Benito Mussolini, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, 1935
Primarily, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of pacifism—born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to the highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it. All other trials are substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make the great decision—the alternative of life or death. Thus a doctrine which is founded upon this harmful postulate of peace is hostile to Fascism. And thus hostile to the spirit of Fascism, though accepted for what use they can be in dealing with particular situations, are all the international leagues and societies which, as history will show, can be scattered to the winds when once strong national feeling is aroused by any motive—sentimental, ideal, or practical. This anti-pacifist spirit is carried by Fascism even into the life of the individual; the proud motto of the Squadrista, "Me ne frego" ["I don't give a damn!"], written on the bandage of the wounded, is an act of philosophy not only stoic, the summary of a doctrine not only political—it is the education to combat, the acceptation of the risks which combat implies, and a new way of life for Italy. Thus the Fascist accepts life and loves it, knowing nothing of the despising suicide: he rather conceives of life as duty and struggle and conquest, life which should be high and full, lived for oneself, but above all for others—those who are at hand and those who are far distant, contemporaries, and those who will come after....
Fascism repudiates any universal embrace, and in order to live worthily in the community of civilized peoples watches its contemporaries with vigilant eyes, takes good note of their state of mind and, in the changing trend of their interests, does not allow itself to be deceived by temporary and fallacious appearances.
Such a conception of life makes Fascism the complete opposite of that doctrine, the base of so-called scientific and Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history; according to which the history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production. That the changes in the economic field—new discoveries of raw materials, new methods of working them and the inventions of science—have their importance no one can deny; but that these factors are sufficient to explain the history of humanity excluding all others is an absurd delusion. Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if we deny the economic conception of history, according to which men are no more than puppets carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied—the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society. These two fundamental concepts of Socialism being thus refuted, nothing is left of it but the sentimental aspiration—as old as humanity itself—towards a social convention in which the sorrows and sufferings of the humblest shall be alleviated. But here again Fascism repudiates the conception of "economic" happiness, to be realized by Socialism and, as it were, at a given moment in economic evolution to assure to everyone the maximum of well-being. Fascism denies the materialist conception of happiness as a possibility, and abandons it to its inventors, the economists of the first half of the nineteenth century; that is to say, Fascism denies the validity of the equation, well-being = happiness, which would reduce men to the level of animals, caring for one thing only—to be fat and well-fed—and would thus degrade humanity to a purely physical existence.
After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through the mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage. The democratic regime may be defined as from time to time being in the hands of other concealed and irresponsible forces. Democracy is a regime nominally without a king, but is ruled by many kings—more absolute, tyrannical, and ruinous than one sole king, even though a tyrant....
Fascism denies, in democracy, the absurd conventional untruth of political equality dressed out in the garb of collective irresponsibility, and the myth of "happiness" and infinite progress. But if democracy may be conceived in diverse forms—that is to say, taking democracy to mean a state of society in which the populace is not reduced to impotence in the State—Fascism may write itself down as "an organized, centralized, and authoritative democracy."
Fascism has taken up an attitude of complete opposition to the doctrines of Liberalism, both in the political field and in the field of economics. There should be no undue exaggeration (simply with the object of immediate success in controversy) of the importance of Liberalism in the last century, nor should what was but one among many theories which appeared in that period be put forward as a religion for humanity for all time, past, present and to come. Liberalism only flourished for half a century.... The era of Liberalism, after having accumulated an infinity of Gordian knots, tried to untie them in the slaughter of the World War—and never has any religion demanded of its votaries such a monstrous sacrifice. Perhaps the Liberal gods were athirst for blood? But now, today, the Liberal faith must shut the doors of its deserted temples, deserted because the peoples of the world realize that its worship—agnostic in the field of economics and indifference in the field of politics and morals—will lead, as it has already led, to certain rum.
But the Fascist negation of Socialism, Democracy, and Liberalism must not be taken to mean that Fascism desires to lead the world back to the state of affairs before 1789, the date which seems to be the opening years of the semi-Liberal century; we do not desire to turn back. Absolute monarchy has been and can never return. As for the privileges of the feudal "have beens" and the division of society into castes impenetrable from outside and with no intercommunication among themselves, the Fascist conception of authority has nothing to do with such a policy.... Fascism uses whatever elements in the Liberal, Socialist, or Democratic doctrines still have a living value ... but it rejects all the rest.... Political doctrines pass, but humanity remains, and it may be expected that this will be a century of authority. If the nineteenth century was a century of individualism (and Liberalism always signifies individualism), it may be expected that this will be a century of collectivism and hence the century of the State.
