“The Germany of the future can only be a peasant Reich or it will again perish like the Reichs of the Hohenstaufen and Hohenzollern have perished, because they forgot to place their folkish and economic concentration in themselves.”
– Adolf Hitler, Harvest Festival 1933
The Reich of the Peasants
In no other state is the peasantry given such decisive significance as in National Socialist Germany.
That was often misunderstood outside of the Reich. The hard taskmaster of nations, war, simplified understanding for the Reich’s measures in the area of agriculture and the security of the peasantry. At least in Germany’s neighboring states hard hit by the war one today realizes the necessity of an ample national food supply.
The bitter experiences that Germany once had with the liberal neglect of its agriculture and the National Socialist measures to restore its peasantry hence find special interest among Germany’s neighbors. The German folk, too, once did not have enough to eat, namely during the British hunger blockade in the World War.
The same brutal fate would today again, sooner or later, befall all nations on the European continent, if the Reich had not made its best efforts to provide relief. The folks of the industrial nations would hunger and the people in the rural nations would suffer shortage of fodder or industrial goods. Even so, this lesson is still very bitter for our neighbors in the west. How was it possible that these rich lands were compelled to so severely restrict the consumption of food and luxury items?
Results of liberal economics.
Germany’s own economic development gives a clue. A hundred years ago German provinces still produced what they themselves consumed. Beyond that, they could even export grain and wool to England. A powerful industry emerged there. For the crowded masses in English cities, domestic food production no longer sufficed. Transport of foodstuffs from the possessions overseas was too slow and was only profitable for so-called colonial wares such as rice, raw sugar, tea, coffee, chocolate etc.
But during the second half of the previous century, the Reich developed into a first-rate industrial power. Its old, self- sufficient economy ceased. The populace in the old Reich territory increased by roughly 25 million within seven decades. This growth was concentrated in the large cities. While in 1882 42% of the populace worked in the agricultural field, today it is only 22%.
The rural populace hence had to feed an urban population that grew each year.
Strangely, this did not lead to healthy and firm prices for agricultural products.
The much-praised free trade imported foodstuffs from all parts of the world at such low prices that the European peasant, for various reasons, could not match regardless of his ingenuity.
Along with its industrialization, Germany’s economy became enmeshed in global economic entanglements. Such an international cooperation becomes dangerous when the economic sense is selfish and the political security of a country is sacrificed for the goddess “profit”. Tens of thousands of German peasants could no longer survive on their farmsteads against this game of the stock market and unhealthy pricing.
In the liberal Germany at the turn of the century all considerations of this kind were ruthlessly decided against the good of the whole. The most vital goods (foodstuffs, fabrics) were brought in from the cheapest producers. A strengthening of domestic agricultural production in the interest of agricultural self-sufficiency and hence also of national defense and the preservation of the peasant were rejected. This effort for a self- sufficient economy would have been too “unprofitable”. One preferred to get the cheaper products from overseas. There was enough money, because industry had seemingly insatiable markets.
So, the German worker finally ate wheat from La Plata or Canada; the fruit for the Reich grew in Africa or East Asia and its flax in Eastern European. Wool was best purchased in Australia etc. Not just German, rather all European peasants suffered from this very cheap overseas competition, because cattle breeding and meat production and the diary business (cheese, condensed milk, butter) boomed in these overseas lands with ideal climates for them.
It is certainly right that not all of these products could have been produced in Germany. The living space became smaller more crowded here year by year and the populace’s need increased with the raising income. Even with the most intense cultivation, German agriculture could have never produced all of every life necessity. This fact is in itself tragic and dangerous. But in addition to this is the fact that the liberal large distributor imported life essential consumable goods and raw materials for his personal gain. So, he will not limit himself to only import what the soil of his own fatherland cannot offer despite all effort. Quite the contrary – he will without restraint import much more than the country’s requirements and try to sell it by means of massive advertising. Such businessmen will at the same time strive to suppress domestic production as bothersome competition.
The trader in agricultural products has the advantage of being able to sell cheaper. He is further advantaged by the fact that domestic industry seeks to keep wages as low as possible and many consumers are hence forced to buy as cheap as possible.
The consequence of this economic leadership in the old Reich was the sacrifice of peasantry in favor of the superior cheap competition abroad. As a result, people field the countryside and emigration increased, farm debt rose and the poverty of the rural populace increased in Germany and in the neighboring Germanic countries.
This development started the proletarianization of a valuable population segment. As the century ended, the peasant was less free than ever.
The incontestable prosperity of the Reich before the World War hence stood on feet of clay. The World War proved that itself.
It showed that the care or neglect of domestic peasantry is not a problem of economics, rather a problem of politics and folkish self-assertion. The prosperity of the German folk was purchased with the sacrifice of agricultural self-sufficiency and with the economic enslavement of the peasantry. Freedom and honor – who asked about them in the age of profitability!
The World War suddenly destroyed the free access to the cheapest markets of the world as well as the paths to the colonies. The British blockade around Germany could not be broken back then. After consuming the supplies in private hands – that become more and more expensive – came the fateful dip into the substance of cattle, partially because of lack of fodder and partially because of Jewish sabotage. Then hunger came! The German folk will never forget it. A million people fell victim to it. This, however, was “overlooked” by a large part of the rest of “humanity”.
So it became terribly clear that the political freedom of a folk stands or falls with its agricultural self-sufficiency.
In addition to that came the Allied demand for reparations after the war, who demanded payment in gold and currency, but who at the same time refused the import of German wares.
