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Chapter IV: Munich

IN THE SPRING of 1912 I came at last to Munich.

The city itself was as familiar to me as if I had lived for years within its walls. This is accounted for by my study which at every step had led me to this metropolis of German art. Not only has one not seen Germany if one does not know Munich-no, above all, one does not know German art if one has not seen Munich.

In any case, this period before the War was the happiest and by far the most contented of my life. Even if my earnings were still extremely meager, I did not live to be able to paint, but painted only to be able to secure my livelihood or rather to enable myself to go on studying. I possessed the conviction that I should some day, in spite of all obstacles, achieve the goal I had set myself. And this alone enabled me to bear all other petty cares of daily existence lightly and without anxiety.

In addition to this, there was the heartfelt love which seized me for this city more than for any other place that I knew, almost from the first hour of my sojourn there. A German city! What a difference from Vienna! I grew sick to my stomach when I even thought back on this Babylon of races. In addition, the dialect, much closer to me, which particularly in my contacts with Lower Bavarians, reminded me of my former childhood. There were a thousand and more things which were or became inwardly dear and precious to me. But most of all I was attracted by this wonderful marriage of primordial power and fine artistic mood, this single line from the Hofbrauhaus to the Odeon, from the October Festival to the Pinakothek, etc. If today I am more attached to this city than to any other spot of earth in this world, it is partly due to the fact that it is and remains inseparably bound up with the development of my own life; if even then I achieved the happiness of a truly inward contentment, it can be attributed only to the magic which the miraculous residence of the Wittelsbachs exerts on every man who is blessed, not only with a calculating mind but with a feeling soul.

What attracted me most aside from my professional work was, here again, the study of the political events of the day, among them particularly the occurrences in the field of foreign affairs. I came to these latter indirectly through the German alliance policy which from my Austrian days I considered absolutely mistaken. However, the full extent of this self-deception on the part of the Reich had not been clear to me in Vienna. In those days I was inclined to assume-or perhaps I merely talked myself into it as an excuse-that Berlin perhaps knew how weak and unreliable the ally would be in reality, yet, for more or less mysterious reasons, held back this knowledge in order to bolster up an alliance policy which after all Bismarck himself had founded and the sudden cessation of which could not be desirable, if for no other reason lest the lurking foreigner be alarmed in any way, or the shopkeeper at home be worried.

To be sure, my associations, particularly among the people itself, soon made me see to my horror that this belief was false. To my amazement I could not help seeing everywhere that even in otherwise well-informed circles there was not the slightest glimmer of knowledge concerning the nature of the Habsburg monarchy. Particularly the common people were caught in the mad idea that the ally could be regarded as a serious power which in the hour of need would surely rise to the situation. Among the masses the monarchy was still regarded as a ' German' state on which we could count. They were of the opinion that there, too, the power could be measured by the millions as in Germany itself, and completely forgot that, in the first place: Austria had long ceased to be a German state; and in the second place: the internal conditions of this Empire were from hour to hour moving closer to disintegration.

I had come to know this state formation better than the so-called official 'diplomats,' who blindly, as almost always, rushed headlong toward catastrophe; for the mood of the people was always a mere discharge of what was funneled into public opinion from above. But the people on top made a cult of the 'ally,' as if it were the Golden Calf. They hoped to replace by cordiality what was lacking in honesty. And words were always taken for coin of the realm.

Even in Vienna I had been seized with anger when I reflected on the disparity appearing from time to time between the speeches of the official statesmen and the content of the Viennese press. And yet Vienna, in appearance at least, was still a German city. How different it was if you left Vienna, or rather German-Austria, and went to the Slavic provinces of the Empire ! You had only to take up the Prague newspapers to find out what they thought of the whole exalted hocus-pocus of the Triple Alliance. There there was nothing but bitter scorn and mockery for this 'masterpiece of statecraft.' In the midst of peace, with both emperors pressing kisses of friendship on each other's foreheads, the Czechs made no secret of the fact that this alliance would be done for on the day when an attempt should be made to translate it from the moonbeams of the Nibelungen ideal into practical reality.

What excitement seized these same people several years later when the time finally came for the alliances to show their worth and Italy leapt out of the triple pact, leaving her two comrades in the lurch, and in the end even becoming their enemy ! That anyone even for a moment should have dared to believe in the possibility of such a miracle-to wit, the mirade that Italy would fight side by side with Austria-could be nothing but incomprehensible to anyone who was not stricken with diplomatic blindness. But in Austria things were not a hair's-breadth different.

In Austria the only exponents of the alliance idea were the Habsburgs and the Germans. The Habsburgs, out of calculation and compulsion; the Germans, from good faith and political-stupidity. From good faith, for they thought that by the Triple Alliance they were performing a great service for the German Reich itself, helping to strengthen and secure it; from political stupidity, because neither did the first-mentioned occur, but on the contrary, they thereby helped to chain the Reich to the corpse of a state which would inevitably drag them both into the abyss, and above all because they themselves, solely by virtue of this alliance, fell more and more a prey to de-Germanization. For by the alliance with the Reich, the Habsburgs thought they could be secure against any interference from this side, which unfortunately was the case, and thus they were able far more easily and safely to carry through their internal policy of slowly eliminating Germanism. Not only that in view of our well-known ' objectivity' they had no need to fear any intervention on the part of the Reich government, but, by pointing to the alliance, they could also silence any embarrassing voice among the Austrian-Germans which might rise in German quarters against Slavization of an excessively disgraceful character.

For what was the German in Austria to do if the Germans of the Reich recognized and expressed confidence in the Habsburg government? Should he offer resistance and be branded by the entire German public as a traitor to his own nationality? When for decades he had been making the most enormous sacrifices precisely for his nationality!

But what value did this alliance have, once Germanism had been exterminated in the Habsburg monarchy? Wasn't the value of the Triple Alliance for Germany positively dependent on the preservation of German predominance in Austria? Or did they really believe that they could live in an alliance with a SlavicHabsburg Empire?

The attitude of official German diplomacy and of all public opinion toward the internal Austrian problem of nationalities was beyond stupidity, it was positively insane ! They banked on an alliance, made the future and security of a people of seventy millions dependent on it-and looked on while the sole basis for this alliance was from year to year, inexorably and by plan, being destroyed in the partner-nation. The day was bound to come when a ' treaty ' with Viennese diplomacy would remain, but the aid of an allied empire would be lost.

With Italy this was the case from the very beginning.

If people in Germany had only studied history a little more clearly, and gone into the psycholog of nations, they would not have been able to suppose even for an hour that the Quirinal and the Vienna Hofburg would ever stand together n a common fighting front. Sooner would Italy have turned into a volcano than a government have dared to send even a single Italian to the battlefield for the fanatically hated Habsburg state, except as an enemy. More than once in Vienna I saw outbursts of the passionate contempt and bottomless hatred with which the Italian was ' devoted ' to the Austrian state. The sins of the House of Habsburg against Italian freedom and independence in the course of the centuries was too great to be forgotten, even if the will to forget them had been present. And it was not present; neither in the people nor in the Italian government. For Italy there were therefore two possibilities for relations with Austna: either alliance or war.

By choosing the first, the Italians were able to prepare, undisturbed, for the second.

Especially since the relation of Austria to Russia had begun to drive closer and closer to a military clash, the German alliance policy was as senseless as it was dangerous.

This was a classic case, bearing witness to the absence of any broad and correct line of thinking.

Why, then, was an alliance concluded? Only in order better to guard the future of the Reich than, reduced to her own resources, she would have been in a position to do. And this future of the Reich was nothing other than the question of preserving the German people's possibility of existence.

Therefore the question could be formulated only as follows:

What form must the life of the German nation assume in the tangible future, and how can this development be provided with the necessary foundations and the required security within the framework of general European relation of forces?

A clear examination of the premises for foreign activity on the part of German statecraft inevitably led to the following conviction:

Germany has an annual increase in population of nearly nine hundred thousand souls. The difficulty of feeding this army of new citizens must grow greater from year to year and ultimately end in catastrophe, unless ways and means are found to forestall the danger of starvation and misery in time.

There were four ways of avoiding so terrible a development for the future:

1. Following the French example, the increase of births could be artificially restricted, thus meeting the problem of overpopulation

Nature herself in times of great poverty or bad climactic conditions, as well as poor harvest, intervenes to restrict the increase of population of certain countries or races; this, to be sure, by a method as wise as it is ruthless. She diminishes, not the power of procreation as such, but the conservation of the procreated, by exposing them to hard trials and deprivations with the result that all those who are less strong and less healthy are forced back into the womb of the eternal unknown. Those whom she permits to survive the inclemency of existence are a thousandfold tested hardened, and well adapted to procreate-in turn, in order that the process of thoroughgoing selection may begin again from the beginning. By thus brutally proceeding against the individual and immediately calling him back to herself as soon as he shows himself unequal to the storm of life, she keeps the race and species strong, in fact, raises them to the highest accomplishments.

At the same time the diminution of number strengthens the individual and thus in the last analysis fortifies the species.

It is different, however, when man undertakes the limitation of his number. He is not carved of the same wood, he is ' humane.' He knows better than the cruel queen of wisdom. He limits not the conservation of the individual, but procreation itself. This seems to him, who always sees himself and never the race, more human and more justified than the opposite way. Unfortunately, however, the consequences are the reverse:

While Nature, by making procreation free, yet submitting survival to a hard trial, chooses from an excess number of individuals the best as worthy of living, thus preserving them alone and in them conserving their species, man limits procreation, but is hysterically concerned that once a being is born it should be preserved at any price. This correction of the divine will seems to him as wise as it is humane, and he takes delight in having once again gotten the best of Nature and even having proved her inadequacy. The number, to be sure, has really been limited, but at the same time the value of the individual has dirninished; this, however, is something the dear little ape of the Almighty does not want to see or hear about.

For as soon as procreation as such is limited and the number of births diminished, the natural struggle for existence which leaves only the strongest and healthiest alive is obviously replaced by the obvious desire to ' save ' even the weakest and most sickly at any price, and this plants the seed of a future generation which must inevitably grow more and more deplorable the longer this mockery of Nature and her will continues.

And the end will be that such a people will some day be deprived of its existence on this earth; for man can defy the eternal laws of the will to conservation for a certain time, but sooner or later vengeance comes. A stronger race will drive out the weak, for the vital urge in its ultimate form will, time and again, burst all the absurd fetters of the so-called humanity of individuals, in order to replace it by the humanity of Nature which destroys the weak to give his place to the strong.

Therefore, anyone who wants to secure the existence of the German people by a self-limitation of its reproduction is robbing it of its future.

2. A second way would be one which today we, time and time again, see proposed and recommended: internal colonization. This is a proposal which is well meant by just as many as by most people it is misunderstood, thus doing the greatest conceivable damage that anyone can imagined

Without doubt the productivity of the soil can be increased up to a certain limit. But only up to a certain limit, and not continuously without end. For a certain time it will be possible to compensate for the increase of the German people without having to think of hunger, by increasing the productivity of our soil. But beside this, we must face the fact that our demands on life ordinarily nse even more rapidly than the number of the population Man's requirements with regard to food and clothing increase from year to year, and even now, for example, stand in no relation to the requirements of our ancestors, say a hundred years ago. It IS, therefore, insane to believe that every rise in production provides the basis for an increase in population: no; this is true only up to a certain degree, since at least a part of the increased production of the soil is spent in satisfying the increased needs of men. But even with the greatest limitation on the one hand and the utmost industry on the other, here again a limit will one day be reached, created by the soil itself. With the utmost toil it will not be possible to obtain any more from its and then, though postponed for a certain time, catastrophe again manifests itself. First, there will be hunger from time to time, when there is famine, etc. As the population increases, this will happen more and more often, so that finally it will only be absent when rare years of great abundance fill the granaries. But at length the time approaches when even then it will not be possible to satisfy men's needs, and hunger has become the eternal companion of such a people. Then Nature must help again and make a choice among those whom she has chosen for life; but again man helps himself; that is, he turns to artificial restriction of his increase with all the above-indicated dire consequences for race and species.

The objection may still be raised that this future will face the whole of humanity in any case and that consequently the individual nation can naturally not avoid this fate.

At first glance this seems perfectly correct. Yet here the following must be borne in mind:

Assuredly at a certain time the whole of humanity will be compelled, in consequence of the impossibility of making the fertility of the soil keep pace with the continuous increase in population, to halt the increase of the human race and either let Nature again decide or, by self-help if possible, create the necessary balance, though, to be sure, in a more correct way than is done today. But then this will strike all peoples, while today only those races are stricken with such suffering which no longer possess the force and strength to secure for themselves the necessary territories in this world. For as matters stand there are at the present time on this earth immense areas of unusued soil, only waiting for the men to till them. But it is equally true that Nature as such has not reserved this soil for the future possession of any particular nation or race; on the contrary, this soil exists for the people which possesses the force to take it and the industry to cultivate it.

Nature knows no political boundaries. First, she puts living creatures on this globe and watches the free play of forces. She then confers the master's right on her favorite child, the strongest in courage and industry.

When a people limits itself to internal colonization because other races are clinging fast to greater and greater surfaces of this earth, it will be forced to have recourse to self-limitation at a time when the other peoples are still continuing to increase. Some day this situation will arise, and the smaller the living space at the disposal of the people, the sooner it will happen. Since in general, unfortunately, the best nations, or, even more correctly, the only truly cultured races, the standard-bearers of all human progress, all too frequently resolve in their pacifistic blindness to renounce new acquisitions of soil and content themselves with 'internal' colonization, while the inferior races know how to secure immense living areas in this world for themselves-this would lead to the following final result:

The culturally superior, but less ruthless races, would in consequence of their limited soil, have to limit their increase at a time when the culturally inferior but more brutal and more natural t peoples, in consequence of their greater living areas, would still be in a position to increase without limit. In other words: some day the world will thus come into possession of the culturally inferior but more active men.

Then, though in a perhaps very distant future, there will be but two possibilities either the world will be governed according to the ideas of our modern democracy, and then the weight of any decision will result in favor of the numerically stronger races, or the world will be dominated in accordance with the laws of the natural order of force, and then it is the peoples of brutal will who will conquer, and consequently once again not the nation of selfrestriction.

No one can doubt that this world will some day be exposed to the severest struggles for the existence of mankind. In the end, only the urge for self-preservation can conquer. Beneath it socalled humanity, the expression of a mixture of stupidity, cowardice, and know-it-all conceit, will melt like snow in the March sun. Mankind has grown great in eternal struggle, and only in eternal peace does it perish.

For us Germans the slogan of 'inner colonization' is catastrophic, if for no other reason because it automatically reinforces us in the opinion that we have found a means which, in accordance with the pacifistic tendency, allows us ' to earn ' our right to exist by labor in a life of sweet slumbers. Once this doctrine were taken seriously in our country, it would mean the end of every exertion to preserve for ourselves the place which is our due. Once the average German became convinced that he could secure his life and future in this way, all attempts at an active, and hence alone fertile, defense of German vital necessities would be doomed to failure. In the face of such an attitude on the part of the nation any really beneficial foreign policy could be regarded as buried, and with it the future of the German people as a whole.

Taking these consequences into account, it is no accident that it is always primarily the Jew who tries and succeeds in planting such mortally dangerous modes of thought in our people. He knows his customers too well not to realize that they gratefully let themselves be swindled by any gold-brick salesman who can make them think he has found a way to play a little trick on Nature, to make the hard, inexorable struggle for existence superfluous, and instead, sometimes by work, but sometimes by plain doing nothing, depending on how things 'come out,' to become the lord of the planet.

