The Führer’s monologues (iii)

Picker (pic left) pointed out in the introduction to the edition of his Table Talk that, apart from short walks, Hitler ‘only found the necessary mental and spiritual relaxation in private conversation at his table, i.e. in talking in a personal, convivial atmosphere’.[1] This purpose was best achieved the further the respective topic of conversation led away from the pressing tasks and decisions of the day. Since every effort and concentration was to be avoided, the guests refrained from deepening or continuing a topic by asking questions or raising objections. In addition, the commander-in-chief, who was cut off from many contacts and isolated from the people in his headquarters, also monologued to gain clarity for himself. He found it particularly helpful when the guests were open-minded and joined in. During the war, the small dinner party replaced the population, whose response Hitler had always so urgently needed for his decisions and whom he could not entirely do without.

The need for communication became even more obvious at the nightly teatimes. Hitler didn’t retire after the evening briefing to relax or reflect on current events, but invited a few confidants to his bunker, which also served him as a workroom, to shed the burden of the day and gain new energy. He attached particular importance to the presence of his secretaries, because he felt stimulated by this, but at the same time the informal atmosphere was preserved. Very different topics were often discussed than in the conversations in the larger circle.
 

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Editor’s Note: This is what those who do a detailed analysis of Mein Kampf fail to understand: the real Hitler is the one of his after-dinner talks. The other is the ‘PR Hitler’ for the masses.
 

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When assessing Hitler’s monologues, these aspects will always have to be taken into account. It corresponded to the need for relaxation and repression that in the winter months of 1941/42 the serious crisis on the Eastern Front, the hardships of the population in the increasingly severe war, the supply difficulties and the looming weakness of Italy weren’t mentioned at all. No less visible is the need for recreation in the reminiscences of a special past, the reports of interesting encounters and experiences, and discussions about questions of art. This is often matched by the style of relaxed chit-chat, whereby the topics changed quickly and easily and undoubtedly not every word and every opinion should be weighed on the gold scales.

Hitler sought contact with his aides and collaborators when fundamental questions of worldview and politics moved him and he wanted to gain clarity about his course of action, especially about the possibilities and limits he had for his actions during the war. The frequent discussions on questions of faith, the vitality of Christianity in Germany and Europe, the position of the churches on National Socialism and politics in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe belong in this context; and the same for his remarks on the administration of justice and the special problems of the penal system under the exceptional conditions of war. Hitler sensed in his conversations with the few people around him in the Führer’s headquarters that the readiness to take tougher and more uncompromising action against outsiders or enemies of the regime grew the more severe as the war unfolded, and the sacrifices it demanded. Even in the seclusion of his headquarters, he still had a feeling for the mood in the country and the state of consciousness of the individual groups and classes. Hence his repeated harsh criticism of the administration and its schematism, which was shared by parts of the population, his mockery of the concerns and objections of the experts in all areas of public life, and his anger at the Germans who showed fear and disgust given the deportations of Jews and the persecution measures in the occupied territories.
 

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Editor’s Note: This reminds me of American racialists that falter over the exterminationist measures that William Pierce fantasized about in both fiction and his story of the white race.
 

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Now, admittedly, the records convey only an inadequate picture of Hitler’s remarks. Heim did take notes at lunchtime and in the evening during the talks in the larger circle ‘to have a basis for the most important details’. But even then, after the board had been removed, he was only able to summarise on a few pages what sometimes had been discussed in great detail. For the very long monologues during the nightly teatimes, he had to rely entirely on his memory.

Furthermore, Bormann’s adjutant, who was interested in problems of art, refrained from the outset from ‘recording statements on military and questions of technology’ because he wasn’t competent and knowledgeable in this regard. He did this in wise self-restraint, although conversations about these topics at the table took up a great deal of space and Hitler had considerable knowledge in these areas. But beyond that, Heim didn’t jot down anything unless he was sure ‘that he had grasped the gist of it’. When reading these notes it must always be borne in mind that they contain by no means everything that concerned Hitler and what he talked about.

