Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Our Revolutionary Will


Source: SS Leitheft, Year 9, Issue 5, Mai 1943

The second year of the struggle with the Bolshevik opponent now lies behind us. This winter, too, the almost constant assault of the Bolshevik masses has shattered on the resistance strength of the National Socialist army. What that means is understood only by the man who knows the war in the comfortless expanse of the east. The numeric superiority of the Bolshevik opponent and the employment of technical means make the moral accomplishment of the German army an unprecedented deed in history. We are today clear that only an army possessing a revolutionary will can endure the struggle against the Bolshevik masses. The old concepts of duty and military obedience do not suffice to produce that iron hardness and strength of spirit demanded by the conflict with the Russian opponent. There is no doubt that Bolshevism does not only work with mass and material. In the time of internal struggle against communism we have learned that a basically negative worldview as is represented by communism can also produce fighting traits like hardness and courage. Just like during the period of internal conflict in the Reich, so too in the last two winters has the might of the Bolshevik attack only been broken by the even greater revolutionary force, the even greater hardness and stronger fanaticism of the German army. What the experience of this two-year struggle with the Bolshevik opponent has brought, must now become the prerequisite for the coming decision: the world-view educational work for the army as well as the folk must lead to that uncompromising fanaticism of the entire nation, as a result of which each individual feels himself to be Adolf Hitler’s soldier and fighter.

The time is past when a few individuals could believe they could save their own personal lives regardless of the outcome of events. Between the two fronts of National Socialism and Bolshevism there are no longer any islands for spectators and well-meaning observers. That is true for each individual in our folk and for the totality of European folks. Either the whole ship and hence the whole crew will be saved or the ship goes down and with it the whole, valuable, blood substance of Europe sinks in the Bolshevik whirlpool. We SS-men had already clearly recognized the force and the gravity of the coming decision upon entrance into Russia and the first clashes with Bolshevik guard regiments. Our impression back then has only been confirmed by events. We are, however, determined to make this experience of the front soldier, this self-evident, wordless, fanatical loyalty to Adolf Hitler directed solely at the annihilation of the enemy, an unconditional demand for each individual folk comrade. The German folk once experienced the tragic drama of a front determined to the death and a defeatist homeland. That was in the years 1917 and 1918 and belongs to the past. The blame for that development fell on the folk’s leadership back then. We will with pitiless severity watch that the spirit of the front is fully the spirit of the whole Reich. The Reich’s west bleeds and in no way stands behind the front in the strength of endurance and the defense against the infernal attacks against our residential districts and cultural monuments. Only an uncompromising leadership can employ and direct the reserve strengths that are awakened precisely in this hard struggle for existence. It would be irresponsible and contrary to all experiences to in a war like the present one takes any consideration of the shifting views of whatever know-it-alls. For that this struggle is too merciless and the prize too precious. The path of our politics and the fate of our folk will be determined by the Führer and the minority determined to lead, just as in the Seven Years War Prussia’s fate and Prussia’s victory were not produced by unsteady men and the shifting opinions of the representatives of individual provinces, rather solely by the king. In the world war 1914-1918 it was learned that the morale of the men is determined by their leader. The company commander is decisive for the performance and morale of his troop. A few men in each unit might be able to support him independently. What is true for the troop, is true for the folk. A determined minority leads. History judges it. The responsibility of the future rests on it alone. A folk, however, wants to be led and more readily forgives individual mistakes that are unavailable than deficient decisiveness and lack of clarity of goal.

If at the start of this war there might have still existed any doubt in the necessary of the world-view education of our folk, it has long been overcome by the length and hardness of the struggle with the Bolshevik opponent. Prisoner interrogations confirm that the Bolsheviks continue to emphasize political education at the front, in the bunkers and trenches, even in pockets. We are determined to be an example in this area as well in the ranks of the Waffen-SS on the basis of the realization of the power of moral forces. Just as little as instruction in the use of an individual weapon can be overlooked, so too may the world-view education be neglected, which is conveyed by the example of the Führer, by occasional instruction as well as the actual world-view education. The methods of education are based on the military situation. Our whole armed forces and our whole German folk must be filled with the energy of the National Socialist world-view. Half-measures and compromises are doomed to failure, the more so as the struggle becomes harder. This war will only be won by a revolutionary nation and a revolutionary leadership. The use of technical weapons and military skill must be carried by a superior worldview. It bestows the stronger faith and despite all setbacks the hardness that alone defiantly wins victory. We are willing to draw all the consequences of this realization.

Gd.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Black Friday - November 9, 1923


by Hermann Göring

In Bavaria the Party had already reached its zenith. At the same time the Bavarian Government Party considered that the time had come to exploit the general discontent with the Berlin Government: they would move to the attack and therewith split the Reich. Hitler himself was firmly resolved to prevent this happening and to use the disgust with Berlin to organize a united and general attack against the Government of the Reich as such. The events which led up to the so-called Hitler Putsch are well known and it would take up too much space to describe them here. On the 9th November, 1923, on the fifth anniversary of the shameful November revolt, it was planned to strike the decisive blow. Confidently trusting the solemn promises of von Kahr, Lossow and Seisser (Government, Army and Police), Hitler, in the night from the 8th to the 9th November, proclaimed the new Germany and declared the Government of the Reich to be removed from office. On the following day the march to Berlin was to have started. We know today that Herr von Kahr, as representing Catholic and Wittelsbach tendencies, had planned quite a different action for the 12th November. And so the movement, without knowing it, had, by its action, saved the unity of the Reich.

