“Woe to him who assails thee!
Thy City endures,
But he who assails thee falls.
The sun of him who loves thee not goes down, O Amon!”
—From a hymn to Amon1
“Jeder Versuch, eine Weltanschauung mit Machtmitteln zu bekämpfen, scheitert am Ende, solange nicht der Kampf die Form des Angriffs für eine neue geistige Einstellung erhält.”
In all times—ever since the primaeval Golden Age in which the right conception of life and the right religion of truth prevailed all over the world—there have been great struggles of ideas, religious wars under one form or another. One of the oldest known is the struggle between the perennial Solar religion reorganised as a State cult by the Pharaoh Akhnaton, and the Egyptian religion of Amon, in the fourteenth century before Christ. This war—World War number two—was also a religious war (along with an economic one, as are necessarily all wars planned and waged by plutocratic States). It was fought as bitterly as any religious war of old can have been. And it presented the same phenomenon of a minority of people (on each side) standing against the country to which they were expected to belong, for the Ideology dear to their hearts—in England, and even in France (which is still more remarkable), a National Socialist minority which longed for Germany’s victory because Germany was fighting for the Aryan cause (just as there were, in sixteenth century England, Catholics who desired the victory of Spain because Spain represented the cause of the Roman Church); and, on the other hand, a minority of German
1 From a hymn to Amon written after the overthrow of the Religion of the Disk (14th century BC) and preserved on an ostrakon in the British Museum.
2 “Every attempt to fight a worldview by means of force will fail in the end, unless the struggle takes the form of the attack of a new spiritual attitude” (Mein Kampf, I, v, p. 189; cf. Mannheim, p. 172) [Trans. by Ed.].
Democrats and Communists who desired—and helped to bring about—the victory of the United Nations. Ideologies have always soared, and always will soar, above frontiers.
But there ends all the analogy between this recent conflict of ideas and the other European ones, whether in the Middle Ages or in Modern times. This conflict of the two allied forms of Democracy versus National Socialism has nothing in common, fundamentally, with any ideological war among Christians. It is, on the contrary, after many, many years, the first phase of the resumed struggle between the very spirit of Christianity and that of undying Heathendom; between the cult of suffering humanity and the joyous, ever-young, and pitiless philosophy of the Sun; the man-centred conception of the world and the life-centred; between the age-old international spirit of Jewry (which asserted itself in turns in Christianity, in Social Democracy, and in Communism) and the Aryan spirit; the national spirit, identified, not with the superstition of frontiers but with the religion of Race, i.e., with the Religion of Life in all peoples of Indo-European stock—something far more full of meaning than any quarrel about two conflicting interpretations of the same foreign Bible.
And while the minorities which, on both sides, stood for their faith against their country in the religious wars among Christians can be, and should be, accused of treason from a national point of view, the Aryan minorities who, in England, in Norway, in Holland, in France, and elsewhere, worked for the victory of Germany during this war, can certainly not be. For they set up, above the conventional conception of nationhood, not a still more flimsy conception of the Unknown, but the positive, the natural, the living reality of the Race, apart from which nationhood itself loses all its substance. From the strict, but enlightened, national point of view, no less than from the broader racial standpoint, the traitors, in every Aryan nation, were not they, but the ill-advised majority who believed, and the criminal leaders who carried on, the anti-German propaganda—the people who waged war against the champions of their own cause, the defenders of their own race, thus willingly or unwillingly playing into the game of the alien Jew. As for the anti-Nazis of German blood, they are, of course, the most unpardonable of all the traitors who worked against their race in this war, all the more so that they had every opportunity of knowing and of understanding (if only they cared to) the real nature of the issue at stake.
Now that this first phase of the renewed age-old struggle has ended with our disaster, it was only to be expected that the victorious
supporters of both forms of Democracy would try to wipe out every trace of us, and to prevent us from rising again. And they are trying; in fact, trying hard. There has never been, in the history of the world, such a desperate attempt to crush any ideology—save, perhaps, 3300 years ago, the persecution of the Religion of the Disk under Tutankhamon, and especially under Horemheb, in Egypt. “Woe to thy enemies, O Amon,” intoned the priests of the Egyptian god in Karnak, as they solemnly cursed the memory of the inspired King, Akhnaton, Living-in-Truth, “Woe to thy enemies, O Amon! Thy City endures, but he who assailed thee falls!” And the Man who had stood for the Philosophy of the Sun against the philosophy of vested interests, was henceforth known as “that heretic” or “that criminal,” until, within a few years, his following had ceased to exist, and his very name was utterly forgotten.
