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Reply: MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler DJ At 05 6/27
Subject:MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
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The education which makes them the devotees of such abstract notions as ‘Democracy’, ‘International Socialism’, ‘Pacifism’, etc., is so hard-and-fast and exclusive and, operating as it does from within outwards, is so purely subjective that in forming their general picture of outside life as a whole they are fundamentally influenced by these a priori notions. But, on the other hand, the attitude towards their own German nationality has been very objective from youth upwards. The Pacifist – in so far as he is a German – who surrenders himself subjectively, body and soul, to the dictates of his dogmatic principles, will always first consider the objective right or wrong of a situation when danger threatens his own people, even though that danger be grave and unjustly wrought from outside. But he will never take his stand in the ranks of his own people and fight for and with them from the sheer instinct of self-preservation.
Another example may further illustrate how far this applies to the different religious denominations. In so far as its origin and tradition are based on German ideals, Protestantism of itself defends those ideals better. But it fails the moment it is called upon to defend national interests which do not belong to the sphere of its ideals and traditional development, or which, for some reason or other, may be rejected by that sphere.
Therefore Protestantism will always take its part in promoting German ideals as far as concerns moral integrity or national education, when the German spiritual being or language or spiritual freedom are to be defended: because these represent the principles on which Protestantism itself is grounded. But this same Protestantism violently opposes every attempt to rescue the nation from the clutches of its mortal enemy; because the Protestant attitude towards the Jews is more or less rigidly and dogmatically fixed. And yet this is the first problem which has to be solved, unless all attempts to bring about a German resurgence or to raise the level of the nation’s standing are doomed to turn out nonsensical and impossible.
During my sojourn in Vienna I had ample leisure and opportunity to study this problem without allowing any prejudices to intervene; and in my daily intercourse with people I was able to establish the correctness of the opinion I formed by the test of thousands of instances.
In this focus where the greatest varieties of nationality had converged it was quite clear and open to everybody to see that the German pacifist was always and exclusively the one who tried to consider the interests of his own nation objectively; but you could never find a Jew who took a similar attitude towards his own race. Furthermore, I found that only the German Socialist is ‘international’ in the sense that he feels himself obliged not to demand justice for his own people in any other manner than by whining and wailing to his international comrades. Nobody could ever reproach Czechs or Poles or other nations with such conduct. In short, even at that time, already I recognized that this evil is only partly a result of the doctrines taught by Socialism, Pacifism, etc., but mainly the result of our totally inadequate system of education, the defects of which are responsible for the lack of devotion to our own national ideals.
Therefore the first theoretical argument advanced by the Pan-German leaders as the basis of their offensive against Catholicism was quite entenable.
The only way to remedy the evil I have been speaking of is to train the Germans from youth upwards to an absolute recognition of the rights of their own people, instead of poisoning their minds, while they are still only children, with the virus of this curbed ‘objectivity’, even in matters concerning the very maintenance of our own existence. The result of this would be that the Catholic in Germany, just as in Ireland, Poland or France, will be a German first and foremost. But all this presupposes a radical change in the national government.
The strongest proof in support of my contention is furnished by what took place at that historical juncture when our people were called for the last time before the tribunal of History to defend their own existence, in a life-or-death struggle.
As long as there was no lack of leadership in the higher circles, the people fulfilled their duty and obligations to an overwhelming extent. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, each did his very utmost in helping our powers of resistance to hold out, not only in the trenches but also, and even more so, at home. During those years, and especially during the first outburst of enthusiasm, in both religious camps there was one undivided and sacred German Empire for whose preservation and future existence they all prayed to Heaven.
The Pan-German Movement in Austria ought to have asked itself this one question: Is the maintenance of the German element in Austria possible or not, as long as that element remains within the fold of the Catholic Faith? If that question should have been answered in the affirmative, then the political Party should not have meddled in religious and denominational questions. But if the question had to be answered in the negative, then a religious reformation should have been started and not a political party movement.
Anyone who believes that a religious reformation can be achieved through the agency of a political organization shows that he has no idea of the development of religious conceptions and doctrines of faith and how these are given practical effect by the Church.
No man can serve two masters. And I hold that the foundation or overthrow of a religion has far greater consequences than the foundation or overthrow of a State, to say nothing of a Party.
It is no argument to the contrary to say that the attacks were only defensive measures against attacks from the other side.
