"Another word I have often left standing in the original is völkisch. The basic word here is Volk, which is sometimes translated as People; but the German word, Volk, means the whole body of the people without any distinction of class or caste. It is a primary word also that suggests what might be called the basic national stock. Now, after the defeat in 1918, the downfall of the Monarchy and the destruction of the aristocracy and the upper classes, the concept of Das Volk came into prominence as the unifying co-efficient which would embrace the whole German people. Hence the large number of völkisch societies that arose after the war and hence also the National Socialist concept of unification which is expressed by the word Volksgemeinschaft, or folk community. This is used in contradistinction to the Socialist concept of the nation as being divided into classes. Hitler’s ideal is the Völkischer Staat, which I have translated as the People’s State.” –James Murphy in the introduction to his 1939 translation of Mein Kamp
“During this phase the young movement developed its inner form. Sometimes we had more or less hefty discussions within our small circle. From various sides – it was then just the same as it is to-day – objections were made against the idea of calling the young movement a party. I have always considered such criticism as a demonstration of practical incapability and narrow mindedness on the part of the critic. Those objections have always been raised by men who could not differentiate between external appearances and inner strength, but tried to judge the movement by the high-sounding character of the name attached to it. To this end they ransacked the vocabulary of our ancestors, with unfortunate results.
At that time it was very difficult to make the people understand that every movement is a party as long as it has not brought its ideals to final triumph and thus achieved its purpose. It is a party even if it give itself a thousand different names.
Any person who tries to carry into practice an original idea whose realization would be for the benefit of his fellow men will first have to look for disciples who are ready to fight for the ends he has in view. And if these ends did not go beyond the destruction of the party system and therewith put a stop to the process of disintegration, then all those who come forward as protagonists and apostles of such an ideal are a party in themselves as long as their final goal is reached. It is only hair-splitting and playing with words when these antiquated theorists, whose practical success is in reverse ratio to their wisdom, presume to think they can change the character of a movement which is at the same time a party, by merely changing its name.
On the contrary, it is entirely out of harmony with the spirit of the nation to keep harping on that far-off and forgotten nomenclature which belongs to the ancient Germanic times and does not awaken any distinct association in our age. This habit of borrowing words from the dead past tends to mislead the people into thinking that the external trappings of its vocabulary are the important feature of a movement. It is really a mischievous habit; but it is quite prevalent nowadays.
At that time, and subsequently, I had to warn followers repeatedly against these wandering scholars who were peddling Germanic folk-lore and who never accomplished anything positive or practical, except to cultivate their own superabundant self-conceit. The new movement must guard itself against an influx of people whose only recommendation is their own statement that they have been fighting for these very same ideals during the last thirty or forty years. Now if somebody has fought for forty years to carry into effect what he calls an idea, and if these alleged efforts not only show no positive results but have not even been able to hinder the success of the opposing party, then the story of those forty years of futile effort furnishes sufficient proof for the incompetence of such a protagonist. People of that kind are specially dangerous because they do not want to participate in the movement as ordinary members. They talk rather of the leading positions which would be the only fitting posts for them, in view of their past work and also so that they might be enabled to carry on that work further. But woe to a young movement if the conduct of it should fall into the hands of such people. A business man who has been in charge of a great firm for forty years and who has completely ruined it through his mismanagement is not the kind of person one would recommend for the founding of a new firm. And it is just the same with a new national movement. Nobody of common sense would appoint to a leading post in such a movement some Teutonic Methuselah who had been ineffectively preaching some idea for a period of forty years, until himself and his idea had entered the stage of senile decay.
Furthermore, only a very small percentage of such people join a new movement with the intention of serving its end unselfishly and helping in the spread of its principles. In most cases they come because they think that, under the ægis of the new movement, it will be possible for them to promulgate their old ideas to the misfortune of their new listeners. Anyhow, nobody ever seems able to describe what exactly these ideas are.
