(Full version of the article with the analysis of Hitler's conversations is available at SpecialEssays.com.)
When National Socialism has ruled long enough, it will no longer be possible to conceive of a form of life different from ours.
On a question from C. S., whether this antagonism might mean a war, the Fuehrer continued:
No, it does not mean a war. The ideal solution would be to leave the religions to devour themselves, without persecutions. But in that case we must not replace the Church by something equivalent. That would be terrifying! It goes without saying that the whole thing needs a lot of thought. Everything will occur in due time. It is a simple question of honesty, that's what it will finally boil down to.
In England, the status of the individual in relation to the Church is governed by considerations of State. In America, it's all purely a matter of conformism.
The German people's especial quality is patience; and it's the only one of the peoples capable of undertaking a revolution in this sphere. It could do it, if only for the reason that only the German people has made moral law the governing principle of action.
The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practises a lie of the same nature, when it claims to bring liberty to men, whereas in reality it seeks only to enslave them. In the ancient world, the relations between men and gods were founded on an instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened by the idea of tolerance. Christianity was the first creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of love. Its key-note is intolerance.
Without Christianity, we should not have had Islam. The Roman Empire, under Germanic influence, would have developed in the direction of world-domination, and humanity would not have extinguished fifteen centuries of civilisation at a single stroke.
Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. [pp. 4-5]
Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.[p. 51]
It may be asked whether concluding a concordat with the churches wouldn't facilitate our exercise of power.
On this subject one may make the following remarks:
Firstly, in this way the authority of the State would be vitiated by the fact of the intervention of a third power concerning which it is impossible to say how long it would remain reliable. In the case of the Anglican Church, this objection does not arise, for England knows she can depend on her Church. But what about the Catholic Church? Wouldn't we be running the risk of her one day going into reverse after having put herself at the service of the State solely in order to safeguard her power? If one day the State's policy ceased to suit Rome or the clergy, the priests would turn against the State, as they are doing now. History provides examples that should make us careful.
Secondly, there is also a question of principle. Trying to take a long view of things, is it conceivable that one could found anything durable on falsehood? When I think of our people's future, I must look further than immediate advantages, even if these advantages were to last three hundred, five hundred years or more. I'm convinced that any pact with the Church can offer only a provisional benefit, for sooner or later the scientific spirit will disclose the harmful character of such a compromise. Thus the State will have based its existence on a foundation that one day will collapse.
Thus the State will have based its existence on a foundation that one day will collapse. An educated man retains the sense of the mysteries of nature and bows before the unknowable. An uneducated man, on the other hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to the state of the animal) as soon as he perceives that the State, in sheer opportunism, is making use of false ideas in the matter of religion, whilst in other fields it bases everything on pure science.
That's why I've always kept the Party aloof from religious questions. I've thus prevented my Catholic and Protestant supporters from forming groups against one another, and inadvertently knocking each other out with the Bible and the Sprinkler. So we never became involved with these Churches' forms of worship. And if that has momentarily made my task a little more difficult, at least I've never run the risk of carrying grist to my opponents' mill. The help we would have provisionally obtained from a concordat would have quickly become a burden on us. In any case, the main thing is to be clever in this matter and not to look for a struggle where it can be avoided.
Being weighed down by a superstitious past, men are afraid of things that can't, or can't yet, be explained-that is to say, of the unknown. If anyone has needs of a metaphysical nature, I can't satisfy them with the Party's programme. Time will go by until the moment when science can answer all the questions.
So it's not opportune to hurl ourselves now into a struggle with the Churches. A slow death has something comforting about The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that's left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic. When understanding of the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.
Originally, religion was merely a prop for human communities. It was a means, not an end in itself. It's only gradually that it became transformed in this direction, with the object of maintaining the rule of the priests, who can live only to the detriment of Society collectively.
The instructions of a hygienic nature that most religions gave, contributed to the foundation of organised communities. The precepts ordering people to wash, to avoid certain drinks, to fast at appointed dates, to take exercise, to rise with the sun, to climb to the top of the minaret-all these were obligations invented by intelligent people. The exhortation to fight courageously is also self-explanatory. Observe, by the way, that, as a corollary, the Mussulman was promised a paradise peopled with houris, where wine flowed in streams-a real earthly paradise. The Christians, on the other hand, declare themselves satisfied if after their death they are allowed to sing Hallelujahs! All these elements contributed to form human communities. It is to these private customs that peoples owe their present characters.
Christianity, of course, has reached the peak of absurdity in this respect. And that's why one day its structure will collapse. Science has already impregnated humanity. Consequently, the more Christianity clings to its dogmas, the quicker it will decline.
But one must continue to pay attention to another aspect of the problem. It's possible to satisfy the needs of the inner life by an intimate communion with nature, or by knowledge of' the past. Only a minority, however, at the present stage of the mind's development, can feel the respect inspired by the unknown, and thus satisfy the metaphysical needs of the soul. The average human being has the same needs, but can satisfy them only by elementary means. That's particularly true of women, as also of peasants who impotently watch the destruction of their crops. The person whose life tends to simplification is thirsty for belief, and he dimly clings to it with all his strength.
Nobody has the right to deprive simple people of their childish certainties until they've acquired others that are more reasonable. Indeed, it's most important that the higher belief should be well established in them before the lower belief has been removed. We must finally achieve this. But it would serve no purpose to replace an old belief by a new one that would merely fill the place left vacant by its predecessor.
It seems to me that nothing would be more foolish than to re-establish the worship of Wotan. Our old mythology had ceased to be viable when Christianity implanted itself. Nothing dies unless it is moribund. At that period the ancient world was divided between the Systems of philosophy and the worship of idols It's not desirable that the whole of humanity should be stultified-and the only way of getting rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.
A movement like ours mustn't let itself be drawn into metaphysical digressions. It must stick to the spirit of exact science. It's not the Party's function to be a counterfeit for religion.
If in the course of a thousand or two thousand years, science arrives at the necessity of renewing its points of view, that will not mean that science is a liar. Science cannot lie, for it's always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does 10 in good faith. It's Christianity that's the liar. It's in perpetual conflict with itself.
One may ask whether the disappearance of Christianity would entail the disappearance of belief in God. That's not to be desired. The notion of divinity gives most men the opportunity to concretise the feeling they have of supernatural realities Why should we destroy this wonderful power they have of incarnating the feeling for the divine that is within them?
The man who lives in communion with nature necessarily puts himself in opposition to the Churches. And that's why they're heading for ruin-for science is bound to win.
I especially wouldn't want our movement to acquire a religious character and institute a form of worship. It would be appalling for me, and I would wish I'd never lived, if I were to end up in the skin of a Buddha!
