Erich Emminger Election Poster

timer Asked: Feb 25th, 2019
account_balance_wallet $30

Question Description

Election poster: In Support of whoever best moves your agenda forward

using the material that from pdf to make a simple election poster

the requirement is in the page 9 of RTTP paper.doc

Bavarian People’s Party (BVP) Documents [EDITOR’S NOTE: The document deals with the party’s paramilitary, stressing its identity grounded in Bavaria (rather than Germany), farmers and small towns (rather than cities such as Berlin), conservative Catholic values (rather than secularism), and conservativism (rather than Marxism).] SOURCE: "Was ist der Bayerische Heimatschutz und was will er?" In Rudolf Kanzler, Bayerns Kampf gegen den Bolschewismus: Geschichte der bayerischen Einwohnerwehren, Anlage 21. München: Verlag Parcus & Co, 1931. What the Bavarian Home Guard is and what it wants is already stated in its name. It brings together upright men from the agrarian, patriotic Bavarian population and wants to protect its Bavarian homeland. And now you may ask: Do we need such a movement, do we need such a non-partisan unification of Bavarian men? Can’t we leave this to our Bavarian state government and to the Bavarian parties in the state parliament and Reichstag? And to this I say: Of course we trust that our present state government will do everything possible to protect our homeland and to preserve the agrarian population. Each of us also trusts that his party will do everything in parliament that it can to achieve this goal. But they need the Bavarian people, they need us behind them. Things have changed in the past decade. Berlin wants to pull everything to itself. The Reichstag wants to make all decisions. The majority believe that it can despise and ignore the minority. We in Bavaria are only a part of the German Fatherland, but we want to be respected and heard in the German Fatherland. Berlin has to understand that behind the Bavarian state government stands not just some officials and politicians but also the determined will of the Bavarian people. All guarantees of loyalty and all wellspoken speeches have not helped to date. Berlin has to see the solid iron will of the Bavarian people to determine for itself the fate of the Bavarian state – its state. Therefore Bavarian men must stand together, united, not divided by party and not divided by estate. And we also look to the future. We are convinced that national polices, heavily influenced by socialists, have followed false paths that will lead to a crisis. Germany, robbed and plundered by the victor states, has become the object of exploitation of socialist party politics; they engage in a struggle against the idea of homeland, not only through the evisceration and starvation of our state but also through a political and social policy that mostly privileges a single class, through an economic policy that directly threatens the agrarian population’s economic basis, and through a cultural policy that opens the door for cultural Bolshevism. These unhealthy policies lead to crises in our economic and political life that the socialistled national parliament does not reject. Our task is to be ready and prepared. If at some time of crisis the Bavarian homeland must be saved and if it should preserve not only itself but also the German Fatherland from great evil, then the Bavarian people must be armed with its valiant men. Then an army of honorable men, true to their homeland, true to the soil, must be ready to overcome the chaos of the cities and impose the voice of the country. For this hour of danger we want to now gather Bavarian men! Bavarian People’s Party (BVP) Documents In the hour of danger the white and blue banner should flay above us and preserve Bavaria, as a state, and Germany as a nation!
NSDAP Documents [EDITOR’S NOTE: Mein Kampf is an autobiographical manifesto by Adolf Hitler, written while imprisoned following the failed Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923. In the manifesto, which includes two volumes and fifteen chapters, Hitler outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. These extracts deal specifically with the “Jewish Question.” This excerpt reveals the central role that antisemitism played in Hitler’s thinking; notice he consistently links his anti-semitism to every other issue from politics to economics to culture.] “Fighting Jews as Defending God” [p.60] The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight. Thus it denies the value of personality in man, contests the significance of nationality and race, and thereby withdraws from humanity the premise of its existence and its culture. As a foundation of the universe, this doctrine would bring about the end of any order intellectually conceivable to man. And as, in this greatest of all recognizable organisms, the result of an application of such a law could only be chaos, on earth it could only be destruction for the inhabitants of this planet. If, with the help of his Marxist creed, the Jew is victorious over the other peoples of the world, his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity and this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men. Eternal Nature inexorably avenges the infringement of her commands. Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord “On the Weapons of the Jews” [pp. 293-296] His unfailing instinct in such things scents the original soul in everyone, and his hostility is assured to anyone who is not spirit of his spirit. Since the Jew is not the attacked but the attacker, not only anyone who attacks passes as his enemy, but also anyone who resists him. But the means with which he seeks to break such reckless but upright souls is not honest warfare, but lies and slander. Here he stops at nothing, and in his vileness he becomes so gigantic that no one need be surprised if among our people the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew. The ignorance of the broad masses about the inner nature of the Jew, the lack of instinct and narrowmindedness of our upper classes, make the people an easy victim for this Jewish campaign of lies. While from innate cowardice the upper classes turn away from a man whom the Jew attacks with lies and slander, the broad masses from stupidity or simplicity believe everything. The state authorities either cloak themselves in silence or, what usually happens, in order to put an end to the Jewish press campaign, they persecute the unjustly attacked, which, in the eyes of such an official ass, passes as the preservation of state authority and the safeguarding of law and order. NSDAP Documents Slowly fear and the Marxist weapon of Jewry descend like a nightmare on the mind and soul of decent people. They begin to tremble before the terrible enemy and thus have become his final victim. The Jew’s domination in the state seems so assured that now not only can he call himself a Jew again, but he ruthlessly admits his ultimate national and political designs. A section of his race openly owns itself to be a foreign people, yet even here they lie. For while the Zionists try to make the rest of the world believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim. It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organization for their international world swindle, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks. It is a sign of their rising confidence and sense of security that at a time when one section is still playing the German, Frenchman, or Englishman, the other with open effrontery comes out as the Jewish race. How close they see approaching victory can be seen by the hideous aspect which their relations with the members of other peoples takes on. With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people. With every means he tries to destroy the racial foundations of the people he has set out to subjugate. Just as he himself systematically ruins women and girls, he does not shrink back from pulling down the blood barriers for others, even on a large scale. It was and it is Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height, and himself rising to be its master. For a racially pure people which is conscious of its blood can never be enslaved by the Jew. In this world he will forever be master over bastards and bastards alone. And so he tries systematically to lower the racial level by a continuous poisoning of individuals. And in politics he begins to replace the idea of democracy by the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the organized mass of Marxism he has found the weapon which lets him dispense with democracy and in its stead allows him to subjugate and govern the peoples with a dictatorial and brutal fist. He works systematically for revolutionization in a twofold sense: economic and political. Around peoples who offer too violent a resistance to attack from within he weaves a net of enemies, thanks to his international influence, incites them to war, and finally, if necessary, plants a flag of revolution on the very battlefields. In economics he undermines the states until the social enterprises which have become unprofitable are taken from the state and subjected to his financial control. In the political field he refuses the state the means for its self-preservation, destroys the foundations of all national self-maintenance and defense, destroys faith in the leadership, scoffs at its history and past, and drags everything that is truly great into the gutter. NSDAP Documents Culturally, he contaminates art, literature, the theater, makes a mockery of natural feeling, overthrows all concepts of beauty and sublimity, of the noble and the good, and instead drags men down into the sphere of his own base nature. Religion is ridiculed, ethics and morality represented as outmoded, until the last props of a nation in its struggle for existence in this world have fallen. Now begins the great last revolution. In gaining political power the Jew casts off the few cloaks that he still wears. The democratic people’s Jew becomes the blood-Jew and tyrant over peoples. In a few years he tries to exterminate the national intelligentsia and by robbing the peoples of their natural intellectual leadership makes them ripe for the slave’s lot of permanent subjugation. The most frightful example of this kind is offered by Russia, where he killed or starved about thirty million people with positively fanatical savagery, in part amid inhuman tortures, in order to give a gang of Jewish journalists and stock exchange bandits domination over a great people. The end is not only the end of the freedom of the peoples oppressed by the Jew, but also the end of this parasite upon the nations. After the death of his victim, the vampire sooner or later dies too. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Goebbles wrote this open letter after a confrontation at a NSDAP rally that members of the KPD had disrupted. He explores the similarities and differences between the KPD and NSDAP with an eye towards finding common ground. The document thus represents the left-wing of the NSDAP, led by Gregor Strasser, that emphasized a socialist economic agenda and thus sought common ground with Marxist workers – a position that Goebbels has since increasingly moved away from.] SOURCE: Joseph Goebbles, “Nationalsozialismus oder Bolschewismus?” NS-Briefe. 25 October 1925. My dear friend from the Left, Not as captatio benevolentiae, but straight out and without reservations, I confess I liked you, you are a fine fellow! Yesterday evening I could have gone on debating with you for hours before the thousand of our flock who were listening because I had the feeling that the central question of our likenesses and our differences was here being raised in the forum of the German workers, whom it in the last analysis concerns. And out of the same feeling I am writing you these lines. You have clearly realized what it’s all about. We agreed about the causes. No honest-thinking person today would want to deny the justification of the workers’ movements. The important thing is the performance and the formulation of the final goal of these movements. Grown out of need and misery, they stand before us today as living witnesses to our disunity and impotence, to our lack of national courage and will for the future. We no longer need to discuss whether the demand of the German employee for social compensation is justified, just as we don’t need to discuss whether or not the disenfranchised fourth estate may or must live. National or international in path and goal, that is the issue. We are both fighting honestly and resolutely for freedom and only for freedom; we want as final fulfillment peace and community, you that of the world, I that of the people. That this fulfillment cannot be attained in this system is entirely clear and evident to both of us. To talk of calm today is to make the cemetery one’s home; to be peaceful under this NSDAP Documents government is to be pacifist and cowardly. You and I, we both know that a government, a system that is inwardly thoroughly mendacious, is meant to be overthrown; that therefore one must sacrifice and fight for the new state. Yesterday we both could have written the same thing in this respect in the album of the bourgeois coward of black-red-gold Social Democracy. So far we would have agreed. I do not have to emphasize for you that for me people and nation means something different than they do for the talkative gentleman with the belly and the golden watch chain stretched across it, who unctuously recapitulates the diluted phrases of [Gustav] Stresemann and [Oskar] Hergt like a phonograph. People, that is, we, you and I, the thousand who yesterday sat attentively before us, the millions who are of the same spirit and the same blood as we. Nation is the organic union of these millions in a community of need, bread, and fate. A longing for the nation is alive in the people. To form the nation as a community of need, bread, and fate is our first goal. The second goal follows from this first one necessarily and as if of its own accord: the freedom of the nation. For this freedom the people will have to fight, and will be impelled to fight when they have become a nation. That is our way. Nothing new, nothing shocking for those in the know, an ancient, historical, causal chain. The history of peoples is nothing other than a single consequence of the will to build the nation and of the energetic movement of nations toward freedom. Never has a people been redeemed by another people, whether out of goodness, love, or philanthropy; it achieved redemption always by its own will for freedom alone, which found help from the neighboring people only if the will for power and existence shared the same direction. You praise Russia as the country of international solidarity and admit yourself that today Russia is more Russian than ever. What you call the Bolshevik internationalism of Moscow is pan-Slavism in its clearest and most pronounced form. I wouldn’t think of singing along with the choir of middle-class liars and ignoramuses. Russia, Russian bolshevism, are not about to collapse. But the Russian soviet system does not endure because it is Bolshevik, because it is Marxist, because it is international, but because it is national, because it is Russian. No tsar ever grasped the Russian people in its depths, in its passion, in its national instincts as Lenin has. He gave the Russian peasant what bolshevism always meant to the peasant: freedom and property. In this way he made the most indigenous group, the peasants, into the real supporters of the new system. The more the Russian peasant hates the Jew, especially the Soviet Jew, the more passionately is he a follower of agrarian reform, the more ardently does he love his country, his land, and his soil. “Down with the Jewish Soviets, long live the Leninist agrarian reform!” This slogan characterizes most strikingly the attitude of the Russian peasant toward the new system in Russia. The German Communist sees bolshevism just as the capitalist Jew of the West would wish: ideological, theoretical, with an infernal hatred for the enemies of his idea; impractical, without understanding of true reality, even as idea without regard for the possibility of its practical completion. Not for nothing is he a child of the people of poets and thinkers. He sees in Russia the seed of the Marxist world state, while in reality it is only the seed of a new national organization of the states of Europe. To recapitulate: Lenin sacrificed Marx and instead gave Russia freedom. You want to sacrifice German freedom for Marx. Even the Bolshevik Jew has clearly recognized the compelling necessity of the Russian national state and has early and wisely adjusted himself to it. Whether for tactical reasons, whether with ulterior motives, who knows? Probably! In any case, today he has to sing with the rest of the chorus. And that spoils the harmony for the capitalist Jews in the West. Therefore the brooding hatred of the West for Soviet Russia. NSDAP Documents The stock exchange cannot and will not tolerate a national state, and the Bolshevik-international Jew is not enough security against a national-Bolshevik Russia. Yesterday you beat about the bush on the Jewish question. I know why. Please don’t object. We don’t want to deceive each other. You are an anti-Semite as I am. You don’t yet want to admit this to yourself. The Jew can at best exist in communism. The Jew in a national-Bolshevik state is an absurdity. He himself knows that best. But he is tactically clever. With refined calculation he adjusts to the forces that are stronger than he is. He adjusts to the national instincts of a people, which he sees and takes into account earlier than we do, because he is not bound to them in his heart but at best observes them as an interested spectator. The Jewish question in bolshevism too is more complicated than one might think. It will probably not be that the capitalist and the Bolshevik Jew are one and the same. Perhaps in the final effect but never in present practice. Perhaps they both want the same in the end: You shall devour all peoples! But they are too intelligent to offer resistance at the wrong places to those forces that are stronger than their merchant instincts. Once such force is the national will for creation, which in Russia today is more awake than ever. For the German burgher bolshevism begins with the demand for personal sacrifice. To him everything, everything is bolshevism that in any way lays a hand on his wallet. For him the only thing that is politically right and true, that is, not Bolshevik, is the guarantee of his possessions and his complacent, philistine peace. I see you smile: yes, there we can scold him together. That is common, base, disgusting, and in the true sense of the word nationally irresponsible. You and I don’t give a hoot for national phrases beyond which there is no will for sacrifice. Bolshevism only begins with the preparation of international mush. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the size of the sacrifice demanded of the possessors. We can and must demand everything, everything, if the freedom of the nation requires it. What you said yesterday about international fraternization, my friend, that is nonsense, and you certainly know that as well as I do. Do you really believe that the Russian people want solidarity? Has it never occurred to you that Russia stands on the side of the German proletariat because it sees in it the first and most important factor in the stabilization of its national existence? There is not a single ruble working in German communism on which the word Russia is not written as a program. Never has an oppressed class freed itself by international protests, but always by the national will for the future. The French bourgeois at the end of the eighteenth century did not wait for the solidarity of the German and English bourgeoisie. He shook off his chains alone, with his own strength, at the moment when they became unbearable for him. The powers of the old system tried to break his spirit, but he defended himself and victoriously carried his idea, liberalism, throughout the entire world. The same today. The German worker will be free only if he frees himself, with his own strength and he will do that when he can no longer bear the chains of slavery. You rave about the International without having understood it in its deepest meaning. The more corrupt a system, the more international its relations. Your and our most bitter enemy, democracy, money, is international. It tries to swindle the fighters for freedom with this International, because it knows that it will then be eternally invincible. The path to freedom leads through the nation. The more united this nation, the stronger and more fervent the will for freedom. To set in motion this passionate will for freedom in the nation, that is the task of National Socialism. We want freedom, as you do, but with other means, with means that lead to the goal. International solidarity is your program; the solidarity of the nation, the community of the people is ours. NSDAP Documents I noticed one thing yesterday with joy: You now believe me that our community of the people is not the pacifistic mush that Mr. [Wilhelm] Marx and Mr. Stresemann mean. The community of the people today is nothing but the struggle for the rights of the people for the sake of the nation. We want this struggle because it alone can bring freedom. There must be fighting for the future. You and I, we fight each other without really being enemies. In this way we splinter our forces, and we never reach our goal. Perhaps the most extreme need will bring us together. Perhaps! Do not shake your head! This question is a matter of Germany’s future, and more, of Europe’s future. The new state or the decline of the West, both lie in our hands. We young men, you and I, we are the bearers of the fate of generations. Let us never forget that! I greet you! [EDITOR’S NOTE: Goebbels presents the basic demands of the NSDAP coming into the 1928 elections. How does he link the international context with domestic policies? How does he portray the idealism of his party to his rivals? What social constituency does he appear to be calling on as the future of Germany?] SOURCE: Joseph Goebbles, “Wir fordern," Der Angriff, Aufsätze aus der Kampfzeit (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1935 [1927]): 18-19 The German people is an enslaved people. Under international law, it is lower than the worst Negro colony in the Congo. One has taken all sovereign rights from us. We are just good enough that international capital allows us to fill its money sacks with interest payments. That and only that is the result of a centuries-long history of heroism. Have we deserved it? No, and no again! Therefore we demand that a struggle against this condition of shame and misery begin, and that the men in whose hands we put our fate must use every means to break the chains of slavery. Three million people lack work and sustenance. The officials, it is true, work to conceal the misery. They speak of measures and silver linings. Things are getting steadily better for them, and steadily worse for us. The illusion of freedom, peace and prosperity that we were promised when we wanted to take our fate in our own hands is vanishing. Only complete collapse of our people can follow from these irresponsible policies. Thus we demand the right of work and a decent living for every working German. While the front soldier was fighting in the trenches to defend his fatherland, some Eastern Jewish profiteer robbed him of hearth and home. The Jew lives in the palaces and the proletarian, the front soldier, lives in holes that do not deserve to be called "homes." That is neither necessary nor unavoidable, but rather an injustice that cries out to the heavens. A government that stands by and does nothing is useless and must vanish, the sooner the better. NSDAP Documents Therefore we demand homes for German soldiers and workers. If there is not enough money to build them, drive the foreigners out so that Germans can live on German soil. Our people is growing, others diminishing. It will mean the end of our history if a cowardly and lazy policy takes from us the posterity that will one day be called to fulfill our historical mission. Therefore we demand land on which to grow the grain that will feed our children. While we dreamed and chased strange and unreachable fantasies, others stole our property. Today some say this was an act of God. Not so. Money was transferred from the pockets of the poor to the pockets of the rich. That is cheating, shameless, vile cheating! A government presides over this misery that in the interests of peace and order one cannot really discuss. We leave it to others to judge whether it represents Germany's interests or those of our capitalist tormenters. We however demand a government of national labor, statesmen who are men and whose aim is the creation of a German state. These days anyone has the right to speak in Germany — the Jew, the Frenchman, the Englishman, the League of Nations, the conscience of the world, and the Devil knows who else. Everyone but the German worker. He has to shut up and work. Every four years he elects a new set of torturers, and everything stays the same. That is unjust and treasonous. We need tolerate it no longer. We have the right to demand that only Germans who build this state may speak, those whose fate is bound to the fate of their fatherland. Therefore we demand the destruction of the system of exploitation! Up with the German worker's state! Germany for the Germans! [EDITOR’S NOTE: Joseph Goebbels, NSDAP propagandist, presented a critique of the Reichstag and Republic as fundamentally corrupt institutions that could only serve as a battleground for his party to secure state power.] We are an anti-parliamentarian party that for good reasons rejects the Weimar constitution and its republican institutions. We oppose a fake democracy that treats the intelligent and the foolish, the industrious and the lazy, in the same way. We see in the present system of majorities and organized irresponsibility the main cause of our steadily increasing miseries. So why do we want to be in the Reichstag? We enter the Reichstag to arm ourselves with democracy’s weapons. If democracy is foolish enough to give us free railway passes and salaries, that is its problem. It does not concern us. Any way of bringing about the revolution is fine by us. Will we be corrupted by joining parliament? Not likely. Do you believe that once we march into the meeting of the illustrious parliamentarians we will propose a toast to Philipp Scheidemann? Do you think NSDAP Documents us such miserable revolutionaries that you fear that the thick red carpets and the well upholstered sleeping halls will make us forget our historical mission? Mussolini entered parliament. Shortly afterward, he marched on Rome with his Black Shirts. The communists also sit in the Reichstag. No one is naive enough to believe that they want to work seriously and positively. If we only wanted to become representatives, we would not be National Socialists, rather I suppose German National Party members or Social Democrats. They have the most seats at their disposal and one does not need to risk one’s life to compete with their leading lights. We do not have the stomach for that. We do not beg for votes. We demand conviction, devotion, passion! A vote is only a tool for us as well as for you. We will march into the marble halls of parliament, bringing with us the revolutionary will of the broad masses from which we came, called by fate and forming fate. We do not want to join this pile of manure. We are coming to shovel it out. Do not believe that parliament is our goal. We have shown the enemy our nature from the podiums of our mass meetings and in the enormous demonstrations of our brown army. We will show it as well in the leaden atmosphere of parliament. We are coming neither as friends or neutrals. We come as enemies! As the wolf attacks the sheep, so come we. You are not among your friends any longer! You will not enjoy having us among you! 1 [EDITORS NOTE: This widely distributed Nazi pamphlet first appeared in 1929. It summarizes the basic lines of Nazi propaganda in 1929 and was meant to be much more accessible than Federer’s attempt at fascist theory.] SOURCE: Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932). Why Are We Nationalists? We are nationalists because we see the nation as the only way to bring all the forces of the nation together to preserve and improve our existence and the conditions under which we live. 1 Joseph Goebbels, “Why Do We Want to Join the Reichstag?” Der Angriff, 30 April 1928. NSDAP Documents The nation is the organic union of a people to protect its life. To be national is to affirm this union in word and deed. To be national has nothing to do with a form of government or a symbol. It is an affirmation of things, not forms. Forms can change, their content remains. If form and content agree, then the nationalist affirms both. If they conflict, the nationalist fights for the content and against the form. One may not put the symbol above the content. If that happens, the battle is on the wrong field and one’s strength is lost in formalism. The real aim of nationalism, the nation, is lost. That is how things are today in Germany. Nationalism has turned into bourgeois patriotism and its defenders are battling windmills. One says Germany and means the monarchy. Another proclaims freedom and means Black-White-Red [the colors of the German flag]. Would our situation today be any different if we replaced the republic with a monarchy and flew the black-white-red flag? The colony would have different wallpaper, but its nature, its content, would stay the same. Indeed, things would be even worse, for a facade that conceals the facts dissipates the forces today fighting against slavery. Bourgeois patriotism is the privilege of a class. It is the real reason for its decline. When 30 million are for something and 30 million are against it, things balance out and nothing happens. That is how things are with us. We are the world’s Pariah not because we do not have the courage to resist, but rather because out entire national energy is wasted in eternal and unproductive squabbling between the right and the left. Our way only goes downward, and today one can already predict when we will fall into the abyss. Nationalism is more wide-reaching than internationalism. It sees things as they are. Only he who respects himself can respect others. If as a German nationalist I affirm Germany, how can I hold it against a French nationalist who affirms France? Only when these affirmations conflict in vital ways will there be a power-political struggle. Internationalism cannot undo this reality. Its attempts at proof fail completely. And even when the facts seem to have some validity, nature, blood, the will to life, and the struggle for existence on this hard earth prove the falsity of fine theories. The sin of bourgeois patriotism was to confound a certain economic form with the national. It connected two things that are entirely different. Forms of the economy, however firm they may seem, are changeable. The national is eternal. If I mix the eternal and the temporal, the eternal will necessarily collapse when the temporal collapses. This was the real cause for the collapse of liberal society. It was rooted not in the eternal, but in the temporal, and when the temporal declined it took the eternal down with it. Today it is only an excuse for a system that brings growing economic misery. That is the only reason why international Jewry organizes the battle of the proletarian forces against both powers, the economy and the nation, and defeat them. From this understanding, the young nationalism draws its absolute demand. The faith in the nation is a matter for everyone, never a group, a class or an economic clique. The eternal must be distinguished from the temporal. Maintaining a rotten economic system has nothing to do with nationalism, which is an affirmation of the Fatherland. I can love Germany and hate capitalism. Not only can I, I must. Only the annihilation of a system of exploitation carries with it the core of the rebirth of our people. We are nationalists because as Germans, we love Germany. Because we love Germany, we want to preserve it and fight against those who would destroy it. If a Communist shouts “Down with nationalism!”, he means the hypocritical bourgeois patriotism that sees the economy only as a system of slavery. If we make clear to the man of the left that nationalism and capitalism, that is the affirmation of NSDAP Documents the Fatherland and the misuse of its resources, have nothing to do with each other, indeed that they go together like fire and water, then even as a socialist he will come to affirm the nation, which he will want to conquer. That is our real task as National Socialists. We were the first to recognize the connections, and the first to begin the struggle. Because we are socialists we have felt the deepest blessings of the nation, and because we are nationalists we want to promote socialist justice in a new Germany. A young fatherland will rise when the socialist front is firm. Socialism will become reality when the Fatherland is free. Why Are We Socialists? We are socialists because we see in socialism, that is the union of all citizens, the only chance to maintain our racial inheritance and to regain our political freedom and renew our German state. Socialism is the doctrine of liberation for the working class. It promotes the rise of the fourth class and its incorporation in the political organism of our Fatherland, and is inextricably bound to breaking the present slavery and regaining German freedom. Socialism, therefore, is not merely a matter of the oppressed class, but a matter for everyone, for freeing the German people from slavery is the goal of contemporary policy. Socialism gains its true form only through a total fighting brotherhood with the forward-striving energies of a newly awakened nationalism. Without nationalism it is nothing, a phantom, a mere theory, a castle in the sky, a book. With it it is everything, the future, freedom, the fatherland! The sin of liberal thinking was to overlook socialism’s nation-building strengths, thereby allowing its energies to go in anti-national directions. The sin of Marxism was to degrade socialism into a question of wages and the stomach, putting it in conflict with the state and its national existence. An understanding of both these facts leads us to a new sense of socialism, which sees its nature as nationalistic, state-building, liberating and constructive. The bourgeois is about to leave the historical stage. In its place will come the class of productive workers, the working class, that has been up until today oppressed. It is beginning to fulfill its political mission. It is involved in a hard and bitter struggle for political power as it seeks to become part of the national organism. The battle began in the economic realm; it will finish in the political. It is not merely a matter of wages, not only a matter of the number of hours worked in a day — though we may never forget that these are an essential, perhaps even the most significant part of the socialist platform — but it is much more a matter of incorporating a powerful and responsible class in the state, perhaps even to make it the dominant force in the future politics of the fatherland. The bourgeoisiedoes not want to recognize the strength of the working class. Marxism has forced it into a straitjacket that will ruin it. While the working class gradually disintegrates in the Marxist front, bleeding itself dry, the bourgeoisie and Marxism have agreed on the general lines of capitalism, and see their task now to protect and defend it in various ways, often concealed. We are socialists because we see the social question as a matter of necessity and justice for the very existence of a state for our people, not a question of cheap pity or insulting sentimentality. The worker has a claim to a living standard that corresponds to what he produces. We have no intention of begging for that right. Incorporating him in the state organism is not only a critical matter for him, but for the whole nation. The question is larger than the eight-hour day. It is a matter of forming a new NSDAP Documents state consciousness that includes every productive citizen. Since the political powers of the day are neither willing nor able to create such a situation, socialism must be fought for. It is a fighting sloganboth inwardly and outwardly. It is aimed domestically at the bourgeois parties and Marxism at the same time, because both are sworn enemies of the coming workers’ state. It is directed abroad at all powers that threaten our national existence and thereby the possibility of the coming socialist national state. Socialism is possible only in a state that is united domestically and free internationally. The bourgeoisie and Marxism are responsible for failing to reach both goals, domestic unity and international freedom. No matter how national and social these two forces present themselves, they are the sworn enemies of a socialist national state. We must therefore break both groups politically. The lines of German socialism are sharp, and our path is clear. We are against the political bourgeoisie, and for genuine nationalism! We are against Marxism, but for true socialism! We are for the first German national state of a socialist nature! We are for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party! Why a Workers’ Party? Work is not mankind’s curse, but his blessing. A man becomes a man through labor. It elevates him, makes him great and aware, raises him above all other creatures. It is in the deepest sense creative, productive, and culture-producing. Without labor, no food. Without food, no life. The idea that the dirtier one’s hands get, the more degrading the work, is a Jewish, not a German, idea. As in every other area, the German first asks how, then what. It is less a question of the position I fill, and more a question of how well I do the duty that God has given me. We call ourselves a workers’ party because we want to rescue the word work from its current definition and give it back its original meaning. Anyone who creates value is a creator, that is, a worker. We refuse to distinguish kinds of work. Our only standard is whether the work serves the whole, or at least does not harm it, or if it is harmful. Work is service. If it works against the general welfare, then it is treason against the fatherland. Marxist nonsense claimed to free labor, yet it degraded the work of its members and saw it as a curse and disgrace. It can hardly be our goal to abolish labor, but rather to give new meaning and content. The worker in a capitalist state — and that is his deepest misfortune — is no longer a living human being, a creator, a maker. He has become a machine. A number, a cog in the machine without sense or understanding. He is alienated from what he produces. Labor is for him only a way to survive, not a path to higher blessings, not a joy, not something in which to take pride, or satisfaction, or encouragement, or a way to build character. We are a workers’ party because we see in the coming battle between finance and labor the beginning and the end of the structure of the twentieth century. We are on the side of labor and against NSDAP Documents finance. Money is the measuring rod of liberalism, work and accomplishment that of the socialist state. The liberal asks: What are you? The socialist asks: Who are you? Worlds lie between. We do not want to make everyone the same. Nor do we want levels in the population, high and low, above and below. The aristocracy of the coming state will be determined not by possessions or money, but only on the quality of one’s accomplishments. One earns merit through service. Men are distinguished by the results of their labor. That is the sure sign of the character and value of a person. The value of labor under socialism will be determined by its value to the state, to the whole community. Labor means creating value, not haggling over things. The soldier is a worker when he bears the sword to protect the national economy. The statesman also is a worker when he gives the nation a form and a will that help it to produce what it needs for life and freedom. A furrowed brow is as much a sign of labor as a powerful fist. A white collar worker should not be ashamed to claim with pride that of which the manual laborer boasts: labor. The relations between these two groups determine their mutual fate. Neither can survive without the other, for both are members of an organism that they must together maintain if they are to defend and expand their right to exist. We call ourselves a workers’ party because we want to free labor from the chains of capitalism and Marxism. In battling for Germany’s future, we freely admit to it, and accept the odium from the liberal bourgeoisie that results. We know that we will succeed in bringing new blessings out of their curses. God gave the nations territory to grow grain. The seed becomes grain and the grain becomes bread. The middleman of it all is labor. He who despises labor but accepts its benefits is a hypocrite. That is the deepest meaning of our movement: it gives things back their original significance, unconcerned that today they may be in danger of sinking into the swamp of a collapsing worldview. He who creates value works, and is a worker. A movement that wants to free labor is a workers’ party. Therefore we National Socialists call ourselves a worker’s party. When our victorious flags fly before us, we sing: “We are the army of the swastika, Raise high the red flags! We want to clear the way to freedom For German Labor!” Why Do We Oppose the Jews? We oppose the Jews because we are defending the freedom of the German people. The Jew is the cause and beneficiary of our slavery He has misused the social misery of the broad masses to deepen the dreadful split between the right and left of our people, to divide Germany into two halves thereby concealing the true reason for the loss of the Great War and falsifying the nature of the revolution. The Jew has no interest in solving the German question. He cannot have such an interest. He depends on it remaining unsolved. If the German people formed a united community and won back its freedom, NSDAP Documents there would be no place any longer for the Jew. His hand is strongest when a people lives in domestic and international slavery, not when it is free, industrious, self-aware and determined. The Jew caused our problems, and lives from them. That is why we oppose the Jew as nationalists and as socialists. He has ruined our race, corrupted our morals, hollowed out our customs and broken our strength. We owe it to him that we today are the Pariah of the world. He was the leper among as long as we were German. When we forgot our German nature, he triumphed over us and our future. The Jew is the plastic demon of decomposition. Where he finds filth and decay, he surfaces and begins his butcher’s work among the nations. He hides behind a mask and presents himself as a friend to his victims, and before they know it he has broken their neck. The Jew is uncreative. He produces nothing, he only haggles with products. With rags, clothing, pictures, jewels, grain, stocks, cures, peoples and states. He has somehow stolen everything he deals in. When he attacks a state he is a revolutionary. As soon as he holds power, he preaches peace and order so that he can devour his conquests in comfort. What does anti-Semitism have to do with socialism? I would put the question this way: What does the Jew have to do with socialism? Socialism has to do with labor. When did one ever see him working instead of plundering, stealing and living from the sweat of others? As socialists we are opponents of the Jews because we see in the Hebrews the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation’s goods. What does anti-Semitism have to do with nationalism? I would put the question this way: What does the Jew have to do with nationalism? Nationalism has to do with blood and race. The Jew is the enemy and destroyer of the purity of blood, the conscious destroyer of our race. As nationalists we oppose the Jews because we see the Hebrews as the eternal enemy of our national honor and of our national freedom. But the Jew, after all, is also a human being. Certainly, none of us doubts that. We only doubt that he is a decent human being. He does not get along with us. He lives by other laws than we do. The fact that he is a human being is not sufficient reason for us to allow him to subject us in inhumane ways. He may be a human being — but what kind of a human being is he! If someone slaps your mother in the face, do you say: “Thank you! He is after all a human being!” That is not a human being, it is a monster. Yet how much worse has the Jew done to our mother Germany, and is still doing today! There are also white Jews. True, there are scoundrels among us, even though they are Germans, who act in immoral ways against their own racial and blood comrades. But why do we call them white Jews? You use the term to describe something inferior and contemptible. Just as we do. Why do you ask us why we oppose the Jews when you without knowing it are one too? Anti-Semitism is not Christian. That means that it is Christian to allow the Jews to go on as they are, stripping the skin from our bodies and mocking us. To be a Christian means to love one’s neighbor as oneself! My neighbor is my racial and blood brother. If I love him, I have to hate his enemies. He who thinks German must despise the Jews. The one requires the other. Christ himself saw that love did not always work. When he found the moneychangers in the temple, he did not say: “Children, love one another!” He took up a whip and drove them out. NSDAP Documents We oppose the Jews because we affirm the German people. The Jew is our greatest misfortune. It is not true that we eat Jews for breakfast. It is true that slowly but surely, he is stealing all that we have. Things would be different if we behaved as Germans. Revolutionary Demands We do not enter parliament to use parliamentary methods. We know that the fate of peoples is determined by personalities, never by parliamentary majorities. The essence of parliamentary democracy is the majority, which destroys personal responsibility and glorifies the masses. A few dozen rogues and crooks run things behind the scenes. Aristocracy depends on accomplishment, the rule of the most able, and the subordination of the less capable to the will of the leadership. Any form of government — no matter how democratic or aristocratic it may outwardly appear — rests on compulsion. The difference is only whether the compulsion is a blessing or a curse for the community. What we demand is new, decisive, and radical, revolutionary in the truest sense of the word. That has nothing to do with rioting and barricades. It may be that that happens here or there. But it is not an inherent part of the process. Revolutions are spiritual acts. They appear first in people, then in politics and the economy. New people form new structures. The transformation we want is first of all spiritual; that will necessarily change the way things are. This revolutionary act is beginning to be visible in us. The result is a new type of person visible to the knowing eye: the National Socialist. Consistent with his spiritual attitude, the National Socialist makes uncompromising demands in politics. There is no if and when for him, only an either — or. He demands: The return of German honor. Without honor, one has no right to life. A nation that has pawned its honor has pawned its bread. Honor is the foundation of any people’s community. Losing our honoris the true cause of the loss of our freedom. In place of a slave colony, we want a restored German national state. The state is not an end in itself for us, but rather a means to an end. The true end is the race, the sum of all the living, creative forces of the people. The structure that today calls itself the German republic is not a way to maintain our racial inheritance. It has become an end in itself with no real connection to the people and their needs. We want to abolish the slave colony and replace it with a people’s state in freedom. Want work and bread for every productive national and blood comrade. Pay should be according to accomplishment. That means more pay for German workers! That will stop the senseless fighting in which we engage today. First provide housing and food for the people, then pay reparations! No democrat, no republican, has the right to complain about this demand, for it was first raised by a banner carrier of November Germany. We only want to make the slogan a reality. Provide essentials first! First we must meet the critical needs of the people, then we can produce luxury goods. Provide work for those willing to work! Give the farmers land! The German foreign policy that today sells what we have at below-market rates must be completely transformed and must focus radically on the German need for space, drawing the necessary power-political conclusions. NSDAP Documents Peace among productive workers! Each should do his duty for the good of the whole community. The state then has the responsibility of protecting the individual, guaranteeing him the fruits of his labor. The people’s community must not be a mere phrase, but a revolutionary achievement following from the radical carrying out of the basic life needs of the working class. A ruthless battle against corruption! A war against exploitation, freedom for the workers! The elimination of all economic-capitalist influences on national policy. A solution to the Jewish question! We call for the systematic elimination of foreign racial elements from public life in every area. There must be a sanitary separation between Germans and nonGermans on racial grounds exclusively, not on nationality or even religious belief. Down with democratic parliamentarianism! Establish a parliament based on occupations which determines production. Policies will be determined by a political body that earns is place by the laws of strength and selection. The return of loyalty and faith in economic life. The complete reversal of the injustice that has robbed millions of Germans of their possessions. The right of personality before that of the mob. Germans always will have preference before foreigners and Jews. A battle against the destructive poison of international Jewish culture! A strengthening of German forces and German customs. The elimination of corrupt Semitic principles and racial decay. The death penalty for crimes against the people! The gallows for profiteers and usurers! An uncompromising program implemented by men who will implement it passionately. No slogans, only living energy. That is what we demand! [EDITOR’S NOTE: In a speech to NSDAP members, Hitler explains how his party, which espouses a radical restructuring of Germany that calls for the elimination of the current political order, can nonetheless run for and serve in that same political order. This document asserts the “legality strategy” of the NSDAP. How and why does the NSDAP relate to democratic means?] SOURCE: Adolf Hitler, Speech from 16 September 1930 in Munich. The question at this time is: what are the aims of this opposition and its leaders? It is a fight for an idea – a Weltanschauung: and in the forefront stands a fundamental principle: Men do not exist for the State, the State exists for men. First and far above all else stands the idea of the people: the State is a form of organization of this people, and the meaning and the purpose of the State are through this form of organization to assure the life of the people. And from this there arises a new mode of thought and thus necessarily a new political method. We say: a new mode of thought. Today our whole official [ie that of the current government and constitution] political outlook is rooted in the view that the State must be maintained because the State in NSDAP Documents itself is the essential thing; we, on the other hand, maintain that the State in its form has a definite purpose to fulfill and the moment that it fails to fulfill its purpose the form stands condemned. Above everything stands the purpose to maintain the nation's life – that is the essential thing and one should not speak of a law for the protection of the State but for the protection of the nation: it is of this protection that one must think.... In the place of this rigid formal organization – the State – must be set the living organism – the people. Then all action is given a new untrammelled freedom: all the formal fetters which can today be imposed on men become immoral directly they fail to maintain the people, because that is the highest purpose in life and the aim of all reasonable thought and action. If today our action employs among its different weapons that of Parliament, that is not to say that parliamentary parties exist only for parliamentary ends. For us Parliament is not an end in itself, but merely a means to an end…We are not on principle a parliamentary party - that would be a contradiction of our whole outlook – we are a parliamentary party by compulsion, under constraint, and that compulsion is the constitution. The Constitution compels us to use this means. It does not compel us to wish for a particular goal, it only prescribes a way - a method, and, I repeat, we follow this way legally, in accordance with the Constitution: by the way laid down through the Constitution we advance towards the purposes which we have set before us. Never can Constitutions determine for all time the content of a purpose, especially when this content is not identical with the vital rights of a people. If today the Constitution admits for its protection laws which are headed, 'Laws for the Protection of the Republic,' then it is demonstrated that the most which our present Constitution can prescribe is nothing but the protection and the maintenance of a form, and that does not touch the maintenance of the nation, of a people. This purpose is therefore free: this is the goal which we proclaim and to which we shall attain. From blood, authority of personality, and a fighting spirit springs that value which alone entitles a people to look around with glad hope, and that alone is also the condition for the life which men then desire. And when that is realized, then that too is realized for which today the political parties strive: prosperity, happiness of the individual, family-life, etc. First will come honor and then freedom, and from both of these happiness, prosperity, life: in a word, that state of things will return which we Germans perhaps dimly saw before the War, when individuals can once more live with joy in their hearts because life has a meaning and a purpose, because the close of life is then not in itself the end, since there will be an endless chain of generations to follow: man will know that what we create will not sink into Orcus but will pass to his children and to his children's children. And so this victory which we have just won is nothing else than the winning of a new weapon for our fight.... It is not for seats in parliament that we fight, but we win seats in parliament in order that one day we may be able to liberate the German people. Do not write on your banners the word 'Victory': today that word shall be uttered for the last time. Strike through the word 'Victory' and write once more in its place the word which suits us better – the word 'Fight.' [EDITOR’S NOTE: Despite the attempts by Goebbels and Strasser to appeal to workers, by the late 1920s the NSDAP had shifted focus towards different demographics. This document specifically addresses peasants and farmers.] NSDAP Documents SOURCE: “Official Party Manifesto on the Position of the NSDAP with Regard to the Farming Population and Agriculture, 1930.” In Feder, Gottfried, The Programme of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and its General Conceptions, 9-12. Translated by E. T. S. Dugdale [Munich: Franz Eher Verlag, 1932]. Clwyd: B.P. Publications, 1980. 1. Importance of the Farming Class and of Agriculture for Germany. The German nation derive a considerable portion of their food from importation of foreign food-stuffs. Before the world War we managed to pay for these imports with our industrial exports, our trade, and our deposits of capital abroad. The outcome of the war put an end to this possibility. To-day we are paying for our imported food mostly with the help of foreign loans, which drive the German nation deeper and deeper in debt to the international financiers who provide credits. If things go on as they are, the German people will become more and more impoverished. The only possibility of escaping from this thralldom lies in the ability of Germany to produce essential food stuffs at home. Increased production by German agriculture is therefore a question of life and death for the German nation. Moreover, a country population, economically sound and highly productive, is essential for our industry, which will in future have more and more to look for openings in the home market. We also regard the country population as the bearer of the inheritance of health, the source of the nation's youth, and as the back-bone of its armed strength. Maintenance of an efficient agricultural class, increasing in numbers as the general population increases, is an essential plank in the National Socialist platform, because our movement considers the welfare of all our people in the generations to come. 2. The present-day State’s neglect of the Farming class and of Agriculture. Agricultural production, which in itself is capable of being augmented, is being handicapped, because the increasing indebtedness of the farmers prevents their purchasing the necessities of cultivation, and because the fact that farming does not pay removes the inducement to increase production. The reasons why farming fails to give a sufficient return for the labor are to be sought: 1. in the existing fiscal policy, which lays undue burdens on agriculture. This is due to Party considerations, and because the Jewish world money market — which really controls parliamentary democracy in Germany — wishes to destroy German agriculture, since this would place the German nation, and especially the working class, at its mercy; 2. in the competition of foreign agriculturists, who work under more favorable conditions, and who are not hold in check by a policy of protection for German agriculture; 3. in the extravagant profits made by the large wholesale middlemen, who thrust themselves in between producer and consumer. 4. in the oppressive rates the farmer has to pay for electric power and artificial manures to concerns mainly run by Jews. NSDAP Documents The high taxation cannot be met out of the poor return for labor on the land. The farmer is forced to run into debt and to pay usurious interest for loans. He sinks deeper and deeper under this tyranny, and in the end forfeits all that he possesses to the Jew money-lender. The German farming class is being expropriated. 3. In the Reich, as we hope to see it, the rights of Land shall be respected and there shall be an Agricultural Policy for Germany. There can be no hope of any sweeping improvement in the conditions of poverty of the country population, or of a revival of agriculture, as long as the German Government is in fact controlled by the international money-magnates, helped by the parliamentary-democratic system of government; for these desire to destroy Germany's strength, which is based on the land. In the new and very different German State, to which we aspire, the farmers and agriculture will receive the consideration which is due to them owing to the fact that they arc a main support of a truly national German State. From this emerge the following requirements: 1. The land of Germany, acquired and defended by the German nation, just be at the service of the German nation, as a home and as a means of livelihood. Those who occupy the land must administer it in this sense. 2. Only members of the German nation may possess land. 3. Land legally acquired by them shall be regarded as inheritable property. To the right to hold property, however, is attached the obligation to use it in the national interest. Special Courts shall be appointed to oversee this obligation; these shall consist of representatives from, all departments of the land-holding class, and one representative of the State. 4. German land may not become an object of financial speculation, (cf. Point 17. p. 19), nor may it provide an unearned income for its owner. It may only be acquired by him who is prepared to cultivate it himself. Therefore, the State has a right of preemption on every sale of land. It is forbidden to pledge land to private lenders. The necessary loans for cultivation on easy terms will be granted to farmers either by associations recognized by the State, or by the State itself. 5. Dues will be paid to the State for the use of land according to the extent and quality of the property. This tax on land will obviate any further taxation of landed property. 6. No hard and fast rule can be laid down as to the amount oi cultivation. From the point of view of our population policy we require large numbers of small and middle-sized farms. Farming on a large scale, however, has a very essential part to play, and, if it preserves a healthy relation towards the smaller businesses, it is justifiable. 7. A law of inheritance will be required to prevent sub-division of property and an accumulation of debt upon it. 8. The State shall have the right of appropriating land, suitable compensation being granted: (a) when not owned by a member of the nation; NSDAP Documents (b) when — by a judgment of the Land Courts — it is held that its owner, by bad farming, is not acting in the national interest; (c) for the purpose of settling independent farmers on it, when the owner is not cultivating it himself; (d) when it is required for special State purposes in the national interest (e. g., communications, national defense). Land acquired illegally (according to German law) may be confiscated without compensation. 9. It is the duty of the State to colonize land which has become available, by a scheme based on high considerations of a policy of population. The land shall be allotted to settlers as a hereditary possession under conditions which shall make a livelihood possible. Settlers shall be selected by examination as to their civic and professional suitability. Special favor shall be shown to sons of farmers who have not the right to inherit (see §7). Colonization of the eastern frontiers is of extreme importance. In this case the mere establishment of farms will not be sufficient, but it will be necessary to set up market towns in connection with the new branch of industry. This is the only way to provide an opening for making the smaller farms a paying proposition. It will be the duty of Germany's foreign policy to provide large spaces for the nourishment and settlement of the growing population of Germany. 4. The farming class must be raised economically and educationally. 1. The present poverty of the land population must be at once relieved by remissions of taxation and other emergency measures. Further indebtedness must be stemmed by reducing the rate of interest on loans to that of the pre-war period by law, and by summary action against extortion. 2. It must be the State's policy to see to it that farming be made to pay. German agriculture must be protected by tariffs, State regulation of imports, and a scheme of national training. The settlement of prices for agricultural produce must be freed from market speculation, and a stop must be put to exploitation of the agricultural interest by the large middlemen, the transfer of whose business to agricultural associations must be encouraged by the State. It shall be the task of such professional organizations to reduce the running expenses of farmers and increase production. (Provision of implements, manures, seed, breeding stock on favorable conditions, improvements, war against vermin, free advice, chemical research, etc.) The State shall provide full assistance to the organizations in carrying out their task. In particular, the State must insist on a considerable reduction in the cost to farmers of artificial manures and electric power. 3. The organizations must also establish the class of farm laborers as members of the farming community by contracts which are just in the social sense. Supervision and arbitration in these matters will be the function of the State. It must be made possible for good laborers to rise to the status of farm-owners. The much called-for improvement in living conditions and wages of farm laborers will ensue as soon as the general farming situation improves. When these conditions take a turn for the better, it will be no longer necessary to employ foreign labor on the land, and this custom will in future be forbidden. NSDAP Documents 4. The national importance of the farming class requires that the State shall promote technical education in agriculture. (Juvenile institutions, high schools for agriculture, with very favorable terms for youths with talent but no means.) 