Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Volume One - A Reckoning
Chapter IV: Munich
IN THE SPRING of 1912 I came at last to Munich.
The city itself was as familiar to me as if I had lived for years within its walls. This is accounted for by my study which at every step had led me to this metropolis of German art. Not only has one not seen Germany if one does not know Munich-no, above all, one does not know German art if one has not seen Munich.
In any case, this period before the War was the happiest and by far the most contented of my life. Even if my earnings were still extremely meager, I did not live to be able to paint, but painted only to be able to secure my livelihood or rather to enable myself to go on studying. I possessed the conviction that I should some day, in spite of all obstacles, achieve the goal I had set myself. And this alone enabled me to bear all other petty cares of daily existence lightly and without anxiety.
In addition to this, there was the heartfelt love which seized me for this city more than for any other place that I knew, almost from the first hour of my sojourn there. A German city! What a difference from Vienna! I grew sick to my stomach when I even thought back on this Babylon of races. In addition, the dialect, much closer to me, which particularly in my contacts with Lower Bavarians, reminded me of my former childhood. There were a thousand and more things which were or became inwardly dear and precious to me. But most of all I was attracted by this wonderful marriage of primordial power and fine artistic mood, this single line from the Hofbrauhaus to the Odeon, from the October Festival to the Pinakothek, etc. If today I am more attached to this city than to any other spot of earth in this world, it is partly due to the fact that it is and remains inseparably bound up with the development of my own life; if even then I achieved the happiness of a truly inward contentment, it can be attributed only to the magic which the miraculous residence of the Wittelsbachs exerts on every man who is blessed, not only with a calculating mind but with a feeling soul.
What attracted me most aside from my professional work was, here again, the study of the political events of the day, among them particularly the occurrences in the field of foreign affairs. I came to these latter indirectly through the German alliance policy which from my Austrian days I considered absolutely mistaken. However, the full extent of this self-deception on the part of the Reich had not been clear to me in Vienna. In those days I was inclined to assume-or perhaps I merely talked myself into it as an excuse-that Berlin perhaps knew how weak and unreliable the ally would be in reality, yet, for more or less mysterious reasons, held back this knowledge in order to bolster up an alliance policy which after all Bismarck himself had founded and the sudden cessation of which could not be desirable, if for no other reason lest the lurking foreigner be alarmed in any way, or the shopkeeper at home be worried.
To be sure, my associations, particularly among the people itself, soon made me see to my horror that this belief was false. To my amazement I could not help seeing everywhere that even in otherwise well-informed circles there was not the slightest glimmer of knowledge concerning the nature of the Habsburg monarchy. Particularly the common people were caught in the mad idea that the ally could be regarded as a serious power which in the hour of need would surely rise to the situation. Among the masses the monarchy was still regarded as a ' German' state on which we could count. They were of the opinion that there, too, the power could be measured by the millions as in Germany itself, and completely forgot that, in the first place: Austria had long ceased to be a German state; and in the second place: the internal conditions of this Empire were from hour to hour moving closer to disintegration.
I had come to know this state formation better than the so-called official 'diplomats,' who blindly, as almost always, rushed headlong toward catastrophe; for the mood of the people was always a mere discharge of what was funneled into public opinion from above. But the people on top made a cult of the 'ally,' as if it were the Golden Calf. They hoped to replace by cordiality what was lacking in honesty. And words were always taken for coin of the realm.
Even in Vienna I had been seized with anger when I reflected on the disparity appearing from time to time between the speeches of the official statesmen and the content of the Viennese press. And yet Vienna, in appearance at least, was still a German city. How different it was if you left Vienna, or rather German-Austria, and went to the Slavic provinces of the Empire ! You had only to take up the Prague newspapers to find out what they thought of the whole exalted hocus-pocus of the Triple Alliance. There there was nothing but bitter scorn and mockery for this 'masterpiece of statecraft.' In the midst of peace, with both emperors pressing kisses of friendship on each other's foreheads, the Czechs made no secret of the fact that this alliance would be done for on the day when an attempt should be made to translate it from the moonbeams of the Nibelungen ideal into practical reality.
What excitement seized these same people several years later when the time finally came for the alliances to show their worth and Italy leapt out of the triple pact, leaving her two comrades in the lurch, and in the end even becoming their enemy ! That anyone even for a moment should have dared to believe in the possibility of such a miracle-to wit, the mirade that Italy would fight side by side with Austria-could be nothing but incomprehensible to anyone who was not stricken with diplomatic blindness. But in Austria things were not a hair's-breadth different.
In Austria the only exponents of the alliance idea were the Habsburgs and the Germans. The Habsburgs, out of calculation and compulsion; the Germans, from good faith and political-stupidity. From good faith, for they thought that by the Triple Alliance they were performing a great service for the German Reich itself, helping to strengthen and secure it; from political stupidity, because neither did the first-mentioned occur, but on the contrary, they thereby helped to chain the Reich to the corpse of a state which would inevitably drag them both into the abyss, and above all because they themselves, solely by virtue of this alliance, fell more and more a prey to de-Germanization. For by the alliance with the Reich, the Habsburgs thought they could be secure against any interference from this side, which unfortunately was the case, and thus they were able far more easily and safely to carry through their internal policy of slowly eliminating Germanism. Not only that in view of our well-known ' objectivity' they had no need to fear any intervention on the part of the Reich government, but, by pointing to the alliance, they could also silence any embarrassing voice among the Austrian-Germans which might rise in German quarters against Slavization of an excessively disgraceful character.
For what was the German in Austria to do if the Germans of the Reich recognized and expressed confidence in the Habsburg government? Should he offer resistance and be branded by the entire German public as a traitor to his own nationality? When for decades he had been making the most enormous sacrifices precisely for his nationality!
