“I am deeply stirred by the word which Ulrich Hutten wrote the last time he seized his pen: — Germany.”
January 30th, 1937
The Case for Germany
A Study of Modern Germany
A. P. Laurie
M. A. Cantab., D. Sc., LL. D. Edin., F. C. S., F. R. S. E.
With a Preface by Admiral Sir Barry Domvile
K. B. E., C. B., C. M. G.
Berlin W 15
FIRST EDITION ………… JUNE 1939
SECOND EDITION ……. JULY 1939
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PRINTED IN GERMANY
It is with admiration and gratitude for the great work he has done for the German people that I dedicate this book to the Fuhrer.
A. P. L.
TO THE READER
There are two sides to every question. You have read one side in our Press for six years.
This book gives the other side.
A. P. L.
It is a great pleasure to me to introduce the public to Dr. Laurie’s valuable book on modern Germany. He is best known to the world as a brilliant scientist, but he has found time in the intervals of his work to pursue with ardour the task upon which every sensible member of the British and German races should be engaged — namely the establishment of good relations and a better understanding between these two great nations.
Dr Laurie knows full well that this friendship is the keystone to peace in Europe — nay, in the whole world.
He is one of the small group who founded the Association known as “The Link”, whose sole aim is to get Britons and Germans to know and understand one another better. He is one of the most zealous workers in this good cause in the country.
He writes of the National Socialist movement with knowledge and great sympathy.
The particular value of this book lies in the fact that it is written by a foreigner, who cannot be accused of patriotic excess in his interpretation of the great work done by Herr Hitler and his associates. I recommend this volume with confidence to all people who are genuinely impressed with the desire to understand one of the greatest — and most bloodless — revolutions in history.
8th May 1939.
“As we advance in our social knowledge, we shall endeavour to make our governments paternal as well as judicial; that is, to establish such laws and authorities as may at once direct us in our occupations, protect us against our follies, and visit us in our distresses; a government which shall repress dishonesty, as now it punishes theft; which shall show how the discipline of the masses may be brought to aid the toils of peace, as the discipline of the masses has hitherto knit the sinews of battle; a government which shall have its soldiers of the ploughshare as well as its soldiers of the sword, and which shall distribute more proudly its golden crosses of industry — golden as the glow of the harvest — than it now grants its bronze crosses of honour — bronzed with the crimson of blood.”
RUSKIN. Political Economy of Art.
“All front fighters fought side by side and went through an inferno. They are all comparable to the heroes of the ancient world. It was the manhood of the nations in their prime who fought and experienced the horrors of modern war.
In another war the flower of the nations’ men and women will have to fight. Europe will be destroyed if the best in all of the nations are wiped out. A new conflict will exceed even the ghastly tragedies of the Great War.
I believe that those who rattle the sabres have not participated in war. I know that war veterans speak and think differently.
They energetically desire to prevent another conflict. I hope that the men who are standing before me can contribute to preserve the peace of the world — a peace of honour and equality for all.
Let us not talk of prestige as between the victors and the defeated. This is my one request: Forget what has divided the nations before and remember that history has advanced.”
Field Marshal GOERING addressing the British
and German war veterans.
