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Most of the men who have held the leading positions in German public life since 1933 were previously unknown or very little known, outside a limited circle of friends and colleagues. In the case of those few whose names figured prominently in the daily press the idea which the public had of them was often quite a distorted one, owing to the fierce spirit of controversy that dominated domestic politics during the years immediately preceding the National Socialist Revolution. The astonishing recovery that has taken place since 1933 is an historical phenomenon which has attracted the attention of the world. And hence it is that the outside world now takes such a lively interest in the personality of Adolf Hitler and his immediate collaborators. In this little pamphlet an attempt will he made to sketch in broad outline the profiles of some of those political leaders who have taken a prominent part in the work of national reconstruction which has been accomplished since 1933 and is still being accomplished.
Outsiders may be struck by the diversities of age, origin and professional career, which characterise the men around Hitler. During the years of political, social, economic and spiritual distress which followed the War and the Inflation adversity brought together some of the best men from all grades and classes of the nation. In the beginning most of them were urged forward individually and independently by a passionate feeling of abhorrence for the decomposition and decay into which the Nation and State were falling. What brought those men together and welded them into a unit was a profound faith in a restored and reinvigorated German Reich under the inspiration of the idea which Adolf Hitler had promulgated.
The internal political struggle which was carried on during the post-war period forged into an indissoluble community all those men who had to bear together the stress and peril of the strife. The distracted conditions of the time called for men of character and passionate devotion to ideals and developed these characteristics in them during that long and difficult period of trial. And so it happened that on January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hitler assumed supreme control of Germany, he did not have to go around looking for ministers, after the parliamentarian fashion. He knew who were the men around him and he knew the special talents that were respectively suited to the various tasks that had to be carried out in the work of building up the broken nation.
In Germany today Party and State are welded together in an indissoluble unity. The same idea finds various forms of expression in the various branches of organization. It is not that the Party serves the State or that the State serves the Party. Both serve the German nation as a whole, each in its own way. And so it comes about that National Socialism is the modem expression of the idea which was originally the inspiration of the democratic movement also but which the democratic movement departed from and even sometimes openly contradicted. This idea meant that the life of the State springs from the life of the people as a fountain from its source. All political and administrative organization, the constitution and even the State itself, are man’s handiwork and will pass away and give place to others, as does the individual man himself. But the people is everlasting. To its welfare and its future all must be subordinated, the individual as well as the State. It is from this belief that the phenomenon has grown which is the hallmark of the New Germany, namely the absolute unity of ideas and opinions on all vital questions affecting the nation. Thus it was that from Hamburg to Vienna a united chorus of Ja’s was registered on the Sunday of the plebiscite, April 10, 1938, when the Führer asked the electorate to sanction the re-union of Austria with Germany and therewith the creation of a common Reich which had been the dream of the German people through many centuries of their history.
The Party is the organized expression of the will of the people and functions through a series of offices at the head of each of which is a Reich Director (Reichsleiter). Though a Reich Director of the Party may also be a Cabinet Minister, the two functions do not overlap, as their respective aims are quite distinct. A Reich Director is responsible for the affairs of a certain special branch within the Party organization; whereas the duties of a Cabinet Minister are concerned with those general legal and administrative measures which give outer embodiment to the inner essence of the State and its relations towards other bodies and towards the citizens. The German form of government is distinguished by the fact that all power is concentrated in the hands of a supreme leader. And this is so not only in regard to the political forces of the nation but also in regard to the military and economic forces.
On February 4, 1938, a decree was issued which brought about even a greater concentration of power than formerly existed; for this decree extends the concentration of political power in the hands of the Führer also to the military and economic spheres. The Führer himself is now directly and personally in supreme command of the armed forces of the nation, without any intermediary in the person of a War Minister. The former War Minister, Field Marshal von Blomberg, whom the Germans have to thank for the reconstruction of the army, was relieved of his position in response to a desire which he had repeatedly expressed, in view of his health and his long years of strenuous service. The purely administrative side of the war ministry has been taken over by the High Command, at the head of which is General Wilhelm Keitel. On the same date as that of the decree just mentioned the Führer established a Secret Cabinet Council to advise him on foreign policy.
The Reich Cabinet is constituted as follows:
Adolf Hitler: Führer and Chancellor
Dr. Hans Heinrich Lammers: Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery
Dr. Otto Meissner: Minister of State and Chief of the Presidential Chancellery of the Führer and Chancellor
Rudolf Hess: Deputy for the Führer as Führer of the Party and Cabinet Minister
Joachim von Ribbentrop: Minister for Foreign Affairs
Dr. Wilhelm Frick: Minister of the Interior
Field Marshal Hermann Göring: Air Minister and Prime Minister of Prussia. Commissioner for the Four Years’ Plan
Dr. Joseph Goebbels: Minister for National Enlightenment and Propaganda
Walther Funk: Minister of Commerce
Count Schwerin von Krosigk: Minister of Finance
Richard Walter Darré: Minister of Agriculture and Food
Franz Seldte: Minister of Labour
Bernhard Rust: Minister of Education
Hanns Kerrl: Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs
Dr. Franz Gürtner: Minister of Justice
Dr. Julius Dorpmüller: Minister of Communications
Dr. Wilhelm Ohnesorge: Minister of Posts
Baron Constantin von Neurath: President of the Secret Cabinet Council
Dr. Hjalmar Schacht: Minister and President of the Reichsbank
Dr. Hans Frank: Cabinet Minister and President of the Academy of Law
The Secret Cabinet Council is constituted as follows:
President: Baron Constantin von Neurath
Minister for Foreign Affairs: Joachim von Ribbentrop
The Prussian Minister-President, Air Minister and Commander-in- Chief of the Air Force, Field Marshal Hermann Göring
The Deputy of the Führer, Rudolf Hess
The Minister for National Enlightenment and Propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels
The Minister and Chief of the Chancellery, Dr. Hans Heinrich Lammers
The Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Colonel-General Walter von Brauchitsch
The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, General-Admiral Dr. Raeder
The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, General of Artillery Wilhelm Keitel.
The Reich Directors (Reichsleiter) of the National Socialist Party are:
Franz Xaver Schwarz: Treasurer
Walter Buch: Supreme Judge of the Party
Philipp Bouhler: Chief of the Führer’s Chancellery
Dr. Robert Ley: Director of Organization
Dr. Joseph Goebbels: Director of Propaganda
Dr. Otto Dietrich: Chief of the Press
Max Amann: Director for the Press
Dr. Hans Frank: Director of the Office of Justice
Richard Walter Darré: Director of the Office for Agrarian Policy
Alfred Rosenberg: Director of the Foreign Political Office. Führer’s Delegate for the whole mental and ideological training in the principles of the National Socialist Party, as laid down by the Führer
Franz Ritter von Epp: Director of the Colonial Policy Office
Karl Fiehler: Director of the Head Office for Communal Policy
Dr. Wilhelm Frick: Leader of the Reichstag Section
Viktor Lutze: Chief of Staff of the S.A.
Heinrich Himmler: Leader of the S.S.
Baldur von Schirach: Leader of the Hitler Youth
Martin Bormann: Director of the Staff of the Führer’s Deputy
Wilhelm Grimm: Chairman of the II Chamber of the Supreme Party Tribunal
In the back room of the Stemeckerbräu in Munich, at one of the early, meetings held by the German Workers’ Party after Hitler had joined it, Rudolf Hess heard Hitler speak for the first time. Immediately the thought leaped to his mind: „This is the only man who can save Germany.“ From that day to this Rudolf Hess has been the first among the Führer’s closest followers and collaborators.
In 1933 he was appointed Reich Minister and Deputy of the Führer as leader of the National Socialist Party. All the strings of the Party organization are held in his hands. His nomination to a seat in the Cabinet was a formal recognition of the absolute union of Party with State and assured harmonious collaboration between the various departments of State and the various branches of the Party organization.