It cannot be emphasized sharply enough that any German internal colonization must serve to eliminate social abuses particularly to withdraw the soil from widespread speculation, best can never suffice to secure the future of the nation without the acquisition of new soil.

If we do not do this, we shall in a short time have arrived, not only at the end of our soil, but also at the end of our strength.

Finally, the following must be stated:

The limitation to a definite small area of soil, inherent in internal colonization, like the same final effect obtained by restriction of procreation, leads to an exceedingly unfavorable politicomilitary situation in the nation in question.

The size of the area inhabited by a people constitutes in itself an essential factor for determining its outward security. The greater the quantity of space at the disposal of a people, the greater its natural protection; for military decisions against peoples living in a small restricted area have always been obtained more quickly and hence more easily, and in particular more effectively and completely than can, conversely, be possible against territorially extensive states. In the size of a state's territory there always lies a certain protection against frivolous attacks, since success can be achieved only after hard struggles, and therefore the risk of a rash assault will seem too great unless there are quite exceptional grounds for it. Hence the very size of a state offers in itself a basis for more easily preserving the freedom and independence of a people, while, conversely, the smallness of such a formation is a positive invitation to seizure.

Actually the two first possibilities for creating a balance between the rising population and the stationary amount of soil were rejected in the so-called national circles of the Reich. The reasons for this position were, to be sure, different from those above mentioned: government circles adopted a negative attitude toward the limitation of births out of a certain moral feeling; they indignantly rejected internal colonization because in it they scented an attack against large landholdings and therein the beginning of a wider struggle against private property in general. In view of the form in which particularly the latter panacea was put forward, they may very well have been right in this assumption.

On the whole, the defense against the broad masses was not very skillful and by no means struck at the heart of the problem.

Thus there remained but two ways of securing work and bread for the rising population.

3. Either new soil could be acquired and the superfluous millions sent off each year, thus keeping the nation on a selfsustaining basis; or we could

4. Produce for foreign needs through industry and commerce, and defray the cost of living from the proceeds.

In other words: either a territorial policy, or a colonial and commercial policy.

Both ways were contemplated, examined, recommended, and combated by different political tendencies, and the last was finally taken.

The healthier way of the two would, to be sure, have been the first.

The acquisition of new soil for the settlement of the excess population possesses an infinite number of advantages, particularly if wee turn from the present to the future.

For once thing, the possibility of preserving a healthy peasant class as a foundation for a whole nation can never be valued highly enough. Many of our present-day sufferings are only the consequence of the unhealthy relationship between rural and city population A solid stock of small and middle peasants has at all times been the best defense against social ills such as we possess today. And, moreover this is the only solution which enables a nation to earn its daily bread within the inner circuit of its economy. Industry and commerce recede from their unhealthy leading position and adjust themselves to the general framework of a national economy of balanced supply and demand. Both thus cease to be the basis of the nation's sustenance and become a mere instrument to that end. Since they now have only a balance ' Aberdeen domestic production and demand in all fields, they make the Subsistence of the people as a whole more or less independent foreign countries, and thus help to secure the freedom of the stite and the independence of the nation, particularly in difficult Periods.

It must be said that such a territorial policy cannot be fulfilled in the Cameroons, but today almost exclusively in Europe. We must, therefore, coolly and objectively adopt the standpoint that it can certainly not be the intention of Heaven to give one people fifty times as much land and soil in this world as another. In this case we must not let political boundaries obscure for us the boundaries of eternal justice. If this earth really has room for all to live in, let us be given the soil we need for our livelihood.

True, they will no t willingly do this. But then the law of selfpreservaion goes into effect; and what is refused to amicable methods, it is up to the fist to take. If our forefathers had let their decisions depend on the same pacifistic nonsense as our contemporaries, we should possess only a third of our present territory; but in that case there would scarcely be any German people for us to worry about in Europe today. No-it is to our natural determination to fight for our own existence that we owe the two Ostmarks of the Reich and hence that inner strength arising from the greatness of our state and national territory which alone has enabled us to exist up to the present.

And for another reason this would have been the correct solution

Today many European states are like pyramids stood on their heads. Their European area is absurdly small in comparison to their weight of colonies, foreign trade, etc. We may say: summit in Europe, base in the whole world; contrasting with the American Union which possesses its base in its own continent and touches the rest of the earth only with its summit. And from this comes the immense inner strength of this state and the weakness of most European colonial powers.

Nor is England any proof to the contrary, since in consideration of the British Empire we too easily forget the Anglo-Saxon world as such. The position of England, if only because of her linguistic and cultural bond with the American Union, can be compared to no other state in Europe.

For Germany, consequently, the only possibility for carrying out a healthy territorial policy lay in the acquisition of new land in Europe itself. Colonies cannot serve this purpose unless they seem in large part suited for settlement by Europeans. But in the nineteenth century such colonial territories were no longer obtainable by peaceful means. Consequently, such a colonial policy could only have been carried out by means of a hard struggle which, however, would have been carried on to much better purpose, not for territories outside of Europe, but for land on the home continent itself.

Such a decision, it is true, demands undivided devotion. It is not permissible to approach with half measures or even with hesitation a task whose execution seems possible only by the harnessing of the very last possible ounce of energy. This means that the entire political leadership of the Reich should have devoted itself to this exclusive aim; never should any step have been taken, guided by other considerations than the recognition of this task and its requirements. It was indispensable to see dearly that this aim could be achieved only by struggle, and consequently to face the contest of arms with calm and composure.

All alliances, therefore, should have been viewed exclusively from this standpoint and judged according to their possible utilization. If land was desired in Europe, it could be obtained by and large only at the expense of Russia, and this meant that the new Reich must again set itself on the march along the road of the Teutonic Knights of old, to obtain by the German sword sod for the German plow and daily bread for the nation.

For such a policy there was but one ally in Europe: England.

With England alone was it possible, our rear protected, to begin the new Germanic march. Our right to do this would have been no less than the right of our forefathers. None of our pacifists refuses to eat the bread of the East, although the first plowshare in its day bore the name of 'sword' !

Consequently, no sacrifice should have been too great for winning England's willingness. We should have renounced colonies and sea power, and spared English industry our competition.

Only an absolutely clear orientation could lead to such a goal: renunciation of world trade and colonies; renunciation of a German war fleet; concentration of all the state's instruments of power on the land army.

The result, to be sure, would have been a momentary limitation but a great and mighty future.

There was a time when England would have listened to reason on this point, since she was well aware that Germany as a result of her increased population had to seek some way out and either find it with England in Europe or without England in the world.

And it can primarily be attributed to this realization if at the turn of the century London itself attempted to approach Germany. For the first time a thing became evident which in the last years we have had occasion to observe in a truly terrifying fashion. People were unpleasantly affected by the thought of having to pull Fngland's chestnuts out of the fire; as though there ever could be an alliance on any other basis than a mutual business deal. And with England such a deal could very well have been made. British diplomacy was still clever enough to realize that no service can be expected without a return.

Just suppose that an astute German foreign policy had taken over the role of Japan in 1904, and we can scarcely measure the consequences this would have had for Germany.

There would never have been any 'World War.'

The bloodshed in the year 1904 would have saved ten times as much in the years 1914 to 1918.

And what a position Germany would occupy in the world today!

In that light, to be sure, the alliance with Austria was an absurdity.

For this mummy of a state allied itself with Germany, not in order to fight a war to its end, but for the preservation of an eternal peace which could astutely be used for the slow but certain extermination of Germanism in the monarchy.

This alliance was an impossibility for another reason: because we could not expect a state to take the offensive in championing national German interests as long as this state did not possess the power and determination to put an end to the process of de-Germanization on its own immediate borders. If Germany did not possess enough national awareness and ruthless determination to snatch power over the destinies of ten million national comrades from the hands of the impossible Habsburg state, then truly we had no right to expect that she would ever lend her hand to such farseeing and bold plans. The attitude of the old Reich on the Austrian question was the touchstone of its conduct in the struggle for the destiny of the whole nation.

In any case we were not justified in looking on, as year after year Germanism was increasingly repressed, since the value of Aushia's fitness for alliance was determined exclusively by the preservation of the German element.

This road, however, was not taken at all.

These people feared nothing so much as struggle, yet they were finally forced into it at the most unfavorable hour.

They wanted to run away from destiny, and it caught up with them. They dreamed of preserving world peace, and landed in the World War.

And this was the most significant reason why this third way of molding the German future was not even considered. They knew that the acquisition of new soil was possible only in the East, they saw the struggle that would be necessary and yet wanted peace at any price; for the watchword of German foreign policy had long ceased to be: preservation of the German nation by all methods; but rather: preservation of world peace by all means. With what success, everyone knows.

I shall return to this point in particular.

Thus there remained the fourth possibility

Industry and world trade, sea power and colonies.

Such a development, to be sure, was at first easier and also more quickly attainable. The settlement of land is a slow process, often lasting centuries; in fact, its inner strength is to be sought precisely in the fact that it is not a sudden blaze, but a gradual yet solid and continuous growth, contrasting with an industrial development which can be blown up in the course of a few years, but in that case is more like a soapbubble than solid strength. A fieet, to be sure, can be built more quickly than farms can be established in stubborn struggle and settled with peasants, but it is also more rapidly destroyed than the latter.

If, nevertheless, Germany took this road, she should at least have clearly recognized that this development would some day likewise end in struggle. Only children could have thought that they could get their bananas in the 'peaceful contest of nations,' by friendly and moral conduct and constant emphasis on their peaceful intentions, as they so high-soundingly and unctuously babbled; in other words, without ever having to take up arms. No: if we chose this road, England would some day inevitably become our enemy. It was more than senseless-but quite in keeping with our own innocence-to wax indignant over the fact that England should one day take the liberty to oppose our peaceful activity with the brutality of a violent egoist.

It is true that we, I am sorry to say, would never have done such a thing.

If a European territorial policy was only possible against Russia in alliance with England, conversely, a policy of colonies and world trade was conceivable only against England and with Russia. But then we had dauntlessly to draw the consequences- and, above all, abandon Austria in all haste.

Viewed from all angles, this alliance with Austria was real madness by the turn of the century.

But we did not think of concluding an alliance with Russia against England, any more than with England against Russia, for in both cases the end would have been war, and to prevent this we decided in favor of a policy of commerce and industry. In the 'peaceful economic ' conquest of the world we possessed a recipe which was expected to break the neck of the former policy of violence once and for all.l Occasionally, perhaps, we were not quite sure of ourselves, particularly when from time to time incomprehensible threats came over from England; therefore, we decided to build a fleet, though not to attack and destroy England, but for the 'defense' of our old friend 'world peace' and 'peaceful ' conquest of the world. Consequently, it was kept on a somewhat more modest scale in all respects, not only in number but also in the tonnage of the individual ships as well as in armament, so as in the final analysis to let our 'peaceful' intentions shine through after all.

The talk about the 'peaceful economic' conquest of the world was possibly the greatest nonsense which has ever been exalted to be a guiding principle of state policy. What made this nonsense even worse was that its proponents did not hesitate to call upon England as a crown witness for the possibility of such an achievement. The crimes of our academic doctrine and conception of history in this connection can scarcely be made good and are only a striking proof of how many people there are who 'learn' history without understanding or even comprehending it. England, in particular, should have been recognized as the striking refutation of this theory; for no people has ever with greater brutality better prepared its economic conquests with the sword, and later ruthlessly defended theme than the English nation. Is it not positively the distinguishing feature of British statesmanship to draw economic acquisitions from political strength, and at once to recast every gain in economic strength into political power? And what an error to believe that England is personally too much of a coward to stake her own blood for her economic policy! The fact that the English people possessed no 'people's army' in no way proved the contrary; for what matters is not the momentary military form of the fighting forces, but rather the will and determination to risk those which do exist. England has always possessed whatever armament she happened to need. She always fought with the weapons which success demanded. She fought with mercenaries as long as mercenaries sufficed; but she reached down into the precious blood of the whole nation when only such a sacrifice could bring victory; but the determination for victory, the tenacity and ruthless pursuit of this struggle, remained unchanged.

In Germany, however, the school, the press, and comic magazines cultivated a conception of the Englishman's character, and almost more so of his empire, which inevitably led to one of the most insidious delusions; for gradually everyone was infected by this nonsense, and the consequence was an underestimation for which we would have to pay most bitterly. This falsification went so deep that people became convinced that in the Englishman they faced a business man as shrewd as personally he was unbelievably cowardly. The fact that a world empire the size of the British could not be put together by mere subterfuge and swindling was unfortunately something that never even occurred to our exalted professors of academic science. The few who raised a voice of warning were ignored or killed by silence. I remember well my comrades' looks of astonishment when we faced the Tommies in person in Flanders. After the very first days of battle the conviction dawned on each and every one of them that these Scotsmen did not exactly jibe with the pictures they had seen fit to give us in the comic magazines and press dispatches.

It was then that I began my first reflections about the importance of the form of propaganda.

This falsification, however, did have one good side for those who spread it: by this example, even though it was incorrect, they were able to demonstrate the correctness of the economic conquest of the world. If the Englishman had succeeded, we too were bound to succeed, and our definitely greater honesty, the absence in us of that specifically English 'perfidy,' was regarded as a very special plus. For it was hoped that this would enable us to win the affection, particularly of the smaller nations, and the confidence of the large ones the more easily.

It did not occur to us that our honesty was a profound horror to the others, if for no other reason because we ourselves believed all these things seriously while the rest of the world regarded such behavior as the expression of a special slyness and disingenuousness, until, to their great, infinite amazement, the revolution gave them a deeper insight into the boundless stupidity of our honest convictions.

However, the absurdity of this 'economic conquest' at once made the absurdity of the Triple Alliance clear and comprehensible. For with what other state could we ally ourselves? In alliance with Austria, to be sure, we could not undertake any military conquest, even in Europe alone. Precisely therein consisted the inner weakness of the alliance from the very first day. A Bismarck could permit himself this makeshift, but not by a long shot every bungling successor, least of all at a time when certain essential premises of Bismarck's alliance had long ceased to exist; for Bismarck still believed that in Austria he had to do with a German state. But with the gradual introduction of universal suffrage, this country had sunk to the status of an unGerman hodgepodge with a parliamentary government.

Also from the standpoint of racial policy, the alliance with Austria was simply ruinous. It meant tolerating the growth of a new Slavic power on the borders of the Reich, a power which sooner or later would have to take an entirely different attitude toward Germany than, for example, Russia. And from year to year the alliance itself was bound to grow inwardly hollower and weaker in proportion as the sole supporters of this idea in the monarchy lost influence and were shoved out of the most decisive positions.

By the turn of the century the alliance with Austria had entered the very same stage as Austria's pact with Italy.

Here again there were only two possibilities: either we were in a pact with the Habsburg monarchy or we had to lodge protest against the repression of Germanism. But once a power embarks on this kind of undertaking, it usually ends in open struggle.

Even psychologically the value of the Triple Alliance was small, since the stability of an alliance increases in proportion as the individual contracting parties can hope to achieve definite and tangible expansive aims. And, conversely, it will be the weaker the more it limits itself to the preservation of an existing condition. Here, as everywhere else, strength lies not in defense but in attack.

Even then this was recognized in various quarters, unfortunately not by the so-called 'authorities.' Particularly Ludendorff, then a colonel and officer in the great general staff, pointed to these weaknesses in a memorial written in 1912. Of course, none of the 'statesmen' attached any value or significance to the matter; for clear common sense is expected to manifest itself expediently only in common mortals, but may on principle remain absent where 'diplomats' are concenned.

