Germany's Policy In Eastern Europe
THERE ARE TWO CONSIDERATIONS WHICH INDUCE ME TO MAKE A SPECIAL analysis of Germany's position in regard to Russia. These are:
(1) This may prove to be the most decisive point in determining Germany's foreign policy.
(2) The problem which has to be solved in this connection is also a touchstone to test the political capacity of the young National Socialist Movement for clear thinking and acting along the right lines.
I must confess that the second consideration has often been a source of great anxiety to me. The members of our movement are not recruited from circles which are habitually indifferent to public affairs, but mostly from among men who hold more or less extreme views. Such being the case, it is only natural that their understanding of foreign politics should suffer from the prejudice and inadequate knowledge of those circles to which they were formerly attached by political and ideological ties. And this is true not merely of the men who come to us from the Left. On the contrary, however subversive may have been the kind of teaching they formerly received in regard to these problems, in very many cases this was at least partly counterbalanced by the residue of sound and natural instincts which remained. In such cases it is only necessary to substitute a better teaching in place of the earlier influences, in order to transform the instinct of self-preservation and other sound instincts into valuable assets.
On the other hand, it is much more difficult to impress definite political ideas on the minds of men whose earlier political education was not less nonsensical and illogical than that given to the partisans of the Left. These men have sacrificed the last residue of their natural instincts to the worship of some abstract and entirely objective theory. It is particularly difficult to induce these representatives of our so-called intellectual circles to take a realistic and logical view of their own interests and the interests of their nation in its relations with foreign countries. Their minds are overladen with a huge burden of prejudices and absurd ideas and they have lost or renounced every instinct of self-preservation. With those men also the National Socialist Movement has to fight a hard battle. And the struggle is all the harder because, though very often they are utterly incompetent, they are so self-conceited that, without the slightest justification, they look down with disdain on ordinary commonsense people. These arrogant snobs who pretend to know better than other people, are wholly incapable of calmly and coolly analysing a problem and weighing its pros and cons, which are the necessary preliminaries of any decision or action in the field of foreign politics.
It is just this circle which is beginning to-day to divert our foreign policy into most disastrous directions and turn it away from the task of promoting the real interests of the nation. Seeing that they do this in order to serve their own fantastic ideologies, I feel myself obliged to take the greatest pains in laying before my own colleagues a clear exposition of the most important problem in our foreign policy, namely, our position in relation to Russia. I shall deal with it, as thoroughly as may be necessary to make it generally understood and as far as the limits of this book permit. Let me begin by laying down the following postulate:
When we speak of foreign politics we understand that domain of government which has set before it the task of managing the affairs of a nation in its relations with the rest of the world. Now the guiding principles which must be followed in managing these affairs must be based on the definite facts that are at hand. Moreover, as National Socialists, we must lay down the following axiom regarding the manner in which the foreign policy of a People's State should be conducted:
The foreign policy of a People's State must first of all bear in mind the duty of securing the existence of the race which is incorporated in this State. And this must be done by establishing a healthy and natural proportion between the number and growth of the population on the one hand and the extent and resources of the territory they inhabit, on the other. That balance must be such that it accords with the vital necessities of the people.
What I call a healthy proportion is that in which the support of a people is guaranteed by the resources of its own soil and sub-soil. Any situation which falls short of this condition is none the less unhealthy even though it may endure for centuries or even a thousand years. Sooner or later, this lack of proportion must of necessity lead to the decline or even annihilation of the people concerned.
Only a sufficiently large space on this earth can assure the independent existence of a people.
The extent of the territorial expansion that may be necessary for the settlement of the national population must not be estimated by present exigencies nor even by the magnitude of its agricultural productivity in relation to the number of the population. In the first volume of this book, under the heading "Germany's Policy of Alliances before the War," I have already explained that the geometrical dimensions of a State are of importance not only as the source of the nation's foodstuffs and raw materials, but also from the political and military standpoints. Once a people is assured of being able to maintain itself from the resources of the national territory, it must think of how this national territory can be defended. National security depends on the political strength of a State, and this strength, in its turn, depends on the military possibilities inherent in the geographical situation.
Thus the German nation could assure its own future only by being a World Power. For nearly two thousand years the defence of our national interests was a matter of world history, as can be seen from our more or less successful activities in the field of foreign politics. We ourselves have been witnesses to this, seeing that the gigantic struggle that went on from 1914 to 1918 was only the struggle of the German people for their existence on this earth, and it was carried out in such a way that it has become known in history as the World War.
When Germany entered this struggle it was presumed that she was a World Power. I say presumed, because in reality she was no such thing. In 1914, if there had been a different proportion between the German population and its territorial area, Germany would have been really a World Power and, if we leave other factors out of count, the War would have ended in our favour.
It is not my task nor my intention here to discuss what would have happened if certain conditions had been fulfilled. But I feel it absolutely incumbent on me to show the present conditions in their bare and unadorned reality, insisting on the weakness inherent in them, so that at least in the ranks of the National Socialist Movement they should receive the necessary recognition.
Germany is not at all a World Power to-day. Even though our present military weakness could be overcome, we still would have no claim to be called a World Power. What importance on earth has a State in which the proportion between the size of the population and the territorial area is so miserable as in the present German Reich? At an epoch in which the world is being gradually portioned out among States many of whom almost embrace whole continents one cannot speak of a World Power in the case of a State whose political motherland is confined to a territorial area of barely five-hundred-thousand square kilometres.
