Saturday, 6 March 2021

1st Artillery Battery/SS Volunteer Legion “Niederlande” 1942

Published in „Siegrunen“ Magazine - Vol. V, No. 4,

Whole Number 28, January 1982

 

By Richard Landwehr

 

In early January 1942, SS Legion “Niederlande,” composed of Dutch volunteers, was sent by rail from its garrison in Krakow, Poland, to the Baltic port of Danzig. From there it was shipped by sea to Libau, Latvia, – the first waystation en route to the Eastern Front. The Legion marched by foot and truck from Riga to Pleaskau and then on to the threatened Volkhov River Front. On 15 January 1942, the Dutch SS troops moved into frontline positions and were almost immediately engaged in combat.

 

To provide heavy weapons support to the Legion, the 1st Field Howitzer Battery of the SS-Polizei Artillery Regiment/ SS-Police (Police) Division, was attached to I. Battalion/“Niederlande.” The police artillerymen were also supposed to compensate for the loss of the heavy weapons companies of the SS Volunteer Legion “Flandern,” which had been transferred to another area. The commander of I./“Niederlande” was SS- Hauptsturmführer (Captain) Frank, while the commander of the 1st Artillery Battery was Hauptmann (Captain) Vogel, (SS police troops did not yet use SS ranks).

 

From 28 to 31 January 1942, the Soviets carried out continuous violent assaults on the Legion “Niederlande” sector, forcing the Legion Commander to pull his troops back into a “fish hook” defensive line that faced north-northwest from Kelieschi to Pjatilipi, east-northeast from Pjatilipi to Gusi and from Gusi to Selogora-Gorenka. All tolled, the Legion front stretched for 17 bending and twisting kilometers. On 30 January, 1st Artillery Battery took up firing positions in Gusi, which was in the exact center of the “Niederlande” lines and constituted part of a “finger” that extended into enemy held territory.

 

Savage fighting went on in this sector through the first part of February, with the enemy exerting terrific pressure against the Dutch/German defenders. 1st Artillery Battery was divided into two segments that were deployed respectively in the twin sub-villages of Gusi-A and Gusi-B. On 31 January 1942, the communists broke through the Dutch lines east of Gusi and directly attacked the positions of the artillery battery. It was a grim situation; the gunners were forced to fire directly into the southeast portion of Gusi proper where some elements of the Legion were still holding out. To the south of Gusi, the Dutch defenders regrouped and hurriedly rebuilt a defensive line that ran long the edge of a forest. In sum total, there was the equivalent of about one company of soldiers in this area.

 

Leutnant (Lieutenant) Glaser was the officer credited with successfully blocking off a major enemy penetration; he directed the overall activities of the artillery battery while Oberwachtmeister (Sergeant) Riese worked ceaselessly to improve the individual firing positions of the field pieces. So intense and dangerous was the action, that the various gun crews were frequently cutoff and had to keep firing on their own initiative. Communication between the different gun positions became impossible. As losses accumulated, the officers and senior NCO’s were pressed into duty as gun handlers. Thanks to the accurate shooting of 1st Battery and the valor of the Dutch volunteers, Gusi held, but at a great price in killed and wounded. The German and Dutch dead were buried together in the Selo Gora cemetery. The main enemy achievement in the battle had been to sever part of the main road to Selo Gora. This caused the Legion “Niederlande” some difficulty in the weeks to come.

 

By mid-February, the troops in Gusi, including the artillerymen, were isolated from the main supply centers to the south. Supplies could only be brought in via a footpath through the high snow banks from Radoni. A “knap sack” column was organized for this purpose. Because of this situation, little in the way of howitzer ammunition could be brought up and the field pieces had to be fired sparingly. Throughout the rest of the month and for most of March the artillerymen were therefore most often used as infantry.

 

In March, a Soviet advance troop almost reached a forward observation post near Pjatilipy. Inside the post, the two “spotters,” Oberwachmeisters Eisenbarth and Roemhild, called for fire on their position. After the German artillery barrage ended the Reds were found to have vanished leaving their dead scattered all around the outpost. At a later date, in late 1943 and early 1944, Roemhild would return to the same spot as an officer and battery commander in the 2nd Latvian SS Brigade. He would be jointed by Oberleutnant Lutze, adjutant of I. Detachment/SS Art.Rgt. 4, who also served with 1st Battery on the Volkhov Front. Since the SS Polizie Art.Rgt. 4 provided the formation nucleus for the Latvian SS Art.Rgt. 19, many of 1st Battery’s troopers would be back with the Latvians at the same locations where in the spring of 1942 they served with the Dutch SS men.

  

 

During a cold night in early April 1942, two Soviet platoons broke into Gusi, but with the close support of 1st Battery, the Dutch soldiers were able to totally destroy the enemy elements. Additional assistance was provided by a platoon from the Army Engineer Company 665 led by Feldwebel (Sergeant) Walter Plaumann, which helped build more fortifications at Gusi and Pjatilipy. During this whole period of ceaseless, difficult fighting, the comradeship between the Dutch and German soldiers was cemented forever in the hardships of the frontlines.