5. Professional organizations cannot provide all the assistance required by the farming class; only the political movement of the N. S. D. A. P. for German liberty can do this. The country population are poor because the whole German nation is poor. It is an error to imagine that one single class of workers can escape sharing the fortunes of the German community as a whole, — and a crime to make jealousies between town folk and country folk, who are bound together for good or ill. Economic assistance under the present political system cannot produce a permanent improvement, for political slavery is at the root our people's poverty, and political methods alone can remove that. The old political Parties, which were, and are, responsible for the national enslavement, cannot be the leaders on the road to freedom. There are important economic tasks awaiting professional organizations in our future State; even now they can do much preparatory work in that direction; but for the political struggle of liberation, which is to lay the foundation of a new economic order, they are not suitable; for that struggle will have to be fought out from the point of view not of a single profession, but from that of the whole nation. The movement which will carry through the political struggle for liberation to the end is the N.S.D.A.P. (signed) Adolf Hitler. SOURCE: Feder, Gottfried. “The Policy of the NSDAP on Ownership of Landed Property: A Reply.” In Feder, Gottfried, The Programme of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and its General Conceptions, 21-51. Translated by E. T. S. Dugdale [Munich: Franz Eher Verlag, 1932]. Clwyd: B.P. Publications, 1980. The Deutsche Tageszeitung (No. 11) of January 25th, 1930, published a number of questions put to us by the leaders of the Brandenburg Agrarian League. Their main object was to obtain a definition of the attitude of the NSDAP towards private ownership of land, inheritance, raising of credits, tariffs, price regulation, profit sharing, and towards questions of general social-political and election-tactical interest. I. “Is the NSDAP prepared to give a guarantee that it will not set its face against ownership of land?” Answer. National Socialism recognizes private ownership as a principle, and places it under State protection. It will seek to maintain a healthy combination of all businesses, small and great, in the economic life of the nation. The spirit of the whole Programme proves clearly that National Socialism, being a convinced and consistent opponent of Marxism, utterly rejects its ruinous central doctrine of general confiscation, and considers a permanent agricultural class to be the best and surest foundation for the national State. NSDAP Documents But being also a determined opponent of the great capitalists whose aim it is to mobilize for themselves all agricultural values, and to oust the farmers by means of taxation and interest on loans, National Socialism demands State protection of the farmers against aggression by the big business interests. We need a strong, healthy class of farmers, free from the thralldom of interest and the tyranny of taxation. II. “What is the attitude of National Socialism towards inheritance of property, and succession duties?” Answer. Since it is the mainstay of the national idea, continuity of ownership, i.e. inheritance of the land, which a man's forefathers reclaimed and cultivated, is a natural consequence. National Socialism therefore recognizes the principle of inheritance, as it does that of ownership of land. If property goes to distant relatives the National Socialist State will levy a special tax, but in the case of nearer relationship this will be assessed at the rate prevailing at the moment. III. This question was set owing to anxiety — quite unfounded — regarding the possible consequences of prohibiting loans from private capitalists on the security of the land. Answer. A State, which desires to make agricultural property free from debt, and to rescue the farmers from the claws of professional financiers — so many farmers having been, as it is, driven from their homes by the Jews — a State, which desires to break down the money monopoly of capitalism and to abolish the thralldom of interest, is not likely to withhold the necessary credits nor to charge extortionate interest; on the contrary, National Socialism intends to assist agriculture to the utmost. IV. “Breaking down the thralldom of interest.” Abolition of unearned incomes. “What is the attitude of the National Socialist Party towards capital saved or inherited?” Answer. Has any farmer today an 'unearned income' out of demands for interest, or can any landowner live on money saved from his rents? This means that there is anxiety among certain landowners who still have a little capital left, or else there is intentional miscomprehension or ignorance of that most essential demand of the National Socialist Programme. N. B. We mean literally “breaking down the thralldom of interest”. No one will describe small amounts of interest from savings or a mortgage or a government loan, as the thralldom of interest. What we mean by it is when deliberate inflation has robbed us of all our savings, and the farmer has to pay interest on fresh mortgages and short-term credits at rates which ruin him. Those who favor of sticking to the present system of capitalism are against the true interests of the farmers, and in favor of allowing the banks and their agents to batten on agriculture. V. “Does the Party intend to remove import duties?” Answer. Our policy as regards taxation states clearly and consistently: To free the consumer from the burden of indirect taxation, and the producer from taxes which cramp his business. NSDAP Documents The Agrarian League ought to be aware that the National Socialist vote in the Reichstag went absolutely in favor of protective duties on agricultural produce, in accordance with its principle — Protection of the nation's work in town and country. […] VII. Extension of Old Age Insurance Benefits. “How is it proposed to raise the funds for this purpose?” Answer. There is provision now for Old Age Insurance, but it is in many cases insufficient, and is regarded as pauperization. Once the burden of taxation is removed, and those who are now unemployed but able to work are restored to the economic sphere, there will be sufficient means for providing ample Old Age benefits for those who are past work. VIII, IX, X. These are merely questions to do with Party tactics, and not with any principle. Being in opposition against a coalition which has brought unhappiness to Germany, we have naturally now and again to vote with the Communists (although a whole world divides us from them), just as the German National and the Christian National Farmers do. We allow no one to dictate to us where we get our adherents from, but we turn to all — workers, bourgeois and farmers — who have a good German heart in their bodies' and are men of good will, and desire to see an end of Parliamentary misgovernment and the wretched policy of fulfilment (of the Peace Treaties). We do not consider that 'social communication' with other Parties is a proper method of freeing the German nation from Marxism and Parliamentarianism — for that leads to political bargaining. Nothing but dictatorial action and determined exercise of power can pull Germany out of the mud. The nation wants not fine words, but forcefulness; not bargaining, but solid work for our poor, downtrodden nation. We shall conclude with a few remarks on certain questions which our political enemies misrepresent spitefully and untruthfully in the hope of doing us an injury. Our attitude towards the permanent official class is surely a worthy one. We should not be such wholehearted admirers of the great King of Prussia if we were against this class. What the Army was abroad, a pure, incorruptible official class is for the State at home. Honor and duty must once again become essential qualities in our officials. The kind of officials, who are at the beck and call of the Reds and the Blacks, will disappear in the coming State; such Party wirepullers have no use for honor and duty. The suggestion that the National Socialists are against the officials and intend to reduce their pay and do away with pensions, is of the nature of a political lie, which has been circulated by the Press of our opponents. On the contrary, we desire to grant to all members of the nation who have served Germany faithfully all their lives long, a pension of honor which will relieve them of cares in their old age. It is only thus that social assistance will be freed from the stigma of 'pauperization'. NSDAP Documents We must also refer to the extension of the pension idea to the independent trades and hand-workers. There is no need to worry about how we are to raise funds for the purpose. When we cease paying thousands of millions abroad each year, and still more to our own banking houses, a fraction of those sums will suffice to pay for Old Age Pensions. Unemployment Assistance and Insurance. It is not, in itself, the affair of the State to support with State funds men who are able to work. Our attitude towards the present system of assistance for those who cannot earn a living has never altered; we have always pressed in Parliament for better conditions for the workless. This we do, not because we think it a right state of things, but because a Government like the present one, whose idiotic foreign and domestic policy has carried labor, food production and all commerce to the edge of the abyss, is in duty bound to let its policy go by the board. A State which is unable to reinstate in the economic world millions of men who can work, deserves to be swept away; so if it fails financially to meet the problem of assistance to unemployment, we merely shrug our shoulders. The various attacks on the system of the dole, even if justified when they refer to cases of abuse of this social assistance, fail to turn us from the principle we believe in. Granted that, amongst nearly 3,000,000 unemployed there may be 2 or 300,000 notorious scrims hankers who would readily return to work if the dole were removed — we must not forget that there remain at least 2 million good workers, employees, engineers, technicians, foremen, clerks, etc. seeking desperately for work and unable to find it. It is owing to the failure of our thoroughly unsound State policy that it is impossible to make any change in the miserable unemployed dole. Attacks on Religion and the Clergy. We cannot declare too often that the NSDAP is not dreaming of attacking the Christian religion and its worthy servants. It is the corrupting policy of the Centre and the Bavarian People's Party which we attack; these lose no opportunity of crying “Church in Danger” except when they are making common cause with the atheistical, God-denying Social Democracy. It is because we have so high and holy an ideal of man's relation towards his God that we hate to see religion besmirched with the dirt of political conflict. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Benito Mussolini (1883–1945) was the first fascist dictator to appear on the European scene following the Great War. After his march on Rome in 1922 he became the leader—il Duce—of the Fascist Party in Italy and established the first fascist dictatorship. The NSDAP greatly admired his movement and took many of its ideas from them.] NSDAP Documents SOURCE: Benito Mussolini, “The Doctrine of Fascism,” Enciclopedie Italiana, 1932. Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of Pacifism—born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials are substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make the great decision—the alternative of life or death. The Fascist accepts life and loves it, knowing nothing of and despising suicide: he rather conceives of life as duty and struggle and conquest, but above all for others—those who are at hand and those who are far distant, contemporaries, and those who will come after. Fascism [is] the complete opposite of . . . Marxian Socialism; the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production. . . . Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if the economic conception of history be denied, according to which theory men are no more than puppets, carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied—the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society. After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through the mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage. Fascism denies, in democracy, the absurd conventional untruth of political equality dressed out in the garb of collective irresponsibility, and the myth of “happiness” and indefinite progress. Given that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, of Liberalism, and of Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism, and Democracy: political doctrines pass, but humanity remains, and it may rather be expected that this will be a century of authority . . . a century of Fascism. For if the nineteenth century was a century of individualism it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism and hence the century of the State. The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. The conception of the Liberal State is not that of a directing force, guiding the play and development, both material and spiritual, of a collective body, but merely a force limited to the function of recording results: on the other hand, the Fascist State is itself conscious and has itself a will and a personality—thus it may be called the “ethic” State. NSDAP Documents The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone. For Fascism, the growth of empire, that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence. Peoples which are rising, or rising again after a period of decadence, are always imperialist; and renunciation is a sign of decay and of death. Fascism is the doctrine best adapted to represent the tendencies and the aspirations of a people, like the people of Italy, who are rising again after many centuries of abasement and foreign servitude. But empire demands discipline, the coordination of all forces and a deeply felt sense of duty and sacrifice: this fact explains many aspects of the practical working of the regime, the character of many forces in the State, and the necessarily severe measures which must be taken against those who would oppose this spontaneous and inevitable movement of Italy in the twentieth century, and would oppose it by recalling the outworn ideology of the nineteenth century—repudiated wheresoever there has been the courage to undertake great experiments of social and political transformation; for never before has the nation stood more in need of authority, of direction and order. If every age has its own characteristic doctrine, there are a thousand signs which point to Fascism as the characteristic doctrine of our time. For if a doctrine must be a living thing, this is proved by the fact that Fascism has created a living faith; and that this faith is very powerful in the minds of men is demonstrated by those who have suffered and died for it. The flag on high! The ranks tightly closed! The SA march with quiet, steady step. Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries March in spirit within our ranks. Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries March in spirit within our ranks. Clear the streets for the brown battalions, Clear the streets for the storm division! Millions are looking upon the swastika full of hope, The day of freedom and of bread dawns! Millions are looking upon the swastika full of hope, The day of freedom and of bread dawns! For the last time, the call to arms is sounded! For the fight, we all stand prepared! Already Hitler’s banners fly over all streets. The time of bondage will last but a little while now! Soon Hitler’s banners will fly over all streets. The time of bondage will last but a little while now. The flag on high! The ranks tightly closed! NSDAP Documents The SA march with quiet, steady step. Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries, March in spirit within our ranks. Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries March in spirit within our ranks
Democracy in Crisis: Germany, 1929-1932 A “Reacting to the Past” Game in Development Gamebook By Robert Goodrich Northern Michigan University Draft Version 1 July 2018 Front Image: Georg Grosz, The Pillars of Society (1926), Nationalgalerie, Berlin In The Pillars of Society from 1926 German artist Georg Grosz sarcastically portrays the elite classes whom he saw as undermining liberty, paying particular attention to what he believed to be the corrupt and bourgeois nature of German society. Grosz, a skilled caricaturist, vividly portrays the grotesque, even nightmarish, reality of society beneath its burnished veneer. Businessmen, clergy and generals, all reveal themselves as vicious, selfish, and uncaring individuals – a stark contrast to the Academic portraiture still popular. The name of the painting itself derives from the naturalist dramatist Henrik Ibsen who similarly sought to reveal a deeper and darker truth to bourgeois society. Using codes easily recognized in Germany in the 1920s, the beer-drinking aristocrat carries the marks of his elite, militarist university education – a dueling scar on his check, a dueling sabre, and the monocle. On his necktie he wears a swastika (fascism). His monocle is opaque and he has difficulty seeing (narrow mindedness). His skull is open and from it rises a war-horse (militarism). On the left of the picture stands the journalist, Alfred Hugenberg (leader of the national conservative DNVP). The chamber pot on his head (ignorance), clasping newspapers (he was head of Germany’s largest press empire), and a bloodied palm branch (false peace) combine to present his worldview. On the right hand side a caricature of Friedrich Ebert (SPD and Reich president until 1925), holds a flag (the colors of the Republic) and a socialist pamphlet (“Socialism must work”). His open head exposes a steaming pile of dung (his ideas are, literally, crap). Behind these three characters stands a clergyman (the Centre Party and other Christian parties), bloated and preaching peace, choosing to hypocritically ignore the murderous actions of the military (Reichswehr) in the background. Through the windows we can see the city in flames while chaos reigns unchecked. The instructions given to the brainless politicians came from the military, the clergy and the press, all of whom he despised as amoral and lacking integrity. Here is one view of the Republic – a society led by special interests, mired in militarism, unable or unwilling to confront its problems soberly. Almost the entire political spectrum, from fascist to socialist, participates in the charade of democracy. i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................................ 7 1. Challenges to Role Playing Democracy.................................................................................................... 7 1a. Hate Language and Controversial Topics ........................................................................................... 7 1b. Confusing Terms for Contemporary Americans ................................................................................. 8 2. Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 10 2a. Brief Overview of the Game ............................................................................................................. 10 2b. Maps.................................................................................................................................................. 14 Treaty of Versailles Territorial Revisions, 1919 ................................................................................. 14 German States, 1929 ........................................................................................................................... 15 2c. Prologue: A Dirge for Stresemann .................................................................................................... 16 2d. Basic Features of Reacting to the Past .............................................................................................. 21 2e. Counterfactuals ................................................................................................................................. 24 3. Historical Background ............................................................................................................................ 25 3a. Timeline ............................................................................................................................................ 25 3b. Narrative ........................................................................................................................................... 26 The World that Was: The Kaiserreich ................................................................................................ 26 The November Revolution (1918–1919) ............................................................................................ 28 Views on the November Revolution ................................................................................................... 31 Ernst Troeltsch, a Protestant theologian and philosopher ............................................................... 31 Rosa Luxemburg, a founder of the KPD......................................................................................... 32 Theodor Wolff, a liberal publicist ................................................................................................... 32 Paul Baecker, a conservative journalist .......................................................................................... 32 Kurt Tucholsky, the Republic’s most famous left-leaning publicist............................................... 32 Walter Rathenau, the liberal democratic foreign minister .............................................................. 33 Paul von Hindenburg, Field Marshal of the German Army ............................................................ 33 Erich Ludendorff, the authoritarian General ................................................................................... 33 Oswald Spengler, the idiosyncratic conservative............................................................................ 34 Adolph Hitler, leader of the NSDAP .............................................................................................. 34 Burden from the Great War and the Treaty of Versailles ................................................................... 35 ii Years of Crisis (1919–1923) ............................................................................................................... 36 Hyperinflation ..................................................................................................................................... 37 Golden Era (1924–1929)..................................................................................................................... 38 Social Policy ....................................................................................................................................... 39 Trade Unions....................................................................................................................................... 40 Reichswehr.......................................................................................................................................... 41 Where Does the Republic Find Itself Now? ....................................................................................... 41 Election of 1928 .............................................................................................................................. 43 Political Scandals ............................................................................................................................ 43 Late 1929 ........................................................................................................................................ 43 4. The Game ................................................................................................................................................ 45 4a. Major Issues for Debate .................................................................................................................... 45 The Treaty of Versailles (Foreign Ministry) ....................................................................................... 46 The Young Plan and the Freedom Law .......................................................................................... 46 Customs Union with Austria ........................................................................................................... 46 League of Nations ........................................................................................................................... 46 Liquidation Treaty with Poland ...................................................................................................... 47 Military (Defense Ministry) ................................................................................................................ 47 Naval Bill ........................................................................................................................................ 47 Reichswehr Autonomy.................................................................................................................... 47 Paramilitaries .................................................................................................................................. 47 The Economy (Economics Ministry) .................................................................................................. 47 Austerity.......................................................................................................................................... 48 The Small Farmers’ Plight .............................................................................................................. 48 Eastern Aid...................................................................................................................................... 48 Secularism (Interior Ministry): ........................................................................................................... 48 The Concordat with Rome .............................................................................................................. 49 School Reform ................................................................................................................................ 49 Morality and Values (Justice Ministry): ............................................................................................. 49 Abortion: § 218 ............................................................................................................................... 49 Gay Civil Liberties: § 175............................................................................................................... 50 Censorship: Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front............................................................... 50 The Death Penalty ........................................................................................................................... 50 iii Citizenship (Chancellor): .................................................................................................................... 50 The Jewish Question ....................................................................................................................... 50 African Influences ........................................................................................................................... 51 4b. Rules and Procedures ........................................................................................................................ 51 4bi. Objectives and Victory Conditions .............................................................................................. 51 4bii. Other Rules (The Mechanics of the Game) ................................................................................ 51 Set up .............................................................................................................................................. 51 Reichstag ......................................................................................................................................... 53 Reichstag Elections ......................................................................................................................... 57 The Government (Chancellor and Cabinet) .................................................................................... 58 Reich President ............................................................................................................................... 60 Presidential Election ....................................................................................................................... 62 Coalitions, Alliances, Mergers, New Formations and Bans ........................................................... 63 Campaign Contributions ................................................................................................................. 63 Violence .......................................................................................................................................... 64 Stability Index ................................................................................................................................. 66 4c. Basic Outline of the Game ................................................................................................................ 67 4d. Assignments ...................................................................................................................................... 68 4e. Game Points (winning) ..................................................................................................................... 69 5. Roles and Factions .................................................................................................................................. 70 Camarilla (traditional authoritarian) ....................................................................................................... 71 NSDAP (fascist / völksich) ..................................................................................................................... 73 DNVP (national conservative) ................................................................................................................ 76 Centre (Christian democratic) ................................................................................................................. 77 SPD (social democratic) ......................................................................................................................... 78 KPD (communist) ................................................................................................................................... 81 Indeterminates ......................................................................................................................................... 82 DVP (conservative / national liberal).................................................................................................. 83 DDP (democratic liberal) .................................................................................................................... 84 Agrarian Interests (CNBP, DBP, CSVD, RLB).................................................................................. 85 BVP (Bavarian particularism) ............................................................................................................. 86 WP (conservative liberal).................................................................................................................... 87 Extraparliamentary forces ....................................................................................................................... 88 iv Reichswehr.......................................................................................................................................... 88 Paramilitaries ...................................................................................................................................... 88 German Gentleman’s Club (Deutscher Herrenklub, DHK) ............................................................... 88 Green Front ......................................................................................................................................... 88 Trade Unions....................................................................................................................................... 88 6. Core Texts ............................................................................................................................................... 89 The Communist Manifesto ..................................................................................................................... 89 Study Questions .................................................................................................................................. 89 Manifesto of the Communist Party ..................................................................................................... 91 The Programme of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and Its General Conceptions........................................................................................................................................... 107 Study Questions ................................................................................................................................ 107 The Twenty-Five Points (1920) ........................................................................................................ 108 Its General Conceptions (1932) ........................................................................................................ 111 7. Supplemental Documents ..................................................................................................................... 141 Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front ...................................................................... 141 The Founding of the Republic .............................................................................................................. 141 Philipp Scheidemann, Proclamation of the German Republic (9 November 1918) ......................... 142 Karl Liebknecht, Proclamation of the Free Socialist Republic (9 November 1918) ........................ 142 Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1919) .................................................................................................. 143 The German Delegates' Protest against the Proposed "Peace" Terms (May 1919) .......................... 145 John Maynard Keynes on German reparations and Germany’s capacity to pay (1919) ................... 149 Weimar Constitution (11 August 1919) ............................................................................................ 150 Paul von Hindenburg, The Stab in the Back (1919) ......................................................................... 154 International Relations .......................................................................................................................... 155 Stresemann on German admittance to the League of Nations (1925)............................................... 155 Freedom Law (Law against the Enslavement of the German People, 1929) .................................... 155 Communique Opposing the Freedom Law (1929)............................................................................ 156 Reich Concordat................................................................................................................................ 156 Austro-German Customs Union........................................................................................................ 158 Draft Constitution of the Austrian National Assembly (12 November 1918:............................... 158 Provisional Constitution of the German Republic (January 1919) ............................................... 158 German Constitution, Article 61 ................................................................................................... 158 v Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1919) .............................................................................................. 159 Treaty of St. Germain (10 September 1919) ................................................................................. 159 Negotiations between Austria and Germany (1931) ..................................................................... 159 Austro-German Protocol (19 March 1931) ................................................................................... 160 Selections from the German Penal Code (Strafgesetzbuch – StGB)..................................................... 161 Censorship: § 166 Insulting of Faiths, Religious Societies and Organizations Dedicated to a Life Philosophy......................................................................................................................................... 161 Homosexuality: § 175 Unnatural Fornication ................................................................................... 161 NSDAP Proposed Revisions ......................................................................................................... 162 Abortion: § 218 ................................................................................................................................. 162 8. Selected Bibliography ........................................................................................................................... 163 9. Appendices............................................................................................................................................ 167 Glossary and German Pronunciation Guide.......................................................................................... 167 vi Abbreviations BVP = Bavarian People’s Party Comintern = Communist International, aka Third International CNBP = Christian National Farmer’s League CSVD = Christian Social People’s Service DBP = German Farmer’s Party DDP = German Democratic Party DNVP = German National People’s Party DVP = German People’s Party KPD = German Communist Party GM = Gamemaster MdR = Member of the Reichstag (Mitglied des Reichtags); aka deputies, or representatives (Abgeordneter); in England, they would be referred to as MPs (Member of Parliament) NSDAP = National Socialist German Workers Party RLB = National Agrarian League aka Agrarian League RM = Reichsmarks (the currency during the Republic) SA = Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung), aka Brown Shirts, the NSDAP paramilitary SPD = German Social Democratic Party WP = Economic Party of the German Middle Class aka Economic Party X = Centre Party 1. Challenges to Role Playing Democracy 1a. Hate Language and Controversial Topics [Author’s Note: I anticipate inclusion of approved language from the consortium] In Democracy in Crisis: Germany, 1929-1932 you will be asked to confront a range of political ideas that many Americans find abhorrent or at the least controversial. You may be expected to play characters who advocate these ideas. Most challengingly, characters playing National Socialists use a deliberately inflammatory discourse, especially in regards to anti-Semitism. If we remember, though, that one of our goals is to understand how historical actors thought about their choices and actions we cannot avoid the controversies and discomfort associated with confronting these ideas. To that end, you are encouraged and expected to play out your characters. However, if a role is simply emotionally too challenging, please inform the instructor immediately, prior to the handing out of character assignments. Usually, an instructor will expect you to bite the bullet to play characters with views opposite of yours. However, the powerful nature of National Socialist imagery, linked as it is to its horrific history, may mean that you are simply emotionally incapable of setting aside your feelings for the game. Your instructor will make the necessary accommodations for you. It may also be that certain elements of the game, especially again those associated with National Socialist anti-Semitism, will simply be too controversial to integrate into the classroom. In that case, the instructor will make certain modifications to the game, which may include banning the use of symbols or eliminating certain topics from discussion. 7 Most importantly, let your instructor know if you are facing emotional obstacles. The point of the game is to learn but only in an emotionally (and of course physically) safe environment. One should expect discomfort when confronting atrocity, but drawing the line between discomfort and true suffering that prevents learning, while not always easy, is nonetheless something that your instructor will seek to do with your assistance. 1b. Confusing Terms for Contemporary Americans The political vocabulary in the US has evolved in a unique direction that separates us from much of the rest of the world and history. As a result, many terms that have one meaning in the US can actually have the exact opposite meaning in the game (and indeed the rest of the world). The game, however, remains as true as possible to the labels of Germany in 1929. You will be confused, at best, if you do not carefully read this manual and take careful notes of these terms. Importantly, you must read the primary texts to grasp how these concepts were understood. A glossary is included, but that is only a sketch without context. A few of the most important and misused terms include: • • • • • • Liberal: in the US “liberalism” has evolved since around 1920 to be associated with social spending, a large pro-active regulatory government, and, more narrowly, with the Democratic Party. However, in Europe, liberalism is associated with a combination of support for parliamentary democracy and an unregulated market. Liberal parties are, therefore, generally hostile to regulatory government and social spending. In fact, they would be more closely associated with the US Republican Party or its Libertarian wing. Republican: in the US this term refers almost exclusively to the Republican Party and its agenda (which in Germany would be termed liberal – see above). Yet in Germany, republican referred to any party that identified with parliamentary democracy (i.e. the constitution). Thus, socialists, liberals, Christian democrats, and conservatives are all republican. Conservative: in the US we have come to associate this term also with the Republican Party. However, in Germany, conservatism was an eclectic concept that could include anything from reactionary monarchists to nationalist liberals; about the only thing they agreed on was a strong sense of nationalism. But keep in mind that even the socialists were nationalists in Germany. Democrat: in the US this term is similarly narrowly associated with the Democratic Party. In Germany, though, the Democrats were the DDP, a Liberal party (again, in the German sense of liberal) that supported the Republic and civil liberties but opposed economic regulation. They were thus republican, even though they were the party most likely to ally with the socialists out of electoral necessity. Socialist: in the US, “socialism” has no clear meaning and is a bit of a shibboleth. It can mean anything from capitalist China, totalitarian North Korea, democratic Sweden, Obama and Sanders, or, most confusingly, Hitler. In Germany, again, its meaning is much different, and, in this case, narrower. It is used almost exclusively for the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The closest modern example would be the social democracies of northern Europe such as Sweden. “Marxist” is a broader term that includes both the Socialists and the Communists; note that these two terms are not interchangeable to adherents of the two parties. National Socialist: in the US we rarely use this term, preferring the more generic label “fascist” or the slang term “Nazi.” And we apply it to just about any party or policy we disagree with, to 8 the point where it has lost all analytic meaning. We call the cop who writes us a ticket a “ticket Nazi”; someone who corrects our grammar is a “grammar Nazi,” feminists become “femi-nazis,” and any governmental regulation we oppose becomes “fascist.” It has become a simple term of denigration devoid of historical context. In Germany, though, it refers exclusively to the party of Hitler (NSDAP) and its policies, which were dramatically distinct from and implacably hostile to socialism, liberalism and conservatism (not to mention the US Republican or Democratic parties). 9 2. Introduction 2a. Brief Overview of the Game At only one moment in history did all of the great ideologies of the modern West collide as roughly equal and viable contenders – Germany during its first Republic, 1919–1933. For over a decade, liberalism, nationalism, conservatism, social democracy, Christian democracy, communism, fascism, and every variant of these movements contended for influence and power after World War One. The dynamics of the game reflect the lack of democratic consensus flowing from these divergent Weltanschauungen (world views – a concept broader than mere political ideology). Although the constitutional framework boldly enshrined liberal democratic values, the political spectrum was so broad and fully represented that a stable parliamentary majority required constant compromises – compromises that that alienated supporters, opening the door to radical alternatives. While many parties accepted the premises of liberal democracy (social democrats, most liberals, some Christian democrats), the decade prior to 1929 Germany experienced several insurrections by communists, militarists, conservatives, and fascists. Thus, many groups have competing visions of Germany not only at odds with liberal democracy but also with each other: • • • • • Militarist conservatives (von Schleicher, some in the DNVP, and Centre) favored a military coup to establish a Wehrstaat (military state); Fascists (NSDAP and some in the DNVP) called for a seizure of power that restructured society along authoritarian corporatist-völkisch lines; Monarchists (von Hindenburg and some in the DNVP, DVP, and BVP) demanded a monarchical restoration that returned to the norms of the old monarchy (the so-called Kaiserreich); Communists (KPD) pursued a revolutionary rebuilding of society according to the Bolshevik model of the USSR; Christian democrats (Centre, BVP, CNBP, CSVD) promoted a corporatist state that re-established the medieval collaboration of church and state. Few of these ideas can fit into a liberal democratic concept so that every social, cultural, diplomatic, legal, economic, and constitutional issue facing citizens of Germany was viewed through these different ideological lenses; every issue became a matter of principle. Exploring this context, the game reveals how a modern industrial democracy can reach a parliamentary impasse and what possible consequences exist in such an impasse. The game dynamics integrate the following central realities: • • • Class conflict and the special interest nature of politics; The paradox of stability and fluidity in ideological loyalty as each party seeks to secure parliamentary influence in an electoral system with a volatile electorate; A constitutional arrangement that undermines a stable government and allows for authoritarian options; 10 • • The special role of extra-parliamentary individuals and bodies in shaping politics; The pursuit of alternatives to historical outcomes. One of the distinct aspects of Germany that complicates game play was the lack of any discursive commonality expressed politically by the parties. Almost every member of the Reichstag was part of the Bildungsbürgertum, a term roughly meaning the “educated middle class,” who shared a common cultural fluency grounded in the Western Christian and German cultural traditions, but little else held them together aside from citizenship. In fact, they bitterly disagreed over the meaning of even the most basic political and cultural terms. German society had become “pillared” – a single nation in which separate sub-cultures sought to avoid influences from the others. As a result, little common ground existed between the various factions. The Big Issue: Organizing Modern Society What should be the social, political, economic, and cultural foundations of modern society? What form of society is just and how is that society secured? What happens in democratic societies where democracy fails to produce working majorities or promote the interests of citizens? By the 20th century, Europeans had developed holistic ideologies promoted by well-organized political parties. These ideologies did not remain mere abstractions; instead, millions fought for them in a variety of forms by rallying to their platforms, symbols, and personalities as forms of mass participatory political culture emerged. In 1919, Germany brought together in open conflict, both in parliament and in the streets, all of the great ideologies of the 20th century: liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, socialism, Christian democracy, communism, and fascism. On the matter of constitutional arrangement, these expressed themselves as a spectrum of republicanism, monarchism, corporatism, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism. Liberalism sought a nation-state that balanced the political rights of most but made sacred private property and capitalist enterprise, thus ensuring the persistence of class differences. Nationalists had long believed that unity came from common cultural bonds. Building primarily on the basis of a linguisticcultural national unity, all divisions could be overcome. Socialists had split by the early 20th century. Communists, inspired by Lenin in Russia, rejected the possibility of justice under capitalism and insisted on the abolition of all private property as the only means to make democracy real. Social Democrats, however, sought a path of social justice that worked within the framework of capitalism and parliamentary democracy. Catholicism had accepted that it must exist in the secular world, but it did so uneasily, denouncing both liberalism and socialism and seeking a distinctly third way – that of a political Christianity engaged in mass politics, respecting private property, and insisting on social responsibility. Fascism materialized in the 1920s to further complicate these debates. As global capitalism and the remnants of conservative agrarianism reeled under the crises unleashed in the Great War, traditional parties struggled to provide viable answers even as Communists made tremendous gains. Fascism went beyond the limits of nationalism and liberalism and integrated elements of socialism and religious zeal. Each party pulled Germany in a different direction and often refused to compromise with or even recognize other parties. As the conservative Austrian scholar Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn wrote in 1943: 11 Catholic Centrists wanted to create conditions in Germany which would make it easier for the individuals to save their souls; Socialists denied the existence of souls and divided people into classes; the German Nationalists were interested in language and culture; while the National Socialists put the main stress on race. Whereas some looked at pocketbooks, others at the pigmentation of the skin or the index of the skull, fruitful discussions became impossible. When the speaker of one party indulged in his oratory, the others walked out. It was not worthwhile to listen to somebody’s opinion when you knew that his premises were all wrong. The grim determination to silence the unconvincible enemy by execution or imprisonment already existed prior to 1933 in many parties. 1 In short, Germans often regarded those who disagreed with them as either ignorant fools or dishonest men who misunderstood the most basic nature of society and therefore could only reach absurd conclusions totally at odds with reality. This logic dictated that they should have no role in the political life of Germany. Compromise was correspondingly difficult, and statements of principle mattered more than the pragmatic concessions essential to democracy. The numerous political parties reflected and reinforced this fractured reality inside the Reichstag (Germany’s parliament). We begin with arguably the most important political treatise of the 19th century – The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. By engaging the Manifesto, we explore a theory of social organization created in the modern era, one that not only saw itself as a natural extension of liberalism, but as a clear alternative to conservativism. Further, the Manifesto is directly held up as the foundational text of both social democracy and its later offshoot of communism. So influential was this work that every party by the early twentieth century had to engage it. Christian democracy rejected its explicit materialism as antithetical to the spiritual basis of man. Nationalists opposed its internationalism as hostile to the very idea of the nation-state. Liberals regarded its emphasis on collective class identity as incompatible with the fundamental rights of the individual. And fascists saw it as deviously distorting the organic and race-based nature of society. Its critique of religion, the family, patriarchy, and conventional morality shocked almost everyone. Yet, no party could ignore it. They all found not only the need to denounce it, but also to cautiously appropriate it. Reform minded liberals felt compelled to advocate many of its welfare demands. Fascists specifically called for integration of workers into the mainstream of society. Even Christian democrats, at least since the encyclical Rerum novarum, believed that they had a duty to address the concerns of the working class. Nonetheless, even the Marxist camp found itself quickly divided on how to understand the Manifesto. By 1917, the world Marxist movement had fractured in two – the social democrats argued that socialism could be achieved gradually through a policy of parliamentary reform within the capitalist system; the communists countered that only a revolution that destroyed capitalism could bring about lasting change. 1 Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (aka Francis Stewart Campbell), The Menace of the Herd, or Procrustes at Large (Bruce Publishing Company, 1943), 183. 12 So, we begin by grappling with The Communist Manifesto yet we immediately proceed to our second major reading – the party platform (The Twenty-Five Points) and commentary of the National Socialists (the fascist party of Hitler). When studying fascism many automatically reach for Hitler’s autobiographic Mein Kampf (My Struggle) from 1925. However, that work ran to over seven hundred pages and revealed a rather undisciplined intellect. It presented neither a coherent theory nor a strategy. And for all the insights one can glean into Hitler’s mindset, it is a rambling and somewhat incoherent read. It sold well enough (240,000 copies by 1933), though, and laid out a basic worldview of Social Darwinistic race-based conflict implacably hostile to Marxism and Liberalism. Yet, for any coherency, one has to look to other documents – in our case, the so-called Twenty-Five Points and the commentary by Gottfried Feder. Feder, the primary author of the Twenty-Five Points was by training a civil engineer; he was also a selftaught economist, the party’s unofficial economic theoretician, and one of the early key members of the NSDAP. It was one of his lectures that drew Hitler into the party in 1919. Hitler referred to Feder’s exposition of the party platform as the party “catechism” and, perhaps as much as any document, his summary of National Socialism embodies the basic ideals of the party with its rampant anti-semitism, its loathing of both Marxism and Liberalism, and its embrace of a racial corporatism subordinated to military expansionism. Like Marxism, it was a total world philosophy that claimed to rest on historical laws grounded in nature. Like Marxism, it offered its adherents a clear map of the world in which they struggled, allowing them to see behind the curtain at the machinations of those they blamed for their unhappiness. Like Marxism, it rose to be one of the most powerful ideologies of the twentieth century, organizing some of the world’s greatest economies and spreading in one form or another to every continent. We suspend disbelief for a moment and immerse ourselves into the greatest conflict in history – the struggle for the organization of the modern industrial world. Our scene is set in Germany set against the backdrop of the German Parliament, the Reichstag. The curtain unfolds in 1929. Communists and fascists, democrats and socialists, Catholics and conservatives populate our stage. At stake is not just an election – the fate of the world is momentarily in your hands. 13 2b. Maps Treaty of Versailles Territorial Revisions, 1919 • • • • German nationalists demand the return of all territory including colonies lost in the Treaty of Versailles. 2 Pan-German nationalists also demand the inclusion of Austria and the German-speaking borders of Czechoslovakia into a Greater Germany; the proposed “Customs Union” with Austria would integrate the two countries economically. French troops have promised to withdraw from the Rhineland in 1930 if the Young Plan is ratified; it is to remain demilitarized, however. Yet, during the occupation, which lead to massive uprisings, a small number of multiracial children were born to German mothers and African fathers serving with French colonial troops. Conservatives and fascists regard the existence of these children, called “Rhineland Bastards,” as a deliberate attempt to racially insult Germany. The “Polish Corridor” (West Prussia and Posen) is a major source of contention and no German politician has ever stated that their annexation by Poland is acceptable. However, the issue is currently debated in the Liquidation Treaty between Germany and Poland, which would attempt to regulate relations between the two countries through compromises in that region. 2 The Treaty of Versailles is often referred to simply as “Versailles,” with every German understanding from context that the meaning is the treaty. Many also refer to it as the Dictate (Diktat) of Versailles to imply that, unlike a legitimate treaty that is negotiated, Versailles was imposed upon Germany as a victor’s peace. 14 German States, 1929 • • • • Notice the size of Prussia in comparison to all other states; it is almost 2/3 of Germany and thus of overwhelming importance. The Prussian police force is the single largest armed body in all of Germany, and control of its state government is an important weapon. It has been in the hands of a pro-Republic coalition led by the SPD with the Center Party and the DDP since 1919. The bastions of democratic left support are in “Red” Berlin and in the industrialized Ruhr area of the Rhineland and Westphalia. East Prussia, though part of Prussia, is now an exclave – completely cut off geographically from Germany by Poland by the annexation of the “Polish Corridor”. It remains the heart of the old agrarian Junker elite and includes Neudeck, the home estate of President von Hindenburg. This, combined with the loss of the Polish Corridor and its alienation from the democratic sentiments of the rest of Prussia, mean that it is a source of reactionary and anti-Polish agitation. Bavaria is the second largest state and still refers to itself as the Free State of Bavaria. The ruling Wittelsbach dynasty has never renounced its claim to throne and many Bavarians are monarchists and separatists. Though deeply Catholic, the separatist Bavarian People’s Party has split from the Center party and pursues a more conservative policy. However, it finds itself completely at odds with and even hostile to the NSDAP, which is headquartered under Adolf Hitler in the Bavarian capital of Munich. No other state carries any other significant influence on national politics though local events can resonate throughout the rest of Germany. 15 2c. Prologue: A Dirge for Stresemann Last night, 6 October 1929, you decided, would be a good time to try to settle your nerves. The last few days have been hectic. As a member of the Reichstag, one rarely finds time for relaxation even in the best of times. And these are not the best of times. Thinking of heading to Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s internationally famous hub of nightlife, maybe to visit a cabaret or find some other distractions, you leave the Reichstag building und turn down towards Potsdamer Platz. Though late, the square there still bustles with cafés full of the city’s well-heeled. Walking on, the Romanesque Revival edifice of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the center of the Breitscheidplatz appears ahead of you, gloomy and forlorn – an edifice built by one emperor to celebrate his grandfather who had founded a Reich that no longer exists. You think back, has it really only been ten years since the end of the Great War? Only ten years since the Allies imposed the “Diktat of Versailles” on a helpless Germany? Only ten years since the new constitution was declared in Weimar, creating the current republic and abolishing the monarchy? The wounds are still so fresh. The recent proposal in the Reichstag of the Young Plan to renegotiate war reparations has torn open these scars and unleashed a fearsome debate. The conservative nationalists and upstart National Socialists have declared the Young Plan an act of treason, a second stab in the back tantamount to the original betrayal of Germany in 1918. The communists denounce it as just another example of capitalistic imperialism. The same debates as 1919. So little has changed in some ways since the revolutionary days of 1918 and 1919. Every party has its own private army that it sends out into the streets to battle its rivals. Some scandal or another has rocked every party. Even the military has been exposed for undermining the government and acting independently. Meanwhile the day-to-day work of the Reichstag grinds on as bill after bill exposes how little the different parties have in common. Every issue is on the table – bills to decriminalize sodomy and bills to make it a capital offense. Bills to outlaw abortion, to legalize it, and to make it a capital offense. The war novel All Quiet on the Western Front has sold 1.5 million copies since its publication in January, yet some in the Reichstag want to ban it. The Reichswehr will not admit Jews, yet the Republic has granted them full citizenship. Weimar is a democracy, and yet the political parties have armed paramilitaries that openly oppose the government. There is a limited budget, and yet the Marxists want more money for the uninsured; the liberals demand that social spending and taxes be cut; the nationalists insist on an increase in the naval budget, and the aristocratic conservatives require subsidies for their indebted agrarian estates. You have tried to keep an open mind. Many consider you a Vernunftrepublikaner – one who can support the Republic as the only reasonable alternative to civil war or invasion. But you also see all of its flaws and wonder if the radical critics may not, when all is said and done, have a point. Perhaps a totally new system is required. Funeral The distractions of the city and your thoughts of politics almost made you forget, for the moment at least, why you felt such a strong urge to walk and clear your head. Gustav Stresemann has died – the greatest of 16 Germany’s post-war statesman, one-time chancellor and longtime Foreign Minister, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, architect of the policy of normalizing Germany’s relationships with her former enemies and slowly wringing concessions to the dictates of the onerous Versailles Treaty. He affected, as much as anyone could (or should), a partial rapprochement with France. He gained access to the League of Nations, including membership on the all-important Security Council. He had even recently brought a further revision and reduction in war reparations to the Reichstag in the form of the Young Plan. Under his leadership, the Republic seemed to have finally caught its breath. The economy had been growing in its steady return to pre-war levels. Political violence has largely disappeared. The fanatical parties of the left and right are marginalized. Indeed, for the first time a coalition government was able to serve out its entire four-year term before mandatory Reichstag elections were called in 1928, which again returned a strong pro-constitution coalition. At age 51, though, Stresemann has died unexpectedly. Tomorrow – no, wait – you realize it is already well after midnight - today is his state funeral. You pick up the early edition of the Berliner Tagesblatt from a kiosk. Nearby, the lean and hard-faced men lining up in the dark for the hope of a day job make you a bit nervous. You stay in the light of the kiosk to read the paper. One of the men asks you for a cigarette – startled at first, you offer him two. These men are Germans, after all. Who knows – he could have fought at the front. Times are hard, especially for veterans. Sensing a man of means, a street prostitute approaches and propositions you - her looks as lean and hard as the men, her dress a gaudy proletarian imitation of what she must imagine the cabaret girls wear. No point chastising her – there are so many at this hour of the night you would go hoarse lecturing them all on their low morals. These women – the spread of venereal diseases, the rise in abortions, the growing number of street children without a father. But you stop yourself before your blood pressure rises. You were trying to take your mind off all the problems. You simply look back down at your paper. You do not have to look long for news about the funeral. The government has orchestrated what promises to be the largest state event in years. Even British newspapers have been paying tribute to Stresemann’s career, and describe him as “one of Europe’s architects of peace.” But these tributes seem a bit optimistic; one of their papers stated, “His death a few years ago might seriously have endangered progress towards reconciliation, which has now, happily, reached a stage when personal changes are unlikely to interfere with further development.” You are not so sure, especially when you think of the morass in the Reichstag. You have heard rumors that it was actually the Reichstag that killed him. No, not an assassination (those days have hopefully passed when death squads – some say with the support of the Reichswehr – assassinated supporters of the Republic). Instead, you have heard that he had attended an excited and sometimes stormy meeting of his party (the nationalist liberal DVP) lasting for four hours, at which he urged waverers to support the Unemployment Insurance Bill. Apparently it was the final and fatal drain on his strength. He went straight home, dined moderately, and had a stroke. 