Rudolf Hess does not frequently come into the public limelight. His modest office in the Wilhelmstrasse indicates the character of the man himself rather than the wide scope of the work in which he is engaged. It has always been his habit to work in seclusion and silence, presenting only the results of his labours to the public. In this way he has set an example of personal discipline and self-denial for the other leading officials of the Party.
Very little has been written about Rudolf Hess. Not much more than the outstanding dates in his career is known to the public. He was born in Egypt in 1894, as son of a German business man who had settled down there. He went to school in Germany and in 1914 he volunteered for service at the front. He received an officer’s commission, in recognition of his abilities, and was seriously wounded. Still he was able to join the Air Force as an active pilot. Since that time he has been passionately devoted to aviation as a sport. As civilian airman, he won the Zugspitz flight in 1934.
Having been an active collaborator of the Führer from the earliest stages of the Movement onwards, he was fated to share the Führer’s imprisonment in the Fortress of Landsberg. During those months the two men spent a great deal of their time together and Hess had this excellent opportunity of gaining a profound and accurate insight into Hitler’s world of ideas. From 1925 onwards he was the Führer’s private secretary and as such his constant companion. The more the Party grew, so much greater became the work and care that fell to the lot of the Führer. Hess succeeded in relieving his chief of much of the daily work connected with the organization and direction of the Party and thus allowed Hitler more time and quiet for greater tasks. The office which Hess now holds really signifies a continuation of the work in which he was engaged during the militant stages of the Movement, he has a very sure eye in distinguishing the essential from the unessential ant thus he is able to harmonize many differences of view that arise in conducting the affairs of the Party; for these differences are nearly always on points that are not essential. The aim which he keeps steadily before his mind is to present the Party principles pure and unadulterated and to weld all the members of the Party together under the inspiration of those principles. Rudolf Hess once said - and the saying is characteristic of the man’s personal modesty: „Adolf Hitler has appointed me to deputize for him because he knows that I have learned to look at men and politics through his eyes.“
He discards all bureaucratic red tape and refuses to be hampered by official routine. The heads of the various branches of the Party organization feel that they can collaborate with their chief in a spirit of freedom and spontaneity. „Do not be giving orders,“ he once said, „but produce results which will further the interests of National Socialism.“
The extraordinary place which Field Marshal Göring holds in the public life of Germany is attributable in the first place to his absolute loyalty towards Adolf Hitler. The various offices which are united in his person have in many cases little in common with one another. But they all have one common characteristic. It is this: When Göring was commissioned by the Führer to take on each job, one after another, it was always because it was necessary to overcome special difficulties and exigencies which demanded practical talent and ability of a high order.
It was in the first years of the Party’s existence, 1921/22, that Hermann Göring organized the Storm Troops (S.A.) and formed these young men on the model of discipline and patriotism which characterized the generation that fought at the front. In 1930 Göring was appointed to be Hitler’s political representative in Berlin and thus came into the focus of national politics for the first time. Later on his political ability brought about a decisive stage in the parliamentary conduct of affairs. In 1932 he came into a conflict with the War Minister of that time, General Groener, and the result led to Groener’s retirement in the same year, as President of the Reichstag, a dramatic episode occurred between him and the Chancellor of that time, von Papen. The result signified an important success for the Party. Goebbels wrote thus about Goring’s activities: „Through a prolonged series of thoroughgoing discussions he prepared the ground for the Führer with diplomacy and skill. His broad mental grasp, his strong nerve and above all his firmness of character and loyalty to the Führer proved to be of the highest value and deserving of all admiration. Steadily and firmly he has gone ahead as the Führer’s shield-bearer.“
Once the National Socialists had taken over power, the question of next importance was to establish and secure public order. As Prime Minister of Prussia Göring cleaned up the administration, reorganized the police and brought about that internal peace which was necessary to the Hitler Government for its work of reconstruction. At a later date Goring’s activities came into the foreground as Air-Minister. Within a very short period he has built up the military air force out of nothing and has reconstructed and expanded German commercial aviation. Today the Führer has entrusted him with another and again a most important task, namely, to secure the foundations of German food supplies and vital necessities through the Four Years’ Plan. He has thrown the whole force of his personality into this work and lias awakened such enthusiastic collaboration that its success is assured.
These few facts indicate the quality of Göring’s gifts in the sphere of constructive politics. The iron tenacity which he displayed as one of the best flying officers at the fighting front during the war is also displayed in his political activities. Göring is no Utopian. He has a keen eye for the limits of practical possibilities. But he will always push ahead as far as those limits permit. In his case the saying is once again proved true, that the decisive qualities for political leadership are not expert knowledge in special branches but the capacity for impartial judgment and a sound understanding of men. But the most decisive gift of all is the courage to accept personal responsibility. In the choice of his advisers and collaborators, Göring has given proof of his insight into human character. And this knowledge of men is to a large extent responsible for his success.
He has a profound love of nature and animals. His reform of the laws for the protection of animals and the game laws have been recognized as affording the world an example that deserves to be followed. The few hours that are needed for relaxation are spent at his country seat in the Schorfheide in the middle of the deer Park he has constructed there.
He also takes an active part in theatrical life. The development of the Prussian State Theatre is due to his help and encouragement. And it was among the actresses of the Prussian stage that Göring discovered the lady who has turned out to be his second life’s companion, following the loss of his first wife.
Hermann Göring was born in Bavaria in 1893, but the family is of North German origin. He studied at the Cadet School in Berlin and at the close of the War he was leader of the Richthofen Air Squadron. In 1921 he first met Adolf Hitler. „I have met the man who will lead Germany on to liberty“ is the entry in his diary under that date. Unflinching loyalty to the Führer has been the guiding principle of his life since then.
Joachim von Ribbontropp
Ever since the days of his youth Joachim von Ribbentrop has been in Personal touch with the conditions of life in foreign countries. He studied in England, in France and in Switzerland and before the War he was for a short time in Canada. Later on he travelled widely abroad as commercial representative for some German firms. During these sojourns he made the acquaintance of a large number of influential people, especially in England. These recognized in von Ribbentrop a man of wide views and shrewd thinking and they appreciated him even though they did not agree with his views on certain political questions.
Thus it was that he came to know the peculiarities and characteristics of other nations, not from diplomatic experience but from the practical experience of everyday business life. That accomplishment made it possible for him to become a very valuable adviser to Adolf Hitler on foreign affairs some years before the National Socialist Movement had gained supreme political control of Germany. Since 1930 von Ribbentrop has worked for the Party. He took a leading part in the decisive negotiations which preceded Hitler’s assumption of the Chancellorship in 1933. During the following year he carried on negotiations with the statesmen of France and England on the question of disarmament. In 1936 he was leader of the German delegation at Geneva. This was after German troops had reoccupied the demilitarized zone in the Rhineland and it fell to von Ribbentrop’s lot to explain and defend Germany’s action before the world representatives at Geneva.
In the same year he was sent as ambassador to London, in which Post he remained until his appointment as Foreign Minister of the Reich in February 1938. The aim of Germany’s foreign policy, to attain once again by friendly means her Position as an equal among the Great Powers, necessitated having an ambassador in London who would firmly hold by his principles and convictions without at the same time ever forgetting or ignoring the other side of the question. Moreover, such a man had to have the capacity to wait for the right moment to come before making a final decision. On the other hand there was need of a German ambassador in London who would make the Position of his own people understood and who would make it quite clear that, though for years the Reich had in good faith resigned itself to the policy of disarmament, the fact that it had now decided on rearmament did not invoke the danger of war but, on the contrary, furnished a firmer guarantee of peace, because it put the political situation in a clearer and less ambiguous light.
