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'Hitler' (book by Brendan Simms) Esau's Tears (book) Red terror

Hitler, 6

Before continuing with Simms’ book, there is something I would like to clarify about the Gemlich letter which, as Brendan Simms said in the previous installment of this series, is Hitler’s first surviving political text.

Why did Hitler suddenly mention the Jews in September 1919? In Mein Kampf he confesses that he transvalued his values concerning the Jewish Question. Starting on page 52 in Ralph Manheim’s translation, he wrote:

For the Jew was still characterised for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others. Consequently, the tone, particularly that of the Viennese anti-Semitic press, seemed to me unworthy of the cultural tradition of a great nation. I was oppressed by the memory of certain occurrences in the Middle Ages [pogroms], which I should not have liked to see repeated.

On page 55, however, after realising how Jewry was behaving in Vienna, Hitler tells us:

My views with regard to anti-Semitism thus succumbed to the passage of time, and this was my greatest transformation of all. It cost me the greatest inner soul struggles, and only after months of battle between my reason and my sentiments did my reason begin to emerge victorious. Two years later, my sentiment had followed my reason, and from then on became its most loyal guardian and sentinel.

Below I reproduce excerpts from the chapters of Esau’s Tears that describe the conflict between the Jews and Austria and Germany. These excerpts will contextualise the information Simms mentions in his third Hitler chapter.

I apologise for the typos as I captured the text directly from Albert Lindemann’s book (published by Cambridge University Press, first edition: 1997). Although Lindemann is Jewish, his book shows that even before Hitler came to power, many patriots believed that Jews were taking over Germany and Austria. The quotes below from Lindemann’s book are so long (about 9,000 words) that I won’t indent them. Also, in the following excerpts I won’t put ellipses between uncited paragraphs. If the visitor doesn’t have time to read all of it, at least pay attention to what, way below, I highlighted in red:


 

Chapter 3. The appearance of modern anti-Semitism (1870-1890)

Germans and Jews

The nature of German-Jewish interplay is still bitterly debated—in particular the extent to which one can properly speak of mutual benefit and respect—but there is little doubt that nowhere else have Jacob and Esau [Lindemann’s metaphor for Jew and gentile—Ed.] had a more intricate, fecund, and yet finally tragic relationship. Nowhere was the rise of the Jews more notable, and nowhere was it more searchingly debated whether the nature of Jews was unchangeably foreign, undermining those among whom they resided, or adaptable and beneficial to the host people. Similarly, the possible ramifications of the notion of closeness are nowhere more clearly revealed than in the history of modern Germany, for growing numbers of Germans came to believe that they were somehow chosen by history for a special destiny.

Real issues were involved, issues that emerged from the concentration of Jews in certain occupations, from their related extraordinary economic and social success, and from a range of cultural traits that distinguished them from non-Jewish Germans.

German-speaking Jews were the largest and economically most successful population of assimilated Jews in Europe, and because of their important positions in the German economy, they were almost unavoidably identified with the Depression. Germany’s economy, or the economies of the various German states before unification, had been growing with remarkable, even breakneck speed in the 1860s, and it grew even faster in the early 1870s. Jews seemed to benefit disproportionately from that growth, and they were widely and plausibly (which is not to say justifiably) blamed for its sudden collapse.

For much of the 1880s and 1890s the first modern anti-Semitic movement found its most impressive and influential form in Germany. As noted, many Germans were inclined to see world-historical significance in the establishment of the German Reich; it represented a turning point in modern history. Even more grandiosely, some German nationalists believed the new Reich was the expression of divine purpose, an affirmation of the mission of the German spirit in the modern world. How unique or ‘special’ such beliefs were is debatable. We will see that the Jews in many countries, not only Germany, were inclined to see the rise of the Jews in modern times as expressing a divine purpose or a Jewish mission. Citizens of the United States, too, with their notions of Manifest Destiny, expressed a belief that they and the new American nation were agents of God’s will.

For such reasons, the wave of anti-Semitic indignation and rage that passed over Germany, and the efforts to give to that wave the form of a modern mass movement, caught the attention of the civilised western world.
 

German liberalism and the new German State

The liberal middle years of the century had seen the final steps in granting civil emancipation to Jews in most German-speaking lands, not without mean-tempered dissent from various quarters. Being counted among the most modern, most highly civilised nations was important to Germany’s elites; discriminatory laws against the Jews characterized the backward nations, such as Russia and Romania.

By the late 1860s liberal principles were given fuller application in many arenas besides those touching the condition of the Jews. Indeed, those general principles were the primary consideration; the emancipation of the Jews was seen as a necessary of them, much as was the case in the debates of the French National Assembly from 1798 to 1791.

In 1871 a number of important liberal principles were incorporated into the constitution of the new German Empire, such as the free trade, the rule of law, representative institutions, and guarantees of free speech. Religious freedom and Jewish equality under the law were also a part of the constitution.
 

The rise of the Jews in Germany

With the unification of Germany, Jewish wealth began to expand even more rapidly than before, and Jews began to move into a number of prominent positions in politics. However, until 1914 they remained almost completely excluded from the very highest and most prestigious positions of the state, as did most non-Jews without the proper pedigrees. Nonetheless, throughout the nineteenth century Jews continued to nurse hopes for an eventual change in such exclusionary practices; they persuaded themselves that much steady progress had been made and that the future was bright.

Banks, although less exclusively Jewish in Germany than elsewhere in central and eastern Europe, were still owned and operated by Jews (estimates range from forty to fifty percent, whereas Jews were one percent of the total population). The man reputed to be the richest in Germany was the Jewish banker Gerson Bleichröder.

Jews in Germany moved rapidly into the professions. Upwardly mobile Gentiles, or those who hoped for upward mobility in their children, encountered a most unwelcome competition to get into medical school or law school; Jews in those schools became overrepresented, often by ten, twenty, even thirty times their numbers on German society.

The liberal press was overwhelmingly in the hands of the Jews. It was an arena ‘in which Jewish intellectuals could be active in an unhampered way’.
 

The Mittelstand and modernism in Germany

In literature and many other arts Jews were prominent in modernist trends, not only in Germany but in most other countries. Modernism was characterized by a contempt for traditional aesthetic norms; modern art became ever more divorced from what ordinary people could appreciate, ever more disdainful of popular tastes, ever more ‘difficult’. Those arguing for an ‘organic’ Aryan art, one that had roots in the traditional peasant communities of Germany, could see modern art as inorganic, market-driven, cosmopolitan—and Semitic.

The image of modernist Jews as ‘culture destroyers’ reflected an undeniable reality; however much exaggerated by anti-Semites. The disproportionate numbers, visibility, and volubility of Jews in modern art roughly corresponded to the disproportionate numbers of Jews in journalism, medicine, law, banking and revolutionary politics.
 

The ‘Founding Years’ and the Crash of 1873

Nouveaux riches of whatever origin have rarely been known for gracious manners. Those Jewish newly rich in Germany who had recent origins in the eastern European shtetlekh, where standards of civility or public manners were markedly different from those of Germany, were widely regarded as especially offensive.

In Germany during the early seventies, the contrasts between rich and poor, successful and unsuccessful, were perhaps even more striking than in the opening stages of England’s industrialization. In the summer of 1873 the stock markets collapsed. Certain anti-Semitic themes took on particularly sharp expression by the late 1870s. Now it was declared that Jews, constituting a mere one percent of the population, were more than ‘too influential’; they were talking over the new German nation, its economy, its political institutions, its art and music.
 

The press campaign against the Jews

The popular (circulation ca. 350,000) and generally liberal magazine Die Gartenlaube published a series of articles in December 1874 by Otto Glagau exposing the role of various shady entrepreneurs in the stock market crash. He maintained that ninety percent of brokers and stock promoters in the capital were Jews.

A century later, when it became clear that the stock market scandals of the mid-to-late 1980s in the United States saw an overwhelming preponderance of Jews—at least ninety percent was a widely accepted figure—that clear correlation seemed to interest the broad American public scarcely at all, and overwhelmingly non-Jewish journalists and politicians skirted the issue. But in Germany in the 1870s popular interest and indignation were intense. By no means all Germans agreed with Glagau. He responded that ‘No longer can we suffer to see the Jews push themselves everywhere to the front… everywhere seize leadership and dominate public opinion’.
 

Chapter 4. Anti-Semitic ideology and movement in Germany (1879 to the 1890s)

Wilhelm Marr

Wilhelm Marr has been given credit for coining the term ‘anti-Semitism’. His pamphlet The Victory of Jewry over the Germans has been described as the first anti-Semitic bestseller. He was married four times, the first three to Jewish women. He had intimate Jewish friends and was attacked for his supposed philo-Semitism.

Wagner, too, lamented as early as 1850 that Jews were taking over Germany. Both Wagner and Marr emphasized inherent and tenacious Jewish racial traits, ones that were destructive to Germans.

Marr [said that] wherever they go, Jews try to dominate and jewify the surrounding society. To do so is in their racial nature. It was a matter of victory or defeat—Jacob and Esau must fight to the finish, not work out ways in which they could live together. He noted that other peoples had indeed blended, had become German: the French Huguenots, the Wends, various Slavic peoples. But not the Jews. Marr concluded that the Jews are ‘stronger and tougher’ than non-Jews.

His biographer believes that his pessimism was genuine, that it reflected his belief that the Germany he loved was doomed. Without weapons, he noted, Jews had become the masters of Germany.
 

Heinrich von Treitschke

The complaints and laments of Glagau and Marr did not immediately alarm most Jewish observers, since the two could be easily dismissed as lowbrow, demagogic, and lacking respectability. Many influential Jewish observers considered Marr and his following not only beneath contempt but laughable. However, late in the same year and early in the next (1879-1880), Heinrich von Treitschke, the celebrated historian of Germany and popular university professor, published a series of articles critical of the role of Jews in Germany.

Treitschke expressed dismay over the persecution of Jews in history. He wrote that ‘there is no German commercial city that does not count many honourable and respectable Jewish firms’. Treitschke was a political liberal. How then, Treitschke earned such an evil reputation in many influential accounts of the origins of Nazism?

That the presence of newly-emancipated Jews in Germany could present a genuine problem, not a fantasy, was freely recognized by a number of thoughtful Jewish observers at this time, as in years past; Jews did indeed have significantly different cultural traditions from the rest of the population.

[Franz] Mehring complained that Jewish opponents of Treitschke engaged in ‘intellectual terrorism’, attempting as they did to smear as anti-Semitic anyone who expressed whatever critical reservations about the actions of the Jews. Treitschke’s consternation about Jewish influence also reflected his rising distaste for modern mass culture. He, like most educated Germans, felt an abhorrence for what he perceived as the Mishckultur (mongrel-culture) that was coming to characterize the United States in these years. They did not believe that the German spirit, in its barely achieved unity, could survive cultural pluralism—a chaotic and debilitating mongrelisation in their eyes—that seemed to be growing up in the New World.

Treitschke remarked: ‘Ours is a young country. Our country still lacks national style’. But the young German nation, divided and still unsure of itself, was being flooded ‘from the inexhaustible cradle of Poland’. Treitschke argued further that the materialism of the early 1870s, so threatening again to the moral tone of the young German nation, was significantly reinforced by Jews.

Treitschke complained that Jewish journalists had introduced an element of petty quarrelsomeness and intolerance, of a wholly one-sided sort: ‘About the shortcomings of the Germans or French, everybody could freely say the worst things, but if somebody dared to speak in just and moderate terms about some undeniable weakness of the Jewish character, he was immediately branded as a barbarian and religious persecutor by nearly all of the newspapers’.

