"Time of Struggle"
He [Hitler] arrived about half past six in the tight blue serge suit, of which he was so proud, straining at the buttons with the weight he had put on in Landsberg. Egon [the Hanfstaengls' small son] was with me to greet him at the door. "I am so glad to see you again, Uncle 'Dolf," he said and Hitler took his hand as we walked down the corridor. I had a big concert grand in the studio and before I could gather my wits or offer any hospitality, Hitler, who seemed tense and wound up, said, almost pleadingly: "Hanfstaengl, play me the Liebestod." . . .
So down I sat and hammered out this tremendous thing from Tristan und Isolde, with Lisztian embellishments, and it seemed to work the trick. He relaxed . . . .
Before dinner, there was small talk. Suddenly he looked over his shoulder and stopped in midsentence. "I am sorry," he apologized ruefully; "that is the effect of prison. You always expect someone to be listening," and he launched into a graphic description of the psychological effect of the peephole in the prison door . . . .
After dinner he started warming up, striding up and down the room like a soldier, hands clasped behind his back. He was never much of a man for sitting down. Somehow he got back on to the subject of the war again, and we discovered that his powers of mimicry did not cover only the human voice. He was describing some recollection of the Western Front and started imitating an artillery barrage. He could reproduce the noise of every imaginable gun, German, French or English, the howitzers, the 75s, the machine guns, separately and all at once. With that tremendous voice of his we really went through about five minutes of the Battle of the Somme and what the neighbors must have thought I cannot imagine. 1
I shall never forget the look of astonishment and horror on Hitler's face! The wicked siren, too, felt that she had committed a faux pas, and an uncomfortable silence reigned. Bewildered and helpless as a child, Hitler stood there, biting his lip in an effort to master his anger. The atmosphere, which after his arrival had shown a tendency to become more formal, now became almost glacial.Hoffmann's skills as a host are put to test as he tries to make light of the situation: "I'm glad that it didn't happen to one of the more elderly among my guests. But then, you've always had luck with the ladies, Herr Hitler!" Hitler shows no appreciation for the joke, and soon excuses himself. 2
1925 January 4 Hitler, hat in hand, meets with Dr. Heinrich Held, the minister-president of Bavaria. Hitler's party is still banned, and so is his party's newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter. Hitler is prepared to make any pledge, take any vow, if only Held will allow him back in the game. He distances himself from Ludendorff', whose virulent anti-Catholicism Held finds repugnant. The Putsch was a mistake that he will not make again. He swears his loyalty to the state, and vows that if Held would be so kind as to release the rest of the Nazis still interned at Landsberg, they would all take the same vow. Held eventually agrees, feeling that Hitler has indeed learned his lesson, and that he is not likely to cause any further trouble. Held explains to a colleague: "The wild beast is tamed; we can afford to loosen the chain." 5
Rather that the one leader in whom one has the most trust fails, than this hither and thither of the many from whom everybody wants something different. I now believe in the godly grace of Hitler, whom I had personally never seen, and believe that God will enlighten him now to find the correct way out of this chaos. 61925 February 12 Ludendorff eliminates the Reich Leadership of the NSFB (Nationalsozialistische Freiheitsbewegung—National Socialist Freedom Movement). The NSFB had become the port-in-a-storm for many Nationalists after the banning of the Hitler party. It is disbanded this day to make way for the new NSDAP. 7
If the Völkischer Beobachter, which originally had merely a few thousand subscribers, has now become a gigantic enterprise, in which reckoning is by the million, we owe it first and foremost to the exemplary industry of Reichsleiter [Max] Amann. Thanks to a quite military discipline, he has succeeded in getting the very best out of his colleagues, suppressing particularly all contact between the editorial and the administrative staffs. I don't know how often Amann, when telling me of the great financial development of the newspaper, begged me to make no mention of the fact in front of Rosenberg, the editor-in-chief, or of the other members of the editorial staff. Otherwise, he used to say, they would plague him for higher salaries.
What discipline, with the severity that is proper to it, Amann [above] succeeded in imposing on all his colleagues! He behaved as if the editorial staff and the editors were nothing but a necessary evil. And yet—what a task of immense educational value he has thus accomplished! He has moulded exactly the type of journalist that we need in a National Socialist State. We want men who, when they develop a theme, do not first of all think of the success the article will bring them or of the material benefits it will give them; as formers of public opinion, we want men who are conscious of the fact that they have a mission and who bear themselves as good servants of the State. 9
1925 February 16 Artur Dinter, publisher of a new Weimar newspaper, Der Nationalsozialist, is appointed NSDAP State Leader of Thuringia by Hitler. Dinter is Party Number 5 in the newly-reformed NSDAP.
1925 February 17 Hitler meets privately with Gregor Strasser, who had surrendered the leadership of the NSFB just five days previously. The two rivals confer over their respective roles in a reformed Nazi party. Strasser agrees to join the reborn party, but only as an equal, not a follower. They also discuss spheres of influence. Strasser, headquartered out of Berlin, is to have jurisdiction in Northern Germany. Hitler would maintain his base in Munich with one exception; Strasser is also to be appointed Gauleiter of Lower Bavaria, with 24-year-old Heinrich Himmler as Deputy Gauleiter. Note: For organizational purposes, Hitler has divided Germany into 23 separate districts (later increased to 32), roughly corresponding to established electoral districts. Each such district, or Gau, is headed by a Nazi party appointee: a Gauleiter.
Man #1: "Why, you were here in 1923, but dressed differently—you had a Swastika and a gun then, you loafer!"
Man #2: "Well, in those days we were crazy."
NATIONAL SOCIALIST GERMAN WORKERS' PARTY
National Socialists! Old-established Party Members—Men and Women!
On Friday 27 February at 8 P.M., the first great public Mass Meeting for the Reconstruction of the National Socialist German Workers' Party will take place at the Bürgerbräukeller, Rosenheimerstrasse, in Munich.
Our party comrade Adolf Hitler will speak on Germany's Future and our Movement.
Admission 1 Mark, to cover cost of hall and publicity.
All additional moneys will be used to start the Movement's Fighting Fund.
Jews not admitted. Summoner: Amann.
Advance sale of tickets from Thursday 26 February at 15 Thierschstrasse (bookshop).
The fighting publication of the Greater Germany National Socialist Movement is the Völkischer Beobachter. Editor: Adolf Hitler. 15
1925 February 27 Hitler speaks in public, for the first time since his release from prison. The venue he chooses is the Bürgerbräukeller, the very place where the Putsch had begun, just two Novembers previously. 16 It is uncertain just how many people are present on this night, in the now-infamous Bürgerbräukeller. 17 The meeting is chaired by the party's business manager, Max Amann, because Anton Drexler—the founder and nominal head of the NSDAP—had refused to attend. He will have nothing to do with the party, unless and until Esser and Streicher are dismissed from their posts. 18 The Hitler who takes the stage is not the unassuming fellow Dr. Held had interviewed in January, but a version of the "wild beast" that Held assumed had been tamed. Hitler strikes a defiant tone:
This is an absolutely new beginning. You must forget your personal quarrels. If you will not, I shall start the party alone, without you! . . . .