At about noon on the 9th November the first of the unarmed marching and singing columns of the fighters for freedom were treacherously shot down by the police near the Feldherrnhalle in Munich. Eighteen sacrificed their lives and many more were wounded. Beside Hitler marched General Ludendorff, and beside Ludendorff myself as commanding officer of the Storm Troops. Hitler and Ludendorff were saved as by a miracle. I myself fell, seriously wounded by two shots. Abruptly and brutally the rattle of the machine-guns had wrecked the rejoicings and had murdered the hope of freedom. Once more, as has happened several times in German history, treachery prevented victory. The young movement which had only just sprung up, seemed already destroyed. The followers were dispersed, the leaders in prison, wounded or in exile. To the weak, once more discouraged, it seemed as if Germany was now finally lost.

But it soon became clear that these sacrifices had not been in vain. The seed sown in blood began wonderfully to put out shoots. The fighters the activities, were united more firmly than ever. Hitler himself was stronger, more experienced, more confident in the future than ever before. During his imprisonment the situation seemed hopeless. But he had hardly been released when the enormous attractive force of this leader and prophet became apparent. He took the banner into his own hands again, and immediately the old fighters gathered round him afresh and thousands of new ones as well. The movement was now established not only in Bavaria, but also in North Germany. With the march to the Feldherrnhalle in Munich the young movement had made its entry into world history, and had taken over the leadership and direction of the struggle for freedom, honour, work and bread which was now beginning. For the future no other organization could lay claim to the same position. It was a Middle-class Government which had given the order to shoot down the soldiers of National Socialism at the Feldherrnhalle. And therewith many honest German workers lost the last traces of mistrust towards the movement. The Middle Class parties could no longer take in the people with the lie that they represented the nation. At the Feldherrnhalle they had come out in their true colours, and there it was that National Socialism finally tore from the Bourgeoisie their distorted idea of Nationalism. In the same way the movement could no longer allow the Social Democrats to call themselves the representatives of Socialism. The Middle Classes had taken the sublime conception of Nationalism, which is to promote the good of the whole people, and had degraded it to jingoism, which has its roots in alcohol and in the winning of profits. In the same way the Social Democrats' had taken the pure conception of Socialism, which means service to the community and the right of each individual to live a decent life, and had degraded it to a mere question of food and wages.

Germany was split into two hostile camps; on the one hand the Proletariat, and on the other the Middle Classes. The Middle Classes appeared as the representatives of Nationalism, hated by the workers as the symbol of compulsion and oppression; the Proletariat, hated and feared by the cowardly Bourgeoisie, appeared as the symbol of destruction and the abolition of private property. The two ideas seemed mutually exclusive and inevitably opposed to each other. lf the one side seemed to offend against the nation, then the other side offended against the people. There could be no bridge built between the two parties; there could be no reconciliation. Hitler saw that the distortion of these two ideas had brought about the division of the people, and that as long as they remained distorted no unity was possible. Therefore he took the symbols from both parties and melted them in the crucible of our philosophy to make a new synthesis. The result was National Socialism, which is the unique and indissoluble union of the two ideas at their deepest and finest. He explained to the workers that there can be no socialism, no socialist justice, unless one is prepared to recognize the good of the whole nation. He who would better the lot of the individual must be ready to better the lot of the whole nation. At the same time he convinced supporters of the Middle Classes that they could never achieve national strength and unity unless they were ready to grant each individual fellow-countryman his rights, unless they were ready to look upon the lot of each individual fellow-countryman as their own personal concern. He explained to both sides that Nationalism and Socialism are not mutually exclusive, but are absolutely necessary to each other. He thus combined both ideas to one philosophy, and he had then logically to bring the representatives of the two ideas together and to unite them and thus achieve national solidarity. And so it will always remain Hitler's greatest merit that he did not bridge over the gulf between Proletariat and Bourgeoisie, but filled it in by hurling both Marxism and the Bourgeois parties into the abyss. Thus the ruinous war between classes and parties was brought to an end, and the unity of the nation and the solidarity of the people was achieved.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Giuseppe Verdi - Messa da Requiem


Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Performance: La Scala Orchestra and Chorus of Milano

0:00:32 - Requiem
0:08:43 - Dies Irae
0:10:55 - Tuba Mirum
0:12:58 - Mors Stupebit
0:14:19 - Liber Scriptus
0:19:23 - Quid Sum Miser
0:23:13 - Rex Tremendae
0:26:44 - Recordare
0:31:05 - Ingemisco
0:34:45 - Confutatis
0:40:24 - Lacrymosa
0:46:05 - Offertorio
0:56:53 - Sanctus
0:59:51 - Agnus Dei
1:04:32 - Lux Aeterna
1:10:45 - Libera Me


Friday, 9 November 2018

Adolf Hitler – speech at the Bürgerbräukeller - Munich, November 8, 1938


Munich, November 8, 1938

Nevertheless, had not the German Volk in its blindness allowed the civic unrest back then to foment a civil war, then there would never have been a collapse such as that of 1918. I believe I have a right to say that, had Fate put me at the helm back then, this collapse would never have come about.