But what value did this alliance have, once Germanism had been exterminated in the Habsburg monarchy? Wasn't the value of the Triple Alliance for Germany positively dependent on the preservation of German predominance in Austria? Or did they really believe that they could live in an alliance with a SlavicHabsburg Empire?
The attitude of official German diplomacy and of all public opinion toward the internal Austrian problem of nationalities was beyond stupidity, it was positively insane ! They banked on an alliance, made the future and security of a people of seventy millions dependent on it-and looked on while the sole basis for this alliance was from year to year, inexorably and by plan, being destroyed in the partner-nation. The day was bound to come when a ' treaty ' with Viennese diplomacy would remain, but the aid of an allied empire would be lost.
With Italy this was the case from the very beginning.
If people in Germany had only studied history a little more clearly, and gone into the psycholog of nations, they would not have been able to suppose even for an hour that the Quirinal and the Vienna Hofburg would ever stand together n a common fighting front. Sooner would Italy have turned into a volcano than a government have dared to send even a single Italian to the battlefield for the fanatically hated Habsburg state, except as an enemy. More than once in Vienna I saw outbursts of the passionate contempt and bottomless hatred with which the Italian was ' devoted ' to the Austrian state. The sins of the House of Habsburg against Italian freedom and independence in the course of the centuries was too great to be forgotten, even if the will to forget them had been present. And it was not present; neither in the people nor in the Italian government. For Italy there were therefore two possibilities for relations with Austna: either alliance or war.
By choosing the first, the Italians were able to prepare, undisturbed, for the second.
Especially since the relation of Austria to Russia had begun to drive closer and closer to a military clash, the German alliance policy was as senseless as it was dangerous.
This was a classic case, bearing witness to the absence of any broad and correct line of thinking.
Why, then, was an alliance concluded? Only in order better to guard the future of the Reich than, reduced to her own resources, she would have been in a position to do. And this future of the Reich was nothing other than the question of preserving the German people's possibility of existence.
Therefore the question could be formulated only as follows:
What form must the life of the German nation assume in the tangible future, and how can this development be provided with the necessary foundations and the required security within the framework of general European relation of forces?
A clear examination of the premises for foreign activity on the part of German statecraft inevitably led to the following conviction:
Germany has an annual increase in population of nearly nine hundred thousand souls. The difficulty of feeding this army of new citizens must grow greater from year to year and ultimately end in catastrophe, unless ways and means are found to forestall the danger of starvation and misery in time.
There were four ways of avoiding so terrible a development for the future:
1. Following the French example, the increase of births could be artificially restricted, thus meeting the problem of overpopulation
Nature herself in times of great poverty or bad climactic conditions, as well as poor harvest, intervenes to restrict the increase of population of certain countries or races; this, to be sure, by a method as wise as it is ruthless. She diminishes, not the power of procreation as such, but the conservation of the procreated, by exposing them to hard trials and deprivations with the result that all those who are less strong and less healthy are forced back into the womb of the eternal unknown. Those whom she permits to survive the inclemency of existence are a thousandfold tested hardened, and well adapted to procreate-in turn, in order that the process of thoroughgoing selection may begin again from the beginning. By thus brutally proceeding against the individual and immediately calling him back to herself as soon as he shows himself unequal to the storm of life, she keeps the race and species strong, in fact, raises them to the highest accomplishments.
At the same time the diminution of number strengthens the individual and thus in the last analysis fortifies the species.
It is different, however, when man undertakes the limitation of his number. He is not carved of the same wood, he is ' humane.' He knows better than the cruel queen of wisdom. He limits not the conservation of the individual, but procreation itself. This seems to him, who always sees himself and never the race, more human and more justified than the opposite way. Unfortunately, however, the consequences are the reverse:
While Nature, by making procreation free, yet submitting survival to a hard trial, chooses from an excess number of individuals the best as worthy of living, thus preserving them alone and in them conserving their species, man limits procreation, but is hysterically concerned that once a being is born it should be preserved at any price. This correction of the divine will seems to him as wise as it is humane, and he takes delight in having once again gotten the best of Nature and even having proved her inadequacy. The number, to be sure, has really been limited, but at the same time the value of the individual has dirninished; this, however, is something the dear little ape of the Almighty does not want to see or hear about.
For as soon as procreation as such is limited and the number of births diminished, the natural struggle for existence which leaves only the strongest and healthiest alive is obviously replaced by the obvious desire to ' save ' even the weakest and most sickly at any price, and this plants the seed of a future generation which must inevitably grow more and more deplorable the longer this mockery of Nature and her will continues.
And the end will be that such a people will some day be deprived of its existence on this earth; for man can defy the eternal laws of the will to conservation for a certain time, but sooner or later vengeance comes. A stronger race will drive out the weak, for the vital urge in its ultimate form will, time and again, burst all the absurd fetters of the so-called humanity of individuals, in order to replace it by the humanity of Nature which destroys the weak to give his place to the strong.
Therefore, anyone who wants to secure the existence of the German people by a self-limitation of its reproduction is robbing it of its future.