Undoubtedly there have always been unscrupulous rogues who did not hesitate to degrade religion to the base uses of politics. Nearly always such a people had nothing else in their minds except to make a business of religions and politics. But on the other hand it would be wrong to hold religion itself, or a religious denomination, responsible for a number of rascals who exploit the Church for their own base interests just as they would exploit anything else in which they had a part.
Nothing could be more to the taste of one of these parliamentary loungers and tricksters than to be able to find a scapegoat for his political sharp-practice – after the event, of course. The moment religion or a religious denomination is attacked and made responsible for his personal misdeeds this shrewd fellow will raise a row at once and call the world to witness how justified he was in acting as he did, proclaiming that he and his eloquence alone have saved religion and the Church. The public, which is mostly stupid and has a very short memory, is not capable of recognizing the real instigator of the quarrel in the midst of the turmoil that has been raised. Frequently it does not remember the beginning of the fight and so the rogue gets by with his stunt.
A cunning fellow of that sort is quite well aware that his misdeeds have nothing to do with religion. And so he will laugh up his sleeve all the more heartily when his honest but artless adversary loses the game and, one day losing all faith in humanity, retires from the activities of public life.
But from another viewpoint also it would be wrong to make religion, or the Church as such, responsible for the misdeeds of individuals. If one compares the magnitude of the organization, as it stands visible to every eye, with the average weakness of human nature we shall have to admit that the proportion of good to bad is more favorable here than anywhere else. Among the priests there may, of course, be some who use their sacred calling to further their political ambitions. There are clergy who unfortunately forget that in the political mêlée they ought to be the paladins of the more sublime truths and not the abettors of falsehood and slander. But for each one of these unworthy specimens we can find a thousand or more who fulfil their mission nobly as the trustworthy guardians of souls and who tower above the level of our corrupt epoch, as little islands above the seaswamp.
I cannot condemn the Church as such, and I should feel quite as little justified in doing so if some depraved person in the robe of a priest commits some offence against the moral law. Nor should I for a moment think of blaming the Church if one of its innumerable members betrays and besmirches his compatriots, especially not in epochs when such conduct is quite common. We must not forget, particularly in our day, that for one such Ephialtes 7) there are a thousand whose hearts bleed in sympathy with their people during these years of misfortune and who, together with the best of our nation, yearn for the hour when fortune will smile on us again.
If it be objected that here we are concerned not with the petty problems of everyday life but principally with fundamental truths and questions of dogma, the only way of answering that objection is to ask a question:
Do you feel that Providence has called you to proclaim the Truth to the world? If so, then go and do it. But you ought to have the courage to do it directly and not use some political party as your mouthpiece; for in this way you shirk your vocation. In the place of something that now exists and is bad put something else that is better and will last into the future.
If you lack the requisite courage or if you yourself do not know clearly what your better substitute ought to be, leave the whole thing alone. But, whatever happens, do not try to reach the goal by the roundabout way of a political party if you are not brave enough to fight with your visor lifted.
Political parties have no right to meddle in religious questions except when these relate to something that is alien to the national well-being and thus calculated to undermine racial customs and morals.
If some ecclesiastical dignitaries should misuse religious ceremonies or religious teaching to injure their own nation their opponents ought never to take the same road and fight them with the same weapons.
To a political leader the religious teachings and practices of his people should be sacred and inviolable. Otherwise he should not be a statesman but a reformer, if he has the necessary qualities for such a mission.
Any other line of conduct will lead to disaster, especially in Germany.
In studying the Pan-German Movement and its conflict with Rome I was then firmly persuaded, and especially in the course of later years, that by their failure to understand the importance of the social problem the Pan-Germanists lost the support of the broad masses, who are the indispensable combatants in such a movement. By entering Parliament the Pan-German leaders deprived themselves of the great driving force which resides in the masses and at the same time they laid on their own shoulders all the defects of the parliamentary institution. Their struggle against the Church made their position impossible in numerous circles of the lower and middle class, while at the same time it robbed them of innumerable high-class elements – some of the best indeed that the nation possessed. The practical outcome of the Austrian Kulturkampf was negative.
Although they succeeded in winning 100,000 members away from the Church, that did not do much harm to the latter. The Church did not really need to shed any tears over these lost sheep, for it lost only those who had for a long time ceased to belong to it in their inner hearts. The difference between this new reformation and the great Reformation was that in the historic epoch of the great Reformation some of the best members left the Church because of religious convictions, whereas in this new reformation only those left who had been indifferent before and who were now influenced by political considerations. From the political point of view alone the result was as ridiculous as it was deplorable.