CHAPTER ……………………………………………………………. PAGE
To the Reader
Field Marshall Goering’s Address
I. DER FUHRER ……………………………………………………….. 11
II. THE BELEAGUERED CITY ……………………………………. 21
III. NATIONAL SOCIALISM ……………………………………… 25
IV. THE NAZI RALLYS AT NUREMBERG ……………………. 34
V. THE FOREIGN POLICY OF GERMANY ……………………. 41
VI. ENGLAND AND GERMANY ………………………………….. 49
VII. MARCH 7th, A MOST IMPORTANT DATE …………… 54
VIII. THE REAL ENEMY OF EUROPE ……………………….. 58
IX. COMMUNISM VERSUS NATIONAL SOCIALISM …… 62
X. THE UNION OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE …………………. 68
XI. ACTS OF “AGGRESSION” BY GERMANY ……………… 79
XII. THE DANCE OF DEATH ……………………………………… 85
XIII. OUR FUTURE POLICY TOWARDS GERMANY ……. 93
XIV. THE HITLER YOUTH MOVEMENT ……………………… 100
XV. THE WINTER HELP ORGANIZATION ………………….. 104
XVI. NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND THE PROTESTANT
CHURCH ……………………………………………………………………… 109
XVII. ECONOMICS …………………………………………………….. 118
XVIII. THE FOUR YEARS PLAN …………………………………… 138
XIX. THE GERMAN COLONIES …………………………………. 141
XX. THE LABOUR FRONT ………………………………………….. 146
XXI. AGRICULTURE …………………………………………………. 155
XXII. MUNICH AND AFTER ………………………………………… 167
MARCH 7th 1936,
A MOST IMPORTANT DATE
Both in Germany and in England accounts have been published of the drafting of the Treaty of Locarno and what happened afterwards up to the fateful day of March 7th 1936. Both parties have quoted selected documents and both have produced a convincing case in favour of quite opposite conclusions. The patriotic Englishman is bound to accept our statement without question and the patriotic German is equally bound to accept the German statement. Germany’s opponents will always say that she broke the Treaty of Locarno without justification and without warning. The German reply which is equally convincing is that by signing the Franco-Russian Treaty, France destroyed the Treaty of Locarno, and had full and fair warning of the view Germany took.
These discussions lead nowhere. It surely could not be expected that a rearmed Germany, arriving once more to a proud and free national consciousness, would long tolerate a frontier undefended and lying under the French guns of the Maginot line.
We have only to imagine ourselves to have been defeated by a French coalition, and as a result being forbidden to have any ships of war in the Channel, which was permanently occupied by the French fleet. I fear that whatever treaties we had signed, if we saw the opportunity of a surprise recovery we would take it and always glorify that day though we had broken the most solemn of treaties.
There are situations which collapse almost by a law of nature and ordinary rules and regulations are swept away.
It is evident that the humiliating Treaty of Locarno signed by an unarmed Germany, helpless under an armed France, not be accepted for all time by an armed Germany, nor would they have tolerated long a ruler or a government that took no steps to occupy the neutral zone.
To appeal to France, Belgium and the League for the right of Germany to defend her own frontiers was useless. I believe the people of this country if appealed to would have responded, but the Foreign Office would have refused and the obedient Press supported them.
To denounce the Treaty of Locarno and announce that on a certain day German troops would march in, inevitably meant war, but what would happen if possession was taken without notice and Europe woke up one morning to an accomplished fact?
The risks of the plan adopted by Hitler were enormous. Only a formal occupation was possible and he could not know how many soldiers France had concealed in her underground forts, while the guns of the forts themselves could cause appalling destruction.
The German army was neither trained nor equipped up to the French standard, and it was known that the French military command had been urging the Government to make a “preventive war” on Germany, to annihilate her half trained troops and settle the German question for all time.
To move large masses of troops up to the edge of the neutral zone would have attracted attention, and therefore it had to be a formal occupation with a few thousand men whom France could at once have overwhelmed. The risks were so great that I believe only one man in Germany had the courage to put it in practice — the Fuhrer.
The plan having been decided on it was essential that the utmost secrecy be preserved. If it had leaked out prematurely France would at once have sent troops into the neutral zone. Therefore no preparations were made for the reception of the troops in the frontier towns. The success with which the secret was kept — which must have been known to hundreds of people speaks highly for German loyalty and discipline.
The people of the Rhine towns had endured for years the hard rule of the French officers and the black troops. Only in our section of occupation were the people treated with decency and humanity.
That terror was gone, Germany was rearming, the message of hope had been received. National Socialism was triumphant, their boys were being called up proud to be trained to defend their Fatherland, but they still lived in a no man’s land, dominated by the French guns and the armies of France that in a few hours could ravage a defenceless people.
The whole situation is so remote from our experience, surrounded by the sea, that it is difficult for us to realize what it meant to live in the undefended territory so recently freed from the troops of France. Across that field, at the end of that road is France, armed France, and we are here defenceless. We can imagine their fear, knowing that concealed in those innocent looking green fields are the colossal siege guns waiting ready to blow to pieces their cities and villages.
