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7 The Rise of Nazism Many extreme racist-nationalist and paramilitary organizations sprang up in postwar Germany. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), a veteran of World War I, joined one of these organizations, which became known as the National Socialist Ger- man Worker's Party (commonly called the Nazi party). Hitler's uncanny insight into the state of mind of postwar Germans, along with his extraordinary orator- ical gifts, enabled him to gain control of the party. Had it not been for the Great Depression that began in late 1929, the National Socialists might have re mained a relatively small and insignificant party, a minor irritant outside the mainstream of German politics. In 1928 the Nazis had 810,000 votes; in 1930, during the Depression, their share of votes soared to 6,400,000. To many Ger- mans, the Depression was final evidence that the Weimar Republic had failed. Adolf Hitler MEIN KAMPF In the “Beer Hall Putsch” of November 1923, Hitler attempted to overthrow the state government in Bavaria as the first step in bringing down the Weimar 362 Part Three Western Civilization in Crisis Republic. But the Nazis quickly scattered when the Bavarian police opened fire. Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years' imprisonment-he served only nine months. While in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle) 1925-1926), in which he presented his views. The book came to be regarded as an authoritative expression of the Nazi world-view and served as a kind of sa cred writing for the Nazi movement. Hitler's thought-a patchwork of nineteenth-century anti-Semitic, Volkish, Social Darwinist, and anti-Marxist ideas-contrasted sharply with the core val- ues of both the Judeo-Christian and the Enlightenment traditions. Central to Hitler's world-view was racial mythology: a heroic Germanic race that was de- scended from the ancient Aryans, who once swept across Europe, and was bat tling for survival against racial inferiors. In the following passages excerpted from Mein Kampf, Hitler presents his views of race, of propaganda, and of National Socialist territorial goals THE PRIMACY OF RACE To promote such a development means no Nature does not want a pairing of weaker indi- less than committing sin against the will of the viduals with stronger ones; it wants even less a eternal creator. . . mating of a higher race with a weaker one Otherwise its routine labors of promoting a ence, technology, invention-is the creative higher breed lasting perhaps over hundreds of product of only a few people, and perhaps orig thousands of years would be wiped out. History offers much evidence for this proc- pends upon them. If they perish, the beauties ess. It proves with terrifying clarity that any of the earth will be buried. .. genetic mixture of Aryan blood with people of a lower quality undermines the culturally su cause the original creative race was destroyed perior people. The population of North Amer- by the poisoning of its blood. ica consists to a large extent of Germanic elements, which have mixed very little with ple forgot that all cultures depend on human inferior people of color. Central and South beings. In order to preserve a given culture it is America shows a different humanity and cul- necessary to preserve the human beings who ture; here Latin immigrants mixed with the created it. Cultural preservation in this world aborigines, sometimes on a large scale. This ex- is tied to the iron law of necessity and the right ample alone allows a clear recognition of the to victory of the stronger and better… effects of racial mixtures. Remaining racially pure the Germans of North America rose to be into founders of culture, bearers of culture, and masters of their continent; they will remain destroyers of culture, the Aryan would un masters as long as they do not defile their doubtedly rate first. He established the foun blood The result of mixing races in short is: a) low- ering the cultural level of the higher race; ering of racial cohesion is the sole reason why b) physical and spiritual retrogression and cultures perish. People do not perish by defeat thus the beginning of a slow but progressive in war, but by losing the power of resistance decline Everything that we admire on earth-sci inally of only one race; our whole culture de- All great cultures of the past perished be- Such collapse always happened because peo- If we divide humanity into three categories: dations and walls of all human progress. . . . The mixing of blood and the resulting low nherent in pure blood 363 Cbapter 12 Era of Totalitarianis All that is nor pure race in this world is Jew thinks Jewish, and while he cobbies ro- chaff.. A state which in the age of racial poisoning gether some German verse, he merely expresses the mentality of his people. As long as the Jew is nor master of other peoples, he must for better or worse speak their languages. Yet as soon as the others have be- come his servants, then all should learn a uni- versal language (Esperanto for instance), so that by these means the Jews can rule more casily… For hours the blackhaired Jewish boy lies in wait, with satanic joy on his face, for the unsuspecting girl whom he disgraces with his blood and thereby robs her from her people. He tries by all means possible to destroy the racial foundations of the people he wants to subjugate But a people of pure race conscious of its blood can never be enslaved by the Jew; he re- mains forever a ruler of bastards Thus he systematically attempts to lower racial purity by racially poisoning individuals. In politics he begins to replace the idea of democracy with the idea of the dictatorship of che proletariat He found his