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Hitler on British Values (2)



The principle of acquiring new territory, on which the surplus population could be settled, has many advantages to recommend it, especially if we take the future as well as the present into account. 

In the first place, too much importance cannot be placed on the necessity for adopting a policy which will make it possible to maintain a healthy peasant class as the basis of the national community. Many of our present evils have their origin exclusively in the disproportion between the urban and rural portions of the population. A solid stock of small and medium farmers has at all times been the best protection which a nation could have against the social diseases that are prevalent to-day. Moreover, that is the only solution which guarantees the daily bread of a nation within the framework of its domestic national economy. With this condition once guaranteed, industry and commerce would retire from the unhealthy position of foremost importance which they hold to-day and would take their due place within the general scheme of national economy, adjusting the balance between demand and supply. Thus industry and commerce would no longer constitute the basis of the national subsistence, but would be auxiliary institutions. By fulfilling their proper function, which is to adjust the balance between national production and national consumption, they render the national subsistence more or less independent of foreign countries and thus assure the freedom and independence of the nation, especially at critical junctures in its history. 

Such a territorial policy, however, cannot find its fulfilment in the Cameroons but almost exclusively here in Europe. One must calmly and squarely face the truth that it certainly cannot be part of the dispensation of Divine Providence to give a fifty times larger share of the soil of this world to one nation than to another. In considering this state of affairs to-day, one must not allow existing political frontiers to distract attention from what ought to exist on principles of strict justice. If this earth has sufficient room for all, then we ought to have that share of the soil which is absolutely necessary for our existence. 

Of course people will not voluntarily make that accommodation. At this point the right of self-preservation comes into effect. And when attempts to settle the difficulty in an amicable way are rejected the clenched hand must take by force that which was refused to the open hand of friendship. If in the past our ancestors had based their political decisions on similar pacifist nonsense as our present generation does, we should not possess more than one-third of the national territory that we possess to-day and probably there would be no German nation to worry about its future in Europe. No. We owe the two Eastern Marks 8) of the Empire to the natural determination of our forefathers in their struggle for existence, and thus it is to the same determined policy that we owe the inner strength which is based on the extent of our political and racial territories and which alone has made it possible for us to exist up to now. 

And there is still another reason why that solution would have been the correct one: 

Many contemporary European States are like pyramids standing on their apexes. The European territory which these States possess is ridiculously small when compared with the enormous overhead weight of their colonies, foreign trade, etc. It may be said that they have the apex in Europe and the base of the pyramid all over the world; quite different from the United States of America, which has its base on the American Continent and is in contact with the rest of the world only through its apex. Out of that situation arises the incomparable inner strength of the U.S.A. and the contrary situation is responsible for the weakness of most of the colonial European Powers.


England cannot be suggested as an argument against this assertion, though in glancing casually over the map of the British Empire one is inclined easily to overlook the existence of a whole Anglo-Saxon world. England’s position cannot be compared with that of any other State in Europe, since it forms a vast community of language and culture together with the U.S.A. 

Therefore the only possibility which Germany had of carrying a sound territorial policy into effect was that of acquiring new territory in Europe itself. Colonies cannot serve this purpose as long as they are not suited for settlement by Europeans on a large scale. In the nineteenth century it was no longer possible to acquire such colonies by peaceful means. Therefore any attempt at such a colonial expansion would have meant an enormous military struggle. Consequently it would have been more practical to undertake that military struggle for new territory in Europe rather than to wage war for the acquisition of possessions abroad. 

Such a decision naturally demanded that the nation’s undivided energies should be devoted to it. A policy of that kind which requires for its fulfilment every ounce of available energy on the part of everybody concerned, cannot be carried into effect by half-measures or in a hesitating manner. The political leadership of the German Empire should then have been directed exclusively to this goal. No political step should have been taken in response to other considerations than this task and the means of accomplishing it. Germany should have been alive to the fact that such a goal could have been reached only by war, and the prospect of war should have been faced with calm and collected determination. 


The whole system of alliances should have been envisaged and valued from that standpoint. If new territory were to be acquired in Europe it must have been mainly at Russia’s cost, and once again the new German Empire should have set out on its march along the same road as was formerly trodden by the Teutonic Knights, this time to acquire soil for the German plough by means of the German sword and thus provide the nation with its daily bread. 

For such a policy, however, there was only one possible ally in Europe. That was England. 

Only by alliance with England was it possible to safeguard the rear of the new German crusade. The justification for undertaking such an expedition was stronger than the justification which our forefathers had for setting out on theirs. Not one of our pacifists refuses to eat the bread made from the grain grown in the East; and yet the first plough here was that called the ‘Sword’. 

No sacrifice should have been considered too great if it was a necessary means of gaining England’s friendship. Colonial and naval ambitions should have been abandoned and attempts should not have been made to compete against British industries. 

Only a clear and definite policy could lead to such an achievement. Such a policy would have demanded a renunciation of the endeavour to conquer the world’s markets, also a renunciation of colonial intentions and naval power. All the means of power at the disposal of the State should have been concentrated in the military forces on land. This policy would have involved a period of temporary self-denial, for the sake of a great and powerful future. 

