Adolf Hitler
Mein Kampf

In 1923 Adolf Hitler was arrested for attempting to overthrow the government in Munich. His National Socialist German Workers' Party (the Nazi party) was still relatively small, and he used his trial to attract national attention. In due course he was convicted and sentenced to prison; while there he wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle), outlining his political ideas. Mein Kampf was not taken seriously at first, but it includes many of the ideas the Nazis put in practice in the 1930s and 1940s. -smv

Volume One, Chapter Six:
"War Propaganda"

{1}The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision.

{2}The whole art consists in doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. But since propaganda is not and cannot be the necessity in itself, since its function. . . consists in attracting the attention of the crowd, and not in educating those who are already educated or who are striving after education and knowledge, its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect. . . .

{3}The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that our bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are. . . .

{4}The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out.

{5}Thus we see that propaganda must follow a simple line and correspondingly the basic tactics must be psychologically sound. For instance, it was absolutely wrong to make the enemy ridiculous, as the Austrian and German comic papers did. It was absolutely wrong because actual contact with an enemy soldier was bound to arouse an entirely different conviction, and the results were devastating; for now the German soldier, under the direct impression of the enemy's resistance, felt himself swindled by his propaganda service. His desire to fight, or even to stand film, was not strengthened, but the opposite occurred. His courage flagged.

{6}By contrast, the war propaganda of the English and Americans was psychologically sound. By representing the Germans to their own people as barbarians and Huns, they prepared the individual soldier for the terrors of war, and thus helped to preserve him from disappointments. After this, the most terrible weapon that was used against him seemed only to confirm what his propagandists had told him; it likewise reinforced his faith in the truth of his government's assertions, while on the other hand it increased his rage and hatred against the vile enemy For the cruel effects of the weapon, whose use by the enemy he now came to know, gradually came to confirm for him the 'Hunnish' brutality of the barbarous enemy, which he had heard all about; and it never dawned on him for a moment that his own weapons possibly, if not probably, might be even more terrible in their effects. . . .

{7}The function of propaganda is . . . not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.

{8}It was absolutely wrong to discuss war-guilt from the standpoint that Germany alone could not be held responsible for the outbreak of the catastrophe; it would have been correct to load every bit of the blame on the shoulders of the enemy, even if this had not really corresponded to the true facts, as it actually did. . . .

Volume One, Chapter Ten:
"Causes of the Collapse"

{9}The easiest and hence most widespread explanation of the present misfortune is that it was brought about by the consequences of the lost War and that therefore the War is the cause of the present evil.

{10}There may be many who will seriously believe this nonsense but there are still more from whose mouth such an explanation can only be a lie and conscious falsehood. . . . Didn't these apostles of world conciliation . . . . glorify the benevolence of the Entente, and didn't they shove full blame for the whole bloody struggle on Germany? . . . Will you claim that this was not so, you wretched, lying scoundrels?

{11}It takes a truly Jewish effrontery to attribute the blame for the collapse solely to the military defeat. . . .

{12}The foremost connoisseurs of this truth regarding the possibilities in the use of falsehood and slander have always been the Jews; for after all, their whole existence is based on one single great lie, to wit, that they are a religious community while actually they are a race - - -and what a race! . . .

[The text continues, asserting a connection between Jewish businessmen and the process of industrialization and modernization.]

{13}In proportion as economic life grew to be the dominant mistress of the state, money became the god whom all had to serve and to whom each man had to bow down. More and more, the gods of heaven were put into the corner as obsolete and outmoded, and in their stead incense was burned to the idol Mammon. . . .

{14}Unfortunately, the domination of money was sanctioned even by that authority which should have most opposed it: His Majesty the Kaiser acted most unfortunately by drawing the aristocracy into the orbit of the new finance capital. . . . It was clear that once a beginning had been made in this direction, the aristocracy of the sword would in a short time inevitably be overshadowed by the financial aristocracy. Regarded purely from the standpoint of blood, such a development was profoundly unfortunate: more and more, the nobility lost the racial basis for its existence, and in large measure the designation of 'ignobility' would have been more suitable for it.

{15}A grave economic symptom of decay was the slow disappearance of the right of private property, and the gradual transference of the entire economy to the ownership of stock companies.

{16}Now for the first time labor had sunk to the level of an object of speculation for unscrupulous Jewish business men; the alienation of property from the wage-worker was increased ad infinitum. The stock exchange began to triumph and prepared slowly but surely to take the life of the nation into its guardianship and control. . . .

{17}What food did the German press of the pre-War period dish out to the people? Was it not the worst poison that can even be imagined? Wasn't the worst kind of pacifism injected into the heart of our people at a time when the rest of the world was preparing to throttle Germany, slowly but surely? Even in peacetime didn't the press inspire the minds of the people with doubt in the right of their own state, thus from the outset limiting them in the choice of means for its defense? Was it not the German press which knew how to make the absurdity of 'Western democracy' palatable to our people until finally, ensnared by all the enthusiastic tirades, they thought they could entrust their future to a League of Nations? . . . Did it not ridicule morality and ethics as backward and petty-bourgeois, until our people finally became 'modern'? . . . Did it not belittle the army with constant criticism, sabotage universal conscription, demand the refusal of military credits, etc., until the result became inevitable?

{18}The so-called liberal press was actively engaged in digging the grave of the German people and the German Reich. We can pass by the lying Marxist sheets in silence; to them lying is just as vitally necessary as catching mice for a cat; their function is only to break the people's national and patriotic backbone and make them ripe for the slave's yoke of international capital and its masters, the Jews. . . .

{19}And what did the state do against this mass poisoning of the nation? Nothing, absolutely nothing. A few ridiculous decrees, a few fines for villainy that went too far, and that was the end of it. Instead, they hoped to curry favor with this plague by flattery, by recognition of the 'value' of the press, its 'importance,' its 'educational mission,' and more such nonsense - - -as for the Jews, they took all this with a crafty smile and acknowledged it with sly thanks. . . .

{20}This poison was able to penetrate the bloodstream of our people unhindered and do its work, and the state did not possess the power to master the disease. . . . For an institution which is no longer resolved to defend itself with all weapons has for practical purposes abdicated. Every half-measure is a visible sign of inner decay which must and will be followed sooner or later by outward collapse.

{21}I believe that the present generation, properly led, will more easily master this danger. It has experienced various things which had the power somewhat to strengthen the nerves of those who did not lose them entirely. In future days the Jew will certainly continue to raise a mighty uproar in his newspapers if a hand is ever laid on his favorite nest, if an end is put to the mischief of the press and this instrument of education is put into the service of the state and no longer left in the hands of aliens and enemies of the people. But I believe that this will bother us younger men less than our fathers. A thirty-centimeter shell has always hissed more loudly than a thousand Jewish newspaper vipers-so let them hiss!

Volume One, Chapter Eleven:
"Nation and Race"

{22}Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man. . . .

{23}The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. . . .

{24}Nature looks on calmly, with satisfaction, in fact. In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species' health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.

{25}No more than Nature desires the mating of weaker with stronger individuals, even less does she desire the blending of a higher with a lower race, since, if she did, her whole work of higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, night be ruined with one blow.

{26}Historical experience offers countless proofs of this. It shows with terrifying clarity that in every mingling of Aryan blood with that of lower peoples the result was the end of the cultured people. North America, whose population consists in by far the largest part of Germanic elements who mixed but little with the lower colored peoples, shows a different humanity and culture from Central and South America, where the predominantly Latin immigrants often mixed with the aborigines on a large scale. By this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of racial mixture. The Germanic inhabitant of the American continent, who has remained racially pure and unmixed, rose to be master of the continent; he will remain the master as long as he does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood. . . .

{27}If we pass all the causes of the German collapse in review, the ultimate and most decisive remains the failure to recognize the racial problem and especially the Jewish menace.

{28}The defeats on the battlefield in August, 1918, would have been child's play to bear. They stood in no proportion to the victories of our people. It was not they that caused our downfall; no, it was brought about by that power which prepared these defeats by systematically over many decades robbing our people of the political and moral instincts and forces which alone make nations capable and hence worthy of existence.

{29}The lost purity of the blood alone destroys inner happiness forever, plunges man into the abyss for all time, and the consequences can never more be eliminated from body and spirit.

Volume Two, Chapter Fourteen:
"Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy"

{30}We National Socialists must hold unflinchingly to our aim in foreign policy, namely, to secure for the German people the land and soil to which they are entitled on this earth. And this action is the only one which, before God and our German posterity, would make any sacrifice of blood seem justified: before God, since we have been put on this earth with the mission of eternal struggle for our daily bread, beings who receive nothing as a gift, and who owe their position as lords of the earth only to the genius and the courage with which they can conquer and defend it; and before our German posterity in so far as we have shed no citizen's blood out of which a thousand others are not bequeathed to posterity. The soil on which some day German generations of peasants can beget powerful sons will sanction the investment of the sons of today, and will some day acquit the responsible statesmen of blood-guilt and sacrifice of the people, even if they are persecuted by their contemporaries.

{31}And I must sharply attack those folkish pen-pushers who claim to regard such an acquisition of soil as a 'breach of sacred human rights' and attack it as such in their scribblings. One never knows who stands behind these fellows. But one thing is certain, that the confusion they can create is desirable and convenient to our national enemies. By such an attitude they help to weaken and destroy from within our people's will for the only correct way of defending their vital needs. For no people on this earth possesses so much as a square yard of territory on the strength of a higher will or superior right. Just as Germany's frontiers are fortuitous frontiers, momentary frontiers in the current political struggle of any period, so are the boundaries of other nations' living space. And just as the shape of our earth's Furnace can seem immutable as granite only to the thoughtless soft-head, but in reality only represents at each period an apparent pause in a continuous development, created by the mighty forces of Nature in a process of continuous growth, only to be transformed or destroyed tomorrow by greater forces, likewise the boundaries of living spaces in the life of nations. . . .

{32}But we National Socialists must go further. The right to possess soil can become a duty if without extension of its soil a great nation seems doomed to destruction. And most especially when not some little negro nation or other is involved, but the Germanic mother of life, which has given the present-day world its cultural picture. Germany will either be a world power or there will be no Germany. And for world power she needs that magnitude which will give her the position she needs in the present period, and life to her citizens.

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