"I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice"
1st November 1941, evening
It's urgent, for economic purposes, to work out a statute characterised by the two following principles : i. The interests of the State have precedence over private interests. In the event of a divergence between the interests of the State and private interests, an independent organisation shall settle the dispute in accordance with the interests of the German people. The State could not be independent and possess indisputable authority unless those of us who had interests in private undertakings were excluded from the control of public affairs—and the simple fact of owning shares in a private company would be enough. Every person shall have the alternative of giving them up or of leaving the service of the State. Servants of the State must not be in any way involved in financial speculations. If they have money, let them buy real property or invest this money in State securities. Thus their wealth would be bound up with the future of the State. After all, the safety offered by these investments makes them more lucrative in the long run than investments in private industry, which is necessarily liable to booms and slumps. These regulations apply to members of the Reichstag, members of the Civil Service, regular officers and the chiefs of the Party. These men must be totally unconnected with interests foreign to those of the State. We see what it leads to when laxity is permitted in this field. England would not have slipped into this war if Baldwin and Chamberlain hadn't had interests in the armaments industry. The decadence of the princely houses began in the same fashion.
Night of 1st-2nd November 1941
Our Civil Service often commits crude errors. One day the mayor of Leipzig, Goerdeler, came to offer his resignation. The reason was, he'd wanted to instal electric lighting in a street, and Berlin had been against it : it was obligatory to stick to lighting by gas. I enquired into the matter, and found that this asinine decision had been taken by a squirt of a lawyer in the Ministry of the Interior! Not long ago a staff member of the Ministry of Propaganda contested the right of the man who built Munich opera-house to bear the title of architect, on the grounds that he did not belong to one or another professional organisation. I immediately put an end to that scandal. I'm not surprised that the country is full of hatred towards Berlin. Ministries ought to direct from above, not interfere with details of exécution. The Civil Service has reached the point of being only a blind machine. We shan't get out of that state of affairs unless we decide on a massive decentralisation. Even the mere extensiveness of Reich territory forces us to do this. One mustn't suppose that a regulation applicable to the old Reich or a part of it is automatically applicable to Kirkenaes, say, or the Crimea. There's no possibility of ruling this huge empire from Berlin, and by the methods that have been used hitherto. The chief condition for decentralisation is that the system of promotion by seniority shall be abandoned in favour of appointment to posts. The former system means simply that, as soon as an official has entered into it, he can be moved regularly into higher grades, no matter what his abilities may be. It also means the impossibility of particularly qualified men's being able to skip whole grades, as it would be desirable that they could. As regards salaries, I'm likewise of the opinion that new methods should be adopted. The allowance allocated in addition to the basic salary should be in inverse ratio to the number of colleagues employed by the head of a department. This allowance will be all the higher, the fewer the aforesaid departmental head's colleagues. He will thus escape the temptation to see salvation only in the multiplication of his subordinates. When we get as far as rebuilding Berlin, I'll instal the Ministries in relatively confined quarters, and I'll file down their budgets as regards their internal needs. When I think of the organisation of the Party, which has always been exemplary from every point of view, or of the organisation of the State railways, which are better run—much to the irritation of Herr Frick—I can see all the more clearly the weaknesses of our Ministries. The fundamental difference between the former and the latter is that the former have properly qualified junior staffs. Posts are awarded only with regard to talent, not in virtue of titles that are often no more than valueless pieces of paper. At the bottom of every success in this war one finds the individual merit of the soldier. That proves the justice of the system that takes account, for purposes of promotion, only of real aptitudes. What indicates an aptitude, to the High Command, is the gift for using each man according to his personal possibilities, and for awakening in each man the will to devote himself to the communal effort. That's exactly the opposite of what the Civil Service practises towards the citizens, with regard both to legislation and to the application of the laws. In imitation of what used to be done in the old days, in our old police State, the Civil Service, even to-day, sees in the citizen only a politically minor subject, who has to be kept on the leash. Especially in the sphere of Justice, it is important to be able to rely on a magistrature that is as homogeneous as possible. Let the magistrates present a certain uniformity, from the racial point of view—and we can expect the magistracy to apply the conceptions of the State intelligently. Take as an example acts of violence committed under cover of the blackout. The Nordic judge, of National Socialist tendency, at once recognises the seriousness of this type of crime, and the threat it offers society. A judge who is a native of our regions further to the East will have a tendency to see the facts in themselves : a handbag snatched, a few marks stolen. One won't remedy the state of affairs by multiplying and complicating the laws. It's impossible to codify everything, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to have a written guarantee that the law will in every case be applied in a sensible manner. If we succeed in grouping together our élite of magistrates, taking race into account, we shall be able to restrict ourselves to issuing directives, instead of putting ourselves in the strait-jacket of a rigid codification. Thus each judge will have the faculty of acting in accordance with his own sound sense. The English, one may say, have no constitution. What serves them instead of a constitution is an unwritten law, which lives in each one of them and is established by long usage. The fact of being solidly behind this unwritten law gives every Englishman that attitude of pride, on the national level, which does not exist to such a degree in any other people. We Germans, too, must arrive at the result that every judge resembles every other judge, even in his physical appearance. I do not doubt for a moment, despite certain people's scepticism, that within a hundred or so years from now all the German élite will be a product of the SS—for only the SS practises racial selection. Once the conditions of the race's purity are established, it's of no importance whether a man is a native of one region rather than another—whether he comes from Norway or from Austria. Instead of benches of municipal magistrates and juries, we shall set up the single judge, whom we'll pay well, and who will be a model and master for young people who aspire to the same rank. What a judge needs is character. A plague of which we could, in any case, free the courts at once is the number of suits for insult. It could be decreed that such suits cannot be brought until after a delay of from four to six weeks. The parties would become reconciled in the meantime, and that kind of business would disappear from the rolls. With time, we shall achieve all these things, and others besides.