The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. The "Liberal State" is not a directing force, guiding the play and development (both material and spiritual) of a collective body, but merely a force limited to the function of recording results. On the other hand, the Fascist State is itself conscious, and has itself a will and a personality—thus it may be called the "ethical" State....
The individual in the Fascist State is not annulled but rather multiplied, just in the same way that a soldier in a regiment is not diminished but rather increased by the number of his comrades. The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone....
The Fascist State is an embodied will to power and government, the idea of force in action. According to Fascism, government is not so much a thing to be expressed in territorial or military terms as in terms of morality and spirit. It is an empire—that is to say, a nation which directly or indirectly rules other nations without the need of conquering a single square yard of territory. The growth of empire, the expansion of the nation is for Fascism an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence. Peoples which are rising ... are always imperialist; any renunciation is a sign of decay and of death. Fascism represents the tendencies and the aspirations of a people rising after many centuries of abasement and foreign servitude. But the empire demands discipline, the coordination of all forces and a deeply felt sense of duty and sacrifice: this fact explains many aspects of the practical workings of the regime, the character of many forces in the State and the necessarily severe measures taken against those who would oppose this spontaneous and inevitable movement ... by recalling the outworn ideology of the 19th century.
Never before has the nation stood more in need of authority, of direction, and of order. If every age has its own characteristic doctrine, there are a thousand signs which point to Fascism as the doctrine of our time. For Fascism has created a living faith, a faith powerful enough in the minds of men that they have suffered and died for it. Fascism represents a stage in the history of the human spirit.
Adolf Hitler Speech, 25 January 1923
That which paralyzed the German people [in 1918] and later gnawed it to its very marrow was the poison of a doctrine which had been active forty years previously ... but had continued to gnaw far more effectively than ever before. The doctrine was Marxism, the doctrine which denies the value of the great leader, and proposes class warfare. Marxism necessarily must become a movement of people who, engaged in nothing but physical labor, do not have the ability to think clearly or as a result of their work have become hostile to mental labor. It is a gigantic organization of working animals without spiritual leadership. Marxism, therefore, must become class warfare, and thereby it becomes what its founders wanted it to be: an instrument which deprives things of their spirit, an instrument in the service of a race striving for world domination, and deadly opposed to true socialism. It is the weapon needed by the Jew of the international stock exchange in order to conquer this world. Deep are the impressions which this doctrine has made on our people. The idea of authority has been overthrown; freedom of action and the creative opportunities of the individual are restricted; the genius of leadership is shackled, which paralyzes any free development. In place of all this there is the democratic principle of decision by the majority, which always signifies the victory of the lower, the more inferior, the weaker, and above all of the cowardly and irresponsible. The individual is smothered by the mass....
Bavarian Political Police Report on Hitler Speech in Augsburg, 6 July 1923
Hitler ended a lengthy speech in the Sangerhalle with the following restatement of his political program.
Majority resolutions of a parliament cannot save us; only the value of a unique personality can do that. As Fuhrer of the National Socialist Party, I see my task as assuming full responsibility. We do not rely upon committees and majorities. We are aware that our path will be thronged with thorns. National Socialists demand from their leader that he renounce all vanity and expressions of personal admiration; he must not worry about what the majority of people want him to do, but must carry out whatever his conscience before God and man tells him is necessary. Unlike other parties, we did not write a party platform designed to enlarge the number of [parliamentary] mandates without regard to the well-being and even at the expense of the individual and the whole nation. That is not the creative path taken by the great lawgivers such as Christ, Solon, etc., but is the way pursued by little men who worry so much about their parliamentary dignity.
Thus, in our program we did not make promises. Instead we insisted:
1) You are a German. You should treasure your fatherland higher than anything else in the world. Your first responsibility in this world is to be a good German. You must not beg for the rights of your yolk, but demand them. Heaven blesses only those who use their fists to secure their rights.
2) Citizenship rights belong only to those who are worthy and have German blood. German citizenship must become the powerful cement which binds together everything German throughout the world.
3) Our State should not be the plaything of financial interests, but rather should offer to all its citizens the opportunity to maintain themselves honorably in this world. We demand that the State be freed from all unworthy interest payments and compulsory obligations.
4) The State must see to it that property and real estate speculation cease. Property belongs only to those who have built. The Reich exists in order to protect its yolk, its race. In our State, the press, art, and literature will not be free, but handmaidens of the State in order to educate the people to a sense of honor and decency. We want this state to be based upon true Christianity. To be a Christian does not mean a cowardly turning of the other cheek, but a struggle for justice and a fighter against all injustice.
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925-1926
The first obligation of a new Movement, standing on the ground of a völkisch world view, is to make sure that its conception of the nature and purpose of the State attains a uniform and clear character.... The State is a means to an end. Its end lies in the preservation and advancement of a community of physically and psychically homogeneous creatures. This preservation itself comprises first of all existence as a race and thereby permits the free development of all the forces dormant in this race.... States which do not serve this purpose are misbegotten, monstrosities in fact. The fact of their existence changes this no more than the success of a gang of bandits can justify robbery.
We National Socialists, as champions of a new philosophy of life, must never base ourselves on so-called "accepted facts"—and false ones at that! ... We must distinguish in the sharpest way between the State as a vessel and the race as its content. This vessel has meaning only if it can preserve and protect the content; otherwise it is useless.
Thus the highest purpose of a všlkisch State is concern for the preservation of those original racial elements which bestow culture and create the beauty and dignity of a higher mankind. We, as Aryans, can conceive of the State only as the living organism of a yolk, which not only assures the preservation of this nationality, but by the development of its spiritual and ideal abilities leads to the highest freedom....
From this, we National Socialists derive a standard for the evaluation of a state: ... A State can be designated as exemplary if it is not only compatible with the living conditions of the yolk it is intended to represent, but if in practice it keeps this Všlkness alive by its own very existence-quite regardless of the importance of this state formation within the framework of the outside world. For the function of the State is not to create abilities, but only to open the road for those forces which are present. And, conversely, a State can be designated as bad if, despite a high cultural level, it dooms the bearer of this culture in his racial composition. For thus it destroys to all intents and purposes the premise for the survival of this culture, which the State did not create but which is the fruit of the culture-creating Všlkness safeguarded by a living integration through the State....
Anyone who speaks of a mission of the German yolk on earth must know that it can exist only in the formation of a State which sees its highest task in the preservation and promotion of the most noble elements of our Všlkness, indeed of all mankind, which still remains intact. In this way, for the first time the State achieves a lofty inner goal. Compared to the absurd catchwords about safeguarding law and order, thus laying a peaceable groundwork for mutual swindles, the task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission. From a dead mechanism which can only claim to exist for its own sake, there must be formed a living organism with the exclusive aim of serving this higher idea.
The German Reich as a State must embrace all Germans and has the task, not only of assembling and preserving the most valuable stocks of basic racial elements in this people, but slowly and surely of raising them to a dominant position.... In general, Nature herself usually makes certain corrective decisions with regard to the racial purity of earthly creatures. She has little love for bastards. Especially the first products of such crossbreeding, say in the third, fourth, and fifth generation, suffer bitterly. Not only is the value of the originally highest element of the cross-breeding taken from them, but with their lack of blood unity they lack also unity of will-power and determination to live. In all critical moments in which the racially unified being makes correct, that is, unified decisions, the racially divided one will become uncertain; that is, he will arrive at half measures. Taken together, this means not only a certain inferiority of the racially divided being compared with the racially unified one, but in practice also the possibility of a more rapid decline. In innumerable cases where race holds up, the bastard breaks down. In this, we must see the correction of Nature. But often she goes even further. She limits the fertility of continued crossings altogether and thus causes them to die out.
If, for example, an individual specimen of a certain race were to enter into a union with a racially lower specimen, the result would at first be a lowering of the standard in itself; but, in addition, there would be a weakening of the offspring as compared to the environment that had remained racially unmixed. If an influx of further blood from the highest race were prevented entirely, the bastards, if they continued mutually to cross, would either die out because their power of resistance had been wisely diminished by Nature, or in the course of many millenniums a new mixture would form in which the original individual elements would be completely blended by the thousandfold crossing and therefore no longer recognizable. Thus a new nationality would have formed with a certain herd resistance, but, compared to the highest race participating in the first crossing, seriously reduced in spiritual and cultural stature. But in this last case, moreover, the hybrid product would succumb in the mutual struggle for existence as long as a higher racial entity, which has remained unmixed, is still present as an opponent. All the herd solidarity of this new people, formed in the course of thousands of years, would, in consequence of the general lowering of the racial level and the resultant diminution of spiritual elasticity and creative ability, not suffice victoriously to withstand the struggle with an equally unified, but spiritually and culturally superior race.