Two stages of progress in the foreign policy of the new Reich are specially connected with von Ribbentrop’s name. The first of these was the German-English Naval Pact of June 1935, which acknowledged England’s predominant interests as a sea power and established naval relations between both countries on a basis that safeguarded and sanctioned the justice of those interests. The second stage was the Anti-Comintern Pact with Italy and Japan which established the Berlin- Rome-Tokyo triangle. During the process of reuniting Austria with the German Motherland foreign relations were directed by von Ribbentrop as the newly appointed Foreign Minister.
Joachim von Ribbentrop is 45 years old and is a native of the Rhineland. When the World War broke out he happened to be in British territory. He had some difficulties in getting back to Germany; but he succeeded and volunteered for service at the front. He fought both on the East and West fronts and was wounded. At the end of the War he took part in the peace negotiations as adjutant to the plenipotentiaries appointed to represent the German War Ministry. He resigned from the army with the rank of 1-st lieutenant.
Baron Constantin von Neurath
Baron von Neurath, the former Foreign Minister and now President of the Secret Cabinet Council, is a man who has little taste for talking. He was always sceptical as to the results which were to be hoped from the great palaver that took place at the innumerable international conferences which were held with persistent repetition during the post-war period. Nor did he have any great hopes for the results of Germany’s entry into the League of Nations; because he soon recognised what a wide distance there was between the practical policy followed by the League of Nations and the ideals which had inspired its origin.
In the years immediately following the War, Baron von Neurath served his country as diplomatic representative abroad. From 1922 to 1930 he was ambassador in Rome, and from 1930 to 1932 in London. Thus his work lay in the two centres that today are of the greatest importance for Germany’s foreign policy. His work in Rome prepared the way for that political rapprochement between the two peoples which found its formal expression in the establishment of the Berlin-Rome axis. During those years when the political life of the Reich was in a sort of comatose condition von Neurath succeeded in creating among the Italian people, and especially in the mind of the Head of the Italian State, the conviction that a new and powerful Germany would one day arise.
Von Neurath has kept up his connections with those political leaders in England who came to know him during his sojourn there and who have implicit trust in his sterling qualities. It was at the special wish of President von Hindenburg that he was recalled from London to become Foreign Minister in von Papen’s Cabinet in 1932. In this position he continued under the Hitler Government until February 1938, when he became President of the Secret Cabinet Council.
Most of those who have come into touch with Baron von Neurath have noticed the fine feeling which he has for the imponderability of politics. He recognises and accurately estimates those forces and ideas which determine the policy of foreign States. And he recognises and justly appreciates the national needs and necessities of other States. The faculty of clear insight which has been developed through years of diplomatic experience makes it possible for him to form a just estimation of international possibilities and necessities. But the shrewdness and foresight for which he is renowned are qualities that are by no means connected with any weakness or vacillation of character, as has been clearly shown by the success of Germany’s foreign policy under his guidance. The restoration of Germany’s strength made It possible for him to adopt a strong and uncompromising policy in foreign affairs.
Baron von Neurath has served in the Foreign Office ever since 1901 without break, except for a short interval when he was Prime Minister in the federative State of Württemberg, which is his native country. He is one of the few diplomats from the pre-War time who during the years of Germany’s distress and dejection still believed in her future resurgence. And he was able to awaken that same belief in the minds of foreign political leaders. That is chiefly what first brought himself and Adolf Hitler together and has established an abiding friendship between them.
Dr. Joseph Goebbels
Both at home and abroad, the Minister for National Enlightenment and Propaganda is one of the best known German statesmen. And because it falls within the scope of his office sometimes to say disquieting things, he has become the target of attack for those exiles and their abettors who are hostile towards the Third Reich. There are many people whose judgment of the Bolshevik peril is fundamentally sound but who do not like to hear it spoken about, because ruthless criticism of Bolshevism somehow or other does not quite fall in with their own political leanings. With Goebbels that is not so. When he speaks of Bolshevism he is uncompromising and throws upon It the searching light that it deserves.
Dr. Goebbels is a journalist by profession. As newspaper man and public speaker he led the National Socialist campaign in Berlin, where he had to fight for every foot of the ground but finally routed the Marxists and won Berlin for the National Socialists. It was a political struggle which at the beginning had to be waged with quite inadequate means and demanded much personal sacrifice. But Goebbels never tried to avoid the fight and was never on the defensive. He went into the very heart of the territory where his opponents were strongest. During the struggle he spoke unflinchingly in public against the Communists in the working quarters of Berlin. His dialectical ability and his capacity for stating his case clearly reduced his opponents to silence, even in the eyes of their own followers. Goebbels once said jokingly about himself that he had been accused of all possible faults and defects but he had never been accused of being tongue-tied. There are few men who are such masters of the art of public speech. And when one meets him in a narrower circle of diplomats, or scholars or artists, it is difficult to believe that this is the same man whom one heard speaking yesterday at a mass meeting where he stirred tip his audience to a high pitch of emotion. Here in the more intimate intellectual or artistic circle he puts forward his ideas calmly and modestly, as he speaks on some artistic or literary topic. Common to both, however, is the clear logical manner in which he analyses and expounds his theme, whether it be a matter of profound philosophical character or political ideas that have to be inculcated in the minds of the masses.
It may be said that Goebbels is the creator of modem political propaganda, which he has developed into a special art. But in this connection it must not be forgotten - and Goebbels himself would be among the first to acknowledge this - that good propaganda can be made only when it deals with sound and far-reaching and fruitful ideas. For propaganda must show results or else it will be condemned within a short time, no matter how cleverly it be organized. But a propaganda which is based on actual facts can become a tremendous force in the service of the State, if that force be in the hands of one who knows how to use it.
The Chamber of Culture established and directed by Dr. Goebbels embraces all Germans who are engaged in productive work in the various branches of culture. The aim of the Chamber is to see that all cultural products, those which are yet to be produced as well as those already in existence, shall be applied to beneficial ends for the welfare of the nation. The character and personality of Goebbels is a sufficient guarantee that German intellectual life will never be cramped within narrow bureaucratic formulas. He is highly gifted artistically that he knows very well how impossible it is for creative genius to be productive in the cultural sphere if it be hide-bound by rigid regulations. Creative talent will always go its own way and very often it becomes operative only as a process of release from mental tension. But if its products are to have significance for the people they must spring from the profound depths of the national soul. That is the only limiting principle which Goebbels recognises in the domain of cultural creativeness. And here he can appeal to all the great historical examples of creative genius; for they have always been in their truest sense the representatives of the national being. In other words, all great artistic products, whether in literature, architecture, sculpture or painting, have been folk products in their primary essentials.
Goebbels was born in the Rhineland in 1897. His effervescent vitality and Rhenish humour have made him liked everywhere. He is very happy in his family life. During the most difficult days of his political struggle his wife always gave him the moral support of sympathetic understanding, not a small blessing for a man who has often so much to contend with and is always active in so many fields.
Dr. Wilhelm Frick
Dr. Wilhelm Frick is Reich Minister of the Interior and Minister of the Interior for Prussia also. It may be well to explain here that this latter office is now practically an integral part of the former; because Prussia no longer exists as an independent federative State. There remain only a few administrative relics of its former Constitution, such as the office of Prussian Minister-President and Prussian Minister of the Interior, also the Prussian Ministries of Education, of Labour, of Finance and of Ecclesiastical Affairs. But these offices are all held by the corresponding Ministers for the Reich, except that of Minister-President, and Ministry of Finance.
Dr. Frick is personally known to many foreigners who are in the habit of visiting Germany, especially those who have musical affiliations. Both he and his wife are musical devotees and he is in the habit of giving musical evenings at his home, where one can hear some of the best chamber music that contemporary German artists can produce. Dr. Frick is well known for his uprightness and integrity of character. His features and bearing express those virtues and all his conduct is inspired by them. Though he is 61 years old, he looks and acts as if he were much younger and he is quite un-bureaucratic. He represents the best traditions of the German civil service. He looks upon his work from a much higher standpoint than that of the fulfilment of the daily routine tasks and Adolf Hitler once said of him that he had the courage to place the welfare of the country above his duty as a civil servant.
