The Rise of the NSDAP, 1921 – 1934


Alfred Rosenberg describes the early National-Socialist struggles for power.“ Reichsleiter Rosenberg, seated in office and wearing uniform, speaks to camera, recalling early cooperation with Dietrich Eckart, Kapp Putsch, meeting Adolf Hitler through Eckart, taking over from Eckart as editor of the Völkischer Beobachter, and the March to Feldherrnhalle.

Brief film shots show Communist headline, brigades along street, young Dr. Goebbels addressing crowd, headline in his Berlin evening paper “Der Angriff”, Adolf Hitler entering hall, Gauleiter Goebbels at microphone, crowds passing Ausstellung Barcelona sign, police dispersing crowds in early 1920s with Café Raimund visible, fighting inside hall with chairs and baton-wielding police (feature film, „Hans Westmar“ ?), Vorwärts headline on Hitler’s arrest and removal to Landsberg, headline calling for reconstruction of National-Socialist Party, hand filling in Adolf Hitler’s membership card giving profession as writer and date 21 March 1925.

SA passing through town, NSDAP sign on door to office where Dr. Goebbels is writing before picking up phone, Italian telegram announcing that university Fascists will be represented at Nuremberg NS Deutscher Studentenbund by Santoni, signed Maltini. Dr. Santoni in morning coat and NSS Bund Reichsführer von Schirach emerge from building together at Congress, and unidentified delegates, not all in SA, arrive saluting in Nuremberg for Party Rally in August 1927.

Titled film of Rally continues with film of SA walking along country road holding banner marked „Berlin-Nuremberg Walk July-August. Despite the ban, not dead“, Adolf Hitler standing with Rudolf Hess, Julius Streicher – Gauleiter of Franconia, captain von Pfeffer, same banner through town, the Führer saluting, flag ceremony with Hitler and Hess, Streicher standing in front of Reichsparteitag banner, the Führer welcoming delegates who include some not in uniform though respectably dressed, Hitler and Hess departing by car, parade on Luitpoldhain and comment in Fränkisch-Kurier of 22 August 1927, Adolf Hitler speaking to his followers proclaiming „Germany’s freedom will arise again, just as the people and fatherland will arise again, stronger than ever“, Hitler taking salute from car at marchpast by SA, with Rudolf Hess, von Pfeffer and Streicher in front row.

1929 Rally shows another SA marchpast in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler in a car through crowds, and Goebbels, Rosenberg, General Ritter von Epp in helmet and Goering all visible, Hitler throwing banners to SA who catch them. Autumn 1932 Reichstag elections: Adolf Hitler speaking at Nuremberg, Der Angriff and Vorwärts campaign headlines, the Führer in car. Reichsleiter Rosenberg continues his historical summary of the NSDAP, recalling move to Berlin in 1933 after fourteen years struggle in Bavaria over film of Hitler and Hess emerging from Hindenburg’s residence, Hitler’s assumption of power on 30 January 1933 over film of SA torch procession, his own nomination as head of the Party Office for Foreign Politics and in charge of Party ideological matters. Hindenburg and Hitler appear at the Reichs Chancellery window at night time.

Der Angriff headline of 11 February reports Adolf Hitler’s Sportpalast speech of 10 February before film of actual event (English title incorrectly states „Hitler’s first speech as Chancellor, 30 January 1933“), with Hitler speaking against crimes of past from which lessons must be learnt if Germans are to overcome their impoverishment, Horst Wessel anthem and banner parade. „Goering named Prussian Minister of Interior by Hitler, outlines his programme, February 1933.“ Hermann Goering seated at desk speaks to camera promising to remove from office reds who are stifling national aspirations and expressing his determination to make Prussia the strongest and foremost bastion of Germany. „Election day in Bavaria, 5 March 1933.“ Völkischer Beobachter headline „With Adolf Hitler for a new Reich“ and National-Socialist Münchner Post of 5 March 1933; National-Socialist election poster; SA torchlight parade and band; exterior of Münchner Post and SA Heim Sturm 16L guarded by armed SA, standing in Holzstrasse; SA man machine gun outside Trade Union building in Munich with SS also present. „Election day in Berlin, 5 March 1933.“ President Hindenburg emerges from a polling booth, followed by his son Oskar and latter’s wife; Vice-Chancellor von Papen at polling station answers request for comment by saying „This election will be of decisive importance for Germany and the world“. Völkischer Beobachter headlines Adolf Hitler’s victory. „Meeting of Reichstag at which the Führer and his cabinet receive plenary powers of legislation, 24 March 1933“ (actually 23 March). Hitler declares in Reichstag „the economy exists not for capital, but capital serves the economy and the economy the people“.


„Opening of the official anti-Semitic campaign, 1 April 1933.“ Goebbels in suit addresses outdoor crowd, speaking of machinations of Jews in Paris, London and New York. One member of crowd holds up Nationalsozialistische Betriebszellen-organisation placard. Tracking shot follows SA in truck with placard „Germans! Defend yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews!“, as same slogan is chanted on soundtrack. Truck passes Bata shoe shop and U-bahn entrance (i.e. Berlin). Sign „Beware! Kosher!“ and Star of David are painted on shop windows, plus a death’s head with warning „Beware Jews!“. Cafe Unter den Linden. Anti-Semitic signs are placed outside other shops, including a shoe shop and restaurant. Angry exchange between SA man and civilian. Another sign reads „The Jewish owners of the 5-pfennig shop are parasites and grave-diggers of the German working class quarter. They pay starvation wages to the German workers. The proprietor is the Jew Nathan Schmidt“. SA shout „Wehrt Euch!“ slogan to camera from back of truck.

„Foreign press conference, April 1933.“ (actually Union of German foreign press, 6 April 1933). Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels in dark suit at podium reads speech declaring that the national revolution which broke out on 30 January is an event of elemental importance which came as a surprise only to people out of touch with their time, a revolution which will overflow into every aspect of German life. Adolf Hitler in dark suit then speaks, recalling the violence done to Germany since November 1918 and the determined suppression of „national elements“ in the same period.

„The burning of the books, 10 May 1933.“ Newsreel report describes burning of un-German and immoral books in university towns by German students over film of bonfire in Berlin’s Opernplatz. Students bearing National-Socialist flags march past fire, throwing on books. Goebbels in raincoat speaks to night-time gathering of youth, declaring „the era of footling Jewish intellectualism is now over“ and that the burning is a great symbolic act for all the world to see. Students then sing „Deutschland verwehrt!“.

„Christening of new great German aircraft in presence of Cabinet members.“ Hermann Goering in formal attire declares „German industriousness, German labour, German invention and German organisation have given here new proof of their unique force and strength. Hindenburg’s name is today famous throughout the whole world“ before christening the four-engine plane after the President. Von Papen and other ministers are present.

„Reichstag address on disarmament, 17 May 1933.“ Adolf Hitler at podium declares „in the name of the German government and the German people. Germany has disarmed and has fulfilled way beyond the limits of all reasonableness and sense the conditions imposed on her in the Peace Treaty“.

„Youth meeting in Thuringia, 18 June 1933.“ Adolf Hitler addresses huge open-air gathering of SA at Ehrfurt, declaring that in four months his government has already reduced the unemployed by 1.2 million and that they will not rest until their goal (i.e. full employment) is reached.

„Swastika becomes a national symbol, 9 July 1933.“ The Führer declares to a huge SA gathering in Dortmund that the Party flag has become a symbol of the German Reich. Röhm stands by his side.

„Fifth Party Congress, September 1933.“ Adolf Hitler, followed by Rudolf Hess, Robert Ley and Julius Streicher, approaches platform in Nuremberg Stadium and addresses huge crowd of followers, declaring „the most precious thing on earth is one’s own people, and for these people we want to speak, fight, never tire nor adjourn nor give up hope“.

„Inauguration at Frankfurt am Main of new section of the super-highway net-work, 23 September 1933.“ Autobahn workers march past with shovels raised, singing before intoning the national anthem, at site of first autobahn linking Frankfurt to Heidelberg. Adolf Hitler, with Hoffmann taking pictures and Hierl behind, declares his commitment to the German worker: „before many years pass a gigantic work will bear testimony to your service, industry, skill and determination. German labourers! To work!“

„Over radio network Hess administers oath of allegiance to more than one million leaders of the NSDAP and all affiliated organisations, 25 February 1934.“ Rudolf Hess, outside the Party Building in Munich’s Königsplatz , with Robert Ley and Baldur von Schirach behind, leads assembled gathering in oath to Hitler, which they repeat.