I have been told that not too long ago, a man was heard saying: “Well, you know, the Fuhrer, too, can err. After all, he was wrong in 1923 and went under back then!” All I can say to these Philistines is: I was not wrong in 1923! I did not go under back then! I did receive a severe blow at that time, but the Party and hence Germany recovered from this blow and they are all the stronger for it.

What was the situation like in 1923? I was the leader of a rather small party, however, of a party in determination and courage. I was perhaps the only leader of a party who could claim that he was backed by a community of men and women, a community that stood ready to march upon a moment’s notice if necessary. Others had a following which was willing to make deals only.

Back then I resolved to eliminate this incompetent regime. The deed was not carried out then. However, this failure proved and will prove itself to be of greater benefit than we may realize to this day. I know not what the fate of Germany would have been had the course of events taken a different turn and had Herr Kahr and his comrades succeeded in their attempts to tear this country apart.

I declare and assert before all the world and posterity that in 1923 I, too, acted in accordance with this conviction!

Every day, as I read in foreign journals that we are deeply shaken by the armament efforts of our neighbors, I can assert only one thing, namely, that I would be shaken only if the German nation failed to arm itself! The fact that others are arming does not shake me up! Let there be no doubt: the German Volk will not be caught carrying the olive branch while the rest of the world arms itself to the teeth.

In this event, we will do precisely what is necessary to secure peace for ourselves! As a Gennan statesman I am obligated, in the interest of my Volk, to concern myself with measures taken by the rest of the world, to assess their consequences, and to take into consideration possible dangers arising from them. And here I will not tolerate a certain British member of parliament telling me what to do! Some people of late have come up to me and claimed: “Oh, we meant to destroy the dictatorships but not the German and Italian peoples.” My only answer to this is: something of this sort you could perhaps claim prior to November 1918, but no longer after November 1918! Back then, these very same circles had claimed that all they sought was the destruction of “Prussian militarism,” the destruction of only one dynasty, the House of Hohenzollern, not the destruction of the German Volk! The German Volk would then be led toward regaining its freedom in the framework of international democracy. We got to know this particular type of “freedom” quite well! And the German Volk has learned its lesson.

A collapse, such as the one experienced by the German Volk due to its naivety, will not repeat itself in the next millennium! And I can assure you this will also be the case for all those who still believe they can instigate hate campaigns against the German Volk once more! Germany will never again be duped by such rhetoric! As a Fuhrer of responsibility, I will point out these dangers to the nation. And one of these dangers I see arising from the constant hate campaigns abroad directed against Germany. Whoever does not want to believe this, should simply call to mind a few of the recent incidents.

It has not been all that long ago that there was a debate concerning questions of civil aviation before the House of Commons in England. Back then, a certain type of new civil airplane was declared to be of great practical value and particularly useful. Then one man of the opposition party stood up and shouted: “I hope this plane can also carry bombs to Berlin!” We know what this means! People might tell me: “That was only one man of the opposition party.” To that I can only reply: In these democracies, the Constitution allows the opposition of today to become the government of tomorrow. In general, this usually happens sooner or later. We are most grateful that France and England have removed men of such persuasion from office and that these two countries desire good relations with Germany. More than once, we have made it clear that all we want from these countries is the return of the colonies unjustly taken from us. I have always asserted that, of course, we shall not go to war simply because of this. Rather, it is a question of justice, we say, a question of whether there is an honest intent to render the peaceful coexistence of various peoples possible. We desire no more of these other peoples, we demand nothing of them. We simply wish to make deals with these peoples, that is we wish to conduct trade with them. So if there is talk of reaching an understanding, we really do not know what there is to reach an understanding about.

However, there is one thing I must never let out of sight. Today there might well be men in power in France and England who desire peace. Yet there are other men who do little to conceal that they wish for war with Germany.

I am forced to state this in all objectivity before the nation and to draw the consequences. Mr. Churchill can be Prime Minister by tomorrow. And when one leader of the British opposition declares that it is not the German Volk they wish to destroy but the regime, then that is one and the same thing since this regime will not be destroyed lest one destroys the entire German Volk! And if someone claims that he wishes to free the German Volk from this regime, then I will tell him: The German Volk is none of your business! If there is one man whose business is the German Volk, my dear gentlemen of the British parliament, then that is me! The regime in Germany is an internal affair of the German Volk, and we will not stand for being supervised as if by a schoolmaster. Moreover, I believe that we have achieved far more than these gentlemen. Above all we have restored order to our state which is something you cannot say for a good number of countries on the face of this earth.

Hence I am forced to take into consideration the persuasions of men who might not govern today but could do so tomorrow and who have left little doubt as to their convictions. The German Volk will understand why I am warning it and why I myself am determined to take all precautions necessary to make certain that there is no foreign interference! On a side note, let me assure you that the German Volk shall not succumb to a fear of bombs, falling-let us say-from either Mars or the moon.495 We will keep good measure as is the custom of all Germans. But I am determined to ensure the security of the Reich by fortifying it to the last. And I know that the entire German Volk agrees with me on this! No doubt this means sacrifice.

However, it is better for us to make sacrifices now than having to pay up one day in the form of contributions or should we rather say “reparations” as they were called back then.