Looked at purely from the territorial point of view, the area comprised in the German Reich is insignificant in comparison with the other States that are called World Powers. England must not be cited here as an example to contradict this statement; for the English motherland is in reality the great metropolis of the British World Empire, which owns almost a fourth of the earth's surface. Next to this we must consider the American Union as one of the foremost among the colossal States, also Russia and China. These are enormous spaces, some of which are more than ten times greater in territorial extent than the present German Reich. France must also be ranked among these colossal States. Not only because she is adding to the strength of her army in a constantly increasing measure by recruiting coloured troops from the population of her gigantic empire, but also because France is racially becoming more and more negroid, so much so that now one can actually speak of the creation of an African State on European soil. The contemporary colonial policy of France cannot be compared with that of Germany in the past. If France develops along the lines it has taken in our day, and should that development continue for the next three hundred years, all traces of French blood will finally be submerged in the formation of a Euro-African Mulatto State. This would represent a formidable and compact colonial territory stretching from the Rhine to the Congo, inhabited by an inferior race which had developed through a slow and steady process of bastardization.
That process distinguishes French colonial policy from the policy followed by the old Germany.
The former German colonial policy was carried out by half-measures, as was almost everything they did at that time. They did not gain an expanse of territory for the settlement of German nationals nor did they attempt to reinforce the power of the Reich through the enlistment of black troops, which would have been a criminal undertaking. The Askari in German East Africa represented a small and hesitant step along this road; but in reality they served only for the defence of the colony itself. The idea of importing black troops to a European theatre of war--apart entirely from the practical impossibility of this in the World War--was never entertained as a proposal to be carried out under favourable circumstances; whereas, on the contrary, the French always looked on such an idea as fundamental in their colonial activities.
Thus we find in the world to-day not only a number of States that are much greater than the German in the mere numerical size of their populations, but also possess a greater support for their political power. The proportion between the territorial dimensions of the German Reich and the numerical size of its population was never so unfavourable in comparison with the other world States as at the beginning of our history two thousand years ago and again to-day. At the former juncture we were a young people and we stormed a world which was made up of great States that were already in a decadent condition, of which the last giant was Rome, to whose overthrow we contributed. To-day we find ourselves in a world of great and powerful States, among which the importance of our own Reich is constantly declining more and more.
We must always face this bitter truth with clear and calm minds. We must study the area and population of the German Reich in relation to the other States and compare them down through the centuries. Then we shall find that, as I have said, Germany is not a World Power whether its military strength be great or not.
There is no proportion between our position and that of the other States throughout the world. And this lack of proportion is to be attributed to the fact that our foreign policy never had a definite aim to attain, and also to the fact that we lost every sound impulse and instinct for self-preservation.
If the historians who are to write our national history at some future date are to give the National Socialist Movement the credit of having devoted itself to a sacred duty in the service of our people, this movement will have to recognize the real truth of our situation in regard to the rest of the world. However painful this recognition may be, the movement must draw courage from it and a sense of practical realities in fighting against the aimlessness and incompetence which has hitherto been shown by our people in the conduct of their foreign policy. Without respect for 'tradition,' and without any preconceived notions, the movement must find the courage to organize our national forces and set them on the path which will lead them away from that territorial restriction which is the bane of our national life to-day, and win new territory for them. Thus the movement will save the German people from the danger of perishing or of being slaves in the service of any other people.
Our movement must seek to abolish the present disastrous proportion between our population and the area of our national territory, considering national territory as the source of our maintenance or as a basis of political power. And it ought to strive to abolish the contrast between past history and the hopelessly powerless situation in which we are to-day. In striving for this it must bear in mind the fact that we are members of the highest species of humanity on this earth, that we have a correspondingly high duty, and that we shall fulfil this duty only if we inspire the German people with the racial idea, so that they will occupy themselves not merely with the breeding of good dogs and horses and cats, but also care for the purity of their own blood.
When I say that the foreign policy hitherto followed by Germany has been without aim and ineffectual, the proof of my statement will be found in the actual failures of this policy. Were our people intellectually backward, or if they lacked courage, the final results of their efforts could not have been worse than what we see to-day. What happened during the last decades before the War does not permit of any illusions on this point; because we must not measure the strength of a State taken by itself, but in comparison with other States. Now, this comparison shows that the other States increased their strength in such a measure that not only did it balance that of Germany but turned out in the end to be greater; so that, contrary to appearances, when compared with the other States Germany declined more and more in power until there was a large margin in her disfavour. Yes, even in the size of our population we remained far behind, and kept on losing ground. Though it is true that the courage of our people was not surpassed by that of any other in the world and that they poured out more blood than any other nation in defence of their existence, their failure was due only to the erroneous way in which that courage was turned to practical purposes.
In this connection, if we examine the chain of political vicissitudes through which our people have passed during more than a thousand years, recalling the innumerable struggles and wars and scrutinizing it all in the light of the results that are before our eyes to-day, we must confess that from the ocean of blood only three phenomena have emerged which we must consider as lasting fruits of political happenings definitely determined by our foreign policy.
(1) The colonization of the Eastern Mark, which was mostly the work of the Bajuvari.
(2) The conquest and settlement of the territory east of the Elbe.
(3) The organization of the Brandenburg-Prussian State, which was the work of the Hohenzollerns and which became the model for the crystallization of a new Reich.
An instructive lesson for the future.
These first two great successes of our foreign policy turned out to be the most enduring. Without them our people would play no role in the world to-day. These achievements were the first and unfortunately the only successful attempts to establish a harmony between our increasing population and the territory from which it drew its livelihood. And we must look upon it as of really fatal import that our German historians have never correctly appreciated these formidable facts which were so full of importance for the following generations. In contradistinction to this, they wrote panegyrics on many other things, fantastic heroism, innumerable adventures and wars, without understanding that these latter had no significance whatsoever for the main line of our national development.