That statement was made on the occasion of the first significant thing which Dr. Frick did for the National Socialist Movement. During the years that immediately followed the War Dr. Frick was Chief of the political section at police headquarters in Munich. In his official capacity he made the acquaintance of Adolf Hitler, who was then holding his first meetings in Munich. With the power which he held in his hands, Frick might easily have suppressed the young Movement; but he readily recognised in it what he called „The kernel of Germany’s revival“. And on the day of the national rising he protected the Movement and was the cause of preventing a development of hostilities which would have led to further bloodshed. For this conduct he had subsequently to appear in the dock with Hitler and his companions.
The events of that November day in 1923 sealed for ever the bond of friendship and comradeship between these two men. The hitherto shy and retiring civil servant now showed himself to be an orator who could enkindle a spirit of fervid enthusiasm in his audiences. He showed particular ability in bringing the working classes to believe in the principles of the National Socialist Movement. He has been member of the Reichstag since 1924 and was originally the leader of the National Socialist group in Parliament, as parliamentary deputy he scornfully refused to adopt the usual parliamentarian tactics and he was content to remain incorruptible and undismayed, for the sake of the principles of his Party.
In 1929 he became Minister of the Interior in the federative State of Thuringia, under a coalition government of the bourgeois Parties. Thus he was the first National Socialist to become a Minister. From the beginning he was convinced that his collaboration with the bourgeois Parties could not last long; for he was determined not to pursue coalition politics but to follow the political principles of Adolf Hitler who had commissioned him personally to go to Weimar, the seat of the Thuringian Government. His work as Minister of the Interior in the city of Goethe and Schiller lasted for over a year and was rich in results. During that period the little State of Thuringia became the pioneer of the national revival. The administration, the cultural life of the State and the educational system, were delivered from the disintegrating influences of base politics. On one occasion Frick prohibited the production of a communist play in the theatre; but the supreme administrative tribunal ordered the Prohibition to be withdrawn. Frick, however, stuck to his guns and refused to withdraw, holding that the decision of the tribunal could not override the authority of the State. Since the National Socialist advent to power Frick has been Reich Minister of the Interior. As such he has thrown himself enthusiastically into the work of formulating legislative measures for the reform of the administration of the Reich. If National Socialism had accomplished nothing else beyond this work of legislative and constitutional reform, that alone would entitle it to a prominent place in German history. For over a thousand years the German people have yearned for political unity and incorporation in one State. This yearning has at last been fulfilled by the legislative and constitutional reform of the Reich. The Weimar Constitution of 1919 allowed the federative States to maintain their independence; but this was practically set aside in 1933 and in the following year the sovereignty of the federative States was transferred to the Reich. The federative parliaments were abolished and nearly all the Prussian Ministries were merged with those of the Reich. Legislation and the administration of justice were also transferred to the Reich. So that now at last, after a long history of internal disunion, the German people are united in one National State, such as other peoples - the French and British, for instance - achieved centuries ago.
The most noteworthy characteristic of the Minister of Economy is the imperturbable temperament which he displays in handling the most difficult Problems. There are few things over which this typical East Prussian will get excited. Until he was appointed Minister of Economy he was Chief of the Press for the Government of the Reich and during the stormiest passages in contemporary German history he was always the soothing and calming and directive force at press headquarters. His calm consideration of the various problems that came before him as well as his characteristic sense of humour have impressed most of those who have had dealings with him.
This tranquillity of his is that of a man who has studied his special branch thoroughly, so that he knows his particular business and can come to such clear decisions that no other person will think of telling him how this or that should be done. Though Funk is only forty-eight, he is one of the most efficient commercial experts in Germany. He never loses sight of the national interests as a whole and fully realizes that, as national economy is only a branch of the total national effort, it must be subordinated to the whole.
His career as an economist has passed through that of the journalist. For some years he was on the commercial editorial staff of one of the leading Berlin papers which makes a speciality of commerce and finance. Often and in the most difficult times he was able to influence the commercial policy of the Government, through his work in the press. As a result of his published articles, which attracted the attention of experts, he was invited in 1923 to join the inner councils of the men who carried through the German currency reform after the inflation period. As journalist and public speaker he fought against the foreign loans, which were mounting at an entirely unjustifiable rate and the catastrophic consequences of which he foresaw at a very early date, just as did his predecessor in the Ministry of Economics, Dr. Schacht. During those days the economist developed into a politician who recognised that Hitler’s victory was an indispensable prerequisite before German economy could again be restored on a sound basis. As economic adviser to Hitler, Walther Funk played an important part even before the advent of National Socialism to power. His clear insight into the economic situation and his judicious foresight secured him the confidence of the leading economic circles.
On the day that he assumed office Hitler appointed Funk as Chief of the press department under the Government of the Reich. Here it was his duty to keep the Führer informed daily on the political situation at home and abroad as it was reflected in the pages of the press. Besides this, Funk directed the affairs of the publicity council for German business which he himself had founded. Finally, as vice-president of the Reich Chamber of Culture, he rendered excellent service to the cultural life of Germany.
In the difficult period of the Four Years’ Plan, which demands that all the resources of German economic life must be mobilized under its aegis, Funk was appointed Minister of Economy.
Count Schwerin von Krosigk
Count Schwerin von Krosigk, who is Finance Minister of the Reich, was for a long time an official in the Ministry of Finance. When President von Hindenburg called him to take over control of the Ministry of Finance, in June 1932, he made it a stipulation that powers should immediately be given him to balance the Reich Budget.
The greatest service which Count Schwerin has rendered the country is due to the fact that he has put the national finances on a sound footing. The unswerving policy of thrift which he demanded in order to be able to carry out his plans is reflected in his own private life. In the conduct of his office he has looked upon himself as a responsible and conscientious Pater familias, the family being the German people. And in his own home he has had to provide for the support and upbringing of eight children. The authority which he enjoys in his sphere of work does not come merely from his position but rather from his recognized expert knowledge.
Adolf Hitler took him over as a proved expert from the two preceding Cabinets. He was given a free hand to carry through financial measures, which bear the stamp of a man who is imbued with a profound sense of his social and national responsibilities. In this connection one may call to mind the measures which give generous financial encouragement to young people about to marry and also for the help of large families.
Count Schwerin von Krosigk was born in Anhalt in 1881. He studied at Lausanne and subsequently at Oxford, where he was awarded a diploma in economics, „with distinction.“
Richard Walter Darré
The Minister of Food and Agriculture looks upon the peasant farming class not only as a branch of the national economic system but as the vital source of the nation’s existence. The life-blood of every nation has to be renewed from its peasantry; and the peasants toil is the source and guarantee of the nation’s food supplies. It is the peasant who renders the nation independent of foreign countries for its vital needs. It was the keen recognition of these truths that first brought Walter Darré into touch with Adolf Hitler, in 1930. At that time Hitler commissioned him to work for the reconstruction of a new and sound peasant-farming class.
In his sphere of labour Darré discards abstract theories just as much as he discards purely material considerations regarding national economy. His own life exemplifies the manifold productivity of the new ideas and his practical abilities. He holds a diploma for agriculture. After the War he was employed by the Reich as expert adviser on problems connected with stockbreeding. The thorough-going knowledge of the subject which he displayed in his various specialist publications brought him fame abroad; so that he was invited to come to Finland as adviser to the Agricultural Department there.
But he is never hemmed in by mere specialist rules and considerations. He thinks out his problem to its last practical consequences. And so from the study of questions in his own special branch he came to discern the truths of hereditary biology and to recognise the fact that a peasantry rooted in the soil is the first and indispensable prerequisite for a healthy people.