For us there is only one maxim that truly counts and that I spoke of in Saarbrucken: “We are always ready for peace!” It was not us who broke the peace. However, we are always ready to stand up in defense of ourselves as well, in a manner both manly and determined.

When someone says to me, “So it is not by legal means that you intend to enter into world history, but rather it is violence which serves as your means,” then all I can say in reply is that today’s Germany did not refuse to obtain its rights by means of negotiation! Year after year we attempted to secure our rights by negotiating. And most certainly English parliamentarians have no right to doubt this. After all, it was by means of negotiation that we concluded a treaty with England. It is not our fault that others did not become parties to the treaty.

Always keep in mind the following: National Socialist Germany will never go to Canossa!496 We have no need to! If the rest of the world persists in denying us our rights by means of negotiation, then it should not be surprised if we resort to other means in order to secure our rights, rights we cannot obtain in the customary fashion. Now that these British advocates of world democracy maintain that this year alone we destroyed two democracies, I can only ask them: What precisely is democracy? Who has the right to speak in the name of democracy? Has the good Lord handed over the keys to democracy to Mr. Churchill or to Mr. Duff Cooper? Has the lock combination been engraved upon some ancient tabulae perhaps at present in the hands of the British opposition? In our opinion, democracy implies a regime supported by the will of a people. I became Chancellor of Germany once in compliance with the rules of parliamentary democracy; and that as the leader of the strongest party by far.

And it was in compliance with the rules of parliamentary democracy that I possessed the absolute majority then, and today I received the complete approval of the German Volk-let Mr. Churchill doubt this if he pleases. I did not eliminate two democracies this year, rather, I destroyed, as the epitome of a true democrat, two dictatorships! Namely, the dictatorship of Herr Schuschnigg and the dictatorship of Herr Beneš. It was by peaceful means that I attempted to persuade these two dictators to open up a path toward democracy for their peoples by permitting them to exercise their right to self-determination.

I did not succeed in this attempt. It was only then that I applied the force of our great German Volk to restore democracy to these countries, in other words to liberate these oppressed people.

These gentlemen of the British parliament might know their way around the British world empire, but of Central Europe they know nothing! Here they completely lack any idea of the situation, the events, and their circumstances.

They should not, and will not, regard this as an insult, for, after all, we do not know our way around India, Egypt, or Palestine either.

Nonetheless, I believe it would be for the better if these gentlemen applied their enormous expertise and their infallible wisdom for which they are so well known, if they applied these, let us say, for instance or rather especially to the case of Palestine. They might do great good there. Because, after all, damn it, what is happening there reeks of brute force rather than democracy! But I am just citing this as an example, I do not mean to criticize, for I am but the advocate of the German Volk rather than that of others. In this I differ from Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden who see themselves as the advocates of the whole world.

I am merely the advocate of my Volk! And here I do everything in my power that I deem necessary. And if Mr. Churchill turns to me and says, “How can a head of state be at odds with a British parliamentarian?” then all I can say to him is: “Mr. Churchill, you should be honored by this!” By the fact that a German head of state does not hesitate to be at odds with a British parliamentarian, you can see in what great esteem English parliamentarians are held here. Besides that, I am not a head of state in the sense that a dictator or monarch is, I am a leader of the German Volk! Rest assured, there are plenty of titles I could have appropriated myself. I kept my old title and I will keep it as long as I live because I have no desire to be anything other and I have no intention of ever becoming anything other! I am content this way. Mr. Churchill and these gentlemen are delegates of the English people, and I am a delegate of the German Volk. The only difference here is that Mr. Churchill received only a fraction of his people’s votes while, I may confidently say, I represent the entire German Volk! Therefore, my Old Comrades in Arms, when I call upon you and the entire German Volk to proceed with caution, I have the holy right to do so! In these few years, I have scored great successes for the nation. The nation must understand that I always take great care to preserve it. I do not want to live to see that on my dying bed I would have to close my eyes to equally sinister prophecies, as was the case with Bismarck.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Historical Boundaries of the German Reich


Published in „Siegrunen“ Magazine - Vol. V, No. 4, Whole Number 28, January 1982

By Michael Redmond

According to the popular mythology, World War II was precipitated by the attempt of the Germans under the Third Reich to invade and conquer the territory of their European neighbors, with world conquest as their ultimate goal. The reality is that after World War I, the Germans were deprived of substantial territories they had occupied for centuries, and the announced goal of the Third Reich was the recovery of those portions of the lost territories which were still occupied by German speaking populations.

Historically, Germans have contributed much to the vitality of the nations of Europe, and German boundaries once extended far beyond even the 1914 limits. Never fixed, they have oscillated backwards and forwards throughout generations. If we wish to understand rightly the historical distribution of the German political, settlement, and culture areas, we must go back to the very beginning of European history.

The earliest forefathers of the Germans were the Norsemen of the early stone age (2500-1800 B.C.). After the ice, which originally covered a large part of Europe, had worked its way back on to the mountains, the Norsemen descended into the western regions along the East Sea. For many thousands of years, they dwelt in southern Sweden, in Denmark, and northern Germany.

