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Adolf Hitler first dictated his autobiography Mein Kampf (My Struggle) to Emil Maurice while both were imprisoned in Landsberg Am Lech fortress prison after the Beer Hall Putsch, and published its two volumes in 1925 at the age of 37.[1] Its first volume describes Hitler's personal and intellectual development from childhood to adulthood, including his home life, his student aspirations as an artist, his experience as a soldier on the battlefield, and his evolving political philosophy for the future course of lands populated by Germans. In the second volume, Hitler lays out the political program of the National Socialist movement both theoretically and in terms of German history and the German sociopolitical situation of 1925.

Hitler desires to realize the German nation's destiny to unite geographically and politically into one Reich that is rid of all non-German elements in a European homeland stretching out as much as it needs beyond Germany's current political boundaries. For Hitler, the German nation -- the folkish ("völkisch") nation -- comprises only those of pure German blood (see Eugenics) and not German speakers of other races and nationalities currently native to the same lands living side-by-side and intermarrying with folkish (ethnic) Germans.[2] All races, in the way Hitler and many of his contemporaries use the term, naturally pursue their own survival and betterment as it is incumbent upon the German race to pursue theirs. The race of Slavs naturally competes with and impinges on the German nation threatening and constraining its development; Hitler, however, designates the Jews as a singularly vile and cultureless race bent on world destruction including, ultimately, themselves (302) via the contemporary form of the Jewish world conspiracy, Marxism (447, 453, 622).

Dissatisfaction with Germany's Leadership after Bismarck

Germany's leaders' betrayal of the folkish (Völkish) ideal lies at the bottom of Hitler's dissatisfaction with the German state. For Hitler,

the folkish philosophy finds the importance of mankind in its basic racial elements. In the state it sees on principle only a means to an end and construes its end as the preservation of the racial existence of man. Thus, it by no means believes in an equality of the races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated, through this knowledge, to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates the universe. (383)

Hitler believes Germany's alliance with the Habsburg monarchy of Austria-Hungary was a grave racial and foreign policy error that derailed the folkish state's best strategy for development and self-preservation. Despite ruling over ten million Germans in Austria, the House of Habsburg "Czechized wherever possible" (15) and its Archduke Francis Ferdinand had been "the patron of Austria's Slavization from above" thus leading to "the slow extermination of Germanism in the old monarchy" (15) entirely antithetical to a racially pure German nation. Even more fatally, "The unholy alliance of the young Reich and the Austrian sham state contained the germ of the subsequent World War and of the collapse as well." (16) Austria-Hungary encompassed Balkan states and a majority Slavic population, but Hitler also evinces foreign policy grounds for his distaste for the Hohenzollern Kaiser William II's alliance, since Bismarck's forced resignation, with the Habsburg state: the Habsburg alliance supported a ruinous commercial and colonial competition with England that led to conflict with the most militarily formidable nation in the world. Instead, Germany ought to have acquired more land in Europe to support its population:

...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....For Germany, consequently, the only possibility for carrying out a healthy territorial policy lay in the acquisition of new land in Europe itself. (138-139)

And Germany should have courted England's support:

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....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 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. (140)

But alliance with the corrupt Habsburg state corrupted Germany and Germanism:

...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. (141)

And this failure of German leadership, its pursuit of pacifistic business practices, led the German people into the calamity of World War I:

Since, however, our leaders wanted to know nothing of a systematic preparation for war, they renounced the acquisition of land in Europe and, by turning instead to a colonial and commercial policy, sacrificed the alliance with England which would otherwise have been possible, but did not, as would have been logical, seek the support of Russia, and finally, forsaken by all except the Habsburg hereditary evil, stumbled into the World War. (613)

