“I am deeply stirred by the word which Ulrich Hutten wrote the last time he seized his pen: — Germany.”
January 30th, 1937
The Case for Germany
A Study of Modern Germany
A. P. Laurie
M. A. Cantab., D. Sc., LL. D. Edin., F. C. S., F. R. S. E.
With a Preface by Admiral Sir Barry Domvile
K. B. E., C. B., C. M. G.
Berlin W 15
FIRST EDITION ………… JUNE 1939
SECOND EDITION ……. JULY 1939
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PRINTED IN GERMANY
It is with admiration and gratitude for the great work he has done for the German people that I dedicate this book to the Fuhrer.
A. P. L.
TO THE READER
There are two sides to every question. You have read one side in our Press for six years.
This book gives the other side.
A. P. L.
It is a great pleasure to me to introduce the public to Dr. Laurie’s valuable book on modern Germany. He is best known to the world as a brilliant scientist, but he has found time in the intervals of his work to pursue with ardour the task upon which every sensible member of the British and German races should be engaged — namely the establishment of good relations and a better understanding between these two great nations.
Dr Laurie knows full well that this friendship is the keystone to peace in Europe — nay, in the whole world.
He is one of the small group who founded the Association known as “The Link”, whose sole aim is to get Britons and Germans to know and understand one another better. He is one of the most zealous workers in this good cause in the country.
He writes of the National Socialist movement with knowledge and great sympathy.
The particular value of this book lies in the fact that it is written by a foreigner, who cannot be accused of patriotic excess in his interpretation of the great work done by Herr Hitler and his associates. I recommend this volume with confidence to all people who are genuinely impressed with the desire to understand one of the greatest — and most bloodless — revolutions in history.
8th May 1939.
“As we advance in our social knowledge, we shall endeavour to make our governments paternal as well as judicial; that is, to establish such laws and authorities as may at once direct us in our occupations, protect us against our follies, and visit us in our distresses; a government which shall repress dishonesty, as now it punishes theft; which shall show how the discipline of the masses may be brought to aid the toils of peace, as the discipline of the masses has hitherto knit the sinews of battle; a government which shall have its soldiers of the ploughshare as well as its soldiers of the sword, and which shall distribute more proudly its golden crosses of industry — golden as the glow of the harvest — than it now grants its bronze crosses of honour — bronzed with the crimson of blood.”
RUSKIN. Political Economy of Art.
“All front fighters fought side by side and went through an inferno. They are all comparable to the heroes of the ancient world. It was the manhood of the nations in their prime who fought and experienced the horrors of modern war.
In another war the flower of the nations’ men and women will have to fight. Europe will be destroyed if the best in all of the nations are wiped out. A new conflict will exceed even the ghastly tragedies of the Great War.
I believe that those who rattle the sabres have not participated in war. I know that war veterans speak and think differently.
They energetically desire to prevent another conflict. I hope that the men who are standing before me can contribute to preserve the peace of the world — a peace of honour and equality for all.
Let us not talk of prestige as between the victors and the defeated. This is my one request: Forget what has divided the nations before and remember that history has advanced.”
Field Marshal GOERING addressing the British
and German war veterans.
CHAPTER ……………………………………………………………. PAGE
To the Reader
Field Marshall Goering’s Address
I. DER FUHRER ……………………………………………………….. 11
II. THE BELEAGUERED CITY ……………………………………. 21
III. NATIONAL SOCIALISM ……………………………………… 25
IV. THE NAZI RALLYS AT NUREMBERG ……………………. 34
V. THE FOREIGN POLICY OF GERMANY ……………………. 41
VI. ENGLAND AND GERMANY ………………………………….. 49
VII. MARCH 7th, A MOST IMPORTANT DATE …………… 54
VIII. THE REAL ENEMY OF EUROPE ……………………….. 58
IX. COMMUNISM VERSUS NATIONAL SOCIALISM …… 62
X. THE UNION OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE …………………. 68
XI. ACTS OF “AGGRESSION” BY GERMANY ……………… 79
XII. THE DANCE OF DEATH ……………………………………… 85
XIII. OUR FUTURE POLICY TOWARDS GERMANY ……. 93
XIV. THE HITLER YOUTH MOVEMENT ……………………… 100
XV. THE WINTER HELP ORGANIZATION ………………….. 104
XVI. NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND THE PROTESTANT
CHURCH ……………………………………………………………………… 109
XVII. ECONOMICS …………………………………………………….. 118
XVIII. THE FOUR YEARS PLAN …………………………………… 138
XIX. THE GERMAN COLONIES …………………………………. 141
XX. THE LABOUR FRONT ………………………………………….. 146
XXI. AGRICULTURE …………………………………………………. 155
XXII. MUNICH AND AFTER ………………………………………… 167
THE FOREIGN POLICY OF GERMANY
Reply of Mr. Montague Norman to a Reuter representative. “There will be no sensations except those you invent.”