The Norsemen developed a high agrarian culture. They practiced husbandry, cattle raising and seafaring, setting up permanent monuments to their dead which still survive as the giant tombs of the Luneburg heath or the Oldenburg land. These early Norsemen dwelt in high gabled, wooden houses which are very similar to those of North German farmers today. The household furnishings consisted of beds, cupboards, benches, and other articles. Beautifully formed vessels and tools carved out of wood were in use. The Norsemen made their clothing out of linen materials and twill. They knew how to tan the finest leather out of animal hides. Their artistic sense was highly developed. It showed itself very clearly in their beautiful stone weapons, the dagger and the battle ax.

The Norsemen of the early stone age were energetic, well developed men of the Nordic race. They multiplied very rapidly so that a time finally came when their arable land was no longer sufficient for all. The youth, the pith of the folk, had to go forth in order to acquire new land. The Norsemen wandered away along many routes following every direction under the sun. They settled in neighboring and far distant regions inhabited by foreign races. In only a few cases was it possible for them to preserve their racial character. Frequently they mixed with the natives and formed new peoples such as the Celts, Illyrians, etc. In some cases, however, they acquired, almost unmixed, new territories and created there – as Indo-Iranians, Greeks, and Romans – the highly developed cultures of antiquity. The cultural values and the racial traits of the Norsemen were spread throughout Europe in the course of these wanderings. The unity of former times is still evident today in the languages of most European peoples. Science has grouped these people together under the name of Indo-Germans.

The culture of Europe and particularly that of antiquity, as well as all that is today based thereon, does not come therefore out of the east. Its origin lies in the north, to a considerable extent on German soil.

At the conclusion of the Indo-Germanic wanderings the Norsemen of the early stone age united to form in their homeland a people unified internally and externally, the Germans.

The bronze age (1800-800 B.C.) brought German culture to a flourishing state and also the first acquisition of land by the Germans on the continent.

The heritage of their forefathers was developed still further and to an unprecedented degree by the Germans. Land cultivation, animal husbandry, and seafaring experienced a great upward swing. Objects of use, clothing, and weapons were refined. Weapons which are objects of wonder even today were created out of gold, amber and bronze, the first metal. Fighting and sports were encouraged on all sides. Music and art also flourished to a high degree. All in all the bronze age presented such a magnificent picture of the cultural development of the Germans that it gave rise to the expression “golden age of the Germans.”

Natural catastrophes, apparently spring floods along the coast of the North Sea, suddenly produced a great need for land among the Germans. The rapidly growing people was forced to decamp and take up new land. Constantly struggling with their neighbors, they spread out unceasingly. They pushed across the Weser and Oder. By the end of the bronze age they had reached the lower Rhine in the west, the mouth of the Vistula in the east, and mountain ranges of central Germany in the south.

The iron age (800-50 B.C.) followed the golden age. It did not derive its name solely from the new material, iron, which now came into use. But the name also signified that now a real iron age had emerged fully of fighting and tussling for new land.

Nevertheless, German culture showed further progress even during this hard time. The handicrafts and especially the art of forging blossomed forth, to which the new weapons, swords, daggers and spears bear witness. The raising of horses and the building of wagons attained a high degree of perfection, thereby giving for the first time the possibility of great advances in farming.

Once again youth was forced to stride out after new land. A climatic disturbance in the western part of the East Sea region reduced the productive capacity of the greatly overpopulated land. Food for man and beast no longer sufficed. In long trains the heavy wagons of the peasants once again rolled out of the homeland. In great battles and continual fighting the young peasants were obliged to force their way into new lands. This time they spread out over an enormous area. The greatest expansion took place toward the east. From the coast of the German East Sea branches of Germans pressed across East Prussia, the interior of Poland, and southward along the rivers as far as the Black Sea. Their numbers were so weakened, however, in the course of numerous battles that they were unable to establish themselves in south Russia and were absorbed by foreign peoples. Groups of Germans from Denmark and south Sweden wandered into the region vacated along the East Sea. They spread or rather worked their way forward as far as the Sudeten. The western Germans went forth after new land too. They advanced across the lower Rhine to south Holland and Belgium and pressed on along the Rhine as far as the Rhine-Danube- Winkel. The iron age had, in this way, brought about a tremendous enlargement of the German territory. It was now bounded on the continent by the line Flanders, south Holland, the upper Rhine, Danube, Carpathians, Bug and Memel. In consequence of this great expansion the German people, up to this time unified and compact, assumed the form of numerous branches which we classify as north Germans in Scandinavia, east Germans east of the Elbe, and west Germans to the west.

The age of the Romans (50 B.C.-375 A.D.) which succeeded the iron age is replete with countless struggles of Germans with the Roman Empire which was powerful at that time. The splitting up of the German people into branches now proved to be especially disadvantageous. For all the successes of the Romans, even though they were only temporary, are traceable back to the disunited, defensive struggles of the Germanic branches. Nevertheless the Romans were unable to conquer the core of the German territory, the Germany of today. In the great and decisive battle in the Teutoburg Forest (9 A.D.) the west Germans under the leadership of Armin were victorious over a powerful Roman army. This army was completely destroyed and Germany was preserved for all time from Romanization. The frontiers of the German territory in the west and southwest remained almost unchanged. In the east, however, a powerful expansion took place once more. East Germans, Goths and Gepidae pushed out from the region between the Vistula and the Memel across Poland towards south Russia to the Black Sea and the lower Danube. Here they separated into eastern and western groups. The east Goths spread out from southern Russia to the east and north. They founded a powerful empire which, under King Hermanarich, “united all the land between the Ural Mountains, the East Sea and the Black Sea.” West Goths and Gepidae moved up the Danube and in a similar manner created a great empire between the Danube and the Carpathians which was able to withstand the onslaughts of the Romans. The Marcomanni forced their way into the territory of the Sudetens and likewise established an empire which gave the Romans a great deal of trouble. By the end of the Roman period, therefore, the Germans had taken possession of all the land between the Urals, the Black Sea, the Danube, and the Rhine.