Nevertheless, the transcripts presented here are of great value because the man who made them, as a convinced National Socialist, tried to capture the ‘train of thought and the quintessence’ of what he heard. Particularly short, striking statements and remarks on ideological and political issues, that were familiar to Heim as an old party comrade, stuck with him. When talking about less familiar topics or events that were off the beaten track, on the other hand, sentences were sometimes recorded that no longer allow a full reconstruction of the course of the conversation and the train of thought.

No matter how hard Heim tried to convey the words of his leader as faithfully and accurately as possible, they remain subjectively filtered. Here, too, what Baroness Spitzemberg noted in her diary about a long conversation with Bismarck in Friedrichsruh after his resignation is true: ‘In writing all this down immediately after hearing it, with no other intention than to entrust the great man’s words to this book, I realise how inevitable the errors are… When I read over what has been written, I am well aware that I have not written anything wrong; but some things have nevertheless been left out, through the different order or it doesn’t appear as it was intended. Perhaps I put a different meaning in the prince’s words!’[2]

To leave no doubt that it was always only a summary of Hitler’s remarks, Heim introduced each interview note with a sentence such as: ‘According to the meaning, the chief expressed himself in approximately the following lines of thought’, or: ‘Among other things, according to the meaning, the chief expressed himself as follows…’ This practice was also adhered to by Bormann’s adviser, who recorded the few statements from the years 1943/44. His notes always began with the formula: ‘Today the Führer said roughly the following…’ This makes it clear that it is merely a reproduction, that long discussions were summarised, and that occasionally less important or very specific statements were omitted.

This finding must be particularly emphasized because Picker described Heim’s 36 conversation recordings, which he included in his edition of the Tischgespräche, as ‘original shorthand’.[3] This claim may be in private interest—shorthand notes are not protected by copyright to the same extent as memorial transcripts and memos, but it doesn’t serve the needs of science and the interested public at all. After all, there is a serious difference between a verbatim reproduction of Hitler’s remarks and a summary of his monologues.

Moreover, Picker’s assertion that he had received the express permission of Hitler and Bormann to take his own and some selected notes of Heim’s must also be questioned. According to Heim, Hitler knew nothing at all about his notes. He can therefore—at least in the case of Heim’s texts—hardly have had material at his disposal of which he had no knowledge. Furthermore, it is not evident why Bormann treated the Führer’s talks as a ‘secret’ party matter and carefully kept them safe, if at the same time he expressly released them as a private work.

For the evaluation of the source, it is of great importance whether Hitler carefully checked his statements in the knowledge of the transcripts and only said what was allowed to become known, or whether he was able to speak freely and relaxedly in a circle of confidants about questions that shouldn’t leak out, to which he didn’t yet have a clear answer. All the information suggests that the latter was the case. In any case, Hitler didn’t expect that what he said at the nightly meetings in his study would be recorded in writing. In this relaxed atmosphere he expressed himself more openly and informally than at the lunch and dinner table. Picker was well aware of this, because during his work on Bormann’s staff he mainly procured copies of these notes. Of the 36 notes he took from Heim’s inventory into his edition, 13 alone refer to the nightly teatimes, to which he was never asked.

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[1] Picker, Hitlers Tischgespräche, p. 24.

[2] Das Tagebuch der Baronin Spitzemberg. Ausgewählt und herausgegeben von Rudolf Vierhaus (The Diary of Baroness Spitzemberg. Selected and edited by Rudolf Vierhaus). Göttingen 1976, p. 291.

[3] Picker, Hitlers Tischgespräche, p. 33.

The Führer’s monologues (ii)

The majority of Hitler’s monologues, which are published in this volume, were handed down by Heinrich Heim (pic above). He was born in Munich on 15 June 1900, and grew up in Zweibrücken where he also attended school.

In keeping with his heritage—Heim came from an old and respected Bavarian legal family (his father was a judge at the Bavarian Supreme Court and from 1918 to 1925 a member of the Bavarian State Court and for a time of the Disciplinary Court)—he studied law at the University of Munich.