 

From Good Friday until Easter Sunday 1942, extremely vicious combat took place around Gusi and Pjatilipi. Once again, Hstuf. Frank’s I./“Niederlande” proved its mettle in blood. Sacrificing itself completely, the battalion was reduced to the size of a platoon, but the communists had not gained an inch of ground. On 10 April 1942,1. Battalion was withdrawn from the front to join the other parts of Legion “Niederlande” in Poland for rest and refitting. Of the more than 2500 Dutch SS volunteers who had gone into action in January, only about 200 were left! Fully 90% of the unit’s personnel had become casualties and the Dutch left behind them many comrades at the Hero’s Cemetery in Selo Gora. But they had won for themselves a brilliant reputation, which was first really brought to the world’s attention on 4 March 1942, when German radio broadcasted the following Wehrmacht communique: “...north of Lake Ilmen, the Netherlande Legion has particularly distinguished itself.” This was an extraordinary tribute for a foreign volunteer detachment to receive!

 

The extreme violence of the Eastern fighting was best demonstrated by the fact that the town of Gusi had changed hands several times, though ultimately ending up in Dutch control. Even after Legion “Niederlande” left the front, 1st Battery stayed in position alongside an Army replacement unit. Towards the end of April 1942, the SS Police Battery was itself replaced by an Army artillery battery, and it was transported by rail to the “ring around Leningrad.”

 

Instead of rejoining I./SS Art.Rgt. 4 (its parent unit), 1st Battery was sent to firing positions south of Pulkovo and came under the control of the SS-Kampfgruppe “Jeckeln” which was headquartered at Urizk. This battle-group – a first rate formation – was led by the hard-driving Higher SS and Police Leader for the Baltic area, SS-Gruppenführer (Lt. Gen.) Frederic Jackeln. 1st Battery was put in place before the town of Urizk, with its observation post situated in a railroad factory building. This was such a slow sector, that the battery war diary for the dates 19 to 24 April 1942, noted that “nothing special had occurred.”

 

At mid-night on 25 April, SS-KGr. “Jeckeln” relocated to the Oranienbaum coastal sector west of Leningrad and for one week, 1st Battery was attached to the SS Volunteer Legion “Norwegen.” When “Norwegen” left for refitting in Poland in early May, the battery served briefly with IIL/Infantry Rgt. 538 and then with II./Infantry Rgt. 538, before returning to the old lines of SS Polizei Regiment 1 near Pulkovo on 26 May 1942. It had had seen little or no action on the Leningrad Front. Once returned to the “community” of the SS Police Division, 1st Battery’s again served alongside the other batteries of I./SS Polizei Art.Rgt. 4. At this time, in recognition of 1st Battery’s achievements at Gusi, many members were awarded both classes of the Iron Cross along with the infantry assault badge. The battery commander, Hauptmann Vogel, received the coveted German Cross in Gold. One valuable element of the battery – the draft horses that pulled the guns – had survived the difficult weather and combat conditions in good shape thanks to the careful ministrations of Dr. Hartmann, the battery veterinarian. In June 1942, many members of the battery received their first home leaves since having arrived on the Eastern Front the previous summer.

 

By early June 1942, SS Legion “Niederlande” was back in its old sector, its strength having been increased to nearly 3,000 men through the addition of new recruits and recovered wounded. Commencing on 15 June 1942, the Legion took part in the great battle for the Volkhov Pocket. In the course of this fighting, the Dutch SS men again distinguished themselves by capturing 66 enemy field pieces, 3,500 Red Army soldiers and even the commander of the 2nd Soviet Storm Army himself. For its superlative performance, the Legion received yet another mention in the Wehrmacht War Bulletin.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Der Marsch Zum Führer (1940)


The March to the Führer

 

Release dates: 1940

Running time: 44 minutes

Country:  National-Socialist Germany

Language:  German

 

Der Marsch zum Führer (English: The March to the Führer) is a National-Socialist film released in 1940. It depicts the nationwide march of Hitler Youth (HJ) to Nuremberg for the National-Socialist Party Rally. Unlike the earlier Leni Riefenstahl Nuremberg documentaries, it does not focus on the Party congress itself, or on National-Socialist leaders, who are not shown until the very end of the film. Instead, it follows HJ boys from various parts of National-Socialist Germany beginning their journey, camping along the route, being taken in by helpful families on the way and marching through cities in formation, saluting and carrying the swastika banner.

 

The film tells of these columns as they march through the mountains, forests, fields and towns of Hitler's realm. Their pilgrimage is climaxed by the colorful ceremonies of the Nuremberg Congress as they parade before their Führer and are addressed by National-Socialist youth leader Baldur von Schirach, Rudolf Hess, and Adolf Hitler himself. Behind the splendid pageantry of this film and the remarkable discipline of its participants is revealed, as vividly as in any cinematic record in existence, the skill of the National-Socialist leaders in preparing Germany's youth, both physically and psychologically, to defend the Reich and Europe.

 

Monday, 22 February 2021

Die Deutsche Wochenschau – Newsreel No. 750 – 25 January 1945

 

1. Germany.

 

Film-plots about saving electricity.

 

Girl paints house, sun, stars, chickens.

 

A call to save energy.

 

2. Germany.

 

Skiers competition for disabled veterans.

 

Descent from the mountain.