2. A second way would be one which today we, time and time again, see proposed and recommended: internal colonization. This is a proposal which is well meant by just as many as by most people it is misunderstood, thus doing the greatest conceivable damage that anyone can imagined
Without doubt the productivity of the soil can be increased up to a certain limit. But only up to a certain limit, and not continuously without end. For a certain time it will be possible to compensate for the increase of the German people without having to think of hunger, by increasing the productivity of our soil. But beside this, we must face the fact that our demands on life ordinarily nse even more rapidly than the number of the population Man's requirements with regard to food and clothing increase from year to year, and even now, for example, stand in no relation to the requirements of our ancestors, say a hundred years ago. It IS, therefore, insane to believe that every rise in production provides the basis for an increase in population: no; this is true only up to a certain degree, since at least a part of the increased production of the soil is spent in satisfying the increased needs of men. But even with the greatest limitation on the one hand and the utmost industry on the other, here again a limit will one day be reached, created by the soil itself. With the utmost toil it will not be possible to obtain any more from its and then, though postponed for a certain time, catastrophe again manifests itself. First, there will be hunger from time to time, when there is famine, etc. As the population increases, this will happen more and more often, so that finally it will only be absent when rare years of great abundance fill the granaries. But at length the time approaches when even then it will not be possible to satisfy men's needs, and hunger has become the eternal companion of such a people. Then Nature must help again and make a choice among those whom she has chosen for life; but again man helps himself; that is, he turns to artificial restriction of his increase with all the above-indicated dire consequences for race and species.
The objection may still be raised that this future will face the whole of humanity in any case and that consequently the individual nation can naturally not avoid this fate.
At first glance this seems perfectly correct. Yet here the following must be borne in mind:
Assuredly at a certain time the whole of humanity will be compelled, in consequence of the impossibility of making the fertility of the soil keep pace with the continuous increase in population, to halt the increase of the human race and either let Nature again decide or, by self-help if possible, create the necessary balance, though, to be sure, in a more correct way than is done today. But then this will strike all peoples, while today only those races are stricken with such suffering which no longer possess the force and strength to secure for themselves the necessary territories in this world. For as matters stand there are at the present time on this earth immense areas of unusued soil, only waiting for the men to till them. But it is equally true that Nature as such has not reserved this soil for the future possession of any particular nation or race; on the contrary, this soil exists for the people which possesses the force to take it and the industry to cultivate it.
Nature knows no political boundaries. First, she puts living creatures on this globe and watches the free play of forces. She then confers the master's right on her favorite child, the strongest in courage and industry.
When a people limits itself to internal colonization because other races are clinging fast to greater and greater surfaces of this earth, it will be forced to have recourse to self-limitation at a time when the other peoples are still continuing to increase. Some day this situation will arise, and the smaller the living space at the disposal of the people, the sooner it will happen. Since in general, unfortunately, the best nations, or, even more correctly, the only truly cultured races, the standard-bearers of all human progress, all too frequently resolve in their pacifistic blindness to renounce new acquisitions of soil and content themselves with 'internal' colonization, while the inferior races know how to secure immense living areas in this world for themselves-this would lead to the following final result:
The culturally superior, but less ruthless races, would in consequence of their limited soil, have to limit their increase at a time when the culturally inferior but more brutal and more natural t peoples, in consequence of their greater living areas, would still be in a position to increase without limit. In other words: some day the world will thus come into possession of the culturally inferior but more active men.
Then, though in a perhaps very distant future, there will be but two possibilities either the world will be governed according to the ideas of our modern democracy, and then the weight of any decision will result in favor of the numerically stronger races, or the world will be dominated in accordance with the laws of the natural order of force, and then it is the peoples of brutal will who will conquer, and consequently once again not the nation of selfrestriction.
No one can doubt that this world will some day be exposed to the severest struggles for the existence of mankind. In the end, only the urge for self-preservation can conquer. Beneath it socalled humanity, the expression of a mixture of stupidity, cowardice, and know-it-all conceit, will melt like snow in the March sun. Mankind has grown great in eternal struggle, and only in eternal peace does it perish.
For us Germans the slogan of 'inner colonization' is catastrophic, if for no other reason because it automatically reinforces us in the opinion that we have found a means which, in accordance with the pacifistic tendency, allows us ' to earn ' our right to exist by labor in a life of sweet slumbers. Once this doctrine were taken seriously in our country, it would mean the end of every exertion to preserve for ourselves the place which is our due. Once the average German became convinced that he could secure his life and future in this way, all attempts at an active, and hence alone fertile, defense of German vital necessities would be doomed to failure. In the face of such an attitude on the part of the nation any really beneficial foreign policy could be regarded as buried, and with it the future of the German people as a whole.
Taking these consequences into account, it is no accident that it is always primarily the Jew who tries and succeeds in planting such mortally dangerous modes of thought in our people. He knows his customers too well not to realize that they gratefully let themselves be swindled by any gold-brick salesman who can make them think he has found a way to play a little trick on Nature, to make the hard, inexorable struggle for existence superfluous, and instead, sometimes by work, but sometimes by plain doing nothing, depending on how things 'come out,' to become the lord of the planet.
It cannot be emphasized sharply enough that any German internal colonization must serve to eliminate social abuses particularly to withdraw the soil from widespread speculation, best can never suffice to secure the future of the nation without the acquisition of new soil.
If we do not do this, we shall in a short time have arrived, not only at the end of our soil, but also at the end of our strength.
Finally, the following must be stated:
The limitation to a definite small area of soil, inherent in internal colonization, like the same final effect obtained by restriction of procreation, leads to an exceedingly unfavorable politicomilitary situation in the nation in question.
The size of the area inhabited by a people constitutes in itself an essential factor for determining its outward security. The greater the quantity of space at the disposal of a people, the greater its natural protection; for military decisions against peoples living in a small restricted area have always been obtained more quickly and hence more easily, and in particular more effectively and completely than can, conversely, be possible against territorially extensive states. In the size of a state's territory there always lies a certain protection against frivolous attacks, since success can be achieved only after hard struggles, and therefore the risk of a rash assault will seem too great unless there are quite exceptional grounds for it. Hence the very size of a state offers in itself a basis for more easily preserving the freedom and independence of a people, while, conversely, the smallness of such a formation is a positive invitation to seizure.
