Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Volume One - A Reckoning
Chapter XII: The First Period of Development of the National Socialist German Workers' Party
IF AT THE END of this volume I describe the first period in the development of our movement and briefly discuss a number of questions it raises, my aim is not to give a dissertation on the spiritual aims of the movement. The aims and tasks of the new movement are so gigantic that they can only be treated in a special volume. In a second volume, therefore, I shall discuss the programmatic foundations of the movement in detail and attempt to draw a picture of what we conceive of under the word 'state.' By 'us' I mean all the hundreds of thousands who fundamentally long for the same thing without as individuals finding the words to describe outwardly I what they inwardly visualize; for the noteworthy fact about all reforms is that at first they possess but a single champion yet many million supporters. Their aim has often been for centuries the inner longing of hundreds of thousands, until one man stands up to proclaim such a general will, and as a standard-bearer guides the old longing to victory in the form of the new idea.
The fact that millions bear in their hearts the desire for a basic change in the conditions obtaining today proves the deep discontent under which they suffer. It expresses itself in thousandfold manifestations with one in despair and hopelessness, with another in ill will, anger, and indignation; with this man in indifference, and with that man in furious excesses. As witnesses to this inner dissatisfaction we may consider those who are weary of elections as well as the many who tend to the most fanatical extreme of the Left.
The young movement was intended primarily to appeal to these last. It is not meant to constitute an organization of the contented and satisfied, but to embrace those tormented by suffering, those without peace, the unhappy and the discontented, and above all it must not swim on the surface of a national body, but strike roots deep within it.
In purely political terms, the following picture presented itself in 1918: a people torn into two parts. The one, by far the smaller, includes the strata of the national intelligentsia, excluding all the physically active. It is outwardly national, yet under this word can conceive of nothing but a very insipid and weak-kneed defense of so-called state interests, which in turn seem identical with dynastic interests. They attempt to fight for their ideas and aims with spiritual weapons which are as fragmentary as they are superficial, and which fail completely in the face of the enemy's brutality. With a single frightful blow this class, which only a short time before was still governing, is stretched on the ground and with trembling cowardice suffers every humiliation at the hands of the ruthless victor.
Confronting it is a second class, the broad mass of the laboring population. It is organized in more or less radical Marxist movements, determined to break all spiritual resistance by the power of violence. It does not want to be national, but consciously rejects any promotion of national interests, just as, conversely, it aids and abets all foreign oppression. It is numerically the stronger and above all comprises all those elements of the nation without which a national resurrection is unthinkable and impossible.
For in 1918 this much was clear: no resurrection of the German people can occur except through the recovery of outward power. But the prerequisites for this are not arms, as our bourgeois 'statesmen ' keep prattling, but the forces of the will. The German people had more than enough arms before. They were not able to secure freedom because the energies of the national instinct of self-preservation, the will for self-preservation, were lacking. The best weapon is dead, worthless material as long as the spirit is lacking which is ready, willing, and determined to use it. Germany became defenseless, not because arms were lacking, but because the will was lacking to guard the weapon for national survival.
If today more than ever our Left politicians are at pains to point out the lack of arms as the necessary cause of their spineless, compliant, actually treasonous policy, we must answer only one thing: no, the reverse is true. Through your anti-national, criminal policy of abandoning national interests, you surrendered our arms. Now you attempt to represent the lack of arms as the underlying cause of your miserable villainy. This, like everything you do, is lees and falsification.
But this reproach applies just as much to the politicians on the Right. For, thanks to their miserable cowardice, the Jewish rabble that had come to power was able in 1918 to steal the nation's arms. They, too, have consequently no ground and no right to palm off our present lack of arms as the compelling ground for their wily caution (read ' cowardice '); on the contrary, our defenselessness is the consequence of their cowardice.
Consequently the question of regaining German power is not: How shall we manufacture arms? but: How shall we manufacture the spirit which enables a people to bear arms? If this spirit dominates a people, the will finds a thousand ways, every one of which ends in a weapon ! But give a coward ten pistols and if attacked he will not be able to fire a single shot. And so for him they are more worthless than a knotted stick for a courageous man.
The question of regaining our people's political power is primarily a question of recovering our national instinct of self preservation, if for no other reason because experience shows that any preparatory foreign policy, as well as any evaluation of a state as such, takes its cue less from the existing weapons than from a nation's recognized or presumed moral capacity for resistance. A nation1s ability to form alliances is determined much less by dead stores of existing arms than by the visible presence of an ardent national will for self-preservation and heroic death-defying courage. For an alliance is not concluded with arms but with men. Thus, the English nation will have to be considered the most valuable ally in the world as long as its leadership and the spirit of its byroad masses justify us in expecting that brutality and perseverance which is determined to fight a battle once begun t04 victorious end, with every means and without consideration of time and sacrifices; and what is more, the military armament existing at any given moment does not need to stand in any proportion to that of other states.
If we understand that the resurrection of the German nation represents a question of regaining our political will for self-preservation, it is also clear that this cannot be done by winning elements which in point of will at least are already national, but only by the nationalization of the consciously anti-national masses.
A young movement which, therefore, sets itself the goal of resurrecting a German state with its own sovereignty will have to direct its fight entirely to winning the broad masses. Wretched as our so-called ' national bourgeoisie ' is on the whole, inadequate as its national attitude seems, certainly from this side no serious resistance is to be expected against a powerful domestic and foreign policy in the future. Even if the German bourgeoisie, for their well-known narrowminded and short-sighted reasons, should, as they once did toward Bismarck, maintain an obstinate attitude of passive resistance in the hour of coming liberation- an active resistance, in view of their recognized and proverbial cowardice, is never to be feared.
It is different with the masses of our internationally minded comrades. In their natural primitiveness, they are snore inclined to the idea of violence, and, moreover, their Jewish leadership is more brutal and ruthless. They will crush any German resurrection Just as they once broke the backbone of the German army. But above all: in this state with its parliamentary government they will, thanks to their majority in numbers, not only obstruct any national foreign policy, but also make impossible any higher estimation of the German strength, thus making us seem uradesirable as an ally. For not only are we ourselves aware of the element of weakness lying in our fifteen million Marxists, detmocrats, pacifists, and Centrists; it is recognized even more by foreign countries, which measure the value of a possible alliance with us according to the weight of this burden. No one allies himself with a state in which the attitude of the active part of the population toward any determined foreign policy is passive, to say the least.
To this we must add the fact that the leaderships of these parties of national treason must and will be hostile to any resurrection, out of mere instinct of self-preservation. Historically it is just not conceivable that the German people could recover its former position without settling accounts with those who were the cause and occasion of the unprecedented collapse which struck our state. For before the judgment seat of posterity November, 1918, will be evaluated, not as high treason, but as treason against the fatherland.
Thus, any possibility of regaining outward German independence is bound up first and foremost with the recovery of the inner unity of our people's will.
