Hitler and Beyond, a German Testament

Hitler and Beyond, a German Testament

Hitler and Beyond, a German Testament

Hitler and Beyond, a German Testament

Excerpt

Criminal leadership has involved the German people in a terrible catastrophe. The state has suppressed the individual; force has suppressed freedom, and the will to power, morals. The state looms as a Moloch from the moment it presumes to govern souls and rises above morality, not only in the actions of isolated, unworthy, and despised individuals who are in power, but consciously and impelled by an inner principle that does not recognize morals as binding. Formerly the state gave its commands in the name of morality. Now it deliberately directs orders against it. A cruel aberration! No free man of integrity can regard such a state otherwise than as his mortal enemy.

How could this happen? How could a people filled with the ideals of humanism and Christianity submit to the brutal and criminal will of a blood-stained dictator? How could a people that nations more united politically called the "people of poets and thinkers" -- a characterization that was not without opprobrium -- allow itself to be stuffed with arrogant dreams of world dominion? How could a people whose international policy had been passive, disunified, and defensive, whose soil had been Europe's battlefield for centuries, proceed to fateful action in a state of almost incredible delusion?

I shall anticipate the answer. The events of the past one hundred and fifty years have entangled the German people in such a network of nationalistic ideas that the salutary ideals of humanism and religion were obscured.

I must preface further discussion by a brief philological comment. In German, the words "nationalism," "nationalistic," "nationalist" have assumed a very special meaning. For the Englishman "nationalism" is almost synonymous with,"national feeling" or a "national sense." For the Frenchman a "nationalist" is a rightwing chauvinist, usually with a seasoning of anti-Semitism, militarism, and frequently imperialism. The German concept is closer to the French. We differentiate national feeling and nationalism. National feeling and patriotism are almost identical. Nationalism . . .

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