For Germany it was sheer good fortune that in 1914 the war broke out indirectly through Austria, so that the Habsburgs were forced to take part; for if it had happened the other way around Germany would have been alone. Never would the Habsburg state have been able, let alone willing, to take part in a confiict which would have arisen through Germany. What we later so condemned in Italy would then have happened even earlier with Austria: they would have remained 'neutral' in order at least to save the state from a revolution at the very start. Austrian Slavdom would rather have shattered the monarchy even in 1914 than permit aid to Germany.

How great were the dangers and difficulties entailed by the alliance with the Danubian monarchy, only very few realized a' that time.

In the first place, Austria possessed too many enemies who were planning to grab what they could from the rotten state to prevent a certain hatred from arising in the course of time against Germany, in whom they saw the cause of preventing the generally hoped and longed-for collapse of the monarchy. They came to the conviction that Vienna could finally be reached only by a detour through Berlin.

In the second place, Germany thus lost her best and most hopeful possibilities of alliance. They were replaced by an evermounting tension with Russia and even Italy. For in Rome the general mood was just as pro-German as it was antiAustrian, slumbering in the heart of the very last Italian and often brightly flanng up.

Now, since we had thrown ourselves into a policy of commerce and industry, there was no longer the slightest ground for war against Russia either. Only the enemies of both nations could still have an active interest in it. And actually these were primarily the Jews and the Marxists, who, with every means, incited and agitated for war between the two states.

Thirdly and lastly, this alliance inevitably involved an infinite peril for Germany, because a great power actually hostile to Bismarck's Reich could at any time easily succeed in mobilizing a whole series of states against Germany, since it was in a position to promise each of them enrichment at the expense of our Austrian ally.

The whole East of Europe could be stirred up against the Danubian monarchy-particularly Russia and Italy. Never would the world coalition which had been forming since the initiating efforts of King Edward have come into existence if Austria as Germany's ally had not represented too tempting a legacy. This alone made it possible to bring states with otherwise so heterogeneous desires and aims into a single offensive front. Each one could hope that in case of a general action against Germany it, too, would achieve enrichment at Austria's expense. The danger was enormously increased by the fact that Turkey seemed to be a silent partner in this unfortunate alliance.

International Jewish world finance needed these lures to enable it to carry out its long-desired plan for destroying the Germany which thus far did not submit to its widespread superst3te control of finance and economics. Only in this way could they forge a coalition made strong and courageous by the sheer numbers of the gigantic armies now on the march and prepared to attack the horny Siegfried at last.

The alliance with the Habsburg monarchy, which even in Austria had filled me with dissatisfaction, now became the source of long inner trials which in the time to come reinforced me even more in the opinion I had already conceived.

Even then, among those few people whom I frequented I made no secret of my conviction that our catastrophic alliance with a state on the brink of ruin would also lead to a fatal collapse of Germany unless we knew enough to release ourselves from it on time. This conviction of mine was firm as a rock, and I did not falter ill it for one moment when at last the storm of the World War seemed to have excluded all reasonable thought and a frenzy of enthusiasm had seized even those quarters for which there should have been only the coldest consideration of reality. And while I myself was at the front, I put forwards whenever these problems were discussed, my opinion that the alliance had to be broken off, the quicker the better for the German nation, and that the sacrifice of the Habsburg monarchy would be no sacrifice at all to make if Germany thereby could achieve a restriction of her adversaries; for it was not for the preservation of a debauched dynasty that the millions had donned the steel helmet, but for the salvation of the German nation.

On a few occasions before the War it seemed as though, in one camp at least, a gentle doubt was arising as to the correctness of the alliance policy that had been chosen. German conservative circles began from time to time to warn against excessive confidence, but, like everything else that was sensible, this was thrown to the winds. They were convinced that they were on the path to a world ' conquest,' whose success would be tremendous and which would entail practically no sacrifices.

There was nothing for those not in authority to do but to watch in silence why and how the ' authorities' marched straight to destruction, drawing the dear people behind them like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The deeper cause that made it possible to represent the absurdity of an ' economic conquest ' as a practical political method, and the preservation of 'world peace' as a political goal for a whole people, and even to make these things intelligible, lay in the general sickening of our whole political thinking.

With the victorious march of German technology and industry, the rising successes of German commerce, the realization was increasingly lost that all this was only possible on the basis of a strong state. On the contrary, many circles went so far as to put forward the conviction that the state owed its very existence to these phenomena, that the state itself Drimarilv represented an economic institution, that it could be governed according to economic requirements, and that its very existence depended on economics, a state of affairs which was regarded and glorified as by far the healthiest and most natural.

But the state has nothing at all to do with any definite economic conception or development.

It is not a collection of economic contracting parties in a definite delimited living space for the fulfillment of economic tasks, but the organization of a community of physically and psychologically similar living beings for the better facilitation of the maintenance of their species and the achievement of the aim which has been allotted to this species by Providence. This and nothing else is the aim and meaning of a state. Economics is only one of the many instruments required for the achievement of this aim. It is never the cause or the aim of a state unless this state is based on a false, because unnatural, foundation to begin with. Only in this way can it be explained that the state as such does not necessarily presuppose territorial limitation. This will be necessary only among the peoples who want to secure the maintenance of their national comrades by their own resources; in other words, are prepared to fight the struggle for existence by their own labor. Peoples who can sneak their way into the rest of mankind like drones, to make other men work for them under all sorts of pretexts, can form states even without any definitely delimited living space of their own. This applies first and foremost to a people under whose parasitism the whole of honest humanity is suffering, today more than ever: the Jews.

The Jewish state was never spatially limited in itself, but universally unlimited as to space, though restricted in the sense of embracing but one race. Consequently, this people has always formed a state within states. It is one of the most ingenious tricks that was ever devised, to make this state sail under the fiag of 'religion,' thus assuring it of the tolerance which the Aryan is always ready to accord a religious creed. For actually the Mosaic religion is nothing other than a doctrine for the preservation of the Jewish race. It therefore embraces almost all sociological, political, and economic fields of knowledge which can have any bearing on this function.

The urge to preserve the species is the first cause for the formation of human communities; thus the state is a national organism and not an economic organization. A difference which is just as large as it is incomprehensible, particularly to our so-called ' statesmen ' of today. That is why they think they can build up the state through economics while in reality it results and always will result solely from the action of those qualities which lie in line with the will to preserve the species and race. And these are always heroic virtues and never the egoism of shopkeepers, since the preservation of the existence of a species presupposes a spirit of sacrifice in the individual. The sense of the poet's words, 'If you will not stake your life, you will win no life,' is that the sacrifice of personal existence is necessary to secure the preservation of the species. Thus, the most sensible prerequisite for the formation and preservation of a state is the presence of a certain feeling of cohesion based on similarity of nature and species, and a willingness to stake everything on it with all possible means, something which in peoples with soil of their own will create heroic virtues, but in parasites will create lying hypocrisy and malignant cruelty, or else these qualities must already be present as the necessary and demonstrable basis for their existence as a state so different in form. The formation of a state, originally at least, will occur through the exercise of these qualities, and in the subsequent struggle for self-preservation those nations will be defeated- that is, will fall a prey to subjugation and thus sooner or later die out which in the mutual struggle possess the smallest share of heroic virtues, or are not equal to the lies and trickery of the hostile parasite. But in this case, too, this must almost always be attributed less to a lack of astuteness than to a lack of determination and courage, which only tries to conceal itself beneath a cloak of humane convictions.

How little the state-forming and state-preserving qualities are connected with economics is most clearly shown by the fact that the inner strength of a state only in the rarest cases coincides with so-called economic prosperity, but that the latter, in innumerable cases, seems to indicate the state's approaching decline. If the formation of human societies were primarily attributable to economic forces or even impulses, the highest economic development would have to mean the greatest strength of the state and not the opposite.

Belief in the state-forming and state-preserving power of economics seems especially incomprehensible when it obtains in a country which in all things clearly and penetratingly shows the historic reverse. Prussia, in particular, demonstrates with marvelous sharpness that not material qualities but ideal virtues alone make possible the formation of a state. Only under their protection can economic life flourish, until with the collapse of the pure state-forming faculties the economy collapses too; a process which we can observe in so terrible and tragic a form right now. The material interests of man can always thrive best as long as they remain in the shadow of heroic virtues; but as soon as they attempt to enter the primary sphere of existence, they destroy the basis for their own existence.

Always when in Germany there was an upsurge of political power, the economic conditions began to improve; but always when economics became the sole content of our people's life, stifling the ideal virtues, the state collapsed and in a short time drew economic life along with it.

If, however, we consider the question, what, in reality, are the state-forming or even state-preserving forces, we can sum them up under one single head: the ability and will of the individual to sacrifice himself for the totality. That these virtues have nothing at all to do with economics can be seen from the simple realization that man never sacrifices himself for the latter, or, in other words: a man does not die for business, but only for ideals. Nothing proved the Englishman's superior psychological knowledge of the popular soul better than the motivation which he gave to his struggle. While we fought for bread, England fought for 'freedom'; and not even for her own, no, for that of the small nations. In our country we laughed at this effrontery, or were enraged at it, and thus only demonstrated how emptyheaded and stupid the so-called statesmen of Germany had becorne even before the War. We no longer had the slightest idea concerning the essence of the force which can lead men to their death of their own free will and decision.

In 1914 as long as the German people thought they were fighting for ideals, they stood firm; but as soon as they were told to fight for their daily bread, they preferred to give up the game.

And our brilliant 'statesmen' were astonished at this change in attitude. It never became clear to them that from the moment when a man begins to fight for an economic interest, he avoids death as much as possible, since death wo lid forever deprive him of his reward for fighting. Anxiety for the rescue of her own child makes a heroine of even the feeblest mother, and only the struggle for the preservation of the species and the hearth, or the state that protects it, has at all times driven men against the spears of their enemies.

The following theorem may be established as an eternally valid truth:

Never yet has a state been founded by peaceful economic means, but always and exclusively by the instincts of preservation of the species regardless whether these are found in the province of heroic virtue or of cunning craftiness; the one results in Aryan states based on work and culture, the other in Jewish colonies of parasites. As soon as economics as such begins to choke out these Instincts in a people or in a state, it becomes the seductive cause of subjugation and oppression.

The belief of pre-war days that the world could be peacefully opened up to, let alone conquered for, the German people by a commercial and colonial policy was a classic sign of the loss of real state-forming and state-preserving virtues and of all the insight, will power, and active determination which follow from them; the penalty for this, inevitable as the law of nature, was the World War with its consequences.

For those who do not look more deeply into the matter, this attitude of the German nation-for it was really as good as general-could only represent an insoluble riddle: for was not Germany above all other countries a marvelous example of an empire which had risen from foundations of pure political power? Prussia, the germ-cell of the Empire, came into being through resplendent heroism and not through financial operations or commercial deals, and the Reich itself in turn was only the glorious reward of aggressive political leadership and the death defying courage of its soldiers. How could this very German people have succumbed to such a sickening of its political instinct? For here we face, not an isolated phenomenon, but forces of decay which in truly terrifying number soon began to flare up like will-o'-the-wisps, brushing up and down the body politic, or eating like poisonous abscesses into the nation, now here and now there. It seemed as though a continuous stream of poison was being driven into the outermost blood-vessels of this once heroic body by a mysterious power, and was inducing progressively greater paralysis of sound reason and the simple instinct of selfpreservation .

As innumerable times I passed in review all these questions, arising through my position on the German alliance policy and the economic policy of the Reich in the years 1912 to 1914-the only remaining solution to the riddle became to an ever-increasing degree that power which, from an entirely different viewpoint, I had come to know earlier in Vienna: the Marxist doctrine and philosophy, and their organizational results.

For the second time I dug into this doctrine of destruction- this time no longer led by the impressions and effects of my daily associations, but directed by the observation of general processes of political life. I again immersed myself in the theoretical literature of this new world, attempting to achieve clarity concerning its possible effects, and then compared it with the actual phenomena and events it brings about in political, cultural, and economic life.

Now for the first time I turned my attention to the attempts to master this world plague.

I studied Bismarck's Socialist legislation 1 in its intention struggle, and success. Gradually I obtained a positively granite foundation for my own conviction, so that since that time I have never been forced to undertake a shift in my own inner view on this question. Likewise the relation of Marxism to the Jews was submitted to further thorough examination.

Though previously in Vienna, Germany above all had seemed to me an unshakable colossus, now anxious misgivings sometimes entered my mind. In silent solitude and in the small circles of my acquaintance, I was filled with wrath at German foreign policy and likewise with what seemed to me the incredibly frivolous way in which the most important problem then existing for Germany, Marxism, was treated. It was really beyond me how people could rush so blindly into a danger whose effects, pursuant to the Marxists' own intention, were bound some day to be monstrous. Even then, among my acquaintance, just as today on a large scale, I warned against the phrase with which all wretched cowards comfort themselves: 'Nothing can happen to us!' This pestilential attitude had once been the downfall of a gigantic empire. Could anyone believe that Germany alone was not subject to exactly the same laws as all other human organisms?

In the years 1913 and 1914, I, for the first time in various circles which today in part faithfully support the National Socialist movement, expressed the conviction that the question of the future of the German nation was the question of destroying Marxism.

In the catastrophic German alliance policy I saw only one of the consequences called forth by the disruptive work of this doctrine; for the terrible part of it was that this poison almost invisibly destroyed all the foundations of a healthy conception of economy and state, and that often those affected by it did not themselves realize to what an extent their activities and desires emanated from this philosophy srhich they otherwise sharply ejected.

The internal decline of the German nation had long since begun, yet, as so often in life, people had not achieved clarity concerning the force that was destroying their existence. Sometimes they tinkered around with the disease, but confused the forms of the phenomenon with the virus that had caused it. Since they did not know or want to know the cause, the struggle against Malsisrs was no better than bungling quackery.


Chapter V: The World War

As A YOUNG SCAMP in my wild years, nothing had so grieved me as having been born at a time which obviously erected its Halls of Fame only to shopkeepers and government officials. The waves of historic events seemed to have grown so smooth that the future really seemed to belong only to the 'peaceful contest of nations'; in other words, a cozy mutual swindling match with the exclusion of violent methods of defense. The various nations began to be more and more like private citizens who cut the ground from under one another's feet, stealing each other's customers and orders, trying in every way to get ahead of one another, and staging this whole act amid a hue and cry as loud as it is harmless. This development seemed not only to endure but was expected in time (as was universally recommended) to remodel the whole world into one big department store in whose vestibules the busts of the shrewdest profiteers and the most lamblike administrative officials would be garnered for all eternity. The English could supply the merchants, the Germans the administrative officials, and the Jews no doubt would have to sacrifice themselves to being the owners, since by their own admission they never make any money, but always 'pay,' and, besides, speak the most languages.

Why couldn't I have been born a hundred years earlier? Say at the time of the Wars of Liberation when a man, even without a 'business,' was really worth something?!

Thus I had often indulged in angry thoughts concerning my earthly pilgrimage, which, as it seemed to me, had begun too late, and regarded the period 'of law and order' ahead of me as a mean and undeserved trick of Fate. Even as a boy I was no 'pacifist,' and all attempts to educate me in this direction came to nothing.

The Boer War was like summer lightning to me.

Every day I waited impatiently for the newspapers and devoured dispatches and news reports, happy at the privilege of witnessing this heroic struggle even at a distance.

The Russo-Japanese War found me considerably more mature, but also more attentive. More for national reasons I had already taken sides, and in our little discussions at once sided with the Japanese. In a defeat of the Russians I saw the defeat of Austrian Slavdom.