weapon in the organized Marx ist masses, which avoid democracy and instead help him to subjugate and govern people dic- tatorially with his brutal fists Systematically he works toward a double revolution, in economics and politics. With the help of his international contacts dedicates itself to the cultivation of its best racial elements will one day become master of the world. Modern anti-Semitism was a powerful leg- acy of the Middle Ages and the unsettling changes brought about by rapid industrial ization; it was linked to racist doctrines that asserted the Jews were inherently wicked and bore dangerous racial qualities. Hitler grasped the political potential of anti-Semi tism: by concentrating all evil in one enemy, he could provide non-Jews with an emo- tionally satisfying explanation for all their misfortunes and thus manipulate and unify the German people ANTI-SEMITISM The Jew offers the most powerful contrast to the Aryan.. Despite all their seemingly intellectual qualities the Jewish people are without true culture, and especially without a culture of their own. What Jews seem to pos- sess as culture is the property of others, for the most part corrupted in their hands In judging the Jewish position in regard to human culture, we have to keep in mind their essential characteristics. There never was-and still is no-Jewish artr. The Jewish he enmeshes people who effectively resist his people made no original contribution to the attacks from within in a net of external ene two queen goddesses of all arts: architecture mies whom he incites to war, and, if necessary, and music. What they have contribured is goes on to unfurling the red flag of revolution bowdlerization or spiritual theft. Which over the battlefield. proves that Jews lack the very qualities dis tinguishing creative and culturally blessed He batters the national economies until the ruined state enterprises are privatized and sub ject to his financial control. races. . In policics he refuses to give the state the means for its self-preservation, destroys the from which inevitably follow even more lies. bases of any national self-determination and One of them refers to the language of Jews. It defense, wipes out the faith in leadership, den- is not a means of expressing their thoughts, igrates the historic past, and pulls everything The first and biggest lie of Jews is that Jew- ishness is not a matter of race but of religion, truly great into the gutter but of hiding them. While speaking French a 364 Part Tbree Western Civilization in Crisis In cultural affairs he pollutes art, literature theatre, befuddles national sentiment, subverts all concepts of beauty and grandeur, of noble- ness and goodness, and reduces people to their lowest nature. What counted most at these demonstra- tions, he said, was will power, strength, and unflagging determination radiating from the speaker to every single individual in the crowd. Religion is made ridiculous, custom and morals are declared outdated,, until the last props of national character in the battle for survival have collapsed… Thus the Jew is the big rabble-rouser for the com plete destruction of Germany. Wherever in the world we read about attacks on Germany, Jews source, just as in peace and during the war the news- papers of both the Jewish stock market and the Marxists systematically incited hatred against Germany. Country after country gave up its neu trality and joined the world war coalition in disre- gard of the true interest of the people. Jewish thinking in all this is clear. The Bol- shevization of Germany, i.e., the destruction of the German national people-oriented intelli gentsia and thereby the exploitation of Ger- man labor under the yoke of Jewish global you, in psychologically effective form, can catch finance are but the prelude for the expansion of their attention and move their hearts. .. the Jewish tendency to conquer the world. As so often in history, Germany is the turning their understanding limited; they casily forget. point in this mighty struggle. If our people For that reason all effective propaganda has to and our state become the victims of blood- PROPAGANDA AND MASS RALLIES The task of propaganda does not lie in the sci entific training of individuals, but in directing the masses toward certain facts, events, neces- sities, etc., whose significance is to be brought to their attention The essential skill consists in doing this so well that you convince people about the reality of a fact, about the necessity of an event, about the correctness of something necessary, etc… You always have to appeal to the emotions and far less to the so-called intellect. .. The art of propaganda lies in sensing the emotional temper of the broad masses, so that are the The attention span of the masses is very short, concentrate on very few points and drive them home through simple slogans, until even the simplest can grasp what you have in mind. As soon as you give up this principle and become too complex, you will lose your effectiveness, because the masses cannot digest and retain what you have offered. You thereby weaken your case and in the end lose it altogether. The larger the scope of your case, the more psychologically correct must be the method of your presentation… The task of propaganda lies not in weighing right and wrong, but in driving home your point of view. You cannot objectively ex- plore the facts that favor others and present them in doctrinaire sincerity to the masses. You have to push relentlessly your own case.. Even the most brilliant propaganda will produce the desired results unless it fol- thirsty and money-thirsty Jewish tyrants, the whole world will be enmeshed in the tenta- cles of this octopus. If, however, Germany lib- erates