2nd November 1941, midnight
In the old Austria there were two professions for which they used deliberately to select people formerly convicted : Customsofficers and gamekeepers. As regards smugglers, when sentence was passed they were given the choice of serving the sentence or becoming Customs-officers. And poachers were made gamekeepers. The smuggler and the gamekeeper have that sort of thing in their blood. It's wise to offer adventurous natures ways of letting off steam. One man will go into journalism, another will emigrate. The man who remains in the country runs a risk of coming into conflict with the law. The criminal police in Austria was above all suspicion. Just why that was, it's rather difficult to understand, for the country was quite badly contaminated by the Balkan mentality. Someone must one day have left his personal stamp on the Austrian police, and it was never effaced. My shock troops in 1923 contained some extraordinary elements—men who had come to us with the idea of joining a movement that was going ahead rapidly. Such elements are unusable in time of peace, but in turbulent periods it's quite different. At that stage these jolly rogues were invaluable to me as auxiliaries. Fifty bourgeois wouldn't have been worth a single one of them. With what blind confidence they followed me! Fundamentally they were just overgrown children. As for their assumed brutality, they were simply somewhat close to nature. During the war, they'd fought with the bayonet and thrown hand-grenades. They were simple creatures, all of a piece. They couldn't let the country be sold out to the scum who were the product of defeat. From the beginning I knew that one could make a party only with elements like that. What a contempt I acquired for the bourgeoisie ! If a bourgeois gave me a contribution of a hundred or two hundred marks, he thought he'd given me the whole of Golconda. But these fine chaps, what sacrifices they were willing to make! All day at their jobs, and at night off on a mission for the Party—and always with their hearts in the right place. I specially looked for people of dishevelled appearance. A bourgeois in a stiff collar would have bitched up everything. Of course, we also had fanatics amongst the well-dressed people. Moreover, the Communists and ourselves were the only parties that had women in their ranks who shrank from nothing. It's with fine people like those that one can hold a State. I always knew the first problem was to settle the social question. To pretend to evade the problem was to put oneself in the situation of a man in the seventeenth or eighteenth century who pretended it was unnecessary to abolish slavery. Men like Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had to fight hard to introduce conscription in Prussia. On the political level, we had to wage a struggle of the same sort. As long as social classes existed, it was impossible to set free the forces of the nation. I never stopped telling my supporters that our victory was a mathematical certainty, for, unlike Social Democracy, we rejected nobody from the national community. Our present struggle is merely a continuation, on the international level, of the struggle we waged on the national level. Let everyone, in his own field, take care to do his best, with the knowledge that on every occasion we were pushing the best of us forward ; that's how a people surpasses itself and surpasses others. Nothing can happen to us if we remain faithful to these principles, but one must know how to advance step by step, how to reconnoitre the ground and remove, one after another, the obstacles one finds there. If one neglected to appeal to the masses, one's choice would be rather too much confined to intellectuals. We would lack brute strength. Brute strength consists of the peasant and worker, for the insecurity of their daily life keeps them close to the state of nature. Give them brains into the bargain, and you turn them into incomparable men of action. Above all, we must not allow our élite to become an exclusive society. The son of an official, at the fifth or sixth generation, is doomed to become a lawyer. There, at least, no more responsibility! So what kind of rôle can a nation play when it's governed by people ofthat sort—people who weigh and analyse everything? One couldn't make history with people like that. I need rough, courageous people, who are ready to carry their ideas through to the end, whatever happens. Tenacity is purely a question of character. When this quality is accompanied by intellectual superiority, the result is wonderful. The bourgeois with whom we flirted at the time of our struggle were simply aesthetes. But what I needed was partisanswho would give themselves body and soul, men as ready to break up a Communist meeting as to manage a Gau. In war, it's just the same thing. The commander who interests me is the man who pays with his own hide. A strategist is nothing without the brute force. Better the brute force without the strategist! Intelligence has taken refuge in technique; it flees from situations of utter calm, where one grows fat as one grows stupid. Since private enterprise adapts itself to the same evolution— nowadays the heads of firms are nearly all former factoryhands—one might arrive at the following paradoxical situation : an administration composed of cretins, and private firms capable of forming a brains-trust. Thus, to maintain their rôle, the officials, for lack of intelligence, would possess only the power they obtain from their functions. A military unit needs a commander, and the men never hesitate to recognise the qualities that make a commander. A man who is not capable of commanding usually feels no wish to do so. When an idiot is given command, his subordinates are not slow to make his life a burden. If Germany has never had the equivalent of the French Revolution, its because Frederick the Great and Joseph II once existed. The Catholic Church makes it a principle to recruit its clergy from all classes of society, without any discrimination. A simple cowherd can become a cardinal. That's why the Church remains militant. In my little homeland, the bishop a hundred years ago was the son of a peasant. In 1845 ne decided to build a cathedral. The town had twenty-two thousand inhabitants. The cathedral was planned to hold twenty-three thousand. It cost twenty eight million gold crowns. Fifty years later, the Protestants built their largest church, in the State capital. They spent only ten millions.
6th November 1941, evening, and night
In a hundred years, our language will be the language of Europe. The countries east, north and west will learn German to communicate with us. A condition for that is that the so-called Gothic characters should definitely give place to what we used to call Latin characters, and now call the normal ones. We can see how right we were to make that decision last autumn. For a man who wanted to learn Russian (and we shan't make the mistake of doing that), it was already a terrible complication to adapt himself to an alphabet different from ours. I don't believe, by the way, that we're sacrificing any treasure of our patrimony in abandoning Gothic characters. The Nordic runes were written in what were more like Greek characters. Why should these baroque embellishments be a necessary part of the German genius? In old times Europe was confined to the southern part of the Greek peninsula. Then Europe became confused with the borders of the Roman Empire. If Russia goes under in this war, Europe will stretch eastwards to the limits of Germanic colonisation. In the Eastern territories I shall replace the Slav geographical titles by German names. The Crimea, for example, might be called Gothenland. Here and there one meets amongst the Arabs men with fair hair and blue eyes. They're the descendants of the Vandals who occupied North Africa. The same phenomenon in Castille and Croatia. The blood doesn't disappear. We need titles that will establish our rights back over two thousand years. I'd like to remind those of us who speak of the "desolate Eastern territories" that, in the eyes of the ancient Romans, all Northern Europe offered a spectacle of desolation. Yet Germany has become a smiling country. In the same way, the Ukraine will become beautiful when we've been at work there. We owe the present fertility of our soil to the deforestation of Italy. If it weren't for that, the warm winds of the South would not reach as far as here. Two thousand years ago Italy was still wooded, and one can imagine how our untilled countries must have looked. The Roman Empire and the Empire of the Incas, like all great empires, started by being networks of roads. To-day the road is taking the place of the railway. The road's winning. The speed with which the Roman legions moved is truly surprising. The roads drive straight forward across mountains and hills. The troops certainly found perfectly prepared camps at their staging areas. The camp at Saalburg gives one an idea. I've seen the exhibition of Augustan Rome. It's a very interesting thing. The Roman Empire never had its like. To have succeeded in completely ruling the world ! And no empire has spread its civilisation as Rome did. The world has ceased to be interesting since men began to fly. Until then, there were white patches on the map. The mystery has vanished, it's all over. To-morrow the North Pole will be a crossroads, and Tibet has already been flown over.
