Saturday, May 12, 2018

"The Earth Will Bear Fruit Once More," by Herbert Sailer

This from a mother's day card distributed in 1944. It was intended as a consolation to grieving mothers and wives who had lost loved ones on the battlefield.

Source: "Den Müttern und Frauen unserer Gefallenen zum Muttertag 1944," distributed by the Hauptkulturamt [Main Culture Office] of the Reichspropagandaleitung [Central Office of Propaganda], 1944. Translation by R. Bytwerk.

The Earth Will Bear Fruit once More

The earth rests, whatever else may happen.
The streams flow pure from their source.
A forest grows, grass and sheaves rustle.
Birds fly up. The earth rests. 
You rest in it. Your bed is a green meadow.
A hill of earth warms you.
The rain waters you. Hundreds of seeds sprout
And bear fruit, then turn, like you, to dust. 
And once again the earth bears fruit,
For nothing perishes that is surrounded by it.
Friend, believe, do not complain.
The victory of life is the meaning of the world.

Herbert Sailer

Central illustration replicated on the card.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

'Your Youth': Excerpt from 'You and Your People,' by Erich [...], Gauleiter of Bavarian Ostmark

What we want from our German youth is different from what the past wanted of it. In our eyes, the German youth of the future must be slender and supple, swift as greyhounds, tough as leather, and hard as Krupp steel. We must cultivate a new man in order to prevent the ruin of our Volk by the degeneration manifested in our age. 
- Adolf Hitler, 1935 speech to Hitler Youth (full speech at Neues Europa)

The ship’s sails fill,
The wind blows!
The anchor is raised,
The helmsman sets course, 
The ship flies across the seas.

- Friedrich Hebbel

Father! You bore the flag in war.
Father! Let me bear it on to victory.

- Kurt von Rönne

Source: Reichsleitung der NSDAP, Hauptamt für Erzieher (NSLB), Du und dein Volk (Munich: Deutscher Volksverlag, 1940). Translation by R. Bytwerk.

German poets have always portrayed the path of life as a journey at sea, for the sea means adventure, and a proper youth is unthinkable without adventure.

To master life, one must begin with courage and a desire for adventure. The generation to which you, German lad, and you, German girl, belong has better opportunity than any of the past to experience the excitement of intrepid battles.

Your fathers displayed unparalleled heroism in resisting the attacks of a world of enemies. Your mothers did the work of men behind the plow and at the machines, bearing privation without complaint and overcoming distress.

Overcome by superior forces, weakened by hunger, stabbed in the back by traitors at home and abroad, the old Germany collapsed.

Long years of political, cultural and, economic misery followed.

But then a vehement fighting spirit raised high the flag once again. Adolf Hitler gave the new Reich the red flag with the ancient symbol of the swastika as a sign of Germany’s inheritance, as a symbol of the German will for victory, as the foundation of Germany’s future.

The Führer forged the people into a strong community. Years of peaceful work healed the old wounds and created the Greater German Reich, which offers all of German blood a homeland.

That aroused England’s envy. It broke the peace to hinder German’s ethnic renaissance. But the German people, man and woman, boy and girl, joined in tough and hard combat, ready for new sacrifices, determined to win the victory.

Germany today must be more manly, harder, more disciplined, than ever before. When you, German youth, join the ranks, you sing of Viking journeys and heroic battles, because you know that once more struggle and brave deeds must be the motto of the German.

As the Führer said: "In our eyes, the German youth of the future must be tall and slim, fast as the greyhound, tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp steel." And he added: "The time will come when the German youth shows a wonderful, healthy, beaming face, healthy, open, upright, brave, and peace-loving."

From new deeds grows the new youth, and a new world.

You must know that each German faces a hard, sacrificial time. And you must cheerfully say "yes" to it.

"Become mature and stay pure!" These words by the Poet Walter Flex, who fell on 16 October 1917 fighting for Germany on the island of Oesel, must today be the motto of every German boy and German girl.

A high-minded young person can lose his purity in life. He believes himself mature, ready to ride any horse, able to handle anything in life, including life in a big city. He makes a fateful error, losing his purity without gaining it. Only he is mature who maintains a certain distance to things and people, keeping everything far from his soul that is foreign to its nature, that threatens its purity.

You should keep your body healthy and strong, your soul pure and upright. You should keep your spirit fresh and clear, and your will alert and ready.

But far more than your personality is involved. It concerns your people! Therefore, it is required of you to fight not for your own good, but rather:

That you fight with all of your strength a holy struggle for the health, purity, clarity and readiness of your people!

This is what you are called to, German youth of our day. You are honored to work toward a high goal.

"The greatest task in world history lies before us. We are at the turning point of the ages."

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Poland in 1939 from the National-Socialist Perspective

The following film was made after the Polish Campaign in 1939. Danzig, in August 1939, had a population that was nine-tenths ethnic German, needlessly suffering under Polish governance, and that eagerly wanted to return home to the Reich.





Monday, December 25, 2017

"A Christmas Story," by Thilo Scheller

The translator claims that this story removes all traces of Christianity, aiming to recast Christmas. But I think the piece may have had other aims. The war against the USSR was sapping morale. The Soviets had retaken Stalingrad, and Germany's position thereafter was defensive. The story conveys a real need for unity in difficult times: Woodcutter, king, and soldier are given reprieve by a mother in her home. Ignore the cynicism of the translator, and you realize the story is inspirational.

Source: Thilo Scheller, in a pamphlet published in 1943: Vorweihnachten. Ausgabe 1943 (Munich: Franz Eher, 1943). Translation by Randall Bytwerk.

A woodcutter who lived alone in his hut deep in the forest had eaten his last piece of bread and the fire in his hearth had gone out, so he was hungry and cold.

He was forced to go out even though it was dark and the paths were snow-covered. Dark clouds hung down to the tops of the fir trees.

At the same time, a solder was afoot in the forest. He was returning from the war. Bloody images of war were still before his eyes and the noise of battle rang in his ears. For years, he had slept outdoors on the naked earth.

And on the same evening, a king had gone out hunting. Driven by hunting fervor, he had followed a doe and lost sight of his companions. He became lost in the confusing mists of the forest. All his blowing of the hunting horn was in vain, for the mist swallowed every sound. As the forest grew thicker and thicker, he got off his horse and trudged through the snow, leading his horse with the reins, searching for a way back to his castle.

The woodcutter, the king, and the soldier in the story.

At a crossing, the three men met, the woodcutter, the soldier, and the king, and asked each other which way to go, but none could give an answer.

The woodcutter was silent, the soldier cursed fearfully, and the king was proud and superior. None trusted the others to know the way; they could only agree that this was the darkest night and the worst weather in the world. The woodcutter went ahead, and the other two followed in his steps.

Soon they stood before a small hut with bright windows, and they heard soft singing. The woodcutter forgot his hunger, the soldier thought no longer of noise and war, and the heart of the king grew soft.

Then the clouds parted, and the stars shone clear and bright as guardians of the small hut.

As they opened the door, a mother sat by the oven, holding a child on her lap. She looked at the three men and nodded to them. They entered quickly and closed the door so that the child would not become cold.

They stood respectfully before the mother, who with a lovely smile looked on her child, and then greeted the three strangers.

The king thought she should stand up and bow to him. Instead, she turned to the woodcutter who had come near the oven to warm his hands.

"Light the lantern over there, and also take a piece of bread from the cupboard. I have more than enough light and warmth, for where is it lighter and warmer than where a little child has been born?"

The woodcutter followed her instructions. The child reached its little hand toward the light of the lantern, Then the woman saw the soldier, who was standing uncertainly. "Brave soldier, I thank you that you have stood watch for me and my child and for all the children of our people so that no enemy came over the border. You and your comrades are the protectors of the homeland, and the mothers and children thank you, most of all those who gave their lives!" The soldier's eyes shone as he put his large hand on the child’s head, and all the nights he had endured, all days of hunger, all the bloody battles, seemed small in the bright light of the baby’s eyes.

Only now the woman saw the king, who had waited in displeasure to the side, because he thought he should have been the first. "We all must wait. In this little boy, my waiting found its fulfillment. You, too, my king, have had to wait for this child. Children are your kingdom’s greatest treasure. What good are all the lands and treasures of the world, all its forests and fields, if there were no children who would grow up to take up the plow, to bake bread, to swing axes in the forest, to cut timber for huts and houses and halls, to hammer swords on the anvil to use against your kingdom's enemies, if there were no children who would become the mothers whose wombs would give your kingdom a future!"

The three men gazed with respect on the baby, for the mother’s words had touched their hearts. The woodcutter gave the baby a sprig of fir, the solder whistled him a song, and the king took the golden chain from his neck and gave it to the mother, then bowed before the child.

Now the three men knew which way to go and they left cheerfully. The woodcutter led the way with the lantern and the soldier whistled one song after the other. The king, leading his horse with the reins once more, felt the bands that had held his heart break, the bands that had kept him from knowing the heart of his people.

As they had to go their separate ways, they gave each other their hands. No longer were they strangers, the woodcutter, the soldier, and the king.

And golden stars illuminated each treetop, for it was Christmas Eve.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Remark on Hitler from David Lloyd George in 1936

"I have never met a happier people than the Germans and Hitler is one of the greatest men. The old trust him; the young idolise him. It is the worship of a national hero who has saved his country."

- David Lloyd George, from the Daily Express, on 17 September 1936

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

'Permitting the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life': Brief Excerpts and Remarks on Scale and Scope

Binding and Hoche's book was a seminal work. It placed the question of life and death in a scientific, legal, and political contexts. But the concept of 'life unworthy of life' is normative and is broader and deeper than the medical context to which they applied it. The NSDAP and SS expanded it beyond Binding and Hoche's focus. This increased scale and scope was legitimate, and it retains warrant and relevance today.

Source: K. Binding und A. Hoche, Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens (Leipzig, Felix Meiner Verlag: 1920). German here. [1]

Dr. Karl Binding (1841-1920)

Dr. Alfred Hoche (1865-1943)

... Should permissible taking of life be restricted, except in emergency situations, to an individual's act of suicide as it is in current law, or should it be legally extended to the killing of fellow human beings, and under what conditions?

To what extent, then, is killing humans allowed today, again apart from emergency situations, and what is to be understood by this? Recognizing a right to kill would be the opposite of "allowing."

[...]

Are there human lives which have so completely lost the attribute of legal status that their continuation has permanently lost all value, both for the bearer of that life and for society?

Merely asking this question is enough to raise an uneasy feeling in anyone who is accustomed to assessing the value of individual life for the bearer and for the social whole. It hurts him to see how we handle the most valuable of lives (filled with and sustained by the strongest will to live and the greatest vital power), and how much labor, power, patience, and capital investment we squander (often totally uselessly) just to preserve lives not worth living - until nature, often pitilessly late, removes the last possibility of their continuation.

Reflect simultaneously on a battlefield strewn with thousands of dead youths, or a mine in which methane gas has trapped hundreds of energetic workers; compare this with our mental hospitals, with their caring for their living inmates. One will be deeply shaken by the strident clash of the sacrifice of the finest flower of humanity in its full measure on the one side, and by the meticulous care shown to existences which are not just absolutely worthless, but even of negative value on the other.

It is impossible to doubt that there are living people to whom death would be a release, and whose death would simultaneously free society and the state from carrying a burden which serves no conceivable purpose, except that of providing an examples of the greatest unselfishness. And because there actually are human lives, in whose preservation no rational being could ever again take any interest, the legal order is now confronted by the fateful question: Is it our duty actively to advocate for this life's asocial continuance (particularly by the fullest application of criminal law) or to permit its destruction under specific conditions? One could also state the question legislatively, like this: Does the energetic preservation of such life deserve preference, as an example of the general unassailability of life? Or does permitting its termination, which frees everyone involved, seem the lesser evil?

[...]

But I cannot find the least reason - legally, socially, ethically, or religiously - not to permit those requested to do so to kill such hopeless cases who urgently demand death.

[...]

Despite everything, this new question allows only a very slowly unfolding process of change and adjustment. The consciousness of the meaninglessness of merely individual existence when compared with the interests of the whole; the feeling of one's absolute obligation for integrating every available power and discarding all useless tasks; the feeling of being a totally responsible participate in a difficult and painful undertaking: these must all become part of the common understanding to a much greater extent than today before any of the ideas presented here can receive complete recognition.

[...]

... Goethe originated the model for how important human questions evolve. He saw them as a spiral. The core of this model is the fact that at regular intervals a spiral line rising in a particular direction perpetually returns to the same position relative to the axis crossing it but each time a step higher.

Eventually, this image will be apparent even in connection with the cultural question we have been discussing. There was a time, now considered barbaric, in which eliminating those who were born unfit for life, or who later became so, was taken for granted. Then came the phrase, continuing into the present, in which, finally, preserving every existence, no matter how worthless, stood as the highest moral value. A new age will arrive - operating with a higher morality and with great sacrifice - which will actually give up the requirements of an exaggerated humanism and overvaluation of mere existence. ...

--------------------
[1] A good example is "Binding and Hoche's 'Life Unworthy of Life': An Historical Analysis," by Howard Brody and M. Wayne Cooper. They regurgitate the Allied claim that the NSDAP and SS pirated Hoche and Binding's already pseudo-scientific concept.
[2] The English excerpts that I include in this post are cross-referenced with the translation of the National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent & Disabled, published in Issues in Law & Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1992: 231-265.

Friday, June 2, 2017

When Youth Were Told the Truth: Excerpts from a Middle School Biology Textbook in the German Reich

The excerpts below are taken from a middle school biology textbook for German girls.

Source: Marie Harm and Hermann Wiehle, Lebenskunde für Mittelschulen. Fünfter Teil. Klasse 5 für Mädchen (Halle: Hermann Schroedel Verlag, 1942), pp. 168-173.

The Laws of Nature and Humanity

I.

We have established that all creatures, plants as well as animals, are in a constant battle for survival. Plants crowd into the area they need to grow. Every plant that fails to secure enough room and light must necessarily die. Every animal that does not secure sufficient territory and guard it against other predators, or lacks the necessary strength and speed or caution and cleverness will fall prey to its enemies. The army of plant eaters threatens the plant kingdom. Plant eaters are prey for carnivores. The battle for existence is hard and unforgiving, but is the only way to maintain life. This struggle eliminates everything that is unfit for life, and selects everything that is able to survive.

We have seen that the laws of nature are built on a struggle for survival. The slow-moving herbivores (e.g., cows) have weapons, the speedier ones (e.g., horses or rabbits) use that speed to escape predators. The rabbit instinctively conceals the traces that lead to his den. As a prey, his eyes are to the sides of his head, while a carnivore’s are to the front. The hedgehog has his needles, toads and salamanders have poisonous skins. Predators have keen senses, a powerful spring, sharp teeth, and claws. If we further consider protective coloring, camouflage, and other coloring (above all with young animals), and that each animal has different gifts in seeing and smelling that are appropriate for its needs, we can see everywhere that living creatures are well prepared for the battle for survival. (Compare offensive and defensive characteristics of the various animals!) Animals at our latitude have many characteristics that enable them to survive winter: storing food, hibernation, migration, winter pelts... The same is true for plants. Poisons of various types, irritants, thorns, and needles protect them from herbivores. (Remember the earlier examples!) Seeds that can survive the winter, roots, storage ability (Examples!), enable plants to survive the cold months. By ground leaves, growing high, pyramidal structure, leaf mosaics, climbing, winding, spreading (the dog rose), plants seek the necessary light for their leaves.

All the various habitats are heavily populated; every creature has to fight for its survival and wants to be a winner in this battle. This is summarized in the principle: Each individual wants to maintain its existence in the struggle for survival (self preservation instinct, fighting will, individuality).

Mankind, too, is subject to these natural laws, and has won its dominant position through struggle. This is obvious when we consider the prehistoric hunting age. People then had both to secure their own prey, and protect themselves against the larger carnivores. This old form of the struggle for existence does not, of course, exist in civilized nations any longer. Early man lived in hordes, we live in an ethnic state. The state takes responsibility for territory and much, much more. Nonetheless, each must win his place in his community. As Moltke said, “In the long run, only the hardworking are lucky.” True, the larger carnivores are lacking, but bacteria and other tiny carriers of disease are no small danger. Consider the enormous scientific efforts (the struggle for survival!) men have made, and continue to make, to master these enemies, to defeat diseases! Each of us must keep his body strong through exercise and healthy living habits in order to develop his capacities and use them to serve his people. Those who do not do so are unsuitable for the more refined, yet just as relentless, nature of our struggle for life and will perish. Our Führer tells us:
"He who wants to live must fight, and he who does not want to fight in this world of perpetual struggle does not deserve to live!” (Mein Kampf, p. 317)
II.

All living creatures that succeed in the struggle for survival are not satisfied merely with existence, but seek to preserve their species as well. Here, too, is a drive that corresponds to natural law. Without this drive, species would long since have vanished.

The fox builds a den for its helpless young and cares for them. The deer cares for its fawns, and the bat even carries its young with it through the air. Each spring we watch with fascination as the birds cleverly build their nests, hatch their eggs, and untiringly feed their young. Insects place their larvae in certain areas where food is available. Mosquitoes and dragon flies, for example, put them in water, the cabbage moth in cabbages, stag beetles at the base of old oaks. We find the care of the young characteristic of all branches of the animal kingdom (Name all forms of care for offspring with which you are familiar!)

[Here follows a paragraph on insect reproduction]

Maintaining the species also is a struggle. The deer ruts in the fall and offers battle to other deer in competition for females. The stronger and cleverer deer passes on his inheritance. The rooster defends his status and his hens courageously. The battle for females selects the fittest. Later, we will discuss the laws of inheritance.

[There follows two paragraphs on methods of plant reproduction.]

The drive for maintaining the species is stronger than the instinct for self preservation. Plants sacrifice themselves for their seeds. Most insects die when they have reproduced. The female rabbit defends her young against hawks, often at the cost of her own life. A fox risks its life to secure food for its young. The life of the individual can be sacrificed to assure the continuation of the species. (The law of the species is stronger than that of the individual!)

Among all living creatures, we can see a further natural law: the production of numerous offspring. Nowhere on earth do we find a form of life that produces only one or two offspring (corresponding to the number of the parents). That would inevitably lead to extinction. The elephant has the longest period of procreation, from its 30th to 90th year. It brings about six offspring into the world. A scientist has calculated that even with this slow rate of reproduction, in the absence of the struggle for survival elephants would take over the entire world in a few hundred years. A single pair would produce 19 million descendants in 750 years. The struggle for survival leads most to perish. The blue titmouse has two broods of 10-13 a year, but their number is not increasing. The more threatened a creature is in the struggle for survival, the more offspring it must produce. The greater number of offspring is a necessary means of responding to the hard struggle for survival. Each habitat can disappear from one day to the next (arrival of a new predator, disappearance of a food source).

A large number of offspring are an important means in the struggle for survival of the species. The house mouse can resist the field mouse simply through its larger number of young. In such instances, one can speak of a battle of births.

The second law to which all life is subordinate is: “Each life form strives to ensure the survival of its species. The number of offspring must be greater than the number of the parents if the species is to survive (law of the larger number of offspring). Each species strives to conquer new territory. The species goes before the individual.

History provides us with enough examples to prove that mankind, too, is under this law. In the midst of their prosperity, the Romans lost the desire to have children. They sinned against the law of maintaining the species. Their state was undermined and overcome by foreign peoples in a short time. The ethnic traits of the Romans thus vanished. Our nation, too, once hung in the balance. National Socialism restored to the German people the will to have children, and preserved our people from certain decline, which would have been inevitable under the law of species and the law of the greater number of offspring.

Here, too, we can recall the Führer’s words:
Marriage, too, cannot be an end in itself, but rather it must have the larger goal of increasing and maintaining the species and the race. That only is its meaning and its task. (Mein Kampf, p. 275) 
The goal of female education must be to prepare them for motherhood. (Mein Kampf, p. 460)
III.

As we have already noted, people do not live as individuals like animals and plants, but as peoples, which largely have come together as ethnic states. We know something similar only with insects. Bees and ants are not only the sum of individuals; each individual shares a united drive in service of the entire group. They do not have an individual will any longer, but rather their actions have only the goal of serving the welfare of the whole, the welfare of the community. The state-building drive in insects has created a higher order from the drives of the individuals. Their species has become a higher order, one will in many parts. The individual member of a beehive does a single task: One may be a worker that carries nectar, another cleans the hive, the third builds on to it, a fourth feeds the larva, a fifth watches the hive’s entrance. Each individual activity serves the whole. It is the same with ants. Certain ant species even have a warrior caste that fights in the front lines for the rest; the battle against the enemies of the state here, too, involves the whole group.

The instinctual state of the ants corresponds to the leadership state among mankind; however, the principles of a perfect insect state give people cause to think. They have preserved bees and ants in the struggle for survival and thereby proved their validity. We earlier noted the following truths about ants:
1. The work of the individual has only one purpose: to serve the whole group.
2. Major accomplishments are possible only by the division of labor. 
3. Each bee risks its life without hesitation for the whole. 
4. Individuals who are not useful or are harmful to the whole are eliminated. 
5. The species is maintained by producing a large number of offspring.
It is not difficult for us to see the application of these principles to mankind: We also can accomplish great things only by a division of labor. Our whole economy demonstrates this principle. The ethnic state must demand of each individual citizen that he does everything for the good of the whole, each in his place and with his abilities (Principle 1).
He who loves his people proves it only by the sacrifices he is prepared to make for it. (Mein Kampf, p. 474).
If a person acts against the general interest, he is an enemy of the people and will be punished by the law (Principle 4). A look at our history proves that we as a people must defend our territory to preserve our existence.
The world does not exist for cowardly nations. (Mein Kampf, p. 105)
Military service is the highest form of education for the Fatherland (Principle 3).
The task of the army in the ethnic state is not to train the individual in marching, but to serve as the highest school for education in service of the Fatherland. (Mein Kampf, p. 459).
The fifth principle has already been discussed.

Each citizen of the nation must be ready to do all for the good of the whole, for the will of the Führer, even at the cost sacrificing his own life (the national law). The good of the nation goes before the good of the individual.

These natural laws are incontrovertible; living creatures demonstrate them by their very survival. They are unforgiving. Those who resist them will be wiped out. Biology not only tells us about animals and plants, but also shows us the laws we must follow in our lives, and steels our wills to live and fight according to these laws. The meaning of all life is struggle. Woe to him who sins against this law:
The person who attempts to fight the iron logic of nature thereby fights the principles he must thank for his life as a human being. To fight against nature is to bring about one’s own destruction. (Mein Kampf, p. 314).