The book runs over 400 pages. I’ve translated the sections I think most interesting. I include page numbers in brackets occasionally as a help to those who might be interested in the material I omit. The map is of Starnberg County.
Buchner was born in 1898 and served in the army in World War I. He was elected to the German Reichstag in 1933, and served until 1944. He was also mayor of Starnberg. He ran into some sort of difficulty with the party in 1944 and was disciplined, losing his Reichstag seat. He died in 1967. Should any reader know more about him, I’d be interested.
The source: Franz Buchner, Kamerad! Halt aus! Aus der Geschichte des Kreises Starnberg der NSDAP. (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1938).
The beginning!“Munich, 27 February 1925. Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the National Socialists, spoke yesterday at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich for the first time since his release from Landsberg Prison on the occasion of the refoundation of the NSDAP.” It was as if the flames burst forth. Finally!
Five lines of type in the corner of an insignificant newspaper, surrounded by trivial news items. That was all that a bourgeois “patriotic” newspaper had to say about the beginning of a new era in world history. Naturally!
But the time had come.
A House in StarnbergIn a tiny kitchen of the attic apartment on Zweigstr. 1/III in Starnberg, three hopeless dreamers gathered together. The short civil servant, and Max the paperhanger with the wartime nickname Germansky, who was lively, heated, and impatient in the face of any other political opinion. The third was Gustl, the mason, always cheerful and joking. All three had served at the front; one had been in the Freikorps under Epp, the other two were former “Oberländer.” None was as yet 27 years old. All three were S.A. men, members of Company 8 of the former Munich S.A. regiment, and each had been in the march of 9 November 1923.
These three dreamers fanaticized about founding a local group of the National Socialists!
“It has to be done!”
“You and you and me that’s three men already!” “Steingrübl from Schmalzhof and Honsberg from Buchhof have been SA men since 1922. They’ll join in. And there is Pöhlemann Max too. And Professor Schmittt, and your brother...”
“It has to be done! By God and by Hitler, nothing is impossible!”
“...Well, don’t smoke so much if you want me to sew your flag ... my eyes are watering in this cloud of smoke.”
“Woman, wife, mother! There has to be a flag! Certainly!”
“The old battle flag vanished after 9 November 1923.”
“OK, cigarettes out! Open the window!”
It is warm outside, in March.
A warm wind blows over the mountains and across the lake. It rages and bellows against the shore, as if it wanted break through the granite banks. It wants to bring spring to Germany.
“Money?... Others have it! Besides, it’s secondary. We need men! The comrades from 1923, the old gang...!”
“But we have to have posters and leaflets.”
“...They’re still in the back room, a thick stack of them from 9 November 1923. They are still up-to-date.”
9 November 1923. The day that keeps coming back, to always remember, an eternal admonition, the day of revenge. One starts to hum a melody. We must have sung it 400 times with the old SA Regiment Munich before 9 November:
- “Comrade, give me your hand,
- We will stand together loyally...
- The spirit may not perish!
- Swastika and Stahlhelm,
- Black-white-red band,
- We are Hitler’s Storm Troops.”
“Hitler will lead us out of our misery.”Hitler! No one else on earth can do it... A moment of silence... Lord, thank you for giving him to the world... Adolf Hitler! No, we are not lost! We live!...
“Meeting posters?...” Max asks.
“We’ll have to write them ourselves and hang them.”
“No! Listen! National Socialist posters have to be blood red and neatly printed.”
“Yes, and we need a big newspaper ad!”
“Sure! And the money?”
“We’ll find it.”
“You think God will give it to us?”
“No, We’ll pull together a few marks ourselves and get the rest from the old gang. I know a few who will help us...!”
“If they want to...!”
“And a meeting place? I tell you, nobody will rent us a room after the fight with the “Völkischer Block” during the period the party was banned.” “The ‘Völkisher Block’ was really a parliamentary block.”
“Your Greater German People’s Community, the cause of the stink you had with the ‘Völkischer Block,’ has also entered its eternal rest,” teased Gustl.
“Remember the people who led it, old Nazis... Rosenberg, Schwarz, Streicher, Esser, and Rolf Eidhalt...”
“The great unknown... !”
Who knows who was behind that pseudonym? The letters could be changed to make “Adolf Hitler” out of “Rolf Eidhalt.” One side gave its directives and rulings out, while the other side maintained that it alone was the true representative of the Hitler spirit. No one knew what was right, whom one should believe, who was really working on Hitler’s orders.
“Enough! Don’t start all that again! Stop the debate! Hitler is here again!”
“I’ll ask the owner of the Unterbräu about a room. Maybe he’ll let us in.”
“Promise him We’ll hold all our mass meetings there... That’s something!”
We were thinking of the period before 9 November 1923, when our meetings drew hundreds of people — and still had no idea how cowardly people were when the crowd was smaller, how cautious when the path looked long.
“We have to send out invitations ... printed ones ... through the mail...”
“You’re dreaming! In fact, you’re crazy. Meir in the district office will have to mimeograph meeting notices in the office after closing time. He’ll be able to get it done without being caught. He’s an old member of the Munich Regiment.”
“Leave it to me! I’ll get him to do it!”
“We’ll deliver them ourselves to every mailbox, every house, every shop. That way We’ll get everyone and save the postage.”
“We’ll invite the old gang personally. They’ll surely all come.”
“But it looks better if they get it in the mail. Maybe some bourgeois chap or another will come, and we can give him a good punch.” Maxl grinned.
The bourgeois to him was the embodiment of the worthless. And the thought was attractive. We knew those fine chaps who hung out the Swastika flags on the morning of 9 November 1923, but that evening, as the revolution was gunned down at the Feldherrnhalle by the treason of the traitor Kahr, did not know anything about it...
It would be fun to show these weather vanes that the wind was again blowing in the right direction, and to get back at the smirking Marxists, who believed we were dead, by waving our birth announcement in their faces.
Good Lord! Adolf Hitler reestablished the party only eight days ago, and we are thinking of founding a local group of the NSDAP to promote Adolf Hitler’s ideas, to win people for his movement and its goals.
But we were not thinking of that. We wanted to fight against everything we hated: cowardice, subordination, surrender and all their consequences. We wanted to show that all to our fellow citizens. We wanted to rouse them from their ease, from their comfort, from their indifferent satisfaction. No one should be satisfied, at least as long as such conditions prevailed in Germany — least of all the Jew.
“We need a speaker for our meeting!”
“Right! A speaker has to be there. Maybe...”
“Hitler...!” Gustl bursts out.
We quickly return to reason.
That was a dream.
“He will come!”
“He won’t come!”
“He will come!”
“First we have to prove we can do something on our own, then we might be able to...”
“Good Lord! We need a big meeting. We need a big gun!”
“Maybe Julius Streicher, or Adolf Wagner, or Hermann Esser?”
“I’ll write the party office in Munich. The office is Thierstraße 15. They must have a few big guns! And membership applications!”
The fine people of Starnberg will be astonished when those swastika chaps rise from the dead.
As we went our separate ways that evening, we certainly did not yet know that every reasonable citizen would think that our idea to found a local group of the National Socialist German Workers Party was complete insanity. Our wretched little group was that unreasonable...
At 7 p.m., the three of us where there ... but no one else.
The pub keeper had shown backbone, despite covert and open boycott threats.
The new flag was hanging in the room. How small it looked. It had looked much larger back home in the kitchen...The leaflets are here. “The membership applications?” “Yup, 200 of them.” “Think that’ll be enough?”
Here they are:
- Franz Buchner, employee in the surveyor’s office
- Max Ederer, paperhanger
- Gustl Urban, mason’s apprentice
- Max Pöhlemann, cigarette shop owner
- Peter Schweizer, attorney
- Toni Weiß, pilot
- Georg Marx, bookbinder
- Josef Pfister, plumber
- Franz Schmitt, teacher
- Ludwig Fleck, official
- Robert Offenwanger, gauger
- Brunner, professor
- Georg Froschhammer, owner of “Zum Unterbräu”
Shaking the Führer’s hand for the first time[p. 55] “Party comrade Matthias Mann, Rosenheim, stabbed by communists,” the “Völkischer Beobachter” reported on 29 June 1925.
Shortly thereafter, party comrade Hermann Esser, Gauleiter of Upper Bavaria, called a conference in Rosenheim. Perhaps...
In the afternoon, local group leaders meet. Party comrades Julius Streicher, who will speak at the following meeting, and party comrade Josef Rigauer, local group leader in Rosenheim, take part.
It’s a little room a round table and an even dozen men, just as many local group leaders as Gau Upper Bavaria has.
Suddenly Adolf Hitler appears.
He goes to each man, shaking his hand.
There are things one cannot explain, cannot describe.
But ever since that day, this is how it is:
The first thought every morning is about my new life. Throughout the day, I never stop thinking about him. In the evening, my last thoughts are of the Führer. Sometimes he meets us in our dreams. And when one awakens, all the dreamers say: Too bad....! It is that way for each Nazi if not, he isn’t one!
The Führer spoke. For hours I sat across from him, eye to eye, only six feet away. I was never that near to him before.
You have given this man your life, sworn allegiance to him.
He has hard times in his past...
People call him a fool and a dreamer, and much more.
But what you say is true, Adolf Hitler:
“Struggle is the father of all things!”
“The war is behind us, the battle before us!”
“You must march alone, with only the flag before you!”
That is hard and difficult, but we are proud of it...
“This banner will one day be the flag of the new Reich.”
One day? ... It will come!
“Resistance is not there to capitulate to, but to break!”
Never forget that! Even if things seem hopeless, fight!
“We know that it will be decisive for the history of the nation for us to introduce our sixty-five million people spiritually and inwardly to the ideas of National Socialism.” Sixty-five million National Socialists ... wonderful, fantastic, this goal.
“The fall and rebirth of a people depends not on a good or a bad economic program, but on the strength or weakness of that people’s worldview.”
“Here, too, the majority cannot replace the man, for not only is it a representative of stupidity, but also cowardice. Just as a hundred idiots do not make one wise man, a hundred cowards can never make a courageous decision.”
“A movement that in the age of the majority holds to the principle of leadership and responsibility will one day with mathematical certainty overcome existing conditions and emerge victorious.”
With mathematical certainty ... emerge victorious ... When makes no difference! We believe in Adolf Hitler, and in his victory!
Therefore we follow you, and your struggle is our struggle and your fate shall be our fate.
Stories from the County’s ActivistsBattling with foreign worlds.
The wife: “It’s 9 p.m. again! Every day you come in so late... You only come home to eat. Whom were you talking to today?”
The husband: “A guest, an old Marxist. Mind you, one without blinders, open, but without faith... We started at the corner, continued for a long walk, and ended up in his kitchen. I’ve got his attention. I want to fight for the soul of this German worker.”
The guest: “Soul? I don’t have a soul nor any money.”
The husband: “You have more than that, my friend, you have yourself and your labor.”
The guest: “My labor? Capitalism exploits that. I’m only a serf.”
The husband: “Ah!