It is typical of such persons that they rant about ancient Teutonic heroes of the dim and distant ages, stone axes, battle spears and shields, whereas in reality they themselves are the woefullest poltroons imaginable. For those very same people who brandish Teutonic tin swords that have been fashioned carefully according to ancient models and wear padded bear-skins, with the horns of oxen mounted over their bearded faces, proclaim that all contemporary conflicts must be decided by the weapons of the mind alone. And thus they skedaddle when the first communist cudgel appears. Posterity will have little occasion to write a new epic on these heroic gladiators.
I have seen too much of that kind of people not to feel a profound contempt for their miserable play-acting. To the masses of the nation they are just an object of ridicule; but the Jew finds it to his own interest to treat these folk-lore comedians with respect and to prefer them to real men who are fighting to establish a German State. And yet these comedians are extremely proud of themselves. Notwithstanding their complete fecklessness, which is an established fact, they pretend to know everything better than other people; so much so that they make themselves a veritable nuisance to all sincere and honest patriots, to whom not only the heroism of the past is worthy of honour but who also feel bound to leave examples of their own work for the inspiration of the coming generation.
Among those people there were some whose conduct can be explained by their innate stupidity and incompetence; but there are others who have a definite ulterior purpose in view. Often it is difficult to distinguish between the two classes. The impression which I often get, especially of those so-called religious reformers whose creed is grounded on ancient Germanic customs, is that they are the missionaries and protégés of those forces which do not wish to see a national revival taking place in Germany. All their activities tend to turn the attention of the people away from the necessity of fighting together in a common cause against the common enemy, namely the Jew. Moreover, that kind of preaching induces the people to use up their energies, not in fighting for the common cause, but in absurd and ruinous religious controversies within their own ranks. There are definite grounds that make it absolutely necessary for the movement to be dominated by a strong central force which is embodied in the authoritative leadership. In this way alone is it possible to counteract the activity of such fatal elements. And that is just the reason why these folk-lore Ahasueruses are vigorously hostile to any movement whose members are firmly united under one leader and one discipline. Those people of whom I have spoken hate such a movement because it is capable of putting a stop to their mischief.
It was not without good reason that when we laid down a clearly defined programme for the new movement we excluded the word völkisch from it. The concept underlying the term völkisch cannot serve as the basis of a movement, because it is too indefinite and general in its application. Therefore, if somebody called himself völkisch such a designation could not be taken as the hall-mark of some definite, party affiliation.
Because this concept is so indefinite from the practical viewpoint, it gives rise to various interpretations and thus people can appeal to it all the more easily as a sort of personal recommendation. Whenever such a vague concept, which is subject to so many interpretations, is admitted into a political movement it tends to break up the disciplined solidarity of the fighting forces. No such solidarity can be maintained if each individual member be allowed to define for himself what he believes and what he is willing to do.
One feels it a disgrace when one notices the kind of people who float about nowadays with the völkisch symbol stuck in their buttonholes, and at the same time to notice how many people have various ideas of their own as to the significance of that symbol. A well-known professor in Bavaria, a famous combatant who fights only with the weapons of the mind and who boasts of having marched against Berlin–by shouldering the weapons of the mind, of course–believes that the word völkisch is synonymous with ‘monarchical’. But this learned authority has hitherto neglected to explain how our German monarchs of the past can be identified with what we generally mean by the word völkisch to-day. I am afraid he will find himself at a loss if he is asked to give a precise answer. For it would be very difficult indeed to imagine anything less völkisch than most of those German monarchical States were. Had they been otherwise they would not have disappeared; or if they were völkisch, then the fact of their downfall may be taken as evidence that the völkisch outlook on the world (Weltanschauung) is a false outlook.
Everybody interprets this concept in his own way. But such multifarious opinions cannot be adopted as the basis of a militant political movement. I need not call attention to the absolute lack of worldly wisdom, and especially the failure to understand the soul of the nation, which is displayed by these Messianic Precursors of the Twentieth Century. Sufficient attention has been called to those people by the ridicule which the left-wing parties have bestowed on them. They allow them to babble on and sneer at them.