The one modern counterpart of that most radical, most systematic and merciless of all persecutions in Antiquity (including the better known and more spectacular ones of the early Christians under several Roman emperors) is the persecution of our Weltanschauung in present-day occupied Germany: “Entnazifizierung,” as they call it—“de-Nazification.”
But in spite of the parallelism,1 the result might not be exactly the same. For although National Socialism itself is undoubtedly the modern expression of the self-same perennial Philosophy of Life and Light; and although its enemies are the self-same slaves of the perennial money power, in modern European garb, its persecuted supporters—the undaunted Nazis of 1948 and 1949; the real ones—are of an entirely different mettle than the time-serving adherents of the ancient solar state cult of Tell-el-Amarna2; as far above them, in fact, as pure gold is above clay (and bad quality clay at that).
* * *
There is one way of thoroughly getting rid of an Ideology, namely, to kill off all its supporters, and to bring up the new generation in the admiration and reverence of a rival Ideology. And even then, one is never quite sure that the condemned Weltanschauung will not one day spring up again, from no one knows where. With unsurpassed
1 Remarkably enough, both persecuted régimes—Akhnaton’s ideal state dominated by the Religion of the Disk, in ancient Egypt, and Adolf Hitler’s New Order in modern Germany—lasted about 12 years: 1377–1365 BC, and 1933–1945 AD.
2 “His Majesty has doubled to me his gifts in gold and silver. My Lord, how beneficent is thy Teaching of Life!” (Inscription in the tomb of Ay at Tell-el-Amarna).
ruthlessness, the first Shoguns of the Togukawa Dynasty practically succeeded in uprooting Christianity from seventeenth-century Japan. Yet, nothing could prevent some Japanese from taking an interest in that religion in the twentieth century. And long before, Charlemagne had done his best to blot out Heathendom in ninth-century Germany—and had succeeded, with all the display of barbarity one knows. Yet he could not—nobody could—prevent the awakening of the spirit of eternal Germanic Heathendom in National Socialism, in our times.
But people who set out to kill ideas are, in general, nowhere near as thorough as either the Saxon slayer, in the West, or iron-handed Iyeyasu and Iyemitsu, in the Far East. First of all, because the opposite idea in the name of which they act does not, as a rule, mean all that much to them. Secondly, because, in their unqualifiable vanity, they seldom realise that philosophies, religions, socio-political systems which they dislike, might have supporters to whom they are dearer than anything in the world—far dearer than anything which they (the persecutors) profess to love is to them. In all such cases, the attempt to uproot the idea misses its aim, however horrible a form it might occasionally take.
Apart from that, as I have said before, the success—or failure—of persecution does not depend upon the quality of the persecutors alone. It depends as much—and, in most cases, still more—upon the courage, the tenacity, the single-mindedness of the persecuted; upon their power of dissimulation, also: their capacity to lie brazenly to their enemies while remaining, at heart, loyal to themselves and to their ideals—which, in times of emergency, is also a virtue.
The people who establish statistics about the progress of de-Nazification in Germany since 1945, and the people who study them—and especially those who conduct the whole show—have a tendency to forget these truths of all times.
* * *
Ever since the enemies of the New Order have acquired mastery over German territory, National Socialism has been systematically persecuted in its homeland, both by the Russians, in the name of Communism, and by the Western Allies, in the name of Democracy; more radically, perhaps, by the Russians, only because (give the devil his due!) the latter, being themselves more earnest about their own hateful Weltanschauung than the Westerners about their principles, take us—their only irreducible opponents—more seriously.
The aim of both gangs is to suppress our philosophy as a living force. Their methods are also, fundamentally, the same; the methods of anyone who ever attempted to blot out an ideology in any epoch; the exploitation of fear and need—terror and bribery—also the exploitation of ignorance and weakness—“persuasion,” applied to those who happen to be too young or too ill-informed, or too congenitally stupid to be able to form an opinion of their own.