If anyone comes and wants to impose conditions on me, I shall say to him: Just wait, my little friend, and see what conditions I impose on you. I'm not wooing the masses you know. After a year has passed, you be the judges, my party comrades. If I have not acted rightly, then I shall return my office to your hands. But until then, this is the rule: I and I alone shall lead the movement, and no one sets me conditions as long as I personally bear the responsibility. And I, on the other hand, bear all the responsibility for everything that happens in the movement . . . .
To this struggle of ours there are only two possible issues: either the enemy pass over our bodies or we pass over theirs, and it is my desire that, if in the struggle I should fall, the Swastika banner shall be my winding sheet. 19
Otto Strasser had this to say about Hitler's speaking ability:
If he tries to bolster up his argument with theories or quotations from books [that] he has only imperfectly understood, he scarcely rises above mediocrity. But let him throw away his crutches, speaking as the spirit moves him, and he is promptly transformed into one of the greatest speakers of the century . . . .
Adolf Hitler enters a hall. He sniffs the air, feels his way, senses the atmosphere. Suddenly, he bursts forth. His words go like an arrow to their target; he touches each private wound on the raw, liberating the unconscious, exposing its innermost aspirations, and telling it what it most wants to hear. 21
1925 February 28 The Social Democratic President of Germany, Friedrich Ebert, dies of complications from appendicitis. A new round of presidential elections is scheduled to culminate in April. 22
Those who want to have a fight with us can have one. Whoever attacks us will be stabbed from all sides. I will successfully lead the German people in their fight for freedom: if not peacefully, then with force. This sentence I repeat emphatically for the benefit of police spies so that no erroneous reports will be circulated.In reaction, the authorities once again ban him from speaking in public altogether. After all, he is still on parole. This ban will be in place until May of 1927, severely limiting his political activity in Bavaria. The ban is also adopted by other German states that are quick to see the wisdom of the move. 26
Kurt Luedecke (above, with Hitler) is impressed by Gregor Strasser:
He seemed most genuine and of almost touching simplicity and modesty . . . . He was an odd sight, this big man in his home-made breeches, black woollen stockings, and heavy shoes, with a little Tyrolean hat perched like a plate atop his head, completely out of harmony with his broad and massive features. But at the same time he impressed me with his calm strength, his pithy humor and robust health: suggesting at once something oaken and powerful. 28
Otto Strasser later recorded how his brother, Gregor, described his deputy, Heinrich Himmler (above):
A remarkable fellow. Comes from a strong Catholic family, but does not want to know anything about the Church. Looks like a half-starved shrew. But keen, I tell you, incredibly keen. He has a motorbike. He is under way the whole day—from one farm to another—from one village to the next. Since I've had him our weapons have really been put into shape. I tell you, he's a perfect arms-NCO. He visits all the secret depots. 291925 March 27 Gregor Strasser meets with north-west German party leaders in the Hamburg industrial suburb of Harburg. Among those in attendance is a 27-year-old doctor of philosophy from the Rhineland, Dr, Josef Goebbels, who happens to be unemployed. A trusted Strasser associate, Karl Kaufmann, recommends Goebbels for the position of business manager in the central office of the Rhineland-North Gau. Strasser approves the appointment. 24
1925 March 29 Ludendorff, whom Hitler had encouraged to run for Reich president, is handed a humiliating defeat in the preliminary round of the presidential elections. He receives a mere 286,000 votes, just 1.1% of the votes cast. As a direct result, Ludendorff will never again be considered a serious political player by any but the most naive. 25
1925 March It is around this time that Baldur von Schirach, an 18-year-old Weimar resident and youth movement activist, hears Hitler speak for the first time:
I met Hitler as early as 1925. He had just left Landsberg on the Lech, his imprisonment was ended, and he came to Weimar and spoke there. It was on that occasion that I was introduced to him. The program for the national community which he developed appealed to me so enormously because in it I found on a large scale something I had experienced in a small way in the camaraderie of my youth organization. He appeared to me to be the man who would pave the way into the future for our generation. I believed that through him there could be offered to this younger generation the prospect of work, of happiness. And in him I saw the man who would liberate us from the shackles of Versailles . . . .
I became a member of The Party in 1925. I joined the SA at the same time, with all my comrades . . . . The SA furnished the protection for the meetings, and we simply continued in the SA, as part of the Party, the activities which we had carried out before in our youth organization. 30
1925 April 3 Julius Streicher speaks in Nuremberg:
You must realize that the Jew wants our people to perish. That is why you must join us and leave those who have brought you nothing but war, inflation, and discord. For thousands of years the Jew has been destroying the nations. Let us make a new beginning today so that we can annihilate the Jew. 321925 April 7 Hitler formally renounces his Austrian citizenship. He is now officially stateless (staatenlos). Until his status is changed—and there is little possibility that this will happen any time soon—Hitler cannot hold public office in Germany, or anywhere else. This is quite a difficult position for a politician to find himself in, to say the least. 33
1925 April 29 Hans Frank weds his domineering 29-year-old secretary, Brigitte Herbst. She will later be known as the 'Queen of Poland' (Königin von Polen). The couple will have five children. 35
1925 April 30 Hitler and Röhm have been at odds since Hitler was at Landsberg. Much to his displeasure, Hitler has no control over Röhm's underground army, the Frontbann. When Hitler insists that all such groups must be under the strict control of the political leadership—meaning Hitler himself—Röhm resigns. Röhm sends him a personal note: "I take this opportunity, in memory of the fine and difficult hours we have lived through together, to thank you (Dir) for your comradeship and to beg you not to exclude me from your personal friendship." Hitler never replies. 37
