I recently came across this passage in George Orwell’s 1984:
“The ideal set up by the party was something huge, terrible, and glittering — a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons — a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting — three hundred million people all with the same face.”
This is probably very close to a description of what many people today believe about National Socialist Germany. It certainly matches with what we see in Hollywood movies and find in our children’s textbooks. After discovering that the gas chamber story was nothing more than communist wartime propaganda, perpetuated by the “Allies” for various purposes of self-interest, I have been taking a closer look at National Socialism with a desire to understand why it was so universally popular with the German people of those days.
I have also become very interested in Jesus and his purely spiritual teachings — considered apart from Christianity, which came later — and have found, to my surprise, that Hitler was also very interested in these teachings (see previous post of excerpts from Wagener’s memoirs).
When Jesus says that the “kingdom of God is within you,” and “God is spirit,” he is pointing to an inner spirit perspective — what the Germans refer to as a “Weltanschauung” — that has the power to unify the inner world of the individual with the outer world of the community. This is a goal that we are far from achieving in America these days, hence my interest in these matters.
Dynamic political unity that is truly creative is not achieved through enforced uniformity — the atheist communist approach. It follows naturally from oneness of spirit. This is the philosophical basis for National Socialism that is expressed with eloquence in the party handbook from 1943.
These excerpts are from Alfred Rosenberg’s essay, “Inner and External German Freedom” (emphasis added):
“…The other nations never quite understood this German concept of freedom as they generally never grasped the inner side of the concept of personality. …it was the concept of a personality that consciously defends its individuality and winds circles of creative performances around a deep and firm inner core, thus expanding and being bound to a center at the same time. It was this German idea of freedom that Martin Luther presented when he argued for a spiritual and religious freedom he was willing to risk his life for… The very same opinion was expressed by Goethe when he talked about the existence of respect, especially self-respect. He did not argue for a superficial, arrogant overestimation of one’s capacities, but acknowledged the indestructible metaphysical center, without which it would be impossible to understand magnificent creations in the fields of art, sciences and political development.
“It is essentially the same concept of freedom that shows itself with increasing clearness in the relation between what we call personality and community. We strive for a community of millions of Germans, firmly shaped and guided, while at the same time we demand that there is room for outstanding creative personalities. We do not feel that these two demands oppose one another, although other nations do because they only know the choice between tyranny and chaos.
“…This is why in the German nation the idea of freedom has always been connected with duties rather than with rights. A German philosopher once made the excellent point that freedom had never been a question of “being free from,” but always a matter of being “free to.” This is an important concept that reveals a whole attitude. The German fight is not a fight for freedom in the sense of being free from duties. It is the fight for a mission in which we try to live up the the great duty which we were given. This is why the German nation is the most revolutionary in Europe and at the same time it is the nation where the all-enlightening ideas of inner freedom originated. We are conscious that the inner values of the Germans — honor, faithfulness, loyalty, pride — represent the best elements of the European races…
“Therefore, it is no political slogan when we say that today Germany represents Europe. On the contrary, it is but a symbolic summary of deep feelings and high spirits derived from an historic mission. We hope and know that some day the achievements of the German nation, its devotion to discipline and the mission we work for will be looked upon by other nations with special respect which we honestly believe that we deserve. Power and ideals, freedom and duty, should in this nation be inseparably united and the moment of truth for Germany should be the time of renaissance for all other creative nations in Europe.”
And from Dr. W. Gross, writing about “The National Socialist Way of Life” (emphasis added):
“The National Socialist Weltanschauung and its practical effect on German lifestyle is based on two supporting pillars:
“On the one hand, personality is given a chance to unfold and the individual receives an education that is nearly perfect. On the other hand, the individual is ready to contribute to the welfare of the community. These are the two poles that generate the productive potential of National Socialist Germany.
“Developing and shaping his abilities makes the individual happy and conscious, for doing this is the prerequisite for the nation to receive his genuine efforts that are of the highest value for the community. Only these efforts for the community add meaning and ultimate nobility to the individual personality and its development. In morbid times, personality and community became opposites, but for us they are a full harmonic chord in which the individual strings of life sound together.
“…The National Socialist ideal is not a silly fashion and not a standardized type of man. On the contrary, our goal is a variety of individual personalities, all educated and trained according to their talents. Only this variety grants a harmony that elevates the individual and bestows the nation with historic power and beauty.
“…In dealing with foreigners the German attitude will show respect, comradeship and cooperation along with an unshakable self-confidence…”