Actually the two first possibilities for creating a balance between the rising population and the stationary amount of soil were rejected in the so-called national circles of the Reich. The reasons for this position were, to be sure, different from those above mentioned: government circles adopted a negative attitude toward the limitation of births out of a certain moral feeling; they indignantly rejected internal colonization because in it they scented an attack against large landholdings and therein the beginning of a wider struggle against private property in general. In view of the form in which particularly the latter panacea was put forward, they may very well have been right in this assumption.
On the whole, the defense against the broad masses was not very skillful and by no means struck at the heart of the problem.
Thus there remained but two ways of securing work and bread for the rising population.
3. Either new soil could be acquired and the superfluous millions sent off each year, thus keeping the nation on a selfsustaining basis; or we could
4. Produce for foreign needs through industry and commerce, and defray the cost of living from the proceeds.
In other words: either a territorial policy, or a colonial and commercial policy.
Both ways were contemplated, examined, recommended, and combated by different political tendencies, and the last was finally taken.
The healthier way of the two would, to be sure, have been the first.
The acquisition of new soil for the settlement of the excess population possesses an infinite number of advantages, particularly if wee turn from the present to the future.
For once thing, the possibility of preserving a healthy peasant class as a foundation for a whole nation can never be valued highly enough. Many of our present-day sufferings are only the consequence of the unhealthy relationship between rural and city population A solid stock of small and middle peasants has at all times been the best defense against social ills such as we possess today. And, moreover this is the only solution which enables a nation to earn its daily bread within the inner circuit of its economy. Industry and commerce recede from their unhealthy leading position and adjust themselves to the general framework of a national economy of balanced supply and demand. Both thus cease to be the basis of the nation's sustenance and become a mere instrument to that end. Since they now have only a balance ' Aberdeen domestic production and demand in all fields, they make the Subsistence of the people as a whole more or less independent foreign countries, and thus help to secure the freedom of the stite and the independence of the nation, particularly in difficult Periods.
It must be said that such a territorial policy cannot be fulfilled in the Cameroons, but today almost exclusively in Europe. We must, therefore, coolly and objectively adopt the standpoint that it can certainly not be the intention of Heaven to give one people fifty times as much land and soil in this world as another. In this case we must not let political boundaries obscure for us the boundaries of eternal justice. If this earth really has room for all to live in, let us be given the soil we need for our livelihood.
True, they will no t willingly do this. But then the law of selfpreservaion goes into effect; and what is refused to amicable methods, it is up to the fist to take. If our forefathers had let their decisions depend on the same pacifistic nonsense as our contemporaries, we should possess only a third of our present territory; but in that case there would scarcely be any German people for us to worry about in Europe today. No-it is to our natural determination to fight for our own existence that we owe the two Ostmarks of the Reich and hence that inner strength arising from the greatness of our state and national territory which alone has enabled us to exist up to the present.
And for another reason this would have been the correct solution
Today many European states are like pyramids stood on their heads. Their European area is absurdly small in comparison to their weight of colonies, foreign trade, etc. We may say: summit in Europe, base in the whole world; contrasting with the American Union which possesses its base in its own continent and touches the rest of the earth only with its summit. And from this comes the immense inner strength of this state and the weakness of most European colonial powers.
Nor is England any proof to the contrary, since in consideration of the British Empire we too easily forget the Anglo-Saxon world as such. The position of England, if only because of her linguistic and cultural bond with the American Union, can be compared to no other state in Europe.
For Germany, consequently, the only possibility for carrying out a healthy territorial policy lay in the acquisition of new land in Europe itself. Colonies cannot serve this purpose unless they seem in large part suited for settlement by Europeans. But in the nineteenth century such colonial territories were no longer obtainable by peaceful means. Consequently, such a colonial policy could only have been carried out by means of a hard struggle which, however, would have been carried on to much better purpose, not for territories outside of Europe, but for land on the home continent itself.
Such a decision, it is true, demands undivided devotion. It is not permissible to approach with half measures or even with hesitation a task whose execution seems possible only by the harnessing of the very last possible ounce of energy. This means that the entire political leadership of the Reich should have devoted itself to this exclusive aim; never should any step have been taken, guided by other considerations than the recognition of this task and its requirements. It was indispensable to see dearly that this aim could be achieved only by struggle, and consequently to face the contest of arms with calm and composure.
All alliances, therefore, should have been viewed exclusively from this standpoint and judged according to their possible utilization. If land was desired in Europe, it could be obtained by and large only at the expense of Russia, and this meant that the new Reich must again set itself on the march along the road of the Teutonic Knights of old, to obtain by the German sword sod for the German plow and daily bread for the nation.
For such a policy there was but one ally in Europe: England.
With England alone was it possible, our rear protected, to begin the new Germanic march. Our right to do this would have been no less than the right of our forefathers. None of our pacifists refuses to eat the bread of the East, although the first plowshare in its day bore the name of 'sword' !
Consequently, no sacrifice should have been too great for winning England's willingness. We should have renounced colonies and sea power, and spared English industry our competition.
Only an absolutely clear orientation could lead to such a goal: renunciation of world trade and colonies; renunciation of a German war fleet; concentration of all the state's instruments of power on the land army.
The result, to be sure, would have been a momentary limitation but a great and mighty future.
There was a time when England would have listened to reason on this point, since she was well aware that Germany as a result of her increased population had to seek some way out and either find it with England in Europe or without England in the world.
And it can primarily be attributed to this realization if at the turn of the century London itself attempted to approach Germany. For the first time a thing became evident which in the last years we have had occasion to observe in a truly terrifying fashion. People were unpleasantly affected by the thought of having to pull Fngland's chestnuts out of the fire; as though there ever could be an alliance on any other basis than a mutual business deal. And with England such a deal could very well have been made. British diplomacy was still clever enough to realize that no service can be expected without a return.
Just suppose that an astute German foreign policy had taken over the role of Japan in 1904, and we can scarcely measure the consequences this would have had for Germany.
There would never have been any 'World War.'
The bloodshed in the year 1904 would have saved ten times as much in the years 1914 to 1918.
And what a position Germany would occupy in the world today!
In that light, to be sure, the alliance with Austria was an absurdity.
For this mummy of a state allied itself with Germany, not in order to fight a war to its end, but for the preservation of an eternal peace which could astutely be used for the slow but certain extermination of Germanism in the monarchy.
This alliance was an impossibility for another reason: because we could not expect a state to take the offensive in championing national German interests as long as this state did not possess the power and determination to put an end to the process of de-Germanization on its own immediate borders. If Germany did not possess enough national awareness and ruthless determination to snatch power over the destinies of ten million national comrades from the hands of the impossible Habsburg state, then truly we had no right to expect that she would ever lend her hand to such farseeing and bold plans. The attitude of the old Reich on the Austrian question was the touchstone of its conduct in the struggle for the destiny of the whole nation.
In any case we were not justified in looking on, as year after year Germanism was increasingly repressed, since the value of Aushia's fitness for alliance was determined exclusively by the preservation of the German element.
This road, however, was not taken at all.
These people feared nothing so much as struggle, yet they were finally forced into it at the most unfavorable hour.
They wanted to run away from destiny, and it caught up with them. They dreamed of preserving world peace, and landed in the World War.
And this was the most significant reason why this third way of molding the German future was not even considered. They knew that the acquisition of new soil was possible only in the East, they saw the struggle that would be necessary and yet wanted peace at any price; for the watchword of German foreign policy had long ceased to be: preservation of the German nation by all methods; but rather: preservation of world peace by all means. With what success, everyone knows.
I shall return to this point in particular.
Thus there remained the fourth possibility
Industry and world trade, sea power and colonies.
Such a development, to be sure, was at first easier and also more quickly attainable. The settlement of land is a slow process, often lasting centuries; in fact, its inner strength is to be sought precisely in the fact that it is not a sudden blaze, but a gradual yet solid and continuous growth, contrasting with an industrial development which can be blown up in the course of a few years, but in that case is more like a soapbubble than solid strength. A fieet, to be sure, can be built more quickly than farms can be established in stubborn struggle and settled with peasants, but it is also more rapidly destroyed than the latter.
If, nevertheless, Germany took this road, she should at least have clearly recognized that this development would some day likewise end in struggle. Only children could have thought that they could get their bananas in the 'peaceful contest of nations,' by friendly and moral conduct and constant emphasis on their peaceful intentions, as they so high-soundingly and unctuously babbled; in other words, without ever having to take up arms. No: if we chose this road, England would some day inevitably become our enemy. It was more than senseless-but quite in keeping with our own innocence-to wax indignant over the fact that England should one day take the liberty to oppose our peaceful activity with the brutality of a violent egoist.
It is true that we, I am sorry to say, would never have done such a thing.
If a European territorial policy was only possible against Russia in alliance with England, conversely, a policy of colonies and world trade was conceivable only against England and with Russia. But then we had dauntlessly to draw the consequences- and, above all, abandon Austria in all haste.
Viewed from all angles, this alliance with Austria was real madness by the turn of the century.
But we did not think of concluding an alliance with Russia against England, any more than with England against Russia, for in both cases the end would have been war, and to prevent this we decided in favor of a policy of commerce and industry. In the 'peaceful economic ' conquest of the world we possessed a recipe which was expected to break the neck of the former policy of violence once and for all.l Occasionally, perhaps, we were not quite sure of ourselves, particularly when from time to time incomprehensible threats came over from England; therefore, we decided to build a fleet, though not to attack and destroy England, but for the 'defense' of our old friend 'world peace' and 'peaceful ' conquest of the world. Consequently, it was kept on a somewhat more modest scale in all respects, not only in number but also in the tonnage of the individual ships as well as in armament, so as in the final analysis to let our 'peaceful' intentions shine through after all.
The talk about the 'peaceful economic' conquest of the world was possibly the greatest nonsense which has ever been exalted to be a guiding principle of state policy. What made this nonsense even worse was that its proponents did not hesitate to call upon England as a crown witness for the possibility of such an achievement. The crimes of our academic doctrine and conception of history in this connection can scarcely be made good and are only a striking proof of how many people there are who 'learn' history without understanding or even comprehending it. England, in particular, should have been recognized as the striking refutation of this theory; for no people has ever with greater brutality better prepared its economic conquests with the sword, and later ruthlessly defended theme than the English nation. Is it not positively the distinguishing feature of British statesmanship to draw economic acquisitions from political strength, and at once to recast every gain in economic strength into political power? And what an error to believe that England is personally too much of a coward to stake her own blood for her economic policy! The fact that the English people possessed no 'people's army' in no way proved the contrary; for what matters is not the momentary military form of the fighting forces, but rather the will and determination to risk those which do exist. England has always possessed whatever armament she happened to need. She always fought with the weapons which success demanded. She fought with mercenaries as long as mercenaries sufficed; but she reached down into the precious blood of the whole nation when only such a sacrifice could bring victory; but the determination for victory, the tenacity and ruthless pursuit of this struggle, remained unchanged.
In Germany, however, the school, the press, and comic magazines cultivated a conception of the Englishman's character, and almost more so of his empire, which inevitably led to one of the most insidious delusions; for gradually everyone was infected by this nonsense, and the consequence was an underestimation for which we would have to pay most bitterly. This falsification went so deep that people became convinced that in the Englishman they faced a business man as shrewd as personally he was unbelievably cowardly. The fact that a world empire the size of the British could not be put together by mere subterfuge and swindling was unfortunately something that never even occurred to our exalted professors of academic science. The few who raised a voice of warning were ignored or killed by silence. I remember well my comrades' looks of astonishment when we faced the Tommies in person in Flanders. After the very first days of battle the conviction dawned on each and every one of them that these Scotsmen did not exactly jibe with the pictures they had seen fit to give us in the comic magazines and press dispatches.
It was then that I began my first reflections about the importance of the form of propaganda.
This falsification, however, did have one good side for those who spread it: by this example, even though it was incorrect, they were able to demonstrate the correctness of the economic conquest of the world. If the Englishman had succeeded, we too were bound to succeed, and our definitely greater honesty, the absence in us of that specifically English 'perfidy,' was regarded as a very special plus. For it was hoped that this would enable us to win the affection, particularly of the smaller nations, and the confidence of the large ones the more easily.
It did not occur to us that our honesty was a profound horror to the others, if for no other reason because we ourselves believed all these things seriously while the rest of the world regarded such behavior as the expression of a special slyness and disingenuousness, until, to their great, infinite amazement, the revolution gave them a deeper insight into the boundless stupidity of our honest convictions.
However, the absurdity of this 'economic conquest' at once made the absurdity of the Triple Alliance clear and comprehensible. For with what other state could we ally ourselves? In alliance with Austria, to be sure, we could not undertake any military conquest, even in Europe alone. Precisely therein consisted the inner weakness of the alliance from the very first day. A Bismarck could permit himself this makeshift, but not by a long shot every bungling successor, least of all at a time when certain essential premises of Bismarck's alliance had long ceased to exist; for Bismarck still believed that in Austria he had to do with a German state. But with the gradual introduction of universal suffrage, this country had sunk to the status of an unGerman hodgepodge with a parliamentary government.
Also from the standpoint of racial policy, the alliance with Austria was simply ruinous. It meant tolerating the growth of a new Slavic power on the borders of the Reich, a power which sooner or later would have to take an entirely different attitude toward Germany than, for example, Russia. And from year to year the alliance itself was bound to grow inwardly hollower and weaker in proportion as the sole supporters of this idea in the monarchy lost influence and were shoved out of the most decisive positions.
By the turn of the century the alliance with Austria had entered the very same stage as Austria's pact with Italy.
Here again there were only two possibilities: either we were in a pact with the Habsburg monarchy or we had to lodge protest against the repression of Germanism. But once a power embarks on this kind of undertaking, it usually ends in open struggle.
Even psychologically the value of the Triple Alliance was small, since the stability of an alliance increases in proportion as the individual contracting parties can hope to achieve definite and tangible expansive aims. And, conversely, it will be the weaker the more it limits itself to the preservation of an existing condition. Here, as everywhere else, strength lies not in defense but in attack.
Even then this was recognized in various quarters, unfortunately not by the so-called 'authorities.' Particularly Ludendorff, then a colonel and officer in the great general staff, pointed to these weaknesses in a memorial written in 1912. Of course, none of the 'statesmen' attached any value or significance to the matter; for clear common sense is expected to manifest itself expediently only in common mortals, but may on principle remain absent where 'diplomats' are concenned.
For Germany it was sheer good fortune that in 1914 the war broke out indirectly through Austria, so that the Habsburgs were forced to take part; for if it had happened the other way around Germany would have been alone. Never would the Habsburg state have been able, let alone willing, to take part in a confiict which would have arisen through Germany. What we later so condemned in Italy would then have happened even earlier with Austria: they would have remained 'neutral' in order at least to save the state from a revolution at the very start. Austrian Slavdom would rather have shattered the monarchy even in 1914 than permit aid to Germany.
How great were the dangers and difficulties entailed by the alliance with the Danubian monarchy, only very few realized a' that time.
In the first place, Austria possessed too many enemies who were planning to grab what they could from the rotten state to prevent a certain hatred from arising in the course of time against Germany, in whom they saw the cause of preventing the generally hoped and longed-for collapse of the monarchy. They came to the conviction that Vienna could finally be reached only by a detour through Berlin.
In the second place, Germany thus lost her best and most hopeful possibilities of alliance. They were replaced by an evermounting tension with Russia and even Italy. For in Rome the general mood was just as pro-German as it was antiAustrian, slumbering in the heart of the very last Italian and often brightly flanng up.
Now, since we had thrown ourselves into a policy of commerce and industry, there was no longer the slightest ground for war against Russia either. Only the enemies of both nations could still have an active interest in it. And actually these were primarily the Jews and the Marxists, who, with every means, incited and agitated for war between the two states.
Thirdly and lastly, this alliance inevitably involved an infinite peril for Germany, because a great power actually hostile to Bismarck's Reich could at any time easily succeed in mobilizing a whole series of states against Germany, since it was in a position to promise each of them enrichment at the expense of our Austrian ally.
The whole East of Europe could be stirred up against the Danubian monarchy-particularly Russia and Italy. Never would the world coalition which had been forming since the initiating efforts of King Edward have come into existence if Austria as Germany's ally had not represented too tempting a legacy. This alone made it possible to bring states with otherwise so heterogeneous desires and aims into a single offensive front. Each one could hope that in case of a general action against Germany it, too, would achieve enrichment at Austria's expense. The danger was enormously increased by the fact that Turkey seemed to be a silent partner in this unfortunate alliance.
International Jewish world finance needed these lures to enable it to carry out its long-desired plan for destroying the Germany which thus far did not submit to its widespread superst3te control of finance and economics. Only in this way could they forge a coalition made strong and courageous by the sheer numbers of the gigantic armies now on the march and prepared to attack the horny Siegfried at last.
The alliance with the Habsburg monarchy, which even in Austria had filled me with dissatisfaction, now became the source of long inner trials which in the time to come reinforced me even more in the opinion I had already conceived.
Even then, among those few people whom I frequented I made no secret of my conviction that our catastrophic alliance with a state on the brink of ruin would also lead to a fatal collapse of Germany unless we knew enough to release ourselves from it on time. This conviction of mine was firm as a rock, and I did not falter ill it for one moment when at last the storm of the World War seemed to have excluded all reasonable thought and a frenzy of enthusiasm had seized even those quarters for which there should have been only the coldest consideration of reality. And while I myself was at the front, I put forwards whenever these problems were discussed, my opinion that the alliance had to be broken off, the quicker the better for the German nation, and that the sacrifice of the Habsburg monarchy would be no sacrifice at all to make if Germany thereby could achieve a restriction of her adversaries; for it was not for the preservation of a debauched dynasty that the millions had donned the steel helmet, but for the salvation of the German nation.
On a few occasions before the War it seemed as though, in one camp at least, a gentle doubt was arising as to the correctness of the alliance policy that had been chosen. German conservative circles began from time to time to warn against excessive confidence, but, like everything else that was sensible, this was thrown to the winds. They were convinced that they were on the path to a world ' conquest,' whose success would be tremendous and which would entail practically no sacrifices.
There was nothing for those not in authority to do but to watch in silence why and how the ' authorities' marched straight to destruction, drawing the dear people behind them like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The deeper cause that made it possible to represent the absurdity of an ' economic conquest ' as a practical political method, and the preservation of 'world peace' as a political goal for a whole people, and even to make these things intelligible, lay in the general sickening of our whole political thinking.
With the victorious march of German technology and industry, the rising successes of German commerce, the realization was increasingly lost that all this was only possible on the basis of a strong state. On the contrary, many circles went so far as to put forward the conviction that the state owed its very existence to these phenomena, that the state itself Drimarilv represented an economic institution, that it could be governed according to economic requirements, and that its very existence depended on economics, a state of affairs which was regarded and glorified as by far the healthiest and most natural.
But the state has nothing at all to do with any definite economic conception or development.
It is not a collection of economic contracting parties in a definite delimited living space for the fulfillment of economic tasks, but the organization of a community of physically and psychologically similar living beings for the better facilitation of the maintenance of their species and the achievement of the aim which has been allotted to this species by Providence. This and nothing else is the aim and meaning of a state. Economics is only one of the many instruments required for the achievement of this aim. It is never the cause or the aim of a state unless this state is based on a false, because unnatural, foundation to begin with. Only in this way can it be explained that the state as such does not necessarily presuppose territorial limitation. This will be necessary only among the peoples who want to secure the maintenance of their national comrades by their own resources; in other words, are prepared to fight the struggle for existence by their own labor. Peoples who can sneak their way into the rest of mankind like drones, to make other men work for them under all sorts of pretexts, can form states even without any definitely delimited living space of their own. This applies first and foremost to a people under whose parasitism the whole of honest humanity is suffering, today more than ever: the Jews.
The Jewish state was never spatially limited in itself, but universally unlimited as to space, though restricted in the sense of embracing but one race. Consequently, this people has always formed a state within states. It is one of the most ingenious tricks that was ever devised, to make this state sail under the fiag of 'religion,' thus assuring it of the tolerance which the Aryan is always ready to accord a religious creed. For actually the Mosaic religion is nothing other than a doctrine for the preservation of the Jewish race. It therefore embraces almost all sociological, political, and economic fields of knowledge which can have any bearing on this function.
The urge to preserve the species is the first cause for the formation of human communities; thus the state is a national organism and not an economic organization. A difference which is just as large as it is incomprehensible, particularly to our so-called ' statesmen ' of today. That is why they think they can build up the state through economics while in reality it results and always will result solely from the action of those qualities which lie in line with the will to preserve the species and race. And these are always heroic virtues and never the egoism of shopkeepers, since the preservation of the existence of a species presupposes a spirit of sacrifice in the individual. The sense of the poet's words, 'If you will not stake your life, you will win no life,' is that the sacrifice of personal existence is necessary to secure the preservation of the species. Thus, the most sensible prerequisite for the formation and preservation of a state is the presence of a certain feeling of cohesion based on similarity of nature and species, and a willingness to stake everything on it with all possible means, something which in peoples with soil of their own will create heroic virtues, but in parasites will create lying hypocrisy and malignant cruelty, or else these qualities must already be present as the necessary and demonstrable basis for their existence as a state so different in form. The formation of a state, originally at least, will occur through the exercise of these qualities, and in the subsequent struggle for self-preservation those nations will be defeated- that is, will fall a prey to subjugation and thus sooner or later die out which in the mutual struggle possess the smallest share of heroic virtues, or are not equal to the lies and trickery of the hostile parasite. But in this case, too, this must almost always be attributed less to a lack of astuteness than to a lack of determination and courage, which only tries to conceal itself beneath a cloak of humane convictions.
How little the state-forming and state-preserving qualities are connected with economics is most clearly shown by the fact that the inner strength of a state only in the rarest cases coincides with so-called economic prosperity, but that the latter, in innumerable cases, seems to indicate the state's approaching decline. If the formation of human societies were primarily attributable to economic forces or even impulses, the highest economic development would have to mean the greatest strength of the state and not the opposite.
Belief in the state-forming and state-preserving power of economics seems especially incomprehensible when it obtains in a country which in all things clearly and penetratingly shows the historic reverse. Prussia, in particular, demonstrates with marvelous sharpness that not material qualities but ideal virtues alone make possible the formation of a state. Only under their protection can economic life flourish, until with the collapse of the pure state-forming faculties the economy collapses too; a process which we can observe in so terrible and tragic a form right now. The material interests of man can always thrive best as long as they remain in the shadow of heroic virtues; but as soon as they attempt to enter the primary sphere of existence, they destroy the basis for their own existence.
Always when in Germany there was an upsurge of political power, the economic conditions began to improve; but always when economics became the sole content of our people's life, stifling the ideal virtues, the state collapsed and in a short time drew economic life along with it.
If, however, we consider the question, what, in reality, are the state-forming or even state-preserving forces, we can sum them up under one single head: the ability and will of the individual to sacrifice himself for the totality. That these virtues have nothing at all to do with economics can be seen from the simple realization that man never sacrifices himself for the latter, or, in other words: a man does not die for business, but only for ideals. Nothing proved the Englishman's superior psychological knowledge of the popular soul better than the motivation which he gave to his struggle. While we fought for bread, England fought for 'freedom'; and not even for her own, no, for that of the small nations. In our country we laughed at this effrontery, or were enraged at it, and thus only demonstrated how emptyheaded and stupid the so-called statesmen of Germany had becorne even before the War. We no longer had the slightest idea concerning the essence of the force which can lead men to their death of their own free will and decision.
In 1914 as long as the German people thought they were fighting for ideals, they stood firm; but as soon as they were told to fight for their daily bread, they preferred to give up the game.
And our brilliant 'statesmen' were astonished at this change in attitude. It never became clear to them that from the moment when a man begins to fight for an economic interest, he avoids death as much as possible, since death wo lid forever deprive him of his reward for fighting. Anxiety for the rescue of her own child makes a heroine of even the feeblest mother, and only the struggle for the preservation of the species and the hearth, or the state that protects it, has at all times driven men against the spears of their enemies.
The following theorem may be established as an eternally valid truth:
Never yet has a state been founded by peaceful economic means, but always and exclusively by the instincts of preservation of the species regardless whether these are found in the province of heroic virtue or of cunning craftiness; the one results in Aryan states based on work and culture, the other in Jewish colonies of parasites. As soon as economics as such begins to choke out these Instincts in a people or in a state, it becomes the seductive cause of subjugation and oppression.
The belief of pre-war days that the world could be peacefully opened up to, let alone conquered for, the German people by a commercial and colonial policy was a classic sign of the loss of real state-forming and state-preserving virtues and of all the insight, will power, and active determination which follow from them; the penalty for this, inevitable as the law of nature, was the World War with its consequences.
For those who do not look more deeply into the matter, this attitude of the German nation-for it was really as good as general-could only represent an insoluble riddle: for was not Germany above all other countries a marvelous example of an empire which had risen from foundations of pure political power? Prussia, the germ-cell of the Empire, came into being through resplendent heroism and not through financial operations or commercial deals, and the Reich itself in turn was only the glorious reward of aggressive political leadership and the death defying courage of its soldiers. How could this very German people have succumbed to such a sickening of its political instinct? For here we face, not an isolated phenomenon, but forces of decay which in truly terrifying number soon began to flare up like will-o'-the-wisps, brushing up and down the body politic, or eating like poisonous abscesses into the nation, now here and now there. It seemed as though a continuous stream of poison was being driven into the outermost blood-vessels of this once heroic body by a mysterious power, and was inducing progressively greater paralysis of sound reason and the simple instinct of selfpreservation .
As innumerable times I passed in review all these questions, arising through my position on the German alliance policy and the economic policy of the Reich in the years 1912 to 1914-the only remaining solution to the riddle became to an ever-increasing degree that power which, from an entirely different viewpoint, I had come to know earlier in Vienna: the Marxist doctrine and philosophy, and their organizational results.
For the second time I dug into this doctrine of destruction- this time no longer led by the impressions and effects of my daily associations, but directed by the observation of general processes of political life. I again immersed myself in the theoretical literature of this new world, attempting to achieve clarity concerning its possible effects, and then compared it with the actual phenomena and events it brings about in political, cultural, and economic life.
Now for the first time I turned my attention to the attempts to master this world plague.
I studied Bismarck's Socialist legislation 1 in its intention struggle, and success. Gradually I obtained a positively granite foundation for my own conviction, so that since that time I have never been forced to undertake a shift in my own inner view on this question. Likewise the relation of Marxism to the Jews was submitted to further thorough examination.
Though previously in Vienna, Germany above all had seemed to me an unshakable colossus, now anxious misgivings sometimes entered my mind. In silent solitude and in the small circles of my acquaintance, I was filled with wrath at German foreign policy and likewise with what seemed to me the incredibly frivolous way in which the most important problem then existing for Germany, Marxism, was treated. It was really beyond me how people could rush so blindly into a danger whose effects, pursuant to the Marxists' own intention, were bound some day to be monstrous. Even then, among my acquaintance, just as today on a large scale, I warned against the phrase with which all wretched cowards comfort themselves: 'Nothing can happen to us!' This pestilential attitude had once been the downfall of a gigantic empire. Could anyone believe that Germany alone was not subject to exactly the same laws as all other human organisms?
In the years 1913 and 1914, I, for the first time in various circles which today in part faithfully support the National Socialist movement, expressed the conviction that the question of the future of the German nation was the question of destroying Marxism.
In the catastrophic German alliance policy I saw only one of the consequences called forth by the disruptive work of this doctrine; for the terrible part of it was that this poison almost invisibly destroyed all the foundations of a healthy conception of economy and state, and that often those affected by it did not themselves realize to what an extent their activities and desires emanated from this philosophy srhich they otherwise sharply ejected.
The internal decline of the German nation had long since begun, yet, as so often in life, people had not achieved clarity concerning the force that was destroying their existence. Sometimes they tinkered around with the disease, but confused the forms of the phenomenon with the virus that had caused it. Since they did not know or want to know the cause, the struggle against Malsisrs was no better than bungling quackery.