I do not set much value on the friendship of people who do not succeed in getting disliked by their enemies. Therefore, we considered the friendship of such people as not only worthless but even dangerous to our young movement. That was the principal reason why we first called ourselves a Party. We hoped that by giving ourselves such a name we might scare away a whole host of völkisch dreamers. And that was the reason also why we named our Party, The National Socialist German Labour Party.
The first term, Party, kept away all those dreamers who live in the past and all the lovers of bombastic nomenclature, as well as those who went around beating the big drum for the völkisch idea. The full name of the Party kept away all those heroes whose weapon is the sword of the spirit and all those whining poltroons who take refuge behind their so-called ‘intelligence’ as if it were a kind of shield.
It was only to be expected that this latter class would launch a massed attack against us after our movement had started; but, of course, it was only a pen-and-ink attack, for the goose-quill is the only weapon which these völkisch lancers wield. We had declared one of our principles thus: “We shall meet violence with violence in our own defence”. Naturally that principle disturbed the equanimity of the knights of the pen. They reproached us bitterly not only for what they called our crude worship of the cudgel but also because, according to them, we had no intellectual forces on our side. These charlatans did not think for a moment that a Demosthenes could be reduced to silence at a mass-meeting by fifty idiots who had come there to shout him down and use their fists against his supporters. The innate cowardice of the pen-and-ink charlatan prevents him from exposing himself to such a danger, for he always works in safe retirement and never dares to make a noise or come forward in public.
Even to-day I must warn the members of our young movement in the strongest possible terms to guard against the danger of falling into the snare of those who call themselves ‘silent workers’. These ‘silent workers’ are not only a whitelivered lot but are also, and always will be, ignorant do-nothings. A man who is aware of certain happenings and knows that a certain danger threatens, and at the same time sees a certain remedy which can be employed against it, is in duty bound not to work in silence but to come into the open and publicly fight for the destruction of the evil and the acceptance of his own remedy. If he does not do so, then he is neglecting his duty and shows that he is weak in character and that he fails to act either because of his timidity, or indolence or incompetence. Most of these ‘silent workers’ generally pretend to know God knows what. Not one of them is capable of any real achievement, but they keep on trying to fool the world with their antics. Though quite indolent, they try to create the impression that their ‘silent work’ keeps them very busy. To put it briefly, they are sheer swindlers, political jobbers who feel chagrined by the honest work which others are doing. When you find one of these völkisch moths buzzing over the value of his ‘silent work’ you may be sure that you are dealing with a fellow who does no productive work at all but steals from others the fruits of their honest labour.
In addition to all this one ought to note the arrogance and conceited impudence with which these obscurantist idlers try to tear to pieces the work of other people, criticizing it with an air of superiority, and thus playing into the hands of the mortal enemy of our people.
Even the simplest follower who has the courage to stand on the table in some beer-hall where his enemies are gathered, and manfully and openly defend his position against them, achieves a thousand times more than these slinking hypocrites. He at least will convert one or two people to believe in the movement. One can examine his work and test its effectiveness by its actual results. But those knavish swindlers–who praise their own ‘silent work’ and shelter themselves under the cloak of anonymity, are just worthless drones, in the truest sense of the term, and are utterly useless for the purpose of our national reconstruction.” –Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 281-285
[The inserted line above reflects the fact that Mein Kampf was originally published in two volumes.]