What has become of the sixty-year battle against capitalism that you’ve fought with words? You, millions of German workers, and your leaders. Today, fate has given the power of the state to you who have proclaimed the battle against capitalism. But now that your leaders have political power, what have they done?
Have they done all they can to destroy capitalism?
The very opposite! They have given the nation’s economy a death blow and invited international capital in. The astonishing thing is that these same men who formerly wanted nothing to do with capitalism are the same people who travel to Geneva, to Genoa, to London, etc., to sit at a conference table and decide the fates of peoples, though not with ministers of state, but rather with bankers.
Look around! A pile of international bankers come together to discuss the fates of nations, this at a time when capitalism supposedly has been broken. They sit down to negotiate with Herr [a Russian politician], with the gentlemen from Moscow.
They are the real rulers of the world! That is the result of the battle you’ve fought for sixty years!
When we consider the fate of the German nation today, we don’t ask: What do the sovereign German people think, but rather what does the New York Stock Exchange say, what does London think, what do the big bankers think, what does the press of those big bankers think? That is what is important! An entire people has to do what they wish, what they want, all under the sign of a social republic, a social revolution. And you have fallen for their bluff!”
The guest: “I fight capitalism wherever I see it. I don’t care who it is.”
The husband: “don’t get excited. Light a cigarette and listen to me. There is a difference between national economic capital and international loan capital.
Your hands are a kind of capital. The needle and scissors that a tailor needs are capital. The machines in your factory, milling machines, lathes, drill presses, engines.
Factory capital! You also need company capital to buy raw materials, lights, transportation, and everything else. Just as the tailor must buy material to make your suit.
There is one thing you can do, one thing you can say: ‘I don’t want the plant, the factory, or the company to remain in the hands of Mr. So-and-So. But you cannot fight national economic capital, since that is what gives you work and food.
Destroy the machines?
That’s what they did in Soviet Russia! Then what? One has to replace what one has destroyed. One has to borrow for the “community” factory. The communist factory needs the same things: plant and operating capital, machines, and money.
Now let’s look at the second kind of capital: international loan capital. The first form of capital is dependent on the size and strength of a state. It rises or falls with the growth or collapse of that state. Loan capital depends only on a mathematical formula. Neither genius nor labor create loan capital. An example: Take two people. Each as a million in cash. One uses it for plant and operating capital. He puts his capital into a factory. He builds a restaurant. If the man is unable to lead it, the firm goes bankrupt despite his million. The other man with a million does not use it productively, but rather lends it out. He is freed of the need for personal intelligence, for personal effort. He can be an idiot, he can be lazy. Still, within one year, his million brings fifty thousand marks in interest, whether he is clever or not. In ten years, he gets a half a million, in twenty years he has doubled his capital. It grow and grows forever, no matter how dumb he is.
That is the difference. The state has power over the crooks and fools who control national capital, but not over the crooks and criminals of international capital, for international capital is controlled by a specific race, namely Jewry.”
The guest: “Well, that brings us back to your favorite topic, the Jews. There are decent Jews, though. I myself know... ”
The husband: “Stop! Comrade! By saying that, you grant that the majority of Jews are not decent, but ‘indecent.’”
The guest: “Well, are there not many Christian Jews among us?”
The husband: “My friend, this single sentence destroys your case! Why don’t you ask if there are not Jewish Christians?”
The guest: “There are Christians who are as bad as the Jews.”
The husband: “Then you admit that this spirit of decay has also infected us. If you say that there are also Christian Jews, you admit that we are gradually sinking down to their level.”
The guest: “The Jew is just as much a person as you or I.”
The husband: “Not exactly, dear friend. First, his nature is visible in his appearance. One can’t tell by looking whether one of us is Protestant, Catholic, or Baptist. But with the Chosen People, one can smell their religious beliefs. You find Jews only in very specific professions, not where you work. You have never seen one in a mine, or at a lathe, or behind a workbench.”
The guest: “Well, maybe he is smarter.”
The husband: “He is no smarter than you. There is an entirely different reason. The Jew has no sense of the meaning of “work.” Imagine this: What if we Germans one day got sick of the Jews and we all moved to Palestine, leaving the Jews here alone.
What would happen? The Jew would not suddenly have a desire to work, running to the workbenches, dashing into the mines to find and shovel coal. No, when the last German had left he would look around at what the Germans had left. The Chosen People would grow quiet and worried. They would ask if ’something could be done,’ not by working in the mines or factories, but whether one could sell things. Maybe someone or another needs something... The Jew once again becomes a warm-hearted soul, sneaking into the system, innocent and patient. Only when things have gotten better for us does he step in to plunder the people anew. It has been that way for centuries and millenia! Read what it says in Genesis 47:11 and after: Genesis 47:11-27 is cited, the story of Joseph in Egypt.
That’s how it always is... “
The guest: “You call yourself a worker’s party, but you have members who are officers, barons, and the like. We workers do all the work. And work is humanity’s curse.”
The husband: “My dear friend, be happy that you can work. Without work, without something to do, life would not be worth living. Listen! By work, we mean something that benefits the individual without harming others; in a broader sense, we mean something that benefits the doer, as well as everyone else. If a person works without taking into consideration the good of his fellow human beings, we deny that he is working in the true sense... What do you think? Anyone who sweats is working, anyone else not?
We ask a different question: ‘Whom does his work benefit? The man who builds a safe sweats as he builds it, but the man who breaks into it during the night sweats just as much, maybe even more. However, we do not say that both have worked, that both are workers. Instead, we say that the one is a worker, the other is a thief, a criminal.
We distinguish between people who create to serve those around them, and those who work only for themselves, without any regard for their fellow human beings. For the Aryan, the concept of labor is inextricably tied to an ideal. We cannot imagine work that was not connected to an ideal.”
The guest: “Well, I don’t notice any ideals when I’m working.”
The husband: “My friend, you will never notice it. What millions do without noticing it is in reality something idealistic. You are a locksmith, someone else a backer or a tailor. He who stands at a workbench, at a carpenter’s bench, the switchman, the technician, or whoever it is, he who does his duty conscientiously, is an idealist. If instead of working, he were to rob, steal, swindle, or cheat, he would make more money. He who steals, cheats, swindles, however, is not the one who is smart enough, but the one who has too little idealism.”
The guest: “But the Jews are known for their industry and work.”
The husband: “That’s what you think? Look, there are thousands who slave and toil and next to them sits one who also works and toils, but only with a scissors in his hands to cut the coupons. On the one side we see millions of people who work every day without ever being able to hope for material prosperity. On the other side, a person sits who has earned millions through a single speculation. Do you call him a worker?”
The guest: “Well, he probably also has his troubles.”
The husband: “Sure, he will say that it takes effort to find out how to get so much money... ‘I can’t rest for weeks until I succeed in such a financial coup... I think aboiut it day and night, I have to be figuring all the time in order to get my neighbor’s cash... I have no time for pleasure, no time to enjoy nature — try business yourself.’ Well, you can’t call that work. Work is a noble activity.”
The guest: “You plan to chase him away if you ever came to power?”
The husband: “We will enforce our laws on foreigners, since he is of a foreign race, because the Jew is a parasite who has always enriched himself from his host peoples. The Jew has never had his own state. The fw Rifkabylen have their own state, but not the Jew. Only the Jew is international. He roots himself in every people in order to rule them more easily.”
The guest: “Even if everything you say is true, what can the Jew do about the way he is?”
The husband: “No more than the tiger can do about the fact that he eats people. That doesn’t mean I’m obligated to let myself be eaten, however, just because he needs to eat. The eternal law of nature applies here: what succeeds lives, what is too cowardly does not. If one is lazy, one starves. Nature does not demand that you let yourself be enslaved. Nature builds not on the weak, but on strength. People who lack the strength to maintain themselve may step aside. Either someone else will come or nothing will follow them.”
The guest: “One might almost believe you. If only your racial hatred were absent... People are all equal, after all. It doesn’t matter what they look like. Everything with a human face is human.”
The husband: “I’ll grant you that anything with a human face is human... But you have to grant that everything with a human face is not equally human. One person isn’t the same as the other.”
The guest: “No, a person is a person, a dog is a dog.”
The husband: “No doubt about that. Something with dog’s ears and snout is a dog. But in some circumstances, one dog is not the same as another dog.
For example, I can’t chase a rabbit with a dachshund, or set a greyhound after a badger, and a poodle is easier to train than a pug. There are differences between dogs.”
The guest: “But a human being is a human being.”
The husband: “Sure. But there is always a difference between individual humans. For example, some in New Zeeland still live in trees and climb around a lot, in contrast to a European who walks on two legs and doesn’t live in trees, but rather walks on streets.”
The guest: “That has to do with the climate.”
The husband: “If all the Europeans left and were replaced with New Zeelanders, you proably wouldn’t expect that the climate would make Europeans of them. And were you to move to New Zeeland, you would hardly claim that the climate made you climb trees and scurry around on all fours. If I place two people in identical circumstances, they will not use those resources in exactly the same way. If I put two people in the middle of the street and confront them with the same danger, one will save himself, the other will perish. They are not identical. There is a difference.
The fine differences we see between people of the same blood become far greater with we cross the boundaries of blood. History often teaches us that the climate of a land has stayed the same, but people have changed. We can see that in ancient Egypt... ”So it went until deep into the night. And again the next day. For weeks, months, years, the struggle for the individual soul continued.
The ProfessorHis propaganda methods too had a personal touch. Franz Schmitt was his name. The terror of all relaxation-seeking people of the area, summer guests, and strollers.
He carried a bundle of newspapers, the “Völkischer Beobachter” and the “Stürmer,” in his coat pocket. He’d sit on the promenade. He’d grab hold of friends and strangers and accompany them for hours with stubborn determination. He didn’t let his victims escape without admitting that the Jew was our misfortune. Attempts to escape? Fruitless. He’d run ahead and get in the way of those who didn’t know him, or grab them by the collar.
He followed suspected Hitler supporters into the café. Over a cup of Hag his heart couldn’t take any more, and his pension was very, very small — he would argue every objection into the ground with an angel’s patience.
He was stubborn in representing this idea, and impatient with all enemies of the movement, faithful and true to the Führerone in a hundred thousand.
Those who still march will never forget you, Professor!
The “Winter Break”[p. 90] Work during the day, in the evening a battle for souls and hearts, man-to-man struggles. Leaflets distributed, propaganda marches with six, seven, eight S.S. men, advertising for the “Völkischer Beobachter” and the “Stürmer,” and again trips to Munich to protect meetings.
We were unable to hold as many meetings in the little town as we wanted.
But discussion evenings, we needed more and better ones, and before Christmas.
Each party comrade was obliged to bring at least one guest. The December discussion evening had an attendance twice that of the local membership. Everyone had brought along his girl or wife!
That wasn’t quite what we meant!
People had excuses.
“Well, Advent is a bad time...”
“Every club has its Christmas party...”
“The Veteran’s Association is putting on a patriotic play ... at the end field gray is transformed by red light and calls out to fate: ‘Lord, make us free!’ Yeah, he’ll end up in the dust if he doesn’t do something himself...”
“And then the choir sings: Silent Night, Holy Night, Everything sleeps...”