Hence we can establish the following valid statement: Every racial crossing leads inevitably sooner or later to the decline of the hybrid product as long as the higher element of this crossing is itself still existent in any kind of racial unity. The danger for the hybrid product is eliminated only at the moment when the last higher racial element is bastardized. This is a basis for a natural, even though slow, process of regeneration, which gradually eliminates racial poisonings as long as a basic stock of racially pure elements is still present and a further bastardization does not take place.
Such a process can begin of its own accord in creatures with a strong racial instinct, who have only been thrown off the track of normal, racially pure reproduction by special circumstances or some special compulsion. As soon as this condition of compulsion is ended, the part which has still remained pure will at once strive again for mating among equals, thus calling a halt to further mixture. The results of bastardization spontaneously recede to the background, unless their number has increased so infinitely that serious resistance on the part of those who have remained racially pure is out of the question.
Man, once he has lost his instinct and fails to recognize the obligation imposed upon him by Nature, is on the whole not justified in hoping for such a correction on the part of Nature as long as he has not replaced his lost instinct by perceptive knowledge; this knowledge must then perform the required work of compensation. Yet the danger is very great that the man who has once grown blind will keep tearing down the racial barriers more and more, until at length even the last remnant of his best part is lost. Then in reality there remains nothing but a unified mash, such as the famous world reformers of our days idealize; but in a short time it would expel all ideals from this world. Indeed: a great herd could be formed in this way; a herd beast can be brewed from all sorts of ingredients, but a man who will be a culture-bearer, or even better, a culture-founder and culture-creator, never arises from such a mixture. The mission of humanity could then be looked upon as finished.
Anyone who does not want the earth to move toward this condition must convert himself to call a fundamental halt to any further bastardization. The generation of our present notorious weaklings will obviously cry out against this, and moan and complain about assaults on the holiest human rights. No, there is only one holiest human right, and this right is at the same time the holiest obligation to wit: to see to it that the blood is preserved pure and, by preserving the best humanity, to create the possibility of a nobler development of these things.
A všlkisch state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape.... The všlkisch state must make up for what everyone else today has neglected in this field. It must set race in the center of all life. It must take care to keep it pure. It must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. It must see to it that only the healthy beget children; that there is only one disgrace: despite one's own sickness and deficiencies, to bring children into the world, and one highest honor: to renounce doing so. And conversely it must be considered reprehensible: to withhold healthy children from the nation. Here the state must act as the guardian of a millennial future in the face of which the wishes and the selfishness of the individual must appear as nothing and submit. It must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge. It must declare unfit for propagation all who are in any way visibly sick or who have inherited a disease and can therefore pass it on, and put this into actual practice. Conversely, it must take care that the fertility of the healthy woman is not limited by the financial irresponsibility of a state regime which turns the blessing of children into a curse for the parents. It must put an end to that lazy, nay criminal, indifference with which the social premises for a fecund family are treated today, and must instead feel itself to be the highest guardian of this most precious blessing of a people. Its concern belongs more to the child than to the adult.
Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy must perpetuate their suffering in the body of their children. In this the všlkisch state must perform the most gigantic educational task. And some day this will seem to be a greater deed than the most victorious wars of our present bourgeois era. By education it must teach the individual that it is no disgrace, but only a misfortune deserving of pity, to be sick and weakly, but that it is a crime and hence at the same time a disgrace to dishonor one's misfortune by one's own egotism in burdening innocent creatures with it; that by comparison it bespeaks a nobility of highest idealism and the most admirable humanity if the innocently sick, renouncing a child of his own, bestows his love and tenderness upon a poor, unknown young scion of his own nationality, who with his health promises to become some day a powerful member of a powerful community. And in this educational work the state must perform the purely intellectual complement of its practical activity. It must act in this sense without regard to understanding or lack of understanding, approval or disapproval.
A prevention of the faculty and opportunity to procreate on the part of the physically degenerate and mentally sick, over a period of only six hundred years, would not only free humanity from an immeasurable misfortune, but would lead to a recovery which today seems scarcely conceivable. If the fertility of the healthiest bearers of the nationality is thus consciously and systematically promoted, the result will be a race which at last will have eliminated the germs of our present physical and hence spiritual decay.
For once a people and a state have started on this path, attention will automatically be directed to increasing the racially most valuable nucleus of the people and its fertility, in order ultimately to let the entire nationality partake of the blessing of a highly bred racial stock.
