The inability of Germanys many political parties to create a viable coalition government brought Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) to the position of Chancellor in 1933. Those who wished to know his plans for Germany needed to look no further than this speech made in his first, failed attempt to gain power in 1923. Hitlers appeals to German “racial” pride, to national resentment of the penalties imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, and to a deep seated fear of a “Jewish peril” were constant themes in his plans to recreate the once great medieval German Empire (Reich).
With the armistice begins the humiliation of Germany. If the Republic on the day of its foundation had appealed to the country: “Germans, stand together! Up and resist the foe! The Fatherland, the Republic expects of you that you fight to your last breath,” then millions who are now the enemies of the Republic would be fanatical Republicans. To-day they are the foes of the Republic not because it is a Republic but because this Republic was founded at the moment when Germany was humiliated, because it so discredited the new flag that mens eyes must turn regret¬fully towards the old flag.
It was no Treaty of Peace which was signed, but a betrayal of Peace. . .
So long as this Treaty stands there can be no resurrec¬tion of the German people: no social reform of any kind is possible! The Treaty was made in order to bring 20 million Germans to their deaths and to ruin the German nation. But those who made the Treaty cannot set it aside. At its foundation our Movement formulated three demands:
1. Setting aside of the Peace Treaty
2. Unification of all Germans
3. Land and soil (Grund und Boden) to feed our nation.
Our Movement could formulate these demands, since it was not our Movement which caused the War, it has not made the Republic, it did not sign the Peace Treaty.
There is thus one thing which is the first task of this Movement: it desires to make the German once more Na¬tional, that his Fatherland shall stand for him above everything else. It desires to teach our people to understand afresh the truth of the old saying: He who will not be a hammer must be an anvil. An anvil are we today, and that anvil will be beaten until out of the anvil we fashion once more a hammer, a German sword! . . . The German people was once clear thinking and simple: why has it lost these charac-teristics? Any inner renewal is possible only if one realizes that this is a question of race: America forbids the yellow peoples to settle there, but this is a lesser peril than that which stretches out its hand over the entire world —the Jewish peril. Many hold that the Jews are not a race, but is there a second people anywhere in the wide world which is so determined to maintain its race?
As a matter of fact the Jew can never become a German however often he may affirm that he can. If he wished to become a German, he must surrender the Jew in him. And that is not possible: he cannot, however much he try, become a German at heart, and that for several reasons: first because of his blood, second because of his character, thirdly because of his will, and fourthly because of his actions. His actions remain Jewish: he works for the “greater idea” of the Jewish people. Because that is so, because it cannot be otherwise, therefore the bare existence of the Jew as part of another State rests upon a monstrous lie. It is a lie when he pretends to the peoples to be a German, a Frenchman, &c.
What then are the specifically Jewish aims?
To spread their invisible State as a supreme tyranny over all other States in the whole world. The Jew is therefore a disintegrator of peoples. To realize his rule over the peoples he must work in two directions: in economics he dominates peoples when he subjugates them politically and morally; in politics he dominates them through the propagation of the principles of democ¬racy and the doctrines of Marxism —the creed which makes a Proletarian a Terrorist in the domestic sphere and a Pacifist in foreign policy. Ethically the Jew destroys the peoples both in religion and in morals. He who wishes to see that can see it, and him who refuses to see it no one can help.
The Jew, whether consciously or unconsciously, whether he wishes it or not, undermines the platform on which alone a nation can stand.
We are now met by the question: Do we wish to restore Germany to freedom and power? If “yes”: then the first thing to do is to rescue it from him who is ruining our country. Admittedly it is a hard fight that must be fought here. We National Socialists on this point occupy an extreme position: but we know only one people: it is for that people we fight and that is our own people. . . . We want to stir up a storm. Men must not sleep: they ought to know that a thunder-storm is coming up. We want to prevent our Germany from suffering, as Another did, the death upon the Cross.
We may be inhumane, but if we rescue Germany we have achieved the greatest deed in the world! We may work injustice, but if we rescue Germany then we have removed the greatest injustice in the world. We may be immoral, but if our people is rescued we have once more opened up the way for morality!
1. What does Hitler think about the Treaty of Versailles? (Give at least two examples)
2. What does he think of Jews? (Give at least 4 examples)
3. What does he mean when he says: “He who will be a hammer must be an anvil. An anvil are we today, and that anvil will be beaten until out of the anvil we fashion once more a hammer, a German Sword!”?
4. When Hitler says—“America forbids the yellow races to settle there”—who is he talking about?
5. What does he mean when he says: “…the bare existence of the Jew as part of another State rests upon a monstrous lie?”
6. Who is he talking about when he says: “We want to prevent our Germany from suffering, as another did, the death upon the Cross.”
7. Why do you think Hitlers arguments would have been so appealing to the German people in 1923?
8. Part of Hitlers appeal was his anti-Semitism. How do you think race plays a role in American politics? Can you give some examples?