It is under the aegis of this idea that Germany’s agrarian policy is being shaped. The farming class is now free from every kind of economic insecurity and the farmstead has been permanently entailed to the family of the farmer and his descendants.
Darré was born in the Argentine in 1895. He is the son of a German business man whose forefathers emigrated from Northern France and settled in Germany during the seventeenth century. He went to school in Germany and afterwards in England, at Wimbledon. In 1914 he joined the colours as a volunteer and took part in nearly all the big battles on the Western Front.
Today we have set aside distinctions of class and Position and look upon all our fellow countrymen as constituent members of the one national community. But this consummation has been made possible by the comradeship-in-arms during the War. The feeling of a common destiny, which had been engendered in the trenches, was never forgotten but we lacked a leader who would organise it and bring it to practical effect in the life of the nation. Immediately after the War the men who were still inspired by this sense of comradeship stood more or less alone, as individuals without being united to one another by any practical bonds.
The Minister of Labour, Franz Seldte, is one of the best representatives of the old front-line soldier. As an officer at the front he was seriously wounded, his left forearm being completely tom away by a shot during one of the battles on the Somme. During the first months of the Marxist revolt in 1918 he called together some of his comrades and laid the foundations of that ex-service Legion which became known as „The Steel Helmets.“ During all the controversies in post-War Germany Seldte steadfastly refused to allow „the Steel Helmets“ to be drawn into Party politics. Not until Hitler’s regime began did Seldte feel that the ideal was being realized for which the front-line soldier had fought.
This man who has made the idea of comradeship the guiding principle of his conduct is now at the head of the Ministry of Labour. This means that he controls the department of State whose duty it is to establish and consolidate a sound social policy. That fact significant of the man himself and significant for Germany; for it is the comradeship of labour that has overcome and superseded the class conflict, just as in the trenches one had to fight for, and shoulder-to-shoulder with, the other, so it is now in the field of social politics in Germany.
The Minister of Labour was born in Magdeburg in 1882 and was formerly an industrial employer. Therefore even before he entered politics he had practical experience of social-political Problems.
Dr. Franz Gürtner
German Law is going through a process of radical transformation. From a legal system which was too much the work of professional jurists and the administration of which was too much in the hands of men who respected principally the letter of the code, we are now going back to reconstruct a legal system that will correspond more closely to the historical traditions of the German people and their ethnical as well as national customs and sentiment. It will be a legal system that will not be for its own sake but for the maintenance of the national community. At such an historical juncture as the present the Minister of Justice cannot stand apart from everyday life as a stickler for legal formalities.
Considering the merely external facts of Dr. Gürtner’s career, we find in these a striking proof that he is a highly gifted jurist. He is the son of a locomotive engineer who has worked himself up to one of the highest positions in public life, and a Position which calls for, learning of a very high order. He is a native of Bavaria, having been born in Regensburg IS81. He became Minister of justice in Bavaria in 1922. Since 1932 he has been Reich Minister of Justice, his holding of that office having been sanctioned by Adolf Hitler in 1933.
The range of his personal interests and accomplishments extends far beyond his official sphere of action. He is artistically gifted and plays the cello excellently. During the illegal struggles for freedom he was forced to take a direct part in politics, even as Bavarian Minister of Justice. In the Bavarian Palatinate especially, under the French occupation, small groups of seditionists and secessionists sought to separate Bavarian territory from the Reich. This campaign was carried on with the help of foreign finance and extended even to the highest quarters in Bavarian public life. Gürtner took a firm stand against this separatist Movement.
Bavarian humour is a characteristic mark of his personality and those who come into touch with him in his Berlin office invariably experience its stimulating effect.
The practical preparations for legal reform in Germany are being made by the „Academy for German Justice.“ Dr. Hans Frank is President of this Academy. He is also a Cabinet Minister.
To the broad public he is known as „Barrister Dr. Frank II, his name having become famous as defender of National Socialism in the courts of justice during the militant stages of that Movement. Among the leading statesmen in Germany today there are many who were at one time or other defended by Dr. Frank before the judges in the courts. He was only nineteen years of age when he first met the Führer, shortly after the War. Later, after he had concluded his legal studies, he became the Führer’s advocate and legal adviser. In 1930 he achieved an important political success for National Socialism. During a court trial having been asked to testify as witness under oath, he succeeded in proving the legality of the National Socialist Movement.
In the hurry and rush caused by one urgent case after another, in the chase from one law court to another, hither and thither through all quarters of the Reich, he gained valuable experience of legal practice which enabled him to develop his ideas of jurisprudence and test them in practice. During those days of hard political campaigning the young jurist had many long conversations with the Führer, in the course of which the groundwork and structural plan of the new reform of German Law were laid down and outlined.
„Personal considerations must not enter into the work of building up a State.“ That axiom hung on a wall of the waiting room in the Prussian Ministry of justice when Reich Minister Kerrl held office there. This was before the Prussian Ministry of Justice was amalgamated with that of the Reich. The axiom is characteristic of this man who never pursues his personal interests and demands of his collaborators that they shall govern their conduct in a similar way. The individual must always place his task before himself; and that is all the truer where the task is all the greater.
Hanns Kerrl is a North German and was born in 188t. He interested himself in law and became a minor official in the administration of justice. But he strove untiringly and still strives to deepen and strengthen the foundations of his own philosophy of life. He has devoted much of his time to the study of problems connected with art, philosophy, and religion. He is essentially a practical man who has learned his lesson in life’s school and treats all problems from the human standpoint. That is what gives his discourse its special value and makes it interesting.
Adolf Hitler has commissioned Hanns Kerrl to take charge of the political relations between the State and the churches. A profound belief in Christianity has enabled him to undertake this difficult task. He has a natural way of appealing to the feelings of other people and that has helped him to bridge over many difficulties, the moment he discerns a spirit of goodwill on the other side. In his own person he has given an example of how National Socialism and Christianity can work harmoniously together once both are sincerely accepted and believed in.
Kerrl was mentioned in dispatches several times during the War and he was one of the first National Socialists in North Germany. During the autumn of 1923 he founded the first National Socialist local group in his native town. In 1928 he was one of the six National Socialists to be elected to the Prussian Diet, where in 1932, as President he carried on a vigorous campaign against the Marxist Government in Prussia. As Prussian Minister of Justice he took a leading part in the reform of the penal code.
Bernhard Rust, Minister of Science and Education, was born in Hannover in 1883. He took up teaching as a career and became head master of the Grammar School at Hannover. In 19 10 he received a call to the University of Halle to teach German literature. This was in consequence of a work which he had published on the teaching of philosophy in the German secondary schools. But Rust did not accept the invitation to Halle and refused a second time, when it was repeated two years later. This was because he was far more interested in the training of the rising generation than in abstract scholarship.
It is from this standpoint that we must view his activities today as Reich Minister of Education. In all his work at the Ministry and in all the measures he has adopted for the reform of the educational system he has the practical well-being of the young generation principally in mind, its physical as well as its intellectual development. He aims at reducing to practice in a modem form the classical ideal of a unified educational system in which mind, character, and body, are developed in a balanced harmony.
His experience as an educator has enabled him to acquire a clear vision of pedagogical possibilities and of the damages that result from a badly devised educational system. From 1924 onwards he was head of the National Socialist Movement in Lower Saxony. During the political struggles of those days he came so closely into touch with the everyday life of the people and heard so many expressions of their views that he acquired a very comprehensive idea of what they lacked in the sphere of moral and mental training.
The aim of education must be, on the one hand, to balance the drawbacks of those physical weaklings where the brain is inclined to be developed at the expense of the body and, on the other hand, to make those who are inclined exclusively towards sport also take an interest in study and devote a reasonable amount of time and energy to it.