Before explaining the foreign policy of Germany it is necessary to describe briefly the mental attitude of the Nations of Europe towards each other, as expressed by their Press and their politicians, — an attitude that has been clearly revealed by all that has happened in connection with the Spanish civil war. This civil war has inevitably resulted in different nations taking sides, Germany and Italy supporting Franco, and Russia and France the Government in Madrid, while in this country both sides are represented. From the beginning of the civil war armament manufacturers in all countries have been busy supplying munitions to both sides. In addition to munitions thousands of volunteers have poured into the country, more especially from Italy where the people and the Government are both violently pro-Franco. Our Government, by setting up the non-intervention committee have tried to restrain the flood of armaments.
Germany was the first to propose that all Governments pledge themselves to restrain to the best of their ability the entrance into Spain of volunteers, and after considerable delay the non-intervention committee adopted that policy.
Since the date when that pledge was given both Germany and Italy have been repeatedly accused by the French and English Press and by prominent politicians, of having broken faith in this matter, on no evidence except the excited statements of the Madrid Government, and the rumours collected and transmitted as facts by the journalists.
The most outrageous statements have been published, from the accusation that the bombing raid on Guernica was ordered from Berlin, to the accusation by Litvinoff that the Italian Government were responsible for the pirate submarines.
Anything in the way of unreliable rumours can be excused to the Madrid Government, suffering from war hysteria, but the accusations in our Press and by prominent politicians are a different matter.
Let us probe a little deeper into this mental attitude of distrust. France has busied herself making “mutual security” Pacts and lending large sums for the purchase of arms to various nations, so as to secure an overwhelming combination of force directed against Germany. The assumption underlying this policy is that owing to the rapacious instincts of Germany, Peace can only be kept by the threat of war, and by collecting on one side the biggest battalions. Our military alliance with France is made on the assumption that the German Nation is ready at any moment to make an unprovoked aggressive attack on France, an action of which the German Nation has never been guilty.
The same atavistic conceptions of the relations between nations is to be found in the League Covenant itself. In that Covenant the Nations solemnly pledge themselves to refer disputes to the League and accept the League’s decision, and even if this prove impossible, to delay war for so many months. Yet in Articles 10-16 it is assumed that the responsible Governments of these Nations are capable at any time of making unprovoked attacks on each other and therefore according to the suppositions of the League Policy, Peace can only be preserved among these treacherous ruffians by organizing under the League an overwhelming military force composed of a similar collection of scoundrels.
If the members of the League cannot be trusted, the mutual security pacts are worthless, as all agreements and arrangements between people or nations with the mentality of crooks is unreliable.
I do not propose to be led here into a discussion of the complex and highly disputatious question of Japan in Manchuria and Italy in Abyssinia, but in so far as Europe is concerned, since the formation of the League of Nations only three cases of unprovoked aggression have taken place in Europe, — the seizure of Vilna by Poland, of Memel by Lithuania and the occupation of the Ruhr by France.
That wars may arise in Europe is quite possible. The Treaties of Versailles and Trianon have sown the seeds of numerous wars, but the first step towards Peace is that Nations should accept and believe the honest intention and desire for Peace and for fair play of other nations. That we have departed so far from this reasonable attitude is not due to the peoples of Europe, but to their Press and their politicians.
If I print in a newspaper that Mr. Jones is a liar and a treacherous scoundrel Mr. Jones is able to bring an action for libel, but there is no law of libel for Nations or the rulers of Nations, and the most that can be done is for the aggrieved Government to demand an apology. When a very distinguished politician calls Hitler a gangster in the House of Commons there is no redress.
Evil speaking, lying and slandering is specially forbidden in the Prayer Book but apparently it does not apply to Nations or the Governments of Nations. When M. Blum made a speech while still Prime Minister, in which he promised Czechoslovakia that in case of an unprovoked aggression by Germany, France would declare war, he assumed that an unprovoked aggression was just the kind of thing that Germany would indulge in. We have been told in the French Press that Germany intends to make war on Czechoslovakia, that next spring she intends to attack France, that she is preparing for war against Russia to conquer and annex the Ukraine.
I have discussed this mental attitude at some length because it is so universal that it is assumed as a matter of course, and the grossest insults against a friendly Power are allowed in Parliament with no protest from our minister of foreign affairs.
In discussing, therefore, the foreign policy of Germany, I am handicapped by the reply that Hitler in his speeches is telling lies to deceive Europe. It is no use stating that his foreign policy is thoroughly understood and accepted by the German people.
The reply is that they are ordered with the dread of imprisonment to deceive foreigners, and quotations torn from the context and taken from “Mein Kampf” are given as proof of their duplicity. No one in Germany, including Hitler himself, regards the extreme foreign policy in “Mein Kampf” as a guide to German foreign policy to-day.
Let me in spite of these disadvantages do my best to explain.
We have seen that the Nazi movement is one welding the German people into a living organic State developing their own nationality and culture.
From this devotion to their own nationality comes a respect for other nations. Hitler expressed the faith within him when he said God has created different nations that each should fulfil its own life and culture as its contribution to civilization. He therefore regards the conquest of another Nation as a crime against the national idea, and territory so acquired as a source of weakness to the conquering Nation, because alien elements are introduced into the national life and the conquered people have to be held in subjection, thus destroying their right to fulfil their own national life. He points out that Europe has been engaged for centuries in territorial conquests and in the end the nations have retained their original boundaries.
He regards war for territorial conquest in Europe as a crime against civilization and a useless and unwise expenditure of force. I believe that if Alsace and Lorraine were offered to Germany as a gift she would refuse. He therefore quite truthfully says he cannot conceive of any possible cause for quarrel with France.
On the other hand the German Nation is intensely interested in the conditions under which Germans are living under alien rule, and it has long been obvious that the Germans in Austria and the Germans in the Sudeten German area would ultimately become members of the Reich. Wherever Germans are living they wish them to become converted to the Nazi conception of a State, but that does not mean disloyalty to the people among whom they dwell. On the contrary it will make them better citizens.
There is nothing aggressive towards other Nations in the Nazi faith, and many passages in “Mein Kampf” have been misunderstood because Hitler is discussing the German people in alien lands.
This conceptions of the true attitude of the German Nation to other Nations is thoroughly understood in Germany. If we examine the foreign policy of Germany, we find this new conception running through their political action. Hitler has introduced a new idea of the relations between countries in his Peace Pacts, a Treaty between two neighbouring States not to make war on each other for a term of years. This Treaty contains no obligations to act as allies against other Nations. It is the only genuine Peace Treaty ever suggested, all other Treaties being alliances for purposes of war. This idea is transforming the whole political situation in Europe.
Germany will never sign again a Treaty like the Treaty of Locarno which pledged the members to war under certain circumstances, nor join the League of Nations while Article 16 is operative. She alone of all Nations in Europe is free from obligations to make war under certain circumstances. The extent to which we are committed no citizen of this country knows.
Germany has offered these Peace Pacts to all her neighbours including ourselves. In addition Germany has agreed to a navy only one third the size of ours, and has pledged herself to respect the neutrality of Holland, Belgium and Switzerland. She has established very friendly relations with Italy as they both dread the spread of revolutionary Communism, but she will form no Treaty or Alliance involving possibilities of war.
Germany is very far removed in her mentality from a Pacifist policy. She believes in armed national defence and quick reprisals to an outrage like the bombing of the “Deutschland”, but her conception of the right relations between the Nations of Europe is so new and the mental attitude of the other European politicians towards each other so atavistic that it is a difficult mental gulf for them to cross, and yet it is plain ordinary common sense.
A striking instance of German diplomacy is the agreement that she has made with Belgium. Under the Treaty of Locarno, France and England were pledged to go the assistance of Belgium if attacked, and Belgium was equally obliged to go to their assistance. France and England proposed to Belgium the renewal of the old arrangements but Hitler dropped an explosive bomb into the negotiations by announcing that Germany was prepared to pledge herself to protect the neutrality of Belgium without any conditions. The Belgians being astute diplomatists used this to compel France and England to drop the clause requiring assistance from Belgium in case they were attacked, and France proceeded at once to spend vast sums on a line of forts between herself and her old ally. The Treaty between Germany and Belgium has now been ratified. Germany pledges herself not only to respect Belgian neutrality but to go to her defence if she. is invaded, thus protecting her from an act of aggression by France. As the Daily Express says, the new Independence of Belgium is Independence from France.
Germany has entered into the closest relations of friendship with Italy, and Yugoslavia has signed a Peace Pact with Italy and Bulgaria on the German model. Bulgaria has signed a Treaty of Friendship and of arrangement for mutual arbitration with Turkey, and Turkey has signed a Peace Pact on the German model with Persia, Iraq and Afghanistan. We alone have failed to realise the implications of a Peace Pact, and have shown more hostility to Germany since we signed it than we did before.
In none of these Treaties is there a hint of an alliance for purposes of war.
The Pax Germanica now extends from the Channel to the Baltic, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, and to the frontiers of India.
Ultimately the Peace Pacts will result in the denunciation of the mutual security pacts. Poland having signed a Peace Pact both with Germany and with Russia is getting restive about her mutual security pact with France, which she realises is an obligation that might force her into war against a friendly neighbour.
The great mass of mankind ask for Peace and security abroad, and law, order, and efficient government at home.
Alone among European nations by her home and foreign policy Germany is securing this for the peoples of Europe and therefore the smaller nations are clustering round Germany.
There is another aspect of this question that requires to be dealt with before leaving it.
It is probably true that in 1914 the outbreak of war was very largely due to those in military command in the various countries involved. The last serious war in Europe had been in 1870. It was quickly over, the loss of life was according to our present standards insignificant, and it did not profoundly disturb the economics of Europe or even of France. Those in command of the armies of Europe in 1914 envisaged a war like that of 1870 and if they did not deliberately promote war, did nothing to avert it. After all war is a soldier’s business.
To-day the situation is very different. Those in responsible command in Europe dread the idea of war, as they realize from their intimate knowledge what a fearful business it will be. The demand for war comes not from the Totalitarian States, not from the dictator or the soldier, but from the parties of the left in the Western Democracies. The whole policy of France was formerly directed to the oppression of Germany, and the creation of a divided Europe, and the danger of France setting fire to Europe was much increased by having a party of the left in power including the Communists.
Daladier had to break with the Communists before he could get his Peace Pact signed.
Athens we know was forced into the Syracusan war by the mob, and to-day it is the parties of the left who are always clamouring for war. They work themselves into a state of hysteria over the sensational, unverified and one-sided statements published by the Press, and pass resolutions at public meetings urging war on the Government.
At the end of the Abyssinian campaign I was present at a meeting of the Council of Action with Mr. Lloyd George in the chair, a body which consists of Non-conformists and Liberals. They carried a resolution with one dissentient vote, which I gave, in favour of a blockade of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea by our fleet. This would not only have meant war with Italy but as Italy was already in possession of Abyssinia, would have meant serious complications with other Powers including the U.S.A.
At a meeting of the Labour Party not long ago they carried a resolution in favour of our expenditure on armaments because, the leaders explained, if returned to power they would require these armaments to make aggressive war on nations like Germany whose form of Government they did not approve, or undertake ventures like attacking Italy or Japan.
The absurdity of their attitude towards the use of bombing planes by Japan is that we are building a huge fleet of bombing planes to use in exactly the same way if there is war in Europe, the proposals of Germany to limit the use of bombing planes to the actual battle areas having been rejected or at any rate ignored by our Government.
As General Goering said when addressing the war veterans, “I believe that those who rattle the sabres have not participated in war.”
In pre-war days we used to complain of the German Emperor rattling the sabre. To-day the rattling is done by the Labour leaders in England, and the real danger of war in Europe would be the success of the Labour Party in a general election. While pretending to be in favour of peace they are the firebrands that might set Europe alight.
It is madness to have the mob of the left attacking and insulting Nation after Nation in public meetings, and our foreign office entering into commitments in Europe unless we are prepared at once to introduce conscription. We sent our half trained boys to fight trained soldiers in 1914 with the result that in the war of attrition that Earl Haig was always talking about three English soldiers were killed for one German. Is the same slaughter of our youth to take place again? Why can we not go quietly about our lawful occasions and leave other Nations alone?
ENGLAND AND GERMANY
In regard to Anglo-German relationship there has existed no reason for complaint during the last twenty years. The Germans have made a number of approaches with a view to establishing a better and closer understanding but all without avail. There is no evidence to show that these German approaches were not made honestly and fairly. I will quote only two examples from a number of such statements. The first is the relative passage in the Fuhrer’s speech of April 28, 1939, when he stated:
“During the whole of my political activity I have always expounded the idea of a close friendship and collaboration between Germany and England. In my Movement I found innumerable others of like mind. Perhaps they joined me because of my attitude in this matter. This desire for Anglo-German friendship and cooperation conforms not merely with sentiments which result from the racial origins of our two peoples, but also to my realization of the importance for the whole of mankind of the existence of the British Empire. I have never left room for any doubt of my belief that existence of this Empire is an inestimable factor of value for the whole of human cultural and economic life. By whatever means Great Britain has acquired her colonial territories — and I know that they were those of force and often brutality — nevertheless I know full well that no other Empire has ever come into being in any other way, and that in the final resort it is not so much the methods that are taken into account in history as success, and not the success of the methods as such, but rather the general good which the methods yield. Now there is no doubt that the Anglo-Saxon people have accomplished immeasurable colonizing work in the world. For this work I have a sincere admiration.
The thought of destroying this labour appeared and still appears to me, seen from a higher human point of view, as nothing but the effluence of human wanton destructiveness. However, this sincere respect of mine for this achievement does not mean foregoing the securing of the life of my own people. I regard it as impossible to achieve a lasting friendship between the German and Anglo-Saxon peoples if the other side does not recognize that there are German as well as British interests, that not only is the preservation of the British Empire the meaning and purpose of the lives of Britishers, but also that for Germans the freedom and preservation of the German Reich is their life purpose. A genuine, lasting friendship between these two nations is only conceivable on the basis of mutual regard. The English rule a great Empire. They built up this Empire at a time when the German people were internally weak. Previously Germany had been a great Empire. At one time she ruled the Occident. In bloody struggles and religious dissensions, and as a result of internal political disintegration, this empire declined in power and greatness and finally fell into a deep sleep. But as this old empire appeared to have reached its end, the seeds of its rebirth were springing up. From Brandenburg and Prussia there arose a new Germany, the second Reich, and out of it has grown at last the German People’s Reich. And I hope that all English people understand that we do not possess the slightest feeling of inferiority to Britishers. Our historical past is far too, great for that!
England has given the world many great men, and Germany no fewer. The severe struggle for the maintenance of the life of our people has in the course of three centuries cost a sacrifice in lives, which, far exceeds that which other peoples have had to make in asserting their existence.
If Germany, a country that was for ever being attacked, was, not able to retain her possessions, but was compelled to sacrifice many of her provinces, this was due only to her political mis-development and her impotence as a result thereof. That; condition has now been overcome. Therefore we Germans do not feel in the least inferior to the British Nation. Our self-esteem is just as great as that of an Englishman for England..
In the history of our people, now of approximately two thousand years standing, there are occasions and actions enough to fill us with sincere pride.
Now if England cannot understand our point of view, thinking perchance she may look upon Germany as a vassal state, then our love and friendly feelings have indeed been wasted on her. We shall not despair or lose heart on that account, but — relying on the consciousness of our own strength and on the strength of our friends — we shall then find ways and means to secure our independence without impairing our dignity.
