The Apostles (detail) ~ 1526
Alte Pinakothek of Munich
Night of 19th-20th August 1941
The virtues of war—Ten to fifteen million
more Germans—War and human fecundity.
For the good of the German people, we must wish for a war every fifteen or twenty years. An army whose sole purpose is to preserve peace leads only to playing at soldiers—compare Sweden and Switzerland. Or else it constitutes a revolutionary danger to its own country.
If I am reproached with having sacrificed a hundred or two thousand men by reason of the war, I can answer that, thanks to what I have done, the German nation has gained, up to the present, more than two million five hundred thousand human beings. If I demand a tenth of this as a sacrifice, nevertheless I have given 90 per cent. I hope that in ten years there will be from ten to fifteen millions more of us Germans in the world. Whether they are men or women, it matters little: I am creating conditions favourable to growth.
Many great men were the sixth or seventh children of their family. When such-and-such a man, whom one knows, dies, one knows what one has lost. But does one know what one loses by the limitation of births? The man killed before he is born—that remains the enigma.
Wars drive the people to proliferation, they teach us not to fall into the error of being content with a single child in each family.
It’s not tolerable that the life of the peoples of the Continent should depend upon England. The Ukraine, and then the Volga basin, will one day be the granaries of Europe. We shall reap much more than what actually grows from the soil. It must not be forgotten that, from the time of the Tsars, Russia, with her hundred and seventy million people, has never suffered from famine. We shall also keep Europe supplied with iron. If one day Sweden declines to supply any more iron, that’s all right. We’ll get it from Russia.
Night of 14th-15th September 1941
Criminals in war-time—
The habits of the Jurists.
I’ve ordered Himmler, in the event of there some day being reason to fear troubles back at home, to liquidate everything he finds in the concentration camps. Thus at a stroke the revolution would be deprived of its leaders.
The old Reich knew already how to act with firmness in the occupied areas. That’s how attempts at sabotage to the railways in Belgium were punished by Count von der Goltz. He had all the villages burnt within a radius of several kilometres, after having had all the mayors shot, the men imprisoned and the women and children evacuated. There were three or four acts of violence in all, then nothing more happened. It’s true that in 1918 the population adopted a hostile attitude towards German troops going up into the line.
Nowadays it’s the same thing. During the campaign in Poland, the lawyers tried to blame the troops because the latter had shot sixty civilians in a region where wounded soldiers had been massacred. In such a case, a lawyer opens legal proceedings against X. His enquiry leads nowhere, of course, for nobody has ever seen anything, and if anyone knows the guilty man, he’ll take good care not to inform against a “member of the Resistance”.
Lawyers cannot understand that in exceptional times new laws become valid. I shall be interested to know whether they’ll pass the death sentence on that madman who set fire to the Bremen—deliberately, it’s said, from a liking for setting things alight. I’ve given instructions for the event of the man’s not being condemned to death. He’s to be shot immediately.
17th September 1941, evening, and the night of I7th-18th
The attack against Russia—Germans must acquire a sense of Empire.
The spirit of decision does not mean acting at all costs. The spirit of decision consists simply in not hesitating when an inner conviction commands you to act. Last year I needed great spiritual strength to take the decision to attack Bolshevism.
I had to foresee that Stalin might pass over to the attack in the course of 1941. It was therefore necessary to get started without delay, in order not to be forestalled—and that wasn’t possible before June.
The Germans—this is essential—will have to constitute amongst themselves a closed society, like a fortress. The least of our stable-lads must be superior to any native. For German youth, this will be a magnificent field of experiment. We’ll attract to the Ukraine Danes, Dutch, Norwegians, Swedes.
The Germans must acquire the feeling for the great, open spaces. We must arrange things so that every German can realise for himself what they mean. We’ll take them on trips to the Crimea and the Caucasus. There’s a big difference between seeing these countries on the map and actually having visited them.
1st September 1941, midday
Pragmatic politicians vs.
When one has preached in the desert for decades, it proves, when the time comes for action, that one has lost all contact with reality. These Germans of the old school were fine fellows, but their speciality was literature. Their audience was twenty thousand readers of their own stamp. None of them knew how to speak to the people.
Right from the beginning, I realised that one could not go far along that track. The man who means to act must find his support in faith, and faith is found only in the people. The great masses have no mercy, they go straight ahead with the simplicity of innocence. We have seen what a people is capable of, when it is led. All possibilities exist in it, for good as well as for evil. The duty of National Socialism inevitably boils down to this: all that is best in the people should be allowed ceaselessly to develop.