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If I Were 18 Today

[1]11,651 words

Translated by Alexander Jacob

The following is the text of a speech delivered on June 1, 1967 at the University of Marburg.[1] [2]

Prince Friedrich Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe (1906-83) was the youngest son of Prince Georg of Schaumburg-Lippe and Princess Marie-Anne of Saxe-Altenburg. Appalled at the quick abdications of the German princes during the German Revolution of 1918-19,

and the compromises entered into by the latter, Friedrich Christian, like his brother Prince Stephan, decided to join the National Socialist Party and became a member of it officially in 1929. In fact, ten members in all of the royal house of Schaumburg-Lippe joined the party.[2] [3]

Hitler appointed most of the royal adherents of National Socialism to the SA (Sturmabteilung) since he wished to include in it members of all sections of German society. Friedrich Christian espoused the leftist, socialist cause and considered the National Socialist party to be the “true heirs of the old nobility” since he believed that it had a closer contact with the people.[3] [4] He worked closely with Dr. Joseph Goebbels in the newly created Ministry of Public Education and Propaganda and became his adjutant in April 1933.

During the war, Hitler grew increasingly suspicious of the aristocratic members in his party, whom he feared for their potentially dangerous international contacts. Through Goebbels’ personal mediation, however, Friedrich Christian was able to retain his position, although he resigned from the SA in July 1944.

After the war Friedrich Christian was interned in the Soviet occupation zone until 1948 and cleared in the Denazification process in 1950. He was also brought in to the Nuremberg trials in 1947 to testify in some of the trials of high-ranking war criminals.

Even after the war, Friedrich Christian remained loyal to the principles of National Socialism and published several works during and after the Third Reich. These include Wo war der Adel? [Where were the Aristocrats?] (Berlin, 1934), Deutsche Sozialisten am Werk: Ein sozialistisches Bekenntnis deutscher Männer [German Socialists at Work] (Berlin, 1935), the autobiographical Zwischen Krone und Kerker [Between the Crown and Prison] (Wiesbaden, 1952), a biography of Goebbels, Dr. G: Ein Porträt des Propagandaministers [Dr. G: A Portrait of the Propaganda Minister] (Wiesbaden, 1964) and War Hitler ein Diktator? [Was Hitler a Dictator?] (Kathagen, 1976).

The present speech focuses on the harm done to the German people after the war by various forms of enemy propaganda whose ulterior aim is to sustain the unnatural materialism of Marxism for the benefit of international Capitalism.

German ladies and gentlemen!

If I were 18 today – and not 61 – I would not have experienced with political awareness the end of the Second World War – the years of occupation and demolition of the most diverse sorts – the tremendous exertion of strength of my people and the resulting development of the Economic Miracle – that is, the Adenauer era. I would therefore have heard of it only through hearsay, that is, as a victim of propaganda.

If I were 18 today, my mother would perhaps be 38 today and my father 40. That means that my parents were children when the Second World War broke out, my mother 10 and my father 12 – and in 1933 my mother 4 and my father 6.

My parents thus could recount to me almost nothing about the time of the Third Reich from their own experience but only from hearsay, thus once again as victims of propaganda.

My grandmother could be 58 today and my grandfather perhaps 60. When the Kaiser Reich collapsed and Marxism began to establish itself everywhere and, with it, materialistic thought – my parents were not yet born. My grandmother was at that time 9 and my grandfather 11. My grandparents therefore knew almost nothing of the Kaiser Reich from their own experience and very little also of the decisive years of the Weimar Republic. That is, about the period in which Hitler appeared against enslavement by the Capitalism of the West and against the Bolshevism coming from the East I could hardly learn anything authentic even from my grandparents. On this period too I would, as an 18-year-old, be dependent on hearsay and, thus, propaganda.

When I, a 61-year-old today, was 18, 1875 was as far removed from me as 1918 from the 18-year-old today. And this entire reckoning is correct only in a purely mathematical way. For, in fact, the chronological distances have become ever greater through the fast pace of life and its progressiveness. And the truth, in any context, has disappeared as rapidly from public life as ideas of success – that the end justifies the means – and propaganda have established themselves.

So, if I were 18 today, it would be almost out of the question for me to get a really true picture of the past of my people.

I assume that, as an 18-year-old today, I would be concerned about the history and politics of my people with the same enthusiasm as I actually was as an 18-year-old in 1924.

At that time, the enemies of the German people tried everything in their power to vilify Germany and the Germans before the whole world, in the most shameless way. Systematically and with all means, atrocity stories about the German Kaiser and the princes of the confederation, about the German army and the German people, were spread everywhere. I shall recall only the stories which appear even today in the USA, devoid of any foundation and often contradicted, about the hacked hands of children. I shall recall the agitation at that time against the supposedly criminal General Staff, against the German heavy industries, especially the Krupp factories – and the list of war criminals, at the head of which was Kaiser Wilhelm II, whom people in England wanted to hang. I shall recall the agitation against the “Junkers” and Prussia. I shall recall how they tried with all means to destroy the Reich. Under the cloak of a federalistic politics, chauvinistic circles of foreign countries hostile to Germany tried to politically exploit the isolation, the discord and the doorman-like tendency of many Germans to overvalue everything that is distant. Where dynastic or clerical special interests and national inadmissability could be exploited, the enemies of the Reich laid their hopes on the “save yourself, whoever can” and corresponding efforts to sever ties with the past – the Main River line, separatism at the Saar and the Rhine and in Hanover.

If I were 18 today, I would not know that the enemies of Germany already at that time sought to tear the Reich apart. I would also perhaps not know that the Versailles Treaty and its subsequent treaties were not repeated after the Second World War only because that could lead once again to a Hitler and the liberation of the German people. I would not know at all that the Second World War was amazingly similar in preparation, layout, causation, general strategy of the enemy, and goals. That the entire events of the Second World War differed essentially from the first actually only on the German side – that is, in the political belief of the German people in its leadership and the idea of revolution. And that this second war was consequently at first much more promising for the Reich – but in the end so much more catastrophic because a revolutionary idea without an equally revolutionary result must end in chaos.

As I said, as an 18-year-old today, I would not know that – because nobody would tell me that. Not my parents, for they did not experience it themselves. Not my grandparents, for they would perhaps not be alive any more – or have become fragile. And if I had the good fortune to be able to call a man who distinguishes himself through special civic courage my grandfather – who thus is prepared at any time to tell me how everything actually was – then he would perhaps be the only one of all the men I know who speaks the truth. But he would not succeed against the flood of slanders of our enemies. One would set up against his experiences “documentary reports” – “factual reports” – which arise from people who did not experience anything similar – but who try with extraordinary refinement to make a completely false picture credible. In the long run, who would listen to me – or trust me – if I could respond to that flood of lies always only with “what my grandfather said”?