The third great success achieved by our political activity was the establishment of the Prussian State and the development of a particular State concept which grew out of this. To the same source we are to attribute the organization of the instinct of national self-preservation and self-defence in the German Army, an achievement which suited the modern world. The transformation of the idea of self-defence on the part of the individual into the duty of national defence is derived from the Prussian State and the new statal concept which it introduced. It would be impossible to over-estimate the importance of this historical process. Disrupted by excessive individualism, the German nation became disciplined under the organization of the Prussian Army and in this way recovered at least some of the capacity to form a national community, which in the case of other people had originally arisen through the constructive urge of the herd instinct. Consequently the abolition of compulsory national military service--which may have no meaning for dozens of other nations--had fatal consequences for us. Ten generations of Germans left without the corrective and educative effect of military training and delivered over to the evil effects of those dissensions and divisions the roots of which lie in their blood and display their force also in a disunity of world-outlook--these ten generations would be sufficient to allow our people to lose the last relics of an independent existence on this earth.
The German spirit could then make its contribution to civilization only through individuals living under the rule of foreign nations and the origin of those individuals would remain unknown. They would remain as the fertilizing manure of civilization, until the last residue of Nordic-Aryan blood would become corrupted or drained out.
It is a remarkable fact that the real political successes achieved by our people during their millennial struggles are better appreciated and understood among our adversaries than among ourselves. Even still to-day we grow enthusiastic about a heroism which robbed our people of millions of their best racial stock and turned out completely fruitless in the end.
The distinction between the real political successes which our people achieved in the course of their long history and the futile ends for which the blood of the nation has been shed is of supreme importance for the determination of our policy now and in the future.
We, National Socialists, must never allow ourselves to re-echo the hurrah patriotism of our contemporary bourgeois circles. It would be a fatal danger for us to look on the immediate developments before the War as constituting a precedent which we should be obliged to take into account, even though only to the very smallest degree, in choosing our own way. We can recognize no obligation devolving on us which may have its historical roots in any part of the nineteenth century. In contradistinction to the policy of those who represented that period, we must take our stand on the principles already mentioned in regard to foreign policy: namely, the necessity of bringing our territorial area into just proportion with the number of our population. From the past we can learn only one lesson. And this is that the aim which is to be pursued in our political conduct must be twofold: namely (1) the acquisition of territory as the objective of our foreign policy and (2) the establishment of a new and uniform foundation as the objective of our political activities at home, in accordance with our doctrine of nationhood.
I shall briefly deal with the question of how far our territorial aims are justified according to ethical and moral principles. This is all the more necessary here because, in our so-called nationalist circles, there are all kinds of plausible phrase-mongers who try to persuade the German people that the great aim of their foreign policy ought to be to right the wrongs of 1918, while at the same time they consider it incumbent on them to assure the whole world of the brotherly spirit and sympathy of the German people towards all other nations.
In regard to this point I should like to make the following statement: To demand that the 1914 frontiers should be restored is a glaring political absurdity that is fraught with such consequences as to make the claim itself appear criminal. The confines of the Reich as they existed in 1914 were thoroughly illogical; because they were not really complete, in the sense of including all the members of the German nation. Nor were they reasonable, in view of the geographical exigencies of military defence. They were not the consequence of a political plan which had been well considered and carried out. But they were temporary frontiers established in virtue of a political struggle that had not been brought to a finish; and indeed they were partly the chance result of circumstances. One would have just as good a right, and in many cases a better right, to choose some other outstanding year than 1914 in the course of our history and demand that the objective of our foreign policy should be the re-establishment of the conditions then existing. The demands I have mentioned are quite characteristic of our bourgeois compatriots, who in such matters take no political thought of the future, They live only in the past and indeed only in the immediate past; for their retrospect does not go back beyond their own times. The law of inertia binds them to the present order of things, leading them to oppose every attempt to change this. Their opposition, however, never passes over into any kind of active defence. It is only mere passive obstinacy. Therefore, we must regard it as quite natural that the political horizon of such people should not reach beyond 1914. In proclaiming that the aim of their political activities is to have the frontiers of that time restored, they only help to close up the rifts that are already becoming apparent in the league which our enemies have formed against us. Only on these grounds can we explain the fact that eight years after a world conflagration in which a number of Allied belligerents had aspirations and aims that were partly in conflict with one another, the coalition of the victors still remains more or less solid.
Each of those States in its turn profited by the German collapse. In the fear which they all felt before the proof of strength that we had given, the Great Powers maintained a mutual silence about their individual feelings of envy and enmity towards one another. They felt that the best guarantee against a resurgence of our strength in the future would be to break up and dismember our Reich as thoroughly as possible. A bad conscience and fear of the strength of our people made up the durable cement which has held the members of that league together, even up to the present moment.
And our conduct does not tend to change this state of affairs. Inasmuch as our bourgeoisie sets up the restoration of the 1914 frontiers as the aim of Germany's political programme, each member of the enemy coalition who otherwise might be inclined to withdraw from the combination sticks to it, out of fear lest he might be attacked by us if he isolated himself and in that case would not have the support of his allies. Each individual State feels itself aimed at and threatened by this programme. And the programme is absurd, for the following two reasons:
(1) Because there are no available means of extricating it from the twilight atmosphere of political soirees and transforming it into reality.
(2) Even if it could be really carried into effect the result would be so miserable that, surely to God, it would not be worth while to risk the blood of our people once again for such a purpose.