What the “Socialism” Really Means

Source: Germany’s Hitler (Chapter XIV) – by Heinz A. Heinz

It is scarcely necessary to enlarge, here, upon the „Nationalism“ in Adolf Hitler’s political creed. Enough has already been written about it. It has occupied so much space in the contemporary Press and been discussed in so many books it has come to be regarded with a certain degree of Chauvinism. I propose, therefore, to confine myself, in the conclusion of this work, to a few observations under the second heading of our double-barrelled title. It is so completely true that he who studies contemporary Germany with a view to forecasting the future of the country, must study it from inside and not from the outsider’s point of view.1 From outside one mainly perceives the nationalism. From the inside the drive and force of the socialism is most apparent.

German Socialism – Adolf Hitler’s Socialism – is a totally different thing from what is generally understood by this term, from the Socialism derived from Marxian and Communistic theory. The first essential difference between the two consists in this, that the former is strictly national in aim, scope and limit; the latter is international, without boundaries of race or land. The second vital distinction is that the first has been set up by the wish of the people concerned, the second is imposed upon nations by the will of those who organise and propagate it. A third contrast can be drawn inasmuch as German Socialism tends to draw all sections of the nation closely together, international socialism initiates class war. German Socialism is directed by the country’s nationals; international Socialism is an instrument of the Jews2. In the former it is the personality of the Leader which tells; in the latter we have nothing but the inertia of the mass which is exploited by its organisers.

By the above signs is German Socialism to be recognised and distinguished. When it has completely assimilated Germany to itself, it will extend and become the groundwork for the future development of other countries. Marxism and Communism are finished in Germany. They have played their part and their role is over. Long enough have they made their influence felt in every sphere of German life, intellectual, political and economic, to the suppression of the truer socialism. Socialism is not a thing to be apprehended through dreary theory only, but to be tested and proved in action. We have written enough, elsewhere, very fully to show that the present German Government is inspired in its legislation by the spirit of active philanthropy which it calls Socialism. This legislation incorporates the very essence of German Socialism.

As Dr. Goebbels writes: „Socialism, as we understand it, does not reduce men to a dead level, but ranges them in order according to their individual capacity and leading. If I were to try and put our aims and objects in this direction in a nutshell, I should say that it is our endeavour to build up in Germany a people who all possess the same rights in life. We want everyone, high and low, to belong to such a people. We desire that the highest among them shall feel themselves more closely united with the last and lowest of their own kith and kin than with the highest of any other nation. We aim at this – that the highest of our people would rather be the lowest of his own nation, than the highest of any other nation. Such an aspiration can only be the outcome of an absolutely unified national will.”

It would lead us too far afield to instance the many measures in which Hitler has exemplified his conception of true Socialism. We must confine ourselves to a mere sketch of the most important and obvious incorporations of the ideas through which he has restored to the German worker his honour and self-respect.


The law of April 10th, 1933, which arranged May 1st as a great Labour Day Holiday initiated the abovenamed reorganisation of labour in Germany. The first celebration of the new holiday was unanimous and universal: the Germans had never had anything like it before. Thousands of people gathered together at the same time, all over the country to listen to the Leader’s speech, and then to make high holiday. All trades and callings and professions for the first time were assembled in common, symbolising the unity which was henceforth to unite both types of labour – that of the head, and that of the hand, symbolising the necessary equal value to the community of both. German Socialism recognises no discriminating difference between the brain worker and the hand worker.

Quick on the heels of May 1st and its celebrations, came action. The German Labour Front emerged. On May 2nd the premises of all Marxian Labour Unions were taken over and the contents sequestrated.

Abroad, similar Marxist Unions described this action of Hitler’s as a theft of the German workman’s hardly earned pay, saved up for years and years in the Unions’ funds. Such a charge could not be substantiated, since these moneys were not taken from the workmen, to whom they rightly belonged, but from the greedy grasp of union officials to whom they did not belong, but who administered them wastefully, or appropriated them in disproportionate salaries.

With the workman himself went his money also, into the Labour Front. Here it could only be put to the best and most legitimate uses on his behalf.

The great object of the Labour Front is to secure German industry from the incessant recurrence of strikes and all their disintegrating consequences. German Socialism utterly opposes itself to strife between employers and men. Here again it shows quite a different face from that of Marxian Socialism which seeks to foment such discord, whereby, moreover, it maintains its own sovereignty.

In Germany to-day a strike is impossible for the reason that no employer dare pay less than the standardised daily wage, or the State would immediately take up the workers’ grievance. On the other hand, were the workers to demand more than their due they themselves would bring about the collapse of the concern for which they worked. The standard of wages is arrived at by experts representing the men and concerned to secure their best interests.

Together with wages, the question of hours has also been considered. In Marxist-Socialist Germany after the War, very hard times set in for German working men. Their leaders had every opportunity to show what the theory could accomplish; they had a majority in the Reichstag, a member of the Party was President of the Reich. Nevertheless, they were all either too lazy or too indifferent to carry out their programme.

So long as the masses went hungry they were easy to inflame, and to excite against capitalism and the wealthy. While six and a half million unemployed hung about the streets while their wives and children were starving, selfish employers exploited this wretched state of things just because they were paying the dole, forsooth! If a man grumbled he lost his job; hundreds were only waiting to pounce upon it in his stead. If he sought the assistance of the Secretary of his Union he drew another blank. What cared the employer for the Unions? Should a strike ensue all he had to do was to close shop or factory as the case might be, and say, „All right. We’ll see who can stick it out the longest, you or I.”

Days or even weeks might go by, but the result was always the same. The men came back with hangdog mien, glad of the work again at any cost! This is where the German working man had lost in his own eyes. It was from this sort of victimisation and wretchedness that Hitler designed to rescue him, and give him back his self-respect. Hitherto he had been the prey of vicious circumstances, the slave of an unscrupulous class.

All was altered in a twinkling when Adolf Hitler came to power. A cry of gratitude and relief went up from all ranks of German working men. The Brown Shirts were everywhere welcomed as they made their way into shop and factory and yard to enquire after the needs and circumstances of every employee in the place. Union secretaries were hauled to account no less than unsocialistic-minded employers. The German Labour Front was out to accomplish what it promised.

With the exception of peasants and officials, who have their own organisations, the German Labour Front comprises workmen of all kinds, employees, employers and people working on their own account. Hitler is its patron, Dr. Ley is its Leader. The standards of wages are carefully regulated and observed by reliable workers themselves. The Reich is divided up, under this scheme, into Regions, these, in turn, into Districts, these into Circuits or Local Groups, and these latter again into Trade Communes, Cells and Blocks.


Perforce of its iron will, its absolute refusal to com-promise and its terrific onset, National Socialism wrenched itself suddenly into power. Long years before this happened its better ideas had attracted people away from those of the old system then in vogue, and so it is readily to be understood how, in March, 1933, the aforesaid old system simply collapsed.

The first and greatest duty before National Socialism was to win the German people back to a sense of nationality, and in impressing its own principles upon them. A State that is to endure for centuries ahead must be built upon the very foundations of organic life, upon blood and soil, nationality and home.

In order to replace one kind of State with another, and better one, it is not enough merely to do away with the former: the people themselves must be re-educated. In place of a system full of class enmity and distinctions and pride of place, there is now a commonwealth. The new State, organically designed, is founded upon the principle “The common good before that of the individual.”

Under National Socialism the culture of an entire people must not be identified with any particular caste, class, or level: it must characterise and belong to the mass. Nor must aesthetic enjoyments be only for the few; they must be common to all. Just as the creation of a united working people has been confided to the German Labour Front, so is it the business of another organisation, that of “Strength through Joy,” to make every member of the nation free of its cultural and artistic treasures and resources. The two endeavours are inter-related. By means of the latter every German working man can look to his free evening as a real opportunity for refreshment and „uplift ”; money which had formerly gone merely in organising strikes, can now be spent far more profitably and agreeably.