Mehring also recognized a new temper, ‘a gifted, shrewd, tough-fibred race’ intoxicated with its new freedoms. Jews in Berlin had developed into ‘an expansive and explosive force which is hard to imagine for anyone who has not seen it with his own eyes’. On this point, Mehring found much agreement from German Jews themselves.
 

Treitschke and Graetz

Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891). His History of the Jews is still lauded by twentieth-century Jewish historians as one of the great nineteenth-century histories of the Jews. Graetz harboured a deep contempt for the ancient Greeks and considered contemporary European civilisation to be ‘morally and physically sick’. There was some substance in Treitschke’s charges: Graetz had written that Boerne and Heine had ‘renounced Judaism, but only like combatants who, putting on the uniform of the enemy, can all the more strike and annihilate him’.

In private correspondence, Graetz expressed his destructive contempt for German values and Christianity even more forthrightly. Treitschke was not far off base when he angrily noted that ‘the man shakes with glee every time he can say something downright nasty against the Germans’.
 

Anti-Semitic movement and countermovement

Agitators circulated the Anti-Semites’ Petition, which by October 1880 had gathered some 265,000 signatures. It charged that an ‘alien tribe’ in Germany had gained domination over the ‘Aryan race’. In order to combat the incursions of that tribe a number of measures were needed: (1) the limitation of Jewish immigration into Germany, (2) the exclusion of Jews from positions of high governmental authority, (3) a special census to keep track of Jews, and (4) the prohibition of Jews as teachers in elementary schools. This minimal program was moderate in that it looked to orderly action through the Reichstag, not to popular violence, not to chasing Jews out of Germany. Right-wing revolutionaries comparable to the Nazis were not common at this time and found only sporadic support among the masses.

In the elections of 1881, the left-liberals in Berlin, led to an important degree by Jews, totally overwhelmed Stoecker’s party. The Progressive Party gained thirty-three new seats. Bismarck evidently concluded that not much political mileage was to be had from even covert identification with the anti-Semites, and he let it be known that ‘I most decidedly disapprove of this fight against the Jews’. At the height of its popularity in the 1880s political anti-Semitism in Germany won scarcely five percent of the popular vote.

None of the various bills proposed by the anti-Semites came anywhere near passage in the Reichstag, Jewish rights were in no tangible way limited by political measures in these years, and anti-Semites seeking to foment violence were arrested and thrown into jail. The various economic boycotts proposed by German anti-Semites had little or no effect; Jews continued to prosper and were increasingly among the very richest of Germany’s citizens.
 

The peasants and Otto Böckel

Anti-Semitism mitigated by traditional constraints existed among the peasantry, a large class that cannot be ignored, since it was among elements of peasantry that the most dramatically successful anti-Semitic movement in late nineteenth-century Germany developed. And among the peasants one of the more colourful and charismatic anti-Semitic leaders appeared: Otto Böckel.

As he recorded in his pamphlet The Jews, Kings of our Time, ‘the image of the peasant robbed by the Jews drives me onward’. The pamphlet went through a hundred editions by the end of the century.

Böckel used pomp and fanfare, mass meetings, torchlight rallies, songfests, and sloganeering with great creativity. He established a newspaper that reached thousands of peasants who had never before read newspapers, and advertised ‘Jew-free’ markets. Some called him a ‘second Luther’.

The situation, while in some ways unique, was also familiar: Jews under progressive rule prospered, while non-Jews believed themselves threatened with ruin, especially during an economic downturn. Böckel offered the same warnings, that a ‘stubborn, old, and thoroughly alien race’ was taking over; that modern capitalism was weakening the very backbone of Germany.

Böckel avoided using such terms as ‘Aryan’ and ‘Semite’. Nevertheless, his movement finally disintegrated. He simply did not have a long-range or realistic program; his was a movement of slogans and pyrotechnics, emotional catharsis for his followers, not long-range political realism.
 

Chapter 6. Austria-Hungary

Liberalism and the rise of the Jews

These Jewish successes were less widely shared by members of the Gentile lower and lower-middle classes. Similarly, Jews did not become, or long remain, artisans, factory proletarians, or other kinds of manual labourers. Urban Jews were in general upwardly mobile; non-Jews were more often proletarianized—overwhelmed by the forces of modern urban civilisation. Tens of thousands of small shops in Vienna went bankrupt in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and thousands of peasants’ plots in the surrounding countryside were put up for auction. The benefactors of these Gentile misfortunes were frequently Jews.

By the turn of the century, a German-Jewish writer who had moved to Vienna from the German Reich was struck by how much

all public life was dominated by Jews. The banks, the press, the theatre, literature, social organizations, all lay in the hands of the Jews… The aristocracy would have nothing to do with such things… The small number of untitled patrician families imitated the aristocracy; the original upper-middle class had disappeared… The court, the lower-middle class and the Jews gave the city its stamp. And that the Jews, as the most mobile group, kept all the other in continuous motion is, on the whole, not surprising.

Henry Wickham Steed, correspondent for The Times of London in Berlin, Rome, and Vienna from 1896 to 1914, and widely recognized as one of the best informed, most pertaining observers of the day, wrote that ‘among the peoples of the Austria-Hungary the Jewish people stands first in importance… Economics, politically, and in point of general influence they are… the most significant element in the Monarchy’. Moreover, embracing German language and culture by no means meant merging into German-Gentile society. Time and again assimilated Jews themselves referred to the Jews’ ‘stubborn emphasis on racial solidarity’.

It seems reasonable to conclude that any group, even one enjoying wide esteem, that rose as fast as the Jews in Austria-Hungary would have encountered some resentment and hostility.
 

The Jewish press and the crash of 1873

No area of Jewish influence in Austria-Hungary was more important than journalism in terms of spreading German language and culture—with a Jewish nuance. Jewish-owned and -operated newspapers in the empire were even more important than in Germany. ‘After Moritz Benedikt [the owner of Neue Freie Presse], the most popular man in the realm is Franz Joseph [the emperor of Austria]’ was a popular witticism. He and his paper were admired by some, feared or detested by others. Nearly all observers regarded him as a man of fierce ambition and easy morals.

The complaint that Jewish journalists were vituperatively critical while remaining hypersensitive to criticism themselves was often expressed in Austria. Wickham Steed described the Neue Freie Presse as ‘a journal that embodies in concentrated form and, at times, with demonic force, the least laudable characteristics of Austro-German Jewry’.

The stock market crash in 1873, which catalysed political anti-Semitism in Germany, affected Austria in similar ways. Jews were the obvious culprits, even more so in Vienna than in Berlin, since Jews in the stock market in Vienna were even more prominent than in Berlin. In Austria the capitalist robber barons, to borrow a phrase from the American scene, the railroad-building and factory-owning plunderers of the countryside, the noveaux riches, those ostensibly responsible for the bankruptcies of artisans and small retailers, the deceivers of the small investor were overwhelmingly made up of Jews, if only because Jews constituted a heavy majority of those involved in such modern economic activities.
 

Anti-Semitic ideology

Friedrich Austerlitz asserted that the Jewish-owned liberal press was concerned to serve Jewish interests, to cover up misdeeds by Jewish capitalists, and to shower with abuse anyone who criticized Jews. Jewish press supremacy, he later observed, ‘was a conspiracy in favour of the Jews; the legend of the solidarity of all members of the people of Israel was at that time a reality’. Austerlitz granted that in the earlier part of the century, when Jews had been oppressed, criticism of their ‘eccentricities’ was inappropriate, but by the latter half of the nineteenth century, when they dominated so much of public life in Austria and when their activities were so often corrupt, criticism was not only appropriate but the duty of all honest observers, Jews and non-Jews.

The notion of racial purity, of Aryan superiority, gained an even stronger hold on parts of the Austrian German-speaking Gentile population than it did in Germany itself. Similarly, in Austria fears about the ‘destructive mission’ of Jews, their alleged tendencies to take over, dominate, and jewify, were even more pervasive.

Any synthesis of German and Jewish culture implied a distinctly larger Jewish component, an unacceptable result to many völkish Germans, who seem to have been driven, ostensibly because of the elusiveness of what it meant to be a German in the Austrian context, to an almost panicked assertion of the need to preserve the mystical ‘purity’ of their race. They dreaded a loss of identity, a so-major dilution of what it meant to be a German that the world would lose its appeal for them. Feelings of German nationalism in Austria came increasingly to include a call for liberation from Jewish influence, a freeing of the Aryan-German spirit from the destructive inroads of ‘Semitism’.

Above all in Vienna and Budapest, assimilated, secular Jews were for traditional Catholics a formidable and alarming enemy. Jews were very rapidly increasing in numbers, and some were becoming spectacularly rich. They were articulate in ways that made many of their opponents feel the rage of impotence. As far as many Catholics were concerned, Jews were not only taking over modern economic life; they were also talking over the cultural life of the empire.
 

Catholic anti-modernism and anti-Semitism

For large numbers of Austrian Catholics, Jews became ‘the enemy’ to be vigorously combated, and large numbers of Jews felt similarly about the church. The sophisticated, cosmopolitan, atomistic, and materialistic life of the modern city symbolized a world of evil and moral anarchy—prostitution, corruption, drunkenness, social and economic irresponsibility—for the Church, whereas for secular Jews the church was a repository of bigotry and unreasoning fear of the modern world.

In 1870 the doctrine of papal infallibility was proclaimed. One of the most penetrating Catholic social theorist of the time, Baron Karl von Vogelsang, hoped for a return to an idealized past, whereas Marx confidently predicated a transformed, if no less idealized, future. In their descriptions of liberal capitalism, however, they were in agreement: It was a system of unbridled egotism, and they were both inclined to derive anti-Semitic conclusions from that judgment.

Vogelsang further concluded that liberal rules favoured Jews, allowing them to prosper extraordinarily and unjustly. Jewish prosperity, he observed, was paralleled by growing misery for the Christian lower orders. And that could hardly be accepted by a Christian as natural to the proper order of things.

Vogelsang lamented that Austria had lost its Christian bearing, had lost sight of the basis on Christian morality for social harmony. The country’s indigenous Christian population was being ‘robbed, dominated, and reduced to pariahs by the Jews’. The problem was not only exploitative Jewish capitalists; the ‘incredible insolent Jewish press’ worked constantly to undermine the moral fabric of a society, as did the atheistic Jews at the head of the revolutionary parties.

Vogelsang was not a racist; he welcomed Jewish converts. He believed, however, that unconverted Jews could inflict and undermine an entire society if they were allowed to get out of control. And he was persuaded that just such an infected society had come into existence: ‘If by some miracle’, he wrote, ‘all our 1,400,000 Jews were to be taken from us, it would help us very little, for we ourselves have been infected with the Jewish spirit’. The taste for pushing and shoving, the mocking of sacred tradition, the sardonic wit and intellectual arrogance, the sensuality and sexual immorality—these many ‘Jewish’ traits had infected Catholics in Austria and were fatally undermining Christian society.

Vogelsang was willing to grant that capitalism and its associated modern industrial techniques could increase material wealth, but the price paid in moral terms, he believed, was too high. It meant the breakdown of the family, alcoholism, and urban crime; the replacement of quality production by the cheap and shoddy; swelling ranks of the chronically unemployed; and the bars, cabarets, and prostitutes. Capitalism and liberalism atomized society, destroyed valuable social and economic ties.

Modern secular Jews could be credited with bringing progress, new industrial techniques, scientific discoveries, cultural sophistication, and a new intensity and richness to life in cities like Vienna. They could also be credited with exploitation, corruption, crime, prostitution, alcoholism, social disintegration, and cultural nihilism. Both views had some basis in reality: ‘Progress’ and ‘corruption’ went hand-in-hand in nearly every country, whether or not Jews were present.

In the early 1880s, particularly in the year 1882, the Austro-Hungarian Empire experienced an upsurge of popular hostility to Jews, much exceeding that in Germany, although not as physically violent as in pogrom-afflicted Russia.

Georg Ritter von Schönerer, in what might be interpreted as a rebellion against the world of his father, began to use language attacking the Jews that went much beyond anything so far heard in respectable circles. He spoke in coarse and brutal tones, with violent threats and violent actions.
 

Chapter 10. The Belle Époque: Germany and Austria

‘Morality aside, the enmity against the Jews is nonsense, because it is simply impractical. Everybody I know here in Berlin, especially the military and nobility, are eminently dependent upon the Jews and are daily becoming more so. There is no other way but to hold one’s tongue’.

—Theodor Fontane

Enough has been said about Germany and Austria to make clear how they might be considered, already in the 1880s, failures as models of harmonious Jewish-Gentile relationships. On the other hand, millions of German-speaking Jews and Gentiles continued to live beside one another in reasonable harmony, Jewish material success continued at an impressive rate, and Jewish-Gentile interplay counted many impressive aspects. Many of those in the German-speaking world who spoke out in criticism of the Jews were not willing to go beyond mere exhortation, urging the Jew to improve manners and economic morality or encouraging them to become more whole-hearted in their national feelings. Antiliberal trends become stronger everywhere after 1890, and highlighted tensions between Jews and non-Jews could be noted in nearly all countries. But those tensions often took on curiously unfathomable forms.
 

The appearance of Zionism

Gentiles earnestly believed that they and their values had been rejected by Jews, that Jews were not living up to the concessions they implicitly accepted when they gained civil emancipation.

The familiar distinction that religion was a private matter, one that was compatible with various nationalities, which satisfied many Jews in earlier years, began to appear unworkable or at least very awkward in practice. The dialogue of the deaf between Jew and non-Jew ultimately went back to the flawed assumptions, on both sides, of civil emancipation in the first place. The honeymoon was over; divorce was being contemplated. But its costs promised to be terribly high, and the decision was being avoided—perhaps something could still be worked out.

Theodore Herzl [1860-1904] wrote to a friend that his book had earned him the ‘greatest of hatreds [from fellow Jews] while the anti-Semites treat me fairly’. That ‘fair treatment’ constituted one of the earliest examples of what would later become fairly common, that is, open agreement, even an occasional, opportunistic kind of cooperation, between Zionists and some anti-Semites, since they both agreed that Jews should get out of Europe.

The impact of Zionism on non-Jews was also mixed: While anti-Semites pointed to it as evidence that they had been right all along, other non-Jews saw Zionism as a potentially acceptable solution to the Jewish problem.
 

Anti-Semitism and German tradition

As historian Steven Beller has commented, ‘Jews began to see themselves as the real bearers of the Enlightenment’ in Austria and Germany. The matter was stated quite openly in a speech by Solomon Ehrmann to the B’nai B’rith in Vienna in 1902. His vision of the future was not simply one in which Jews were to be an honoured part; it was to be in fundamental ways a Jewish future, one in which ‘not only the B’nai B’rith but all Judaism will have fulfilled its task. All mankind will have been jewified [verjudet, the same term used by the anti-Semites] and joined in union with the B’nai B’rith’. In short, Verjudung meant Aufklaerung, jewfication equalled enlightenment. It was in truth a broad and humane vision, but it cannot come as a surprise that many non-Jews were wary of it.

Racism and anti-Semitism were, in the eyes of many German-speaking Jews, more accurately seen as products of reactionaries and of the mob. Hatred of Jews, they believed, was most typically to be found in eastern Europe, or in the less developed parts of the German-speaking world.

There had been a wave of anti-Semitic agitation in Germany from the mid-1870s to the early 1880s, which then receded in the mid-1880s. Another wave gathered force in the late 1880s through the first years of the 1890s, with a high point in the elections of 1893, but it, too, receded, leaving the anti-Semitic parties more discredited and weaker than ever. The next twenty years were similarly indecisive.
 

The dormant period of anti-Semitism in Germany

The Wilhelmine period (1890-1914) has gone down in most histories as a relatively dormant period insofar as political anti-Semitism is concerned. [But] the decline of the anti-Semitic parties by no means necessarily indicated a decline in anti-Semitic sentiment.

Anti-Semitism of the Tivoli Program was not radical. (In it the party denounced ‘the multifarious and obtrusive Jewish influence that decomposes our people’s life’; a clause was voted down that said ‘we repudiate the excesses of anti-Semitism’.) That the latter clause was even proposed suggested that many leaders of the Conservative Party were not anti-Semitic in the radical-racial sense. A number of the party’s leading figures had Jewish wives.

The fact remains that the Conservative Party, the anti-Semitic pressure groups, and the anti-Semitic parties themselves were either unwilling or unable to pass a single piece of significant legislation against the Jews in Germany. The material welfare of the Jews in Germany, at the same time, continued its remarkable, seeming inexorable force. The so-called ‘dormant’ period after 1900 was only the lull before the storm.
 

Anti-Semitic agitation in Austria: Karl Lueger

As we have seen, anti-Semitism in Austria had a significantly broader, more ‘progressive’ appeal in the 1870s and 1880s than it did in the German Reich. In the generation before World War I anti-Semitism in Austria, especially Vienna, was far from politically dormant.

It will be recalled that von Schönerer’s movement suffered a sharp and humiliating decline after its initial success of the 1880s. He was arrested, thrown into jail, and stripped of his title of nobility. Within a short time, however, political anti-Semitism found a more adept practitioner in the person of Karl Lueger, far and away the most successful anti-Semitic politician of pre-war Europe.

Like von Schönerer, Karl Lueger began his political career as a liberal but then turned against key liberal tenets. Mention has been made of Treitschke’s aversion to the ‘jewified’ German culture of Austria, of Gratez’s desire to ‘destroy’ Christianity, of Hess’s opinion that Christianity was ‘religion of death’, and Ehrmann’s conclusion that ‘jewification equals enlightenment’. Many other Enlightened Jews saw themselves as upholders of justice, as a ‘light unto the nations’ in a modern way. The theme was endlessly manipulated, and it found expression in nearly every country, but the relevant point is that ‘jewification’ was actually more than an absurd fantasy of the anti-Semites. Leading German Jews in Vienna did look to a jewification of the non-Jewish world. On the other hand, it does not take much imagination to understand how alien and hypocritical such an ideal may have seemed to the average citizen in Vienna at the turn of the century, especially when, in its immediately perceptible form, jewification seemed to mean financial scandals, unfair competition, and the revolver press, social exclusiveness, and capitalist exploitation.

Even while Lueger was mayor, Jews continued to move into the city at a rapid rate, Jewish upward mobility continued unabated, and Jewish wealth remained impressive. The period considered the ‘Golden Age of Viennese Jewry’ (1897-1910) coincided with the years that Lueger was mayor. One needs to ask what the ‘success’ of Lueger’s movement actually entailed. In truth, his anti-Semitism was mostly noise. The period of his ascendency marked an end to the honeymoon of Jewish-Gentile relations, but Lueger did not hate all Jews. He never looked forward to a Vienna that would be judenrein (free of Jews).
 

Langbehn, Lagrade, Chamberlain

Houston Steward Chamberlain’s Foundations of the Twentieth Century (first published in 1900 but many editions followed, including an inexpensive one in 1906 that was distributed in Germany’s schools) became a hugely popular book by the standards of the day. Its success was all the more remarkable because, by the standards of any day, it was a lengthy tome that made large intellectual demands on its readers. And whatever may be said about the defects of the book, it grappled with many substantial issues. Emperor Wilhelm II read it avidly; he quoted it constantly and sent copies to friends and acquaintances. To be sure, Wilhelm was not an intellectually distinguished or discriminating man, but among the many others who openly and effusively admired the book were Albert Schweitzer, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, D.H. Lawrence, and Carl Becker. In his book Chamberlain tried to show, with richly arrayed historical examples, how racial determinism had operated from the distant past to the present. The racial element explained the rise and fall of civilisations, the particular genius of cultures throughout history. Like Gobineau, he was much concerned with racial mixing and the degeneration that he believed came from it.

Chamberlain’s biographer has persuasively argued that in spite of repeated denials, he harboured a tenacious if fluctuating animus against Jews, one that found clearest expression in private communications, especially after 1914, as his health and fortunes declined. The point made earlier about Treitschke (that he had no real program and did not support political action against Jews) holds even more for Chamberlain. He spoke of an inner, spiritual struggle against Jewish influence, not a physical battle against Jewish individuals or groups.

Nationalists in many areas feared that their identity was being overwhelmed and all urged against the forces that were undermining the true identity of their people.
 

Chapter 12: World War I

One cannot help but be impressed with the far-ranging ways in which fears and resentments were finding focus in anti-Semitism: Jews as shirkers at the front; Jews as weak-kneed parliamentarians and pacifist press lords; Jews as capitalists making money from the war; Jews as all-powerful and self-serving bureaucrats in the government; Jews as treacherous revolutionaries; even Jews as rank-and-file workers who were especially prone to destructive radicalism. The old anti-Semitic refrain—‘the Jew is everywhere’—gained unparalleled plausibility in Germany and began to attract a larger part of the population than even before.
 

The Peace Settlement

Civilian control of the military prevailed in both France and Great Britain, and in neither country was the tendency to point an accusing finger at Jews as in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia.

In Great Britain the Jewish World commented, in response to an anti-Semitic exchange in the columns of the London Times, that Jews faced ‘the beginning of a new and evil era. We cannot say any more that there is no anti-Semitism in the country that loved the Bible above everything’.

The entry of the United States [into World War I] in the spring of 1917, gradually tipped the balance in favour of France and Great Britain. That victory was finally achieved in the autumn of 1918 after internal upheavals in Germany brought to the fore those who were willing to negotiate a peace.

For the anti-Semitic right in German-speaking central Europe, America’s alliance with the French and the English meshed into a by now well-established image of Jewish-controlled powers that were conspiring to destroy Germany. The pre-war assertion by men like Treitschke, Langbehn, and Chamberlain that the English and the Americans were shallow, commercial minded and materialistic—Jewish in spirit—was now made even more adamantly. Chamberlain, in a letter to Wilhelm II, wrote that ‘England has fallen totally into the hands of the Jews and the Americans. This war is in the deepest sense the war of Jewry [Judentum] and its near relative, Americanism, for the control of the world’.

When the Germans agreed to an armistice, they thought that it could be in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points. They were tragically mistaken.

The Paris Peace conference that gathered in early 1919 oversaw the redrawing of the map of most Europe and large parts of the rest of the world. The Jewish Question was on the agenda at Paris, one of a large number of nettlesome issues, seemingly impossible to resolve in a way that would be just to all concerned. The German quickly labelled it a ‘Jewish peace’, not only because they believed it vindictive, which it unquestionably was, but because they were persuaded that it meant even greater Jewish power in the post-war world.

Again, their fantasy world found much in the real world to nourish it. Even many of those who were not notably anti-Semitic viewed the peace settlement as part of a titanic struggle between German and Anglo-American values. Germans saw themselves as an idealist, disciplined, self-sacrificing people facing peoples devoted to shallow liberalism and egotism. Those Germans who had put faith in Wilson’s points believed themselves cynically betrayed. In their eyes, the final ‘dictated peace’ (Diktat) was an act of unspeakable perfidy. A number of smaller adjustments favouring Germany’s neighbours only added to the sense of impotent outrage in Germany. The worst outrage in the eyes of many Germans was the huge reparation payments with which they were saddled.

Most Germans concluded that these measures were designed not only to punish but to ultimately destroy their country. Enormous debate emerged at the time and for many years afterward about the wisdom and justice of these draconian arrangements. Those Germans leaders who eventually agreed to work within the terms of the treaty did so not because they accepted them as reasonable but because they finally saw no realistic alternative.

 
The Balfour Declaration and the Palestinian Mandate

Churchill and others argued that Jewish financial clout and the control of the news media by Jews were compelling reasons to have them on Great Britain’s side. Churchill was particularly concerned to rally American Jews. Other British leaders worried about the reaction of the indigenous Arab population in Palestine, and those who knew something about the population warned that British support for a Jewish national home in Palestine risked permanently alienating the Arab world, with disturbing long-term implications for British national interest.

In a letter published in the London Times on May 24, 1917, the presidents predicted that a Jewish homeland in Palestine would be a ‘calamity’. It would be a dangerous violation of the principle of equal rights if Jews in Palestine were to get special political privileges and economic preferences. Prophetically, the letter warned that the result would be endless, bitter warfare with the Arabs of the region. Churchill’s comments in 1919: ‘We are pledged to introduce the Jews into Palestine, and they take it for granted that the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience’.

As suggested in the Preface, it would be grotesque to argue that the hostility of the Arabs, this ‘anti-Semitism’ by Semites, was mysterious, having to do only with their own psychic problems and not at all with Jewish actions. At the same time, another bold experiment, which might be described as an utterly contrasting attempt to resolve the Jewish Question, had begun in Russia.
 

Chapter 13: Jews and [the Russian] Revolution

The horrors of the revolution from 1917 to 1921 were in some areas even more devastating than those of the war; the connections of Jews and socialist revolutionaries were more visible than ever before and the anti-Semitic potential greater. The perception that revolutionaries were predominantly Jewish and that Jews were particularly vicious as revolutionaries spread now from minds like those of Nicholas II—limited, paranoiac, almost pitiful—to those of a different cut, such as Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill. It was no longer only scandal sheets like La Libre Parole or the Bessarebetz that identified radical revolution with Jews; now that identification was made by newspapers like the London Times, the Chicago Tribune, or the Christian Science Monitor, all of which enjoyed a reputation for sobriety on Jewish issues and at least relative fairness.

Many of those who had been inclined to a hesitant or inconsistent anti-Semitism before the war, such as Wilhelm II, now embraced more extreme opinions. Wilhelm’s attitude to ‘the threat of international Jewry’ was influenced by reports like those of Walther von Kaiserlingk, the German admiralty’s chief of operations, who had visited Petrograd in the winter of 1917-18: He described the new government as run by Jews in the interest of Jews; it was ‘insanity in power’, and it presented a moral threat not only to Germany but to the civilised world. Wilhelm agreed that the Russian people had been ‘turned over to the vengeance of the Jews, who are connected with all the Jews of the world’.

We have seen how, in western countries where Jews experienced less oppression, an active and highly visible minority of them, especially young, secularized Jewish intellectuals in the generation before the war, were powerfully attracted to socialist ideas. Jews such as Hess, Marx, Lassalle, Bernstein, Otto Bauer, Luxemburg, Martov, Trotsky, and León Blum played a major role in formulating, refining, and propagating those ideas. Non-Jews (Engels, Kautsky, Bebel, Plekhanov, Lenin, Guesde, Jaurès) were also important, in many regards more important than Jews, but considering that the Jewish population of Europe was approximately 2 percent of the total, the Jewish participation in socialism, revolutionary and democratic, was remarkably large.

Both Jewish and non-Jewish socialists in the late nineteenth century saw great merit in the idealism and radicalism of a moral elite of Jews. Just as the non-Jew, Friedrich Engels, had praised Jews for their contribution to the socialist movement, so V.I. Lenin, in a speech in Zurich in 1905, observed that ‘the Jews furnished a particularly high percentage of leaders of the revolutionary movement. It should be noted to the credit of the Jews, they furnish a relatively high percentage of internationalists’. On another occasion Lenin, in lamenting the low moral and intellectual level of his compatriots, remarked to Maxim Gorky that ‘an intelligent Russian is almost always a Jew or somewhere with Jewish blood in his veins’. León Blum, who after his participation of the Dreyfus Affair went on to become a prominent figure in the French socialist movement, ‘glorified the messianic role of the Jews as social revolutionaries’. Although he was one of the most perceptive critics of Bolshevik theory in the debates within his own party in 1919 and 1920 concerning whether it should join the new Communist International, he had earlier written that ‘the collective impulse’ of the Jews ‘leads them toward revolution; their critical powers… drive them to destroy every idea, every traditional form which does not agree with the facts or cannot be justified by reason’. Revolutionary socialism, he asserted, was a modern form of ‘the ancient spirit of the Jewish race’.

Most Russian Jews were pulled unwillingly, even uncomprehendingly into the vortex of revolution and ensuing civil war from 1917 to 1921, observers rather than actors. But others, especially many who had felt blocked in their dreams of a career or who had suffered daily under the irrationality and inefficiency of the tsarist regime, were only too understandably moved by a desire for violent revenge. Some of those revolutionaries, especially when driven into the moral anarchy of civil war, proved themselves capable of breath-taking ruthlessness.

Recognizing that there were fewer Jews in the Bolshevik faction than in the Menshevik, or even that Bolshevism was not a typically Jewish ideology, does not mean that the issue of the role of Jews in Bolshevism is settled, for there were still many Jewish Bolsheviks, especially at the very top of the party. And there were even more in the dreaded Cheka, or secret police, where the Jewish revolutionary became visible in a terrifying form. Any effort to compose a list of the most important Bolsheviks must be unavoidable subjective, but it seems beyond serious debate that in the first twenty years of the Bolshevik Party the top ten to twenty leaders included close to a majority of Jews.

At a notch down in visibility was Yakov Mikhailovich Sverdlov. Described as ‘very Jewish looking’, he became secretary and main organizer of the Bolshevik Party in 1917. There was at any rate no little symbolism in the fact that a Jew was both the head of the state and the secretary of the ruling party. Percentages of Jews in state positions or in the party do not capture that adequately.

In approximately the same second-level category was Moisei Solomonovich Uritsky, notorious as the chief of the Cheka in Petrograd where Red Terror raged with special brutality. For anti-Semites he became the personification of ‘Jewish terror against the Russian people’. He was certainly less fanatical than Zinoviev [another Jew], whose pervasive cruelty and vindictiveness toward alleged counterrevolutionaries prompted Uritsky at one point to lodge an official complaint.

A list of prominent non-Jews in the party would begin with Lenin, whose name outweighs the others, although in the first year or so of the revolution, Trotsky’s name rivalled his. Yet his status as a non-Jew and ‘real Russian’ is not as clear as subsequent Soviet propaganda tried to make it. His grandfather on his mother side was Jewish, though a convert to Christianity and married to a woman of German origin. On Lenin’s father side were Kalmyk and Swedish forebears. Lenin the non-Jew, in other words, was Jewish enough to have fallen under the shadow of doubt in Nazi Germany or to have been accepted in the state of Israel.

Lenin was of course considered jewified, if not exactly Jewish, by anti-Semites. As noted, he openly and repeatedly praised the role of the Jews in the revolutionary movement; he was one of the most adamant and consistent in the party in his denunciation of pogroms and anti-Semitism more generally. After the revolution, he backed away from his earlier resistance to Jewish nationalism, accepting that under Soviet rule Jewish nationality might be legitimate. On his death bed, Lenin spoke fondly of the Jewish Menshevik Julius Martov, for whom he had always retained a special personal affection in spite of their fierce ideological differences.

An even more remarkable case was Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of the Cheka, a ‘non-Jewish Jew’ in a different sense. (The destruction of his statue in front of the KBG building in Moscow in August 1991, after the ill-fated putsch by party conservatives, was widely seen as symbolic of the destruction of a hated past of secret police domination.) In origin a member of the Polish gentry, he had learned Yiddish as a young man in Vienna and had established close friendships with many Jews in the revolutionary circles of the town. He had several romances with Jews and finally married one.

The backgrounds and personal contacts of non-Jews such as Lenin, Kalinin, and Dzerzhinsky help explain how it was that so many observers believed the Bolsheviks were mostly Jews or were in some way under Jewish tutelage. The various refinements of Jewishness—traditional Jew, reform Jew, cultural Jew, half-Jew, non-Jewish Jew, self-hating Jew, Karaite, jewified Gentile—did not have much meaning to most of those who were in a life-and-death struggle with the Bolsheviks and who of course were not used to seeing Jews in any position of authority in Russia; to see them in such numbers spoke for some radical undermining of a previously accepted order. The leaders of the anti-Bolshevik White armies were convinced that they were fighting Jews and other foreigners (Georgians, Armenians, Lithuanians, Poles)—but most importantly Jews—who had somehow seized control of Mother Russia. To most of the Whites the differences between the various revolutionary factions were of little importance; they all appeared alien, foreign in inspiration, jewified, and destructive. Indeed, for many on the right even the liberal Kadets were viewed as westernized and jewified.

Such exaggeration was hardly limited to the White armies. One book published in the West, The Causes of World Unrest, presented a list of fifty members of the Bolshevik government and declared that 95 percent of them were Jews, a common conclusion, as was the notion that the Bolsheviks were murderously destructive.

Destruction of the Jews by the Nazis was from this perspective to be considered a preventive measure, ultimately one of self-defence [emphasis by Ed.]. As early as 1917, Belloc’s friend and intellectual colleague, C.K. Chesterton, had sternly warned the Jews in Great Britain who were sympathetic to the revolution that ‘if they continue to incite people against the soldiers and their wives and widows, they will learn for the first time what anti-Semitism really means’.

Anti-Semitism, well entrenched on the right, revived in the rest of the political spectrum, undermining what had been achieved through the patriotic unity of August 1914. The older charges that Jews were unpatriotic or part of the capitalist conspiracy now refocused on the Jew as a social subversive, ‘taking orders from Moscow’.

A revolutionary unrest spread to central Europe in late 1918 and 1919. The party’s first two leaders, Rosa Luxemburg and, after her murder in January 1919 at the hands of a right-wing paramilitary organization, Paul Levi, were of Jewish origin. Even in France and Italy, with their small and overwhelmingly bourgeois populations, the emerging Communist parties counted a number of Jews in hardship positions. ‘Foreign Jews, taking orders from Moscow’ became an issue.

A Communist coup was attempted in Berlin in January 1919 (the Spartacus Uprising, when Rosa Luxemburg was killed), and in the course of that tumultuous year in Germany pro-Bolshevik revolutionaries took over, however briefly and confusedly, in Munich. In France a general strike was launched in the spring of 1920, and in the autumn of that year there were massive factory occupations in the industrial north of Italy. Perhaps most worrisome to the western powers, the Red Army, headed by Trotsky, launched an offensive against Poland in the summer of 1920 that was touted as the beginning of a triumphant advance of the Red Army into western Europe.
 

Russian Jews in revolution: from March to November

One of the first measures taken by the Provisional Government was a decree conferring complete civil equality upon Russia’s Jews. That action was hailed as long overdue by the Russian press; even Novoe Vremia, which, as a semi-official organ before 1917, had often published anti-Semitic material, applauded the move.

Many of Russia’s Jews were jubilant at the news. In some Jewish homes, Passover was celebrated that year with the reading of the decree instead of the traditional Haggada. Plans were quickly made by Jewish activists for an all-Russian Jewish congress. The excited appeal that went out for it proclaimed that whereas elsewhere Jews had received civil equality, only now in revolutionary Russia were they also going to receive recognition of their separate nationality within another nation. Nothing finally came of this congress, since the Bolshevik Revolution, and then civil war, got in the way.

In Russia, perhaps even more than elsewhere, civil equality for Jews, to say nothing of an official recognition of Jewish nationality, opened up Pandora’s box. Jews who had faced pervasive discrimination and persecution suddenly found government positions opened to them while closed to the older privileged classes, who were overwhelmingly of Great Russian background. Still, after 1917, especially after November 1917, there was in Europe a most remarkable change in the status quo: Large numbers of individual Jews assumed, for the first time in modern history, a major role in the government of non-Jewish peoples. Such was the case not only in Russia but in other areas, most notably Hungary and Germany.
 

The Red Terror—a Jewish terror?

In some areas, for example, the Ukraine, the Cheka leadership was overwhelmingly Jewish. By early 1919 Cheka organizations in Kiev were 75 percent Jewish, in a city where less than a decade earlier Jews had been officially forbidden to reside, except under special dispensation, and constituted about 1 percent of the total population.

The pattern of employing non-Slavic ethnic minorities in the Cheka was duplicated in many other areas of Russia. George Leggett, the most recent and authoritative historian of the Russian secret police, speculates that the use of outsiders may have been a conscious policy, since such ‘detached elements could be better trusted not to sympathize with the repressed local population’.

It is instructive that the high percentage of Jews in the secret police continued well in the 1930s, when the population of Jews gradually diminished in most other areas of the Soviet and party cadres. The number of Jews involved in the terror and counterterror of this period is striking. These many Jewish terrorists helped to nurture, even when they killed Jewish Chekists, the belief that Jews, especially once they had broken from the confines of their traditional faith, turned naturally to fanaticism and anarchistic destructiveness.

An even more important institution than the Cheka in defending the revolution was the Red Army, and, again, Jews played a key role in its leadership. Trotsky fascinated a broad public inside and outside Russia. In Hungary, a Jewish observer who was in fact hostile to the Bolsheviks nonetheless write: ‘The evolutionary flame which has burned beneath the surface of world history is now blazing up for the first time in a Jewish genius: Leo Trotsky!’ According to Paul Johnson,

It was Trotsky who personally organized and led the armed uprising which actually overthrew the Provisional Government and placed the Bolsheviks in power. It was Trotsky who created the Red Army, and who ensured the physical survival of the new Communist regime during the Civil War.

Trotsky’s paramount role in the revolution cannot be denied; Johnson’s views even if exaggerated, underline how powerful and durable has been the mystique around Trotsky’s name. He was second to Lenin, but a strong second. There was no Jew in modern times, at least until the creation of the state of Israel, to rival him.

It has been claimed that the actual proportion of Jews in top party and state positions in the 1930s did not notably drop from the 1920s. However, ‘visible’ Jewish leaders, comparable to Trotsky, Zinoviev, or Uritsky, diminished in numbers and would continue to do so in subsequent years, so that by the mid-twentieth century there were almost no Jews among the highest officials in the Soviet Union. To state the obvious, Jews were never purged explicitly as Jews in the Soviet Union, and millions survived the worst years of Stalin’s terror.

European beauty

Parliament Building in Greek and Roman style with
Pallas Athena statue and fountain in the front, Austria.

European beauty

Castle ruins of Aggstein

Categories
Alfred Rosenberg Catholic Church Child abuse Hitler's Religion (book) Joseph Goebbels Judeo-reductionism Mein Kampf (book) Racial right Richard Weikart Rudolf Hess

Hitler’s Religion: Chapter 1

Goebbels’ Diaries

Joseph Goebbels, based on his frequent and extensive conversations with Hitler, recorded numerous times in his diary that Hitler was anti-Christian and wanted to destroy the churches. A few days after Christmas in 1939, he conversed with Hitler and reported, “The Führer is deeply religious, but entirely anti-Christian. He sees in Christianity a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a strata deposited by the Jewish race.”

The first chapter of Richard Weikart’s book is entitled ‘Was Hitler a Religious Hypocrite?’ In the white advocates’ internet movement, Carolyn Yeager has been the most faithful in holding in high esteem the memory of Hitler and his Reich. But like many Christian white nationalists, she has failed to notice the hypocrisy of the Führer’s public pronouncements when compared to his private pronouncements. I recommend Weikart’s book to those racialist Christians who are stuck with Hitler’s public image.

Who was the historical Hitler? Since, in many respects, Hitler is the antithesis of the archetypal Jesus, we can recall a verse from Mark’s gospel that portrays him: ‘He spoke to them only in parables, but to his disciples privately he explained everything’.

Plenty of evidence suggests Hitler was concerned lest he offend the religious sensibilities of the German public. In a lengthy passage in Mein Kampf, he warned against repeating the disastrous course that caused Georg von Schönerer’s Pan-German Party to nose dive. Schönerer was an Austrian politician in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who wanted to unite all Germans in a common empire. His fervent German nationalism brought him into conflict with the multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire, which would dissolve if Schönerer had his way. He also promoted a biological form of anti-Semitism, wanting to purify the German people by getting rid of this allegedly foreign race. In 1941, Hitler told his colleagues that when he arrived in Vienna in 1907, he was already a follower of Schönerer. By the time he wrote Mein Kampf, he agreed fully with Schönerer’s Pan-German ideals, affirming, “Theoretically speaking, all the Pan-German’s [Schönerer’s] thoughts were correct.” However, he blamed Schönerer for not recognizing the importance of winning the masses over to Pan-Germanism and harshly criticized him for launching the Los-von-Rom (Away-from-Rome) Movement, which called on Austrians to abandon the Roman Catholic Church. Schönerer opposed Catholicism because he considered it an internationalist organization that undermined nationalism.

This reminds me of what Henry VIII did in separating the Church of England from papal authority.

He believed it posed a danger to the German people since it included many different nationalities, including his enemies: the Slavic groups in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Schönerer himself personally left the Catholic Church in January 1900 and joined the Lutheran denomination. Though he occasionally lauded Luther and Protestantism, his concern was purely political. According to Andrew G. Whiteside, a leading expert on Schönerer, he remained a pagan at heart and was indifferent to Christianity; though sometimes he claimed to be a Christian, at other times he admitted, “I am and remain a pagan.” Another time, he stated, “Where Germandom and Christendom are in conflict, we are Germans first… If it is un-Christian to prefer the scent of flowers in God’s own free nature to the smoke of incense… then I am not a Christian.” According to Whiteside, “none of the Pan-German leaders was in the least religious.”

Hitler viewed the Los-von-Rom Movement as an unmitigated disaster because it unnecessarily alienated the masses from the Pan-German Party, precipitating its decline. Hitler suggested the proper political course would be to imbue ethnically German Catholics (and Protestants) with nationalist sentiments so they would support a “single holy German nation,” just as they had done during World War I. Hitler also rejected Schönerer’s anti-Catholic crusade because he insisted that a successful political movement must concentrate all its fury on a single enemy. A struggle against Catholicism would dissipate the Nazi movement’s power and sense of conviction it needed to carry on its fight against the Jews.

Wow, this puts me closer to Schönerer than to Hitler, even though, privately, Hitler believed the same as Schönerer did about the religion of our parents.

But we must try to understand Hitler. In the case of Henry VIII, the winds of the zeitgeist on the British Isle were in his favour. The Austrians and Catholic Germans weren’t prepared for such a step, and in any case, German Lutheranism was as harmful to the Aryan cause as Roman Catholicism. If someone wants, like Hitler, to do politics, he has to compromise.

While Hitler faulted Schönerer for alienating the masses through his anti-Catholic campaign, he was not thereby endorsing Catholicism. Overall, he supported Schönerer’s ideological goals and only objected to his inopportune tactics: “[The Pan-German movement’s] goal had been correct, its will pure, but the road it chose was wrong.” What Hitler learned from Schönerer’s tactical mistake was that political parties should steer clear of interfering with people’s religious beliefs or attacking religious organizations: “For the political leader the religious doctrines and institutions of his people must always remain inviolable; or else he has no right to be in politics, but should become a reformer, if he has what it takes! Especially in Germany any other attitude would lead to a catastrophe.” Hitler thus warned any anticlerical members of his party to keep their antireligious inclinations private, lest they alienate the masses.

Hitler’s compromise took a toll that is noticeable even in American white nationalism: what I have been calling monocausalism on this site.

By focusing, at least in the Reich’s public pronouncements, solely on Jews as the Enemy #1 of the Aryan, the public NS ideology exonerated Christians. I won’t reprove what Hitler did, because rather than being a religious reformer he chose to be a politician; and every politician has to compromise. But this tactic left a gap in racial ideology that to this day hasn’t been filled. (Since American white nationalists aren’t politicians but internet commentators, unlike the NS of the previous century they could break down the barrier between private and public, and start saying what Hitler said privately about Christianity, which they don’t.)

In 1924, when Hitler was interned in Landsberg Prison after his failed Beer Hall Putsch, his fellow prisoner and confidante Rudolf Hess talked with other Nazis about religion. Hitler did not join the conversation; afterward, he told Hess that he dared not divulge his true feelings about religion publicly. Hitler confessed that, even though he found it distasteful, “for reasons of political expediency he had to play the hypocrite toward his church.” From the early days of his political activity, Hitler recognized that being a religious hypocrite had its political advantages.

In his diaries, Goebbels confirmed that Hitler camouflaged his religious position to placate the masses. Based on his conversations with Hitler more than a year before the Nazis came to power, Goebbels wrote that Hitler not only wanted to withdraw officially from the Catholic Church but even wanted to “wage war against it” later. However, Hitler knew withdrawing from Catholicism at that moment would be scandalous and undermine his chances of gaining power. Rather than commit political suicide, he would bide his time, waiting for a more opportune moment to strike against the churches. Goebbels, meanwhile, was convinced the day of reckoning would eventually come when he, Hitler, and other Nazi leaders would all leave the Church together. If Hitler was being frank with Goebbels, then his public religious image was indeed a façade to avoid offending his supporters.

It couldn’t be clearer.

In a diary entry from June 1934, Rosenberg also explained how Hitler masked his true religious feelings for political purposes… According to Rosenberg, Hitler divulged his anti-Christian stance and “more than once emphasized, laughing, that he had been a heathen from time immemorial,” and that “the Christian poison” was approaching its demise. Rosenberg explained, however, that Hitler kept these views top secret.

Multiple sources, not only his monologues that we have begun to translate, portray what Hitler said to his ‘apostles’ in private in contrast to his ‘parables’ to the people.

In a major speech on the sixth anniversary of the Nazi regime (the same speech where he threatened to destroy the Jews if a world war broke out), Hitler remonstrated against the “so-called democracies” for accusing his government of being antireligious. He reminded them that the German government continued to support the churches financially through taxes and pointed out that thousands of church leaders were exercising their offices unrestrained. But what about the hundreds of pastors and priests who had been arrested and thrown into prison or concentration camps?

A fair question.

The only religious leaders persecuted by his regime, he smugly said, were those who criticized the government or committed egregious moral transgressions, such as sexually abusing children.

It is a myth that American Boston journalists were the first in the West, at the beginning of this century, to expose the Can of Worms that is the Catholic Church: it was the Germans. We can imagine how many Catholic children would have been spared if Hitler had won the war…

“Nor is it acceptable,” Hitler told the churches, “to criticize the morality of a state,” when they should be policing their own morals (the Nazi regime was at this time conducting trials of Catholic clergy for sexual abuse). He continued, “The German leadership of state will take care of the morality of the German state and Volk.” In Hitler’s view, morality was the purview of the state and its political leaders, not religious institutions and religious leaders. Any pastor or priest teaching his congregation morality contrary to Nazi policy or ideology could be labeled a political oppositionist, even if he was simply teaching moral precepts that Christians had been teaching for centuries.

Highly commendable, but because he lost the war we never settled accounts with Christianity: something Hitler planned to do after the war.

Categories
2nd World War Evil

Bleeding Germany dry , 1

Introduction

‘It is a reality that the historian, who follows the dictate of his conscience, is balancing on a knife’s edge, even though he reports no more than what he recognises—basing it on the construct of facts—as the truth. However, since the course of history and its explanations can be interpreted in various ways, so truth becomes a matter of power’.

—Prof. Franz W. Seidler

The following study deals with the crimes committed against Germans, the immeasurable economic and territorial damage inflicted upon Germany since 1945, and the resultant problems of reparations and compensation. Within this framework we shall closely examine the many-layered field of Allied war crimes and violations of human rights. These include the ethnic cleansing of Germans from their native homes and the Allies’ exhaustive plundering throughout Germany, as well as the abduction and exploitation of German civilians and prisoners of war as slave labourers. After having determined the extent of these crimes, we shall present the concept of a financial policy, burdensome with consequences, which up to now has been exclusively one-sided in its reparations and compensation practice, and we have to examine to what extent eventual German claims are justified from a viewpoint of ethics, international law and politics. Further, it needs to be established what should be expected from future sovereign German policies.

More than sixty years after the end of the war there have been accumulated innumerable documents and reports detailing the atrocities connected with ethnic cleansing in Sudetenland, Silesia and other Eastern German regions where Germans had lived for many centuries. On account of their magnitude and brutality, these expulsions rank among the most terrible atrocities of the twentieth century—indeed, of all time; and yet they have never been acknowledged as such by the opinion-making media in the Western democracies. In addition to the crimes connected with ethnic cleansing, the archives attest to countless thousands of other wartime crimes and atrocities, as do many other individual publications. These include abductions, imprisonment under horrific conditions, rape and pillage by Allied occupation troops, and the rampant theft of patents and artworks. The huge amount of documentary literature underscores the Germans’ keen and continuing interest in the history of the post-war period, as well as their determination to continue documenting these crimes in expectation of a future sovereign government that will make use of them. On the part of journalists and publishers, diligence and expectation have lasted for six decades. In view of such massive documentation of international crimes, it is all the more surprising that very few publications have dealt with Germany’s well-founded demands for recompense. There are hundreds of thousands of accounts expounding the crimes committed against Germans during flight, devastation, expulsion and the geopolitical and economic aftermath of the Second World War. Great efforts have been made to document in detail this financial and cultural devastation, although no publicist has yet dared to take the logical next step, as righteous as it is belated, of making demands against the guilty nations. Certainly no politician has ever dared bring up the subject. In Vienna as well as Berlin, it is clearly a taboo subject to raise demands for reparations for Germany and compensation to German people, as opposed to demanding reparations from Germany. It is high time the taboo was given an airing.

Some will ask, why include Vienna/Austria? The answer is, because Austria is an integral part of the German nation, and Austria shared the same horrific post-war experiences as the rest of the German Reich did. At a convention of socialist academics in Graz on 2 April 1964, the Austrian Vice-Chancellor Bruno Pittermann remarked: ‘As to the question of whether we are Germans or Austrians, the majority of us will answer just as we did in 1918, we are German Austrians, just as there are Slovenian, Croatian, Czech and Magyar Austrians, although these are small minorities’.

Pittermann was simply expressing the obvious. Of course the Deutsch-Osterreicher (German Austrians) do belong to the German nation! Their language is German and the Austrian republic is a German state, as many representatives of the Second Republic have acknowledged on numerous occasions. The Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (Freedom Party of Austria) adopted this resolution as early as 1956, even making it a platform for its programme: ‘We support the sovereignty of Austria and we declare that we are members of the German national and cultural community. We advocate a joining together of all free peoples of Europe on the basis of complete equality and self-determination’.

Within the historical framework of more than a thousand years, Austria has fulfilled her function and destiny as a German land of culture. In this connection, one only has to remember the art of poetry and music. Grillparzer, Stifter and Mozart are outstanding representatives of German genius, just as Austrians identify with Schiller and Beethoven. To be German Austrian is by no means an expression of incompatibility such as the classic Goethean conflict of ‘Two souls contending in one breast’. As the Austrian poet Robert Hamerling wrote in the 1860s: ‘Germany is my fatherland! And Austria? Why, my motherland, of course. I love them both so dearly’. May the venerable Red-White-Red banner of Austria long wave as a symbol of this German land of Austria! This is the context in which we shall treat Austria and other German areas in the following study.

It is typical of the periodicals with the highest circulation, as well as conformist writers trapped in the spirit of our times, that they approach the theme of reparations for Germany with a pronounced shaking of the knees. Inevitably the introductions to their works contain cliche-ridden phrases and hackneyed sentences that would ‘relativise’, if not in fact express an excuse, so that, for example, the ‘monstrosity of the war unleashed by Germany’ should not be suppressed under any circumstances, or that, indeed, the subject of the book must on no account be misunderstood. Under no circumstances does one ever want to question the verdicts and decrees of Nuremberg. Furthermore, they affirm, there is never the intention of making a calculation in order to offset the crimes committed by the Germans on people of other nations—naturally, unique in history. Despite all the emphasis on German suffering found in works in the German language, never, ever must this be allowed to become one-sided and biased, etc.

One particularly repulsive kind of a concocted story even suggests that the guilt and blame associated with ethnic cleansing are exaggerated and belongs to the Germans anyway. For example, Hans-Ulrich Wehler shows infinite tolerance for these atrocities, considering them ‘a radical but completely understandable reaction against everything German’. He tells us that the reason they occurred is quite obvious: ‘As everywhere in Europe formerly occupied by the Germans, the actions and behaviour of the resistance movement and Allied troops were nothing more than a reaction to the inhumanity of the National Socialist regime’. In the following study, we are going to demonstrate that this simply does not correspond to the truth.

Attempts at ingratiating and falsifications of history occur all too frequently in our everyday literature. They either indicate the author’s ignorance or opportunism or else bear witness to his ideological and one-sided point of view. Both of these are incompatible with approaching the problem objectively with the intention of honestly answering questions and solving problems.

In view of the sharply curtailed freedom of expression in the Federal Republic of Germany (and increasingly in Austria as well), the debate on, and critical analysis of, an unpleasant subject matter, such as the one in this study undoubtedly is, can only be conducted—if at all—in the scientific field. Critics will of course object that I have not presented ‘the other side’, but honourable critics, from your mouths comes forth hypocrisy! The shelves of libraries and bookstores are filled with depictions of ‘the other side’; schools and universities teach ‘the other side’ exclusively, and radio and TV constantly lull the public to sleep with ‘the other side’. Our newspapers and ‘talk masters’ offer nothing except ‘the other side’ for their discussions, which are again filled exclusively with the arguments of ‘the other side’. Needless to say, the great majority of our politicians serve the interests of ‘the other side’.

Honourable critics, when have you ever given the German side a chance to be heard? Most German readers are completely surrounded and constantly brainwashed by ‘the other side’—socially, culturally, religiously and politically. High time now for German readers to be at last confronted with a truly different point of view. On account of overexposure to the ‘other side’, I have refrained from watering down my presentation with arguments to which the reader is exposed every day. Needless to say, I cannot avoid referring back to ‘the other side’, when it involves unmasking their underlying bias and duplicity.

Much of my sources consist of hitherto unpublished documents. These are primarily personal narratives and reports of factual events furnished by eyewitnesses and persons directly involved in the events. Included are reports from such diverse sources as adolescent girls as well as elderly women; from academics as well as peasants and artisans; from army officers as well as from members of the HJ (Hitler Youth) and their female counterpart, the BDM (League of German Girls); from Democrats as well as National Socialists. Because of varied educational backgrounds and individual points of view, not all the reports could be printed in an unedited form. Wherever grammatical, syntactical or orthographical corrections were necessary, I have carried them out to the best of my knowledge and ability. In order to preserve the authenticity of the sources, I have changed nothing regarding the style of writing or the statements as such. Of course, the eye-witness testimonies and historical documents presented here cannot deal with all aspects and events of the war and post-war period. In part, we are obliged to content ourselves with highlights that serve to illuminate the main points. Here the solution of pars pro toto (a part for the whole) must suffice. The testimonies and reports are in fact comprehensive and detailed enough to depict the matter in its totality, and, as facts, they are strong enough to provide the basis on which to build the argument for demands for reparations for Germany.

It is of course entirely proper to compensate those who actually suffered under the German occupation. This ethical principle, however, has been grossly abused, converted into a gigantic fraudulent business or ‘industry’, as Prof. Norman Finkelstein calls it in his book The Holocaust Industry. Such corruption is made inevitable by the excessive greed of ever-new claimants manifesting themselves, as well as the shameless and cowardly moral stance of politicians in Vienna and Berlin. It makes a mockery of legitimate demands. Claims against Germany, the most detrimentally affected country since 1945, are simply endless; in fact, they still continue to grow. This is why it is necessary for our study to consider the latest German and Austrian payments to third-party states or, rather, interest groups very critically.

The psychiatrist and psychoanalyst William G. Niederland, who emigrated from Germany in 1934, specialised in treating the lifelong traumas of persons who experience overwhelming sorrow. He particularly distinguished himself as a counsellor and for giving spiritual welfare to persons who had suffered persecution during the Third Reich. During the 1980s he became convinced that ‘National Socialism may have ended 40 years ago, but the consequences for survivors have still not been overcome’. It was he who had already introduced the concept of ‘Survivor Syndrome’ as early as 1964. According to Niederland’s findings, the principal symptoms of this syndrome are:

  1. ‘An overpowering depression, characterised by sulky behaviour, the tendency to withdraw, and inexpressible sadness interrupted occasionally by short-lived outbreaks of anger. This behaviour is then accompanied by apathy and lack of initiative, feelings of insecurity, mistrust and helplessness.
  1. A heavy, persistent, usually unconscious guilt complex that arises from inner survival guilt, and consciously or unconsciously centres around the question of: Why did I survive the calamity that killed all my loved ones—parents, children, siblings, friends, spouse?
  1. A state of anxiety and irritation giving rise to sleeplessness, nightmares, inner stress and tension.
  1. The personality changes and psychological disorders, since they persist as permanent disorders, will eventually also lead to physical symptoms in most patients. These occur as stomach, heart, colon, vascular and other illnesses (blood pressure, premature ageing, hardening of the arteries, etc.). Headache, painful joints, trembling of hands, and rheumatic complaints are the rule rather than the exception among these persons.

If these psychological observations are appropriate, they cannot be restricted to just one particular people or national group. The case of their veracity established, they must be universally applicable. Therefore, we find these ‘tormented souls’ also among German people. In addition to the millions of expellees, millions of German slave labourers and prisoners of war suffered incredible abuse. The suffering of the first-mentioned group was increased, because they, in contrast to other Germans, did not only lose their belongings and properties, but also their native homeland (Heimat). In nearly all of the publications of the expellees, it is this loss that is the central theme. The fundamental significance of Heimat is very well described in an article on the destruction and occupation of Danzig: ‘What did they [the outsiders, remark of the author, C.N.] care about Danzig? What did this city mean to them, since it was not their Heimat? For us Danzig was everything, we were bound to it with every fibre of our being. To us it was as if our very lives were being extinguished as we watched it sink away in a smouldering sea of flames, and we were helpless to do anything to rescue it’.