Heim met Rudolf Hess at an economics college and through him came into contact with the NSDAP, which he joined as early as 19 July 1920. After passing his exams for the higher judicial and administrative service, the young lawyer set up his own practice in Munich. He worked in an office partnership with Dr Hans Frank, who was already Hitler’s and the NSDAP’s preferred legal representative at that time. Heim, too, immediately became active as a lawyer for the party. He primarily represented the interests of the NSDAP’s relief fund, which was headed by Martin Bormann. This established a collaboration that lasted until 1945.

When Rudolf Hess was appointed Deputy Leader in 1933 and Martin Bormann appointed as his chief of staff, the systematic development of an efficient party headquarters began.

Bormann brought Heim onto his staff on 13 August 1933 where he worked, albeit initially on a fee basis without clearly defined responsibilities. Only after the National Socialist party leadership had been given a say in state legislation and namely in the appointment and promotion of civil servants, other lawyers and staff were recruited. In the newly established constitutional law department of the party headquarters, Heim was assigned the handling of all questions concerning the judiciary. He remained in this position of head of the Reich Office until the end of 1939. In 1936 he was appointed senior government councillor, and in 1939 he received the rank of ministerial councillor.

When, at the beginning of the war, Martin Bormann (who had already been in Berlin from time to time and had kept the connection between Hitler and the party leadership) followed the leader of the NSDAP to his respective headquarters, he took Heim with him as his adjutant. He remained in this position from the end of 1939 until the autumn of 1942. After that, when he returned to the Braune Haus in Munich, he headed a newly created department until the end of the war, in which fundamental questions of a reorganisation of Europe were dealt with.

The decisive factor for Heim’s command to the Führer’s headquarters was Hitler’s wish. If possible, he only wanted to see people he knew in his environment.

The fact that Heim was one of his earliest followers (he had the old membership number 1782) also established a special relationship of trust that made him seem suitable to record Hitler’s discussions and explanations. As Bormann’s adjutant, Heim not only ate regularly at Hitler’s table, but he was also frequently invited to the nightly teatimes in the Führer’s bunker, which were attended only by the closest political confidants and the secretaries. The circle was rarely larger than six to eight people. The records of these nocturnal monologues by Hitler make up the special value of Heim’s collection.

In spring 1942, Heim was commissioned to assist the painter Karl Leipold, to whom he was particularly close, in preparing an exhibition at the Haus der Kunst. For the time of his absence from the Führer’s headquarters from March to July 1942, Bormann was looking for a substitute. Since no one was available in the party chancellery, he turned to the Gauleiter of the NSDAP and asked them for suggestions. Among the names he was given was that of Dr Henry Picker, a senior government official. He had been proposed by the Gauleiter of Oldenburg, Karl Rover. The party chancellery made a preliminary selection, and the decision lay with Hitler himself.

Bormann accepted Picker as Heim’s representative because the proposal came from a proven Gauleiter and Hitler transferred the recognition he paid to Picker’s father to his son. Senator Daniel Picker had already promoted the NSDAP in Wilhelmshaven in 1929 and brought its leader into contact with representatives of the shipyard industry and the navy.[1]

During his visits to the port city, Hitler had repeatedly been a guest in the Picker house. For the sake of clarification, it deserves to be stated that Henry Picker did not come to the Führer’s headquarters as a civil servant or lawyer, but served there as Bormann’s adjutant on behalf of the Party Chancellery. His permanent duties therefore included recording Hitler’s conversations during the official lunch and dinner table.

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[1] Picker: Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier (op. cit.), page 12.

Published in: on January 6, 2022 at 12:37 pm  Comments Off on The Führer’s monologues (ii)  

Rosenberg, Heydrich et al

What does Christianity mean today? National Socialism is a religion. All we lack is a religious genius capable of uprooting outmoded religious practices and putting new ones in their place. We lack traditions and ritual. One day soon National Socialism will be the religion of all Germans. My Party is my church, and I believe I serve the Lord best if I do his will, and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of slavery. That is my gospel.