Once again a political movement which had promised so much for the German nation collapsed, because it was not conducted in a spirit of unflinching adherence to naked reality, but lost itself in fields where it was bound to get broken up.
The Pan-German Movement would never have made this mistake if it had properly understood the psyche of the broad masses. If the leaders had known that, for psychological reasons alone, it is not expedient to place two or more sets of adversaries before the masses – since that leads to a complete splitting up of their fighting strength – they would have concentrated the full and undivided force of their attack against a single adversary. Nothing in the policy of a political party is so fraught with danger as to allow its decisions to be directed by people who want to have their fingers in every pie though they do not know how to cook the simplest dish.
But even though there is much that can really be said against the various religious denominations, political leaders must not forget that the experience of history teaches us that no purely political party in similar circumstances ever succeeded in bringing about a religious reformation. One does not study history for the purpose of forgetting or mistrusting its lessons afterwards, when the time comes to apply these lessons in practice. It would be a mistake to believe that in this particular case things were different, so that the eternal truths of history were no longer applicable. One learns history in order to be able to apply its lessons to the present time and whoever fails to do this cannot pretend to be a political leader. In reality he is quite a superficial person or, as is mostly the case, a conceited simpleton whose good intentions cannot make up for his incompetence in practical affairs.
The art of leadership, as displayed by really great popular leaders in all ages, consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention into sections. The more the militant energies of the people are directed towards one objective the more will new recruits join the movement, attracted by the magnetism of its unified action, and thus the striking power will be all the more enhanced. The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to the one category; for weak and wavering natures among a leader’s following may easily begin to be dubious about the justice of their own cause if they have to face different enemies.
As soon as the vacillating masses find themselves facing an opposition that is made up of different groups of enemies their sense of objectivity will be aroused and they will ask how is it that all the others can be in the wrong and they themselves, and their movement, alone in the right.
Such a feeling would be the first step towards a paralysis of their fighting vigour. Where there are various enemies who are split up into divergent groups it will be necessary to block them all together as forming one solid front, so that the mass of followers in a popular movement may see only one common enemy against whom they have to fight. Such uniformity intensifies their belief in the justice of their own cause and strengthens their feeling of hostility towards the opponent.
The Pan-German Movement was unsuccessful because the leaders did not grasp the significance of that truth. They saw the goal clearly and their intentions were right; but they took the wrong road. Their action may be compared to that of an Alpine climber who never loses sight of the peak he wants to reach, who has set out with the greatest determination and energy, but pays no attention to the road beneath his feet. With his eye always fixed firmly on the goal he does not think over or notice the nature of the ascent and finally he fails.
The manner in which the great rival of the Pan-German Party set out to attain its goal was quite different. The way it took was well and shrewdly chosen; but it did not have a clear vision of the goal. In almost all the questions where the Pan-German Movement failed, the policy of the Christian-Socialist Party was correct and systematic.
They assessed the importance of the masses correctly, and thus they gained the support of large numbers of the popular masses by emphasizing the social character of the Movement from the very start. By directing their appeal especially to the lower middle class and the artisans, they gained adherents who were faithful, persevering and self-sacrificing. The Christian-Socialist leaders took care to avoid all controversy with the institutions of religion and thus they secured the support of that mighty organization, the Catholic Church. Those leaders recognized the value of propaganda on a large scale and they were veritable virtuosos in working up the spiritual instincts of the broad masses of their adherents.
The failure of this Party to carry into effect the dream of saving Austria from dissolution must be attributed to two main defects in the means they employed and also the lack of a clear perception of the ends they wished to reach.
The anti-Semitism of the Christian-Socialists was based on religious instead of racial principles. The reason for this mistake gave rise to the second error also.
The founders of the Christian-Socialist Party were of the opinion that they could not base their position on the racial principle if they wished to save Austria, because they felt that a general disintegration of the State might quickly result from the adoption of such a policy. In the opinion of the Party chiefs the situation in Vienna demanded that all factors which tended to estrange the nationalities from one another should be carefully avoided and that all factors making for unity should be encouraged.
At that time Vienna was so honeycombed with foreign elements, especially the Czechs, that the greatest amount of tolerance was necessary if these elements were to be enlisted in the ranks of any party that was not anti-German on principle. If Austria was to be saved those elements were indispensable. And so attempts were made to win the support of the small traders, a great number of whom were Czechs, by combating the liberalism of the Manchester School; and they believed that by adopting this attitude they had found a slogan against Jewry which, because of its religious implications, would unite all the different nationalities which made up the population of the old Austria.