5th November 1941, midday
Our penal system has the result only of preserving criminals. In normal times, there's no danger in that. But when the social edifice is in peril, by reason of a war or a famine, it may lead to unimaginable catastrophes. The great mass of the people is, on the whole, a passive element. On the one hand, the idealists represent the positive force. The criminals, on the other hand, represent the negative element. If I tolerated the preservation of criminals, at a time when the best of us are being killed at the front, I should destroy the balance of forces to the detriment of the nation's healthy element. That would be the triumph of the rabble. If a country suffers reverses, it runs the risk that a handful of criminals, thus kept under shelter, may cheat the combatants of the fruits of their sacrifice. It's what we experienced in 1918. The only remedy for that situation is to impose the death penalty, without hesitation, upon criminals of this type. In Vienna before the war, more than eight thousand men used to camp on the edge of the canals. A kind of rats that come rampaging out of their holes as soon as there are rumbles of a revolution. Vienna still possesses gutter-rats such as aren't found anywhere else. The danger is to give these dregs an opportunity to get together. No magistrate, priest or politician can change an inveterate criminal into a useful citizen. Sometimes one can redeem a criminal, but only in exceptional cases. The criminal is very willing, of course, to play the game of the worthy types who work to save delinquents—for he sees in it a possibility of saving his own neck. Afterwards he splits his sides at their expense with his confederates. Our whole penal system is a mess. Young delinquents belonging to respectable families shouldn't be exposed to living communally with creatures who are utterly rotten. It's already an improvement that, in the prisons, young people are divided into groups. In any case, I'm a believer in the restoration of corporal punishment to replace imprisonment in certain cases. Like that, young delinquents would not risk being corrupted by contact with hardened criminals. A good hiding does no harm to a young man of seventeen, and often it would be enough. I've had the luck, in the course of my life, to have had a great variety of experiences and to study all the problems in real life. For example, it was in Landsberg gaol that I was able to check the correctness of these ideas. A young man from Lower Bavaria, who would rather have cut his hand off than stolen, had had fruitful relations with a girl, and had advised her to go to an abortionist. For that he was given a sentence of eight months. Of course, some punishment was necessary. But if he'd been given a sound licking, and then let go, he'd have had his lesson. He was a nice boy. He used to tell us that, for his family, it was a disgrace they could never outlive, to have a son in prison. We often used to comfort him. As a result, he wrote to us to thank us for what we'd done for him, to tell us that he'd never forget it and to promise us that he'd never again commit the slightest evil deed. He used to end by saying that he'd only one wish: to enter the Party. Signed: Heil Hitler! The letter was intercepted by the prison censorship, and gave rise to a minute and niggling enquiry. But there were also real bad lots there. Each of them took up at least half an advocate's time. There were the hibernators, the annual visitors, whom the guards used to see return with a certain pleasure, just as they themselves showed a certain satisfaction at seeing their old cells again. I also remember certain letters from prisoners to respectable people—letters that would wring your heart: "Now I realise what happens when you stop doing what religion teaches." Followed by a reference to such-and-such a wonderful sermon by the prison chaplain. My men once attended at a sermon. The man of God spoke of fulfilling one's conjugal duties, with tremolos in his voice ! Whenever there's a question of granting certain prisoners a remission of their penalty, all sorts of things are taken into account, but these displays of contrition are not the least important factor. Thanks to this play-acting, many customers are let go before their term of sentence has expired. I completely disagree with the procedure followed in Germany concerning matters taken to appeal. The higher court forms its judgment on the basis of the evidence given before the lower court, and this practice has many drawbacks. In the several dozen cases in which I've been involved, not once was the lower court's verdict altered. The mind of the judge of the higher court is automatically inhibited against this. In my opinion, the latter should know only the form of the accusation or complaint, and should go again from the beginning through the necessary enquiries. Above all, he should be really a higher type of man. The judge's purpose is to discover the truth. As he is only a man, he can achieve this only by means of his intuition—if at all.
5th November 1941, evening
There is an interesting document, dating from the time of Caesar, which indicates that the soldiers of that time lived on a vegetarian diet. According to the same source, it was only in times of shortage that soldiers had recourse to meat. It's known that the ancient philosophers already regarded the change from black gruel to bread as a sign of decadence. The Vikings would not have undertaken their now legendary expeditions it they'd depended on a meat diet, for they had no method of preserving meat. The fact that the smallest military unit was the section is explained by the fact that each man had a mill for grain. The purveyor of vitamins was the onion. It's probable that, in the old days, human beings lived longer than they do now. The turning-point came when man replaced the raw elements in his diet by foods that he sterilises when he eats them. The hypothesis that man ought to live longer seems to be confirmed by the disparity between his short existence as an adult, on the one hand, and his period of growth, on the other. A dog lives, on the average, eight to ten times as long as it takes him to grow up. On that ratio, man ought normally to live from one hundred and forty to one hundred and eighty years. What is certain is that, in countries like Bulgaria, where people live on polenta, yoghurt and other such foods, men live to a greater age than in pur parts of the world. And yet, from other points of view, the peasant does not live hygienically. Have you ever seen a peasant open a window? Everything that lives on earth feeds on living materials. The fact that man subjects his foodstuffs to a physico-chemical process explains the so-called "maladies of civilisation". If the average term of life is at present increasing, that's because people are again finding room for a naturistic diet. It's a revolution. That a fatty substance extracted from coal has the same value as olive-oil, that I don't believe at all ! It's surely better to use the synthetic fatty substances for the manufacture of soap, for example. It's not impossible that one of the causes of cancer lies in the harmfulness of cooked foods. We give our body a form of nourishment that in one way or another is debased. At present the origin of cancer is unknown, but it's possible that the causes that provoke it find a terrain that suits them in incorrectly nourished organisms. We all breathe in the microbes that give rise to colds or tuberculosis, but we're not all enrheumed or tuberculous. Nature, in creating a being, gives it all it needs to live. If it cannot live, that's either because it's attacked from without or because its inner resistance has weakened. In the case of man, it's usually the second eventuality that has made him vulnerable. A toad is a degenerate frog. Who knows what he feeds on? Certainly on things that don't agree with him. It's amazing how lacking in logic men are. The people most devoid of logic are the professors. In two thousand years' time, when they study the origins of the inhabitants of the Ukraine, they'll claim that we emerged from the marshlands. They're incapable of seeing that originally there was nobody in the marshlands, and that it was we who drove the aboriginals into the Pripet marshes in order to instal ourselves instead of them in the richer lands. In Bavaria, the race is handsome in the fertile regions. On the other hand, one finds stunted beings in certain remote valleys. Nevertheless, the men are better than the women; but they content themselves with the women they have. For lack of thrushes, one eats blackbirds ! The fact that the hordes of Huns passed that way can't have helped. Von Kahr must have been a descendant of those people. He was a pure Hun. The peasant has no talent for romanticism. He sticks to the realism of the soil. He behaves like the townsman who's not interested in the architecture of the shops in which he makes his purchases. Our ancestors were all peasants. There were no hunters amongst them—hunters are only degenerate peasants. In old times, a man who took to hunting was looked on as a worthless creature, unless he attacked bears and wolves. In Africa, amongst the Masai, lion-hunters belong to a privileged caste, and are honoured as such. In the times when the population was too numerous, people emigrated. It wasn't necessarily whole tribes that took their departure. In Sparta six thousand Greeks ruled three hundred and forty-five thousand helots. They came as conquerors, and they took everything. I changed my ideas on how to interpret our mythology the day I went for a walk in the forests where tradition invites us to lay the scene for it. In these forests one