Sunday, 20 January 2013

'How does one become a National Socialist?' (1927)

How did all those tens of thousands in all parts of Germany become National Socialist? Perhaps I may be allowed to recall how I became one ... because I am a test case here! Before the war we did not bother with policies. I grew up the son of a low-ranking civil servant. I had no ambition other than to get on through hard work. In the war we became Nationalists, that is to say, out of that vague feeling that the fatherland had to be defended, that it was something great and sacred, the protector of the existence of the individual, out of this vague notion which for many of us was not clear, we became nationalists on the battlefield. When I saw all the nations of the earth rushing against the German trenches with bloodthirsty destruction, when the international stock exchange armed one country after another and set them going against the single German nation in the trenches - Americans, Portuguese, Blacks, Yellows, against the little group of Germans fighting for their existence, it became clear to me: if Germany wants to survive, every German must know what it means to be a German and must defend this idea to the limits of self-sacrifice . Companies and batteries reduced from 250 to 60 men did not have to be told about the community of need ; they knew: if we do not stand together the Blacks will be on us. We knew that the first priority of manhood is to defend oneself, and the second, all who speak the same language must stick together, must organise themselves to be strong by being united! And why did we become Socialists? This notion was still as far from many who today stand in our ranks as the notion of nationalism in terms of its real significance. We learnt all sorts of things at school. But nobody told us that half the German people were hostile to the nation because they had been denied the most basic needs of life by the other half . Not a word were we told about that tragic hour for the German people when the growing German workers' movement was nothing but the cry of millions of German fellow countrymen for acceptance into the nation on equal terms (loud applause) . So these millions of people were left to the Jew Marx who created Marxism out of the German workers' movement, who intended to do nothing but destroy the German nation with the strength of these millions and to make it a colony of world capital . We must always regard one principle as fundamental: to be ready to recognise mistakes, to see that when a nation goes under, it is mainly the fault of the rulers of that nation. They had the power to prevent everything, which in the long run forced people to become hostile to the nation and state. This person, whom the Jew Marx had perverted into a 'Social Democrat', a Marxist, was suddenly found standing next one in the platoon, in the battery, by the guns. During the long hours of sentry duty there would be discussion: What are you? A mechanic. Politically? A red, a Marxist. And we who came from the bourgeoisie, we who had been told nothing, were surprised. Why am I a Marxist? Because you have never bothered with us! Then one started thinking, then came the great realisation how brave the man is, how well he does his duty! It was my experience that the best soldiers were frequently those who had least to defend at home (applause) . He co-operated, he did his duty unfailingly, and from conversations with him we understood the mistakes of our great-grandfathers. Because we had become nationalists in the trenches we could not help becoming Socialists in the trenches , we could not help coming home with the brutal intention of gathering the whole nation round us and teaching them that the greatness of a nation depends on the willingness of the individual to stand up for this nation and say to it: Your fate is indissoluble linked with the fate of your people, with the fate and greatness of your nation. We could not help coming home from this war with this resolve: Those who have fought together with us and who are hostile towards the nation because it has not bothered with them must be emancipated so that Germany will in future be strong and the master of her enemies!

Gregor Strasser


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