Upon his release from prison at Christmas 1925, Hitler continued to develop his brand of fascism in speeches.
Adolf Hitler Speech, 15 January 1928
We see that in mankind individual giants continuously tower over the rest. There are always certain nations which proceed in advance of all the others, nations which in the eternal struggle with nature are able to discover her secrets and to make them available for the rest of humanity. These nations are thereby able to open the gates for other people. By means of this eternal struggle, the individual nations are sifted out....
Force determines the way of life. Right exists only when it is created and protected by power and force. It bespeaks the greatness of a people if it can find the strength to raise itself upward. But when a people dances Negro dances and listens only to jazz music, then we need not be surprised if it should perish, and seek out parliamentary monstrosities. He who does not honor his past is not worthy of a better future. A people must be taught to struggle. Struggle must be brought to the realization of a people.
Adolf Hitler Speech, 5 February 1928
The idea of struggle is as old as life itself, for life is only preserved because other living things perish through struggle.... In this struggle, the stronger, the more able win, while the less able, the weak lose. Struggle is the father of all things. Only through struggle has man raised himself above the animal world. Even today it is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by means of the most brutal struggle. As it is with the individual so it is in the destiny of nations. Only by struggle are the strong able to raise themselves above the weak. And every people that loses out in this eternally shifting struggle has, according to the laws of nature, received its just desert. A Weltanschauung that denies the idea of struggle is contrary to nature and will lead a people that is guided by it to destruction. The road that must be traveled by a people which wishes to develop itself still higher is not the road of comfort and ease, but the road of relentless struggle. For if you do not fight for life, then life will never be won.
Adolf Hitler Speech, 2 April 1928
The first fundamental of any rational Weltanschauung is the fact that on earth and in the universe force alone is decisive. Whatever goal man has reached is due to his originality plus his brutality.... There will never be a solution to the German problem until we return to the three fundamental principles which control the existence of every nation: the concept of struggle, the purity of blood, and the ingenuity of the individual.
One of the most important aspects of National Socialism was its emphasis upon activism, rather than reflection.
Adolf Hitler Speech Before the Dźsseldorf Industrial Club, January 1932
... People say to me so often: "You are only the drummer of national Germany." And supposing that I were only the drummer? It would today be a far more statesmanlike achievement to drum once more into this German people a new faith than gradually to squander the only faith they have.... The more you bring a people back into the sphere of faith, of ideals, the more will it cease to regard material distress as the one and only thing that counts. And the weightiest evidence for the truth of that statement is our own German people. We will never forget that the German people waged wars of religion for 150 years with prodigious devotion, that hundreds of thousands of men once left their plot of land, their property, and their belongings simply for an ideal, simply for a conviction. We will never forget that during those 150 years there was no trace of even an ounce of material interest. Then you will understand how mighty is the force of an idea, of an ideal. Only so can you comprehend how it is that in our movement today hundreds of thousands of young men are prepared to risk their lives to withstand our opponents.
I know quite well, gentlemen, that when National Socialists march through the streets and suddenly in the evening there arises a tumult and a commotion, then the bourgeois draws back the window-curtain, looks out, and says: "Once again my night's rest is disturbed: no more sleep for me. Why must these Nazis always be so provocative and run about the place at night?" Gentlemen, if everyone thought like that, then, true enough, no one's sleep at night would be disturbed, but then also the bourgeois today would not be able to venture into the street. If everyone thought in that way, if these young folk had no ideal to move them and drive them forward, then certainly they would gladly be rid of these nightly fights. But remember that it means sacrifice when today many hundreds of thousands of SA and SS men of the National Socialist movement have every day to mount on their lorries, protect meetings, undertake marches, sacrifice themselves night after night and then come back in the grey dawn to workshop and factory, or as unemployed to take the pittance of the dole: it means sacrifice when from the little they possess they have further to buy their uniforms, their shirts, their badges, yes and even pay their own fares. Believe me, there is already in all this the force of an ideal—a great ideal! And if the whole German yolk today had the same faith in its vocation as these hundreds of thousands, if the whole yolk possessed this idealism, Germany would stand in the eyes of the world otherwise than she stands now! (Loud applause). For our situation in the world in its fatal effects is but the result of our own under-estimate of German strength ('Very true!'). Only when we have once more changed this fatal undervaluation of ourselves can Germany take advantage of the political possibilities which, if we look far enough into the future, can place German life once more upon a natural and secure basis -and that means either new living space [Lebensraum] and the development of a great internal market or protection of German economic life against the world without and utilization of all the concentrated strength of Germany. The labor resources of our people, the capacities, we have them already: no one can deny that we are industrious. But we must first refashion the political preconditions: without that, industry and capacity, diligence and economy are in the last resort of no avail; an oppressed nation will not be able to spend on its own welfare even the fruits of its own economy but must sacrifice them on the altar of exactions and of tribute.
And so in contrast to our own official Government, I see no hope for the resurrection of Germany if we regard the foreign politics of Germany as the primary factor: our primary need is the restoration of a sound national German body politic armed to strike. In order to realize this end, thirteen years ago I founded the National Socialist Movement: that Movement I have led during the last twelve years and I hope that one day it will accomplish this task and that, as the fairest result of its struggle, it will leave behind it a German body politic completely renewed internally, intolerant of anyone who sins against the yolk and its interests, intolerant of anyone who will not acknowledge its vital interests or who opposes them, intolerant of and pitiless towards anyone who shall attempt once more to destroy or undermine this body politic, and yet ready for friendship and peace with anyone who has a wish for peace and friendship (Long and tumultuous applause).
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925-1926
I must not measure the speech of a statesman to his people by the impression which it leaves on a university professor, but by the effect it exerts on the people. And this alone gives the standard for the speaker's genius. The amazing development of our movement, which only a few years ago was founded out of the void and today is considered worthy to be sharply persecuted by all the inner and outer enemies of our people, must be attributed to the constant consideration and application of these realizations.
Important as the movement's literature may be, it will in our present position be more important for the equal and uniform training of the upper and lower leaders than for the winning of the hostile masses. Only in the rarest cases will a convinced Social Democrat or a fanatical Communist condescend to acquire a National Socialist pamphlet, let alone a book, to read it and from it gain an insight into our conception of life or to study the critique of his own. Even a newspaper will be read but very seldom if it does not bear the party stamp. Besides, this would be of little use; for the general aspect of a single copy of a newspaper is so chopped up and so divided in its effect that looking at it once cannot be expected to have any influence on the reader. We may and must expect no one, for whom pennies count, to subscribe steadily to an opposing newspaper merely from the urge for objective enlightenment. Scarcely one out of ten thousand will do this. Only a man who has already been won to the movement will steadily read the party organ, and he will read it as a running news service of his movement.
The case is quite different with the "spoken" leaflet! The man in the street will far sooner take it into his hands, especially if he gets it for nothing, and all the more if the headlines plastically treat a topic which at the moment is in everyone's mouth. By a more or less thorough perusal, it may be possible by such a leaflet to call his attention to new viewpoints and attitudes, even in fact to a new movement. But even this, in the most favorable case, will provide only a slight impetus, never an accomplished fact. For the leaflet, too, can only suggest or point to something, and its effect will only appear in combination with a subsequent more thorough-going instruction and enlightenment of its readers. And this is and remains the mass meeting.
The mass meeting is also necessary for the reason that in it the individual, who at first, while becoming a supporter of a young movement, feels lonely and easily succumbs to the fear of being alone, for the first time gets the picture of a larger community, which in most people has a strengthening, encouraging effect. The same man, within a company or a battalion, surrounded by all his comrades, would set out on an attack with a lighter heart than if left entirely on his own. In the crowd he always feels somewhat sheltered, even if a thousand reasons actually argue against it.
But the community of the great demonstration not only strengthens the individual, it also unites and helps to create an esprit de corps. The man who is exposed to grave tribulations, as the first advocate of a new doctrine in his factory or workshop, absolutely needs that strengthening which lies in the conviction of being a member and fighter in a great comprehensive body. And he obtains an impression of this body for the first time in the mass demonstration. When from his little workshop or big factory, in which he feels very small, he steps for the first time into a mass meeting and has thousands and thousands of people of the same opinions around him, when, as a seeker, he is swept away by three or four thousand others into the mighty effect of suggestive intoxication and enthusiasm, when the visible success and agreement of thousands confirm to him the rightness of the new doctrine and for the first time arouse doubt in the truth of his previous conviction—then he himself has succumbed to the magic influence of what we designate as "mass suggestion.'' The will, the longing, and also the power of thousands are accumulated in every individual. The man who enters such a meeting doubting and wavering leaves it inwardly reinforced: he has become a link in the community.
NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND THE JEWS: THE THEORY
Anti-Semitism was essential to National Socialism, but its origin with Hitler is the subject of some controversy. In his autobiographical book, written in prison, he described his "discovery" of the Jewish problem.
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925-1926
Today it is difficult, if not impossible, for me to say when the word "Jew" first gave me ground for special thoughts. At home I do not remember having heard the word during my father's lifetime. I believe that the old gentleman would have regarded any special emphasis on this term as cultural backwardness. In the course of his life he had arrived at more or less cosmopolitan views which, despite his pronounced national sentiments, not only remained intact, but also affected me to some extent.... Not until my fourteenth or fifteenth year did I begin to come across the word "Jew" with any frequency, partly in connection with political discussions. This filled me with a mild distaste, and I could not rid myself of an unpleasant feeling that always came over me whenever religious quarrels occurred in my presence. There were few Jews in Linz. In the course of the centuries their outward appearance had become Europeanized and had taken on a human look; in fact, I even took them for Germans. The absurdity of this idea did not dawn on me because I saw no distinguishing feature but the strange religion. The fact that they had, as I believed, been persecuted on this account sometimes almost turned my distaste at unfavorable remarks about them into horror. Thus far I did not so much as suspect the existence of an organized opposition to the Jews. Then I came to Vienna [where he encountered Orthodox Jews for the first time]....
The cleanliness of this people, moral and otherwise, I must say, is a point in itself. By their very exterior you could tell that these were no lovers of water, and to your distress, you often knew it with your eyes closed. Later I often grew sick to my stomach from the smell of these caftan wearers. Added to this, there was their unclean dress and their generally unheroic appearance. All this could scarcely be called very attractive; but it became positively repulsive when, in addition to their physical uncleanliness, you discovered the moral stains on this "chosen people." In a short time I was made more thoughtful than ever by my slowly rising insight into the type of activity carried on by the Jews in certain fields. Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it? If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light—a kike!
What had to be reckoned heavily against the Jews in my eyes was when I became acquainted with their activity in the press, art, literature, and the theater. All the unctuous reassurances helped little or nothing. It sufficed to look at a billboard, to study the names of the men behind the horrible trash they advertised, to make you hard for a long time to come. This was pestilence, spiritual pestilence, worse than the Black Death of olden times, and people were being infected with it! It goes without saying that the lower the intellectual level of one of these art manufacturers the more unlimited his fertility will be, and the scoundrel ends up like a garbage separator, splashing his filth in the face of humanity. And bear in mind that there is no limit to their number; bear in mind that for one Goethe, Nature easily can foist on the world ten thousands of these scribblers who poison men's souls like germ-carriers of the worse sort, on their fellow men.
It was terrible, but not to be overlooked, that precisely the Jew, in tremendous numbers, seemed chosen by Nature for this shameful calling. I now began to examine carefully the names of all the creators of unclean products in public artistic life. The result was less and less favorable for my previous attitude toward the Jews. Regardless how my sentiment might resist, my reason was forced to draw its conclusions. The fact that nine-tenths of all literary filth, artistic trash, and theatrical idiocy can be set to the account of a people, constituting hardly one one-hundredth of all the country's inhabitants, could simply not be talked away; it was the plain truth....
I gradually became aware that the Social Democratic press was directed predominantly by Jews.... I swallowed my disgust and tried to read this type of Marxist press production, but my revulsion became so unlimited in so doing that I endeavored to become more closely acquainted with the men who manufactured these compendiums of knavery. From the publisher down, they were all Jews. I took all the Social Democratic pamphlets I could lay hands on and sought the names of their authors: Jews. I noted the names of the leaders: by far the greatest part were likewise members of the "chosen" people....
One thing had grown clear to me: the party with whose petty representatives I had been carrying on the most violent struggle for months was, as to leadership, almost exclusively in the hands of a foreign people; for, to my deep and joyful satisfaction I had at last come to the conclusion that the Jew was no German. Only now did I become thoroughly acquainted with the seducer of our people.... If, with the help of his Marxist creed, the Jew is victorious over the other peoples of the world, his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity and this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men. Eternal Nature inexorably avenges the infringement of her commands .
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.
Prior to 1918, Hitler's letters have no reference to Jews, but his first political writing after the war already contains his full obsession on this subject.
Adolf Hitler to Captain Karl Meyer, 16 September 1919
If the threat with which Jewry faces our people has given rise to undeniable hostility on the part of a large section of our people, the cause of this hostility must not be sought in the clear recognition that Jewry as such is deliberately or unwittingly having a pernicious effect on our nation, but mostly in personal intercourse, in the poor impression the Jew makes as an individual. As a result, anti-Semitism far too readily assumes a purely emotional character. But this is not the correct response. Anti-Semitism as a political movement may not and cannot be molded by emotional factors but only by recognition of facts. Now the facts are:
To begin with, the Jews are unquestionably a race, not a religious community. And the Jew himself never describes himself as a Jewish German, a Jewish Pole or a Jewish American, but always as a German, Polish or American Jew. Never has the Jew absorbed more from the alien people in whose midst he lives than their language. And no more than a German who is forced to use the French language in France, the Italian language in Italy, and the Chinese language in China, thereby becomes a Frenchman, an Italian, let alone a Chinaman, no more can we call a Jew who happens to live amongst us and who is therefore forced to use German, a German. And even the Mosaic faith, however great its importance for the preservation of that race, cannot be the sole criterion for deciding who is a Jew and who is not. There is hardly a race in the world whose members all belong to a single religion.
Through inbreeding for thousands of years, often in very small circles, the Jew has been able to preserve his race and his racial characteristics much more successfully than most of the numerous people among whom he lives. As a result we have living in our midst a non-German, alien race, unwilling and indeed unable to shed its racial characteristics, its particular feelings, thoughts and ambitions and nevertheless enjoying the same political rights as we ourselves do. And since even the Jew's feelings are limited to the material sphere, his thoughts and ambitions are bound to be so even more strongly. The dance round the golden calf becomes a ruthless struggle for all those goods that we feel deep down are not the highest and not the only ones worth striving for on this earth. The work of an individual is no longer determined by his character, by the importance of his achievement for the community, but solely by the size of his fortune, his wealth. The greatness of the nation is no longer measured by the sum of its moral and spiritual resources, but only by its material goods. All this results in that mental attitude and that quest for money and the power to protect it which allow the Jew to become so unscrupulous in his choice of means, so merciless in their use for his own ends. In autocratic states he cringes before the "majesty" of the princes and misuses their favors to become a leech on their people.
In a democracy he vies for the favors of the masses, grovels before the "majesty of the people," but only recognizes the majesty of money. He saps the prince's character by Byzantine flattery; national pride and the strength of the nation by ridicule and shameless seduction to vice. His chosen weapon is public opinion as falsified by the press. His power is the power of the money he accumulates so easily and endlessly in the form of interest and with which he imposes a yoke upon the nation that is the more pernicious in that its glitter disguises its dire consequences. Everything that makes the people strive for greater things, be it religion, socialism or democracy, merely serves the Jew as a means to the satisfaction of his greed and thirst for power.
The result of his works is racial tuberculosis of the nation.
And this has the following consequences: purely emotional anti-Semitism finds its final expression in the form of pogroms. Rational anti-Semitism, by contrast, must lead to a systematic and legal struggle against, and eradication of the privileges the Jews enjoy over other foreigners living among us (Alien Laws). Its final objective, however, must be the total removal of all Jews from our midst. Both objectives can only be achieved by a government of national strength, never by a government of national impotence.
The German republic owes its birth not to the united will of our peoples, but to the underhanded exploitation of a series of circumstances that, taken together, express themselves in deep dissatisfaction. These circumstances, however, arose independently of the political structure and are at work even today Indeed, more so than ever before. Hence a large part of our people have come to recognize that it is not by changing the structure of the state as such that our position can be improved, but only by the rebirth of the yolk's moral and spiritual forces. And this rebirth cannot be prepared by the leadership of an irresponsible majority influenced by party dogmas or by the internationalist catch-phrases and slogans of an irresponsible press, but only by determined acts on the part of nationally-minded leaders with an inner sense of responsibility.
This very fact serves to deprive the Republic of the inner support of the spiritual forces any nation badly needs. Hence the present leaders of the nation are forced to seek the support of those who alone have benefited and continue to benefit from changing the form of the German state, and who for that very reason became the driving force of the Revolution—the Jews. Disregarding the Jewish threat, which is undoubtedly recognized even by the present-day leaders (as witness various statements by prominent personalities), these men are forced to accept Jewish favors to their private advantage and to repay these favors. And the repayment does not merely involve satisfying every possible Jewish demand, but above all preventing the struggle of the duped people against their deceivers, by sabotaging the anti-Semitic movement.