For there can be scarcely any doubt whatsoever that only through bloodshed could we achieve the restoration of the 1914 frontiers. One must have the simple mind of a child to believe that the revision of the Versailles Treaty can be obtained by indirect means and by beseeching the clemency of the victors; without taking into account the fact that for this we should need somebody who had the character of a Talleyrand, and there is no Talleyrand among us. Fifty percent of our politicians consists of artful dodgers who have no character and are quite hostile to the sympathies of our people, while the other fifty per cent is made up of well-meaning, harmless, and complaisant incompetents. Times have changed since the Congress of Vienna. It is no longer princes or their courtesans who contend and bargain about State frontiers, but the inexorable cosmopolitan Jew who is fighting for his own dominion over the nations. The sword is the only means whereby a nation can thrust that clutch from its throat. Only when national sentiment is organized and concentrated into an effective force can it defy that international menace which tends towards an enslavement of the nations. But this road is and will always be marked with bloodshed.
If we are once convinced that the future of Germany calls for the sacrifice, in one way or another, of all that we have and are, then we must set aside considerations of political prudence and devote ourselves wholly to the struggle for a future that will be worthy of our country.
For the future of the German nation the 1914 frontiers are of no significance. They did not serve to protect us in the past, nor do they offer any guarantee for our defence in the future. With these frontiers the German people cannot maintain themselves as a compact unit, nor can they be assured of their maintenance. From the military viewpoint these frontiers are not advantageous or even such as not to cause anxiety. And while we are bound to such frontiers it will not be possible for us to improve our present position in relation to the other World Powers, or rather in relation to the real World Powers. We shall not lessen the discrepancy between our territory and that of Great Britain, nor shall we reach the magnitude of the United States of America. Not only that, but we cannot substantially lessen the importance of France in international politics.
One thing alone is certain: The attempt to restore the frontiers of 1914, even if it turned out successful, would demand so much bloodshed on the part of our people that no future sacrifice would be possible to carry out effectively such measures as would be necessary to assure the future existence of the nation. On the contrary, under the intoxication of such a superficial success further aims would be renounced, all the more so because the so-called 'national honour' would seem to be revindicated and new ports would be opened, at least for a certain time, to our commercial development.
Against all this we, National Socialists, must stick firmly to the aim that we have set for our foreign policy; namely, that the German people must be assured the territorial area which is necessary for it to exist on this earth. And only for such action as is undertaken to secure those ends can it be lawful in the eyes of God and our German posterity to allow the blood of our people to be shed once again. Before God, because we are sent into this world with the commission to struggle for our daily bread, as creatures to whom nothing is donated and who must be able to win and hold their position as lords of the earth only through their own intelligence and courage. And this justification must be established also before our German posterity, on the grounds that for each one who has shed his blood the life of a thousand others will be guaranteed to posterity. The territory on which one day our German peasants will be able to bring forth and nourish their sturdy sons will justify the blood of the sons of the peasants that has to be shed to-day. And the statesmen who will have decreed this sacrifice may be persecuted by their contemporaries, but posterity will absolve them from all guilt for having demanded this offering from their people.
Here I must protest as sharply as possible against those nationalist scribes who pretend that such territorial extension would be a "violation of the sacred rights of man" and accordingly pour out their literary effusions against it. One never knows what are the hidden forces behind the activities of such persons. But it is certain that the confusion which they provoke suits the game our enemies are playing against our nation and is in accordance with their wishes. By taking such an attitude these scribes contribute criminally to weaken from the inside and to destroy the will of our people to promote their own vital interests by the only effective means that can be used for that purpose. For no nation on earth possesses a square yard of ground and soil by decree of a higher Will and in virtue of a higher Right. The German frontiers are the outcome of chance, and are only temporary frontiers that have been established as the result of political struggles which took place at various times. The same is also true of the frontiers which demarcate the territories on which other nations live. And just as only an imbecile could look on the physical geography of the globe as fixed and unchangeable--for in reality it represents a definite stage in a given evolutionary epoch which is due to the formidable forces of Nature and may be altered to-morrow by more powerful forces of destruction and change--so, too, in the lives of the nations the confines which are necessary for their sustenance are subject to change.
State frontiers are established by human beings and may be changed by human beings.
The fact that a nation has acquired an enormous territorial area is no reason why it should hold that territory perpetually. At most, the possession of such territory is a proof of the strength of the conqueror and the weakness of those who submit to him. And in this strength alone lives the right of possession. If the German people are imprisoned within an impossible territorial area and for that reason are face to face with a miserable future, this is not by the command of Destiny, and the refusal to accept such a situation is by no means a violation of Destiny's laws. For just as no Higher Power has promised more territory to other nations than to the German, so it cannot be blamed for an unjust distribution of the soil. The soil on which we now live was not a gift bestowed by Heaven on our forefathers. But they had to conquer it by risking their lives. So also in the future our people will not obtain territory, and therewith the means of existence, as a favour from any other people, but will have to win it by the power of a triumphant sword.
To-day we are all convinced of the necessity of regulating our situation in regard to France; but our success here will be ineffective in its broad results if the general aims of our foreign policy will have to stop at that. It can have significance for us only if it serves to cover our flank in the struggle for that extension of territory which is necessary for the existence of our people in Europe. For colonial acquisitions will not solve that question. It can be solved only by the winning of such territory for the settlement of our people as will extend the area of the motherland and thereby will not only keep the new settlers in the closest communion with the land of their origin, but will guarantee to this territorial ensemble the advantages which arise from the fact that in their expansion over greater territory the people remain united as a political unit.