The period of Germanic migrations (375-1000 A.D.) is the heroic age of the Germans. The invasion of Mongolian hordes from the far distant steppes of the east set the east Germans in movement. Giving way before this pressure they abandoned their old homeland and turned westward. After tough assaults they overflowed the boundary walls and streamed into the Roman Empire which fell to pieces under this onslaught. Some of the Germanic branches succeeded in winning new land out of the territory of the old Roman Empire and in building up great kingdoms beneath the southern sun. The Vandals erected an empire in north Africa, the west Goths in Spain, the east Goths and Lombards in Italy, and the Burgundians on the soil of southern France. These kingdoms could not last long however, for the Germans constituted only a thin layer of leaders above the older peoples and were gradually extirpated in the course of constant strife.

Once again, some centuries later another stream of Germanic peoples poured out over Europe. This time it was the north Germans branch, known as Normans, Vikings and Varangians. The Normans, aboard bold dragonships, pushed as far as the Mediterranean and settled down on its shores. They established states in southern Italy and in Antioch, as well as in northwestern France and southern England. While the Vikings and Normans wandered about over western Europe the Varangians pushed across the East Sea onto the continent, proceeded with their ships downstream to the Black Sea and even appeared before Byzantium, the capital of the eastern Roman Empire. In that part of present-day Russia, to which they gave their name, they established a powerful Varangian Empire. The Varangians, therefore, overran Europe from the east.

The Germanic territory had, during the period of the migrations, spread out over all Europe. The political significance of this lies, not only in the fact that for once the peoples of Europe were refreshed with Nordic-German blood and the common basis of western culture was strengthened, but also in the fact that through Germans Europe achieved unity for the first time. Whereas the Roman Empire had not pushed beyond the limits of the Rhine and Danube and did not include all of central and eastern Europe, the Germans flooded Europe from the Urals to Gibraltar, from the North Cape to Constantinople. Europe, as a cultural and spiritual unity, is therefore the work of the Germans.

The west German branches had not participated in the great migrations. They remained in their old homesteads, spreading out westward, however, over the Ardennes and the Vosges. One of the west German branches, the French, founded an empire in western and central Europe, which, after long continued struggles, also included the remaining Germanic branches on the continent. About the year 900 this empire of the French split into an eastern and western empire. From the eastern empire emerged the German Reich. Its eastern boundaries coincided with the frontiers of the territory thickly populated by Germans and extended along the line of the Elbe – Saale – Bohemian Forest – Enns. Its western limits, after fluctuating back and forth, finally followed the line separating Germans and Romans. Small territories belonging to the Romans were added to the Reich, while the northwest tip of the Germanic region remained with France.

During the succeeding centuries the branches of the Eastern Empire – Frisians, Saxons, Frankonians, Thuringians, Swabians and Bavarians – merged to form the German people, a people that blossomed forth mightily and governed the course of history throughout the middle ages. The greatest accomplishment of the German people was the winning back, during the middle ages, of the eastern territory between the Elbe and the Vistula.

After the migration of the east Germans, Slavic tribes pushed their way into this territory. They shared the land with the hardy remnants of Germanic settlers who had remained on the land.

The colonization movement was first taken hold of by the Bavarians. In the course of tough struggles with mountains and forests they spread out along the Danube to the southeast under the bold leadership of the Babenbergers. Slowly they forced their way high up into the valleys of the Alps and the Bohemian primeval forest. These regions were for the most part uninhabited so that here the acquisition of land could proceed peacefully. And, in this way, the Germans won the central and eastern Alps, the Danube region as far as Pressburg, and the southern interior of the Bohemian basin. To be sure the Bavarians in their thrust towards the south and southeast found exceptional support from the German Kaiser, since the territory acquired cleared the way to Italy. Thus the oldest settlements of the Reich came into being, the Austrian, Styrian, Carinthian and Krain districts. They have remained for all times the southern outposts of the Germans. After the dying out of the Babenbergers (in 1156) the new districts were separated from the Bavarian motherland as independent duchies. The propelling forces of the homeland were thereby cut off and the southeastern movement came to a standstill.

In the northeast, along the Elbe and Saale, special districts were set up to protect the German frontiers and to give the Reich military security. Hermann Billung administered the northern district, Count Gero the central one, and feudal counts of the King administered the one in the south, the Sorbische mark. Since there was still enough land for pasturage and cultivation within the German Reich, these special districts remained purely military areas partially populated by Slavs. So long as the German Kaiser, who was of Saxon parentage, focussed his attention primarily on the internal building up of the Reich and, therefore, on the security of the frontiers, peace and order reigned in these districts and the neighboring territories of the Slavs. When, however, Emperor Otto II suffered a defeat in Italy and, in consequence of incessant fighting in Italy, the Reich became weak, the Slavic tribes revolted in the year 982 in order to shake off the German overlordship. The German towns and settlements along the frontiers of these districts were destroyed and the Germans massacred. Only with the greatest difficulty was it possible to bring the onslaught of the Slavs along the Elbe to a halt.