Yes, they are sleeping — but Jewry is awake!
We don’t sing that song. Our people is enslaved — we must shout into the silent night: Germany, awake!
A meeting hall battleMonday Special delivery!
“SS Order! Urgent! 31 March 1926. Meeting hall guard duty! Large meeting at the Hackerkeller in Munich! Be there...
Leave the paper-hanging job site and the surveyor’s office at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m., SS men Ederer and Buchner join with SS Sturm Munich directly in front of the speaker’s platform.
The atmosphere is tense.
Two thousand people ... At least 500 communists at the back left of the hall. The atmosphere is explosive.
Julius Streicher leads the meeting.
A Russian German, Professor Gregor Schwarz-Bostinnitsch from Odessa, speaks on the topic “My Experiences in the Hell of the Soviet Union.” He was twice tortured by the Cheka, escaping the death chamber the third time, deaf in both ears.
...They slaughtered nuns, cut them apart, threw them in a pot and cooked them for soup and the remaining nuns were forced to eat it... The specialty of Rosa, the glove maker: she sliced the skin of the wrists of her victims and forced them to put their hands in boiling oil. One could peel the skin from their hands like a glove... They sawed the tops of the skulls of priests and monks, and forced their brothers to drink from them... They slit open the stomachs of farmers and women, pulled out a stretch of intestine and nailed it to a tree. Then they forced them to run around the tree until they pulled the rest out... They made decorations for former officers out of their own skin...
For about an hour everything was calm. Suddenly, from the center of the communist mob, a mocking laugh and an interruption.
Julius Streicher stood up, walked next to the speaker, who since he was deaf, kept talking. “One moment, please!” and stopped the speaker.
“Who laughed? The heckler should stand up! Who laughed? The dog has to leave!”
No one moves ... The pause before the storm ... Then the command: SS, step forward!”
A line heads toward the Bolshevist mob to throw out the troublemaker.
The battle begins.
A hailstorm descends on the death’s head caps. Chairs, mugs, glasses, bottles, jugs, ashtrays fill the air.
But on we go into the red mob.
Without shouting, almost silently, the first rows of the enemy are beaten down.
The commune piles table on table seeking cover.
Instantly, chair legs break over criminal skulls.
At the second blow, the red horde begins to crumble. Some give up and run out the door. Whole clumps find themselves in the hands of the waiting SA The commune is beaten down without pity. Dozens are lying on the ground.
“Terror from the left can be broken only by still greater terror.”
The rest are seized and carried out by their arms and legs through the side doors. They are tossed onto the street and slide down the pavement.
By the time the cops show up with their truncheons, it’s all over. Within five minutes, peace prevails in the hall.
While the twenty or so injured and bleeding comrades are carried off, the Frankenführer [Streicher] returns the floor to the speaker... It is about 11 p.m.
We have to run to catch the last train to Starnberg. Take leave and off to the station. We don’t have any protection. The square outside is thick with people.
Squads of Moscow’s hirelings on every corner. In each side street. The commune is gathering! Hateful looks at our brown shirts.
At the Holzkirchner Station next to the tunnel to Arnulfstraße, a rolling commando group of the Muscovites. Probably thirty strong.
“Fascist dogs! Worker killers! Capitalist lackeys!”
Maxl is not very cautious. “What don’t you like? Speak up!”
He can’t keep his mouth shut.
I take a look back... the dark mob is in motion. Like a bloodthirsty animal, it is following us through the long, dark tunnel. They are coming!
“Hey, what do you have with you?”
“A handkerchief, that’s all.”
Max fingers his steel rod, curses the men following us, and that he doesn’t have anything else along. We don’t look back, but listen and go calmly forward.
Suddenly ... soft, quick steps ... a whistle. The attack! March, march!
Behind and to the side, two columns. Like lightning, they move forward across the tracks. They want to cut us off... If we run, we can still make it through. But after 30 feet, Maxl suddenly grabs his rod, spins, and yells “Police!”
Before I can stop, they are on him, two dozen, probably. They’ll smash him like a bug if you don’t help...
I raise my fist toward the mob and yell: “Stop or I’ll shoot!”
Surprised, they let their victim drop, and Maxl slips out between their legs and starts running.
The commune is after us ... down the streets ... through the empty train station ... up to the platform.
Only as we sit in the departing train, out of breath and dripping sweat, are we safe.
“Comrade, you’re bleeding!”
Blood streams down his temples. It sticks to his wet and disorderly hair ... a long, narrow and shallow wound ... a knife wound. Good that we had a bandage along.
Party comrade Bauer spoke about the Dawes Plan. At the end of his speech, he opened a discussion period. The younger of the two men at a nearby table, both unknown to us, stood up.
Some troublemaker was going to destroy the impression the speech had made.
The first sentence seemed to confirm that expectation.
The discussion speaker began:
“My dear racial comrades! I have nothing against what the speaker has said. I want to add only one thing. You, Mr. Bauer, presumably base your speech on ‘The Dawes Plan’ by Fritz Reinhardt?”
“Yes!” It’s mine. My name is Reinhardt!”
This Fritz Reinhardt now spoke for more than an hour on the subject of the evening. With astonishment and enthusiasm we listened to the knowledge of a man who must have been one of us for a long time...
Just two years later, he was our Gauleiter. We know him, we who crisscrossed the area with him, preached with him, fought alongside him. None of the old guard of the Gau will forget him, for he was our comrade. As in war. And that was wonderful...
A curious event: The speaker thanked the discussion speaker for his remarks and concluded by asking him if he would be willing to found a local group.
Nearly all those present signed up. A local group with the first try! That happens at most once in a thousand meetings.
Days later news that the meeting in Oberalting on the same day was a flop. Not a single new member! That is the rule...
Nuremberg... !August 1927! For the first time, the Reich Party Rally is in Nuremberg, the old German imperial city.
Julius did it — despite Luppe, Guggenheimer, and comrades!
A year ago when Julius Streicher spoke in Starnberg, the “Reichsjammer Black-Red-Gold” was marching about the noble city The “Reich Bananas” disfigured the Luitpoldhain and these fine examples of Jewry’s protectors mutually blessed each other as defenders of democracy. The once “red” Nuremberg had been regained. To “reconquer” it had been the goal of the Reichbanner’s August 1926 national gathering in August 1926...
Today, Adolf Hitler is lord of the city!
Never before had the city seen the likes of it, even though much had happened within its walls ... How the old gables bent down and listened, awakened from centuries of sleep, the whisperings and cracklings, stretching, watching ... Germany was awakening! Bright flags against the blue sky ... columns marching .. trumpets blowing ... horns playing the old marches for hours ... the endless thunder of the marching brown battalions ... cheers rising above the rooftops ... Adolf Hitler and his comrades are covered in a hail of flowers. . .
As SS men, we had the good fortune to stand right next to Adolf Hitler’s car, to see how thirty thousand men in brown shirts greeted their Führer! Comrades from the Ruhr, mining lamps in their raised fists ... Real workers? ...
“Nonsense,” the Reds say.
“...only different caps,” the bourgeois say.
Berlin! The banned SA men from Berlin! “Despite the ban, not dead!”
Thirty thousand march ... five times as many as a year ago in Weimar.
Thirty thousand ... only a number .. but listen! Hear the rhythm of a hundred thousand footsteps? ... Battle! And battle! and battle! and battle! and...
Hear the drone of a million-fold will? ... Win! Win! Win! Win!
It is fascinating!
One’s throat catches ... Something unimaginably marvelous is happening: Germany is awakening! You poor devil who can’t experience Germany’s resurrection!
Soon! Soon a storm will break over Germany and the rotten gates of your state will give way ... We drove you out of Weimar last year and out of Nuremberg this year, and we will do the same everywhere in Germany!
At midnight, Adolf Hitler visits our quarters. The SS assembles in a square. Adolf Hitler goes down the rows and greets his men. He shakes each hand. We’ll let ourselves be torn to pieces for his sake ... and you don’t understand!
Eight Starnbergers are there: Buchner, Ederer, Urban, Grübl, Schmid, Steingrübl, Horner and Hofmann. Our hearts filled with pride and joy, we head back home ... We want to move the world!
DrillsThe members of local group Starnberg were invited to a special discussion evening on 22 February 1928. The invitation announced “drills.” For our opponents, that meant hand grenades, blood and bombs.
Our plan, however, was the party program.
No one knew it by heart, (I fear that they still do not today.)
“What do we mean by the concept of ‘race’?”
Answer: “Jews, Negroes, and Chinese!”
“What by capitalism?” ... “Those are the ones who have the most money!”
“Freemasonry?” ... “Dreaming members of secret societies and Christians gone crazy!”
“Marxism?” ... “The socialists!”
“Democracy?” ... “The majority.”
“Pacifism?” ... “Draft dodgers and washouts!”
The concepts of labor — nationalism and socialism blood against money personality and the masses sacrifice as opposed to self interest...?
Some slogans have stuck in their minds. Another question: “What does Adolf Hitler want?” ... Most probably know what he doesn’t want! But we do not want to be negative for its own sake. Adolf Hitler wants to build. The destruction of the present system is only the first precondition for the building of a new Reich.
In the battle between worlds, the shadow fencer does not win, rather the believing, knowing fighter.
The Gauleiter divides his area into sections. Each local group leader is assigned an area ten or twenty times as big as he had before. We’re amazed ... The man is good!
The System must be fought! The guerrilla operation must be replaced by a systematic campaign ... True! He has the plan worked out already!
The goals are announced.
The tactics? Attack. Always attack! Defense is unnecessary!
And: Every local group leader must become a speaker, a preacher, a proclaimer of Adolf Hitler’s ideas! He who still cannot “speak” must systematically be trained to be a “speaker” for the party. The Gauleiter will take care of that. He will conduct a speaker training course. How to pay for it? There isn’t any money. Neither from the Gau or party headquarters. Each man will have to find the means himself ... Good Lord! We hardly earn enough to feed our families! The Gauleiter will also provide munitions: leaflets, posters, newspapers, his own brochures, up-to-the-minute, with great explosive effect. Sparks will fly! ... And they did!
The Speaker School of the NSDAP[p. 221] The order of our Gauleiter is exciting, both in word and tone.
“Order! Each district leader must speak at least once, and preferably twice, weekly in public meetings in his district, unless he is temporarily hampered by illness.
He who cannot speak must learn! Participation in the next training course for National Socialist speakers is obligatory for all district leaders. Written and oral tests in eight weeks!”
A little later, the “material” arrives.
“My dear party comrades! ... Beginning today, I shall train you to become National Socialist speakers and orators. The course is not designed to teach you how to move your mouth or body while speaking, or how to use your arms and hands, or which expressions to use, or when to speak loudly or softly, etc.
You are not learning to become actors, rather National Socialist speakers and then National Socialist orators. That requires that you be thoroughly familiar with all the questions that you will hammer into the minds of our fellow racial comrades, that you are yourself filled with the idealism you will instill in the hearts of our fellow racial comrades, and that the concepts of Volk and Fatherland are rooted in your heart. This goal will be reached when you:
- Understand every detail of the questions relating to our National Socialist struggle,
- Are convinced of the presuppositions, necessities and consequences of our struggle,
- Are aware of your duty to display your complete conviction to our fellow racial comrades.