Since then many years have passed, and what as a boy had seemed to me a lingering disease, I now felt to be the quiet before the storm. As early as my Vienna period, the Balkans were immersed in that livid sultriness which customarily announces the hurricane, and from time to time a beam of brighter light flared up, only to vanish again in the spectral darkness. But then came the Balkan War and with it the first gust of wind swept across a Europe grown nervous. The time which now followed lay on the chests of men like a heavy nightmare, sultry as feverish tropic heat, so that due to constant anxiety the sense of approaching catastrophe turned at last to longing: let Heaven at last give free rein to the fate which could no longer be thwarted. And then the first mighty lightning flash struck the earth; the storm was unleashed and with the thunder of Heaven there mingled the roar of the World War batteries.

When the news of the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand arrived in Munich (I happened to be sitting at home and heard of it only- vaguely), I was at first seized with worry that the bullets may have been shot from the pistols of German students, who, out of indignation at the heir apparent's continuous work of Slavization, wanted to free the German people from this internal enemy. What the consequence of this would have been was easy to imagine: a new wave of persecutions which would now have been 'justified' and 'explained' in the eyes of the whole world. But when, soon afterward, I heard the names of the supposed assassins, and moreover read that they had been identified as Serbs, a light shudder began to run through me at this vengeance of inscrutable Destiny.

The greatest friend of the Slavs had fallen beneath the bullets of Slavic fanatics.

Anyone with constant occasion in the last years to observe the relation of Austria to Serbia could not for a moment be in doubt that a stone had been set rolling whose course could no longer be arrested.

Those who today shower the Viennese government with reproaches on the form and content of the ultimatum it issued, do it an injustice. No other power in the world could have acted differently in the same situation and the same position. At her southeastern border Austria possessed an inexorable and mortal enemy who at shorter and shorter intervals kept challenging the monarchy and would never have left off until the moment favorable for the shattering of the Empire had arrived. There was reason to fear that this would occur at the latest with the death of the old Emperor; by then perhaps the old monarchy would no longer be in a position to offer any serious resistance. In the last few years the state had been so bound up with the person of Francis Joseph that the death of this old embodiment of the Empire was felt by the broad masses to be tantamount to the death of the Empire itself. Indeed, it was one of the craftiest artifices, particularly of the Slavic policy, to create the appearance that the Austrian state no longer owed its existence to anything but the miraculous and unique skill of this monarch; this flattery was all the more welcome in the Hofburg, since it corresponded not at all to the real merits of the Emperor. The thorn hidden in these paeans of praise remained undiscovered The rulers did not see, or perhaps no longer wanted to see, that the more the monarchy depended on the outstanding statecraft, as they put it, of this 'wisest monarch' of all times, the more catastrophic the situation was bound to become if one day Fate were to knock at his door, too, demanding its tribute.

Was old Austria even conceivable without the Emperor?!

Wouldn't the tragedy which had once stricken Maria Theresa have been repeated?

No, it is really doing the Vienna circles an injustice to reproach them with rushing into a war which might otherwise have been avoided. It no longer could be avoided, but at most could have been postponed for one or two years. But this was the curse of German as well as Austrian diplomacy, that it had always striven to postpone the inevitable reckoning, until at length it was forced to strike at the most unfavorable hour. We can be convinced that a further attempt to save peace would have brought war at an even more unfavorable time.

No, those who did not want this war had to have the courage to face the consequences, which could have consisted only in the sacrifice of Austria. Even then the war would have come, but no longer as a struggle of all against ourselves, but in the form of a partition of the Habsburg monarchy. And then they had to make up their minds to join in, or to look on with empty hands and let Fate run its course.

Those very people, however, who today are loudest in cursing the beginning of the war and offer the sagest opinions were those who contributed most fatally to steering us into it.

For decades the Social Democrats had carried on the most scoundrelly war agitation against Russia, and the Center for religious reasons had been most active in making the Austrian state the hinge and pivot of Germany policy. Now we had to suffer the consequences of this lunacy. What came had to come, and could no longer under any circumstances be avoided. The guilt of the German government was that in order to preserve peace it always missed the favorable hours for striking, became entangled in the alliance for the preservation of world peace, and thus finally became the victim of a world coalition which countered the idea of preserving world peace with nothing less than determination for world war.

If the Vienna government had given the ultimatum another milder form, this would have changed nothing in the situation except at most one thing, that this government would itself have been swept away by the indignation of the people. For in the eyes of the broad masses the tone of the ultimatum was far too gentle and by no means too brutal, let alone too far-reaching Anyone who today attempts to argue this away is either a forgetful blockhead or a perfectly conscious swindler and liar

The struggle of the year 1914 was not forced on the masses- no, by the living God-it was desired by the whole people. People wanted at length to put an end to the general uncertainty. Only thus can it be understood that more than two million German men and boys thronged to the colors for this hardest of all struggles, prepared to defend the flag with the last drop of their blood.

To me those hours seemed like a release from the painful feelings of my youth. Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time.

A fight for freedom had begun, mightier than the earth had ever seen; for once Destiny had begun its course, the conviction dawned on even the broad masses that this time not the fate of Serbia or Austria was involved, but whether the German nation was to be or not to be.

For the last time in many years the people had a prophetic vision of its own future. Thus, right at the beginning of the gigantic struggle the necessary grave undertone entered into the ecstasy- of an overflowing enthusiasm; for this knowledge alone made the national uprising more than a mere blaze of straw The earnestness was only too necessary; for in those days people in general had not the faintest conception of the possible length and duration of the struggle that was now beginning. They dreamed of being home again that winter to continue and renew their peaceful labors.

What a man wants is what he hopes and believes. The overwhelming majority of the nation had long been weary of the eternally uncertain state of affairs; thus it was only too understandable that they no longer believed in a peaceful conclusion of the Austro-Serbian convict, but hoped for the final settlement.

I, too, was one of these millions.

Hardly had the news of the assassination become known in Munich than at once two thoughts quivered through my brain: first, that at last war would be inevitable; and, furthermore, that now the Habsburg state would be compelled to keep its pact; for what I had always most feared was the possibility that Germany herself would some day, perhaps in consequence of this very alliance, find herself in a conflict not directly caused by Austria, so that the Austrian state for reasons of domestic policy would not muster the force of decision to stand behind her ally. The Slavic majority of the Empire would at once have begun to sabotage any such intention on the part of the state, and would always have preferred to smash the entire state to smithereens than grant its ally the help it demanded. This danger was now eliminated. The old state had to fight whether it wanted to or not.

My own position on the conflict was likewise very simple and clear; for me it was not that Austria was fighting for some Serbian satisfaction, but that Germany was fighting for her existence, the German nation for life or death, freedom and future. The time had come for Bismarck's work to fight; what the fathers had once won in the battles from Weissenburg to Sedan and Paris, young Germany now had to earn once more. If the struggle were carried through to victory, our nation would enter the circle of great nations from the standpoint of external power, and only then could the German Reich maintain itself as a mighty haven of peace without having, for the sake of peace, to cut down on the daily bread of her children.

As a boy and young man I had so often felt the desire to prove at least once by deeds that for me national enthusiasm was no empty whim. It often seemed to me almost a sin to shout hurrah perhaps without having the inner right to do so; for who had the right to use this word without having proved it in the place where all playing is at an end and the inexorable hand of the Goddess of Destiny begins to weigh peoples and men according to the truth and steadfastness of their convictions? Thus my heart, like that of a million others, overflowed with proud joy that at last I would be able to redeem myself from this paralyzing feeling. I had so often sung 'Deutschland uber Aloes' and shouted Neil ' at the top of my lungs, that it seemed to me almost a belated act of grace to be allowed to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim the sincerity of this conviction. For from the first hour r was convinced that in case of a war- which seemed to me inevitable-in one way or another I would at once leave my books. Likewise I knew that my place would then be where my inner voice directed me.

I had left Austria primarily for political reasons; what was more natural than that, now the struggle had begun, I should really begin to take account of this conviction. I did not want to fight for the Habsburg state, but was ready at any time to die for my people and for the Reich which embodied it

On the third of August, I submitted a personal petition to His Majesty, lying Ludwig III, with a request for permission to enter a Bavarian regiment. The cabinet office certainly had plenty to do in those days; so much the greater was my joy to receive an answer to my request the very next day. With trembling hands I opened the document; my request had been approved and I was summoned to report to a Bavarian regiment. My joy and gratitude knew no bounds. A few days later I was wearing the tunic which I was not to doff until nearly six years later.

For me, as for every German, there now began the greatest and most unforgettable time of my earthly existence. Compared to the events of this gigantic struggle, everything past receded to shallow nothingness. Precisely in these days, with the tenth anniversary of the mighty event approaching, I think back with proud sadness on those first weeks of our people's heroic struggle, in which Fate graciously allowed me to take part.

As though it were yesterday, image after image passes before my eyes. I see myself donning the uniform in the circle of my dear comrades, turning out for the first time, drilling, etc., until the day came for us to march off.

A single worry tormented me at that time, me, as so many others: would we not reach the front too late? Time and time again this alone banished all my calm. Thus, in every cause for rejoicing at a new, heroic victory, a slight drop of bitterness was hidden, for every new victory seemed to increase the danger of our coming too late.

At last the day came when we left Munich to begin the fulfillment of our duty. For the first time I saw the Rhine as we rode westward along its quiet waters to defend it, the German stream of streams, from the greed of the old enemy. When through the tender veil of the early morning mist the Niederwald Monument gleamed down upon us in the gentle first rays of the sun, the old Watch on the Rhine roared out of the endless transport train into the morning sky, and I felt as though my heart would burst.

And then came a damp, cold night in Flanders, through which we marched in silence, and when the day began to emerge from the mists, suddenly an iron greeting came whizzing at us over our heads, and with a sharp report sent the little pellets flying between our ranks, ripping up the wet ground; but even before the little cloud had passed, from two hundred throats the first hurrah rose to meet the first messenger of death. Then a crackling and a roaring, a singing and a howling began, and with feverish eyes each one of us was drawn forward, faster and faster, until suddenly past turnip fields and hedges the fight began, the fight of man against man. And from the distance the strains of a song reached our ears, coming closer and closer, leaping from company to company, and just as Death plunged a busy hand into our ranks, the song reached us too and we passed it along: 'Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles, uber Alles in der Welt!'

Four days later we came back. Even our step had changed. Seventeen-year-old boys now looked like men.

The volunteers of the List Regiment may not have learned to fight properly, but they knew how to die like old soldiers

This was the beginning.

Thus it went on year after year; but the romance of battle had been replaced by horror. The enthusiasm gradually cooled and the exuberant joy was stifled by mortal fear. The time came when every man had to struggle between the instinct of self-preservation and the admonitions of duty. I, too, was not spared by this struggle. Always when Death was on the hunt, a vague something tried to revolt, strove to represent itself to the weak body as reason, yet it was only cowardice, which in such disguises tried to ensnare the individual. A grave tugging and warning set in, and often it was only the last remnant of conscience which decided the issue. Yet the more this voice admonished one to caution, the louder and more insistent its lures, the sharper resistance grew until at last, after a long inner struggle, consciousness of duty emerged victorious. By the winter of 1915-16 this struggle had for me been decided. At last my will was undisputed master. If in the first days I went over the top with rejoicing and laughter, I was now calm and determined. And this was enduring. Now Fate could bring on the ultimate tests without my nerves shattering or my reason failing.

The young volunteer had become an old soldier.

And this transformation had occurred in the whole army. It had issued old and hard from the eternal battles, and as for those who could not stand up under the storm-well, they were broken.

Now was the time to judge this army. Now, after two or three years, during which it was hurled from one battle into another, forever fighting against superiority in numbers and weapons, suffering hunger and bearing privations, now was the time to test the quality of this unique army.

Thousands of years may pass, but never will it be possible to speak of heroism without mentioning the German army and the World War. Then from the veil of the past the iron front of the gray steel helmet will emerge, unwavering and unflinching, an immortal monument. As long as there are Germans alive, they will remember that these men were sons of their nation.

I was a soldier then, and I didn't want to talk about politics. And really it was not the time for it. Even today I harbor the conviction that the humblest wagon-driver performed more valuable services for the fatherland than the foremost among, let us say, 'parliamentarians.' I had never hated these bigmouths more than now when every red-blooded man with something to say yelled it into the enemy's face or appropriately left his tongue at home and silently did his duty somewhere. Yes, in those days I hated all those politicians. And if it had been up to me, a parliamentary pick-and-shovel battalion would have been formed at once; then they could have chewed the fat to their hearts' content without annoying, let alone harming, honest, decent people.

Thus, at that time I wanted to hear nothing of politics, but I could not help taking a position on certain manifestations which after all did affect the whole nations and particularly concerned us soldiers.

There were two things which then profoundly angered me and which I regarded as harmful.

After the very first news of victories, a certain section of the press, slowly, and in a way which at first was perhaps unrecognizable to many, began to pour a few drops of wormwood into the general enthusiasm. This was done beneath the mask of a certain benevolence and well-meaning, even of a certain solicitude. They had misgivings about an excess of exuberance in the celebration of the victories. They feared that in this form it was unworthy of so great a nation and hence inappropriate. The bravery and heroic courage of the German soldier were something self-evident, they said, and people should not be carried away too much by thoughtless outbursts of joy, if only for the sake of foreign countries to whom a silent and dignified form of joy appealed more than unbridled exultation, etc. Finally, we Germans even now should not forget that the war was none of our intention and therefore we should not be ashamed to confess in an open and manly fashion that at any time we would contribute our part to a reconciliation of mankind. For that reason it would not be prudent to besmirch the purity of our army's deeds by too much shouting, since the rest of the world would have little understanding for such behavior. The world admired nothing more than the modesty with which a true hero silently and calmly forgets his deeds, for this was the gist of the whole argument.

Instead of taking one of these creatures by his long ears, tying him to a long pole and pulling him up on a long cord, thus making it impossible for the cheering nation to insult the aesthetic sentiment of this knight of the inkpot, the authorities actually began to issue remonstrances against ' unseemly ' rejoicing over victories.

It didn't occur to them in the least that enthusiasm once scotched cannot be reawakened at need. It is an intoxication and must be preserved in this state. And how, without this power of enthusiasm, should a country withstand a struggle which in all likelihood would make the most enormous demands on the spiritual qualities of the nation?

I knew the psyche of the broad masses too well not to be aware that a high 'aesthetic' tone would not stir up the fire that was necessary to keep the iron hot. In my eyes it was madness on the part of the authorities to be doing nothing to intensify the glowing heat of passion; and when they curtailed what passion was fortunately present, that was absolutely beyond me.

The second thing that angered me was the attitude which they thought fit to take toward Marxism. In my eyes, this only proved that they hadn't so much as the faintest idea concerning this pestilence. In all seriousness they seemed to believe that, by the assurance that parties were no longer recognized, they had brought Marxism to understanding and restraint.

They failed to understand that here no party was involved, but a doctrine that must lead to the destruction of all humanity, especially since this cannot be learned in the Jewified universities and, besides, so many, particularly among our higher officials, due to the idiotic conceit that is cultivated in them, don't think it worth the trouble to pick up a book and learn something which was not in their university curriculum. The most gigantic upheaval passes these 'minds' by without leaving the slightest trace, which is why state institutions for the most part lag behind private ones. It is to them, by God, that the popular proverb best applies: 'What the peasant doesn't know, he won't eat.' Here, too, a few exceptions only confirm the rule.

It was an unequaled absurdity to identify the German worker with Marxism in the days of August, 1914. In those hours the German worker had made himself free from the embrace of this venomous plague, for otherwise he would never have been able to enter the struggle. The authorities, however, were stupid enough to believe that Marxism had now become national; a flash of genius which only shows that in these long years none of these official guides of the state had even taken the trouble to study the essence of this doctrine, for if they had, such an absurdity could scarcely have crept in.