Without my political activity my name would be unknown, and I would be lacking materials for the publication of a political work . . . . Accordingly in my case as a political writer, the expenses of my political activity, which is the necessary condition of my professional writing as well as its assurance of financial success, cannot be regarded as subject to taxation. . . . . The Finance Office can see that out of the income from my book, for this period, only a very small fraction was expended for myself; nowhere do I possess property or other capital assets that I can call my own. I restrict of necessity my personal wants so far that I am a complete abstainer from alcohol and tobacco, take my meals in most modest restaurants, and aside from my minimal apartment rent make no expenditures that are not chargeable to my expenses as a political writer . . . . Also the automobile is for me but a means to an end. It alone makes it possible for me to accomplish my daily work. 38The Munich Finance Office eventually allows Hitler only half the deductions he claimed, and he has no choice but to pay up the balance. This is but the first of very many negotiations with the slippery party leader, who cheats on his taxes with the best of them. While the royalties from his book—by far the greatest single source of Hitler's income—are a matter of public record, and no cheating is possible in that regard, many of the monetary gifts and subsidies he receives from various supporters are on nobody's books, and thus are fair game in Hitler's eyes. But there is always some item, some deduction, some unbalanced account somewhere, which causes Hitler's taxman to keep an eye on Hitler's file. And the disputes only grow worse and more complicated until, finally, all attempts to get Hitler to pay his taxes are ended by his assumption of the office of Reich Chancellor, in 1933. Until then, Hitler and the taxman butt heads every quarter, without fail. 39
1925 Summer Hitler spends the summer months in the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden. On the slopes of the Obersalzberg, just a three hour drive from Munich, Berchtesgaden is known for its scenic beauty, and Hitler had fallen in love with the place on his first visit in 1923. He stays at a small villa, the Haus Wachenfeld, under the pseudonym "Herr Wolf," though it is hard to imagine that his true identity is completely unknown to his fellow guests. This is not the first summer he has played this little game. 41
Herr Hitler never authorized his Excellency Ludendorff to lead the National Socialist Movement. Herr Hitler repeatedly requested his Excellency to withdraw from the petty political dispute immediately after the trial. His Excellency [Ludendorff] should retain his name for the nation and not enter it and use it up on behalf of a small party. 451925 August 2 Heinrich Himmler rejoins the NSDAP, and joins the SS as well, receiving SS #198. 46
In 1925, the Bechsteins had invited me to stay with them in Bayreuth. They lived in a villa in the Liszt Strasse (I think this was the name of the street), within a few yards of Wahnfried. I had hesitated to go there, for I was afraid of thus increasing the difficulties of Siegfried Wagner, who was somewhat in the hands of the Jews. I arrived in Bayreuth towards eleven o'clock in the evening. Lotte Bechstein was still up, but her relatives were in bed. Next morning, Cosima Wagner came and brought me some flowers. What a bustle there was in Bayreuth for the Festival! There exist a few photographs of that period, in which I figure, taken by Lotte Bechstein. I used to spend the day in leather shorts. In the evening, I would put on a dinner-jacket or tails to go to the opera . . . . From all points of view, those were marvellous days. 471925 August 25 As a positive consequence of the August 1923 Dawes Plan agreement, the last French troops evacuate Düsseldorf, ending the French occupation of the Ruhr. 48
1925 September Wilhelm Frick, a former Munich police official who had assisted in the Hitler Putsch, joins the NSDAP. 49
Tuesday 1 September at 6 o'clock, in the afternoon was Captain Herman Wilhelm von Göring [sic], because of a medical certificate that he was insane and in need of care in hospitals, according to the Royal Police House who issued a referral he was transferred from Aspudden nursing home, where he was admitted to Catherine hospital. According to statement, von Göring was born on 1/12/93 and lives in house no. 23 Odegatan, 4th floor. up. Stockholm as above.Suffering from hallucinations brought on by going "Cold Turkey" in an effort to kick his morphine addiction, Goering is in sad shape indeed. After ten days of withdrawal, Göring snaps. He busts open a medicine locker, attacks the nurses who tries to stop him, and ends up in a straitjacket. He is soon transferred to Stockholm's Langbro Mental Asylum.
[The patient suffers from] hysterical tendencies, egocentric, inflated self-esteem; hater of the Jews, has devoted his life to the struggle against the Jews, was Hitler's right-hand man . . . . since he had been a German officer, he found it easy to obey. 501925 September 10 Gregor Strasser's North German faction begins to stretch its muscles when the AG (the Working Community (Arbeitsgemeinschaft, or AG for short) of the North and West German Gaue of the NSDAP) headed by Goebbels is formed at a party conference at Hagan, in Westphalia. Among those in attendance are Karl Kaufmann, Bemhard Rust, Hanns Kerrl, Robert Ley, Friedrich Hildebrandt, and Erich Koch. Characterizing themselves as a "west bloc," they plan a "counter-attack" against "the calcified big-shots in Munich." The Völkischer Beobachter is said to be at an "atrociously low level", and all are agreed about the "slovenly, lousy way they run things at headquarters" in Munich. And the likes of Esser and Streicher, the "corrupt Munich clique," are tolerated as well. Something must be done to save the Fuehrer from the bad influence of these fellows. 51
1925 October 5 - October 16 Seven separate agreements, known as the Locarno Treaties, are negotiated in Locarno, Switzerland, in an attempt to secure a lasting post-war territorial settlement. Locarno divides the borders in Europe into two categories: western, which are guaranteed by Locarno treaties, and the eastern borders of Germany with Poland, which are open for revision. This will eventually lead to renewed claims by Germany to the Free City of Danzig, the Polish Corridor, and Upper Silesia. Another provision of the Locarno Treaties is the demilitarization of the German Rhineland. If Germany sends troops, or in any way fortifies the Rhineland, the French are legally obliged to occupy the province with military force. 52
He jumps up at once. Stands there before us. Squeezes my hand. Like an old friend. And those big, blue eyes. Like stars. He's glad to see me. I'm in heaven . . . . [He spoke] with wit, irony, sarcasm, seriousness, fervour, passion . . . . This man has everything it takes to be a king . . . . The born tribune of the people. The coming dictator. 541925 November 20 Hitler and Goebbels meet for a second time, at a party rally in the industrial town of Plauen, in southern Saxony. Goebbels gushes to his diary: "Great joy! He greets me like an old friend! And looks after me. How I love him!" During neither of these meetings is policy discussed, and Goebbels makes many unfounded assumptions concerning Hitler's views on current hot issues. He assumes that Hitler, whose personal charm has Goebbels seeing stars in his eyes, is in agreement with him as to the socialist aspects of National Socialism. His star-struck view of his Fuehrer will take a quick 180% turn when the young doctor of philosophy hears his leader's true views, especially concerning the issue of the Junkers. 55
"Junkers" is an often pejorative designation for members of the landed nobility in Prussia and eastern Germany. At issue is whether the restoration of properties formerly expropriated from the aristocratic Junkers families, without compensation, should be returned to them. The 'socialists' in the party are against the Junkers, favoring the splitting up of the old landed states in favor of small landholders. Hitler is not among them. He has influential supporters among the aristocratic families, and is thus prepared to defend the rights of private property from its Leftist attackers. Thus the ideological split in the ranks.