You are participating in this course not to make a sacrifice for National Socialism or our German people, rather because duty forces you do ... Not to please yourself, not to sacrifice, but because you are aware of your duty. A respect for the basic principles of nature moves you to participate in the course. Our success is therefore certain! With this foundation, let’s get to work! ... Heil! Fritz Reinhardt.”
The assignment for Day 1 follows: “... Consider issue Nr. 9 of the Magazine for Economics and Taxation. Read the article titled ‘The State’ twice, slowly, carefully and carefully, being sure that you are clear about the meaning of every word you read. Reading it slowly and carefully twice will give you a general idea of the whole argument. Now read paragraphs 1-3 slowly and carefully. don’t read quickly, read carefully. Reading carefully means making the dead letters come alive in your mind...
Day 2: Once again, read paragraphs 1-3 of ‘The State’ slowly and carefully. Now express out loud the line of thinking: the individual the many a community of blood the state. don’t learn it by heart and recite it. No, you should work to express the line of thinking you have just read.
Day 3: Express the line of thinking ‘people — state’ slowly twice. Think of nothing but what you are saying. You must experience each word you say. Speak loudly and clearly! Not quickly, but slowly and thoughtfully! Better too slow than too fast! A speaker can never speak too slowly, but easily too quickly...
Day 4: Read paragraph 4 of ‘The State’ thoroughly. Express the concept of the state apparatus thoroughly. I ask you to do this out loud, slowly and carefully...
Day 5: Read paragraph 5 of ‘The State’ thoroughly. Experience the tasks of the state, or more properly, the state apparatus. Every single word you say must reach the minds of the hearers. You must feel so close to your hearers that the idea you express in one moment is in the thinking of every single person in the audience the next moment. If each thought you express becomes an experience that reaches inside, you will have a surprisingly powerful impact on the whole audience. You live in the audience, and they must live in you. If that is the case, the goal of the speech is achieved...
Day 6: Read paragraph 6 of ‘The State’ carefully. Paragraph 7 also belongs to the section on ‘Tasks of the State.’ Please read paragraph 7 as well and express its content.
Now please deliver the first section of our speech three times, slowly and thoroughly...
Day 7: Please begin by delivering section 1 of our speech slowly and thoroughly...
Day 8: Read paragraph 8 of ‘The State’ thoroughly. Express its thoughts twice, slowly and thoroughly...
Day 9: Express the whole line of thinking ‘The Task of the State’ slowly and thoroughly. This includes paragraphs 5-8 of ‘The State’...
Day 10: Please deliver the contents of paragraphs 1-8 of ‘The State’ as often today as you have free time at work. The concepts of the state and the characteristics of the present state must be firmly fixed in your mind. The concept and the characteristics must become impossible for you to forget...
Day 11: Deliver ‘The State’ loudly and clearly. Begin with: ‘My dear racial comrades!’...
Day 12: Read the essays ‘The Economic Party’ and ‘The Struggle for or against Marxism’ twice, slowly and thoroughly. Reflect on everything in these two essays...
Day 13: Deliver the speech ‘The State’ twice.
Day 14: Please read the essay ‘The Dawes Policy’ three times, slowly and thoroughly, and reflect on its content!...
Day 15: Once again, deliver ‘The State’...
Day 16: Read slowly paragraphs 1-11 of ‘The Dawes Policy’...
Day 17: Thoroughly absorb paragraphs 12-10 of ‘The Dawes Policy’...
Day 18: Speak the thoughts of paragraphs 1-2 of ‘The Dawes Policy’ in your own words... “
Please ... read ... deliver ... slowly, loudly, clearly...
Thus it went day after way, for weeks and months. At lunch, after dinner, three or four hours a day... slowly, loudly, clearly...
After three days, I was expelled from the kitchen.
After eight days, the speaking ban was extended to the front room, and finally to the whole house.
After ten days, the fellow inhabitants of the building complained about the noise, and the neighbors asked about my health.
After fourteen days my wife complained because she could never talk with her husband any more, and the children gave reproachful looks as their father wandered through the apartment talking to himself.
Even comrades began shaking their heads.
“Hey, Maxl, what is the difference between ‘people’ and ‘state’?”
“Gustl, what is a ‘natural’ and what is an ‘artificial’ state?”
“Hansl, what are ‘reparations creditors?”
“Sepp, what you know know about ‘international high finance’?”
“The Jews in America.”
“Maxl, a farmer says to you: ‘How can I join your party, since you’re a workers’ party?’ What will you say to him?”
“That he’s an idiot because he doesn’t understand!”
“What is territorial sovereignty?”
“What is financial sovereignty?”
“What is military sovereignty?”
“What is transportation sovereignty?”
“What is legal sovereignty?”
“The bourgeois and the Stahlhelm always say: What are you really trying to do? We are defenseless. We have to pay the reparations or they will occupy and probably divide Germany!... What would you say during the discussion in response?”
“Shut up, you stupid fool!”
“And if he didn’t shut up?”
“...then I’d give him a good punch!”
Finally we agreed on both methods in this order: First words, then if needed the fist.
Preparations for the fall offensiveOur weapons: ... For years our local arsenal lacked the heaviest weapon of political combat: the spoken word! For years we had to borrow this absolutely necessary instrument, and were at the mercy of the Gau or the national office. The party had too few speakers, a handful perhaps with reputations and a few dozen unknown preachers in the wilderness.
We could secure the weapons for man-to-man combat: leaflets, brochures, posters and a flame thrower, the Stürmer. And an artillery piece: the Völkischer Beobachter...
Our fighting songs and propaganda marches gave the opponent little rest.
But we lacked rhetorical cannons of medium to heavy caliber that could fire into enemy areas, that could make the sparks fly. Such big guns were rare and they cost money. They were needed to attack the millions of political opponents in the political wilderness.
And now a member of local group Starnberg was ready to serve as a “speaker” in political meetings. At least, he thought so.
“We’ll see how good the machine gun is,” Preiß said.
Our inexhaustible reserve was our faith in Adolf Hitler. In critical situations, when we were laughed at, mocked and terrorized in the meetings of our much stronger enemies, in wearying little battles, as we hung posters in night and fog, dripping sweat and rain, when we staggered home dead tired, hungry and worn out, when the end of our struggle seemed hopelessly far off, it was then we thought of Adolf Hitler. For his sake, we accepted it all. If this people, our people, was ever to be free and great once again, it could only become free and great through Adolf Hitler. But is didn’t want to be, at least not yet...
Our means of transportation... Train, bicycle, foot. We could cover the twenty kilometers Gauting — Leutstetten — Pöcking — Feldafing — Tützing by train. The use of the other means of transport might be pleasant enough during the summer, but they were not needed, because the farmers were working every day and none would go to a Nazi meeting.
But in winter, with a half meter of snow and more, a bicycle is more trouble than it is worth for a twenty kilometer trip. In fall and winter, the pathways are more bottomless swamps with treacherous bogs and pools. That means hours-long tramps...
Our financial resources: ... We couldn’t depend on having money. In Directive 17 of 1928, our Gauleiter gave us some good advice on money... “Each district leader is responsible to ensure that the income for a meeting is not less that its costs. (I laughed about that!) No meeting may have less than a 20 pfenning admission charge. And ask for contributions whenever possible at the end!” (We are happy enough if someone even listens to us... )
But the Gauleiter is always an optimist... “The receipts, if sufficient, should cover the transportation costs and a glass of beer for the five SA men who provide protection, as well as for the meeting leader and the speaker. The remaining money should be passed on to the Gauleitung.
On the day following the meeting, the district leader or an assigned party member is to submit a report to the Gauleitung, an example of which follows:
Attacking the enemy!22 September 1928... Pöcking, our neighboring village, 5 kilometers away, 800 people, is the first test of our own abilities. Meeting protection, chairman, and speaker all come from the local group in Starnberg. This evening we will experience a speaker’s baptism by fire.
The topic is “Swastika or Soviet Star.” It was certainly interesting.
“Point of order!” shouts the communist leader as soon as the meeting begins... Aha!
“We are not in a bourgeois meeting, rather a National Socialist meeting! We decide. If you don’t like it, leave!”
“Aha!” ... But they understand, and party comrade Gengler speaks for nearly three hours on “the unnatural nature of Marxism as shown by the differences and lies of its leaders.” As the meeting report states ... “Since the communist discussion speaker couldn’t juggle the usual catch phrases of imperialism, capitalism, and the dictatorship of the proletariat, he had to agree with what our speaker had said... “
We fantasized in fall 1928 that one more attack would destroy the communist citadel in Tutzing. But the communist cell in Tutzing lasted five more years, and gave us some meeting hall battles.
They didn’t recruit genuine communists.
Communists are criminals!
They got poor, confused, misled, and helpless German workers. In the coming years we regularly tried to destroy Tutzing’s communist nest.
We developed a pleasant habit:
When we held a meeting in Tutzing, our S.S. men headed over by bicycle. Since most were unemployed, they could head over whenever they wanted. I had to work into the evening at the office, which left me no time to spare (and given my state-endangering activities, it certainly wouldn’t have been given to me), so I would have a quick supper and head over by train.
One could be certain that about a dozen communists would be waiting at the train station.
We’d pass through a row of raised fists. Moscow’s lads would follow close behind as we headed down the dark Halsberger Street to the meeting place.
The first time one’s neck crawled ... If one of them did something ... But one had to risk it! The feeling diminished with time.
They never attacked they only behaved like communists but we couldn’t tolerate their attempts to disrupt the meetings that would lead to fights and bloodshed.
We come to an important conclusion!Party comrade Karl Sherer is coming!
When a job transfer brought him from Griesbach in Rottal to Starnberg, he was already a member of the NSDAP. He had the old steep path behind him: front soldier, member of the Freikorps Hitler. During the final battle for power, and for two years after that, he led local group Starnberg of the NSDAP. As a civil servant in the Reich Finance Office he had everything to lose. He risked it! As a speaker, as a propagandist in his office, in the election battles of the decisive year, he was in the front lines, somewhat thoughtful, cautious, but one of the hardest working chaps in the county.
The target of hateful attacks by our opponents, the defendent in more than one political trial, a man seen as a dubious character, he stood loyally by the Führer through it all.
28 September 1928: ... The ban on Adolf Hitler’s speaking in Prussia is lifted!
“Maybe that is a triumph of legality,” muttered Max Pöhlemann. — And he’s right! It is proof of the correctness of Adolf Hitler’s policies ... for all who can do more than just believe.
Saturday, 29 September 1928... Berg.
Funny people! We had sent a postcard to the inkeeper in Berg, located on the east shore of the lake, asking him if we could have a room for a public meeting of the NSDAP (Hitler movement) ... The man drops by the apartment of the local group leader and says simply, as if it were the most obvous thing in the world ... “Of course you can have the side room, and the main room, too, if necessary!”
The man is good!
His name is Bichler. Strongly suspected of being a Nazi!