Today I would perhaps know that many of the big lies of the last years could actually be fully contradicted by Germanophile men. Lies which once played a big role in the war against Germany. As, for example, that in Katyn ten thousand Polish soldiers and officers were murdered by Germans. Not only enemies but many – even official – Germans had maintained that after the war, even though on the German side the opposite had been proven quite clearly already during the war. “One does not believe a man who lies once …” Thus it should have been. But that such lies were refuted the 18-year-olds did not know. They did not know that they had been lied to. The couple of books in which the honour of the German people and the German nation was defended were suppressed as much as possible by the powerholders in the press and radio – and finally also by the state. They could reach only a small circle, and that was mostly the same people. The truth reached a hundred, at best a thousand, people – the lies and slander ten million.

Books that served the truth would have had to unmask the liars. It would not have been possible for it to be otherwise. But who then were the liars? Who lived off the lies? Those by whom the lies were set out in the world! Those for whom these lies were to be the fondation for their politics and their gigantic business – and in fact were. Those who now feared the truth so much more because their entire power was built on falsehood.

Thus the person who bore the truth that had become inopportune on their shield had the most powerful people as enemies. Above all, the international power of international Capitalism with all its ramified, more or less anonymous, organisations of materialism. Who then dares after a lost war – at a time when there would be rebuilding – to rebel against the Capitalistic powers, of all people? The mouths of us Germans were stopped with the Economic Miracle.

If one spoke the truth one was considered a danger for all. No matter it were true or false – We all live in this situation, they said. And those who said that held together staunchly – they thought they had definitely to hold together – because indeed they had lied together to one another. In Germany, after the Second World War, there arose the solidarity of the liars and became a remarkable force. Such a thing would not have been imaginable in the remotest in any earlier Germany.

That began immediately after the war. At the time when the “modern Inquisition,” – as Cardinal Frings[4] [5] called it – the “denazification,” played off life against the truth and honour of the individual and the nation. One who refuted the crimes declared by the enemy propaganda endangered his life and that of his family.

That began at a time when all the many emigrants seeped into Germany and were considered experts for all those things which they could not know about because they did not experience them and because, for years, abroad they did not obtain anything but enemy propaganda. Those who fled abroad and were considered as martyrs of the Reich, well received by the enemies of Germany and perhaps even deployed against their people, returned home as victors and obtained power over their people. When these people gave up what they had learned abroad they cut the ground from under their own feet. For that even the least of them had the required character. I knew an early Social Democrat who had this character – he was called Wenzel Jaksch.[5] [6]

In post-war Germany lies against one’s own people became normal; indeed, one could even say a general way of conduct, an essential part of the protocol. People even glorified lies by considering them almost as an offering for the rescue of the people. What they naturally could never be. Just for the reason that lies have “short legs,” which is already gradually being demonstrated.

Even the 18-year-old of today can in Austria easily be convinced what a shameless and base lie it was when it was maintained for years that the Austrian people had been pressured through armed force and against their will into an annexation to the German Reich. If we take an 18-year-old living today in central Germany, he can easily convince himself in Czechoslovakia that it was not worse but better off for the Czechs living in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia during the war than for the Germans in the Reich territory and that the many contrary opinions were complete fabrications.

The 18-year-old today must have learnt that the Munich Agreement[6] [7] through which the status of the Sudetenland and Bohemia-Moravia was legally established was an injustice, if not a crime itself. The German and Slovak minorities received therefrom their freedom, as is well-known – and the so-called Teschen region, with its valuable industry, went to Poland. The German Reich took over the protection of the Czechs since the latter would otherwise have been exposed to the attack from the East. The Czechoslovak territory was broken up by a revolution hardly 20 years previously, and indeed without the support of the German Reich, from the imperial federation of the Hapsburgs and against the will of the Austro-Hungarian legislature after precisely this territory had belonged for many hundreds of years to the heart of the Reich and owed its proud development in economic, cultural and political significance to this incontestable fact. The Munich Agreement was the logical consequence of an almost thousand-year-long Imperial politics – interruputed only for twenty years in acknowledgement of the most democratic right of all, the right of peoples to self-determination, with which the ethnic mixture of the twenty-year-old Czech state had not been compatible.

For these reasons the three leading European great powers – Italy, France and England – had not only approved but even guaranteed the Munich Agreement. Thus if it had been an injustice or even a crime – which is completely absurd for anyone who knows the situation – then Italy, France and England were at least as much to blame for this injustice – if not crime – as the German Reich itself. And the Soviet Union, by not only setting itself later against this new order but even allying itself with the German Reich, acknowledged the situation created by the Munich Agreement in an especially unequivocal way. Poland, by participating in the new order through the Munich Agreement for its own benefit, had not only declared that it agreed with this solution but had identified itself with it.

One who bound himself to the German Reich in the extremely severe existential battle, for better or for worse, without being forced into it can never maintain that this German Reich was already at the time of the oath of loyalty malevolent or criminal. This assessment applies in any case to Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Japan and the Vatican. It applies somewhat, on account of the Naval Agreement,[7] [8] to England too and, because of the Munich Agreement, also to France. Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Turkey would certainly not have maintained their neutrality and kept up their diplomatic relations during the war with the German Reich if they had throughout that time considered the German Reich to be criminal. Nobody will seriously maintain that the information services of all these states lacked reliable information.

All those who, through their own experience, knew the attitude of the German people and its development during the twenties and thirties – and their relations to foreign countries – know at least two things with absolute certainty:

  1. that the German Reich and the development of its politics and economics required nothing so urgently – especially in the view of its powerholders – than a long, secure peace and as good relations with the great powers as possible,
  2. that the German people were prepared by its government for this peace and did not want any war – which in turn its government knew fully and could not disregard in spite of all its power.

That must have been clear to all Germans and many foreigners – especially to the accredited diplomats in Berlin of that time; they would otherwise have acted differently.

But one who is 18 years old today learns this neither from the press and radio nor, much less, from the films or from the pulpit.