 

3. Germany.

 

The distribution of weapons and uniforms, ammunition, soldiers of the German Volkssturm.

 

Military training for the Volkssturm men.

 

Armed with Panzerfausts.

 

Field exercises.

 

4. Germany.

 

Marine landing troops in a light boat.

 

Boats on the mission.

 

The landing of the marine troops.

 

5. Germany.

 

Bunker “self-help” for the German people.

 

In the bunker.

 

Cooking food.

 

– The warehouse.

 

Rooms to accommodate the local authorities.

 

Power station.

 

Underground typography.

 

Barbershop.

 

Customers of the barbershop.

 

6. Germany.

 

Miners going out of the mine after the end of the work shifts.

 

7. Western Front.

 

On the line Arnhem-Jülich-Eschweiler-Strasbourg.

 

The German troops stopped the Anglo-American offensive.

 

German soldiers on the streets of the city recaptured from the Allies.

 

A soldier helps old woman come out of the shelter.

 

An announcement of the occupiers to ban the movement of civilians.

German soldiers in a broken country.

 

Captured British soldiers.

 

The ruins of the church.

 

German apartments looted by the allied forces.

 

German tanks are going forward.

 

The wagons.

 

Infantrymen.

 

8. USSR. Eastern front.

 

The large-scale offensive of the Soviet troops all over the front line between the Baltic Sea and the Carpathian Mountains.

 

On the morning of January 30, the Russian offensive begins.

 

Reflection of the Soviet offensive.

 

German artillery fire.

 

Rocket launchers entered the battle.

 

Heaviest street fighting in hundreds of villages.

 

Tanks and infantrymen were thrown into the place of the breakthrough.

 

The front is burning for thousands of kilometers.

 

German infantrymen in the trenches await the start of the attack, waiting for the raid of Soviet aircraft.

 

German planes in the air.

 

German tank is shooting.

 

The fighting in the village.

 

View of the battlefield from the air.

 

Soldiers in combat.

 

Burning Soviet tanks.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

The Educational Principles of The New Germany

 

Source: Frauen-Warte – Women’s Guard, Issue 22, 1936, page 692

 

What Schools and Parents Need to Know About the Goals of National Socialist Education?

 

German Folk! German parents! The new Germany created by our Folk’s Chancellor Adolf Hitler places special demands on the German youth. The German youth are a foundation of the rebuilding of the German Folk and the German Fatherland. The Folk and Fatherland place their hands on the shoulders of the youth and determine what educational and cultural values and goals are necessary for this youth to meet the needs of Folk and Fatherland. This requires a truly national and social education for the German youth, and everyone involved in education has to serve these educational and cultural goals with their full energy, parents and teachers above all!

 

All those involved in education must have a clear and unified idea of the educational tasks before them. The four iron pillars of the national school and educational system are:

race,

military training,

leadership, and

religion!

 

1. Race

 

National Socialist education is an education in the thinking of the German Folk, in understanding German traditions, in awakening the pure, uncorrupted and honest people’s consciousness, their sense of belonging to the Folk. Only a pure member of the German race can have such an understanding of his Folk, crowning it with the willingness to sacrifice all for the Folk. He must know that without his Folk he is a miserable nothing, and that it is better if he himself die than that his Folk and Fatherland perish! He who thinks that National Socialist education has as its goal a kind of hyperpatriotism has not understood it. Something entirely different is intended. Something should be awakened in the soul of young Germans that will fill their hearts and whole being until their souls can no longer restrain the overflowing, until a powerful and jubilant Hail Germany springs from their lips! That call itself is not the first or most significant goal: rather it is its foundation in the soul, a foundation that jubilantly, freely, confidently, cheerfully, and passionately expresses itself. It is the holy sense of Folk and Fatherland! Awakening this in the German youth requires that they have a clear understanding of the value of Folk and Fatherland. They must realise that the German Folk has a right to independence and freedom, honour and power. They must learn that it has a right to its own fate among the Folks of the Earth, and it must gain with the other Folk the place in the sun that belongs to it. It must do this not through force, rather because the German Folk is a noble nation that has created values for the entire world that no other Folk was capable of. We want to awaken in the German youth this free, righteous and noble national pride so that at the thought of Germany’s past, present, and future, their hearts will pound and their eyes will gleam. That is the first foundation of National Socialist education.

 

2. Military Training

 

It is clear that the German youth must be resolved to defend their Fatherland with their lives. Despite all the nonsense about promises and disarmament, Germany is surrounded by weapons. The German youth must learn military virtues. Their bodies must be steeled, made hard and strong, so that the youth may become capable soldiers who are healthy, strong, trained, energetic and able to bear hardships. Gymnastics, games, sports, hiking, swimming, and military exercises must all be learned by the youth. Our youth should not sit in stuffy rooms and develop crooked backs and weak eyes. Alongside the basic and truly important education of the mind, they should develop healthy bodies by being outdoors. The idea of the healthy and strong German should not be mere empty talk. Parents can help here. They will train our youth in simplicity and cleanliness. They will train them, even when they are older, not to waste their spare time by dubious or even harmful activities such as card playing, drinking alcohol, and bad music; rather to prepare their bodies for their future tasks.