So on Saturday, we head to Berg for our first public meeting. Flags flying. Now we always take a small swastika flag along to decorate the wall behind the speaking platform, and are vastly pleased if it provokes some angry faces.
Near Berg there is a bit, forested hill, the Rottmannhöhe. On top sits a famous Jesuit monastery, with a wide view. It dominates the area for a ten kilometer radius — up to the border of the next monastery. The net is tight in our area! We saw that soon enough. After an hour, we were still alone: the speaker Franz Buchner, the meeting chair Mr. Max Ederer, and the SS men Steingrübl and Horner.
The door opens... ! We eagerly await the first guest. The innkeeper: “There are a few people outside, but they are afraid to come in ... You know, the front table in the main room is free. Why don’t you hold your meeting out there ... Those who don’t like it can move to the side room!”
My dear friend! That’s the spirit!
For the first time, someone who has something to lose didn’t leave us in the lurch! ... Innkeeper! How easily your regular guests might have walked off because of these Nazi fools!
But this evening, at least, we don’t drive them away.
The audience consisted of Major Picht and his son, the knight. There was a man with white hair, whose face was not easy to forget: Director Stritzel. He had brought his wife Anna along. A few more, too. The innkeeper tells us their names. We wanted to know those names, since anyone who had the courage to visit a Nazi meeting in such a small place as Berg, like the other villages in the county, was worth knowing. Look them over! One is named Kiesenhofer, and his neighbor is Wallner Alfons. The mayor sent Schuster, the local cop, to provide “protection.” Hopefully nothing will happen to the fine chap!
9 (nine) attendees, not counting the innkeeper and his helper...
No one wants to speak during the discussion period. That’s a relief for my conrades. They’re still worried that an experienced discussion speaker could make short work of me. They were therefore ready for a “discussion” in their own fashion ... Later, a hundred and something meetings later, they were no longer nervous about the “discussion.” They were just cuurious to see how “their” speaker would flatten the discussion speakers!
“Hey! There’s someone! Well! God damn!”
“The innkeeper has the floor!”
But he only wanted to say that there were more listeners outside the window than were present inside! “The speaker thundered so loudly that everyone outside could hear just fine.” ... and he would be sure they came in the next time.
As we headed home about midnight through a raging fall storm, we were satisfied. The west wind blowing over the lake crashed into the trees, dropping branches and leaves onto the road, and onto our car. We got back home around 1 a.m.
The next day, 29 September 1928, there was a meeting in Percha. The posters had been up for two days. They’d survived a whole night. Inexplicable!
The innkeeper had promised us the side room.
But when we got there Sunday afternoon, the knitting club was holding its important monthly meeting, and the police were assembled in the main room. Despite an hour long conversation, they insisted that the meeting could only take place where it had been announced (the side room)!
“Just wait, you idiots. You’ll be the first to go,” Max muttered.
Meanwhile, we chattered a bit with a few comrades from the pink faculty [socialists]. No real discussion, though. Their noses were still sore from the previous summer when Gustl had had at them. . .
Saturday, 6 October 1928... Feldafing.
The National Socialist Franz Buchner speaks on “The Interest and Tax Slavery of All Productive Germans.”
Location: The “Zur Post” inn.
But he didn’t speak, since only four people showed up ... Our party comrades from Feldafing and Pöcking. That was it!
That’s how Judah’s pressure affected Feldafing.
We cursed in disappointment, paid for our beers, and vowed revenge.
On Sunday afternoon, 7 October 1928, we tried Traubing, that communist farming village! The hammer and sickle got most of the votes in the last Reichstag election. 71 votes for the communists, one for the Nazis. We politely invite the Red Front for an open discussion.
The Herrsching S.A. too. Five men biked over from Starnberg, the speaker, the meeting chairman, and three men for guard duty. (In the county archive, there is an “invitation” to party comrade Schmid from Perchting, asking him to join us. “Dear Schorsch! Come to the Guggemoos pub in Traubing at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Don’t forget your billy club! Heil!”) ... Alas, not only did Schorschens’s fine billy club fail to appear, but our tested supporters also wandered off summa summarum ad acta. Though the days when we were a major threat to the state were still in the distant future, we were surprised by a friendly visit from a high official of the state at the entrance to the Guggemoos pub ... Sepp, the last in the procession, tried to save what could still be saved, but his little dagger also fell to the watchful eye of the law.
The Commune was absent, perhaps still afraid. The meeting was still a great success. The report from the meeting says: “... attendance very good! Over 50 from the farmer’s federation and Social Democrats. A three hour speech! Lively discussion! Seven speakers! The main points of the opponents: you want a new war ... you are enemies of religion ... taxes are eating us up ... Ludendorff with his blue glasses ... Wilhelm II ... Confiscation of our land ... “
The mood swung back and forth. We were amazed at so much ignorance, nastiness, open oppostion, and wild hatred.
Had we refused them the right to speak, or the right to speak as long as they wanted, they would have accused us of cowardice, of terror, of Fascist violence. We lacked the experience of later years.
One of the loudest of the lot was Wagner, a leader of the farmer’s federation. He was a little man with a moustache, sharp as a sword and loud as an ox. Today he is the local farming leader and a good Nazi...
But then he was out to get us.
There were three pages full of notes on the charges made by the discussion speakers already, and the discussion still was not over.
Things had been going for five hours already.
“Enough!” whispered the meeting chairman, with a longing look toward the toilets.
I didn’t think I could hold out either and went ... “There he goes! He’s trying to get away! ... Stay!” One could not let the opponent out of sight for a moment, lest they get away with their lies, distortions, slanders, misunderstandings, false views, or ignorance.
A remarkable duel. . .The German Communist Party was making noise about a pacifist “popular referendum” about this time, opposing a new naval cruiser to the benefit of Soviet militarism.
Adolf Hitler spoke on 10 October 1928 in Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller about the matter.
The Starnberg SS troop is there to guard the meeting. We get to see the Führer again. . .
We come from the trenches, from a small part of the front, full of filth and cares. We can hardly see more than fifty meters to our right and left.
Then a man comes and lifts us from our own small part of the trenches to eternity. All our troubles fade away... he helps us see for centuries into the future... we see the goal ... the eternal life of the German nation ... a shiver goes down our spines...
I believe that all that is great and bright, all that is beautiful and strong, all the harmony of a hundred million German souls, is united in this man and flows from him to every heart and mind.
Through him, the dead of the great war call to the coming generations to fight for their holy right to life.
How happy we are, Adolf Hitler, that you are with us! How proud we are to be with you!
Why did fate lead us through four long and terrible years, letting us wait for a leader?
That evening we experienced a remarkable duel, A communist discussion speaker confronted the National Socialist Führer. Great! ... Adolf Hitler chopped him up. There wasn’t much left of the poor chap.
Adolf Hitler said: “Don’t be too unhappy with the previous speaker, whom I’ve known for some time, for one can only hold against someone that which he really thinks himself!
But that wasn’t his own argument, rather others thought it out, and he learned it by heart.
But I am always happy when we see a Red ‘comrade,’ even one of their leaders.
The previous speaker said first:
‘You want to bring back war.’ He is wrong. We National Socialists have been fighting for about nine years against the state of war.
But he knows that well enough, since he has been familiar with us for years.
We claim that the state of war is the result of the general domination of Marxist thinking in every area. This spirit has also dominated the so-called bourgeois, which is as internationally democratic or at least as vaguely national as Marxism itself.
You say that in the territorial question we are imperialists?
First, we see it as a question of the daily hunger of each individual person. That is, when a child is born, there must be food for it, and in the moment that one seeks food for a new creature, one becomes an imperialist. One then stakes a claim to life on this earth.
You say that imperialism is a bad thing, and attempt to resolve the problem by saying that modern science has found methods of birth control.
My dear friend, let me first say that you are making use of somebody else’s science here.
It is remarkable that these same communists, who reject human progress, from time to time have to import Western European engineers, doctors, university professors, in fact all of Western European science, for their purposes.
You say that so lightly: ‘birth control.’
My dear friend, we prefer to say ‘life control.’ For what does birth control mean? Birth control means that one takes a being from the earth whose significance one cannot know.
About 99 percent of the great minds would have fallen victim to this Marxist birth control, which you see today as a scientific necessity. Birth control is dangerous foolishness, since it takes away the most highly gifted. You don’t know if that child is destined to save humanity, and whether you may be doing away with him.
My dear friend, if one has to limit life, we National Socialists would prefer to limit useless lives.
I’d like to see what you would say if after people were evaluated as valuable or useless, someone or the majority would turn to you and say: ‘You look completely worthless. You are first in line!’
If communism preferred life control to birth control, there soon would hardly be any communists left, since life control in the communist camps would claim a vast harvest were one to select all those people who must be removed if the nation is not to perish. But that would be easier to justify than killing a creature before one knows what will become of him.
If one holds to the standpoint that the population must be limited, then one must draw the conclusion: What is not completely healthy has to go. The Spartans did that.
We National Socialists, therefore, favor the sterilization of all criminals and all people who are incurable, also if they are mentally incurable (here he looked toward the previous speaker). That will result in an immediate limitation. But your friends from the humanitarian league, who signed the past referendum petition, are against that, those who pull your strings. They are for everything that ruins the value of the Aryan race.
The same ground two thousand years ago supported only a small part of the present population.
By practicing birth control, I would reduce the number of those scientists who could help feed present-day humanity. Food production and other production would decrease as the quality of the population declined.
A people that steadily reduces its birthrate can still starve. We know that the populations of New Guinea and Australia slowly declined through vice and a low birthrate, whereas other Negro peoples survived and grew because of their many children, hardened by life under their conditions.
You say that the food situation cannot be solved by war.
My dear friend! There is no right on this earth that people do not have to fight for and defend constantly, for nature itself is the most unpeaceful force that exists.
There is no comparison between what mankind could destroy and what nature does destroy.
You are against war because it kills people.
But in the same breath you want to kill children!
Where is the logic in that?
And the peace that you have given us, think of the sacrifices it has demanded from the German people!
It is true that after forty years of peace. Germany had a war that cost us two million dead. But that is the fault of your party and your influence, for if Germany at that time had not been infected with the Marxist spirit, the war of 1914 would not have occurred.
You can be sure that the National Socialists would have raged war against France in 1904-1905 to avoid a world war. The National Socialists would not have waited until the world coalition came together, waiting for the most favorable moment to fall on Germany.
A National Socialist Germany would have used the right moment to create breathing room for the nation, a moment that might have cost the nation a blood sacrifice of 200,000 and guaranteed an additional fifty years of peace.
That things happened as they did is the fault of your thinking. One thought one was clever enough to avoid war, but finally led Germany into an even worse war.
You say that one simply may not wage war, and that in the future the vital interests of the peoples will be determined in other ways.
I ask you: Why does Soviet Russia have a fleet, why does it build tanks, air planes and artillery, why does it have gas? Why? Apparently someone is of the opinion can certain problems can be resolved only through war.
Soviet Russia has that conviction, and so do we.
You want your nonsensical system to be imposed through blood on the world, but we want to guarantee our people their daily bread, only that.