Dear Herr Luedecke, Excuse my bothering you with this letter and taking the liberty of addressing a question to you. Perhaps you know that I am now working in the management of the district of Lower Bavaria for the Party. I also help with editing the local "folk" journal, the Kurier fur Nieder-Bayern. For some time I have entertained the project of publishing the names of all Jews, as well as of all Christian friends of the Jews, residing in Lower Bavaria. However, before I take such a step I should like to have your opinion, and find out whether you consider such an undertaking rich in prospects and practicable. I would be very indebted to you if as soon as possible you would give me your view, which for me is authoritative, thanks to your great experience in the Jewish question and your knowledge of the anti-Semitic fight in the whole world. 571925 Party membership at year's end is estimated at between 27,000 and 50,000 dues-paying members. 58
Bernard Rust joins in with the anti-Hitler rhetoric: "The National Socialists are free and democratic men. They have no Pope who can claim infallibility. Hitler can act as he likes, but we shall act according to our conscience." 59
Then I really let fly. Russia, Germany, Western capitalism, Bolshevism—I speak for half an hour, an hour. Everyone listens in breathless suspense. And then a storm of approval. We have triumphed . . . . At the end: Strasser shakes my hand. Feder small and hateful. 61A resolution is passed concerning the issue the restoration of properties formerly expropriated from the aristocratic Junkers families, a resolution that supports the very opposite of Hitler's stated policy. It is also decided that the party's Twenty-five Point program should be altered to reflect the North German leaders' policy subscriptions. Only Feder and Ley back Hitler's position, while the rest vote for the measures. 62
1926 February In preparation for the consolidation of power that Hitler expects to achieve in the upcoming Bamberg Conference, he hires two professionals to create a modern central party bureaucracy, centered in Munich. A former Munich City Hall accountant, Franz Xavier Schwarz (above), becomes the new party treasurer, and Philipp Bouhler is hired as executive secretary. 64
It's unbelievable what the Party owes Schwarz. It was thanks to the good order in which he kept our finances that we were able to develop so rapidly and wipe out the other parties. For me, it's marvellous. I don't concern myself with these matters, so to speak, and Schwarz only reports to me once a year. It's an immense relief for a man whose business is to breathe life into a movement not to have to bother about affairs of administration. I appreciate the privilege that has been mine, throughout my existence, to meet men who had the liking for responsibilities and the talent necessary to accomplish independently the work that was entrusted to them. 651926 February It is around this time that Hitler, weary of attempts to bring every petty inter-party dispute to him for a decision, creates the USCHLA (Committee for Investigation and Settlement—Untersuchungund-Schuchtungs-Ausschuss). The purpose of the party court is not to dispense justice of any sort. Its actual intent is to keep inter-party disputes—including crimes committed between party members—from going public and bringing ridicule on the party. The first chief judge of this party court was Gustav Walter Heinemann, a former Great War general. Heinemann, who is not even a party member, proves to be a poor choice, as least for what Hitler has in mind. 66
Heinemann is soon replaced by Major Walther Buch (above), a former leader of the SA in Franconia. Buch is given two Nazi jurists as assistants, Hans Frank, who will hang at Nuremberg for the crimes he will commit as the Governor General of occupied Poland in WW2, and Hitler's former bodyguard, Ulrich Graf, who was originally a butcher. Buch is completely Hitler's man. If a party member in good standing is accused of a crime, no matter how serious it may be, Buch would ask: "Well, what of it?" As long as the crime did not injure the Nazi party, or embarrass the Fuehrer, the culprit was likely to walk. In this manner, the Nazi version of justice first becomes institutionalized. 67
Hitler speaks for nearly two hours. I am almost beaten. What kind of Hitler? A reactionary? Amazingly clumsy and uncertain. Russian question: altogether beside the point. Italy and Britain the natural allies. Horrible! It is our job to smash Bolshevism. Bolshevism is a Jewish creation! We must become Russia's heirs! Hundred and eighty millions!!! Compensation for princes! Law is law. Also for the princes. Question of not weakening private property. Horrible! Program will do! Happy with it. Feder nods. Ley nods. Streicher nods. Esser nods. It hurts me in my soul to see you in that company!!! Short discussion. Strasser speaks. Hesitant, trembling, clumsy, good, honest Strasser. Lord, what a poor match we are for those pigs down there! Half an hour's discussion after a four-hour speech! Nonsense, you will win! I cannot say a word! I am stunned . . . . Probably one of the greatest disappointments of my life. I no longer believe fully in Hitler. That's the terrible thing: my inner support has been taken away. 691926 February 28 Hitler speaks to the members of an exclusive club, the Hamburger Nationalklub, at the high-end Hotel Atlantic. As a political performance artist, Hitler lives by the show business adage "Always know your audience." He speaks for over two hours without a single reference to the Jews. Instead, he goes after Marxism, the Social Democrats, and the trade unions:
In a struggle, one side must succumb—either Marxism will be abolished or we shall be abolished . . . .
Such [an anti-Marxist] movement can only rely upon men's fists just as one can only eradicate poison with a poisonous antidote. This movement must act in exactly that resolute manner. Victory will be decided solely by the stronger skull, greater resolution and greater idealism . . . .
There should be no doubts about it: we recognize clearly that if Marxism wins, we shall be destroyed; we cannot expect a different end. But if we win, we shall destroy Marxism, and down to the roots, without any tolerance. We shall not rest until the last newspaper is destroyed, the last organization dissolved, the last training center closed, and the last Marxist converted or eradicated. A middle course does not exist for us!
Hitler phones . . . . His kindness in spite of Bamberg makes us feel ashamed . . . . In the evening at 8 o'clock we drive to the Bürgerbräukeller. Hitler is already there. My heart is pounding so wildly it is ready to burst. I enter the hall. Roaring welcome. Packed shoulder to shoulder. Streicher opens. And then I speak for two and a half hours. I give it all I've got. The audience screams and shouts. At the end, Hitler embraces me. He has tears in his eyes. I am remarkably happy. Through the packed mass to the car. Shouts of 'Heil'. Hitler waits for me alone at the hotel. Then we eat together. He is the perfect host. And how great he is because of this. 73After Goebbels' speech, which is a great success, Hitler embraces him triumphantly and invites him to dinner, flattering him shamelessly, and playing on his vanity. The scene is repeated at Stuttgart a few days later, and at regular intervals thereafter.
