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by Lillian T. Mowrer
Hitler's link with the rebel militarists of Munich 
was not accidental. He was their man and they had 
sought his collaboration. The army had been his only 
spiritual home. Within its ranks he felt himself, for 
the first time, member of a group. As a poverty-stricken 
orphan in pre-war Vienna and Munich he had known only 
frustration and despair. Too untalented to be the artist 
he longed to be, too hysterical, ego-centric, and snobbish 
to be a [sic] home with workmen, he was an outcast and 
misfit, living in dosshouses, peddling hand-tinted 
postcards for a living. He thanked God on his knees 
when 1914 swept him into a Bavarian infantry regiment. 
He never rose to the officer's rank he craved but, as 
corporal, earned some praise for being "serviceable" 
to his superiors.
Love of a mystical, Teuton Fatherland and passionate 
hatred of everything foreign, above all Jewish, made 
him both militarist and pan-German before the war 
was over. Within a short time of being demobilized he 
was back in the army again, disgusted with the brief 
bloody communist revolution Munich was going through, 
but suspiciously well-informed about its participants.

The Reichswehr was weeding out members of the 
revolutionary Soldier's Councils. In the back rooms 
of low bars and beer-joints communists met and 
whispered. Adolf Hitler listened in their midst. Then 
suddenly, the doors would be thrown open; Captain 
Ernst Roehm's troops entered, and the wretched Reds 
would be led away. One out of every ten was stood 
against the wall and shot. For during the revolution, 
Hitler was spy and informer for the Munich Group 
Command. He had no shame concerning his first 
"political activity." His heart was full of hatred 
for his fellow men: fevered times gave him an 
opportunity to "distance himself" as he often 
expressed it; to feed his raging ambition even if 
only at cost of a comrade's life. Roehm had noticed 
his corporal's political awareness and gift of ready 
speech. He encouraged his patriotic talk in the barracks, 
gave him political leads, and small sums of money. "Buy 
the boys a beer and report to me what they're talking 
about," he ordered.
Hitler frequented labour meetings where disgruntled 
veterans aired their views. Gradually he began to 
[unreadable] himself. One day he listened to a public 
speaker labouring to explain the

00010574.GIF  Page 2
difference between JEWISH-MARXIST capital and 
socialism (which were bad) and GERMAN capital 
and socialism (which were all right). This fitted in 
exactly with Hitler's own conviction that anything 
and everything German were good. He inscribed 
himself as No. 7 in the littler Verein which called 
itself the German Labour Party. Within a year, 
he was leader of it.

The thwarted artist began to smarten up his little 
group. He grabbed slogans, party pins and flags, ideas 
from Russian communists, Italian fascists, German 
poets. Members were addressed as "comrade"; hefty 
lads with knuckle-dusters bounced hecklers at his 
meetings. There were his Order troops. He harangued 
crowds on the crime of the Versailles Treaty and the 
crime of the "Jews" who signed it. His fiery oratory 
was something new to slow-tongued, lower-class 
Bavarians. In Vienna you could find his like in any 
street-corner tub-thumper; in Munich his shouting 
and gesturing were a spectacle men paid to see. "Never 
did a man sweat so for his country; he wears himself 
out for us," remarked his placid listeners, deeply 
impressed, though they did not always understand 
his funny Austrian accent. The crowds grew and grew, 
and Hitler's belief in himself grew with them.
(pgs. 177-179)

....Both Rosenberg and Hitler were immensely influenced 
by Ludendorff who patronized their fanatical group. The 
old Man's wits were none too sound. This greatest military 
genius of his age now wrote crank pamphlets on Nordic 
supremacy and outdid the nazis in denouncing world plots 
of Freemasons and Jews. But he declared he loved Hitler 
"as a son." He had searched the Bavarian mountain villages 
in vain for a "Joan of Arc" to revive Germany's martial 
spirit. A prophetic impulse made him pick this Austrian 
to be his country's Messiah. Something in the little corporal's 
monomania touched his memories of other more glorious 
days, and the man had certainly given ample proof he could 
rouse the masses. By supplying him with Army funds and 
marching at his side, Ludendorff symbolized the unbroken 
course of history.
(pg. 180)

.... His (Hitler) six-month sojourn in prison broadened his 
outlook. It also stimulated a deep-lying itch for power. 
National socialism had almost collapsed in his absence, 
but he immediately revived the party and published his 

0010575.GIF Page 3

Both showed obvious traces of much ill-digested reading, 
and Mein Kampf caused little stir when it appeared. 
"Campaign literature," said the few Germans who read it. 
Divorced from his magnetic personality, the continual 
harping on the Versailles "crime" failed to appeal.
(p. 181)