meets only idiots, whilst all around, on the plain of the Rhine, one meets the finest specimens of humanity. I realised that the Germanic conquerors had driven the aboriginals into the mountainy bush in order to settle in their place on the fertile lands. What are two thousand years in the life of peoples? Egypt, the Greek world, Rome were dominant in turn. To-day we're renewing that tradition. The Germanic race is gaining more and more. The number of Germanics has considerably increased in the last two thousand years, and it's undeniable that the race is getting better-looking. It's enough to see the children. We ought not to expose ourselves to the mirage of the southern countries. It's the speciality of the Italians. Their climate has a softening effect on us. In the same way, southern man cannot resist our climate. Fifty years ago, in the Crimea, nearly half the soil was still in German hands. Basically, the population consisted firstly of the Germanic element, of Gothic origin; then of Tartars, Armenians, Jews; and Russians absolutely last. We must dig our roots into this soil. From a social point of view, the sickest communities of the New Europe are: first, Hungary, then Italy. In England, the masses are unaware of the state of servitude in which they live. But it's a class that ought to be ruled, for it's racially inferior. And England couldn't live if its ruling class were to disappear. Things would go utterly wrong for the common people. They can't even feed themselves. Where would one try to find a peasantry? In the working class? The English are engaged in the most idiotic war they could wage! If it turns out badly, anti-Semitism will break out amongst them—at present it's dormant. It'll break out with unimaginable violence. The end of the war will see the final ruin of the Jew. The Jew is the incarnation of egoism. And their egoism goes so far that they're not even capable of risking their lives for the defence of their most vital interests. The Jew totally lacks any interest in things of the spirit. If he has pretended in Germany to have a bent for literature and the arts, that's only out of snobbery, or from a liking for speculation. He has no feeling for art, and no sensibility. Except in the regions where they live in groups, the Jews are said to have reached a very high cultural level! Take Nuremberg, for example: for four hundred years—that is to say, until 1838— it hadn't a single Jew in its population. Result: a situation in the first rank of German cultural life. Put the Jews all together: by the end of three hundred years, they'll have devoured one another. Where we have a philosopher, they have a Talmudistic pettifogger. What for us is an attempt to get to the bottom of things and express the inexpressible, becomes for the Jew a pretext for verbal juggleries. His only talent is for masticating ideas so as to disguise his thought. He has observed that the Aryan is stupid to the point of accepting anything in matters of religion, as soon as the idea of God is recognised. With the Aryan, the belief in the Beyond often takes a quite childish form ; but this belief does represent an effort towards a deepening of things. The man who doesn't believe in the Beyond has no understanding of religion. The great trick of Jewry was to insinuate itself fraudulently amongst the religions with a religion like Judaism, which in reality is not a religion. Simply, the Jew has put a religious camouflage over his racial doctrine. Everything he undertakes is built on this lie. The Jew can take the credit for having corrupted the GraecoRoman world. Previously words were used to express thoughts; he used words to invent the art of disguising thoughts. Lies are his strength, his weapon in the struggle. The Jew is said to be gifted. His only gift is that of juggling with other people's property and swindling each and everyone. Suppose I find by chance a picture that I believe to be a Titian. I tell the owner what I think of it, and I offer him a price. In a similar case, the Jew begins by declaring that the picture is valueless, he buys it for a song and sells it at a profit of 5000 per cent. To persuade people that a thing which has value, has none, and vice versa—that's not a sign of intelligence. They can't even overcome the smallest economic crisis! The Jew has a talent for bringing confusion into the simplest matters, for getting everything muddled up. Thus comes the moment when nobody understands anything more about the question at issue. To tell you something utterly insignificant, the Jew drowns you in a flood of words. You try to analyse what he said, and you realise it's all wind. The Jew makes use of words to stultify his neighbours. And that's why people make them professors. The law of life is : "God helps him who helps himself!" It's so simple that everybody is convinced of it, and nobody would pay to learn it. But the Jew succeeds in getting himself rewarded for his meaningless glibness. Stop following what he says, for a moment, and at once his whole scaffolding collapses. I've always said, the Jews are the most diabolic creatures in existence, and at the same time the stupidest. They can't produce a musician, or a thinker. No art, nothing, less than nothing. They're liars, forgers, crooks. They owe their success only to the stupidity of their victims. If the Jew weren't kept presentable by the Aryan, he'd be so dirty he couldn't open his eyes. We can live without the Jews, but they couldn't live without us. When the Europeans realise that, they'll all become simultaneously aware of the solidarity that binds them together. The Jew prevents this solidarity. He owes his livelihood to the fact that this solidarity does not exist.
Night of 10th-11th November 1941
The Civil Service is the refuge of mediocre talents, for the State does not apply the criterion of superiority in the recruitment and use of its personnel. The Party must take care not to imitate the State. Indeed, it should follow the opposite path. We don't want any kind of status in the Party similar to the status of officials. Nobody in the Party may have an automatic right to promotion. Nobody may be able to say: "Now it's my turn." Priority for talent, that's the only rule I know ! By sticking to these principles, the Party will always have supremacy over the State, for it will have the most active and resolute men at its head. Amongst our decorations there are three that really have value: the Mutterkreuz (Mother's Gross), the Dienstauszeichnung (Service Decoration) and the Verwundetenabzeichen (Wounds Badge). At the top of them, the Mutterkreuz in gold; it's the finest of the lot. It's given without regard for social position, to peasant's wife or Minister's wife. With all the other decorations, even if as a rule they're awarded on good evidence, there are cases of favouritism. During the first World War, I didn't wear my Iron Cross, First Class, because I saw how it was awarded. We had in my regiment a Jew named Guttmann, who was the most terrible coward. He had the Iron Cross, First Class. It was revolting. I didn't decide to wear my decoration until after I returned from the front, when I saw how the Reds were behaving to soldiers. Then I wore it in defiance. In the Army this question used to be asked : "Can one bestow on a subordinate a decoration that his military superior does not possess?" We do that more easily nowadays than it was done during the first World War; but it's difficult to behave fairly in this matter. One can be a courageous soldier and have no gift for command. One can reward courage by a Knight's Cross, without implying a subsequent promotion to a higher rank. Moreover, the man must have favourable circumstances, if his courage is to reveal itself. Command, on the other hand, is a matter of predisposition and competence. A good commander can earn only the oak leaves. What is decisive, for him, is to rise in rank. A fighter-pilot receives the swords and diamonds. The commander of the air-fleet neither has them nor can earn them. The Knight's Gross ought to carry a pension with it—against the event of the holder's no longer being able to earn his living. It's the nation's duty similarly to ensure that the wife and children of a soldier who has distinguished himself do not find themselves in need. One could solve this problem by awarding the Knight's Cross posthumously. To escape any resulting depreciation, I shall create an Order of the Party which will not be awarded except in altogether exceptional cases. Thus all other decorations will be eclipsed. The State can grant whatever it likes: our decoration will be the finest in the world, not only in its form but also because of the prestige that will be attached to it. The organisation of the Order of the Party will comprise a council and a court, which will be entirely independent of one another and both placed under the immediate authority of the Fuehrer. Thus this distinction will never be awarded to persons undeserving of it. There are cases in which one no longer knows how to reward a leader who has rendered outstanding services. The exploits of two hundred holders of the Ritterkreuz (Knight's Cross) are nothing compared to the services of a man like Todt. In the Party, the tradition should therefore be established of awarding distinctions only with the utmost parsimony. The best way of achieving that object is to associate such an award with the granting of a pension. The Party's insignia in gold ought to be superior to any distinction granted by the State. The Party distinctions cannot be awarded to a stranger. When I see a man wearing the Blutorden (Blood Order) I know that here is somebody who has paid with his own person (wounds or years of imprisonment).