Hitler spoke for three hours. Brilliantly. He can make you doubt your own views. Italy and England our allies. Russia wants to devour us . . . . In the end, unity follows. Hitler is great. He gives us all a warm handshake . . . . I love him. The social question. A completely new insight. He has thought everything through. His ideal: a just collectivism and individualism. As to soil, everything belongs to the people. Production to be creative and individualistic. Trusts, transport, etc, to be socialised . . . . I am now at ease about him . . . . Taking it all round, he's quite a man. Such a sparkling mind can be my leader. I bow to the greater man, to the political genius. 75As a side-note, he adds that he was "with Himmler in Landshut; Himmler a good fellow and very intelligent. I like him." 76
We celebrate Hitler's birthday. He is thirty-seven. Flowers surrounded by thirty-seven candles. And he talks about November 9, 1923. Adolf Hitler, I love you, because you are both great and simple. A genius! Leave-taking from him. Farewell! He waves. I grant audiences. 771926 May Göring is re-admitted to Stockholm's Langbro Mental Asylum for another round of detoxification. Since his release from Langbro on October 7th of 1925, Göring has become addicted to a codeine-derived synthetic pain-killer, Eukodal, which he has been using in place of morphine. 78
Hitler is the same dear comrade. You cannot help liking him as a man. And on top of it, that overriding mind. You always discover something new in that self-willed head. As a speaker he has developed a wonderful harmony of gesture, histrionics and spoken word. The born whipper-upper! Together with him you can conquer the world. Give him his head and he will shake the corrupt Republic to its foundations. His best epigram yesterday: "For our struggle, God gave us His abundant blessing. His most beautiful gift was the hate of our enemies, whom we too hate with all our heart." 821926 June 20 A conservative business newspaper published in Essen, the Rheinisch-Westfalische Zeitung, reports on the first of five speeches Hitler will deliver to business leaders in the Ruhr. The paper tells us that he had been invited to speak by a "circle of west German businessmen," and had spoken two days ago, for over an hour, to a private group of "invited business leaders of the district." The subject of the first of his Essen speeches was "German Economic and Social Policy." As always, Hitler tailors his remarks to suit his audience. The antisemitic firebrand of National Socialism is instead the reasonable defender of traditional German values, the fighter against Marxism, and thus, the reliable protector of private property and wealth. 83
Only now do I recognize you for what you are [referring to the Strassers]: revolutionaries in speech but not in deed . . . . Don't talk so much about ideals and don't fool yourselves into believing that you are the inventors and protectors of these ideals . . . . We are not doing penance by standing solidly behind the Fuehrer. We . . . bow to him . . . with the manly, unbroken pride of the ancient Norsemen who stand upright before their Germanic feudal lord. We feel that he is greater than all of us, greater than you and I. He is the instrument of the Divine Will that shapes history with fresh, creative passion. 871926 Summer Hitler spends another summer in the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden. He does not stay at the Haus Wachenfeld this year, but at the Deutsches Haus, with an entourage that includes Rudolf Hess, Emil Maurice, Heinrich Hoffmann, Gregor Strasser, and Bernhard Rust. During the final weeks of his stay, Hitler will make the acquaintance of a 16-year-old girl who is working in the hotel's gift shop. Her name is Maria Reiter, and she is the daughter of a party member. While she will later claim to have had a sexual relationship with Hitler, it is doubtful whether she actually did. However, the two do carry on in a most flirtatious manner, and there is obvious affection between them. 88
At this period I knew a lot of women. Several of them became attached to me. Why, then, didn't I marry? To leave a wife behind me? At the slightest imprudence, I ran the risk of going back to prison for six years. So there could be no question of marriage for me. I therefore had to renounce certain opportunities that offered themselves. 891926 July 24 Goebbels, visiting Berchtesgaden as Hitler's guest, tells his diary:
He is a genius. The natural creative instrument of a fate determined by God. I stand shaken before him. This is how he is: like a child, dear, good, compassionate. Like a cat, cunning, clever and agile. Like a lion, magnificently roaring and huge. A fine fellow, a real man. He speaks of the state. In the afternoon, of winning the state and of the meaning of political revolution. Thoughts I may have had myself but not expressed. After supper we sit for a long time in the garden of the seamen's home, and he holds forth on the new state and how we will achieve it. It has the ring of prophecy. Above us in the sky a white cloud forms a swastika. A shimmering light in the sky that can't be a star. A sign from fate? We go home late! Far in the distance, Salzburg shimmers. I am really happy. This life is worth living. "My head won't roll in the dust until my mission is fulfilled." That was his last word. That's how he is! Yes, that's how he is! 901926 September Gregor Strasser is appointed Reich Propaganda Leader by Hitler. This is the post that Goebbels has been hoping to acquire, but Hitler has other plans for the talented young intellectual. 91
The training of the SA must be guided by party needs, rather than by military points of view . . . . [The struggle must] be lifted out of the atmosphere of minor acts of revenge and conspiracy, raised to the grandeur of an ideological war of annihilation against Marxism, its structures, and its henchmen . . . . The work must be conducted not in secret conventicles, but in huge mass processions. The way can be cleared for the Movement not by dagger and poison or pistol, but by conquering the streets.Pfeffer will echo his Fuehrer's instructions in an internal SA memorandum:
The only form in which the SA displays itself to the public must be en masse. This is one of the most powerful forms of propaganda. The sight of a large body of disciplined men, inwardly and outwardly alike, whose militancy can be plainly seen or sensed, makes the most profound impression upon every German and speaks to his heart in a more convincing and persuasive language than writing and oratory and logic ever can. Calm composure and matter-of-factness emphasizes the impression of strength—the strength of marching columns. 97Hitler has two missions in mind for the SA; to provide muscle at meetings and rallies, and to look smart and orderly in formation, while also being formidable in street fights with the party's enemies. What Hitler does not want is a paramilitary shadow-army likely to threaten in any way the established German military leaders. Given this, the choice of Captain Pfeffer as SA leader could not have been more ill-considered. Pfeffer had been a Great War veteran and Freikorps enthusiast; his conceptualization of the SA's mission is virtually indistinguishable from Röhm's, and directly in opposition to Hitler's. The SA will remain an uneven organization, with some local chapters achieving standards that will remain foreign to others. 98
1926 November 9 Goebbels makes his first public appearance as Gauleiter of Berlin, at a commemoration ceremony for the 1923 Hitler Putsch. He arrives as a passenger in "a particularly large and elegant taxi," which Otto Strasser considers far too ostentatious. How can the working man take him serious as a populist leader if he is going to indulge in such displays? "You are absolutely wrong there, Strasser," Goebbels assures him. "You say I shouldn't take a taxi. On the contrary. I'd come in two cars, if I could. People must see that this outfit can make a good showing." 102
I was always particularly anxious to secure that Parteitag should on principle never be used for the settlement of personal disputes. Such disputes must certainly be settled in one way or another, but just as certainly the Parteitag which once in the year should unite the whole Movement, is not the fitting day for such a settlement. Neither is it the place at which to seek to clarify unripe and uncertain ideas. Neither the length of time available at such a gathering nor its nature admits of giving to it the character of a council. And it must never be forgotten that in all such cases or those similar to them great decisions have not been made at such councils: on the contrary, for the most part, world-history pursues its course without paying any attention to them. World-history, like all events of historical significance, is the result of the activity of single individuals—it is not the fruit of majority decisions. [For the full text, Click here.]1926 December 3 Hitler delivers the second of four speeches to a closed meeting of conservative business leaders in Essen, on the subject "New Paths to Power." 104
The first chairman of a local group is elected, but then he becomes its responsible leader . . . . The same principle applies to the next higher organization, the district, county or Gau. The first chairman is always elected, but then vested with unlimited power and authority. And the same, finally, applies to the leadership of the party as a whole. The chairman is elected, but then he is exclusive leader of the movement.The same passage from the second edition:
The first chairman of a local group is appointed by the next higher leader, he is the responsible leader of a local group . . . . The same principle applies to the next higher organization, the district, county or Gau. The leader is always appointed from above and at the same time vested with unlimited power and authority. Only the leader of the whole party, because of the association laws, is elected in a general membership meeting. But then he is exclusive leader of the movement. 1061926 December 25 Apparently uncertain as to the proper manner one should celebrate Christmas, Reverend Adolf attacks the Jews at a meeting at the Hofbräuhäus: "Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews . . . . The work that Christ started but could not finish, I—Adolf Hitler—will conclude."