Reichswehr complacency was a little dashed, however, 
when the Fuehrer, at his first official appearance gave 
his collaborators a demonstration that he could neither 
be trusted , nor appeased, nor used. He outwitted all those 
who helped him to power simply because they could not 
match his ruthless brutality. By methods no civilized 
government ever thought of, he instantly ousted the, and 
made himself dictator. He dismissed Parliament and called 
a General Election. Six days before the ballot, the Reichstag 
burned. Declaring the communists had done it as the signal 
for "a plot to seize power" he arrested thousands, suppressed 
their political campaign, and stampeded the country into panic.
(pgs. 188-189)

He took a weak, defeated people crushed under a sense 
of inferiority and humiliation and turned them into hard, 
arrogant, fanatical warriors. He did this by giving them 
a new set of values. He induced them, because they had 
been beaten by the Western world, to discard everything 
the Western world cherished and called civilized. He 
vaguely realized that the forces of democracy and 
individualism were too strong for Germans to meet in 
battle on their level; therefore, he, or rather his racial 
experts, created a new German civilization based on the 
cult of blood; on the old myth of Nordic supremacy, 
relying on instinct rather than reason. Germans were 
ordered to "think with their blood."
(pg. 194)

This "revolt from the West" and national assault on 
intellect could not have produced such startling changes 
in Germany so quickly had such ideas been truly original 
and propounded for the very first time. Such talk, even 
with Hitler's genius at mass hypnotism, could not have 
prevailed against a people armed with convictions deeply 
opposed to it.
But nazism was no abrupt innovation, no sudden 
reversal of thought and sentiment. Most of its 
theories -- in other forms -- could be found in 
German literature and had their roots in national

00010576.GIF  Page 4

history. Nazi ideology was profoundly and characteristically 
German. Anti-semitism and the cult of a HERRENVOLK had 
always found ready acceptance in certain circles.
It was Hitler's selection and crude application of these 
ideas which were so revolutionary and which gave them 
such wide and potent appeal. In his own garbled version 
he brought to the level of the masses the unbridled 
emotionalism of the Nineteenth-Century so-called 
"romantic" literary period. In Germany this had developed 
with typical extravagance and immoderation and affected 
not merely literature and art (as it did in other European 
countries), but politics, education, and general conduct as 
well. All the "dynamic discoveries" of that century's inflated 
ego he put back into circulation again to create a new barbarism 
and make the ideological soldiers of the Third Reich. His own 
boundless faith in himself and his mission were just further 
examples of the romantic contention that all authority sprang 
from within and owed nothing to objective facts or eternal 
Hitler's contempt for the main stream of European 
tradition, his repudiation of every restraint, had been 
fully anticipated by others; he was not even the first 
to deny Western civilization. The "insane Berserker 
rage" had seized Germans before. "For two thousand 
years we have fought the French" was how the popular 
mind conceived it. Yet it was not the French nation, but 
that sane sense of proportion French civilization typifies, 
the clear-thinking and classical form of self-control, 
against which demoniac Teuton fury periodically rebelled.
How was it possible that he induced an intelligent people 
to accept his brutal theories? It was probably because the 
German masses were so literate that they were easy 
victims for Hitler's appeal. A people that read less would 
not have fallen for his comic catchwords. Beer-mug 
philosophers and earnest adolescents were taken in. The 
atrocious vulgarity of the nazi vocabulary did not deter 
them. Even the masses in Germany had heard echoes of the 
"survival-of-the-fittest" theory, know something of 
Nietzsche's "superman", and the "will to power." They 
went to Wagner's operas regularly and were steeped in 
hero worship, identified Hitler with the "hero" who 
"turned against the ruin of his race."
(pgs. 195-197)

As long as Hitler was struggling for power he paid 
lip-service to Christianity; indeed, he broke with 
Ludendorff because the old man's pagan blasts lost 
him votes. Once in the saddle and sure that his 
Gestapo could crush any opposition he discouraged 

00010577.GIF  Page 5

and persecuted the churches. A good Christian could not 
be a good nazi, and his totalitarian creed would admit 
no divided loyalties. Recruits in the Third Reich had to 
swear allegiance to the Fuehrer personally (not to the 
state) and the religious element of the soldier's oath 
was eliminated, despite the Reichswehr's disapproval.
(pg. 197)

Against the advice of his General Staff he sent German 
troops into the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland.
One bleak Saturday in March (1936) the grey-coated 
Reichswehr rumbled over the Rhine bridges; and Europe 
trembled on the brink of war.
"What shall we do if the French march"? questioned the 
frantic German generals, who know that their army was 
far from ready and who saw all their long-laid plans for 
the "day: jeopardized by an amateur who trusted his 
"If the French life a finger, you can give the order to 
retreat and I will commit suicide," answered the Fuehrer.
(pg. 283)

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