I have heard the statement of the British Prime Minister to the effect that he is not able to put any trust in German assurances. Under the circumstances I consider it a matter of course that we no longer wish to expect him or the British people to bear the burden of a situation which is only conceivable in an atmosphere of mutual confidence. When Germany became National Socialist and thus paved the way for her national resurrection, in pursuance of my unswerving policy of friendship with England, of my own accord I made the proposal for a voluntary restriction of German naval armaments. That restriction was, however, based on one condition, namely, the will and the conviction that a war between England and Germany would never again be possible. This wish and this conviction is alive in me today.”
Secondly, in “Mein Kampf” there are many long references to Great Britain, and all of them are couched in tones of great appreciation. Hitler says that if German statesmen had had sufficient foresight to conclude an alliance with England early in the twentieth century, as Japan did in 1904, there would have been no Great War. Another important mistake made by German diplomats was to underestimate the fighting strength of the British Empire. Britain’s total effectives were calculated in the basis of her standing army, a most fatal mistake. In this connection Hitler writes:
“The fact that England did not possess a national army proved nothing; for it is not the actual military structure of the moment that matters, but rather the will and determination to use whatever military strength is available.
England has always had the armament which she needed. She always fought with those weapons which were necessary for success. She sent mercenary troops to fight as long as mercenaries sufficed; but she never hesitated to draw heavily and deeply from the best blood of the whole nation when victory could be obtained only by such a sacrifice.
And in every case the fighting spirit, dogged determination, and use of brutal means in conducting military operations have always remained the same.
But in Germany, through the medium of the schools, the Press and the comic papers, an idea of the Englishman was gradually formed which was bound eventually to lead to the worst kind of self-deception. This absurdity slowly but persistently spread into every quarter of German life. The result was an under-valuation for which we have had to pay a heavy penalty.
The delusion was so profound that the Englishman was looked upon as a shrewd business man, but personally a coward even to an incredible degree. Unfortunately, our lofty teachers of professorial history did not bring home to the minds of their pupils the truth that it is not possible to build up such a mighty organisation as the British Empire by mere swindle and fraud.
The few who called attention to that truth were either ignored or silenced. I can vividly recall to mind the astonished looks of my comrades when they found themselves personally face to face for the first time with the Tommies in Flanders. After a few days of fighting the consciousness slowly dawned on our soldiers that those Scotsmen were not like the ones we had seen described and caricatured in the comic papers and mentioned in the communiques.”
Soon after the War there was a widespread movement in Europe which had as a leitmotif the liberation of India. On this point Hitler writes in “Mein Kampf”:
“I remember well the childish and incomprehensible hopes which arose suddenly in nationalist circles in the years 1920-21, to the effect that England was just nearing its downfall in India.
A few Asiatic mountebanks, who put themselves forward as ‘the champions of Indian Freedom’, then began to peregrinate throughout Europe and succeeded in inspiring otherwise quite reasonable people with the fixed notion that the British World Empire, which had its pivot in India, was just about to collapse there. They never realised that their own wish was the father of all these ideas.”
“Nor did they stop to think how absurd their wishes were. For inasmuch as they expected the end of the British Empire and of England’s power to follow the collapse of its dominion over India, they themselves admitted that India was of the most outstanding importance for England.
Now in all likelihood the deep mysteries of this most important problem must have been known not only to the German-National prophets but also to those who had the direction of British history in their hands. It is down right puerile to suppose that in England itself the importance of India for the British Empire was not adequately appreciated. And it is a proof of having learned nothing from the World War and of thoroughly misunderstanding or knowing nothing about Anglo-Saxon determination, when they imagine that England could lose India without first having put forth the last ounce of her strength in the struggle to hold it.
Moreover, it shows how complete is the ignorance prevailing in Germany as to the manner in which the spirit of England permeates and administers her Empire.
England will never lose India unless she admits racial disruption in the machinery of her administration (which at present is entirely out of the question in India), or unless she is overcome by the sword of some powerful enemy. But Indian risings will never bring this about.
We Germans have had sufficient experience to know how hard it is to coerce England. And, apart from all this, I as a German would far rather see India under British domination than under that of any other nation.”