The Calamity of the World War, Revolution, and Treaty of Versailles

Although drawn into the war via its alliance with Austria-Hungary and the latter's troubles in the Slavic Balkans, Germany nevertheless inspired Hitler to profess his loyalty and enlist and fight its war. "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. (162)" Hitler was wounded October 7, 1916 (191), convalesced and went back to the front. He was gassed on October 13, 1918 (202) and sent to the hospital just before the armistice, where he was informed of the German revolution, and "that the House of Hohenzollern should no longer bear the German imperial crown; [and] that the fatherland had become a 'republic' (204)". Hitler reports the profound effect upon hearing of the new republic's war capitulation:

...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....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. (204-205)

In this version of the stab-in-the-back myth (Dolchstosslegende) he took the surrender as a betrayal perpetrated by Germany's internal enemies, the Jews and Marxists, and marks this as his political activity's nascence:

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?...Did all this happen only so that a gang of wretched criminals could lay hands on the fatherland?...Miserable and degenerate criminals!...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. 205-206

Hitler considers the German Revolution, which forced the Kaiser's abdication and instituted the Weimar Republic when the military command determined their strategic position untenable, a betrayal of the German army's supposedly successful war efforts. Those loyal to Germany did not support the revolution, but were either defrauded or dead, leaving Germany in its internal enemies' control:

The best elements of German society lay dead on the battlefield, and the remainder were enticed by their desire to return home rather than to support a revolution...rooted only in the society of pimps, thieves, burglars, deserters, slackers, etc., in other words, in that part of the people which we must designate as the bad extreme...The class supporting the revolutionary idea and carrying out the revolution was neither able nor willing to provide the soldiers for its protection. For this class by no means wanted the organization of a republican state body, but the disorganization of the existing state body for the better satisfaction of their instincts. Their watchword was not: order and building up of the German Republic, but: pillage it. (521-523)

These "November scoundrels," as Hitler commonly designates them (432), proceeded to lead Germany into its external enemies' hands via the Treaty of Versailles in which Germany admitted its war guilt, agreed to disarm and to pay war reparations to the Allies. The treaty, in fact, inspires Hitler as to his movement's future:

But to me it was clear in those days that for the small basic nucleus which for the present constituted the movement, the question of war guilt had to be cleared up, and cleared up in the sense of historic truth. That our movement should transmit to the broadest masses knowledge of the peace treaty was the premise for the future success of the movement. At that time, when they all still regarded this peace as a success of democracy, we had to form a front against it and engrave ourselves forever in the minds of men as an enemy of this treaty, so that later, when the harsh reality of this treacherous frippery would be revealed in its naked hate, the recollection of our position at that time would win us confidence. Even then I always came out in favor of taking a position in important questions of principle against all public opinion when it assumed a false attitude -- disregarding all considerations of popularity, hatred, or struggle. The NSDAP should not become a constable of public opinion, but must dominate it. It must not become a servant of the masses, but their master! (464-465)

Hitler's attempts to force public opinion in the NSDAP's favor reaches its height when France, responding to Germany's failure to satisfactorily pay its war reparations, occupies the Ruhr industrial area, in violation of the treaty (cf. 671-679). Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno's passive response (a subsidized general strike preventing France from benefitting economically) caused the devastating German hyperinflation of 1923, which eroded the population's confidence in their leaders for a long time after the crisis's resolution. Hitler exploits Germany's inability to respond forcefully to France's violation of the treaty by calling for leadership that acts for the benefit of the German people and legitimating the need for military preparedness and rearmament (cf. 680-686).

In millions of minds the conviction suddenly arose bright and clear that only a radical elimination of the whole ruling system could save Germany. Never was the time riper, never did it cry out more imperiously for such a solution than in the moment when, on the one hand, naked treason shamelessly revealed itself, while, on the other had, a people was economically delivered to slow starvation. Since the state itself trampled all laws of loyalty and faith underfoot, mocked the rights of its citizens, cheated millions of its truest sons of their sacrifices and robbed millions of others of their last penny, it had no further right to expect anything but hatred of its subjects. (686)

Hitler's attempt to actuate public opinion and seize power failed in the coup he led on November 8, 1923, the Munich Beer Hall Putsch. Convicted in the spring of 1924, he dedicated Mein Kampf to sixteen of his comrades who died supporting the coup.