If at this moment we were to eliminate the religions by force, the people would unanimously beseech us for a new form of worship. You can imagine our Gauleiters giving up their pranks to play at being saints! As for our Minister for Religion, according to his own co-religionists, God himself would turn away from his family!
I envisage the future, therefore, as follows: First of all, to each man his private creed. Superstition shall not lose its rights. The Party is sheltered from the danger of competing with the religions. These latter must simply be forbidden from interfering in future with temporal matters. From the tenderest age, education will be imparted in such a way that each child will know all that is important to the maintenance of the State. As for the men close to me, who, like me, have escaped from the clutches of dogma, I've no reason to fear that the Church will get its hooks on them.
We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. We shall continue to preach the doctrine of National Socialism, and the young will no longer be taught anything but the truth. [pp 58 - 62]
The precept that it's men's duty to love one another is theory the Christians are the last to practise it! A negro baby - has the misfortune to die before a missionary gets his clutches on him, goes to Hell! If that were true, one might well lament that sorrowful destiny: to have lived only three years, to burn for all eternity with Lucifer! [p 69]
The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.
Christianity is a prototype of Bolshevism: the mobilisation by the Jew of the masses of slaves with the object of undermining society. Thus one understands that the healthy elements of the Roman world were proof against this doctrine.
Yet Rome to-day allows itself to reproach Bolshevism with having destroyed the Christian churches! As if Christianity hadn't behaved in the same way towards the pagan temples.[pp 75-76]
When one thinks of the opinions held concerning Christianity by our best minds a hundred, two hundred years ago, one Is ashamed to realise how little we have since evolved. I didn't know that Julian the Apostate had passed judgment with such clear-sightedness on Christianity and Christians. You should read what he says on the subject.
Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism the destroyer. Nevertheless, the Galilean, who later was called the Christ, intended something quite different. He must be regarded as a popular leader who took up His position against Jewry. Galilee was a colony where the Romans had probably installed Gallic legionaries, and it's certain that Jesus was not a Jew. The Jews, by the way, regarded Him as the son of a whore-of a whore and a Roman soldier.
The decisive falsification of Jesus's doctrine was the work of St. Paul. He gave himself to this work with subtlety and for purposes of personal exploitation. For the Galilean's object was to liberate His country from Jewish oppression. He set Himself against Jewish capitalism, and that's why the Jews liquidated Him.
Paul of Tarsus (his name was Saul, before the road to Damascus) was one of those who persecuted Jesus most savagely. When he learnt that Jesus's supporters let their throats be cut for His ideas, he realised that, by making intelligent use of the Galilean's teaching, it would be possible to overthrow this Roman State which the Jews hated. It's in this context that we must understand the famous "illumination". Think of it, the Romans were daring to confiscate the most sacred thing the Jews possessed, the gold piled up in their temples! At that time, as now, money was their god.
On the road to Damascus, St. Paul discovered that he could succeed in ruining the Roman State by causing the principle to triumph of the equality of all men before a single God--and by putting beyond the reach of the laws his private notions, which he alleged to be divinely inspired. If; into the bargain, one succeeded in imposing one man as the representative on earth of the only God, that man would possess boundless power.
The ancient world had its gods and served them. But the priests interposed between the gods and men were servants of the State, for the gods protected the City. In short, they were the emanation of a power that the people had created. For that society, the idea of an only god was unthinkable. In this sphere, the Romans were tolerance itself. The idea of a universal god could seem to them only a mild form of madness--for, if three peoples fight one another, each invoking the same god, this means that, at any rate, two of them are praying in vain.
Nobody was more tolerant than the Romans. Every man could pray to the god of his choice, and a place was even reserved in the temples for the unknown god. Moreover, every man prayed as he chose, and had the right to proclaim his preferences.
St. Paul knew how to exploit this state of affairs in order to conduct his struggle against the Roman State. Nothing has changed; the method has remained sound. Under cover of a pretended religious instruction, the priests continue to incite the faithful against the State.
The religious ideas of the Romans are common to all Aryan peoples. The Jew, on the other hand, worshipped and continues to worship, then and now, nothing but the golden cal£ The Jewish religion is devoid of all metaphysics and has no foundation but the most' repulsive materialism. That's proved even in the concrete representation they have of the Beyond-which for them is identified with Abraham's bosom.
It's since St. Paul's time that the Jews have manifested themselves as a religious community, for until then they were only a racial community. St. Paul was the first man to take account of the possible advantages of using a religion as a means of propaganda. If the Jew has succeeded in destroying the Roman Empire, that's because St. Paul transformed a local movement of Aryan opposition to Jewry into a supra-temporal religion, which postulates the equality of all men amongst themselves, and their obedience to an only god. This is what caused the death of the Roman Empire.
It's striking to observe that Christian ideas, despite all St. Paul's efforts, had no success in Athens. The philosophy of the Greeks was so much superior to this poverty-stricken rubbish that the Athenians burst out laughing when they listened to the apostle's teaching. But in Rome St. Paul found the ground prepared for him. His egalitarian theories had what was needed to win over a mass composed of innumerable uprooted people.
Nevertheless, the Roman slave was not at all what the expression encourages us to imagine to-day. In actual fact, the people concerned were prisoners of war (as we understand the term nowadays), of whom many had been freed and had the possibility of becoming Citizens-and it was St. Paul who introduced this degrading overtone into the modern idea of Roman slaves.
Think of the numerous Germanic people whom Rome welcomed. Arminius himself; the first architect of our liberty, wasn't he a Roman knight, and his brother a dignitary of the State? By reason of these contacts, renewed throughout the centuries, the population of Rome had ended by acquiring a great esteem for the Germanic peoples. It's clear that there was a preference in Rome for fair-haired women, to such a point that many Roman women dyed their hair. Thus Germanic blood constantly regenerated Roman society.
The Jew, on the other hand, was despised in Rome.
Whilst Roman society proved hostile to the new doctrine, Christianity in its pure state stirred the population to revolt. Rome was Bolshevised, and Bolshevism produced exactly the same results in Rome as later in Russia.
It was only later, under the influence of the Germanic spirit, that Christianity gradually lost its openly Bolslievistic character. It became, to a certain degree, tolerable. To-day, when Christianity is tottering, the Jew restores to pride of place Christianity in its Bolshevistic form.
The Jew believed he could renew the experiment. To-day as once before, the object is to destroy nations by vitiating their racial integrity. It's not by chance that the Jews, in Russia, have systematically deported hundreds of thousands of men, delivering the women, whom the men were compelled to leave behind, to males imported from other regions. They practised on a vast scale the mixture of races.
In the old days, as now, destruction of art and civilisation. The Bolsheviks of their day, what didn't they destroy in Rome, in Greece and elsewhere? They've behaved in the same way amongst us and in Russia.
One must compare the art and civilisation of the Romans-their temples, their houses-with the art and civilisation represented at the same period by the abject rabble of the catacombs.
In the old days, the destruction of the libraries. Isn't that what happened in Russia? The result: a frightful leveling-down.
Didn't the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. To-day, it's in the name of Bolshevism.
Yesterday, the instigator was Saul: the instigator to-day, Mardochai.
Saul has changed into St. Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. [pp 76 - 79]
On the whole earth there's no being, no substance, and probably no human institution that doesn't end by growing old. But it's in the logic of things that every human institution should be convinced of its everlastingness-unless it already carries the seed of its downfall. The hardest steel grows weary. Just as it is certain that one day the earth will disappear, so it is certain that the works of men will be overthrown.
All these manifestations are cyclical. Religion is in perpetual conflict with the spirit of free research. The Church's opposition to science was sometimes so violent that it struck off sparks. The Church, with a clear awareness of her interests, has made a strategic retreat, with the result that science has lost some of its aggressiveness.
The present system of teaching in schools permits the the following absurdity: at 10 a.m. the pupils attend a lesson in the catechism, at which the creation of the world is presented to them in accordance with the teachings of the Bible; and at 11 a.m. they attend a lesson in natural science, at which they are taught the theory of evolution. Yet the two doctrines are in complete contradiction. As a child, I suffered from this contradiction, and ran my head against a wall. Often I complained to one or another of my teachers against what I had been taught an hour before-and I remember that I drove them to despair.
The Christian religion tries to get out of it by explaining that one must attach a symbolic value to the images of Holy Writ. Any man who made the same claim four hundred years ago would have ended his career at the stake, with an accompaniment of Hosannas. By joining in the game of tolerance, religion has won back ground by comparison with bygone centuries.
Religion draws all the profit that can be drawn from the fact that science postulates the search for, and not the certain knowledge of; the truth. Let's compare science to a ladder. On every rung, one beholds a wider landscape. But science does not claim to know the essence of things. When science finds that it has to revise one or another notion that it had believed to be definitive, at once religion gloats and declares: "We told you so!" To say that is to forget that it's in the nature of science to behave itself thus. For if it decided to assume a dogmatic air, it would itself become a church.
When one says that God provokes the lightning, that's true in a sense; but what is certain is that God does not direct the thunderbolt, as the Church claims. The Church's explanation of natural phenomena is an abuse, for the Church has ulterior interests. True piety is the characteristic of the being who is aware of his weakness and ignorance. Whoever sees God only in an oak or in a tabernacle, instead of seeing Him everywhere, is not truly pious. He remains attached to appearances-and when the sky thunders and the lightning strikes, he trembles simply from fear of being struck as a punishment for the sin he's just committed.
A reading of the polemical writings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, or of the conversations between Frederick II and Voltaire, inspires one with shame at our low intellectual level, especially amongst the military.
From now on, one may consider that there is no gap between the organic and inorganic worlds. Recent experiments make it possible for one to wonder what distinguishes live bodies from inanimate matter. In the face of this discovery, the Church will begin by rising in revolt, then it will continue to teach its "truths". One day finally, under the battering-ram of science, dogma will collapse. It is logical that it should be so, for the human spirit cannot remorselessly apply itself to raising the veil of mystery without peoples' one day drawing the conclusions
The Ten Commandments are a code of living to which there's no refutation. These precepts correspond to irrefragable needs of the human soul; they're inspired by the best religious spirit, and the Churches here support themselves on a solid foundation.
The Churches are born of the need to give a structure to the religious spirit. Only the forms in which the religious instinct expresses itself can vary. So-and-so doesn't become aware of human littleness unless he is seized by the scruff of the neck, but so-and-so does not need even an unchaining of the elements to teach him the same thing. In the depths of his heart, each man is aware of his puniness.
The microscope has taught us that we are hemmed in not only by the infinitely great, but also by the infinitely small-macrocosm and microcosm. To such large considerations are added particular things that are brought to our attention by natural observation: that certain hygienic practices are good for a man-fasting, for example. lt.'s by no means a result of chance that amongst the ancient Egyptians no distinction was drawn between medicine and religion.
If modern science were to ignore such data, it would be doing harm. On the other hand, superstitions must not be allowed to hamper human progress. That would be so intolerable as to justify the disappearance of religions.
When a man grows old, his tissues lose their elasticity. The normal man feels a revulsion at the sight of death-this to such a point that it is usually regarded as a sign of bad taste to speak of it lightly. A man who asks you if you have made your will is lacking in tact. The younger one is, the less one cares about such matters. But old people cling madly to life. So it's amongst them that the Church recruits her best customers. She entices them with the prospect that death interrupts nothing, that beyond our human term everything continues, in much more agreeable conditions. And you'd refuse to leave your little pile of savings to the Church? Grosso modo, that's more or less how it goes.
Is there a single religion that can exist without a dogma? No, for in that case it would belong to the order of science. Science cannot explain why natural objects are what they are. And that's where religion comes in, with its comforting certainties. When incarnated in the Churches, religion always finds itself in opposition to life. So the Churches would be heading for disaster, and they know it, if they didn't cling to a rigid truth.
What is contrary to the visible truth must change or disappear -that's the law of life.
We have this advantage over our ancestors of a thousand years ago, that we can see the past in depth, which they couldn't. We have this other advantage, that we can see it in breadth-an ability that likewise escaped them.
For a world population of two thousand two hundred and fifty millions, one can count on the earth a hundred and seventy religions of a certain importance-each of them claiming, of course, to be the repository of the truth. At least a hundred and sixty-nine of them, therefore, are mistaken! Amongst the religions practised to-day, there is none that goes back further than two thousand five hundred years. But there have been human beings, in the baboon category, for at least three hundred thousand years. There is less distance between the man-ape and the ordinary modern man than there is between the ordinary modern man and a man like Schopenhauer. In comparison with this millenary past, what does a period of two thousand years signify?
The universe, in its material elements, has the same composition whether we ' re speaking of the earth, the sun or any other planet. It is impossible to suppose nowadays that organic life exists only on our planet.
Does the knowledge brought by science make men happy? That I don't know. But I observe that man can be happy by deluding himself with false knowledge. I grant one must cultivate tolerance.
It's senseless to encourage man in the idea that he's a king of creation, as the scientist of the past century tried to make him believe. That same man who, in order to get about quicker, has to straddle a horse-that mammiferous, brainless being! I don't know a more ridiculous claim. [pp 83 - 87]
From the rostrum of the Reichstag I prophesied to Jewry that m the event of war's proving inevitable, the Jew would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals has on its conscience the two million dead of the first World War, and now already hundreds of thousands more. Let nobody tell me that all the same we can't park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Who s worrying about our troops? It's not a bad idea, by the way that public rumour attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews Terror is a salutary thing.
The attempt to create a Jewish State will be a failure.
The book that contains the reflections of the Emperor Julian should be circulated in millions. What wonderful intelligence, what discernment, all the wisdom of antiquity! It's extraordinary.
With what clairvoyance the authors of the eighteenth, and especially those of the past, century criticised Christianity and passed judgment on the evolution of the Churches!
People only retain from the past what they want to find there. As seen by the Bolshevik, the history of the Tsars seems like a blood-bath. But what is that, compared with the crimes of Bolshevism?
There exists a history of the world, compiled by Rotteck, a liberal of the 'forties, in which facts are considered from the point of view of the period; antiquity is resolutely neglected. We, too, shall re-write history, from the racial point of view. Starting with isolated examples, we shall proceed to a complete revision. It will be a question, not only of studying the sources, but of giving facts a logical link. There are certain facts that can't be satisfactorily explained by the usual methods. So we must take another attitude as our point of departure. As long as students of biology believed in spontaneous generation, it was impossible to explain the presence of microbes.
What a certificate of mental poverty it was for Christianity that it destroyed the libraries of the ancient world! GrecoRoman thought was made to seem like the teachings of the Devil. "If thou desirest to live, thou shalt not expose thyself unto temptation."
Bolshevism sets about its task in the same way as Christianity, so that the faithful may not know what is happening in the rest of the world. The object is to persuade them that the system they enjoy is unique in the world in point of technical and social organisation. Somebody told me of a liftman in Moscow who sincerely believed that there were no lifts anywhere else. I never saw anybody so amazed as that Russian ambassador, the engineer, who came to me one evening to thank me for not having put any obstacles in the way of a visit he paid to some German factories. At first I asked myself if the man was mad! I supposed it was the first time he saw things as they are, and I imagine he sent his Government an indiscreet note on the subject. He was recalled to Moscow a few days later, and we learnt he'd been shot.
Christianity set itself systematically to destroy ancient culture. What came to us was passed down by chance, or else it was a product of Roman liberal writers. Perhaps we are entirely ignorant of humanity's most precious spiritual treasures. Who can know what was there?
The Papacy was faithful to these tactics even during recorded history. How did people behave, during the age of the great explorations, towards the spiritual riches of Central America?
In our parts of the world, the Jews would have immediately eliminated Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Kant. If the Bolsheviks had dominion over us for two hundred years, what works of our past would be handed on to posterity? Our great men would fall into oblivion, or else they'd be presented to future generations as criminals and bandits.
I don't believe at all in the truth of certain mental pictures that many people have of the Roman emperors. I'm sure that Nero didn't set fire to Rome. It was the Christian-Bolsheviks who did that, just as the Commune set fire to Paris in 1871 and the Communists set fire to the Reichstag in 1932.
There is a form of hypocrisy, typically Protestant, that is impudence itself. Catholicism has this much good about it, that it ignores the moral strictness of the Evangelicals. In Catholic regions life is more endurable, for the priest himself succumbs more easily to human weaknesses. So he permits his flock not to dramatise sin. How would the Church earn her living, if not by the sins of the faithful? She declares herself satisfied if one goes to confession. Indulgence, at a tariff, supplies the Church with her daily bread. As for the fruits of um, the soul that fears limbo is a candidate for baptism, that is to say, another customer, and so business goes on! It is a fact that in Catholic parts of the world there are many more illegitimate births than in Protestant parts.
In Austria, Protestantism was free of all bigotry. It was truly a movement of protest against Catholicism. Moreover, these Protestants were entirely devoted to the German cause.
A scandal is that, when a believer leaves a particular faith, be is compelled to pay the ecclesiastical tax for another year. A simple statement should be enough to free him at once from owing anything further. We'll put all that right as soon as we have peace again.
Take Gobbels, for example. He married a Protestant. At once he was put under the Church's ban. Very naturally, he declared that he would stop paying the ecclesiastical tax. But the Church doesn't see things that way. Exclusion is a punishment, which does not remove the obligation to pay the tax!
For my part, the Church held it against me that I was a witness to this marriage. They would certainly have put me under the ban, too, if they had not calculated that it might have won me new sympathies.
Every marriage concluded as the result of a divorce is regarded by the Church as living-in-sin. The result is that, in Austria, for example, nobody cares about the commandments of the Church. From this point of view, Austria was in advance of Germany.
The most extraordinary divorce story I know is that of Starhemberg. The Church allowed him to obtain a divorce for a payment of two hundred and fifty thousand schillings. The reason advanced, by agreement between the parties, was that the marriage was null and void since the contracting parties had come together with the firm intention of not performing their marital duties. Since Starhemberg had no money, the sum was paid by the Heimwehr. What hasn't the Church discovered as a source of revenue, in the course of these fifteen hundred years? It's an unending circle.
I have numerous accounts to settle, about which I cannot think to-day. But that doesn't mean I forget them. I write them down. The time will come to bring out the big book!
Even with regard to the Jews, I've found myself remaining inactive. There's no sense in adding uselessly to the difficulties of the moment. One acts more shrewdly when one bides one's time. . . When I read of the speeches of a man like Galen, I tell myself that there's no point in administering pin-pricks, and that for the moment it's preferable to be silent. Why should anyone have room to doubt the durability of our movement? And if I reflect that it will last several centuries, then I can offer myself the luxury of waiting. I would not have reached my final reckoning with Marxism if I hadn't had the strength on my side
Methods of persuasion of a moral order are not an effective weapon against those who despise the truth-when we have to do with priests, for example, of a Church who know that everything about it is based on lies, and who live by it. They think me a spoil-sport when I rise up in their midst; indeed, I am going to spoil their little games.
In 1905 to 1906, when the modernist movement broke out, there were such excesses that some priests, in reaction, over-ran the reformers' objectives and became real revolutionaries. They were at once expelled, of course. The power of the Church was so great that they were ruined. Men like the Abbot Schachleiter suffered a lot. Nowadays, a priest who's unfrocked can build a new career for himself. What gave the power of the Church such a handle was the fact that the civil power didn't want to interfere in these matters at any price. Things have changed a great deal since then. Nowadays great numbers of priests are forsaking the Church. Obviously, there's a hard core, and I shall never get them all. You don't imagine I can convert the Holy Father. One does not persuade a man who's at the head of such a gigantic concern to give it up. It's his livelihood! I grant, moreover, that, having grown up in it, he can't conceive of the possibility of anything else.
As for the nuns, I'm opposed to the use of force. They'd be incapable of leading any other life. They'd be without support, literally ruined. In this respect, the Catholic Church has taken over the institution of the Vestal Virgins. As soon as a girl becomes a woman, she's faced with the problem of getting a man. If she doesn't find a fiancée', or if she loses him, it 5 possible that she may refuse to have anything more to do with life, and may prefer to retire to a convent. It can also happen that parents may promise their children to the Church. When a human being has spent ten years in a monastery or convent, he or she loses the exact idea of reality. For a woman, a part is played by the sense of belonging to a community that takes care of her. When she lacks the support of a man, she quite naturally looks for this support elsewhere.
In Germany we have, unfortunately, two million more women than men. A girl's object is, and should be, to get married. [pp 87 - 91]
I've always defended the point of view that the Party should hold itself aloof from religion. We never organised religious services for our supporters. I preferred to run the risk of being put under the ban of the Church or excommunicated. The Church's friendship costs too dear. In case of success, I can hear myself being told that it's thanks to her. I'd rather she had nothing to do with it, and that I shouldn't be presented with the bill!
Russia used to be the most bigoted State of all. Nothing happened there without the participation of the Orthodox priests. That didn't prevent the Russians from getting beaten. It seems that the prayers of a hundred and forty million Russians were less convincing, before God, than those of a smaller number of Japanese. It was the same thing in the first World War. Russian prayers had less weight than ours. Even on the home front, the cowls proved incapable of ensuring the maintenance of the established order. They permitted the triumph of Bolshevism.
One can even say that the reactionary and clerical circles helped on this triumph, by eliminating Rasputin. They thus eliminated a force that was capable of stimulating the healthy elements in the Slav soul.
But for the Nationalist volunteers of 1919-20, the clergy would have fallen victim to Bolshevism just as much in Germany as they did in Russia.
The skull-cap is a danger to the State when things go badly. The clergy takes a sly pleasure in rallying the enemies of the established order, and thus shares the responsibility for the disorders that arise. Think of the difficulties the Popes continually caused the German emperors!
I would gladly have recourse to the shavelings, if they could help us to intercept English or Russian aircraft. But, for the present, the men who serve our anti-aircraft guns are more useful than the fellows who handle the sprinkler.
In the Latin countries, we've often been within a hair's breadth of seeing Bolshevism triumph, and thus administer the death-blow to a society that was always on the point of collapse.
When, in ancient Rome, the plebs were mobilised by Christianity, the intelligentsia had lost contact with the ancient forms of worship. The man of to-day, who is formed by the disciplines of science, has likewise ceased taking the teaching of religion very seriously. What is in opposition to the laws of nature cannot come from God. Moreover, thunderbolts do not spare churches. A system of metaphysics that is drawn from Christianity and founded on outmoded notions does not correspond to the level of modern knowledge. In Italy and in Spain, that will all end badly. They'll cut each other's throats.
I don't want anything of that sort amongst us.
We can bc glad that the Parthenon is still standing upright, the Roman Pantheon and the other temples. It matters little that the forms of worship that were practised there no longer mean anything to us. It is truly regrettable that so little is left of these temples. The result is, we are in no risk of worshipping Zeus.
Amongst us, the only witnesses of our greatness in the Middle Ages are the cathedrals. It would be enough to permit a movement of religious persecution to cause the disappearance of all the monuments that our country built from the fifth to the seventeenth century. What a void, and how greatly the world would be impoverished!
I know nothing of the Other World, and I have the honesty to admit it. Other people know more about it than I do, and I'm incapable of proving that they're mistaken. I don't dream of imposing my philosophy on a village girl. Although religion does not aim at seeking for the truth, it is a kind of philosophy which can satisfy simple minds, and that does no harm to any-one. Everything is finally a matter of the feeling man has of his own impotence. In itself, this philosophy has nothing pernicious about it. The essential thing, really, is that man should know that salvation consists in the effort that each person makes to understand Providence and accept the laws of nature.
Since all violent upheavals are a calamity, I would prefer the adaptation to be made without shocks. What could be longest left undisturbed are women's convents. The sense of the inner life brings people great enrichment. What we must do, then, is to extract from religions the poison they contain. In this respect, great progress has been made during recent centuries. The Church must be made to understand that her kingdom is not of this world. What an example Frederick the Great set when he reacted against the Church's claim to be allowed to interfere in matters of State! The marginal notes, in his handwriting, which one finds on the pleas addressed to him by the pastors, have the value of judgments of Solomon. They're definitive. Our generals should make a practice of reading them daily. One is humiliated to see how slowly humanity progresses.
The house of Habsburg produced, in Joseph II, a pale imitator of Frederick the Great. A dynasty that can produce even one intellect in the class of Frederick the Great's has justified itself in the eyes of history. We had experience of it during the first World War: the only one of the belligerents that was truly religious was Germany. That didn't prevent her from losing the war. What repulsive hypocrisy that arrant Freemason, Roosevelt, displays when he speaks of Christianity! All the Churches should rise up against him-for he acts on principles diametrically opposed to those of the religion of which he boasts.
The religions have passed the climacteric; they're now decadent. They can remain like that for a few centuries yet. What revolutions won't do, will be done by evolution. One may regret living at a period when it's impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume.
But there's one thing I can predict to eaters of meat, that the world of the future will be vegetarian! [pp 122-125]
If the mental picture that Christians form of God were Correct, the god of the ants would be an ant, and similarly for the other animals. [p. 135]
The catastrophe, for us, is that of being tied to a religion that rebels against all the joys of the senses. Apropos of that, the hypocrisy of the Protestants is worse than that of the Catholics. Protestantism has the warmth of the iceberg. The Catholic Church, that still has its thousand years of experience and has not lost contact with its Jewish origins, is obviously more adroit. She permits the orgies of Carnival, firstly because she is powerless to prevent them, and secondly because she recaptures the sinner on Ash Wednesday. By picturing to him the sufferings of Hell, she succeeds in inciting him to be properly generous. After periods of repentance, there's room for relaxation! [p. 142]
The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life's final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.
I don't interfere in matters of belief. Therefore I can't allow churchmen to interfere with temporal affairs. The organised lie must be smashed. The State must remain the absolute master.
When I was younger, I thought it was necessary to set about matters with dynamite. I've since realised that there' S room for a little subtlety. The rotten branch falls of itself. The final state must be: in St. Peter's Chair, a senile officiant; facing him, a few sinister old women, as gaga and as poor in spirit as anyone could wish. The young and healthy are on our side. Against a Church that identifies itself with the State, as in England, I have nothing to say. But, even so, it's impossible eternally to hold humanity in bondage with lies. After all, it was only between the sixth and eighth centuries that Christianity was imposed on our peoples by princes who had an alliance of interests with the shavelings. Our peoples had previously succeeded in living all right without this religion. I have six divisions of SS composed of men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion. It doesn't prevent them from going to their deaths with serenity in their souls.
Christ was an Aryan, and St. Paul used his doctrine to mobilise the criminal underworld and thus organise a protoBolshevism. This intrusion upon the world marks the end of a long reign, that of the clear Greco-Latin genius.
What is this God who takes pleasure only in seeing men grovel before Him? Try to picture to yourselves the meaning of the following, quite simple story. God creates the conditions for sin. Later on He succeeds, with the help of the Devil, in causing man to sin. Then He employs a virgin to bring into the world a son who, by His death, will redeem humanity!
I can imagine people being enthusiastic about the paradise of Mahomet, but as for the insipid paradise of the Christians! In your lifetime, you used to hear the music of Richard Wagner. After your death, it will be nothing but hallelujahs, the waving of palms, children of an age for the feeding-bottle, and hoary old men. The man of the isles pays homage to the forces of nature. But Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery. A negro with his tabus is crushingly superior to the human being who seriously believes in Transubstantiation.
I begin to lose all respect for humanity when I think that some people on our side, Ministers or generals, are capable of believing that we cannot triumph without the blessing of the Church. Such a notion is excusable in little children who have learnt nothing else.
For thirty years the Germans tore each other to pieces simply in order to know whether or not they should take Communion in both kinds. There's nothing lower than religious notions like that. From that point of view, one can envy the Japanese. They have a religion which is very simple and brings them into contact with nature. They've succeeded even in taking Christianity and turning it into a religion that's less shocking to the intellect.
By what would you have me replace the Christians' picture of the Beyond? What comes naturally to mankind is the sense of eternity and that sense is at the bottom of every man. The soul and the mind migrate, just as the body returns to nature. Thus life is eternally reborn from life. As for the "why?" of all that, I feel no need to rack my brains on the subject. The soul is unplumbable.
If there is a God, at the same time as He gives man life He gives him intelligence. By regulating my life according to the understanding that is granted me, I may be mistaken, but I act in good faith. The concrete image of the Beyond that religion forces on me does not stand up to examination. Think of those who look down from on high upon what happens on earth: what a martyrdom for them, to see human beings indefatigably repeating the same gestures, and inevitably the same errors! In my view, H. S. Chamberlain was mistaken in regarding Christianity as a reality upon the spiritual level.
Man judges everything in relation to himself. What is bigger than himself is big, what is smaller is small. Only one thing is certain, that one is part of the spectacle. Everyone finds his own role. Joy exists for everybody. I dream of a state of affairs in which every man would know that he lives and dies for the preservation of the species. It's our duty to encourage that idea: let the man who distinguishes himself in the service of the Species be thought worthy of the highest honours.
What a happy inspiration, to have kept the clergy out of the Party! On the 21st March 1933, at Potsdam, the question was raised: with the Church, or without the Church? I conquered the St ate despite the malediction pronounced on us by both creeds. On that day, we went directly to the tomb of the kings whilst the others were visiting religious services. Supposing that at that period I'd made a pact with the Churches, I'd today be sharing the lot of the Duce. By nature the Duce is a freethinker, but he decided to choose the path of concessions. For my part, in his place I'd have taken the path of revolution. I'd have entered the Vatican and thrown everybody out-reserving the right to apologise later: "Excuse me, it was a mistake." But the result would have been, they'd have been outside!
When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves. from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease.[pp 143-145]
Kerrl, with the noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.
I think I could have come to an understanding with the Popes of the Renaissance. Obviously, their Christianity was a danger on the practical level and, on the propaganda level, it continued to be a lie. But a Pope, even a criminal one, who protects great artists and spreads beauty around him, is nevertheless more sympathetic to me than the Protestant minister who drinks from the poisoned spring.
Pure Christianity-the Christianity of the catacombs-is concerned with translating the Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. [p. 145-146]
Mark my words, Bormann, I'm going to become very religious
Bormann: "You've always been very religious."
I m going to become a religious figure. Soon I'll be the great chief of the Tartars. Already Arabs and Moroccans are mingling my name with their prayers. Amongst the Tartars I all become Khan. The only thing of which I shall be incapable is to share the sheiks' mutton with them. I'm a vegetarian, and they must spare me from their meat. If they don't wait too long, I'll fall back on their harems! [p. 203-204]
The evil that's gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can't at present give them the answer they've been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It's all written down in my big book. The time will come when I'll settle my account with them, and I'll go straight to the point.
I don't know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it's their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They've only got to keep at it, they'll hear from me, all right. I shan't let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.
We shan't be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it's really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If' on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.
Periods that have endured such affronts without protesting will be condemned by people of the coming generations. Just as the pyres for heretics have been suppressed, so all these by. products of ignorance and bad faith will have to be eliminated in their turn. [p 304]
In virtue of what law, divine or otherwise, should the rich alone have the right to govern? The world is passing at this moment through one of the most important revolutions in human history. We are witnessing the final somersaults of Christianity. It began with the Lutheran revolution. The revolutionary nature of that rebellion lies in the fact that until then there had been only one authority, on both the spiritual and the temporal level, that of the Pope-for it was he who delegated temporal power. Dogma cannot resist the ceaselessly renewed attacks of the spirit of free enquiry. One cannot teach at ten o'clock in the morning truths which one destroys in the eleven o'clock lesson.
What is ruining Christianity to-day is what once ruined the ancient world. The pantheistic mythology would no longer suit the social conditions of the period. As soon as the idea was introduced that all men were equal before God, that world was bound to collapse. [p. 336]
I believe that Providence gives the victory to the man who knows how to use the brains nature has given him. The notions of law invented by the jurists have little to do with natural laws. The wisdom of nations sometimes expresses truths as old as the world, that perfectly reproduce nature's intentions. "God helps him who helps himself!" It's obvious that man forgets his own destiny.
One day I explained to Eltz that what is conventionally called creation is probably an immovable thing, that only man's conception of it is subject to variations. Why doesn't God give everybody the possibility of understanding truth? Every man of average culture knows that at this precise moment the catholic religion is of interest to just one tenth of the population of the globe. He's astonished, too, that Providence, which has willed all that, can allow so many religions, all true from the point of view of those who practise them, to compete for the faith of the faithful. He knows, too, thanks to the view in depth that history enables him to take, that the Christian religion interests only those living in a tiny period of the life of mankind.
God made men. But thanks to original sin we are men in the age of our world, earning our bread in the sweat of our brow.
For five hundred thousand years, God impassively contemplated the spectacle of which He is the author. Then one day he decided to send upon earth His only son. You remember the tails of that complicated story!
Those who don't believe should, it seems, have faith imposed on them by force. If God is truly interested in men being enlightened, one wonders why He resorts to torture for that purpose.
While we're on the subject, let's add that, even amongst those who claim to be good Catholics, very few really believe in this humbug. Only old women, who have given up everything because life has already withdrawn from them, go regularly to church. All that's dead wood-and one shouldn't waste one's time in concerning oneself with such brains.
In the trade union formed by the Church, many of the members have tangible interests to defend, and see no further. A given set of grimaces, certain people identify them with true religion. After that, let's express surprise that these cynical exploiters of God are the true purveyors of atheism.
Why should men fight to make their point of view triumph, if prayer should be enough? In the Spanish struggle, the clergy, should have said: "We defend ourselves by the power of prayer." But they deemed it safer to finance a lot of heathens, so that Holy Church could save her skin.
If I'm a poor devil and die without having had time to repent, I'm all right. But if; as a preliminary, I can dispose of ten marks to the Church's benefit, my affairs appear in a more favourable light. And is that what God would have wanted?
That little country girls and simple working men should be set dancing to that tune, that's a thing that can be explained. But that intelligent men should make themselves accomplices to such superstitions, and that it's because of these superstitions, and in the name of love, that hundreds of thousands of human beings have been exterminated in the course of history-that is something I cannot admit.
I shall never believe that what is founded on lies can endure for ever. I believe in truth. I'm sure that, in the long run, truth must be victorious.
It's probable that, as regards religion, we are about to enter an era of tolerance. Everybody will be allowed to seek his own salvation in the way that suits him best. The ancient world knew this climate of tolerance. Nobody took to proselytising.
If I enter a church, it's not with the idea of overturning idols. It's to look for, and perhaps to find, beauties in which I'm interested.
It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realise that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-but to devote myself deliberately to error, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. In acting as I do, I'm very far from the wish to scandalise. But I rebel when I see the very idea of Providence flouted in this fashion.
It's a great satisfaction for me to feel myself totally foreign to that world. But I shall feel I'm in my proper place if; after my death, I find myself, together with people like me, on some sort of Olympus. I shall be in the company of the most enlightened spirits of all times.
I adopted a definite attitude on the 21st March '933 when I refused to take part in the religious services, organised at Potsdam by the two Churches, for the inauguration of the new Reichstag.
I've never concerned myself, in the Party, with learning to which Church the men around me belonged, or did not belong. But if I were to die to-day, it would shock me to know that there's a single " sky-pilot " within a radius of ten kilometres around me. The idea that one of these fellows could bring me slightest help would by itself make me despair of Providence.
As far as I'm concerned, I act according to my convictions. I don't prevent anyone from praying silently, but I rebel against all blasphemy. So let nobody waste prayers on me that I shall not have asked for.
If my presence on earth is providential, I owe it to a superior will. But I owe nothing to the Church that trafficks in the salvation of souls, and I find it really too cruel. I admit that one cannot impose one's will by force, but I have a horror of people who enjoy inflicting sufferings on others' bodies and tyranny upon others' souls.
Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity. It will last another hundred years, two hundred years perhaps. My regret will have been that I couldn't, like whoever the prophet was, behold the promised land from afar. We are entering into a conception of the world that will be a sunny era, an era of tolerance. Man must be put in a position to develop freely the talents that God has given him.
What is important above all is that we should prevent a greater lie from replacing the lie that is disappearing. The world of Judeo-Bolshevism must collapse. [p 341-344]
I intend...to have one suspension bridge at Linz. On the opposite bank I shall construct, as a counter to the pseudo-science of the Catholic Church, an observatory in which will be represented the three great cosmological conceptions of history--those of Ptolemy, of Copernicus and of Hörbiger. [p 445]
It is a great pity that this tendency towards religious thought can find no better outlet than the Jewish pettifoggery of the Old Testament. For religious people who, in the solitude of winder, continually seek ultimate light on their religious problems with the assistance of the Bible, must eventually become spiritually deformed. The wretched people strive to extract truths from these Jewish chicaneries, where in fact no truths exist. As a result they become embedded in some rut of thought or other and, unless they possess an exceptionally commonsense mind, degenerate into religious maniacs.
It is deplorable that the Bible should have been translated into German, and that the whole of the German people should have thus become exposed to the whole of this Jewish mumbojumbo. So long as the wisdom, particularly of the Old Testament, remained exclusively in the Latin of the Church, there was little danger that sensible people would become the victims of illusions as the result of the studying the Bible. But since the Bible became common property, a whole heap of people have found opened to them lines of religious thought which--particularly in conjunction with the German characteristic of persistent and somewhat melancholy meditation--as often as not turned them into religious maniacs. When one recollects further that the Catholic Church has elevated to the status of Saints a whole number of madmen, one realises why movements such as that of the Flagellants came inevitably into existence in the Middle Ages in Germany.
As a sane German, one is flabbergasted to think that German human beings could have let themselves be brought to such a pass by Jewish filth and priestly twaddle, that they were little different from the howling dervish of the Turks and the negroes, at whom we laugh so scornfully. It angers one to think that, while in other parts of the globe religious teaching like that of Confucius, Buddha and Mohammed offers an undeniably broad basis for the religious-minded, Germans should have been duped by a theological exposition devoid of all honest depth.
...The essential conclusion to which these considerations leads me is that we must do everything humanly possible to protect for all time any further sections of the German people from the danger of mental deformity, regardless of whether it be religious mania or any other type of cerebral derangement. For this reason I have directed that every town of any importance shall have an observatory, for astronomy has been shown by experience to be one of the best means at man's disposal for increasing his knowledge of the universe, and thus saving from any tendency towards mental aberration. [pp 513-14]
Should we decide to recall our present representative from the Vatican, I can see no adequate reason for sending any fresh incombent to this Embassy. The relations between Germany and the Vatican are based on the Concordat. But this same Concordat is no more than the survival of agreements reached between the Vatican and the different German States, and, with the disappearance of the latter and their incorporation into the German Reich, it has become obsolete. It is true that it has as basis these various agreements, but it is a conformation of past agreements rather than a current agreement in force. I am therefore of the considered opinion that the juridical consequence of the disappearance of the sovereignty of the individual German States and its incorporation in the sovereignty of the Reich render the continuation of diplomatic relations with the Vatican redundant.
From military reasons connected with the war I have so far refrained from translating this conception into fact. Equally, however, I have shown myself unresponsive to the attempts of the Vatican towards extension of the provisions of the Concordat to embrace the newly acquired territories of the Reich. The Saar, Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia, the Reichsgau Danzig-East Prussia, the Warthegau, a large part of Silesia and Alsace-Lorraine have, in fact, no relations with the Roman Catholic Church which are supported by formal international agreement. In these territories, therefore, Church affairs must be settled locally.
If the Papal Nuncio seeks audience of the Foreign Office and tries through this channel to gain some say in religious developments in the new territories, his advances must be rejected. . He must be told clearly that, in the absence of any particular Concordat, the settlement of Church affairs in these territories is a matter to be settled exclusively between the relevant State representative-that is, the Reichsstatthalter-and the head of the local ecclesiastical body.
I should, of course, have preferred Minister Lammers to impart this information to the Papal Nuncio. Unfortunately the Wilhelmstrasse, with its usual greed for fields of fresh authority, has allowed itself to be imposed upon by the Papal Legate. Well, I shall be interested to see how these gentlemen get themselves out of the tangle!
Regulations framed to cover the whole Reich cannot be make more difficult the clarification of relations between State and Church, at which we are aiming; for the Catholic Church strives always to seek advantage where we are weakest b demanding the application to the whole Reich of those of t various Concordats which conform most closely to aspirations.
Therefore, as regards future relations between State a Church, it is very satisfactory from our point of view that nearly half the Reich negotiations can now be conducted by appropriate Reichsstatthalter, unfettered by the clauses of central Concordat. For this means that in each district Gauleiter can, according to the degree of emancipation acquired by the population of his Gau, lead the people forward step by step in the sense that we desire.
[Note by translator. The diatribe which occupies the next few paragraphs is couched in most bitter and often vulgar terms. Throughout Hitler uses opprobrious term "Pfaffe" (in one case "Piaffengeschmeiss"), of which is no direct English equivalent. The translator has tried to reproduce atmosphere of the passage.]
Although, in general, I hold no brief for the Americans, I must in this respect take off my hat to them. The American statesmen, by subjecting the Church to the same regulations governing all other associations and institutions, have limited its field of activity to reasonable proportions; and, as the State does not contribute from State Funds one single cent to the church, the whole clergy cringes and sings hymns in praise of Government. This is not to be wondered at! The parson, like everyone else, has got to live; what he makes out of the public offertory doesn't amount to much, and so he is more or less dependent on State charity. As he has no legal claim whatever on the State, he therefore takes very good care that his demeanour is always pleasing in the eyes of the State and therefore deserving of the crumbs it cares to toss to him.
Once we cease handing out milliards of marks a year to the church, our damn parsons will very quickly change their tune and instead of having the impudence to revile us and attack us the most shameful manner, will very soon be eating out of our hands. We can make this clerical gang go the way we want, quite easily-and at far less cost than at present.
Contributions should be made to selected individual parsons. If we give some Bishop--for himself and his subordinates--a round million, he will pocket the first three hundred thousand for his own use--otherwise he's no true parson! The distribution the meagre rest among the parsons of his whole diocese will cause a pretty little uproar among the whole brood-and leave us laughing like hell!
In one respect, however, we must remain absolutely obdurate. Any petitions for State intervention must be rejected out of hand. Justification for such rejection is obvious. On its own Eli owing the Church knows full well that no profane spirits could possibly succeed in mediating in Church affairs as well as the clergy itself. How can you expect some wretched little Government jack-in-office like myself, to whom the light has not been vouchsafed, to tackle so vital and intricate a problem!
Agreement as to distribution of funds must, as in other agreements, be left in the hands of the Reichsstatthalter. I don't think we need fear that they will enter upon any commitments which are directed against either the State or its interests. For one thing, the Gauleiters are under firm control, and for another, most of the Reichsstatthalters are much stricter in these affaires than I am.
Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.
The development of relations between State and Church affords a very instructive example of how the carelessness of a single statesman can have after-effects which last for centuries. When Charlemagne was kneeling at prayer in St. Peter's, Rome, at Christmas in the year 8oo, the Pope, giving him no time to work out the possible effects of so symbolic an action, suddenly bent down and presto! popped a golden crown on his head! By permitting it, the Emperor delivered himself and his successors into the hands of a power which subjected the German Government and the German people to five hundred years of martyrdom.
To-day, as always, there are responsible people to be found who are careless enough to allow a crown of gold to be popped on to their heads, and one cannot exaggerate the enormous effects which such an action, seemingly trifling at the time, can later produce.
Much in the same class and equally stupid is the idea of the Wilhelmstrasse that every note from the Vatican must be answered. The very act of answering is tantamount to an admission of the right of the Vatican to interfere in German domestic issues--if only in ecclesiastical issues--and to maintain official correspondence with us.
Not only the history of the past, but also present times afford numberless examples of the very hard-boiled diplomats to be found in the service of the Catholic Church, and of how extremely cautious one must be in dealing with them.
Just after my entry into Vienna I heard a tremendous whistling and cheering under my window and was told that it was for Cardinal Archbishop Innitzer, who was on his way to visit me. I expected to see a wretched little parson, downcast and oppressed with the burden of his sins. Instead of which there appeared a man who addressed me with self-assurance and a beaming countenance, just as if; throughout the while period of the Austrian republic, he had never even touched a single hair of the head of any National Socialist! Let me add, however, that once one has come into contact with gentlemen of this type, one soon learns to recognise them on sight.
The Papal Nuncio, on whom, as doyen of the diplomatic corps, falls the duty of delivering the congratulatory address at the New Year's ceremony, invariably tries to use the occasion to turn the conversation to the position of the Catholics in Germany. But I always manage to side-step him, asking him in a most amiable and pressing manner for news of the health of his Holiness and, when this engrossing subject has been dealt with, turning hastily to greet the remainder of the diplomatic corps. Except at this reception, I have on principle always refused to meet the Papal Nuncio, and fob him off on to Lammers instead. I have thus succeeded in withdrawing myself from all personal contact with the Vatican.
During the years of our struggle Rosenberg once submitted to me the draft. of a leading article he proposed publishing in reply to the attacks of the Catholic Church. I forbade him to publish it; and I still think it was a great mistake that Rosenberg ever let himself be drawn into a battle of words with the Church. He had absolutely nothing to gain from it; the hesitant Catholics of their own free will regarded the Church with a critical eye, and from the truly devout not only could he expect no fair hearing for his "heretical outpourings", but he must also have realised that the opposition propaganda would condemn him for his meddling in matters of faith and successfully point to him as a man guilty of mortal sin.
The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no "T" will remain uncrossed, no "I" undotted!
The attitude of the Bishop von Galen affords just one more argument in favour of terminating the Concordat after the war, substituting for it regional regulations and immediately withholding from the Church the financial support at present guaranteed to it by that treaty.
I am sure it will give my Reichsstatthalters great pleasure to inform some Bishop, who, from the State's point of view, has strayed from the straight and narrow path, that the Reichsgau, owing to a temporary lack of funds, is, unfortunately and to his own personal deep regret, compelled temporarily to stop such contributions as it was in the habit of making from time to time!
When once the Concordat and its financial obligations have been repudiated, and the Church becomes dependent on the offertory, it will pocket a bare 3 per cent of the money it at present gets from the State, and all the Bishops will come creeping and begging to the Reichsstatthalter.
It will be the duty of the Reichsstatthalter to make it quite clear after the war that he will deal with the Church in exactly; the same way as he deals with any other national association, and that he will not tolerate the intervention of any foreign influence. The Papal Nuncio can then return happily to Rome, we shall be saved the expense of an embassy at the Vatican, and the only people who will weep tears over the jobs that have been lost will be the Foreign Office! [pp 551-56]
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