17 Now, with the growing rift in the ruling coalition about how to grapple with the economic crisis, it is unsure what will happen. Indeed, the divisions in the Reichstag seem unbridgeable. When the Reichstag assembled yesterday Stresemann’s seat on the ministerial bench was draped in black and a wreath laid on it. White chrysanthemums adorned the place where he had sat as deputy. Yet even what appeared as an act of unifying respect for a German statesman of international renown soon revealed the deep rifts. When the vice-president opened the session, eulogizing Stresemann’s work, and declaring that his name should be written in letters of gold, the communists and extreme nationalists refused to stand – a deliberate act of disrespect. In fact, you have heard that Joseph Goebbels, one of the leaders of the NSDAP in Berlin, commented about Stresemann’s death, “A stone has been removed from the road to German freedom.” Procession As day breaks, you eat in a café and prepare for Stresemann’s funeral. It begins in the Reichstag building, where Stresemann’s mortal remains were moved after lying in state in his official residence in the Foreign Ministry with a police guard on duty day and night. As the coffin leaves the steps of the Reichstag, you cannot help but look up and read the monumental engraved words on the pediment: “For the German People.” Ironic, you think – a parliament building dedicated to the German people by an authoritarian and deposed Kaiser now housing a liberal democracy. The venerable President von Hindenburg and members of the cabinet and the Reichstag are all attending the funeral, which will take a special route to enable the crowds to pay their tribute and even follow the procession all the way to the gates of the cemetery. The streets are full – an estimated two hundred thousand Germans and visiting dignitaries have turned out – and hung with the black-red-gold of the Republic. Never mind that many of the on-lookers and dignitaries, the soldiers and officers, would rather march beneath the black-white-red of the Kaiserreich. The apparent support for the Republic is overwhelming – perhaps, for all its trials, the Republic truly does have the faith of the nation? The clear and crisp October skies do not match the somber mood and dress of the on-lookers. Columns of Reichswehr soldiers slow step down the street. Muffled drums and sonorous church bells accompany the procession. Concrete pillars, placed at the sides of the roadway, emit dense black smoke to cast a pall. Statesmen in top hats walk in procession behind a black casket, draped in the flag of the Republic, on a black carriage drawn by black horses. Mourners are held in order by lines of uniformed police. After only one block, the cortege passes through central arch of the Brandenburg Gate. Another irony! Isn’t that gate supposed to be a triumphal arch dedicated to the military glory of the Hohenzollern dynasty? And wasn’t the central arch reserved exclusively for use by the imperial family until 1918? And didn’t the gate open up onto Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees, which formerly led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarch? Yet in November 1918, the communist leader, Karl Liebknecht, declared the German Socialist Republic from a balcony of that palace, ending more than four hundred years of royal occupation of the building. 18 And now it is used as a museum. Your head spins thinking how rapidly everything you had grown up with disappeared seemingly overnight in those fateful days. Heedless, the cortege plods on until reaching the Foreign Ministry. There, in a dramatic moment, the carriage halts. Hats are doffed and two minutes of silence are observed beneath the window where Stresemann had worked. The procession proceeds through the suburb of Kreuzberg. Even here, you have to ponder the rapid changes in Germany. Until 1921, Kreuzberg was not even part of Berlin. Your grandparents remember it as a rural retreat with its idyllic hill upon which was built the Prussian National Monument for the Liberation Wars against Napoleon. Now, though, it is one of Berlin’s industrial boroughs, notorious for its working-class tenement housing. It has Berlin’s highest population density and its most active communist party locals. You wonder if these ill-educated Kreuzberg workers have any idea what that old monument, now blocked behind the factories and tenements, stood for? Isn’t this, too, the part of Berlin where many immigrants, especially Jews from the east, have settled recently? In fact, the Jewish Mosse family with its local press empire, is located here in the “press quarter.” Jews controlling the German press from a communist district in the capital of the Reich? You spontaneously snort at the thought – it sounds like a histrionic script from one of those speeches by that radical Austrian corporal, Hitler. Monument Finally, the procession reaches the Luisenstadtischer cemetery, where you and many other mourners will pass by the open grave. You have heard that the German sculptor Hugo Lederer has been chosen to design the funerary monument. You ponder that for a moment. Is Lederer even a German? He was born in Austria, not Germany. Well, not exactly. He technically was born in Austria-Hungary, in the Dual Monarchy of the Habsburg Empire. But that nation and dynasty no longer exist. They disappeared in the anarchy of 1918 – just like the Kaiserreich and the Hohenzollern dynasty. So, you assume he is an Austrian –that ridiculous new statelet that was forbidden by the Allies from joining Germany, even though its German population clearly voted for union in a referendum. Just another example of how Versailles is a victor’s peace. And you remember that Lederer is actually from the city of Znaim – in what used to be in Austrian Moravia. But now it is just called by its Slavicized name Znojmo and it now belongs to the artificial state of Czechoslovakia. How perverse – a state that did not even exist until created by the same politicians in Paris who decided to deny the local German population the right to self-determination! At the thought, your blood again begins to boil despite the solemnity of the occasion. You may not be so single-mindedly radical as the German Nationalists, but you are a German patriot after all! And one cannot question Lederer’s patriotism after all. What can he do for it that German Europe has been carved up like a butchered hog to feed the petty interests of other nations? In fact, Lederer, you 19 recall, designed the largest of all the Bismarck towers during the Kaiserreich – the one in Hamburg. You have been to several of these Bismarck towers with their powerful squat designs evoking the spirit of the Iron Chancellor. Every year, each of these towers, and there are hundreds, serves as a beacon when its brazier is lit to honor Bismarck and to commemorate his achievement in unifying Germany in 1871. It reminds us all of the need to not only restore Germany’s historical borders but also to unite within it those Germans excluded by Versailles. At least on that point all parties can agree. Yes, Lederer seems to embody all of the contradictions of Germany since the War. A German without a Germany, denied self-determination, his homeland dismembered by the dictate of Versailles, but still a patriot. He has commissioned monuments to the fallen German heroes of the War as well as the fallen statesmen of Weimar. An Austrian or a German? One who looks idealistically back to the heroes of the past or one who dares to pragmatically confront the present? Just like you, he seems not so sure where Germany or its future lies. 20 2d. Basic Features of Reacting to the Past Reacting to the Past is a series of historical role-playing games. Students are given elaborate game books which place them in moments of historical controversy and intellectual ferment. The class becomes a public body of some sort; students, in role, become particular persons from the period, often as members of a faction. Their purpose is to advance a policy agenda and achieve their victory objectives. To do so, they will undertake research and write speeches and position papers; and they will also give formal speeches, participate in informal debates and negotiations, and otherwise work to win the game. After a few preparatory lectures, the game begins and the players are in charge; the instructor serves as adviser or “gamemaster.” Outcomes sometimes differ from the actual history; a post-mortem session at the end of the game sets the record straight. The following is an outline of what you will encounter in Reacting and what you will be expected to do. While these elements are typical of every Reacting game, it is important to remember that every game has its own special quirks. 1. Game Set-up Your instructor will spend some time before the beginning of the game helping you to understand the historical background. During the set-up period, you will read several different kinds of material: • • The game book (from which you are reading now), which includes historical information, rules and elements of the game, and essential documents; and Your role, which describes the historical person you will play in the game. You may also be required to read primary and secondary sources outside the game book (perhaps including one or more accompanying books), which provide additional information and arguments for use during the game. Often you will be expected to conduct research to bolster your papers and speeches. Read all of this contextual material and all of these documents and sources before the game begins. And just as important, go back and reread these materials throughout the game. A second reading while in role will deepen your understanding and alter your perspective: ideas take on a different aspect when seen through the eyes of a partisan actor. Players who have carefully read the materials and who know the rules of the game will invariably do better than those who rely on general impressions and uncertain recollections. 2. Game Play Once the game begins, certain players preside over the class sessions. These presiding officers may be elected or appointed. Your instructor then becomes the gamemaster (GM) and takes a seat in the back of the room. While not in control, the GM may do any of the following: • Pass notes to spur players to action; 21 • • Announce the effects of actions taken inside the game on outside parties (e.g., neighboring countries) or the effects of outside events on game actions (e.g., a declaration of war); and Interrupt and redirect proceedings that have gone off track. Presiding officers may act in a partisan fashion, speaking in support of particular interests, but they must observe basic standards of fairness. As a failsafe device, most Reacting games employ the “Podium Rule,” which allows a player who has not been recognized to approach the podium and wait for a chance to speak. Once at the podium, the player has the floor and must be heard. In order to achieve your objectives, outlined in your role sheet, you must persuade others to support you. You must speak with others, because never will a role contain all that you need to know, and never will one faction have the strength to prevail without allies. Collaboration and coalition-building are at the heart of every game. Most role descriptions contain secret information which you are expected to guard. Exercise caution when discussing your role with others. You may be a member of a faction, which gives you allies who are generally safe and reliable, but even they may not always be in total agreement with you. In games where factions are tight-knit groups with fixed objectives, finding a persuadable ally can be difficult. Fortunately, every game includes roles that are undecided (or “indeterminate”) about certain issues. Everyone is predisposed on certain issues, but most players can be persuaded to support particular positions. Cultivating these players is in your interest. (By contrast, if you are assigned an “indeterminate” role, you will likely have considerable freedom to choose one or another side in the game; but often, too, indeterminates have special interests of their own.) Cultivate friends and supporters. Before you speak at the podium, arrange to have at least one supporter second your proposal, come to your defense, or admonish those in the body not paying attention. Feel free to ask the presiding officer to assist you, but appeal to the GM only as a last resort. Immerse yourself in the game. Regard it as a way to escape imaginatively from your usual “self”-- and your customary perspective as a college student in the 21st century. At first, this may cause discomfort because you may be advocating ideas that are incompatible with your own beliefs. You may also need to take actions which you would find reprehensible in real life. Remember that a Reacting game is only a game and that you and the other players are merely playing roles. When they offer criticisms, they are not criticizing you as a person. Similarly, you must never criticize another person in the game. But you will likely be obliged to criticize their persona. (For example, never say, “Sally’s argument is ridiculous.” But feel free to say, “Governor Winthrop’s argument is ridiculous”-- though you would do well to explain exactly why!) Always assume, when spoken to by a fellow player—whether in class or out of class—that that person is speaking to you in role. Help to create this world by avoiding the colloquialisms and familiarities of today’s college life. Never should the presiding officer, for example, open a session with the salutation, “Hi guys.” Similarly, remember that it is inappropriate to trade on out-of-class relationships when asking for support within the game. (“Hey, you can’t vote against me. We’re both on the tennis team!”) 22 Reacting to the Past seeks to approximate of the complexity of the past. Because some people in history were not who they seemed to be, so, too, some roles in Reacting may include elements of conspiracy or deceit. (For example, Brutus did not announce to the Roman Senate his plans to assassinate Caesar.) If you are assigned such a role, you must make it clear to everyone that you are merely playing a role. If, however, you find yourself in a situation where you find your role and actions to be stressful or uncomfortable, tell the GM. 3. Game Requirements Your instructor will explain the specific requirements for your class. In general, a Reacting game will require you to perform several distinct but interrelated activities: • • • • Reading: This standard academic work is carried on more purposefully in a Reacting course, since what you read is put to immediate use. Research and Writing: The exact writing requirements depend on your instructor, but in most cases you will be writing to persuade others. Most of your writing will take the form of policy statements, but you might also write autobiographies, clandestine messages, newspapers, or aftergame reflections. In most cases papers are posted on the class website for examination by others. Basic rules: Do not use big fonts or large margins. Do not simply repeat your position as outlined in your role sheets: You must base your arguments on historical facts as well as ideas drawn from assigned texts--and from independent research. (Your instructor will outline the requirements for footnoting and attribution.) Be sure to consider the weaknesses in your argument and address them; if you do not your opponents will. Public Speaking and Debate: Most players are expected to deliver at least one formal speech from the podium (the length of the game and the size of the class will affect the number of speeches). Reading papers aloud is seldom effective. Some instructors may insist that students instead speak freely from notes. After a speech, a lively and even raucous debate will likely ensue. Often the debates will culminate in a vote. Strategizing: Communication among students is a pervasive feature of Reacting games. You should find yourself writing emails, texting, and attending meetings on a fairly regular basis. If you do not, you are being outmaneuvered by your opponents. 4. Skill Development A recent Associated Press article on education and employment made the following observations: “The world’s top employers are pickier than ever. And they want to see more than high marks and the right degree. They want graduates with so-called soft skills—those who can work well in teams, write and speak with clarity, adapt quickly to changes in technology and business conditions, and interact with colleagues from different countries and cultures. . . . And companies are going to ever-greater lengths to identify the students who have the right mix of skills, by observing them in role-playing exercises to see how they handle pressure and get along with others . . . and [by] organizing contests that reveal how students solve problems and handle deadline pressure.” 23 Reacting to the Past, probably better than most elements of the curriculum, provides the opportunity for developing these “soft skills.” This is because you will be practicing persuasive writing, public speaking, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. You will also need to adapt to changing circumstances and work under pressure. 2e. Counterfactuals A few historical counterfactuals have been worked into the game for playability and clarity. Counterfactual 1: Indeterminates and the parties of the middle In Germany in 1929 no completely indeterminate political parties existed. Each party had certain clear objectives and constituencies. However, the parties of the middle showed great openness to the whims of the electorate and the pressure of special interest groups. While core goals may not change, lesser objectives and tactics remain flexible. Counterfactual 2: Character Sheets While every player has a historical personage whose biographical details are based on history, the players’ victory conditions are tied more closely to the player’s party than to the player’s biography. In that sense, the characters represent the composite interests of their complex factions rather than just their individual backgrounds. However, in larger games, the greater number of players allows for greater individuality. Additionally, a few of the characters such as Heuss were not in the Reichstag until 1930, although they were already party officers; others were not in the Reichstag after 1930. Counterfactual 3: Weimar Constitution The constitution was a complex document with virtually every conceivable contingency articulated. The game reduces this complexity to a much more manageable number of variables. In particular, it does not allow for any role for the individual states, which in reality served as a check and balance on the central authority of Berlin through the Reichsrat. Thus, the bicameral nature of Weimar has been reduced to the single chamber of the Reichstag. Counterfactual 4: Regionalism Linked to Counterfactual 3, the strong sense of particularism (regional loyalty above national loyalty) always shaped German politics. Where the Bavarian People’s Party (BVP) is in play, this element is can emerge in simplified form. Counterfactual 5: Timing of Documents and Ministerial Reports A few of the documents were published after 1929, but they all represent general ideas well known in 1929, and no document is from later than 1932. All are directly from the immediate context of the game. Similarly, the chronology of the Ministerial Reports has or can be adjusted slightly; all events occurred during the period in question, but not necessarily in the order of the game. 24 3. Historical Background 3a. Timeline German States before Unification 1789 French Revolution 1806 Holy Roman Empire dissolved; creation of Austrian Empire 1814-15 Defeat of Napoleon; Congress of Vienna; German Confederation formed 1847 The Communist Manifesto written 1848 Pan-European revolutions 1848-49 Liberal Frankfurt Parliament, later disbanded by monarchists 1860s Struggle between monarchists and liberals, origins of social democracy German Reich 1870 Franco-Prussian War 1871 German Empire (Kaiserreich) founded under Prussian Kaiser Wilhelm I 1871-90 Chancellor Otto von Bismarck 1871-80 Kulturkampf against Catholics; Centre Party formed 1876 Current Social Democratic Party of Germany formed 1878-90 Anti-Socialist Laws against SPD 1888 William II becomes Kaiser 1891 Foundation of ultra-nationalist Pan German League (Alldeutscher Verband) 1900 Revisionism debate inside of SPD between Eduard Bernstein and Rosa Luxemburg 1914-18 Great War results in devastating German defeat German Republic 1918 Revolution and end of Kaiserreich; Republic declared; universal suffrage 1919 Spartacist Uprising; Bavarian Soviet Republic; Versailles Treaty; Weimar Constitution; Friedrich Ebert (SPD) Reich president; Otto Bauer (SPD) forms 1st cabinet (SPD, X, DDP = Weimar Coalition) 1920 Kapp Putsch; Ruhr Uprising; Fehrenback (Centre) forms cabinet without SPD 1921 Wirth (Centre) reforms cabinet with SPD; Matthias Erzberger (Centre) assassinated 1922 Cuno (unaffiliated) forms cabinet without SPD; Treaty of Rapallo; Walter Rathenau (DDP) assassinated; French occupation of the Ruhr 1923 Hyperinflation; Coup attempt by Black Reichswehr; Stresemann (DVP) forms cabinet (SPD, DVP, X, DDP = Grand Coalition); KPD Hamburg Uprising; NSDAP Munich Putsch (Beer Hall Putsch); Rentenmark 1924 Wilhelm Marx (Centre) forms cabinet; Dawes Plan 1925 von Hindenburg elected Reich president; Locarno Treaties; Germany admitted to League of Nations; Hans Luther (unaffiliated) forms cabinet (X, DDP, DVP, DNVP) 1926 Wilhelm Marx (Centre) forms 6th cabinet (X, DDP, DVP, BVP) 1928 Herman Müller (SPD) forms cabinet (SPD, DDP, X, DVP); Kellogg-Briand pact 1929 All Quiet on the Western Front; Young Plan; Wall Street Crash; Death of Stresemann 25 3b. Narrative The World that Was: The Kaiserreich The German Empire (Deutsches Reich or Deutsches Kaiserreich, aka Germany) existed only briefly, from 1871 until its collapse at the end of the Great War in 1918. Before that time, no state called “Germany” had ever existed. Instead the lands of German-speaking Europe were divided between at times hundreds of sovereign entities. Most of these entities admittedly came under the Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, but that Empire never included all of German-speaking Europe (German-speaking settlers in the lower Danube and Eastern Europe as far away as modern Estonia were never part of it); its borders changed constantly (the Swiss cantons began breaking away in the 13th century); and it usually included non-German speakers (Italians, French, Czechs, Dutch, Danes, Poles, etc…). In short, the Holy Roman Empire should not be mistaken as a proto-Germany. Consequently, the various German-speaking parts of Europe maintained fierce loyalty to local identities, a situation referred to as “particularism.” While many accepted a common cultural bond, these bounds were counteracted by divisions based on mutually unintelligible dialects, deep religious cleavages (Lutheran, Calvinist, Catholic), differing regional traditions, and long-standing political-institutional distinctions between rival German states. In short, a Prussian was no more a Bavarian than an American was an Englishman. Nonetheless, by the 18th century, and accelerating during the Napoleonic Wars, a period of frequently violent political consolidation began, resulting in two dominant German states – Austria and Prussia – vying for domination over three dozen lesser states. The Kaiserreich that emerged from this struggle at the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 unified twenty-seven smaller German states under the Prussian monarchy but deliberately excluded its archrival Austria. Most of the smaller stated were ruled by royal families such as the Wittelsbach of Bavaria and were allowed to keep their crowns, but all united under the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty. Regardless of unification, many Germans retained the deep sense of local loyalty that had marked their history and, especially in the Catholic Rhineland and Bavaria, often resented Berlin and the new state. As a compromise, the Kaiserreich left local matters largely in the hands of the constituent states but at the same time promoted a sustained effort to create a national identity. At the same time, however, to create national cohesion the new state and much of the middle class launched sustained campaigns to promote a strong nationalistic identity – an identity that sought to overcome these local divisions with a jingoistic chauvinism that looked for external (France, United Kingdom, Russia) and internal (Jews, Catholics, Socialists) enemies to rally people against. This nationalization effort, conducted through the schools, press, political and cultural organizations, and the military, met with considerable success, but not without alienating many Germans and producing an increasingly narrow and racialized view of who was a German. Following broader trends in Europe and the Americas, Most Germans came to integrate race consciousness into everyday life. Anti-Semitism became a regular feature of public discourse. Black Africans in Germany’s new colonies became a source of open debate on excluding them and their children, especially mixed-race children. This racial prejudice was also directed against the Slavic (mostly Polish) minority in the east, leading to a policy of Germanization that sought to eradicate non-German culture and language and even replace non-ethnic German property owners and workers with ethnic Germans. A corollary was the expansion of a Pan26 German ideology that insisted that all territories in Europe with German speakers should become part of Germany. Most importantly, the growth of socialism had led to the unification of a large social democratic party (SPD). Chancellor Otto von Bismarck attempted to suppress this movement with a double-pronged approach. First, using repression, the so-called Anti-Socialist laws that continued from the 1870s until 1890, outlawed almost every aspect of the SPD except those related to Reichstag elections and service. When repression failed, Bismarck launched his second approach – social welfare. Building on a longer tradition, in the 1880s he introduced old-age pensions, accident insurance, medical care and unemployment insurance that formed the basis of the modern European welfare state. He hoped that this sort of policy would bind workers to the state; it also fit well with state authoritarianism. His paternalistic programs won the support of German industry because its goals were to win the support of the working classes for the realm and reduce the outflow of immigrants to America, where wages were higher but welfare did not exist. Bismarck further won the support of both industry and skilled workers by his high tariff policies, which protected profits and wages from competition, although they alienated Liberals who wanted free trade. Nonetheless, the intent to stop the growth of the SPD failed, and by 1912 the SPD had become the largest party in Germany (indeed the largest socialist party in the world). Additionally, Catholics, now a 1/3 minority in a largely Protestant Germany where they had once been majorities in smaller states before 1871, resisted efforts to subordinate their denominational schools to secular education. The result was the Kulturkampf launched by Bismarck – an anti-Catholic campaign in the 1870s that only led to the hardening and organization of Catholic opposition, especially in the form of the Centre Party. Although Bismarck eventually dropped the Kulturkampf as counterproductive, a certain Lutheran chauvinism continued, especially in the north and east. Indeed, even though Germany actively integrated politicians from every region, the Junker class retained an unrivaled prestige – a product in part of the failure of the peasantry to achieve a revolutionary breakthrough in combination with urban groups. The Junker were in the 19th century associated with the landed nobility of the eastern part of the Kingdom of Prussia and its culture. That culture included a deep sense of service to the state, most importantly in the military. In fact, the imperial army’s active officer corps was almost exclusively comprised of Junker. Alongside this militarization came a conservative conviction that a state should resemble a military in its authoritarian and hierarchical structure; in short, the Junker were no friends of democracy. Socially conservative, linked to the Lutheran (or occasionally Calvinist) faith, and dedicated to the economic interests of large landholders, the Junker dominated most aspects of German life through their unrivaled prestige and status. Yet Germany was changing, as the growth of the SPD indicates. After 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron (and later steel), chemicals, and railways. In 1871, when the new German Empire was created, it had a population of 41 million people and by 1913 had grown to 68 million. A heavily rural collection of states in 1815, the united Germany became predominantly urban and industrial. During its forty-seven years of existence, the Kaiserreich operated as an industrial, technological, and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than Britain, France, Russia, and the United States combined. In 1914 it was the most powerful, industrialized, 27 scientifically advanced, and educated nation on the continent of Europe, its only serious rival being the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, the middle classes clamored for political inclusion and organized in various Liberal parties. Chancellor Bismarck had more success at blunting the growth of Liberalism by linking their interests to the nation-state. Indeed, many of the most rabidly militant nationalist organizations such as the Navy League (calling for a navy to rival the UK), the German Colonial Society (calling for an expansion of German colonies to again rival those of the UK and France), and the PanGerman League (calling for an integration of all German speakers into the German state, which would include areas as far away as Romania), were dominated by members of the industrial class. Despite the internal tensions, the Kaiserreich became a great power, boasting a rapidly growing rail network, the world’s strongest army, and a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade its navy went from being a negligible force to one which was second only to the British Royal Navy. After the removal of the powerful but diplomatically cautious Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1890 (following the deaths of two Emperors, Wilhelm I and Frederick III, in 1888), the young Emperor Wilhelm II engaged in increasingly reckless foreign policies that left the Empire isolated. Its network of small, recently acquired colonies in Africa and the Pacific paled in comparison to the British and French empires, and only a small number became profitable]. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, the German Empire had only two allies, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. In the Great War (1914-1918), German plans to capture Paris quickly in autumn 1914 failed, and the war on the Western Front, against the forces of the British Empire and France, became a stalemate. The Allied naval blockade made for increasing shortages of food, and Germany was repeatedly forced to send troops to bolster Austria and Turkey on other fronts. However, Germany had great success on the Eastern Front; as a result of the new Bolshevik government’s determination to end involvement in the war, it ceded large Eastern territories in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 was designed to strangle the British; it failed because of the use of a trans-Atlantic convoy system. But the declaration – along with the Zimmermann Telegram – did bring the United States into the war, with its large reserves of money, food, armaments, and soldiers, who began arriving at a rate of 10,000 per day by late summer 1918. Meanwhile, German civilians and soldiers had become war-weary and radicalized by the Russian Revolution. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff had increasingly controlled the country, and they gambled on one last offensive in spring 1918 before the Americans could arrive in force, using large numbers of troops and guns withdrawn from the Eastern Front. This failed, and by October the armies had been in retreat since August, the AustroHungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, and the German people had lost faith in their political system. The Kaiserreich collapsed seemingly overnight in the November 1918, as the Kaiser and all the ruling kings and dukes abdicated, and a republic took over. The November Revolution (1918–1919) In October 1918, the Kaiser and his advisors agreed in desperation as the front collapsed to reform the constitution of the German Empire and introduce a British-style parliamentary system, but this belated effort was quickly overtaken by events. On 29 October, rebellion broke out in Kiel among sailors. There, sailors, soldiers and workers began electing workers’ and soldiers’ councils (similar to the soviets of Russia) modeled after the soviets of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The revolution spread throughout 28 Germany, and participants seized military and civil powers in individual cities. The power takeover was achieved everywhere without loss of life. At the time, the Socialist movement had already split into two major parties: the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD), which called for immediate peace negotiations and favored a socialist system of industrial control, and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) also known as the “Majority” Social Democratic Party of Germany (MSPD), which supported the war effort and favored a parliamentary system. The rebellion caused great fear in the establishment and in the middle classes because of the Soviet Russian connotation of the councils. To the supporters of monarchy, the country seemed to be on the verge of a communist revolution. On 7 November, the revolution had reached Munich, resulting in King Ludwig III of Bavaria fleeing. The MSPD decided to make use of its popular support and put itself at the front of the movement, demanding that Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate. When he refused, Prince Max of Baden simply announced that he had done so and frantically attempted to establish a regency under another member of the House of Hohenzollern. Gustav Noske, a self-appointed military expert in the MSPD, was sent to Kiel to prevent any further unrest and took on the task of controlling the mutinous sailors and their supporters in the Kiel barracks. The sailors and soldiers, inexperienced in matters of revolutionary combat, welcomed him as an experienced politician and allowed him to negotiate a settlement, thus defusing the initial anger of the revolutionaries in uniform. On 9 November 1918, Philipp Scheidemann (MSPD) proclaimed the “German Republic” at the Reichstag building, to the fury of Friedrich Ebert, the leader of the MSPD, who thought that the question of monarchy or republic should be answered by a national assembly. However, he felt compelled to act when he learned that Karl Liebknecht, co-leader with Rosa Luxemburg of the communist Spartacist League, a group of a few hundred supporters of the Russian revolution that had allied itself with the USPD in 1917, was going to declare a “Free Socialist Republic,” which he did two hours later 2 km away at the royal residence in Berlin, the Stadtschloss. In a constitutionally questionable act, Chancellor Prince Max von Baden transferred his powers to Friedrich Ebert, who, shattered by the monarchy’s fall, reluctantly accepted. In view of the mass support for more radical reforms among the workers’ councils, a coalition government called the Council of the People’s Deputies was established, consisting of three MSPD and three USPD members. Led by Ebert for the MSPD and Hugo Haase for the USPD it sought to act as a provisional cabinet of ministers, but the power question remained unanswered. Although the Berlin workers’ and soldiers’ council confirmed the new government, the Spartacist League opposed it. The Executive Council of the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils, a coalition that included Majority Socialists, Independent Socialists, workers, and soldiers, implemented a program of progressive social change, introducing reforms such as the eight-hour workday, the releasing of political prisoners, the abolition of press censorship, increases in workers’ old-age, sick and unemployment benefits, and the bestowing upon labor the unrestricted right to organize into unions. The revolutionary period saw a number of other reforms. The Provisional Act for Agricultural Labor restricted the absolute power of agrarian estates to sack laborers and to prevent them from leaving when they wanted. A supplementary directive in December specified that female and child laborers were entitled to a fifteen-minute break if they worked between four and six hours, thirty minutes for workdays lasting six to eight hours, and one hour for longer days. A decree of 23 December established committees 29 composed of workers’ representatives to safeguard the rights of workers. The right to bargain collectively was established, while it was made obligatory to elect workers’ committees on estates and establish conciliation committees. A decree of 3 February 1919 removed the right of employers to acquire exemption for domestic servants and agricultural workers. The decree also reintroduced the original structure of the health insurance boards according to an 1883 law, with one-third employers and two-thirds members (i.e. workers). From 28 June 1919, health insurance committees became elected by workers themselves. The Provisional Order of January 1919 concerning agricultural labor conditions fixed 2,900 hours as a maximum per year, distributed as eight, ten, and eleven hours per day in four-monthly periods. A code of January 1919 bestowed upon land-laborers the same legal rights that industrial workers enjoyed, while a bill ratified that same year obliged the States to set up agricultural settlement associations with the power to purchase large farms before they could be sold on the market. In addition, undemocratic public institutions were abolished, including the Prussian Upper House, the three-class suffrage system of the Prussian Lower House and other municipal councils. Before those reforms, however, the matter of the war had to be settled. On 11 November, German representatives of the new government signed an armistice at Compiègne. It effectively ended military operations between the Allies and Germany. It amounted to German capitulation, without any concessions by the Allies; the naval blockade would continue until complete peace terms were agreed. A rift developed between the MSPD and USPD after Ebert called upon the supreme army command for troops to put down a mutiny by a leftist marine unit in Berlin on 23/24 December 1918, in which marines had captured the city’s garrison commander Otto Wels and occupied the Reich Chancellery where the Council of the People’s Deputies was situated. The ensuing street fighting left several dead and injured on both sides. The USPD leaders were outraged by what they believed was treachery by the MSPD, which, in their view, had joined with the anti-communist military to suppress the revolution. Thus, the USPD left the Council of the People’s Deputies after only seven weeks. On 30 December, the split deepened when the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) formed out of a number of radical leftwing groups, including the left wing of the USPD and the Spartacist League. From November 1918 to January 1919, the Council of the People’s Deputies, under the leadership of Ebert and Haase governed Germany. The Council issued a large number of decrees that radically shifted German policies. It introduced the eight-hour workday, domestic labor reform, works councils, agricultural labor reform, right of civil-service associations, local municipality social welfare relief (split between Reich and States) and important national health insurance, re-instatement of demobilized workers, protection from arbitrary dismissal with appeal as a right, regulated wage agreement, and universal suffrage from twenty years of age in all elections. Ebert called for a National Congress of Councils, which took place from 16 to 20 December 1918, and in which the MSPD had the majority. Thus, Ebert was able to institute elections for a provisional National Assembly that would be given the task of writing a democratic constitution for parliamentary government, marginalizing the more radical movement that called for a socialist republic. To ensure his fledgling government maintained control over the country, Ebert made an agreement with the supreme army command, now led by Ludendorff’s successor General Wilhelm Groener. The ‘Ebert– Groener pact’ stipulated that the government would not attempt to reform the army so long as the army 30 swore to protect the state. On the one hand, this agreement symbolized the acceptance of the new government by the military, assuaging concern among the middle classes; on the other hand, it was thought contrary to working-class interests by left-wing social democrats and communists, and was also opposed by the far right that believed democracy would make Germany weaker. The new Reichswehr armed forces, limited in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles to 100,000 army soldiers and 15,000 sailors, remained fully under the control of the traditional German officer class, despite their nominal reorganization. In January, the Spartacist League and others in the streets of Berlin made more armed attempts to establish communism, known as the Spartacist Uprising. Those attempts were put down by conservative paramilitary Freikorps units consisting of volunteer soldiers. Bloody street fights culminated in the beating and shooting deaths of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht after their arrests on 15 January. With the affirmation of Ebert, those responsible were not tried before a court martial, leading to lenient sentences, which made Ebert unpopular among radical leftists. The National Assembly elections took place on 19 January 1919. In this time, the radical left-wing parties, including the USPD and KPD, were poorly organized, leading to a solid majority of seats for the MSPD moderate forces. To avoid the ongoing fights in Berlin, the National Assembly convened in the city of Weimar, giving the future Republic its unofficial name. The Weimar Constitution created a republic under a parliamentary system with the Reichstag elected by proportional representation. The democratic parties obtained a solid 80% of the vote. During the debates in Weimar, fighting continued. A Soviet republic was declared in Munich, but was quickly put down by Freikorps and remnants of the regular army. The fall of the Munich Soviet Republic to these units, many of which were situated on the extreme right, resulted in the growth of far-right movements and organizations in Bavaria, including Organization Consul, the NSDAP, and societies of exiled Russian Monarchists. Sporadic fighting continued to flare up around the country. In the eastern provinces, forces loyal to Germany’s fallen Monarchy fought the Republic as well as Polish nationalists fought in the Great Poland Uprising in Posen and three Silesian Uprisings in Upper Silesia. Views on the November Revolution Every issue ultimately was interpreted through the lens of one’s opinion on the legitimacy of the Republic and its founding during the November Revolution. Germans were, from the start, sharply divided on this matter and most linked it inextricably to the causes of the defeat of Germany in the War, to the armistice, and to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. No fundamental or even trivial question could be asked without in some way framing it in relationship to the state’s legitimacy. The following excerpts express the diversity of views on the November Revolution of 1918 that declared the Republic. Ernst Troeltsch, a Protestant theologian and philosopher, rather calmly remarked how the majority of Berlin citizens perceived 10 November 1918, the day after the proclamation of a republic: “On Sunday morning after a frightful night the morning newspapers gave a clear picture: the Kaiser in Holland, the revolution victorious in most urban centers, the royals in the states abdicating. No man dead for Kaiser and Empire! The continuation of duties ensured and no run on the banks! Trams and subways 31 ran as usual which is a pledge that basic needs are cared for. On all faces it could be read: Wages will continue to be paid.” 3 Rosa Luxemburg, a founder of the KPD who was assassinated by right-wing paramilitaries during the revolution of December and January, understood the events of November in a radically different light: “The abolition of the rule of capital, the realization of a socialist social order – this, and nothing less, is the historical theme of the present revolution. It is a formidable undertaking, and one that will not be accomplished in the blink of an eye just by the issuing of a few decrees from above. Only through the conscious action of the working masses in city and country can it be brought to life, only through the people’s highest intellectual maturity and inexhaustible idealism can it be brought safely through all storms and find its way to port.” 4 Theodor Wolff, a liberal publicist, optimistically wrote on that day in the newspaper Berliner Tagesblatt: “Like a sudden storm, the biggest of all revolutions has toppled the imperial regime including everything that belonged to it. It can be called the greatest of all revolutions because never has a more firmly built fortress been taken in this manner at the first attempt. Only one week ago, there was still a military and civil administration so deeply rooted that it seemed to have secured its dominion beyond the change of times. Only yesterday morning, at least in Berlin, all this still existed. Yesterday afternoon it was all gone.” 5 Paul Baecker, a conservative journalist, however, penned an early version of the stab-in-the-back narrative in the Deutsche Tageszeitung in stark contrast to Wolff: “The work fought for by our fathers with their precious blood – dismissed by betrayal in the ranks of our own people! Germany, yesterday still undefeated, left to the mercy of our enemies by men carrying the German name, by felony out of our own ranks broken down in guilt and shame. The German Socialists knew that peace was at hand anyway and that it was only about holding out against the enemy for a few days or weeks in order to wrest bearable conditions from them. In this situation they raised the white flag. This is a sin that can never be forgiven and never will be forgiven. This is treason not only against the monarchy and the army but also against the German people themselves who will have to bear the consequences in centuries of decline and of misery.” 6 Kurt Tucholsky, the Republic’s most famous left-leaning publicist, proposed that neither Wolff nor Baecker were correct and accused the SPD leaders Ebert and Noske of betrayal – not of the monarchy but of the revolution, regarding it not as a revolution but a coup d’état: 3 Sebastian Haffner, Der Verrat: Deutschland, 1918/1919 (Berlin: Verlag 1900, 2002), 85. Rosa Luxemburg, The Beginning: Collected Works, vol. 4, 397. 5 Sebastian Haffner, Der Verrat: Deutschland, 1918/1919 (Berlin: Verlag 1900, 2002), 95. 6 Sebastian Haffner, Der Verrat: Deutschland, 1918/1919 (Berlin: Verlag 1900, 2002), 96 4 32 “The German Revolution of 1918 took place in a hall. The things taking place were not a revolution. There was no spiritual preparation, no leaders ready in the dark; no revolutionary goals. The mother of this revolution was the soldiers’ longing to be home for Christmas. And weariness, disgust and weariness. The possibilities that nevertheless were lying in the streets were betrayed by Ebert and his like. Fritz Ebert, whom you cannot heighten to a personality by calling him Friedrich opposed the establishment of a republic only until he found there was a post of chair to be had; comrade Scheidemann è tutti quanti all were would-be senior civil servants. The following possibilities were left out: shattering federal states, division of landed property, revolutionary socialization of industry, reform of administrative and judiciary personnel. A republican constitution in which every sentence rescinds the next one, a revolution talking about well acquired rights of the old regime can be only laughed at. The German Revolution is still to take place.” 7 Walter Rathenau, the liberal democratic foreign minister assassinated in 1922, called the revolution a “disappointment,” a “present by chance,” a “product of desperation,” a “revolution by mistake.” It did not deserve the name revolution because it did “not abolish the actual mistakes” but “degenerated into a degrading clash of interests:” “Not a chain was broken by the swelling of spirit and will, but a lock merely rusted through. The chain fell off and the freed stood amazed, helpless, embarrassed and needed to arm against their will. The ones sensing their advantage were the quickest.” 8 Paul von Hindenburg, Field Marshal of the German Army, provided another interpretation of the link between the revolution and the war that alluded to the guilt of the SPD and others on the home front: “An English general said with justice: `The German Army was stabbed in the back.’ No guilt applies to the good core of the army. Its achievements are just as admirable as those of the officer corps. Where the guilt lies is clearly demonstrated.”9 Erich Ludendorff, the authoritarian General, later similarly wrote: “Germany, lacking any firm hand, bereft of all will, robbed of her princes, collapsed like a house of cards. All that we had lived for, all that we had bled four long years to maintain, was gone … The new rulers and their camp-followers abandoned all resistance, and without any authority signed our unconditional capitulation to a merciless enemy … The authorities at home, who had not fought against the enemy, could not hurry fast enough to pardon deserters and other military criminals, including in part among these themselves and their nearest friends. They and the soldiers’ councils worked with zeal, determination, and purpose to destroy everything military. This was the gratitude of the newly formed 7 Kurt Tucholsky, Gesammelte Werke, vol. 6, 300. Sösemann, Demokratie im Widerstreit, 13. 9 Stenographischer Bericht über die öffentlichen Verhandlungen des 15. Untersuchungsausschusses der verfassunggebenden Nationalversammlung, testimony delivered on November 18, 1919, vol. 2 (Berlin: 1920), 700701. 8 33 homeland to the German soldiers who had bled and died for it in millions. The destruction of the German power, achieved by these Germans, was the most tragic crime the world has witnessed. A tidal wave had broken over Germany, not by the force of nature, but through the weakness of the Government represented by the Chancellor and the crippling of a leaderless people. By the Revolution the Germans have made themselves pariahs among the nations, incapable of winning allies, helots in the service of foreigners and foreign capital, and deprived of all self-respect. In twenty years’ time, the German people will curse the parties who now boast of having made the Revolution.”10 Oswald Spengler, the idiosyncratic conservative, anticipated an inevitable and bloody counterrevolution to correct the disaster of November: “I witnessed the repellent scenes that occurred on November 7, 1918, in Munich, sometimes in close proximity, and I nearly choked from disgust. And then the way in which Kaiser Wilhelm was sent packing, the way that every louse took it upon himself to hurl excrement at the man, the man who worked selflessly and self-sacrificingly for thirty years on behalf of Greater Germany. I know very well that the mob in other countries is dastardly beyond all measure, but does it match ours in its beastliness? [ . . . ] I see that the German Revolution is taking the typical course; slow dismantling of the existing order, overthrow, wild radicalism, reversion. What gives us hope today is the certainty that the monarchy will emerge strengthened from this crisis; [ . . . ] like France in 1793, we will have to live through this misfortune to the very end; we need a good castigation, the likes of which will make the four years of war seem harmless in comparison, until the time has come for the small group that was called to leadership in 1813 and in 1870 alike: the Prussian nobles and the Prussian civil servants, the thousands of our technicians, apprentices, craftsmen, workers with Prussian instincts; until, above all, the terror also generates such indignation and despair that a dictatorship, something Napoleonic, is generally perceived as the salvation. But then blood must flow, the more the better.”11 Adolph Hitler, leader of the NSDAP, racialized these national conservative views: “It required the whole bottomless falsehood of the Jews and their Marxist fighting organization to lay the blame for the collapse on that very man who alone, with superhuman energy and will power, tried to prevent the catastrophe he foresaw and save the nation from its time of deepest humiliation and disgrace, branding Ludendorff as guilty for the loss of the World War ... ... If we pass all the causes of the German collapse in review, the ultimate and most decisive remains the failure to recognize the racial problem and especially the Jewish menace. The defeats on the battlefield in August, 1918, would have been child’s play to bear. They stood in no proportion to the victories of our people. It was not they that caused our downfall; no, it was brought about by that power which prepared these defeats by systematically over many decades robbing our people of the political and moral instincts and forces which alone make nations capable and hence worthy of existence….Kaiser William II was the first German Emperor to hold out a 10 Erich von Ludendorff, Ludendorff’s Own Story (New York: Harper, 1919). Oswald Spengler, “’…bin vor Ekel beinahe erstickt’ – frühe Konturen der Gegenrevolution,” [1922], in Weimar: Ein Lesebuch zur deutschen Geschichte 1918-1933, edited by Heinrich August Winkler and Alexander Cammann (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1997), 57-58. 11 34 conciliatory hand to the leaders of Marxism, without suspecting that scoundrels have no honor. There is no making pacts with Jews.” 12 Burden from the Great War and the Treaty of Versailles A post-war economic crisis resulted from lost pre-war industrial exports, the loss of supplies in raw materials and foodstuffs (from Alsace-Lorraine, Polish districts and the colonies), and a worsening debt balance. Above all, the exorbitant issue of promissory notes to raise money to pay for the war wrecked the value of the currency. Industrial activity all but ceased overnight, although controlled demobilization kept unemployment at around one million. The fact that the Allies continued to blockade Germany until after the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 did not help matters. After four years of war and famine, many German workers were exhausted, physically impaired and discouraged. Millions were disenchanted with capitalism and monarchism and hoped for a new era as faith in the economy and currency dropped. In these conditions, with no ability to resist militarily, the German peace delegation in France was forced to confront the Allies demands in the Treaty of Versailles in the spring on 1919. The Treaty demanded that Germany disarm, make substantial territorial concessions including all its colonies, and pay reparations. It also insisted the Germany accept full responsibility for the entire war (the “War Guilt Clause.”) The German government issued a protest, and Germans of all political parties denounced the treaty as “The Diktat” – a dictated and punitive peace. Foreign Minister Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau replied to the Allies: “We know the full brunt of hate that confronts us here. You demand from us to confess we were the only guilty party of war; such a confession in my mouth would be a lie.” 13 Germany′s first democratically elected chancellor, Philipp Scheidemann (SPD), resigned rather than sign the treaty. In a passionate speech before the National Assembly on 21 March 1919, he called the treaty a “murderous plan” and exclaimed, “Which hand, trying to put us in chains like these, would not wither? The treaty is unacceptable.” But Germany had no choice – a state of civil war existed and the military had collapsed. When Reich president Friedrich Ebert (SPD) asked von Hindenburg if the army was capable of any meaningful resistance he had his chief of staff, Wilhelm Groener, cable the army′s recommendation that the army’ position was untenable. Upon receiving this assessment, the National Assembly ratified the treaty. The Republic immediately split between two fundamental camps. On the one hand, the SPD, the Centre, and the liberals agreed that the only way for Germany to move forward from irretrievable defeat was to play for time and gradually erode the Treaty of Versailles with concessions. They pragmatically accepted a policy of fulfillment (Erfüllungspolitik) and used every opportunity to try to persuade the victors to lessen, amend, and eventually nullify the treaty. On the other hand, the NSDAP, the DNVP, and most of the Reichswehr denounced any compliance as treason, labelled those willing to do so the “Criminals of November,” and murdered hundreds of moderate 12 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. The German Delegates' Protest Against the Proposed "Peace" Terms: Leader of the German Peace Delegation Count von Brockdorff-Rantzau's Letter to Paris Peace Conference President Georges Clemenceau on the Subject of Peace Terms, May 1919. 13 35 leaders. They advanced a policy of catastrophe (Katastrophenpolitik) and used every opportunity to encourage non-compliance and resistance. This policy resulted in the disasters of the early 1920s, including the occupation of the Ruhr, crippling hyper-inflation, numerous uprisings, street battles, and assassinations. However, almost every German agrees that they have been falsely blamed for the war. Reich president von Hindenburg best summarizes German views when he spoke in 1927 at the dedication ceremony for the Tannenberg Monument, site of the German victory in 1914 that halted the Russian offensive: We, the German people, all its classes, reject with one voice the charge that Germany is guilty of this greatest of wars! With pure hearts we came to the defense of the Fatherland. With clean hands the German army took up the sword. 14 Indeed, no German government has accepted the Treaty of Versailles as legitimate. Various government figures have openly rejected Germany’s post-Versailles borders. Gustav Stresemann, as German foreign minister in 1925, declared that the reincorporation of territories lost to Poland was a major task of German foreign policy. The Reichswehr Ministry memorandum of 1926 declared the intention to reincorporate this territory as its first priority, to be followed by the return of the Saar territory, the annexation of Austria, and remilitarization of the Rhineland. Years of Crisis (1919–1923) Soon after settling the peace treaty, Reich president Ebert signed the new German constitution into law on 11 August 1919. Rather than settling the debates from the revolution, an extreme nationalist movement emerged that repeatedly blamed the Republic for accepting the oppressive terms of a Treaty they viewed as a national disgrace. Under the inherited untenable conditions of the dissolved Kaiserreich and the devastating weight of Versailles, the Republic was soon under attack from both left- and right-wing sources. The radical left accused the ruling Social Democrats of having betrayed the ideals of the workers’ movement by preventing a communist revolution and sought to overthrow the Republic. Various right-wing sources opposed any democratic system, preferring an authoritarian, autocratic state like old Kaiserreich. To further undermine the Republic’s credibility, some right-wingers (especially members of the former officer corps) blamed an alleged conspiracy of Socialists and Jews for Germany’s defeat in the Great War – the stab-in-the-back interpretation. In the next five years, the central government, assured of the support of the Reichswehr, dealt severely with the occasional outbreaks of violence in Germany’s large cities. The communist left found in this action more evidence that the Social Democrats had betrayed the ideals of the revolution, while the army and the government-financed Freikorps committed hundreds of acts of gratuitous violence against striking workers. The success of the Freikorps at destroying the Bavarian Soviet Republic encouraged the anti-democratic right to use violence to seize state power. The Freikorps consisted mainly of ex-soldiers dismissed from the army and who were well-paid by conservative groups and individuals, with the 14 Paul von Hindenburg, quoted in Chronik des 20. Jahrhunderts: 1927, edited by Antonia Meiners (Guttersloh: Chronik Verlag, 1989), 150. 36 complicity of the Reichswehr, to put down forces of the Left. As such, the Freikorps was an army outside the control of the government, but they were in close contact with their allies in the Reichswehr. In fact, representatives of these right-wing death squads appeared for many years to act with impunity – shielded by the Reichswehr and repeatedly absolved of wrong doing by the courts. Assassination became common. At least 354 people were murdered for political reasons between 1919 and 1922 – all moderates or leftists. They were frequently condemned by the reactionary right as “November Criminals” responsible for the signing of the armistice in 1918 and the Treaty of Versailles. Spectacular success had been achieved with the assassination of Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau (DDP) in 1922, and Finance Minister Matthias Erzberger (X) in 1921, to name just a few. The Kapp-Luttwitz Putsch emerged from this milieu. On 13 March 1920, 12,000 Freikorps soldiers occupied Berlin and installed Wolfgang Kapp (a right-wing journalist) as chancellor. The national government fled to Stuttgart and called for a general strike against the putsch. The strike meant that no “official” pronouncements could be published, and with the civil service out on strike, the Kapp government collapsed after only four days on 17 March. Inspired by the general strikes, a workers’ uprising began in the Ruhr region when 50,000 people formed a Red Army and took control of the province. The regular army and the Freikorps ended the uprising on their own authority – without receiving any formal authorization from the government, but with clear consent from MSPD leaders. The workers were campaigning for an extension of the plans to nationalize major industries and supported the national government, but the MSPD leaders did not want to lend support to the growing USPD, which favored the establishment of a socialist regime. The repression of an uprising of socialist supporters by the reactionary forces in the Freikorps on the instructions of the MSPD ministers became a major source of conflict within the socialist movement and thus contributed to the weakening of the largest group that supported the young Republic. Other rebellions were put down in March 1921 in Saxony and Hamburg. In 1922, Germany signed the Treaty of Rapallo with the Soviet Union, which allows Germany to train military personnel in exchange for giving Russia military technology. The treaty appears to violate the Treaty of Versailles. However, Russia, which pulled out of the Great War as a result of the 1917 Russian Revolution, was excluded from the League of Nations by the Allies. Thus, Germany, also initially excluded, seized the chance to make an ally. Walther Rathenau, the DDP Foreign Minister who signed the treaty, was assassinated two months later by two ultra-nationalist army officers – in part targeted because he was a Jew. Hyperinflation In the early post-war years, inflation was growing at an alarming rate, but the government simply printed more banknotes to pay the bills. In a deliberate tactic in 1923 to force the Allies to renegotiate payments, the Republic (in a coalition of X, DDP, and DVP) claimed it could no longer afford the reparations payments required by the Versailles Treaty and defaulted on some payments. In response, French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr region, Germany’s most productive industrial region at the time, taking control of most mining and manufacturing companies in January 1923. Strikes were called, and passive resistance was encouraged. These strikes lasted eight months, further damaging the economy and social life. 37 Since striking workers were paid benefits by the state, much additional currency was printed, fueling a period of hyperinflation. By the end of the year, over two hundred factories were working full-time to produce paper for the spiraling bank note production. Yet, the strike greatly reduced Germany’s ability to produce trade goods. The extra printed money to deal with the crisis had no collateral to support its value. As inflation eroded the value of the mark, workers demanded raised to keep up with inflation while many businesses profited by simply paying off their debts with worthless currency. Circulation of money rocketed, and soon banknotes were being overprinted to a thousand times their nominal value and every town produced its own promissory notes; many banks and industrial firms did the same. The value of the Mark had declined from 4.2 per U.S. dollar at the outbreak of World War I to 1 million per dollar by August 1923. In 1919, one loaf of bread cost 1 mark; by 1923, the same loaf of bread cost 100 billion marks. This extreme inflation led to further criticism of the Republic. The tactic had failed, and the German state and economy were in a freefall. Under these conditions, a new Grand Collation under Stresemann (DVP) came to power and integrated the SPD. On 15 November 1923, a new currency, the Rentenmark, was introduced at the rate of 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) Marks for one Rentenmark, an action known as redenomination. At that time, one U.S. dollar was equal to 4.2 Rentenmark. Reparation payments resumed, and the Ruhr was returned to Germany under the Locarno Treaties, which defined a border between Germany, France and Belgium. Further pressure from the right came in 1923 with the Beer Hall Putsch, also called the Munich Putsch, staged by the small, local NSDAP under Adolf Hitler in Munich. On 8 November 1923, in a pact with Erich Ludendorff, the NSDAP took over a meeting being held by Bavarian Prime Minister Gustav von Kahr at a beer hall. Ludendorff and Hitler declared that the Weimar government was deposed and that they were planning to take control of Munich the following day. Bavarian authorities, however, thwarted the 3,000 rebels. Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for high treason; the sentence was the minimum allowable under law and the judges proved highly sympathetic to Hitler even though four police officers had been killed. The same judges routinely sentenced striking workers and communists to death or life in prison for lesser offenses. Hitler served less than eight months in a comfortable cell, receiving a daily stream of visitors before his release on 20 December 1924. While in jail, Hitler dictated Mein Kampf (My Struggle), which laid out his ideas and future policies. Hitler has since decided to focus on legal methods of gaining power. Golden Era (1924–1929) Gustav Stresemann was chancellor for only one hundred days in 1923 but served as foreign minister from 1923–1929, a period of relative stability for the Republic, known in Germany as the “Golden Twenties.” Prominent features of this period were a growing economy and a consequent decrease in civil unrest. Indeed, political assassination and insurrection have all but disappeared. Restoring civil stability and stabilizing the currency promoted confidence in the German economy and helped the recovery that was so ardently needed for the German nation to keep up with reparation repayments, while at the same time feeding and supplying the nation. In one way, however, the Ruhr Crisis and hyperinflation of 1923 had succeeded. To help Germany meet reparation obligations, the Allies proposed the Dawes Plan (1924). This agreement between US banks 38 and the German government allowed US banks to lend money to German banks with German assets as collateral to help it pay reparations. The German railways, the National Bank and many industries were therefore mortgaged as securities for the stable currency and the loans. Shortly after, the French and Germans agreed that the borders between their countries would not be changed by force, which meant that the Treaty of Versailles was being diluted by the signing countries. Other foreign achievements were the evacuation of the Ruhr in 1925 and the 1925 Treaty of Berlin, which reinforced the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922 and improved relations between the Soviet Union and Germany. In 1926, Germany was admitted to the League of Nations as a permanent member, improving her international standing and giving her the ability to veto League of Nations legislation. However, this progress has been funded by overseas loans, increasing the nation’s debts and its dependence on US finance – a dangerous relationship given the recent Wall Street Crash. Yet, overall trade has increased and unemployment has fallen. Indeed, for the first time a government has remained in power for its full term (1924-1928). In this context, the 1920s have seen a remarkable cultural renaissance. During the worst phase of hyperinflation in 1923, the clubs and bars were full of speculators who spent their daily profits so they would not lose the value the following day. Berlin intellectuals responded by condemning the excesses of capitalism and demanding revolutionary changes on the cultural scenery. Influenced by the cultural explosion in the Soviet Union, German literature, cinema, theatre and musical works entered a phase of great creativity. Innovative street theatre brought plays to the public, and the cabaret scene and jazz band became wildly popular. Many feared, however, that, modern young women were being Americanized, wearing makeup, short hair, smoking and breaking with traditional mores. The euphoria surrounding the African-American Josephine Baker in the metropolis of Berlin, for instance, where she was declared an “erotic goddess” and in many ways admired and respected, kindled further “ultramodern” sensations in the minds of the German public. Art and a new type of architecture taught at “Bauhaus” schools reflected the new ideas of the time, while artists such as George Grosz were fined for defaming the military and for blasphemy. Artists in Berlin are clearly influenced by other contemporary progressive cultural movements, such as the Impressionist and Expressionist painters in Paris, as well as the Cubists. Likewise, American progressive architects are admired. Many of the new buildings built during this era follow a straight-lined, geometrical style. Examples of the new architecture include the Bauhaus Building by Gropius, Grosses Schauspielhaus, and the Einstein Tower. Not everyone, however, is happy with the changes taking place in Weimar culture. Conservatives and reactionaries fear that Germany is betraying traditional values by adopting popular styles from abroad, particularly those Hollywood is popularizing in US films, while New York has become the global capital of fashion. Social Policy A wide range of progressive social reforms were carried out during and after the revolutionary period. In 1919, legislation provided for a maximum working 48-hour workweek, restrictions on night work, a halfholiday on Saturday, and a break of thirty-six hours of continuous rest during the week. That same year, health insurance was extended to wives and daughters without independent income, people only partially capable of gainful employment, people employed in private cooperatives, and people employed in public cooperatives. A series of progressive tax reforms were introduced under the auspices of Matthias 39 Erzberger (X), including increases in taxes on capital and an increase in the highest income tax rate from 4% to 60%. Under a governmental decree of 3 February 1919, the German government met the demand of the veterans’ associations that all aid for the disabled and their dependents be taken over by the central government (thus assuming responsibility for this assistance) and extended into peacetime the nationwide network of state and district welfare bureaus that had been set up during the war to coordinate social services for war widows and orphans. The Imperial Youth Welfare Act of 1922 obliged all municipalities and states to set up youth offices in charge of child protection, and also codified a right to education for all children, while laws were passed to regulate rents and increase protection for tenants in 1922 and 1923. Health insurance coverage was extended to other categories of the population as well, including seamen, people employed in the educational and social welfare sectors, and all primary dependents. Various improvements were made in unemployment benefits, although in June 1920 the maximum amount of unemployment benefit that a family of four could receive in Berlin, 90 marks, was well below the minimum cost of subsistence of 304 marks. In 1923, unemployment relief was consolidated into a regular program of assistance following economic problems that year. In 1924, a modern public assistance program was introduced, and in 1925 the accident insurance program was reformed, allowing diseases that were linked to certain kinds of work to become insurable risks. In addition, a national unemployment insurance program was introduced in 1927. Housing construction was also greatly accelerated during the Weimar period, with over 2 million new homes constructed since 1924 and a further 195,000 modernized. Trade Unions Trade unions in Germany have a history reaching back to the German revolution in 1848, and still play an important role in the German economy and society. The most important labor organization are the SPDaffiliated Free trade unions organized in the General German Trade Union Confederation (ADGB), which represents over 5 million workers in 1929. However, the German labor movement has always been diverse, and even as the ADGB was organizing in 1919, the separate Christian and liberal Hirsch-Duncker trade unions were forming their own umbrella organizations. Though they have never reached the numbers of the Free unions, the Christian unions have been especially powerful in Catholic areas. These unions, though, have differing agendas – the Christian unions are affiliated with Centre Party and the liberal unions with the DDP. In contrast to the Free unions, both are extremely reluctant to engage in labor unrest, though in practice both have proven supporters of the Republic, in large part due to the labor-management programs established in 1919. Indeed, they joined the general strike called by the Free Unions in 1920 that brought down the right-wing Kapp Putsch. Roughly twelve million workers took part, halting all production, transportation, mining and public services and, as The New York Times wrote, “giving the Kapp régime its death blow.” Yet the 1920s have not been favorable to the unions overall despite the numerous legislative and political gains for workers. In 1920, the unions of the ADGB had over 8 million members, but the ongoing economic instability and the recent international financial crisis have caused high unemployment, leading to a substantial drop in the membership of all unions. Further, the agitation of the KPD and NSDAP have led to two new rival union movements – the communist Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition (RGO) 40 and the National Socialist Factory Cell Organization (NSBO). Both are small but reveal deepening political divisions in the labor movement. Still, they retain the right to collective bargaining, representation on labor-management boards, and, most importantly, the right to strike. Reichswehr The Treaty of Versailles and the revolution, however, did not destroy most of Germany’s traditional institutions – with the notable exception of the monarchy. The civil service, the schools and universities, the judiciary, and, most importantly, the military all remain in the hands of the same men who ran them in the Kaiserreich. Most have retained their conservative, authoritarian preferences. After the dissolution of the Imperial army in 1918, Germany’s military forces consisted of irregular paramilitaries, namely the various right-wing Freikorps groups composed of veterans from the war. The Freikorps units were formally disbanded in 1920, although they continued to exist in underground groups, and on 1 January 1921 a new Reichswehr (figuratively, “Defense of the Realm”) was created. The Treaty of Versailles limited the size of the Reichswehr to 100,000 soldiers (consisting of seven infantry divisions and three cavalry divisions), ten armored cars, and a navy restricted to thirty-six ships in active service. No aircraft of any kind is allowed. One unintended advantage of this limitation, though, is that the Reichswehr can afford to pick the best recruits for service. However, with inefficient armor and no air support, the Reichswehr has limited combat abilities. Privates are mainly recruited from the countryside since young men from the towns are prone to socialist behavior. Although technically in the service of the Republic, the army is predominantly officered by conservative reactionaries who are sympathetic to right-wing organizations. Hans von Seeckt, the head of the Reichswehr, declared that the army was not loyal to the democratic Republic, and would only defend it if it were in their interests. During the Kapp Putsch in 1920 for example, the army refused to fire upon the right-wing putschists. However, as right wing as the army is, it is hostile to the NSDAP, which it mostly views as thugs. Indeed, the SA is considered the Reichswehr’s main opponent since officers see the SA as a threat to their existence, and the army fired at them during the Beerhall Putsch in 1923. Its officers appear utterly devoted to von Hindenburg, who is the formal head of the Reichswehr, but von Schleicher is the man in charge of day to day decisions. It is unimaginable that the Reichswehr would act without first the consent of von Hindenburg and second the coordination of von Schleicher. How they would act under a different Reich president and Defense Minister, though, is unpredictable. Where Does the Republic Find Itself Now? The revolutionary wave has long since crested. The economy has recovered. Germany stands poised to reassert its rightful place as the leading nation of the European continent. Internationally, Germany is slowly but surely being reintegrated into world politics through a series of small but significant concessions. Germany, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Italy signed the Treaty of Locarno in 1925, which recognized Germany’s borders with France and Belgium, and thus effectively normalized diplomatic relations in the West. In 1926 the League of Nations subsequently admitted Germany. That same year, Stresemann received the Nobel Peace Prize. Even the notorious reparations demanded in the Treaty of Versailles had been renegotiated and lowered with the Dawes Plan 41 in 1924 so that the final amount is no longer linked to Allied demands but Germany’s ability to pay, all underwritten by a complicated system of international loans involving New York and Parisian bankers. Now, the Young Plan, if passed, will lower payments yet again. Economically, the introduction of a new currency and other economic reforms have led to improvement so that industrial production has regained the pre-war levels of 1913. Trade is strong, driven by Germany’s continued dominance in its engineering, chemical, optics, and steel industries. The reparations, though insulting, have proven to be of no real burden to the economy. True, agriculture lags behind, but steps are being taken to increase farm efficiency. Also true that the recent downturn has heightened tensions between workers and owners, but once the economy gets back on track the rising tide should lift all boats. Germany leads the world in the sciences. German recipients dominate the Nobel prizes, especially in physics, with such brilliant minds as Hermann von Helmholtz, Joseph von Fraunhofer, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, Albert Einstein, Max Planck, and Werner Heisenberg. Chemistry likewise relies on German professors and researchers at the great chemical concerns such as BASF and Bayer led by scientists such as Fritz Haber. Theoretical mathematicians include the likes of David Hilbert. Carl Benz rivals Henry Ford as the inventor of the automobile, and the German engineering sector is considered the best in the world. Little wonder, then, that on average 10,000 US students travel to Germany every year to attend the prestigious universities. In the humanities, the authors Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, and Bertolt Brecht have unrivaled international stature. German historians have redefined the academic discipline; Oswald Spengler has found international fame with his The Decline of the West and its portrayal of the inevitable decay of Western Civilization. In philosophy, insightful thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Max Scheler, and the Frankfurt School influence intellectuals around the world. Socially, Berlin rivals Paris and New York as a center of night life. A liberal, some might say libertine, sensibility dominates the image of the capital with its lascivious cabarets, African-American jazz music, and open gay scene. Indeed, Germany has become the center of the entirely new field of sexology, led by the Max Hirschfeld Institute that not only explores scientifically all aspects of human sexuality but brings that knowledge to the public. Women have full legal equality, and laws on abortion and homosexuality have been liberalized. Politically, even though the presidential election of 1925 brought the national conservative monarchist Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg to office, many liberals and socialists voted for him out of a sense of national loyalty. Indeed, von Hindenburg has since shown himself willing to tolerate the Republic and lend his unsurpassed credibility to the state, despite his regularly expressed sympathies for the DNVP and hostility to the Versailles system. Paramilitary street fighting and assassinations are rapidly fading. Radical parties such as the NSDAP and the KPD find few supporters. Indeed, the last coup attempt, in 1923 by Adolph Hitler’s regionally marginal NSDAP, has laughingly been labeled the Beer Hall Putsch and was more theatre than threat. 42 Election of 1928 The Reichstag elections of 1928 have validated this new sense of confidence and stability. The SPD remains the largest party after winning 153 of the 491 seats – almost a third of the votes in an election contested by over forty parties. Voter turnout was 75.6%, providing the pro-Republic coalition led by the SPD with a solid mandate to continue. Indeed, the only other party to gain significantly was the KPD, an anti-Republic splitter from the SPD. True, the Marxist parties may loathe each other, but their combined electoral victories (totaling 42% of Reichstag mandates) represent a significant turn away from the right-wing policies of the early 1920s. Radical right-wing parties have been marginalized; the NSDAP won only twelve seats, and the DNVP lost thirty seats. Prussia, by far the largest state in Germany, remains an even stronger SPD stronghold and has been ruled by an SPD-led coalition since 1918. However, the SPD still lacks a clear majority, resulting in another coalition government. This Grand Coalition includes the democratic liberal DDP, the moderate Centre and its more conservative Bavarian offshoot, the BVP, and the national liberal DVP. The coalition has suffered from internal divisions but a general sense of compromise and confidence has pervaded under the firm and compromising hand of Stresemann’s influence. Most in the coalition hope his death will not mean the end of the coalition. Political Scandals For all the gains of the past four years, though, not a single major party has been spared charges of corruption. Political scandals regularly rock the Republic. Typically, the accused party denies all allegations, which leads to a special commission to investigate the charges, which just as inevitably uncovers irregularities, which in turn leads to arrests, convictions, and expulsions from the party. Naturally, every other party quickly seizes upon each scandals for its own propaganda. Some of the most dramatic scandals include: • • • • • The Barmat Scandal has implicated SPD leaders in charges of corruption, war profiteering, fraud, bribery, and financial misdeeds. The Sklarek Scandal has primarily implicated the SPD but also almost every other Weimar party – Marxist, liberal, and conservative – except the NSDAP in a financial corruption suit around the city government of Berlin. The Abteilung M Affair has set the interests of the Reichswehr, caught violating certain provisions of the Versailles Treaty, against pro-Republican forces. Eden Dance Palace Trial around the murder of workers by SA men threatens to undermine Hitler’s efforts to be seen as a serious politician and statesman willing to work legally within the Republic. The Wittorf Affair, involving a power struggle in the KPD that Thälmann won, seems to indicate to many that the KPD answers to Moscow, not Berlin. Late 1929 Reich president von Hindenburg began the year with the traditional New Years’ message. The tradition had its roots in the similar message delivered by the Kaiser, though now it is delivered by the democratically elected president. The tone expressed the sullen resentment of many, especially regarding the Treaty of Versailles: 43 The entire German people greets today the beginning of the new year with deep bitterness, because a great part of our land is denied the freedom to which we have just claim – just in God’s eyes and in man’s eyes. We have long hoped for its attainment. And we still want to hope, despite harsh disappointment, that in the new year the German people will be given back its full right of self-determination. 15 Not a word in the speech addressed approval of the government’s policy of fulfillment. Indeed, the Reich president’s honorary membership in the right-wing paramilitary Stahlhelm, closely affiliated with the anti-Republic DNVP, is well known. Since the New Year’s, new crises have wracked the Republic. The stock market crash on Wall Street has produced a global shock wave. Until recently, the slowly recovering German economy has been supported by US loans, but foreign creditors have begun withdrawing these loans, threatening insolvency in German companies and national default on reparation payments as unemployment soars. To that end, Stresemann had warned in a conversation with the Allied reparations agent, Parker Gilbert in late 1928, “The economic position is only flourishing on the surface. Germany is in fact dancing on a volcano. If the short-term credits are called in, a large section of our economy would collapse.” 16 The Grand Coalition partners have been attempting to agree on the best manner to deal with the growing economic crisis, which is only exacerbating differences on matters from foreign policy to cultural policy. The anti-Republic parties of the left and right (mostly the KPD, NSDAP, and the DNVP) seem to be gaining strength. Stresemann’s death at this moment accentuates the sense of parliamentary crisis. Are the Golden Twenties over? Will Weimar return to the political chaos and economic insecurity of the early 1920s with its revolutionary potential? Does the NSDAP plan to seize power like the fascists did in Italy under Mussolini? Is the KPD planning another attempt at communist revolution? Will France, Poland, and the Soviet Union take advantage of this deepening crisis? Will the Reichswehr continue to support the constitution even as many of its leaders openly speak of a desire to return to authoritarian monarchy? 15 Paul von Hindenburg, quoted in Chronik des 20. Jahrhunderts: 1928, edited by Brigette Beier (Guttersloh: Chronik Verlag, 1988), 12. 16 Gustav Stresemann, Gustav Stresemann: His Diaries, Letters and Papers, Vol III, edited and translated by Eric Sutton (New York: Macmillan and Co., 1940), 405-406. 44 4. The Game The game unfolds across three years from late 1929 to the end of 1932; a game session is equivalent to roughly half a year. 4a. Major Issues for Debate The German Republic, as a contentious proportional representative parliamentary democracy, has placed every contemporary issue on the table. The Reichstag proceedings are so fractious that even supporters refer to its dealings as “cattle trading” (Kuhhandel). The Republic is a state born in revolution and open to the broadest possible political spectrum capable of appealing to a well-educated and literate populace through mass media. While the struggle for power in the Reichstag dominates, other arenas – the paramilitaries, the trade unions, special interest groups, the churches – exert influence. Strikes and street violence continue and the threat of a revolution or coup lingers. Even inside each party, debates have to be resolved and influence won to determine the party line. The possibility of foreign military intervention also hangs in the air. In this context, the Reichstag has to resolve a number of issues related not just to the nature of the state but to the everyday life of Germans. The debates fall into several broad categories, each built around a cabinet minister’s portfolio: Theme Versailles Military Morality Ministry Foreign Defense Justice Economics Economics Secularism Citizenship Interior Chancellor Issues Freedom Law and Young Plan and League of Nations Naval Bill and Reichswehr Autonomy Gays and Abortion Austerity and Farmers’ Issues (Debt/Land/Tariffs/Eastern Aid) Concordat and School Reform Jews and Africans Additional issues may be introduced based on the needs of the course. These may include the following Theme Versailles Military Ministry Foreign Defense Morality Justice Economics Secularism Citizenship Economics Interior Chancellor Issues Customs Union with Austria and Trade Treaty with Poland Paramilitaries Censorship (All Quiet, Jonny Spielt Auf, George Grosz) Nationalization of Banks and Strike Laws Please note that your character readings will give you a general perspective on each topic and your character sheet will have more details on your particular stance, but more research may be required to round out your character’s views. 45 The Treaty of Versailles (Foreign Ministry). Foreign policy debates largely revolve around how Germany should relate to the Treaty of Versailles and the system that has evolved around it internationally. Yet relations with Austria and Poland have more complicated dynamics. The Young Plan and the Freedom Law The Young Plan to renegotiate reparations is now before the Reichstag with the following details: • • • • • Original reparations set in 1921 at 269 billion RM have been reduced to 112 billion RM (US $8 billion in 1929 or US$ 107 billion in 2013). Payments are to be made over a period of 59 years, making the payments manageable but stretching them out until 1988. The annual payment, set at two billion RM (US $473 million), is divided into two components: one unconditional part equal to one third of the sum; and a postponable part, incurring interest and financed by a consortium of American investment banks, for the remaining two-thirds. The Allies will release all securities and remove creditors’ financial and economic control. France will evacuate the Rhineland in 1930, five years ahead of schedule. The actual total payout from 1920 to 1929 has been less than 20 billion German gold marks, worth about $5 billion US dollars or £1 billion British pounds. About 12 billion has been cash that comes mostly from loans from New York bankers. The rest is goods like coal and chemicals, or from assets like railway equipment. The reparations bill was fixed in 1921 on the basis of a German capacity to pay, not on the basis of Allied claims. The highly publicized rhetoric of 1919 about paying for all the damages and all the veterans’ benefits was irrelevant for the total, but it has determined how the recipients spend their share. In response, the DNVP has sponsored a bill, the so-called “Law against the Enslavement of the German People” or “Freedom Law” that not only renounces the Versailles Treaty but also makes it a criminal offence for any official to co-operate with the treaty. The small NSDAP is especially vocal in its support of the Freedom Law. Customs Union with Austria Versailles forbids Austria from joining Germany (even though a majority of Austrians voted for unification in 1918 – similarly, the wishes of ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia were ignored). Now, in the economic crisis, many Germans believe that some form of union with Austria is economically essential as well politically desirable. A first step will be a “customs union” that will strengthen both states by creating a free trade zone between the two nations. The Foreign Ministry has been working towards this goal. League of Nations Inextricably related to the Young Plan and the Customs Union is the issue of the League of Nations. The Treaty of Locarno in 1925 paved the way for German admission to the League of Nations in 1926, and Germany now sits on the critical Security Council. While many at the time argued that it was the beginning of the normalization of Germany’s role in world politics after its years of isolation following the War, others maintain that the League is simply an extension of the Treaty of Versailles, dominated as it is by France. Indeed, the League of Nations is just as much a product of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 as the Treaty of Versailles. For many Germans, therefore, it is not an arbiter of international justice 46 but rather a tool of the Entente powers – especially Great Britain and France. The issue is whether Germany should remain in the League or not. Liquidation Treaty with Poland Even though no party accepts the annexation of German territory by Poland in the Treaty of Versailles, the Republic has nonetheless negotiated a Liquidation Treaty with Poland. The treaty states that both sides would agree to drop all economic claims against each other; Germany will pay Poland 1 billion RM; Poland agrees not to “liquidate” any more German property. There is no discussion of the border issue. Thus, Poland has given up the right to expropriate 180,000 hectares of land owned by ethnic Germans, thereby preventing the dislocation of up to 80,000 Germans in Poland. The Reichstag must now debate and ratify the treaty. Military (Defense Ministry): Within the restrictions of Versailles, the Reichstag must grapple with the role of the largely autonomous Reichswehr and national security. Naval Bill The military has demanded funding for three armored cruisers – a new type of small battleship that skirts the limits of Versailles. The three proposed ships are to be built one every two years and represent a significant investment. The Reichstag will have to vote on the funding every year (for a total of three votes) unless the Reichswehr chooses to drop its request (unlikely). Reichswehr Autonomy Relatedly, the Reichswehr has exercised complete autonomy since the earliest days of the Republic, yet some doubt its loyalty to the Republic even as it insists that the Republic not interfere in military affairs. The Reichstag confronts questions of whether or not the Reichswehr should be under civilian control, whether political assassinations should be investigated for links to the military, whether the press has the right to expose violations of Versailles by the military, and whether the military has the right to restrict free expression inside the military. Many on the right, not least the Reichswehr itself, argue that civilians should have no veto power at all over any military matters, including naval funding. Paramilitaries Well-organized paramilitaries are legal and members may wear uniforms and train openly. All are affiliated with a political direction, but they are not legally identified with a party. While this distinction is of little real meaning, it does mean that political parties, and their MdR, cannot be held accountable for the often unruly, frequently violent, occasionally murderous actions of the paramilitaries. The fact that these paramilitaries wage street fights that undermine the stability of the Republic mean that many believe they should be banned – if not all of them then at least those that engage in clearly documented street fights. Should the Reichstag or President issue a ban on paramilitaries, unless specified otherwise, the ban will be for one year but could be renewed. A permanent ban would be a constitutional change and require a 2/3 majority. The Economy (Economics Ministry): In the growing crisis of the Great Depression, economic policy looms large. How are resources to be allocated? Should the agrarian elite continue to receive grain subsidies in the form of the Eastern Aid? Or should money be directed instead towards the masses of unemployed or the increasingly indebted small famers? Should land be redistributed? 47 Austerity Economic and financial problems have reached a crisis point. The state has a liquidity problem due to falling tax revenues and increased unemployment insurance payments. Unemployment benefits are a legal right but increased by February 1929 to 2.8 million people; the state only has a budget for 800,000 people, and the numbers are rising as tax revenues are falling. Though complicated, the issue boils down to this: should unemployment insurance benefits to workers be cut to balance the looming deficit (austerity)? Or should unemployment benefits remain and drive the state towards bankruptcy (antiausterity)? The Small Farmers’ Plight Large farmers have considerable influence. Germany’s small farmers, however, have been devastated by world events. Prices have dropped; farms are indebted as they struggle to modernize; farm foreclosures are skyrocketing. Since 1928 small and middle farmers have launched a series of local riots in protest. This Rural People’s Movement has resonance throughout the nation, even though it has included terrorist attacks on public buildings, including the Reichstag. They have sympathy from the millions of Germans living in the small towns that rely on farms for their own prosperity. Some demand land reform (redistribution of large estates to smaller famers). Article 10 of the Constitution allows the Reichstag to determine the use of all land, and Article 155 specifically allows for expropriation of land for the public good, but so far no action has been taken. Others see some form of debt relief (guaranteed subsidized loans form the state) as the answer. Still others look to trade tariffs to protect them. Both agrarian tariffs on foodstuffs and industrial tariffs on manufactured goods are debated. Agrarian tariffs protect farmers but raise prices on food for workers. Industrial tariffs protect workers and export businesses, but they hurt farmers by increasing the costs of manufactured goods needed for efficient farming. Some also argue that tariffs violate principles of free trade and undermine long-term prosperity and efficiency. Should the Junkers’ estates be broken up and redistributed? Should the state provide credits and subsidies to small and middle farmers in the form of debt relief? Should the state impose tariffs on cheap import foods? A potential provision to the Eastern Aid laws foresees a plan to resettle bankrupt large estates in the East with new farmers, drawn largely from the masses of unemployed – can such a measure pass Junker resistance? Eastern Aid But there is also the question of the large estates, mostly owned by extremely rich and powerful aristocrats in the East. Due to the collapse in grain prices and the cutting off of East Prussia from Germany, the East Prussian big estates are no longer profitable and have only been retained with massive private loans. Now these estates are drowning in debt and beginning to default on their loans, leading to potential foreclosures. Several programs have been established in Prussia and East Prussia to ease credit. A new federal law would pass a series of measures collectively known as “Eastern Aid” (Osthilfe) that proposes financial support from government funds to bankrupt estates in East Prussia: subsidizing rail freight costs, lower local taxes, and allowing for easy credit for debt conversion. But in a time of belttightening, should limited funds be sued to favor the rich? Secularism (Interior Ministry): Germany has long been a Christian nation; indeed, it gave birth to the Protestant Reformation with Martin Luther. But now an increasing number of movements challenge these values. At the core, many of these debates boil down to whether or not the German state should be 48 secular or not. Should a Concordat be signed with the Vatican to guarantee a distinct role of Catholicism in Germany? Should education be reformed to limit or increase the role of religion? The Concordat with Rome While Catholics still suffer some discrimination, especially in the Protestant north, the Catholic Church has enjoyed a degree of privilege in Bavaria, the Rhineland, and Westphalia as well as other parts of the south-west where Catholics are a traditional majority. The German Catholic episcopate now comprises six archbishops and nineteen bishops with about one third of the population served by 20,000 priests. 17 The proposed Concordat is the equivalent of a treaty between the Vatican and the Republic. Pope Pius XI seeks one to overcome the legacy of the Kulturkampf and the tenuous position of Catholics as a minority. Key issues that the Church hopes to resolve relate to state subsidies to the Church, support for Catholic schools, the appointment of bishops and the legal position of the clergy. The government, in turn, has generally wished for reasons of foreign policy to have friendly relations with the Holy See, in part to prevent new diocesan boundaries being established, which would dilute Germany’s ties to ceded German territories in the east such as Danzig and Upper Silesia. The Holy See has concluded more wide-ranging concordats with a few German states where Catholics are concentrated, so far Bavaria (1924) and Prussia (1929), with negotiations underway in Baden. School Reform The constitution has numerous clauses related to education, but they are ambiguous. Church-run (confessional or denominational) schools and public schools are equally protected, yet public schools – ostensibly secular – remain heavily influenced by devout parents and clergy, who are often school inspectors and religion instructors. While clergy, secondary school teachers, and many parents wish to keep the current system intact, elementary school teachers and progressives (especially Marxists and Liberals) demand educational reform that would mandate exclusively interconfessional and therefore secular schools. Children would only be separated for religious education; clergy would be removed from positions as school inspectors. Some want to completely secularize education and remove all religious instruction from school curriculum. In a counter reform effort, conservative and Christian parties along with the Churches and parent organizations have tried to pass a law requiring areas with entirely secular, inter-confessional schools to re-open denominational schools. Morality and Values (Justice Ministry): The overriding concern regards questions revolving around views on sexuality – especially women and reproduction. Just as the Interior Ministry grapples with secularism, a similar debate plays out in culture. The freedom of expression opened up by the Constitution has not been universally embraced. Abortion: § 218 Imperial Germany laid the foundation for the legal understanding of abortion in 1871 with Paragraph (§) 218 of the Imperial Penal Code, which declared it a crime. However, legalization of abortion has been widely discussed. Such discussion led to a reduction in the maximum penalty for abortion in 1926, and in 1927 — by a court’s decision — to the legalization of abortion in cases of grave danger to the life of the mother. Contraception is now virtually unrestricted. Indeed, the presence of family planning centers and 17 Gunther Lewy, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (Boulder, CO: De Capo Press, 2000), 342–45. 49 the distribution of literature has made it more difficult to regulate sexual matters in Weimar. Should the law be abolished, returned to its original strictness or left as is? Gay Civil Liberties: § 175 Paragraph (§) 175 criminalized male homosexuality and places it in the same category as bestiality: “An unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex or by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights might also be imposed.” Initially rarely enforced, the rise of völkisch nationalism has led to an increase in concerns about national health and fertility, and thus greater opposition to male-male sex. Outside of the cities, there is limited official toleration, and even in the cities, the police rely on informants within the gay subculture and keep a secret “Pink List” of all known or suspected homosexuals. Still, an open gay community now exists in larger cities. Despite growing acceptance of homosexuality, earlier attempts to abolish § 175 have consistently failed due to a lack of a majority in the Reichstag. The debate now is about whether to sharpen or lessen the punishments of § 175. Censorship: Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front Eric Marie Remarque’s war novel All Quiet on the Western Front has sold more copies than any other book – with the exception of the Bible – since its publication earlier in 1929. Already by the end of the year, the novel has sold 1.5 million copies and been printed in serial form in newspapers. A highly anticipated film version, including the new technology of sound, is being made in the USA, to be released in Germany in 1930. The NSDAP has already announced its plans to disrupt showings of the movie. The question for the Reichstag is whether or not to limit freedom of expression, especially when the military or established churches claim to be insulted, regardless of what the courts decide. The Death Penalty Despite a long history of capital punishment in Germany, attitudes are shifting. Several scandals over capital convictions have renewed criticism and linked German justice to the wrongful execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in the USA in 1927. Also, the Austrian Republic recently banned capital punishment, placing a barrier towards possible future unification. The previous Justice Minister (SPD) responded by issuing a moratorium on all executions in 1928. Meanwhile, a committee of the Reichstag has been debating a sweeping reform of the penal code, including abolishing the death penalty. Citizenship (Chancellor): While the chancellor must be prepared to speak on any issue, especially those regarding defending the general line of the current government, an increasingly important question has to do with citizenship. Who is actually German? In the 1870s, many Germans argued that Catholics had to choose between loyalty to Rome or Berlin. Others argued that no socialist could be truly loyal. As a result, both groups suffered sustained persecution, and many still argue that communists must choose between Moscow or Berlin. Now, many also argue that race (rather than politics or religion) should determine citizenship. The Jewish Question Jews have exercised full rights as citizens since the creation of a unified Germany in 1871. However, the growth of anti-Semitism challenges that fact. Many now regard Jews as a separate race, one that cannot ever be truly German; others argue that they are in league with the Bolsheviks and want to destroy 50 capitalism; others claim that they run the banks and big business and are out to destroy the workers; others simply see them as culturally different and thus alien. This popular anti-Semitism stands in contrast to the full rights and assimilation of Jewish Germans. In the Reichstag, though, despite generalized antiSemitic statements that cautiously skirt the law, no MdR has to date dared to defame an individual member of the Reichstag. Further, no legislation restricting the rights of Jews has ever been proposed. Should it be? African Influences Since Germany’s belated acquisition of several colonies in Africa during the Kaiserreich, Germany has had to confront the reality of Africans with German citizenship. Yet, using eugenics arguments about the inferiority of mixed-race children, by 1912 miscegenation laws had become official policy in many Germany colonies, and a debate in the Reichstag over the legality of interracial marriage ensued. More importantly, between 25,000 and 40,000 French colonial soldiers have been based in the German Rhineland since 1918, and they have often had sexual relations with Germans, leading to allegations of rape. Regardless of the allegations, there are now hundreds of mixed-race children. Völkisch nationalists refer to these children as the “Black Shame.” Should the Reichstag legalize these children and the marriages or, on the other extreme, should they be sterilized? In any event, are they citizens? 4b. Rules and Procedures 4bi. Objectives and Victory Conditions Every player has victory objectives (Factional and Personal), clearly stated in your character sheet. Just as in real life, you should be motivated to “win” the game in the same sense that politicians seek to get their agenda passed. The victory objectives may seem far off at the start of the game, but the situation in Germany is highly fluid, even unstable. Anything is possible through alliances, success at the polls, dogged determination, successful propaganda, changing circumstances, and plain luck. Compromises are often necessary, but so is duplicity and holding to principle. Some characters may have special advantages or disadvantages in all these regards, but victory conditions are tailored to each player individually so that you have just as much chance of winning as a seemingly more powerful character because your victory conditions are most likely not only utterly different but perhaps also much more modest. Sometimes simply staying in the game is a victory. Some victory conditions promote the general interests of your party (Factional Victory); others relate exclusively to your character (Personal Victory). These victory objectives are spelled out in your character sheet. 4bii. Other Rules (The Mechanics of the Game) Set up Every character (excepting von Hindenburg, von Schleicher, and Meissner) is a Member of the Reichstag (an MdR, also known as an MP or Member of Parliament, or a deputy) and controls an equal share of the votes (mandates) of that faction (see the chart below for your starting faction mandates based on the results of the 20 May 1928 Reichstag election; if there is a remainder after dividing equally, those mandates go to the faction leader). The mandates for individual indeterminates is determined based on the number of indeterminate players (the GM will provide these numbers). 51 Party NSDAP Mandates 12 DNVP 76 X 61 SPD 153 KPD 54 Indeterminates 135 Total 491 50%+ 246 2/3 328 If new elections occur, the total number of delegates as well as their distribution may change. Historical outcomes combine with the propaganda success of your party to determine these numbers. At the game start, the following positions are distributed as follows: • • Reich president (head of state): Paul von Hindenburg. Speaker of the Reichstag (head of legislature): Maria Juchasz (SPD) o Speaker is always selected by the largest party but may not the Chancellor but may be in the cabinet in another position). After the elections of 1928, Stresemann (DVP) carefully forged a Grand Coalition (SPD, Centre, DVP, DDP) with a slight majority that now forms the government (ie the cabinet) and consists of: • • • • • • Chancellor (head of government): Hermann Müller (SPD) Interior Minister: Kurt Levi (SPD) (if only two SPD players, than same as Chancellor) Foreign Minister: Theodor Heuss (DDP) Justice Minister: Heinrich Brüning (Centre) Economics Minister: Eduard Dingeldey (DVP) Defense Minister: Kurt von Schleicher (independent) Starting Agenda The starting Reichstag agenda cannot be altered. All issues must be debated before any new items are added, including in the following session. Once austerity has been debated, the Speaker sets the agenda, but anyone may propose a change at any time after the austerity debate. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Right of first address – presented by eldest member of the Reichstag Zetkin (KPD) Freedom Law – presented by Hugenberg (DNVP) Naval Bill – presented by Defense Minister von Schleicher Homosexuality: § 175 – presented by Thälmann (KPD) Young Plan – presented by Chancellor Müller (SPD) Austerity – presented by the Economics Minister Dingeldey (DVP) The Parties (Factions) With the exception of members of the camarilla (von Hindenburg, von Schleicher, Meissner), every player is the member of a party represented in the Reichstag. Party members always sit together during Reichstag sessions and are subject to several internal party rules. All parties operate with party discipline. Regardless of how a party reaches a decision, if the party leader calls for “party discipline,” all members must vote as a block with the party leader casting the votes. Failure to abide by party discipoline and vote against the party can possibly lead to disciplinary action or splitting the party. Parties with one player, however, may always freely allocate votes as they choose, even splitting them between directly opposed points of view or across a spectrum. 52 You may, however, still be highly critical of your party privately, secretly, anonymously and even within party meetings. However, public criticism is forbidden (a critical article that is publicly circulated, a vote against the decision after party discipline has been invoked, negotiations conducted without the authorization of the party, a speech in the Reichstag critical of your party, etc). It is up to the party to determine how to discipline its undisciplined members. The options, determined by majority vote of the party including those of the offender, may include: expulsion, removal from party posts, or a simple reprimand. A player’s MdR may not be taken away as a punishment or for any other reason except as determined by the GM. Reichstag Basic Responsibilities What does the Reichstag do? It passes legislation and the budget; it makes declarations of war and ratifies treaties. It also hold the members of the cabinet responsible to the Reichstag; it can enforce the resignation of ministers or the whole cabinet by a motion of no confidence; it can also revoke “emergency decrees” by the Reich president according to Article 48; it can convene Committees of Inquiry (Advanced Rule). In periods of crisis, the Reichstag also has found a way to rule that was not provided (as such) in the constitution; namely, the Reichstag has used “enabling acts,” especially in the crisis years of 1919-1923, to bypass the need for on-going majorities. All legislation requires a simple majority (50% + 1 of those present casting a vote – abstentions do not count), except for constitutional amendments (Article 76), which require 2/3 majority. Article 49: Reich Pardon The President of the Reich shall exercise the pardoning power for the Reich. For national amnesties a national law is necessary. The constitution grants the Reichstag, as well as and Reich president, the right to pardon anyone. Most symbolically, the Reichstag regularly passes a Christmas Amnesty paroling lesser political prisoners at Christmas. These paroles can release thousands of people in either general or targeted amnesties. Article 54: Reichstag Confidence in Chancellor The Chancellor and national ministers must have the confidence of the Reichstag for the exercise of their offices. Any one of them must resign if the Reichstag withdraws its confidence by express resolution. The Reichstag can exercise a simple majority and force the resignation of the chancellor or any minister or the Speaker of the Reichstag. This is a “motion of no confidence.” Such an action if directed against the chancellor or cabinet in general may result in a new election if the Reich president uses Article 25; or it may result in the Reich president using Article 53 to call upon a new MdR to be chancellor and form a new government without new elections. In effect, the Reichstag may attempt to bring down the cabinet, even if unable to agree on a successor, through a successful “Motion of No Confidence.” The motion may come at any time for any reason from 53 any MdR. Indeed, if the cabinet has just lost a vote, the logical step for the parties in opposition is to call for an immediate vote of no confidence. The procedure is as follows: 1. The motion must be voted on immediately and cannot be blocked for any reason. 2. The vote is by simple majority. 3. If the vote is successful, the President may (but is not required to) invoke Article 25 and call for elections. Of course, the President may ignore the vote of no confidence and thus the cabinet stays in power and no elections are called. Or the President may simply call upon a new MdR to form a cabinet without calling for new elections. Any number of motions of no confidence may be made per session; however, only if made against a different person (speaker, chancellor, government, a minister, etc). A vote of no confidence can only be called in the last 5-10 minutes of a session. Article 76: Altering the Constitution The constitution may be amended by legislative action. However, resolutions of the Reichstag for amendment of the constitution are valid only if two-thirds of the legal members are present and if two-thirds of those present give their assent. Moreover, resolutions of the Reichsrat for amendment of the constitution require a two-thirds majority of all the votes cast. If by popular petition a constitutional amendment is to be submitted to a referendum, it must be approved by a majority of the qualified voters. If the Reichstag adopts a constitutional amendment over the veto of the Reichsrat, the President of the Reich shall not publish this law if the Reichsrat within two weeks demands a referendum. Article 76 provides for any alteration to the constitution by 2/3 majority of 2/3 of duly elected delegates to the Reichstag. Should the above conditions be met, the Reichstag may make any changes it deems fit. These changes can include effectively altering the entire constitutional arrangement of Germany. There are no limits. Enabling Acts Not to be confused with Article 48, which grants the Reich president the power to declare Emergency Decrees, Enabling Acts grant the cabinet emergency powers, usually limited for a specific crisis. Used frequently in the early days of the Republic, an Enabling Act requires a 2/3 majority. In effect, it is an extension of Article 76. Most Enabling Acts have a temporal limit but only vague thematic limits. On the basis of these acts, a vast number of decrees have been signed with enormous importance for social and economic life, the judicial system, and taxes. For example, the creation of unemployment insurance in 1927 was settled via such a decree. The Enabling Acts have set an example of how to break a gridlock if one can garner a 2/3 majority. For the cabinet, they have the advantage that they have been accepted as quasi-constitutional – an advantage over the image of dictatorial power of presidential decrees (Article 48). The Reichstag also tolerates such 54 decrees since they are valid only for a limited time and include mostly a kind of cooperation since the Reichstag has approved the general parameters. Speaker of the Reichstag The Speaker of the Reichstag is the presiding officer of the Reichstag. By tradition, the Speaker is selected by and from the largest faction immediately after every Reichstag election. He controls the agenda of each meeting and determines who can speak, in what order, and for how long. If he chooses, he may ignore requests to speak entirely, including from the Chancellor or other members of the Cabinet. Though the control of the agenda and podium is powerful, in practice the Speaker has to balance the opportunities of all parties unless he desires total chaos and his removal from office by a vote. Any MdR may call for a vote of no-confidence in the Speaker (but only in the last 5-10 minutes of the class). Such an action, however, can bring down the entire cabinet by forcing a full Reichstag election if the Reich president calls for one. The Speaker may select a secretary to help keep control of the Reichstag meetings; this role may also be filled by the GM. The Speaker calls a sessions to order with a bell (not the American gavel); he either announces what topic will be discussed or takes motions from the floor; while any member may rise to speak at the podium, they may only speak from there if recognized by the Speaker; the Speaker may ignore motions, adjust the agenda, refuse to allow votes and otherwise has complete authority over the proceedings of the Reichstag. If an MdR is overly zealous and refuses to adhere to the demands of the Speaker, the Speaker may call upon the Reichstag security detail (the GM) to restore order. Reichstag Session Decorum There is often no protocol for MdR behavior. Heckling, interjecting, shouting down, and voicing loud support all occur. Members can enter or leave the meeting as they desire. Mass walkouts by a party or parties are not unheard of. Parties sit as factions apart from each other. MdR often ignore the Speaker if they are called to order. A speaker may have the podium and be requested to leave the podium, but the speaker may also choose to ignore the demands of the Speaker. The Speaker attempts to maintain order through the vigorous ringing of a bell to call the house to order. When a member of the cabinet addresses the Reichstag to present the government’s views on a matter, members of the Reichstag have the right to question the minister without needing to come to the podium. Otherwise, such questions are generally out of order. Members must be recognized by the Speaker to speak from the podium. The MdR must identify themselves by name, party affiliation, and ministry portfolio (if applicable). At the start of the first session and after each new election, the eldest member of the Reichstag (Clara Zetkin, KPD), has the honor of making the first speech. 55 If the Reichstag becomes unruly, the Reich president has the authority to use whatever means necessary to restore order for any reason in the Reichstag building (Article 28). Of course, he cannot violate the constitutional immunity of MdR. The GM can enforce calls for order if necessary. Reichstag Voting No quorum is required except for use of Article 76 (requires 2/3 of members be present). Only the Speaker may allow a vote and may ignore calls for a vote even if seconded (except a vote of no confidence, which cannot be ignored). Once a vote begins, however, it must be taken immediately, no further debate is allowed, and it may not be cut off. The sponsoring party votes first; the Speaker may then call upon parties to vote in any order. Parties usually vote by block and announce all of the votes at once. However, they may elect to split their votes in any manner. The party may vote, abstain, or pass. If passing, the Speaker must call upon every other party before calling upon the passing party again. A party may only pass once. If the party abstains, the Speaker has the right to demand the reasons for the abstention but must not do so. If absent, players in a party with more than one member are assumed to vote by proxy. The leader of the party automatically controls those votes unless the player has stipulated otherwise. The player may also give instructions on how the votes are to be cast. The proxy voter must follow the instructions. The instructions may be broad (“I authorize “X” to cast my votes on all matters as “X” sees fit”) or narrow (“I authorize “X” to vote yes/no on this particular matter only”). If the party has only one member and is absent, the party may designate its votes in a similar fashion. The GM or an appointed secretary should keep a tally on the board and immediately announce results. In the event of a tie, the Reich president may cast a deciding vote. If he does not, the motion fails since it has no majority. The same topic may not be voted on more than once in the same session; the exception is that anyone may call for a vote of no confidence (but only in the last 5-10 minutes of a session). Tabling Debate in the Reichstag Once a topic has been opened for debate by the Speaker, that debate cannot be interrupted for any reason until all required speeches are given (characters required to speak on the subject.) After all speeches, the Speaker may table a vote, however. The Speaker may be overridden by majority vote, with the exception of a motion of no-confidence, which must occur immediately (assuming all debate on any other matter at hand has ended). The Speaker may not table a motion of no confidence. An immediate vote after discussion must occur. The Speaker may ignore any other motion, including from the government. The Speaker may not ignore nor may the Reichstag table any Ministerial Report. 56 Reichstag Elections Normal elections are held after a legislative session of four years; however, a successful vote of no confidence in the cabinet, a collapsed coalition, or a decision by the Reich president can lead to early elections. The Reichstag is elected by general universal suffrage according to the principle of proportional representation. Players need to also be aware, however, that elections in Weimar Germany are notoriously unpredictable. The results since 1919 have often utterly surprised the parties. The German electorate is volatile, with many voters never joining any party and switching allegiances with each election. How can players shape electoral forces seemingly out of their control? In part, the election results are controlled by historical outcomes, but there are a few ways that players can directly alter these outcomes. • • First, by campaigning successfully, as measured by the quality of your writing and speaking, the GM will rank your efforts and reapportion mandates accordingly. Second, the Stability Index may shape outcomes. The more stable (higher Index score) the more pro-Republic parties (SPD, X, Indeterminates) will be rewarded; the more unstable (lower Index score) the more anti-Republic parties (NSDAP, KPD, DNVP, Indeterminates) will be rewarded. Calling an Election Players should expect that early elections may well be called if the Reichstag cannot achieve a working arrangement. There is no limit in theory to how frequently new elections can be held. However, there are some restrictions: • • • No election may be held prior to the end of the first session. New elections can only be called in the last 5 minutes of class (announced by President via Article 25) No more than one election may occur per session. Nonetheless, new elections must be called for any of the following reasons: 1. The Reich president dissolves the Reichstag (using Article 25); he may do this on his own initiative or at the request of the Chancellor at any time for any reason (but only in the last 5 minutes of a session). There is no constitutional mechanism for the Reichstag or cabinet to override Article 25. 2. The four-year term is up (1932 – normally Session 6, or the penultimate game session): If the cabinet survives until 1932, elections are held in the session after the scheduled presidential election. There is no constitutional mechanism to delay this scheduled elections. Election Procedures What happens when new elections are called? • • The existing cabinet continues to operate until elections are concluded, but the GM announces results of the Reichstag elections before the start of the next session. The largest party then selects the new Speaker of the Reichstag. 