“In the first volume of this book I have already dealt with the term völkisch, and I said then that this term has not a sufficiently precise meaning to furnish the kernel around which a closely consolidated militant community could be formed. All kinds of people, with all kinds of divergent opinions, are parading about at the present moment under the device völkisch on their banners. Before I come to deal with the purposes and aims of the National Socialist Labour Party I want to establish a clear understanding of what is meant by the concept völkisch and herewith explain its relation to our party movement. The word völkisch does not express any clearly specified idea. It may be interpreted in several ways and in practical application it is just as general as the word ‘religious’, for instance. It is difficult to attach any precise meaning to this latter word, either as a theoretical concept or as a guiding principle in practical life. The word ‘religious’ acquires a precise meaning only when it is associated with a distinct and definite form through which the concept is put into practice. To say that a person is ‘deeply religious’ may be very fine phraseology; but, generally speaking, it tells us little or nothing. There may be some few people who are content with such a vague description and there may even be some to whom the word conveys a more or less definite picture of the inner quality of a person thus described. But, since the masses of the people are not composed of philosophers or saints, such a vague religious idea will mean for them nothing else than to justify each individual in thinking and acting according to his own bent. It will not lead to that practical faith into which the inner religious yearning is transformed only when it leaves the sphere of general metaphysical ideas and is moulded to a definite dogmatic belief. Such a belief is certainly not an end in itself, but the means to an end. Yet it is a means without which the end could never be reached at all. This end, however, is not merely something ideal; for at the bottom it is eminently practical. We must always bear in mind the fact that, generally speaking, the highest ideals are always the outcome of some profound vital need, just as the most sublime beauty owes its nobility of shape, in the last analysis, to the fact that the most beautiful form is the form that is best suited to the purpose it is meant to serve.
By helping to lift the human being above the level of mere animal existence, Faith really contributes to consolidate and safeguard its own existence. Taking humanity as it exists to-day and taking into consideration the fact that the religious beliefs which it generally holds and which have been consolidated through our education, so that they serve as moral standards in practical life, if we should now abolish religious teaching and not replace it by anything of equal value the result would be that the foundations of human existence would be seriously shaken. We may safely say that man does not live merely to serve higher ideals, but that these ideals, in their turn, furnish the necessary conditions of his existence as a human being. And thus the circle is closed.
Of course, the word ‘religious’ implies some ideas and beliefs that are fundamental. Among these we may reckon the belief in the immortality of the soul, its future existence in eternity, the belief in the existence of a Higher Being, and so on. But all these ideas, no matter how firmly the individual believes in them, may be critically analysed by any person and accepted or rejected accordingly, until the emotional concept or yearning has been transformed into an active service that is governed by a clearly defined doctrinal faith. Such a faith furnishes the practical outlet for religious feeling to express itself and thus opens the way through which it can be put into practice.
Without a clearly defined belief, the religious feeling would not only be worthless for the purposes of human existence but even might contribute towards a general disorganization, on account of its vague and multifarious tendencies.
What I have said about the word ‘religious’ can also be applied to the term völkisch. This word also implies certain fundamental ideas. Though these ideas are very important indeed, they assume such vague and indefinite forms that they cannot be estimated as having a greater value than mere opinions, until they become constituent elements in the structure of a political party. For in order to give practical force to the ideals that grow out of a Weltanschauung and to answer the demands which are a logical consequence of such ideals, mere sentiment and inner longing are of no practical assistance, just as freedom cannot be won by a universal yearning for it. No. Only when the idealistic longing for independence is organized in such a way that it can fight for its ideal with military force, only then can the urgent wish of a people be transformed into a potent reality.
Any Weltanschauung, though a thousandfold right and supremely beneficial to humanity, will be of no practical service for the maintenance of a people as long as its principles have not yet become the rallying point of a militant movement. And, on its own side, this movement will remain a mere party until it has brought its ideals to victory and transformed its party doctrines into the new foundations of a State which gives the national community its final shape.
If an abstract conception of a general nature is to serve as the basis of a future development, then the first prerequisite is to form a clear understanding of the nature and character and scope of this conception. For only on such a basis can a movement be founded which will be able to draw the necessary fighting strength from the internal cohesion of its principles and convictions. From general ideas a political programme must be constructed and a general Weltanschauung must receive the stamp of a definite political faith. Since this faith must be directed towards ends that have to be attained in the world of practical reality, not only must it serve the general ideal as such but it must also take into consideration the means that have to be employed for the triumph of the ideal. Here the practical wisdom of the statesman must come to the assistance of the abstract idea, which is correct in itself. In that way an eternal ideal, which has everlasting significance as a guiding star to mankind, must be adapted to the exigencies of human frailty so that its practical effect may not be frustrated at the very outset through those shortcomings which are general to mankind. The exponent of truth must here go hand in hand with him who has a practical knowledge of the soul of the people, so that from the realm of eternal verities and ideals what is suited to the capacities of human nature may be selected and given practical form. To take abstract and general principles, derived from a Weltanschauung which is based on a solid foundation of truth, and transform them into a militant community whose members have the same political faith–a community which is precisely defined, rigidly organized, of one mind and one will–such a transformation is the most important task of all; for the possibility of successfully carrying out the idea is dependent on the successful fulfilment of that task. Out of the army of millions who feel the truth of these ideas, and even may understand them to some extent, one man must arise. This man must have the gift of being able to expound general ideas in a clear and definite form, and, from the world of vague ideas shimmering before the minds of the masses, he must formulate principles that will be as clear-cut and firm as granite. He must fight for these principles as the only true ones, until a solid rock of common faith and common will emerges above the troubled waves of vagrant ideas. The general justification of such action is to be sought in the necessity for it and the individual will be justified by his success.
If we try to penetrate to the inner meaning of the word völkisch we arrive at the following conclusions:
The current political conception of the world is that the State, though it possesses a creative force which can build up civilizations, has nothing in common with the concept of race as the foundation of the State. The State is considered rather as something which has resulted from economic necessity, or, at best, the natural outcome of the play of political forces and impulses. Such a conception of the foundations of the State, together with all its logical consequences, not only ignores the primordial racial forces that underlie the State, but it also leads to a policy in which the importance of the individual is minimized. If it be denied that races differ from one another in their powers of cultural creativeness, then this same erroneous notion must necessarily influence our estimation of the value of the individual. The assumption that all races are alike leads to the assumption that nations and individuals are equal to one another. And international Marxism is nothing but the application–effected by the Jew, Karl Marx–of a general conception of life to a definite profession of political faith; but in reality that general concept had existed long before the time of Karl Marx. If it had not already existed as a widely diffused infection the amazing political progress of the Marxist teaching would never have been possible. In reality what distinguished Karl Marx from the millions who were affected in the same way was that, in a world already in a state of gradual decomposition, he used his keen powers of prognosis to detect the essential poisons, so as to extract them and concentrate them, with the art of a necromancer, in a solution which would bring about the rapid destruction of the independent nations on the globe. But all this was done in the service of his race.
Thus the Marxist doctrine is the concentrated extract of the mentality which underlies the general concept of life to-day. For this reason alone it is out of the question and even ridiculous to think that what is called our bourgeois world can put up any effective fight against Marxism. For this bourgeois world is permeated with all those same poisons and its conception of life in general differs from Marxism only in degree and in the character of the persons who hold it. The bourgeois world is Marxist but believes in the possibility of a certain group of people–that is to say, the bourgeoisie–being able to dominate the world, while Marxism itself systematically aims at delivering the world into the hands of the Jews.
Over against all this, the völkisch concept of the world recognizes that the primordial racial elements are of the greatest significance for mankind. In principle, the State is looked upon only as a means to an end and this end is the conservation of the racial characteristics of mankind. Therefore on the völkisch principle we cannot admit that one race is equal to another. By recognizing that they are different, the völkisch concept separates mankind into races of superior and inferior quality. On the basis of this recognition it feels bound in conformity with the eternal Will that dominates the universe, to postulate the victory of the better and stronger and the subordination of the inferior and weaker. And so it pays homage to the truth that the principle underlying all Nature’s operations is the aristocratic principle and it believes that this law holds good even down to the last individual organism. It selects individual values from the mass and thus operates as an organizing principle, whereas Marxism acts as a disintegrating solvent. The völkisch belief holds that humanity must have its ideals, because ideals are a necessary condition of human existence itself. But, on the other hand, it denies that an ethical ideal has the right to prevail if it endangers the existence of a race that is the standard-bearer of a higher ethical ideal. For in a world which would be composed of mongrels and negroids all ideals of human beauty and nobility and all hopes of an idealized future for our humanity would be lost forever.