It is around this time that the Nazi state-within-a-state strategy begins. A plethora of auxiliary party organizations are formed in quick succession, as doctors, lawyers, teachers, policeman, civil servants, students, engineers, clowns, singers, dancers, dog catchers, and more, are all organized under National Socialist auspices. Goebbels later explained that when the seizure of power inevitably occurred, the party "had only to transfer its organization, its intellectual and spiritual principles, to the State . . . . [We had] prepared everything and considered everything." Thus, the well-known Nazi hubris manifests itself in full force at this early date. Hitler clearly views his party as no mere political party, but as an "opposition government" waiting for its moment in the sun. 107
1927 Hans Frank, an associate at the Party Court who has been working for Hitler as his personal lawyer, joins the NSDAP. 110
To me, the situation of the German nation today seems like that of a sick person. I know that people on various sides often say, "Why do you constantly say that we are sick!" People have said to us: "Daily life goes on as it always did; this "sick person", as you can see, eats day after day, works day in and day out; how can you say that this person is sick?!" But the question is not whether a nation is still alive and the economy functioning. Just because a person eats and works does not mean that he is fit. The most reliable criterion is how that persons himself feels. He can tell whether he is fit or ill. It is precisely the same in the life of nations. Nations are often sick for long periods—often centuries—yet individual members of the nations cannot fully understand the nature of the sickness.
A few days ago I was in Eisenach and stood on top of the Wartburg, where a great German once translated the Bible. At that time the world was also sick, sick for centuries. Many people tried to apply remedies—in vain. Until finally a powerful figure came along, a great man who attacked the root cause of the sickness of his time. He initiated a movement which would not have removed human suffering, but which pointed the way to a new direction, which was decisive.
It is precisely the same today.
1927 February 8 Hitler writes a letter to young Maria Reiter in Berchtesgaden, thanking her for a gift of embroidered pillows:
My dear, good child, I was truly happy to receive this sign of your tender friendship to me. I have nothing in my apartment whose possession gives me more pleasure. I am given a constant reminder of your cheeky head and your eyes . . . . As regards what is causing you personal pain, you can believe me that I sympathize with you. But you should not let your little head droop in sadness and must only see and believe: even if fathers sometimes don't understand their children any longer because they have got older, not only in years but in feelings, they mean only well for them. As happy as your love makes me, I ask you most ardently to listen to your father. And now, my dear treasure (Goldstueck), receive warmest greetings from your Wolf, who is always thinking of you. 1131927 February 11 Goebbels proves himself a master of the Saalschlacht—making a battle of a meeting—during a rally at Berlin's Pharus Hall, a venue most often used by the rival KPD (Communists). In a pattern that will be repeated many, many times, Goebbels stages a confrontation with members of the Communist party and his Nazi storm troopers, all within the confines of the meeting hall. Eighty-three Communist heads are smashed (at some of the subsequent meetings, there will be fatalities as well), at the cost of a dozen injured Nazis. This evening's events will go down in Nazi party official history as "The Battle of Pharus Hall". Even though the opposition newspapers ridicule and fuss over the spectacle, the publicity draws a wave of 2,000 new memberships in Berlin within the next few days. A full one-quarter of these new recruits join the SA as well as the party. Berlin is becoming an interesting place. 114
I have gone over to the National Socialist German Workers' Party without so-called leadership claims and without reservations. I subordinate myself without further ado to Herr Adolf Hitler. Why? He has proved that he can lead; on the basis of his view and his will, he has created a party out of the united national socialist idea, and leads it. He and the party are one, and offer the unity that is the unconditional premise of success. The previous two years have shown that the National Socialist German Workers' Party is on the right road, that it is on the march, that it possesses unbroken and unbreakable social-revolutionary energy. 1161927 March A Berlin police report—on a very violent clash between a group of Goebbels' thugs and a group of local Communists at the Lichterfelde-Ost railroad station—declares that the level of violence puts "anything seen previously into the shade." This sort of confrontation is sought after by Gauleiter Goebbels, who is intent on promoting his party through publicity, and makes few distinctions between the so-called good and bad varieties. They are both the same to Goebbels, who just wants to be noticed. "Berlin needs sensation like a fish needs water," he explained. "This city lives on it, and any political propaganda that does not recognise this is bound to fail." 117
Suddenly Goebbels stood up from his seat. Halt, Comrade Chauffeur, halt! The car stops. What's the matter, doctor?—I don't know, but we're in danger. We reach for our guns and jump out. Nothing to be seen or heard. All four tires are hard and firm. But holla, what is that! On the left hind wheel four nuts are missing. Four nuts out of five. Diabolical treachery. Traces of clumsy violence tell the rest. That is how the Jews and their servants fight. 1181927 March 5 The ban on Hitler's speaking in public is removed in Bavaria, on condition that his first speech is given somewhere other than Munich. 119
1927 March 9 For the first time since 1923, Hitler speaks in Munich, at the Circus Krone. The hall is at capacity, with 7,000 souls 'protected' by 200 SA storm troopers. A police reporter remarked on "the spell-bound thousand-headed audience. When he is interrupted by applause, he extends his hands theatrically. The word 'no,' which appears repeatedly in the latter part of the speech, is deliberately and theatrically emphasized." 122
1927 April 27 Hitler delivers the third of four speeches to a closed meeting of conservative business leaders in Essen, on the subject "Leader and Mass." Among those in attendance is the eighty-four year old Emil Kirdorf (above), "the Bismarck of coal," but he and Hitler do not meet face-to-face on this occasion. On hand for the meeting is a large contingent from the Stahlhelm veterans' organization. 127
We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions. 129Goebbels, the Gauleiter of Red Berlin, had invited Hitler to speak this night, and had insured that the hall is packed. But, since no Communists have taken the usual bait and come to disrupt the meeting, there is no publicity in the press to speak of the next day. Goebbels decides to redouble his efforts. He must make his party events sufficiently provocative to be reported in the newspapers. 130
1927 May The leader of the Munich SA, Lieutenant Edmund Heines, is a known homosexual, but this is not why Hitler throws him out of the party around this time. The reasons given are that he is guilty of insubordination and lack of discipline. Röhm takes the firing of his close friend and homosexual comrade personally, raging at a public meeting that the persecution of Heines is nothing less than "an attack of formal justice on the soldier's right to self-defense." 132
1927 July 4 The first issue of Dr. Josef Goebbels' newspaper, Der Angriff (The Attack, or, variously, The Assault) is published. It is in direct competition with Gregor Strasser's daily newspaper, the Arbeitsblatt (Worksheet), which had begun publication the previous year. Der Angriff's mission is focused exclusively on "the battle against the Jews". To give him an edge over Strasser's paper, Goebbels receives exclusive access to all the party's schedule information, making it the only source for the times and places of meetings, rallies, and other party events.