Without hope and never free from fear the days drag on and no deliverance comes. What is the Fuhrer doing? Is the watch on our beloved Rhine never to be renewed? And then comes the memorable day to be for all time glorious in German history — the 7th of March. There is the tramp of feet, the gleam of the sun on bayonets, soldiers are coming. Can it be the French? But no they are coming from Germany, we see the Swastika banner. It is impossible, it is unbelievable, they are our soldiers, and that night German sentries looked down once more on the sacred river, the Rhine.
And then after joy came the terror of suspense. What will France do? At any moment we may hear the scream of shells from the Maginot line. At any moment French troops may come harrying, burning, destroying.
I often wonder how Hitler endured those hours. He had thrown down a challenge to all Europe. He had played with the dice such a game with fortune as had never been played in the history of the world before. When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon he had his armies with him, but Hitler occupied the neutral zone with a mere handful of men, in face of the French army of 500,000 men on a Peace footing. He won and not one shot was fired, one shot that would have set all Europe in a blaze.
All Germany waited in an awful breathless suspense. Then came the news that France had appealed to the League, and in 24 hours the central point of European politics passed from March 7th 1936, a most important date Paris to Berlin. Hitler had secured the initiative and has held it ever since.
What happened during those hours is still a profound secret, but there can be no question that according to the articles of the Treaty of Locarno Germany had committed an act of “flagrant aggression” and if asked by France we were pledged to war. It is also equally certain that if the Baldwin Government had attempted war in such a cause they would have been out of power in a week.
Hitler chose the occasion of the occupation of the neutral zone to make a speech on the Foreign Policy of Germany, and this is the most important state document since the Treaty of Versailles.
The speech which I print as an appendix will be found to be a very broad and statesman-like treatment of the whole situation in Europe.
The definite offers made to France and Great Britain would, if they had been accepted, have secured the peace of Europe. Hitler suggested a neutral zone on both sides of the frontier, and a peace pact between Germany, France and Belgium to be guaranteed by England and Italy, and an air pact to prevent the danger of sudden attacks from the air.
He also offered non-aggression pacts with the states bordering Germany on the east, and stated his willingness to rejoin the League of Nations.
These offers were rejected by the governments of France and Great Britain, our reply being the forming of a military alliance with France against Germany, and the questionnaire.
As none of these offers were accepted, they are no longer binding on Germany, and Germany will not now rejoin the League until it is completely reformed and Article 16 abolished.
The good understanding with the Czechs which Hitler offered has now been accomplished. From the first Hitler has said that he had no quarrel with the Czechs but only with Benes. If Benes had accepted Germany as his natural ally from the beginning for which there were ample geographical and economic reasons, instead of allying Czecho-Slovakia with France and the Soviet against Germany, the whole history of Czecho-Slovakia would have been different.
THE REAL ENEMY OF EUROPE
In the former chapters I have tried to show that Germany is engaged in building up a state on new and original lines which is entirely her own affair, whether we like it or not, has no aggressive designs on any other country and wishes to be left alone to develop her internal economy and external trade. She is also quite willing to continue to pay the salaries of Protestant Pastors and Roman Catholic Priests on condition that they leave politics alone and do not use the pulpit to attack the Government.
This being her policy there seems no reason why other Nations and other ideologies should not have left her alone. She is, it is true, strongly armed but so are her neighbours and they began it.
After the threat of war by both France and Great Britain over the Sudeten German question, which was not the business of either of us, she naturally fortified her French frontier, an essential net of defence. As far as we are concerned as we had fallen far below the standard of other countries it was in an uncertain world, but it is obvious that these armaments are not directed against Germany unless our intention is a war of aggression. Nor is Germany arming against us. She has no cause of quarrel with us and no reason to believe that as long as we have a responsible Government in spite of the continued attacks in our Press and by certain politicians, that she has any reason to fear hostility on our part. She is not looking towards France and England but is looking across the plains of Poland at a much more dangerous enemy. The Soviet with 2,000,000 men on a Peace footing under arms, spent last year £1,000 millions on additional armaments and has behind her an unlimited supply of man power in Asia.
