Background: This is translation of a thin Nazi book titled “Faith and Action.” It is rather a “Book of Virtues,” discussing the traits Nazi youth were to have. A Nazi era review noted that this was a good book for those who wished to give their children something better than “the Jewish myths of the Old Testament.”
The author was in charge of military education for the Hitler Youth. It was published by the party’s own publishing house. First published in 1938, I am using a 1943 printing that brought the print total to 150,000.
The source: Helmut Stellrecht, Glauben und Handeln. Ein Bekenntnis der jungen Nation (Berlin: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., Franz Eher Nachf., 1943).
You carry in your blood the holy inheritance of your fathers and forefathers. You do not know those who have vanished in endless ranks into the darkness of the past. But they all live in you and walk in your blood upon the earth that consumed them in battle and toil and in which their bodies have long decayed. §Your blood is therefore something holy.
In it your parents gave you not only a body, but your nature. §To deny your blood is to deny yourself. No one can change it. But each decides to grow the good that one has inherited and suppress the bad. Each is also given will and courage. §You do not have only the right, but also the duty to pass your blood on to your children, for you are a member of the chain of generations that reaches from the past into eternity, and this link of the chain that you represent must do its part so that the chain is never broken. §But if your blood has traits that will make your children unhappy and burdens to the state, then you have the heroic duty to be the last. §The blood is the carrier of life. You carry in it the secret of creation itself. Your blood is holy, for in it God’s will lives.
Race means to be able to think in a certain way. He who has courage, loyalty and honor, the mark of the German, has the race that should rule in Germany, even if he does not have the physical characteristics of the “Nordic” race. The unity of the noble and a noble body is the goal to which we strive. But we despise those whose noble body carries an ignoble soul.
§A variety of related European races have merged in Germany. One trunk grew from these roots. Each race gave its best strength. Each contributed to the German soul We Germans have a fighting spirit, a look to the horizon, the “desire to do a thing for its own sake” of the Nordic race. Another racial soul gave us our cozy old cities and our depth.
Yet another racial soul gave us mastery of the magical realm of music. Yet another gave us our ability to organize, and our silent obedience. §We can not hold it against anyone if he carries a variety of racial lines, for the German soul does as well, and created out of it the immeasurable riches which it possesses above all other nations.
The greatness of our Reich grew out of this soul. §But the Nordic race must dominate in Germany and shape the soul of each German. It must win out in the breast of each individual. Today our ideal is not the artist or the citizen, but the hero. §Our highest treasure is the soul that we have been given. He who mixes his blood with that of foreign inferior races ruins the blood and soul that have been given to him to pass on in purity to his children. He makes his children impure and miserable, and commits the greatest crime that he as a National Socialist can commit. §But he who follows the laws of race fulfills the great commandment that only like should be brought together with like, keeping apart those things like fire and water which do not mix.
A People (Volk )
A people grows from god’s will. Woe to him who wishes to destroy the peoples and make people alike. God created the trees, the bushes, the weeds and the grass not so that they could merge into one species, but that each should exist in its own way. §Just as a tree, a people grows as a living whole from similar roots, but becoming one, the strongest of its kind.
§All of the same blood belong to it. A people knows no state boundaries. It is bound by the ties of blood that bind all the sons of a single mother. The German people is a nation of a hundred million. Each German belongs to it, no matter where he may live. §A people cannot be destroyed as long as its roots draw on the strength of the earth. Summer and winter may come and go. But it always blooms anew in indestructible life and perfects itself in the strength that rises from its roots towards god’s will.
§What does it mean when an individual dies? It is as if the wind blows leaves from a tree. New ones grow eternally every spring. §The peoples are the greatest and most noble creation of god on this earth. There is no institution in the world, no party and no church, that has the right to make them the same or to rob them of even the tiniest bit of their individuality.