A New Kind of Leadership: Authoritarianism and Propaganda

Dividing the population into the masses and the intelligentsia, Hitler sees controlling public opinion -- particularly the masses' -- via propaganda as any sociopolitical movement's prime imperative.

We must always bear in mind that even the most beautiful idea of a sublime theory in most cases can be disseminated only through the small and smallest minds. The important thing is not what the genius who has created an idea has in mind, but what, in what form, and with what success the prophets of this idea transmit it to the broad masses....Propaganda must be adjusted to the broad masses in content and in form, and its soundness is to be measured exclusively by its effective result. (342)

Propaganda's purpose lies in communicating uncomplicated messages so as not to tax the masses' ability to comprehend, "not in educating those who are already educated or who are striving after education and knowledge.... All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to....It is a mistake to make propaganda many-sided, like scientific instruction, for instance....As soon as you...try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. (180-181)"

If propaganda renounces primitiveness of expression, it does not find its way to the feeling of the broad masses. If, however, in word and gesture, it uses the masses' harshness of sentiment and expression, it will be rejected by the so-called intelligentsia as coarse and vulgar....A member of the intelligentsia present at such a meeting, who carps at the intellectual level of the speech despite the speaker's obvious effect on the lower strata he has set out to conquer proves the complete incapacity of his thinking and the worthlessness of his person for the young movement. (342-343)

Hitler, however, does not want to underestimate the intelligence of the masses, but instead take their form of thinking into account:

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. (173)

Hitler bases his views on propaganda on the lessons he learned from the superiority of English and American to German war propaganda: 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 firm, 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....the cruel effects of [weapons], 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 effect. (181)

Just as "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 (182)," political leadership should not waste time debating the facets of sociopolitical issues; the state is a means to an end, not an end in itself, as in enlightened, liberal democracy. Formative for Hitler's anti-parliamentarianism, his time as a student in Vienna enabled him to witness the workings of the Austro-Hungarian empire's parliament, the Reichsrat, or Imperial Council:

whenever time offered me the slightest opportunity, I went back and, with silence and attention, viewed whatever picture presented itself, listened to the speeches in so far as they were intelligible, studied the more or less intelligent faces of the elect of the peoples of this woe-begone state -- and little by little formed my own ideas....The Western democracy of today is the forerunner of Marxism which without it would not be thinkable. It provides this world plague with the culture in which its germs can spread. In its most extreme form, parliamentarianism created a 'monstrosity of excrement and fire'... (77-78)

His view of that democratic body's failure to do more than look out for the interests of narrow sectors of the population suggested to him the need to replace it with a power structure based on the principle of the authoritarian leader: "What gave me most food for thought was the obvious absence of any responsibility in a single person. (79)" Hitler considers Western democracy un-folkish, requiring the German nation's (the folkish state's) ruling party to have absolute authority downward and unlimited responsibility upward: "This principle -- absolute responsibility unconditionally combined with absolute authority -- will gradually breed an elite of leaders such as today, in this era of irresponsible parliamentarianism, is utterly inconceivable. (450)" Majorities rule nothing except the selection of the highest leader, who becomes personally responsible to the German nation: "Juxtaposed to this is the truly Germanic democracy characterized by the free election of a leader and his obligation fully to assume all responsibility for his actions and omissions. In it there is no majority vote on individual questions, but only the decision of an individual who must answer with his fortune and his life for his choice. (91)"

The young movement is in its nature and inner organization anti-parliamentarian; that is, it rejects, in general and in its own inner structure, a principle of majority rule in which the leader is degraded to the level of a mere executant of other people's will and opinion. In little as well as big things, the movement advocates the principle of a Germanic democracy: the leader is elected, but then enjoys unconditional authority. (344-345)