On the other hand, from the early years of his childhood, he came increasingly to hear – that Austria was forced against its will to the annexation to the German Reich – that the Munich Agreement was a great injustice or was even to be called a crime – that Germany wanted war and is to blame for it. Since I do not wish to discuss here the history of the Third Reich but have only randomly singled out these three examples that seem to be especially striking in order to demonstrate how superficially and falsely the present day youth are informed, I ask now, Who was – or is still – to blame for this catastrophe? It is really a catastrophe, because a youth that is falsely instructed about the recent history of its own people must proceed from fully false presuppositions in later life, even that of the nation. It runs the danger of bringing about through ignorance the collapse of the nation.

We know that the slanders, one and all, derive not from Germany but from foreign countries. Indeed, they were spread abroad long before they reached the German people. They can arise only from circles that largely judge Germany falsely. One could perhaps therefrom deduce whence they come.

They come from no people, no race, no church or lodge and also from no government. But they come from certain relatively small circles of international convenience and with numerous contacts that extend through the ways of international Capitalism, through all the means of the media, to every nation, race, church or lodge and also to the governments of very many states.

Only in this way can it be explained that this action was able to trigger a world-encompassing slander of the German people – after the second as well as after the First World War and beginning also already before the two wars. So to speak preparing the way for the wars. Very particularly promoted after the Second World War through the interning and denazification – which, besides, many of the propagandists of the opposite side had long considered with regret. The anti-German propaganda created millions of martyrs and precisely that a clever propaganda should never do. But the army of these martyrs remained silent and people died more and more quickly from year to year.

That could lead to the fact that with the martyrs one of the most decisive epochs of German life, of German history would end in nothing. Many of those who slander the German people think that.

If I were 18, I would not think in this way. I would know that one cannot name a certain generation for a certain time criminal without affecting the people as a biological unity bound to a destiny. If my parents were criminal, then they inherited these characteristics from my great- and great-great grandparents – and then their children and grandchildren are also not very different. By slandering one’s parents one does not free oneself of blame; on the contrary, the fact that one slanders one’s parents speaks strongly against oneself. But even the fact that one does not as a young man try most assiduously to understand and defend one’s parents – that one rather believes the enemy propaganda and in this way apparently makes things extremely comfortable for oneself – at the cost of one’s parents and forefathers in general – this fact throws a certainly shameful light on me, the 18-year-old.

You must indeed start reasoning from the fact that Hitler – like any “outstanding” man of any nation or age would be unthinkable without the love and the faith and the loyalty and the readiness for sacrifice of his people. An “outstanding” man is outstanding because his people go along with him.

A Hitler would not have amounted to anything if the German people in its entirety had not raised him on their shield. I say deliberately “entirety” because even those people were part of it who acccepted him conditionally or fully rejected him. For, even they would have had to behave quite differently if he was not to come to power. Every German was directly or indirectly involved in his accession to power – and even a great number of pro-German and anti-German foreigners contributed very considerably to it. When, for example, the Union of Jews in Germany offered their cooperation in the Hitler Reich, that made a strong impression on all of us and we took it as a clear proof that our way was the right one. If the non-National Socialist parties had acted against the Enabling Act,[8] [9] it would not have happened in spite of the NSDAP’s majority – because Hitler placed the greatest value on the agreement of the others, especially as a legitimation before foreign nations. But I experienced it myself – without being a member of parliament – that many of the non-National Socialist members of the German parliament had agreed to that law not only with ulterior motives but with fanatical enthusiasm for it. Hitler would not have needed to ask his own party first when he undertook the risk of a vote in parliament; so this took place exclusively on account of the other parties and indeed quite consciously and without pressure. Such an authority however involved the joint liability of everyone of the people who agreed to it, regardless of what happened later.

As an 18-year-old I must – and would – know today that Hitler was able to act as he did at that time – on the basis of an Enabling Act. The knowledge of this fact alone forces one to become thoughtful and critical in the face of enemy propaganda.

That would probably allow me to investigate the fate of formerly high officials of the party and the state. Nuremberg, Dachau, denazification. Death by hanging, life-sentences – twenty years – ten years. Or resistance. A minister of the Reich who wanted to murder Hitler. SS lieutenant generals who apparently opposed the commands of their highest leadership, conducted sabotage, sought to negotiate with the enemy and things like that. Officials of the Foreign Office who claimed that they had established contact with enemy spy organisations. Generals who served the Bolshevik propaganda against Germany – or even withheld supplies from their own troops in order to help the enemy. What a macabre list – we want to make it as short as possible, even if they were all born as Germans and not become that through fear. The “save yourself, whoever can” was not only a shame on the people and the Reich but also a frightful false decision for, in the English and French and American army, there were always strictly defined, incontrovertible ideas of national as well as personal honour and fidelity. Since that time the old song of the betrayed betrayer wanders through German lands.

But these types were quite fine with the anti-German propaganda. However, journalism is different from soldiering. It has to be – And so the peccavi[9] [10] of all these people and many, many more became the doom of our nation. The opponent had not considered something even vaguely similar as being possible among Germans. “How could you have been victorious for so long with such people?”, a Counter-Intelligence Corps officer of the American Army once asked me after an interrogation.

When I learn – as an 18-year-old of today – that even leading men of the Third Reich became in many ways instruments of the slander propaganda of the enemies – then I would attribute all manner of wickedness to them and also to others of their kind. I could of course imagine that leading men of an extraordinarily nationalist and strong regime commit great mistakes – perhaps also cruelties – But that they help the enemy through lack of civil courage – for the “save yourself, whoever can” is nothing else but that – thus, through cowardice, to slander their own people, the regime to which they had repeatedly sworn allegiance and for which they had demanded the greatest sacrifices from others – the Reich to which they owed everything – that I could not understand.

As an 18-year-old today I would take it for granted that such formerly leading men would not think for a moment of defending themselves but are always concerned exclusively to protect the people and the Reich as much as possible. As Göring did in Nuremberg – and the respectable Rudolf Hess.

People say that the Japanese declared after the war: Either we are all guilty or none of us is. And they essentially freed themselves better than we, and rightly so.

This is therefore very important for the youth of today not so much for political as for purely human reasons, for it is a matter of an example and, therewith, of human dignity itself.

Hitler’s doctor, the young Prof. Brandt,[10] [11] was not a politician – but his short speech in Nuremberg before the gallows that ended with the words: “I am ready” was a rescue of honour for many – for many generations after. For even stones grow from the earth.