11th November 1941, midday
By the law of nature, the most important person of a nation should be the best man. If I take the example of Rumania, the best man is Antonescu. What are we to say of a State where a man like him is only the second, whilst at the head is a young man of eighteen? Even an exceptionally gifted man could not play such a rôle before the age of thirty. And who would be capable, at thirty, of leading an army? If he were forty, he would still have things to learn. I should be surprised to learn that the King of Rumania was devoting as much as two hours a day to his studies. He ought to be working ten hours a day, on a very severe schedule. Monarchy is an out-of-date form. It has a raison d'être only where the monarch is the personification of the constitution, a symbol, and where the effective power is exercised by a Prime Minister or some other responsible chief. The last support of an inadequate monarch is the Army. With a monarchy, therefore, there is always a danger that the Army may be able to imperil the country's interests. One may draw from the study of history the lesson that the age of princes is over. The history of the Middle Ages becomes confused, when all is said, with the history of a family. For two hundred years we have been watching the decomposition of this system. The princely houses have retained nothing but their pretensions. With these they traffic, and by these they live. The worst thing of that sort that happened in Germany, happened in Mecklenburg and in Thuringia. The State of Thuringia was formed by the joining together of seven principalities. The seven princely families never stopped making claims upon the poor State of Thuringia, with lawsuits and demands for allowances and indemnities. When we took power in Thuringia, we found ourselves confronted with an enormous deficit. I at once advised these princes to give up their claims. They were in the habit of clinging to the shirt-tails of" the old gentleman", who had a weakness for them, as if for a child. At the time, I didn't have an easy task with them. It wasn't until from 1934 onwards that my hands were free and I could use the weapons that the law gave me. I had to threaten them with the enactment of a law compelling them to release their hold. Gürtner was very correct in affairs of that sort. He told me that, from the point of view of simple morality, he considered the princes' claims impudent, but that he was bound by the law of 1918. Later on, I poked my nose into these families' origins, and realised that they weren't even Germans. All one had to do was to examine their genealogical trees ! If one day we had time to waste, it would be a curious study, that of these princely families, to see how they maintained themselves in power, despite their internal struggles. Their wars always had the most exalted motives. In reality, it was always a question of odd patches of land, whose possession was bitterly disputed. How much Europe has had to suffer, for eight hundred years, from these practices—and, especially and above all, Germany!
11th November 1941, evening
I've always defended the point of view that the Party should hold itself aloof from religion. We never organised religious services for our supporters. I preferred to run the risk of being put under the ban of the Church or excommunicated. The Church's friendship costs too dear. In case of success, I can hear myself being told that it's thanks to her. I'd rather she had nothing to do with it, and that I shouldn't be presented with the bill! Russia used to be the most bigoted State of all. Nothing happened there without the participation of the Orthodox priests. That didn't prevent the Russians from getting beaten. It seems that the prayers of a hundred and forty million Russians were less convincing, before God, than those of a smaller number of Japanese. It was the same thing in the first World War. Russian prayers had less weight than ours. Even on the home front, the cowls proved incapable of ensuring the maintenance of the established order. They permitted the triumph of Bolshevism. One can even say that the reactionary and clerical circles helped on this triumph, by eliminating Rasputin. They thus eliminated a force that was capable of stimulating the healthy elements in the Slav soul. But for the Nationalist volunteers of 1919-20, the clergy would have fallen victim to Bolshevism just as much in Germany as they did in Russia. The skull-cap is a danger to the State when things go badly. The clergy takes a sly pleasure in rallying the enemies of the established order, and thus shares the responsibility for the disorders that arise. Think of the difficulties the Popes continually caused the German emperors ! I would gladly have recourse to the shavelings, if they could help us to intercept English or Russian aircraft. But, for the present, the men who serve our anti-aircraft guns are more useful than the fellows who handle the sprinkler. In the Latin countries, we've often been within a hair's breadth of seeing Bolshevism triumph, and thus administer the death-blow to a society that was always on the point of collapse. When, in ancient Rome, the plebs were mobilised by Christianity, the intelligentsia had lost contact with the ancient forms of worship. The man of to-day, who is formed by the disciplines of science, has likewise ceased taking the teaching of religion very seriously. What is in opposition to the laws of nature cannot come from God. Moreover, thunderbolts do not spare churches. A system of metaphysics that is drawn from Christianity and founded on outmoded notions does not correspond to the level of modern knowledge. In Italy and in Spain, that will all end badly. They'll cut each other's throats. I don't want anything of that sort amongst us. We can be glad that the Parthenon is still standing upright, the Roman Pantheon and the other temples. It matters little that the forms of worship that were practised there no longer mean anything to us. It is truly regrettable that so little is left of these temples. The result is, we are in no risk of worshipping Zeus. Amongst us, the only witnesses of our greatness in the Middle Ages are the cathedrals. It would be enough to permit a movement of religious persecution to cause the disappearance of all the monuments that our country built from the fifth to the seventeenth century. What a void, and how greatly the world would be impoverished ! I know nothing of the Other World, and I have the honesty to admit it. Other people know more about it than I do, and I'm incapable of proving that they're mistaken. I don't dream of imposing my philosophy on a village girl. Although religion does not aim at seeking for the truth, it is a kind of philosophy which can satisfy simple minds, and that does no harm to anyone. Everything is finally a matter of the feeling man has of his own impotence. In itself, this philosophy has nothing pernicious about it. The essential thing, really, is that man should know that salvation consists in the effort that each person makes to understand Providence and accept the laws of nature. Since all violent upheavals are a calamity, I would prefer the adaptation to be made without shocks. What could be longest left undisturbed are women's convents. The sense of the inner life brings people great enrichment. What we must do, then, is to extract from religions the poison they contain. In this respect, great progress has been made during recent centuries. The Church must be made to understand that her kingdom is not of this world. What an example Frederick the Great set when he reacted against the Church's claim to be allowed to interfere in matters of State ! The marginal notes, in his handwriting, which one finds on the pleas addressed to him by the pastors, have the value of judgments of Solomon. They're definitive. Our generals should make a practice of reading them daily. One is humiliated to see how slowly humanity progresses. The house of Habsburg produced, in Joseph II, a pale imitator of Frederick the Great. A dynasty that can produce even one intellect in the class of Frederick the Great's has justified itself in the eyes of history. We had experience of it during the first World War: the only one of the belligerents that was truly religious was Germany. That didn't prevent her from losing the war. What repulsive hypocrisy that arrant Freemason, Roosevelt, displays when he speaks of Christianity ! All the Churches should rise up against him—for he acts on principles diametrically opposed to those of the religion of which he boasts. The religions have passed the climacteric; they're now decadent. They can remain like that for a few centuries yet. What revolutions won't do, will be done by evolution. One may regret living at a period when it's impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there's one thing I can predict to eaters of meat, that the world of the future will be vegetarian !
12th November 1941, midday
It's a huge relief for our Party to know that the myth of the Workers' Paradise to the East is now destroyed. It was the destiny of all the civilised States to be exposed to the assault of Asia at the moment when their vital strength was weakening. First of all it was the Greeks attacked by the Persians, then the Carthaginians' expedition against Rome, the Huns in the battle of the Catalaunian Fields, the wars against Islam beginning with the battle of Poitiers, and finally the onslaught of the Mongols, from which Europe was saved by a miracle— one asks what internal difficulty held them back. And now we're facing the worst attack of all, the attack of Asia mobilised by Bolshevism. A people can prove to be well fitted for battle even although it is ill fitted for civilisation. From the point of view of their value as combatants, the armies of Genghiz Khan were not inferior to those of Stalin (provided we take away from Bolshevism what it owes to the material civilisation of the West). Europe comes to an end, in the East, at the extreme point reached by the rays of the Germanic spirit. The Bolshevik domination in European Russia was, when all is said, merely a preparation (which lasted twenty years) for the German domination. Prussia of the time of Frederick the Great resembled the Eastern territories that we are now in process of conquering. Frederick II did not allow the Jews to penetrate into West Prussia. His Jewish policy was exemplary. We shall give the natives all they need: plenty to eat, and rot-gut spirits. If they don't work, they'll go to a camp, and they'll be deprived of alcohol. From the orange to cotton, we can grow anything in that country. It's all the more difficult to conquer because it hasn't any roads. What luck that they didn't arrive, with their vehicles, on our roads !