 

3. Leadership

 

A youth being trained for such important national duties must accept the idea of following The Leader absolutely and without question, without unhealthy carping criticism, without selfishness or opposition. They must learn to obey so that, having themselves learned to obey, they believe in and trust their own leadership and can grow to be leaders themselves. Only he who has learned to obey can lead. Germany no longer believes that the masses can lead themselves by majority rule! The masses themselves are nothing! We need not a Folk ruled by majority votes, but a Folk with the will to leadership. The German youth must learn that and act accordingly! Thus, the German youth belongs in organisations where they will learn the nature of leadership in its most noble form, where they can learn to obey and – if they are called to it – also learn to lead. They will not bend to an empty mass will expressed through useless votes, rather they will look with enthusiasm to the nation’s strong and noble Leader. They must learn that once again. We parents want to exhibit such authority to our youth by strengthening family authority and establishing in our homes a healthy and natural obedience on the part of our children. This will not suppress the youth, rather provide them the controlled freedom and authority they need to develop their abilities.

 

4. Religion

 

Life comes from God and returns to God. All life and all races follow God’s ordinances. No Folk and no race can ignore them. We want the German youth to again recognise the religious nature of life. They must realise that God wants the individual as well as the whole Folk, and that they lose contact with life when they lose contact with God! God and nation are the two foundations of the life of the individual and the community. We want no shallow and superficial piety, rather a deep faith that God guides the world, that he controls it, and a consciousness of the relationship between God and each individual, and between God and the life of the Folk and Fatherland. The National Socialist State will promote such a deeply religious educational system. We want parents to support and strengthen this by honesty and by good example.

 

Race, military training, leadership, religion! These are the four unshakeable foundations of the new German National Socialist education!

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The Nordic Ideal – A Result of the Anthropological View of History

Source: The Racial Elements of European History - by Hans F. K. Günther

 

If degeneration (that is, a heavy increase in inferior hereditary tendencies) and denordization (that is, disappearance of the Nordic blood) have brought the Asiatic and south European peoples of Indo-European speech to their decay and fall, and if degeneration and denordization now, in turn, threaten the decay and fall of the peoples of Germanic speech, then the task is clearly to be seen which must be taken in hand, if there is still enough power of judgment left: the advancement of the peoples of Germanic speech will be brought about through an increase of the valuable and healthy hereditary tendencies, and an increase of the Nordic blood. The works on general eugenics show how the valuable hereditary tendencies can be increased. Here, therefore, we will only deal with the question of the renewal of the Nordic element.

 

The French Count Arthur Gobineau (1816-82), was the first to point out in his work, Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines (1853-5), the importance of the Nordic race for the life of the peoples. Count Gobineau, too, was the first to see that, through the mixture of the Nordic with other races, the way was being prepared for what today (with Spengler) is called the ‘Fall of the West’. Gobineau’s personality as investigator and poet (‘all the conquering strength of this man’) has been described by Schemann,1 and it is, thanks to Schemann, through his foundation in 1894 of the Gobineau Society (to further Gobineau’s ideas), and through his translation of the Essay on the Inequality of Human Races, which appeared 1898-1901, that Gobineau’s name and the foundations he traced for the Nordic ideal have not fallen into forgetfulness.2 The very great importance of Gobineau’s work in the history of the culture of our day is shown by Schemann in his book, Gobineaus Rassenwerk (1910).

 

It is evident that Gobineau’s work on race, which was carried out before investigations into race had reached any tangible results, is in many of its details no longer tenable today. The basic thought of this work, however, stands secure. From the standpoint of racial science we may express ourselves as to Gobineau’s work in somewhat the same way as Eugen Fischer, the anthropologist: ‘The racial ideal must and will force its way, if not quite in the form given it by Gobineau, at any rate from the wider point of view quite in his sense; he was the great forerunner.’3

 

H. S. Chamberlain, at the time of writing the Grundlagen

 

Count Gobineau, painting: Countess La Tour

 

The turn of the century, when Schemann’s translation appeared, may be said to be the time from which onwards a certain interest in racial questions was aroused. About the same time, too, in 1899, appeared the work which for the first time brought the racial ideal, and particularly the Nordic ideal, into the consciousness of a very wide circle through the enthusiasm, and also the opposition, which it aroused: this work was The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by H. S. Chamberlain (born 1855), at that time an Englishman, now a German. On this work from the standpoint of racial science we may pass a judgment somewhat like that of Eugen Fischer: ‘Undeterred by the weak foundations of many details, and recklessly changing even well-established conceptions to serve his purpose, he raises a bold structure of thought, which thus naturally offers a thousand points for attack, so that the real core of the matter escapes attack – and it would stand against it.’4

 

Since the works of Gobineau and Chamberlain appeared, many investigators, in the realms of natural and social science, have devoted themselves eagerly to bringing light into racial questions, so that today not only the core of the theory both of Gobineau and of Chamberlain stands secure, but also much new territory has been won for an ideal of the Nordic race. A new standpoint in history, the ‘racial historical standpoint,’ is shaping itself.