Heimat is much more than just an abstract concept. Let us state more precisely what the loss of Heimat actually means, and what far-reaching consequences arise from it. The journalist Margarethe Dörr has described it in vivid terms: ‘The loss of Heimat’—what a multitude of emotions and experiences are included in these words! They mean separation from our home and the familiar surroundings in which we spent our childhood, youth, early married years; for some, our entire life. It also means the loss of the greatest part, if not all, of what one has possessed—from necessities of life to the personal items dearest to one’s heart. This is true whether it was ‘just’ a toy, a book, musical instruments, or some art objects that one had inherited. Lost were familiar landscape and surroundings, and—even more important—the familiar social environment, the people we trusted and understood and knew intimately. Lost were all those values, material and immaterial, that we can never quite replace and will always look back on with longing and certainly with nostalgia. Those who consider resettlement and population transfers to be nothing more than a means of national Flurbereinigung, i.e. an ethnic cleansing of a territory, and who then regard this to be reasonable on the assumption that, after all, transferred populations will adjust to new surroundings within a generation or so, are denying, for at least a generation, the basic human rights of all these expellees, along with a significant part of their identity. This is true even if the ethnic cleansing is carried out in a relatively “humane” manner’.

How much more did this hold true for the circumstances of the Germans who were not expelled under humane but rather the most inhumane conditions, accompanied by the most savage violations of human rights imaginable! When hundreds of thousands of Germans today still speak of losing their homeland, they are referring to more than just the brutal act of ethnic cleansing. They are referring to the total process of alienation from the lives they had been leading for as far back as they could remember. In the words of expellee and former slave labourer Ida Winter: ‘The material loss of being driven from our homes was very great, but the damage to heart and soul was greater still’.

Quite aside from the right to their homeland, which is still being denied to the expellees, millions of Germans remain without any recompense for the horrors of imprisonment, torture, forced labour; and they have not been compensated for the output of their work, nor the loss of material and intellectual property. In the end, the souls of these people were murdered also: It is not possible to put into words what happens in the souls of a people without any rights, treated worse than any animal—thrashed, flogged, jeered at.

In the Ost-Dokumentation (documentation pertaining to the Eastern part) of the Federal Archives, one of the affected people rightly expressed it thus: ‘One can quote all the facts and figures—but the pain and agony of caged children, of deported and raped women and girls, of the men and boys beaten until crippled, of the torn-apart families, of anxious parents, of dispossessed human beings expelled from the soil of their homeland—this nobody can describe. We can outline the broader perspective, but the individual misery and despair simply cannot be described. Every house, every farm, every family was a tragedy in itself’.

Countless people, particularly among the expellees and the deported Germans used as slave labourers, were unable to withstand the terrible physical and psychological stress. They simply collapsed and died along the roads or in barns and cellars, abandoned and ignored by others. Tens of thousands chose to escape by taking their own lives. German fathers killed all their family and then themselves. German mothers killed their children, then ended their own lives. Thousands of Germans threw themselves into lakes, rivers and wells, drowned their offspring and then themselves, or else hanged themselves from trees or barn rafters, while others slit their veins and slowly bled to death. Such cases were by no means isolated incidents! Veritable epidemics of suicide were reported in many places. Over 2,000 Germans had killed themselves by mid-August 1945 in Karlsbad alone. In towns of 30,000 to 35,000 inhabitants, such as Teplitz-Schonau, no fewer than 6,000 would commit suicide! The floodgates of dams in the Riesengebirge had to be repeatedly opened in order to remove corpses that were clogging the drainage outlets.

In contrast to the subject of ‘foreign labour in the Third Reich’, dishonestly generalised as ‘NS-forced labour’, there have been very few investigations done about German prisoners of war and deported civilians doing forced labour in foreign lands. Those in the corridors of power do not get involved in the subject of forced labour performed by Germans and their exploitation as forced labourers. The official interest is exclusively with foreign workers employed in Germany during the Third Reich, even though most of these had come to Germany voluntarily and were paid substantial wages. Ulrich Herbert, a German historian concerned with contemporary history, displays the fashionable spirit of the times in his typically obligatory self-accusation: ‘The National Socialist use of foreign labour between 1939 and 1945 represents the biggest case in the history of foreign workers being used as forced labour on a massive scale since the end of slavery in the 19th century. In the late summer of 1944 there were, within the territory of the ‘Greater German Reich’, 7.6 million foreign civilian workers and prisoners of war listed officially as employed; most of these had been brought to the Reich to work against their will’. Leaving aside that in the Soviet slave state between 1939 and 1956 the figures for forced labour, inclusive of German prisoners of war and deported civilians, remained consistently in the two-digit millions, the fact alone that Herbert disputes the degree of misery and suffering of the German forced labourers and denies it with his false assertions, underlines more the political than the scientific standpoint of this University Professor of History. Fortunately, we now have adequate documentation to unmask such allegations. The exclusively one-sided campaigns to compensate real or alleged victims have long since reached considerable dimensions. A whole industry now thrives on it; enough reason to examine this area in more detail in a separate chapter.

Already during the war it was alleged, and continues to be alleged to this day in many German and Austrian history books, that science and research were suppressed for political reasons under National Socialism, and that scientists and intellectuals were sacrificed to militarism and the political system. However, the multitude of outstanding scientists and researchers abducted by the victors for intellectual exploitation makes this claim untenable. In view of the Third Reich’s leading position in most areas of science and technology, it is pointless to assert, with monotonous regularity, that it was the intellectual elite that abandoned Germany in 1933. It is of course undeniable that many intellectuals, for example physicists and writers, chose to emigrate when the National Socialists came to power, and it is also true that many of these had distinguished careers abroad. However, the Allies’ plundering rampage of the intellectual sphere of the Third Reich proves that German research of the day was distinguished by a well nigh inexhaustible vitality and productivity, and that the overwhelming majority of the German intelligentsia had remained in the Reich.

In National Socialist Germany, science and research experienced an output of inventions and accomplishments such as the world had never seen before, and the Allies were well aware of this. They engaged in a mad scramble to commandeer this immense intellectual treasure for their own uses. Projects such as Overcast, Paperclip and Ossavakim attest to this. Such massive campaigns of plunder and abduction represent an immeasurable loss—not just for Germany but for all of Europe, as this enabled, most especially the Americans and Soviets, to procure an inconceivable yield and gain.

Despite the ceasefire, the Allies continued to wage unabated war against Germany, albeit no longer with machine-guns and bombs. This war now took the form of an intellectual subversion, as the humanities scholar Herbert Grabert once called it. This cultural and intellectual warfare was also, and especially, carried over into German science, and consequently it represents a major factor of the victors’ post-war crimes.

Up to the end of the war, Germany was the uncontested world leader in many fields of science and technology, as is attested by the dominance of German scientists among recipients of Nobel prizes. Onwards from 1945, a fundamental change took place. At the end of the Second World War, the victors made short work of German science: the leading figures from many research fields would be ‘voluntarily’ abducted, German patents worth many billions of dollars were plundered, and the German system of training and education was brought to a standstill for years and decades by a radical programme of de-Nazification, as well as a Marxist cliche-ridden re-education in the style of the ‘Frankfurt School’ imported from the USA. The decline of German science and research and, consequently, Germany’s increasing social and cultural impoverishment, were not at all an unalterable natural occurrence, but rather a well-aimed and deliberate intervention on the part of the victorious powers.

In popular writings and official pronouncements it is stated repeatedly that—from a German perspective—one must not attempt to ‘balance the books’. This is not the intention of this work in hand; it is, however, intended to attempt some calculation or ‘inventory taking’. Where is it written that Germans are not allowed to compare injustices committed with the put-upon guilt, juxtapose them and then draw one’s own conclusions? Maybe, because one might quickly realize that, on the one hand, Germany has long since paid her debt and that, on the other hand, the crimes perpetrated on the German people are of such magnitude that anything else is beyond the pale of rational enquiry?

Even the publicist Gunnar Heinsohn, who certainly cannot be suspected of wanting revenge, speaks of the driving-out of the Germans from their hereditary homeland as ‘the greatest crime of expulsion in history’. This is undoubtedly true, but it only constitutes one part, when considered in the aggregate of all the crimes committed against the German nation and of the loss suffered by Germany! Abduction, forced labour, organised plundering, misappropriation of reparations monies, etc., are the names for the other aspects of these—as yet—unexpiated crime totals.

The consumerist societies of Austria and Germany, both marked equally with the syndrome of not only fun and diversions, but also with the syndrome of guilt and expiation, are not at all enthusiastic about an eventual German entitlement to reparations. In view of the transient nature of this spirit of the age, this is no longer significant anyway. What is important is Germany’s legitimate claim to existence in the heart of Europe. Of vital importance for real peace—not a phoney peace!—and true friendship—not mere flattery!—is the need for the resolving of unsolved questions, of unpaid accounts and unexpiated guilt. Would one, at this point, kindly not object that the sufferings of the expulsions, the horrors of the abductions—these were also deportations!—the misery and squalor of slave labour and other traumatic experiences would have worn off by now, 40, 50 or 60 years after the ceasefire and that, therefore, any restitution claim had lapsed in the meantime. What has been granted to some victims must not be withheld indefinitely from others. We are not satisfied with the standard response of the Federal Government stating, although being aware, ‘that during and immediately after the Second World War many Germans were made to endure hardships and serious deprivations’ that however, this injustice would have had ‘its roots in the previous National Socialist injustices’, and that this would be the reason for relinquishing ‘all claims for restitution or reparations against the foreign states’.

When in the summer of 2002 Germany was visited by catastrophic flooding, especially in Saxony, many public institutions, political organisations and private individuals called for private donations to relieve the distress of their fellow Germans. Several million Euros were soon collected, and the Federal Government made several million in tax monies available as well. In October, however, the German people, ready to help and willing to make sacrifices, learned that a large portion of the monies collected would not be made available to those in need in Germany! The state of Saxony, the needy recipient of a large amount of donated money, placed the substantial amount of five million Euros at the disposal of the Czech Republic for improvements in its infrastructure. Georg Milbradt, the Minister-President of Saxony, called the gift an ‘act of solidarity’ and, furthermore, Saxony had ‘more money than their Czech neighbour’.

We, of course, have nothing against humanitarian assistance and solidarity with our fellow humans in need, but that was not the situation here! These were totally different circumstances! Not only had a great deal of money once again been given away without the knowledge or consent of the German public. It was given as a gift to a country that to this day upholds its unexpiated murders of hundreds of thousands of Germans and uncompensated expulsion of three million Germans. The Czech Government still believes that it can justify its mass atrocities under the legal authority of the Benes Decrees. Worse still, early in 2002, the Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman let it be known that the Sudeten Germans should be glad they were ‘just’ driven from their homes and not all killed for ‘treason’. Such shameless and slanderous ridicule of millions of German victims is possible only because of the spinelessness of the Federal Republic of Germany. Furthermore, its pathetic stance has become national German policy to the extent that it is now openly affirmed even by the so-called representatives of the associations of expellees. Even Erika Steinbach, the president of the Federation of Expellees, announced in the summer of 2001: ‘It makes no difference to me whether Upper Silesia belongs to Poland or Germany’. Truly, this present book is more necessary than ever!