A people gives itself its form through the state. There is only one natural form for each people, only one state. §In the natural process of growth, each people finds its form and its state, and finds them again when it has lost them, if only it wants to. §National Socialism has broken foreign compulsion and eliminated the unnatural. Germany once again grows into its own state and is once more itself. §The best rules, the Führer, and he carries the responsibility because he is best able to bear it. The parliament has ceased to exist. This form of Western democracy has been abolished. The German states established by the grace of counts or by Napoleon disappear. The Reich becomes one. The new state rises:
“The day is coming when a single tent will cover all the German land.”
Socialism means: “The common good before the individual good.”
Socialism means: “Think not of yourself, but of the whole, of the people and the state.”
Socialism means: “Not the same for everyone, but to each his own.”
These sentences make clear what we call “German socialism.” No one is a socialist who does not live according to them. §A new order grows from these sentences. The sentence “To each his own” has killed the “mass,” the slogan of Marxism, and replaced it with the “community.” Every community grows around a leader. He is the center of its order, which forms around him.
A number of these leaders form a larger community, and stand around their leader as a living order. It all grows from below—the number growing ever smaller—like a pyramid, and finds its epitome in the Führer of the Reich. All are bound by the community. Each community is a living order. The whole, the great living order, is the people’s community. It binds inextricably person to person, leader to leader. It does not give the same to everyone, but to each his own. It creates the socialist people in a socialist state.
§Each has his task in the community, given to him according to his gifts. Never do all have the same task, but rather each his own. His task gives him a place in the community, If he fulfills it completely, he wins the esteem of the others. He is happy, even if his task is not large in the overall scheme of things. §Such communities grow in the field, in assault troops, in artillery battalions, in submarines, in S.A. units. Strong, bound forever together, wordlessly understanding each other, together until the end, sworn to a common goal. Strength grows from such communities, and from them grows the state. §We want community in Germany so that we can stand unshaken in the face of whatever may come. The mass is conquered by the community. It gives to each his own, to each his goal and his task, and everyone together one goal: the people’s community in the new state.
“Oh holy heart of the peoples, O Fatherland!” You were created from the endless forests and wide moors that the glaciers of the ice age left us. It was poor land only made fruitful through sweat and toil, in joy and sorrow, in endless work. §One passed you on to the next and laid down in your earth from which new life grew. In you rest the endless ranks of past generations, the seed for new sowing in the wide land.
The blood of the noble and brave who defended you fell on you. You were fertilized by the best that you bore. §From you, castles and cathedrals rose to the heavens, as if the earth itself wished to rise up to the god it was seeking. From our earth, from the seed of our dead. §The land is broad. Under the care of industrious hands it became a garden. They protected it lovingly, like the mountains and valleys protect their villages. Proud cities by the rivers, displaying the splendor of the old Reich.
The market fountain has flowed for hundreds of years here. The gates still stand through which once the Kaiser, the knights and the nobility passed. §The silver stream of fate winds through. On the other bank is land that was lost. The heart almost stops. How one wishes to stroke the distant forests as one would an old and beloved face. But the heart beats once more on the plains and the coasts that German colonists won. The castle of the knights stands in the east, an eternal testimony of strength and virtue. There are the fields from which Frederick’s eagle rose toward the sun, and there, far from the borders, is the wall of German dead, an eternal memorial of the nation that withstood the world as long as it believed in itself. §Everything is founded in and rests in you, Fatherland.
Our strength and our greatness, but also our need and our misery. You are the ground that bore us and will bear those distant generations that will work and bleed for you. §No one can live without you, but each will gladly give his life back to you who gave it to him.
Courage is the most beautiful and noble trait a man can have. He who has no courage is not a man. §The “storming courage” of an attack is wonderful. The feeling of having risked all in service of a high ideal frees one and lets him charge forward with joy. Courage bears a man as if he had wings, and fills his heart. §The attack becomes the high point of life.
When everything depends on one card, when one can lose everything, when one can win everything, life is at its best. He who has never charged and attacked, filled with courage, has never fully lived. §Alongside “stormy courage” is the “indomitable courage” of those facing hard fate. “Fate is great and powerful, but greater still is the person who bears it unshaken.” §Life is often harder than death.