—Joseph Goebbels

National Socialist and Christian concepts are incompatible.

— Martin Bormann

There’s an old saying: “Judge them by the company they keep.” Hitler surrounded himself with openly rabid anti-Christians like Himmler, Bormann, Rosenberg, Goebbels and Heydrich. Hardly the people a devout Christian would want to be around.

—VNN commenter

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 156

the-real-hitler

 

23rd July 1942, after dinner

Let us admire Stalin—The danger of racial pressure in the Eastern territories—Contraception should be encouraged.

It is very stupid to sneer at the Stakhanov system. The arms and equipment of the Russian armies are the best proof of its efficiency in the handling of industrial man-power. Stalin, too, must command our unconditional respect. In his own way he is a hell of a fellow! He knows his models, Genghiz Khan and the others, very well, and the scope of his industrial planning is exceeded only by our own Four Year Plan. And there is no doubt that he is quite determined that there shall be in Russia no unemployment such as one finds in such capitalist States as the United States of America.

Bormann, who has just returned from a tour of inspection of the Kolkhoz in the vicinity of General Headquarters, gave his impressions: “If these people are allowed, under German supervision—that is, under greatly improved conditions—to multiply too quickly, it will be against our interests, for the racial pressures which these damned Ukrainians will exercise will constitute a real danger.” Hitler commented:

I recently read an article from the pen of some Herr Doktor advocating the prohibition of the sale in the occupied territories of contraceptives. If any criminal lunatic should really try to introduce this measure I’d soon have his head off!

In view of the extraordinary fertility of the local inhabitants, we should be only too pleased to encourage the women and the girls to practise the arts of contraception at all times. Far from prohibiting the sale of contraceptives, therefore, we should do our utmost to encourage it.

We should call on the Jews for help! With their unrivalled sense of commerce, they are the very people for the job!

In all seriousness, however, there is a very real danger that these local inhabitants will increase too rapidly under our care and domination. Their conditions of life will inevitably improve under our jurisdiction, and we must take all the measures necessary to ensure that the non-German population does not increase at an excessive rate. In these circumstances, it would be sheer folly to place at their disposal a health service such as we know it in Germany; and so—no inoculations and other preventative measures for the natives! We must even try to stifle any desire for such things, by persuading them that vaccination and the like are really most dangerous!

It is, furthermore, essential to avoid doing anything which might give rise to a feeling of superiority or of racial pride among the natives. This is of the utmost importance, for it is only by the creation of the very reverse state of mind that we shall be able to prepare the ground for the accomplishment of our plans.

For these reasons, the local population must be given no facilities for higher education. A failure on our part in this respect would simply plant the seeds of future opposition to our rule. Schools, of course, they must have—and they must pay for their tuition. But there is no need to teach them much more than, say, the meaning of the various road-signs. Instruction in geography can be restricted to one single sentence: The Capital of the Reich is Berlin, a city which everyone should try to visit once in his lifetime. Finally, elementary instruction in reading and writing in German will complete the course. Mathematics and such like are quite unnecessary.

In setting up the educational system, the same principles apply to both Eastern territories and any other colonies. We do not want any of this enlightenment nonsense propagated by an advance guard of parsons! I am in favour of teaching a little German in the schools simply because this will facilitate our administration.

Otherwise every time some German instruction is disobeyed, the local inhabitant will come along with the excuse that he “didn’t understand”. For the same reason, the Russian script must be replaced by the Latin. The greatest possible mistake we could make would be to take the local population too much under the wing of the State; and to avoid all danger of our own people becoming too soft-hearted and too humane towards them, we must keep the German colonies strictly separated from the local inhabitants. Germans will in no circumstances live in a Ukrainian town.

The houses to be constructed for the Germans must in no respect resemble those of the Russians, and lime-plaster and thatched roofs will not be used.


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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 158

the-real-hitler

 

26th July 1942, after dinner

Do’s and Don’ts for Civil Servants—The temptations to corruption—A few swindlers.