The National Movement must not be the advocate for other nations, but the protagonist for its own nation. Otherwise it would be something superfluous and, above all, it would have no right to clamour against the action of the past; for then it would be repeating the action of the past. The old German policy suffered from the mistake of having been determined by dynastic considerations. The new German policy must not follow the sentimentality of cosmopolitan patriotism. Above all, we must not form a police guard for the famous 'poor small nations'; but we must be the soldiers of the German nation.
We National Socialists have to go still further. The right to territory may become a duty when a great nation seems destined to go under unless its territory be extended. And that is particularly true when the nation in question is not some little group of negro people but the Germanic mother of all the life which has given cultural shape to the modern world. Germany will either become a World Power or will not continue to exist at all. But in order to become a World Power it needs that territorial magnitude which gives it the necessary importance to-day and assures the existence of its citizens.
Therefore we National Socialists have purposely drawn a line through the line of conduct followed by pre-War Germany in foreign policy. We put an end to the perpetual Germanic march towards the South and West of Europe and turn our eyes towards the lands of the East. We finally put a stop to the colonial and trade policy of pre-War times and pass over to the territorial policy of the future. But when we speak of new territory in Europe to-day we must principally think of Russia and the border States subject to her.
Destiny itself seems to wish to point out the way for us here. In delivering Russia over to Bolshevism, Fate robbed the Russian people of that intellectual class which had once created the Russian State and were the guarantee of its existence. For the Russian State was not organized by the constructive political talent of the Slav element in Russia, but was much more a marvellous exemplification of the capacity for State-building possessed by the Germanic element in a race of inferior worth. Thus were many powerful Empires created all over the earth. More often than once inferior races with Germanic organizers and rulers as their leaders became formidable States and continued to exist as long as the racial nucleus remained which had originally created each respective State. For centuries Russia owed the source of its livelihood as a State to the Germanic nucleus of its governing class. But this nucleus is now almost wholly broken up and abolished. The Jew has taken its place. Just as it is impossible for the Russian to shake off the Jewish yoke by exerting his own powers, so, too, it is impossible for the Jew to keep this formidable State in existence for any long period of time. He himself is by no means an organizing element, but rather a ferment of decomposition. This colossal Empire in the East is ripe for dissolution. And the end of the Jewish domination in Russia will also be the end of Russia as a State. We are chosen by Destiny to be the witnesses of a catastrophe which will afford the strongest confirmation of the nationalist theory of race.
But it is our task, and it is the mission of the National Socialist Movement, to develop in our people that political mentality which will enable them to realize that the aim which they must set to themselves for the fulfilment of their future must not be some wildly enthusiastic adventure in the footsteps of Alexander the Great but industrious labour with the German plough, for which the German sword will provide the soil.
That the Jew should declare himself bitterly hostile to such a policy is only quite natural. For the Jews know better than any others what the adoption of this line of conduct must mean for their own future. That fact alone ought to teach all genuine nationalists that this new orientation is the right and just one. But, unfortunately, the opposite is the case. Not only among the members of the German-National Party but also in purely nationalist circles violent opposition is raised against this Eastern policy. And in connection with that opposition, as in all such cases, the authority of great names is appealed to. The spirit of Bismarck is evoked in defence of a policy which is as stupid as it is impossible, and is in the highest degree detrimental to the interests of the German people. They say that Bismarck laid great importance on the value of good relations with Russia. To a certain extent, that is true. But they quite forget to add that he laid equal stress on the importance of good relations with Italy, for example. Indeed, the same Herr von Bismarck once concluded an alliance with Italy so that he might more easily settle accounts with Austria. Why is not this policy now advocated? They will reply that the Italy of to-day is not the Italy of that time. Good. But then, honourable sirs, permit me to remind you that the Russia of to-day is no longer the Russia of that time. Bismarck never laid down a policy which would be permanently binding under all circumstances and should be adhered to on principle. He was too much the master of the moment to burden himself with that kind of obligation. Therefore, the question ought not to be what Bismarck then did, but rather what he would do to-day. And that question is very easy to answer. His political sagacity would never allow him to ally himself with a State that is doomed to disappear.
Moreover, Bismarck looked upon the colonial and trade policy of his time with mixed feelings, because what he most desired was to assure the best possibilities of consolidating and internally strengthening the state system which he himself had created. That was the sole ground on which he then welcomed the Russian defence in his rear, so as to give him a free hand for his activities in the West. But what was advantageous then to Germany would now be detrimental.
As early as 1920-21, when the young movement began slowly to appear on the political horizon and movements for the liberation of the German nation were formed here and there, the Party was approached from various quarters in an attempt to bring it into definite connection with the liberationist movements in other countries. This was in line with the plans of the 'League of Oppressed Nations', which had been advertised in many quarters and was composed principally of representatives of some of the Balkan States and also of Egypt and India. These always impressed me as charlatans who gave themselves big airs but had no real background at all. Not a few Germans, however, especially in the nationalist camp, allowed themselves to be taken in by these pompous Orientals, and in the person of some wandering Indian or Egyptian student they believed at once that they were face to face with a 'representative' of India or Egypt. They did not realize that in most cases they were dealing with persons who had no backing whatsoever, who were not authorized by anybody to conclude any sort of agreement whatsoever; so that the practical result of every negotiation with such individuals was negative and the time spent in such dealings had to be reckoned as utterly lost. I was always on my guard against these attempts. Not only that I had something better to do than to waste weeks in such sterile 'discussions', but also because I believed that even if one were dealing with genuine representatives that whole affair would be bound to turn out futile, if not positively harmful.