On this planet of ours human culture and civilization are indissolubly bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he should be exterminated or subjugated, then the dark shroud of a new barbarian era would enfold the earth.
To undermine the existence of human culture by exterminating its founders and custodians would be an execrable crime in the eyes of those who believe that the folk idea lies at the basis of human existence. Whoever would dare to raise a profane hand against that highest image of God among His creatures would sin against the bountiful Creator of this marvel and would collaborate in the expulsion from Paradise.
Hence the folk concept of the world is in profound accord with Nature’s will; because it restores the free play of the forces which will lead the race through stages of sustained reciprocal education towards a higher type, until finally the best portion of mankind will possess the earth and will be free to work in every domain all over the world and even reach spheres that lie outside the earth.
We all feel that in the distant future many may be faced with problems which can be solved only by a superior race of human beings, a race destined to become master of all the other peoples and which will have at its disposal the means and resources of the whole world.
It is evident that such a general sketch of the ideas implied in the folk concept of the world may easily be interpreted in a thousand different ways. As a matter of fact there is scarcely one of our recent political movements that does not refer at some point to this conception of the world. But the fact that this conception of the world still maintains its independent existence in face of all the others proves that their ways of looking at life are quite different from this. Thus the Marxist conception, directed by a central organization endowed with supreme authority, is opposed by a motley crew of opinions which is not very impressive in face of the solid phalanx presented by the enemy. Victory cannot be achieved with such weak weapons. Only when the international idea, politically organized by Marxism, is confronted by the folk idea, equally well organized in a systematic way and equally well led–only then will the fighting energy in the one camp be able to meet that of the other on an equal footing; and victory will be found on the side of eternal truth.
But a general conception of life can never be given an organic embodiment until it is precisely and definitely formulated. The function which dogma fulfils in religious belief is parallel to the function which party principles fulfil for a political party which is in the process of being built up. Therefore, for the conception of life that is based on the folk idea it is necessary that an instrument be forged which can be used in fighting for this ideal, similar to the Marxist party organization which clears the way for internationalism.
And this is the aim which the German National Socialist Labour Movement pursues.
The folk conception must therefore be definitely formulated so that it may be organically incorporated in the party. That is a necessary prerequisite for the success of this idea. And that it is so is very clearly proved even by the indirect acknowledgment of those who oppose such an amalgamation of the folk idea with party principles. The very people who never tire of insisting again and again that the conception of life based on the folk idea can never be the exclusive property of a single group, because it lies dormant or ‘lives’ in myriads of hearts, only confirm by their own statements the simple fact that the general presence of such ideas in the hearts of millions of men has not proved sufficient to impede the victory of the opposing ideas, which are championed by a political party organized on the principle of class conflict. If that were not so, the German people ought already to have gained a gigantic victory instead of finding themselves on the brink of the abyss. The international ideology achieved success because it was organized in a militant political party which was always ready to take the offensive. If hitherto the ideas opposed to the international concept have had to give way before the latter the reason is that they lacked a united front to fight for their cause. A doctrine which forms a definite outlook on life cannot struggle and triumph by allowing the right of free interpretation of its general teaching, but only by defining that teaching in certain articles of faith that have to be accepted and incorporating it in a political organization.