But regarded even from the purely technical point of view, the idea of an outward German liberation seems senseless as long as the broad masses are not also prepared to enter the service of this liberating idea. From the purely military angle, every officer above all will realize after a moment's thought that a foreign struggle cannot be carried on with student battalions, that in addition to the brains of a people, the fists are also needed. In addition, we must bear in mind that a national defense, which is based only on the circles of the so-called intelligentsia, would squander irreplaceable treasures. The absence of the young German intelligentsia which found its death on the fields of Flanders in the fall of 1914 was sorely felt later on. It was the highest treasure that the German nation possessed and during the War its loss could no longer be made good. Not only is it impossible to carry on the struggle itself if the storming battalions do not find the masses of the workers in their ranks; the technical preparations are also impracticable without the inner unity of our national will. Especially our people, doomed to languish along unarmed beneath the thousand eyes of the Versailles peace treaty, can only make technical preparations for the achievement of freedom and human independence if the army of domestic stoolpigeons is decimated down to those whose inborn lack of character permits them to betray anything and everything for the well-known thirty pieces of silvery For with these we can deal. Unconquerable by comparison seem the millions who oppose the national resurrection out of political conviction-unconquerable as long as the inner cause of their opposition, the international Marxist philosophy of life, is not combated and torn out of their hearts and brains.
Regardless, therefore, from what standpoint we examine the possibility of regaining our state and national independence, whether frost the standpoint of preparations in the sphere of foreign policy, from that of technical armament or that of battle itself, in every case the presupposition for everything remains the previous winning of the broad masses of our people for the idea of our national independence.
Without the recovery of our external freedom, however, any internal reform, even in the most favorable case, means only the increase of our productivity as a colony. The surplus of all socalled economic improvements falls to the benefit of our international control commissions, and every social improvement at best raises the productivity of our work for them. No cultural advances will fall to the share of the German nation; they are too contingent on the political independence and dignity of our nation.
Thus, if a favorable solution of the German future requires a national attitude on the part of the broad masses of our people, this must be the highest, mightiest task of a movement whose activity is not intended to exhaust itself in the satisfaction of the moment, but which must examine all its commissions and omissions solely with a view to their presumed consequences in the future.
Thus, by 1919 we clearly realized that, as its highest aim, the new movement must first accomplish the nationalization of the masses.
From a tactical standpoint a number of demands resulted from this.
(1) To win the masses for a national resurrection, no social sacrifice is too great.
Whatever economic concessions are made to our working class today, they stand in no proportion to the gain for the entire nation if they help to give the broad masses back to their nation. Only pigheaded short-sightedness, such as is often unfortunately found in our employer circles, can fail to recognize that in the long run there can be no economic upswing for them and hence no economic profit, unless the inner national solidarity of our people is restored.
If during the War the German unions had ruthlessly guarded the interests of the working class, if even during the War they had struck a thousand times over and forced approval of the demands of the workers they represented on the dividend-hungry employers of those days; but if in matters of national defense they had avowed their Germanism with the same fanaticism; and if with equal ruthlessness they had given to the fatherland that which is the fatherland's, the War would not have been lost. And how trifiing all economic concessions, even the greatest, would have been, compared to the immense importance of winning the War!
Thus a movement which plans to give the German worker back to the German people must clearly realize that in this question economic sacrifices are of no importance whatever as long as the preservation and independence of the national economy are not threatened by them.
(2) The national education of the broad masses can only take place indirectly through a social uplift, since thus exclusively can those general economic premises be created which permit the individual to partake of the cultural goods of the nation.
(3) The nationalization of the broad masses can never be achieved by half-measures, by weakly emphasizing a socalled objective standpoint, but only by a ruthless and fanatically onesided orientation toward the goal to be achieved. That is to say, a people cannot be made 'national' in the sense understood by our present-day bourgeoisie, meaning with so and so many limitations, but only nationalistic with the entire vehemence that is inherent in the extreme. Poison is countered only by an antidote, and only the shallowness of a-bourgeois mind can regard the middle course as the road to heaven.
The broad masses of a people consist neither of professors nor of diplomats. The scantiness of the abstract knowledge they possess directs their sentiments more to the world of feeling. That is where their positive or negative attitude lies. It is receptive only to an expression of force in one of these two directions and never to a half-measure hovering between the two. Their emotional attitude at the same time conditions their extraordinary stability. Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs less to change than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion, and the impetus to the mightiest upheavals on this earth has at all times consisted less in a scientific knowledge dominating the masses than in a fanaticism which inspired them and sometimes in a hysteria which drove them forward. Anyone who wants to win the broad masses must know the key that opens the door to their heart. Its name is not objectivity (read weakness), but will and power.
(4) The soul of the people can only be won if along with carrying on a positive struggle for our own aims, we destroy the opponent of these aims.
The people at all times see the proof of their own right in ruthless attack on a foe, and to them renouncing the destruction of the adversary seems like uncertainty with regard to their own right if not a sign of their own unriglxt.
The broad masses are only a piece of Nature and their sentiment does not understand the mutual handshake of people who daim that they want the opposite things. What they desire is the victory of the stronger and the destruction of the weak or his unconditional subjection.
The nationalization of our masses will succeed only when, aside from all the positive struggle for the soul of our people, their international poisoners are exterminated.
(5) All great questions of the day are questions of the moment and represent only consequences of definite causes. Only one amongall of them, however, possesses causal importance,land that is the question of the racial preservation of the nation. In the blood alone resides the strength as well as the weakness of man. As long as peoples do not recognize and give heed to the importance of their racial foundation, they are like men who would like to teach poodles the qualities of greyhounds, failing to realize that the speed of the greyhound like the docility of the poodle are not learned, but are qualities inherent in the race. Peoples which renounce the preservation of their racial purity renounce with it the unity of their soul in all its expressions. The divided state of their nature is the natural consequence of the divided state of their blood, and the change in their intellectual and creative force is only the effect of the change in their racial foundations.
Anyone who wants to free the German blood from the manifestations and vices of today, which were originally alien to its nature, will first have to redeem it from the foreign virus of these manifestations.
Without the clearest knowledge of the racial problem and hence of the Jewish problem there will never be a resurrection of the German nation.
The racial question gives the key not only to world history, but to all human culture.
(6) Organizing the broad masses of our people which are today in the international camp into a national people's community does not mean renouncing the defense of justified class interests. Divergent class and professional interests are not synonymous with class cleavages but are natural consequences of our economic life. Professional grouping is in no way opposed to a true national community, for the latter consists in the unity of a nation in all those questions which affect this nation as such.
The integration of an occupational group which has become a class with the national community, or merely with the state, is not accomplished by the lowering of higher dasses but by uplifting the lower dasses. This process in turn can never be upheld by the higher class, but only by the lower class fighting for its equal rights. The present-day bourgeoisie was not organized into the state by measures of the nobility, but by its own energy under its own leadership.
The German worker will not be raised to the framework of the German national community via feeble scenes of fraternization, but by a conscious raising of his social and cultural situation until the most serious differences may be viewed as bridged. A movement which sets this development as its goal will have to take its supporters primarily from this camp.' It may fall back on the intelligentsia only in so far as the latter has completely understood the goal to be achieved. This process of transformation and equalization will not be completed in ten or twenty years; experience shows that it comprises many generations.
The severest obstade to the present-day worker's approach to the national community lies not in the defense of his class interests, but in his international leadership and attitude which are hostile to the people and the fatherland. The same unions with a fanatical national leadership in political and national matters would make millions of workers into the most valuable members of their nation regardless of the various struggles that took place over purely economic matters.