57 • • • • The Reich president calls upon someone (usually but not necessarily the leader of largest party) to form a new government as chancellor; that person need not be a member of the Reichstag. The chancellor should form a cabinet and have agreement on that cabinet with the President PRIOR to the start of the next class. At start of next session, the new Chancellor presents the members of and the goals of the new government. The new Speaker announces the agenda. The eldest serving Reichstag member (Zetkin, KPD) addresses the Reichstag as the first agenda item. The Government (Chancellor and Cabinet) Cabinet Formation and Coalitions The Reichstag works on a European parliamentary model. The party that has a majority (50% +1 of mandates) is usually but not necessarily called upon by the Reich president to form a majority government. That party then establishes a cabinet and appoints one of its own as chancellor (head of government); it then constitutes the cabinet as it sees fit. However, if no party has a majority, the Reich president calls upon a party, usually though not necessarily the largest, to form a coalition government with other parties. If that party is able to form a coalition with a majority, it can constitute the new government with a division of cabinet positions as the coalition agrees. There is no limit to how many parties can be involved in a coalition. To function properly, it must simply have a majority. If the party chosen by the Reich president to form a government cannot create a working majority, the Reich president may ask another party. The Reich president may call upon any party or person to create a government, even if there is no prospect of a majority and even if that person is not a member of a party or even the Reichstag. Thus, a party or coalition may rule as a minority government. In this case, the party or coalition does not have a majority. However, one or more parties NOT in the government may choose to “tolerate” this government and not call for or support a vote of no confidence, thus allowing the minority government to continue without necessitating a call for new elections that a successful vote of no-confidence would require. That does not mean that the government gets what it wants for legislation since it has no majority; it merely means that it is not removed from office. A government (i.e. cabinet, NOT the Reichstag) collapses constitutionally whenever one of the following happens: 1. The party or coalition loses a majority due to an election, or 2. The government in toto or the chancellor loses a “vote of no confidence” in the Reichstag. In this case, the Reich president usually, though not necessarily, calls for new elections. 3. A party or coalition loses a majority because members of the party or coalition leave for whatever reason, or 4. The Reich president dissolves the Reichstag using Article 25. 58 If any of these conditions occur, the Reich president calls upon someone to form a new government (but he does not have to dissolve the Reichstag); in the event that new elections are called, this will only happen AFTER the election. The cabinet normally consists of the six positions, but there is no requirement that all of these positions be filled, and one persona may fill multiple positions. A minister may resign at any time or be voted out by a separate “vote of no confidence,” but this act will not bring down the government. The coalition partners may replace the vacant seat as they please. Role of the Chancellor The chancellor represents the government; she may make whatever decisions she pleases within her constitutional capacities, even ignoring the wishes of her cabinet. Naturally, the ministers may then resign and call for a vote of no confidence. Although the chancellor is the nominal head of the government, he is relatively weak. Many powers are reserved for the Reich president, and the chancellor is held accountable by the Reichstag, which may dismiss him at any point. Further, the cabinet decides government policy by majority vote. The chancellor does, however, have a few prerogatives: • • • • He may meet with the Reich president at any time. He may choose to present the cabinet’s position to the Reichstag on any issues (assuming the Speaker of the Reichstag acknowledges him). He implements any decrees under Article 48. No presidential decree or order is valid without his counter signature. Article 50: Chancellor counter-signature on all Presidential decrees All orders and decrees of the President of the Reich, including those concerning the armed force, require for their validity the counter-signature of the Chancellor or of the competent national minister. Responsibility is accepted by the act of counter-signature. The chancellor thus has the ability to block any presidential action. However, the president has the right to dismiss the chancellor at any point. Article 51: If President unavailable In case the Reich President is unavailable, he is briefly substituted by the Reich Chancellor. Is it a presumably longer lasting situation, his substitution has to be regulated by a Reich law. The same applies in case a presidency ends prematurely, until the next election is held. Role of the Cabinet The cabinet’s primary role is to try to reach consensus and move legislation through the Reichstag by securing a majority in advance of any vote. Further, protocol dictates that the minister with the relevant portfolio presents the government’s position. Members of the cabinet are expected to publically support the cabinet’s decisions, or at least refrain from public criticism, a position that may put them at odds with their party. 59 Ministerial Reports Before the next session, players receive ministerial briefs that form the basis of a Ministerial Report on the next session’s agenda. Outside of class, the cabinet must develop an official government position, and the responsible minister must present that position at the next session in a two minute report. The report should propose a specific policy or recommend no action at all, at which point any member of the Reichstag may make a proposal. After the report, the floor is open to Questions for the Minister; no speeches are allowed at this point – only questions from the floor. After that, the floor is opened for normal debate. What happens if the cabinet does not agree on the report? Just about anything – a cabinet shuffle, request for the Reich president to call new elections (Article 25), request that the Reich president issue an emergency decree (Article 48). The chancellor and coalition partners will have to decide what to do. Failure to make a report affects the Stability Index. Reich President The Constitution has created a semi-presidential system in which power is divided between the Reich president, a cabinet and a parliament. The Reich president thus plays an important constitutional role as a check and balance on the government and the Reichstag. He does not serve in the Reichstag, but he is always offered the courtesy to speak if he requests. The Reich president is elected separately from the Reichstag and directly by all German citizens to a seven-year term. The election involves a form of the two-round system. The Reich president does not directly shape legislation or exercise executive authority; these are left to the Reichstag and Chancellor respectively. However, he is able to dissolve the Reichstag, call new elections, and invite a party to form a cabinet. He must sign all bills before they have the force of law. He does not have an absolute veto on legislation, but he can insist that a law be submitted for the approval of voters in a referendum. He can also conduct foreign affairs and has “supreme command over the armed forces, in their entirety.” Paul von Hindenburg has been the Reich president since 1925; a regular presidential election (completely separate from Reichstag elections) will be held in April of 1932. His popularity is immense, in part because of his reputation as the greatest German general of the War. In fact, even many leftists and National Socialists find him appealing as a symbol of German pride. Article 25: Dissolution of the Reichstag by the Reich president Article 25 allows the Reich president to dissolve the Reichstag at any time for any reason. Even though it states that this can only be done “once for the same reason,” that wording could easily be twisted with manufactured justifications. The result of invoking Article 25 would be the immediate scheduling of a new election, a process that could lead to a very different Reichstag membership. The President may only use this power once per session, and not during the first session, but only in the last 5-10 minutes of a session. 60 Article 48: Emergency Decree by the Reich president If a state fails to carry out the duties imposed upon it by the national constitution or national laws, the President of the Reich may compel performance with the aid of armed force. If public safety and order be seriously disturbed or threatened within the German Reich, the President of the Reich may take the necessary measures to restore public safety and order; if necessary, with the aid of armed force. For this purpose he may temporarily suspend in whole or in part the fundamental rights enumerated in Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153. The President of the Reich must immediately communicate to the Reichstag all measures taken by virtue of Paragraph 1 or Paragraph 2 of this Article. On demand of the Reichstag these measures must be abrogated. If there be danger in delay, the state ministry may, for its own territory, take such temporary measures as are indicated in Paragraph 2. On demand by the President of the Reich or by the Reichstag such measures shall be abrogated. Detailed regulations shall be prescribed by a national law. Article 48 of the constitution allows the Reich president, under ill-defined circumstances, to take emergency measures without the prior consent of the Reichstag. This power is understood to include the promulgation of “emergency decrees” that amount to martial law and the temporary suspension of constitutional rights. The Reich president can also, in effect, declare legislation without the Reichstag. Article 48 permits the Reichstag to nullify the emergency decree by simple majority action. However, at least one other agenda item must be debated and voted one before the Reichstag can vote to nullify an emergency decree. It can occur in the same session, though. Article 49: Presidential Amnesty The President of the Reich shall exercise the pardoning power for the Reich. For national amnesties a national law is necessary. The Weimar constitution thus grants the right of amnesty to the Reich president. Articles 50 and 51further address certain aspects of the presidency, including the need for the chancellor’s counter-signature an all decrees (Article 50), his replacement by the chancellor if unavailable (Article 51) (see above). Article 53: Appointment of the Chancellor by Reich president The Chancellor and, upon his recommendation, the national ministers shall be appointed and removed by the President of the Reich. The Reich president, not the Reichstag, appoints the chancellor. In effect, the Reich president may ignore the wishes of the Reichstag majority and appoint a chancellor who does not have a majority. 61 Presidential Election The Reich president (von Hindenburg) serves a seven-year term. He is elected directly by the German population, not through the Reichstag, in a separate election. The next election will occur in March 1932 (sometime during the penultimate session). There is no constitutional mechanism to hasten or delay or void a presidential election. The only qualification for election is German citizenship; one need NOT be a member of the Reichstag, according to Article 44 of the constitution. If a deputy is elected, he loses his seat, but his party does not lose any mandates. The campaign will run as follows: 1. Every player develops an election poster for their ideal candidate (even if that candidate does not run). o Campaign materials will be produced PRIOR to the penultimate session (that means usually due for Session 5 for elections in Session 6). o Posters are hung in class. o The GM privately ranks the posters prior to the election. 2. Candidates are announced and a secret vote is taken. o Each player designates their current votes as they choose, even splitting or abstaining. Since it is a secret ballot, they may ignore party discipline. o The GM makes adjustments based on ranking of posters and the Stability Index before announcing results. o Winner requires a simple majority of votes cast. 3. If no one wins an absolute majority of votes cast: o A second round is required but in this round the winner is the one with the most votes (no majority required) o Any party with a candidate in the first round may choose to drop out or run a substitute candidate (but no NEW party or independent may enter a candidate). o It is possible for a candidate to run as unaffiliated with the consent of one of the parties that ran a candidate in the first round but withdraws their candidate and gives permission for the new candidate to run in their stead even without using the party’s affiliation. o This second round occurs after a brief recess to allow caucusing, and it follows the same procedure as the first round. However, the winner does NOT require a majority, rather highest number of votes (plurality). o In the event of a tie, the presiding Reich president will cast one vote. The new Reich president takes immediate office. Upon election, the Reich President must make the following oath in front of the Reichstag according to Article 42 of the constitution: “I swear to devote my energy to the welfare of the German people, to increase its prosperity, to prevent damage, to hold up the Reich constitution and its laws, to consciously honour my duties and to exercise justice to every individual.” The addition of a religious formula is acceptable. 62 Coalitions, Alliances, Mergers, New Formations and Bans No party has ever had an absolute majority, so coalitions have been the norm in order to achieve a working majority. There have been several terms used to describe the different constellations: • • • • • Weimar Coalition, aka Volksblock (SPD, DDP, X): a left-center pro-Republic coalition that formed at the start of the Republic. Grand Coalition (SPD, DDP, X, BVP, DVP): a moderate pro-Republic coalition currently in power. Reichsblock, aka Hindenburg Front (Center, BVP, DVP, DNVP): a right-center, nationalconservative block excluding Marxists and the NSDAP. Völkische Front (NSDAP, DNVP, DVP): a far-right block that excludes moderates. Bürgerblock (DDP, X, BVP, DVP): a nationalist-liberal moderate coalition that excludes Marxists and völkisch parties. Alliances are formal arrangements that generally include agreements to vote together without dissolving the parties in the alliance. These are not the same as mergers, since each party remains distinct, and they are not coalitions since they are not meant to from a government. Two alliances regularly discussed included: • • United Front (KPD, SPD): a Marxist front to fight the extreme right. National Block (DNVP, DVP, and at least one other party): a nationalist front to fight both the Marxists and the NSDAP. Mergers occur when two or more parties agree to dissolve their former parties and create a new united party. Such a merger means that all future elections will occur under the name of the new party. There is no guarantee that all mandates will agree, however. The GM will roll a die to determine how successful the merger was. Naturally, if the merger ceases to be useful, one can unmerge. Again, though, the results are not entirely in the hands of the character and a die roll will determine how successful the de-merger was. Parties may disappear either by voluntarily dissolving themselves (this does not include mergers), being banned by the Reichstag, being outlawed after a violent seizure of power, or not receiving any votes in the next Reichstag election. Banning a party is an extraordinary step. It requires a 2/3 vote since it would effectively alter the constitution to deny a party its legal status (Article 76). However, a party may simply legally reform another name. This happened once in 1923 to the NSDAP, but it only increased that party’s popularity and the ban was soon lifted. Most agree that a ban violates the essence of constitutional democracy. The Supreme Court has indicated that a party ban would only be constitutional in the context of a direct threat (an actual insurrection by a party). Campaign Contributions Some characters have access to wealth. These players may offer financial assistance to anyone. How the donor and recipient negotiate such a contribution is entirely between the contracting parties. A contribution may be offered for any amount in multiples of 1 Million RM (in the form of scrip provided 63 by the GM). Be warned, though, that some may perceive such contributions, should they be made public, as bribes. Committee of Inquiry (Article 34) For any reason (to investigate an assassination, bribery scandal, etc), the Reichstag may convene, by a motion that has the support of 1/5 of the Reichstag, a Committee of Inquiry. The head of the committee is the Minister of Justice. The Committee attempts to uncover and prosecute any unconstitutional activity. The chance of success is strengthened if such a Committee has the support of the majority of the Reichstag and government officials (President, Cabinet). An investigation occurs between sessions. At the start of the next session after a Committee is convened, the Minister of Justice issues a statement about the Committee’s findings privately to the Cabinet, which then authorizes a report to the Reichstag. The Reichstag and the Reich president then decide what they want to do with the report. For example, the Reichstag may denounce the findings and call for a vote of no-confidence in the Minister or cabinet, leading possibly to new elections. Or the Reich president could pardon anyone implicated. In any event, such Committees are politically explosive since they are usually only convened around political assassinations or political corruption. Violence Reichswehr Since the Treaty of Versailles limits the Reichswehr to just 100,000 men, it is a hand-picked elite led by conservative officers with monarchist loyalties. However, with its small size, inefficient armor, and no air support, the Reichswehr has limited combat abilities. Nonetheless, the Reichswehr defends its autonomy from Reichstag control. Its officers appear utterly devoted to von Hindenburg, who is the formal head of the Reichswehr, but von Schleicher is the man in charge of day to day decisions. It is unimaginable that the Reichswehr would act without first the consent of von Hindenburg and second the coordination of von Schleicher. Assassination Assassination had been extremely common in Weimar in the 1920s. At least 354 people were murdered for political reasons between 1919 and 1922, all moderates or leftists. The courts have been notoriously lenient on such murderers. Since 1924, however, assassination has become rare. Nonetheless, the threat still exists, and threats, often delivered in not-so-veiled homilies in the Reichstag, right-wing broadsheets or in anonymous letters, should be taken seriously. Insurrections Weimar was founded in a revolution in 1918 and since that time several insurrections have occurred: the so-called Sparticist Uprising in 1918/1919; the creation and destruction of the Bavarian Soviet Republic in 1919; the conservative Kapp Putsch in 1920; and the NSDAP Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, the Rhineland Uprising of 1923. No attempt has been staged in several years, but the parties maintain their 64 paramilitaries, and the Reichswehr maintains its political autonomy. Many in Germany fear that the deteriorating situation since 1929 has revived the threat of insurrection that plagues the early years of the Republic. Paramilitaries Some parties have a well-organized paramilitary, which can wear uniforms and train openly in military tactics. One does not need to be a party member to join these organizations, and their membership at times exceeds those of the parties. Thus, paramilitary leaders wield considerable power. The following paramilitaries exist: • • • • • NSDAP = Sturmabteilung (Storm Troopers) or SA or Brown Shirts DNVP = Stahlhelm (Steel Helm) DDP = Reichsbanner (Banner of the Realm) SPD = Reichsbanner (Banner of the Realm) KPD = Rotfrontkämpferbund (Red Front Fighters’ League) The paramilitary may have the following abilities: • • • authorize street violence; decide if the party will initiate an insurrection; decide how the party’s armed wing will react to an insurrection. Street Fighting A paramilitary leader may initiate street fighting under the following conditions: • • • • • It may only happen once per session. He names his target (a rival paramilitary, the Reichswehr, the Reichstag, a rival party). The target, if it possesses a paramilitary, may authorize retaliation. The Interior Minister may authorize the police to repress the street fighting. A vote by the cabinet or order by the Chancellor does not automatically lead to mobilization of police; only the Interior Minister may actually mobilize the police to repress the fighting. Naturally, the Interior Minister may refuse to send in the police. The Interior Minister may also chose to send in the police regardless of the decision of the cabinet. If two street fighting incidences occur in a row without mobilization of the police, the Reichswehr may elect to intervene. The Defense Minister may authorize the Reichswehr to repress the street fighting. A vote of the cabinet or order by the Chancellor does not automatically lead to mobilization of the Reichswehr; only the Defense Minister may actually mobilize the police to repress the fighting. Naturally, the Defense Minister may, due to political calculation, refuse to send in the Reichswehr. The Defense Minister may also chose to send in the Reichswehr regardless of the decision of the cabinet. Further, the Reich president may also make whatever decision he desires he commander-in-chief, including overriding any decisions by either the Minister or Chancellor. Street fighting will affect the Stability Index. 65 Character Death Politicians are in fact assassinated (Luxemburg, Erzberger, Rathenau, et al), die unexpectedly (Stresemann), or lose all relevance as they are isolated from their party (Otto Strasser). What happens if your character dies or your party is eliminated? Do you automatically lose? Not to worry! You simply respawn, but as another character (the GM will inform you of your new character). Your victory objectives now become those of your new character. Foreign Intervention Many characters may want to look to support from foreign powers. And why not? The French intervened in the early 1920s and occupies the Rhineland. The Comintern in Moscow has supported a variety of communist revolutions around the world. The Vatican regularly issues proclamations in support of Catholics. The United Kingdom has no desire to see the Versailles system unravel. Italy seeks to extend its influence into Austria and the Balkans. Poland and Czechoslovakia have significant tensions on their new borders with Germany. Should any character desire, she may appeal directly to any foreign power for assistance (military, diplomatic, financial, or otherwise). Such an appeal should be written as a letter to the relevant counterpart abroad or perhaps to a foreign dignitary stationed in Germany. The GM will act as this character and respond with the outcome. Stability Index Political stability, or the sense of crisis, is represented abstractly by a “Stability Index.” The Index represents the degree to which forces that support Weimar versus those opposed are dominating events. Various events will cause the Index to rise or fall by a particular amount (the GM will indicate the impact after each event). The Stability Index effects the game in the following manner: • • • • Reichstag elections (high scores favor pro-Republicans, low scores favor anti-Republicans). Presidential election (high scores favor pro-Republicans, low scores favor anti-Republicans). Chances for an insurrection’s success. Your character’s victory conditions. Some, but by no means all, of the influences on the Index include: STABILITY INDEX GREATER STABILITY (+) Pro-Republic cabinet No Reichstag election called before 1932 Pro-Republic President: 1932 election LESSER STABILITY (-) Allegiance of Cabinet Anti-Republic cabinet Stability of Cabinet Vote of no confidence Failure to make a Minister’s Report by next session Reich President Anti-Republic President: 1932 election Use of Article 48 or 25 66 Assassinations, Scandals, Committees of Inquiry, and Pardons Effective Committee of Inquiry Assassinations Scandals and Rumors Ineffective Committee of Inquiry Violence - Paramilitaries, Street Fighting, Insurrections Banning anti-Republic paramilitaries Banning pro-Republic paramilitaries Street fighting Insurrections Reichswehr Black Reichswehr disbanded Civilian control of Reichswehr Foreign and Military Policy Foreign policy victories via diplomacy Foreign policy defeats Social and Cultural Policy No change to status quo (per issue): § 175, censorship, Civil liberties debated (per issue): § 175, censorship, abortion, Jews, death penalty, Blacks, education abortion, Jews, death penalty, Blacks, education Economics Policies that help average Germans Policies that help elite Germans Party Splits, Mergers, Bans, New Creations Stronger unity of Republicans Stronger unity of anti-Republicans 4c. Basic Outline of the Game Our game begins in late 1929, just after the US Stock Market Crash and as the German Reichstag (Parliament) begins deliberation on the Young Plan (a revision to the reparations payment plan of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War One). The players are mostly Members of the Reichstag (MdR) belonging to the various political parties. Beginning with the Young Plan, they must debate a variety of matters ranging from foreign affairs to cultural matters, all informed by primary sources. Each session is roughly six months, and in the intervening times the players will have to confront events happening in the world that directly impact Germany (provided by the GM to ministers of the Reichstag cabinet) while also dealing with domestic elections. Importantly, the players face a series of decisions where they, not the dead hand of history, decide what will happen. Thus, within the parameters of the historical reality of the Republic, the players must consider all of the options actually available and then confront the consequences. Importantly, every decision made by players has an impact on the Stability Index, a measure of how volatile the German electorate has become: the greater the instability, the greater the radicalization of voters. Thus, players must decide how best to maneuver politically in the Reichstag all the while considering the impact on the next election. If the Reichstag cannot resolve its internal disputes based upon majority rule, the game allows for extraparliamentary tactics: assassinations, emergency decrees, bribery, street violence, martial law, and mass insurrections. After the game, the GM debriefs players, providing historical closure to determine the fate of German democracy and individual players. It also helps players to exit from the game, provides an opportunity for 67 reflection, and gives the GM a chance to set the record straight by telling the players what really happened. 4d. Assignments Every player should engage the class through oral participation (primarily speaking in the Reichstag sessions), writing (primarily through your papers written for your speeches), and visual creativity (primarily the construction of campaign posters). Papers and formal speeches Each player is assigned three papers. You will also present a speech version of these papers as your formal speeches during the relevant debate. Your character sheet defines which topics you must present on. Each paper should include the following: • • Length: (depending on class needs) – in smaller classes usually 3-5 pages; in larger 1-2 pages? Citations: at least three o Each must cite The Communist Manifesto at least once. o Each must cite a primary source by one party other than your own. o Each must cite your own party readings at least once. Election Poster You must produce an election poster for the Presidential election PRIOR to the start of that election (6th session). Format: The poster should be on a poster board unless otherwise specified by the instructor. It may be designed in any style related to the aesthetics of the Weimar era (see samples from the websites below). You may imitate models or be more creative. Content: You must design a poster to promote the leader of your faction for election to Reich president (that person need not actually run). The poster may be in German or English. It must clearly convey either the party or the candidate. For a minimal example, one could create a poster with little more than a picture of the candidate, assuming that the candidate is so well known as to convey the party identity as well. You should look at historical examples of electoral posters readily available on-line. Several virtual archives exist with excellent poster collections that you can use as models: • • Electoral Posters Archive (in German): German Propaganda Archive (NSDAP posters): Oral Participation Every player is expected to speak publicly in every session, especially in smaller games. However, everyone has three set speeches they must deliver (your three papers). 68 • • This set speech may be written (or use note cards). It must be a minimum of two or more minutes in length. As the sessions proceed, ministers will need to give Ministerial Reports, to which the parties must respond. These may also be used as your formal speech, if appropriate. The rubric below provides a basic guide about your verbal engagement with the class: A = frequent; of masterful content and high insight  Speaks every day, more than once per day, offers insightful questions and comments  Fully prepared and always engaged with the texts and issues B = regular; of general content and insight  Speaks every day, demonstrates basic understanding of the texts, engages in debates  Obvious evidence of attempt to understand texts and issues prior to coming to class C = more often than not; of mixed content and insight  Speaks most days, occasionally engages in debates, usually understands texts and issues  Usually shows evidence of engaging the texts and issues before class D = sporadic; of inconsistent content and insight  Speaks on occasions but on a level that does not regularly reveal engagement  Limited or occasional evidence of preparation or engagement F = rarely or never; of inconsequential content and insight  Speaks rarely or never, evinces no clear indication of understanding texts or issues  Limited to no evidence of preparation or cognitive engagement 4e. Game Points (winning) You can win as an individual or as a faction, or as both. You win as part of a faction based on how your faction does. • • • • Stability Index Goal [high (>0), neutral (-100 to 0), or low (<-100)] at end of game (10 points) You are part of ruling coalition or party at end of game (20 points) Indeterminates or Splitters who join your faction o 9-15 players (6 points each – 18 points max) o 16-21 players (3 points each – 18 points max) o 23+ players (2 points each – 24 points max) Factional Objectives (3 at 10 points each = 30 points max) o Camarilla, NSDAP, DNVP, Centre, SPD, or KPD  You have your three factional objectives listed  Regardless of personal goals, which may be in contradiction, all faction members have the same faction goals o Indeterminates and Splitters  You must pick one of the main parties (NSDAP, DNVP, Centre, SPD, or KPD) and petition to join them in a coalition on the last game day. A few characters may have the option to join the camarilla – your sheet will specify if so.  Your factional objectives become those of this faction, even if they contradict some of your personal victory objectives, which remain the same. 69 Absolute victory/defeat: Every character has two sets of conditions which, regardless of all other considerations, provide you with an automatic win or loss. For Indeterminates, these are listed as part of your personal victory; for characters in major parties, these are listed as part of your factional victory. You win as an individual, based on how well you do regardless of a faction. • • • • • • Best paper (per paper) = 15 points Best poster = 10 points Best speech (per session) = 5 points Office at end of game = variable but cumulative o President or Chancellor = 15 points o Speaker or Minister of Defense = 10 points o Head of the Bureau of the President = 5 points o Cabinet minister = 5 points o Leader of Green Front = 5 points o Head of union or paramilitary = 3 points Reichsmarks = 1 point per million received Victory Objectives at end of game (seven per character at 5 points each) = 35 points max 5. Roles and Factions No single model can really capture the political spectrum of the Republic, especially since it shifted over time and the parties did not agree on labels. For example, those on the right and many moderates referred to the SPD and the KPD collectively as Marxist. When they denounced the “Marxists” they made no distinction whatsoever between the two. Yet the SPD and KPD were bitterly opposed to each other. The KPD, for example, referred to both the NSDAP and the SPD as “fascist,” though they refined this concept a bit by stating that the SPD was “social fascism.” The SPD, for its part, joined virtually every other party in denouncing the KPD as “Bolshevik,” but conservatives and liberals often characterized certain NSDAP agrarian polices as “agrobolshevism.” To confuse the matter more, the left and moderate parties simply referred to those on the right collectively as “the right” or “anti-democratic” or “conservative.” But the right split itself between those who were völkisch and thought in racial terms and those who were national conservative. The right-wing DNVP had several tendencies – some were völkisch, others national conservative. Many national conservatives, even some with völkisch ideas, were found in the moderate Centre party, which supported the Republic, others in the anti-Republic DNVP, and others looked for completely different solutions such as a restoration of monarchy or a military dictatorship. Even the term “nationalist” had no clear meaning. Every party from the socialists to the fascists, with the dramatic exception of the communists, claimed to be both nationalist and patriotic. Since a liberal or even socialist could be just as nationalist as a conservative or fascist and yet disagree on virtually everything else, it is clear that they defined nationalism differently and could not even agree on that point. 70 Only the two parties on the extremes consistently opposed the Republic – the NSDAP and the KPD. Many others occasionally opposed it, especially the DNVP and the DVP and the right wings of the BVP and the Centre. Only two parties unambiguously supported the Republic – the SPD and the DDP. Many other occasionally supported it, especially the Centre, but also the moderates in the BVP, the DVP, and even in the DNVP. Every party consisted of a spectrum, each with a left and right wing as well as a moderate middle trying to hold the wings together. Splinter parties, not surprisingly, were a common occurrence, as were vicious power struggles within the parties. In short, one has to be cautious about using even the most basic labels. During play, characters should place great emphasis on how they describe their own parties and how they characterize others. Controlling how the issues are defined in the public sphere is not mere semantics, but goes to the heart of power. Camarilla (traditional authoritarian) The circle of men immediately around Reich President von Hindenburg (the so-called camarilla) has grown to be highly influential. These men all share the Reich president’s basic experiences and world views. They are Junkers – Prussian aristocrats who have built their lives around the military and subscribe to an authoritarian vision of social order and traditional aristocratic values. They all served in the War and are considered to be mostly unrepentant monarchists. Above all, they seem to promote the interests of an autonomous military, free of civilian control. Naturally, following the Reich president’s own public statements, they hold Germany faultless for the War and seek an end to the Versailles Treaty that limits the military to only 100,000 men. Some suggest that they are secretly training a modern army in the USSR. Others believe that they are running a clandestine Black Reichswehr that engages in assassinating liberal and leftist politicians. Some suspect that there are divisions within the camarilla, and some even accuse the camarilla of manipulating the aged von Hindenburg. Indeed, many claim that von Hindenburg is drifting in and out of senility, and that this small circle of arch-conservative advisers now actually makes his decisions. If true, then the Presidency is in the hands of forces hostile to the Republic. However, their workings are so secretive that only a handful of leading politicians have any meaningful insight into their goals. Everyone knows that von Schleicher and Otto Meissner have the president’s ear. But who else? 1. Von Hindenburg represents, indeed personifies, the conservative nationalist interests of the Prussian military aristocracy – the so-called Junkers. His views are parochial, militarist, and monarchist. However, none deny that von Hindenburg is the single most popular man in Germany. A hero of the War for most, even for some of his opponents, few doubt his integrity. He crushed the Russian invasion of Germany in autumn of 1914 at the battles of Tannenberg and the Mausarian Lake, and if his policies as head of the military from 1916 came close to creating a military dictatorship in Germany, many forgive that severity as necessary for the war effort. Indeed, his popularity in the last two years of the war surpassed that of the Kaiser! The town of Zabrze was renamed after him in 1915, and the last capital ship to enter service in the Imperial Navy in 1917 was christened SMS Hindenburg. 71 His subpoenaed testimony before the Reichstag Commission in 1919 to determine the causes of the War and German defeat was explosive. He testified that the German Army had been on the verge of winning the war in the autumn of 1918, and that the defeat had been precipitated by a “stab in the back” (Dolchstoß) by disloyal elements on the home front and by unpatriotic politicians. Despite being threatened with a contempt citation for refusing to respond to questions, von Hindenburg simply walked out of the hearings after reading his statement. His political popularity was such that the Commission did not know what to do. Von Hindenburg simply retired from public life and published his memoirs, Mein Leben (My Life) in 1920 – a bestseller that largely defended every action of the Kaiserreich. Now, since his unwilling entrance into the presidential election of 1925 to prevent the election of a pro-Republic member of the Catholic Centre Party, he is Reich president. His goals, though, are unclear to many. Even though as Reich president he does not run the cabinet, he has considerable powers in the constitution to dissolve the Reichstag and issue emergency decrees. But what does he want? He is rumored by some to desire a restoration of the monarchy, by others a military dictatorship. Naturally the KPD hates him as a symbol of the old regime, but those supporting the Republic in the Grand Coalition, including the SPD and the Centre, have found him a stabilizing force of legitimacy, and they have worked well enough with him. But some of his comments give pause to supporters of the Republic. In 1927, he shocked the world by his statements defending Germany’s actions and entry in the War. He declared that Germany entered the war as “the means of self-assertion against a world full of enemies. Pure in heart we set off to the defense of the fatherland and with clean hands the German army carried the sword.” 18 Such notions play well at home, but they threaten Germany’s diplomatic efforts to alter the Versailles Treaty. Now he stands as a bastion of the old regime at the top of the new. Many wonder if he actually supports the new Republic he has sworn an oath to defend or if he plots for a coup that would return Kaiser Wilhelm to the head of a militaristic and authoritarian state. 2. General von Schleicher became head of the newly created Office of Ministerial Affairs (Ministeramt) in 1928. The new office officially deals with all matters relating to joint concerns of the Army and Navy, and is tasked with liaising between the military and other departments, and between the military and politicians. Von Schleicher has interpreted this mandate broadly, using the Ministeramt to allow the Reichswehr to engage directly in politics. The creation of the Ministeramt has formalized von Schleicher’s position as the chief political fixer for the Reichswehr, a role which had existed informally since 1918. The problem, though, is that no one really knows where von Schleicher stands on most issues, with the clear exception of his unwavering support for the Reichswehr. 3. Otto Meissner has served has Head of the Bureau of the President since 1920 – serving with equal loyalty and skill under President Friedrich Ebert (SPD) and von Hindenburg. His opinions and 18 Quoted in, Stefan Goebel, The Great War and Medieval Memory: War, Remembrance and Medievalism in Britain and Germany, 1914–1940. Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 139. 72 goals are known to almost no one, and he has never joined any political organization. He appears to embody the spirit of German bureaucracy – diligent, formal, and obscure. Does he really have influence over the president or is he just a civil servant? NSDAP (fascist / völksich) The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) evolved after Germany’s defeat in the War. Its ideas are as eclectic as its membership. Indeed, the party belongs to an entirely new type of ideology – a racialized version of the fascism of Benito Mussolini now in power in Italy. It initially attracted followers of the far-right völkisch German nationalist milieu and the violent anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture that fought against leftist revolutionaries and separatists after the war. Unlike traditional conservatives, the NSDAP advocates a form of socialism. In effect, the NSDAP has attempted to combine the nationalism of the right and the socialism of the left with a strong dose of völkisch ideas influenced by Social Darwinism, eugenics, and anti-Semitism. Initially NSDAP political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric. Such aspects have been downplayed in recent elections to gain the support of elites and the middle class. Now, a chauvinistic revanchist nationalism stressing anti-Semitism blends with anti-Marxist themes. In any event, the Republic is to the NSDAP a product of the anti-German Versailles Treaty, foisted upon Germany by Jews, communists and other traitors – the November Criminals. Its organ, the Völkischer Beobachter (People’s Observer), and its leaders make no secret of their contempt for the republican system. However, since the humiliating debacle of the Beer Hall Putsch, the NSDAP has adopted a strategy of achieving power through legal means. To maintain the supposed purity and strength of a postulated “Aryan race,” the NSDAP seeks to impose exclusionary segregation upon “degenerate” and “asocial” groups that include Jews, gays, gypsies, blacks, the physically and mentally handicapped, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political opponents. Membership mainly consists of the urban and rural lower middle classes. There are also members of the upper class, including a few very influential industrialists and aristocrats. Some farmers in the north have also joined. The majority of the party is middle class, and while there are still a large number of industrial workers, that class is underrepresented. Conversely, white-collar employees, the self-employed, and civil servants have joined in proportions greater than their share of the general population. The NSDAP does not even like to call itself a “party,” likening itself instead to a “national movement.” At the top of the NSDAP is the party chair, the Führer, who ostensibly holds absolute power and full command over the party. The small party’s leader is the charismatic war veteran Adolf Hitler. All other party offices are subordinate to his position and depend on his instructions, though the affiliated paramilitary SA seems to act autonomously and there is rivalry within the party, especially between Hitler in Munich and the faction in the north around Strasser. To date, few have read Hitler’s treatise, Mein Kampf. Many were first aware of him after the party launched the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. The resulting trial, lasting twenty-four days, received national coverage on the front pages of every German newspaper. For the first time Hitler had an audience outside of Bavaria. He succeeded in turning the proceedings into a propaganda triumph. He recovered political initiative by the simple device of assuming full responsibility for the attempt to overthrow the Republic. 73 With his final words he built up the failure of the putsch into one of the great events in the struggle of the NSDAP: I aimed from the first at something a thousand times higher than being a minister. I wanted to become the destroyer of Marxism. I am going to achieve this task and, if I do, the title of minister will be an absurdity as far as I am concerned. . . . At one time I believed that perhaps this battle against Marxism could be carried on with the help of the government. In January, 1923, I learned that that was just not possible. The hypothesis for the victory of Marxism is not that Germany must be free, but rather Germany will only be free when Marxism is broken. At that time I did not dream that our movement would become great and cover Germany like a flood. The army that we are building grows from day to day, from hour to hour. Right at this moment I have the proud hope that once the hour strikes these wild troops will merge into battalions, battalions into regiments, regiments into divisions. I have hopes that the old cockade will be lifted from the dirt, that the old colors will be unfurled to flutter again, that expiation will come before the tribunal of God. Then from our bones and from our graves will speak the voice of the only tribunal which has the right to sit in justice over us. Then, gentlemen, not you will be the ones to deliver the verdict over us, but that verdict will be given by the eternal judgment of history, which will speak out against the accusation that has been made against us. I know what your judgment will be. But that other court will not ask us: Have you committed high treason or not? That court will judge us, their quartermaster-general of the old army, its officers and soldiers, who as Germans wanted only the best for their people and Fatherland, who fought and who were willing to die. You might just as well find us guilty a thousand times, but the goddess of the eternal court of history will smile and tear up the motions of the state’s attorney and the judgment of this court: for she finds us not guilty.19 Though found guilty, even his brief prison stay gave him the aura of a nationalist martyr. In the 1924 elections, the NSDAP scored a coup with thirty-two mandates. Now, however, the party is at low ebb, having consistently lost votes. Hitler’s brief jail time seems to have seems to have chastised the party. In March 1925, Erich Ludendorff represented the NSDAP in the presidential elections. He gained a mere 280,000 votes (1.1%), and was the only candidate to poll fewer than a million votes. The party has consequently announced a “Legality Strategy” of coming to power constitutionally. The election of May 1928, however, returned only twelve seats (2.6% of the vote), and most of those votes came from Bavaria. To counter this decline, the party has stressed even more its dedication to legality, but at the same time the SA has begun deliberate antagonism of the Rotfront by marching into Communist strongholds in working-class neighborhoods and starting violent altercations. The tactic has yielded few results. Yet the battles on the streets between the paramilitaries of the NSDAP and KPD have grown increasingly violent. 19 Adolf Hilter, quoted in Louis L. Snyder, The Weimar Republic: A History of Germany from Ebert to Hitler (Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company), 164-5. 74 This year, after the Rotfront interrupted a speech by Hitler, the SA marched into the streets of Nuremberg and killed two bystanders. In a tit-for-tat action, the SA stormed a Rotfront meeting on August 25 and days later the Berlin headquarters of the KPD itself. In September Joseph Goebbels, leader of the Berlin branch of the Party, led his men into Neukölln, a KPD stronghold, and the two warring parties exchanged pistol fire. Still, the party has some reason for optimism. Mussolini’s fascist state is well integrated into the European state system and serves as a model for success. The creation of the SS under Heinrich Himmler in 1928 appears to have given a more professional look to the party compared to the thuggish tactics of the Brown Shirts. The campaign against the Young Plan has gained the Party new recognition and credibility. More importantly, growing economic dislocations have begun to make many wonder if Germany does not indeed need a more radical solution to its problems. For most Germans and foreign observers, though, the party is a radical fringe with no real ability to influence Germany’s future, though it is a constant source of political street violence. Special Note on Adolph Hitler: Hitler is not a German citizen. He was born in Austria-Hungary, though he fought in the German Army in the War and renounced his Austrian citizenship in 1925. He is technically stateless. As a result, he cannot legally sit in the Reichstag nor run for the office of Reich president. He can, however, be appointed Chancellor through a loop hole in the laws that do not specifically require that the chancellor be either a citizen or member of the Reichstag. The main members of the NSDAP in the Reichstag are: 1. Hermann Göring – the charismatic faction leader, a popular and highly decorated war hero and flying ace from the Great War. He has been with the party since its earliest days and was wounded at Hitler’s side during the failed Munich Putsch. 2. Gregor Strasser – a leader in north Germany, veteran of the Great War, head of the SA and Nazi trade unions (NSBO); he represents a “left” wing of the party that takes the working-class elements of the party seriously; he also calls for the creation of a People’s Army to replace the Reichswehr. 3. Walter Buch – a military man by training, he joined the party immediately after his demobilization after 1918. Inside the party he heads the powerful Inquiry and Mediation Board that maintains party discipline and loyalty to Hitler. 4. Joseph Goebbles – though only having joined in 1924, he has established himself as a leader of the Berlin branch of the party; his inflammatory speeches are extremely popular with the local Brown Shirts and he is fiercely loyal to Hitler in Munich. 5. Werner Willikens – a farmer by upbringing and the party’s most popular man within the agrarian constituencies. His goal is to unite the various farming parties into a common front behind the NSDAP. 6. Ernst Graf zu Reventlow – a nobleman, expert on naval affairs, and widely read publicist, he represents a power constituency within the party around Strasser who believe that the “socialism” aspect of the party must take precedence. 75 DNVP (national conservative) The German National People’s Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, DNVP) is by far the most powerful national conservative party in Germany. It is correspondingly eclectic, composed of nationalists, reactionary monarchists, völkisch and anti-Semitic elements, and supported by the Pan-German League. The party formed in 1918 from a fusion of parties from the Kaiserreich: the German Conservative Party, the Free Conservative Party, and a section of the National Liberal Party. Generally hostile towards the Republic, the DNVP has spent most of the inter-war period in opposition. Largely supported by landowners and wealthy industrialists, but also with support from parts of the middle class and dedicated nationalists generally, it originally favored a monarchist platform and has consistently strongly opposed the Treaty of Versailles. Between 1925 and 1928, however, the party slightly moderated its tone and actively cooperated in successive cabinets. In 1928, however, the party suffered a disastrous showing at the polls as the DNVP’s share of votes fell from 21% in 1924 to 14%. Alfred Hugenberg, leader of the party’s right wing, became chair and has returned the party to a course of fundamental opposition to the Republic, but abandoned its previous monarchism in favor of more ardent and authoritarian nationalism and reluctant co-operation with the NSDAP. The party took a drubbing but is far from out. It has vast financial resources and a press empire. It also has links to von Schleicher and von Hindenburg. No one expects the DNVP, as the catch-all carrier of conservative nationalism, to go away any time soon. Indeed, under Hugenberg’s new more conservative and anti-Republic direction, it may well succeed in tapping into the simmering discontent since the start of the Depression. The main members of the DNVP in the Reichstag are: 1. Alfred Hugenberg – the most powerful and wealthy press baron in all Germany, he has just recently emerged as the leader of the party; he has actively steered it towards a more völkisch and anti-Republican stance. 2. Elard von Oldenburg – like von Hindenburg, he is a deeply traditional Prussian Junker; indeed, he is not only wealthy but one of the few men whom Reich president would consider a personal friend, offering him unique access to the Reich president’s ear. 3. Paul Lejuene-Jung – though a Catholic, he nonetheless is a member of this generally antiCatholic party; he is closely tied to conservative Catholics in the Centre Party but also to big industry; the tensions between him and Hugenberg are well known. 4. Paula Müller-Otfried – while advocating women’s social and economic rights, she nonetheless expresses her party’s conservative views on cultural values and even on women’s participation in politics. 5. Oskar Hergt – a former senior official in the Prussian Finance Ministry and also former head of the DNVP, he is well known to hedge a grudge against Hugenberg, who just defeated him in an internal party power struggle. 6. Karl Graf zu Eulenburg – an aristocratic count from the venerable house of Eulenburg, he embodies all of the values and attitudes of the Junker class. 76 Centre (Christian democratic) The Centre Party (Zentrumspartei, X) belongs to the political spectrum of Christian democracy that, emerging in the early 19th century after the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, changed the political face of Germany. Many Catholics found themselves in Protestant dominated states, a situation that especially applied to the new state of Germany in 1871, where Catholics were suddenly only 1/3 of the German population. The central concern of the party has been the preservation of Catholic rights, a position that has made it open to many of the ideas of liberalism. At the same time, however, it is closely allied to the conservative Catholic elite of Germany, which opens doors to conservative nationalism. Though distrusted by Germany’s Prussian Protestant elites, the party boldly supported the imperial government in the years prior to the War openly declaring Germany’s “great political and moral mission” in the world. Loyal to the Pope in church matters, the Centre party has steered a course independent of the Holy See on secular matters. Its labor wing, organized in the Christian trade unions, have made attempts at transcending the party’s exclusively Catholic character and uniting Germany’s fragmented party spectrum, advocating the formation of a broad Christian middle-party that would transcend denominations and social classes and which could push back the SPD’s influence. In the 1919 elections the party became the second largest party after the SPD. The party actively cooperated with Social Democrats and left-liberals since the new constitution guaranteed what the Centre had been fighting for since its founding: equality for Catholics and autonomy for Roman Catholic Church throughout Germany. The party was less successful in defending Catholic education; although religious education remained an ordinary subject in most schools, the comprehensive, inter-denominational schools became the default. The Centre Party, whose pragmatic principles generally leave it open to supporting either a monarchical or Republican form of government, has proven one of the mainstays of the Republic. Indeed, as a polyglot coalition of Catholic politicians, it has been a member of nearly every cabinet and coalition in the Republic, both with the left and right. While its electoral results vary with each election, it seems inured to the dramatic vagaries of other parties. However, this association with the Republic has damaged the party’s prospects because it is becoming increasingly associated with all of the conflicts, problems, and failures of the Republic. The Centre had a share of the odium attached to the so-called “Weimar Establishment” which is blamed, especially on the right, for the “stab in the back” of the German army at the end of the war, as well as for the humiliations of the Versailles Treaty and reparations. Indeed, the former leader of the party, Erzberger, who had signed the armistice in 1918, was assassinated by right-wing extremists in 1920. Yet they continue to provide support for every coalition, generally providing ministers for several portfolios, and not occasionally the Chancellor. But the last center-right coalition suffered defeat in the 1928 general elections, which resulted in gains for the Social Democrats and the Communists, forcing a coalition once again with SPD under a Social Democratic chancellor. To most, the Centre seems to be just that – a flexible party essential to secure coalitions on either the left or the right. In fact, the Republic seems unthinkable without the Centre, much 77 to the frustration of the KPD, DNVP, and NSDAP. Its talented politicians know how to use the role to repeatedly secure a strong voice in the cabinet. The main members of the Centre in the Reichstag are: 1. Heinrich Brüning – a decorated veteran, Brüning is considered one of the leading economic thinkers in the Reichstag; though with an academic mode of thought, he nonetheless decided to enter public service in order to help veterans and represents the moderate center of his party. 2. Adam Stegerwald – he has served in numerous political offices, including prime minister of Prussia; he represents the left wing of the party and leads the powerful Christian Trade Unions. 3. Franz von Papen – a nobleman, diplomat, and general staff officer, he is one of the few Catholics who seem close to the conservative Prussian Junker class; he surprised his own party in 1925 by supporting von Hindenburg over his own party’s candidate. 4. Ludwig Kaas – a bishop with extremely close ties to the Vatican, he politically supports autonomy for his homeland in the Rhineland but hopes to mediate between the Centre Party’s wings and ensure that they have close ties to the bishops. 5. Andreas Hermes – of all the Centre Party leaders, he represents the aspirations of the smaller Catholic farmers and peasants. He is pragmatic – both a technocratic expert as well as a politician. 6. Helene Weber – part of a new generation of women who have received advanced university degrees and entered politics, she has become one of the most insightful Reichstag leaders able to build broad coalitions especially on issues related to welfare and women. 7. Albert Hackeslberger - an industrialists with roots in Bavaria, he is one of the leading economic thinkers in the party as well as in all of Germany, embracing liberal economic theories. SPD (social democratic) The Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland, SPD) was established as a Marxist party in 1875. It remains loyal to that tradition. The Heidelberg Program of 1925 calls for the “transformation of the capitalist system of private ownership of the means of production to social ownership.” However, in practice it has moved away from revolution as the means to this end and has become firmly supportive of the Republic. As the main non-revolutionary left-wing party, the Social Democrats have fared best among non-Catholic workers as well as intellectuals favoring social progressive causes and increased economic equality. The SPD best exemplifies the pro-Republic forces since it was in fact the SPD that issued the proclamation of a Republic on 9 November 1918. As the largest party in the Republic, it has played a pivotal role in keeping the state afloat, even though it has frequently been excluded from coalitions. It has also faced extreme violent opposition from nationalists. Between 1921 and 1923 alone, 350 assassinations of SPD political figures took place. It is a bitter rival of the KPD, which it deems to be a destructive splinter group undermining the Republic, deceiving workers, and only encouraging right wing violence. While the KPD remains in staunch opposition to the parliamentary system, the SPD has become a part of it. The threat of the Communists puts the SPD in a difficult position, though. The party has the choice between becoming more radical, which could weaken the Communists but destroy its limited support among the middle class, or staying moderate, which could damage its base among the working class. Indeed, in 1928, a small group calling 78 itself Neu Beginnen (New Beginning) was formed to try to force the SPD to rethink its positions and ally itself with the KPD and any parties of the left. Despite all those problems, the SPD has been able put its ideas of social justice into practice by influencing a number of progressive social changes while both in and out of government. The SPD reintroduced and overhauled the Bismarckian welfare state, providing protection for the disadvantaged, the unemployed, the aged, and the young. In February 1920, an industrial relations law was passed, giving workers in industry legally guaranteed representation, together with the right to co-determination in cases of hiring and firing, holiday arrangements, the fixing of working hours and regulations, and the introduction of new methods of payment. A Socialization Law was also passed, while the government adopted guidelines on the workers’ councils. In addition to workers’ councils at national, regional, and factory level, the government made provision for economic councils in which employers and employees would work together on matters affecting the economy as a whole (such as nationalization) and lend support to the parliament. The Law on the Employment of the Severely Disabled of April 1920 stipulated that all public and private employers with more than 20 employees were obligated to hire Germans disabled by accident or war and with at least a 50% reduction in their ability to work. The War Victims’ Benefits Law of May 1920 introduced a more generous war-disability system than had existed in the past. This new piece of legislation took into account all grievances voiced during the war and, for the first time in social legislation in Germany, considered child maintenance in calculating widows’ pensions. The Reich Insurance Code of May 1920 provided war-wounded persons and dependent survivors with therapeutic treatment and social welfare which had the objective of reintegrating handicapped persons into working life. The Cripples’ Welfare Act, passed that same month, made it a duty of the public welfare system to assist cripples under the age of 18 to obtain the capacity to earn an income. SPD governments also introduced unemployment insurance benefits for all workers in 1918, trade union recognition, and an eight-hour workday, while municipalities that have come under SPD influence have expanded educational and job-training opportunities and set up health clinics. Off the shop floor, workers now take advantage of adult education halls, public libraries, swimming pools, schools, and low-income apartments built by municipalities, while considerable wage increases won for the majority of workers by the Free Trade Unions between 1924 and 1928 have helped to narrow the gap between unskilled and skilled workers. A number of reforms have also been made in education, as characterized by the introduction of the four-year common primary school. Educational opportunities have been further widened by the promotion of adult education and culture. The SPD has also played an active and exemplary role in the development of local politics in thousands of towns and communities. In 1923, the SPD Finance Minister, Rudolf Hilferding, laid much of the groundwork for the stabilization of the German currency. Protective measures for workers have been vastly improved under the influence or direction of the SPD, and members of the SPD can point to positive changes that they had sponsored, such as improvements in public health, unemployment insurance, maternity benefits, and the building of municipal housing. During its time in opposition throughout the 1920s, the SPD has still been able to help push through a series of reforms beneficial to workers, including increased investment in public housing, expanded disability, health, and social insurance programs, the restoration of an eight-hour workday in large firms, and the implementation of binding arbitration by the Labor Ministry. 