After this crucial insurrection the Elbe remained the frontier toward the east for almost 200 years. However, during this period the German population increased considerably. The German soil could no longer provide for this increase. In this emergency the broad, thinly settled regions east of the Reich were remembered. The procession of the German peoples toward the east began. To be sure the German Emperors fostered the new eastward movement only in exceptional cases. They had taken a fancy to the south and now pursued the dream of Roman world domination. The Princes of the German frontier lands, on the contrary, realized the great possibilities which the east offered them. They put themselves at the head of the movement and thereby assured the success of German colonization on that side of the Elbe. The protection of German Princes was all the more necessary in as much as the Slavs interposed bitter opposition at first to the onward march of the Germans. The sword had to clear the way for the settlers at first.

Along the coast of the East Sea Henry the Lion, the Guelf Duke of Braunschweig, with the aid of his friend, Adolf of Schauenburg, won the territories of Holstein, Lübeck and Mecklenburg. For the first time the German Reich extended as far as the East Sea. Trade with lands along the East Sea was developed. Henry the Lion devoted himself to this task with particular zeal. The founding of Lübeck, later head of the German Hansa, was one of the farseeing acts of this great colonizer. After the unfortunate rift between the Lion and Kaiser Frederick Barbarossa the former’s work was destroyed because of the southern policies of the Reich. Nevertheless the regions had been so thickly settled with German peasants and urban dwellers already that, in spite of later seizures by the Danes, they henceforth retained their German character.

At the same time Albert the Bear, leader of the German Askanians, originating in the old frontier district of Geros, secured control over the lands along the Havel, Spree and Priegnitz. By negotiation and seizure, he gradually extended his territory to the limits of the district of Brandenburg, he was the first who could properly call himself Margrave of Brandenburg. His successors were inspired by the same spirit. They extended the Askanian lands across the Oder and so shaped the point of departure for the later state of Brandenburg.

South of the district Brandenburg the Wettinian Princes strove to win land back again. They built up the old Sorben district and recovered the territory of the present state of Saxony for the Germans. Besides peasants there are primarily miners and lumbermen here, people who settled the mountain ranges and the interior of the Bohemian foreland.

About this time the Sudeten territory, in which the German Marcomanni had formerly resided, also seemed to defy complete Germanization. The Dukes of Przemysl, who were friendly to Germany, called German settlers onto the land in order to further its development. Likewise, Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, a whole-hearted German, continued the Germanization of the Bohemian region. However, when he, with shrewd, political insight, undertook to build a solid front from Bohemia toward the east he was driven out of his lands by the vile, power politics of the Hapsburgs. Once again a wave of Germans moved into the Bohemian lands when, during the middle of the 14th century, Charles IV of the House of Luxemburg attempted to make the Bohemian lands the center of the German Reich. He died, however, before he could complete his work. The settlements of the Czechs had already been pushed back to little remnants of land. The Germanization of all Bohemia seemed to be assured. Then, just before the outbreak of the Reformation, the Hussite war flared up and completely destroyed the whole of German life in Bohemia. Since that time the Germans in this region were forced into a defensive position. Although Bohemia belonged to the German Reich up to World War I, that is to say to Austria, it was never possible to bring about complete Germanization. And so, a deep wedge was driven between the northern and southern regions of the German population area hindering the development of a unified German front on the east.

Whereas the land between the Elbe, Saale and Oder had in the main been acquired by warfare, the winning of Silesia and Pomerania followed a more peaceful course. The Slavic Dukes of these countries called German peasants and settlers onto the land. The German settlers came at first from cities established by Germans. The penetration of the lowlands proceeded slowly on account of the ideological opposition of those living under Polish influence. In spite of that, however, by the 13th century both of these lands were added to the German Reich, and attached to the German population area.

With the incorporation of Pomerania and Silesia the area about the Oder was completely Germanized. In the territory about the Vistula, on the contrary, the task of German colonization succeeded only in the northern parts. The opening up of the eastern territory for the Germans was accompanied by the conversion of the pagans residing there. The Poles settled along the Vistula, had already, after the first meeting with the Germans, laid aside their paganism. So long as these Polish regions were subject to the archbishopric of Magdeburg there existed no obstacle to colonization. For the first time, in the year 1000, when the religious enthusiast Kaiser Otto III founded the Polish archbishopric Gnesen, the Poles received their own Polish national church. They also became independent politically and culturally thereby. So, a second bulwark against the Germans came into being. Further penetration of the Germans on the north was checked. They were forced to follow the shores of the East Sea and leave behind them the national territory of the Poles as a standing threat on their flank.