You accuse us of being imperialists, and at the same time you hope that your idea will conquer the world through guns and violence. Is that not imperialist insanity and destruction?
We do not want war.
We only want to live!
We don’t want to pay tribute, and will not pay it, for it is destroying our people.
You say that capitalist interests have determined the lines on the map.
Oh dear God! You have no idea, for example, of the development of the Russian empire!
I only know that Bolshevism did not free the individual Russian states, brought together not by capitalism, but by power politics, and used naked imperialist force to suppress these states with war and bloody terror and the crudest methods.
You say that the fact that the ore districts of Lonwn and Brien were demanded of us after the last war is proof that the capitalist viewpoint draws state borders. Well, my dear friend, before the war the thought was that a people should be able to support itself by its own efforts. But in the case of Germany, they now think one can live on credit.
Before the war, they thought a people needed opportunities to work and live. Today they have a new way: unemployment!
You don’t need production, you don’t need raw materials, you don’t need coal mines, no iron mines, only an unemployment office!
With that and your communist idea, you think you can feed a people.
You keep shouting: not enough food! But in same breath, you say it is unjust to alter the borders. My dear friend, I object to the fact that the German people should be the world’s labor coolies while other people live from its sweat, or from an overabundance of territory.
Who gave the Russians their territory? When you can persuade Soviet Russia to say: We see that land is distributed unfairly in the world, and so we are giving 800,000 square kilometers to Germany, then we will want to talk about other methods.
But Soviet Russia itself is hungry for land and is devouring neighboring nations. Soviet Russia does not seem to know a different way. You yourself say that you are against a new armored cruiser because the imperialists might use it against Soviet Russia!
You’ve let the cat out of the bag!
I don’t want to presume on your naval knowledge as to the significance of a 10,000 ton ship. I will only say this. A 10,000 ton ship is nothing against today’s 38,000 ton battleships of the world powers. It would mean something only for Soviet Russia, since even if it had a 60,000 ton ship, it would not be worth a tenth of that of a vessel of another country, given the lack of discipline and the corruption.
You say that we want to take land away from France. No, from France we want only freedom!
Or that we want land from England. No, we only want to be free of England’s economic oppression.
You say: I am an internationalist, I am a socialist, I am even a communist, and demand equal rights for all.
But you are distressed by the most primitive natural right. The most primitive natural right is this: the earth belongs to those who work it. Peoples that are lazy, that are incapable, that are dumb, have no right to possess earth that they have not made fruitful at a time when other peoples are starving because they lack land.
It is criminal to demand that an intelligent people limit its children so that a lazy and stupid people can misuse an enormous stretch of territory.
How that must look to the eye of the Almighty!
And what about communism? You stand before the people and say: Equal rights for all! But you do not want to give your own people the same rights as other peoples have!
You say that in the future, the unsatisfactory conditions in the world will be changed through international brotherhood.
My dear friend! don’t talk to me about brotherhood between Chinese, Mongolians, Tartars, Englanders, Zulus, French, etc., when you can’t even get along with your Marxist brethren, fighting each other to death to gain a few more votes.
Our German people has paid bitterly for this whole nonsense of world brotherhood.
You seduced our people in 1918 with a siren song as you lied and said: Raise the red flag as other countries have done! The world revolution will conquer and you will get your rights!
And what did we get?
Misery and poverty for our people, treason on all sides.
And now you suddenly say that the League of Nations can’t help us. Yet earlier your party helped the German people fall prey to Wilson’s paralytic nonsense!
In this communist’s speech, you you can see the nonsense and superficiality with which one discusses problems that are a matter of the very existence of people.
...Can you see how they make statements without supporting them, statements that on closer examination turn out to be nonsense? Irresponsible chatterboxes, without the ability to judge things. They presume to speak on the most important questions: birth control, battleships, territory, etc.
But this is the deeper cause of Germany’s misfortune. My dear friend, if you suffer appendicitis, you will certainly go to a doctor trained by capitalist science, since only he knows what to do. You won’t go to a quack, no matter how communist he is.
But Germany should let itself be governed by you quacks!”
Thursday, 11 October 1928For the first time, we present Starnberg with one of our own speakers. The district leader [Buchner] will speak in the “Eisenbahn” pub. And since everyone knows the few Nazis in town, curiosity, sensation-seeking and hopes for disaster bring over 120 people to the meeting! We’ve done it!
During the discussion, a Democrat asks for “peaceful understanding” between all parties ... It is “more advantageous to win the opponent’s love than his hate...”
Such fools are still running around loose in Germany.
They get as much of a hearing as a genius.
We do not want peaceful understanding! We want battle! We hate our opponents with our heart and strength!...
Sunday, 11 November 1928 ... Perchting[p. 279] Schmid Schorsch, a former leather worker in Feldafing, has become a farmer in Perchting. A little farm with many debts and not much land.
The fourteen Nazi votes in the May election were the result of his political work in the village. It earned him a nickname: Moses! A fine name for a Nazi, isn’t it?
The pastor gave him the name. He wanted to make the only anti-Semite in the congregation look ridiculous.
But under this name, Schorsch became a terror to our opponents in the whole Gau. He inherited a good dose of smarts and a quick tongue.
Our Moses remained the only active politician among the village’s 200 souls aside from the pastor, of course!
The Farmer’s Federation tried to talk him into heading their 75-member local group. He’d certainly be elected to the provincial parliament if.
But he preferred to fail as the Nazi candidate on 20 May 1928... Which is what happened!
Then he installed a big iron swastika on his house, facing the street, the first in the county! It is still there today. No Jews came by any more.
Now he organized a Sunday afternoon Nazi meeting at the post office. Schorsch, you sure must have preached a lot in the past year in your new village to pack the guest room in the post office?!! Every corner was packed, and there was so much smoke you couldn’t see across the room.
The Perchting folk turned out to be good listeners. The “Moses School” was unmistakable! Hardly a word of protest as the thunder descended on the Farmer’s Federation and the Bavarian People’s Party!
But they were tough!
Still, they were not the last to catch on ... Early on and courageously, they joined Hitler. They can be proud of it today — and Schorsch above all!
[p. 309] The Gauleiter reports 300 people have completed the speaker school. One never learned how many of them dared to step to the fore and kept at it.
Pages from the Diary of a Nazi Speaker[p. 361] Sunday, 12 January 1930... Head to Wolfratshausen at 1:30 p.m. with the postal bus. On foot to Gelting. Maxl comes along. Cold as Siberia. Calf-deep snow. At the village inn, three farmers are huddled around the stove. After an hour, there are twelve... After the meeting we run for 45 minutes and fortunately catch the post bus.
Invited by Schirmer to a “house party” in the evening. Decline. Paid 11.20 marks for ads, travel, and beer.
The Wolfsratshausen Anzeiger warns against the apostles of Nazism.
Sunday, 18 January 1930... Heavy snowstorm. Meeting in Peißenberg canceled, hall refused! A Saturday evening at home for the first time in months!... Telephone call at 7:30 p.m.! Party comrade Friedrichs prevented from speaking in Hohenschäftlarn! Into action! Fifteen minutes later we are heading there in Rädler’s jalopy. A cutting east wind blows over the hills behind Percha. The road is icy and treacherous. Snowdrifts collect behind the oak trees. It’s knee-high. The wheels start to spin. Maxl and I get out and push to keep it out of the ditch. Rädler drives at ten kilometers an hour. We hang on to the back bumper and glide over the ice. The road disappears in the snow. The storm rages. Impossible! Impossible? Not in our vocabulary! Onward, onward! After a long struggle, nature proves that it is harder to fight than democracy and the Internationale! We continue on foot. But when we get there at 11 p.m., the meeting attendees in Hohenschäftlarn have long since gone home!
Wednesday, 22 January 1930... The train station waiting room in Pasing. Waiting for the connection to Gröbenzell. It stinks of tobacco smoke and wet clothing. Unemployed men play cards around the stove, complaining and making noise. The police come by. Truncheons. Clearing the place. I search for my papers. Like a vagabond...
Got out of work a half an hour ago. Grabbed something to eat, then headed for the station...
Saturday, 25 January 1930... Alone again in the Pasing station. Full of people in masks, lads and lasses heading to Munich for Fasching ... My topic: “Freedom and Bread” ... Transfer to Puchheim! It’s surprisingly quiet in this red fortress.
Sunday, 26 January 1930... Schöngeising. Wonderful winter weather. We sit alone in the village pub. The meeting is to begin at 3 p.m. By about 4:30 twenty people have shown up. I speak.
Saturday, 1 February 1930... Escape from the office at midday. To the station. Toward Munich. Transfer in the direction Holzkirchen Scheiersee. Missed the connection! There may be a hundred people waiting in Fischbachau! The local group leader will be sweating blood! The map! ... It can still work! ... To Rosenheim with the express, transfer toward Bad Aibling, transfer toward Feilbach, transfer to Fischbachau! ... Call Rädler in Starnberg and ask him to call the local group in Fischbachau and tell them to pick me up in Feilnbach, not Schiersee!
The price of the express ticket to Rosenheim hurts ... but if everything works, We’ll be in Fischbachau by nine.
At Au between Bad Aibling and Feilnbach, the conductor lets me off the slow train. The local group leader from Fischbachau, Party comrade Adam, is waiting for me. We drive down the icy road to Fischbachau... It worked! In bed at 2 a.m. The feather bed is damp and clammy. Ice crystals form on the walls of our attic apartment. Three hours of sleep. Sunday, 5 a.m., middle of the night, no breakfast, head for the station.
Snow crunches under my boots, it’s a cold morning. There’s a light ahead... the station. The train leaves with a half hour delay. Almost empty. Sleep! ... A farmer promises to wake me when it’s time to get off...
Transfer at Holzkirchen, towards Rosenheim. Wash up in the toilet. Transfer toward Übersee, transfer again toward Aschau. Take the post bus to Unterwöffen. 10 a.m. meeting in Unterwöffen. Quick lunch at noon. Back to Aschau, toward Übersee and Prien. A meeting there at 4 p.m. Catch the train to Munich at 8 p.m., then the last train to Starnberg. In bed at 1 a.m.
We are moving mountains. Fate may be resisting, but we are seizing freedom.
Adolf Hitler must win!
We want him to win!
Saturday, 22 February 1930... “Summer Night at Lake Starnberg.” Organized by the “Starnberg Songsters.” Dance and be entertained! ... At the same time 200 farmers in Ebersing hear about the dawn of a new age. Bitter resistance from a black party speaker. Too bad! We’re coming! ... Walk along soggy paths to Weilheim. Sleep in a bed that reeks of moth balls, dreadful!
Sunday, 23 February 1930... We spend the morning in Weilheim trying to find a car or motorcycle to get us to Seehaupt. Promised Scherer support in that Catholic fortress. He doesn’t like discussions! We find three vehicles — none in working order. At noon, a telephone call: Things went well!... In the afternoon, by train to Hohenpeißenberg. The Farmers Federation is having a general meeting. The reds surround our meeting place to keep track of who attends! Three people have the courage to attend. Hundreds are content with a ski race outside. We waited two hours, then dashed down to Unterpeißenberg to catch the train. Home at 9 p.m....