The Reich was hence forced to fight for sales of its products in the remaining markets of the world against tough foreign competition, because it needed currency for the reparations. At the same time one neglected to place trade politics under firm, government direction. Foreign trade largely remained in the hands of the individual entrepreneur. He tried to meet the sharp competition on the global market by the cheapest offer.
Whoever wishes to sell cheap, must produce cheap. So costs had to be further reduced. The lowest wages for workers still employed were the result. Lowest wages and unemployment support demand the cheapest food prices.
So the peasant again had to bear the main burden. In addition to this came burdens and taxes as a result of state aid for the unemployed.
So domestic agriculture was not only sacrificed to cheap foreign competition, rather it also suffered from heavy additional taxation.
When the number of unemployed reached seven million, when the purchasing power of the folk hard been ruined and both public and private debt reached astronomical heights, the man millions of desperate people looked to with hope took over the leadership: Adolf Hitler!
In the middle of National Socialist economics does not stand the well-being of individual classes or groups, rather the whole folk. The businessman of past, liberal times is, on the other hand, the representative of a selfish economy. Instability, risk, price swings and speculation are his element. He subjugates his country’s politics to them, if possible; he sacrifices the physical and mental well-being of his folk to them.
The representative of consistency and obligation toward the entire folk, on the other had, is the peasant. The immovable ground is his work place. The fruits of his labor are the foodstuffs of the whole folk. Work on the soil and care of the forest demand thinking in generations. That is why protection of the peasantry is at the same time protection of the folk. The National Socialist state leadership protects the country people. Because it is the guardian of the most valuable portion of the German folk fortune, of the earth itself. In protecting the peasantry, it also protects that portion of the folk whose health and large families constantly give new, good blood to the German nation.
Through the possibility of loans and debt against agricultural property, the soil had largely been dragged into the liquidity of all values. No war and no failed harvest had ever driven so many peasants from their native threshold or turned them into subjugated renters as did the slavery of interest.
This is where the measures of the National Socialist leadership started. Land is no long an unworthy trade ware. Land cannot be used as security and hence mortgaged, nor can it be divided.
The first step toward protection of the peasantry was the creation of a new land law based on the ancient Germanic model. From now on a farmstead large enough for self- sufficient nourishment of a four-head peasant family up to a size of 125 hectares can only be passed along undivided – as an “Odal” – to the next male heir, provided he possesses professional ability, is genetically healthy and of good character. The other children’s settlement claim is limited to the scope of what is possible for the farmstead. Debt and division of the farm – hence inability of economic survival – are hence eliminated. Marriage for money is also less likely. The young peasant will again look at the health and capability of his future wife. The value of the farmstead can no longer be reduced by inheritance or debt. Hardships are avoided by tax and education insurance.
Prerequisite for an individual belonging to the peasantry is professional ability as well as character and overall worthiness.
These basic requirements create for the first time the foundation of a professional honor of the German peasantry. The peasantry hence purifies itself through gradual expulsion of useless elements. Admission to the peasantry is also dependent on worthiness and no longer on money. The SS watches over this. Thus emerges peasant honor just like officer honor develops through selection and elimination.
The removal of the farmstead from the “free” real estate market means, from the purely economic standpoint, the security of the peasant’s work place. In reality it means much more, namely the preservation of the homeland and the prevention of being uprooted.
The security of agriculture production was achieved through departure from the world market and from selfish agricultural speculation.
The peasant receives the security of firm prices for his produces and the security of being able to sell them. The worry about surpluses has been taken from him. In liberal times, good harvests depressed prices. In the National Socialist state surplus production is absorbed by a systematic state supply economy and, if necessary, brought to market at appropriate prices.
Pricing is no longer arbitrary, rather authoritarian. In the future the businessman no longer needs to be a selfish speculator, rather he becomes a useful distributor in the folk economy.
Money acquisition and the military security of the German folk demanded limitations even on some of the genuinely necessary agricultural imports of foodstuffs and fodder.
It was hence necessary to quickly and energetically promote surplus domestic production and to thereby make the domestic agricultural market more and more efficient.
However, the country people would have never heard such an appeal for increased production, if they did not now, after many centuries, again have a feeling of trust, security and systematic order of their life. Only that made it possible for German peasantry to increase the domestic supply of the German folk from about 65% to approximately 83% of the total need.
The German peasant is thus filled with pride and self-respect, because he has contributed such a substantial portion toward the achievement of the political and military freedom of action of his folk. The German peasant has in difficult times achieved what friendly and less unfriendly neighbors alike admire: The German folk has plenty to eat despite the English blockade.
Security of its daily bread did not only strengthen the German folk’s confidence in its own strength: it has above all found understanding for the significance of the “treasure of the field” and its guardian and multiplier – the peasant.
One also knows today that the physical and psychological condition of the folk is secure for the future through the valuable gene pool of the peasantry’s fertility. The SS has long been a champion for the restoration of an economically healthy and racially splendid peasantry. The Reichsführer SS himself is a trained farmer. The SS has made the preservation and increase of valuable blood in its ranks a fact by means of strict clan laws, for example through the engagement order of the Reichsführer SS of December 31, 1931. Among urban SS man as well it awakens understanding of the laws of nature, they rule over the peasant’s fields no less than they do over the generations of one’s own clan. The SS man, whether peasant or city dweller, against learns to think in terms of generations, an important characteristic of any leadership strata.
Another characteristic is inner freedom. Whoever has his own land under his feet, does not have to dance to another man’s fiddle, rather he can act according to his own conscience. The Führer has given the Reichsführer the task of protecting the German folk. One day the farmsteads of Germanic warrior peasants will form the distant borders of a greater Europe.