Now it has always been this way – where there is much light, there is much shadow. That even the youth of today know. The more they are told of the shadow of the recent times the more they will in the course of time become interested in the lightof the past. That there must have been less light than shadow a reasonably educated man cannot believe. The shadow is indeed the consequence of the light – and not vice-versa.

The educators of the German youth should have reminded themselves of that even twenty years ago. For they certainly do not wish to educate the German youth into international Capitalism or any International but into the future of the German people and the German nation in the sense of a certainly famous, more than thousand-year-old, tradition that is part of the best of humanity.

Today as an 18-year-old I would be of the opinion that I am standing along with my generation at the beginning of a new epoch of German history. And that for the future of my people the best of the history of my fatherland is indeed good enough. One who must and wishes to begin anew needs, much more than anybody else, experiences and models. And indeed not from anywhere but from his own treasure-chest!

But what does one do? German youth of today should not have toy soldiers. No German ones at any rate. One only needs to look into the toy shops to know in what direction the wind is blowing. For there there are offered masses of Indians and American soldiers and knights from the Middle Ages.

For German girls “sex dolls” and negro dolls are recommended in German shops.

It has already become hard to buy the world-famous German fairy tale and saga books for our children. Grimm’s, Hauff’s and Andersen’s fairy tales, the Nibelung sagas, the Amelungen sagas, the Grail narrative, and so many others. But, on the other hand, countless books about Indians and gangster stories are to be had.

Has it not struck you yet, you 18-year-old of today, that for years now the illustrated magazines in Germany present whenever they can reports of royal weddings? Certain families are admired as if they still had something to say – as if they are still reigning. But the spirit that fills the other pages of the same papers is a very different one. It is much rather the spirit of those people by whom these very families were once driven away. How do you explain that, you 18-year-old? As a distraction strategy? Then perhaps you may be right.

Our families have for many centuries represented the state. For me it has always and under the most diverse circumstances been something taken for granted to respect the state as such fully and completely. To disrepect the state means to insult the people. That was always my conception. Monarchy, republic and others are different forms of the state, state-forms, and as such less significant than the state itself. The relationship of the citizen to the state-form can change and be different – but not to the state as such, unless the citizen is an anarchist. The attitude of the state to its citizens thinking and acting in this way must naturally be a corresponding one. The greatest of the kings of Prussia was proud, as is well-known, to call himself “the first servant of the state.”[11] [12]

If I were an 18-year-old today I would certainly think in this way – but the state would perhaps welcome this attitude of mine but not understand it. Many of my fellow citizens would reprimand me as a reactionary for that reason.

Without a respectful attitude towards the state an orderly society is not possible. The people and the state together form the foundation of the nation. Serving the state is the most integral way of serving the people.

But all that presupposes that the state is conducted in a corresponding manner, and politics is there to take care of that.

The leadership of the state is a matter of individual responsibility and not of anonymous strategy.

One who thinks that he has to lead his state with computer- and market research proves thereby that he lacks the consciousness of responsibility, the civil courage for this highest task. He is not worthy of the trust of his people, which can never be established solely through expressions of one’s opinions and machines. Indeed, in decisive phases of the life of the community it is not a matter of the recognition and realisation of a status but of dynamic forces of very changeable and at least initially incalculable intensity.

One who thinks he is capable of leading men by leaving men out as much as possible is inhuman and, therewith, a great danger for mankind. We are approaching an epoch in which this problem is for the first time in the history of mankind becoming eminently significant. The Marxist-materialist view that is currently still ruling the thinking of the masses is, in this connection, a great danger for mankind.

For us Germans – the people of poets and thinkers – therefore the general egalitarianism and disprespect of models, of the heroic, of geniuses, originating from Marx is especially dangerous.

Daily life in Western Europe is today determined by Marxist-materialistic thought – on Sundays and holidays one borrows for oneself the remains of the glory of those ages that one was once ready to throw overboard. How would a thinking youth of today understand that? It is indeed inconceivable.

It would be good to be clear on the fact that the cultured nations of the western world are for the most part ruled not by old men but by very old men. And that at a time when everything pushes forward to a new and better order, because the old is completely opposed to progress.

No wonder that all parties vie for the favour of the youth in a striking manner even though it would of course be thinkable that a youth that is revolutionary in the best sense of the word generally would not wish to have anything more to do with parties of either the old or new style.

For this youth is far too removed from Kaiser Wilhelm – and Ebert[12] [13] and Thälmann[13] [14] – and Hitler – yes, even from Adenauer – to be able to connect with any of them. If it has the capacity to recognise the situation, it will rip the masks from all the reactionaries from the Left to the Right with joyful youthful vigour – and proceed from the only basis that was always and is under all circumstances the natural one: one’s own people. Then it will wipe away therewith also the long moth-eaten concepts of “left” and “right” and “centre” and “conservative” and “liberal,” etc. because in this modern world only the people as a whole – as a community – can exist. The questions that will have to be decided tomorrow are always about the entire people – and not about individual parties. So much more will every people have to establish themselves among other peoples so that thereby mankind as a whole can also be helped.

If I were 18 years old today, I would be able to easily determine that those of more or less the same age have similar views in any context. And indeed, significantly, not only in Germany – East and West – but also in other countries. And these views are not really related to what is called politics today. Which is only political strategy. These views are directed more or less consciously against the older age groups. And, interestingly, not on account of their past but on account of their present.

Today as an 18-year-old I would have the feeling of living in a straitjacket. A condition that is so much more oppressive in that – considered from a purely materialistic point of view – I feel well or even very well, or too well, in this straitjacket. This straitjacket is the present day order. In every context. In good as well as bad. It is precisely that which Communism needs in order to make me an anarchist. But, on the other hand, I bristle in a way that is quite understandable. However, nobody helps me here. That which the others offer me as help is always, grotesquely, the straitjacket itself, that is, the system of wealth. Which is basically not a social order at all because it lost its sovereignty – through the victory of materialism.