Therefore I considered it my special duty to extract from the extensive but vague contents of a general Weltanschauung the ideas which were essential and give them a more or less dogmatic form. Because of their precise and clear meaning, these ideas are suited to the purpose of uniting in a common front all those who are ready to accept them as principles. In other words: The German National Socialist Labour Party extracts the essential principles from the general conception of the world which is based on the folk idea. On these principles it establishes a political doctrine which takes into account the practical realities of the day, the nature of the times, the available human material and all its deficiencies. Through this political doctrine it is possible to bring great masses of the people into an organization which is constructed as rigidly as it could be. Such an organization is the main preliminary that is necessary for the final triumph of this ideal.” –pp. 294-300
“The People’s State ought to allow much more time for physical training in the school. It is nonsense to burden young brains with a load of material of which, as experience shows, they retain only a small part, and mostly not the essentials, but only the secondary and useless portion; because the young mind is incapable of sifting the right kind of learning out of all the stuff that is pumped into it. To-day, even in the curriculum of the high schools, only two short hours in the week are reserved for gymnastics; and worse still, it is left to the pupils to decide whether or not they want to take part. This shows a grave disproportion between this branch of education and purely intellectual instruction. Not a single day should be allowed to pass in which the young pupil does not have one hour of physical training in the morning and one in the evening; and every kind of sport and gymnastics should be included. There is one kind of sport which should be specially encouraged, although many people who call themselves völkisch consider it brutal and vulgar, and that is boxing. It is incredible how many false notions prevail among the ‘cultivated’ classes. The fact that the young man learns how to fence and then spends his time in duels is considered quite natural and respectable. But boxing–that is brutal. Why? There is no other sport which equals this in developing the militant spirit, none that demands such a power of rapid decision or which gives the body the flexibility of good steel. It is no more vulgar when two young people settle their differences with their fists than with sharp-pointed pieces of steel. One who is attacked and defends himself with his fists surely does not act less manly than one who runs off and yells for the assistance of a policeman. But, above all, a healthy youth has to learn to endure hard knocks. This principle may appear savage to our contemporary champions who fight only with the weapons of the intellect. But it is not the purpose of the People’s State to educate a colony of aesthetic pacifists and physical degenerates. This State does not consider that the human ideal is to be found in the honourable philistine or the maidenly spinster, but in a dareful personification of manly force and in women capable of bringing men into the world. Generally speaking, the function of sport is not only to make the individual strong, alert and daring, but also to harden the body and train it to endure an adverse environment.” –pp.318-319
“In order to carry the idea of the People’s State to victory, a popular party had to be founded, a party that did not consist of intellectual leaders only but also of manual labourers. Any attempt to carry these theories into effect without the aid of a militant organization would be doomed to failure to-day, as it has failed in the past and must fail in the future. That is why the movement is not only justified but it is also obliged to consider itself as the champion and representative of these ideas. Just as the fundamental principles of the National Socialist Movement are based on the folk idea, folk ideas are National Socialist. If National Socialism would triumph it will have to hold firm to this fact unreservedly, and here again it has not only the right but also the duty to emphasize most rigidly that any attempt to represent the folk idea outside of the National Socialist German Labour Party is futile and in most cases fraudulent.
If the reproach should be launched against our movement that it has ‘monopolized’ the folk idea, there is only one answer to give.
Not only have we monopolized the folk idea but, to all practical intents and purposes, we have created it.
For what hitherto existed under this name was not in the least capable of influencing the destiny of our people, since all those ideas lacked a political and coherent formulation. In most cases they are nothing but isolated and incoherent notions which are more or less right. Quite frequently these were in open contradiction to one another and in no case was there any internal cohesion among them. And even if this internal cohesion existed it would have been much too weak to form the basis of any movement.
Only the National Socialist Movement proved capable of fulfilling this task.
All kinds of associations and groups, big as well as little, now claim the title völkisch. This is one result of the work which National Socialism has done. Without this work, not one of all these parties would have thought of adopting the word völkisch at all. That expression would have meant nothing to them and especially their directors would never have had anything to do with such an idea. Not until the work of the German National Socialist Labour Party had given this idea a pregnant meaning did it appear in the mouths of all kinds of people. Our party above all, by the success of its propaganda, has shown the force of the folk idea; so much so that the others, in an effort to gain proselytes, find themselves forced to copy our example, at least in words.