A movement which wants honestly to give the German worker back to his people and tear him away from the international delusion must sharply attack a conception dominant above all in employer circles, which under national community understands the unresisting economic surrender of the employee to the employer and which chooses to regard any attempt at safeguarding even justified interests regarding the employee's economic existence as an attack on the national community. Such an assertion is not only untrue, but a conscious lie, because the national community imposes its obligations not only on one side but also on the other.
Just as surely as a worker sins against the spirit of a real national community when, without regard for the common welfare and the survival of a national economy, he uses his power to raise extortionate demands, an employer breaks this community to the same extent when he conducts his business in an inhuman, exploiting way, misuses the national labor force and makes millions out of its sweat. He then has no right to designate himself as national, no right to speak of a national community; no, he is a selfish scoundrel who induces social unrest and provokes future conflicts which whatever happens must end in harming the nation.
Thus, the reservoir from which the young movement must gather its supporters will primarily be the masses of our workers. Its work will be to tear these away from the international delusion, to free them from their social distress, to raise them out of their cultural misery and lead them to the national community as a valuable, united factor, national in feeling and desire.
If, in the circles of the national intelligentsia, there are found men with the warmest hearts for their people and its future, imbued with the deepest knowledge of the importance of this struggle for the soul of these masses, they will be highly welcome in the ranks of this movement, as a valuable spiritual backbone. But winning over the bourgeois voting cattle can never be the aim of this movement. If it were, it would burden itself with a dead weight which by its whole nature would paralyze our power to recruit from the broad masses. For regardless of the theoretical beauty of the idea of leading together the broadest masses from below and from above within the framework of the movement, there is the opposing fact that by psychological propagandizing of bourgeois masses in general meetings, it may be possible to create moods and even to spread insight, but not to do away with qualities of character or, better expressed, vices whose development and origin embrace centuries. The difference with regard to the cultural level on both sides and the attitude on both sides toward questions raised by economic interests is at present still so great that, as soon as the intoxication of the meetings has passed, it would at once manifest itself as an obstacle.
Finally, the goal is not to undertake a reskatification in the camp that is national to begin with, but to win over the antinational camp.
And this point of view, finally, is determining for the tactical attitude of the whole movement.
(7) This one-sided but thereby clear position must express itself in the propaganda of the movement and on the other hand in turn is required on propagandist grounds.
If propaganda is to be effective for the movement, it must be addressed to only one quarter, since otherwise, in view of the difference in the intellectual training of the two camps in question, either it will not be understood by the one group, or by the other it would be rejected as obvious and therefore uninteresting
Even the style and the tone of its individual products cannot be equally effective for two such extreme groups. If propaganda renounces primitiveness of expression, it does not find its way to
the feeling of the broad masses. If, however, in word and gesture, it uses the masses' harshness of sentiment and expression, it will be rejected by the so-called intelligentsia as coarse and vulgar. Among a hundred so-called speakers there are hardly ten capable of speaking with equal effect today before a public consisting of street.sweepers, locksmiths, sewer-cleaners, etc., and tomorrow holding a lecture with necessarily the same thought content in an auditorium full of university professors and students. But among a thousand speakers there is perhaps only a single one who can manage to speak to locksmiths and university professors at the same time, in a form which not only is suitable to the receptivity of both parties, but also influences both parties with equal effect or actually lashes them into a wild storm of applause. We must always bear in mind that even the most beautiful idea of a sublime theory in most cases can be disseminated only through the small and smallest minds. The important thing is not what the genius who has created an idea has in mind, but what, in what form, and with what success the proph ets of this idea transmit it to the broad masses.
The strong attractive power of the Social Democracy, yes, of the whole Marxist movement, rested in large part on the homogeneity and hence one-sidedness of the public it addressed. The more seemingly limited, indeed, the narrower its ideas were, the more easily they were taken up and assimilated by a mass whose intellectual level corresponded to the material offered.
Likewise for the new movement a simple and clear line thus resulted.
Propaganda must be adjusted to the broad masses in content and in form, and its soundness is to be measured exdusively by its effective result.
In a mass meeting of all classes it is not that speaker who is mentally closest to the intellectuals present who speaks best, but the one who conquers the heart of the masses.
A member of the intelligentsia present at such a meeting, who carps at the intellectual level of the speech despite the speaker's obvious effect on the lower strata he has set out to conquer, proves the complete incapacity of his thinking and the worthlessness of his person for the young movement. It can use only that intellectual who comprehends the task and goal of the movement to such an extent that he has learned to judge the activity of propaganda according to its success and not according to the impressions which it leaves behind in himself. For propaganda is not intended to provide entertainment for people who are national-minded to begin with, but to win the enemies of our nationality, in so far as they are of our blood.
In general those trends of thought which I have briefly summed up under the heading of war propaganda should be determining and decisive for our movement in the manner and execution of its own enlightenment work.
That it was right was demonstrated by its success
(8) The goal of a political reform movement will never be reached by enlightenment work or by influencing ruling circles, but only by the achievement of political power. Every world-moving idea has not only the right, but also the duty, of securing, those means which make possible the execution of its ideas. Success is the one earthly judge concerning the right or wrong of such an effort, and under success we must not understand, as in the year 1918, the achievement of power in itself, but an exercise of that power that will benefit the nation. Thus, a coup d'etat must not be regarded as successful if, as senseless state's attorneys in Germany think today, the revolutionaries have succeeded in possessing themselves of the state power, but only if by the realization of the purposes and aims underlying such a revolutionary action, more benefit accrues to the nation than under the past regime. Something which cannot very well be claimed for the German revolution, as the gangster job of autumn 1918, calls itself.
If the achievement of political power constitutes the precondition for the practical execution of reform purposes, the movement with reform purposes must from the first day of its existence feel itself a movement of the masses and not a literary tea-club or a shopkeepers' bowling society.
(9) The young movement is in its nature and inner organization anti-parliamentarian; that is, it rejects, in general and in its own inner structure, a principle of majority rule in which the leader is degraded to the level of a mere executant of other people's will and opinion. In little as well as big things, the movement advocates the principle of a Germanic democracy: the leader is elected, but then enjoys unconditional authority.
The practical consequences of this principle in the movement are the following:
The first chairman of a local group is elected, but then he is the responsible leader of the local group. All committees are subordinate to him and not, conversely, he to a committee. There are no electoral committees, but only committees for work. The responsible leader, the first chairman, organizes the work. The first principle applies to the next higher organization, the precinct, the district or county. The leader is always elected, but thereby he is vested with unlimited powers and authority. And, finally, the same applies to the leadership of the whole party. The chairman is elected, but he is the exclusive leader of the movements All committees are subordinate to him and not he to the committees. He makes the decisions and hence bears the responsibility on his shoulders. Members of the movement are free to call him to account before the forum of a new election, to divest him of his office in so far as he has infringed on the principles of the movement or served its interests badly. His place is then taken by an abler, new man, enjoying, however} the same authority and the same responsibility.
It is one of the highest tasks of the movement to make this principle determining, not only within its own ranks, but for the entire state.
Any man who wants to be leader bears, along with the highest unlimited authority, also the ultimate and heaviest responsibility.