I feel this social order as a straitjacket because I am through it captured by a system that abuses my life. I am in this system not a man but a number. That corresponds to the purely materialistic view of the masses and their dictators. I cannot in any way live as I wish to. The more people gabble about freedom the more illusory is the latter. In every context I become a consumer, a consumer of mass products. Of more or less artificially produced food that harms our health. Of the breathing of air that is corrupted, just like the water that I drink. Of objects of enjoyment of the most diverse sorts which I am recruited to through a state-subsidised advertising even though they are addictive, thus rob me of my decision over my own body, and are more or less poisonous. Nobody protects me from life in nerve-destroying noise, in senseless restlessness, in the maze of clauses, forms, jurisdictions. Nowhere and never can I be through my own will where I would like to be – after 25 years even my corpse can be dislodged from the cemetery. My whole life long, the state takes a major part of the income of my work, of that for which I wear out my body and soul, to finance things which I will perhaps never experience and which, in some circumstances, even entirely contradict my convictions, my life, the actual interests of my family. I am the slave of a confection that is not dictated by natural taste and Nature-given necessities but by the sale of goods and which I must accept even if it would turn me into a clown. Even opinion has been turned into a consumer product. Nobody tells me where it has been fabricated. Its only advantage is that it is cheap. Since all obtain the same opinion automatically it is extremely strenuous and even dangerous to complain about it. Hundreds of millions of men could in this way have one opinion – if that were not so, they would have none – but they must have one and indeed a certain one – so that they may demand that which is offered. A Satanic circle – in the “free world.” In every context: earlier the supply was directed to the demand – today the demand is oriented to the supply.

If a person breaks out of this circle – for example, in politics – then he is called a “radical” and that is supposed to mean: against everybody. In truth it means: against all who hold on to the old order because they fear a better one – or already consider it as no longer possible.

If I were 18 and thus had my life before me, this condition would infuriate me much more than now. I would recognise that my enemies are the enemies of my existence and that of my relatives and my people. That it is not at all a question of different opinions, of social estates or class differences, of social questions in the traditional sense, of religious faiths, labour unions, parties – but of existing or not existing. Henceforth, to be a Socialist means to preserve men from their biological annihilation. That lends politics an entirely different visage. In this way the Socialist becomes that which he originally wished to be – the enemy of Capitalism – thus, against the abuse of capital. For this battle neither capitalist trade unions nor capitalist churches are suited. They are basically to blame for the fact that it has reached this point. They should have confronted this development of the materialistic worldview at the right time instead of becoming Capitalists themselves.

I can very well understand that an 18-year-old of today inwardly rebels – perhaps without fully knowing why – against this old social order that stands so seriously in contradiction to life. There are for him indeed only two possibilities: either to become a slave of progress and think in a correspondingly materialistic manner and subject himself to Capitalism for better or for worse. That means in the final analysis: to help to bring about the downfall of mankind and the destruction of Nature on this earth. Or: to raise anti-matter against materialism and return to Nature and its eternally valid values. In this way to give man once again the dignity that gives him primacy above matter so that he may become the master of progress and lead back the latter to the service of mankind.

Only the second way corresponds to the character of the youth. And only the youth can actually follow it. But that should not happen in a vague way but must be well prepared and considered in the best way. For, nothing would be more disastrous for all than to stamp out the last remains of a once good social order before the better new order is visible. One should be very careful to push forward from a void – for that would necessarily lead to a void – namely, anarchy.

Some of the concepts that were always good – because they correspond to Nature – remain acknowledged: mother, family, one’s people. And these are not to be separated from: love, loyalty and faith. If these remain unshakeably firm as guarantors of a new social order, then duty, truth and justice are produced by themselves.

Then it would be superfluous to praise “success” – instead of performance. And to idolise “freedom” which remains a phantom so long as it is possible only for the benefit of some but for the disadvantage of others.

In this way would I – if I were an 18-year-old – try to develop a Socialism along with like-minded people that would be so modern – so completely different from the Marxist – that nobody could fail to personally participate in it. I am certain that a major part of the German working youth are waiting to overhaul with such Nature-compatible and thus healthy ideas a world that is reactionary to the core. I am certain that the German youth, if they write such ideas on their banner, would elicit the greatest interest among the youth of all cultivated nations and find many comrades. I am certain that our youth has it in them to develop in such an evolutionary world of ideas – to develop it themselves and to disseminate it with an enthusiasm that would do honour to the German name.

That is not a matter or a task of a party – but of a popular movement. Its avant-garde can – and therefore must – be only the youth.

Let this talk be a call to that. Let destiny take its course!

The more you respect the state as such the more it can and will be you. Do everything out of love for the people, out of loyalty to Germany, and in a belief in the victory of the good!

The situation is serious. Nobody in the world – however powerful he may be – can in the long run act against Nature. Not Capitalism, and its hangers-on. Their opponents indeed proceed not just from their intelligence but from their experience. The day is approaching when the greatest injustice will be discovered and judged. This time the people whom one wished to annihilate in the Second World War will not stand as the accused but count among the prosecutors. This time industrious, decent people will not sit in the dock but exploiters. This time it will not be a matter of business but about justice and honour. This time – and that is the point – one will not proceed from philosophical and religious platitudes but from the facts of natural science. Thus from that which could not be more logical and exact and clean than it is. From the proof of God itself, who stands much higher than all religions. In this way – only in this way – can one say: “It is so” and judge correspondingly.

But the way thereto is not easy for any of us. We must take care not to commit injustice. Especially the older generations are still so rooted in the belief in which they grew up that it is hard for them, in spite of all doubts, to free it from all the ballast of human accretions. To free it to such an extent that in reality only that remains which can stand up by all means even to the scrutiny of the most modern researches. Thus, to leave as remainder only that which, exactly like the natural sciences, is anchored in the eternal laws of Nature.

Thereby there will be no miracle necessary any more as proof of a theology. For Nature is overabundant in the really miraculous! It offers mankind much much more of incomparable beauty, of things ordered in an exemplary way, things that are actually all-powerful, and truly noble. Either the divine apparition to men is everywhere – or nowhere. Everywhere it is present only in Nature. There where man cannot yet disfigure, or corrupt it.

By allowing jazz music to be played in Christian churches one does not lead the youth to the Nature of God – but systematically away from it. By selling the host[14] [15] in automatic machines and defending contraceptive pills one does not come closer to the laws of Nature but in ever greater contradiction to them. One should wish to do service, and not earn money, with the faith of men.

I amnot concerned here with the Church but with the youth. So would it be also if I were 18 today.

If I were 18 today I would observe carefully the conduct of my contemporaries – and of the youth in general. For I would have to adjust myself accordingly.

I would compare the conduct of the present day youth with that of the youth of the twenties and thirties of this century. And also the reasons for the conduct.

Thereby I would ascertain remarkable differences. Differences that are especially nowadays attributed to the Second World War. But one who is 18 today was born only in 1948/49 and has hardly had anything to do with the war. One who was 18 in 1937 was born in 1919 and had therefore something to do with the war. But one who was 18 in 1927 was born in 1909, thus in the deepest peace. The generation of the Second World War are today 28-22.