It is not the object of „Strength through Joy“ to educate the people politically. Few want to attend classes in civics after a hard day’s work. Its aim is rather to bring the people together on a broad basis of enlightenment, an effort in which they, too, of course, must concur.

The Director of „Strength through Joy“ is also Dr. Ley. His work is comprised under many headings. It is one of his principal endeavours to open up to worker and unemployed alike all the best sources of entertainment, opera, theatre and concert hall. For the fact that a workman in any German city can obtain admission to the finest operas for practically a nominal sum is Hitler himself directly to be thanked. Hitler often starved, in the old days, in order to buy the meanest standing room in the house, to hear Wagner. Now that he is Chancellor, no working man in Germany need be put to such shifts to gratify his artistic longings.

The „Kulturamt“ has opened to the people all sorts of intellectual resorts hitherto sacred to the upper ten. It is a mistake to suppose that only such appreciate the best. In Germany Wagner takes precedence, even with the poorest people, over nigger minstrelsy and jazz.

Even the working man’s week-ends are provided for. Previously he went for a bit of a walk in the park perhaps, on Sunday, or took a tram out of the suburbs to get a breath of air. If he were a single man he might spend the most part of his leisure in a beer hall, listening to the band. Although this sort of thing can still be observed everywhere, nowadays the workman looks to the sort of week-end right away which previously could only be enjoyed by the better to do. For a couple of marks, to-day, he can go thirty miles out of the city, follow a personally conducted tour around some beauty spots, and enjoy a good meal into the bargain. When his holiday comes round, it is provided for, lavishly as far as good things are concerned, at equally small cost.

Workmen from Munich can now envisage holidays by the North Sea with all sorts of trips and bathing fun thrown in. Those from Berlin can go to the Alps, do a bit of mountaineering and try what hotel life is like. These are dreams come true which for whole generations past must have ever remained unrealisable. All thank: to Adolf Hitler.

The section of this activity which deals with „Volkstum und Heimat,” seeks to revive, for urban populations, the knowledge of and delight in old peasant and traditional customs, songs, dances, costumes. This sort of thing reawakens love of the country and their origins in people long divorced from the land. It bridges the gull between the peasant and the townsman.

Kraft durch Freude (“Strength through Joy”) looks also to sport to give the working man zest and change in exercise. It is Hitler’s keenest desire to see the worker, particularly the youthful worker (Hitler’s Germany is all being built for the future – the past must now look after itself, „let the dead bury the dead”) made „crisis resisting.” The young workman goes in for tennis and golf and every other vigorous game that’s going.

Through the instrumentality of innumerable exhibitions, it is sought to rouse the worker’s pride in his own achievements, in his niche in society, in the part he plays in the whole. His craft is displayed before him in its entire interest, or beauty, or significance. Prizes and com-petitions abound. Each man becomes conscious of the part he takes in the whole, and discovers fresh pride in his trade and in himself.

Cheap classes are held for those who desire to advance in their particular calling, or to study more particularly the trade to which they belong, and for the acquisition of foreign languages. The best teachers are retained and the instruction is given in the buildings of the local University.

People are assisted to acquire their own dwelling- houses. Loans for this purpose can be repaid by instalments over a series of years. In this way it is hoped to promote a cheerful small villadom beyond the limits of the greater cities.

The department for propaganda aims at bringing all these activities and facilities before the people, to encourage them to make the utmost use of them. Only so will they be bringing about the National Socialist State envisaged by Adolf Hitler. There are still more departments in this one Movement alone, but space forbids their description.

Much, indeed, has been written about the new Germany. In England and America so much attention has been directed to its political aspect, that these others have been neglected. Of that attention, moreover, by far the greater part is highly inimical, highly critical. Few outside Germany yet realise why Hitler is prepared to go to all lengths to save this new Germany from being torpedoed either from within or without. He saves it in his own way and from those he considers its enemies, whether his action is understood abroad or not.

Let those disbelieve it who will, Adolf Hitler has done more for Germany since he came to power than any other statesman at any other time, and the wrecking of his work would not only spell the final ruin of Germany, but the ruin of Europe at large.


1. Germany’s political development has been along lines totally different from those in England, and has led to a type of political public opinion very different from that of the average Englishman. The latter make a great mistake to judge of affairs in another country as if they had happened in their own. This is the universal mistake of the onlooker and critic: perhaps it accounts for two-thirds of the international misunderstanding in Europe today.

2. Vide the period of the Soldiers’ and Workmen’s Councils in Munich.

Your Life Belongs to Your Folk!

Source: SS Leitheft, March 1944

In the diary and belongings of an SS man who killed himself, the following sentence is often repeated: „My life no longer has value!“ What did he mean by that, and did he have a right to talk that way?

The SS man was 21 years old. His love – which had bound him with two different girls, one after the other, was not of a frivolous kind. He had sought a worthwhile union, an equal wife, who would give him healthy children in a lasting marriage. He gave up the first girl when medical examinations clearly showed the girl would remain infertile. But then, when a new dear love had bound him to another girl, he learned in the hospital that he himself through his own fault had become sterile. Since then the sentence about the purposelessness of his life was often repeated in his writings, and that he had lost everything he had lived, loved and fought for the perpetuation in his children.

What did the SS man want to achieve through his suicide? Did he want to make up for his self-inflicted infertility or did he wish to escape a childless existence, which seemed poor and empty to him?

We will gladly leave the examination of these questions to the psychiatrists. For us SS men, in this case, as in all cases of suicide, only one question is necessary and important: Did the deed help or hurt the folk?

Nobody can deny that the deed of the SS man mentioned here caused serious damage to the folk. For through it nothing was atoned for or made good. Quite the opposite: not only did the SS man deprive his folk of progeny, but through his own death he also deprived it of himself and of his own work-strength and fighting-strength. Hence, he added to his guilt.

There may be cases where a great guilt can only be atoned for through death. Then there is the case where the continued life of the guilty person can mean an unbearable burden for the community. In all other cases there is only one atonement and reconciliation, namely the total life effort for the community.

In his order of March 19, 1939, the Reichsführer SS clearly took a position to suicide. It says:

„At most 15% of suicides are committed for reasons that can be accepted, so for example the ending of life after a crime that hurts the community and tarnishes honour. 85% of the suicides, however, are committed for reasons that can never be accepted, such as fear of punishment, fear of a test, after reprimand from a superior, after an argument with parents. after the dissolution of an engagement, out of jealousy, after an unlucky love affair etc.

„Suicides of this kind have nothing do to with heroism or heroic spirit. They are viewed by we SS men as an escape, as a desertion from struggle and from life itself.”

„The SS has never had understanding for people who avoid struggle. Therefore, I decree that in all cases where an investigation instigated by the superior clearly determines that the reason for the suicide cannot be accepted, that no notice be given to the death of the man, and that the SS does not participate in the burial.”

Your life does not belong to you, but to your folk.

– H. Kl

The Day of the Aryan Awakening

Source of the text: How Hitler Consolidated Power in Germany and Launched A Social Revolution by general Leon Degrellé

We have the power. Now our gigantic work begins.“

Those were Hitler’s words on the night of January 30, 1933, as cheering crowds surged past him, for five long hours, beneath the windows of the Chancellery in Berlin.

His political struggle had lasted 14 years. He himself was 43, that is, physically and intellectually at the peak of his powers. He had won over millions of Germans and organized them into Germany’s largest and most dynamic political party, a party girded by a human rampart of hundreds of thousands of storm troopers, three fourths of them members of the working class. He had been extremely shrewd. All but toying with his adversaries, Hitler had, one after another, vanquished them all.

Standing there at the window, his arm raised to the delirious throng, he must have known a feeling of triumph. But he seemed almost torpid, absorbed, as if lost in another world.

It was a world far removed from the delirium in the street, a world of 65 million citizens who loved him or hated him, but all of whom, from that night on, had become his responsibility. And as he knew – as almost all Germans knew at the of January 1933 – that this was a crushing, an almost desperate responsibility.

Seventy years later, few people understand the crisis Germany faced at that time. Today, it’s easy to assume that Germans have always been well-fed and even plump. But the Germans Hitler inherited were virtual skeletons.