Anyone who is not equal to this or is too cowardly to bear the consequences of his acts is not fit to be leader; only the hero is cut out for this.
The progress and culture of humanity are not a product of the majority, but rest exclusively on the genius and energy of the personality.
To cultivate the personality and establish it in its rights is one of the prerequisites for recovering the greatness and power of our nationality.
Hence the movement is anti-parliamentarian, and even its participation in a parliamentary institution can only imply activity for its destruction, for eliminating an institution in which we must see one of the gravest symptoms of mankind's decay.
(10) The movement decisively rejects any position on questions which either lie outside the frame of its political work or, being not of basic importance, are irrelevant for it. Its task is not a religious reformation, but a political reorganization of our people. In both religious denominations it sees equally valuable pillars for the existence of our people and therefore combats those parties which want to degrade this foundation of an ethical, moral, and religious consolidation of our national body to the level of an instrument of their party interests.
The movement finally sees its task, not in the restoration of a definite state form and in the struggle against another, but in the creation of those basic foundations without which neither republic nor monarchy can endure for any length of time. Its mission lies not in the foundation of a monarchy or in the reinforcement of a republic, but in the creation of a Germanic state.
The question of the outward shaping of this state, its crowning, so to speak, is not of basic importance, but is determined only by questions of practical expediency.
For a people that has once understood the great problems and tasks of its existence, the questions of outward formalities will no longer lead to inner struggle.
(11) The question of the movement's inner organization is one of expediency and not of principle.
The best organization is not that which inserts the greatest, but that which inserts the smallest, intermediary apparatus between the leadership of a movement and its individual adherents. For the function of organization is the transmission of a definite idea-which always first arises from the brain of an individual -to a larger body of men and the supervision of its realization.
Hence organization is in all things only a necessary evil. In the best case it is a means to an end, in the worst case an end in itself.
Since the world produces more mechanical than ideal natures, the forms of organization are usually created more easily than ideas as such.
The practical development of every idea striving for realization in this world, particularly of one possessing a reform character, is in its broad outlines as follows:
Some idea of genius arises in the brain of a man who feels called upon to transmit his knowledge to the rest of humanity. He preaches his view and gradually wins a certain circle of adherents. This process of the direct and personal transmittance of a man's ideas to the rest of his fellow men l is the most ideal and natural. With the rising increase in the adherents of the new doctrine, it gradually becomes impossible for the exponent of the idea to go on exerting a personal, direct influence on the innumerable supporters, to lead and direct them. Proportionately as, in consequence of the growth of the community, the direct and shortest communication is excluded, the necessity of a connecting organization arises: thus, the ideal condition is ended and is replaced by the necessary evil of organization. Little sub-groups are formed which in the political movement, for example, call themselves local groups and constitute the germ-cells of the future organization.
If the unity of the doctrine is not to be lost, however, this subdivision must not take place until the authority of the spiritual founder and of the school trained by him can be regarded as unconditional. The geo-political significance of a focal center in a movement cannot be overemphasized. Only the presence of such a place, exerting the magic spell of a Mecca or a Rome, can in the long run give the movement a force which is based on inner unity and the recognition of a summit representing this unity.
Thus, in forming the first organizational germ-cells we must never lose sight of the necessity, not only of preserving the importance of the original local source of the idea, but of making it paramount. This intensification of the ideal, moral, and factual immensity of the movement's point of origin and direction must take place in exact proportion as the movement's germcells, which have now become innumerable, demand new links in the shape of organizational forms.
For, as the increasing number of individual adherents makes it impossible to continue direct communication with them for the formation of the lowest bodies, the ultimate innumerable increase of these lowest organizational forms compels in turn creation of higher associations which politically can be designated roughly as county or district groups.
Easy as it still may be to maintain the authority of the original center toward the lowest local groups, it will be equally difficult to maintain this position toward the higher organizational forms which now arise. But this is the precondition for the unified existence of the movement and hence for carrying out an idea.
If, finally, these larger intermediary divisions are also combined into new organizational forms, the difficulty is further increased of safeguarding, even toward them, the unconditional leading character of the original founding site, its school, etc.
Therefore, the mechanical forms of an organization may only be developed to the degree in which the spiritual ideal authority of a center seems unconditionally secured. In political formations this guaranty can often seem provided only by practical power.
From this the following directives for the inner structure of the movement resulted:
(a) Concentration for the time being of all activity in a single place: Munich. Training of a community of unconditionally reliable supporters and development of a school for the subsequent dissemination of the idea. Acquisition of the necessary authority for the future by the greatest possible visible successes in this one place.
To make the movement and its leaders known, it was necessary, not only to shake the belief in the invincibility of the Marxist doctrine in one place for all to see, but to demonstrate the possibility of an opposing movement.
(b) Formation of local groups only when the authority of the central leadership in Munich may be regarded as unquestionably recognized.
(c) Likewise the formation of district, county, or provincial groups depends, not only on the need for them, but also on certainty that an unconditional recognition of the center has been achieved.
Furthermore, the creation of organizational forms is dependent on the men who are available and can be considered as leaders
This may occur in two ways:
(a) The movement disposes of the necessary financial means for the training and schooling of minds capable of future leadership. It then distributes the material thus acquired systematically according to criteria of tactical and other expediency.
This way is the easier and quicker; however, it demands great financial means, since this leader material is only able to work for the movement when paid.
(b) The movement, owing to the lack of financial means, is not in a position to appoint official leaders, but for the present must depend on honorary officers.
This way is the slower and more difficult.
Under certain circumstances the leadership of a movement must let large territories lie fallow, unless there emerges from the adherents a man able and willing to put himself at the disposal of the leadership, and organize and lead the movement in the district in question.
It may happen that in large territories there will be no one, in other places, however, two or even three almost equally capable. The difficulty that lies in such a development is great and can only be overcome in the course of years.
The prerequisite for the creation of an organizational form is and remains the man necessary for its leadership.
As worthless as an army in all its organizational forms is without officers, equally worthless is a political organization without the suitable leader.
Not founding a local group is more useful to the movement when a suitable leader personality is lacking than to have its organization miscarry due to the absence of a leader to direct and drive it forward.
Leadership itself requires not only will but also ability, and a greater importance must be attached to will and energy than to intelligence as such, and most valuable of all is a combination of ability, determination, and perseverance.
(12) The future of a movement is conditioned by the fanaticism yes, the intolerance, with which its adherents uphold it as the sole correct movement, and push it past other formations of a similar sort.
It is the greatest error to believe that the strength of a movement increases through a union with another of similar character. It is true that every enlargement of this kind at first means an increase in outward dimensions, which to the eyes of superficial observers means power; in truth, however, it only takes over the germs of an inner weakening that will later become effective.
For whatever can be said about the like character of two movements, in reality it is never present. For otherwise there would actually be not two movements but one. And regardless wherein the differences lie-even if they consisted only in the varying abilities of the leadership-they exist. But the natural law of all development demands, not the coupling of two formations which are simply not alike, but the victory of the stronger and the cultivation of the victor's force and strength made possible alone by the resultant struggle.
Through the union of two more or less equal political party formations momentary advantages may arise, but in the long run any success won in this way is the cause of inner weaknesses which appear later.
