One characteristic of Hitler’s style of rule was straightforwardness; he shared his views honestly and had a talent for maintaining diplomacy even when discussing topics for which he felt unbridled passion. In his writings, chronicling his days of poverty as a youth in Vienna, he points out the lack of national pride among the city’s inhabitants, especially his fellow youth, and finds fault in the “bourgeois circles” for expecting such pride to emerge from the masses at their convenience.
Lacking fondness, to put it mildly, toward urban life altogether, in Mein Kampf Hitler hypothesizes a scene characteristic to that era in Germany, in which a young child, crammed in tight quarters, the “narrowness and congestion” of which lead to verbal and physical abuse, becomes “infected with moral poison” practically from birth, setting him on course to long term moral corruption, “national indifference,” and bitterness. He expresses the importance of establishing “healthy social conditions” which would include an educational system that exalts Germany and its historical achievements, arguing the youth lacked the mere opportunity to embrace their nation, as reverence for its history had been tarnished from curriculum of the schools altogether.
Under his rule, the Hitler Youth and League of German Girls were established to further ‘cultivate’ the German youth and “educate [them] so desirable traits were stimulated and undesirable traits suppressed.” The schools of the Reich were also greatly reformed, physical fitness through athletic activity being an essential aspect, as well as the installment of “instinct and will.” Hitler looked down upon so-called “over-education” which created “enemies of action” out of young Germans.
Of course, Hitler recognized the importance of youth to a nation, exemplified by his famous quote: “he alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” But even before the beginning of his involvement in politics, Hitler observed a generation “to whom nothing [was] sacred” during the depression. Young men were spoiled out of the “mysteries of marriage” by prostitutes on the city streets and contracted syphilis at such young ages as fourteen and fifteen. Hitler condemned the worship of money in context to “the mammonizing of [the] natural instinct of procreation,” claiming that it could have the effect of working “havoc on [Germany’s] whole posterity. For instead of strong, healthy children, blessed with natural feelings,” the following generation of Germans would be riddled with “miserable specimens of humanity resulting from economic calculation.”
Fearlessly critical of the Weimar era state, Hitler succinctly explained the proper course of action, as he saw it, and what the result would be if combative action was not taken:
“Those who want seriously to combat prostitution must first of all assist in removing the spiritual conditions on which it thrives. They will have to clean up the moral pollution of our city culture fearlessly and without regard for the outcry that will follow. If we don’t drag our youth out of the morass of their present environment, they will be engulfed by it.”
A loss in World War I culminated in the Treaty of Versailles, signed in Paris in 1919, which hoisted all blame upon the shoulders of Germany, similarly to the end of the Second World War, and also demanded reparations equivalent to “roughly $400 billion in today’s dollars.” A decorated veteran of the war himself, Hitler opposed the notion that their defeat was “in itself a cause” of the state of depression Germany found itself in following the war. Instead, he asserted the loss as “the consequence of other causes” which were longer in the making, claiming ultimately that a healthy nation would reinvigorate even after a military loss, and that “it was not the enemy who brought disgrace upon [Germany] but rather [its] own countrymen.”
It would have been easier to blame those who dictated the terms of the treaty, but it was in the spirit of his future party that Hitler avoided the concept of German victimhood, instead suggesting that German destabilization would be only the fault of its people. Yet, to avoid further destabilization after gaining power, Hitler violated the treaty by developing his military and ceasing to pay reparations. More importantly, in the years leading up to the invasion of Poland in 1939, the regaining of land which has henceforth been referred to as ‘greater Germany-’ that is, historically German land, populated by Germans, occupied by non-Germans under the terms of the Versailles treaty, was an essential undertaking of the National Socialists.
The concept of Lebensraum, meaning ‘living space’ and directly translating to ‘habitat’ was crucial to the Blut und Boden or ‘Blood and Soil’ doctrine of the National Socialists, which exemplified their mission to adhere to the laws of nature as faithfully as possible. Essentially, it highlights the importance of the spiritual connection of a people to a land in spirit, and believes that only in union can this people wield the most prosperity. Hitler believed this to be true not only for Aryans of Germany, but native people of all lands, accusing the “white races” of “impos[ing] their will by force” in the example of the conquest of North America, “giving…those plagues of [Europe’s] own modern world- materialism, fanaticism, alcoholism and syphilis” to the natives there.
