Night of the 22nd-23rd July 1941
Steps towards a durable understanding between Germany and Britain—Dearth of philosophic and artistic sense of the British.
I believe that the end of this war will mark the beginning of a durable friendship with England. But first we must give her the k.o.—for only so can we live at peace with her, and the Englishman can only respect someone who has first knocked him out. The memory of 1918 must be obliterated.
D. asked the Fuehrer whether Germany was fortified against the dangers of over-easy living, which were threatening to be the ruin of England.
Yes, and that’s why I pay attention to the arts. Amongst the English, culture, like sport, is a privilege of good society. Just imagine, in no country is Shakespeare so badly acted as in England. They love music, but their love is not returned! Besides, they have no thinker of genius. What does the National Gallery mean there, to the mass of the people? It’s like their social reform. It wasn’t called for, like German reform, by the needs of conscience, but solely by reasons of State.
At Bayreuth one meets more Frenchmen than Englishmen. Quote me the example of a single theatre in England where work is done that compares with the work we do in hundreds of theatres.
But I’ve met a lot of Englishmen and Englishwomen whom I respect. Let’s not think too much about those whom we know, with whom we’ve had those deceptive official dealings—they’re not men. Despite everything, it’s only with the people that we can associate.