As everyone knows, the first step of the new masters of Germany was to send to their doom, as “war criminals,” as many of us as had played—in the National Socialist organisation, or in the struggle against Jewry, or simply on the battlefield, in the defence of Germany—a part too prominent to be quickly forgotten. Former ministers of state, Gauleiter, generals, governors of countries occupied by Germany during the war, people who had done nothing more than their duty, thoroughly and selflessly, as one should, were hanged, or sentenced to long terms of imprisonment (often to imprisonment for life) by tribunals pretending to deal out “justice” while being, in reality, but the instruments of a vengeance that had not the guts to call itself such; the vengeance of hypocrites and cowards, mean and cruel as cowards are bound to be.
The same sort of “justice” was exercised in the Russian Zone, with the only difference, perhaps, that there it was not disguised under such a thick layer of humanitarian nonsense. It was summary, brutal, passionately destructive—the glaringly barbaric vengeance wrought by highly organised primitives on their overpowered superiors. It was openly dealt out to us because we were Nazis—and not, outwardly, because we had “sinned” against “mankind” but, in reality, because we were Nazis. Those Germans who had held any sort of position in the National Socialist hierarchy, and who were not lucky enough to be killed outright, were deported no one knows where: to places beyond the Ural Mountains; to slave camps in the heart of High Asia—out of touch with the rest of the world—to toil for the rest of their lives under the whip.
That would not de-Nazify them—any more than the humiliations, the hardships, the ill-treatment inflicted upon their comrades in the Western Zones would the latter. But it would keep them out of the way—for a long time at least; the Russians hope “forever.” Along with the measures applied in the Western Zones, it would help to de-Nazify Germany and the world by keeping less important people away from the influence of the “dangerous” ones. So our persecutors think.
* * *
Apart from brutal force, the advocates of de-Nazification use another weapon: economic pressure. They first do all they possibly can to deprive people, known as or supposed to be National Socialists, of the means of earning a living. And then, more and more, they offer new jobs to people with a National Socialist past who are willing to be de-Nazified. They even offer to reinstall them in their former posts, in the rare cases in which these have not already been given to notorious anti-Nazis as a reward for their war-time treacheries.
To be de-Nazified consists in going through the proceedings of a de-Nazification court and in paying a sum of money, after which one is looked upon—by the occupation authorities—as though one had never been a Nazi. Needless to say that, in the three Western Zones, all people who, thanks to some exceptional luck, have been allowed to retain a post in spite of their former connection with the National Socialist Party, are compelled to undergo that formality if they care at all to remain in office. In the Eastern Zone, I am told, no such a show is put up, for the simple reason that there are no persons in office who ever were, at one time or another in their lives, even distantly connected with National Socialism.1
Sometimes, the penalty for having been a member of the NSDAP—or just somebody sincerely interested in social welfare, who took a more or less active part in the truly admirable work sponsored by the Party in that field—does not go so far as losing one’s job, but consists in a degradation in one’s professional hierarchy, and in a subsequent reduction of salary, regardless of years of honest and efficient service. This is—among thousands of others—the case of Fräulein W, a woman with thirty-four years of service to her credit in an office of the German Railway, somewhere in the now denominated “French” Zone. She has been brought down to the rank of a beginner, with a pay of 116 marks a month instead of the 360 marks she formerly earned. And why? Just for having attended women’s meetings during the grand days, and for having devoted a little of her time to the babies of her country. And I would not even call the lady a National Socialist—not by any stretch of the imagination! She is far too much of a pious Christian to deserve that glorious title.
Entnazifizierung—de-Nazification—has upon the lives of totally
1 This was true in 1948 and 1949, when this book was written. It is no longer true in 1951.
unconcerned people, in Germany, unexpected bearings. It has been, for instance, ever since it was imposed, the cause of a disastrous lowering of the level of education. As soon as the Occupying Powers took over the country, all schoolmasters who were listed as Nazis or reported as such, were turned out of employ (and not permitted to work at all in their own line) unless they could prove that they had been “forced” to join the Party while being, at heart, as anti-Nazi as the Occupying Powers themselves. But, with very few exceptions, all schoolmasters of any worth were convinced National Socialists. As a consequence, all of a sudden, there were practically no schoolmasters left in Germany. For the whole year following the capitulation, the schools and colleges were shut. The Occupying Powers did not care. Why should they? The children and the young people were the sufferers. And they were only Germans—the heirs of that New Order that the United Nations so much wanted to crush. A year without schooling would do them good—until the Occupying Powers would be ready to stuff them with their new democratic propaganda.