In 1937 the German youth was more healthy and powerful than any youth since the foundation of the Reich. National popular sports included almost the entire German youth. The top class performances, as, for example, they were aimed at in the Olympic Games of 1936 in free competition with the youth of the world, were unique and were, in comparison, never again reached, even closely.

Of course there are even today – in Germany, relatively mostly east of the Elbe[15] [16] – a considerable number of record performances in sports, but the popular sports and the sports enthusiasm of the youth on a broad basis have diminished extraordinarily. Correspondingly the army readiness has diminished, the German youth is not nearly as healthy as it was then.

That has also considerable political consequences, for a healthy mind resides only in a healthy body. One who cannot live in a natural way cannot also think in a natural way.

One can easily detect from many young people what spirit they are begotten of. External neglect is always the expression of the neglect inside. A healthy young man is not cowardly, underhanded, and purely materialistic. A healthy young person – whether a boy or a girl – is daring as is appropriate for the youth, possesses civil courage, is clean, true and full of life.

An unhealthy youth creates for itself unnatural living conditions because it feels restricted by Nature, in which it does not fully participate. A healthy youth will always wish to live in as natural a way as possible.

An unhealthy youth creates unnatural living conditions for itself because it feels restricted by Nature, in which it does not fully participate on account of its sickness. A healthy youth will always want to live in as natural a way as possible.

Engaging with the youth is a big business. Much is written about it. The radio and television listen to their “problems.” In politics they all vie for their votes in a more or less crude way and one often insulting to the youth.

Those who most can and wish to benefit from the youth indulge them the most. They find nearly everything that emerges from a certain sort of youth and simply brand these as the trend of modern youth. No matter if it is a question of beatniks, hippies or teens. They act as if all modern thinking girls wish to go about as naked as possible – and all modern thinking boys like unmodern girls.

An enormous business is conducted with very mediocre reading and very bad pop songs. The parents give their children hundreds of millions so that they spend it on such rubbish and can poison themselves with it. Most of this stuff comes not at all from the USA but dressed up here in an American way in order to be able to get to the young better. Quite conservative German girls and young men sing the stupidest pop song lyrics most strenuously with an American accent in intentionally-distorted German – to have an American effect. Incidentally, a half-educated American would never speak in such an American way. Terrible to listen to – both as regards the music and, especially, the lyrics.

A well-known lyricist and one of the most world-famous pop song composers once said to me: We also find it frightful but we have to write in this way or else we will earn nothing – “They demand it of us.” To my question, “Who is they?”, I was given their reply with a concealed smile: “Not Germans, in any case.”

Once, when some extremely respected Americans visited us, I narrated that to them and pointed out to them that many German-American associations – arisen under the auspices of the occupying power – supported something like that.

The wide effects of this trashy literature and these disgusting pop songs is perhaps not at all less than that of the equally biased films and television programmes. It was inconceivable to my American friends why twenty years after the war such a strong American influence is still to be detected in the radio and television. Why here the newspapers licensed by the occupying power are authoritative – why there are still American stations – why by far the majority of the “crime films” and extraordinarily many of the theatrical plays of the television are American concoctions translated into German.

When, a short while ago, I was once again in America and narrated this at a reception in Buffalo the majority of the Americans did not think it possible at all.

——-[16] [17]

But the youth organisations, the schools, indeed even the churches try to understand, cultivate jazz and Beat music and bring it closer to the youth – they actually take them seriously! The same is true of the so-called modern art. They frantically try to understand, establish, and finally even honour and celebrate under the auspices of the state, everything that goes in this jittery direction – and at the same time to remove from the churches traditional Christian sacred symbols that are non-Christian, of readiness for sacrifice, love for the people and fatherland, honour, bravery and exemplary conduct. The dance before the Golden Calf takes place already in front of the altar itself. When finally will Jesus Christ cleanse his churches from the businessmen and Pharisees? Drive them all out to the Devil who serve materialism through Christianity.

Our youth, God knows, is not to blame in the least for all this. But it affects our youth most of all, for they steal from them in the basest way their readiness for faith.

That means a lot especially among our people, for our people are especially strong in faith – and without faith especially weak.

If I were today 18 years old, I would try my best to have a church that is as bound to Nature as to God and therewith also reliably nationalist, devoted to the truth, and antimaterialist.

A church to which one does not belong in order to be able to get married and buried – but in order to have an anchorage for the soul, an eternal refuge for my ideals and above all a spiritual bridge to the supreme power of God, of which I am a part.

One who takes away the ideals from the youth and injects into it the idea of success as the standard of all considerations disconnects the youth as such fromthe life of the people and the nation. For a youth brought up in the thought of success can assert itself only when it has already demonstrated successes and for that it requires many years – unless it becomes criminal. A youth growing up without ideals cannot have any joy in life, it will not be a genuine youth – it has been betrayed in the most beautiful thing in life!

I wish to demonstrate to young people, with striking examples, that the framework in which all our lives are conducted is no longer compatible. It is no longer compatible with the image of life that is predominantly determined by progress and its exploiters. But when the framework is not suited to the image, one should choose another framework and not another image!

In fact, the parties of today and the churches are rather more inclined to renounce the image than the framework. But the framework has – as regards politics – remained the old one except for some shreds from the Kaiser period and some particles from the Hitler period and some splinters from the period of the Weimar Republic. It is similar in other countries of the West.

When I was 18 years old, I believed that a renewal “in mind and body” should come, for the Weimar Republic did not seem to me to be either fish or flesh. 1918 did not bring a revolution but only a revolt. A revolt willed and introduced from the outside. The monarchy was replaced by a leftist radicalism that was to guarantee the wished for weakness. For the benefit of international Capitalism.

So-called Christians ruled with so-called Socialists against those whose demand was the most natural of all: to be a free people in a free Reich!

In a battle lasting fifteen years, and sometimes bloody, the German people, led by their youth, rebelled against their oppressors and put a sudden end to a life of exploitation, corruption and criminality. Gold was disempowered by performance – which however meant the hatred of international Capitalism. The ruling clique of international Capitalism possessed enough power to repeat once again the blow of 1914/8 which obviously had not sufficed to destroy Germany. When Russia, during the Second World War, gave up the alliance with Germany, it became for the first time unfaithful to the most essential of its doctrines – the fight against Capitalism – and Mao Tse Tung was right.