Marxism, whose goal is and remains the destruction of all non-Jewish national states, was forced to look on in horror as, in the July days of 1914, the German working class it had ensnared, awakened and from hour to hour began to enter the service of the fatherland with ever-increasing rapidity. In a few days the whole mist and swindle of this infamous betrayal of the people had scattered away, and suddenly the gang of Jewish leaders stood there lonely and forsaken, as though not a trace remained of the nonsense and madness which for sixty years they had been funneling into the masses. It was a bad moment for the betrayers of the German working class, but as soon as the leaders recognized the danger which menaced them, they rapidly pulled the tarn-cap ' of lies over their ears, and insolently mimicked the national awakening.

But now the time had come to take steps against the whole treacherous brotherhood of they Jewish poisoners of the people. Now was the time to deal with them summarily without the slightest consideration for any screams and complaints that might arise. In August, 1914, the whole Jewish jabber about international solidarity had vanished at one stroke from the heads of the German working class, and in its stead, only a few weeks later, American shrapnel began to pour down the blessings of brotherhood on the helmets of our march columns. It would have been the duty of a serious government, now that the German worker had found his way back to his nation, to exterminate mercilessly the agitators who were misleading the nation.

If the best men were dying at the front, the least we could do was to wipe out the vermin.

Instead of this, His Majesty the Raiser himself stretched out his hand to the old criminals, thus sparing the treacherous murderers of the nation and giving them a chance to retrieve themselves.

So nova the viper could continue his work, more cautiously than before, but all the more dangerously. While the honest ones were dreaming of peace within their borders,l the perjuring criminals were organizing the revolution.

That such terrible half-measures should then be decided upon made me more and more dissatisfied at heart; but at that time I would not have thought it possible that the end of it all would be so frightful.

What, then, should have been done? The leaders of the whole movement should at once have been put behind bars, brought to trial, and thus taken off the nation's neck. All the implements of military power should have been ruthlessly used for the extermination of this pestilence. The parties should have been dissolved, the Reichstag brought to its senses, with bayonets if necessary, but, best of all, dissolved at once. Just as the Republic today can dissolve parties, this method should have been used at that time, with more reason. For the life and death of a whole nation was at stake!

One question came to the fore, however: can spiritual ideas be exterminated by the sword? Can 'philosophies' be combated by the use of brute force?

Even at that time I pondered this question more than once: If we ponder analogous cases, particularly on a religious basis, which can be found in history, the following fundamental principle emerges:

Conceptions and ideas, as well as movements with a definite spiritual foundation, regardless whether the latter is false or true, can, after a certain point in their development, only be broken with technical instruments of power if these physical weapons are at the same time the support of a new kindling thought, idea, or philosophy.

The application of force alone, without the impetus of a basic spiritual idea as a starting point, can never lead to the destruction of an idea and its dissemination, except in the form of a complete extermination of even the very last exponent of the idea and the destruction of the last tradition. This, however, usually means the disappearance of such a state from the sphere of political importance, often for an indefinite time and some-times forever; for experience shows that such a blood sacrifice strikes the best part of the people, since every persecution which occurs without a spiritual basis seems morally unjustified and whips up precisely the more valuable parts of a people in protest, which results in an adoption of the spiritual content of the unjustly persecuted movement. In many this occurs simply through a feeling of opposition against the attempt to bludgeon down an idea by brute force.

As a result, the number of inward supporters grows in proportion as the persecution increases. Consequently, the complete annihilation of the new doctrine can be carried out only through a process of extermination so great and constantly increasing that in the end all the truly valuable blood is drawn out of the people or state in question. The consequence is that, though a so-called 'inner' purge can now take place, it will only be at the cost of total impotence. Such a method will always prove vain in advance if the doctrine to be combated has overstepped a certain small circle.

Consequently, here, too, as in all growth, the first period of childhood is most readily susceptible to the possibility of extermination, while with the mounting years the power of resistance increases and only with the weakness of approaching old age cedes again to new youth, though in another form and for different reasons.

Indeed, nearly all attempts to exterminate a doctrine and its organizational expression, by force without spiritual foundation, are doomed to failure, and not seldom end with the exact opposite of the desired result for the following reason:

The very first requirement for a mode of struggle with the weapons of naked force is and remains persistence. In other words: only the continuous and steady application of the methods for repressing a doctrine, etc., makes it possible for a plan to succeed. But as soon as force wavers and alternates with forbearance, not only will the doctrine to be repressed recover again and again, but it will also be in a position to draw new benefit from every persecution, since, after such a wave of pressure has ebbed away, indignation over the suffering induced leads new supporters to the old doctrine, while the old ones will cling to it with greater defiance and deeper hatred than before, and even schismatic heretics, once the danger has subsided, will attempt to return to their old viewpoint. Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success. This persistence, however, can always and only arise from a definite spiritual conviction. Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain. It lacks the stability which can only rest in a fanatical outlook. It emanates from the momentary energy and brutal determination of an individual, and is therefore subject to the change of personalities and to their nature and strength.

Added to this there is something else:

Any philosophy, whether of a religious or political nature- and sometimes the dividing line is hard to determine-fights less for the negative destruction of the opposing ideology than for the positive promotion of its own. Hence its struggle is less defensive than offensive. It therefore has the advantage even in determining the goal, since this goal represents the victory of its own idea, while, conversely, it is hard to determine when the negative aim of the destruction of a hostile doctrine may be regarded as achieved and assured. For this reason alone, the philosophy's offensive will be more systematic and also more powerful than the defensive against a philosophy, since here, too, as always, the attack and not the defense makes the decision. The fight against a spiritual power with methods of violence remains defensive, however, until the sword becomes the support, the herald and disseminator, of a new spiritual doctrine.

Thus, in summing up, we can establish the following:

Any attempt to combat a philosophy with methods of violence will fail in the end, unless the fight takes the form of attack for a new spiritual attitude. Only in the struggle between two philosophies can the weapon of brutal force, persistently and ruthlessly applied lead to a decision for the side it supports.

This remained the reason for the failure of the struggle against Marxism.

This was why Bismarck's Socialist legislation finally failed and had to fail, in spite of everything. Lacking was the platform of a new philosophy for whose rise the fight could have been waged. For only the proverbial wisdom of high government officials will succeed in believing that drivel about so-called 'state authority' or 'law and order' could form a suitable basis for the spiritual impetus of a life-and-death struggle.

Since a real spiritual basis for this struggle was lacking, Bismarck had to entrust the execution of his Socialist legislation to the judgment and desires of that institution which itself was a product of Marxist thinking. By entrusting the fate of his war on the Marxists to the well-wishing of bourgeois democracy, the Iron Chancellor set the wolf to mind the sheep.

All this was only the necessary consequence of the absence of a basic new anti-Marxist philosophy endowed with a stormy will to conquer.

Hence the sole result of Bismarck's struggle was a grave disillusionment.

Were conditions different during the World War or at its beginning? Unfortunately not.

The more I occupied myself with the idea of a necessary change in the government's attitude toward Social Democracy as the momentary embodiment of Marxism, the more I recognized the lack of a serviceable substitute for this doctrine. What would be given the masses if, just supposing, Social Democracy had been broken? There was not one movement in existence which could have been expected to succeed in drawing into its sphere of influence the great multitudes of workers grown more or less leaderless. It is senseless and more than stupid to believe that the international fanatic who had left the class party would now at once join a bourgeois party, in other words, a new class organization. For, unpleasant as it may seem to various organizations, it cannot be denied that bourgeois politicians largely take class division quite for granted as long as it does not begin to work out to their political disadvantage.

The denial of this fact only proves the effrontery, and also the stupidity, of the liars.

Altogether, care should be taken not to regard the masses as stupider than they are. In political matters feeling often decides more correctly than reason. The opinion that the stupid international attitude of the masses is sufficient proof of the unsoundness of the masses' sentiments can be thoroughly confuted by the simple reminder that pacifist democracy is no less insane, and that its exponents originate almost exclusively in the bourgeois camp. As long as millions of the bourgeoisie still piously worship their Jewish democratic press every morning, it very ill becomes these gentlemen to make jokes about the stupidity of the 'comrade' who, in the last analysis, only swallows down the same garbage, though in a different form. In both cases the manufacturer is one and the same Jew.

Good care should be taken not to deny things that just happen to be true. The fact that the class question is by no means exclusively a matter of ideal problems, as, particularly before the elections, some people would like to pretend, cannot be denied. The class arrogance of a large part of our people, and to an even greater extent, the underestimation of the manual worker, are phenomena which do not exist only in the imagination of the moonstruck.

Quite aside from this, however, it shows the small capacity for thought of our so-called 'intelligentsia' when, particularly in these circles, it is not understood that a state of affairs which could not prevent the growth of a plague, such as Marxism happens to be, will certainly not be able to recover what has been lost.

The 'bourgeois' parties, as they designate themselves, will never be able to attach the 'proletarian' masses to their camp, for here two worlds oppose each other, in part naturally and in part artificially divided, whose mutual relation 1 can only be struggle. The younger will be victorious-and this is Marxism.

Indeed, a struggle against Social Democracy in the year 1914 was conceivable, but how long this condition would be maintained, in view of the absence of any substitute, remained doubtful.

Here there was a great gap.

I was of this opinion long before the War, and for this reason could not make up my mind to join one of the existing parties. In the course of events of the World War, I was reinforced in this opinion by the obvious impossibility of taking up a ruthless struggle against Social Democracy, owing to this very lack of a movement which would have had to be more than a 'parliamentary' party.

With my closer comrades I often expressed myself openly on this point.

And now the first ideas came to me of later engaging in political activity.

Precisely this was what caused me often to assure the small circle of my friends that after the War, I meant to be a speaker in addition to my profession.

I believe that I was very serious about this.



Chapter VI: War Propaganda

EVER since I have been scrutinizing political events, I have taken a tremendous interest in propagandist activity. I saw that the Socialist-Marxist organizations mastered and applied this instrument with astounding skill. And I soon realized that the correct use of propaganda is a true art which has remained practically unknown to the bourgeois parties. Only the Christian-Social movement, especially in Lueger's time, achieved a certain virtuosity on this instrument, to which it owed many of its successes.

But it was not until the War that it became evident what immense results could be obtained by a correct application of propaganda. Here again, unfortunately, all our studying had to be done on the enemy side, for the activity on our side was modest, to say the least. The total miscarriage of the German 'enlightenment ' service stared every soldier in the face, and this spurred me to take up the question of propaganda even more deeply than before.

There was often more than enough time for thinking, and the enemy offered practical instruction which, to our sorrow, was only too good.

For what we failed to do, the enemy did, with amazing skill and really brilliant calculation. I, myself, learned enormously from this enemy war propaganda. But time passed and left no trace in the minds of all those who should have benefited; partly because they considered themselves too clever to from the enemy, partly owing to lack of good will.

Did we have anything you could call propaganda?

I regret that I must answer in the negative. Everything that actually was done in this field was so inadequate and wron

from the very start that it certainly did no good and sometimes did actual harm.

The form was inadequate, the substance was psychologically wrong: a careful examination of German war propaganda ca: lead to no other diagnosis.

There seems to have been no clarity on the very first question: Is propaganda a means or an end?

It is a means and must therefore be judged with regard to its end. It must consequently take a form calculated to support the aim which it serves. It is also obvious that its aim can vary in importance from the standpoint of general need, and that the inner value of the propaganda will vary accordingly. The aim for which we were fighting the War was the loftiest, the most overpowering, that man can conceive: it was the freedom and independence of our nation, the security of our future food supply, and-our national honor; a thing which, despite all contrary opinions prevailing today, nevertheless exists, or rather should exist, since peoples without honor have sooner or later lost their freedom and independence, which in turn is only the result of a higher justice, since generations of rabble without honor deserve no freedom. Any man who wants to be a cowardly slave can have no honor) or honor itself would soon fall into general contempt.

The German nation was engaged in a struggle for a human existence, and the purpose of war propaganda should have been to support this struggle; its aim to help bring about victory.

When the nations on this planet fight for existence-when the question of destiny, 'to be or not to be,' cries out for a solution-then all considerations of humanitarianism or aesthetics crumble into nothingness; for all these concepts do not float about in the ether, they arise from man's imagination and are bound up with man. When he departs from this world, these concepts are again dissolved into nothingness, for Nature does not know them. And even among mankind, they belong only to a few nations or rather races, and this in proportion as they emanate from the feeling of the nation or race in question. Humanitarianism and aesthetics would vanish even from a world inhabited by man if this world were to lose the races that have created and upheld these concepts.

But all such concepts become secondary when a nation is fighting for its existence; in fact, they become totally irrelevant to the forms of the struggle as soon as a situation arises where they might paralyze a struggling nation's power of selfpreservation. And that has always been their only visible result.

As for humanitarianism, Moltke said years ago that in war it lies in the brevity of the operation, and that means that the most aggressive fighting technique is the most humane.

But when people try to approach these questions with drivel about aesthetics, etc., really only one answer is possible: where the destiny and existence of a people are at stake, all obligation toward beauty ceases. The most unbeautiful thing there can be in human life is and remains the yoke of slavery. Or do these Schwabing 2 decadents view the present lot of the German people as 'aesthetic'? Certainly we don't have to discuss these matters with the Jews, the most modern inventors of this cultural perfume. Their whole existence is an embodied protest against the aesthetics of the Lord's image.

And since these criteria of humanitarianism and beauty must be eliminated from the struggle, they are also inapplicable to propaganda.

Propaganda in the War was a means to an end, and the end wvas the struggle for the existence of the German people; consequently, propaganda could only be considered in accordance with the principles that were valid for this struggle. In this case the most cruel weapons were humane if they brought about a quicker victory; and only those methods were beautiful which helped the nation to safeguard the dignity of its freedom.

This was the only possible attitude toward war propaganda in a life-and-death struggle like ours.

If the so-called responsible authorities had been clear on this point, they would never have fallen into such uncertainty over the form and application of this weapon: for even propaganda is no more than a weapon, though a frightful one in the hand of an expert.

The second really decisive question was this: To whom should propaganda be addressed? To the scientifically trained intelligentsia or to the less educated masses?

It must be addressed always and exclusively to the masses.

What the intelligentsia-or those who today unfortunately often go by that name-what they need is not propaganda but scientific instruction. The content of propaganda is not science any more than the object represented in a poster is art. The art of the poster lies in the designer's ability to attract the attention of the crowd by form and color. A poster advertising an art exhibit must direct the attention of the public to the art being exhibited; the better it succeeds in this, the greater is the art of the poster itself. The poster should give the masses an idea of the significance of the exhibition, it should not be a substitute for the art on display. Anyone who wants to concern himself with the art itself must do more than study the poster; and it will not be enough for him just to saunter through the exhibition. We may expect him to examine and immerse himself in the individual works, and thus little by little form a fair opinion.

A similar situation prevails with what we today call propaganda.

The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision.

The whole art consists in doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. But since propaganda is not and cannot be the necessity in itself, since its function, like the poster, consists in attracting the attention of the crowd, and not in educating those who are already educated or who are striving after education and knowledge, its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect.

All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction.

The more modest its intellectual ballast, the more exclusively it takes into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will be. And this is the best proof of the soundness or unsoundness of a propaganda campaign, and not success in pleasing a few scholars or young aesthetes.

The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that our bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are.

Once we understand how necessary it is for propaganda to be adjusted to the broad mass, the following rule results:

It is a mistake to make propaganda many-sided, like scientific instruction, for instance.

The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in sloans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out.

Thus we see that propaganda must follow a simple line and correspondingly the basic tactics must be psychologically sound.

For instance, it was absolutely wrong to make the enemy ridiculous, as the Austrian and German comic papers did. It was absolutely wrong because actual contact with an enemy soldier was bound to arouse an entirely different conviction, and the results were devastating; for now the German soldier, under the direct impression of the enemy's resistance, felt himself swindled by his propaganda service. His desire to fight, or even to stand film, was not strengthened, but the opposite occurred. His courage flagged.