In view of the unceasing continuation of a policy of sell-out and grovelling, Bleeding Germany Dry is now more germane and topical than ever. Not only for the reason that historical facts are related herein, but above all for the reason that Federal German representatives of the people do not tire of pursuing a policy that is nothing short of betrayal and treachery against their own nation.

Sooner or later, those at the highest political level will have to deal with Germany’s demands. This day—let us have no hesitation in calling it, quite provocatively, ‘pay-day’—will come, in spite of all denials and all attempts at preventing it. I do, most emphatically, not mean this in a spirit of vengeance or retribution. Rather, I have confidence in the Renaissance of the European cultural heritage, in a restored perceptive understanding of freedom and self-awareness of the German people, of the ultimate realisation of the right to self-determination of all nations, and in the determination of the youth of Germany to no longer tolerate the injustices and discriminations.

The Author

____________

Note of the Ed.: The endnotes of the original book have been omitted.

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David's story

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Architecture Mozart Music Richard Wagner Table talks (commercial translation)

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 65

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Night of 13th-14th January 1942

The composer Bruckner—Brahms at his height—Wagner and Goring—Great architects—Talent must be encouraged.
 
After a hearing of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony: This work is based on popular airs of upper Austria. They’re not textually reproduced, but repeatedly I recognise in passing Tyrolean dances of my youth. It’s wonderful what he managed to get out of that folklore. As it happened, it’s a priest to whom we must give the credit for having protected this great master. The Bishop of Linz used to sit in his cathedral for hours at a time, listening to Bruckner play the organ. He was the greatest organist of his day.

One can imagine this obscure peasant’s arrival in Vienna, amidst an effete society. One of Bruckner’s opinions of Brahms was published in a newspaper recently, and further increased the sympathy I felt for him: “Brahms’s music is very beautiful, but I prefer my own.” There you have the self-awareness, full both of humility and of pride, such as a peasant can feel, in all simplicity, when he is inspired by a true conviction. The critic Hanslick depicted Bruckner’s life in Vienna as a real hell for him. When the moment came when it was no longer possible to ignore his work, he was covered with decorations and overwhelmed with honours. What did all that mean to him? Wouldn’t it have been better not to have misunderstood him so long?

Jewry had raised Brahms to the pinnacle. He was lionised in the salons and was a pianist of theatrical gestures. He exploited effects of the hands, effects of the beard and hair. Compared with him, Bruckner was a man put out of countenance, an abashed man.

Wagner also had the feeling for gesture, but with him it was innate. Wagner was a man of the Renaissance—like Goring in a certain aspect (and it would be silly to blame him).

There is nothing crueller than to live in a milieu that has no understanding for a work already achieved or in process of gestation. When I think of a man like Schiller or Mozart! Mozart who was flung, nobody knows where, into a communal grave… What ignominy!

If I hadn’t been there to prevent it, I believe the same thing would have happened to Troost. That man revolutionised the art of building. Perhaps it would have taken a few years—and he’d have died without anyone having the slightest idea of his genius. When I got to know him, he was depressed, embittered, disgusted with life. It often happens that architects are hyper-sensitive people. Think merely of Hansen, who was the most richly gifted of the architects of Vienna. And Hasenauer? The critics had attacked him so savagely that he committed suicide before his great work was finished—and yet the Vienna opera-house, so marvellously beautiful, puts the Paris Opera into the shade. To know that one is capable of doing things that nobody else can do—and to have no possibility of giving proof of it!

It seems that people should make sacrifices for their great men as a matter of course. A nation’s only true fortune is its great men. A great man is worth a lot more than a thousand million in the State’s coffers. A man who’s privileged to be the Head of a country couldn’t make a better use of his power than to put it at the service of talent. If only the Party will regard it as its main duty to discover and encourage the talents! It’s the great men who express a nation’s soul.

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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 93

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24th February 1942, midday

How great artists can serve their country.
 
 

I’ve learnt that young Roller has just fallen at the front. If I’d known that he’d gone out! But nobody told me. There are hundreds of thousands of men who could serve their country in no better way than by risking their lives for her, but a great artist should find another way. Can fate allow it that the most idiotic Russian should strike down men like that? We have so many men seconded for special duties!

What harm could it do to add to their number the five or six hundred gifted men whom it would be important to save? Roller is irreplaceable. We had only Sievert, Arent and Praetorius—Austria had given us the young Roller. Why didn’t Schirach warn me? I saw his Friedenstag. What a lovely thing! The young Roller was a brave man. Before the Anschluss he would have had to leave Austria. I’m convinced he went out as a volunteer.

I could have sent him anywhere at all, for personal reasons, if he hadn’t insisted on staying in Vienna.

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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 104

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31st March 1942, at dinner

German eastern policy—Charlemagne “slayer of Saxons” and Hitler “slayer of Austrians”—The work of Charlemagne.
 
 
I’ve drawn Rosenberg’s attention to the fact that one mustn’t let the great German Emperors be relegated to the background, to the benefit of perjurers, and that it was improper to call a hero like Charlemagne by the name “killer of Saxons.” History must be interpreted in terms of the necessities of the time.

It’s possible that, in a thousand years—supposing that, for one reason or another, the Reich is again obliged to pursue a policy directed against the South—some pedagogue may be found who will claim that “Hitler’s Eastern policy was certainly well-intentioned,” but that it was nevertheless crack-brained, since “he should have aimed at the South.” Perhaps even some caviller of this type will go so far as to call me “the killer of Austrians” on the grounds that, on my return from Austria to Germany, I locked up all those who had tried to thwart the enterprise!

Without compulsion, we would never have united all the various German families with these thick-headed, parochially minded fellows—either in Charlemagne’s time or to-day.

If the German people is the child of ancient philosophy and Christianity, it is so less by reason of a free choice than by reason of a compulsion exercised upon it by these triumphant forces. In the same way, in Imperial times, it was under the empire of compulsion that the German people engineered its fusion beneath a Christianity represented by a universal church—in the image of ancient Rome, which also inclined to universality.

It is certain that a man like Charlemagne was not inspired merely by a desire for political power, but sought, in faithfulness to the ancient idea, for an expression of civilisation.

Now, the example of the ancient world proves that civilisation can flourish only in States that are solidly organised. What would happen to a factory given over to anarchy, in which the employees came to their work only when the fancy took them? Without organisation—that is to say, without compulsion—and, consequently, without sacrifice on the part of individuals, nothing can work properly. Organised life offers the spectacle of a perpetual renunciation by individuals of a part of their liberty.

Guided by these rules, which are quite simple and quite natural, Charlemagne gathered the Germans into a well-cemented community and created an empire that continued to deserve the name long after his death. The fact was that this empire was made of the best stuff of the ancient Roman Empire—so much so that for centuries the peoples of Europe have regarded it as the successor to the universal empire of the Caesars. The fact that this German empire was named “the Holy Roman Empire” has nothing whatsoever to do with the Church, and has no religious significance.

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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 110

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5th April 1942, evening

Shall we try to Germanise the French?—Example of Austria—Germanisation of Holland—Fusion of all Germanic races—But no excess Germanisation—Distrust of the Poles.

During dinner, the Reichsfuehrer SS declared that, in his view, the best way of settling the French problem would be to carry off every year a certain number of racially healthy children, chosen amongst France’s Germanic population. It would be necessary to try to settle these children, while still very young, in German boarding-schools, to train them away from their French nationality, which was due to chance, to make them aware of their Germanic blood and thus inculcate into them the notion of their membership of the great group of Germanic peoples. The Fuehrer replied:

“Sinister theory!” For my part, all these attempts at Germanisation don’t mean much to me—in so far, at least, as no successful attempt is made to found them on an appropriate conception of the world. As regards France, one must not forget that the military reputation of that country is not due to the people’s moral worth, but essentially to the fact that, on the Continent, the French were able to exploit certain military combinations of circumstance that were favourable to them (during the Thirty Years’ War, for example). Every time they were confronted by a Germany that was aware of herself, they got a thrashing—under Frederick the Great, for example, in 1940, etc. The fact that they won victories of universal significance under the leadership of that unique military genius, the Corsican Napoleon, makes no difference at all. The mass of the French people has petit bourgeois spiritual inclinations, so much so that it would be a triumph to succeed in removing the elements of Germanic origin from the grasp of the country’s ruling class.

Austria, too, her own history—secular five times over—a history that truly is not devoid of highlights? Obviously, in discussing these problems one must remain very careful, when confronted by Dutch and Norwegians. One must never forget that in 1871 Bavaria would never have agreed to become part of Prussia. Bismarck persuaded her only to agree to become part of a great association linked by kinship—that is to say, Germany. Nor did I, in 1938, tell the Austrians that I wanted to incorporate them in Germany, but I insisted on the fact that Germany and Austria ought to unite to form the Greater German Reich. Similarly, when speaking to the Germanics of the North-west and North, one must always make it plain that what we’re building is the Germanic Reich, or simply the Reich, with Germany constituting merely her most powerful source of strength, as much from the ideological as from the military point of view.

The Reichsfuehrer SS then spoke of the creation in Holland of boarding-schools for the political education of the young, two for boys and one for girls, to be called “Reich Schools”a title approved by the Fuehrer. A third of the pupils would be Dutch and two-thirds German. After a certain period, the Dutch pupils would have to visit in turn a similar school in Germany. The Reichsfuehrer SS explained that, to guarantee that instruction would be given in accordance with the purposes of the Germanic Reich, he had refused a financial contribution from Holland and had asked Schwarz to set aside a specific sum exclusively for the financing of these schools. There was a project for the creation of similar schools in Norway. They, too, would be financed solely by the Reich Party treasurer. “If we want to prevent Germanic blood from penetrating into the ruling class of the peoples whom we dominate, and subsequently turning against us, we shall have gradually to subject all the precious Germanic elements to the influence of this instruction.” The Fuehrer approved of this point of view.

One mustn’t forget that, unless he is convinced of his racial membership of the Germanic Reich, the foreign legionary is bound to feel that he’s betraying his country. The fall of the Habsburg monarch clearly shows the full size of this danger.

It’s not possible to unite the Germanic peoples under the folds of the black-white-and-red flag of the old German Empire—for the same reason as prevented the Bavarians from entering the German Reich, in 1871, under the flag of Prussia. It’s the reason why I began by giving the National Socialist Party, as a symbol of the union of all Germanics, a new rallying-sign which was valid also inside our own national community—the swastika flag.

Let’s avoid attempting the Germanisation of our vital space on too great a scale. Let’s be cautious, especially with the Czechs and the Poles. According to Himmler, history proves that the Poles have their nationality tattooed oh their bodies.

It’s very important for the future that the Germans don’t mingle with the Poles, so that the new Germanic blood may not be transmitted to the Polish ruling class. Himmler is right when he says that the Polish generals who genuinely put up a serious resistance in 1939 were, so to speak, exclusively of German descent. It’s an accepted fact that it’s precisely the best elements of our race who, as they lose awareness of their origin, add themselves to the ruling class of the country that has welcomed them. As for the elements of less value, they retain the characteristics of their ethnic group and remain faithful to their Germanic origin. The same caution is necessary towards the Czechs. They’re skilled at not awakening the distrust of their occupiers, and are wonderful at playing the rôle of subjects.

We shall not win the peace, on the racial level, unless the Reich knows how to maintain a certain stature. Confronted with the United States, whose population is scarcely greater than ours, our strength lies in the fact that four-fifths of our people are of Germanic race.