During the preceding years, a score of „democratic“ governments had come and gone, often in utter confusion. Instead of alleviating the people’s misery, they had increased it, due to their own instability: it was impossible for them to pursue any given plan for more than a year or two. Germany had arrived at a dead end. In just a few years there had been 224,000 suicides – a horrifying figure, bespeaking a state of misery even more horrifying.

By the beginning of 1933, the misery of the German people was virtually universal. At least six million unemployed and hungry workers roamed aimlessly through the streets, receiving a pitiful unemployment benefit of less than 42 marks per month. Many of those out of work had families to feed, so that altogether some 20 million Germans, a third of the country’s population, were reduced to trying to survive on about 40 pfennigs per person per day.

Unemployment benefits, moreover, were limited to a period of six months. After that came only the meager misery allowance dispensed by the welfare offices.

Notwithstanding the gross inadequacy of this assistance, by trying to save the six million unemployed from total destruction, even for just six months, both the state and local branches of the German government saw themselves brought to ruin: in 1932 alone such aid had swallowed up four billion marks, 57 percent of the total tax revenues of the federal government and the regional states. A good many German municipalities were bankrupt.

Those still lucky enough to have some kind of job were not much better off. Workers and employees had taken a cut of 25 percent in their wages and salaries. Twenty-one percent of them were earning between 100 and 250 marks per month; 69.2 percent of them, in January of 1933, were being paid less than 1,200 marks annually. No more than about 100,000 Germans, it was estimated, were able to live without financial worries.

During the three years before Hitler came to power, total earnings had fallen by more than half, from 23 billion marks to 11 billion. The average per capita income had dropped from 1,187 marks in 1929 to 627 marks, a scarcely tolerable level, in 1932. By January 1933, when Hitler took office, 90 percent of the German people were destitute.

No one escaped the strangling effects of the unemployment. The intellectuals were hit as hard as the working class. Of the 135,000 university graduates, 60 percent were without jobs. Only a tiny minority was receiving unemployment benefits.

„The others,“ wrote one foreign observer, Marcel Laloire (in his book New Germany), „are dependent on their parents or are sleeping in flophouses. In the daytime they can be seen on the boulevards of Berlin wearing signs on their backs to the effect that they will accept any kind of work.“

But there was no longer any kind of work.

The same drastic fall-off had hit Germany’s cottage industry, which comprised some four million workers. Its turnover had declined 55 percent, with total sales plunging from 22 billion to 10 billion marks.

Hardest hit of all were construction workers; 90 percent of them were unemployed.

Farmers, too, had been ruined, crushed by losses amounting to 12 billion marks. Many had been forced to mortgage their homes and their land. In 1932 just the interest on the loans they had incurred due to the crash was equivalent to 20 percent of the value of the agricultural production of the entire country. Those who were no longer able to meet the interest payments saw their farms auctioned off in legal proceedings: in the years 1931-1932, 17,157 farms – with a combined total area of 462,485 hectares – were liquidated in this way.

The „democracy“ of Germany’s „Weimar Republic“ (1918 – 1933) had proven utterly ineffective in addressing such flagrant wrongs as this impoverishment of millions of farm workers, even though they were the nation’s most stable and hardest working citizens. Plundered, dispossessed, abandoned: small wonder they heeded Hitler’s call.

Their situation on January 30, 1933, was tragic. Like the rest of Germany’s working class, they had been betrayed by their political leaders, reduced to the alternatives of miserable wages, paltry and uncertain benefit payments, or the outright humiliation of begging.

Germany’s industries, once renowned everywhere in the world, were no longer prosperous, despite the millions of marks in gratuities that the financial magnates felt obliged to pour into the coffers of the parties in power before each election in order to secure their cooperation. For 14 years the well-blinkered conservatives and Christian democrats of the political center had been feeding at the trough just as greedily as their adversaries of the left.

Nor did the bribing of the political parties make them any more capable of coping with the exactions ordered by the Treaty of Versailles. France, in 1923, had effectively seized Germany by the throat with her occupation of the Ruhr industrial region, and in six months had brought the Weimar government to pitiable capitulation. But then, disunited, despising one another, how could these political birds of passage have offered resistance? In just a few months in 1923, seven German governments came and went in swift succession. They had no choice but to submit to the humiliation of Allied control, as well as to the separatist intrigues fomented by Poincaré’s paid agents.

The substantial tariffs imposed on the sale of German goods abroad had sharply curtailed the nation’s ability to export her products. Under obligation to pay gigantic sums to their conquerors, the Germans had paid out billions upon billions. Then, bled dry, they were forced to seek recourse to enormous loans from abroad, from the United States in particular.

This indebtedness had completed their destruction and, in 1929, precipitated Germany into a terrifying financial crisis.

The big industrialists, for all their fat bribes to the politicians, now found themselves impotent: their factories empty, their workers now living as virtual vagrants, haggard of face, in the dismal nearby working-class districts.

Thousands of German factories lay silent, their smokestacks like a forest of dead trees. Many had gone under. Those which survived were operating on a limited basis. Germany’s gross industrial production had fallen by half: from seven billion marks in 1920 to three and a half billion in 1932.

The automobile industry provides a perfect example. Germany’s production in 1932 was proportionately only one twelfth that of the United States, and only one fourth that of France: 682,376 cars in Germany (one for each 100 inhabitants) as against 1,855,174 cars in France, even though the latter’s population was 20 million less than Germany’s.

Germany had experienced a similar collapse in exports. Her trade surplus had fallen from 2.872 billion marks in 1931 to only 667 millions in 1932 – nearly a 75 percent drop.

Overwhelmed by the cessation of payments and the number of current accounts in the red, even Germany’s central bank was disintegrating. Harried by demands for repayment of the foreign loans, on the day of Hitler’s accession to power the Reichsbank had in all only 83 million marks in foreign currency, 64 million of which had already been committed for disbursement on the following day.

The astronomical foreign debt, an amount exceeding that of the country’s total exports for three years, was like a lead weight on the back of every German. And there was no possibility of turning to Germany’s domestic financial resources for a solution: banking activities had come virtually to a standstill. That left only taxes.

Unfortunately, tax revenues had also fallen sharply. From nine billion marks in 1930, total revenue from taxes had fallen to 7.8 billion in 1931, and then to 6.65 billion in 1932 (with unemployment payments alone taking four billion of that amount).

The financial debt burden of regional and local authorities, amounting to billions, had likewise accumulated at a fearful pace. Beset as they were by millions of citizens in need, the municipalities alone owed 6.542 billion in 1928, an amount that had increased to 11.295 billion by 1932. Of this total, 1.668 billion was owed in short-term loans.

Any hope of paying off these deficits with new taxes was no longer even imaginable. Taxes had already been increased 45 percent from 1925 to 1931. During the years 1931-1932, under Chancellor Brüning, a Germany of unemployed workers and industrialists with half-dead factories had been hit with 23 „emergency“ decrees. This multiple overtaxing, moreover, had proven to be completely useless, as the „International Bank of Payments“ had clearly foreseen. The agency confirmed in a statement that the tax burden in Germany was already so enormous that it could not be further increased.

And so, in one pan of the financial scales: 19 billion in foreign debt plus the same amount in domestic debt. In the other, the Reichsbank’s 83 million marks in foreign currency. It was as if the average German, owing his banker a debt of 6,000 marks, had less than 14 marks in his pocket to pay it.

One inevitable consequence of this ever-increasing misery and uncertainty about the future was an abrupt decline in the birthrate. When your household savings are wiped out, and when you fear even greater calamities in the days ahead, you do not risk adding to the number of your dependents.

In those days the birth rate was a reliable barometer of a country’s prosperity. A child is a joy, unless you have nothing but a crust of bread to put in its little hand. And that’s just the way it was with hundreds of thousands of German families in 1932.

In 1905, during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the birthrate had been 33.4 per one thousand. In 1921 it was only 25.9, and in 1924 it was down to 15.1. By the of 1932, it had fallen to just 14.7 per one thousand.

It reached that figure, moreover, thanks only to the higher birth rate in rural areas. In the fifty largest cities of the Reich, there were more deaths than births. In 45 percent of working-class families, there were no births at all in the latter years. The fall in the birthrate was most pronounced in Berlin, which had less than one child per family and only 9.1 births per one thousand. Deaths exceeded the number of new births by 60 percent.