A coward holds on to it. No one faces a challenge greater than the strength he has been given to face it. Courage overcomes all. When one has done all in his power, good luck comes to show him a new way and help him along. But it is not really good luck. “Resist all powers, never give in, be strong, calls the army of the gods.” §Courage is needed not only by the man, by the soldier, a woman too needs courage. For the man battle, the attack is the greatest challenge. For the woman it comes when she gives a new person life. Men who no longer want to wage war cannot face the mothers who give new life at the risk of their own. §Courage is the noblest trait of a man or woman. It determines the battle and gives victory.
Life demands hardness. One must strive with burning heart toward the ideal of hardness. To be hard for the sake of life, to become a fighter, to win the victory. §Our environment is a given. Burning heat in summer, biting cold in winter, long marches in the wet and cold. Working long at the factory, or behind a machine gun.
Bearing hunger and thirst, sleeping on the bare earth, not surrendering in battle, never, never, no matter how hopeless everything sees, hurling an empty pistol in the face of the enemy, reaching for his neck without regard for oneself, even if it leads to death. To be a fighter, a fighter with faith in his cause, even if everyone says it is a false cause. That brings victory, the victory that belongs to him who is the harder. §You should never give up in battle or work.
Even if you fail a thousand times, you must make the thousand and first attempt. In the end it will succeed and you will be the victor, even if almost bled dry, almost faint, but filled with the triumphant knowledge of having overcome. You are victor in your struggle and victor over yourself. §Each must prepare for his battle. Each must train as if he will one day fight the decisive battle for Germany.
Each must be able to march, suffer hunger and thirst, sleep on bare ground, bear all privations, be a fighter, a soldier from the moment he can understand what is at stake. §We need men hard and tough as steel, harder than anything else in the world. Only they will master the great future of Germany. Do you want to be one of them, or stand aside as a weakling? §Germany will be the land of the brave and the strong. Either you belong to them, or you will no longer be a German.
Will is the force inside you that commands. You may hesitate from weariness, anxiety, weakness. Will lifts you over every barrier and orders you to do what your feelings and understanding tell you to do. §A man without will is like a machine without power. It is useless. But “where there is a will, there is a way,” and where a will orders, it is obeyed, whether a person follows his own will or men follow the will of a leader.
§Where there is faith that comes from strength, it is will that gives it the push. §Exercise your will so that it is as taut and ready as a drawn bowstring, ready to let loose in the moment it should, neither a second too late nor a second too early. Exercise your will in little things until it is strong enough to bring from you that which Germany expects.
One expects that a person who drives a car is in control, and that he causes no accidents. One expects that a person who lives with other people will control himself, so that he does not endanger himself or others. §The forces within us can raise or lower us. It depends on the use we make of them, on whether we control them and therefore ourselves. §Hunger and thirst exist to be satisfied. But woe to him who eats for the sake of eating or drinks for the sake of drinking. He is lower than an animal that knows when it has had enough.
But he to whom understanding has been given does not know it. We hate the gluttons and drunkards with bulging bodies and swollen eyes, people with no character or self control. We eat and drink to live, but we never live in order to eat and drink. §The body must be kept under iron discipline so that we are always in charge of it and it is always dependable. We also may never allow the sexual drive to control us. For adults it is not there to be satisfied, but rather a force that should be used to produce future generations healthy in both body and soul.
A young person is given strength not to use in bed, but rather in the sun and the wind, on the sports field and countryside, until we have a body in front of us full of strength and speed, a body in which courage and faith are joined in a free soul, a body that is master of its passions, master of itself, the German person of the future. Out of it will grow the strength of a renewed people, the bearer of a future generation of nobility and freedom. §If you control yourself, you control life. §If you control yourself, you must be able to bear pain without uttering a sound. Men do not complain or cry, and boys who want to become men behave in the same way.
§You should not give in to every little problem. Be open, be determined, never play the cripple, but control yourself. Be the master of your pain and problems. Force yourself to be cheerfully faithful. Then you will find strength you did not know you had. §You must practice self control. How often does duty call, but something distracts you? Command yourself so that you can master yourself. §Do something every day that you do not like to do, and avoid doing something every day that you would gladly have done. §Do everything you are ordered to do immediately, without thinking about it. You must in order to become a real man. §That is the secret of every great personality.