Similarly, a Marxist vision for the future is an attempted “conquest of nature:” a classless society working towards “the end of evolutionary struggle” and “the creation of a perfected, egalitarian, and peaceful humanity” which implies that “man would finally be able to transcend his animal origins.” Needless to say, the National Socialists considered this an impossibility. Hitler foretold that “one may defy nature for a certain period of time, but sooner or later she will take her inexorable revenge.”
So, in the practice of adherence to nature, the National Socialists sought to fulfill the concept of Lebensraum initially by uniting greater Germany, especially that which was lost in the Versailles treaty, and later by expanding the Reich as the war got underway for all Nordic peoples, or ‘Aryans,’ those with blood by which the soil thrives, so to speak. And while theoretically, the coinciding of race and nation was prevalent, an overwhelming majority of the peoples of the lands in question wished to reunite with Germany as well. In 1938, for example, 99.73% of Austrians voted in favor of merging with the Reich under Hitler, with similar sentiments expressed from Sudetenland, which had a German population of 90%.
Similarly to his views on art, being that the inferior quality of modern art enables the mass-production of it, Hitler noticed the greater rate in which so-called ‘inferior races’ reproduced, and thus Lebensraum under the Reich was the key to a safe space in which Aryan families could thrive. The family, in the traditional sense, is the backbone of any orderly society, and so traditional gender roles were venerated. Before his emergence to power, Hitler advocated for assuring the ability to marry young, and through his youth groups sought to refine young men and women in the image of traditionalism and ultimate health. But before the individual, National Socialism prioritizes the collective group, and in racial terms cares only for the blood of the nation to remain as pure, that is, unmixed with other races, as possible.
Yet, the concept of racial purity is not exclusively imperative to National Socialists, nor in the interest solely of Aryan peoples; while responsible for the first anti-smoking campaigns, the Third Reich was also the first regime to enact policies for the rights of animals and the preservation of nature. During the 6-year process of constructing Hitler’s extensive highway system, the Autobahn, it was seen to “that the new road system did not unnecessarily destroy either the German landscape, or wildlife habitats and forests.”
Moreover, because the National Socialists believed that the practice of racial purity in effect benefits the land, in that a pure race is most in touch with its Lebensraum, it was thereby implied that nature would reflect the purity of the people which it cradles. Notice the circularity of this cycle, and likewise the circularity of the changing seasons, and furthermore that of the pan-European worldview, and behold, the Swastika: the circular symbol adopted by the National Socialists.
In his speech at Nuremberg, Hitler said National Socialism is “not a movement for worship,” yet in the same speech practically contradicts himself, claiming there is indeed a point of worship for the National Socialists, and that is nature, “the divine laws of existence so far as they are known to us men,” proclaiming thereafter a mission statement for his regime, being “the courageous fulfillment of the duties arising from those laws.” This was his way of giving National Socialism God’s blessing, so to speak, as every nation banded under an ideology requires, in one way or another, to persist.
Yet, National Socialism was not a Christian movement. In fact, Hitler, later on in his life, separated himself from what was once a more assured Christian faith. Although many prominent National Socialists called themselves Christians, it seems any positive reference to Christ was but a reference to morality itself, as it had sort of manifested itself in Christ’s name over the centuries. Furthermore, some leaders in the party, or men with close affiliation to the party’s rise, namely Heinrich Himmler, commander in chief of the SS (the ‘protection squadron’ of the N.S.D.A.P.), Alfred Rosenberg, Dietrich Eckhart, and others, were anti-Christian and also members of the proto-National Socialist Thule Gesellschaft, a group with occult leanings which esteemed Indo-European religion and its relation with rural communities among Nordic peoples of antiquity. And, as revealed in private monologues published after the war’s end (as well as being quite evident in his rhetoric on nature), Hitler himself deemed Christianity “the worst repression that mankind could ever have undergone,” considering its practice “a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.”
The “doctrine of racial equality” and race-mixing is naturally welcomed by the Christian worldview, in that a person of any race could (and should, according to Christians) adhere to Christian teachings, and thereby become a Christian. Since clearly Hitler’s religious ponderings were in the interest of Aryans, perhaps the “unhealthiness” of the Christian worldview he detested, and which did indeed clash with the values of National Socialism, were the beginnings of a search for a religion which fit more accordingly with the concepts of Lebensraum and racial purity. After all, Christianity does indeed sprout from the same Abrahamic root of Judaism. Taking into account National Socialists’ condemnation of Judaism in general, it makes sense that a pamphlet of the SS, dated 1943, would admittedly state that “the Nordic spirit is struggling to free itself from the chains that the Church and the Jews have imposed on Germandom.”
But, in the midst of war, National Socialism would never evolve to having a defined approach to religion. Presumably, had more succinct effort been taken, the philosophy of the Thule Gesellschaft would have been recalled resulting in a ‘pagan’ (non-Abrahamic) revival reflective of that of the Indo-Europeans, from whom the Swastika was adopted, being a symbol that was used across Europe during antiquity (as well as by Hindus and Native Americans) and by the Thule Gesellschaft before its dissolution.
The rise of National Socialism and its rural “Volkisch” philosophy rekindled a floundering German spirit in 1933. It built the foundation, by summoning the Indo-European gods of nature and their symbols, the runes and the swastika, for its early success in war and its prosperity on the home front. With Hitler’s defeat, however, the victorious ideologies of the war, American ‘democracy,’ capitalism, and communism, and their leaders, have demonized racialism and even German identity to the point where ethnic and cultural masochism isn’t uncommon in Germany, or any other white, Western nation for that matter.
A note on racial policy:
If Hitler was indeed an ‘Aryan supremacist,’ could the same not be said of Theodore Roosevelt for Anglo-Saxons, or Malcom X for Africans? “Pride in one’s own race – and that does not imply contempt for other races” Hitler said, in his last testament, “is… a normal and healthy sentiment.” Does a desire for racial purity, or merely homogeneity in a nation not exist in any racially conscious individual, especially Jews, whose citizenship requirements for Israel is racial? And could one not infer that so-called ‘racial supremacists’ of sound mind and reason would accept the reality of differing qualities among races, that is to say, each race has their own strengths and weaknesses? Is not every race ultimately superior/privileged in their own Lebensraum, their respective environments, climates, et cetera? Varg Vikernes makes the analogy of polar bears and brown bears, and how a polar bear would be at a disadvantage in the forest, and vice verca. If the brown bear was to mix with the polar bear, its offspring would be less likely to thrive in both environments. Could not similar notions be applied to man? Such is the racial doctrine of National Socialism; it promotes the well being and purity of the races in the respective races’ natural habitat.
Sources (for Parts I and II):
Beat Müller. “Austria, 10 April 1938: Connection to the German Reich.” Database and search engine for direct democracy. Accessed May 6, 2017. http://www.sudd.ch/event.php?lang=en&id=at011938.
Gasman, Daniel. The Scientific Origins of National Socialism. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Company, 1971.
Goebbels, Joseph. “German Propaganda Archive.” Edited by Randall Bytwerk. German Propaganda Archive.
Hitler, Adolf. “Hitler Speech on Art- September 1938.” World Future Fund. Accessed May 6, 2017. http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster.
———. “The Last Testament of Adolf Hitler.” Edited by L. Craig Fraser. Archive.org. Accessed May 6, 2017. https://archive.org/stream/TheTestamentOfAdolfHitler/TOAH_djvu.txt.
———. My Struggle. Translated by James Murphy. N.p.: White Wolf, 2014.
“Julius Evola Lost Interview with Subtitles.” Video file. YouTube. Posted May 29, 2015. Accessed May 6, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiCtdi5nCoA.
Mosse, George L., comp. Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural, and Social Life in the Third Reich. Translated by Salvator Attanasio. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966.
Schmidt, Hans. “Living in Hitler’s Germany.” Accessed May 6, 2017. http://der-fuehrer.org/bucher/english/Living%20in%20Hitlers%20Germany.htm.
Steigmann-Gall, Richard. The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity 1919-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Treaty of Versailles 1919.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005425.