By contrast, the war propaganda of the English and Americans was psychologically sound. By representing the Germans to their own people as barbarians and Huns, they prepared the individual soldier for the terrors of war, and thus helped to preserve him from disappointments. After this, the most terrible weapon that was used against him seemed only to confirm what his propagandists had told him; it likewise reinforced his faith in the truth of his government's assertions, while on the other hand it increased his rage and hatred against the vile enemy For the cruel effects of the weapon, whose use by the enemy he now came to know, gradually came to confirm for him the 'Hunnish' brutality of the barbarous enemy, which he had heard all about; and it never dawned on him for a moment that his own weapons possibly, if not probably, might be even more terrible in their effects.

And so the English soldier could never feel that he had been misinformed by his own countrymen, as unhappily was so much the case with the German soldier that in the end he rejected everything coming from this source as 'swindles' and 'bunk.' All this resulted from the idea that any old simpleton (or even somebody who was intelligent ' in other things ') could be assigned to propaganda work, and the failure to realize that the most brilliant psychologists would have been none too good.

And so the German war propaganda offered an unparalleled example of an 'enlightenment' service working in reverse, since any correct psychology was totally lacking.

There was no end to what could be learned from the enemy by a man who kept his eyes open, refused to let his perceptions be ossified, and for four and a half years privately turned the stormflood of enemy propaganda over in his brain.

What our authorities least of all understood was the very first axiom of all propagandist activity: to wit, the basically subjective and one-sided attitude it must take toward every question it deals with. In this connection, from the very beginning of the War and from top to bottom, such sins were committed that we were entitled to doubt whether so much absurdity could really be attributed to pure stupidity alone.

What, for example, would we say about a poster that was supposed to advertise a new soap and that described other soaps as 'good'?

We would only shake our heads.

Exactly the same applies to political advertising.

The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.

It was absolutely wrong to discuss war-guilt from the standpoint that Germany alone could not be held responsible for the outbreak of the catastrophe; it would have been correct to load every bit of the blame on the shoulders of the enemy, even if this had not really corresponded to the true facts, as it actually did.

And what was the consequence of this halfheartedness?

The broad mass of a nation does not consist of diplomats, or even professors of political law, or even individuals capable of forming a rational opinion; it consists of plain mortals, wavering and inclined to doubt and uncertainty. As soon as our own propaganda admits so much as a glimmer of right on the other side, the foundation for doubt in our own right has been laid. The masses are then in no position to distinguish where foreign injustice ends and our own begins. In such a case they become uncertain and suspicious, especially if the enemy refrains from going in for the same nonsense, but unloads every bit of blame on his adversary. Isn't it perfectly understandable that the whole country ends up by lending more credence to enemy propaganda, which is more unified and coherent, than to its own? And particularly a people that suffers from the mania of objectivity as much as the Germans. For, after all this, everyone will take the greatest pains to avoid doing the enemy any injustice, even at the peril of seriously besmirching and even destroying his own people and country.

Of course, this was not the intent of the responsible authorities, but the people never realize that.

The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitude that sober reasoning determines their thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling. And this sentiment is not complicated, but very simple and all of a piece. It does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie never half this way and half that way, never partially, or that kind of thing.

English propagandists understood all this most brilliantly-and acted accordingly. They made no half statements that might have given rise to doubts.

Their brilliant knowledge of the primitive sentiments of the broad masses is shown by their atrocity propaganda, which was adapted to this condition. As ruthless as it was brilliant, it created the preconditions for moral steadfastness at the front, even in the face of the greatest actual defeats, and just as strikingly it pilloried the German enemy as the sole guilty party for the outbreak of the War: the rabid, impudent bias and persistence with which this lie was expressed took into account the emotional, always extreme, attitude of the great masses and for this reason was believed.

How effective this type of propaganda was is most strikingly shown by the fact that after four years of war it not only enabled the enemy to stick to its guns, but even began to nibble at our own people.

It need not surprise us that our propaganda did not enjoy this success. In its inner ambiguity alone, it bore the germ of ineffectualness. And finally its content was such that it was very vunlikely to make the necessary impression on the masses. Only our feather-brained 'statesmen' could have dared to hope that this insipid pacifistic bilge could fire men's spirits till they were willing to die.

As a result, their miserable stuff 1 was useless, even harmful in fact.

But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unfiagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.

Particularly in the field of propaganda, we must never let ourselves be led by aesthetes or people who have grown blase: not by the former, because the form and expression of our propaganda would soon, instead of being suitable for the masses, have drawing power only for literary teas; and of the second we must beware, because, lacking in any fresh emotion of their own, they are always on the lookout for new stimulation. These people are quick to weary of everything; they want variety, and they are never able to feel or understand the needs of their fellow men who are not yet so callous. They are always the first to criticize a propaganda campaign, or rather its content, which seems to them too old-fashioned, too hackneyed, too out-of-date, etc. They are always after novelty, in search of a change, and this makes them mortal enemies of any effective political propaganda. For as soon as the organization and the content of propaganda begin to suit their tastes, it loses all cohesion and evaporates completely.

The purpose of propaganda is not to provide interesting distraction for blase young gentlemen, but to convince, and what I mean is to convince the masses. But the masses are slowmoving, and they always require a certain time before they are ready even to notice a thing, and only after the simplest ideas are repeated thousands of times will the masses finally remember them.

When there is a change, it must not alter the content of what the propaganda is driving at, but in the end must always say the same thing. For instance, a slogan must be presented from different angles, but the end of all remarks must always and immutably be the slogan itself. Only in this way can the propaganda have a unified and complete effect.

This broadness of outline from which we must never depart, in combination with steady, consistent emphasis, allows our final success to mature. And then, to our amazement, we shall see what tremendous results such perseverance leads to-to results that are almost beyond our understanding.

All advertising, whether in the field of business or politics, achieves success through the continuity and sustained uniformity of its application.

Here, too, the example of enemy war propaganda was typical; limited to a few points, devised exdusively for the masses, carried on with indefatigable persistence. Once the basic ideas and methods of execution were recognized as correct, they were applied throughout the whole War without the slightest change. At first the claims of the propaganda were so impudent that people thought it insane; later, it got on people's nerves; and in the end, it was believed. After four and a half years, a revolution broke out in Germany; and its slogans originated in the enemy's war propaganda.

And in England they understood one more thing: that this spiritual weapon can succeed only if it is applied on a tremendous scale, but that success amply covers all costs.

There, propaganda was regarded as a weapon of the first order, while in our country it was the last resort of unemployed politicians and a comfortable haven for slackers.

And, as was to be expected, its results all in all were zero.


Chapter VII: The Revolution

WITH THE YEAR 1915 enemy propaganda began in our country, after 1916 it became more and more intensive, till finally, at the beginning of the year 1918, it swelled to a positive flood. Now the results of this seduction could be seen at every step. The army gradually learned to think as the enemy wanted it to.

And the German counter-action was a complete failure.

In the person of the man whose intellect and will made him its leader, the army had the intention and determination to take up the struggle in this field, too, but it lacked the instrument which would have been necessary. And from the psychological point of view, it was wrong to have this enlightenment work carried on by the troops themselves. If it was to be effective, it had to come from home. Only then was there any assurance of success among the men who, after all, had been performing immortal deeds of heroism and privation for nearly four years for this homeland.

But what came out of the home country?

Was this failure stupidity or crime?

In midsummer of 1918, after the evacuation of the southern bank of the Marne, the German press above all conducted itself with such miserable awkwardness, nay, criminal stupidity, that my wrath mounted by the day, and the question arose within me: Is there really no one who can put an end to this spiritual squandering of the army's heroism?

What happened in France in 1914 when we swept into the country in an unprecedented storm of victory? What did Italy do in the days after her Isonzo front had collapsed? And what again did France do in the spring of 1918 when the attack of the German divisions seemed to lift her positions off their hinges and the far-reaching arm of the heavy long-range batteries began to knock at the doors of Paris?

How they whipped the fever heat of national passion into the faces of the hastily retreating regiments in those countries ! What propaganda and ingenious demagogy were used to hammer the faith in final victory back into the hearts of the broken fronts!

Meanwhile, what happened in our country?

Nothing, or worse than nothing.

Rage and indignation often rose up in me when I looked at the latest newspapers, and came face to face with the psychological mass murder that was being committed.

More than once I was tormented by the thought that if Providence had put me in the place of the incapable or criminal incompetents or scoundrels in our propaganda service, our battle with Destiny would have taken a different turn.

In these months I felt for the first time the whole malice of Destiny which kept me at the front in a position where every negro might accidentally shoot me to bits, while elsewhere I would have been able to perform quite different services for the fatherland !

For even then I was rash enough to believe that I would have succeeded in this.

But I was a nameless soldier, one among eight million!

And so it was better to hold my tongue and do my duty in the trenches as best I could.

In the summer of 1915, the first enemy leaflets fell into our hands.

Aside from a few changes in the form of presentation, their Content was almost always the same, to wit: that the suffering was growing greater and greater in Germany; that the War was going to last forever while the hope of winning it was gradually vanishing; that the people at home were, therefore, longing for peace, but that 'militarism' and the 'Kaiser' did not allow it; that the whole world-to whom this was very well known- was, therefore, not waging a war on the German people, but exclusively against the sole guilty party, the Kaiser; that, therefore, the War would not be over before this enemy of peaceful humanity should be eliminated; that when the War was ended, the libertarian and democratic nations would take the German people into the league of eternal world peace, which would be assured from the hour when ' Prussian militarism ' was destroyed.

The better to illustrate these claims, 'letters from home' were often reprinted whose contents seemed to confirm these assertions.

On the whole, we only laughed in those days at all these efforts. The leaflets were read, then sent back to the higher staffs, and for the most part forgotten until the wind again sent a load of them sailing down into the trenches; for, as a rule, the leaflets were brought over by airplanes.

In this type of propaganda there was one point which soon inevitably attracted attention: in every sector of the front where Bavarians were stationed, Prussia was attacked with extraordinary consistency, with the assurance that not only was Prussia on the one hand the really guilty and responsible party for the whole war, but that on the other hand there was not the slightest hostility against Bavaria in particular; however, there was no helping Bavaria as long as she served Prussian militarism and helped to pull its chestnuts out of the fire.

Actually this kind of propaganda began to achieve certain effects in 1915. The feeling against Prussia grew quite visibly among the troops-yet not a single step was taken against it from above. This was more than a mere sin of omission, and sooner or later we were bound to suffer most catastrophically for it; and not just the 'Prussians,' but the whole German people, to which Bavaria herself is not the last to belong.

In this direction enemy propaganda began to achieve unquestionable successes from 1916 on.

Likewise the complaining letters direct from home had long been having their effect. It was no longer necessary for the enemy to transmit them to the frontline soldiers by means of leaflets, etc. And against this, aside from a few psychologically idiotic 'admonitions' on the part of the 'government,' nothing was done. Just as before, the front was flooded with this poison dished up by thoughtless women at home, who, of course, did not suspect that this was the way to raise the enemy's confidence in victory to the highest pitch, thus consequently to prolong and sharpen the sufferings of their men at the fighting front. In the time that followed, the senseless letters of German women cost hundreds of thousands of men their lives.

Thus, as early as 1916, there appeared various phenomena that would better have been absents The men at the front complained and 'beefed'; they began to be dissatisfied in many ways and sometimes were even righteously indignant. While they starved and suffered, while their people at home lived in misery, there was abundance and high-living in other circles. Yes, even at the fighting front all was not in order in this respect.

Even then a slight crisis was emerging-but these were still

'internal' affairs. The same man, who at first had cursed and grumbled, silently did his duty a few minutes later as though

this was a matter of course. The same company, which at first was discontented, clung to the piece of trench it had to defend as though Germany's fate depended on these few hundred yards of mudholes. It was still the front of the old, glorious army of heroes!

I was to learn the difference between it and the homeland in a

glaring contrast.

At the end of September, 1916, my division moved into the Battle of the Somme. For us it was the first of the tremendous battles of materiel which now followed, and the impression was hard to describe-it was more like hell than war.

Under a whirlwind of drumfire that lasted for weeks, the German front held fast, sometimes forced back a little, then again pushing forward, but never wavering.

On October 7, 1916, I was wounded.

I was brought safely to the rear, and from there was to return to Germany with a transport.

Two years had now passed since I had seen the homeland under such conditions an almost endless time. I could scarcely imagine how Germans looked who were not in uniform. As I lay in the field hospital at Hermies, I almost collapsed for fright when suddenly the voice of a German woman serving as a nurse addressed a man lying beside me.

For the first time in two years to hear such a sound!

The closer our train which was to bring us home approached the border, the more inwardly restless each of us became. All the towns passed by, through which we had ridden two years previous as young soldiers: Brussels, Louvain, Liege, and at last we thought we recognized the first German house by its high gable and beautiful shutters.

The fatherland!

In October, 1914, we had burned with stormy enthusiasm as we crossed the border; now silence and emotion reigned. Each of us was happy that Fate again permitted him to see what he had had to defend so hard with his life, and each man was wellnigh ashamed to let another look him in the eye.

It was almost on the anniversary of the day when I left for the front that I reached the hospital at Beelitz near Berlin.

What a change! From the mud of the Battle of the Somme into the white beds of this miraculous building! In the beginning we hardly dared to lie in them properly. Only gradually could we reaccustom ourselves to this new world.

Unfortunately, this world was new in another respect as well.

The spirit of the army at the front seemed no longer to be a guest here.l Here for the first time I heard a thing that was still unknown at the front; men bragging about their own cowardice! For the cursing and 'beefing' you could hear at the front were never an incitement to shirk duty or a glorification of the coward. No! The coward still passed as a coward and as nothing else; and al he contempt which struck him was still general, just like the admiration that was given to the real hero. But here in the hospital it was partly almost the opposite: the most unscrupulous agitators did the talking and attempted with all the means of their contemptible eloquence to make the conceptions of the decent soldiers ridiculous and hold up the spineless coward as an example. A few wretched scoundrels in particular set the tone. One boasted that he himself had pulled his hand through a barbed-wire entanglement in order to be sent to the hospital; in spite of this absurd wound he seemed to have been here for an endless time, and for that matter he had only gotten into the transport to Germany by a swindle. This poisonous fellow went so far in his insolent effrontery as to represent his own cowardice as an emanation 2 Of higher bravery than the hero's death of an honest soldier. Many listened in silence, others went away, but a few assented.

Disgust mounted to my throat, but the agitator was calmly tolerated in the institution. What could be done? The management couldn't help knowing, and actually did know, exactly who and what he was. But nothing was done.

When I could again walk properly, I obtained permission to go to Berlin. Clearly there was dire misery everywhere. The big city was suffering from hunger. Discontent was great. In various soldiers' homes the tone was like that in the hospital. It gave you the impression that these scoundrels were intentionally frequenting such places in order to spread their views.

But much, much worse were conditions in Munich itself !

When I was discharged from the hospital as cured and transferred to the replacement battalion, I thought I could no longer recognize the city. Anger, discontent, cursing, wherever you went! In the replacement battalion itself the mood was beneath all criticism. Here a contributing factor was the immeasurably clumsy way in which the field soldiers were treated by old training officers who hadn't spent a single hour in the field and for this reason alone were only partially able to create a decent relationship with the old soldiers. For it had to be admitted that the latter possessed certain qualities which could be explained by their service at the front, but which remained totally incomprehensible to the leaders of these replacement detachments while the officer who had come from the front was at least able to explain them. The latter, of course, was respected by the men quite differently than the rear commander. But aside from this, the general mood was miserable: to be a slacker passed almost as a sign of higher wisdom, while loyal steadfastness was considered a symptom of inner weakness and narrow-mindedness. The offices were filled with Jews. Nearly every clerk was a Jew and nearly every Jew was a clerk. I was amazed at this plethora of warriors of the chosen people and could not help but compare them with their rare representatives at the front.