 

The Nordic race ideal naturally meets with most attention among those peoples which today still have a strong strain of Nordic blood, of whom some are even still very predominantly Nordic – that is, among the peoples of Germanic speech in Europe and North America. It is unlikely that Gobineau’s thought will find a home among the peoples of Romance speech, even though the first scientific work from the racial historical standpoint, L’Aryen, son rôle social (which likewise appeared in 1899), has a Frenchman, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, for its author. Denordization has probably already gone too far in France also. Any great attention towards race questions is unlikely, too, among peoples of Slav speech.

 

But the result was bound to be that in all those peoples who came to know Gobineau’s theory there were some persons who were deeply moved by them. Since the end of last century we can, as was said above, even speak of a growing interest in race questions, although we cannot yet speak of a spread of clear ideas. Following the terms used by Gobineau and Chamberlain, we come here and there upon more or less clear conceptions of the need for keeping the ‘Germanic’ blood pure, or (following Lapouge) of keeping the ‘Aryan’ blood pure.5 In this way the door is always left wide open to the confusion of race and people or of racial and linguistic membership, and a clear definition of aims is impossible. What was (and still is) lacking is a knowledge of the conception of ‘race’, and a knowledge of the races making up the Germanic peoples (that is, peoples speaking Germanic tongues) and the Indo-European peoples (that is, peoples speaking Indo-European tongues). There was (and still is) lacking a due consideration of the racial idiotype (hereditary formation) of the Nordic man, as the creator of the values which characterize the culture of the Indo-European (‘Aryan’) and the Germanic peoples. A racial anthropology of Europe could not be written in Gobineau’s time. Many detailed investigations were still needed.6

 

But more was (and is still) wanting: Gobineau, like his contemporaries, had as yet no knowledge of the importance of selection for the life of peoples. The Nordic race may go under without having been mixed with other races, if it loses to other races in the competition of the birth-rate, if in the Nordic race the marriage rate is smaller, the marrying age higher, and the births fewer. Besides an insight into the ‘unique importance of the Nordic race’ (Lenz) there must be also a due knowledge of the laws of heredity and the phenomena of selection, and this knowledge is just beginning to have its deeper effect on some of the members of various nations.

 

Maupertius (1744, 1746) and Kant (1775, 1785, 1790) had been the first to point out the importance of selection for living beings. But the influence of the conception of selection only really begins to show itself after the foundations of modern biology were laid by Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859. The conception of selection was bound to have an effect on the view taken of the destiny of the peoples. Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton (1822-1911), the ‘father of eugenics,’ was the first to see this.7 He was the first to show that it is not environment but heredity which is the decisive factor for all living beings, and therefore for man too, and drew the outlines of a theory of eugenics in the knowledge that the improvement of a people is only possible by a sensible increase of the higher hereditary qualities. But it took nearly forty years for Galton’s importance to be rightly understood and for his work to bear fruit.

 

Galton’s views had as yet no scientific theory of heredity on which to build. This was created in its main outlines by Johann Mendel (1822-84), an Augustinian father in Brünn (in religion he was known as Gregor), whose life-work, after its recovery in 1900, had so deep an effect that research after research was undertaken, and today a wide-embracing science of heredity stands secure.

 

Through researches such as these Gobineau’s teachings received a deeper meaning, and found fresh support from all these sources, from the sciences of heredity, eugenics, and race: the Nordic movement was born. It had to come into being in those countries where there was still enough Nordic blood running in the peoples to make a Nordic new birth possible. Thus in Germany societies have been founded aiming at the propagation of the Nordic ideal; thus societies of the same kind have been founded in the United States; and such societies would seem sometimes to go beyond these countries.

 

If the Nordic ideal in Germany has been active longer than in other countries, it would seem, owing to the splitting up of its followers into small groups, not to have found the same diffu-west European immigration, and to put a bar on the unwished-for immigration from south and east Europe. Immigration from Asia, and the immigration of undesirables in general, is forbidden. Grant himself has been chosen as vice-president of the Immigration Restriction League. It may be presumed that the Immigration Laws as now passed are only the first step to still more definite laws dealing with race and eugenics. In North America, especially, where there is the opportunity to examine the races and racial mixtures of Europe from the point of view of their civic worth, the importance of the Nordic race could not stay hidden. Leading statesmen have seen the importance of this race, and are proclaiming their knowledge.9 In North America a significant change is taking place in our own day: Europe as an area of emigration is no longer looked at in the light of its states or peoples, but in the light of its races. How Germany (or the pick of German emigrants) in this regard strikes America, may be seen from the fact that Germany, as a land of emigrants, is the most highly favoured of all European countries.

 

The peril of denordization (Finis Americae, Grant) has been recognized by many Americans since Grant’s book appeared. Associations have been formed among the Nordic and predominantly Nordic Americans of Anglo-Saxon descent, such as ‘The Nordic Guard,’ and among Americans of German descent (‘The Nordic Aryan Federation,’ and so on). Some of the Nordic-minded North Americans seem to have joined together in co-operative unions, so as to make themselves gradually economically independent of big capital in non-Nordic hands. It would seem as though the Nordic-minded sections of North America had begun with great forethought and efficiency to take steps for the maintenance and increase of Nordic blood. A better insight, however, is perhaps still needed into the importance of the birth-rate for all such aims.