On the contrary while showing occasional nervousness at our expenditure on armaments, which if a popular front coalition came into power would be directed against her, she realises that all the armed forces of Germany, France, Italy and England may be needed to rescue Europe from an Asiatic invasion more formidable than any of the invasions of the past.
I myself share her confidence in our peaceful intention.
To-day Germany is no longer anxious to keep a watch on the Rhine, but on the Dneiper. The suggestions therefore of a mutual reduction of armaments between France, England and Germany are now out of date though at one time Germany would have considered them. She would rather say keep up your bombing plots and your munitions. They may all be needed to defend European civilisation from going down in a hideous massacre.
It is extraordinary how we shut our eyes to this danger with the horrible example of Spain before us. How we talk about the help given to Franco by Germany and Italy but ignore the help given to the Red Government by the Soviet. While the Nazi form of Government is, as Hitler has said again and again, intended for home consumption, Communism is international and is carrying on an underground agitation throughout the world, and insinuating itself into society and other organisations under various plausible names and disguises, having at its disposal the most formidable secret society in the world, continental Free Masonry, which is a very different affair to our amiable Free Masonry over here, and is revolutionary and anti-Christian.
The centre of the Comintern is Moscow and the Soviet Government gave themselves away when they broke of diplomatic relations with Hungary because she joined the anti-Comintern pact.
One of the cleverest lies put forth by the Communists and accepted over here, is that the anti-Comintern pact is directed against Democracy. It is true Germany resents the continued attacks made upon her in the name of Democracy and occasionally shows up the claims of Democracy to be the one perfect political system, but she has no desire to attack or replace Democracy in any Democratic country by another system.
To each country the Government it prefers, is her motto. It is true that there is Nazi agitation in some European countries, because throughout the world many people have been convinced in favour of a Nazi State, but such agitation is not encouraged by the German Government.
Communism is an international movement organising revolution in every country, and it has now been clearly demonstrated that the hideous massacres in Spain of Priests, Monks and Nuns, and the burning of Churches was connived at by the Government of the adventurers in Madrid made up of adventurers who had seized power.
The sustained attack on the German Government and the propagation of lie upon lie through our Press and by means of an endless stream of publications is to be traced back to Communist propaganda.
While active Communist agitation has made little progress in this country, India and Burmah are rotten with Communism and Communism is wishing to set the four Powers at each other’s throats. Whenever a step has been made towards agreement it swings back again, through a poisonous propaganda in which the British Press leads.
Certain enmity to Germany is therefore to be expected on the part of Socialists, Extreme Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church. Germany has also another enemy — International Finance, because she will not borrow money outside but is holding up an economic system in which there is no room for the international financier.
If she would only borrow £100,000,000 in the City all our Press would coo like sucking doves and our friendship or hostility to the new Spanish Government will depend on whether she consults the City for money.
All the different sources of hostility are at work, but they do not account for the persistent agitation on which large sums of money are being spent, an agitation for a deliberate purpose, a war in which the four Capitalist States will destroy each other so that a Communist state will be built on the ruins, and the one organised source of this persistent agitation is the Comintern with ample funds behind it in Moscow.
The Japanese war in China is not directed against the independence of China or for the possession of territory. It is war against the Soviet. The complete control of the Soviet over Czechoslovakia has been amply proved. When Hitler said he would if compelled fight his way into Sudeten Germany it was not only to free the Sudeten Germans but to close the open door into Europe for the Soviet armies. As I have already pointed out if we had been so rash as to plunge Europe into war on that question and invite the assistance of the Soviet, Europe would have been doomed. In the strategic position of the mountains of Poland, the guns are now pointed not towards Germany but towards Russia. Hungary in past centuries fought bravely against Asiatic invasion holding the strategic position where the Danube turns abruptly to the east. We cannot trust the Slavonic peoples because of their racial affinity and Benes did his best to organise them against Germany.
If Spain had turned red and we had supported Benes against Germany, the day might already have arrived for which the Soviet is waiting. Everyone who however innocently helps the agitation against Germany is playing for war and the triumph of Communism.