Bernard Rust is the first Minister of Education for the German Reich, since there was no national system of education hitherto, each federative State having its own system and its own ministry. These worked independently, sometimes along parallel lines and sometimes in open contradiction to one another. But now there is a central national ministry, the creation of which is one of the phases of that radical process of reform which is being introduced into the administration of the Reich.
Dr. Julius Dorpmüller
Dr. Dorpmüller is Minister of Communications. His name is associated with the modem organization of the German railways. Liberated from the restrictions to which they were submitted during the post-war period, when they were administered as a pledge in the hands of the Versailles Powers, the German railways have now been developed into a model system of transport. This is principally the work of Dr. Dorpmüller.
He was born in Elberfeld in 1869. He studied engineering and obtained a doctorate in that branch of technical science. While he was employed as constructional engineer by the German Railways he was invited to China to assist as consulting engineer in carrying out the plans for railway expansion in that country. It was during this time that he began to take that interest in Eastern Asia which afterwards became his favourite hobby. When the War broke out in 1914 he was still In China; but he managed to make his way through a hostile Russia back to Germany, where he was at once employed in organizing the war transport system.
At the end of the War he returned to the State railways and since 1926 he has been Director-General. Dorpmüller is not only an engineering expert but also a man who has great practical ability as an organiser. As Reich Minister of Transport, all branches of public transport are subordinate to his control, except air transport. Though the interests of the various branches of transport have often clashed with one another, Dorpmüller has succeeded in establishing harmonious collaboration among them, an achievement which was very necessary in order to cope with the increasing demands of German industry and commerce.
Dr. Wilhelm Ohnesorge
Dr. Ohnesorge is Minister of Posts. He has been a post-office official from the beginning of his career and has shown special technical ability in developing modem methods of news transmission.
He was born in Bitterfeld in 1872. At the age of eighteen he entered the postal service. A series of discoveries and inventions first brought his name into prominence among the technicians interested in telegraphic and telephonic communication. Under the stimulus of the demand for effective long-distance telephonic communication during the War he invented what is called „The Four-Line-System,“ whereby the means of telephonic conversation over very long distances have been considerably improved. This invention is in use today throughout the world, Recently Dr. Ohnesorge has been busying himself with the technique of the latest means of news transmission, namely, television.
Dr. Ohnesorge has written several essays and delivered several lectures on the cultural significance of the postal services in history and in modem life, treating the subject in an entirely fresh light. His knowledge of history and cultural progress has contributed to give these essays and addresses a special value and interest.
Despite the wide range and absorbing nature of his official activities, Ohnesorge takes quite an active interest in sport and has personally promoted sports associations and undertakings among the officials and employees of the Postal Service.
He has been a member of the National Socialist Movement since 1920. In that year he formed a National Socialist group at Dortmund, which was the first local group to be formed outside of Bavaria. During the French invasion of the Ruhr, despite the sharpest supervision exercised by the enemy, Ohnesorge succeeded in organizing an excellent news service whereby the Germans in the occupied region were kept in constant touch with home affairs.
Dr. Hans Heinrich Lammers
Dr. Lammers is Chief of the Reich Chancellery and was raised to the rank of Cabinet Minister in November 1933. He is one of Hitler’s closest collaborators.
Dr. Lammers was born in Upper Silesia in 1879. He began his career as Court Magistrate. During the War he held the rank of Captain in the territorial army and was awarded the Iron Cross both of the 1st and 2nd class. After the War he devoted himself to the study of constitutional law, in which he is now considered as one of the leading authorities. On this subject he delivered several lectures at the High School for Politics in Berlin. For many years Lammers has studied the whole apparatus of Government and administration. Questions concerned with the drawing tip of legislative measures and the working relations between the various ministries and the Führer represent the chief task he is engaged on today. The Führer sets great value on the many-sided knowledge of this experienced official and constantly seeks his advice on various questions of procedure etc.
Lammers had already declared himself on the side of National Socialism, long before it took over power. He was then assistant adviser on questions of constitutional law at the Reich Ministry of the Interior, where he had to encounter many difficulties owing to his nationalist principles.
Dr. Otto Meissner
Dr. Meissner first became known to the outside world as the personal adviser of President von Hindenburg. He was born in Alsace in 1880. He entered the civil service and shortly before the War became an official at the Foreign Office. When Ebert became first President of the German Republic Dr. Meissner was called to be his Chef de Cabinet.
When Field Marshal von Hindenburg came into office as President of the Reich he retained the services of Dr. Meissner. After the death of President von Hindenburg the Führer confirmed Dr. Meissner in his Position and in December 1937 nominated him as Secretary of State, which for practical purposes is an honorary title in this instance.
As collaborator with von Hindenburg, Dr. Meissner always backed up the President in his strictly non-party policy. His broad outlook and political tact have won the unstinted admiration of the foreign diplomats who have come into touch with him as Chief of the Presidential Chancellery.
In addition to those who are Ministers of the Reich, there are other leading personalities in the Party organization who deserve to be noticed in this short pamphlet. The new impulse which the National Socialist Movement gave to the life of the State and the Nation became diffused through all branches of activity and demanded new men in responsible positions which supplement the Government departments. In the following sketches the names of many prominent party leaders may be missed; but within the limits of such a short treatise it will only be possible to give a biographical sketch of some of the men whose names are familiar abroad.
Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart
The name of Dr. Seyss-Inquart was practically unknown to the outside public until it began to figure prominently in the press and broadcast news during the days that the Anschluss with Austria was taking place. His name will now be permanently written in the historical annals of those days.
Seyss-Inquart was born in 1892, in Stannern near Iglau, a purely German town which now belongs to Czechoslovakia. He served throughout the War as volunteer in the Tyrolese Kaiserjäger, one of the elite regiments in the old Austrian Army. He was severely wounded in the foot, so that he walks lame even today. In his youth he was a great Alpinist and, despite his physical disability today, he takes part in athletic sports, works in the garden and takes part in mountain excursions on foot.
After the War he practised as a lawyer in Vienna and soon began to play a leading part in the movement for a Greater Germany. The plan for a Customs Union which was suggested several years ago, for the purpose of bringing about closer economic relations with the Reich, was partly drawn up by him. That was in 1931; but the plan was wrecked at Geneva.
Dr. Seyss-Inquart has been for several years now the trusted representative of the National Socialist Movement in Austria. After the agreement arrived at between the Führer and the Austrian Chancellor, Dr. Schuschnigg, in February 1938 at Berchtesgaden, Seyss-Inquart became Minister of the Interior and Minister of Public Security in the Vienna Cabinet.
Although he had known for a long time that the majority of Austrians were National Socialist at heart, and that the Schuschnigg-Regime had very little backing among the people, his attitude towards the Chancellor remained strictly loyal. Not until the famous Innsbruck speech did he suspect that Schuschnigg would break his pledge. Then the arming of the Communists on the part of the federal Governments, and other movements in the background, convinced Seyss-Inquart that, under the Schuschnigg-Regime, Austria was heading for civil war. He went to Schuschnigg and told him the bald truth. „You have become illegal Mr. Chancellor,“ he said.
Schuschnigg resigned. The Austrian Federal President, Herr Miklas, entrusted Seyss-Inquart with the formation of a Cabinet, which took the oath of loyalty to the Constitution before the President next day, march 12, 1938. This change of Cabinet was strictly in accord with the provisions laid down in the Constitution. The new Austrian Government consisted of Dr. Seyss-Inquart, Federal Chancellor and Minister of Defence; Dr. Glaise-Horstenau, Vice-Chancellor; Dr. Wolf, Foreign Affairs; Dr. Hueber, Justice; Dr. Menghin, Education; Dr. Jury, Social Welfare; Reinthaler, Agriculture and Forestry; Dr. Fischböck, Commerce and Communications.