 

When it is remembered that the Nordic ideal in Germany had taken root here and there as long ago as the end of last century, we do not get, on the whole, from the Nordic strivings of this country that picture of unity and purpose which is shown by North America. However, we must not overlook the economically very straitened circumstances in which the German followers of the Nordic ideal, who in greatest part belong to the middle classes, find themselves – circumstances which are always piling up hindrances to any forward striving. The hindrances, however, in the path of a Nordic movement lie partly in the German nature itself, in the splitting up into small exclusive groups each with its own ‘standpoint,’ which is found over and over again. This splitting up is the reason why the ‘societies for the defence of the Nordic race’ (Ploetz) in Germany can only be looked on as the beginning of an interest in race questions, and why we must agree with Ploetz when he speaks of10 these ‘defensive societies’ as being ‘considerably poorer in membership and influence than those of the Jews’; indeed, we cannot yet speak of any ‘influence’ of the Nordic ideal.

 

These endeavours along Nordic lines, however, are not to be undervalued as tokens of an awakening attention to race questions. Those among the youth who have been gripped by the Nordic ideal have already done much to spread their views, even under the crushing conditions of today in Germany, and in spite of the lack of money. The beginnings may be humble, but the deep change is full of importance; ‘Individualism,’ so highly prized in the nineteenth century, and still loudly proclaimed by yesterday’s generation, is coming to an end. The stress laid on each man’s individuality, which up till yesterday was proclaimed with the resounding shout of ‘Be thyself,’ has become a matter of doubt, even of contempt, to a newer generation. It set me pondering, when, during the writing of this book, the statement of the aims of a ‘Young Nordic Association’ reached me, in which I find the following sentence: ‘We wish to keep the thought always before us that, if our race is not to perish, it is a question not only of choosing a Nordic mate, but over and above this, of helping our race through our marriage to a victorious birth-rate.’

 

Up to the other day such a view of life would not have met with any understanding, and to yesterday’s generation it must still seem beyond comprehension. The present age, indeed, was brought up amidst the ideas of the ‘natural equality of all men,’ and of the distinct individuality of each one of us (‘Individualism,’ ‘Cultivation of personality’). When we look back today, we are astonished to see how long the biologically untenable theories of the Age of Enlightenment and of Rousseau (1712-78) could hold the field, and how, even today, they determine the attitude towards life of great masses of men, although men like Fichte and Carlyle had already gone beyond such views.11 Although really discredited, the ideas of equality and individualism still hold the field, since they satisfy the impulses of an age of advanced degeneration and denordization, or at least hold out hopes of doing so, and yield a good profit to those exploiting this age. If, without giving any heed to the definitions of current political theories, we investigate quite empirically what is the prevailing idea among the Western peoples of the essential nature of a nation, we shall find that by a nation no more is generally understood than the sum of the now living citizens of a given State. We shall find, further, that the purpose of the State is generally held to be no more than the satisfaction of the daily needs of this sum of individuals, or else only of the sum of individuals who are banded together to make up a majority. The greatest possible amount of ‘happiness’ for individuals is to be won by majority decisions.12

 

Racial and eugenic insight brings a different idea of the true nature of a people. A people is then looked upon as a fellowship with a common destiny of the past, the living, and the coming generations – a fellowship with one destiny, rooted in responsibility towards the nation’s past, and looking towards its responsibility to the nation’s future, to the coming generations. The generation living at any time within such a people is seen by the Nordic ideal as a fellowship of aims, which strives for an ever purer presentment of the Nordic nature in this people. It is thus only that the individual takes a directive share in the national life through his active responsibility. But in this fellowship of aims it is the predominantly Nordic men who have the heaviest duties: ‘O, my brothers, I dedicate and appoint you to a new nobility: ye shall become my shapers and begetters, and sowers of the future’ (Nietzsche, Also sprach Zarathustra).

 

The striving that can be seen among the youth for an ‘organic’ philosophy of life – that is, a philosophy sprung from the people and the native land, bound up with the laws of life, and opposed to all ‘individualism’ – must in the end bind this youth to the life of the homeland and of its people, just as the German felt himself bound in early times, to whom the clan tie was the very core of his life. It could be shown that the old German view of life was so in harmony with the laws of life that it was bound to increase the racial and eugenic qualities of the Germans, and that, with the disappearance of this view of life in the Middle Ages, both the race and the inheritance of health were bound to be endangered. And a Nordic movement will always seek models for its spiritual guidance in the old Germanic world, which was an unsullied expression of the Nordic nature.13

 

In the nations of Germanic speech the Nordic ideal still links always with popular traditions handed down from Germanic forbears whose Nordic appearance and nature is still within the knowledge of many. Unexplained beliefs, unconscious racial insight, are always showing themselves; this is seen in the fact that in Germany a tall, fair, blue-eyed person is felt to be a ‘true German,’ and in the fact that the public adoption offices in Germany are asked by childless couples wishing to adopt children far oftener for fair, blue-eyed, than for dark ones. The Nordic ideal as the conception of an aim has no difficulty in taking root within the peoples of Germanic speech, for in these peoples the attributes of the healthy, capable, and high-minded, and of the handsome man, are more or less consciously still summed up in the Nordic figure. Thus the Nordic ideal becomes an ideal of unity: that which is common to all the divisions of the German people – although they may have strains of other races, and so differ from one another – is the Nordic strain. What is common to northern and to southern England – although the south may show a stronger Mediterranean strain – is the Nordic strain. It is to be particularly noted that in the parts of the German-speaking area which are on the whole predominantly Dinaric, and in Austria, too, the Nordic ideal has taken root, and unions of predominantly Nordic men have been formed.