In peace-time it was already lamentable enough that the policy of alliances, because it had no active and aggressive aims in view, ended in a defensive association with antiquated States that had been pensioned off by the history of the world. The alliance with Austria, as well as that with Turkey, was not much to be joyful about. While the great military and industrial States of the earth had come together in a league for purposes of active aggression, a few old and effete States were collected, and with this antique bric-à-brac an attempt was made to face an active world coalition. Germany had to pay dearly for that mistaken foreign policy and yet not dearly enough to prevent our incorrigible visionaries from falling back into the same error again. For the attempt to make possible the disarmament of the all-powerful victorious States through a 'League of Oppressed Nations' is not only ridiculous but disastrous. It is disastrous because in that way the German people are again being diverted from real possibilities, which they abandon for the sake of fruitless hopes and illusions. In reality the German of to-day is like a drowning man that clutches at any straw which may float beside him. And one finds people doing this who are otherwise highly educated. Wherever some will-o'-the-wisp of a fantastic hope appears these people set off immediately to chase it. Let this be a League of Oppressed Nations, a League of Nations, or some other fantastic invention, thousands of ingenuous souls will always be found to believe in it.
I remember well the childish and incomprehensible hopes which arose suddenly in nationalist circles in the years 1920-21 to the effect that England was just nearing its downfall in India. A few Asiatic mountebanks, who put themselves forward as "the champions of Indian Freedom", then began to peregrinate throughout Europe and succeeded in inspiring otherwise quite reasonable people with the fixed notion that the British World Empire, which had its pivot in India, was just about to collapse there. They never realized that their own wish was the father of all these ideas. Nor did they stop to think how absurd their wishes were. For inasmuch as they expected the end of the British Empire and of England's power to follow the collapse of its dominion over India, they themselves admitted that India was of the most outstanding importance for England.
Now in all likelihood the deep mysteries of this most important problem must have been known not only to the German-National prophets but also to those who had the direction of British history in their hands. It is right down puerile to suppose that in England itself the importance of India for the British Empire was not adequately appreciated. And it is a proof of having learned nothing from the world war and of thoroughly misunderstanding or knowing nothing about Anglo-Saxon determination, when they imagine that England could lose India without first having put forth the last ounce of her strength in the struggle to hold it. Moreover, it shows how complete is the ignorance prevailing in Germany as to the manner in which the spirit of England permeates and administers her Empire. England will never lose India unless she admits racial disruption in the machinery of her administration (which at present is entirely out of the question in India) or unless she is overcome by the sword of some powerful enemy. But Indian risings will never bring this about. We Germans have had sufficient experience to know how hard it is to coerce England. And, apart from all this, I as a German would far rather see India under British domination than under that of any other nation.
The hopes of an epic rising in Egypt were just as chimerical. The 'Holy War' may bring the pleasing illusion to our German nincompoops that others are now ready to shed their blood for them. Indeed, this cowardly speculation is almost always the father of such hopes. But in reality the illusion would soon be brought to an end under the fusillade from a few companies of British machine-guns and a hail of British bombs.
A coalition of cripples cannot attack a powerful State which is determined, if necessary, to shed the last drop of its blood to maintain its existence. To me, as a nationalist who appreciates the worth of the racial basis of humanity, I must recognize the racial inferiority of the so-called 'Oppressed Nations', and that is enough to prevent me from linking the destiny of my people with the destiny of those inferior races.
To-day we must take up the same sort of attitude also towards Russia. The Russia of to-day, deprived of its Germanic ruling class, is not a possible ally in the struggle for German liberty, setting aside entirely the inner designs of its new rulers. From the purely military viewpoint a Russo-German coalition waging war against Western Europe, and probably against the whole world on that account, would be catastrophic for us. The struggle would have to be fought out, not on Russian but on German territory, without Germany being able to receive from Russia the slightest effective support. The means of power at the disposal of the present German REICH are so miserable and so inadequate to the waging of a foreign war that it would be impossible to defend our frontiers against Western Europe, England included. And the industrial area of Germany would have to be abandoned undefended to the concentrated attack of our adversaries. It must be added that between Germany and Russia there is the Polish State, completely in the hands of the French. In case Germany and Russia together should wage war against Western Europe, Russia would have to overthrow Poland before the first Russian soldier could arrive on the German front. But it is not so much a question of soldiers as of technical equipment. In this regard we should have our situation in the world war repeated, but in a more terrible manner. At that time German industry had to be drained to help our glorious allies, and from the technical side Germany had to carry on the war almost alone. In this new hypothetical war Russia, as a technical factor, would count for nothing. We should have practically nothing to oppose to the general motorization of the world, which in the next war will make its appearance in an overwhelming and decisive form. In this important field Germany has not only shamefully lagged behind, but with the little it has it would have to reinforce Russia, which at the present moment does not possess a single factory capable of producing a motor gun-wagon. Under such conditions the presupposed coming struggle would assume the character of sheer slaughter. The German youth would have to shed more of its blood than it did even in the world war; for, as always, the honour of fighting will fall on us alone, and the result would be an inevitable catastrophe. But even admitting that a miracle were produced and that this war did not end in the total annihilation of Germany, the final result would be that the German nation would be bled white, and, surrounded by great military States, its real situation would be in no way ameliorated.
It is useless to object here that in case of an alliance with Russia we should not think of an immediate war or that, anyhow, we should have means of making thorough preparations for war. No. An alliance which is not for the purpose of waging war has no meaning and no value. Even though at the moment when an alliance is concluded the prospect of war is a distant one, still the idea of the situation developing towards war is the profound reason for entering into an alliance. It is out of the question to think that the other Powers would be deceived as to the purpose of such an alliance. A Russo-German coalition would remain either a matter of so much paper--and in this case it would have no meaning for us--or the letter of the treaty would be put into practice visibly, and in that case the rest of the world would be warned. It would be childish to think that in such circumstances England and France would wait for ten years to give the Russo-German alliance time to complete its technical preparations. No. The storm would break over Germany immediately.