It was obvious, however, that this kind of anti-Semitism did not upset the Jews very much, simply because it had a purely religious foundation. If the worst came to the worst a few drops of baptismal water would settle the matter, hereupon the Jew could still carry on his business safely and at the same time retain his Jewish nationality.
On such superficial grounds it was impossible to deal with the whole problem in an earnest and rational way. The consequence was that many people could not understand this kind of anti-Semitism and therefore refused to take part in it.
The attractive force of the idea was thus restricted exclusively to narrow-minded circles, because the leaders failed to go beyond the mere emotional appeal and did not ground their position on a truly rational basis. The intellectuals were opposed to such a policy on principle. It looked more and more as if the whole movement was a new attempt to proselytize the Jews, or, on the other hand, as if it were merely organized from the wish to compete with other contemporary movements. Thus the struggle lost all traces of having been organized for a spiritual and sublime mission. Indeed, it seemed to some people – and these were by no means worthless elements – to be immoral and reprehensible. The movement failed to awaken a belief that here there was a problem of vital importance for the whole of humanity and on the solution of which the destiny of the whole Gentile world depended.
Through this shilly-shally way of dealing with the problem the anti-Semitism of the Christian-Socialists turned out to be quite ineffective.
It was anti-Semitic only in outward appearance. And this was worse than if it had made no pretences at all to anti-Semitism; for the pretence gave rise to a false sense of security among people who believed that the enemy had been taken by the ears; but, as a matter of fact, the people themselves were being led by the nose.
The Jew readily adjusted himself to this form of anti-Semitism and found its continuance more profitable to him than its abolition would be.
This whole movement led to great sacrifices being made for the sake of that State which was composed of many heterogeneous nationalities; but much greater sacrifices had to be made by the trustees of the German element.
One did not dare to be ‘nationalist’, even in Vienna, lest the ground should fall away from under one’s feet. It was hoped that the Habsburg State might be saved by a silent evasion of the nationalist question; but this policy led that State to ruin. The same policy also led to the collapse of Christian Socialism, for thus the Movement was deprived of the only source of energy from which a political party can draw the necessary driving force.
During those years I carefully followed the two movements and observed how they developed, one because my heart was with it and the other because of my admiration for that remarkable man who then appeared to me as a bitter symbol of the whole German population in Austria.
When the imposing funeral cortège of the dead Burgomaster wound its way from the City Hall towards the Ring Strasse I stood among the hundreds of thousands who watched the solemn procession pass by. As I stood there I felt deeply moved, and my instinct clearly told me that the work of this man was all in vain, because a sinister Fate was inexorably leading this State to its downfall. If Dr. Karl Lueger had lived in Germany he would have been ranked among the great leaders of our people. It was a misfortune for his work and for himseif that he had to live in this impossible State.
When he died the fire had already been enkindled in the Balkans and was spreading month by month. Fate had been merciful in sparing him the sight of what, even to the last, he had hoped to prevent.
I endeavoured to analyse the cause which rendered one of those movements futile and wrecked the progress of the other. The result of this investigation was the profound conviction that, apart from the inherent impossibility of consolidating the position of the State in the old Austria, the two parties made the following fatal mistake:
The Pan-German Party was perfectly right in its fundamental ideas regarding the aim of the Movement, which was to bring about a German restoration, but it was unfortunate in its choice of means. It was nationalist, but unfortunately it paid too little heed to the social problem, and thus it failed to gain the support of the masses. Its anti-Jewish policy, however, was grounded on a correct perception of the significance of the racial problem and not on religious principles. But it was mistaken in its assessment of facts and adopted the wrong tactics when it made war against one of the religious denominations.
The Christian-Socialist Movement had only a vague concept of a German revival as part of its object, but it was intelligent and fortunate in the choice of means to carry out its policy as a Party. The Christian-Socialists grasped the significance of the social question; but they adopted the wrong principles in their struggle against Jewry, and they utterly failed to appreciate the value of the national idea as a source of political energy.
If the Christian-Socialist Party, together with its shrewd judgment in regard to the worth of the popular masses, had only judged rightly also on the importance of the racial problem – which was properly grasped by the Pan-German Movement – and if this party had been really nationalist; or if the Pan-German leaders, on the other hand, in addition to their correct judgment of the Jewish problem and of the national idea, had adopted the practical wisdom of the Christian-Socialist Party, and particularly their attitude towards Socialism – then a movement would have developed which, in my opinion, might at that time have successfully altered the course of German destiny.