 

Thus a hope opens out for some union among the peoples of Germanic speech; what is common to these peoples, although they may show strains of various races, is the Nordic strain. If the Nordic ideal takes root within them, it must necessarily come to be an ideal of harmony and peace. Nothing could be a better foundation and bulwark of peace among the leading peoples than the awakening of the racial consciousness of the peoples of Germanic speech. During the Great War Grant had written14 that this was essentially a civil war, and had compared this war in its racially destructive effects to the Peloponnesian War between the two leading Hellenic tribes. The Nordic-minded men within the peoples of Germanic speech must strive after such an influence on the governments and public opinion, that a war which has so destroyed the stock of Nordic blood as the Great War has done shall never again be possible, nor a war in the future into which the nations are dragged in the way described by Morhardt, the former president of the French League for the Rights of Man, in his book, Les preuves (Paris, 1925). The Nordic ideal must widen out into the All-Nordic ideal; and in its objects and nature the All-Nordic ideal would necessarily be at the same time the ideal of the sacredness of peace among the peoples of Germanic speech.

 

Madison Grant, bronze bust by Chester Beach

 

Lothrop Stoddard, C, 76, E, grey

 

In the war of today, and still more in that of tomorrow, there can no longer be any thought of a ‘prize of victory’ which could outweigh the contra-selection necessarily bound up with any war. For anyone who has come to see this, it seems very doubtful whether even the most favourable political result of a contest deserves to be called a ‘victory,’ if the fruits of this ‘victory’ fall to those elements of a nation who, as a result of their hereditary qualities, have slipped through the meshes of the modern war-sieve. The real victims in any future war between the Great Powers, whether in the losing or in the ‘winning’ nation, are the hereditary classes standing out by their capacity in war and spirit of sacrifice. It will be one of the tasks of the followers of the Nordic ideal to bring this home to their peoples and governments.

 

If this prospect of a political influence wielded by the Nordic ideal seems today a very bold forecast, yet the task of bringing about a Nordic revival seems to arise very obviously from the history of the (Indo-European) peoples under Nordic leadership, as the most natural ideal to set against the ‘decline’ which today is also threatening the peoples of Germanic speech. There is no objection against the Nordic ideal15 which can be given any weight in the face of a situation which Eugen Fischer (in 1910) described as follows for the German people: ‘today in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, the Germanic blood, the Nordic race, has already disappeared. Decline, in part insignificance, is the result. France is the next nation that will feel the truth of this; and then it will be our turn, without any doubt whatever, if things go on as they have gone and are going today.’16 And since this utterance there has been the dreadful contra-selection of the Great War.

 

This being the situation, the problem is how to put a stop to denordization, and how to find means to bring about a Nordic revival. How are Nordics and those partly Nordic to attain to earlier marriages and larger families? – that is the question from the physical side of life. How is the spirit of responsibility, of efficiency, and of devotion to racial aims to be aroused in a world of selfishness, of degeneration, and of unbounded ‘individualism’? – that is the question from the spiritual side of life.

 

Once this question is seen by thoughtful men in the peoples of Germanic speech to be the one vital question for these peoples, then they will have to strive to implant in the predominantly Nordic people of all classes a spirit of racial responsibility, and to summon their whole nation to a community of aims. An age of unlimited racial mixture has left the men of the present day physically and mentally rudderless, and thus powerless for any clear decision. There is no longer any ideal of physical beauty and spiritual strength to make that bracing call on the living energies which fell to the lot of earlier times. If selection within a people cannot be directed towards an ideal, unconsciously or consciously pursued, then its power to raise to a higher level grows weaker and weaker, and it ends by changing its direction, turning its action towards the less creative races, and the inferior hereditary tendencies. Every people has had assigned to it a particular direction of development, its own special path of selective advance. The selective advance in the peoples of Germanic speech can have as its goal only the physical and spiritual picture presented by the Nordic race. In this sense the Nordic race is (to use Kant’s expression) not given as a gift but as a task; and in this sense it was that, in speaking of ‘the Nordic ideal among the Germans,’ we necessarily spoke of the Nordic man as the model for the working of selection in the German people, and showed that no less a task is laid on the Nordic movement than the revival of a whole culture.

 

The question is not so much whether we men now living are more or less Nordic; but the question put to us is whether we have courage enough to make ready for future generations a world cleansing itself racially and eugenically. When any people of Indo-European speech has been denordicized, the process has always gone on for centuries; the will of Nordic-minded men must boldly span the centuries. Where selection is in question, it is many generations that must be taken into the reckoning, and the Nordic-minded men of the present can only expect one reward in their lifetime for their striving: the consciousness of their courage. Race theory and investigations on heredity call forth and give strength to a New Nobility: the youth, that is, with lofty aims in all ranks which, urged on like Faust, seeks to set its will towards a goal which calls to it from far beyond the individual life.17

 

Since within such a movement profit and gain is not to be looked for, it will always be the movement of a minority. But the spirit of any age has always been formed by minorities only, and so, too, the spirit of that age of the masses in which we live. The Nordic movement in the end seeks to determine the spirit of the age, and more than this spirit, from out of itself. If it did not securely hold this confident hope, there would be no meaning or purpose in any longer thinking the thoughts of Gobineau.