It has gained all the strength it directs outwardly from overcoming itself. §But you should not be a meek person who gives up everything in order to live in a cave to receive a promised blessing. God does not want that for a person. He should have pleasure in his work. He should use it, but never misuse it, and should be the master of himself.
Savages and half-savages have courage, but only advanced people have discipline. Discipline is the ability to fall in line. Discipline is carrying out an order without knowing the reason, without understanding. Discipline also means enduring injustice for the sake of a good cause. §Discipline is iron virtue and silent obedience. §Discipline comes from within yourself.
You accept it because you follow a higher will. He who does not do this will be forced by steely necessity, which alone can overcome the lack of will and weakness of many, making of them useful members of the people and the state. §Discipline is a spiritual attitude. Law and command work through it for the good of all. Any weakening of discipline is the beginning of collapse. Each is called to ensure that he himself and the man next to him behaves in a disciplined way.
Duty is a hard word as long as one has not done it. Duty is a pleasant word as soon as one has done it. §Duty is the “you should” that you feel inside. Duty is that which family, people and the state demand of you. Doing one’s duty does not mean being controlled by the reins that rule a horse, but rather doing one’s duty means that one does it with joy, no matter how hard.
§The fatherland grew from the duty done by our fathers and forefathers. From the duty we all do grows the present state and the future both of the individual and the whole. §Duty can also mean sacrifice, the sacrifice of one’s own life. Your people can demand of you what it has given you. But what does demand mean? The state, the fatherland dwell in your own breast. You demand it of yourself, and the path of highest duty is the way of greatest happiness, even if it leads to your death.
§ Justice comes from fulfilled duty. There is no other justice in the National Socialist state, just as there is no pay without labor. The greater the duty, the greater the justice. He who does the most for Germany has the greatest right to guide Germany and determine its fate. He is the Führer of the Reich, and others follow him according to the duty they have fulfilled. §A worker on the street can stand higher in the ranks than a government minister if he has better done his duty. §Fulfilling one’s duty to the utmost is required of each of us. Who will wait until the demand comes, until it is required? He who does his duty of his own free will, he is a free man and not a slave.
You live by honor, not by bread. Slaves believe that they only need food and drink to live. The free man knows that he needs honor first of all. §Your honor is your standing with your comrades and fellow citizens. It is just as much your standing with yourself.
§To be honorable is to be courageous. To be honorable is to be selfless and loyal. To be honorable is to be in control of oneself. He who does great things for his fatherland is honorable. §Honor comes not from money and possessions. But he who creates new values or gives other work through his spirit or the work of his hands can thereby win honor. §It is also honorable to be the son of someone noble, someone who has done much for his people and his state. But the son is unworthy of his honor if he does not win it anew.
§Inherited honor does not last forever, but always demands work and struggle. Honor is like a crown. He who ceases to live and act like a king loses it — and has lost it, even if he still wears it on his head. §Not everyone can take honor from another. The insult of a boy cannot harm one’s honor. But he who accepts an insult in a cowardly way loses honor before others.
§We do not reply to an insult ourselves at first. That is why superior leaders and judges are there. But if someone hits you, hit back, and if someone strikes your face, strike him back. For we National Socialists in Germany today, there is only one honor, one concept of honor. There is no particular concept of honor for particular classes any longer. National Socialism has given us all a new common sense of honor. We know it.
He who does not have it is not free, but a slave. The least important worker today can be free and honorable, the prosperous businessman a slave and a serf. §That is the new law, which gives honor only to the brave, the selfless, the loyal, the self controlled, those who do everything for Germany that they can. §The way to honor is open for every German.
Loyalty is a holy word. Speak it rarely. It must be as taken-for-granted as the air we breathe. §What exists exists because of loyalty. If that which exists ceases to be loyal, it returns to nothingness. That tears the bonds that hold everything together. It shatters camaraderie; it shatters leadership; it shatters honor; it shatters confidence in the law; it shatters the army; it shatters the state; it shatters everything that exists. §Germany collapsed in 1918 because disloyalty replaced loyalty. An “excess of loyalty” raised it again from the abyss. Now it stands on the foundation of loyalty, which must be stronger than the destructive forces of the world. §What is loyalty, comrade?
§Your loyalty is that you never, never turn from the ideals to which you have sworn allegiance. National Socialism has raised them high, so that they live in you and will go into the grave with you. That is your first and deepest loyalty. §And you are true to your fatherland, called Germany. As its earth brought forth your blood, you belong to it forever. §The third claim on your loyalty is to follow the Führer both in the brightest and the darkest days. It is better for you to follow him ever into darkness and misery than that your loyalty weakens even once.
§Fourth, you owe loyalty to your comrade. You will always help him in need and danger. He should always know that he can come to you, that he can rely on you entirely, as if you were his physical brother. §Sigfried and Hagen were loyal. Siegfried, the bright hero, fought battles for his king. His life was joy and jubilation and victory. Love and loyalty accompanied him, as if bearing him on their hands.
§Hagen slew Siegfried not as a cowardly murderer, but rather because Siegfried invited guilt upon himself. The honor of the king was at stake. Siegried had to die. But Hagen took the guilt upon himself. His loyalty to his king was more to him than his own outward honor. He took the curse of a murderer on himself and was greater than all and he was loyal [This story is part of the Niebelung saga].
§The German warrior loyally followed his nobleman and did not return home without him. The knights loyally followed their lords and emperors. Prussia’s greatest sons were served their king loyally, even when they were better than he. They served not his person, but the crown that he bore. The millions who died in the World War loyally followed their leaders. In loyalty, they lie with them as a ring of dead around Germany. In loyalty, we all follow the Führer and his flag. The hand of each will hold the flag until death, the flag that leads Germany to new life.
§We show loyalty in daily life as well. Once again, a man’s word is dependable. Promises must be kept and will be kept. We do not need a handshake and an oath. Each can depend on our word, because we again have become loyal. §Germany is the land of loyalty. It dwells in its vast forests. It dwells in its knights and soldiers. It dwells again in us. Loyalty is our honor. Who wants to be dishonorable amidst the brave and the heroes?
There is no freedom in Germany to do whatever one wants, and there will be no such freedom, because otherwise Germany would not exist. §Freedom does not mean taking advantage of others, stealing from them, without being punished. Freedom does not mean living as one pleases. Nor does it mean preserving one’s life through cowardice.
§Freedom is choosing to follow the path that duty requires. The others are slaves of themselves. He is the only free man: upright and proud, master of everything that might demean him, the best of the nation, the bearer of the state. He has elevated himself. He does his duty while others take a holiday. But his duty raises him above over his little ego and makes him free.
§Somewhere in the middle of a hot summer, a village’s well dries up. Day and night, someone works hard to dig a new well. No one gave the order. But for him it is a happy duty to find water for women and children and comrades. The other does what he likes. The one is a free man amidst the hard work he has chosen to do. The other is the slave of his desires and passions. He is a rogue who may say in the pub that man is born free and can do whatever he wishes. §He who thinks of himself is a slave and bound; he who thinks of others is master and free.
Knowledge is that which can be measured by reason. Knowledge alone means nothing and is dead. §A wish that you can fulfill is called hope. Hope can easily come to nothing. §But faith can never fail, for faith is strength. Faith springs from your deepest feelings. It is that knowledge for which there is no explanation through reason. In faith the soul sees a part of the world order. It has a sense of that which should be, and sees through its eyes a part of the way that it should and can go. It knows that by going this way it fulfills god’s command and is working toward the great work that is immeasurable, incomprehensible.
§Because faith sees this and can do it, it is more than human strength. It is a part of the enormous power that fills all life and all worlds. With faith, a person walks with the assurance of a sleepwalker. Who can resist him, for he follows the path of the highest will. He will succeed when he believes. No hand raised against him will divert him from his way. The bullet aimed at him will not hit as long has he has not finished his path, as long as he has not turned from it. §Thousands do not understand the believing person because their souls cannot see.
But what do the faithful care about the opinion of others, what do those who can see care about the opinion of the blind, what do those who have become strong care about what the weak think. §The way of faith is the way of everything great. Before our eyes Adolf Hitler went the way fate led him. He was filled with it and believed what no reason of the reasonable could see.
§The path of faith is before each of us. Even if it is not the path of fame and honor, it is still the path of duty and of greatest happiness. To find it means to gain a part of the eternal strength that moves the worlds. §Because faith is strength, it can do what seems impossible. It is the foundation for every deed. No one can do anything without faith. No one can even jump over a ditch if he does not believe he can do it. The highest and most important in a person is not knowledge and understanding, but rather his faith. Each is worth only as much as the faith he has.
§This new Reich began with faith. The first party rally after the seizure of power was called “The Victory of Faith.” It grew and became great through faith. It no longer grew from the faith of one man, but from the faith of us all, and was borne by the strength of all. More than human strength was present. §Woe to those who do not believe. They are not on the side of the strength of creation, but rather annihilation. They are the destroyers of the Reich. §Faith is however stronger than all other powers that can be found in this world.
We do not believe in a blind fate that leads people through their lives. We do not believe that god’s angels protect us in every step that we take and keep us from falling. But we do believe in a godly will that gives meaning to each each life that is born. Not an arbitrary generally meaning, but rather each life has its own particular purpose and meaning. §In the depths of our souls we sense whether we act according to this meaning. One can call this conscience or something else. It is there.
We probably know the right path. We need only ask. A voice within us gives the answer, and speaks of the godly will that shows us the path we should go. §This path is our fate. Each has but one proper path. To follow it makes one happy to the highest degree, even if it is a path that brings only poverty and toil. §Any path that leads away from the meaning and purpose of life is death and sin. And even if the path seems ever so pleasant, you will sin every day of your life. §But you have the freedom to decide which path you want to follow.
No blind fate rules you. You go your own way. §If you follow the law in your own heart, it is the way to your god. It is the way that comes from eternity and goes to eternity; in all the world there is never an end, only transformation. There is no death that is not also a beginning. Everything is part of the enormous plan of the worlds, of which you are a part if you seek your path. Everything is in development. The joy of creation lives in each. for it belongs to the builders at work. There is no heaven of pleasure and blessedness. But work and life alternate in eternal form, whether in the realm of the body or the sphere of the spirit.
§Those who fell for an idea of god — and people and fatherland are such — continue to work for it. They become a part of the soul and the strength of their people., They continue to work and grow. They are in reality in us as our better thoughts. §Thus each creature plays its part, both in body and soul, in the great plan of the worlds. It is god, the eternal wisdom and the exalted sense of that which is beyond comprehension.
When you submit and follow the path, it is also in you. You understand your part and do what you can, and whatever happens to you, you will be happy. You carry god in your own heart. You have overcome death, and if you do die, you live on as a part of the eternal strength that works continually and creates. §Your fate is the path that is shown to you. Your free will decides if you follow it and if you fulfill your task.
Birth and Death
Birth and death are the same; they are the two sides of one door. To enter one room always means leaving another. It depends on which room or which life we are in as to whether we say “entrance” or “exit,” life or death. §For he who understands it, death holds no terrors. But he who did not go his proper way in life and sinned will see his guilt in death.
But there is after death no place of torture, no hell. To see one’s guilt is the severest judgment and at the same time the greatest penalty. Judgment and punishment are within yourself. §Neglected work can only be made up by double effort. It will once more be your choice, either to work toward the world plan, or to be its enemy. That is the only death that there is, to become a force for destruction rather than for creation, and this death is not physical. It is your free choice to decide on which side you belong, on god’s or, to use an old term, “the devil’s.”
§What we call birth and death is only the door between two worlds. There is no birth and no death, only change, and we can go confidently through the door, for all the worlds were created by one hand.
The divine is powerful in its creatures. It dwells not in walls that people build. They may be witnesses of its will, but god is in the living. §Our ancestors went into the forests to find or to honor god. They greeted his light rising in the morning. That was more to them than a lamp in a man’s hand. They stood on mountain tops because his greatest work, the starry sky, was nearest there, not covered by a roof of stone. The great spring flowing from the mountain was more genuine and nearer to god than anything that could flow from a bottle held by a human hand.
§Who dares to say that they were not close to the living god? §Other peoples may seek refuge in the stone walls of their cities or seek their god in caves. The true German senses god with holy fear in the life of creation. He prays to god by honoring his great works. §Who dares to say that God is nearer to us in that which human beings have built? §The faith of our fathers remains strong in us. Still today the German wanders through his countryside and is moved by the beauty of the land god has given him. The summits of his mountains give freedom. He feels eternity amidst the sea. Flowing water is to him the image of eternal change.
§He protects the forest and the tree and the bush as if they were his comrades. He loves the animals that are tortured and tormented in other countries. What to him is part of his household is elsewhere only a possession. §He sees and honors in everything god’s creation, in the holy earth, in the wandering wind, in the flickering flames, in which there is always change. Ever again we stand on the summits of the peaks and wave the torch and feel the magnificent and the ineffable. §Who dares chide us because our eyes are open?
To Do a Thing for its Own Sake
You should never do anything for pay, but rather always because it is worth it for its own sake. Did ever a German soldier go to war for the sake of money? He did it for the Fatherland. He who asks us to be good and pious for money seduces us and draws us away from god. He is the devil’s advocate, even if he promises us heaven.
§God is in the good that we do, but he is not in a heaven that we will enjoy for eternity. §It is German to do something for its own sake. Such was always the first and highest service to god in Germany, and thus it will remain as long as our nation lives and the world is there to warn us.
The world came into being when order first appeared. It will exist as long as there continues to be order. It will reach its culmination when it has reached the highest state of order. §The German has the gift of creating order, living order, whether in the form of factories, armies or states. An order in which each has his place and his task, in which everything flows together smoothly as if it were a single body.
§The ability of Germans to create order is evident also in small things, in precision. It shows itself in the German home, which has no equal in its cleanliness and order. It shows itself in a machine, in an apparatus, that function so precisely that they are unparalleled in the world. It shows itself in the German soldier, whose weapon is spotless, whose boots are not missing a single nail. It shows itself in the SA man or Hitler Youth, whose backpack or locker is perfectly arranged and maintained.
§It always the same German trait. It is not because of the presence of a spot of the absence of a nail, but rather it because of order itself, because one must be brought up to do his task as best as is possible and maintain German accomplishment at the highest level. § Results always depend on small things. A valuable machine is unusable because one part is not quite right. A machine gun on which everything depends fails because a grain of sand got in the barrel. §There must be order for there to be accomplishment, because every accomplishment begins with order. That is true for each individual part of life, and for the whole of it as well.
There should be nothing false in you! The Jew is dishonest. He is born that way and is ever full of deceit. You are born to be honest and to remain honest. Your face does not lie, your words are true, your actions are clear and can stand before all.
§You will say no word about a comrade that you cannot say to his face. If you do so, you destroy the community and injure your honor and that of the other. You become dishonest. §You would not think of stealing ten pfennig from a comrade. How trivial that is when compared to stealing honor from someone who does not realize it, who is unable to defend himself. Compared to that, the thief one puts in prison has committed but a small offense. Possessions are of less value than honor.
A thief has more honor than a slanderer. The first demand of honor is that one holds the honor of others as their highest possession. The next demand of honor is that one respects the property of others, which they have earned by hard word and industry. §It must again become such in Germany that one can leave one’s doors unlocked at night. It must again be such that every lost piece of property is returned and that one can trust unknown citizens with one’s money and possessions.
§We want once again to have the honor of a farmer. It should be as it still is in the north, where one can leave one’s house and land without locking the door, because there is no dishonesty. §An end must be made of all dishonest behavior. It should be wrung out of us. There should be a new generation in Germany, honest in word and deed, because honor is to it more necessary than life itself. And woe to him who sins against it.
In the National Socialist state, there is no longer property with which the individual can do with whatever he wishes. There is no unlimited right of property, only a right that has been earned to administer it for the good of the whole. §Property is a loan. One may certainly use it, but only to advance the interests of the whole. §A farmer has a field. It belongs to him. And it should belong to him, for his ancestor tilled it, his fathers toiled on it. It belongs to him as long as he tills it so that food for other citizens grows on it.
But the field must be taken from him if he leaves it fallow because he is too lazy or unambitious to till it. §A house! Why shouldn’t a German have a house, a home for his children. The apartment in the city has taken a piece of the fatherland from the German. His own house and garden give him again a piece of Germany, and he has a right to that.
§ But it is not an unearned gift. Property must be earned by the work of the hand or the mind. The ambitious and hard-working settler in newly-won land will plow more land for himself and his children than others. Is that a failing on his part? He grows grain not only for himself, but also for others. What he grows is his property. §But he who through treachery and deceit gains possession of that which the mind and hands of others have created is a thief and a deceiver.
He is like the swindler and the Jew who, without creating anything themselves, live greedily from that which they steal from others using corrupted justice. To eliminate them in Germany is our highest law. Once Germany’s forests were freed of wolves. In the same way, Germany must be freed of those who are worse and craftier than wolves.
Law and Justice
It is better that the individual suffers under the law than that there be no law. §Law defeats arbitrariness, for all are the same to it. Humanity is not permitted to exercise supreme justice. But the law gives the individual judge the measure of justice and punishment. Justice no longer rests on what the individual thinks, but rather the law must be anchored in the sentiments of the whole people.
That is the case when a people has its own law, not that of another people. §The state is founded on justice. Injustice destroys it. A state without justice is the playground of freebooters and highwaymen. The farmer, the worker and the citizen need law to protect their labors. Law protects honor, life, marriage, possessions, all those things that we want and must have as the foundations of our state. The judge, fully independent, projects justice. The policeman is not the representative of some arbitrary order, but rather of that which a people finds good and right.
§No sacrifice is too great in the cause of justice. “It is better that my son die than justice perish in the world,” a great Prussian king once said. §We want justice once more to rule in Germany, that great, unwritten justice that came to us with our blood. It should be the law in Germany that all obey this justice. §Justice is not that which serves the individual, but rather that which serves the people. That is the supreme law of National Socialism, to which all must bow.
Building a Life
Life begins in youth. It reaches its high point in the man and the woman. It sinks like the sun into old age. §One must see life as a whole, as a natural process, which is perfected in each moment. There is nothing wrong in youth or age. Youth is youth and old age is old age, neither good nor bad, but rather only natural. §Youth is hope, maturity becoming.
Youth means the possibility of a proper life and great deeds. If one sees in youth the signs of a coming bad and useless life, that is the worse reproach, for the greatest gift is being wasted. §Youth does not have the goal of remaining young, but of becoming man or woman. In a man is found courage and strength, seriousness and experience. Life follows its course to great deeds. For the man as well as the woman. §After the great battle is fought and the heavy work done, people have formed themselves inwardly and outwardly.
Body and soul have shown what they are, where they belong, whether to the strength that builds or to that which destroys. The softening of age comes. The impatience of youth, the strength of the man, fade. A wide vision comes, the clear knowledge of the what is valuable and useless in this world. §After a person has fought a good fight, his last expression is the best, because it reveals the greatness of his life. It reveals all, need and toil, struggle and joy, and a reflection of the world to come. We sense that when we see the death mask of Frederick the Great. Is there a face that speaks more eloquently to us? §He who has fought such a fight earns honor in old age.
Failing to respect the aged is a failure to respect life itself. §“I spent myself in the service of the Fatherland,” Bismarck said. Who should not honor those who have grown old and worn in such a cause. Or do we want to honor those who say: “I have avoided service to the fatherland?” §Each stage of life is good: youth full of hope, maturity in the fullness of strength, the old filled with honor. Nothing deserves honor more than that which is greater than we are!