Therefore the fact of forming an alliance with Russia would be the signal for a new war. And the result of that would be the end of Germany.
To these considerations the following must be added:
(1) Those who are in power in Russia to-day have no idea of forming an honourable alliance or of remaining true to it, if they did.
It must never be forgotten that the present rulers of Russia are blood-stained criminals, that here we have the dregs of humanity which, favoured by the circumstances of a tragic moment, overran a great State, degraded and extirpated millions of educated people out of sheer blood-lust, and that now for nearly ten years they have ruled with such a savage tyranny as was never known before. It must not be forgotten that these rulers belong to a people in whom the most bestial cruelty is allied with a capacity for artful mendacity and believes itself to-day more than ever called to impose its sanguinary despotism on the rest of the world. It must not be forgotten that the international Jew, who is to-day the absolute master of Russia, does not look upon Germany as an ally but as a State condemned to the same doom as Russia. One does not form an alliance with a partner whose only aim is the destruction of his fellow-partner. Above all, one does not enter into alliances with people for whom no treaty is sacred; because they do not move about this earth as men of honour and sincerity but as the representatives of lies and deception, thievery and plunder and robbery. The man who thinks that he can bind himself by treaty with parasites is like the tree that believes it can form a profitable bargain with the ivy that surrounds it.
(2) The menace to which Russia once succumbed is hanging steadily over Germany. Only a bourgeois simpleton could imagine that Bolshevism can be tamed. In his superficial way of thinking he does not suspect that here we are dealing with a phenomenon that is due to an urge of the blood: namely, the aspiration of the Jewish people to become the despots of the world. That aspiration is quite as natural as the impulse of the Anglo-Saxon to sit in the seats of rulership all over the earth. And as the Anglo-Saxon chooses his own way of reaching those ends and fights for them with his characteristic weapons, so also does the Jew. The Jew wriggles his way in among the body of the nations and bores them hollow from inside. The weapons with which he works are lies and calumny, poisonous infection and disintegration, until he has ruined his hated adversary. In Russian Bolshevism we ought to recognize the kind of attempt which is being made by the Jew in the twentieth century to secure dominion over the world. In other epochs he worked towards the same goal but with different, though at bottom similar, means. The kind of effort which the Jew puts forth springs from the deepest roots in the nature of his being. A people does not of itself renounce the impulse to increase its stock and power. Only external circumstances or senile impotence can force them to renounce this urge. In the same way the Jew will never spontaneously give up his march towards the goal of world dictatorship or repress his external urge. He can be thrown back on his road only by forces that are exterior to him, for his instinct towards world domination will die out only with himself. The impotence of nations and their extinction through senility can come only when their blood has remained no longer pure. And the Jewish people preserve the purity of their blood better than any other nation on earth. Therefore the Jew follows his destined road until he is opposed by a force superior to him. And then a desperate struggle takes place to send back to Lucifer him who would assault the heavens.
To-day Germany is the next battlefield for Russian Bolshevism. All the force of a fresh missionary idea is needed to raise up our nation once more, to rescue it from the coils of the international serpent and stop the process of corruption which is taking place in the internal constitution of our blood; so that the forces of our nation, once liberated, may be employed to preserve our nationality and prevent the repetition of the recent catastrophe from taking place even in the most distant future. If this be the goal we set to ourselves it would be folly to ally ourselves with a country whose master is the mortal enemy of our future. How can we release our people from this poisonous grip if we accept the same grip ourselves? How can we teach the German worker that Bolshevism is an infamous crime against humanity if we ally ourselves with this infernal abortion and recognize its existence as legitimate. With what right shall we condemn the members of the broad masses whose sympathies lie with a certain Weltanschauung if the rulers of our State choose the representatives of that Weltanschauung as their allies?
The struggle against the Jewish Bolshevization of the world demands that we should declare our position towards Soviet Russia. We cannot cast out the Devil through Beelzebub.
If nationalist circles to-day grow enthusiastic about the idea of an alliance with Bolshevism, then let them look around only in Germany and recognize from what quarter they are being supported. Do these nationalists believe that a policy which is recommended and acclaimed by the Marxist international Press can be beneficial for the German people? Since when has the Jew acted as shield-bearer for the militant nationalist?
One special reproach which could be made against the old German Reich with regard to its policy of alliances was that it spoiled its relations towards all others by continually swinging now this way and now that way and by its weakness in trying to preserve world peace at all costs. But one reproach which cannot be made against it is that it did not continue to maintain good relations with Russia.
I admit frankly that before the War I thought it would have been better if Germany had abandoned her senseless colonial policy and her naval policy and had joined England in an alliance against Russia, therewith renouncing her weak world policy for a determined European policy, with the idea of acquiring new territory on the Continent.
I do not forget the constant insolent threats which Pan-Slavist Russia made against Germany. I do not forget the continual trial mobilizations, the sole object of which was to irritate Germany. I cannot forget the tone of public opinion in Russia which in pre-War days excelled itself in hate-inspired outbursts against our nation and Reich. Nor can I forget the big Russian Press which was always more favourable to France than to us.
But, in spite of everything, there was still a second way possible before the War. We might have won the support of Russia and turned against England.
Circumstances are entirely different to-day. If, before the War, throwing all sentiment to the winds, we could have marched by the side of Russia, that is no longer possible for us to-day. Since then the hand of the world-clock has moved forward. The hour has struck and struck loudly, when the destiny of our people must be decided one way or another.