After the Schuschnigg resignation the first official step which Seyss-Inquart took was to invite the German Reich to send troops for the purpose of safeguarding internal peace and security in Austria. It was due to the decisive and loyal stand which he took that it was possible to effect the union of Austria with Germany in a legal way and without any bloodshed.
On the day after his appointment, March 13, 1938, and after Herr Miklas had resigned from the presidency, Seyss-lnquart placed his new office at the disposal of the Führer, who now returned to his native country and was received with jubilation by the whole people. On the day of the reunion of both countries in Greater Germany Adolf Hitler appointed Seyss-lnquart as Governor (Statthalter) of Austria.
The Austrian clergy gave proof of their high sense of responsibility on that occasion. Under the leadership of the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Dr. Innitzer, the Austrian bishops ordered a letter to be read in all the Roman Catholic churches. The text of the letter ran as follows:
„From profound conviction and of our own free will, we, the undersigned bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Austria, are pleased to acknowledge that the National Socialist Movement has done excellent constructive work, and is still doing it, in the national and economic spheres as well as in the sphere of social welfare, for the German Reich and People, and especially for the poorest sect Ion of the population. We are also convinced that the action of the National Socialist Movement has resulted in overcoming the danger of Godless Bolshevism, which would destroy everything. We give our blessing and best wishes for the continuance of this action in the future and we shall exhort the faithful to do the same.“
On April 10, 1938, the Führer summoned the whole population of Greater Germany to the polls. More than 99 % of the electorate sanctioned the foundation of the Greater German Reich and pledged their loyalty to the Führer.
In the spring of 1919 Munich fell into the hands of the Communist Terror and was ruled for a time by a Government consisting of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Councils, on the Russian Soviet plan. The working classes and the bourgeois citizens vacillated hither and thither, having no guiding principle to steady their outlook and no leaders whatsoever. The Communist propaganda was by no means ineffective. There were many plausible speakers who held meetings in the city squares, expounding the alleged glorious achievement of Bolshevism in Russia. The average man in the street did not know how much to believe or not to believe.
One day a young man who was then Just twenty-six years old raised his voice at one of those meetings and gave a calm and cool-headed description of what Bolshevism meant in reality. He was a young scholar and the Baltic dialect must have sounded somewhat strange in Munich ears. But the Munich workmen who stood around him soon saw that he was an honest man and believed what he said. Some of them followed him into a cafe to hear him further; for the speech on the square had to be cut short. Scarcely half an hour had passed when a pair of soldiers who had mutinied from their regiments and had joined the Communists came to arrest the speaker. But they arrived too late.
The young man was Alfred Rosenberg. He was born of German parents in the Hansa town of Reval, which then belonged to Czarist Russia and is now the Capital of Estonia. Therefore, Rosenberg was originally a Russian subject. Having studied architecture at the Technical High School in Riga he went to Moscow and took out his official diploma there. That was the prescribed procedure in those days. While in Moscow he made the acquaintance of Bolshevism at its centre. He returned to his native town, which had now been liberated from Russian rule, and from thence he came to Germany.
The Communist agitation and bourgeois indifference which he found in Germany struck him as nearly parallel to what he had experienced in Russia and determined him to devote all his energies to fighting It.
His study of art and of history and philosophy led him to certain conclusions regarding the racial basis of national existence. As a German born and living abroad, he had to remain inactive in the enemy’s country during the War. This made him feel all the more deeply for the lot of his kinsfolk and, when he experienced the plight into which they had fallen, he felt it his duty to come forward as a political leader in Germany.
In Munich he met the poet, Dietrich Eckart, and subsequently Adolf Hitler. He was the first author who promulgated the National Socialist Idea in literature and also its attitude towards the Jewish problem. Since the time of its foundation as the press organ of the National Socialist Party, he has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Völkischer Beobachter. In conducting the paper he had to encounter the gravest difficulties day after day, especially those of economic character; but he devoted himself unselfishly to his work and finally succeeded in placing the Völkischer Beobachter in the first rank of German newspapers.
Rosenberg’s masterpiece is his book, entitled „The Myth of the Twentieth Century.“ It is an exposition of his philosophy of life and has been much discussed abroad. In this book he traces the various cultural, philosophical and religious currents which mark the main courses of human history. And he takes them all under a general conspectus which is inspired by his belief in folk culture as the basis of all sound cultural effort and also inspired by his almost religious devotion to the ideal of maintaining racial blood unmixed with foreign elements. A leading feature of Rosenberg’s character is his high sense of honour, in response to which he has always maintained his writing on a high artistic and scholarly level; and when dealing with opponents in controversy he is always ready to appreciate their viewpoints and makes It his chief aim to convince them of the truth of his own principles rather than try to gain a mere dialectical victory.
Adolf Hitler has entrusted him with the task of supervising ideological and intellectual training and instruction within the framework of the Party. It is his duty to inculcate in the youth National Socialist teaching, pure and unadulterated, as he himself has helped to formulate it.
Besides this, Rosenberg is Reich Director of the Foreign Political Office of the Party. Foreigners who have attended his receptions and talks in his own office have been struck by the tact which he displays in speaking with journalists and others of so many varying shades of opinion. He can listen as well as talk. Indeed it is obvious to anyone who speaks with him that he is a man who has formed his opinions and shaped his own view of the world after long study and practical experience of life.
Ernst Wilhelm Bohle
It is not due to mere chance that so many of Germany’s political leaders today were born and spent their youth abroad. Rudolf Hess was born in Egypt, Darré in the Argentine, Rosenberg in one of the Russian Baltic provinces, and the Führer himself in Austria, just beyond what was then the German frontier. For the foreign-born often carries the motherland in his heart and cherishes it as an ideal.
Ernst Wilhelm Bohle is Gauleiter of the German Foreign Organization, Chief of the Foreign Organization in the German Foreign Office, and has also the rank of Secretary of State. He was born at Bradford in England, in 1903. A few years later his father became professor at the University of Capetown, South Africa, and the family settled down there. Young Bohle attended the Grammar School in Capetown and subsequently studied in Germany, where he graduated in Commerce. He was then engaged as foreign salesman for a Hamburg firm of exporters.
The German Foreign Organization, of which State Secretary Bohle is now the Director - or Gauleiter, to use the German term - was first founded in 1930. It embraces all Germans living abroad who are members of the National Socialist Party. But its influence extends also to Germans abroad who are not Party members. Its aim is to encourage Germans abroad to maintain an attitude of strictest respect for the laws and customs of the country in which they are guests, while at the same time never forgetting their native land. The Foreign Organization helps all Germans abroad to keep in living touch with their motherland and uphold its ideals in their everyday lives.
The Chief of the Organization has always had very close connections with England and the British Empire. Again and again he has called attention to the importance of the part played by foreign Germans in the relations between the various countries. Speaking in London in October 1937 he said: „They know the homeland from which they came and they learn to know the country and its people in the land that has given them a second home. Who could be more suited to bring about a mutual understanding and esteem between the various nations?“
It is said of Gauleiter Bohle that his gifts are those of a diplomat rather than a business man. The office which he holds is a very difficult one to administer, because It constantly encounters conflicting interests abroad. But his inborn prudence and keen sense of diplomacy have enabled him to make the course of the Foreign Organization run smoothly.
Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler is Head of the Führer’s Chancellery. This office deals with all matters concerning the Führer in his capacity as Head of the National Socialist Party. In other words, it is purely a question of liaison work between the Führer himself and every individual member of the Party. Bouhler is also in charge of the Private Chancellery and the Staff Office, in both of which attention is given to the innumerable correspondence which reaches the Führer daily from all sections of the community and abroad.
Bouhler was born at Munich in 1899 and is descended from soldier stock. At the age of seventeen he joined up for active service and was severely wounded. He has been a member of the National Socialsit party since 1920. After studying German history and literature he joined the Staff of the Völkischer Beobachter and subsequently during the years when the Party struggled for power, he held the position of business manager in its administration. Hence he was seldom heard of in public. His administrative abilities, however, were successfully applied in coping with the ever increasing volume of work in connection with party organization.