The greatness of a movement is exclusively guaranteed by the unrestricted development of its inner strength and its steady growth up to the final victory over all competitors.
Yes, we can say that its strength and hence the justification of its existence increases only so long as it recognizes the principle of struggle as the premise of its development, and that it has passed the high point of its strength in the moment when complete victory inclines to its side.
Therefore, it is only profitable for a movement to strive for this victory in a form which does not lead to an early momentary success, but which in a long struggle occasioned by absolute intolerance also provides long growth.
Movements which increase only by the so-called fusion of similar formations, thus owing their strength to compromises, are like hothouse plants. They shoot up, but they lack the strength to defy the centuries and withstand heavy storms.
The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its will against all others. If an idea in itself is sound and, thus armed, takes up a struggle on this earth, it is unconquerable and every persecution will only add to its inner strength.
The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine.
The apparent head start which movements achieve by fusions is amply caught up with by the steady increase in the strength of a doctrine and organization that remain independent and fight their own fight.
(13) On principle the movement must so educate its members that they do not view the struggle as something idly cooked up, but as the thing that they themselves are striving ford Therefore, they must not fear the hostility of their enemies, but must feel that it is the presupposition for their own right to exist. They must not shun the hatred of the enemies of our nationality and our philosophy and its manifestations; they must long for them. And among the manifestations of this hate are lies and slander.
Any man who is not attacked in the Jewish newspapers, not slandered and vilified, is no decent German and no true National Socialist. The best yardstick for the value of his attitude, for the sincerity of his conviction, and the force of his will is the hostility he receives from the mortal enemy of our people.
It must, over and over again, be pointed out to the adherents of the movement and in a broader sense to the whole people that the Jew and his newspapers always lie and that even an occasional Ruth is only intended to cover a bigger falsification and is therefore itself in turn a deliberate untruth. The Jew is the great master in lying, and lies and deception are his weapons in struggle.
Every Jewish slander and every Jewish lie is a scar of honor on the body of our warriors.
The man they have most reviled stands closest to us and the man they hate worst is our best friend.
Anyone who picks up a Jewish newspaper in the morning and does not see himself slandered in it has not made profitable use of the previous day; for if he had, he would be persecuted, reviled, slandered, abused} befouled. And only the man who combats this mortal enemy of our nation and of all Aryan humanity and culture most effectively may expect to see the slanders of this race and the struggle of this people directed against him.
When these principles enter the flesh and blood of our supporters, the movement will become unshakable and invincible.
(14) The movement must promote respect for personality by all means; it must never forget that in personal worth lies the worth of everything human; that every idea and every achievement is the result of one man's creative force and that the admiration of greatness constitutes, not only a tribute of thanks to the latter, but casts a unifying bond around the grateful.
Personality cannot be replaced; especially when it embodies not the mechanical but the cultural and creative element. No more than a famous master can be replaced and another take over the completion of the half-finished painting he has left behind can the great poet and thinker, the great statesman and the great soldier, be replaced. For their activity lies always in the province of art. It is not mechanically trained, but inborn by God's grace.
The greatest revolutionary changes and achievements of this earth its greatest cultural accomplishments the immortal deeds in the field of statesmanship, etc., are forever inseparably bound up with a name and are represented by it. To renounce doing homage to a great spirit means the loss of an immense strength which emanates from the names of all great men and women.
The Jew knows this best of all. He, whose great men are only great in the destruction of humanity and its culture, makes sure that they are idolatrously admired. He attempts only to represent the admiration of the nations for their own spirits as unworthy and brands it as a 'personality cult.'
As soon as a people becomes so cowardly that it succumbs to this Jewish arrogance and effrontery, it renounces the mightiest power that it possesses; for this is based, not on respect for the masses, but on the veneration of genius and on uplift and enlightenment by his example.
When human hearts break and human souls-despair, then from the twilight of the past the great conquerors of distress and care, of disgrace and misery, of spiritual slavery and physical compulsion, look down on them and hold out their eternal hands to the despairing mortals!
Woe to the people that is ashamed to take them!
In the first period of our movement's development we suffered from nothing so much as from the insignificance, the unknownness of our names, which in themselves made our success questionable. The hardest thing in this first period, when often only six, seven, or eight heads met together to use the words of an opponent, was to arouse and preserve in this tiny circle faith in the mighty future of the movement.
Consider that six or seven men, all nameless poor devils, had joined together with the intention of forming a movement hoping to succeed-where the powerful great mass parties had hitherto failed-in restoring a German Reich of greater power and glory. If people had attacked us in those days, yes, even if they had laughed at us, in both cases we should have been happy. For the oppressive thing was neither the one nor the other; it was the complete lack of attention we found in those days.
When I entered the circle of these few men, there could be no question of a party or a movement. I have already described my impressions regarding my first meeting with this little formation. In the weeks that followed, I had time and occasion to study this so-called 'party' which at first looked so impossible. And, by God the picture was depressing and discouraging. There was nothing here, really positively nothing. The name of a party whose committee constituted practically the whole membership, which, whether we liked it or not, was exactly what it was trying to combat, a parliament on a small scale. Here, too, the vote ruled; if big parliaments yelled their throats hoarse for months at a time, it was about important problems at least, but in this little circle the answer to a safely arrived letter let loose an interminable argument!
The public, of course, knew nothing at all about this. Not a soul in Munich knew the party even by name, except for its few supporters and their few friends.
Every Wednesday a so-called committee meeting took place in a Munich cafe, and once a week an evening lecture. Since the whole membership of the 'movement' was at first represented in the committee, the faces of course were always the same. Now the task was at last to burst the bonds of the small circle, to win new supporters, but above all to make the name of the movement known at any price.
In this we used the following technique:
Every month, and later every two weeks, we tried to hold a 'meeting.' The invitations to it were written on the typewriter or sometimes by hand on slips of paper and the first few times were distributed, or handed out, by us personally. Each one of us turned to the circle of his friends, and tried to induce someone or other to attend one of these affairs.
The result was miserable.
I still remember how I myself in this first period once distributed about eighty of these slips of paper, and how in the evening we sat waiting for the masses who were expected to appear.
An hour late, the ' chairman ' finally had to open the 'meeting.' We were again seven men, the old seven.
We changed over to having the invitation slips written on a machine and mimeographed in a Munich stationery store. The result at the next meeting was a few more listeners. Thus the number rose slowly from eleven to thirteen, finally to seventeen, to twenty-three, to thirty-four listeners.
By little collections among us poor devils the funds were raised with which at last to advertise the meeting by notices in the then independent Munchener Beobachter in Munich. And this time the success was positively amazing. We had organized the meeting in the Munich Hofbrauhauskeller (not to be confused with the Munich Hofbrauhaus-Festsaal), a little room with a capacity of barely one hundred and thirty people. To me personally the room seemed like a big hall and each of us was worried whether we would succeed in filling this 'mighty' edifice with people.
At seven o'clock one hundred and eleven people were present and the meeting was opened.
A Munich professor made the main speech, and I, for the first time, in public, was to speak second.
In the eyes of Herr Harrer, then first chairman of the party, the affair seemed a great adventure. This gentleman, who was certainly otherwise honest, just happened to be convinced that I might be capable of doing certain things, but not of speaking. And even in the time that followed he could not be dissuaded from this opinion. "
Things turned out differently. In this first meeting that could be called public I had been granted twenty minutes' speaking time.
I spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply felt within me, without in any way knowing it, was now proved by reality: I could speak After thirty minutes the people in the small room were electrified and the enthusiasm was first expressed by the fact that my appeal to the self-sacrifice of those present led to the donation of three hundred marks. This relieved us of a great worry. For at this time the financial stringency was so great that we were not even in a position to have slogans printed for the movement, or even distribute leaflets. Now the foundation was laid for a little fund from which at least our barest needs and most urgent necessities could be defrayed. But in another respect as well, the success of this first larger meeting was considerable.
At that time I had begun to bring a number of fresh young forces into the committee. During my many years in the army I -had come to know a great number of faithful comrades who now slowly, on the basis of my persuasion, began to enter the movement. They were all energetic young people, accustomed to discipline, and from their period of service raised in the principle: nothing at all is impossible, everything can be done if you only want it.
How necessary such a transfusion of new blood was, I myself could recognize after only a few weeks of collaboration.
Herr Harrer, then first chairman of the party, was really a journalist and as such he was certainly widely educated. But for a party leader he had one exceedingly serious drawback: he was no speaker for the masses. As scrupulously conscientious and precise as his work in itself was, it nevertheless lacked-perhaps because of this very lack of a great oratorical gift-the great sweep. Herr Drexler, then chairman of the Munich local group, was a simple worker, likewise not very significant as a speaker, and moreover he was no soldier. He had not served in the army, even during the War he had not been a soldier, so that feeble and uncertain as he was in his whole nature, he lacked the only schooling which was capable of turning uncertain and soft natures into men. Thus both men were not made of stuff which would have enabled them not only to bear in their hearts fanatical faith in the victory of a movement, but also with indomitable energy and will, and if necessary with brutal ruthlessness, to sweep aside any obstacles which might stand in the path of the rising new idea. For this only beings were fitted in whom spirit and body had acquired those military virtues which can perhaps best be described as follows: swift as greyhounds, tough as leather, and hard as Krupp steel.
At that time I myself was still a soldier. My exterior and interior had been whetted and hardened for well-nigh six years, so that at first I must have seemed strange in this circle. I, too, had forgotten how to say: 'that's impossible,' or 'it won't work'; 'we can't risk that,' 'that is too dangerous,' etc.
For of course the business was dangerous. Little attention as the Reds paid to one of your bourgeois gossip clubs whose inner innocence and hence harmlessness for themselves theyknew better than its own members, they were determined to use every means to get rid of a movement which did seem dangerous to them. Their most effective method in such cases has at all times been terror or violence.
In the year 1920, in many regions of Germany, a national meeting that dared to address its appeal to the broad masses and publicly invite attendance was simply impossible. The participants in such a meeting were dispersed and driven away with bleeding heads. Such an accomplishment, to be sure, did not require much skill: for after all the biggest so-called bourgeois mass meeting would scatter at the sight of a dozen Communists like hares running from a hound.
Most loathsome to the Marxist deceivers of the people was inevitably a movement whose explicit aim was the winning of those masses which had hitherto stood exclusively in the service of the international Marxist Jewish stock exchange parties. The very name of ' German Workers' Party ' had the effect of goading them. Thus one could easily imagine that on the first suitable occasion the conflict would begin with the Marxist inciters who were then still drunk with victory.
In the small circle that the movement then was a certain fear of such a fight prevailed. The members wanted to appear in public as little as possible, for fear of being beaten up. In their mind's eye they already saw the first great meeting smashed and go the movement finished for good. I had a hard time putting forward my opinion that we must not dodge this struggle, but prepare for it, and for this reason acquire the armament which alone offers protection against violence. Terror is not broken by the mind, but by terror. The success of the first meeting strengthened my position in this respect. We gained courage for a second meeting on a somewhat larger scale.
About October, 1919, the second, larger meeting took place in the Eberlbraukeller. Topic: Brestlitovsk and Versailles. Four gentlemen appeared as speakers. I myself spoke for almost an hour and the success was greater than at the first rally. The audience had risen to more than one hundred and thirty. An attempted disturbance was at once nipped in the bud by my comrades. The diturbers flew down the stairs with gashed heads.
Two weeks later another meeting took place in the same hall. The attendance had risen to over one hundred and seventy and the room was well filled. I had spoken again, and again the success was greater than at the previous meeting.
I pressed for a larger hall. At length we found one at the other end of town in the 'Deutsches Reich' on Dachauer Strasse. The first meeting in the new hall was not so well attended as the previous one: barely one hundred and forty persons. In the committee, hopes began to sink and the eternal doubters felt that the excessive repetition of our 'demonstrations' had to be considered the cause of the bad attendance. There were violent arguments in which I upheld the view that a city of seven hundred thousand inhabitants could stand not one meeting every two weeks, but ten every week, that we must not let ourselves be misled by failures, that the road we had taken was the right
one, and that sooner or later, with steady perseverance, success was bound to come. All in all, this whole period of winter 1919-20 was a single struggle to strengthen confidence in the victorious might of the young movement and raise it to that fanaticism of faith which can move mountains.
The next meeting in the same hall showed me to be right. The attendance had risen to over two hundred; the public as well as financial success was brilliant.
I urged immediate preparations for another meeting. It took place barely two weeks later and the audience rose to over two hundred and seventy heads.
Two weeks later, for the seventh time, we called together the supporters and friends of the new movement and the same hall could barely hold the people who had grown to over four hundred.
It was at this time that the young movement received its inner form. In the small circle there were sometimes more or less violent disputes. Various quarters-then as today-carped at designating the young movement as a party. In such a conception I have always seen proof of the critics' practical incompetence and intellectual smallness. They were and always are the men who cannot distinguish externals from essentials, and who try to estimate the value of a movement according to the most bombastic-sounding titles, most of which, sad to say, the vocabulary of our forefathers must provide.
It was hard, at that time, to make it clear to people that every movement, as long as it has not achieved the victory of its ideas, hence its goal, is a party even if it assumes a thousand different names.
If any man wants to put into practical effect a bold idea whose realization seems useful in the interests of his fellow men, he will first of all have to seek supporters who are ready to fight for his intentions. And if this intention consists only in destroying the existing parties, of ending the fragmentation, the exponents of this view and propagators of this determination are themselves a party, as long as this goal has not been achieved. It is hair-splitting and shadow-boxing when some antiquated folkish theoretician, whose practical successes stand in inverse proportion to his wisdom, imagines that he can change the party character which every young movement possesses by changing this term.
On the contrary.
If anything is unfolkish, it is this tossing around of old Germanic expressions which neither fit into the present period nor represent anything definite, but can easily lead to seeing the significance of a movement in its outward vocabulary. This is a real menace which today can be observed on countless occasions.