Horst Wessel is dead! Thousand-fold revenge!...
Clear the streets for the brown battalions,
Clear the streets for the Storm Troopers,
Millions look with hope at the swastika,
Freedom and prosperity are near!
Sunday, 2 March 1930... Eighty farmers in Rott hear of the coming of a new age. We see it in their faces: it is dawning! Warm rain as we march back. Our skin is porous. Every pore breaths: The day is coming!
Saturday, 8 March 1930... Hoarse and with a cold, went to Schongau with Max. 120 people of every sort hear a National Socialist for the first time. The promised trouble doesn’t happen! At 1 a.m. in the morning, into a cold, strange bed with a pounding headache and worn out voice. Missed the early train. Strolled from Schongau to Hohenpreißberg. Surrounded by lovely Bavarian landscape and missed the train! For the second time today! Two hours down to Unterpeißenberg. Bad mood! ... Need a meal, drop into a Reich Banana Plantation pub [i.e., a pub frequented by the socialists]. Taunts, nothing more.
Saturday, 15 March 1930... Speak to thirty workers in Söcking. Stupid and dense. Only a miracle can turn this confused mob into a people. Confused thinking and insults are the only intellectual weapons they have to attack the “opponent” during the discussion period... We laugh and sing. We know that the future is ours!
Sunday, 16 March... Gelting. Wonderful spring weather. Blue sky outside and thick clouds of smoke in the room in the village pub. Thirty farmers listen for four hours to the teachings of Adolf Hitler. Can they believe? Once again? Hitler? It is hard to awaken new faith. Still, it happens! We feel it. And we rattle on. Party comrade Rädler picks us up in his little car around 8 p.m.
Saturday, 22 March... The Gauleitung sends me to Olsching... No free Saturdays... Drunken lads in the train. One makes some remarks. My knife is at hand. Away with labor service!
About a hundred workers listen quietly to the promises of 1918. That is bitter!... They are silent, they no longer throw chairs and glasses... Adolf Hitler! The German people are beginning to believe!
Sunday, 23 March 1930... Olsching yesterday... Today a meeting in Starnberg from 10 a.m. to noon. An undercooked schnitzel for lunch and some bread, then dash to the train. A 3 p.m. meeting in Schwindegg, an obscure place somewhere...
District Speaker SchoolThe lesser weapons of political combat are no longer sufficient! Leaflets, newspapers and brochures are good, face-to-face conversation is necessary, propaganda marches are even better... but the most powerful weapon remains the spoken word!
We forge it ourselves!
No place, no matter how small, can be left without a meeting!
They, too, must come under our fire!
We organize a district speaker course.
Two handfuls of party comrades, white collar and blue collar, join in: laborers, students, craftsmen, office workers. Each participant studies hard after his day’s work for many nights, exhausting his mental and physical strength, working on “his” speech. They don’t want to become “specialty speakers,” rather drummers of the National Socialist revolution.
At first in party comrade Sundermann’s apartment, later in a room at the “Unterbräu.” One time we hold a “communist meeting,” or one by the Catholics, Socialists, or the bourgeois. Heckling is “permitted” to develop the “speaker’s” ability to think fast. In the “discussion,” the “speakers” are thoroughly tested. All the crazy objections of our opponents come at them until they have learned to deal with these ever recurring objections. The tactic of the “conclusion” is demonstrated. don’t defend! Attack! Attack! Attack!
The district leader speaks from his experience in many meetings and discusses the development of great speakers of antiquity... Demosthenes, for example, was a miserable failure, but he didn’t give up, and went to the coast to build his voice strength by outshouting the waves... To improve his enunciation, he spoke with pebbles in his mouth...
Our party comrade Linzenhuber spent a day in the Maising Gorge to practice “speaking.” To improve his mouth and lip positions, he stuck a cigar in his mouth and spoke between his teeth. Then he yelled at a rock wall to strengthen his voice. And it echoed... “Whom do you think under today’s constitution is responsible for the fact that the tax reductions promised in Fall 1929 turned out to be a huge swindle?! They’ve deceived our people in miserable ways...”
A hunter walks through the quiet, dark forest and listens for a little while. Then he slowly comes up to our speaker, bravely puts a hand on his shoulder, and says:
“Are you ill? Do you need a doctor? Be reasonable, you’ll get better!...”
Our speakers report. . .Party comrade Alfred Driemel, laborer, 23 years old...
“The district leader gave me an order.
Tomorrow, 10 a.m., a meeting in Unterpeißenberg!
But I missed the train. Reported to the district leader!... He blew up.
“Get there! I don’t care how!”
The next train only went as far as Weilheim. It was two and a half hours by foot to Unterpeißenberg. I wouldn’t be there before 11 a.m.! ... I headed in that direction, trusting to my lucky star. No sign of it by the next village. I ask to borrow a bike at the first house. I’m thrown out. I was in a den of socialists. More luck at the next house. In exchange for my disability card (it’s still there), I got an old bicycle to head off on. If the old crate held up, I’d be there on time. A cold, brisk winter day. I fell off frequently, and had to lift it over snow drifts but finally I made it!
The room was packed full of people!
As I looked at myself in a mirror, I didn’t at first want to go in. I looked like a red-cheeked Christmas angel, not like a fighting speaker of the NSDAP who would be speaking to old farmers and workers... The sharp east wind had reddened my face. But what good did worrying about that do I had to go on in!
The policeman at the door wasn’t going to let me in, since the room was already full. When I told him that I was the speaker, he grinned and said: “Now I’m curious!”
The meeting chairman almost hid under the table when he saw that I was the speaker and would speak until the district leader arrived. The old miner could easily have been my father. I would have given anything to be ten years older .
Three or four hundred farmers and miners from Peißenberg filled the hall. The chairman didn’t sound very confident as he opened the meeting and turned the floor over to me... but not before telling me that founding a local group depended on this meeting. Now I was speaking to four hundred pairs of mocking eyes that didn’t think much of me. This was it!
After an hour with no interruptions, I began to feel that I could speak well. But I breathed a sigh of relief as the district leader appeared. And I was pleased when the chairman shook my hand. He was satisfied with me... The meeting was a big success for us.”
Party comrade Helmut Sündermann student, 19 years old... “Me speak???! The district leader seemed to have his doubts. A lad of 19 as a speaker? Appearance? Not exactly impressive. He consoled me by offering me a chance later... Annoyed, I clung to my speaker material: ‘I’ll show him!... ‘ One day, I was surprised by an assignment to speak in Neufahrn near Wangen. But I would have to do the preparations myself. I got posters and leaflets. I neatly filled in on the posters that party comrade Sündermann would speak at a public meeting of the National Socialist German Workers Party in Neufahrn. Neufahrn (a major settlement with at least ten houses!) has never since seen more posters hung with greater passion. With this material in my rucksack (which I was convinced would cause a sensation in this quiet village), I headed to Neufahrn a few days before the big event. The innkeeper of the village pub gave me permission to hold a meeting. I hung the posters on telephone poles and barn doors, removing a few announcements of the Bavarian People’s Party in the process, and delivered leaflets and newspapers to the locked houses (everyone was in the fields)... In short, I made all the preparations necessary for a tremendous success.
With a neat outline in my pocket, SS men Grübl, Lohrentz, and I headed toward Neufahrn on a lovely summer morning.
There were seven farmers present. (I don’t think there were more than that in Neufahrn!) I don’t remember what I said any longer... presumably the usual first speech, in which one can see good intentions but limited ability. I only know that I didn’t collapse, though I kept turning my chair. Afterwards, it occurred to me how bad that must have looked.
As I reflected on the undertaking on the way home, it dawned on me that I had spoken in too ‘educated’ a fashion. I realized that ’speaking’ meant using the language of those one was talking to. ’speaking’ means making what one knows understandable to others. I learned much in that meeting. I was dissatisfied with my performance, but full of plans for more work as I headed back to Starnberg with my comrades.
The battle for the party, I felt, first demanded that one work on oneself. Not fun, not sensational.
It was serious!... ”
Karl Heubmer, stone mason, 38 years old.
“My first meeting?... Three weeks earlier, the district leader had given me the topic and strongly advised me to prepare thoroughly for my speech in Breitbrunn am Ammersee.
I took a pencil and a lot of paper and started writing. I had unlimited time at my disposal, save for standing in line at the unemployment office. Over many days and nights, I put a good speech together. But it didn’t satisfy me. Whenever I practiced, it didn’t seem right. I started again from scratch. But I was still unhappy with the material, and with each thought... I ended up with ten drafts, each of which suffered the fate of the first: they ended up in the wastepaper basket. And the date was suddenly near... A kingdom for a good idea! Well, my last draft would have to do!
At noon on Sunday, the post bus brought me to Herrsching. With a troop of S.A., I went on foot to Breitbrunn. The meeting was to start at 3 p.m. Maybe no one would be there!... But as we entered the pub, I saw that there was no escaping it. It took twenty more minutes for the room to fill. This was unpleasant, for the nearer the time came, the greater my stage fright. At 3:25, the chairman tapped me on the shoulder and said: ‘Time to start!’
I postponed it another five minutes. That was the last reprieve. At exactly 3:30, the chairman stood up and opened the meeting with a few words.
Now it was my turn: I was on the horse, and I had to ride!
I had learned the first sentence of my speech by heart. It was out before I knew it. The second sentence was harder, as a result of my nervousness. But I had to speak!... It instantly became clear to me that not I, but the party that I was fighting for, would be disgraced if I failed... With iron will, I organized my thinking. First roughly, gradually more smoothly, the words came. After ten minutes, one of the about sixty people at the meeting, an old man in back, nodded in agreement. That was my salvation. I saw that I was being understood, that my thoughts were getting across. Now I got going... I felt that I would succeed! The discussion, too, went well.
I’d survived my baptism by fire!”
Sündermann Driemel Heubner. They preached faith in Adolf Hitler in a hundred meetings!... Student, laborer, craftsman, side by side. More than once the state’s attorney was after them, hauling them to court under the laws of Weimar. They kept going! Today they are Reich and Gau speakers of the NSDAP.
[p. 397] The battle begins. In the middle of summer. It will last two months!
Everything starts moving!... Our speakers, our S.A., our S.S., every party member without exception. Our wives, our boys and girls. Cripples on crutches. There are no reserves, no objections, no passive members when the NSDAP goes into action.
We do it without a cent of money!
But we are armed with a passionate will to destroy the enemy, filled with unshakable faith, supported by determined labor.
A barrage of well-organized meetings attack the surprised opponent. 1200 speakers throughout the Reich speak against the System in 34,000 meetings.
Two years ago, we were way behind.
Today we have more speakers than the other side.
The longing for freedom, the faith in Adolf Hitler, have opened many hearts and mouths. They are the result of years of steady, quiet work.
And they can do more!
They are faithful, unbelievably hard working, unbeatable: their hearts are filled with a fanatic will for victory!