Bouhler’s literary work is well-known. He is the author of several works dealing with the Führer, whose close collaborator he has been for many years.
In 1936 the German Reich celebrated the tenth centenary of the death of Heinrich I. (A.D. 918-936), who laid the foundations of the first German kingdom. It was decided that the event should be commemorated by restoring the tomb in the Cathedral of Quedlinburg, where Heinrich and his consort are buried. Himmler decided to make a visit of inspection to the cathedral. On the appointed day a detachment of the SS went to the railway station to welcome their Chief, it was cold and raining. Himmler arrived several hours late. On seeing the SS men drawn up in formation, the first question he asked was: Have these men had their mid-day meal? He was answered in the negative. Whereupon he invited the whole detachment to be his quests at the restaurant.
That one little incident, chosen from the many such incidents that are related of him, is typical of Heinrich Himmler, he has a brotherly consideration for the welfare of the men under him, which is one of the reasons why his administration is so efficient. Yet he is not sparing of his own comfort or his personal interests, he is modest and never permits himself to be the central object of any public demonstration, he wishes to be known only by his work.
Himmler is Chief of the SS as well as the German Police. The SS (Schutz-Staffel), which were originally founded as Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard, wear black uniform and are all specially selected men who have sworn absolute loyalty to the Führer and are always ready to do their utmost for the State and public order which the Führer has founded. Formerly the Government of each federative State controlled its own police independently, so that there was no national Police System. But the federative Governments have now been abolished and a unified national Police System has been established, under the supreme control of Heinrich Himmler.
Himmler’s hobby is the early history of Germany and the study of its pre-historic origins. He is acquainted with almost every important book on this subject. He widely employs the SS in exploration work and they have succeeded in excavating several early Germanic settlements and have brought to light many relics of a past culture.
Himmler is a native of Munich, where he was born in 1900. He studied agriculture and graduated in that science. He also worked for a long time as a practical farmer. He is passionately devoted to hunting game and is an excellent shot. In 1925 he joined the National Socialist Party, after having been a member of several other organizations for the national restoration of the Reich. Today he belongs to the innermost circle of trusted followers around the Führer and is one of the most authoritative public personages in the Reich.
„Twelve years ago, when I became leader of a small SA group, I put forward three principles which should guide my conduct and that of the SA group under me. These were: absolute loyalty, strictest discipline, and the spirit of self-sacrifice.“
That was the statement which Viktor Lutze made when he tool, over the leadership of the whole SA, in June 1934. During the years that preceded the advent of National Socialism to power the SA held the foremost place in the political struggle. On the streets the brown uniform was the Symbol of a Movement that was marching forward towards the creation of a New Germany. The marching song composed by Horst Wessel, a member of the Berlin SA who had been murdered by Communists, became a national anthem. After National Socialism came into power the task set before the SA was altered. In accordance with the Führer’s desire, the SA men now have to be the model for all National Socialists to copy, a model of devotion to duty and soldier like simplicity.
Viktor Lutze is Chief-of-Staff of the SA. In his inner nature he is a soldier. In the War he was seriously wounded and lost the use of his left eye. It was for this reason that he resigned from the army and became a business man. But the political struggles of the post-War period soon brought him back from his civilian calling. When the French invaded the Ruhr he joined the same volunteer organization to which Leo Schlageter belonged and when Schlageter sealed his faith by a martyr’s death Lutze was one of the men who brought his body from the occupied region into the homeland.
Lutze comes of an old family of farmers and artisans in Lower Saxony. He was born in Westphalia in 1890. He inherits the simplicity and genuineness of his forebears. And he has given proof of outstanding ability as an organiser. The building up of the SA and the allocation of their various ranks is based on the prototype which he himself created when he was leader of an SA group during the militant period of the Movement.
Dr. Robert Ley
A successful labour leader must have a practical knowledge of the conditions under which the workman lives and works, and also of his outlook on life, his ideas, his speech etc. The work-man’s difficulties and cares cannot be learned at the office desk of the leader. The latter must have experienced all these in his own person.
Though Dr. Robert Ley, the Leader of the German Labour Front, is a university man, lie is also a man of the world, a man of everyday commonsense and practical ability, neither a bureaucrat nor an abstract theorist, a man who Is simple and straightforward in his speech and in his ways. The German Labour Front, which has been created by Dr. Ley, embraces all Germans who are engaged in productive labour, whether physical or mental. This Labour Front is not a maze of offices and exchanges packed with people who are looking for jobs. It is a living organism in which each individual element is active. It has superseded the old trade-unions, which operated on the assumption that the interests of Capital and Labour must be in eternal opposition to one another. Dr. Ley’s vast organization embraces all German employers as well as the workers. Its members number about twenty millions. Its chief purpose is to promote and maintain peaceful cooperation between employers and employees by inculcating in the minds of the employers a sympathetic understanding for the just claims and rights of the employees and, on the side of the employees, a reciprocal understanding of the conditions under which a business has to be managed and the possibilities on which the payment of wages etc., depend. In this way it has been possible to put an end to the fruitless opposition of the old trade-unions and establish a fair balance of give-and- take in each business. Inasmuch as the German Labour Front not only took over the trade-unions but expanded them into a co-operative organization which embraces all Germans actively engaged in productive work whether as directors or subordinate officials or ordinary workers, including also the hitherto independent trades and professions, we have here a veritable national community which embraces all productive effort for the welfare of the nation as a whole.
This community has its own social departments, the most important of which is known as the „Strength Through Joy“ organization. This enables every German worker to share in the general amenities of life at a nominal cost. Thus he can visit the best theatres, go on excursion trips at home and abroad, take part in all kinds of sports etc.
Within the Party framework Dr. Ley is also Reich Director of the Political Organization of the National Socialist Party. This organization is something more than a mere administrative mechanism under Party direction. The political leaders of the organization are the trustees not merely of the individual Party members but are also the intermediaries between the people as a whole and the supreme leadership. The Reich Director of the Political Organization is also responsible for the training of future Party leaders at various political colleges.
Dr. Ley is a native of the Rhineland and is the son of a peasant farmer. He was born in 1890. He studied food chemistry and after the War, in which he served as a volunteer, he took a post in one of the biggest chemical works in Germany. Owing to his political activities, he was several times arrested and finally lost his position on that account.
Baldur von Schirach
Baldur von Schirach, the Reich Leader of the Youth, began to take part in political activities when he was still in his teens. He was born in 1907 and at the age of seventeen he entered the Party. A year later he became personally associated with the Führer.
He studied German literature and the history of art and, while a student, he became leader of the National Socialist Students’ Movement. He achieved great success in converting the overwhelming majority of students to the principles of National Socialism long before National Socialism took over supreme control of Germany. He was recognized as the leader of the youth for a long time before he was officially appointed to that position. His oratory inspired the young generation and his example as an indefatigable fighter, almost obsessed by the heroic ideal, attracted them and still attracts them to him.
As Reich Leader of the Youth, he has, brought the whole youth of Germany into one organization, the membership of which has now reached seven millions. This organization, known as the Hitler Youth, is entirely independent and autonomous in its administration. It is also self-supporting. Acting in collaboration with the training which they get at school and at home, the Hitler Youth Organization helps to develop the physique of its members, instils sound ideas in their minds and inculcates moral principles, all with a view to making the young generation a worthy factor in the national community.
But Baldur von Schirach interests himself not merely in political activities. Indeed it may be said that he is one of those people who took part in politics because the conditions of tile time called for such action. Otherwise he probably would have devoted himself entirely to literature and, if we are to judge by the poems which he has already published, he would probably have achieved great success in that field. He himself is the author of the Song of the Hitler Youth.