Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume 6


[Appell an das deutche Gewissen]
Oldenburg; 1933,page 66-68.
Address delivered at Stuttgart, March 3,1933.

The principles of German federalism, as far as they have
been incorporated in the Weimar Constitution, are thus of a
dynastic nature. Therein, in truth, lies the crisis of

Whoever regards the states [Laender] simply as legal
successors of the former states of the German union forgets
the elimination of the dynasties (ruling houses). The
yardstick to measure the vitality and the political as well
as legal importance of a state has completely changed since
1918. Whoever does not want to recognize this fact, but
deals with the states of today as if they were still the
union-states of yesterday’s, does condemn to death
federalism as a legal and state building principle. Either
this great process of mediation continues until the unified
state is accomplished, or one has to underpin the federalist
principle anew. The slogan: “Back to Bismarck” really
springs from a basically un-Bismarckian attitude, because
Bismarck himself would never have tried to construct
something for which the real political presuppositions were

It follows then that the federalist principle must be
rebuilt legally and politically on a new basis. Its
outstanding characteristics, it seems to me, point to two
directions: for one to the legal constructions and for
another to the administrative method. A construction of a
state is a federalist on if it rests to considerable extent
upon contract law, and upon the mutual recognition of living
legal units which give birth, in a legal fashion, to an all
embracing political being. The principle of force will thus
be limited to a minimum; force can only be applied to
prevent a decay of unity and behalf of the basic right to
live. In addition, federalism will protect us from
centralism, that organizational form onto one point. No
nation is less adaptable to being governed centralistically
than the German nation. Particularism, on the other hand,
leads to a predominance of the members and to a centrifugal
movement dismembering the total unit.

Such a centrifugal movement has been characteristic for the
decay of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation, the
body of German folkdom, ever since the thirty years war, or
even since medieval times. Exactly here, in the center of the southern
German [alemamic] tribes, we feel lively, even tragically,
the political tearing apart of a tribal unity which today
still extends beyond the Rhine and the Swabian sea. We
fully understand, therefore, the anxiety of all those who
wish to strengthen the power of the Reich and wish to
prevent at all costs a further crumbling of the kernel of
the German nation.