You young friends, have they told you after the Second World War that it was so? I know you will not answer. Why will you not answer? Do you think about it? That would indeed be very important.

People say today that the generation of that time has completely failed. Because they did not let themselves be enslaved through the Versailles Treaty and the not less important following treaties following it? Because they preserved Germany – and Europe – from the encroachment of the Communist world revolution?

Do you fear that you might draw similar consequences from a similar but worse situation?

You should, you must draw consequences! But not analagous ones! Those of those times led, taken all in all, through a grandiose rise – to the frightful catastrophe. Why that happened and had to happen in that way can be judged only when one examines carefully not only the conduct of us Germans at that time but also that of our enemies with a desire for complete truth. And in this way one sees cause and effect. And indeed within the framework of the entire development since Karl Marx through which everything was set in motion. At that time began that which can be ended only when in fact the better social order is discovered.

If you wish to seek the new, you must bring forth the courage to give up old relationships – insofar as they are not Nature-bound. Above all, liberate yourself from the influences which wish to push you into the will-less mass which the international Capitalism needs to exploit men.

You boys and girls, students, young workers, you will one day go to your teachers and ask them: How could you teach us German history in the sense of the enemies of our people? How could you offer to us as the equipment for life that which was not instructed to you at all – whose opposite indeed you perhaps even experienced for yourself?

At the same time, you must concern yourself with what may transpire then. You must consider the cooperation of every German to be right because the new order must be good for all Germans.

Then the time will come when we – always proceeding from Nature – draw the best from all great religions and philosophies insofar as they can be related to our German life. And also the best from the principles and ideas of the most inspired statesmen and politicians.

But thereby we should not forget that all the things upto now – whether we understand them or not – whether from leftist or rightist radicals, from Liberals, Communists or Fascists, Conservatives or Democrats were at least investigated and undertaken in an ideal way, finally became the prerequisite for the new order that is to come and perhaps had its significance within the great framework of natural Becoming. Then we recognise the eternal law of Nature – of the original power of all Being – that we so often designated as Destiny or as Divine Providence – intuiting but not yet knowing – how very true it was.

Suddenly light bursts through the clouds, the future opens up to us positively. At the beginning of the path there is no hatred but the certainty that it as much concerns one person as another. Peace and reciprocal respect will be free of unnatural levelling down, guilt and atonement. Natural thought awakens and equal interest in a very modern and common task.

The trembling anxiety before the murderous consequences of violent progress in technology can give way to the conviction that only that can be considered progress that serves a natural life.

Then we can possess a trust that no longer allows any existential anxiety and gives us an inner peace such as men have not been able to know upto now.

At the outset I opposed the presumptuous “It is so” of the major spiritual and religious orientations. I recognise only one evidence, and that is Nature. But by proceeding once again from Nature and wishing to relate everything to it one will rightly be able to say: “It is so.” The poorest and the richest, the white man and the coloured man, the most educated and the least – all of them experience Nature. They are all themselves part of Nature. They can all, if they only so wish, constantly perceive the proofs of “God.” For the first time faith is built on science. Thereby this revolution will be essentially different from all its predecessors and will be in a position to manage without great wars.

“Back to Nature” was already often signalled at the start of revolutionary renewals. The ideas that led to that were perhaps similar in principle. But one knew too little of Nature. Today we know much more, relatively, than thirty years ago. From that alone we see the dangerous contrast between progress and a social order that is around 100 years old. Now not only the position of man on earth is changed but also that in the cosmos. In thirty years men will have relations to the universe on which life here on earth would largely depend. So much more decisive is it that here “order prevail” – that is, the natural, Nature-given order – everything else is human fabrication, is based more or less on delusion and ignorance – and is certainly worth nothing when it is a question of finding one’s place in the universe, when we can no longer imagine being alone, and are forced to consider everything with more humility.

If I were 18 today, I would primarily concern myself with these problems. I would study God’s glory in Nature and try to derive therefrom the way we must live. Countless wonders of Nature would teach me the greatest respect for their regularity. I would see my life not as a more or less successful pastime but as a duty – a highly interesting, significant and responsible duty. I would feel myself bound to my family, my people and my race in all consequences and respect the same attitude of members of other families, peoples and races. I would not shun but especially value the diversity of life – and consider men not as lords but as custodians of this earth. And that would have far-reaching consequences with regard to plants and animals.

I would say to myself – a mankind that pushes forward into the eternity of time and space must also think of viewing its own life within the scope of these dimensions. So that it does not despair in this endless expanse and through anxiety commit mistakes that can never be rectified. It must obtain an ever more secure position. And in every relation a standpoint. And indeed one that is most natural. The homeland then finds its place once again and, indeed, not on the basis of a Romantic rapture but through Nature-given objectivity, which is the only justified objectivity.

Without such an attitude mankind loses, in the truest sense of the words, the ground under its feet.

Just imagine to yourself what men will do when they recognise that, in this world, nowhere is there an end but only transformation, development, until the end of time. Without knowing why it is so. And that even in relation to the existence of men itself! That would mean that the most essential part of us is immortal and death, therefore, not an end but an episode analogous to birth. With this knowledge alone our life seems fully different. Another dimension is added in which it would be very hard, but as significant, for us all to think and to find our place in.

These thoughts, these views, would excite me as an 18-year-old and completely draw me into their spell. I would say to myself that, in view of this, much here in the life of men must be ordered quite differently. That it is senseless to lead an increasingly unnatural life as a slave of progress when precisely this progress forces us to a knowledge which urgently demands a life corresponding as much as possible to the eternal laws of Nature.

I would especially ask myself: Through what then have we men become the slaves of progress?

A question whose answer, in my opinion, is more fundamental for the life of our and other civilised peoples than any problem of any party programme. It is indeed that cardinal question which they all have not been able to deal with upto now. Not the parties, not the labour unions and not the churches!

The answer is very clear: through Marxist materialism.

Through it is the thinking caused which makes us dependent on matter. And through it we had to necessarily become more and more slaves of our own much-vaunted progress. By overvaluing matter excessively we fail to understand Nature in its eternal values. We separate our existence from that which is inmortal in us. We take from our existence its real significance and impose it on the great order of all things. No wonder that the Nature of God is foreign, painful and unpleasant to so many men. That it does not serve us any longer as a blessing but merely for exploitation.

We are approaching a time when Marxist materialism is reaching its final phase: Nihilism.