If things did not turn out thus, the fault lay for the most part in the inherent nature of the Austrian State.
I did not find my own convictions upheld by any party then in existence, and so I could not bring myself to enlist as a member in any of the existing organizations or even lend a hand in their struggle. Even at that time all those organizations seemed to me to be already jaded in their energies and were therefore incapable of bringing about a national revival of the German people in a really profound way, not merely outwardly.
My inner aversion to the Habsburg State was increasing daily.
The more I paid special attention to questions of foreign policy, the more the conviction grew upon me that this phantom State would surely bring misfortune on the Germans. I realized more and more that the destiny of the German nation could not be decisively influenced from here but only in the German Empire itself. And this was true not only in regard to general political questions but also – and in no less a degree – in regard to the whole sphere of cultural life.
Here, also, in all matters affecting the national culture and art, the Austrian State showed all the signs of senile decrepitude, or at least it was ceasing to be of any consequence to the German nation, as far as these matters were concerned. This was especially true of its architecture. Modern architecture could not produce any great results in Austria because, since the building of the Ring Strasse – at least in Vienna – architectural activities had become insignificant when compared with the progressive plans which were being thought out in Germany.
And so I came more and more to lead what may be called a twofold existence. Reason and reality forced me to continue my harsh apprenticeship in Austria, though I must now say that this apprenticeship turned out fortunate in the end. But my heart was elsewhere.
A feeling of discontent grew upon me and made me depressed the more I came to realize the inside hollowness of this State and the impossibility of saving it from collapse. At the same time I felt perfectly certain that it would bring all kinds of misfortune to the German people.
I was convinced that the Habsburg State would balk and hinder every German who might show signs of real greatness, while at the same time it would aid and abet every non-German activity.
This conglomerate spectacle of heterogeneous races which the capital of the Dual Monarchy presented, this motley of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Serbs and Croats, etc., and always that bacillus which is the solvent of human society, the Jew, here and there and everywhere – the whole spectacle was repugnant to me. The gigantic city seemed to be the incarnation of mongrel depravity.
The German language, which I had spoken from the time of my boyhood, was the vernacular idiom of Lower Bavaria. I never forgot that particular style of speech, and I could never learn the Viennese dialect. The longer I lived in that city the stronger became my hatred for the promiscuous swarm of foreign peoples which had begun to batten on that old nursery ground of German culture. The idea that this State could maintain its further existence for any considerable time was quite absurd.
Austria was then like a piece of ancient mosaic in which the cohesive cement had dried up and become old and friable. As long as such a work of art remains untouched it may hold together and continue to exist; but the moment some blow is struck on it then it breaks up into thousands of fragments. Therefore it was now only a question of when the blow would come.
Because my heart was always with the German Empire and not with the Austrian Monarchy, the hour of Austria’s dissolution as a State appeared to me only as the first step towards the emancipation of the German nation.
All these considerations intensified my yearning to depart for that country for which my heart had been secretly longing since the days of my youth.
I hoped that one day I might be able to make my mark as an architect and that I could devote my talents to the service of my country on a large or small scale, according to the will of Fate.
A final reason was that I longed to be among those who lived and worked in that land from which the movement should be launched, the object of which would be the fulfilment of what my heart had always longed for, namely, the union of the country in which I was born with our common fatherland, the German Empire.
There are many who may not understand how such a yearning can be so strong; but I appeal especially to two groups of people. The first includes all those who are still denied the happiness I have spoken of, and the second embraces those who once enjoyed that happiness but had it torn from them by a harsh fate. I turn to all those who have been torn from their motherland and who have to struggle for the preservation of their most sacred patrimony, their native language, persecuted and harried because of their loyalty and love for the homeland, yearning sadly for the hour when they will be allowed to return to the bosom of their father’s household. To these I address my words, and I know that they will understand.
Only he who has experienced in his own inner life what it means to be German and yet to be denied the right of belonging to his fatherland can appreciate the profound nostalgia which that enforced exile causes. It is a perpetual heartache, and there is no place for joy and contentment until the doors of paternal home are thrown open and all those through whose veins kindred blood is flowing will find peace and rest in their common Reich.
Vienna was a hard school for me; but it taught me the most profound lessons of my life. I was scarcely more than a boy when I came to live there, and when I left it I had grown to be a man of a grave and pensive nature. In Vienna I acquired the foundations of a Weltanschhauung in general and developed a faculty for analysing political questions in particular. That Weltanschhauung and the political ideas then formed have never been abandoned, though they were expanded later on in some directions. It is only now that I can fully appreciate how valuable those years of apprenticeship were for me.