Likewise, all committee leaders are elected, and then vested with unlimited authority over those below them. Every leader is subject to electoral recall, and "his place is then taken by an abler, new man, enjoying, however, the same authority and the same responsibility. (345)" Governmental organization is not a matter of principle, but an expediency -- a necessary evil -- for transmitting and realizing the nation's fundamental ideas:

The best organization is not that which inserts the greatest, but that which inserts the smallest, intermediary apparatus between the leadership of a movement and its individual adherents. For the function of organization is the transmission of a definite a larger body of men and the supervision of its realization. Hence organization is in all things only a necessary evil. In the best case it is a means to an end, in the worst case an end in itself. (346)

Idealism Above All: Racial Purity, Individualism, Spirituality

The folkish state, for Hitler, aims only to realize the highest ideas, all else being merely contingent means to this highest end. Idealism takes precedent over all materialism, for "man does not live exclusively for the sake of material pleasures and soldiers die willingly for an idea but run away when fighting to protect property or for their daily bread. (436)" At the forefront of a revolutionary philosophy of life, National Socialism leads the folkish state: "And this should be the concern of the National Socialist movement: pushing aside all philistinism, to gather and to organize from the ranks of our nation those forces capable of becoming the vanguard fighters for a new philosophy of life. (435)" "Care must be taken not to underestimate the force of an idea. (437)" Folkish education serves the idea, education producing "not a half pacifist, democrat, or something else, but a whole German" fanatically passionate (cf. 427) for the folkish state and not merely satisfied with a liberal state no matter how well it may be administered. Technical knowledge, for example, serves merely pecuniary interests, while instruction supporting the "idealistic national community" preconditions all knowledge (423). And "the greatest inventions, the greatest discoveries, the most revolutionary scientific work, the most magnificent monuments of human culture, have not been given to the world through the urge for money. (436)"

The crown of the folkish state's entire work of education and training must be to burn the racial sense and racial feeling into the instinct and the intellect, the heart and brain of the youth entrusted to it. No boy and no girl must leave school without having been led to an ultimate realization of the necessity and essence of blood purity. (427)

Hitler considers his idea's sublimity, requiring the masses' support and political power to execute, justifies its forceable imposition:

We must always bear in mind that even the most beautiful idea of a sublime theory in most cases can be disseminated only through the small and smallest minds. The important thing is not what the genius who has created an idea has in mind, but what, in what form, and with what success the prophets of this idea transmit it to the broad masses....Every world-moving idea has not only the right, but also the duty, of securing, those means which make possible the execution of its ideas. (342-343)
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. (171)
And it is an eternal experience of world history that a terror represented by a philosophy of life can never be broken by a formal state power, but at all times can be defeated only by another, new philosophy of life, proceeding with the same boldness and determination.... The young movement, from the first day, espoused the standpoint that its idea must be put forward spiritually, but that the defense of this spiritual platform must if necessary be secured by strong-arm means. (534)

The German nation idealizes individualism insofar as it benefits the totality because "it is not the mass that invents and not the majority that organizes or thinks, but in all things only and always the individual man, the person. (446)" The folkish state must "place thinking individuals above the masses, thus subordinating the latter to the former. (446)" Celebrating individual achievement bonds the masses:

The movement must promote respect for personality by all means; it must never forget that in personal worth lies the worth of everything human; that every idea and every achievement is the result of one man's creative force and that the admiration of greatness constitutes, not only a tribute of thanks to the latter, but casts a unifying bond around the grateful....The greatest revolutionary changes and achievements of this earth, its greatest cultural accomplishments, the immortal deeds in the field of statesmanship, etc., are forever inseparably bound up with a name and are represented by it. To renounce doing homage to a great spirit means the loss of an immense strength which emanates from the names of all great men and women. (352)

The party doesn't rule outside of politics, but leaves religious ideals to the masses, though the party does encourage apolitical Catholicism and Protestantism and obedience to the natural forces of God's will:

The movement decisively rejects any position on questions which either lie outside the frame of its political work or, being not of basic importance, are irrelevant for it. Its task is not a religious reformation, but a political reorganization of our people. In both religious denominations it sees equally valuable pillars for the existence of our people and therefore combats those parties which want to degrade this foundation of an ethical, moral, and religious consolidation of our national body to the level of an instrument of their party interests. (345-346)

Attempts to "mix in matters which do not concern the party in question...are not pardoned even if they are justified by the higher right of the interests of the national community, since today religious sentiments still go deeper than all considerations of national and political expediency. (563)"

Spirituality is subordinate to the physically and psychically homogeneous nation, which is either inherently Aryan (capable of creating culture) or not (cf. 393). This is the Creator's will to oblige Man to Nature. Hitler acknowledges a spiritual basis for Nature's ultimate authority and disciplining force (cf. 400-401) and the natural selection of superior races capable of ruthlessly eliminating threats to their survival as a race. In the event that Man loses his instinct to follow Nature's maxims, he must replace the lost instinct with perceptive knowledge or face his race's demise. Liberal democracy and the discord of its bourgeois weaklings pursuing universal human rights then reigns instead of the culture-propagating community of non-bastardized Aryans. (cf. 401-402)

No, there is only one holiest human right, and this right is at the same time the holiest obligation, to wit: to see to it that the blood is preserved pure and, by preserving the best humanity, to create the possibility of a nobler development of these beings. A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape. (402)

Both Christian denominations should abhor intermarriage between folkish Germans and any other race (cf. 562-563) "for God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will. (564)"

Anti-Semitism Realizes the Ideal

Hitler's primary obstacle to the German nation's realizing its folkish ideal is the existence of the Jews: "Without the clearest knowledge of the racial problem and hence of the Jewish problem there will never be a resurrection of the German nation. (339)" For Hitler, Jews do not merely differ in contingent ways from other residents of German lands, such as, for example, by their appearance, names, values, religious practices, or political beliefs. As a "ferment of decomposition (447)" Jews erode and destroy everything folkish and can never be part of a German nation regardless of how they live or behave or speak. Hitler's anti-Semitism is essential: it's not that the Jew lives up to the folkish ideal in some partial manner; regardless of how the Jew conforms to the German nation, the Jew can not be a German because he is a Jew.

Although he had unremarkably encountered Jews as a boy in Linz (cf. 56), Hitler took notice of anti-Semitic pamphlets while a student in Vienna, but "due in part to the dull and amazingly unscienfific arguments...[t]he whole thing seemed to me so monstrous, the accusations so boundless, that, tormented by the fear of doing injustice, I again became anxious and uncertain. (56)" Subsequently, however, Hitler came to consider the Viennese press dominated by Jews bent on eroding the state:

What had to be reckoned heavily against the Jews in my eyes was when I became acquainted with their activity in the press...I gradually became aware that the Social Democratic press was directed predominantly by Jews. (58, 61)

Hitler came to identify the Jews with Marxism and its aim to destroy the German ideal and the world:

The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight. Thus it denies the value of personality in man, contests the significance of nationality and race, and thereby withdraws from humanity the premise of its existence and its culture. As a foundation of the universe, this doctrine would bring about the end of any order intellectually conceivable to man. And as, in this greatest of all recognizable organisms, the result of an application of such a law could only be chaos, on earth it could only be destruction for the inhabitants of this planet. If, with the help of his Marxist creed, the Jew is victorious over the other peoples of the world, his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity and this planet will, as it did thousands[3] of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men. (65)
If the Jews were alone in this world, they would stifle in filth and offal; they would try to get ahead of one another in hate-filled struggle and exterminate one another... (302)
The end is not only the end of the freedom of the peoples oppressed by the Jew, but also the end of this parasite upon the nations. After the death of his victim, the vampire sooner or later dies too. (327)

Wholly counter to the German Aryan, the Jew erodes individualism (cf. 353), and possesses no culture (cf. 301) and no idealism (cf. 303). Even Prussian Jews who appeared to support the German war effort, such as Walter Rathenau, exploited the war effort by pillaging Germany via the war corporations (cf. 555-556) and "...sold the freedom of the nation and betrayed our fatherland to international high finance... (562)" then, undermining Germany itself, was "[t]he real organizer of the revolution and its actual wirepuller, the international Jew... (523)."