After that, up to the end of 1947—in some places up to 1948—the children were granted an hour or two of schooling a week (a few new schoolmasters had somehow been secured; and some of the old ones, whose past was not too damnable in the eyes of the Occupying Powers, had been after consideration allowed to remain). At the end of 1948, and in 1949—four years after the capitulation—school-going children between six and thirteen in the British Zone (in the region of Hanover) enjoy still only an hour or so of schooling a day. That is the negative side of Germany’s “re-education”—Entnazifizierung.
Another aspect of the same is the prevention—according to Article 7 of Law 8 of the Occupation Statute—of any attempt to keep alive “the military and the Nazi spirit” in occupied Germany. I was myself arrested in Cologne, on the 20th of February 1949, for violating this regulation; and this chapter, as well as the end of the former one, was written in prison while awaiting my trial. In fact, ever since my entry into Germany, I had been doing nothing else but “Nazi propaganda,” and not merely under the crude form which, in the end, caused my arrest. This crude form consisted in distributing leaflets and sticking up posters bearing the sacred sign of the Swastika and calling the German people to remain firm in our National Socialist faith—firm in the certitude that they are the first Aryans re-awakened to racial consciousness and racial pride, and that they deserve freedom, plenty, and power; firm in the certitude that the agents of the forces of death cannot keep them down forever. I had stuck up several such posters in a town
of the French Zone on the 30th of January—the sixteenth anniversary of the day National Socialism rose to power—and a few days later, I had been distributing similar leaflets in Cologne. That constitutes a crime—for which the maximum penalty is death—in the eyes of those who, so they say, fought six years to secure, all over the world, and especially in Germany, the “freedom of the individual”!
Yes, the “freedom of the individual” . . . unless he (or she) be a Nazi—that is how they should have put it, to be honest. But we all knew all the time what the slogan really meant. And many Germans who, perchance, did not know, then, have surely learnt since 1945.
Any form of self-expression, any form of art or literature which reveals more or less obviously “Nazi tendencies”; any philosophy which might pass for a new—or an older—edition of ours, and especially which justifies whatever we have done in the past and are likely to do in the future; anything of that description, I say, is anathema in the eyes both of Democrats and Communists; of those who are bent on de-Nazifying Germany and the world—if they can, that is to say.
The ban on National Socialist literature is not even restricted to Germany. Although there are no laws actually forbidding one to do so, it is, in fact, practically impossible to publish anywhere even plain historical truth showing, without comments, the excellence of the National Socialist régime, or the soundness of its basic principles, or the greatness of its immortal Founder, let alone books in which personal devotion to Adolf Hitler and to the Nazi cause is expressed with the warmth of sincerity. (I do not expect this present book ever to see the light, unless radical changes take place in the world.)
Nor is the ban in Germany restricted to National Socialist literature. It extends to books that have nothing whatsoever to do with politics or even philosophy; to books of travel and exploration, written before the National Socialist Movement was ever heard of, if these happen to be written by someone who is well-known as a Nazi. Sven Hedin’s books, for instance—written as early as 1908, about Tibet and the Himalayas—come under the ban. No new edition of them can be printed in Germany today. Sven Hedin told me so himself on the 6th of June 1948. Given this, one understands how the books of Friedrich Nietzsche—the spiritual father of National Socialism—are nearly as difficult to find in the country as pictures of the Führer (unless, of course, one knows where to look for them). And I was told that, a year or two at least after the capitulation, Wagner’s music was “dangerous”
to play . . . for the simple fact that the Führer admires it!1 That is the stuff they call “Entnazifizierung.” Pretty significant, anyhow, as an index of the quality of that world that turned against its Saviour.