Of one thing there is no doubt, that Streicher has never been replaced. Despite all his weaknesses, he's a man who has spirit. If we wish to tell the truth, we must recognise that, without Julius Streicher, Nuremberg would never have been won over to National Socialism. He put himself under my orders at a time when others were hesitating to do so, and he completely conquered the city of our Rallies. That's an unforgettable service. 139Of the 20,000 members attending, some 8,600 are in uniform. The vast majority of the SA units are now uniformed in identical brown shirts. The shirts had been acquired by Gerhard Rossbach from war surplus stocks. The shirts had originally been intended for German troops in East Africa. Even Hitler, who hates the shirts, is wearing one. "The Brownshirts" soon becomes a well-used nickname for the SA; a take-off on Mussolini's "Black Shirts." 140
A movement today in Germany that fights for the renewal of the people must give its own symbol to this effort, and that is why we have chosen a new flag that is the symbol of the coming new German Reich: a symbol of national strength and power joined with the purity of the blood.
Our goal is for this flag to increasingly lose its character as a party flag and grow to be the German flag of the future. We see this flag is inextricably bound to the renewal of the nation. May these colors be a witness of how the German people broke its chains of slavery and won freedom. On that day this flag will be the German national flag. Today you see thousands behind this flag. Seven years ago there was no one. All these people marched past us today under this flag with enthusiasm and glowing eyes because they see in these colors the struggle for the freedom of our people.
[For the full text, Click here.]
It was clear to him that he could only win the attention of the mass by avoiding the usual terminology and working with new words and new conceptions. His train of thought was of such generally compelling nature that people of different political directions could agree with it. So, during his first public appearance in Hamburg, he was able within a single hour, to persuade a suspicious and reserved audience to applaud, and this applause increased until it became, at the conclusion, an enthusiastic ovation. Later, the most level-headed listeners declared that, though they were still against the speaker and his party, Hitler himself was obviously much more reasonable then they had imagined. 1461927 November 27 Hitler announces a revised target list at a meeting of Gau leaders in Weimar's Hotel Elefant. Instead of concentrating on "the Marxists", efforts should be made to win over small business owners and white-collar workers. These are people that Hitler has identified as susceptible to his antisemitic message. 147
1927 December 20 Rudolf Hess weds 27-year-old Ilse Pröhl of Hanover.
Hitler has no thoughts, no responsible reflection, but nonetheless an idea. He has a demon in him. It is a matter of a manic idea of atavistic origin that pushes aside complicated reality and replaces it with a primitive fighting unit . . . . Naturally, Hitler is a dangerous fool . . . . But if one asks how the son of a petty Upper Austrian customs officer arrives at his craze, then one can only say one thing: he has taken war ideology perfectly literally and interpreted it in almost as primitive a way that one might be living in the era of the Volkerwanderung—the period of Barbarian invasions at the end of the Roman Empire. 1541928 February From the bi-monthly report of the Governor-President of Upper Bavaria: "Apart from a few cases of fire, there are no notable disturbances of public safety to report." 155
1928 March France reduces compulsory universal military service to one year. This is in line with current thinking on the advantages of defensive war. In this regard, they are building what is advertised to be an impregnable defense against invasion, the Maginot Line, named after Minister of War André Maginot. 159
Demagogic madness has led us to the absurd conception of defensive war. During the World War we had to promise parliament never again to take the offensive. As far as results, that is, losses are concerned, there is no difference between attack and defense. In defending Verdun, we lost just as many men as the Germans attacking us. But the Germans had a chance of winning the war by taking Verdun, while our only chance was not to lose it . . . . Hence: offensive, offensive, and again offensive! Defensive must in no case be regarded as the basic tactic. The best it can accomplish is to cause the adversary loss of time until the moment when we are enabled to attack . . . . With a handful of soldiers, with a few cannon and barracks, with an army such as we shall have in five years, split, disorganized, badly trained, with mediocre cadres, nothing can be accomplished. We are doomed to destruction. An undisciplined troop either lets itself be killed or flees. Our new army . . . will flee, it will be defeated by anybody. 1601928 March 31 The authorities in Berlin lift the ban on the NSDAP so as to allow the party to compete in the upcoming Reichstag elections. 161
17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.The 'clarification' reads:
Since the NSDAP admits the principle of private property, it is self-evident that the expression "confiscation without compensation" merely refers to possible legal powers to confiscate, if necessary, land illegally acquired, or not administered in accordance with the national welfare. It is directed in the first instance against Jewish companies, which speculate in land.This is the only amendment that will ever be made to the "inalterable" 25-Point Program. With this clause, Hitler is in a better position to raise funds from German aristocrats, especially those in the Junkers' strongholds of East Prussia. 163
1928 May 18 Carin Göring writes home to her mother in Stockholm:
They've already started shooting each other dead. Every day, the Communists with red flags and hammers and sickles on them, range through the city, and they always clash with Hitler's men carrying their red banners with swastikas on them, and then there are fights, with dead and wounded. 1641928 May 19 On the evening before the national Reichstag elections, Hitler proclaims: "If Fate should give us the power, we shall use it to cleanse the nation of its enemies and we hope that God gives us strength to march to the ultimate destiny on this earth. It will not be spared us . . . . We shall grow into a mighty army of termites, before the final hour comes." 165
1928 May 20 Reichstag elections are held throughout Germany. Thirty-two different parties put up lists in this election, but turnout is low. The population seems to lack interest. Hitler's National Socialists are defeated decisively, receiving only 2.6% of the vote. In Goebbels' Red Berlin, the NSDAP draws a mere 1.57% of the vote. Of a total of 491 seats in the Reichstag, Hitler's party captures a paltry 20, while the Communists hold only 54. These two political extremes have lost much of their popularity as economic conditions in Germany continue to improve. Among the newly elected Nazi members of the Reichstag are Goebbels, Ritter von Epp, Gregor Strasser, Frick, Feder, and Hermann Göring. 166
It was really dismal having to see so many Red Guards. They have made unheard-of progress and take up a colossal number of seats in the Reichstag. They were in their uniforms, wearing Jewish stars of David, red stars, it's all the same, and red armbands etc. Mostly young, and raring for a fight. And some of them absolute criminal types. How many in all these parties, except Hitler's, are Jews! 1721928 July Hitler writes to Artur Dinter: "As leader of the National Socialist Movement and as a person who possesses the blind faith of someday belonging to those who make history, I have [as a politician] the boldness to claim for myself in this sphere the same infallibility that you reserve for yourself in your [religious] reformationist area." 173
1928 July 3 Heinrich Himmler weds Margarete Boden, a nurse who is the part-owner of a homeopathic clinic. Perhaps partly of Polish origin, perhaps not—her maiden name was Concerzowo, she was schooled in Poland—she is seven years older than her second husband, who was, by his own admission, a virgin when they met the previous year. Margarete, who goes by the name of Marga, soon sells her stake in the clinic, and the couple purchase a small farm near Waldtrudering, east of Munich, with the proceeds. Himmler builds a chicken coop and acquires 50 laying hens, but their chicken farm never becomes in any way successful. Himmler continues to devote all of his time on his party activities, for a paltry 300 marks a month, leaving Marga, by default, to run the farm by herself. Money is tight for the Himmlers, and Marga is quick to write to him if she fails to receive the ration of marks he sends off to her regularly. In a typical letter, she tells Heinrich:
The hens are laying frightfully badly—only two eggs a day. I worry so about what we're going to live on . . . . Something's always going wrong. I save so hard, but the money's like everything else. 1741928 August Industrialist Emil Kirdorf appears at the local NSDAP office in Munich and angrily resigns from the party. He has had quite enough of the anti-capitalist rhetoric he finds in so many Nazi publications. He is particularly incensed by an article attacking the Ruhr coal cartel, saying that the article "takes up the same methods of combat employed by the homelandless trade unions in their incitement of workers against entrepreneurs." To fill the gap, Kirdorf joins Alfred Hugenberg's DNVP. Hitler tries his best to convince Kirdorf to stick with his party, but while the aged industrialist admires Hitler personally, he simply cannot abide the leftist elements in the Nazi Party. Kirdof will eventually rejoin the party, at Hitler's request, after Hitler becomes chancellor. 175
While only the most naive actually believe that war is now a thing of the past, the agreement nonetheless ratchets down the level of distrust and amity between the former combatants. Stresemann, who is in Paris to sign the document, is pleasantly surprised at the friendly reception he receives from the French people. His policy of "Fulfillment", gaining back Germany's Great War territorial losses, through mutually beneficial treaties and agreements between the former enemies, is quite appreciated by the French public. 177
Only the nationalist right in Germany lacks regard for this brilliant statesman, who has done much to heal the wounds of the Great War, and stabilize relations between Europe's great powers. His like is seen far too infrequently in this world. In fact, it is entirely possible that, if Stresemann's approach had been constantly pursued by Germany's leaders in the following decades, very few outstanding claims would have still been at issue in 1939, thus eliminating the core complaints utilized by Hitler to embark on World War II in the first place.
In the first place, our people must be delivered from the hopeless confusion of international convictions, and educated consciously and systematically to fanatical Nationalism . . . . Second, in so far as we educate the people to fight against the delirium of democracy, and bring it again to the recognition of the necessity of authority and leadership, we tear it away from the nonsense of parliamentarianism. Third, in so far as we deliver the people from the atmosphere of pitiable belief in possibilities [that] lie outside the bounds of one's own strength—such as the belief in reconciliation, understanding, world peace, the League of Nations, and international solidarity—we destroy these ideas. There is only one right in the world and that right is one's own strength . . . .
It does not require much courage to do silent service in an existing organization. It requires more courage to fight against an existing political regime . . . . Attack attracts the personalities which possess more courage. Thus a condition containing danger within itself becomes a magnet for men who seek danger . . . . What remains is a minority of determined, hard men. It is this process which alone makes history explicable: the fact that certain revolutions, emanating from very few men and giving the world a new face, have actually taken place . . . . All parties, public opinion, take a position against us. But therein lies the unconditional, I might say the mathematical, reason for the future success of our movement. As long as we are the radical movement, as long as public opinion shuns us, as long as the existing factors of the State oppose us, we shall continue to assemble the most valuable human material around us, even at times when, as they say, all factors of human reason argue against it. 179
In this situation there must be a clear expression to the public, opponents, and especially our own party comrades, that every attempt to establish even the smallest difference of opinion in this question of principle [the mixing of religious issues with the political programme of the movement] between Adolf Hitler and his fellow workers is an impossibility. 1811928 November The Görings move into a high-end apartment in Berlin's Schoenberg district, at 7 Badensche Strasse. The building has an underground parking garage with an elevator going directly to the lobby, allowing visitors to enter and exit unobserved. Among those who enjoy Göring's hospitality on a regular basis are Prince and Princess zu Wied, as well as two of the Kaiser's sons, his youngest, Prince Eitel Friedrich, and Prince August-Wilhelm, who is affectionately known as "Auwi". Rich industrialists such as Fritz Thyssen—who provides the interior decorating and furniture for the apartment—and other influential business leaders, are frequent guests. Goering boasted that Thyssen had "opened an account of 50,000 Reichsmarks for me. I can draw as much as I like . . . . It will always be replenished."
After years of exile and pfennig-pinching, Hermann Göring's fortunes have undergone a total transformation. His services have been retained as a consultant by both BMW and Heinkel, and he receives additional fees and perks from Messerschmitt and Lufthansa. Erhard Milch is Göring's immediate contact with Lufthansa, and Göring has been earning 1,000 marks a month as a lobbyist for the company. But it is decided that it is simply too risky, for both parties, to continue to provide a monthly retainer to a member of the Reichstag. Therefore, Lufthansa gives Göring a one-time payment of 100,000 marks in advance for his services for the duration of the present Reichstag. This, and many other such sweet deals, provide Göring with an income he can really do something with. The pauper has become the prince, and he has every intention of holding on to this upgrade in status. 182
Whoever shows his fist to the German people, we will force to be our brother. The bastardization of great states has begun. The negroization of culture, of customs—not only of blood—strides forward. The world becomes democratized. The value of the individual declines, the masses apparently are gaining the victory over the idea of the great leader. Numbers are chosen as the new God . . . . 184
A people that resists the bastardization of its spirit and blood can be saved. The German people has its specific value and cannot be set on an equal level to 70 million negroes . . . . Negro music is dominant, but if we put a Beethoven symphony alongside a shimmy, victory is clear . . . .
From our strong faith the strength will come to deploy self-help against this bastardization. That is the aim that the NSDAP has set itself: to lift the terms nationalism and socialism out of their previous meaning. To be national can only mean to be behind your people, and to be socialist can only be to stand up for the right of your people, also externally. 185
We fight against the idea of numbers and the delirium of the masses. We want to see those who are superior take the reins of government in their hands. There are 100,000 among us for whom voting is of no consequence—only the authority of the leader. And these 100,000 know that democracy in itself is a deception. 186
My first impression of him [Hitler] was that of a consummate showman. As movie cameras were turned upon him, he pretended not to notice them, spoke earnestly to his shadow, Rudolf Hess, and, as the cameras continued to click, began to write as though he were drawing up an outline of his remarks. It was good acting . . . . I came away from that meeting wondering how a man whose diction was by no means faultless, who ranted and fumed and stamped, could so impress young intellectuals. Of all people, I thought, they should have detected the palpable flaws in his logic. 1881928 Party membership at year's end is estimated to be 108,000 dues-paying members. 190
In Nazi Party lore, the period between December 1924, and January of 1933, was known as the "Time of Struggle" (Kampfzeit). Political struggle, certainly, but personally, things could hardly be better for the Führer of the Nazi party. His chosen occupation is both exciting and lucrative. His party is making steady and sustained gains. He has a reserved table at the best cafes and tea houses, where his favorite cream pastries are served. He has the sort of fame that women so often find compelling. He has a dream cottage in the mountains. Adolf Hitler has never had it so good.
Written by Walther Johann von Löpp Copyright © 2011-2015 All Rights Reserved Edited by Levi Bookin — Copy Editor European History and Jewish Studies