In contrast to the birthrate, politicians were flourishing as never before – about the only thing in Germany that was in those disastrous times. From 1919 to 1932, Germany had seen no less than 23 governments come and go, averaging a new one about every seven months. As any sensible person realizes, such constant upheaval in a country’s political leadership negates its power and authority. No one would imagine that any effective work could be carried out in a typical industrial enterprise if the board of directors, the management, management methods, and key personnel were all replaced every eight months. Failure would be certain.

Yet the Reich wasn’t a factory of 100 or 200 workers, but a nation of 65 million citizens crushed under the imposed burdens of the Treaty of Versailles, by industrial stagnation, by frightful unemployment, and by a gut-wrenching misery shared by the entire people.

The many cabinet ministers who followed each other in swift succession for thirteen years – due to petty parliamentary squabbles, partisan demands, and personal ambitions – were unable to achieve anything other than the certain collapse of their chaotic regime of rival parties.

Germany’s situation was further aggravated by the unrestrained competition of the 25 regional states, which split up governmental authority into units often in direct opposition to Berlin, thereby incessantly sabotaging what limited power the central Reich government had at that time.

Even at the beginning of the First World War (1914-1918), the German Reich included four distinct kingdoms (Prussia, Bavaria, Wurttemberg and Saxony), each with its own sovereign, army, flag, titles of nobility, and Great Cross in particolored enamel. In addition, there were six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, and three free cities.

Each regional state had its own separate government with parliament, prime minister and cabinet. Altogether they presented a lineup of 59 ministers who, added to the eleven Reich ministers and the 42 senators of the Free Cities, gave the Germans a collection of 112 ministers, each of whom viewed the other with a jaundiced eye at best.

In addition, there were between two and three thousand deputies – representing dozens of rival political parties – in the legislatures of the Reich, the 22 states and the three Free Cities.

In the Reichstag elections of November 1932 – held just months before Hitler become Chancellor – there were no less than 37 different political parties competing, with a total of 7,000 candidates (14 of them by proxy), all of them frantically seeking a piece of the parliamentary pie. It was most strange: the more discredited the party system became, the more democratic champions there were to be seen gesturing and jostling in their eagerness to climb aboard the gravy train.

Honest, dishonest, or piratical, these 112 cabinet ministers and thousands of legislative deputies had converted Germany into a country that was ungovernable. It is incontestable that, by January of 1933, the „system“ politicians had become completely discredited. Their successors would inherit a country in economic, social and political ruins.

Today, more than half a century later, in an era when so many are living in abundance, it is hard to believe that the Germany of January 1933 had fallen so low. But for anyone who studies the archives and the relevant documents of that time, there can be no doubt. Not a single figure cited here is invented. By January 1933, Germany was down and bleeding to death.

All the previous chancellors who had undertaken to get Germany back on her feet – including Brüning, Papen and Shleiher – had failed. Only a genius or, as some believed, a madman, could revive a nation that had fallen into such a state of complete disarray.

When President Franklin Roosevelt was called upon at that same time to resolve a similar crisis in the United States, he had at his disposal immense reserves of gold. Hitler, standing silently at the chancellery window on that evening of January 30, 1933, knew that, on the contrary, his nation’s treasury was empty. No great benefactor would appear to help him out. The elderly Reich President, Paul von Hindenburg, had given him a work sheet of appalling figures of indebtedness.

Hitler knew that he would be starting from zero. From less than zero. But he was also confident of his strength of will to create Germany anew – politically, socially, financially, and economically. Now legally and officially in power, he was sure that he could quickly convert that cipher into a Germany more powerful than ever before.

„It will be the pride of my life,“ Hitler said upon becoming Chancellor, „if I can say at the end of my days that I won back the German worker and restored him to his rightful place in the Reich.“ He meant that he intended not merely to put men back to work, but to make sure that the worker acquired not just rights, but prestige as well, within the national community.

The objective, then, was far greater than merely sing six million unemployed back to work. It was to achieve a total revolution.

„The people,“ Hitler declared, „were not put here on earth for the sake of the economy, and the economy doesn’t exist for the sake of capital. On the contrary, capital is meant to serve the economy, and the economy in turn to serve the people.“

The Social Revolution

It took several years for a stable social structure to emerge from the French Revolution. The Soviets needed even more time: five years after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, hundreds of thousands of Russians were still dying of hunger and disease. In Germany, by contrast, the great machinery was in motion within months, with organization and accomplishment quickly meshing together.

The single task of constructing a national highway system that was without parallel in the world might have occupied a government for years. First, the problem had to be studied and assessed. Then, with due consideration for the needs of the population and the economy, the highway system had to be carefully planned it all its particulars.

As usual, Hitler had been remarkably farsighted. The concrete highways would be 24 meters in width. They would be spanned by hundreds of bridges and overpasses. To make sure that the entire Autobahn network would be in harmony with the landscape, a great deal of natural rock would be utilized. The artistically planned roadways would come together and diverge as if they were large-scale works of art. The necessary service stations and motor inns would be thoughtfully integrated into the overall scheme, each facility built in harmony with the local landscape and architectural style.

The original plan called for 7,000 kilometers of roadway. This projection would later be increased to 10,000, and then, after Austria was reunited with Germany, to 11,000 kilometers.

The financial boldness equalled the technical vision. These expressways were toll free, which seemed foolhardy to conservative financiers. But the savings in time and labor, and the dramatic increase in traffic, brought increased tax revenues, notably from gasoline.

Germany was thus building for herself not only a vast highway network, but an avenue to economic prosperity.

These greatly expanded transport facilities encouraged the development of hundreds of new business enterprises along the new expressways. By eliminating congestion on secondary roads, the new highways stimulated travel by hundreds of thousands of tourists, and with it increased tourism commerce.

Even the wages paid out to the men who built the Reichsautobahn network brought considerable indirect benefits. First, they allowed a drastic cut in payments of unemployment benefits, or 25 percent of the total paid in wages. Second, the many workers employed in constructing the expressways – 100,000, and later 150,000 – spent much of the additional 75 percent, which in turn generated increased tax revenues.

Hitler’s plan to build thousands of low-cost homes also demanded a vast mobilization of manpower. He had envisioned housing that would be attractive, cozy, and affordable for millions of ordinary German working-class families. He had no intention of continuing to tolerate, as his predecessors had, cramped, ugly „rabbit warren“ housing for the German people. The great barracks-like housing projects on the outskirts of factory towns, packed with cramped families, disgusted him.

The greater part of the houses he would build were single story, detached dwellings, with small yards where children could romp, wives could grow vegetable and flower gardens, while the bread-winners could read their newspapers in peace after the day’s work. These single-family homes were built to conform to the architectural styles of the various German regions, retaining as much as possible the charming local variants.

Wherever there was no practical alternative to building large apartment complexes, Hitler saw to it that the individual apartments were spacious, airy and enhanced by surrounding lawns and gardens where the children could play safely.

The new housing was, of course, built in conformity with the highest standards of public health, a consideration notoriously neglected in previous working-class projects.

Generous loans, amortizable in ten years, were granted to newly married couples so they could buy their own homes. At the birth of each child, a fourth of the debt was cancelled. Four children, at the normal rate of a new arrival every two and a half years, sufficed to cancel the entire loan debt.

Even before the year 1933 had ended, Hitler had succeeded in building 202,119 housing units. Within four years he would provide the German people with nearly a million and a half (1,458,128) new dwellings!

Moreover, workers would no longer be exploited as they had been. A month’s rent for a worker could not exceed 26 marks, or about an eighth of the average wage then. Employees with more substantial salaries paid monthly rents of up to 45 marks maximum.

Equally effective social measures were taken in behalf of farmers, who had the lowest incomes. In 1933 alone 17,611 new farm houses were built, each of them surrounded by a parcel of land one thousand square meters in size. Within three years, Hitler would build 91,000 such farmhouses. The rental for such dwellings could not legally exceed a modest share of the farmer’s income. This unprecedented owment of land and housing was only one feature of a revolution that soon dramatically improved the living standards of the Reich’s rural population.