* * *
But the attempt to make people forget us has also its positive aspect. The Occupying Powers in Germany do not use force alone. They use persuasion too. They try to. In the schools and colleges they have taken over—i.e., which they have given over to Germans who hate all that we stand for—they do their best to tell the young that all we did at the time we were in power was wrong; that the principles from which our Ideology draws its strength are false—“unscientific,” “not in keeping with facts,” etc. . . ; that our scale of values is wrong—“inhuman”; contrary to the morality of “decent” people, etc. The Churches—the arch-enemies of National Socialism—help this propaganda as much as they possibly can, by harping upon the Christian values as opposed to our essentially Heathen ones. More doubt is stirred in the minds and consciences of young Germans, once wholeheartedly devoted to National Socialism, by the Christian preachers than by all the official “democratic” propaganda in the three Zones rolled in one.
Also, a number of books criticizing the Führer’s policy—or the Führer himself—from varied standpoints, are exhibited in the bookshops. Their sale is sponsored by the Occupying Powers. And not only here, in Germany, but all over the world, publications attacking in more or less all civilised languages, the philosophy of the National Socialist régime, or its relations abroad, or its conduct at home—or all three—are printed freely, nay encouraged, under local governments directly or indirectly indebted to Jewish money, while the tale of the other side—the tale of our grievances against those who, not content with having ruined a whole continent in order to crush us, have been persecuting and slandering us for the last four years—is not given a chance to reach the ears of the thinking people, let alone to move the feelings of the unthinking but kind-hearted masses.
Our enemies have decided that the world must remain in ignorance of all that we really stand for; in ignorance of all the good we have actually done; in ignorance of all the beauty we have created. Its
1 In January 1949, the world-famous German pianist Walter Gieseking was not allowed to play in the USA on the ground that he had been the “musical ambassador” of the Third Reich.
labourers must not realise all that our Hitler did for the health and happiness of the German labourers, nor its mothers, all that he did for the German children, lest they might love him. Its “intelligentsia” must learn to consider as masterpieces the products of decadent art which we condemned—only because we condemned them—and ignore the work of such an artist as Arno Breker, which expresses, in all its splendour, the very soul of National Socialism. Its millions of East and West must look upon the opponents whom we fought and overcame as heroes and martyrs—only because we fought them—and remain in ignorance of our heroes and of our martyrs. Yes, of us Nazis, the world must remember nothing but a series of horrors—the exaggerated picture of the violences we had to resort to in order to surmount the obstacles which those very same people, who now accuse us, had put in our way; and the wholesale lies added to it by those who hate us or believe they have some interest in slandering us. That is de-Nazification on the broadest possible scale—that concoction of cleverly presented half-truths and downright lies, coupled with complete silence about all facts that proclaim the glory of National Socialism louder than anything or anyone can preach against it.
Is that the weapon with which they hope to kill our Weltanschauung? Lies never kill truth—not in the long run. And not even in the short run, if the champions of truth can help it.
* * *
I have already said: after that of National Socialism, now, the most thorough persecution of truth in history is perhaps the persecution of the Religion of the Disk under the Pharaoh Horemheb, in ancient Egypt. Within a few years, not a trace of that beautiful cult of Solar Energy, and of King Akhnaton himself (its Founder)—not a sign of his brief passage upon this earth—was left. And for thirty-three solid centuries, not a man in the whole world even knew of his existence—let alone of his philosophy. The triumph of the priests of Amon seemed complete. And yet! In spite of all their curses and of all their glaring success—in spite of that endless period of 3300 years during which nothing challenged their victory—could they keep the truth from coming to light, one day? Could they keep a humble peasant woman from discovering, by accident, the famous Tell-el-Amarna tablets in 1887 AD? Could they keep Sir Flinders Petrie and his successors from excavating the site of Akhnaton’s destroyed capital? And, in lands of which they did not then suspect the existence, in languages which were
not yet spoken in their days, could they keep men and women of our times from reading the translation of what remains of his hymns to the Sun, and from marvelling both at the literary beauty of those songs and at the accuracy of the eternal ideas which they reveal?
In a like manner, even if the agents of the dark forces could crush us out of existence, still they could not blot out the everlasting truth on which our socio-political Ideology is founded. Even if, by killing us all, they could de-Nazify the earth in its length and breadth, still they could not keep Life from evolving, now and always, on this and on all planets in space, according to those self-same iron laws regulating the rise and downfall of races, which Adolf Hitler recognised and stressed in his speeches, in his writings, in his whole career; still they could not de-Nazify the Gods.