I shall refer as evidence to a small incident of the recent past – one similar in principle to many: Young street people – perhaps around fifty altogether – wanted to put on an act. In any case they called it that. It was in a West German city – that must be said, because in the realm of the DDR it would not have been thinkable.

It had nothing to do with art – it was rather a mockery. For the purpose of protest. Demonstration. And of course for anarchy. As unequivocally as possible. They yelled from the stage in a chorus: “We don’t want any state!” They demanded that the public take part, and that happened as well. They continued until there were scuffles with the police, which is indeed called a peacekeeping force because it should establish order in the state. The order without which a state cannot exist. The order against which those young people were rebelling when they wanted no state. Indeed they did not want any state because they are fundamentally against any order. They were thus dyed-in-the-wool anarchists. Final phase of Marxist materialism, one step further than Cat and Mouse[17] [18] or The Tin Drum,[18] [19] and so many other things of this sort, or of this bad habit.

If I were 18 today, I would reject that. And indeed for the reason that I would find such an attitude unhealthy, unnatural and, therefore, reprehensible and bad. A very great danger. A murderous bacillus.

I know that I would act in this way because when I was actually 18 the conditions were, of course, not exactly the same, but very similar. Even in the twenties foreign powers brought everything to bear to divide our people and to introduce to it an unnatural and for that reason an inwardly destructive way of thinking. Even at that time, under the guise of antimilitarism, genuine soldiership and heroic spirit were made ridiculous and scorned until finally at the premiere of Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front[19] [20] in the film theatre on the Kurfürstendamm Street in Berlin some dozens of white mice sufficed to prick the bubble of the entire morbid intellectual swindle in a few seconds. Workers can be convinced by discussions, intellectuals only by deeds. For, the fairness of men is not the product of their knowledge but of their natural instinct. Civil courage cannot be learned, it is the best gift of God.

Our youth at that time was interested in the needs of the people. They could think more naturally than the present day youth because they were healthier. Their knowledge in the realm of the material was certainly lesser – but their nobleness of heart was greater. Even they wanted success. But there were for them many things that were worth more to them. For which they could bring forth every sacrifice – and indeed, gladly, from a fulness of heart. I knew that youth well and am still proud of having been part of it. Whether Communists or National Socialists, they were idealists! But education in materialistic thought destroys idealism among the youth. A youth without ideals, without models, without heroes produces necessarily generations of sneaky people, bureaucrats, cowards, denunciators, traitors, and finally nihilists.

Now – when one compares what was inflicted on the German youth in the twenties and fifties of this century by anonymous parties but with the eager support of the “German” intelligentsia and media – indeed even of many priests of both confessions – one discovers without difficulty the strategy of this campaign – this continuation of war by other means.

And that you young people of today can – and must – ascertain by yourselves. We cannot do anything but point out to you the contradictions that exist between what the enemies of our people say and that which we experienced – between that which a hostile clique recommends to us as life and that which a natural way of thought would prescribe to us.

One can become clever only through experiences. This we have done to an extraordinary degree. At any rate, much more and more basically than anybody who did not experience the most difficult time of our people along with them and consciously, as a German. This fact gives us the right and the duty to advise you – point out the direction to you. That is why I tell you what I would think and do if I were 18 today.

I have shown a new way trusting in the goodwill – and civil courage – of our German youth.


[1] [21] Original, Wenn ich heute 18 wäre, published by Hohenstein Verlag, June 1967.

[2] [22] Jonathan Petropoulos, Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany [23] (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 100.

[3] [24] Lionel Gossman, Brownshirt Princess: A Study of the “Nazi Conscience” [25] (Cambridge: OpenBook Publishers, 2009), p. 69.

[4] [26] Josef Frings (1887-1978) was a Roman Catholic cardinal who served as Archbishop of Cologne from 1942 to 1969. He was a bold critic of National Socialist policies during the Reich.

[5] [27] The Munich Agreement was signed in September 1938 – after the March 1938 Anschluss of Austria to the Reich – by Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. It legitimised the Reich’s annexation of the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland. Czechoslovakia – which Hitler denounced as a violator of the right of peoples to national self-determination with regard to its several minorities such as the Slovaks, Poles, Hungarians and Germans – was not invited to the Munich conference.

[6] [28] Wenzel Jaksch (1896-1966) was a Sudeten German who represented the German Social Democratic Workers’ Party in the Czechoslovak parliament from 1929 to 1939. While he supported the Sudeten Germans he was opposed to National Socialism and fled in 1939 first to Poland and then to Great Britain. After the war, in 1949, he returned to Germany and became an important member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 1951 Jaksch continued to maintain that the Sudetenland should become part of Germany.

[7] [29] The Anglo-German Naval Agreement restricting the size of the Germany navy was signed between the United Kingdom and Germany in June 1935. It was renounced by Hitler in April 1939.

[8] [30] The Enabling Act passed by the German parliament in March 1933 allowed the Chancellor (Hitler) and his cabinet to enact laws without the involvement or consent of the parliament.

[9] [31] (Lt.) I have sinned.

[10] [32] Karl Brandt (1904-1948) became Hitler’s physician in 1934. Brandt headed the T4 Euthanasia Programme along with Philipp Bouhler, Chief of the Chancellery, and was sentenced to death by the U.S. military tribunal in 1948.

[11] [33] King Frederick the Great (1712-1786) regularly referred to himself in this manner.

[12] [34] Friedrich Ebert (1871-1925) was a Social Democrat who served as the first president of Germany from 1919 to 1925.

[13] [35] Ernst Thälmann (1886-1944) was leader of the Communist Party of Germany during the Weimar Republic. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1933 and held in solitary confinement until 1944, when he was shot on Hitler’s orders.

[14] [36] The sacramental bread used in the Christian Eucharist.

[15] [37] The River Elbe roughly marks the divide between the former East Germany and West Germany.

[16] [38] A brief section of statistics displaying the high crime rates among European youth in the sixties has been omitted.

[17] [39] Cat and Mouse is a novella by Günter Grass published in 1961. It is the last part of Grass’ “Danzig trilogy” and follows Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum). Grass’ trilogy was an ironic critique of National Socialist ideology located within the social landscape of the north-eastern “Free City” of Danzig between Germany and Poland.

[18] [40] Günter Grass’ novel, The Tin Drum, was published in 1959.

[19] [41] Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) described the devastating effect of the battles of the First World War on the young German soldiers. The American film version of the novel was made in 1930 and its premiere in Germany was marked by strident protests. The novel was decried by the National Socialists as an anti-German work and publicly burnt in 1933.