The great work of national construction rolled along. An additional 100,000 workers quickly found employment in repairing the nation’s secondary roads. Many more were hired to work on canals, dams, drainage and irrigation projects, helping to make fertile some of nation’s most barren regions.

Everywhere industry was hiring again, with some firms – like Krupp, IG Farben and the large automobile manufacturers – taking on new workers on a very large scale. As the country became more prosperous, car sales increased by more than 80,000 units in 1933 alone. Employment in the auto industry doubled. Germany was gearing up for full production, with private industry leading the way.

The new government lavished every assistance on the private sector, the chief factor in employment as well as production. Hitler almost immediately made available 500 million marks in credits to private business.

This start-up assistance given to German industry would repay itself many times over. Soon enough, another two billion marks would be loaned to the most enterprising companies. Nearly half would go into new wages and salaries, saving the treasury an estimated three hundred million marks in unemployment benefits. Added to the hundreds of millions in tax receipts spurred by the business recovery, the state quickly recovered its investment, and more.

Hitler’s entire economic policy would be based on the following equation: risk large sums to undertake great public works and to spur the renewal and modernization of industry, then later recover the billions invested through invisible and painless tax revenues. It didn’t take long for Germany to see the results of Hitler’s recovery formula.

Economic recovery, as important as it was, nevertheless wasn’t Hitler’s only objective. As he strived to restore full employment, Hitler never lost sight of his goal of creating a organization powerful enough to stand up to capitalist owners and managers, who had shown little concern for the health and welfare of the entire national community.

One of the first labor reforms to benefit the German workers was the establishment of annual paid vacation. The Socialist French Popular Front, in 1936, would make a show of having invented the concept of paid vacation, and stingily at that, only one week per year. But Adolf Hitler originated the idea, and two or three times as generously, from the first month of his coming to power in 1933.

Every factory employee from then on would have the legal right to a paid vacation. Until then, in Germany paid holidays where they applied at all did not exceed four or five days, and nearly half the younger workers had no leave entitlement at all. Hitler, on the other hand, favored the younger workers. Vacations were not handed out blindly, and the youngest workers were granted time off more generously. It was a humane action; a young person has more need of rest and fresh air for the development of his strength and vigor just coming into maturity. Basic vacation time was twelve days, and then from age 25 on it went up to 18 days. After ten years with the company, workers got 21 days, three times what the French socialists would grant the workers of their country in 1936.

These figures may have been surpassed in the more than half a century since then, but in 1933 they far exceeded European norms. As for overtime hours, they no longer were paid, as they were everywhere else in Europe at that time, at just the regular hourly rate. The work day itself had been reduced to a tolerable norm of eight hours, since the forty-hour week as well, in Europe, was first initiated by Hitler. And beyond that legal limit, each additional hour had to be paid at a considerably increased rate. As another innovation, work breaks were made longer; two hours every day in order to let the worker relax and to make use of the playing fields that the large industries were required to provide.

Dismissal of an employee was no longer left as before the sole discretion of the employer. In that era, workers’ rights to job security were non-existent. Hitler saw to it that those rights were strictly spelled out. The employer had to announce any dismissal four weeks in advance. The employee then had a period of up to two months in which to lodge a protest. The dismissal could also be annulled by the Honor of Work Tribunal. What was the Honor of Work Tribunal? Also called the Tribunal of Social Honor, it was the third of the three great elements or layers of protection and defense that were to the benefit of every German worker. The first was the Council of Trust. The second was the Labor Commission.

The Council of Trust was charged with attending to the establishment and the development of a real community spirit between management and labor. „In any business enterprise“, the Reich law stated, „the employer and head of the enterprise, the employees and workers, personnel of the enterprise, shall work jointly towards the goal of the enterprise and the common good of the nation.“

Neither would any longer be the victim of the other-not the worker facing the arbitrariness of the employer nor the employer facing the blackmail of strikes for political purposes. Article 35 of the Reich labor law stated that: „Every member of an Aryan enterprise community shall assume the responsibilities required by his position in the said common enterprise.“ In other words, at the head of the company or the enterprise would be a living, breathing executive in charge, not a moneybags with unconditional power. „The interest of the community may require that an incapable or unworthy employer be relieved of his duties“

The employer would no longer be inaccessible and all-powerful, authoritatively determining the conditions of hiring and firing his staff. He, too, would be subject to the workshop regulations, which he would have to respect, exactly as the least of his employees. The law conferred honor and responsibility on the employer only insofar as he merited it.

Every business enterprise of 20 or more persons was to have its „Council of Trust“. The two to ten members of this council would be chosen from among the staff by the head of the enterprise. The ordinance of application of 10 March 1934 of the above law further stated: „The staff shall be called upon to decide for or against the established list in a secret vote, and all salaried employees, including apprentices of 21 years of age or older, will take part in the vote. Voting shall be done by putting a number before the names of the candidates in order of preference, or by striking out certain names.“

In contrast to the business councils of the preceding régime, the Council of Trust was no longer an instrument of class, but one of teamwork of the classes, composed of delegates of the staff as well as the head of the enterprise. The one could no longer act without the other. Compelled to coordinate their interests, though formerly rivals, they would now cooperate to establish by mutual consent the regulations which were to determine working conditions.

Every 30th of April, on the eve of the great national labor holiday, council duties ceased and the councils were renewed, pruning out conservatism or petrifaction and cutting short the arrogance of dignitaries who might have thought themselves beyond criticism.

It was up to the enterprise itself to pay a salary to members of the Council of Trust, just as if they were employed in the work area, and „to assume all costs resulting from the regular fulfillment of the duties of the Council“.

The second agency that would ensure the orderly development of the new German social system was the institution of the „Workers’ Commissioners“. They would essentially be conciliators and arbitrators. When gears were grinding, they were the ones who would have to apply the grease. They would see to it that the Councils of trust were functioning harmoniously to ensure that regulations of a given business enterprise were being carried out to the letter.

They were divided among 13 large districts covering the territory of the Reich. As arbitrators they were not dependent upon either owners or workers. They had total independence in the field. They were appointed by the state, which represented both the interests of everyone in the enterprise and the interests of society at large.

In order that their decisions should never be unfounded or arbitrary, they had to rely on the advice of a „Consulting Council of Experts“ which consisted of 18 members selected from various sections of the economy in a representation of sorts of the interests of each territorial district.

To ensure still further the objectivity of their arbitration decisions, a third agency was superimposed on the Councils of Trust and the 13 Commissioners, the Tribunal of Social Honor.

Thus from 1933 on, the German worker had a system of justice at his disposal that was created especially for him and would adjudicate all grave infractions of the social duties based on the idea of the Aryan enterprise community. Examples of these violations of social honor are cases where the employer, abusing his power, displayed ill will towards his staff or impugned the honor of his subordinates, cases where staff members threatened work harmony by spiteful agitation; the publication by members of the Council of confidential information regarding the enterprise which they became cognizant of in the course of discharging their duties. Thirteen „Tribunes of Social Honor“ were established, corresponding with the thirteen commissions.

The presiding judge was not a fanatic; he was a career judge who rose above disputes. Meanwhile the enterprise involved was not left out of the proceedings; the judge was seconded by two assistant judges, one representing the management, another a member of the Council of Trust.

This tribunal, the same as any other court of law, had the means of enforcing its decisions. But there were nuances. Decisions could be limited in mild cases to a remonstrance. They could also hit the guilty party with fines of up to 10,000 marks. Other very special sanctions were provided for that were precisely adapted to the social circumstances; change of employment, dismissal of the head of the enterprise or his agent who had failed in his duty. In case of a contested decision, the legal dispute could always be taken up to a Supreme Court seated in Berlin-a fourth level of protection.

This was only the end of 1933, and already the first effects could be felt. The factories and shops large and small were reformed or transformed in conformity with the strictest standards of cleanliness and hygiene; the interior areas, so often dilapidated, opened to light; playing fields constructed; rest areas made available where one could converse at one’s ease and relax during rest periods; employee cafeterias; proper dressing rooms.