79 Prussia, which became an SPD stronghold following the introduction of universal suffrage, passed an important housing law in 1918 that empowered local authorities to erect small dwellings and buildings of public utility, provide open spaces, and enact planning measures. The law further directed that all districts with more than 10,000 inhabitants had to issue police ordinances regarding housing hygiene. The SPD and its coalition partners introduced similar measures to control rents and subsidize the construction of public housing. The SPD has every reason to support the Republic based on its tangible gains. Indeed, the 1928 elections have resulted in the SPD again receiving the chancellorship. Through aggressive opposition politics, the SPD (backed by the union revival linked to economic upsurge) has been able to effect greater progress in social policy from 1924 to 1928 than during the previous and subsequent periods of the party’s participation in a cabinet. Now in power, even under the trying conditions of the Great Depression, the SPD can hope for continued growth of its support and its policies, hopefully leading to a clear majority in the Reichstag, which would allow it to cease its constant compromising with right-wing parties over such issues as taxation, unemployment insurance, and the construction of armored cruisers. The decision to vote for funding the battleships has caused damage, though, right at the time now when there are an estimated 3 million unemployed! The very people who would usually support the SPD are now the ones wondering if the SPD has answers for them. How much can the SPD compromise to meet the demands of its coalition partners but not alienate its working-class base which is being courted by their opponents, especially in the KPD, Centre, and even NSDAP? The main members of the SPD in the Reichstag are: 1. Hermann Müller – the foreign minister who signed the Treaty of Versailles, he is now serving a second term as chancellor; he is a pragmatic moderate in the party, noted for his negotiating skills. 2. Maria Jachucz – the first woman to ever speak in a German parliament (at the National Assembly in 1919). She is one of the great orators of the socialist movement, well known for her staunch advocacy of workers’ welfare. 3. Paul Levi – a former leader of the KPD, he has since become alienated from the communists, often looking for ideas from Leon Trotsky, a position that places him on the left of the SPD; his Jewish roots and sympathy for the KPD make him a frequent target of right-wing attacks. 4. Kurt Schumacher – the youngest member of the SPD in government, he nonetheless endorses the more conservative ideas of Eduard Bernstein, rejecting all notions of violent revolution and instead embracing a fully democratic vision of regulating capitalism. 5. Arthur Crispien – when the SPD split in 1918, he initially joined the Independent faction before deciding to move away from the KPD; he staunchly advocates the rights of workers as the predominant goal of the party, thus associating himself with the left-wing. 6. Carlo Mierendorff – he is one of the most outspoken of the anti-NSDAP politicians in the entire nation, directly challenging its leaders and the right of the party to exist. He has led the party’s attacks on the Black Reichswehr. 7. Phillip Scheidemann – not a person in Germany does not know his name; he was the man who proclaimed the Republic and served as its first chancellor – resigning from office rather than sign the Treaty of Versailles. 80 KPD (communist) The Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD) is a major political party, commonly called the “Spartacists,” since it was formed largely from the Spartacus League, and the largest outside of the USSR. Before the War the SPD was the largest party in Germany and the world’s most successful socialist party. Although still officially claiming to be a Marxist party, by 1914 it had become in practice a reformist party. In 1914 the SPD members of the Reichstag voted in favor of the war. Left-wing members of the party, led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, strongly opposed the war, and the SPD soon suffered a split, with the leftists forming the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) and the more radical Spartacist League. In November 1918, when revolution broke out across Germany, the leftists, led by Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and the Spartacist League, formed the KPD at a founding congress held in Berlin in 30 December 1918 – 1 January 1919, but only after first having attempted to create a communist republic on the same day that the SPD declared the democratic Republic. Under the leadership of Liebknecht and Luxemburg, the KPD committed to a violent revolution in Germany, and during 1919 and 1920 attempts to seize control of the government continued. Germany’s Social Democratic government, which had come to power after the fall of the Monarchy, was vehemently opposed to the KPD’s idea of socialism. With the new regime terrified of a Bolshevik Revolution in Germany, Defense Minister Gustav Noske formed a series of anti-communist paramilitary groups, dubbed Freikorps, out of demobilized veterans. During the failed so-called Spartacist Uprising in Berlin of January 1919, Liebknecht and Luxemburg, who had not initiated the insurrection but joined once it had begun, were captured by the Freikorps and murdered. The party soon thereafter moved away from the policy of immediate revolution in an effort to win over SPD and USPD voters and trade union officials. These efforts were rewarded when a substantial section of the USPD joined the KPD, making it a mass party for the first time. Through the 1920s, however, the KPD has been racked by internal conflict between more and less radical factions, partly reflecting the power struggles between Zinoviev and Stalin in Moscow. Germany is seen as being of central importance to the struggle for socialism, and the failure of the German revolution was a major setback. Meanwhile, the Comintern, the agency effectively run by Moscow to coordinate international communism, has increasingly dictated the leadership of the KPD, now firmly in the hands of the pro-Soviet leader Ernst Thälmann, who from 1924 onwards contested Reichstag elections, with some success. The KPD is now the largest communist party in Europe, and is seen as the “leading party” of the communist movement outside the Soviet Union. It maintains a solid electoral performance, usually polling more than 10% of the vote. Critics of the KPD accuse it of pursuing a sectarian policy – e.g. the Social Democratic Party criticized the KPD’s thesis of “social fascism” (which addressed the SPD as the Communist’s main enemy). This has scuttled any possibility of a united front with the SPD against the right wing. These allegations are repudiated by supporters of the KPD: the right-wing leadership of the SPD, it claims, rejects the proposals of the KPD to unite for the defeat of fascism and the right. The KPD accuses the SPD leaders of having countered KPD efforts to form a united front of the working class. 81 Regardless of this struggle on the left, the KPD has every reason for confidence. The Great Depression is only tarnishing the image of the SPD, whose more radical and younger members the KPD hopes to attract. Even the growing army of the unemployed has more to gain from the KPD than the SPD. Indeed, the KPD spends more time attacking the SPD than the NSDAP, at times even referring to the NSDAP, due to its shared opposition to the SPD, as “working people’s comrades.” The main members of the KPD in the Reichstag are: 1. Ernst Thälmann – party leader, staunch Moscow loyalist, and advocate of a Stalinist interpretation of the party, he brooks no compromise with capitalism, the Republic, or the “social fascist” SPD. 2. Clara Zetkin – eldest member of the Reichstag, personal friend of the martyred Rosa Luxemburg, and firmly committed to the revolutionary path to socialism as carried out by the Bolsheviks. 3. Heinrich Brandler – head of the party during the ill-fated 1921 and 1923 KPD uprisings, he has since lost an internal power struggle with Thälmann; the rivalry between the two is palpable, with Brandler being labeled a “conciliator” by his opponents in the party. 4. Arthur Ewert – directly involved with the KPD uprising in 1923, for many years he was a wanted man in Germany, but now he has close links to the Comintern since he seems to have ended up on the wrong side of the factional struggle between Thälmann and Brandler. 5. Willi Münzenberg – one of the few members of the Reichstag from the working class, he has emerged as the party’s greatest publicist, creating a communist press empire that rivals that of Hugenberg – a fact that have led many to criticize him as the “red millionaire.” 6. Martha Arendsee – rivalling even the venerable Zetkin, she represents the strong stance of the party on women’s issues, but also serves as one of the leading communist publicists and organizers of charitable actions. She has always been willing to find coalition partners. 7. Franz Dahlem – a staunch Thälmann supporter, leader of the Ruhr Rebellion in 1923, and now an advocate of the anti-fascist approach that denounces the SPD as social-fascists. Indeterminates Though Germans are highly organized politically, and many parties are part of distinct milieus that tried to create a closed environment for their members, not everyone in the Republic belongs to a political party. And many who do often change parties. Otto Strasser, brother of the NSDAP leader Gregor Strasser, exemplifies this fluid indeterminacy. Strasser joined the right-wing Freikorps that put down the Bavarian Soviet Republic, which was organized on the principles of workers’ councils in early 1919. At the same time, he also joined the Social Democratic Party. In 1920 he participated in the opposition to the militarist right-wing Kapp Putsch. However, he grew increasingly alienated with that reformist-socialist party’s stand, particularly when it put down a workers’ insurrection in the Ruhr, and he left the party later that year. In 1925 he joined the NSDAP, from which he was later expelled for his emphasis on the anti-capitalist aspects of National Socialism and his refusal to accept Hitler’s singular role as Führer; he then tried to create an alternative to the NSDAP. The Republic is politically volatile and thus indeterminacy, the idea that not everyone actually has a clear stance on every issue that neatly fits into a single party’s platform, is common. Germans are looking for answers in extreme conditions and willing to shop around in the pressure cooker of the Republic. 82 Several characters are effectively indeterminate since they are the political middle trying to determine the best path between a center-left or center-right course and have members representing a wide range of views. In practice, in the Reichstag no coalition is feasible without cooperation from these indeterminate moderates. However, though indeterminate in the broad sense and thus open to a great degree of flexibility, they still have specific goals on many issues. Winning these characters over is essential for every coalition’s success. Elections also regularly bring surprising results as large numbers of voters alter their political allegiances based upon recent experiences and in contrast to all expectations. There is no modern per-election polling, meaning that parties often have only a highly impressionistic idea of what the next election will bring. In a general sense, though, a divided pro-Republic majority faces an equally divided anti-Republic minority. But the recent onset of the Great Depression has led to dissatisfaction with the status quo in every sector of society. Protestants join the predominantly Catholic Centre Party; industrialists support the populist NSDAP; DNVP members look to the more radical NSDAP or the more moderate DVP; workers move between any party with a labor wing – KPD, SPD, Centre, DDP, and even NSDAP. Clearly, wooing these votes, best represented by the Indeterminates, must be a top priority for all parties. In fact, a working majority in parliament may be unthinkable without them (possibly even with them!) The Indeterminates should expect clear concessions for their alliances and even feel free to move between parties and split their votes. DVP (conservative / national liberal) The German People’s Party (Deutsche Volkspartei, DVP) is a national liberal party and a successor to the National Liberal Party of the German Empire. A center-right liberal party, its most famous member has been Chancellor and Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann, a 1926 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. One of its most notable members is also the internationally acclaimed scientist Max Planck. It essentially constitutes the center and right factions of the old National Liberal Party combined with some of the more moderate elements of the Free Conservative Party, and was formed in the early days of the Republic, led by Gustav Stresemann. It is one of two large liberal parties, the other being the German Democratic Party. The DVP supports a mix of national liberalism, constitutional monarchism, economic liberalism, liberal conservativism, and moderate nationalism. Its basic political orientation, though, is center-right. Many consider the DVP to represent the interests of the great German industrialists. Its platform stresses Christian family values but also secular education, lower tariffs but opposition to welfare spending and agrarian subsidies, hostility to Marxism (the KPD and SPD) but also to the NSDAP. Due to its lukewarm acceptance of democracy, the DVP initially joined the “national opposition” to the Weimar Coalition. However, Stresemann gradually led it into cooperation with the parties of the center and left. The party has wielded an influence on German politics beyond its numbers, as Stresemann was the Republic’s only statesman of international standing. He served as foreign minister continuously from 1923 until his death in 1929 in nine cabinets (one of which he briefly headed in 1923) ranging from the center-right to the center-left. 83 Stresemann’s recent and unexpected death, however, has led to soul searching since the DVP realizes that the economic crisis in the Republic may well require a clearer stance on the Republic’s legitimacy. The brewing debates over austerity and unemployment benefits within the Grand Coalition may possibly draw sharper fault lines between the DVP and the SPD. The frustration of the Party is evident in one of the last conversations of Stresemann in 1929: “If the allies had obliged me just one single time, I would have brought the German people behind me, yes; even today, I could still get them to support me. However, they (the allies) gave me nothing and the minor concessions they made, always came too late. Thus, nothing else remains for us but brutal force. The future lies in the hands of the new generation. Moreover, they, the German youth, who we could have won for peace and reconstruction, we have lost. Herein lies my tragedy and their, the allies’ crime.” 20 —Stresemann, to diplomat Sir Albert Bruce Lockhart in 1929 The main members of the DVP in the Reichstag are: 1. Eduard Dingeldey – trained in law and representing a pragmatic vision of conservative liberalism, he has made public his desire to create a mass-based party that transcends the narrow economic interests of most German parties. 2. Julius Curtius – a decorated veteran, lawyer, and representative of German industry generally, he represents the fusion of bourgeois economic interests and nationalist politics; like his mentor Stresemann, he is a reluctant Vernunftrepublikaner. DDP (democratic liberal) The German Democratic Party (Deutsche Demokratische Partei, DDP) was founded in November 1918 by leaders of the former Progressive People’s Party, left members of the National Liberal Party, and a new group calling themselves the Democrats. Thus it is a classic liberal party – republican, supporting civil liberties, social rights, and property. In contrast to the other liberal party (the DVP), the DDP is a more left-wing or social liberal. Along with the SPD and the Centre Party, the DDP is committed to maintaining a democratic, republican form of government. It considers itself also a devotedly national party and opposes the Treaty of Versailles but emphasizes the need for international collaboration and the protection of ethnic minorities. Thus the party is one of democratic nationalism. The party has been attacked by some for being a party of Jews and professors. Indeed, Jews form one of its most loyal voter groups, but its social basis lies in middle class entrepreneurs, civil servants, teachers, scientists and craftsmen. Hugo Preuß, an author of the constitution, and the eminent sociologist Max Weber are the DDP’s most famous members. But even Hjalmar Schacht, once a prominent supporter and president of the Reich Bank, was in the party until he left in 1926. 20 Gustav Stresemann, quoted in Martin Broszat, 200 Jahre deutsche Polenpolitik (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1972), 224. 84 Nearly all German cabinets since 1918 have included ministers from the DDP, such as Walther Rathenau, Eugen Schiffer, Hugo Preuß, Otto Gessler, Max Weber and Erich Koch-Weser. The election of 1928, however, has seen a sharp drop in the popular support for the party. From its 18% share in the first elections in 1919, it dropped to 4.9% in 1928. The main member of the DDP in the Reichstag is: 1. Theodor Heuss – perhaps one of the most broadly educated members of the Reichstag, he is well known for his clear support of democracy as well as his willingness to find compromises in almost any situation. 2. Marie Elisabeth Lüders – her special concerns have always centered on women, but her staunch feminism (including an illegitimate child and a refusal to marry) have made her the lightening rod of all debates on women’s issues. Agrarian Interests (CNBP, DBP, CSVD, RLB) Though heavily industrialized, most Germans still live in small towns or villages. Agriculture dominates their lives. However, the agrarian interests are just as divided as other groups along regional, confessional, and class lines. A few of the more important representatives of agrarian interests include: 1. Christian National Farmers’ Party (CNBP) – led by Martin Luther Schiele: a splinter from the Agrarian League willing to work with liberals and conservatives to promote the interests of small and middle Protestant farmers. 2. German Peasants’ Party (DBP) – led by Karl Gandorfer: a liberal, non-clerical association of regional parties that fundamentally supports the Republic, willing to cooperate with any proRepublic coalition. 3. Christian Social People’s Service (CSVD) – led by Gustav Hülser, another splinter from the DNVP that only formed at the end of 1929, the CSVD seeks to create a broad-based Protestant equivalent to the Centre Party. 4. The National Agrarian League (RLB) – led by Eberhard Graf von Kalckreuth: a nationalconservative body now opposed to the Republic and primarily aligned with the DNVP and the Junker elite. The extremely diverse agricultural interests in Germany include powerful East Elbian Junkers, poor landless peasants, small tenant farmers, and independent middle farmers. Ideologically, some are nationalistic while others support separatism for various regions, especially in Bavaria and Hanover. Some are Protestant, others are Catholic. Each contingency has formed a variety of organizations that are constantly merging and splitting. About the only thing the agricultural classes agree on is that German agriculture is in crisis. The roots of Germanys’ agricultural crises run deep. The transition from an agrarian to an industrial society since the creation of the Kaiserreich in 1871 has undermined the complicated fabric of a preindustrial social order. Despite rapid changes during the Kaiserreich the agrarian milieu remained firmly integrated in every aspect of the monarchical system. The combined loss of economic as well as political prestige since 1918, however, has alienated many agriculturalists from the Republic. The First World War and state direction of the economy between 1917 and 1922 to prevent starvation created a large backlog of investment in agriculture. The coterminous inflation since 1914, peaking in the hyperinflation of 1923, eliminated the debts of many farmers but it also destroyed their savings. The lack 85 of mechanization, due to a lack of capital reserves and ready credit to purchase modern farm equipment, has led to a growing price scissors between agricultural and industrial products. The costs to produce farm goods is simply too high, meaning that farmers lack the cash flow to buy the modern equipment necessary to lower production costs. Yet much of the credit is in the hands of US banks in the form of American reconstruction loans. Unlike pre-war loans, these US loans are short-term and have relatively high interest rates. This risk of taking such loans has been underestimated by many agriculturalists. Foreign policy successes have also only hurt farmers. Since 1925, Germany has been able to conclude international trade agreements again, but this has opened the German market to inexpensive agricultural imports to the detriment of local farmers. In domestic policy, the welfare commitments of the Republic have only led to rising taxes. The domestic agricultural crisis and the slowly developing global economic crisis since 1928, recently punctuated by the New York Stock Market Crash, have led to a general decline in prices of agricultural products caused by a decline in domestic demand as German city dwellers tighten their belts. Many nonagricultural companies have already collapsed under the burden of debt. The worsening situation has been exacerbated by local conditions – everything from floods and crop failures to imports of cheap frozen meat from Poland. The inevitable consequence has been an increasing number of bankruptcies and a steadily rising number of foreclosures. Neither the government nor the associations representing agricultural professions have been able to provide effective relief. The political result has been a radicalization of the rural population and a splintering of agricultural special interest groups. The severe economic crisis has raised other political issues. The bewildering modern culture of Berlin and the cities is alien to life in the countryside. The parliamentary culture of the Reichstag also has little to do with the corporatist practices of rural life. Talks of homosexual and abortion rights, of influences from Africa and America, of coalition cabinets and parliamentary procedures – none of these make much sense. The political parties of the right have attempted to win support from disgruntled farmers by emphasizing the importance of agriculture, as well as tapping into traditional values. The NSDAP, for example, has made extensive use of the völkisch slogan “Blood and Soil” (Blut und Boden). Many farmers, struggling with large debts and difficult banks, are also receptive to the anti-Semitic propaganda and conspiracy theories of the right, revolving around Jewish bankers and financiers. Indeed, the stereotype of the “cow Jew” (Kuhjude) who makes small loans at usurious rates and then takes the family cow when the farmer defaults is just as widely held as the idea of Jews running the international banks. BVP (Bavarian particularism) The Bavarian People’s Party (Bayerische Volkspartei, BVP) is more than just the Bavarian branch of the Centre Party. It strongly opposes the centralist nature of the Republic and what it sees as Prussian hegemony. It pursues a more conservative, more Bavarian particularist course. The party also displays monarchist leanings because many Bavarians had never accepted the overthrow of the House of Wittelsbach in 1918, but this monarchism does not translate into any innate support of the old imperial monarchy of the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty. Indeed, the BVP flirted with separatism in the early 1920s and has retained the slogan “Bavaria for the Bavarians.” This conflict with Berlin culminated in the 86 unwillingness to abide by rulings from Berlin during the inflation crisis of 1923. This crisis only came to an end with the shock of Adolf Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, which took place in the Bavarian capital of Munich in 1923. Following the establishment of a more stable situation throughout Germany, the BVP has come around to a more moderate line under the leadership of Heinrich Held. The BVP platform calls for a new German state that follows the Christian democratic ideal by appealing to all social classes and faiths, advocating federalism, and leading to a Christian moral and cultural renewal. It supports the protection of the family, private property, the right of inheritance, and agrarian reform. Its support comes largely from an agrarian Catholic block that has proven so far largely immune to the political overtures of every other party. As a result, the BVP is consistently the most voted party in Bavaria and dominates state politics. In Bavaria, the BVP has just as consistently tried to marginalize the SPD, not to mention the KPD, and its right wing hosts clearly anti-republican sentiments. But its role on the national level in the Reichstag has been, even from the point of view of many in the Centre Party, unpredictable. The BVP initially formed an electoral alliance with the Centre in 1918 and formed a common faction with the Centre in Reichstag in the first years. But the BVP then adopted an anti-Republic stance, going so far as to support the Kapp Putsch attempt in 1920. In the second round of the German presidential election in 1925 the BVP supported the conservative Paul von Hindenburg over the Centre Party candidate Wilhelm Marx. If either the BVP or the KPD, who put up Ernst Thälmann, had supported Marx, he would have become President instead of von Hindenburg, but the BVP refused to accept a moderate candidate identified with Berlin, even from the Centre Party. Recently, though, the BVP has taken a more moderate approach. It has shown an increasingly willingness to work the Centre party, including holding cabinet ministry positions in the Reichstag coalition with the SPD. Indeed, despite its conservative tendencies, the BVP has a violent opposition to the NSDAP rivalled only by its hatred of the KPD. The main member of the BVP in the Reichstag is: 1. Erich Emminger – he personifies the attitudes of his party as a Bavarian particularist who would be happiest with an independent and conservative Free State of Bavaria. 2. Thusnelda Lang-Brumann – she loyally supports Bavaria, but with a special interest in education and women’s issues that opens her to broad coalition building at the national level. WP (conservative liberal) A number of economic organizations emerged against the background of the initial phase of the Republic and the continuously rising inflation and state direction of the economy that had begun during the war. These groups primarily represent the economic interests of the bourgeois middle classes, especially the home-and landowners, artisans and traders. To be able to stand up for their interests in the Reichstag, in 1920 several medium-sized organizations combined to create the so-called Economic Party (Wirtschaftspartei, WP), aka The Reich Party of the German Middle Class. The WP calls for protection of the private sector, lowering of the tax burden of the middle class, reduction of state-funded housing construction, and opposition to workers’ representation in business and strikes. The party has been reluctant to take a clear stance, on the other hand, to basic constitutional matters – expressing neither principled opposition nor support for the Republic. 87 The WP has found growing electoral success in regional elections in petty-bourgeois and urban circles, and now is represented in several state legislatures, most notably in Saxony. It only entered the Reichstag in 1924 but has grown from only a handful of mandates to twenty-three, along with two from an electoral alliance with the Reich Party for Civil Rights and Deflation. Entering the Reichstag, though, has forced the WP to clarify its constitutional, foreign policy, and non-economic domestic goals. For example, it has recently aligned itself with the DNVP in opposition to the Young Plan, even though the party formed in express opposition to the DNVP. Many are waiting to see where this small but influential party will ultimately align itself. The main members of the WP in the Reichstag are: 1. Johann Bredt – he personifies the attitudes of his party and sees the creation of a large party built around the middle classes as the only possible means to resolve Germany’s crises. 2. Georg Best – a leading jurist, he has moved through a number of conservative parties – the DNVP, various völkisch groups close the NSDAP, the Reich Party for Civil Rights and Deflation – before settling into a sometimes uneasy collaboration inside the WP. Extraparliamentary forces Several special interest forces may attempt to influence events and Reichstag decisions. These may include: Reichswehr As discussed elsewhere, the military remains an autonomous force – answerable to the Reich President, not the Reichstag. It is conservative, even monarchist in its leanings. Paramilitaries As discussed elsewhere, several parties have affiliated but autonomous paramilitaries (NSDAP, DNVP, DDP and SPD jointly, KPD). They have military-like training, are legal, and have been known to intervene directly in political affairs. German Gentlemen’s Club (Deutscher Herrenklub, DHK) The Gentlemen’s Club brings together wealthy elites from agriculture, big business, banks, government offices, and other leading public figures. Membership constitutes a veritable who’s who of Germany’s power brokers, including many members of the Reichstag. It has a conservative, anti-Marxist agenda and significant funds at its disposal. Green Front The Green Front is a non-party block of agrarian interests – often competing interests – that formed in 1929 with the hope of creating a single united organization that will ideally grow into a single national party to allow farmers to have a powerful voice. Its members include the CNBP, CSVD, Agrarian League, DBP, and individuals from the Centre and NSDAP. Trade Unions As discussed elsewhere, trade unions play a significant role in almost every major party (SPD, Centre, KPD, NSDAP, DDP). They have differing attitudes, but all represent their working-class constituencies 88 and promote their economic interests. Their power of the strike has brought down governments and stopped insurrections. 6. Core Texts The Communist Manifesto There are numerous copies of the Communist Manifesto available, including on-line. Your instructor will inform of which copy you are to read for class. You may only be required to read certain excerpts or sections from the Manifesto, but almost always sections 1 and 2, which contain the heart of Marx’ theory. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels was first published in German in London by a group of German political refugees in 1848. It was also serialized at around the same time in a German-language London newspaper, the Deutsche Londoner Zeitung (German London Newspaper). Helen Macfarlane produced the first English translation by in 1850, and Stephen Pearl Andrews published the edition in the United States. The Manifesto went through a number of editions from 1872 to 1890; Marx and Engels wrote notable new prefaces for the 1872 German edition, the 1882 Russian edition, the 1883 French edition, and the 1888 English edition. The 1910 edition, translated by Samuel Moore with the assistance of Engels, has been the most commonly used English text since. However, some recent English editions, such as Phil Gasper’s annotated “road map” (Haymarket Books, 2006), have used a slightly modified text in response to criticisms of the Moore translation made by Hal Draper in his 1994 history of the Manifesto: The Adventures of the “Communist Manifesto” (Center for Socialist History, 1994). So influential has the book remained that in late 2010, Red Quill Books announced the release of a modern, illustrated “comic book” version of the Communist Manifesto in four parts. The question, of course, is why this enduring influence, especially since many Americans presume that history passed an unequivocal judgment on the text, its authors, and their followers in 1989 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rather than debating the various uses and abuses of the Manifesto in history, let’s examine the text on its own terms first before seeing, through supplemental documents related to the Republic, how it came to be interpreted. Study Questions Conflict: What does the Manifesto claim is the main source of conflict throughout history? How does it say the bourgeoisie has differed in the way it has affected this pattern of conflict? How did the bourgeoisie originate out of the old medieval peasant class in opposition to the medieval titled aristocracy? Bourgeoisie: Who is the bourgeoisie? What makes them a class? Did the bourgeoisie create capitalism or did capitalism create the bourgeoisie, according to Marx? The State: What does this phrase mean: “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie?” Why does Marx say the bourgeoisie is unfit to rule? 89 Bourgeois Revolution: How does the very essence of bourgeois production (capitalism, used interchangeably with “bourgeois society” below) make it by definition a revolutionary force? What is the process by which he says the bourgeois society creates a world after its own image? How and why did it destroy feudalism? Proletarian Revolution: How has capitalism created forces that work against its continued existence? A “commercial crisis” would more likely be called a depression or recession today. What pattern does he feel there is in these crises? How have the bourgeoisie created the force that will destroy them? What are the major stages in the class struggle as the proletariat develops? What forces continually strengthen the proletariat? Immiseration: What evils does Marx trace to modern industrialism? How could these evils be avoided? Why has industrialism resulted in the entry into the workplace of more and more women and children? What effects does Marx thinks this has had on society? Internationalism: To what extent has modern capitalism stripped workers of their national character? Are proletarians less nationalistic than the bourgeoisie? Does Marx believe that the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie can be carried out internationally, all at once? What might be the weaknesses of carrying it out country by country? What are his arguments in saying that working people are not attached to their countries? Property: When Marx argues that the proletarian is without property he does not mean workers do not own their clothes and toothbrushes. What does he mean? It is this narrow definition of “property” that Marx uses throughout his writings. He had no objection to people owning personal belongings. Why does he believe that proletarians will be motivated to destroy the whole system of individual private property? What does he mean by asserting that the bourgeoisie has done away with private property for nine-tenths of the population? Communists: What does Marx say the relationship of the Communists to the proletarians as a whole is? In what ways are they different from other working-class parties? What are their immediate aims? Culture: Marx declares that the bourgeoisie fears that a proletarian revolution will destroy all culture because bourgeois culture will no longer be produced. What does he imply about the continued existence of culture? Why does he argue it is pointless to use arguments based on freedom, culture, and law against communism? Family: Why do you think Marx says the family is “practically absent” among the proletarians? He foretells the vanishing of the bourgeois family (though not necessarily the family in general). What evils does he say the bourgeois family causes? What evidence does he offer that the bourgeoisie does not really value the family for its own sake? He then returns to the most sensational charge: the community (sharing) of women. Marx rejects this. According to Marx, why do the bourgeoisie suppose that this is an essential part of communism? How does he argue that it is the bourgeoisie which has really promoted the “community of women?” 90 Education: Is it possible to have an unbiased form of education? Manifesto of the Communist Party [From the English edition of 1888, edited by Friedrich Engels] A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Communism. All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies. Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as Communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries? Two things result from this fact. I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be itself a Power. II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself. To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London, and sketched the following Manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages. I. BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANS The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. 91 From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed. The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development. The feudal system of industry, under which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle class; division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop. Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacture no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry, the place of the industrial middle class, by industrial millionaires, the leaders of whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois. Modern industry has established the world-market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its time, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages. We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange. Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the mediaeval commune; here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany), there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France), afterwards, in the period of manufacture proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, corner-stone of the great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world-market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part. The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors," and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment." It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of 92 philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless and indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which Reactionists so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere. The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National onesidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature. 93 The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image. The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West. The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier and one customs-tariff. The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature's forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour? We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder. Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted to it, and by the economical and political sway of the bourgeois class. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put on its trial, each time more threateningly, the existence of the entire bourgeois society. In these crises a great part not only of the existing products, 94 but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity—the epidemic of overproduction. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand inforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented. The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons—the modern working class—the proletarians. In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed—a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market. Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labour, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the machinery, etc. Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the over-looker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer 95 himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is. The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex. No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc. The lower strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by the new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population. The proletariat goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. At first the contest is carried on by individual labourers, then by the workpeople of a factory, then by the operatives of one trade, in one locality, against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages. At this stage the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the bourgeoisie, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeoisie. Thus the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie. But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The unceasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. Thereupon the workers begin to form combinations (Trades Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in 96 order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there the contest breaks out into riots. Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarians, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years. This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party, is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself. Thus the ten-hours' bill in England was carried. Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further, in many ways, the course of development of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself, whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all times, with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these battles it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat, to ask for its help, and thus, to drag it into the political arena. The bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own instruments of political and general education, in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie. Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling classes are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress. Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class, in fact within the whole range of society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole. Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of Modern Industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product. The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance they are 97 revolutionary, they are so only in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat, they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat. The "dangerous class," the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. In the conditions of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family-relations; modern industrial labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests. All the preceding classes that got the upper hand, sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property. All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interests of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interests of the immense majority. The proletariat, the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air. Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat. Hitherto, every form of society has been based, as we have already seen, on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the progress of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of 98 existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society. The essential condition for the existence, and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. II. PROLETARIANS AND COMMUNISTS In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole? The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class parties. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement. The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: (1) In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. (2) In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole. The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. The immediate aim of the Communist is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat. The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer. They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of Communism. 99 All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions. The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property. The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few. In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man's own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence. Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of the petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily. Or do you mean modern bourgeois private property? But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage-labour, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage-labour. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism. To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production. Capital is a collective product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members of society, can it be set in motion. Capital is, therefore, not a personal, it is a social power. When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class-character. Let us now take wage-labour. The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence, which is absolutely requisite in bare existence as a labourer. What, therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to 100 command the labour of others. All that we want to do away with, is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it. In bourgeois society, living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. In Communist society, accumulated labour is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of the labourer. In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality. And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at. By freedom is meant, under the present bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, free selling and buying. But if selling and buying disappears, free selling and buying disappears also. This talk about free selling and buying, and all the other "brave words" of our bourgeoisie about freedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with restricted selling and buying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling, of the bourgeois conditions of production, and of the bourgeoisie itself. You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society. In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend. From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say individuality vanishes. You must, therefore, confess that by "individual" you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible. Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation. It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us. 101 According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything, do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wagelabour when there is no longer any capital. All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic modes of producing and appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture. That culture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to act as a machine. But don't wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will, whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class. The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property—historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production—this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property. Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. But, you will say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social. And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention, direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, etc.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. 102 The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour. But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus. The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women. He has not even a suspicion that the real point is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production. For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial. Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives. Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with, is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private. The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality. The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word. National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world-market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end. 103 The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical, and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination. Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man's ideas, views and conceptions, in one word, man's consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life? What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express the fact, that within the old society, the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence. When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge. "Undoubtedly," it will be said, "religious, moral, philosophical and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change." "There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc. that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience." What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs. But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other. No wonder, then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms. The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism. We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling as to win the battle of democracy. 104 The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible. Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production. These measures will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable. 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. 3. Abolition of all right of inheritance. 4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. 5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. 6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. 7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. 8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country. 10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c. When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these 105 conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. …. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite! 106 The Programme of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and Its General Conceptions [EDITOR’S NOTE: The Twenty-Five Points represents the party’s views at its inception in 1919-1920; at that time it held a strong anti-capitalist message. However, the stance of the Hitler-wing of the party clearly moved to a pro-capitalist stance while the Strasser-wing remained opposed. Hitler refused to allow any alterations to the Twenty-Five Points even as he made often radical changes in his strategy and tactics. Feder, a leading NSDAP member and theoretician, participated in the drafting of party platform and gave periodic updated clarifications of its meaning, which follow the platform.] SOURCE: Feder, Gottfried. “The Programme of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and Its General Conceptions.” In Feder, Gottfried, The Programme of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and its General Conceptions. Translated by E. T. S. Dugdale [Munich: Franz Eher Verlag, 1932, original edition 1928]. Clwyd: B.P. Publications, 1980. Study Questions Nationalism and racialism: How does National Socialism link German nationalism and racism? How do racism and nationalism combine to create a theory of conflict? What is the racial nature of a “German”? What are the specific goals of the party related to German military expansion? In what ways is the ideology explicitly militaristic? How does it view irredentism and expansionism? What particular role do Jews play in the National Socialist worldview? What political movements are they linked to? What is their goal? Conflict: How does National Socialism explain racial and national conflict? What causes it and is it good? Anti-Semitism: What do the Nazism claim is the role of Jews in history and modern Germany? What international movements are they allegedly linked to? What steps are proposed to combat the alleged threat? Social class: How does Nazism relate to the Marxist concept of class struggle? What does it see as the role of class within Germany in contrast to Marxism? Since it is also a theory of struggle, what does it replace class struggle with? How does that struggle relate to national struggle? Sex and gender: What is proper role of men and women? How does this view tie back into attitudes towards nationalism? How does this approach inform their views on gays? Religion: What is meant by “positive Christianity?” Does the Programme support religious freedom? How does the party seem to related to the Catholic parties (the Center and the Bavarian People’s Party?) Economics: Generally speaking, Nazi theorists blamed Germany’s economic failures on political causes like the influence of Marxism on the workforce, the sinister and exploitative machinations of what they called international Jewry, and the vindictiveness of the western political leaders' war reparation demands. What did the Nazis therefore offer as solutions? The Nazis often had to answer questions about private ownership. How did they both defend and critique it? How did the Nazis attempt to protect the German people and currency from volatile market forces? The Nazis primarily viewed the German economy as an instrument of power. How do we see this? 107 Agriculture: What is the party’s stance on land reform and the various farming classes? The platform required elaboration in the late 1920s – why and to what end? Is there an implicit contradictions in Point 17? How is this resolved? Why might agrarian policies be particularly important to the Nazis? Pro-Labor: Is National Socialism a workers’ party? In what way is National Socialism pro-labor? How does it attempt to appeal specifically to workers? Why does it make this appeal? Anti-communism: What aspects of Marxism did the Nazis reject and why? What did they see as the link between communism and Jews? Though anti-Marxist, what programs did the Nazis support that the social democrats and communists also supported? Anti-capitalism: How did the Nazis argue that capitalism was dangerous? What did they see as the link between capitalism and Jews? Totalitarianism vs. Parliamentarism: What is the relationship of the individual to the nation and wider community? What is the role of the state in this relationship? What is the critique of the plurality in democratic or parliamentary states? Hitler conspicuously omitted the text of the Programme from Mein Kampf, where he referred to it as "the so-called program of the movement." Why? The Twenty-Five Points (1920) The Program of the German Workers’ Party is a program for our time. The leadership rejects the establishment of new aims after those set out in the Program have been achieved, for the sole purpose of making it possible for the Party to continue to exist as the result of the artificially stimulated dissatisfaction of the masses. 1. We demand the uniting of all Germans within one Greater Germany, on the basis of the right to selfdetermination of nations. 2. We demand equal rights for the German people (Volk) with respect to other nations, and the annulment of the peace treaty of Versailles and St. Germain. 3. We demand land and soil (Colonies) to feed our People and settle our excess population. 4. Only Nationals (Volksgenossen) can be Citizens of the State. Only persons of German blood can be Nationals, regardless of religious affiliation. No Jew can therefore be a German National. 5. Any person who is not a Citizen will be able to live in Germany only as a guest and must be subject to legislation for Aliens. 6. Only a Citizen is entitled to decide the leadership and laws of the State. We therefore demand that only Citizens may hold public office, regardless of whether it is a national, state or local office. We oppose the corrupting parliamentary custom of making party considerations, and not character and ability, the criterion for appointments to official positions. 108 7. We demand that the State make it its duty to provide opportunities of employment first of all for its own Citizens. If it is not possible to maintain the entire population of the State, then foreign nationals (non-Citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich. 8. Any further immigration of non-Germans is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who entered Germany after August 2, 1914, be forced to leave the Reich without delay. 9. All German Citizens must have equal rights and duties. 10. It must be the first duty of every Citizen to carry out intellectual or physical work. Individual activity must not be harmful to the public interest and must be pursued within the framework of the community and for the general good. We therefore demand: 11. The abolition of all income obtained without labor or effort. Breaking the Servitude of Interest. 12. In view of the tremendous sacrifices in property and blood demanded of the nation by every war, personal gain from the war must be termed a crime against the nation. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits. 13. We demand the nationalization of all enterprises (already) converted into corporations (trusts). 14. We demand profit-sharing in large enterprises. 15. We demand the large-scale development of old-age pension schemes. 16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle class; the immediate communalization of the large department stores, which are to be leased at low rates to small tradesmen. We demand the most careful consideration for the owners of small businesses in orders placed by national, state, or community authorities. 17. We demand land reform in accordance with our national needs and a law for expropriation without compensation of land for public purposes. Abolition of ground rent and prevention of all speculation in land. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Regarding point 17, on 13 April 1928, Hitler made the following declaration: It is necessary to reply to the false interpretation on the part of our opponents of Point 17 of the Programme of the NSDAP. Since the NSDAP admits the principle of private property, it is obvious that the expression 'confiscation without compensation' merely refers to possible legal powers to confiscate, if necessary, land illegally acquired, or not administered in accordance with national welfare. It is directed in accordance with national welfare. It is directed in the first instance against the Jewish companies which speculate in land.] 109 18. We demand ruthless battle against those who harm the common good by their activities. Persons committing base crimes against the People, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished by death without regard to religion or race. 19. We demand the replacement of Roman Law, which serves a materialistic World Order, by German Law. 20. In order to make higher education – and thereby entry into leading positions – available to every able and industrious German, the State must provide a thorough restructuring of our entire public educational system. The courses of study at all educational institutions are to be adjusted to meet the requirements of practical life. Understanding of the concept of the State must be achieved through the schools (teaching of civics) at the earliest age at which it can be grasped. We demand the education at the public expense of specially gifted children of poor parents, without regard to the latters’ position or occupation. 21. The State must raise the level of national health by means of mother-and-child care, the banning of juvenile labor, achievements of physical fitness through legislation for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and maximum support for all organizations providing physical training for young people. 22. We demand the abolition of hireling troops and the creation of a national army. 23. We demand laws to fight against deliberate political lies and their dissemination by the press. In order to make it possible to create a German press, we demand: a) all editors and editorial employees of newspapers appearing in the German language must be German by race; b) non-German newspapers require express permission from the State for their publication. They may not be printed in the German language; c) any financial participation in a German newspaper or influence on such a paper is to be forbidden by law to non-Germans and the penalty for any breach of this law will be the closing of the newspaper in question, as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the nonGermans involved. Newspapers which violate the public interest are to be banned. We demand laws against trends in art and literature which have a destructive effect on our national life, and the suppression of performances that offend against the above requirements. 24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations, provided that they do not endanger the existence of the State or offend the concepts of decency and morality of the Germanic race. The Party as such stands for positive Christianity, without associating itself with any particular denomination. It fights against the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a permanent revival of our nation can be achieved only from within, on the basis of: Public Interest before Private Interest. 110 25. To carry out all the above we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the Reich. Unquestioned authority by the political central Parliament over the entire Reich and over its organizations in general. The establishment of trade and professional organizations to enforce the Reich basic laws in the individual states. The Party leadership promises to take an uncompromising stand, at the cost of their own lives if need be, on the enforcement of the above points. Munich, Germany – February 24, 1920. Its General Conceptions (1932) [EDITOR’S NOTE: Feder now shifts into a short preface of his analysis of the Twenty-Five Points.] After full discussion at the General Meeting of members on May 22nd, 1920, it was resolved that “This Programme is unalterable”. This does not imply that every word must stand unchanged, nor that anything done to deepen or develop the Programme is to be prohibited, but it implies with absolute decision and unswerving clarity that the principles and leading ideas contained in it may not be tampered with. There can be no bending or twisting from considerations of expediency, no hidden interference with very important — and for the present-day arrangements in politics, society and economics, very unwelcome — points in the Programme, no deviation of sentiment. Adolf Hitler prints its two main points in leaded type: The Common Interest before Self — the spirit of the Programme. Abolition of the Thralldom of Interest — the core of National Socialism. Once these two points are achieved, it means a victory of the approaching universalist ordering of society in the 'true State' over the present-day separation of State, nation and economics under the corrupting influence of the individualist theory of society as now constructed. The sham State of today, oppressing the working classes and protecting the pirated gains of bankers and Stock Exchange speculators, is the arena for reckless private enrichment and for the lowest political profiteering; it gives no thought to its people, and provides no high moral bond of union. The power of money, most ruthless of all powers, holds absolute control, and exercises corrupting, destroying influence on State, nation, society, morals, drama, literature, and on all matters of morality, less easy to estimate. There must of course be no wavering, no drawing back in this giant struggle; it is either victory or defeat. […] In order to insure for the future absolute agreement in our demands as expressed in our Programme, and to guard the movement against the shocks likely to injure any movement — the 'suggestions for improvement' offered by professional and amateur critics, grumblers and know-alls, Adolf Hitler, at a conference of all district organizers held at Bamberg on February 11th, 1926, formally appointed Gottfried Feder to be the final judge of all questions connected with the Programme. 111 The Basic Ideas It is our intention in this pamphlet to expose the essential principles of the National Socialist conception of the State as briefly and simply as possible. We shall in a later one deal in more detail with the sociological, theoretic and spiritual aspects of that conception. We shall also not attempt to describe the various other political aspirations nor those who represent them in the different parties and associations — this is a task by itself — but we set down here merely the essential points of our demands. The world arose out of chaos, order out of disorder, organization out of wild confusion. Today chaos is rampart in the world — confusion, struggle, hatred, oppression, robbery, cruelty, selfseeking. Brother is estranged from brother. Members of the same nation attack each other, stab a man to death simply because he wears a Swastika Cross. They all suffer under the same burdens, the same privations; yet who ever during these last months has heard of Marxist workers attacking or killing their employers, or their party leaders, or any of the bankers and Stock Exchange blood-suckers, or any of the wholesale profiteers? The sole sacrifice to chaos is the good, simple worker. The Marxists have lost their heads and are crowding to join up with the plunderers of their own class, whilst they turn savagely against those who stand ready to rescue it. The Nationalist and other Parties are in the Government, or are fighting to get into it with those who have destroyed their national ideals, and lose thereby both honor and character. The defense associations are striving to penetrate 'into the State' — the State of Severing and Grzesinsky — pacifists, internationalists and Jews, with whom they believe they can run the government. They have gone off their heads! The so-called Rechtskreise [right-wing circles] fail to see that eagles and snakes, wolves and lambs, mankind and the cholera bacillus, cannot join in co-operation. They are putting forth all their strength to give an appearance of 'order' to disorder, political chaos, political effeteness. But they set their faces against the National Socialists, those 'fanatics', being filled with crazy fears that the latter might deprive them of some of their former privileges and positions — forgetting that they lost all through the very people from whom they now demand a share in the political loaves and fishes. The industrials, great or small, have but one end in view — profits — , only one longing — credits — , only one protest — against taxation; they fear and respect only one thing — the banks; they shrug their shoulders over the National Socialist demand for breaking down the thralldom of interest. Their one desire is to 'make debts'. The vast tribute extracted from loans by the banks, without trouble or labor, they regard as perfectly in order. They found parties of economy and vote for the Dawes Laws, which are the main cause of the heavy taxation. Honor has departed from business, which is all in the hands of powerful companies. The producers have surrendered to high finance, their greatest enemy. The employers in the factories and offices, deep in debt, have to be content with the barest pittance, for all the profits of labor go into the pockets of the impersonal money power in the form of interest and dividends. 112 The people in control are unable to stem the chaos. Crushed from above by taxation and interest payment, menaced from below by the grumblings of the submerged workers, they have bound themselves blindly to a State controlled by capitalism, whilst the exploiters of the present chaos suffer them to remain in power merely as slave drivers over the laboring masses. Their fury is directed not against the lunacy of Marxism, but against the wearers of the Hooked Cross. They forget that we and we alone saw the tragedy of German economics approaching, perceived and showed how, if taken in time, Germany by her own strength could restore the balance. Associations under every kind of name, reasonable in their basic ideas — hopeless in the present chaos of public life, are seeking how to produce order. It is all in vain, for they are not in touch with the nation as a great social whole. All are merely intent on snatching small advantages for their own caste; bare of any political or economic principle, they apply to each political party in turn. They bow to the existing system and kowtow to the so-called supreme authority. They cost the German nation untold sums in payments to numberless organizers, directors and wirepullers, but no one of them does the least good. Inflation — a criminal measure — robbed all classes, the thrifty, members of associations, artisans of their savings. Some new tax, straight from the green table, destroys the hopes based on years of work. An advantage gained after numberless meetings, discussions, deputations to the Government, is usually annulled by to a rise in the cost of living, a rise or a fall in prices. Chaos and lunacy! How can a farmer live under such persecution? How can the worker buy with prices rising all the time? What good is it to raise the pay of officials and employees when the index of the cost of living continues to rise? They look in their credulity for help from the State, the State which has caused all the impoverishment and suppression, which is not the 'Father of the Nation', but the tyrant and tax collector of the money despotism. So they turn again and again to the old Parties, say they don't care for politics and belong to no Party, and at the same time let the wretched Party squabbles go on as before. The great task which National Socialism has set before it is a determination to restore form, to dispel the chaos, to set the world, which has departed from the old dispensations, in order again, and to guard that order — in the highest Platonic sense. It should be stated here that we regard as 'Order' neither the apparent order of a policed State, nor the robbery of finance hallowed by custom and permitted by law, nor the conspiracies of syndicates, trusts, and other organized measures of national betrayal, however well they 'function'. Even a band of robbers has ‘order’; prisons have their 'regulations'. But in the nation, taken as an organic whole, every aspect of our public life shows pain, bondage, suppression, insincerity, and presents a chaotic picture of a struggle of all against all. Government against people, Party against Party, at the same time concluding most unnatural alliances, employer against employee, merchant against producer and consumer, landlord against tenant, laborer against farmer, officials against the public, worker against 'bourgeoisie', Church against State, each blindly fitting out at his particular adversary and thinking only of his own selfish interests, his 113 advancement and his money-bags. No one reflects that the other has a right to live, or that pursuit of his own selfish ends means that someone else has to pay for it. No one thinks of his neighbor’s welfare, or of his higher duties to the community. A breathless pursuit after personal gain. Elbow your neighbor to get on, tramp on his body if you will get anything by it — why care? That is modern business. Let us not deceive ourselves. We are in the midst of a great world change, and it is natural that simple souls, poor wandering spirits, see no way out of the chaos, seek relief in suicide, or think the world is coming to an end and join in the race after the golden calf and rush blindly into the whirlpool. “Enjoy while you can — after us the deluge.” So terrible a blow to the morale of a nation is only possible and explicable when the whole intellectual foundation of society is shaken or else false — and in fact we see that Marxism, Capitalism, and the leaders of our public life all worship the same god — Individualism. Personal interest is the sole incentive — obtaining advantages for one's own narrow class in life. Later on a further contribution to this series will appear, devoted to a careful sociological study of the construction of society. Here I shall only attempt shortly to show a comparative picture of the difference between the organic errors in the State and political economy of today and the essence of a National Socialist State. The present day doctrine is: Society is the sum of the individuals — the State at its best a convenient aggregation of individuals or associations. We may compare this doctrine of the construction of society to a heap of stones. The only real thing about it is the individual pieces of stone. Its shape is a matter of chance; whether a stone is on top or underneath is indifferent. The result is neither more nor less than a heap of stones. By the same simile, the State which answers to our National Socialist doctrine of society and philosophy of the State is the house. Speaking mechanically, the house also consists of so many individual bricks — sand, cement, joists, windows, doors, floors, etc. But anyone can see that a house, a room, is a higher entity, something new and peculiar and complete in itself, more than a mere sum total of bricks heaped together. Anyone can understand that a house does not come into being by piling a number of single parts in a heap, but only by assembling these parts according to a deliberate plan. Thus it is with a nation. Not until chaos has been organically, by a deliberate plan, brought into order and gives place to form, not until a reasoned whole has been assembled out of the mass of parts, can the true Sate appear. Only then will the component parts assume a purposeful shape. We National Socialists coined the phrase, which all men can comprehend: The Community before the Individual. 114 It is only by serving the general interest as a member of the national community that the individual awakes to a higher life, each one in his own place. Only so will each one attain to the genuine Socialism, the communal feeling, the true life, win consciousness of security, u;:d realize that only under the domination of -this idea can an organic, national government arise from tile present day system of robbery, and be of profit to the community, and to each member of the community. Today the individual is a helpless victim of the forces fighting for the mastery; his associations are powerless to help him. It is not clearly realized who is the real enemy — the idle profiteer and exploiter. In spite of the Marxist cry against capitalism, the pious pronoun- cements of the Centre, the complaints of the business world about the burden of taxation and interest, no one realizes the world enemy, the finance which overshadows the world, and its representative, the Jewish magnate. All classes have felt the lash of interest; the tax collector bears heavy on every section of the population — but who dares oppose the power of bank and Stock Exchange? Capital proclaims its character by growing, contrary to all -experience elsewhere on earth, as it were outside itself without pains or labor, by means of interest and dividends, and by waxing greater and more powerful each minute. The devilish principle of lies has bested the decency of creative labor. Break down the thralldom of interest is our war cry. I know that this demand, which underlies every other, is not properly understood in its full vast significance even' in our own ranks. Very few of our speakers, for instance, dare to attack this basic question, though most of them feel how important it is; for one of our Party slogans is “Fight capital and the Stock Exchange”. But what the 'thralldom of interest' really is, how it bears on the life of the nation and the individual, how 'finance' has enslaved the population, and what the right and practical methods are which must be adopted to break- it, and what the results of breaking it would be for the whole population — is sufficiently clear to very few to enable them to explain it in their own words. In his great work, Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler has indicated the vast importance of this question as follows: “As I listened to Gottfried Feder's first lecture on breaking down the thralldom of interest in June, 1919, I knew at once that this was a theoretic truth immensely important for the future of the German nation…The fight against international capital and finance has become the chief point in the Programme for the German nation's struggle for independence and liberty.” All serious National Socialists share this conviction, for the solution of this question implies solution of the Jewish question — and much more than that. Anti-semitism is in a way the foundation of the feeling underlying our whole movement. Every National Socialist is an anti-semite, but every anti-semite need not be a National Socialist. Anti-semitism is negative; the anti-semite recognizes the carrier of the national plague-germ, but this knowledge usually turns into hatred of the individual Jew and the success of the Jews in the life of business. Then in the best event anti-semitism rises up to help in driving the Jew out of our State and economic life. The anti-semite does not worry his head about How and What next. 115 If, even after the Jew was driven out, there still remained the principle of present-day Jewish domination — self-interest before general interest — and the Jewish banking and credit system, there would still be enough bastard Jews, or even 'normal Germans' of mixed race as ready to step into the Jews' shoes and rage against their own race as are the Jews today, and we should perhaps see plenty of 'anti-semites' sitting where the Jews once sat. Now National Socialism with its main demand, Breaking down the Thralldom of Interest, is essentially constructive. It bites deeper, and the consequences are far more all embracing. I pointed to the peculiar position that demand gives us among all other Parties and associations. In all our other demands we find similar and parallel aspirations in the Parties of the Right and Left. No other Party but ourselves can show any counterpart of this one demand. We all know that neither the Left, with their false cry of “Down with Capitalism”, nor the Right with their phrases about the Fatherland, are capable of starting a new world epoch, for neither the Marxists nor the reactionaries could alter anything in the nature of our economy but would only destroy as the Communists in Russia do. They are incapable of construction — like the Communists in Russia. What do we mean by Thralldom of Interest? The condition of peoples under the money domination of the finance of the world Jewry. The land-owner is under this thralldom, who has to raise loans to finance his farming operations — loans at such high interest as almost to eat up the results of his labor — or who is forced to make debts and to drag the mortgages after him like so much weight of lead. So is the worker, producing in shops and factories for a pittance, whilst the shareholder draws dividends and bonuses which he has not worked for. So is the earning middle class, whose work goes almost entirely to pay the interest on bank overdrafts. So are all who must earn their bread by mental or bodily work, whilst a comparatively small proportion, without labor or trouble, pocket huge profits out of their dividends, speculations and bank shares. We do not refer to the thrifty savers and small capitalists — though they too owe, or owed, their winnings to a false system — but all their lives long many of times the amount of their little interest was taken from them in the form of taxes, so that we can easily afford to repay them in their old age a part of their full earnings, which were taken away. So is the industrial, who has laboriously built up his business, and turned it in course of time into a company. He is no longer a free agent, but has to satisfy the greedy board of directors and his shareholders as well — if he does not wish to be squeezed out. So are all nations that cover their deficits by means of loans. 116 This thralldom spells ruin for any nation that hands over to the money power, the bankers, its sovereign rights at home, the control of its finances, of its railways, and of taxation and customs, as Germany has done by accepting the Dawes Law. Creative labor is under the same thralldom, if it thinks of money before all else. Today money, the 'servant of business', has become the master, in fact, the brutal tyrant of labor. Thralldom of interest is the real expression for the antagonisms, Capital versus Labor, blood versus money, creative work versus exploitation. The necessity of breaking this thralldom is of such vast importance for our nation and our race, that on it alone depends our nation's hope of rising up from its shame and slavery; in fact, the hope of recovering happiness, prosperity and civilization throughout the world. “It is the pivot on which everything turns; it is far more than a mere necessity of financial policy. Whilst its principles and consequences bite deep into political and economic life, it is a leading question for economic study, and thus affects every single individual and demands a decision from each one: — Service to the nation or unlimited private enrichment. It means a solution of the Social Question.” All 'world-questions' are capable of being described in one word, which rises like a flame out of chaos; at the same time countless prophets and books cannot exhaust all the questions which arise out of that word. Intensive study is required to master the details of this problem, for the practical economics of the last 50 years have followed the capitalistic idea so closely, that all who have grown up with it need a complete change of orientation in order to get free from it. In addition to the two quite novel basic principles of our Programme given above, we must mention certain others in connection with the general policy of the State. The principle underlying our policy of the State is shortly as follows: The German Reich is the home of the Germans. It is the great principle for our whole foreign policy, and includes Germany's political liberation, all the requirements of our racial policy, and the conditions of membership of the State. Our economic principle is: The duty of the national economy is to provide the necessities of life and not to secure the highest possible profits for capital. This principle of economic policy embraces a fundamental attitude of National Socialism towards private property, and with regard to the various forms of business, from the very small to the very great — Syndicates, Trusts — and also to the great moral questions which must be a living force in business, if the 'national economics' are not to sink to being mere exploitation of the nation and to being run simply for profit! Our principle as regards finance is as follows: 117 Finance shall exist for the benefit of the State; the financial magnates shall not form a State within the State. This principle involves a seismic change. It concerns the practical measures which will have to be taken to break the Thralldom of Interest —nationalization of finance, control of the system of credit, and the banking system. Every one of these tasks is of the greatest importance from the point of view of our Programme. They involve all tax legislation, with the ultimate — and seemingly impossible — aim of a State without taxation. Our principle as regards social subjects is as follows: The general welfare is the highest law of all. This principle of ours is in direct opposition to present day practice, according to which every class, every profession, tries to win advantages for its own particular group in social policy without regard to the general interest. We wish to make it possible for all to find a dwelling and for all to make a living, and to institute a general system of care for the aged. As regards educational and moral progress it is our unchangeable principle: that all work in that direction is to be done from the sole point of view of German nationality. It cannot be by order or by force that the moral and intellectual forces of our nation may introduce a new Renaissance, a new classic epoch in the arts. A stop will have to be put to the injuries suffered by our German artistic and intellectual life at the hands of the Jewish dictatorship, especially through the poisoning of the press. Apart from this important domain of public life there are, of course, plenty of other improvements to be considered. It is clear that our system of Law will have to be modified to meet the variety of fresh institutions; that the scandal of election to Parliament by the democratic vote will have to be removed, and that, following the transitional period of a Dictatorship, we shall have to decide on the outward visible form of the State and the internal functions of the federal States. Already, however, we can see in this brief outline the vast dimensions of these questions when set face to face with the tremendous fundamental principles of our Programme. It is not fundamental — in fact it is indifferent to us whether is to be a monarchy or a republic, whether we are to have a federation of 5 or 25 States, provided only they are all German States combined under a strong central government, when face to face with the foreigner, and provided only the citizens of the German State at home may live happy and contented. The Programme Requirements in Detail 118 It will make for clarity, when enlisting new members, to make use of the Programme in the form which follows. The minor clauses are ranged under the more important headings, corresponding to the principles enunciated in the preceding chapter. The Political and Economic Programme of the NSDSAP Our aim is — Germany's re-birth to German liberty in the German spirit. The means to this aim are: I. The political principle: The German Reich is the home of the Germans. (a) in foreign policy: 1. Formation of a homogeneous national State, embracing all of German race. 2. Energetic representation of German interests abroad. (b) in racial policy: 3. Dismissal of all Jews and non-Germans from all responsible positions in public life. 4. Prevention of immigration of Eastern Jews and other parasitic foreigners. Undesirable foreigners and Jews to be deported. (c) in internal policy: 5. None but Germans who profess entire community with the spirit and destiny of Germany may exercise the rights of a citizen of the State. 6. He who is not a German may only live in the German State as a guest and is under foreign law. 7. The rights of Germans shall have the preference over those of citizens of foreign nations. II. Our economic principle: The duty of the State is to provide the necessaries of life and not to secure the highest possible profits for capital. 8. National Socialism recognizes private property as a principle and protects it by law. 9. The national welfare however demands that a limit shall be set to the amassing of wealth in the hands of individuals. 10. All Germans form a community for the promotion of the general welfare and culturer. 11. Within the limits of the obligation of every German to work, the sanctity of private property being respected, every German is free to earn and to dispose of the results of his labor. 119 12. The healthy combination of all forms of business, small and large, in every domain of economic life, including agriculture, shall be encouraged. 13. All existing businesses which until now have been in the form of companies shall be nationalized. 14. Usury and profiteering and personal enrichment at the expense and to the injury of the nation shall be punished with death. 15. Introduction of a year's obligation to work (for the State), incumbent on every German. III. Our financial principle: Finance shall exist for the benefit of the State; the financial magnates shall not form a State within the State. Hence our aim to break the thralldom of interest. 16. Relief of the State, and hence of the nation, from its indebtedness to the great financial houses which lend on interest. 17. Nationalization of the Reichsbank and the issuing houses. 18. Provision of money for all great public objects (waterpower, railroads, etc.), not by means of loans, but by granting non-interest bearing State bonds or without using ready money. 19. Introduction of a fixed standard of currency on a secured basis. 20. Creation of a national bank of business development (currency reform) for granting noninterest bearing loans. 21. Fundamental re-modelling of the system of taxation on social-economic principles. Relief of the consumer from the burden of indirect taxation, and of the producer from crippling taxation (fiscal reform and relief from taxation). IV. Our social-political principle: The general welfare is the highest law of all. 22. Development on a large scale of Old Age Insurance by nationalizing the system of annuities. Every member of the German State shall be assured of enough to live upon on attaining a certain age, or, if permanently disabled, before that age. 23. Participation by all engaged in productive enterprises in the profits according to efficiency and age. Responsibility will also be shared in fulfilling the task from a national point of view. 21. Seizure for social purposes of all profits made out of the War and the Revolution, not due to honest work, and of the fortunes of usurers and money-grabbers. 25. Relief of the shortage of dwellings by extensive fresh construction throughout the Reich by the means suggested in No. 20 (a new national bank). 120 V. Our cultural aim is that all the sciences and fine arts shall flourish on the basis of a politically free, economically healthy State. The means of achieving this will be: 26. Training the young up to be healthy in body and free in mind, after the great traditions of German culture. 27. Complete liberty of creed and conscience. 28. Special protection for the Christian denominations. 29. Discouragement of dogmas, which are opposed to German moral instincts and contain matter injurious to the State and the nation. 30. Discouragement of all evil influences in the press, in literature, the stage, the arts and the picture theatres. 31. Liberty of instruction in the German secondary schools; formation of a ruling class of highminded men. VI. Military affairs. 32. To make the nation efficient by permitting every free German to serve and bear arms. 33. Abolition of the paid Army. 34. Creation of a national Army for national defense under the command of a highly trained corps of professional officers. VII. Other recommendations. 35. Press reform. Suppression of all journals which militate against the national good. Strict responsibility for all untrue and intentionally falsified intelligence. 36. Modification of the franchise laws so as to cut out the demoralizing methods of election contests, and the immunity of those elected. 37. Formation of special Chambers for trades and professions. 38. Judicial reform as regards the Land Laws — recognition of the rights of property in land as a principle; no right to borrow from private sources on the security of the land; the State to have the right of preemption, especially in the case of foreigners and Jews; the State to br. empowered to administer estates in the event of bad management on the part of the owner. Civil Law — greatly increased protection for personal honor, health, as opposed to the one-sided legal protection of the rights of property, which predominates at the present day. 121 39. State Law reform. The form of State most suitable to the German character is sovereign control united in a central personal power. The nation must decide later on whether this central personal power shall be wielded by an elected monarch or a president. Federal character of the Reich. The constitution of the German nation out of a number of countries closely bound together by race and history makes it necessary that each one of the States shall be very extensively independent in internal affairs. It is the affair of the Reich to represent the German nation abroad, and to provide for passports, customs, also for the Army and Navy. There are three main obstacles to carrying out this national Programme of National Socialism: Marxism, the Parliamentary system, and the capitalist magnates. 1. Our anti-Marxist campaign is directed against the disruptive doctrines of the Jew, Karl Marx — that of the class-war which splits up the nation, that of destruction of private property which makes business impossible — and against the whole economic materialistic view of history. 2. Our campaign against parliaments is directed against the lack of responsibility of the so-called representatives of the people, who — being immune — can never be summoned in practice to answer for the results of their decisions; also against all the evils which arise out of the system (moral corruption, nepotism, venality), all resulting in the final evil — a government which is dependent on such a parliament. 3. Our campaign against Mammon, which ranks above the other two, is directed against the worldembracing power of money, i. e. the perpetual exploitation of our nation by the great lending houses. It is also a tremendous struggle against the soul-killing, materialist spirit of greed and rapacity with all its disruptive accompaniments throughout our public, commercial and cultural life. The main battle is one between two world-theories, represented by two essentially differing structures — the spirit which has created and is creative and the unquiet, grasping spirit. The creative spirit, deeprooted, but superior to the rest of the world in spiritual experience, is carried; mainly by the Arian race; — The grabbing spirit, without roots anywhere, aiming only at material things, commercial, is chiefly represented by the Jews. National Socialism, like anti-semitism, regards the Jewish-materialistic spirit as the chief cause of the evil; it knows however that this greatest struggle in history must not stop short at merely destroying the Semitic spirit; which is why the great Programme of National Socialism goes far beyond the anti-semitic desire to destroy, for it offers a positive constructive picture, showing how the National Socialist State of labor and achievement ought to appear when completed. 122 Once this high aim is achieved the National Socialist Party will dissolve automatically; for National Socialism will then be the entire life of the whole German nation. The NSDAP is not a political Party in the ordinary sense of the word, but is that section of the nation, which is confident, and sure of the future, which has gathered round strong and determined leaders to deliver Germany from shame and impotence abroad and from demoralization at home, and to make her once again strong and respected abroad, and morally and economically healthy at home. “The German Reich is the home of the German people.” Every word of this principle of State policy is a cut with a lash, when we consider the miserable state of things today. The 'German Reich' — where is there a German Reich today? Can Germany lay claim to be called an independent State? No! Not even the most complacent pundits in State Law could describe a country, such as Germany is now, as one in full enjoyment of all its rights of sovereignty. The five most important rights of a State are: sovereignty over its territory, its army, its finances, its internal administration arid communications, and lastly its justice. You have only to put the matter in this way to any layman without further explanation of a nation's rights under International Law, and compare it with Germany's position today, and it becomes clear that it is impossible to maintain that a sovereign 'German Reich' exists any longer. Our control of our territory is a mockery, for whenever France chooses she can seize upon German land without asking leave and without suffering opposition. Czechs, Poles, Danes can venture on any inroad into German territory without fear of hindrance. The 'accursed old regime' put a very different interpretation on the slightest breach of frontier. A military inroad into German territory then implied a 'state of war'. To protect its territorial sovereignty a nation needs an armed force capable to repelling any attack on its land, and therefore on the lives and happiness of its nationals. A free State cannot permit a foreign Power to scrutinize its actions, or to have the right of deciding the strength, equipment, armaments, garrisons of its Army; if it does, it is certainly not 'sovereign'; it cannot command its means of power; it has given up control of its military forces. Germany has done this by giving in to the enemy Commissions for Disarmament and Control. Germany had already suffered -this humiliation under the Armistice conditions, and had lost her international rights. Nevertheless she might have retained some part of her internal control; but as soon as the military control was destroyed, the financial magnates seized the opportunity for limitless exploitation of German labor. First of all the muddy torrent of Revolution burst forth over Germany; then the usurers and profiteers, the Social-democratic traitors, sons of chaos, deserters, jail-birds shared the power with the Democrats and Centre, and behind and over all the financiers, the Jews, did their business. Soon the Free Masons of the so-called National Parties, especially Brother Stresemann, were called in. The final blow was soon to 123 come. The experts with their Dawes Law robbed Germany of control of her finances, which was bartered away to a handful of Jews, the German and foreign financial magnates. The Reichstag let the railways go, and with them all control of communications, also a great part of the control of taxation and customs, by handing them over to the Reparations Commissioner. Control of justice hardly exists any more. The occupied districts are under foreign military law; special regulations govern the rest of Germany, such as those for the defense of the Republic; insecurity of rights, organized public robbery through the so-called Aufwertungsgesetze, forcing the Courts to declare that wrong is right. Germany is no longer a sovereign State. She is a colony of slaves. Germans are oppressed, thrown into prison, denied free speech — simply because they are still 'German' and desire to end their slavery. Yes, we want to have Germany free again, and this coming German Reich shall be the home of the Germans — not merely a machine for keeping order, not merely a 'State', an 'authority', a 'government', a sinecure for a handful of reigning houses, but a Home, that word of charm — love of home, lovely, sunny, beloved. The smell of the home earth rises up, the wanderer thrills with joy to feel the home soil beneath his feet; he is bound to it by blood ties. The home feeling is the feeling of security, and from that blossoms the fine flower of love of home. The State and nation can have no finer aim than this. It greater than a cautious social policy, than unemployment insurance, than housing schemes, though indeed having one's own home is one of the Strongest incentives for love of home. Home is more than an 'Imperial State', which one serves, whether from enthusiasm or under compulsion. It is more than an administration, more than the defense of one's own interests, more than a crib for cattle, or protection for person and property. All these public objects must serve the conception of home. Just as the idea of home has a special charm of the children in a properly organized family, as one's own room arouses very different feelings from a room in a hotel or a prison cell; home is something unspeakably tender and yet powerful, superior to the idea of an association for a purpose, which is the Liberal — parliamentary — democratic conception of the social State. Policy of the State Principle: The German Reich shall be a home for the Germans — not for Jews, Russians (Communists), Social Democrats, who have no fatherland called Germany (Crispien), nor for all the foreigners who make a longer or shorter stay on German soil. We are in sharp and fundamental opposition to the Weimar Constitution, which speaks only of 'German nationals', but ignores the conception of 'German' in the national, or rather racial, sense. Each of the seven following theses has three separate aspects (a) foreign policy, (b) population, (c) citizenship. (a) Foreign policy. 124 1. Creation of a solid national State, embracing all branches of the German race. All of German blood, whether living under French, Danish, Polish, Czech or Italian sovereignty, shall be united in a German Reich. We demand neither less nor more than what was demanded for our enemies — the right of Germans to decide to belong to their motherland, the German State. We claim all Germans in Sudeten Germany, Alsace-Lorraine. Poland, the League colony of Austria, and the States which succeeded to the old Austria. This demand however expressly excludes any tendency towards imperialism; it is the simple and natural demand, which any strong nationality puts forward as its natural requirement. 2. Strong representation of German interests abroad is a further and necessary corollary of Point 1. It is usually the best, most industrious and venturesome — engineers, explorers, professors, merchants, doctors — who go into foreign lands, carrying German Kultur with them. They are members of the great German national family, to which they must never be lost. They have a right to expect protection from home when they are abroad. They should be not merely disseminators of Kultur, but the conscious advance guard of the Germanic idea in the world; not 'apostles of humanity', but bearers of the Nordic idea. Those who represent Germany abroad should not acquire foreign notions, but stick to their superior German character. Our Foreign Office must be swept clean with an iron besom. We must finish with the obsequiousness towards the foreigner after the manner of Erzberger and Stresemann, and it will be seen that strong representation of German interests will be quite otherwise respected, and attention to German desires in place of contempt will be the result. (b) Racial policy. 3. Exclusion of Jews and all non-Germans from all responsible positions in public life. This demand is so natural to us National Socialists that no further explanation is needed; but it is not possible to give convincing arguments in brief to those who fail to take in the principles of our racial doctrine. Anyone who looks on a Jew as a citizen of the State of the Jewish religion — and not as a heterogeneous, segregated people, parasitic in character, will fail to appreciate the essentialness of this demand. If a man were to say or think that a cabbage which had grown by chance in the middle of a strawberry plant was a strawberry plant, and that good strawberries could be got from it, he would be as wrong as if he thought that a hon cub which had got in among a flock of sheep thereby became a sheep. A German would not be good as a government official in China or India, and we should not like to have a Chinaman or a Hottentot as a Treasury official or Mayor 'of a German town. And yet it would be better to have an Enver Pasha or a Chang Kai Chek in control in Germany than to have a Jew with free play for his disintegrating racial characteristics. What is certain is that the Revolution loosened the bands of order in the State, and that the long-established Jewish bankers, as well 125 as the Jews from the East who have recently immigrated into Germany, have enriched themselves by impoverishing Germany. We have all seen and, had experience of this; it has always been going on, this disintegration of Nordic institutions. “There is but one way open for this crafty people — it has nothing to hope for so long as order is maintained.” (Goethe at the fair at Plundersweilen.) Therefore we demand: 4. That the immigration of Eastern Jews and other parasitic aliens shall be stopped, and that undesirable aliens and Jews shall be deported. At the time of the great inflation Jews from Galicia and Poland flocked like vermin into the towns of Germany. Though there was great dearth of houses they soon were very well housed, whilst Germans had to creep into holes. They started their dirty business, buying up everything — pearls, Persian carpets, diamonds, gold, silver, platinum, War Loan, thousand mark notes, copper, lead, literature, theatres, grain (the Evaporator Company). They quickly became visibly rich — and took rank as Germans — in the eyes of 'normal Germans'. Compromise is utterly inadmissible in meeting the case. We must have administrators whose racial beliefs are clear and unbending. The health of the race must be restored by practical application of the anti-semitic treatment, and our nation must be turned Northward in the sense of the Nordic idea. This question does not perhaps belong properly to the 'provisional Programme' of the NSDAP; but we must all understand clearly that not much can be done with the German nation until it has been 'debastardised'. But we can state here and now that the terrible racial decadence has only — at any rate in theory — been stemmed, because of the remarkable interest aroused generally by questions of race and by there being a number of books on the subject; nothing however but solid and continuous work can allow us to make real progress. (c) As regards State citizenship we demand: 5. That none but Germans, who believe in German Kultur and the common destiny of all Germans, shall enjoy the rights of a citizen of the State. Even here limits must be drawn. People, who, even though German born, act consciously in a way injurious to the nation and the State, and receive and obey orders from abroad — i.e. do not accept a share in the common destiny, may not be allowed the rights of citizenship; there are plenty to whom we shall have to deny the high honor of enjoying these rights. 6. Non-Germans may only dwell in the German State as guests, and shall be regarded as being subject to foreign law. This is a necessary principle, calculated to put an end forever to the eternal obsequiousness towards the foreigner. But it does not mean that we shall not welcome citizens of a foreign country warmly and treat them well as guests so long as they conduct themselves properly; but 126 7. The rights and interests of Germans shall have preference over those of the subjects of a foreign nation. Our further requirements need not be included in our Programme in detail. For instance, the form assumed by the laws affecting foreigners will come on for settlement later, also the methods for excluding the Jews. A Programme of principles cannot be expected to be a Programme of action, giving tactical details of how supremacy is to be secured, etc. I am opposed altogether to fixing our Programme too rigidly, for in this great struggle we must first determine the principles from which we shall never draw back, and not imitate the vote catching methods of the bourgeois and Socialist Parties. Economic Policy It is the duty of the National Government to provide the necessaries of life and not to secure the highest possible profits for Capital. It may occur to simple, plain-thinking men that to announce this obvious fact as a principle is superfluous. It is a commonplace to the producer, the farmer, the artisan, the manufacturer, that what he makes is either used or consumed — by himself or, as an article of commerce, by others. In his eyes, business which is not concerned with production or consumption is ridiculous, impossible, against common sense. This brings us to one of the great intellectual difficulties in our recruiting work. Our fellow-countrymen are bound to say: — Of course your natural sentiment in thinking of the meanings and aims of labor and economics is quite correct, but unfortunately our so-called political economy of today in no way answers to this natural claim. If you look closer you will discover the terrible characteristics which are utterly opposed to the obvious duty of all national political economy. For what about the moneylenders and profiteers? Do these universal plunderers give a thought to providing the necessaries of life? No! Are they engaged in creating values, do they produce anything? No! They are robbers and traitors in the economic sense, and merely amass wealth for themselves. What about the banks? They circulate money and give 'credit'. Yes; but the Post Office does this, and cheaper, quicker and better; and to whom do the banks give credit? — To the needy, the laboring masses, who have no home of their own, or for building houses, for supplying the crying need of dwellings? No! Or to the farmers, or to those who run businesses and who produce and distribute the economic necessaries? Not freely, and only if security is offered, over and above the natural engagement to repay; moreover they charge interest. Do the banks care whether the producers' customers are served well, cheaply and promptly, or whether economic necessaries are supplied quickly, cheaply and with due attention? No! Their one thought is for making their profit out of the interest, commission, or whatever the banking process of tapping the supply of money is called. What do the banks produce? Nothing! What do they earn? Vast sums. 127 Thus moneylenders, profiteers, banks, financiers, supply no necessity, but instead they draw huge profits from the prevailing capitalist system — in fact they tyrannize over and exploit the anti-social economic system of today. The main task of economics is to see that the interest on loans is secure, i.e. the workers are forced to give up part of their earnings to the 'City'. What does the factory -owner, or as the workers call him, the 'exploiter' and 'blood-sucker' do? By paying the lowest possible wages, by using inferior material, by mass-production, averaging, and high retail prices, he tries to make the largest possible profit for himself. He gives no thought to his employees' poverty; he does not care if his wares have to be quickly thrown away as rubbish — all the better, since it means more work and more profits for him. The silly people rush again and again after cheap rubbish, if only it is displayed attractively. The return on his capital comes first with him, supplying necessaries of life comes a bad second. He does however do something. He supplies work. The true factory-owner is something quite different, he who is conscious of his high task as an economic leader. He must possess high moral worth — in the economic sense at least. His task is to discover the real economic needs of the people — if he is also an inventor he does this pioneer work himself. He must keep his costs as low as he can and lay them out to the best advantage, keep prices down as low as possible in order to get his goods on to the market; keep up both quality and quantity of production, pay his employees well, so that they may be able to purchase goods freely, must always be thinking of improvements and renewals of plant and trading methods. If he puts all this first in his business, he is 'supplying the necessaries of life' in the best and highest sense,” and profits will come of themselves without his making them his first object. 'The finest and most universally known example of this kind of manufacturer is Henry Ford. There are other names in our own heavy industries which stand equally high — Krupp, Kirdorf, Abbe, Mannesmann, Siemens, and numerous others. The character of such businesses is altogether different when they are not personally controlled by men of high moral qualities who look after the interests of their workers, but are handed over to impersonal limited companies. So long as the founder of a business is also the chief shareholder and can maintain the standard of excellence of his products, all may be well; but as soon as conversion takes place it is overwhelmed by the interests of the capitalist shareholders. The former owners, the managers, now depend on the Board, representing the share-holders, for improvements in business methods and working conditions — and the share-holders have no- interest (beyond that of the slave-driver) in the welfare of the workers and the excellence of the work, so long as the dividends coming out of it are good large ones. The introduction of proprietary shares has had a most devastating influence, for any chance speculator can corner the shares and actually become owner of large industrial works without knowing anything about them. To the Stock Exchange stocks and shares are merely so much paper for them to play with. They are not interested in conditions of production and labor, most of them could not say what the products or the conditions of marketing, labor, wages and maintenance are in the business of which they are the owners by law. 128 And owners they actually are, just because they happen to have cornered the shares of this or that factory in the market. Let us now examine this state of affairs in the light of its effect on political economy, so as to realize the corrupt character of the capitalist system. Today business merely looks for a return on capital. The large retail stores follow different methods. They cultivate 'attraction', 'bluff, 'averaging', 'luxury articles', and arouse desire for non-necessaries, as I showed above. Great palaces, built with all the arts of refinement, invite to purchase apparently cheap, but mostly quite useless articles, and by offering easy conditions of payment they entice their customers to spend all manner of sums on pure luxury. Rest-rooms are provided to enable people to spend a long time in the stores, which thus become mere hot-beds for extravagance, for let no one imagine he gets anything as a present. Really well off people don't buy in large stores; they know what the poorer one don't know — he who buys cheap buys dear. Do the crowds who buy in those palaces imagine that they were built otherwise than with their saved up pennies? Do they think they get off paying for the escalators, the lifts, the rest rooms, the fairy -like illumination? Realize, also, that the large stores spell ruin to the small shopkeepers, that they exploit home labor and their staffs most cruelly, that what is manufactured is mostly rubbish. The better articles are usually dearer than in respectable specialized shops, a fact which justifies our fight against the large stores. We regard them as a special form of the capitalistic idea in practical operation, which does not provide necessaries of life, but is merely there for the purpose of producing huge profits for the shareholders. Given this leading conception of provision of the necessaries of life (which, we should observe, has nothing to do with the Communist scheme of economics), the question ranks first in importance in our attitude towards private property. 8. National Socialism recognizes private ownership of property as a principle and protects it by law — given that it is acquired and employed honorably. We cannot discuss it here, but anyone who rightly comprehends the term 'work' will quickly see that the product of 'work' must be the property of him who works. A producer will fail to understand why his work, or its value, should be the property of a vague 'community', nor will he readily admit that the fruits of his labor should go to an individual, the capitalist. Hence a right understanding of the meaning of 'work' leads naturally to recognition of private ownership. There is finally a further subject — the conception of the home. The Home is not a reality unless it really is a man's own property, and his own home shelters his own family. A man's own fruit and vegetables out of his own garden taste better than a meal eaten in a crowded eating-house. Anyone who does not know the longing for possessions nor the joy of possession will fail to understand the importance of recognizing private ownership. Such a man has no roots anywhere, it is curious that the preying type of man is always envious, always seeking something fresh to possess, whilst the Nordic man, the solid man of the soil, is absolutely modest in his ideas. He wants no more than he can get by his work. 129 A workman does not wish to have a fine villa which he could never earn; he wants a nice little house of his own, not a hired one for which in the course of his life he would be paying three or four times much as the house cost to build. But the Jew, the capitalist — he does not want to be tied to any plot of land; his ideal is a big safe stuffed with scrip, mortgage deeds and promissory notes. Wealth, not in property but in other people's mortgaged property, is his aim. He does not work, but he rests not until he has amassed bundles of bonds giving him the whip hand over all those to whom he has lent money. The next demand of our Programme is framed in order to put a stop to this. 9. The welfare of the nation demands that a limit shall be set to the amassing of wealth in the hands of individuals. Wealth is not injurious in itself; on the contrary, possessions well administered do good to all who are connected with them. But again it is the capitalist system of loans which has turned wealth from a blessing into a curse; it is robbery. The great mass of possessionless workers and the indebted middle class are getting further and further separated from the rich; countless small owners are distrained upon for debt, and the power of the financiers, who know no fatherland, no home-land, waxes ever more sinister, as they sit in their modern robber-baron castles, the banks. To meet this the National State shall see to it that: 10. All Germans shall be formed into a community of work for the furtherance of the common welfare and Kultur. This idea of community of work implies the economic overthrow of the universalist conception of society. All work and production must be included within the higher idea of service to the community. It is in no way opposed to personal effort and industry, but it means that individual progress shall not be at the expense of one's fellow men. Our No. 11 gives expression to this demand. 11. Within the frame of the general duty of work attaching to every German, and with recognition of private ownership as a principle, every German shall be free to earn in whatever manner he chooses, and free to dispose of the results of his labor. The foregoing expressly rejects the socializing schemes of Marxism and also high finance. The State shall include the greatest possible number of free existences linked by the social idea of service. — — It is of course out of the question to run mines, blast-furnaces, rolling mills, ship-yards on a small scale, but a hundred thousand free and independent master-shoemakers are better than five monster shoe factories. The great landed estates in the North and East of Germany are more productive by being run on a large scale than if managed by small freehold farmers. Small freeholds do best if within easy reach of towns and villages. Our No. 12 demands that: 12. A healthy combination of businesses of all kinds, large and small, including farming, shall be maintained. 13. Great businesses (syndicates, trusts) are nationalized. 130 This demand is consistent with our general struggle against the capitalistic idea. — The first aim of syndicates and trusts in any particular branch of production is to unite with other similar businesses for the purpose of dictating prices. They are governed by no desire to distribute good wares at a cheap price. Such 'rings' are specially attracted by new businesses which are doing well. New firms in the same line of business are bought up and put out of the way, often at a very large price by way of compensation. Supply is regulated by pooling, by which means they are able to regulate prices in accordance with an apparently genuine 'supply and demand'. That is what concerns the shareholders, who have no desire to see prices kept low by competition. New ideas and inventions are viewed with a hostile eye, ' and preferably suppressed if their adoption would endanger the paying capacity of older plants. Such businesses, run as huge trusts from a big central office, are clearly 'ripe for socialization', i.e. they have ceased to fulfil any of the services to the community which individual competition performs. They are paralyzed from the start and only serve the greed of capitalism. 14. Usurers and profiteers, and ruthless self-enrichment at the expense of the nation, shall be punished with death. The Law, as it is now, gives special protection to individual property. Small thefts are punished inhumanly, whereas the Law supplies no way of catching large-scale swindlers, who rob an entire nation by 'capitalistic methods'. We refer especially to those who promoted and profited by the inflation. It was the first time in history that an entire industrious nation was robbed of the whole of its savings by a crime of inflation on the vast scale as happened in Germany. The greed of the banks after the stabilization was worse than highway robbery. More Germans fell victims to the practices of the 'war companies' than to any organized robber band. When the time comes we shall deal with these things more in detail, and shall have to find a legal formula for them. But everyone will agree that 'organized fraud against the nation' must be punished as, and even more, severely than small thefts of money, or fraud. 15. Introduction of an obligational year of labor or service for every German. The obligation to serve by working will be the visible expression to the public of the duty of service. It is meant to be educational, and to place before each German an example of the whole community working as one man together. It will show to each German the blessing of the strict fulfilment of duty in working for the service of the nation. Financial policy Breaking the thralldom of interest. Our principles on this subject have been so fully set down in the second chapter, that we shall only describe here the measures suitable for achieving our objective in practice. 16. Liberation of the State, and so of the nation, from its indebtedness and from the obligation to pay interest to the great financial houses. 131 The State may make no debts — for it has no necessity to do so. There is no comparison between the State and the private person who every now and then requires loans and is forced to make debts. The State controls the Mint; it can thus make money, which the private person cannot do! It did this in a lunatic: fashion during the inflation. It did the same with the Rentenmark, and the same -- after resigning its control to the so-called Reichsbank — with the so-called Reichsmark. The State could make far better use of this right to make money, without the danger of inflation being invited. — But only if first: 17. The Reichsbank and all the issuing banks are nationalized, and, 18. there is provision of money for all great public Objects (waterpower, railroads, etc.) not by means of loans, but by granting non-interest-bearing State bonds, or without using ready money. In other words: — Wanton printing of bank notes, without creating new values, means inflation. We all lived through it. But the correct conclusion is that an issue of non- interest- bearing bonds by the State cannot produce inflation if new values are at the same time created. The fact that today great economic enterprises cannot be set on foot without recourse to loans is sheer lunacy. Here is where reasonable use of the State's right to produce money which might produce most beneficial results. It must be clear to anyone that, for instance, a great electrical plant using waterpower might well be erected in the following unexceptional manner: The Government introduces a Bill in the legislative Council for exploiting the waterpower of Bavaria, Saxony, etc., by satisfying all economic requirements. The local Diet, or other body, decides on construction, empowers the Finance Minister or the State Bank to issue a series of bank notes, marked specially to show that they are fully covered by the new works under contemplation. These notes are supported by the combined credit of the State or the Reich. No one can show any objection on the score of inflation. Construction takes place on the additional credit granted by the Council representing the nation, and the notes become legal tender like the rest. When the work is completed, nitrates or electricity are supplied to customers against this money, and in a few years the issue can be recalled and destroyed. Result: The State, the nation has instituted a new work, which secures to them a great new source of revenue, and the nation is the richer by it. To prove the folly of the present system let us compare the foregoing with what goes on now. A loan is taken up. A few capitalists do what the whole nation, even though Parliament may vote in favor of it, cannot do; they allow the State to borrow money from them. Instead of using its direct authority for the benefit of the nation, the State engages to pay permanent interest for the sum required to complete certain work, thereby hanging a millstone round its neck. And, what is most costly of all, it issues bonds thus creating 'fresh purchasing capacity'. On the balance sheet it makes no difference whether the new 132 work is represented by new paper money or new bonds. But the community suffers injury because the bonds imply that the new work is mortgaged to capital, which naturally makes itself quite secure, dictates prices, and takes the profits. Thus it is really the financiers who are the richer by the development of the nation's waterpower; they are indifferent about repayment; they like to have to such monopolies as permanent milking cows. The population are forced to pay dear for electric current or nitrates, and once again a part of the national property is converted in the interests of the financiers. Point 19 demands introduction of a fixed standard of coinage. That we admittedly have now, but the robbery remains the same as before. We National Socialists had everything ready, once we were in power, for bringing the inflation swindle to an end forthwith, and for introducing a new guaranteed standard of coinage. 20. Establishment of a new national bank for development and economy. The idea underlying the bank for development is no less simple than the plan explained above for creating money for great public purposes. A combined economic corporation, such as the bank for economic development, should be given the right to issue money for development (Baumark-Scheinen) covered by the value of the newly built houses. These could then be erected free from the huge burden of interest, which alone today makes it impossible to build in sufficient quantities. Every German with a home of his own. A free people on unencumbered land. 21. Complete re-modelling of the system of taxation on social political economic principles. Delivery of the consumer from the burden of indirect taxation, and the producer from taxes which cramp his activities. Social Policy Social policy is the favorite motto of our present political cure-alls. It sounds so nice, makes them popular, and attracts votes for the Party which promises to make everything right. When every Party promises the official, for instance, an increase of pay, they call that Social Policy. It is the same when they promise to grant the wishes of the clerks and workers; or when they do a little to relieve people with small incomes, or war sufferers, or young teachers, or Germans abroad. And all the people run after these political rat-catchers when they play on their 'social' flute. It must first be made clear that Social Policy denotes the public welfare as the highest law, and that, as now understood, Social policy is really one of self-interest having no regard to the general welfare. All 133 sorts of careless promises are made, and those who make them must know from the start that it is impossible to fulfil them. Now that Germany is so powerless politically, economically and financially — which finds expression first in the Dawes Laws and now in the Young Law, and in the so-called policy of fulfilment which has laid burdens on our nation, making life almost impossible — it is both false and ridiculous to talk about 'Social Policy'. Now that German life is so cramped, when each man is treading on his neighbor and trying to get ahead of him and to shove him aside, when the different classes of the population are at variance, promises to favor one group at the expense of another are not 'Social Policy for the general good', but one of inciting one class against another. They know very well that a momentary 'improvement' is annulled by a higher cost of living and higher taxation. Social policy means something very different — a determination to solve the social problem. The out-of-luck, the exploited working classes believe that their just wages, their proper position in the social order is being withheld from them — hence class war. It is clear to all that our economic life is suffering from deep injuries; bitter injustice. And yet the conclusions drawn by Marxism with its 'class war' and its 'social and economic demands' of 'expropriating the expropriator' and 'socialization' are utterly false, for that strikes at all the true requirements of a genuine social policy, whose highest law is the general welfare. The leading principle of class war — as a principle of policy — is hatred. 'Expropriation of the expropriator' makes of envy a principle of economics, and 'socialization' means striking down personality in leadership, and setting up materialism, the mass, in the place of intellect and efficiency. Nothing further is needed to prove the utter breakdown of the Marxist doctrines, seeing the complete bankruptcy of the Communist system of economics and the miserable failure of the German Revolution of 1918. I would call my readers' particular attention to the fact that this pseudo-socialism, born of Marxism, is not founded on common sense nor on any 'social' idea, is not constructive, but remains sunk in the lowest depths of political thought, that it rests on the same general principle of crass and chaotic individualism as we have always known it to do. It is believed merely by a number of individuals, united by feelings of hatred and envy — not by any constructive purpose — against the other half of the nation. Can we be surprised that the social question is not, and cannot be, solved by this means, and that their sole solution is hatred and the desire for loot; that a living State could not result from the Marxist Stock Exchange revolt, but only a heap of ruins. Once again National Socialism finds the right word: Stock Exchange revolt. Marxism is an expression of capitalistic treason. Capitalistic, because when a society founded on individualism has fallen into chaos it of necessity falls under the sway of the great financial magnate. The social-political theories, which pretend to be 'anti-capitalistic' (Marxism, the war between classes) — Social policy as understood today — are necessarily capitalistic, for they share the same intellectual principle. They have not the wish to construct organically member by member, to interlock with painful 134 care the different classes working under the high conception of national unity, but their aspirations are purely selfish, their wish is to better their own position without regard to others. Capitalism and Marxism are one and the same! They grow on the same intellectual stem. There is a whole world of difference between them and us, their bitterest opponents. Our whole conception of the construction of society differs widely from theirs. It is neither a class- struggle nor class-selfishness, but — our chief law is the general welfare. 