Hitler fanatically opposes Marxism as the intellectual form of the Jewish conspiracy striving to "erect a despotism of international world Jewish finance (453)." Studying Karl Marx's works revealed this to Hitler:

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 Kapital 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. (215)

Marxism realizes both an internal threat to the German nation: "Marxism presents itself as the perfection of the Jew's attempt to exclude the pre-eminence of personality in all fields of human life and replace it by the numbers of the mass (447)," and Germany's greatest external threat:

...the striving of the Jewish people for world domination, a process which is just as natural as the urge of the Anglo-Saxon to seize domination of the earth. And just as the Anglo-Saxon pursues this course in his own way and carries on the fight with his own weapons, likewise the Jew. He goes his way, the way of sneaking in among the nations and boring from within, and he fights with his weapons, with lies and slander, poison and corruption, intensifying the struggle to the point of bloodily exterminating his hated foes. In Russian Bolshevism we must see the attempt undertaken by the Jews in the twentieth century to achieve world domination. (661)

Hitler believes Germany must not coordinate with other nations, but look inward, eliminate its internal enemies, and harden itself against outsiders working for the Marxist-Jewish-financial conspiracy:

The internationalization of our German economy -- that is, the appropriation of the German labor power by Jewish world finance -- can be completely carried out only in a politically Bolshevist state. But if the Marxist shock troops of international Jewish stock exchange capital are to break the back of the German national state for good and all, this can only be done with friendly aid from outside. The armies of France must, therefore, besiege the German state structure until the Reich, inwardly exhausted, succumbs to the Bolshevistic shock troop of international Jewish world finance. And so the Jew today is the great agitator for the complete destruction of Germany....If our people and our state become the victim of these bloodthirsty and avaricious Jewish tyrants of nations, the whole earth will sink into the snares of this octopus... (622-623)

Once its house is in order, Germany may then heartily establish its spatial imperative: setting an objective for our political activity, we must proceed in two directions: Land and soil as the goal of our foreign policy, and a new philosophically established, uniform foundation as the aim of political activity at home (649).

The National Socialist movement must

lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land and soil, and hence also free it from the danger of vanishing from the earth or of serving others as a slave nation. The National Socialist movement must strive to eliminate the disproportion between our population and our area -- viewing this latter as a source of food as well as a basis for power politics -- between our historical past and the hopelessness of our present impotence (646).
But we National Socialists must go further. The right to possess soil can become a duty if without extension of its soil a great nation seems doomed to destruction. And most especially when not some little nigger nation or other is involved, but the Germanic mother of life, which has given the present-day world its cultural picture. Germany will either be a world power or there will be no Germany. And for world power she needs that magnitude which will give her the position she needs in the present period, and life to her citizens (654).

Complete text


  1. Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf. Tr. Ralph Manheim. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1943. 506. All subsequent references to this book are page numbers in parentheses.
  2. The work "völkisch(e)" might best be translated at "ethnic"; although its origins are analagous to the English "folk," it is used here by Hitler as a key term in the Völkische Movement, a populist movement which embraced notions of German ethnic purity, and the inferiority of other races. See Kurlander, "The Rise of Völkisch-Nationalism and the Decline of German Liberalism: A Comparison of Liberal Political Cultures in Schleswig-Holstein and Silesia 1912–1924", European Review of History 9 (1): 23-36.
  3. Changed to 'millions' in second edition.