itself from this yoke, we can be sure that the greatest threat to all humanity has been broken…. Hitler was a master propagandist and advanced his ideas on propaganda tech- niques in Mein Kampf. He mocked the learned and book-oriented German liberals and socialists who he felt were entirely un- suited for modern mass politics. The suc- cessful leader, he said, must win over the masses through the use of simple ideas and images, constantly repeated, too control the mind by evoking primitive feelings. Hitler contended that mass meetings were the most effective means of winning followers. own not Chapter 12 Era of Totalitarianism 365 where he feels insignificant, to stration surrounded by thousands and thou- sands of like-minded fellows-when he as a a mass demon- lows this fundamental rule: You must stick to limiting yourself ro essentials and repeat them endlessly. Persistence on this point. in so many other cases in the world, is the seeker is gripped by the intoxicating surge of first and most important precondition for as enthusiasm among three or four thousand others-when the visible success and the con- success.. sensus of thousands of others prove the correct ness of his new political creed and for the first time arouse doubts about his previous political convictions-then he submits to the miracu- Propaganda does not exist to furnish inter- esting diversions to blasé young dandies, but to convince above all the masses. In their clumsiness they always require a long lead be- fore they are ready to take notice. Only by lous influence of what we call “mass sugges- thousandfold repetition will the simplest con- cepts stick in their memories. No variation of your presentation should change the content of your propaganda; you al- ways have to come to the same conclusion. You inwardly strengthened; he has become may want to highlight your slogans from vari- ous sides, but at the end you always have to reaffirm it. Only consistent and uniform prop- aganda will succeed. .. Every advertisement, whether in business politics, derives its success from its persistence and uniformity…. The mass meeting is… mecessary because an in cipient supporter of foel lonely and anxiously isolated. He needs at tbe LEBENSRAUM tion.” The will, the yearning, and also the power of thousands of fellow citizens now fill every individual. The man who full of doubts and uncertain enters such a gathering, leaves it a mem- ber of a community. Hitler was an extreme nationalist who wanted a reawakened, racially united Ger- many to expand eastward at the expense of the Slavs, whom he viewed as racially inferior. or political movement will a new of a larger community which among start a sense people produces vitality and courage. The same man as member of a military company or bat- pying a sufficiently large space on earth… . talion and surrounded by his comrades will lightheartedly join an attack than if he were all by himself. In a crowd he feels more people, it must, in painful awareness of its posi- sheltered, even if reality were a thousandfold against him The sense of community in a mass demon- hitherto guided the foreign policy of the German peo stration not only empowers the individual, but ple. It must then, without respect for “tradition” and also promotes an esprit de corps. The person prejudice, find the courage to rally the German peo- who in his business or workshop is the first to represent a new political creed is likely to be from their present cramped living space to new ter- exposed to heavy discrimination. He needs the reassurance that comes from the conviction of A people gains its freedom of existence only by accu- Ost If the National Socialist movement really wants to achieve a ballowed mission in bistory for more tion in the world, boldly and methodically fight against the aimlessness and incapacity which have ple forceful advance on the raad wbich leads to a ritories. In this manner they will be liberated from the danger of perishing or being enslaved in service being a member and a comprehensive organization. The sense of this organization comes first to him in a mass demonstration. When he for the first time goes from a petty workshop or from a large factory fighter in a large to others The National Socialist movenent must try to end the disproportion between aur numerous population and its limited living space, the source as well as tbe base of food of or pouerbetreen owr 366 Part Three Western Civilization in Crisis our present on which we live as a gift from heaven-they had to risk their lives for it-so in future we will not secure the living space for our people by divine grace, but by the might of the victo bistoric past and the hopelessness of impotence…. The demand for restoring the boundaries of 1914 is a political nonsense with consequences so huge make it appear a crime-quite apart from the fact that our S0 as to rious sword. 'pre-war boundaries were anything but logi- cal. They neither united all people of German na- tionality nor served strategic-political necessity…. In the light of this fact we National Social ists must resolutely stick to our foreign policy goals, namely to secure for the German people the territorial base to which they are entitled. This is the only goal which before God and our Ger- man posterity justifies shedding our blood… Just as our forebears did not receive the soil However much all of us recognize the neces- sity of a reckoning with France, it would re- main ineffectual if we thereby limited the scope of our foreign policy. It makes sense only if we consider it as a rear-guard action for expanding our living space elsewhere in Europe. . . If we speak today about gaining territory in Europe, we think primarily of Russia and its border states. . . .