The Fuehrer asked Bormann whether the necessary steps had been taken to make it illegal for any member of the Reichstag to sit on the Board of Directors of any private concern. Bormann replied that the matter had been deferred until the end of the war and suggested that Lammers should be asked to give a detailed explanation in his next report. The Fuehrer was horrified at this reply, and said:

No servant of the State must be a shareholder. No Gauleiter, no Member of the Reichstag and, in general, no Party leader must be a member of any board of directors, regardless of whether the appointment is honorary or paid; for even if the individual were actuated solely by the interests of the State, and even if he possessed the integrity of Cato himself, the public would lose faith in him.

No Member of the Reichstag, no civil servant and no Party leader must be in any way connected with business of this nature. Big business is as hot on the trail of such connections as the Devil after the soul of a Jew.

Even the most capable businessman is sometimes caught by the swindler. I am thinking of Roselius, who extracted the caffein from coffee and sold it at a high price as a medicine, and then sold his processed coffee at a price above that of normal coffee. Well, even this astute Roselius was caught by a crook who claimed to be able to transform dirty water into pure water. Shortly after I came into power, Roselius forced my hand and I consented to receive this eminent person. I only had to hear this great “inventor” speak for a moment, to discover that he was a complete crook.

Then the Minister for Church Affairs, or course, had to fall into the hands of another soi-disant inventor, who claimed to be able to extract petrol from coal by means of a process with water! Even Keppler allowed himself to be led by the nose for nearly a year by the same sharper, who really did produce petrol for his dupes’ inspection—but it was petrol procured from other sources! When things at last got too hot for this particular swindler, he tried to get a safe-conduct out of the country. But Himmler, who originally had believed in him, gave him instead a carte d’entrée for one of the concentration camps, where he was able to continue his experiments in peace!

“If such swindles are possible here in this country,” said Bormann, “what must it be like in a place like the United States!” The Fuehrer continued:

Germany’s strength lies in the fact that the men of the Party, the State and the armed forces take no part in business; and those of them who still have any connection with business must now make their final decision: either they must abandon all such connections, or they must resign from their official positions.


_____________________________

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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 159

the-real-hitler

 

1st August 1942, evening

British lies—A comparison with America—The Church’s cunning wisdom—Exit the Pope.

Conversation turned to a book entitled Juan in America which Bormann had recently lent to the Fuehrer. In it the author paints a picture of the unbelievable conditions which reigned in the intellectual and political circles of the United States, and of the astonishing credulity of the American citizen. Hewel stated that this credulity was not an exclusively American characteristic, and that in Britain, too, the people swallowed everything they were told. Hitler said:

It is perfectly true that the British swallow everything they are told. At the moment, nevertheless, there is a certain amount of murmuring over faked reports. According to the Americans themselves, America has the finest, biggest and most efficient of everything in the wide world; and when one then reads a book like this about them, one sees that they have the brains of a hen! Well, the disillusionment will be all the more severe, and the consternation, when this house of cards collapses, will be enormous.

It is very difficult to argue with Americans. They immediately shout: “Say, take a look at what our workers earn!” True, but let us take a look at the shady side as well. The industrial worker earns his eighty dollars; but the man who is not in industry gets absolutely nothing. At one time they had no less than thirteen million unemployed. I have seen pictures of shelters built out of old kerosene tins which the unemployed had erected for themselves and which remind me of the holes of misery to be found in the Bolshevik industrial cities. I grant you that our standard of life is lower. But the German Reich has two hundred and seventy opera houses—a standard of cultural existence of which they over there have no conception.

To sum it up, the Americans live like sows in a most luxurious sty!

Reichsleiter Bormann drew attention to the gifts which France made almost every day to the Church, and on which the power of the Church was thriving mightily. The Fuehrer continues:

It was exactly the same in Bavaria! Held restored to the Church forest lands to the value of thirty or forty million marks, lands which by expropriation belonged to the State!

The Church has succeeded in striking a very pretty balance between life on earth and in the Hereafter. On earth, they say, the poor must remain poor and blessed, for in Heaven the earthly rich will get nothing; and the unfortunate poor on earth believe them!