With time, that is to say in three years, those achievements would take on dimensions never before imagined; more than 2,000 factories refitted and beautified; 23,000 work premises modernized; 800 buildings designed exclusively for meetings; 1,200 playing fields; 13,000 sanitary facilities with running water; 17,000 cafeterias. Eight hundred departmental inspectors and 17,300 local inspectors would foster and closely and continuously supervise these renovations and installations.

The large industrial establishments moreover had been given the obligation of preparing areas not only suitable for sports activities of all minds, but provided with swimming pools as well. Germany had come a long way from the sinks for washing one’s face and the dead tired workers, grown old before their time, crammed into squalid courtyards during work breaks.

In order to ensure the natural development of the working class, physical education courses were instituted for the younger workers; 8,000 such were organized. Technical training would be equally emphasized, with the creation of hundreds of work schools, technical courses and examinations of professional competence, and competitive examinations for the best workers for which large prizes were awarded.

To rejuvenate young and old alike, Hitler ordered that a gigantic vacation organization for workers be set up. Hundreds of thousands of workers would be able every summer to relax on and at the sea. Magnificent cruise ships would be built. Special trains would carry vacationers to the mountains and to the seashore. The locomotives that hauled the innumerable worker-tourists in just a few years of travel in Germany would log a distance equivalent to fifty-four times around the world!

The cost of these popular excursions was nearly insignificant, thanks to greatly reduced rates authorized by the Reichsbank.

The National Labor Service

Hitler created the National Labor Service not only to alleviate unemployment, but to bring together, in absolute equality, and in the same uniform, both the sons of millionaires and the sons of the poorest families for several months’ common labor and living.

All performed the same work, all were subject to the same discipline; they enjoyed the same pleasures and benefited from the same physical and moral development. At the same construction sites and in the same barracks, Germans became conscious of what they had in common, grew to understand one another, and discarded their old prejudices of class and caste.

After a hitch in the National Labor Service, a young worker knew that the rich man’s son was not a pampered monster, while the young lad of wealthy family knew that the worker’s son had no less honor than a nobleman or an heir to riches; they had lived and worked together as comrades. Social hatred was vanishing, and a socially united people was being born.

From the first months of 1933, his accomplishments were public fact, for all to see. Before end of the year, unemployment in Germany had fallen from more than 6,000,000 to 3,374,000. Thus, 2,627,000 jobs had been created since the previous February, when Hitler began his „gigantic task!“ A simple question: Who in Europe ever achieved similar results in so short a time?

Not without reason were the swastika banners waving proudly throughout the working-class districts where, just a year ago, they had been unceremoniously torn down.

National Socialism: A Philosophical Appraisal

Source: National Socialism: Vanguard of The Future – Selected Writings Of Colin Jordan

by Colin Jordan

Several decades after the physical defeat of National Socialist Germany in the outcome of her heroic struggle against the overwhelming array of men and materials marshalled against her by the Bolshevist-democratic alliance, the appearance of this reappraisal reflects the revival of National Socialism which is a feature of the day.

That the creed should live on and manifest itself as it does now, after being subjected to decades of the greatest campaign of defamation which the world has ever known, is a proof of its continuing validity and appeal and its worthiness for the future. It has survived the flames of war and the tempest of vilification because, when war has done its worst and vilification run its entire gamut, National Socialism remains, in the final analysis, synonymous with higher man’s will to survive, his instinct for health and strength, and his desire for beauty in life; and as long as that will, that instinct and that desire remain on this earth, the creed of National Socialism will remain indestructible.

Beyond and behind all the minutiae of political implementation and the particularities of time and place, National Socialism, properly understood, is nothing less than an orientation of the mind, the dominant impulse of which is to live to the full, through the development of one’s potentialities and the satisfaction of one’s needs, under conditions of natural competition and selection, reconciled to cooperation, within the organised community of the folk.

In this its roots go back to Plato’s Greece and his conception of a natural life, consisting in the full realization of man’s true nature through the conducive power of government within his native community.

It echoes the Roman notion of dutiful citizenship: the notion that the good and noble life consists in stoic service to the state.

It revives the blood feelings and sense of community of the Nordic tribes of early Europe: the feeling that man is essentially a member of the folk, and that all members of the folk are bound together closely with reciprocal duties and obligations.

National Socialism, in this way, reaches back to the old, healthy, organic values of life in revolt against the whole structure of thought of liberalism and democracy, with its cash nexus; its excessive individualism; its view of man as a folkless, interchangeable unit of world population; its spiritual justification in a debased Christianity embracing a sickly “humanitarianism”, which will always tolerate a greater harm for the sake of avoiding a lesser one; and its fraudulent contention that the artificially induced and numerically determined wishes of the mass are all-important criteria.

History is a saga of social decay and renewal. National Socialism is the twentieth century’s remedy of renewal for the great degeneration of modern times under the disintegrating, debasing, and emasculating thought and practice which emerged with the disruption of the old medieval order of stability by the developing forces of capitalism and the industrial revolution; flourished under the laissez-faire liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; came to a climax under the democracy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and will result in the world triumph of communism by the end of this twentieth century unless National Socialism comes to power in time, over a sufficient area of the globe.

National Socialism, therefore, is immensely more than a transitory political scheme. It is a historic tendency of rebirth: our age’s movement of renaissance, a movement revolutionary in scope and spirit, seeking no compromise with the present order, its pernicious practices, and its false values, but their complete replacement.

As such it is worldwide and it is life-wide. It is worldwide in that, in its essentials, it is valid and vital universally, qualified only by the fact that it is Aryan in its emanation and tradition, and upholds and depends on qualities that are to be found par excellence in the Aryan people.

It is life-wide in that it is not an aspect of life, but the whole of life seen from one aspect. It is an attitude of mind expressible in respect of virtually anything and everything. National Socialism stands relentlessly opposed to every manifestation of ill health, ugliness, and degeneracy in the cultural and spiritual, no less than in the political and economic spheres. In fact, it constitutes a way of life. A man does not call himself a National Socialist as a mere label of intellectual endorsement. He is born with a propensity to National Socialism, his mind aesthetically craving the discernment and fulfillment of a healthy pattern of life, and he not only thinks and feels, but acts as a National Socialist, if he is really and entirely one.

Total in its scope and thought, National Socialism amounts to a philosophy and a faith. It evaluates good and bad, right and wrong, as that which benefits or harms the folk; and, in place of the sentimental debility of the democratic mind, accepts that the end justifies the means, providing the means do not contradict the end. It sets a meaning and purpose of cosmic dimension to life as a personal fulfillment, within the continuity and development of the folk, between germination in the womb out of the bloodline of the folk, and the metamorphosis of the grave, with its physical redistribution to the universe.

The basic criterion and primary value of National Socialism, from which all else springs, is, as Adolf Hitler makes clear in Mein Kampf, its concept of the folk, seen as man’s essential environment and indeed, his extension of personality.

The significance of the folk is, primarily, that of a racial community. It is the ethnical enlargement of the family. Man is not a self-contained unit and an end in himself, as the sages of liberalism and democracy assert. He belongs to his folk. His life, as a part, is interwoven with the life of the whole, not only present, but past and future, for while men come and go the folk lives on, continuous, eternal, providing its members perform their duty to it. Thus, in identifying himself with his folk, man prolongs himself through the multiplicity of his ancestors and his descendants, and thereby attains immortality.

The folk exists in smaller and larger forms, ranging from the family, to the clan, to the tribe, or regional community, thence to the nation, and beyond to the race. In modern times, the conception of the folk has become too largely identified with the nations of the contemporary states. The feeling of kinship and community, which rightly expanded from the tribe and petty kingdom to the modern nation-state, has, however, become far too concentrated at this level. The lower and smaller, but equally important, communities within the nation-state have been disrupted and deprived of vitality, while the expansion of folk consciousness from the level of the nation-state to that of the entire race has been checked. Yet folk feeling, to be wholesomely potent, must flow from its roots through the local and provincial communities to the limits of the race, because the full security and prosperity of the parts can only be found in that of the whole.

Today, and in the future, National Socialism must embody this essential extension of the feeling of kinship and community beyond the bounds of the contemporary nation-state and conventional nationalism, so that the nation-state becomes an intermediate unit in the structure of the folk, and its nationalism and racialism become integrally subordinate to a nationalism of the whole race.