But can they even de-Nazify Germany—as the priests of Amon (like they, worshippers of vested interests in their days) swept the Religion of the Disk out of Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt? That is already too great a task for their ability. Not that they lack the cunning—the methodical art of threat, and blackmail and bribery; the capacity to exploit the worst side of humanity hidden in most men—nor the hatred that once distinguished the ancient sacerdotal gang. But we are not the light-minded courtiers of Tell-el-Amarna. We are prepared to resist all attempts to destroy our spirit, with the same enthusiastic fortitude as that displayed by the early Christians in the defence of a Weltanschauung less beautiful and less eternal than ours. Thousands of us have proved it, during these last four years. Thousands more will prove it in the near future—until at last we win.
* * *
The whole apparatus of de-Nazification is powerless against those of us who, whatever their official status in life, admit no ties—no allegiance to anyone, save to Adolf Hitler; no personal love, save for him and for his other followers; no interest, save that of the Movement, that of the Idea for which he stands. Such ones are free, even behind bars. Such ones are strong, even when their bodies are broken. They stand beyond the reach of threat and bribery. But they are the minority among a minority—naturally. Pure gold always is.
But even the great number of our comrades, the average Nazis (to use together two words that strike me as incompatible), the men and women who share our philosophy but who happen to have personal ties as well, defy, in a different way, the “cultural” schemes and the
“re-education” programme of the Occupying Powers.
I do not say that they put up a very glorious show. Anything but that! They fill out the forms stating that they have ceased to believe in Hitler’s ideals, and sign them; they go through the formality of de-Nazification in all its humiliating details, and pay the sum of money they are asked (twenty marks at least) and come home with some kind of written attestation that they are no longer to be considered as National Socialists; especially, no longer to be submitted to the restrictions that had hindered them (and their families) economically, up to that day. But all this does not keep them from being just as good Nazis as before. And how they laugh at the whole process of Entnazifizierung! “ Dieses Affenspiel”—“that monkey play’’—that is what they call it. That is, in fact, what we all call it. If only the representatives of the Occupying Powers could see and hear us laugh when we are among ourselves! It would do them good. It would destroy some of their silliest illusions and strike a blow at their vanity; it would teach them how contemptuous the whole country feels about their precious “de-Nazification” effort. It would show them how lightly we consider all that they take such pains to quack at us, and force them at last to realise that, save of course for the cash they get out of it, the whole business is just what we call it: a monkey play.
But perhaps they love the cash so much that even that knowledge would not induce them to stop the nonsense.
I have told some of them myself what we think of them and their de-Nazification—not in the hope that they would put an end to it a day earlier, but merely for the pleasure of hurting that insufferable vanity of theirs. The trouble is that vanity refuses to admit facts that might hurt it and also that I cannot afford to risk harming our friends by exhibiting too precise facts, for the sterile satisfaction of wounding our enemies’ vanity. If I were not pledged to silence by the very nature of my connection with the people concerned, I could have told the bloated political reformers of a few cases of which any single one would be enough to shake a Democrat’s faith in de-Nazification. The case of Fräulein S, for instance.1
Fräulein S is a most sympathetic young National Socialist of under thirty, employed by the French Military Government, somewhere in the
1 All the people I mention in this book are living people whom I actually know. I refrain from writing their full names and particulars for their safety’s sake, as one can easily understand. And the initials by which I designate them, here as well as in other chapters, are not necessarily their real initials. [In every case that can be checked against Savitri’s letters, interviews, and other writings, she does use real initials.—Ed.]
French Zone. I met her in a railway station, a day or two after my second entry into Germany, and have learnt to love her more and more ever since. Her first words to me, after I had told her I was intending to write a book about present-day Germany, were: “Don’t believe all ‘those people’ will tell you about us, Germans. See and judge us for yourself. That is my only request.” I! Fancy me believing anything of what the enemies of the New Order would tell me about Hitler’s people! But how could the girl guess?
I looked up at her with the grieved face of one who feels accused of a thing he would never dream of doing. “You do not know who I am,” I said; “otherwise you would never tell me that.”