Altogether then, and also in the period that followed, I had to warn again and again against those deutschvolkisch wandering scholars whose positive accomplishment is always practically nil, but whose conceit can scarcely be excelled. The young movement had and still has to guard itself against an influx of people whose sole recommendation for the most part lies in their declaration that they have fought for thirty and even forty years for the same idea. Anyone who fights for forty years for a so-called idea without being able to bring about even the slightest success, in fact, without having prevented the victory of the opposite, has, with forty years of activity, provided proof of his own incapacity. The danger above all lies in the fact that such natures do not want to fit into the movement as links, but keep shooting off their mouths about leading circles in which alone, on the strength of their age-old activity, they can see a suitable place for further activity. But woe betide if a young movement is surrended to the mercies of such people. No more than a business man who in forty years of activity has steadily run a big business into the ground is fitted to be the founder of a new one, is a folkish Methuselah, who in exactly the same time has gummed up and petrified a great idea, fit for the leadership of a new, young movement!
Besides, only a fragment of all these people come into the new movement to serve it, but in most cases, under its protection or through the possibilities it offers, to warm over their old cabbage
They do not want to benefit the idea of the new doctrine, they only expect it to give them a chance to make humanity miserable with their own ideas. For what kind of ideas they often are, it is hard to tell.
The characteristic thing about these people is that they rave about old Germanic heroism, about dim prehistory, stone axes spear and shield, but in reality are the greatest cowards that can be imagined. For the same people who brandish scholarly imitations of old German tin swords, and wear a dressed bearskin with bull's horns over their bearded heads, preach for the present nothing but struggle with spiritual weapons, and run away as fast as they can from every Communist blackjack. Posterity will have little occasion to glorify their own heroic existence in a new epic.
I came to know these people too well not to feel the profoundest disgust at their miserable play-acting. But they make a ridiculous impression on the broad masses, and the Jew has every reason to spare these folkish comedians, even to prefer them to the true fighters for a coming German state. With all this, these people are boundlessly conceited; despite all the proofs of their complete incompetence, they daim to know everything better and become a real plague for all straightforward and honest fighters to whom heroism seems worth honoring, not only in the past, but who also endeavor to give posterity a similar picture by their own actions.
And often it can be distinguished only with difficulty which of these people act out of inner stupidity or incompetence and which only pretend to for certain reasons. Especially with the so-called religious reformers on an old Germanic basis, I always have the feeling that they were sent by those powers which do not want the resurrection of our people. For their whole activity leads the people away from the common struggle against the common enemy, the Jew, and instead lets them waste their strength on inner religious squabbles as senseless as they are disastrous. For these very reasons the establishment of a strong central power implying the unconditional authority of a Kadership is necessary in the movement. By it alone can such ruinous elements be squelched. And for this reason the greatest enemies of a uniform, strictly led and conducted movement are to be found in the circles of these folkish wandering Jews. In the movement they hate the power that checks their mischief.
Not for nothing did the young movement establish a definite program in which it did not use the word 'folkish.' The concept folkish, in view of its conceptual boundlessness, is no possible basis for a movement and offers no standard for membership in one. The more indefinable this concept is in practice, the more and broader interpretations it permits, the greater becomes the possibility of invoking its authority. The insertion of such an indefinable and variously interpretable concept into the political struggle leads to the destruction of any strict fighting solidarity, since the latter does not permit leaving to the individual the definition of his faith and will.
And it is disgraceful to see all the people who run around today with the word 'folkish' on their caps and how many have their own interpretation of this concept. A Bavarian professor by the name of Bayer,l a famous fighter with spiritual weapons, rich in equally spiritual marches on Berlin, thinks that the concept folkish consists only in a monarchistic attitude. This learned mind, however, has thus far forgotten to give a closer explanation of the identity of our German monarchs of the past with the folkish opinion of today. And I fear that in this the gentleman would not easily succeed. For anything less folkish than most of the Germanic monarchic state formations can hardly be imagined. If this were not so, they would never have disappeared, or their disappearance would offer proof of the unsoundness of the folkish outlook.
And so everyone shoots off his mouth about this concept as he happens to understand it. As a basis for a movement of political struggle, such a multiplicity of opinions is out of the question.
I shall not even speak of the unworldliness of these folkish Saint Johns of the twentieth century or their ignorance of the popular soul. It is sufliciently illustrated by the ridicule with which they are treated by the Left, which lets them talk and iaughs at them.
Anyone in this world who does not succeed in being hated by his adversaries does not seem to me to be worth much as a friend. And thus the friendship of these people for our young movement was not only worthless, but solely and always harmful, and it was also the main reason why, first of all, we chose the name of 'party'-we had grounds for hoping that by this alone a whole swarm of these folkish sleepwalkers would be frightened away from us-and why in the second place we termed ourselves National Socialist German Workers' Party.
The first expression kept away the antiquity enthusiasts, the big-mouths and superficial proverb-makers of the so-called folkish idea,' and the second freed us from the entire host of knights of the 'spiritual sword,' all the poor wretches who wield the 'spiritual weapon' as a protecting shield to hide their actual cowardice.
It goes without saying that in the following period we were attacked hardest especially by these last, not actively, of course, but only with the pen, just as you would expect from such folkish goose-quills. For them our principle, 'Against those who attack us with force we will defend ourselves with force,' had something terrifying about it. They persistently reproached us, not only with brutal worship of the blackjack, but with lack of spirit as such. The fact that in a public meeting a Demosthenes can be brought to silence if only fifty idiots, supported by their voices and their fists, refuse to let him speak, makes no impression whatever on such a quack. His inborn cowardice never lets him get into such danger. For he does not work 'noisily' and 'obtrusively,' but in 'silence.'
Even today r cannot warn our young movement enough against falling into the net of these so-called 'silent workers.' They are not only cowards, but they are also always incompetents and do-nothings. A man who knows a thing, who is aware of a given danger, and sees the possibility of a remedy with his own eyes, has the duty and obligation, by God, not to work 'silently,' but to stand up before the whole public against the evil and for its cure. If he does not do so, he is a disloyal, miserable weakling who fails either from cowardice or from laziness and inability. To be sure, this does not apply at all to most of these people, for they know absolutely nothing, but behave as though they knew God knows what; they can do nothing but try to swindle the whole world with their tricks; they are lazy, but with the 'silent' work they claim to do, they arouse the impression of an enormous and conscientious activity; in short, they are swindlers, political crooks who hate the honest work of others. As soon as one of these folkish moths praises the darkness 1 of silence, we can bet a thousand to one that by it he produces nothing, but steals, steals from the fruits of other people's work.
To top all this, there is the arrogance and conceited effrontery with which this lazy, light-shunning rabble fall upon the work of others, trying to criticize it from above, thus in reality aiding the mortal enemies of our nationality.
Every last agitator who possesses the courage to stand on a tavern table among his adversaries, to defend his opinions with manly forthrightness, does more than a thousand of these lying, treacherous sneaks. He will surely- be able to convert one man or another and win him for the movement. It will be possible to examine his achievement and establish the effect of his activity by its results. Only the cowardly swindlers who praise their 'silent' work and thus wrap themselves in the protective cloak of a despicable anonymity, are good for nothing and may in the truest sense of the word be considered drones in the resurrection of ourpeople.
At the beginning of 1920, I urged the holding of the first great mass meeting. Differences of opinion arose. A few leading party members regarded the affair as premature and hence disastrous in effect. The Red press had begun to concern itself with us and we were fortunate enough gradually to achieve its hatred. We had begun to speak in the discussions at other meetings. Of course, each of us was at once shouted down. There was, however, some success. People got to know us and proportionately as their knowledge of us deepened, the aversion and rage against us grew. And thus we were entitled to hope that in our first great mass meeting we would be visited by a good many of our friends from the Red camp.