I have already dealt with the dangerous war propaganda of the Labour Party in this country supported by politicians who do not belong to the Party, but it is necessary to look a little deeper into this matter.
The word Socialism is used with so many different meanings that it is necessary before writing these observations to define in which sense it is used in Germany. The broadest definition is the conception of a State which is a living organic whole, in which the members of the State are inspired and guided by the duty of service to the State as paramount..
That is the meaning given to the word by the German to-day when he describes the German State as a National Socialist State.
The meaning attached to the word by the Communists and the members of our Labour Party who are followers of the Jew Karl Marx, is quite different. By Socialism they mean the ownership of all Capital and administration of production, distribution and exchange by the State, and the elimination of the producer and trader for private profit. The Communist differs from the official Labour Party Leaders, not in his aim but in his method, which is certainly somewhat drastic.
The Communist proposes confiscation of all private Capital, the Labour Party leaders propose to buy out the owner of Capital and property. He is to become a pensioner of the State and will no longer be allowed to use his Capital for private venture, a proposal more soothing to the Capitalist than the firing line. The Socialism of our Labour Party is the Bovril of Communism diluted with luke warm water.
The experiment of running a State on these lines is being tried in Russia to-day, but it is too early to say whether it can be successfully done and whether it improves the conditions of the masses of the people.
I do not propose to discuss the merits and demerits of such a system, in which private enterprise is replaced by a huge bureaucracy, in whatever form it be disguised. I merely wish to point out that such a system is incompatible with Democracy, a free Parliament, and freedom of the individual as we understand it. As we see in Russia to-day such a system results in political trials and the firing squad. The Government cannot and dare not allow the slightest divergence in action or opinion. These political trials are an instructive preliminary to establishing universal suffrage in Russia, and remind me of the Colonel who shot every tenth soldier in a regiment “pour encourager les autres”. [To encourage others.]
The Labour Party has failed to convert the majority of the British people to their economic theory of a State. It is true that by adopting the name the Labour Party, they have swept into their organization the Trades Unions and rely on them as a source of income and so create a class party which is supported by a large minority principally composed of wage earners; but these wage earners are not necessarily followers of Karl Marx and many, while subscribing through their union to the party funds, vote for the Conservative Government. The political issue is therefore confused.
The policy of this country has been and is based on individualism in production and trade, modified in two directions, — protection for the wage earner, and when open unregulated barter has proved inefficient, modification of it by a certain amount of organization and arrangement of prices by the State.
If we turn now to Germany we find that the Germans have completely and utterly repudiated Karl Marx Socialism.
The best proof of this is, that they are building their whole economic system on the peasant proprietor, and doing all they can to conserve and strengthen his position, thus pursuing the opposite policy to the Soviet which tried to abolish the peasant proprietor and convert him into the wage slave of the Communist Government. After a fierce struggle in which millions died of starvation the Soviet have arrived at a grudging compromise in which the peasant is allowed a little land and a small modicum of stock of his own.
The German economic experiments are all on our lines. They have carried the protection of the wage earner much further than we have. They have adopted as universal the organization that we have established in the railways for settling disputes about wages. They have improved on our factory inspectors by appointing state officials who have cognizance of the whole conditions of labour.
In the other province they are bringing in State regulation of prices when they think that free competition has been ruinous to the small producer, injurious to the consumer, and only benefited the middle man with ready Capital at this command.
There is another interesting point in this connection. The German Government is building up in trade, in manufacture, in agriculture, organizations of those engaged in the industry with the minimum of State control, in direct contradiction to Karl Marx Socialist ideas, and preserving in that way the liberty of the producer from too much State interference.
They are following and improving the lines we have always followed, basing the economic State on individual effort.
The result is that their bitterest enemies to-day are the followers of Karl Marx from Moscow to the T.U.C. They attack and misrepresent the Nazi rule on every platform and are ready to plunge Europe and this country into war to crush the economic system adopted by the Nazi Government. As the real issue would not appeal to the public, they raise a false cry of Democracy in danger, while they advocate an economic system which would destroy Democracy.
There need be no quarrel about forms of Government between us and Germany. They frankly prefer their own as we frankly prefer ours; but they have no desire to force their opinion on other nations, while our Labour Party are prepared to go to extremes to force their opinion on Germany.
A prominent Labour leader said at a “Peace” meeting the other day that he was willing his son should fight and die to destroy the Nazi rule in Germany.
The aggressive party in Europe to-day is not the Nazi party but the followers of Karl Marx whether they call themselves Communists or Socialists.
This quarrel therefore between the Nazis and the followers of Karl Marx is influencing foreign politics and our foreign relations and involving the possibility of war.
It is therefore necessary for the sober British citizen to regard with suspicion what he reads in the Press in the journalistic world here and abroad.
It would be the very irony of fate if we were dragged into a war to promote Communism abroad when we have rejected it at home.
Passing from internal organization to external politics, we find German foreign policy governed by a revolt against control of the nations by a super State centred at Geneva so that whether we examine their domestic or foreign policy, we find the fundamental principle of freedom, freedom of the individual in his own development, and freedom of the group of individuals (the nation) in its development. These ideas are fundamental and strike much deeper than the form of Government.
Behind the Labour Party in this country is the Comintern carrying on Communist propaganda in every corner of the world. It is therefore necessary for us to recognise what is the real ideological battle which is going on in Europe. It is the battle between Communism on the one hand, which means not only the State ownership of all property, and the crushing of individual enterprise, but the denial of God and the destruction of Christianity; and the idea, on the other hand, of a State built on the right of individual enterprise and ownership of private property which are the foundations on which liberty is built.
The issue has been cleverly falsified by representing the struggle of the two ideologies as a war between Communism and “Capitalism”. If by “Capitalism” we mean the right to private ownership of property, then the war is rightly described as being between Communism and “Capitalism,” but the word “Capitalism” calls up a vision of a fat financier smoking cigars at five shillings apiece, as he rides to the city in his Rolls Royce.
The establishment of Communism and its maintenance necessitates a ruthless tyranny over the individual. We hear little about Russia from the Labour Party to-day. It is buried under a black cloud through which comes the rattle of the shots from the firing squads. If we had been dragged into war over the quarrel between the Germans and the Czechs we would have fought with Stalin as our ally, and we have rightly drawn back shuddering from such a catastrophe.
The revolution in Spain began with horrible massacres accompanied by bestial cruelty in which it is estimated some 400,000 perished, and the ferocity of the murderers was principally directed against the Church.
Behind the struggle of the Sudeten Germans, the Poles and the Hungarians, for freedom from Czech rule, the real contest was with Communism. When Benes made his treaty with Russia it was hailed by the Comintern as a victory for Communism, and Benes was a favoured guest at Moscow because he had opened the door for the entry of the Soviet armies into the heart of Europe. The first act of the new Government in CzechoSlovakia, which is as democratic as the former government, has been to break the treaty with the Soviet and suppress the Communists societies. Communism has received its severest blow since the Soviet Government was defeated by the armies of Poland.
France has oscillated between the policy of friendship with
and enmity against Germany according to whether the parties of the right or the left were in power, and the Communist party refused to support Daladier in his policy of reconciliation with Germany, and organized a general strike to prevent the signing of the Peace Pact, and M. Blum, Communist and leader of the Socialist party, has declared against the Peace Pact with Germany.
The world struggle is not between democratic and totalitarian forms of government, but between the civilization of Western Europe built on individual liberty of action and the ownership of private property, and a State in which all are wage slaves who, if they fail in their quota of production are shot. The shooting of the brilliant inventor who designed the planes which reached the North Pole, because one of the planes came down, should have filled the civilised world with horror.
The amiable idealists of our Labour Party think they can get the best of both worlds with one foot in the Communist camp and the other in the democratic camp. It cannot be done. It is necessary for the democratic countries to decide on which side they stand. There need be no quarrel between Democracy and National Socialism; we both have the task of saving European civilization from the inroads of Asiatic barbarians inspired by a theory which is fundamentally opposed to our conception of civilization. The vanguard facing Communistic Asia is Germany, sword in hand, protecting Europe.
Version 2: Added links to other parts – Sep 22, 2014