12th November 1941, evening
We committed the capital fault, immediately after the last war, of re-entering the orbit of world economy, instead of sticking to autarky. If at that time we had used within the framework of autarky the sixteen million men in Germany who were devoted to an unproductive activity, we'd not have had any unemployment. The success of my Four Year Plan is explained precisely by the fact that I set everybody to work, in an economy within a closed circle. It wasn't by means of rearmament that I solved the problem of unemployment, for I did practically nothing in that field during the first years. Vogler submitted to me right away a project for the production of synthejtic petrol, but it was impossible to get the project accepted by the Ministry of Economics. It was objected that, since the foreign market was offering petrol at nine pfennige, it was ridiculous to produce it at home for double that price. It was no use my replying that our unemployed were costing us thousands of millions, and that we would save on these thousands of millions by setting these unemployed to work; I was met with faulty arguments. It was discovered, or so I was told, that the processes of manufacture had not been worked out. As if our industrialists, with their well-known caution, would have rashly undertaken a method of manufacture without knowing its secrets! Later on, I could have kicked myself for not having thrown all that crew overboard. I broke with Feder, by the way, because he wasn't keen on this project. Then came Keppler's turn. He was duped by the charlatan of Düsseldorf. In this way we wasted nine months. All the scientists had asserted that something would come of it. This was the period when every charlatan had some project to put before me. I told the alchemists that I had no interest in gold— either natural or synthetic. At last, we began to build factories. How glad I'd have been in 1933 to find the possibility, in one way or another, of giving the workers jobs! Night and day I racked my brains to know how to set about it in order to bring the ponderous machine of the Economy back into motion. Whoever opened a new firm, I freed him from taxes. When business is going well, the money flows back into the State's coffers ! Our opponents have not yet understood our system. We can be easy in our minds on that subject; they'll have terrible crises once the war is over. During that time, we'll be building a solid State, proof against crises, and without an ounce of gold behind it. Anyone who sells above the set prices, let him be marched off into a concentration camp ! That's the bastion of money. There's no other way. The egoist doesn't care about the public interest. He fills his pockets, and sneaks off abroad with his foreign currency. One cannot establish a money's solidity on the good sense of the citizens. The Dutch live on their colonies. The Swiss have no other resources than their fraudulent manipulations. They're completely mad to transfer all their money to America. They won't see it again ! The conversations we've just had with the Danes have had a considerable effect. A company has just been formed in Denmark to share in the exploitation of the Eastern territories. We're thus creating bases for Europe. One day I received a visit from a big Belgian industrialist who saw no way out of the problems confronting him. If he was simply reasonable, he said, he would close his factory. He was caught in the dilemma: a desire to continue an enterprise created by his father, and a fear of the reproaches he would have to heap upon himself if he persevered. Belgium, Holland, Norway will have no more unemployed. England is beginning to take heed of the situation. If we increase agricultural production in the Ukraine by only 50 per cent, we provide bread for twenty-five to thirty million more people. To increase the production of the Ukraine by 50 per cent is a trifle, for it would still be 30 per cent lower than the average production of the soil in Germany. The same point of view is equally applicable to the Baltic countries and White Russia, which also have a surplus production. It would be ridiculous not to put some sort of order into this continent. Our economy must be organised with care. But it will be prudent not to become too far involved in motorisation. The solution of the problem of meat and fat is at the same time that of the problem of leather and manures. On one side, we have in Europe highly civilised peoples who are reduced to breaking their stones for themselves. On the other side, we have at our disposal those stupid masses in the East. It's for these masses to perform our humbler tasks. Thus the native population of the East will be better fed than it has ever been hitherto—and it will also receive the household utensils it needs. The alluvial deposits on the shores of the North Sea are the best manure in the world. The nuisance is, transport is expensive, and besides, who are the men who will go and collect these deposits? I have a hundred and fifty thousand convicts who are making list slippers! One day Himmler will be our biggest industrialist. With our new economic organisation, the political centre of Europe is shifting. England will be nothing but a vast Holland. The Continent is coming back to life. For the next ten years, the essential thing is to suppress all the chairs of political economy in the universities.
16th November 1941, noon
Amongst us, the conception of the monolithic State implies that everything should be directed from a centre. The logical extreme of this attitude is that the most modest of officials should finally have more importance than the mayor of Essen. The English in India do exactly the opposite. A hundred and forty-five thousand men govern a hundred and fifty millions. In their place, we'd need millions of officials ! The French have no administrative autonomy. For us they're the worst possible example, but it's the ideal State from the point of view of our lawyers and advocates! We must reorganise our administration so that it will make the best use on the spot of the most effective men. It's the only way of overcoming the difficulties on which the lawyers' State must stumble. In this reorganisation, the first thing to do will be to chase the lawyers out of the Ministries. We'll find subordinate jobs for them. It's likewise nonsense to try to control all a province's expenditure from Berlin. What is good is to keep a check on the expenditure authorised by the central authority. Whether a second-grade official should be promoted to the first grade, that should be decided on the spot—and not in Berlin, by the Ministry of thelnterior in agreementwith that of Finance. Again, if the theatre at Weimar wants to renew its equipment, it should not have to make a request to Berlin. It's a local problem. To act otherwise is to encourage people to forget.their sense of responsibilities, and to encourage the development of the satrap's mentality. Our officials are trained not to take any initiative, to render an account for everything, and to have themselves covered in all they do by a hierarchical superior. For Berlin, that's the ideal type of official ! We must use the axe ruthlessly on that sort of thing. We can easily get rid of two-thirds of them. Let's regard the jurist as an adviser, and not give him any authority to give orders. How can a man who has spent his whole life with his nose buried in files understand anything at all about live problems? He knows nothing. I never miss an opportunity of being rude about jurists. That's because I hope to discourage young people who would like to rush into such a career. One must decry the profession to such a point that in future only those who have no other ideal but red tape will have the wish to devote themselves to it. What weight have juridical scruples when something is necessary in the interests of the nation? It's not thanks to the jurists, but despite them, that the German people is alive. I'm not the first to regard these people as a cultural medium for bacilli. Frederick the Great had the same sort of ideas.
16th November 1941, evening
It always fills me with nervous irritation to see in what spirit the magistrates deliver their verdicts. The authors of crimes against morality are as a rule recidivists—and they usually crown their career with some filthy misdeed. Why not wipe out these individuals at once? When I consider the question of responsibility, I don't regard the fact that a being is abnormal as an extenuating circumstance—it's an aggravating circumstance. What harm do you see in it if an abnormal being is punished as much as a normal being? Society should preserve itself from such elements. Animals who live in the social state have their outlaws. They reject them. The popular judge of former times, who applied a law established by custom, has been gradually transformed into a professional judge. Originally, royalty identified itself with the law. Theoretically, it still does so—since a country's highest magistrate is the Head of the State. The law should take account, on the one hand, of the circumstances of the period, and, on the other hand, of special cases. Our ancestors were particularly tolerant towards thefts of food. When the delinquent could prove that his only motive had been hunger, and that he had stolen only what he needed to appease his hunger, he was not punished. A distinction was made between acts, according as to whether or not they threatened the life of the group. According to present law, it can happen that a man who has killed a hare is more severely punished than a man who has killed a child. I put my signature beneath every new law, but only a short time ago I hadn't the power to refuse, by a simple written declaration, a legacy that was offered me. No, it was necessary for a notary to put himself out so that I could declare in valid style that such was my will. My signature alone had no validity. At that point, I came to a compromise. Since then it has been Lammers who attests, in place of the notary, that such is my will. That reminds me of a fantastic story that took place at the beginning of the war. I had myself just been making a holograph will (which I passed on to Lammers), when the following case was laid before me. A Hamburg business-man leaves his fortune to a woman. He then dies, and his sister disputes the validity of the will. Her plea is rejected at the first hearing. On appeal, the Court decides that, although there is no doubt of the testator's intention, the will must be annulled for a vice of form: the will is properly drawn up, in the man's own handwriting, but the name of the place is printed on the paper, whereas it ought to be written by hand. I said to Gürtner: "I'll have the whole Court of Appeal arrested!" By the terms of this judgment, my own will would not have been valid. . . . When a thing like that happens to one of us, we have the possibility of defending ourselves. But what about the man in the street? He finds himself up against a wall, and he must think there is no justice. Such a conception of the law can have been born only in atrophied brains. In my own law-suits I've experienced incidents that would make one's hair stand on end. The advocate's profession is essentially unclean, for the advocate is entitled to lie to the Court. The degree of disrepute this profession has achieved is shown by the fact that they've re-baptised it. There are only two professions that have changed their names: teachers and advocates. The former wish to be known in future under the name of Volksbildner (people's educators), and the latter under the name of Rechtswahrer (guardians of the law). Let advocates remain advocates, but let the profession be purified ! Let it be employed in the service of the public interest. Just as there is a public prosecutor, let there be a public defender, and may he be bound by the oath to act in accordance with the interests of truth. We need a renovated magistrature : few judges, but let them have great responsibilities and a high sense of their responsibilities. To-day there's no middle course. Either exaggeratedly severe sentences (when they feel they are supported by public opinion), or else a misplaced leniency. When somebody speaks to me about a traitor, it doesn't interest me to know just how he betrayed, or whether his treachery was successful, or what it concerned. For me, the only question is: "Did he act for or against Germany?" As regards certain offences committed with the aggravating circumstance of perversity, that's just the same. To catch an offender, shut him up, let him go again, watch over him, catch him again, what's the sense in all that? Really, the jurists look after the underworld with as much love as owners of shoots taking care of their game during the close season. When I think of the sentences passed on persons guilty of assault during the black-out ! There will always be one of those jurists who will juggle with the facts until the moment comes when he finds an extenuating circumstance. A swine will always be a swine. I reserve my pity for the brave man amongst my compatriots. It's my duty to protect them against the underworld. This imaginary world of juridical notions is a world into which we may not enter. A court is asking me to show clemency to a man who, having made a girl pregnant, drowned her in the Wannsee. The motive: he acted in fear of the illegitimate child. I noticed on this occasion that all those who had committed an analogous crime had been pardoned. Hundreds of cases. And yet isn't it the filthiest of crimes? I said to Gürtner: "Criminals ofthat sort, I shall never pardon a single one of them. There's no use in suggesting it to me." One day Meissner proposed to me that I should pardon a young girl who had made herself guilty of treason. Why should she be pardoned? Because she had studied philosophy! I said to Meissner: "Are you mad?" When a young man makes a mistake, and I can persuade myself that he's simply an imbecile—then, all right ! But not in a case like this. With such a system of law, our Reich would be in full decadence, if I hadn't decided that to-day society is in a state of legitimate defence, and hadn't therefore provided the laws, as they are applied, with the necessary correctives. The officer and the judge should be the defenders of our conception of society. But the condition of this discretionary power which is granted to the judge is that the magistrature should be racially so homogeneous that the smallest sign should be sufficient to make it understand us. Franco's brother-in-law is becoming Minister for Foreign Affairs. It's not usual for one family to monopolise all the talent. Nepotism has never been a happy formula; and this is how a work cemented by the blood of a people can be systematically destroyed.
19th November 1941
Above all, it was essential that the Party should not allow itself to be overrun by the bourgeois. I took care, by applying appropriate methods, to welcome nobody into it but truly fanatical Germans, ready to sacrifice their private interests to the interests of the public. The bourgeois parties carried their stupidity so far as to claim that it's always tfie more intelligent who should yield. I, on the other hand, have always had a single aim: to assert my demands at all costs, come wind, come weather. The basic notions that served us in the struggle for power have proved that they are correct, and are the same notions as we apply to-day in the struggle we are waging on a world scale. We shall triumph in this undertaking, likewise : because we fight fanatically for our victory, and because we believe in our victory. This snivelling in which some of the bourgeois are indulging nowadays, on the pretext that the Jews have to clear out of Germany, is just typical of these holier-than-thou's. Did they weep when every year hundreds of thousands of Germans had to emigrate, from inability to find a livelihood on our own soil? These Germans had no kinsfolk in various parts of the world ; they were left to their own mercies, they went off into the unknown. Nothing of that sort for the Jews, who have uncles, nephews, cousins everywhere. In the circumstances, the pity shown by our bourgeois is particularly out of place. In any case, is it we who created nature, established its laws? Things are as they are, and we can do nothing to change them. Providence has endowed living creatures with a limitless fecundity; but she has not put in their reach, without the need for effort on their part, all the food they need. All that is very right and proper, for it is the struggle for existence that produces the selection of the fittest. The Party must continue to be as tough as it was during the conquest of power. It's necessary that the Fuehrer should at all times have the certainty that he can count on the unshakable support of the members of the Party, and that he can count on it all the more inasmuch as certain compatriots, beneath the weight of circumstances, should prove to be waverers. The Party cannot drag dead weights with it, it can do nothing with the lukewarm. If there are any such amongst us, let them be expelled ! To those who hold in their hands the destinies of the country, it can be a mattegr of indifference that not all the bourgeois are behind them; but they must have this certainty—that the Party forms a buttress as solid as granite to support their power.
2Oth November 1941
If the mental picture that Christians form of God were correct, the god of the ants would be an ant, and similarly for the other animals. Even for the Bolsheviks, the notion of collective ownership has its limits. Trousers, shirt, handkerchief—for those who have such a thing—are regarded as private property. We Germans have that marvellous source of strength—the sense of duty—which other peoples do not possess. The conviction that, by obeying the voice of duty, one is working for the preservation of the species, helps one to take the gravest decisions. What would have happened if Italy, instead of becoming Fascist, had become Communist? We ought to be grateful to the Duce for having dispelled this danger from Europe. That's a service he has rendered that must never be forgotten. Mussolini is a man made to the measure of the centuries. His place in history is reserved for him. What doesn't Italy owe to Mussolini? What he has achieved in every sphere ! Even Rhodes, that island asleep in the far niente, he created out of the void. Compare that fertile island with the Greek isles, and you understand what Mussolini has done for his country.