Forty speakers in Gau Upper Bavaria attack the enemy in nearly a thousand meetings. They speak two or three times on Sunday, at 10 a.m., 3 p.m., and 8 p.m. There are 65 meetings on Saturdays and Sundays alone.
Villages that never had a political meeting before come under our fire. Villages unreached even by the opponent’s leaflets hear Adolf Hitler’s preachers... We have artillery enough! The page has turned!
Like a storm, our meetings break over the countryside and drive any opposition away. 550 in the district alone! We hit the villages in our district with our own speakers... Weßling, Oberpfaffenhosen, the Catholic fortress of Machtlsing, Erling, Tutzing, stubborn Buchendorf, little Waugen, red Gilching, the Farmer’s Federation domain of Frieding, Unering, Drößling, Jewdified Feldafing, lonely Walchstadt, tiny Meiling, Breitbrunn, Inning, Buch, Perchting, Seefeld, Etterschlag, Steinebach, Marxist Stöcking... it takes too long to list them all. Pöcking, Herrsching, and Tutzing are attacked twice with the biggest rhetorical guns.
Gauting three times.
Starnberg five times. During the campaign, the following men spoke in the county seat: party comrade Dr. Rudolf Buttmann, Landtag member party comrade Friedrichs party comrade Adolf Wagner, Landtag member district leader party comrade Franz Buchner party comrade teacher Bauer.
During these two months,the district leader speaks in 32 villages in the district, party comrade Ludwig Schertel in 20, party comrade Scherer in 14, party comrade Mertel in 41 meetings.
Where three people came two years ago, today there are thirty. Where ten once came, today there are a hundred and more! They crowd in. And they pay for it: 20 pfennig and a collection after that!. . .
Aha! Our old friend Biersack! A practiced speaker and fanatic communist!
Party comrade Schmid, Perchting, chairs our meeting: “Before I turn the floor over to our communist discussion speaker, I ask him if he agrees with Moscow’s slogan: Beat up the Fascists whenever you meet them?!”
That was the slogan Moscow had been using. The answer came immediately: “Yes!”
Our man was ready: “Then I refuse to give you the floor!”
That is what they had hoped for ... a whistle blows and it starts!
The drunken mob resembles a band of scalp-hungry, victory-drunk Indians. Beer mugs dance past our eyes. Knives flash. Chairs fly through the dusty, smoky air... Before we could form up, each of our six men was surrounded by twenty howling communists.
They played the role of Red Amazons perfectly. Ever since, that’s how we imagine the Furies look. They spit their stupid arguments in our faces with flashing eyes, yelled screamed, climbed on chairs and tables and attempted to jump on us. Besides their notably damp breath we saw several surprising body parts that people usually try to conceal. Things are different with monkeys and the Red Guard.
From the background, the Checka leader directed his neatly organized enterprise. At any moment, things were going to explode. We began singing: ... Raise high the flag, close the ranks. . .
The Red Front bellowed! The Internationale whips through the Bavarian pub.
The chaps from the Farmer’s Federation clear out.
The three police are sweating: ... “Let the discussion speaker talk, otherwise We’ll have violence and murder!”
The red chieftain attempts to negotiate.
He wants to speak only to calm his comrades down,
No communist speaks in our meetings!
“Hold one of your own!”
The cowardly mob calms down. They don’t dare to attack our men! ... Six against 120.
Several hours later the Gauting S.A. arrives.
Party comrade Hübbe had gotten together what he could on short notice. Fifteen S.A. men, including party comrade Otto Nippold, experienced a wild ride to Traubing in Robels’ truck on that fine summer afternoon.
Suddenly we saw a terrifying group charge around the corner of the village church and charge the pub with dreadful shouts. Each man was armed with a fence slat, and there was no doubt as to what he intended to do with it... It was our dear, loyal Gauting S.A., Unfortunately, they arrived too late.
The police had closed our meeting.
Afterward, the Commune gathered for a closed meeting at which Moscow’s chieftain could speak to his disappointed and drunken comrades for a while about the promised land in Soviet Judah... until the Nazi district leader walked in and loudly demanded to reply. That livened up the room... “Shameless dog! ... Nazi terrorist! Worker killer!” .
“No! ... “ howled the Bolshevist leader. “Let the Fascist speak and see that we guarantee freedom of expression!” ... The stupid devil! And they fantasize about world revolution!
The National Socialist spoke for five minutes ... up to the point were he said that the Bolshevist bigwig and street thief Max Hölz in Saxony did the bidding of the strongholds of capitalism, the banks, while his commandos burnt down homes and farm houses... Then he was grabbed from behind and thrown out ... Just as party comrade Nippold came by for a look! .
The red highwaymen had caught us by surprise, but their goal of forcing an opportunity to speak in a swastika meeting failed.
They would be making plans for similar pranks. We would be ready.
Saturday, 16 August, was the date of our next meeting in Pöcking, near Traubing.
S.S. Troop Starnberg, S.A. Troop Gauting and the “Oberländer” cheerfully accepted the district leader’s invitation for a highly probably altercation with the Commune.
Over a hundred people filled the upper room at the “Post” pub in Pöcking. And we were right! Moscow’s Foreign Legionnaires were there in force. Did they think they could repeat their little game of eight days ago, but with more success this time?
The meeting began...
The Red Front didn’t wait long to get started this time. There intent was unmistakable. They were out to put a violent end to the “growing Nazi terror” in the communist section of the district!
The battle began after ten minutes. Heckling came from all corners. The familiar signal. But today the blow would fall to the rear!
The S.S. lit in. A meeting hall fight!
Max Ederer gave a blow ... Everyone joined in ...
Women’s voices screamed.
Chairs flew, glass broke, screams, thuds and the first Bolshevists were already flying out the door.
Schmid Schorsch, breathing hard, took his jacket off, rolled up his sleeves, and plunged into the screaming mob. A Red grabbed our “Moses” from behind ... The district leader leaped from the platform and give the opponent a blow the Red Guard was on the floor, protecting his face with his arms ... A kick in the ear persuaded the chap to move his head, revealing his face, eyes, and nose! .
Party comrade Hübbe grabbed two Muscovites by neck and turned them over to his S.A. men... Next, please! An opponent grabbed his shoulder straps from the rear ... The Sturmführer stumbled ... an S.S. man knocked the attacker down .
The guard troops, the speaker and the chairman joined together to throw the troublemakers out. Here and there blood flowed.
Outside in the hallway, the Gauting S.A. was waiting ... They were in reserve and lined the way out. The communists were passed from hand to hand as they fled the room ... They got some good kicks along the way ... The Commune risked their necks as they jumped down the stairs. And the “Oberländer” were waiting at the entrance to the pub . The Muscovites got a third set of blows. And then they were greeted by the police.
The only idiot who had any sympathy for the crooks was the notorious rabble-rousing Pastor Fritz of Pöcking. He claimed to be a pacifist, but down deep he was a genuine communist.
After being cleansed of the troublemakers, the meeting continued .
During the discussion, the rabble-rousing Pastor Fritz spoke. He wept about the Commune that had been thrown out, and awarded martyr’s wreaths to the Muscovites.
After him came a long-haired youth of dubious appearance. He began calmly, but when he thought it was safe, made a clever transition from Mussolini’s Italy to us. A trained communist! We threw him off the platform in the mid-sentence. Party comrade Hübbe caught the Bohemian by his hair and boxed his ears a few times, then he was grabbed by the S.A., who probably held on to some of his hair.
The show began again.
The rabble-rousing pastor protested. A huge woman, “Frau Professor Schiff,” with Jewish relatives, suddenly screamed “Hail Moscow!” and began to shout hysterically. There was nothing to do but escort the howling Fury out the door ... Great! Now we’ve only got the bourgeois left! The plague is being cleared out!
How will it turn out? We got twelve seats in 1928, not enough for a faction. Today? ... In our secret heart, we hope for sixty or seventy seats. Crazy optimists stubbornly insist it will be eighty. One has to be careful beyond ninety, lest one’s hopes be shattered too badly.
One thing we know: The hundreds of thousands of Spring 1928 have become millions. One ... two ... three ... And we know something else: We are no longer isolated and alone.
We have seen the faces and eyes of people. And their passing remarks, their replies to our greetings, the way they took our leaflets, their expressions and smiles ...
Fate, don’t deceive us! ...
Endless tiring work, long nights and hard days, depend on this hour. We have struggled and fought for Germany.
Lord God, don’t desert us!
We have to work to conceal our enthusiasm.
The opponents do not need to see how unsure we are...
“The election is finished!.” announces the election official indifferently, as one does about inconsequential things.
He could not know that these thin words are the death sentence for his own party. These harmless urns, only one of which is in front of us, which are being opened by the thousands throughout the German Reich, hold one of the greatest decisions in German history ...
Election aides easily lift the urn on to a table. A flood of gray papers flows on to the green table top ... In them, the German people spoke their judgment on a dying world. The division of spirits begins!
They call out ... BVP, NSDAP, SPD, NSDAP, BVP, NSDAP, NSDAP . That little pile is ours: The National Socialist German Workers Party . It grows: NSDAP, NSDAP, BVP, NSDAP ...
Another little pile is giving us competition: The Bavarian People’s Party, the blacks, are still there, they are still alive.
And the Socialists? Look there! The SPD is behind! It is several steps lower than our pile.
But it is no longer a little pile. It is already a substantial house. The monotonic voices continue: NSDAP, NSDAP ... Maxl punches me in the ribs and rubs his nervous hands .
“Man! Look!” ... NSDAP, NSDAP,. NSDAP, NSDAP ...
Fate is taking its course.
It is going our way.
Our hearts are burning, but our heads stay cooler, calmer.
Our house has become a mountain. It towers over the others. And the mountain moves ... falls ... falls over the others ... knocks them down and buries the Bavarian People’s Party and its neighbor, the SPD,and the whole of the remaining bourgeois world between them.
Another mountain grows next to the rebuilt one ... Votes that belong to Adolf Hitler.
There must be hundreds of thousands ... one million — no two, well millions across Germany, if our mountain is any indication! And the pile grows ever taller, mightier.
The door opens! ... A shout shocks the worthies counting monotonously behind the green table.
Breathless, our messengers from other polling places rush into the room. The news is wonderful: “We are the strongest! Here’s the results!”
The figures jump up and down in their columns ...
The SPD defeated! For the first time! A deep breath.
And the Bavarian People’s Party has lost votes. They had it coming, the hypocrites!
The German National Party? Heavy losses. They got what they deserved.
Stresemann’s party destroyed!
The Democrats chopped up!
The Economic Party has disappeared!
Victory! Victory! Victory!
“Germany awake!” rises over the might of those in power... “Adolf Hitler! Hail battle!”
Joy overcomes us.
The professor hugs the mason, the surveyor’s assistant the paperhanger... Everyone is holding on to everyone else. Their throats clutch, their eyes gleam. But more in tears than in laughter and jubilation.
Comrade! Adolf Hitler has won!
It was not in vain!
Listen? Outside? ... “People, hear the call to the last battle... “
It is near!
Horst Wessel’s song: “... Soon Hitler’s flags will flutter in every street! Our slavery will not last much longer!” ...