One: A Reckoning
THE SPRING of 1912 I came at last to Munich.
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
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.
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.
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 to disintegration.
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.
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 miracle 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.
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
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
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 Slavic-Habsburg Empire?
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.
Italy this was the case from the very beginning.
people in Germany had only studied history a little more clearly,
and gone into the psychology 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 Austria: either alliance
choosing the first, the Italians were able to prepare, undisturbed,
for the second.
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.
was a classic case, bearing witness to the absence of any broad
and correct line of thinking.
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 existence.
the question could be formulated only as follows:
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 of forces?
clear examination of the premises for foreign activity on the
part of German statecraft inevitably led to the following conviction:
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 in time.
were four ways of avoiding so terrible a development for the
Following the French example, the increase of births could be
artificially restricted, thus meeting the problem of overpopulation
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.
the same time the diminution of number strengthens the individual
and thus in the last analysis fortifies the species.
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:
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
diminished; this, however, is something the dear little ape
of the Almighty does not want to see or hear about.
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.
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.
anyone who wants to secure the existence of the German people
by a self-limitation of its reproduction is robbing it of its
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 imagine.
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
rise 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 and species.
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.
first glance this seems perfectly correct. Yet here the following
must be borne in mind:
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 unused
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.
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.
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 result:
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
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.
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
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
so-called 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the following must be stated:
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 politico-military
situation in the nation in question.
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.
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
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 population.
Either new soil could be acquired and the superfluous millions
sent off each year, thus keeping the nation on a self-sustaining
basis; or we could
Produce for foreign needs through industry and commerce, and
defray the cost of living from the proceeds.
other words: either a territorial policy, or a colonial and
ways were contemplated, examined, recommended, and combated
by different political tendencies, and the last was finally
healthier way of the two would, to be sure, have been the first.
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.
one 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
between 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
state and the independence of the nation, particularly in difficult
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.
they will not willingly do this. But then the law of self-preservation
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.
for another reason this would have been the correct solution
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
such a policy there was but one ally in Europe: England.
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'!
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.
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
result, to be sure, would have been a momentary limitation but
a great and mighty future.
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.
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 England'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.
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.
would never have been any 'World War.'
bloodshed in the year 1904 would have saved ten times as much
in the years 1914 to 1918.
what a position Germany would occupy in the world today!
that light, to be sure, the alliance with Austria was an absurdity.
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.
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.
any case we were not justified in looking on, as year after
year Germanism was increasingly repressed, since the value of
Austria's fitness for alliance was determined exclusively by
the preservation of the German element.
road, however, was not taken at all.
people feared nothing so much as struggle, yet they were finally
forced into it at the most unfavorable hour.
wanted to run away from destiny, and it caught up with them.
They dreamed of preserving world peace, and landed in the World
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.
shall return to this point in particular.
there remained the fourth possibility
and world trade, sea power and colonies.
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 fleet, 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
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.
is true that we, I am sorry to say, would never have done such
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.
from all angles, this alliance with Austria was real madness
by the turn of the century.
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. 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
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 them, 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,
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 dispatches.
was then that I began my first reflections about the importance
of the form of propaganda.
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.
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
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 un-German hodgepodge with
a parliamentary government.
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.
the turn of the century the alliance with Austria had entered
the very same stage as Austria's pact with Italy.
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.
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.
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 concerned.
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 conflict 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.
great were the dangers and difficulties entailed by the alliance
with the Danubian monarchy, only very few realized a' that time.
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.
the second place, Germany thus lost her best and most hopeful
possibilities of alliance. They were replaced by an ever-mounting
tension with Russia and even Italy. For in Rome the general
mood was just as pro-German as it was anti-Austrian, slumbering
in the heart of the very last Italian and often brightly flaring
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.
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
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 alliance.
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 superstate 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 thinking.
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 primarily 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.
the state has nothing at all to do with any definite economic
conception or development.
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.
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 flag
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.
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 convictions.
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.
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.
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.
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 empty-headed
and stupid the so-called statesmen of Germany had become 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.
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.
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 would 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.
following theorem may be established as an eternally valid truth:
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.
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.
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 self-preservation.
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.
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.
for the first time I turned my attention to the attempts to
master this world plague.
studied Bismarck's Socialist legislation 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.
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 human organisms?
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.
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 which they otherwise sharply ejected.
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
Marxism was no better than bungling quackery.