At the same time, the local communities require to be revived, the provincial sub-nations recognized and respected, and peoples subject to an undesired, alien rule given their ethnic freedom by separation.

National Socialism’s belief in the folk as a basic value and its totality of outlook result, figuratively speaking, in thinking with the blood on all questions.

This immediately and inevitably gives rise to the definition of citizenship as a matter of race: only those who are members of the folk are members of the nation, and only those who are members of the nation can be citizens of the state – to paraphrase the fourth of the Twenty-Five Points of Adolf Hitler’s NSDAP.

It also generates the belief that it is necessary not merely to preserve the racial character of the folk, but also, by eugenic measures, to improve the quality of the folk. It is National Socialism’s revolutionary contention that the way of real progress lies in the breeding of better human beings.

Since all citizens are of the same race, they have a transcendent bond of kinship uniting them as blood brothers above all sectional and class differences and personal distinctions. National unity, i.e., cohesion and corporate life in place of the class warfare of Left and Right, is one of the great secondary principles of National Socialism. All occupations and pursuits, all manner of persons and all fields of activity, must be integrated into the corporate life of the community.

The social feeling of oneness must find practical expression in, and in turn be stimulated by, a sincere and profound concern for social and economic justice. Consciousness of kinship and care for the collective good of the folk demand that every citizen must have an equal opportunity to develop and exercise his talents and rise according to his merits; and that every citizen must receive a fair return for his services to the community, and even the simplest worker an assurance of the necessities of life.

Thus we arrive at the socialist element in National Socialism. This is not the Marxist socialism of state ownership of the means of production and distribution, which is the economic over-government of the ant heap and is as objectionable as the predatory individualism of the capitalist system, which is the economic under-government, or anarchy, of the jungle. Instead it is Folk Socialism, or the regulation of private enterprise for the equitable division of its fruits, under equitable conditions. The economic injustices and social evils of capitalism have fostered Marxism, with its pernicious form of public control of the economy, and the alternative to both lies in National Socialism.

The folk ideal, which entails the defense of the race, the unity of the nation, and the welfare of the people, engenders National Socialism’s principle of leadership and an elite in the service of these objectives. Its conception of a natural order is one which not only ordains that men are born in the folk for a life within the folk, but also that they possess hereditary differences of capacity to serve the community.

Accordingly, for the maximum good of all, the superior must lead the inferior. The natural leaders must be selected, established as a hierarchic elite under a supreme leader, and empowered to fulfill their functions.

Unlike liberalism, National Socialism does not regard the directive power of the state as something essentially repressive, but instead as a great, beneficial power of guidance and arbitration, encouragement and protection. It upholds the dictum: “All for the folk and the folk for all.” It sanctions whatever means are necessary, in whatever fields, to ensure that everyone and everything in the community is in harmony with this.

It sees the duty of National Socialist government as the representation of the will of the folk, conceived not as the transitory whim of some democratic mob, but as the higher interest of the community, viewed in historical perspective as a continuity of purpose, embracing not only the general good of the present, but the heritage of the past and the needs of the future as well.

Courage for the Joy of Life

Source: SS Ideology, Volume I

Whoever walks through the devastated streets of the bombed-out cities, whoever looks and shutters at the ruins of castles and churches. In which the life feeling of great periods is reflected, whoever looks into the abyss of the hearts when death has ripped open… he may consider it presumptuous to speak about the joy of life as one of the invincible forces of the human soul. Perhaps the soldier has the greatest right to do exactly that: Not only for the sake of comfort, but from the living feeling of the reality from which the joy of life stands in contrast to the incalculable and the darkness, yes, which alone make them bearable. In the weeks of the new year, one could hear the sounds and hustle and bustle of carnival celebrations throughout our beautiful cities. Streets which once were alive with joyous throngs are now covered with the ashes of destroyed houses. Instead of decorations, one sees ruins strutting up over our heads. Men who once drank from the cup of life new lie under the earth or struggle with their gray and now serious faces in the loneliness of the battle for the existence of European culture. Women have fled far away to the farmyards and villages. Where does there remain a light, a thought, which can lead us back to the joy of life?

Perhaps we should discuss what the joy of life really is. Whoever seeks them only in external expression will hardly find them in war. Whoever cares only for the somewhat raw materialistic pleasures will be disappointed with the sparse remains… and claim that there is hardly anything worth living for anymore, or to praise this life for or to love. The deeper joy of life, however, is not dependent upon time and fate, not upon needs and bitterness. It is one of those quiet wonders, which God gives to those who are aware of his existence. It cannot be thrown upon us from outside. It lives within our essence and our being. It lives within us. The man who has it is rich even if he goes about in rags and lives in earth caves. Whoever lives in a palace and has all the expensive trappings in life is nonetheless the poorest guest upon this earth, if he does not have this genuine joy in life.

It begins with a simple consciousness of existence. There are men who after a good night’s sleep, look at the new day and complain because they stand before work and tasks. Others arise after a few hours of restless sleep with a hardly understandable feeling of contentment, glad about the reality of their life, and perhaps simply because it gives them breath, sight, feeling, hearing and thinking. The war has shown us in an amazing manner that our pleasure in the simple things in life can be much deeper and more meaningful than the once so highly praised “pleasures”. And this demonstrates genuine modesty and the capacity for strong feeling. Who could have explained to a soldier that nothing more than a clean bed, a thinly covered table, yes a short nap, a glass of wine, a pretty picture or an attractive girl walking by could fill him with such joy? And when we were home, somewhat bored and standing in front of a full rack of books, looking for a single book for a quiet hour… who could have told us that we would one day be able to forget the world and ourselves, the war, filth, suffering and even death… because a pleasant coincidence in an abandoned house in the east provided us with a badly torn up copy of an Eichendorff book? Who could have made us believe that one day, in a dark bunker, in worst cold and plagued by bugs, we could listen to the melody of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” by a faint light, and that we would fall into a dream of eternal beauty of the world and forget all of the terrors around us?

In such moments, the joy of life lights up around us like lightening… or like the soft light of a summer sunset. Whereas we once went through the well-lit streets of the city looking for pleasure, we now nearly loose our breath while looking at the radiant beauty of the starlit night, which strangely reflects against the moon, and this gives us an inner feeling of belonging to the universe. No one can be a more passionate disciple for the joy of life than the simple soldier, who is driven through the eternal fire of combat, who has walked through the wall of death and of horror and who is suddenly speechless as he stands before the still of an evening and sees the crops gently caressed by a soft wind. In such moments, he feels in the pounding of his own heart the glorious and wonderful life he has been given. A joy then flows through him, which cannot be compared with any other pleasure of this earth. And so, we appear to be rather modest, but only apparently, because such modesty at the same time is the highest claim we can demand from life.

At this hour, when the fate of the war most heavily tests our hearts, both at home and on the front, it appears to be a hopeless effort to speak about the joy of life. But courage belongs to joy no less than it does to struggle and death. To overcome death means to gain joy. Without that, our souls would have long collapsed under the great burden of their hardships. Without that, the women at home would have long been driven into the darkest, inescapable depression. This joy for life stands as a shining “nevertheless” above our hard-pressed people, against which bombs and phosphor are useless. A piece of childhood lives in it. Complacent bragging and blind ambition are strange to it. The love for nature and for people, for animals and for flowers, for music and for verse, for pictures and for art in stone end metal are all a part of it. It teaches us that whenever we lose something, we should look upon that which remains. It teaches us to recognize the meaning in every test.

Who would deny the joy that husband and wife find during their vacation days together. Who is able to claim that – during the bountiful days of peace with its everyday pleasures – he was able to so deeply feel the love of his wife, the joy of having children and a piece of security? And even if fate takes from us that which is most dear, the willingness to help again leads us back into the arms of life.

The 120th Birthday of Reichsminister Dr. Joseph Goebbels

Books and articles by Reichsminister Dr. Joseph Goebbels:

Joseph Goebbels – Selection of Articles and Speeches (1933-1945) [external link]

Joseph Goebbels: Nazi-Sozi

Joseph Goebbels: 30 Articles of War for the German People

Joseph Goebbels: My Part in Germany’s Fight

– David Irving’s famous biography: Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich:

– Video-slideshows with photographs of Dr. Goebbels: