happened to be
in the line of bourgeois 'statesmanship' to subject millions
to a bloody end on the battlefield without batting an eyelash,
but to regard ten or twelve thousand traitors, profiteers, usurers,
and swindlers as a sacred national treasure and openly proclaim
their inviolability. We never know which is greater in this
bourgeois world, the imbecility weakness, and cowardice, or
their deep-dyed corruption. It is truly a class doomed by Fate,
but unfortunately, however, it is dragging a whole nation with
it into the abyss.
in 1923 we faced exactly the same situation as in 1918. Regardless
what type of resistance was decided on, the first requirement
was always the elimination of the Marxist poison from our national
body. And in my opinion, it was then the very first task of
a truly national government to seek and find the forces which
were resolved to declare a war of annihilation on Marxism, and
then to give these forces a free road; it was their duty not
to worship the idiocy of 'law and order' at a moment when the
enemy without was administering the most annihilating blow to
the fatherland and at home treason lurked on every street corner.
No, at that time a really national government should have desired
disorder and unrest, provided only that amid the confusion a
basic reckoning with Marxism at last became possible and actually
took place. If this were not done, any thought of resistance,
regardless of what type, was pure madness.
a reckoning of real world-historical import, it must be admitted,
does not follow the schedules of a privy councilor or some dried-up
old minister, but the eternal laws of life on this earth, which
are the struggle for this life and which remain struggle. It
should have been borne in mind that the bloodiest civil wars
have often given rise to a steeled and healthy people, while
artificially cultivated states of peace have more than once
produced a rottenness that stank to high Heaven. You do not
alter the destinies of nations in kid gloves. And so, in the
year 1923, the most brutal thrust was required to seize the
vipers that were devouring our people. Only if this were successful
did the preparation of active resistance have meaning.
that time I often talked my throat hoarse, attempting to make
it clear, at least to the so-called national circles, what was
now at stake, and that, if we made the same blunders as in 1914
and the years that followed, the end would inevitably be the
same as in 1918. Again and again, I begged them to give free
rein to Fate, and to give our movement an opportunity for a
reckoning with Marxism; but I preached to deaf ears. They all
knew better, including the chief of the armed forces, until
at length they faced the most wretched capitulation of all time.
I realized in my innermost soul that the German bourgeoisie
was at the end of its mission and is destined for no further
mission. Then I saw how all these parties continued to bicker
with the Marxists only out of competitors' envy, without any
serious desire to annihilate them; at heart they had all of
them long since reconciled themselves to the destruction of
the fatherland and what moved them was only grave concern that
they themselves should be able to partake in the funeral feast.
That is all they were still 'fighting' for.
this period - I openly admit - I conceived the profoundest admiration
for the great man south of the Alps, who, full of ardent love
for his people, made no pacts with the enemies of Italy, but
strove for their annihilation by all ways and means. What will
rank Mussolini among the great men of this earth is his determination
not to share Italy with the Marxists, but to destroy internationalism
and save the fatherland from it.
miserable and dwarfish our German would-be statesmen seem by
comparison, and how one gags with disgust when these nonentities,
with boorish arrogance, dare to criticize this man who is a
thousand times greater than they; and how painful it is to think
that this is happening in a land which barely half a century
ago could call a Bismarck its leader.
view of this attitude on the part of the bourgeoisie and the
policy of leaving the Marxists untouched, the fate of any active
resistance in 1923 was decided in advance. To fight France with
the deadly enemy in our own ranks would have been sheer idiocy.
What was done after that could at most be shadow-boxing, staged
to satisfy the nationalistic element in Germany in some measure,
or in reality to dupe the 'seething soul of the people.' If
they had seriously believed in what they were doing, they would
have had to recognize that the strength of a nation lies primarily,
not in its weapons, but in its will, and that, before foreign
enemies are conquered, the enemy within must be annihilated;
otherwise God help us if victory does not reward our arms on
the very first day. Once so much as the shadow of a defeat grazes
a people that is not free of internal enemies, its force of
resistance will break and the foe will be the final victor.
could be predicted as early as February, 1923. Let no one mention
the questionableness of a military success against France! For
if the result of the German action in the face of the invasion
of the Ruhr had only been the destruction of Marxism at home,
by that fact alone success would have been on our side. A Germany
saved from these mortal enemies of her existence and her future
would possess forces which the whole world could no longer have
stilled. On the day when Marxism is smashed in Germany, her
fetters will in truth be broken forever. For never in our
history have we been defeated by the strength of our foes, but
always by our own vices and by the enemies in our own camp.
the leaders of the German state could not summon up the courage
for such a heroic deed, logically they could only have chosen
the first course, that of doing nothing at all and letting things
in the great hour Heaven sent the German people a great man,
Herr von Cuno. He was not really a statesman or a politician
by profession, and of course still less by birth; he was a kind
of political hack, who was needed only for the performance of
certain definite jobs; otherwise he was really more adept at
business. A curse for Germany, because this businessman in politics
regarded politics as an economic enterprise and acted accordingly.
has occupied the Ruhr; what is in the Ruhr? Coal. Therefore,
France has occupied the Ruhr on account of the coal.' What was
more natural for Herr Cuno than the idea of striking in order
that the French should get no coal, whereupon, in the opinion
of Herr Cuno, they would one day evacuate the Ruhr when the
enterprise proved unprofitable. Such, more or less, was this
'eminent' national' 'statesman,' who in Stuttgart and elsewhere
was allowed to address his people, and whom the people
gaped at in blissful admiration.
for a strike, of course, the Marxists were needed, for it was
primarily the workers who would have to strike. Therefore,
it was necessary to bring the worker (and in the brain of one
of these bourgeois statesman he is always synonymous with the
Marxist) into a united front with all the other Germans. The
way these moldy political party cheeses glowed at the sound
of such a brilliant slogan was something to behold! Not only
a product of genius, it was national at the same time - there
at last they had what at heart they had been seeking the whole
while. The bridge to Marxism had been found, and the national
swindler was enabled to put on a Teutonic face and mouth German
phrases while holding out a friendly hand to the international
traitor. And the traitor seized it with the utmost alacrity.
For just as Cuno needed the Marxist leaders for his 'united
front,' the Marxist leaders were just as urgently in need
of Cuno's money. So it was a help to both parties. Cuno obtained
his united front, formed of national windbags and anti-national
scoundrels, and the international swindlers received state funds
to carry out the supreme mission of their struggle - that is,
to destroy the national economy, and this time actually at the
expense of the state. An immortal idea, to save the nation by
buying a general strike; in any case a slogan in which even
the most indifferent good-for-nothing could join with full enthusiasm.
is generally known that a nation cannot be made free by prayers.
But maybe one could be made free by sitting with folded arms,
and that had to be historically tested. If at that time Herr
Cuno, instead of proclaiming his subsidized general strike and
setting it up as the foundation of the 'united front,' had only
demanded two more hours of work from every German, the 'united
front' swindle would have shown itself up on the third day.
Peoples are not freed by doing nothing, but by sacrifices.
be sure, this so-called passive resistance as such could not
be maintained for long. For only a man totally ignorant of warfare
could imagine that occupying armies can be frightened away by
such ridiculous means. And that alone could have been the sense
of an action the costs of which ran into billions and which
materially helped to shatter the national currency to its very
course, the French could make themselves at home in the Ruhr
with a certain sense of inner relief as soon as they saw the
resisters employing such methods. They had in fact obtained
from us the best directions for bringing a recalcitrant civilian
population to reason when its conduct represents a serious menace
to the occupation authorities. With what lightning speed, after
all, we had routed the Belgian franc-tireur bands nine
years previous and made the seriousness of the situation clear
to the civilian population when the German armies ran the risk
of incurring serious damage from their activity. As soon as
the passive resistance in the Ruhr had grown really dangerous
to the French, it would have been child's play for the troops
of occupation to put a cruel end to the whole childish mischief
in less than a week. For the ultimate question is always this:
What do we do if the passive resistance ends by really getting
on an adversary's nerves and he takes up the struggle against
it with brutal strong-arm methods? Are we then resolved to offer
further resistance? If so, we must for better or worse invite
the gravest, bloodiest persecutions. But then we stand exactly
where active resistance would put us - face to face with struggle.
Hence any so-called passive resistance has an inner meaning
only if it is backed by determination to continue it if necessary
in open struggle or in undercover guerrilla warfare. In general,
any such struggle will depend on a conviction that success is
possible. As soon as a besieged fortress under heavy attack
by the enemy is forced to abandon the last hope of relief, for
all practical purposes it gives up the fight, especially when
in such a case the defender is lured by the certainty of life
rather than probable death. Rob the garrison of a surrounded
fortress of faith in a possible liberation, and all the forces
of defense will abruptly collapse.
a passive resistance in the Ruhr, in view of the ultimate consequences
it could and inevitably would produce in case it were actually
successful, only had meaning if an active front were built up
behind it. Then, it is true, there is no limit to what could
have been drawn from our people. If every one of these Westphalians
had known that the homeland was setting up an army of eighty
or a hundred divisions, the Frenchmen would have found it thorny
going. There are always more courageous men willing to sacrifice
themselves for success than for something that is obviously
was a classical case which forced us National Socialists to
take the sharpest position against a so-called national slogan.
And so we did. In these months I was attacked no little by men
whose whole national attitude was nothing but a mixture of stupidity
and outward sham, all of whom joined in the shouting only because
they were unable to resist the agreeable thrill of suddenly
being able to put on national airs without any danger. I regarded
this most lamentable of all united fronts as a most ridiculous
phenomenon, and history has proved me right.
soon as the unions had filled their treasuries with Cuno's funds,
and the passive resistance was faced with the decision of passing
from defense with folded arms to active attack, the Red hyenas
immediately bolted from the national sheep herd and became again
what they had always been. Quietly and ingloriously Herr Cuno
retreated to his ships, and Germany was richer by one experience
and poorer by one great hope.
to late midsummer many officers, and they were assuredly not
the worst, had at heart not believed in such a disgraceful development.
They had all hoped that, if not openly, in secret at least,
preparations had been undertaken to make this insolent French
assault a turning point in German history. Even in our ranks
there were many who put their confidence at least in the Reichswehr.
And this conviction was so alive that it decisively determined
the actions and particularly the training of innumerable young
when the disgraceful collapse occurred and the crushing, disgraceful
capitulation followed, the sacrifice of billions of marks and
thousands of young Germans - who had been stupid enough to take
the promises of the Reich's leaders seriously - indignation
flared into a blaze against such a betrayal of our unfortunate
people. In millions of minds the conviction suddenly arose bright
and clear that only a radical elimination of the whole ruling
system could save Germany.
was the time riper, never did it cry out more imperiously for
such a solution than in the moment when, on the one hand, naked
treason shamelessly revealed itself, while, on the other hand,
a people was economically delivered to slow starvation. Since
the state itself trampled all laws of loyalty and faith underfoot,
mocked the rights of its citizens, cheated millions of its truest
sons of their sacrifices and robbed millions of others of their
last penny, it had no further right to expect anything but hatred
of its subjects. And in any event, this hatred against the spoilers
of people and fatherland was pressing toward an explosion. In
this place I can only point to the final sentence of my last
speech in the great trial of spring, 1924:
judges of this state may go right ahead and convict us for our
actions at that time, but History, acting as the goddess of
a higher truth and a higher justice, will one day smilingly
tear up this verdict, acquitting us of all guilt and blame.'
then she will call all those before her judgment seat, who today,
in possession of power, trample justice and law underfoot, who
have led our people into misery and ruin and amid the misfortune
of the fatherland have valued their own ego above the life of
this place I shall not continue with an account of those events
which led to and brought about the 8th of November, 1923. I
shall not do so because in so doing I see no promise for the
future, and because above all it is useless to reopen wounds
that seem scarcely healed; moreover, because it is useless to
speak of guilt regarding men who in the bottom of their hearts,
perhaps, were all devoted to their nation with equal love, and
who only missed or failed to understand the common road.
view of the great common misfortune of our fatherland, I today
no longer wish to wound and thus perhaps alienate those who
one day in the future will have to form the great united front
of those who are really true Germans at heart against the common
front of the enemies of our people. For I know that some day
the time will come when even those who then faced us with hostility,
will think with veneration of those who traveled the bitter
road of death for their German people.
wish at the end of the second volume to remind the supporters
and champions of our doctrine of those eighteen heroes, to whom
I have dedicated the first volume of my work, those heroes who
sacrificed themselves for us all with the clearest consciousness.
They must forever recall the wavering and the weak to the fulfillment
of his duty, a duty which they themselves in the best faith
carried to its final consequence. And among them I want also
to count that man, one of the best, who devoted his life to
the awakening of his, our people, in his writings and his thoughts
and finally in his deeds:
HERE TO DISCUSS THIS BOOK