3Oth November 1941, evening
Coburg. It was the first time we received a positive invitation. I accepted immediately. We must not let such an 136 NATIONAL SOCIALISTS AT GOBURG opportunity escape us. I took eight hundred men. Others were to join us, from Saxony and Thuringia. At Nuremberg we had our first encounter. Our train, which was beflagged, was not to the taste of some Jews installed in a train halted beside ours. Schreck leapt into the midst of them and started laying about him. In Coburg station the reception-committee was waiting for us. Dietrich came hobbling over to me to tell me that he'd made an agreement with the Trades Unions, by the terms of which we undertook not to march in ranks, with flags and music in front of us. I pointed out that he had no authority to give undertakings in my name, and that I would pay no attention to them. I ordered the flags and music to go in front, and the procession was formed. When I appeared, I was greeted by the unanimous shout of a thousand voices: "Rogues, bandits!" A real populace! Things were going to warm up. At once I put myself at the head. We were led, not to the rifle-range, but to the Hofbräuhaus. Around us was an innumerable crowd, shouting, howling, threatening. When we were inside, Dietrich told me that for the present it was impossible for us to go to our billets. At this moment the gate of the beer-hall was barricaded by the police. "Good God!" I exclaimed. A policeman came and told me we were forbidden to leave the building, since the police declared itself unable to guarantee our protection. I replied that this protection of theirs was no concern of mine, that we were capable of protecting ourselves, and that I ordered him to open the gate. This he did, but explaining that I was compelling him to bow to force. I said to myself: "If I see a single one of our fellows flinch, I'll tear offhis brassard !" Once we were outside, we gave them such a thrashing that in ten minutes' time the street was cleared. All our weapons came in useful : our musicians' trumpets came out of the affray twisted and dented. The Reds were scattered, and fled in all directions. We slept on straw. During the night I learnt that a group of my supporters had been attacked. I sent a few men to the rescue, and soon afterwards three Reds were brought back to me—three Reds whose faces were no longer human. It was at ACTION AGAINST TRADE UNIONS 137 this moment that a policeman confided to me: "You can't imagine how we suffer under the domination of these dogs. If only we'd known that you'd settle their hash like that!" I told him that this was the special treatment we reserved for the rabble. Next day, all the talk was of "Bavarian gangsters" who had broken into the town. Leaflets were distributed in the street, inviting the population to a counter-manifestation. At the hour stated, we were on the scene. We saw about a hundred and fifty Reds assembling, but at sight of us they took flight. We then went, in procession, to the Citadel, and came down again from it. I'd ordered my men to strike down the first man who hesitated. After our return, we were greeted with cheers from all the windows. The bourgeoisie had regained courage. That evening at the Hof bräuhaus, the citizens were rejoicing at the thought that the devil's fangs had been drawn. Jürgen von Ramin was there. I said to him: "That's typical of your bourgeois world. Cowards at the moment of danger, boasters afterwards." "We fight with the weapons of the spirit," he replied. "They'll do you a lot of good, your spiritual weapons," Dietrich said with a shout of laughter. "Excuse me," Ramin replied, "you forget that I'm a descendant of Bismarck." On which I observed that one couldn't blame Bismarck for having such a scion. For our return to Munich, the Railwaymen's Trade Union told us that it refused to give us transport. "Very well," I said to their delegates, "I'll start by taking you as hostages, and I'll have a round-up of all your people who fall into our hands. I have locomotive-drivers amongst my men; they'll drive us. And I'll take you all on board with us. If anything at all happens, you'll accompany us into the Other World!" Thereupon I had them all rounded up, and half an hour later the "proletariat" decided to let us go. At that date, it was indispensable to act without hesitations. It was the beginning of a new era. At Munich an action was brought against us on the pretext that at Coburg we had severely wounded a number of manifesters. It was even said that we had used machine-guns. In reality, somebody had confused a music-stand with a machine-gun. The affair was pigeon-holed. Later on, the Reds we had beaten up became our best supporters. When the Falange imprisons its opponents, it's committing the gravest of faults. Wasn't my party, at the time of which I'm speaking, composed of 90 per cent of left-wing elements? I needed men who could fight. I had no use for the sort of timid doctrinaires who whisper subversive plans into your ear. I preferred men who didn't mind getting their hands dirty. Bearing in mind our origins, one can only be stupefied by the results obtained in four years. I had Munich, and I controlled a newspaper. The press hostile to us had a total circulation ten times greater than ours. Our printer, Adolf Müller, a man of an infinite flexibility of views, had printed them all. He had a number of Communists on his staff, and was in the habit of saying to them that, if anything displeased them in the activities of the firm, he would offer to pay them their week's wages in orthodox opinions instead of in money. This Müller was a self-made man (English expression in the original). There was a period when he was constantly coming to demand money from us. We were convinced that he was exploiting us. For this reason, Amann used every week to wage a war to the knife against him with the object of making him lower his rates. The best trick I played on him was the adoption of the large format for the Völkischer Beobachter. Müller had thought himself the cunning one, for he supposed that, by being the only man who possessed a machine corresponding to our new format, he was binding us to him. In reality, it was he who was binding himself to our newspaper, and he was very glad to continue to print us, for no other newspaper used our format. Müller had become the slave of his machine. Moreover, we were the only newspaper that never had a fall in circulation. It was a piece of luck that we didn't have our own printing-shop, for the Party comrades who would have been our customers would have needed a lot of coaxing to make them pay their bills: "What about Party solidarity?" they'd have said. In his own way, Adolf Müller was a good sort. He looked carefully after the well-being of his employees, and he always defended his workers' interests, even before the Labour Front existed. Himself an offspring of the people, he knew how to practise the art of "live and let live". It's at this period that we laid the first foundations of our present Reich. When I think of the persecutions we met with! Newspapers suspended, meetings forbidden or sabotaged. Seen in retrospect, this was the golden age of our struggle. My entry into the Chancellery marks the end of that inspiring life. Until then, nine out of ten of the men with whom I was in contact belonged to the people. From that moment onwards, nine out of ten belonged to distinguished society. It was a turning upside down of my entire existence. To-day I once more find the old contact with the people in popular gatherings. Addressing Dietl, the Fuehrer continued: All that—I owe it to you, for, at the origin of the movement, it was with your men that you permitted me to act. To tell the truth, you contributed to the birth of the Third Reich. I understand why the bourgeois bristle at the prospect of being governed by people like us. Compared with us, the Social Democrats numbered in their ranks men with much better outward qualifications—from the point of view of the bourgeois, I mean. The bourgeois could only be terrified as they witnessed the coming of this new society. But / knew that the only man who could be really useful to us was the man capable of mounting on the barricades. Turning towards Hewel, the Fuehrer went on: 1923. At that period you already had magnificent uniforms. But 1920, 1922! The uniform was indispensable. With some people well dressed and others miserably, one cannot build a coherent formation. It's difficult to imagine that sort of thing nowadays. It's because I'm aware of all that that I know, too, that our movement is inimitable. What has happened in our midst is something unique—inconceivable in France, for example. And the French will never have a chief like the Duce.