We were standing amidst ruins. In the girl’s tall, athletic figure, in her healthy face, in the metallic gloss of her ash-blond hair in the morning sunshine, I saw the symbol of Germany’s invincible vitality. I recalled in my mind the sight of the whole country laid waste by the Allied bombs and thought, “Mortar and stone. That can be rebuilt. As long as this magnificent youth is alive, nothing matters really.” Against the background of the torn and gaping buildings, I imagined a procession of new Storm Troopers, in the resurrected National Socialist State—the irresistible future—and I smiled. Was Fräulein S to be the leader of a hundred younger Hitler Maidens in those days of my dream? I wished she would be. And then I at last asked the girl: “Have you kept the ideals that once inspired you, here in Germany?”
She seemed a little surprised at my question; and a little uneasy.“Do you mean ‘those’ ideals?” she said, referring to those that no foreigner in Germany today professes to admire.
“Yes,” I replied; “I mean the National Socialist ideals.”
“Some of us still adhere to them in the secrecy of their hearts,” she said.
“Do you?” asked I. “Whatever you might say, you have nothing to fear from me.”
She hesitated a second, and then probably reflected that I would not have spoken so openly, had I been some “agent provocateur.” She replied firmly: “I do.” My face brightened, and I took her hands in mine.
“Come and have a cup of coffee with me,” I said, “and I shall tell you who I am and why I came.”
We went to a café, and there, in a corner, after half an hour’s conversation, I gave her a handful of my leaflets.
“You wrote these?” she asked me, as she read one, carefully hiding the Swastika printed at the top.
“And you managed to cross the border with them?”
“Yes, with over six thousand. I was lucky.”
“And what if you had been caught?”
“I was prepared for the worst. It is the only thing I can do, now, in ’48, for my Führer and for you, his people, whom I love.”
The girl was gazing at one intently. She got up. “Come,” she said, “come to my home. You are the first foreign Nazi I have ever met. But please, for heaven’s sake, not a word of politics to my old parents!”
“Why? Are they against us?”
“Goodness no! On the contrary. But they would be scared at the thought of what might happen to me if I associate with you. And I wish to associate with you, now that I know. I shall do all that is in my power to help you—or rather to help Germany through you, her faithful friend. I am so glad I met you!”
On the way to her house, she told me that her old father and mother were dependent upon her for their livelihood. She had a good job in an office of the French Military Government.
“Why you, with those people?” I asked her.
“We have to live,” she replied, “and jobs are not easy to get. Moreover, is it not preferable that I should have the post, rather than some anti-Nazi?”
I agreed that it was. Still, I felt a little uneasy, being by nature an uncompromising person, and being also a newcomer in occupied Germany.
“Do ‘they’ know your views?” I asked.
“I should think not! Why should they, anyhow? I told them the ordinary tale: that I was ‘forced’ into the Party ‘as nearly everyone was.’ And the fools believed it. They will believe anything that tends to point out that their so-called insight into German affairs is correct. And who cares, after all, what they believe? All I want is well-paid work to keep my house going. Those people think they have ‘converted’ me. I think I am exploiting them.”
I could not help admitting that there was much to be said in support of the girl’s attitude. What else could she do, without causing her parents to suffer?
We became good friends. And on several occasions Fräulein S helped me substantially, actually taking serious risks—endangering herself and her parents—for the sake of the National Socialist cause. That alone, in my eyes, proves that she is genuine. Nobody would have done what she did without being sincerely devoted to our Ideology.
Yet, only a month or two before my arrest, the girl informed me that she was to be de-Nazified. I was grieved to hear of it. I took it as a matter of personal shame. To me, the idea of a comrade going through that humiliating process, was nearly as unbearable as that of a younger sister being outraged by some undesirable man.
“Why?” said I. “Must you really do it?’
“I have to,” she replied, “or else, abandon my parents to starve. I have no choice. It is a part of the routine. All former Party members who are now in service of the French military government must go through that formality or give up their jobs.”
And she told me of the questions she would have to answer in writing, stating that she no longer adhered to our socio-political principles and our philosophy of life—she, Fräulein S, of all people!
“I know,” she added, “how much the whole business disgusts you. It does me, too, believe me. It means writing and signing a heap of blatant lies. But what else can one do in the circumstance?”
“What would happen if one boldly wrote the truth?” I asked, knowing all the time what the answer would be.
“One would just be turned out of one’s post without being allowed to hold another in one’s own line; and one would be replaced by a person willing to lie—or by some real anti-Nazi, which would be still worse.”
She paused for a second. “I know how the disgraceful show disgusts you,” she repeated. “But you are free. You can afford to be truthful. You can afford to be defiant. Nobody is depending on you for his or her livelihood. Nobody will suffer with you, if you suffer. So you can do what you feel—what we all feel—to be right. I cannot. Very few of us can. This is the tragedy of the matter: we are given the choice to lie or to die. That is Democracy, as you know yourself.”
“I hate from the depth of my heart those who place such a choice before you and thousands of others,” I said. And I meant it. And I mean it.
Fräulein S looked at me with a sympathetic smile. “We all do,” she said. “But we must not take them and their mad regulations too seriously. They will not be here forever, anyhow. Germany cannot be kept down indefinitely; you know that as well as anybody. And who will care for their blasted “de-Nazification” once they are gone? In the meantime, we have to submit—outwardly; to play the game with them, the monkeys’ game, “Affenspiel”; “cette singerie,” she added in French. “That is indeed the right name for it in all languages.”
For all I know, the person who thus spoke less than two months ago
is de-Nazified by now. And the authorities in charge of the “re-education” of the Germans believe that they have won a victory—made an extra convert to their detested Democracy—while in reality they have only added a little more bitterness to the bitterness already prevailing throughout the country, and earned a little more contempt from one extra individual.
The story of Fräulein S is by no means unique. It is the story of practically every de-Nazified German, man or woman. I have related it from the beginning and in detail, only to show that one should not hasten to brand as “turncoats” the great bulk of those Germans who consent to play the confounded comedy imposed upon them as an alternative to starvation.
* * *
The only cases—rare, I hope—in which de-Nazification results in no bitterness are those of people who never were National Socialists, although they might have been, at one time, outwardly, members of the NSDAP.
For long years, I was simple enough not to believe in the existence of such creatures. I well knew—from my own experience and from that of a few other non-German Aryans wholeheartedly sharing Adolf Hitler’s ideals—that it was possible to be a Nazi without being a Party member. But I had to come to Germany in order to believe that the reverse was also possible, namely that people could be—and far too often were—Party members without being Nazis. (It appears to me, now, that it was much too easy to become a Party member. And all those time-servers, pretending to be National Socialists only because it then paid to pass off for one, have played no small part in the disaster of 1945. Out of their ranks sprang the least detectable, and therefore the most dangerous, of the traitors who brought about Germany’s ruin, and postponed the triumph of National Socialism in the world.)
Such people can get de-Nazified without qualms of conscience. And tomorrow, they can turn to Communism or to anything else that “pays.” They are of no use to any party; of no help to any cause. Let them go over to the democrats! A little scum more or less in that gang will not make much difference. It is also safer for them than becoming Communists. There, they would perhaps not be given a chance to turn their coats once more. The leaders of our bitterest opponents purge their party. Our generous Führer had too much confidence in the Germans who came to him; he loved them too much, to suspect
treason. He did not purge his Party as often and as drastically as safety demanded. Now, the Gods are purging it for him. And the various forms of pressure exercised upon us by the machinery of de-Nazification are, along with other, less ludicrous means of persecution, a detail in the implacable scheme of the Gods.
After these atrocious years, never must the old Party rise again as it was. No. The surviving followers of Adolf Hitler must emerge out of the trial reduced in numbers, no doubt, but purified, strengthened in quality; comprising only the hundred percent genuine National Socialists and not a single one of the others. That is the will of the Gods. And that is the one great lesson of a defeat brought about by long-drawn treachery. And the one great hope, the one glorious promise that brightens our lives in these days of humiliation.
In the meantime, what really matters is not to accept or to refuse to be de-Nazified on paper; to lie to our oppressors and laugh at them, or to defy them openly. What really matters is, whether in mockery or in defiance of the organised anti-Nazi forces, to remain equally firm in our principles, equally faithful to our Führer, equally impervious to all obvious or subtle anti-Nazi influences, until the day dawns for us to rise and conquer once more.