As regards economic life, things were even worse Here the Jewish people had become really 'indispensable.' The spider was slowly beginning to suck the blood out of the people's pores. Through the war corporations, they had found an instrument with which, little by little, to finish off the national free economy

The necessity of an unlimited centralization was emphasized

Thus, in the year 191S17 nearly the whole of production was under the control of Jewish finance.

But against whom was the hatred of the people directed?

At this time I saw with horror a catastrophe approaching which, unless averted in time, would inevitably lead to collapse.

While the Jew robbed the whole nation and pressed it beneath his domination, an agitation was carried on against the 'Prussians.' At home, as at the front, nothing was done against this poisonous propaganda. No one seemed to suspect that the collapse of Prussia would not by a long shot bring with it a resurgence of Bavaria; no, that on the contrary any fall of the one would inevitably carry the other along with it into the abyss.

I felt very badly about this behavior. In it I could only see the craftiest trick of the Jew, calculated to distract the general attention from himself and to others. While the Bavarian and the Prussian fought, he stole the existence of both of them from under their nose; while the Bavarians were cursing the Prussians, the Jew organized the revolution and smashed Prussia and Bavaria at once.

I could not bear this accursed quarrel among German peoples, and was glad to return to the front, for which I reported at once after my arrival in Munich.

At the beginning of March, 1917, I was back with my regiment.

Toward the end of I911, the low point of the army's dejection seemed to have passed. The whole army took fresh hope and fresh courage after the Russian collapse. The conviction that the War would end with the victory of Germany, after all, began to seize the troops more and more. Again singing could be heard and the Calamity Lanes became rarer. Again people believed in the future of the fatherland.

Especially the Italian collapse of autumn, 1917, had had the most wonderful effect; in this victory we saw a proof of the possibility of breaking through the front, even aside from the Russian theater of war. A glorious faith flowed again into the hearts of the millions, enabling them to await spring, 1918, with relief and confidence. The foe was visibly depressed. In this winter he remained quieter than usual. This was the lull before the storm.

But, while those at the front were undertaking the last preparations for the final conclusion of the eternal struggle, while endless transports of men and materiel were rolling toward the West Front, and the troops were being trained for the great attack- the biggest piece of chicanery in the whole war broke out in Germany.

Germany must not be victorious; in the last hour, with victory already threatening to be with the German banners, a means was chosen which seemed suited to stifle the German spring attack in the germ with one blow, to make victory impossible:

The munitions strike was organized

If it succeeded, the German front was bound to collapse, and the Vorwarts' desire that this time victory should not be with the German banners would inevitably be fulfilled. Owing to the lack of munitions, the front would inevitably be pierced in a few weeks; thus the offensive was thwarted, the Entente saved international capital was made master of Germany, and the inner aim of the Marxist swindle of nations achieved.

To smash the national economy and establish the rule of international capital a goal which actually was achieved, thanks to the stupidity and credulity of the one side and the bottomless cowardice of the other.

To be sure, the munitions strike did not have all the hoped-for success with regard to starving the front of arms; it collapsed too soon for the lack of munitions as such-as the plan had been- to doom the army to destruction.

But how much more terrible was the moral damage that had been done!

In the first place: What was the army fighting for if the homeland itself no longer wanted victory? For whom the immense sacrifices and privations? The soldier is expected to fight for victory and the homeland goes on strike against it!

And in the second place: What was the effect on the enemy?

In the winter of 1917 to 1918, dark clouds appeared for the first time in the firmament of the Allied world. For nearly four years they had been assailing the German warrior and had been unable to encompass his downfall; and all this while the German had only his shield arm free for defense, while his sword was obliged to strike, now in the East, now in the South. But now at last the giant's back was free. Streams of blood had flown before he administered final defeat to one of his foes. Now in the West his shield was going to be joined by his sword; up till then the enemy had been unable to break his defense, and now he himself was facing attack.

The enemy feared him and trembled for their victory.

In London and Paris one deliberation followed another, but at the front sleepy silence prevailed. Suddenly their high mightinesses lost their effrontery. Even enemy propaganda was having a hard time of it; it was no longer so easy to prove the hopelessness of German victory.

But this also applied to the Allied troops at the fronts. A ghastly light began to dawn slowly even on them. Their inner attitude toward the German soldier had changed. Until then he may have seemed to them a fool destined to defeat; but now it was the destroyer of the Russian ally that stood before them. The limitation of the German offensives to the East, though born of necessity, now seemed to them brilliant tactics. For three years these Germans had stormed the Russian front, at first it seemed without the slightest success. The Allies almost laughed over this aimless undertaking; for in the end the Russian giant with his overwhelming number of men was sure to remain the victor while Germany would inevitably collapse from loss of blood. Reality seemed to confirm this hope.

Since the September days of 1914, when for the first time the endless hordes of Russian prisoners from the Battle of Tannenberg began moving into Germany over the roads and railways, this stream was almost without end-but for every defeated and destroyed army a new one arose. Inexhaustibly the gigantic Empire gave the Tsar more and more new soldiers and the War its new victims. How long could Germany keep up this race? Would not the day inevitably come when the Germans would win their last victory and still the Russian armies would not be marching to their last battle? And then what? In all human probability the victory of Russia could be postponed, but it was bound to come.

Now all these hopes were at an end: the ally who had laid the greatest blood sacrifices on the altar of common interests was at the end of his strength, and lay prone at the feet of the inexorable assailant. Fear and horror crept into the hearts of the soldiers who had hitherto believed so blindly. They feared the coming spring. For if up until then they had not succeeded in defeating the German when he was able to place only part of his forces on the Western Front, how could they count on victory now that the entire power of this incredible heroic state seemed to be concentrating for an attack on the West?

The shadows of the South Tyrolean Mountains lay oppressive on the fantasy; as far as the mists of Flanders, the defeated armies of Cadorna conjured up gloomy faces, and faith in victory ceded to fear of coming defeat.

Then-when out of the cool nights the Allied soldiers already seemed to hear the dull rumble of the advancing storm units of the German army, and with eyes fixed in fear and trepidation awaited the approaching judgment, suddenly a flaming red light arose in Germany, casting its glow into the last shell-hole of the enemy front: at the very moment when the German divisions were receiving their last instructions for the great attack, the general strike broke out in Germany.

At first the world was speechless. But then enemy propaganda hurled itself with a sigh of relief on this help that came in the eleventh hour. At one stroke the means was found to restore the sinking confidence of the Allied soldiers, once again to represent the probability of victory as certain,l and transform dread anxiety in the face of coming events into determined confidence. Now the regiments awaiting the German attack could be sent into the greatest battle of all time with the conviction that, not the boldness of the German assault would decide the end of this war but the perseverance of the defense. Let the Germans achieve as many victories as they pleased; at home the revolution was before the door, and not the victorious army..

English, French, and American newspapers began to implant this faith in the hearts of their readers while an infinitely shrewd propaganda raised the spirits of the troops at the front.

'Germany facing revolution! Victory of the Allies inevitable! This was the best medicine to help the wavering poilu and Tommy back on their feet. Now rifles and machine guns could again be made to fire, and a headlong flight in panic fear was replaced by hopeful resistance.

This was the result of the munitions strike. It strengthened the enemy peoples' belief in victory and relieved the paralyzing despair of the Allied front-in the time that followed, thousands of German soldiers had to pay for this with their blood. The instigators of this vilest of all scoundrelly tricks were the aspirants to the highest state positions of revolutionary Germany.

On the German side, it is true, the visible reaction to this crime could at first apparently be handled; on the enemy side, however, the consequences did not fail to appear. The resistance had lost the aimlessness of an army giving up all as lost, and took on the bitterness of a struggle for victory.

For now, in all human probability, victory was inevitable if the Western Front could stand up under a German attack for only a few months. The parliaments of the Entente, however, recognized the possibilities for the future and approved unprecedented expenditures for continuing the propaganda to disrupt Germany. I had the good fortune to fight in the first two offensives and in the last.

These became the most tremendous impressions of my life; tremendous because now for the last time, as in 1914, the fight lost the character of defense and assumed that of attack. A sigh of relief passed through the trenches and the dugouts of the German army when at length, after more than three years' endurance in the enemy hell, the day of retribution came. Once again the victorious battalions cheered and hung the last wreaths of immortal laurel on their banners rent by the storm of victory. Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children.

In midsummer of 1918, oppressive sultriness lay over the front. At home there was fighting. For what? In the different detachments of the field army all sorts of things were being said: that the war was now hopeless and only fools could believe in victory That not the people but only capital and the monarchy had an interest in holding out any longer-all this came from the homeland and was discussed even at the front.

At first the front reacted very little. What did we care about universal suffrage? Had we fought four years for that? It was vile banditry to steal the war aim of the dead heroes from their very graves. The young regiments had not gone to their death in Flanders crying: 'Long dive universal suffrage and the secret ballot,' but crying: 'Deutschland uber Alles in der Welt.' A small yet not entirely insignificant, difference. But most of those who cried out for suffrage hadn't ever been in the place where they now wanted to fight for it. The front was unknown to the whole political party rabble. Only a small fraction of the Parliamentary ian gentlemen could be seen where all decent Germans with sound limbs left were sojourning at that time.

And so the old personnel at the front was not very receptive to this new war aims of Messrs. Ebert, Scheidemann, Barth, Liebnitz, etc. They couldn't for the life of them see why suddenly the slackers should have the right to arrogate to themselves control of the state over the heads of the army.

My personal attitude was established from the very start. I hated the whole gang of miserable party scoundrels and betrayers of the people in the extreme. It had long been clear to me that this whole gang was not really concerned with the welfare of the nation, but with filling empty pockets. For this they were ready to sacrifice the whole nation, and if necessary to let Germany be destroyed; and in my eyes this made them ripe for hanging. To take consideration of their wishes was to sacrifice the interests of the working people for the benefit of a few pickpockets; these wishes could only be fulfilled by giving up Germany.

And the great majority of the embattled army still thought the same. Only the reinforcements coming from home rapidly grew worse and worse, so that their arrival meant, not a reinforcement but a weakening of our fighting strength. Especially the young reinforcements were mostly worthless. It was often hard to believe that these were sons of the same nation which had once sent its youth out to the battle for Ypres.

In August and September, the symptoms of disorganization increased more and more rapidly, although the effect of the enemy attack was not to be compared with the terror of our former defensive battles. The past Battle of Flanders and the Battle of the Somme had been awesome by comparison.

At the end of September, my division arrived for the third time at the positions which as young volunteer regiments we had once stormed.

What a memory!

In October and November of I914, we had there received our baptism of fire. Fatherland love in our heart and songs on our lips, our young regiments had gone into the battle as to a dance The most precious blood there sacrificed itself joyfully, in the faith that it was preserving the independence and freedom of the fatherland.

In July, I917, we set foot for the second time on the ground that was sacred to all of us. For in it the best comrades slumbered still almost children, who had run to their death with gleaming eyes for the one true fatherland.

We old soldiers, who had then marched out with the regiment stood in respectful emotion at this shrine of 'loyalty and obedience to the death.'

Now in a hard defensive battle the regiment was to defend this soil which it had stormed three years earlier.

With three weeks of drumfire the Englishman prepared the great Flanders offensive. The spirits of the dead seemed to quicken; the regiment clawed its way into the filthy mud, bit into the various holes and craters, and neither gave ground nor wavered. As once before in this place, it grew steadily smaller and thinner, until the British attack finally broke loose on July 13, 1917.

In the first days of August we were relieved.

The regiment had turned into a few companies: crusted with mud they tottered back, more like ghosts than men. But aside from a few hundred meters of shell holes, the Englishman had found nothing but death.

Now, in the fall of 1918, we stood for the third time on the storm site of 1914. The little city of Comines where we then rested had now become our battlefield. Yet, though the battlefield was the same, the men had changed: for now 'political discussions went on even among the troops. As everywhere, the poison of the hinterland began, here too, to be effective. And the younger recruit fell down completely for he came from home.

In the night of October 13, the English gas attack on the southern front before Ypres burst loose; they used yellow-cross gas, whose effects were still unknown to us as far as personal experience was concerned. In this same night I myself was to become acquainted with it. On a hill south of Wervick, we came on the evening of October 13 into several hours of drumfire with gas shells which continued all night more or less violently. As early as midnight, a number of us passed out, a few of our comrades forever. Toward morning I, too, was seized with pain which grew worse with every quarter hour, and at seven in the morning I stumbled and tottered back with burning eyes; taking with me my last report of the War.

A few hours later, my eyes had turned into glowing coals; it had grown dark around me.

Thus I came to the hospital at Pasewalk in Pomerania, and there I was fated to experience-the greatest villainy of the century.

For a long time there had been something indefinite but repulsive in the air. People were telling each other that in the next few weeks it would ' start in '-but I was unable to imagine what was meant by this. First I thought of a strike like that of the spring. Unfavorable rumors were constantly coming from the navy, which was said to be in a state of ferment. But this, too, seemed to me more the product of the imagination of individual scoundrels than an affair involving real masses. Even in the hospital, people were discussing the end of the War which they hoped would come soon, but no one counted on anything immediate. I was unable to read the papers.

In November the general tension increased.

And then one day, suddenly and unexpectedly, the calamity descended. Sailors arrived in trucks and proclaimed the revolution; a few Jewish youths were the 'leaders' in this struggle for the 'freedom, beauty, and dignity' of our national existence. None of them had been at the front. By way of a so-called 'gonorrhoea hospital,' the three Orientals had been sent back home from their second-line base. Now they raised the red rag in the homeland.

In the last few days I had been getting along better. The piercing pain in my eye sockets was diminishing; slowly I succeeded in distinguishing the broad outlines of the things about me. I was given grounds for hoping that I should recover my eyesight at least well enough to be able to pursue some profession later. To be sure, I could no longer hope that I would ever be able to draw again. In any case, I was on the road to improvement when the monstrous thing happened.

My first hope was still that this high treason might still be a more or less local affair. I also tried to bolster up a few comrades in this view. Particularly my Bavarian friends in the hospital were more than accessible to this. The mood there was anything but 'revolutionary.' I could not imagine that the madness would break out in Munich, too. Loyalty to the venerable House of Wittelsbach seemed to me stronger, after all, than the will of a few Jews. Thus I could not help but believe that this was merely a Putsch on the part of the navy and would be crushed in the next few days.

The next few days came and with them the most terrible certainty of my life. The rumors became more and more oppressive. What I had taken for a local affair was now said to be a general revolution. To this was added the disgraceful news from the front. They wanted to capitulate. Was such a thing really possible?

On November 10, the pastor came to the hospital for a short address: now we learned everything.

In extreme agitation, I, too, was present at the short speech. The dignified old gentleman seemed all a-tremble as he informed us that the House of Hollenzollern should no longer bear the German imperial crown; that the fatherland had become a ' republic '; that we must pray to the Almighty not to refuse His blessing to this change and not to abandon our people in the times to come. He could not help himself, he had to speak a few words in memory of the royal house. He began to praise its services in Pomerania, in Prussia, nay, to the German fatherland, and-here he began to sob gently to himself-in the little hall the deepest dejection settled on all hearts, and I believe that not an eye was able to restrain its tears. But when the old gentleman tried to go on, and began to tell us that we must now end the long War, yes, that now that it was lost and we were throwing ourselves upon the mercy of the victors, our fatherland would for the future be exposed to dire oppression, that the armistice should be accepted with confidence in the magnanimity of our previous enemies-I could stand it no longer. It became impossible for me to sit still one minute more. Again everything went black before my eyes; I tottered and groped my way back to the dormitory, threw myself on my bunk, and dug my burning head into my blanket and pillow.