That is why I have given a detailed account of this period. There, in Vienna, stark reality taught me the truths that now form the fundamental principles of the Party which within the course of five years has grown from modest beginnings to a great mass movement. I do not know what my attitude towards Jewry, Social-Democracy, or rather Marxism in general, to the social problem, etc., would be to-day if I had not acquired a stock of personal beliefs at such an early age, by dint of hard study and under the duress of Fate.
For, although the misfortunes of the Fatherland may have stimulated thousands and thousands to ponder over the inner causes of the collapse, that could not lead to such a thorough knowledge and deep insight as a man may develop who has fought a hard struggle for many years so that he might be master of his own fate.
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At last I came to Munich, in the spring of 1912.
The city itself was as familiar to me as if I had lived for years within its walls.
This was because my studies in architecture had been constantly turning my attention to the metropolis of German art. One must know Munich if one would know Germany, and it is impossible to acquire a knowledge of German art without seeing Munich.
All things considered, this pre-war sojourn was by far the happiest and most contented time of my life. My earnings were very slender; but after all I did not live for the sake of painting. I painted in order to get the bare necessities of existence while I continued my studies. I was firmly convinced that I should finally succeed in reaching the goal I had marked out for myself. And this conviction alone was strong enough to enable me to bear the petty hardships of everyday life without worrying very much about them.
Moreover, almost from the very first moment of my sojourn there I came to love that city more than any other place known to me. A German city! I said to myself. How different to Vienna. It was with a feeling of disgust that my imagination reverted to that Babylon of races. Another pleasant feature here was the way the people spoke German, which was much nearer my own way of speaking than the Viennese idiom. The Munich idiom recalled the days of my youth, especially when I spoke with those who had come to Munich from Lower Bavaria. There were a thousand or more things which I inwardly loved or which I came to love during the course of my stay. But what attracted me most was the marvellous wedlock of native folk-energy with the fine artistic spirit of the city, that unique harmony from the Hofbräuhaus to the Odeon, from the October Festival to the Pinakothek, etc. The reason why my heart’s strings are entwined around this city as around no other spot in this world is probably because Munich is and will remain inseparably connected with the development of my own career; and the fact that from the beginning of my visit I felt inwardly happy and contented is to be attributed to the charm of the marvellous Wittelsbach Capital, which has attracted probably everybody who is blessed with a feeling for beauty instead of commercial instincts.
Apart from my professional work, I was most interested in the study of current political events, particularly those which were connected with foreign relations. I approached these by way of the German policy of alliances which, ever since my Austrian days, I had considered to be an utterly mistaken one. But in Vienna I had not yet seen quite clearly how far the German Empire had gone in the process of’ self-delusion. In Vienna I was inclined to assume, or probably I persuaded myself to do so in order to excuse the German mistake, that possibly the authorities in Berlin knew how weak and unreliable their ally would prove to be when brought face to face with realities, but that, for more or less mysterious reasons, they refrained from allowing their opinions on this point to be known in public. Their idea was that they should support the policy of alliances which Bismarck had initiated and the sudden discontinuance of which might be undesirable, if for no other reason than that it might arouse those foreign countries which were lying in wait for their chance or might alarm the Philistines at home.
But my contact with the people soon taught me, to my horror, that my assumptions were wrong. I was amazed to find everywhere, even in circles otherwise well informed, that nobody had the slightest intimation of the real character of the Habsburg Monarchy. Among the common people in particular there was a prevalent illusion that the Austrian ally was a Power which would have to be seriously reckoned with and would rally its man-power in the hour of need. The mass of the people continued to look upon the Dual Monarchy as a ‘German State’ and believed that it could be relied upon. They assumed that its strength could be measured by the millions of its subjects, as was the case in Germany. First of all, they did not realize that Austria had ceased to be a German State and, secondly, that the conditions prevailing within the Austrian Empire were steadily pushing it headlong to the brink of disaster.
At that time I knew the condition of affairs in the Austrian State better than the professional diplomats. Blindfolded, as nearly always, these diplomats stumbled along on their way to disaster. The opinions prevailing among the bulk of the people reflected only what had been drummed into them from official quarters above. And these higher authorities grovelled before the ‘Ally’, as the people of old bowed down before the Golden Calf. They probably thought that by being polite and amiable they might balance the lack of honesty on the other side. Thus they took every declaration at its full face value.
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
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MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler
MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler