Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

was chosen to inherit the bulk of the family fortune--160,000,000 marks in addition to factories and works in the Rhenish-Westphalia region--becoming the wealthiest and most powerful individual in Germany. General Ludendorff introduced him to leaders of the Nazi Party in 1923 and, although he did not become a member, he admits that 'since then I have invariably carried out the wishes expressed by . . . Hitler, Hess, and others.' When Hitler came to power Thyssen was rewarded with many honors and high positions. In 1939 he ostensibly broke with the Nazis and left Germany. While living in France he wrote his confessions, I Paid Hitler. Thyssen's flight and the widely publicized 'confiscation' of his properties were interpreted abroad as corroboration of the Third Reich's claim to be a classless state. It was assumed that Thyssen was captured and punished for his disloyalty when the Nazis marched into France, but recent reports from Germany indicate that he is not only alive but still enjoys his old privileges. This is only one of many reasons for suspecting hidden motives behind his confessions. The antifascist German journalist Heinz Pol has suggested that Thyssen may yet be prominent in attempts to win a negotiated peace which will not destroy the power of the German imperialists. Despite obvious factual and political unreliability I Paid Hitler remains valuable as an inside view of the mind of a German industrialist.


MY PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL RELATIONS WITH THE NAZI PARTY

from I Paid Hitler by FRITZ THYSSEN, translated by César Saerchinger

I DID NOT become a member of the National Socialist Party until December 1931. This was after my collaboration in a great mass meeting in Harzburg, at which Alfred Hugenberg, as leader of the German National People's Party, and Hitler, as leader of the German National Socialist Labor Party, announced the co-operation of the two parties. The German National People's Party was the heir of the old Imperial Conservative Party. The German National Socialist Labor Party is, of course, the official title of the National Socialists, commonly known as Nazis. That this partnership in prin-

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Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Book One - Iron Cross 1
  • Order of the Crown, Fourth Class 26
  • Into the Abyss 43
  • Verdun 57
  • The Judgment 73
  • On Leave 79
  • Letters from Prison 83
  • Homecoming 104
  • Book Two - Reluctant Republic 111
  • The Ninth of November 115
  • 'Groener Speaking . . .' 121
  • The Spartacus Manifesto 126
  • Our New Masters 133
  • The Constitution of the German Reich Of 11 August 1919 142
  • Look Through the Bars 157
  • Black Armies 169
  • Fever Dance 185
  • Adventure in a Beer Hall 201
  • The Way of the New Germany 217
  • A Laborer in Leuna 229
  • Lampion's Reply 237
  • A Fairy Tale for Christmas 244
  • The Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party 257
  • My Personal and Financial Relations With the Nazi Party 261
  • The Landslide 270
  • These Literary Anti-Semites 289
  • Invaders and Exiles 302
  • Book Three - Crooked Cross 311
  • Fire in Leipzig 315
  • 'Peaceful Night, Holy Night . . .' 331
  • Family Portrait 342
  • The Age of the Fish 352
  • An Exchange of Letters 370
  • Who Shall Tell Us Today 377
  • Hans Zauner Becomes a Soldier 382
  • Fritz Giga 406
  • Shelter 423
  • The Ballad of the German Soldier's Bride 432
  • Letter from Moscow 433
  • Self-Bondage 452
  • The Blossoming to Come 457
  • Acknowledgments 459
  • Bibliography 465
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