The present consolidation of the great States of the world is the last warning signal for us to look to ourselves and bring our people back from their land of visions to the land of hard truth and point the way into the future, on which alone the old Reich can march triumphantly once again.
If, in view of this great and most important task placed before it, the National Socialist Movement sets aside all illusions and takes reason as its sole effective guide the catastrophe of 1918 may turn out to be an infinite blessing for the future of our nation. From the lesson of that collapse it may formulate an entirely new orientation for the conduct of its foreign policy. Internally reinforced through its new Weltanschauung, the German nation may reach a final stabilization of its policy towards the outside world. It may end by gaining what England has, what even Russia had, and what France again and again utilized as the ultimate grounds on which she was able to base correct decisions for her own interests: namely, A Political Testament.
This Political Testament of the German Nation ought to lay down the following rules, which will be always valid for its conduct towards the outside world:
Never permit two Continental Powers to arise in Europe. Should any attempt be made to organize a second military Power on the German frontier by the creation of a State which may become a Military Power, with the prospect of an aggression against Germany in view, such an event confers on Germany not only the right but the duty to prevent by every means, including military means, the creation of such a State and to crush it if created. See to it that the strength of our nation does not rest on colonial foundations but on those of our own native territory in Europe. Never consider the Reich secure unless, for centuries to come, it is in a position to give every descendant of our race a piece of ground and soil that he can call his own. Never forget that the most sacred of all rights in this world is man's right to the earth which he wishes to cultivate for himself and that the holiest of all sacrifices is that of the blood poured out for it.
I should not like to close this chapter without referring once again to the one sole possibility of alliances that exists for us in Europe at the present moment. In speaking of the German alliance problem in the present chapter I mentioned England and Italy as the only countries with which it would be worth while for us to strive to form a close alliance and that this alliance would be advantageous. I should like here to underline again the military importance of such an alliance.
The military consequences of forming this alliance would be the direct opposite of the consequences of an alliance with Russia. Most important of all is the fact that a rapprochement with England and Italy would in no way involve a danger of war. The only Power that could oppose such an arrangement would be France; and France would not be in a position to make war. But the alliance should allow to Germany the possibility of making those preparations in all tranquillity which, within the framework of such a coalition, might in one way or another be requisite in view of a regulation of accounts with France. For the full significance of such an alliance lies in the fact that on its conclusion Germany would no longer be subject to the threat of a sudden invasion. The coalition against her would disappear automatically; that is to say, the Entente which brought such disaster to us. Thus France, the mortal enemy of our people, would be isolated. And even though at first this success would have only a moral effect, it would be sufficient to give Germany such liberty of action as we cannot now imagine. For the new Anglo-German-Italian alliance would hold the political initiative and no longer France.
A further success would be that at one stroke Germany would be delivered from her unfavourable strategical situation. On the one side her flank would be strongly protected; and, on the other, the assurance of being able to import her foodstuffs and raw materials would be a beneficial result of this new alignment of States.
But almost of greater importance would be the fact that this new League would include States that possess technical qualities which mutually supplement each other. For the first time Germany would have allies who would not be as vampires on her economic body but would contribute their part to complete our technical equipment.
And we must not forget a final fact: namely, that in this case we should not have allies resembling Turkey and Russia to-day. The greatest World Power on this earth and a young national State would supply far other elements for a struggle in Europe than the putrescent carcasses of the States with which Germany was allied in the last war.
As I have already said, great difficulties would naturally be made to hinder the conclusion of such an alliance. But was not the formation of the Entente somewhat more difficult? Where King Edward VII succeeded partly against interests that were of their nature opposed to his work we must and will succeed, if the recognition of the necessity of such a development so inspires us that we shall be able to act with skill and conquer our own feelings in carrying the policy through. This will be possible when, incited to action by the miseries of our situation, we shall adopt a definite purpose and follow it out systematically instead of the defective foreign policy of the last decades, which never had a fixed purpose in view.
The future goal of our foreign policy ought not to involve an orientation to the East or the West, but it ought to be an Eastern policy which will have in view the acquisition of such territory as is necessary for our German people. To carry out this policy we need that force which the mortal enemy of our nation, France, now deprives us of by holding us in her grip and pitilessly robbing us of our strength. Therefore we must stop at no sacrifice in our effort to destroy the French striving towards hegemony over Europe. As our natural ally to-day we have every Power on the Continent that feels France's lust for hegemony in Europe unbearable. No attempt to approach those Powers ought to appear too difficult for us, and no sacrifice should be considered too heavy, if the final outcome would be to make it possible for us to overthrow our bitterest enemy. The minor wounds will be cured by the beneficent influence of time, once the ground wounds have been cauterized and closed.
Naturally the internal enemies of our people will howl with rage. But this will not succeed in forcing us as National Socialists to cease our preaching in favour of that which our most profound conviction tells us to be necessary. We must oppose the current of public opinion which will be driven mad by Jewish cunning in exploiting our German thoughtlessness. The waves of this public opinion often rage and roar against us; but the man who swims with the current attracts less attention than he who buffets it. To-day we are but a rock in the river. In a few years Fate may raise us up as a dam against which the general current will be broken, only to flow forward in a new bed.
Therefore it is necessary that in the eyes of the rest of the world our movement should be recognized as representing a definite and determined political programme. We ought to bear on our visors the distinguishing sign of that task which Heaven expects us to fulfil.
When we ourselves are fully aware of the ineluctable necessity which determines our external policy this knowledge will fill us with the grit which we need in order to stand up with equanimity under the bombardment launched against us by the enemy Press and to hold firm when some insinuating voice whispers that we ought to give ground here and there in order not to have all against us and that we might sometimes howl with the wolves.