Footnotes

 

1 Gobineau (vol. i., 1913; vol. ii., 1916). As many will probably not read Gobineau’s Essai because of its length, Kleinecke’s Gobineaus Rassenlehre, 1920, may here be mentioned. Gobineau’s life and works are also shortly described in Hahne’s Gobineau (Reclam 6517-18).

 

2 Although in France a statesman and historian like Alexis de Tocqueville and an anthropologist like Broca had been attracted by Gobineau’s work on race; while men like Renan and Viollet-le-Duc had been influenced by him, and men like Albert Sorel and Le Bon had become his followers – it was not till late years that the importance of Gobineau was again recognized. But in Germany, too, where men such as A. von Humboldt, I. H. Fichte (Fichte’s son), A. von Keller, and, above all, Richard Wagner were his champions, and where Lotze came under his influence, Gobineau would probably have been forgotten without Schemann’s efforts. In our day (1924) Gobineau is fashionable in France. His imaginative works are coming out in new editions; well-known reviews devote special numbers to Gobineau, the artist; indeed, we may speak of an over-valuation of this side of Gobineau’s work, while the very small number of the followers of his race-theory is dwindling more and more in France.

 

3 Following Schemann, Neues aus d. Welt Gobineaus; reprinted from the Polit.-anthrop. Revue, 1912.

 

4 In Handwörterbuch d. Naturw., under ‘Sozialanthropologie.’

 

5 Philology used formerly often give the name of Aryan to the Indo-European languages; nowadays the term ‘Aryan’ is mostly applied only to the Indo-Persian branch of these. Racial investigation in the beginning sometimes called the (non-existing) white or Caucasian race Aryan; later the peoples of Indo-European speech were occasionally called Aryan; and finally the Nordic race also was termed Aryan. today the term Aryan has gone out of scientific use, and its use is not advisable, especially since in lay circles the word Aryan is current in still other meanings, and mostly with a very confused application to the peoples who do not speak Semitic languages; the ‘Semites’ are then opposed to the ‘Aryans.’ The term ‘Semites,’ however, has been likewise given up in anthropology, since men and peoples of very various racial descent speak Semitic tongues (cp. on this the fourth chapter above).

 

6 Cp. the section, ‘Einiges zur Geschichte der Rassenkunde,’ etc., in my Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes.

 

7 For an account of Galton, cp. K. Pearson’s Francis Galton, 1922.

 

8 Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, 4th ed., 1921. Stoddard, The Rising Tide of Color, 1919; The Revolt against Civilization, 1924; and Racial Realities in Europe, 1925.

 

9 Thus, quite lately Davis, the Minister for Labour. The Oslo newspaper, Morgenbladet, of 1st July 1924, writes after his astonishingly frank utterances: ‘It is, anyhow, an undisputed fact that it was the so-called Nordic race which, coming as immigrants into America, has taken on the heaviest burdens. They have driven the road, ploughed the land, built up industry, while the Italians and Greeks polish boots, sell fruit, and make bombs for "use at home," and the Jews lead an easy life in their Loan Banks and secondhand shops, and on friendly loans at 20 per cent. This is, of course, speaking in general terms, but it hits the nail on the head. If you travel towards the north-west, you understand what has been done by the Nordic race, and particularly the Scandinavians, for agriculture. Most of them began with two empty hands and an iron will. The result can be seen in the form of flourishing districts. If you go into the great towns and wander through the various "Little Italys" and "Little Greeces" and through the Jewish quarters, and then take a trip to where "our people" live, you will feel relief at once again breathing clean air.’

 

10 Op. cit.

 

11 L. F. Clauss has arrived at a statement of aims in accordance with the Nordic ideal by a philosophical investigation from the phenomenological standpoint; see his Die Nordische Seele, 1923, and Rasse und Seele, 1926.

 

12 Faguet shows (Le culte de l’incompétence, 1921) that the political theories of the nineteenth century and the present time have had the effect only of ‘worshipping incapacity.’ The historical causes of this worship are set out by Le Bon, Lois psychologiques de l’évolution des peuples, 17th ed., 1922.

 

13 Hence we will here refer the reader to Neckel, Die Altnordische Literatur, 1923, and Altgermanische Kultur, 1925. As the most profound description of the old Germanic world may be mentioned the work in four volumes of V. Grönbech, Vor Folkeaet i Oldtiden, which appeared 1909-12. Of Grönbech it may be truly said that his investigation reaches the innermost being of the old Germanic soul.

 

14 Op. cit.

 

15 In Der Nordische Gedanke unter den Deutschen, 1925, I have tried to sift and refute many of the objections against the Nordic ideal.

 

16 Sozialanthropologie, etc., 1910.

 

17 ‘Neo-Aristocracy,’ the spirit of a new nobility, is what Stoddard, too, seeks to rouse with the last section of his book, The Revolt against Civilization.