There was a time when England might have entered into negotiations with us, on the grounds of that proposal. For England would have well understood that the problems arising from the steady increase in population were forcing Germany to look for a solution either in Europe with the help of England or, without England, in some other part of the world. 

This outlook was probably the chief reason why London tried to draw nearer to Germany about the turn of the century. For the first time in Germany an attitude was then manifested which afterwards displayed itself in a most tragic way. People then gave expression to an unpleasant feeling that we might thus find ourselves obliged to pull England’s chestnuts out of the fire. As if an alliance could be based on anything else than mutual give-and-take! And England would have become a party to such a mutual bargain. British diplomats were still wise enough to know that an equivalent must be forthcoming as a consideration for any services rendered. 

Let us suppose that in 1904 our German foreign policy was managed astutely enough to enable us to take the part which Japan played. It is not easy to measure the greatness of the results that might have accrued to Germany from such a policy. 

There would have been no world war. The blood which would have been shed in 1904 would not have been a tenth of that shed from 1914 to 1918. And what a position Germany would hold in the world to-day? 


In any case the alliance with Austria was then an absurdity. 

For this mummy of a State did not attach itself to Germany for the purpose of carrying through a war, but rather to maintain a perpetual state of peace which was meant to be exploited for the purpose of slowly but persistently exterminating the German element in the Dual Monarchy. 

Another reason for the impossible character of this alliance was that nobody could expect such a State to take an active part in defending German national interests, seeing that it did not have sufficient strength and determination to put an end to the policy of de-Germanization within its own frontiers. If Germany herself was not moved by a sufficiently powerful national sentiment and was not sufficiently ruthless to take away from that absurd Habsburg State the right to decide the destinies of ten million inhabitants who were of the same nationality as the Germans themselves, surely it was out of the question to expect the Habsburg State to be a collaborating party in any great and courageous German undertaking. The attitude of the old Reich towards the Austrian question might have been taken as a test of its stamina for the struggle where the destinies of the whole nation were at stake. 

In any case, the policy of oppression against the German population in Austria should not have been allowed to be carried on and to grow stronger from year to year; for the value of Austria as an ally could be assured only by upholding the German element there. But that course was not followed. 

Nothing was dreaded so much as the possibility of an armed conflict; but finally, and at a most unfavourable moment, the conflict had to be faced and accepted. They thought to cut loose from the cords of destiny, but destiny held them fast. 

They dreamt of maintaining a world peace and woke up to find themselves in a world war. 

And that dream of peace was a most significant reason why the above-mentioned third alternative for the future development of Germany was not even taken into consideration. The fact was recognized that new territory could be gained only in the East; but this meant that there would be fighting ahead, whereas they wanted peace at any cost. The slogan of German foreign policy at one time used to be: The use of all possible means for the maintenance of the German nation. Now it was changed to: Maintenance of world peace by all possible means. We know what the result was. I shall resume the discussion of this point in detail later on. 


There remained still another alternative, which we may call the fourth. This was: Industry and world trade, naval power and colonies. 

Such a development might certainly have been attained more easily and more rapidly. To colonize a territory is a slow process, often extending over centuries. Yet this fact is the source of its inner strength, for it is not through a sudden burst of enthusiasm that it can be put into effect, but rather through a gradual and enduring process of growth quite different from industrial progress, which can be urged on by advertisement within a few years. The result thus achieved, however, is not of lasting quality but something frail, like a soap-bubble. It is much easier to build quickly than to carry through the tough task of settling a territory with farmers and establishing farmsteads. But the former is more quickly destroyed than the latter. 

In adopting such a course Germany must have known that to follow it out would necessarily mean war sooner or later. Only children could believe that sweet and unctuous expressions of goodness and persistent avowals of peaceful intentions could get them their bananas through this ‘friendly competition between the nations’, with the prospect of never having to fight for them. 

No. Once we had taken this road, England was bound to be our enemy at some time or other to come. Of course it fitted in nicely with our innocent assumptions, but still it was absurd to grow indignant at the fact that a day came when the English took the liberty of opposing our peaceful penetration with the brutality of violent egoists. 

Naturally, we on our side would never have done such a thing. 

If a European territorial policy against Russia could have been put into practice only in case we had England as our ally, on the other hand a colonial and world-trade policy could have been carried into effect only against English interests and with the support of Russia. But then this policy should have been adopted in full consciousness of all the consequences it involved and, above all things, Austria should have been discarded as quickly as possible. 

At the turn of the century the alliance with Austria had become a veritable absurdity from all points of view. 

But nobody thought of forming an alliance with Russia against England, just as nobody thought of making England an ally against Russia; for in either case the final result would inevitably have meant war. And to avoid war was the very reason why a commercial and industrial policy was decided upon. It was believed that the peaceful conquest of the world by commercial means provided a method which would permanently supplant the policy of force. Occasionally, however, there were doubts about the efficiency of this principle, especially when some quite incomprehensible warnings came from England now and again. That was the reason why the fleet was built. It was not for the purpose of attacking or annihilating England but merely to defend the concept of world-peace, mentioned above, and also to protect the principle of conquering the world by ‘peaceful’ means. Therefore this fleet was kept within modest limits, not only as regards the number and tonnage of the vessels but also in regard to their armament, the idea being to furnish new proofs of peaceful intentions.