Since the day when I had stood at my mother's grave, I had not wept. When in my youth Fate seized me with merciless hardness, my defiance mounted. When in the long war years Death snatched so many a dear comrade and friend from our ranks, it would have seemed to me almost a sin to complain- after all, were they not dying for Germany? And when at length the creeping gas-in the last days of the dreadful struggle- attacked me, too, and began to gnaw at my eyes, and beneath the fear of going blind forever, I nearly lost heart for a moment, the voice of my conscience thundered at me: Miserable wretch, are you going to cry when thousands are a hundred times worse off than you! And so I bore my lot in dull silence. But now I could not help it. Only now did I see how all personal suffering vanishes in comparison with the misfortune of the fatherland.

And so it had all been in vain. In vain all the sacrifices and privations; in vain the hunger and thirst of months which were often endless; in vain the hours in which, with mortal fear clutching at our hearts, we nevertheless did our duty; and in vain the death of two millions who died. Would not the graves of all the hundreds of thousands open, the graves of those who with faith in the fatherland had marched forth never to return? Would they not open and send the silent mud- and blood-covered heroes back as spirits of vengeance to the homeland which had cheated them with such mockery of the highest sacrifice which a man can make to his people in this world? Had they died for is, the soldiers of August and September, 1914? Was it for this that in the autumn of the same year the volunteer regiments marched after their old comrades? Was it for this that these boys of seventeen sank into the earth of Flanders? Was this the meaning of the sacrifice which the German mother made to the fatherland when with sore heart she let her best-loved boys march off, never to see them again? Did all this happen only so that a gang of wretched criminals could lay hands on the fatherland?

Was it for this that the German soldier had stood host in the sun's heat-and in snowstorms, hungry, thirsty, and freezing, weary from sleepless nights and endless marches? Was it for this that he had lain in the hell of the drumfire and in the fever of gas attacks without wavering, always thoughtful of his one duty to preserve the fatherland from the enemy peril?

Verily these heroes deserved a headstone: 'Thou Wanderer who comest to Germany, tell those at home that we lie here, true to the fatherland and obedient to duty.'

And what about those at home-?

And yet, was it only our own sacrifice that we had to weigh in the balance? Was the Germany of the past less precious? Was there no obligation toward our own history? Were we still worthy to relate the glory of the past to ourselves? And how could this deed be justified to future generations?

Miserable and degenerate criminals!

The more I tried to achieve clarity on the monstrous event in this hour, the more the shame of indignation and disgrace burned my brow. What was all the pain in my eyes compared to this misery?

There followed terrible days and even worse nights-I knew that all was lost. Only fools, liars, and criminals could hope in the mercy of the enemy. In these nights hatred grew in me, hatred for those responsible for this deed.

In the days that followed, my own fate became known to me.

I could not help but laugh at the thought of my own future which only a short time before had given me such bitter concern. Was it not ridiculous to expect to build houses on such ground? At last it became clear to me that what had happened was what I had so often feared but had never been able to believe with my emotions.

Kaiser William II was the first German Emperor to hold out a conciliatory hand to the leaders of Marxism, without suspecting that scoundrels have no honor. While they still held the imperial hand in theirs, their other hand was reaching for the dagger.

There is no making pacts with Jews; there can only be the hard: either-or.

I, for my part, decided to go into politics.

Chapter VIII: The Beginning of My Political Activity

AT THE END of November, 1918, I returned to Munich. Again I went to the replacement battalion of my regiment, which was in the hands of 'soldiers' councils.' Their whole activity was so repellent to me that I decided at once to leave again as soon as possible. With Schmiedt Ernst, a faithful war comrade, I went to Traunstein and remained there till the camp was broken up.

In March, 1919, we went back to Munich.

The situation was untenable and moved inevitably toward a further continuation of the revolution. Eisner's death only hastened the development and finally led to a dictatorship of the Councils, or, better expressed, to a passing rule of the Jews, as had been the original aim of the instigators of the whole revolution.

At this time endless plans chased one another through my head. For days I wondered what could be done, but the end of every meditation was the sober realization that I, nameless as I was, did not possess the least basis for any useful action. I shall come back to speak of the reasons why then, as before, I could not decide to join any of the existing parties.

In the course of the new revolution of the Councils I for the first time acted in such a way as to arouse the disapproval of the Central Council. Early in the morning of April 27, 1919, I was to be arrested, but, faced with my leveled carbine, the three scoundrels lacked the necessary courage and marched off as they had come.

A few days after the liberation of Munich, I was ordered to report to the examining commission concerned with revolutionary occurrences in the Second Infantry Regiment.

This was my first more or less purely political activity.

Only a few weeks afterward I received orders to attend a ' course ' that was held for members of the armed forces. In it the soldier was supposed to learn certain fundamentals of civic thinking. For me the value of the whole affair was that I now obtained an opportunity of fleeting a few like-minded comrades with whom I could thoroughly discuss the situation of the moment. All of us were more or less firmly convinced that Germany could no longer be saved from the impending collapse by the parties of the November crime, the Center and the Social Democracy, and that the so-called 'bourgeois-national' formations, even with the best of intentions, could never repair what had happened. A whole series of preconditions were lacking, without which such a task simply could not succeed. The following period confirmed the opinion we then held. Thus, in our own circle we discussed the foundation of a new party. The basic ideas which we had in mind were the same as those later realized in the ' German Workers' Party.' The name of the movement to be founded would from the very beginning have to offer the possibility of approaching the broad masses; for without this quality the whole task seemed aimless and superfluous. Thus we arrived at the name of ' Social Revolutionary Party'; this because the social views of the new organization did indeed mean a revolution.

But the deeper ground for this lay in the following: however much I had concerned myself with economic questions at an earlier day, my efforts had remained more or less within the limits resulting from the contemplation of social questions as such. Only later did this framework broaden through examination of the German alliance policy. This in very great part was the outcome of a false estimation of economics as well as unclarity concerning the possible basis for sustaining the German people in the future. But all these ideas were based on the opinion that capital in any case was solely the result of labor and, therefore, like itself was subject to the correction of all those factors which can either advance or thwart human activity; and the national importance of capital was that it depended so completely on the greatness, freedom, and power of the state, hence of the nation, that this bond in itself would inevitably cause capital to further the state and the nation owing to its simple instinct of self-preservation or of reproduction. This dependence of capital on the independent free state would, therefore, force capital in turn to champion this freedom, power, strength, etc., of the nation.

Thus, the task of the state toward capital was comparatively simple and clear: it only had to make certain that capital remain the handmaiden of the state and not fancy itself the mistress of the nation. This point of view could then be defined between two restrictive limits: preservation of a solvent, national, and independent economy on the one hand, assurance of the social rights of the workers on the other.

Previously I had been unable to recognize with the desired clarity the difference between this pure capital as the end result of productive labor and a capital whose existence and essence rests exclusively on speculation. For this I lacked the initial inspiration, which had simply not come my way.

But now this was provided most amply by one of the various gentlemen lecturing in the above-mentioned course: Gottfried Feder.

For the first time in my life I heard a principled discussion of international stock exchange and loan capital.

Right after listening to Feder's first lecture, the thought ran through my head that I had now found the way to one of the most essential premises for the foundation of a new party.

In my eyes Feder's merit consisted in having established with ruthless brutality the speculative and economic character of stock exchange and loan capital, and in having exposed its eternal and age-old presupposition which is interest. His arguments were so sound in all fundamental questions that their critics from the start questioned the theoretical correctness of the idea less than they doubted the practical possibility of its execution. But what in the eyes of others was a weakness of Feder's arguments, in my eyes constituted their strength.

It is not the task of a theoretician to determine the varying degrees in which a cause can be realized, but to establish the cause as such: that is to say: he must concern himself less with the road than with the goal. In this, however, the basic correctness of an idea is decisive and not the difficulty of its execution. As soon as the theoretician attempts to take account of so-called 'utility' and 'reality' instead of the absolute truth, his work will cease to be a polar star of seeking humanity and instead will become a prescription for everyday life. The theoretician of a movement must lay down its goal, the politician strive for its fulfillment. The thinking of the one, therefore, will be determined by eternal truth, the actions of the other more by the practical reality of the moment. The greatness of the one lies in the absolute abstract soundness of his idea, that of the other in his correct attitude toward the given facts and their advantageous application; and in this the theoretician's aim must serve as his guiding star. While the touchstone for the stature of a politician may be regarded as the success of his plans and acts-in other words, the degree to which they become reality-the realization of the theoretician's ultimate purpose can never be realized, since, though human thought can apprehend truths and set up crystal-clear aims, complete fulfillment will fail due to the general imperfection and inadequacy of man. The more abstractly correct and hence powerful the idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings. Therefore, the stature of the theoretician must not be measured by the fulfillment of his aims, but by their soundness and the influence they have had on the development of humanity. If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth, since the fulfillment of their ethical purposes will never be even approximately complete. In its workings, even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder; its significance, however, lies in the direction which it attempted to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality.

The enormous difference between the tasks of the theoretician and the politician is also the reason why a union of both in one person is almost never found. This is especially true of the so-called 'successful' politician of small format, whose activity for the most part is only an 'art of the possible,' as Bismarck rather modestly characterized politics in general. The freer such a 'politician' keeps himself from great ideas, the easier and often the more visible, but always the more rapid, his successes will be. To be sure, they are dedicated to earthly transitoriness and sometimes do not survive the death of their fathers. The work of such politicians, by and large, is unimportant nor posterity, since their successes in the present are based solely on keeping at a distance all really great and profound problems and ideas, which as such would only have been of value for later generations.

The execution of such aims, which have value and significance for the most distant times, usually brings little reward to the man who champions them and rarely finds understanding among the great masses, who for the moment have more understanding for beer and milk regulations than for farsighted plans for the future, whose realization can only occur far hence, and whose benefits will be reaped only by posterity.

Thus, from a certain vanity, which is always a cousin of stupidity, the great mass of politicians will keep far removed from all really weighty plans for the future, in order not to lose the momentary sympathy of the great mob. The success and significance of such a politician lie then exclusively in the present, and do not exist for posterity. But small minds are little troubled by this; they are content.

With the theoretician conditions are different. His importance lies almost always solely in the future, for not seldom he is what is described by the world as 'unworldly.' For if the art of the politician is really the art of the possible, the theoretician is one of those of whom it can be said that they are pleasing to the gods only if they demand and want the impossible. He will almost always have to renounce the recognition of the present, but in return, provided his ideas are immortal, will harvest the fame of posterity.

In long periods of humanity, it may happen once that the politician is wedded to the theoretician. The more profound this fusion, however, the greater are the obstacles opposing the work of the politician. He no longer works for necessities which will be understood by the first best shopkeeper, but for aims which only the fewest comprehend. Therefore, his life is torn by love and hate. The protest of the present which does not understand the man, struggles with the recognition of posterity-for which he works.

For the greater a man's works for the future, the less the present can comprehend them; the harder his fight, and the rarer success. If, however, once in centuries success does come to a man, perhaps in his latter days a faint beam of his coming glory may shine upon him. To be sure, these great men are only the Marathon runners of history; the laurel wreath of the present touches only the brow of the dying hero.

Among them must be counted the great warriors in this world who, though not understood by the present, are nevertheless prepared to carry the fight for their ideas and ideals to their end. They are the men who some day will be closest to the heart of the people; it almost seems as though every individual feels the duty of compensating in the past for the sins which the present once committed against the great. Their life and work are followed with admiring gratitude and emotion, and especially in days of gloom they have the power to raise up broken hearts and despairing souls.

To them belong, not only the truly great statesmen, but all other great reformers as well. Beside Frederick the Great stands Martin Luther as well as Richard Wagner.

As I listened to Gottfried Feder's first lecture about the 'breaking of interest slavery,' I knew at once that this was a theoretical truth which would inevitably be of immense importance for the future of the German people. The sharp separation of stock exchange capital from the national economy offered the possibility of opposing the internationalization of the German economy without at the same time menacing the foundations of an independent national self-maintenance by a struggle against all capital. The development of Germany was much too clear in my eyes for me not to know that the hardest battle would have to be fought, not against hostile nations, but against international capital. In Feder's lecture I sensed a powerful slogan for this coming struggle.

And here again later developments proved how correct our sentiment of those days was. Today the know-it-alls among our

bourgeois politicians no longer laugh at us: today even they, in so far as they are not conscious liars, see that international stock exchange capital was not only the greatest agitator for the War, but that especially, now that the fight is over, it spares no effort to turn the peace into a hell.

The fight against international finance and loan capital became the most important point in the program of the German nation's struggle for its economic independence and freedom.

As regards the objections of so-called practical men, they can be answered as follows: All fears regarding the terrible economic consequences of the ' breaking of interest slavery ' are superfluous; for, in the first place, the previous economic prescriptions have turned out very badly for the German people, and your positions on the problems of national self-maintenance remind us strongly of the reports of similar experts in former times, for example, those of the Bavarian medical board on the question of introducing the railroad. It is well known that none of the fears of this exalted corporation were later realized: the travelers in the trains of the new 'steam horse ' did not get dizzy, the onlookers did not get sick, and the board fences to hide the new invention from sight were given up-only the board fences around the brains of all so-called 'experts' were preserved for posterity.

In the second place, the following should be noted: every idea, even the best, becomes a danger if it parades as a purpose in itself, being in reality only a means to one. For me and all true National Socialists there is but one doctrine: people and fatherland.

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe.

Every thought and every idea, every doctrine and all knowledge, must serve this purpose. And everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility. Then no theory will stiffen into a dead doctrine, since it is life alone that all things must serve.

Thus, it was the conclusions of Gottfried Feder that caused me to delve into the fundamentals of this field with which I had previously not been very familiar.

I began to study again, and now for the first time really achieved an understanding of the content of the Jew Karl Marx's life effort. Only now did his Capital become really intelligible to me, and also the struggle of the Social Democracy against the national economy, which aims only to prepare the ground for the domination of truly international finance and stock exchange capital.

But also in another respect these courses were of the greatest consequence to me.

One day I asked for the floor. One of the participants felt obliged to break a lance for the Jews and began to defend them in lengthy arguments. This aroused me to an answer. The overwhelming majority of the students present took my standpoint The result was that a few days later I was sent into a Munich regiment as a so-called 'educational officer.'

Discipline among the men was still comparatively weak at that time. It suffered from the after-effects of the period of soldiers' councils. Only very slowly and cautiously was it possible to replace voluntary obedience-the pretty name that was given to the pig-sty under Kurt Eisner-by the old military discipline and subordination. Accordingly, the men were now expected to learn to feel and think in a national and patriotic way. In these two directions lay the field of my new activity.

I started out with the greatest enthusiasm and love. For all at once I was offered an opportunity of speaking before a larger audience; and the thing that I had always presumed from pure feeling without knowing it was now corroborated: I could 'speak.' My voice, too, had grown so much better that I could be sufficiently understood at least in every corner of the small squad rooms.

No task could make me happier than this, for now before being discharged I was able to perform useful services to the institution which had been so close to my heart: the army.

And I could boast of some success: in the course of my lectures I led many hundreds, indeed thousands, of comrades back to their people and fatherland. I 'nationalized' the troops and was thus also able to help strengthen the general discipline.

Here again I became acquainted with a number of like-minded comrades, who later began to form the nucleus of the new movement.