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