It is only by keeping the masses ignorant that the existing social order of things can be maintained; in the eyes of the faithful, this is the justification for supreme Papal authority. Cramer-Klett told me one day that he had become a Catholic because he realised that Luther with his Reformation had completely destroyed authority as such.

Possibly—but I cannot help thinking that man has been endowed with a brain which he is intended to make use of, and that anything which is founded on a premise unacceptable to the human intellect cannot endure for ever. It is not possible to hold fast for very long to tenets which the progress of knowledge have proved to be false. I should be wrong if I condemned as a liar a man who believed firmly in the Aristotelean or Ptolemaic world, when he had no other alternative to choose from. But a man who still believes in this old conception of the world today certainly is a liar. No science remains stationary. In my eyes the ability of mankind to reject a proven untruth is one of its virtues. By the Church the Unknown is described and explained with precision, and if she advances with the times, the ground must inevitably be cut from under her feet. For this reason she is opposed to all progress. It adds little to our knowledge of the Creator when some parson presents to us an indifferent copy of a man as his conception of the Deity.

The most pressing danger, as I see it, is that Christianity, by adhering to a conception of the Beyond which is constantly exposed to the attacks of unceasing progress, and by binding it so closely to many of the trivialities of life which may at any moment collapse, is ripening mankind for conversion to materialistic Bolshevism. And that is a terrible tragedy. Man will lose all sense of proportion, and once he considers himself to be the lord of the universe, it will be the end of everything. And if the Church in Spain continues in the way it is doing, it will end on the refuse-heap.

In Venice, in 1934, the Duce once said to me: “One of these days the Pope will have to leave Italy; there is not room for two Masters!” The Church of today is nothing more than a hereditary joint stock company for the exploitation of human stupidity.


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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 192

the-real-hitler
Night of 29th-30th November 1944

Jesus and Saint Paul—Christianity, a Jewish manoeuvre—Christianity and Communism—National Socialism, the implacable enemy of everything Jewish.
 

Jesus was most certainly not a Jew. The Jews would never have handed one of their own people to the Roman courts; they would have condemned him themselves. It is quite probable that a large number of the descendants of the Roman legionaries, mostly Gauls, were living in Galilee, and Jesus was probably one of them. His mother may well have been a Jewess.

Jesus fought against the materialism of his age, and, therefore, against the Jews.

Paul of Tarsus, who was originally one of the most stubborn enemies of the Christians, suddenly realised the immense possibilities of using, intelligently and for other ends, an idea which was exercising such great powers of fascination. He realised that the judicious exploitation of this idea among non-Jews would give him far greater power in the world than would the promise of material profit to the Jews themselves. It was then that the future St. Paul distorted with diabolical cunning the Christian idea. Out of this idea, which was a declaration of war on the golden calf, on the egotism and the materialism of the Jews, he created a rallying point for slaves of all kinds against the elite, the masters and those in dominant authority.

The religion fabricated by Paul of Tarsus, which was later called Christianity, is nothing but the Communism of today.

Bormann intervened. Jewish methods, he said, have never varied in their essentials. Everywhere they have stirred up the plebs against the ruling classes. Everywhere they have fostered discontent against the established power. For these are the seeds which produce the crop they hope later to gather.

Everywhere they fan the flames of hatred between peoples of the same blood. It is they who invented class-warfare, and the repudiation of this theory must therefore always be an anti-Jewish measure. In the same way, any doctrine which is anti-Communist, any doctrine which is anti-Christian must, ipso facto, be anti-Jewish as well.

The National Socialist doctrine is therefore anti-Jewish in excelsis, for it is both anti-Communist and anti-Christian. National Socialism is solid to the core, and the whole of its strength is concentrated against the Jews, even in matters which appear to have a purely social aspect and are designed for the furtherance of the social amenities of our own people.

The Fuehrer concluded: Burgdorff has just given me a paper which deals with the relationship between Communism and Christianity. It is comforting to see how, even in these days, the fatal relationship between the two is daily becoming clearer to the human intelligence.

_____________________________

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