The recovery of the East Sea region lying east of the Vistula was the work of the German Order of Knights. Conrad Massovia, a Polish Duke, called upon the German Orders for protection against the still pagan East Baltic, Prussians and Lithuanians. During the course of yearlong struggles they took possession of the whole region from Danzig to Riga. Moorlands, islands and numerous estuaries of the lower Vistula, and impenetrable wildernesses opposed them. Nevertheless, after 50 years of bloody fighting the Order overcame the Balts. The German Order of Knights that ruled over the region which is East Prussia drew German peasants and manual workers into the country, gave them land and soil and protected them from attacks. About the year 1300 the power of the Order reached its high point. Emigrants to this eastern land from all parts of the Reich built up new settlements everywhere.

The colonization of the Baltic lands situated to the north of East Prussia, in which the Order of the Brothers of the Sword took part, was more difficult. On account of the long sea journey a sufficient number of German peasants and manual workers could not be induced to go. Consequently, the Germans in these districts were confined principally to the cities, which were strengthened by Hansa merchants from Bremen, Luebeck and Lueneburg.

In the course of time, since the Order of German Knights had been weakened by internal conflicts, Poles and Lithuanians united against the Germans. As a result of this alliance the Germans were defeated in battle at Tannenberg in 1410. The Order of the Brothers of the Sword was completely driven out of the Baltic provinces and only the land around Marienburg was left for the Knightly Order of the Cross. But East Prussia was now German and remained German although for some decades it became a Polish fief under the overlordship of the Polish crown.

During the period of the decline of the German Orders the power of the German Kaiser had also sunk to a mere shadow of what it was once. The driving force of the German people was spent, the march toward the east came to a halt. Much of that which the Germans had built up in the east by blood and toil was now exposed to the onrushing flood of Slavs. Only after Brandenburg-Prussia rose out of the ruins of the Thirty Years’ War did a new power appear which devoted itself consciously and with determination to the eastern frontiers of the Germans. The Great Elector rescued East Prussia from the feudal domination of the Poles and attached it firmly to Brandenburg. The soldier king, Frederick I, devoted his whole energy to building it up economically. Frederick the Great, with the acquisition of Silesia, offered for the first time a strong united German front in the northeast. He was able also to win back the bridge to East Prussia. As a result of the first partition of Poland in 1772 he obtained West Prussia and by the third partition of Poland in 1792 Posen together with Thorn and Danzig fell into his hands. In that way the compact German population area was again united under German rule.

For more than 500 years, therefore, Mecklenburg, Pomerania, East and West Prussia, Silesia and Sudeten Germany and German Austria were to be listed as part of the German population area. In the course of a truly historical accomplishment all branches of the German people won back these territories which comprise almost one-half of the 1914 German population area. This reconquering was primarily a colonizing process and a cultivation of waste and unproductive districts by German peasants and townsmen under the leadership of its Princes and Nobles. In no case were foreign peoples deprived of culture areas. German work and German achievements alone transformed these districts into cultural areas. Out of this fact arose the claim of the German people to these regions.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Ich klage an / I Accuse (1941)


Director: Wolfgang Liebeneiner
Writer: Eberhard Frowein, Harald Bratt, Hermann Schwenninger

Paul Hartmann: Professor Dr. Thomas Heyt
Heidemarie Hatheyer: Hanna Heyt
Mathias Wieman: Dr. Bernhard Lang
Margarete Haagen: Berta Link
Charlotte Thiele: Dr. Barbara Burckhardt
Christian Kayßler: Landgerichtsdirektor Kriebelmeyer
Harald Paulsen: Eduard Stretter
Albert Florath: Prof. Schlüter
Ilse Fürstenberg: Marie Günther
Karin Evans: Erna Balg
Hans Nielsen: Dr. Höfer
Franz Schafheitlin: Rechtsanwalt Straten
Erich Ponto: Prof. Werther
Otto Graf: Staatsanwalt Engel
Leopold von Ledebur: Landgerichtsrat Knevels
Hansi Arnstaedt: Frau Klapper
Just Scheu: Dr. Scheu
Paul Rehkopf: Gerichtsbeamter

Wolfgang Liebeneiner’s Ich klage an (I Accuse) is a lyrical treatment of a controversial topic-mercy killing-featuring sensitive performances by Paul Hartmann as the physician who administers a fatal overdose to his incurably ill wife; Heidemarie Hatheyer as the wife who begs him to release her from her suffering; and Mathias Wieman as the doctor who refuses her request. Gentle, loving, moving, the picture promotes assisted suicide, a quagmire as conflicted in the twenty-first century as it was in 1941. The genesis of the film came from a recommendation by Professor Karl Brandt, a member of the Führer’s entourage, that a picture be produced to persuade the public to accept the policy of euthanasia. The film’s virtually subliminal message is that the state must assume responsibility for the involuntary liquidation of the mentally handicapped. For decades thereafter, German physicians remembered its impact and the debates it stimulated about the morality of medical killing. Reports made by the Sicherheitsdienst (the SS Security Service or SD) following the picture’s release on 29 August 1941 indicate that the film was favorably received, the majority of Germans, as well as most physicians, accepting its argument. Starting in 1939, patients were registered at Hereditary Health Courts, examined, and then transported to specially selected clinics where their lives were terminated. Does Ich klage an possess demonic qualities? It does not. It is a respectable, artistic triumph that was used to promote a program that went far beyond anything proposed in the picture. Its director later called it “a document of humanity in an inhuman time.”