I, too, realized that there was great probability of the meeting being broken up. But the struggle had to be carried through, if not now, a few months later. It was entirely in our power to make the movement eternal on the very first day by blindly and ruthlessly fighting for it. I knew above all the mentality of the adherents of the Red side far too well, not to know that resistance to the utmost not only makes the biggest impression, but also wins supporters. And so we just had to be resolved to put up this resistance.
Herr Harrer,l then first chairman of the party, felt he could not support my views with regard to the time chosen and consequently, being an honest, upright man, he withdrew from the leadership of the party. His place was taken by Herr Anton Drexler. I had reserved for myself the organization of propaganda and began ruthlessly to carry it out.
And so, the date of February 4, 19202 was set for the holding of this first great mass meeting of the still unknown movement.
I personally conducted the preparations. They were very brief. Altogether the whole apparatus was adjusted to make lightning decisions. Its aim was to enable us to take a position on current questions in the form of mass meetings within twenty-four hours. They were to be announced by posters and leaflets whose content was determined according to those guiding principles which in rough outlines I have set down in my treatise on propaganda. Effect on the broad masses, concentration on a few points, constant repetition of the same, self-assured and self-reliant framing of the text in the forms of an apodictic statement, greatest perseverance in distribution and patience in awaiting the effect.
On principle, the color red was chosen; it is the most exciting; we knew it would infuriate and provoke our adversaries the most and thus bring us to their attention and memory whether they liked it or not.
In the following period the inner fraternization in Bavaria between the Marxists and the Center as a political party was most clearly shown in the concern with which the ruling Bavarian People's Party tried to weaken the effect of our posters on the Red working masses and later to prohibit them. If the police found no other way to proceed against them, 'considerations of traffic' had to do the trick, till finally, to please the inner, silent Red ally, these posters, which had given back hundreds of thousands of workers, incited and seduced by internationalism, to their German nationality, were forbidden entirely with the helping hand of a so-called German National People's Party. As an appendix and example to our young movement, I am adding a number of these proclamations. They come from a period embracing nearly three years; they can best illustrate the mighty struggle which the young movement fought at this time. They will also bear witness to posterity of the will and honesty of our convictions and the despotism of the so-called national authorities in prohibiting, just because they personally found it uncomfortable, a nationalization which would have won back broad masses of our nationality.
They will also help to destroy the opinion that there had been a national government as such in Bavaria and also document for posterity the fact that the national Bavaria of 1919, 1920, 1921 1922, 1923 was not forsooth the result of a national government, but that the government was merely forced to take consideration of a people that was gradually feeling national
The governments themselves did everything to eliminate this process of recovery and to make it impossible.
Here only two men must be excluded:
Ernst Pohner, the police president at that tirne, and Chief Deputy frick his faithful advisor, were the only higher state officials who even then had the courage to be first Germans and then officials. Ernst Pohner was the only man in a responsible post who did not curry favor with the masses, but felt responsible to his nationality and was ready to risk and sacrifice everything, even if necessary his personal existence, for the resurrection of the German people whom he loved above all things. And for this reason he was always a troublesome thorn in the eyes of those venal officials the law of whose actions was prescribed, not by the interest of their people and the necessary uprising for its freedom, but by the boss's orders, without regard for the welfare of the national trust confided in them.
And above all he was one of those natures who, contrasting with most of the guardians of our so-called state authority, do not fear the enmity of traitors to the people and the nation, but long for it as for a treasure which a decent man must take for granted. The hatred of Jews and Marxists, their whole campaign of lies and slander, were for him the sole happiness amid the misery of our people.
A man of granite honesty, of antique simplicity and German straightforwardness, for whom the words 'Sooner dead than a slave ' were no phrase but the essence of his whole being.
He and his collaborator, Dr. Frick, are in my eyes the only men in a state position who possess the right to be called cocreators of a national Bavaria.
Before we proceeded to hold our first mass meeting, not only did the necessary propaganda material have to be made ready, but the main points of the program also had to be put into print.
In the second volume I shall thoroughly develop the guiding principles which we had in mind, particularly in framing the program. Here I shall only state that it was done, not only to give the young movement form and content, but to make its aims understandable to the broad masses.
Circles of the so-called intelligentsia have mocked and ridiculed this and attempted to criticize it. But the soundness of our point of view at that time has been shown by the effectiveness of this program.
In these years I have seen dozens of new movements arise and thev have all vanished and evaporated without trace. A single one remains: The National Socialist German Workers' Party. And today more than ever I harbor the conviction that people can combat it, that they can attempt to paralyze it, that petty party ministers can forbid us to speak and write, but that they will never prevent the victory of our ideas.
When not even memory will reveal the names of the entire present-day state conception and its advocates, the fundamentals of the National Socialist program will be the foundations of a coming state.
Our four months' activities at meetings up to January, 1920, had slowly enabled us to save up the small means that we needed for printing our first leaflet, our first poster, and our program.
If I take the movement's first large mass meeting as the conclusion of this volume, it is because by it the party burst the narrow bonds of a small club and for the first time exerted a determining infiuence on the mightiest factor of our tirne, public opinion.
I myself at that time had but one concern: Will the hall be filled, or will we speak to a yawning hall? 1 I had the unshakable l inner conviction that if the people came, the day was sure to be a great success for the young movement. And so I anxiously looked forward to that evening.
The meeting was to be opened at 7:30. At 7:15 I entered the Festsaal of the Hofbrauhaus on the Platzl in Munich, and my heart nearly burst for joy. The gigantic hall-for at that time it still seemed to me gigantic-was overcrowded with people, shoulder to shoulder, a mass numbering almost two thousand people. And above all-those people to whom we wanted to appeal had come. Far more than half the hall seemed to be occupied by Communists and Independents. They had resolved that our first demonstration would come to a speedy end.
But it turned out differently. After the first speaker had finished, I took the floor. A few minutes later there was a hail of shouts, there were violent dashes in the hall, a handful of the most faithful war comrades and other supporters battled with the disturbers, and only little by little were able to restore order.
I was able to go on speaking. After half an hour the applause slowly began to drown out the screaming and shouting.
I now took up the program and began to explain it for the first time.
From minute to minute the interruptions were increasingly drowned out by shouts of applause. And when I finally submitted the twenty-five theses, point for point, to the masses and asked them personally to pronounce judgment on them, one after another was accepted with steadily mounting joy, unanimously and again unanimously, and when the last thesis had found its way to the heart of the masses, there stood before me a hall full of people united by a new conviction, a new faith, a new will.
When after nearly four hours the hall began to empty and the crowd, shoulder to shoulder, began to move, shove, press toward the exit like a slow stream, I knew that now the principles of a movement which could no longer be forgotten were moving out among the German people.
A fire was kindled from whose flame one day the sword must come which would regain freedom for the Germanic Siegfried and life for the German nation.
And side by side with the coming resurrection, I sensed that the goddess of inexorable vengeance for the perjured deed of November 9, 1919, was striding forth.
Thus slowly the hall emptied.
The movement took its course.