Just as heretofore they exploited everything to serve their petty electoral purposes, to-day they use the word völkisch only as an external and hollow-sounding phrase for the purpose of counteracting the force of the impression which the National Socialist Party makes on the members of those other parties. Only the desire to maintain their existence and the fear that our movement may prevail, because it is based on a Weltanschauung that is of universal importance, and because they feel that the exclusive character of our movement betokens danger for them–only for these reasons do they use words which they repudiated eight years ago, derided seven years ago, branded as stupid six years ago, combated five years ago, hated four years ago, and finally, two years ago, annexed and incorporated them in their present political vocabulary, employing them as war slogans in their struggle.
And so it is necessary even now not to cease calling attention to the fact that not one of those parties has the slightest idea of what the German nation needs. The most striking proof of this is represented by the superficial way in which they use the word völkisch.
Not less dangerous are those who run about as semi-folkists formulating fantastic schemes which are mostly based on nothing else than a fixed idea which in itself might be right but which, because it is an isolated notion, is of no use whatsoever for the formation of a great homogeneous fighting association and could by no means serve as the basis of its organization. Those people who concoct a programme which consists partly of their own ideas and partly of ideas taken from others, about which they have read somewhere, are often more dangerous than the outspoken enemies of the völkisch idea. At best they are sterile theorists but more frequently they are mischievous agitators of the public mind. They believe that they can mask their intellectual vanity, the futility of their efforts, and their lack of stability, by sporting flowing beards and indulging in ancient German gestures.
In face of all those futile attempts, it is therefore worthwhile to recall the time when the new National Socialist Movement began its fight.” –pp. 357-359
“The increasing interest taken in our meetings, particularly during 1920, compelled us at times to hold two meetings a week. Crowds gathered round our posters; the large meeting halls in the town were always filled and tens of thousands of people, who had been led astray by the teachings of Marxism, found their way to us and assisted in the work of fighting for the liberation of the Reich. The public in Munich had got to know us. We were being spoken about. The words ‘National Socialist’ had become common property to many and signified for them a definite party programme. Our circle of supporters and even of members was constantly increasing, so that in the winter of 1920-21 we were able to appear as a strong party in Munich.
At that time there was no party in Munich with the exception of the Marxist parties – certainly no nationalist party – which was able to hold such mass demonstrations as ours. The Munich Kindl Hall, which held 5,000 people, was more than once overcrowded and up till then there was only one other hall, the Krone Circus Hall, into which we had not ventured.
At the end of January 1921 there was again great cause for anxiety in Germany. The Paris Agreement, by which Germany pledged herself to pay the crazy sum of a hundred milliards of gold marks, was to be confirmed by the London Ultimatum.
Thereupon an old-established Munich working committee, representative of so-called völkisch groups, deemed it advisable to call for a public meeting of protest. I became nervous and restless when I saw that a lot of time was being wasted and nothing undertaken. At first a meeting was suggested in the König Platz; on second thoughts this was turned down, as someone feared the proceedings might be wrecked by Red elements. Another suggestion was a demonstration in front of the Feldhern Hall, but this also came to nothing. Finally a combined meeting in the Munich Kindl Hall was suggested. Meanwhile, day after day had gone by; the big parties had entirely ignored the terrible event, and the working committee could not decide on a definite date for holding the demonstration.
On Tuesday, February 1st, I put forward an urgent demand for a final decision. I was put off until Wednesday. On that day I demanded to be told clearly if and when the meeting was to take place. The reply was again uncertain and evasive, it being stated that it was ‘intended’ to arrange a demonstration that day week.
At that I lost all patience and decided to conduct a demonstration of protest on my own.” –pp. 384-385
“In December 1920, we acquired the Völkischer Beobachter. This newspaper which, as its name implies, championed the claims of the people, was now to become the organ of the German National Socialist Labour Party.” –pp. 450-451
“The Völkischer Beobachter was a so-called ‘popular’ organ, as its name indicated. It had all the good qualities, but still more the errors and weaknesses, inherent in all popular institutions.” –p. 451