22. Great developments in Old Age Insurance by nationalizing life-annuities. Every member of the German nation shall be assured of enough to live upon on attaining a certain age, and before that age if permanently disabled. That is the solution of the social problem. It is not so much direct discontent with wages, salaries and incomes which causes social tension, as uncertainty, a man's anxiety about his later years, lest he may be flung on the streets. It is this gnawing anxiety which drives the various occupations to join together in sham-social organizations of the Marxist and capitalist types and embitters the animosity between employer and employee. It releases the basest instincts on both sides, and mutual animosity is the result. The worker's proper aim in life fades away in the struggle for a momentary increase of wages, and he never realizes what the great aim of social policy should be proper provision for old age. We note once again how the State discovered a good and commendable solution in the case of the official class, by providing for them after retirement. It is the proper and happy solution of the capitalist ideal of income, namely to convert it into the true State's ideal of provision, based on personal labor and efficiency. It will be the highest and noblest aim of National Socialism to realize this standard of general welfare. 23. Profit-sharing for all. The NSDAP identifies itself with this demand. It is in fact a. purely socialist demand in the proper sense of the word; nevertheless it comes to us as an attractive but corrupting present from capitalism. Sharing of profits arising out of the work of others comes under the head of the unearned income which is most sharply attacked by National Socialism. Sharing of the profits from a man's own work is a demand so natural and socially so just, that nothing can be advanced against it as a principle. It is in the carrying of it out that the difficulty arises, that is, in limiting the amount of the share due to the production, skill and industry of the worker, and of that due to the brainwork of the inventor, the accountant, the merchant, the management, and other circumstances connected with the business. It is of course highly important that the parties who increase the value of a product should not be left out of consideration. Even under the present system some part of the booty which capital hopes to get out of a business could be recovered for the worker. 135 We shall not discuss here the question of how later on the National Socialist State will solve the problem. I personally considered that a general lowering of prices, at the same time maintaining wages at the present level, would be the better and more practical way to fulfil the demand for sharing out the profits of the whole of our national production. It is however possible that the National Socialist State will solve the problem in a far more comprehensive manner than is conceived today by brains with a Marxist and capitalistic tendency. The present demand for profit sharing springs either from a desire for profits (essentially capitalistic), or from envy (essentially Marxist). In the ideal State alone, as we conceive it, is it justified, because, when we come to solve it, we must avoid the capitalistic method of granting a small share in the business, the sole object of which is to secure for the larger shareholders their right to their dividends, and also the Marxist idea of envy, for that debases the personal factor and injures the general public. We give a few examples for the sake of clarity. It does no good to the 'profit-sharing' workers in a shoe factory to get a few shares in the business or a small bonus or a pair of shoes at cost price, if they have to pay just as dear for their shirts, suits, socks, food and drink, because the tailors, bakers and brewers cover the greed of the clothiers, bakeries and breweries by their own 'profit-sharing'. Lowering of prices is the charm which must give every member of the nation a share in the profits of national production. It will not satisfy the feeling of social justice of a genuine National Socialist it the street-sweepers, daylaborers, railway-men, postmen, transport-workers, hospital-workers — to name only a few — , agricultural laborers, miners, builders' laborers, are to be excluded from profit- sharing, simply because these classes do not contribute to increase values. Also of agriculture, (in which not merely the details of farming have to be considered, but also the millions engaged in other businesses connected with it) it must be said that it 'pays' in years when the harvest is good; in the heavy industries also, the mines only yield a bare profit owing the pressure of world competition. Can we assert that these millions of workers and employees, who are often engaged in most important branches of industry, but who, owing to the circumstances, cannot hope for a direct share in the profits, are to get less consideration than the numerous class, who work perhaps as washers-up or porters in a nightclub or a Turkish bath, or in an optical or chemical factory enjoying a monopoly and supplying the whole world? Are the latter to share the profits and dividends on luxury production, are they to make it more and more impossible for the majority of the nation to attain to these advantages? We like to contemplate a shower of dividends, bonuses, Christmas presents of money poured out upon workers and officials, who have done splendid work for a business for years. Such aspirations of a socialpolitical nature need not be discussed and argued in this treatise on general principles. The demand, as 136 things are now, is an important demand, and one which should attract adherents. 'Profits' depend mainly on the general business situation and on the technical skill and salesmanship of the management; failure may come through faulty construction or a mistake in calculations. However skilled the workers may be, however industrious, they can have little or no influence on the results of the year's work, or on the gains or losses. Their efficiency justifies them in demanding a proper and sufficient wage, but there are no moral or economic grounds for their claiming a share in the profits. They would quite rightly resist the suggestion that they should cover any losses of the business year out of their savings; they would rightly resist being expected to make up, by a lowering of wages, for bad management or extravagant living on the part of the directors. But 'profit-sharing' is only justifiable if there is ability and readiness to share risks and losses, or if special efficiency merits it”. Here is one aspect of general profit sharing. Why, for instance, should the great dye-works of Germany, with their predominant position of monopoly, continue to be but a capitalistic milking cow for the shareholders of the I. G. Farbenindustrie, and at the best, by raising prices, give a share of profits to their workers and officials? It will be the task of the National Socialist State to see that huge monopolist profits shall be placed at the general disposal by a most generous lowering of prices. It is obvious that the problem is not a question of Social policy, but is closely bound up with the presentday capitalistic social order (shareholders’ claims). We wish to apply these shortly expressed principles; and to be guided by them in our aim of realizing profit sharing as widely as possible in all businesses in which the profits go exclusively into the pockets of professional financiers. 24. Expropriation of all profits not made by honest work, but through the war, the Revolution — and further — the stabilization and re-valuation of the mark; also the property of moneylenders and grabbers. This is a measure of punishment and justice, requiring no explanation under any principle. 25. Removal of the dearth of housing by extensive building throughout the Reich with the means provided under No. 20 (the bank for development). This closes the list of social-political demands. On the technical financial question not much can be said in this pamphlet, for it is a very large special subject, and one which, it would seem, only financial minds understand and which actually will have to be carried out by them. Religion and Art It is not possible to state on this subject more than a very few leading principles in the space of a programme. That has already been done. For the rest it must be our principle not to drag questions of religion into statements on general politics; although we may well treat the corrupting influence of the secret doctrines of Judaism as an object for public statements and attacks. 137 The same applies to all the stupid attacks on Christianity. Expressions such as “Christianity has only done harm” merely show that the man who says them has neither human nor political intelligence. One may well blame the Church for meddling in politics, and all good Christians will disapprove the cruelties practiced in the name of the Cross by the Inquisition and trials for witchcraft, but it is wrong to abuse in general terms the greatest phenomenon in human history for the mistakes and depravities of individuals. The Christian religion has raised and edified millions and millions and brought them to God by the way of suffering. The culture of the Middle Ages stood up in the sign of the Cross; achievement, sacrifice, courageous faith have their roots in Christianity. Thus we must be careful to distinguish the inner spiritual kernel of Christianity from the various forms of excrescence which have appeared upon it in its passage through history. Our Party stands upon the basis of positive Christianity. This is not the place to discuss all the problems, hopes and desires as to whether the German nation may at some time discover some new form for its religious beliefs and experiences; these are matters quite beyond the limits of a Programme such as that of National Socialism. It is of urgent importance to set our face against all the disruptive influences which are doing harm to our nation in the domain of art, literature, science, the stage, the moving pictures, and above all throughout the entire Press. Our Programme of principles — the 25 Points — goes far enough into detail for it to be unnecessary to say any more on this subject. Military and other Reforms The national Army, the Chambers of trades and professions, reform of the franchise and the law, are such vast questions affecting public: life, that they cannot be dismissed in a few sentences. The leading ideas are set out in the Programme itself, but the task of thinking and working them out and, above all, of grafting them on to the historical past will be the great problem of the coming years, when we hope that political power will be ours, and when we shall have be equipped with the force and knowledge necessary for taking over the business of the State. Here we have a rich field for research under National Socialism. The significance of National Socialism is shown by the fact that it leaves no domain of the national life untouched; for it provides an entirely new foundation on which we shall have to build up that life. What we do not desire In order to strengthen the positive side of our Programme it will be well to state shortly what we do not desire. We do not desire the wheels of history to turn backwards nor to restore to life dynasties which faded away, leaving hardly a trace of themselves — through their own fault. Nor do we desire to set the classes 138 that have been dethroned up again in their former privileged positions. The officer class and the officials are really no higher or better than any other professional class, in so far as they genuinely work in with our idea of serving the nation first of all. It is not uniform or gold lace, but performance, which make a man. We do not desire one-sided preference or artificial elevation for the working class, nor any kind of proletarian dictatorship. No man may talk himself” into believing that any class may, simply from having been oppressed in the past, assume a claim to be given power. Such aspirations, when translated into realities, unfailingly lead to terrible consequences, such as those which accompanied the Stock Exchange revolt of November 1918. So far it is not the 'oppressed' section of the population which are on top, but a crowd of political swindlers, greedy adventurers, profiteers, jabberers and fools, who have got possession of the political machine and the administration. The promised dictatorship of the proletariat has turned into The dictatorship of the 'Profitariat'. Even a new ordering of the State under National Socialism could have no hope of success unless it had at its disposal a very thoroughly trained staff of resolute men completely imbued with the principles of our Programme, serious men of energy and experience. Even with us too many pure demagogues would elbow their way in and reap advantage under the new order. It is much easier to criticize the faults of a collapsing social order than to do constructive work on it. We require not merely a new Party, slowly obtaining a footing in Parliament and administration, and then perhaps accepting a post or two in a coalition Ministry, only to get its back broken in the end — for then our part in history would be played out, just as today Social Democracy is finished as a political and intellectual force in Germany. The same applies to the German Nationalists, who have already gone back on their main principles in order to get seats in the Government. We do not want Ministers who take office purely for the sake of the position or for power, but we shall consider any such position as a stage towards our great objective. Between ourselves and the rest there is always the flaming sword of our world theory. On the one side the State, or rather the sham State, of the Liberal-democratic-parliamentary stamp, forced by necessity to mask the tyranny of the financiers, and at its feet a seething mob of Jew camp followers and place-hunters, fighting to make a living out of the system. On our side, the fight for the liberation and purification of our people, till we achieve the true State of social justice and national liberty. Conclusion We have seen again and again the single main principle which is drawn through all our arguments like a scarlet thread: National Socialism is a theory of the world, standing in sharp opposition to the present-day world of capitalism and its Marxist and bourgeois satellites. 139 Our life is a struggle in the service of this mighty idea, a struggle for a new Germany. We National Socialists wave our storm-banner before the world. Ever young, shining and glittering in the sun, rises the Hooked Cross, the symbol of re-awakening life. 140 7. Supplemental Documents Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front Depending on the instructor’s needs, students may be required either to read the novel (1929) or watch Lewis Milestone’s movie version from 1930. The Founding of the Republic Those who supported the formation of the Republic believed that there was no alternative. In late summer 1918 the German military was in a state of collapse, with Allied troops penetrating the Hindenburg Line and mounting a sustained offensive scoring daily advances towards Germany. The military leaders (especially the two generals who had ruled since 1916 as virtual dictators, von Hindenburg and Ludendorff) knew they could no longer win let alone prevent an invasion of Germany, and they informed the political leaders that they had to sue for peace before winter came and all was lost. But the army and navy soon began to mutiny. A Russian style revolution seemed inevitable. The Kaiser hesitated and then abdicated. A hastily formed coalition cabinet signed an armistice, then allied itself with the remnants of the military and nationalists to put down a more radical uprising in December and January (the so-called Sparticist Uprising). Almost immediately, however, conservative opponents of the Republic questioned the legitimacy of the new state. At the time of the armistice, no Allied force had crossed the German frontier; the Western Front was still almost 1,400 km from Berlin; Russia had been defeated and France almost defeated in the Spring Offensive of 1918. Many concluded, despite the assessment by military leaders, that the Kaiser’s armies had not been defeated in the field. How, then, if the military were winning could Germany have lost the war? They concluded that Germany had been stabbed in the back from the home front by socialists, Jews, and democrats who launched strikes in the arms industry at a critical moment of the offensive, leaving soldiers with an inadequate supply of materiel. These civilians were thus culpable of treason and dubbed “November Traitors,” undermined the war effort and then used the crisis to seize power, signing the treacherous Treaty of Versailles then setting up a cabinet run by special interests Those on the far left were equally disaffected with the new state since it seemed to deny the full revolutionary socialist potential of the moment. In 1914 the SPD had revealed how integrated it had become to German society, actually voting to support the war. For the left-wing of the party, the SPD had betrayed its revolutionary roots and the working class, and embraced the false idea that socialism could be achieved through parliamentary reform. Even as millions of Germans died in the field, the SPD continued to support the monarchy. However, discontent grew in the party. By 1918, inspired by the Russian Revolution, the left had broken with the SPD and created a radical alternative, one that would emerge as the KPD. During the revolutionary wave of 1918 and 1919, as more workers and soldiers demanded a sweeping revolution, the SPD aligned itself with the old elites and mobilized the military and right-wing paramilitary Freikorps to crush the workers’ revolt, even allowing the assassination of the socialist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. For the newly emerging KPD, the Republic is thus the result of bourgeois-democratic elements rather than proletarian-socialists. It represents compromise and continuity with the same capitalist forces that brought about the War and now the global economic crisis. 141 Philipp Scheidemann, Proclamation of the German Republic (9 November 1918) [EDITOR’S NOTE: Philipp Scheidemann, SPD deputy chair, reluctantly declared a republic from the balcony of the Reichstag in order to prevent a more radical communist revolution. He only did so when he was informed that Karl Liebknecht, the leader of the emerging Communist Party, was about to declare a socialist republic that very day.] “Workers and soldiers! The four war years were horrible, gruesome the sacrifices the people had to make in property and blood; the unfortunate war is over. The killing is over. The consequences of the war, need and suffering, will burden us for many years. The defeat we strove so hard to avoid, under all circumstances, has come upon us. Our suggestions regarding an understanding were sabotaged, we personally were mocked and ignored. The enemies of the working class, the real, inner enemies who are responsible for Germany’s collapse, they have turned silent and invisible. They were the home warriors, which upheld their conquest demands until yesterday, as obstinate as they fought the struggle against any reform of the constitution and especially of the deplorable Prussian election system. These enemies of the people are finished forever. The Kaiser has abdicated. He and his friends have disappeared; the people have won over all of them, in every field. Prince Max von Baden has handed over the office of Reich chancellor to Representative Ebert. Our friend will form a new government consisting of workers of all socialist parties. This new government may not be interrupted, in their work to preserve peace and to care for work and bread. Workers and soldiers, be aware of the historic importance of this day: exorbitant things have happened. Great and incalculable tasks are waiting for us. Everything for the people. Everything by the people. Nothing may happen to the dishonor of the Labor Movement. Be united, faithful and conscientious. The old and rotten, the monarchy has collapsed. The new may live. Long live the German Republic.” Karl Liebknecht, Proclamation of the Free Socialist Republic (9 November 1918) [EDITOR’S NOTE: Karl Liebknecht had been a leading member of the radical left wing of the SPD – his father, Wilhelm Liebknecht, had been one of the founders of the SPD – giving Karl an exceptional authority within the party. However, he is best known for his opposition to World War I in the Reichstag and his role in the Spartacist uprising of 1919. As part of the uprising, he and Rosa Luxemburg founded the Spartacist League and then the Communist Party of Germany. The uprising was crushed by the social democrat government and the Freikorps, during which Liebknecht and Luxemburg were killed, leading to a lasting bitterness between the SPD and KPD. After his death, he became a martyr for the left – killed on the orders of the SPD (in the view of the KPD) or by right-wing paramilitaries (in the view of the SPD).] SOURCE: Karl Liebknecht, Proclamation of the Free Socialist Republic (9 November 1918) The day of the revolution has come. We have enforced peace. Peace has been concluded in this moment. The old has gone. The rule of the Hohenzollern, who have resided in this palace for centuries, is over. In this very hour we proclaim the Free Socialist Republic of Germany. We greet our Russian brethren, which have been ignominiously chased out four days ago ... The day of liberty has begun. Never again a Hohenzollern will enter this place. 70 years ago at this place Friedrich Wilhelm IV was standing, and he had to take off his cap to honor the 50 corpses, covered with blood, of those who died fighting at the barricades in the defense of the cause of liberty. Another defile passes here today. It is the spirits of the millions who have given their lives for the sacred cause of the proletariat. With a split scull, soaked in blood these victims of the rule of force totter along, followed by the spirits of millions of women and 142 children who were depraved in the cause of the proletariat. And further millions of blood-victims of this very world war follow them. Today an incalculable mass of inspired proletarians stands at this very place, to pay homage to the liberty newly gained. Party comrades, I proclaim the Free Socialist Republic of Germany, which shall include all tribes, where there are no more servants, where every honest worker will receive his honest pay. The rule of capitalism, which has turned Europe into a cemetery, is broken ... We have to collect all our force to establish a government of workers and soldiers, to create a new stately order of the proletariat, an order of peace, of fortune, of liberty of our German brethren and of our brethren all over the world. We stretch out our hands to them and call on them to complete the world revolution. Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1919) [EDITOR’S NOTE: The Treaty of Versailles, which ended formal hostilities between Germany and the Entente Powers, was a complicated document with hundreds of articles regulating not just relations with Germany but also international affairs, such as the creation of the League of Nations. The elements below are a brief synopsis of the main provisions as they related to Germany.] Article 80. Germany will respect the independence of Austria. [EDITOR’S NOTE: In a strong rebuttal of self-determination, Austria was prohibited from unifying with Germany even though the decision was virtually uaninmous in Austria and in Germany. Austria was even forbidden from calling itself “German Austria” and forced by the Allies to rewrite its new democratic constitution to forbid unification.] Article 81. Germany recognizes the complete independence of Czechoslovakia. [EDITOR’S NOTE: No such state had ever existed as a unified territory, and large numbers of Germanspeakers now found themselves cut off from Austria and not allowed to join Germany. No plebiscite for self-determination was allowed for German speakers in the new Czechoslovakian state.] Article 87. Germany recognizes the complete independence of Poland. [EDITOR’S NOTE: In largest of its territorial loses, Germany was forced to cede two large eastern provinces – Western Prussia, Posen, and Upper Silesia – to the recreated state of Poland. The annexation left almost a million German-speakers inside of Poland, though the Treaty regulated and guaranteed their rights. They were, however, forbidden from self determination. All combined, the treaty compelled Germany to surrender 25,000 square miles and 7,000,000 people in Europe also including: the provinces of Alsace and much of Lorraine to France; Eupen-Malmedy to Belgium; Northern Schleswig to Denmark (following a plebiscite on 14 February 1920); parts of Upper Silesia to Czechoslovakia (disregarding results of a pro-German plebiscite); Saar, Danzig, and Memel to League of Nations (Memel annexed by Lithuania in 1923); and the loss of all lands ceded by Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918.] 119. Germany surrenders all her rights and titles over her overseas countries. [EDITOR’S NOTE: All of Germany’s, admittedly limited, overseas colonies were placed under control of various nations through the League of Nations – primarily the United Kingdom and France though with 143 some Pacific holdings going to Japan. Theses “mandates” were effectively run as new colonies where the local populations continued to be denied self determination] Article 159. The German military forces shall be demobilized and reduced not to exceed 100,000 men. Article 181. The German navy must not exceed 6 battleships, 6 light cruisers, 12 destroyers, and 12 torpedo boats. No submarines are to be included. Article 198. The Armed Forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Ostensibly part of broader initiative to disarm globally, Germany’s armed forces were all but eliminated without any concomitant disarmament on the part of the victors. Other clauses required that enlisted men serve for at least 12 years, that officers be retained for at least 25 years to discourage training reserves; that no import or export of weapons, no poison gas, armed aircraft, tanks or armored cars be allowed; and that the manufacture of machine guns and rifles be restricted. For the navy, the German fleet was surrendered to the United Kingdom at Scapa Flow, Scotland; German naval forces limited to 15,000 men, six battleships (no more than 10,000 tons displacement each), six cruisers (no more than 6,000 tons displacement each), 12 destroyers (no more than 800 tons displacement each) and 12 torpedo boats (no more than 200 tons displacement each); No submarines allowed] Article 231. Germany and her Allies accept the responsibility for causing all the loss and damage to the Allied Powers. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The so-called “War Guilt Clause” was originally added in order to get the French and Belgians to agree to reduce the sum of money that Germany would have to pay to compensate for war damage. The article was seen as a concession to the Germans by the negotiators. However, it was perceived by almost every German as the deepest insult since it placed a moral onus on Germany and implied that its sacrifices had not only be in vain but had been immoral. It also justified the ensuing clause regarding reparations. To reinforce the accusation that Germany acted criminally an additional article charged former German Emperor Wilhelm II with “supreme offence[s] against international morality and the sanctity of treaties,” declaring that “the Government of the Netherlands surrender to them of the exEmperor in order that he may be put on trial.” Other articles note the right of the “Allied and Associated Powers to bring before military tribunals” people believed to have committed war crimes and compel Germany to “furnish all documents and information of every kind, the production of which may be considered necessary to ensure the full knowledge of the incriminating acts, the discovery of offenders and the just appreciation of responsibility.”] Article 233. Germany will pay for all damages done to the civilian population and property of the Allied Governments. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The figure was later set at around 226 billion Marks, ($33 billion) by the Inter-Allied Reparations Commission, but renegotiated downwards in the Dawes Act and the again in Young Plan. It was regarded by Germans as a constant reminder of its humiliation – a fact more important than any real or imagined economic impact. More important economically was that all merchant shipping was surrendered to the Allies in compensation for Allied shipping losses during the war, and Germany lost 144 vital industrial territory such as the coal fields from the Saar and Upper Silesia.] Article 428. To guarantee the execution of the Treaty, the German territory situated to the west of the Rhine River will be occupied by Allied troops for fifteen years. [EDITOR’S NOTE: German armed forces were prohibited from entering any part of German territory within 50 kilometers east of the Rhine for 15 years until 1935. While meant to prevent rearming of the border it was seen as the most significant denial of national sovereignty by the Treaty.] Article 431. The occupation forces will be withdrawn as soon as Germany complies with the Treaty. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Occupation had in fact withdrawn by 1925, but the humiliating memory was kept alive by the conservative press through the constant stories of the “Rhineland Bastards.”] The German Delegates' Protest against the Proposed "Peace" Terms (May 1919) [EDITOR’S NOTE: When the full severity of the Treaty and the exclusion of German representatives as negotiating partners became apparent, the initial reaction was to try to appeal to the Allies’ sense of fairness based on international precedents. Foreign Minister Brockdorff-Rantzau wrote the “Protest” to French Premiere Clemenceau, accepting German defeat and the inevitable concessions that this would incur, but trying to instill some restraint on the Allies’ revanchism (to no avail.)] Mr. President: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith the observations of the German delegation on the draft treaty of peace. We came to Versailles in the expectation of receiving a peace proposal based on the agreed principles. We were firmly resolved to do everything in our power with a view of fulfilling the grave obligations which we had undertaken. We hoped for the peace of justice which had been promised to us. We were aghast when we read in documents the demands made upon us, the victorious violence of our enemies. The more deeply we penetrate into the spirit of this treaty, the more convinced we become of the impossibility of carrying it out. The exactions of this treaty are more than the German people can bear. With a view to the re-establishment of the Polish State we must renounce indisputably German territory nearly the whole of the Province of West Prussia, which is preponderantly German; of Pomerania; Danzig, which is German to the core; we must let that ancient Hanse town be transformed into a free State under Polish suzerainty. We must agree that East Prussia shall be amputated from the body of the State, condemned to a lingering death, and robbed of its northern portion, including Memel, which is purely German. We must renounce Upper Silesia for the benefit of Poland and Czecho-Slovakia, although it has been in close political connection with Germany for more than 750 years, is instinct with German life, and forms the very foundation of industrial life throughout East Germany. Preponderantly German circles (Kreise) must be ceded to Belgium, without sufficient guarantees that the plebiscite, which is only to take place afterward, will be independent. The purely German district of the 145 Saar must be detached from our empire, and the way must be paved for its subsequent annexation to France, although we owe her debts in coal only, not in men. For fifteen years Rhenish territory must be occupied, and after those fifteen years the Allies have power to refuse the restoration of the country; in the interval the Allies can take every measure to sever the economic and moral links with the mother country, and finally to misrepresent the wishes of the indigenous population. Although the exaction of the cost of the war has been expressly renounced, yet Germany, thus cut in pieces and weakened, must declare herself ready in principle to bear all the war expenses of her enemies, which would exceed many times over the total amount of German State and private assets. Meanwhile her enemies demand, in excess of the agreed conditions, reparation for damage suffered by their civil population, and in this connection Germany must also go bail for her allies. The sum to be paid is to be fixed by our enemies unilaterally, and to admit of subsequent modification and increase. No limit is fixed, save the capacity of the German people for payment, determined not by their standard of life, but solely by their capacity to meet the demands of their enemies by their labor. The German people would thus be condemned to perpetual slave labor. In spite of the exorbitant demands, the reconstruction of our economic life is at the same time rendered impossible. We must surrender our merchant fleet. We are to renounce all foreign securities. We are to hand over to our enemies our property in all German enterprises abroad, even in the countries of our allies. Even after the conclusion of peace the enemy States are to have the right of confiscating all German property. No German trader in their countries will be protected from these war measures. We must completely renounce our colonies, and not even German missionaries shall have the right to follow their calling therein. We most thus renounce the realization of all our aims in the spheres of politics, economics, and ideas. Even in internal affairs we are to give up the right to self-determination. The international Reparation Commission receives dictatorial powers over the whole life of our people in economic and cultural matters. Its authority extends far beyond that which the empire, the German Federal Council, and the Reichstag combined ever possessed within the territory of the empire. This commission has unlimited control over the economic life of the State, of communities, and of individuals. Further, the entire educational and sanitary system depends on it. It can keep the whole German people in mental thralldom. In order to increase the payments due, by the thrall, the commission can hamper measures for the social protection of the German worker. In other spheres also Germany's sovereignty is abolished. Her chief waterways are subjected to international administration; she must construct in her territory such canals and such railways as her enemies wish; she must agree to treaties the contents of which are unknown to her, to be concluded by her enemies with the new States on the east, even when they concern her own functions. The German people are excluded from the League of Nations, to which is entrusted all work of common interest to the world. Thus must a whole people sign the decree for its proscription, nay, its own death sentence. 146 Germany knows that she must make sacrifices in order to attain peace. Germany knows that she has, by agreement, undertaken to make these sacrifices, and will go in this matter to the utmost limits of her capacity. Counter-proposals 1. Germany offers to proceed with her own disarmament in advance of all other peoples, in order to show that she will help to usher in the new era of the peace of justice. She gives up universal compulsory service and reduces her army to 100,000 men, except as regards temporary measures. She even renounces the warships which her enemies are still willing to leave in her hands. She stipulates, however, that she shall be admitted forthwith as a State with equal rights into the League of Nations. She stipulates that a genuine League of Nations shall come into being, embracing all peoples of goodwill, even her enemies of today. The League must be inspired by a feeling of responsibility toward mankind and have at its disposal a power to enforce its will sufficiently strong and trusty to protect the frontiers of its members. 2. In territorial questions Germany takes up her position unreservedly on the ground of the Wilson program. She renounces her sovereign right in Alsace-Lorraine, but wishes a free plebiscite to take place there. She gives up the greater part of the province of Posen, the district incontestably Polish in population, together with the capital. She is prepared to grant to Poland, under international guarantees, free and secure access to the sea by ceding free ports at Danzig, Konigsberg, and Memel, by an agreement regulating the navigation of the Vistula and by special railway conventions. Germany is prepared to insure the supply of coal for the economic needs of France, especially from the Saar region, until such time as the French mines are once more in working order. The preponderantly Danish districts of Schleswig will be given up to Denmark on the basis of a plebiscite. Germany demands that the right of self-determination shall also be respected where the interests of the Germans in Austria and Bohemia are concerned. She is ready to subject all her colonies to administration by the community of the League of Nations, if she is recognized as its mandatory. 3. Germany is prepared to make payments incumbent on her in accordance with the agreed program of peace up to a maximum sum of 100,000,000,000 gold marks, 20,000,000,000 by May 1, 1926, and the balance (80,000,000,000) in annual payments, without interest. These payments shall in principle be equal to a fixed percentage of the German Imperial and State revenues. The annual payment shall approximate to the former peace budget. For the first ten years the annual payments shall not exceed 1,000,000,000 gold marks a year. The German taxpayer shall not be less heavily burdened than the taxpayer of the most heavily burdened State among those represented on the Reparation Commission. Germany presumes in this connection that she will not have to make any territorial sacrifices beyond those mentioned above and that she will recover her freedom of economic movement at home and abroad. 4. Germany is prepared to devote her entire economic strength to the service of the reconstruction. She wishes to cooperate effectively in the reconstruction of the devastated regions of Belgium and Northern France. To make good the loss in production of the destroyed mines of Northern France, up to 20,000,000 tons of coal will be delivered annually for the first five years, and up to 80,000,000 tons for the next five years. Germany will facilitate further deliveries of coal to France, Belgium, Italy, and Luxemburg. Germany is, moreover, prepared to make considerable deliveries of benzol, coal tar, and sulphate of ammonia, as well as dyestuffs and medicines. 147 5. Finally, Germany offers to put her entire merchant tonnage into a pool of the world's shipping, to place at the disposal of her enemies a part of her freight space as part payment of reparation and to build for them for a series of years in German yards an amount of tonnage exceeding their demands. 6. In order to replace the river boats destroyed in Belgium and Northern France, Germany offers river craft from her own resources. 7. Germany thinks that she sees an appropriate method for the prompt fulfilment of her obligation to make reparations conceding participation in coal mines to insure deliveries of coal. 8. Germany, in accordance with the desires of the workers of the whole world, wishes to insure to them free and equal rights. She wishes to insure to them in the Treaty of Peace the right to take their own decisive part in the settlement of social policy and social protection. 9. The German delegation again makes its demand for a neutral inquiry into the responsibility for the war and culpable acts in conduct. An impartial commission should have the right to investigate on its own responsibility the archives of all the belligerent countries and all the persons who took an important part in the war. Nothing short of confidence that the question of guilt will be examined dispassionately can leave the peoples lately at war with each other in the proper frame of mind for the formation of the League of Nations. These are only the most important among the proposals which we have to make. As regards other great sacrifices, and also as regards the details, the delegation refers to the accompanying memorandum and the annex thereto. The time allowed us for the preparation of this memorandum was so short that it was impossible to treat all the questions exhaustively. A fruitful and illuminating negotiation could only take place by means of oral discussion. This treaty of peace is to be the greatest achievement of its kind in all history. There is no precedent for the conduct of such comprehensive negotiations by an exchange of written notes only. The feeling of the peoples who have made such immense sacrifices makes them demand that their fate should be decided by an open, unreserved exchange of ideas on the principle: "Quite open covenants of peace openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly in the public view." Germany is to put her signature to the treaty laid before her and to carry it out. Even in her need, justice for her is too sacred a thing to allow her to stoop to achieve conditions which she cannot undertake to carry out. Treaties of peace signed by the great powers have, it is true, in the history of the last decades, again and again proclaimed the right of the stronger. But each of these treaties of peace has been a factor in originating and prolonging the world war. Whenever in this war the victor has spoken to the vanquished, at Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest, his words were but the seeds of future discord. The lofty aims which our adversaries first set before themselves in their conduct of the war, the new era of an assured peace of justice, demand a treaty instinct with a different spirit. Only the cooperation of all nations, a cooperation of hands and spirits, can build up a durable peace. 148 We are under no delusions regarding the strength of the hatred and bitterness which this war has engendered, and yet the forces which are at work for a union of mankind are stronger now than ever they were before. The historic task of the Peace Conference of Versailles is to bring about this union. Accept, Mr. President, the expression of my distinguished consideration. BROCKDORFF-RANTZAU John Maynard Keynes on German reparations and Germany’s capacity to pay (1919) A capacity of £38,000 million or even of £35,000 million is not within the limits of reasonable possibility. It is for those who believe that Germany can make an annual payment amounting to hundreds of millions sterling to say in what specific commodities they intend this payment to be made, and in what markets the goods are to be sold. Until they proceed to some degree of detail, and are able to produce some tangible argument in favour of their conclusions, they do not deserve to be believed. I make three provisos [if Germany is to be able to meet her obligations]: First: if the Allies were to ‘nurse’ the trade and industry of Germany for a period of five or ten years, supplying her with large loans, and with ample shipping, food, and raw materials during that period, building up markets for her, and deliberately applying all their resources and goodwill to making her the greatest industrial nation in Europe, if not in the world, a substantially larger sum could probably be extracted thereafter; for Germany is capable of very great productivity. Second: I assume that there will be no revolutionary change in the purchasing power of our unit of value. If the value of gold were to sink to a half or a tenth of its present value, the real burden of a payment fixed in terms of gold would be reduced proportionately. If a gold sovereign comes to be worth what a shilling is worth now, then, of course, Germany can pay a larger sum than I have named, measured in gold sovereigns. Third, I assume that there will be revolutionary change in the yield of nature and material to man’s labour. It is not impossible that the progress of science should bring within our reach methods and devices by which the whole standard of life would be raised immeasurably, and a given volume of products would represent but a portion of the human effort which it represents now. In this case all standards of ‘capacity’ would be changed everywhere… In 1870 no man could have predicted Germany’s capacity in 1910. We cannot expect to legislate for a generation or more. The secular changes in man’s economic condition and the liability of human forecast to error are as likely to lead to mistake in one direction as in another. We cannot as reasonable men do better than base our policy on the evidence we have and adapt it to the five or ten years over which we may suppose ourselves to have some measure of prevision… The fact that we have no adequate knowledge of Germany’s capacity to pay over a long period of years is no justification (as I have heard some people claim that it is) for the statement that she can pay ten thousand million pounds… 149 The vast expenditures of the war, the inflation of prices, and the depreciation of currency, leading up to a complete instability of the unit of value, have made us lose all sense of number and magnitude in matters of finance. What we believed to be the limits of possibility have been so enormously exceeded, and those who founded their expectations on the past have been so often wrong, that the man in the street is now prepared to believe anything which is told him with some show of authority, and the larger the figure the more readily he swallows it. Weimar Constitution (11 August 1919) aka The Constitution of the German Empire SOURCE: Louis L. Snyder, trans. and ed., Documents of German History, 385-392. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1958. Preamble: The German people, united in all their racial elements, and inspired by the will to renew and strengthen their Reich in liberty and justice, to preserve peace at home and abroad and to foster social progress, have established the following constitution: CHAPTER I: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE REICH Section I: Reich and States ARTICLE 1: The German Reich is a Republic. Political authority emanates from the people. ARTICLE 4: The generally accepted rules of international law are to be considered as binding integral parts of the German Reich. ARTICLE 5: Political authority is exercised in national affairs by the national government in accordance with the Constitution of the Reich, and in state affairs by the state governments in accordance with the constitutions. ARTICLE 10: The Reich may by law prescribe fundamental principles with respect to: (1) Rights and duties of religious associations. (2) Education, including higher education and scientific libraries. (4) Land titles, land distribution, land colonization and homesteads, entail, housing, and distribution of the population. Section II: The Reichstag ARTICLE 20: The Reichstag is composed of the delegates of the German people. ARTICLE 21: The delegates are representatives of the whole people. They are subject only to their own conscience and are not bound by any instructions. ARTICLE 22: The delegates are elected by universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage by men and women over twenty years of age, according to the principle of proportional representation. ARTICLE 23: The Reichstag is elected for four years. ARTICLE 25: The Reich president has the right to dissolve the Reichstag, but only once for the same reason. ARTICLE 32: For decisions of the Reichstag a simple majority vote is necessary, unless the Constitution prescribes another proportion of votes. 150 ARTICLE 33: The Reichstag and its committees may require the presence of the Reich Chancellor and every Reich Minister. Section III: The Reich President and the Reich Cabinet ARTICLE 41: The Reich President is elected by the whole German people. ARTICLE 42: On assuming office, the Reich President shall take the following oath before the Reichstag: I swear to devote my energies to the well-being of the German people, to further their interests, to guard them from injury, to maintain the Constitution and the laws of the Reich, to fulfill my duties conscientiously, and to administer justice for all. It is permissible to add religious affirmation. ARTICLE 43: The term of office of the Reich President is seven years. Re-election is permissible. Before the expiration of his term, the Reich President, upon motion of the Reichstag, may be recalled by a popular vote. The decision of the Reichstag shall be by a two-thirds majority. Through such decision the Reich President is denied any further exercise of his office. The rejection of the recall motion by the popular referendum counts as a new election and results in the dissolution of the Reichstag. ARTICLE 48: If any state does not fulfill the duties imposed upon it by the Constitution or the laws of the Reich, the Reich President may enforce such duties with the aid of the armed forces. In the event that the public order and security are seriously disturbed or endangered, the Reich President may take the measures necessary for their restoration, intervening, if necessary, with the aid of the armed forces. For this purpose he may temporarily abrogate, wholly or in part, the fundamental principles laid down in Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153. The Reich President must, without delay, inform the Reichstag of all measures taken under Paragraph 1 or Paragraph 2 of this Article. The Reichstag may vote to annul these measures. ARTICLE 49: The Reich president exercises the right of amnesty. Reich amnesties require a Reich law. ARTICLE 50: All orders and decrees of the Reich President, including those relating to the armed forces, must, in order to be valid, be countersigned by the Reich Chancellor or by the appropriate Reich Minister. Responsibility is assumed through the countersignature. ARTICLE 52: The Reich Cabinet consists of the Reich Chancellor and the Reich Ministers. ARTICLE 53: The Reich Chancellor and, on his recommendation, the Reich Ministers, are appointed and dismissed by the Reich President. ARTICLE 54: The Reich Chancellor and the Reich Ministers require for the exercise of their office the confidence of the Reichstag. Any one of them must resign if the Reichstag by formal resolution withdraws its confidence. ARTICLE 55: The Reich Chancellor presides over the government of the Reich and conducts its affairs according to the rules of procedure laid down by the government of the Reich and approved by the Reich President. 151 ARTICLE 56: The Reich Chancellor determines the political program of the Reich and assumes responsibility to the Reichstag. Within this general policy each Reich Minister conducts independently the office entrusted to him and is held individually responsible to the Reichstag. Section V: Reich Legislation ARTICLE 61: German-Austria shall, after it has joined the German Realm, have the right to participate in the Council of the Realm with such a number of mandates as shall correspond to the size of the population. Until that time the representatives of German-Austria shall have an advisory vote. ARTICLE 68: Bills are introduced by the Reich cabinet or by members of the Reichstag. Reich laws shall be enacted by the Reichstag. ARTICLE 76: The Constitution may be amended by law, but acts amending the Constitution can only take effect if two thirds of the legal number of members are present and at least two thirds of those present consent. CHAPTER II: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE GERMANS Section I: The Individual ARTICLE 109: All Germans are equal before the law. Men and women have the same fundamental civil rights and duties. Public legal privileges or disadvantages of birth or of rank are abolished. Titles of nobility may be bestowed no longer. Orders and decorations shall not be conferred by the state. No German shall accept titles or orders from a foreign government. ARTICLE 114: Personal liberty is inviolable. Curtailment or deprivation of personal liberty by a public authority is permissible only by authority of law. ARTICLE 118: Every German has the right, within the limits of the general laws, to express his opinion freely by word, in writing, in print, in picture form, or in any other way. Censorship is forbidden. Section II: The General Welfare ARTICLE 123: All Germans have the right to assembly peacefully and unarmed without giving notice and without special permission. ARTICLE 124: All Germans have the right to form associations and societies for purposes not contrary to the criminal law. Section III: Religion and Religious Societies ARTICLE 135: All inhabitants of the Reich enjoy full religious freedom and freedom of conscience. The free exercise of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution and is under public protection. ARTICLE 137: There is no state church. 152 Section IV: Education and the Schools ARTICLE 142: Art, science, and the teaching thereof are free. ARTICLE 143: The education of the young is to be provided for by means of public institutions. ARTICLE 144: The entire school system is under the supervision of the state. ARTICLE 145: Attendance at school is compulsory. ARTICLE 149: Religious instruction is a regular subject at schools, except at schools without confession. Its instruction will be regulated by school legislation. It will be taught in accordance with the principles of the respective religious community, notwithstanding the state's right of supervision. Religious instruction and participation in religious activities remains a willful activity of teachers; in case of the children participation in religious instruction and ceremonies is left to the decision of those who have to decide over their religious education. Section V: Economic Life ARTICLE 151: The regulation of economic life must be compatible with the principles of justice, with the aim of attaining human conditions of existence for all. Within these limits the economic liberty of the individual is assured. ARTICLE 152: Freedom of contract prevails in accordance with the laws. ARTICLE 153: The right of private property is guaranteed by the Constitution. Expropriation of property may only take place by due process of law. ARTICLE 155: The distribution and use of the soil shall be controlled by the state in such a manner as to prevent abuse and to promote the object of assuring to every German a healthful habitation and to all German families, especially those with many children, homesteads for living and working that are suitable to their needs. Discharged soldiers shall receive special consideration in the homestead law that is to be drafted. Landed property the acquisition of which is necessary for the satisfaction of the demand for dwellings, for the promotion of colonization and reclamation, or for the improvement of agriculture may be expropriated. Entailments shall be abolished. ARTICLE 156: The Reich may by law, without prejudicing the right of compensation, and with due application of the provisions in force with regard to expropriation, transfer to public ownership private economic enterprises suitable for socialization. Moreover, in case of pressing need, the Reich may, in the interest of collectivism, combine by law, on a basis of administrative autonomy, economic enterprises and associations, in order to secure the cooperation of all human elements of production, to give to employers and employees a share in management, and to regulate the manufacture, production, distribution, use, and prices, as well as the import and export, of economic goods upon collectivist principles. 153 ARTICLE 159: Freedom of association for the preservation and promotion of labor and economic conditions is guaranteed to everyone and to all vocations. All agreements and measures attempting to restrict or restrain this freedom are unlawful. ARTICLE 161: The Reich shall organize a comprehensive system of [social] insurance. ARTICLE 165: Workers and employees are called upon to cooperate, on an equal footing, with employers in the regulation of wages and of the conditions of labor, as well as in the general development of the productive forces. Concluding Provisions ARTICLE 181: The German people have passed and adopted this Constitution through their National Assembly. It comes into force with the date of its proclamation. Schwarzburg, August 11, 1919. Paul von Hindenburg, The Stab in the Back (1919) [EDITOR’S NOTE: The excerpt is from testimony given before a Reichstag commission to investigate the causes of the war and Germany’s defeat. It is the first public articulation of the “stab-in-the back’ theory.] SOURCE: Stenographischer Bericht über die öffentlichen Verhandlungen des 15. Untersuchungsausschusses der verfassunggebenden Nationalversanurnlung, testimony delivered on November 18, 1919, vol. 2 (Berlin, 1920), 700 701. General Field Marshall v. Hindenburg: History will render the final judgment on that about which I may give no further details here. At the time we still hoped that the will to victory would dominate everything else. When we assumed our post we made a series of proposals to the Reich leadership which aimed at combining all forces at the nation's disposal for a quick and favorable conclusion to the war; at the same time, they demonstrated to the government its enormous tasks. What finally became of our proposals, once again partially because of the influence of the parties, is known. I wanted forceful and cheerful cooperation and instead encountered failure and weakness. Chairman: That, too, is a value judgment, against which I must enter a definite protest. von Hindenburg: The concern as to whether the homeland would remain resolute until the war was won, from this moment on, never left us. We often raised a warning voice to the Reich government. At this time, the secret intentional mutilation of the feet and the army began as a continuation of similar occurrences in peace time. The effects of these endeavors were not concealed from the supreme army command during the last year of the war. The obedient troops who remained immune to revolutionary attrition suffered greatly from the behavior, in violation of duty, of their revolutionary comrades; they had to carry the battle the whole time. (Chairman's bell. Commotion and shouting.) Chairman: Please continue, General Field Marshall. 154 von Hindenburg: The intentions of the command could no longer be executed. Our repeated proposals for strict discipline and strict legislation were not adopted. Thus did our operations necessarily miscarry; the collapse was inevitable; the revolution only provided the keystone. (Commotion and shouting.) An English general said with justice: "The German army was stabbed in the back." No guilt applies to the good core of the army. Its achievements are just as admirable as those of the officer corps. Where the guilt lies has clearly been demonstrated. If it needed more proof, then it would be found in the quoted statement of the English general and in the boundless astonishment of our enemies at their victory. That is the general trajectory of the tragic development of the war for Germany, after a series of brilliant, unsurpassed successes on many fronts, following an accomplishment by the army and the people for which no praise is high enough. This trajectory had to be established so that the military measures for which we are responsible could be correctly evaluated. International Relations Stresemann on German admittance to the League of Nations (1925) [EDITOR’S NOTE: In a private letter, Stresemann outlines the pragmatic view that underscore not only his approach to the League of Nations but also the entire post-war international settlement established in the Treaty of Versailles and, by extension, the relationship of the German Republic to that new world order.] On the question of Germany’s entry into the League I would make the following observations: In my opinion there are three great tasks that confront German foreign policy in the more immediate future. In the first place the solution of the Reparations question in a sense tolerable for Germany, and the assurance of peace, which is an essential premise for the recovery of our strength. Secondly, the protection of Germans abroad, those 10 to 12 million of our kindred who now live under a foreign yoke in foreign lands. The third great task is the re-adjustment of our eastern frontiers; the recovery of Danzig, the Polish corridor, and a correction of the frontier in Upper Silesia. In the background stands the union with German Austria, although I am quite clear that this not merely brings no advantages to Germany, but seriously complicates the problems of the German Reich. If we want to secure these aims, we must concentrate on these tasks… The question of a choice between east and west does not arise as a result of our joining the League. Such a choice can only be made when backed by military force. That, alas we do not possess… German policy will be one of finesse and the avoidance of great decisions. Freedom Law (Law against the Enslavement of the German People, 1929) [EDITOR’S NOTE: The DNVP, in coalition with a variety of ultranationalist groups is actively encouraging a return to the Katastrophenpolitik of 1923 by openly defying the requirements of the Versailles Treaty.] 155 (1) The German Government shall notify all foreign powers immediately and solemnly that the extorted acknowledgment of war guilt in the treaty of Versailles is contrary to historical truth; is based on false premises and is not binding in international law. (2) The German Government shall use all endeavors to secure the annulment of the war guilt acknowledgment contained in Art. 231 and Art. 429 and 430 of the treaty of Versailles. It shall also undertake to secure the immediate and unconditional evacuation of the occupied German territories, without any remaining control commissions, independently of the acceptance or the rejection of the decisions of the Hague conference. (3) No further financial burdens or obligations based on the war guilt acknowledgment shall be assumed, inclusive of those arising from the recommendations of the Paris reparation experts and the subsequent agreements. (4) The chancellor and ministers or representatives of the Reich who lend their signatures to agreements contrary to the provisions of par. 3 shall render themselves liable to prosecution for high treason. (5) This law enters into force at the moment of its proclamation.21 Communique Opposing the Freedom Law (1929) [EDITOR’S NOTE: The cabinet issued its assessment of the proposed Freedom Law in a clear statement of Erfüllungspolitik; this document represents the views of the ruling coalition at the start of the game.] The Government of the Reich, in agreement with the immense majority of the German people, knows that improvement in the external situation cannot be imposed by a German law. It can only be attained by negotiations with the associates of Germany. The Government will not refuse to give the plebiscite the guaranties accorded by the Constitution, but it will combat any attempt at recourse to inappropriate methods which are only calculated to aggravate internal dissension. 22 Reich Concordat [EDITOR’S NOTE: The wording is taken from the final form of the Concordat signed in 1933; however, the fundamental issues, still in flux in 1929, remained the same. All are up for debate and represent the state of compromise at the moment.] SOURCE: Reichskonkordat. Proposal 1 recognizes Catholic freedom of religion Proposal 1: The German Reich guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion. It recognizes the right of the Catholic Church to regulate and manage her own affairs independently within the limits of the law applicable to all and to issue - within the framework of her own competence - laws and ordinances binding on her members. Proposal 2 effectively recognizes the Holy See as a state by exchange of ambassadors [nuncio]. 21 22 Denys P. Myers, The Reparation Law, 1930 (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1930), 37-38. Denys P. Myers, The Reparation Law, 1930 (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1930), 37. 156 Proposal 2: In order to foster good relations between the Holy See and the German Reich, an apostolic nuncio will continue to reside, as hitherto, in the capital of the German Reich and an ambassador of the German Reich will reside with the Holy See Proposals 3 deals with the status of the clergy under German law. Priests are given protection against any interference in their spiritual activities as well as protection against malicious slander. Exemption from jury service, and like obligations, are guaranteed and the secrecy of the confessional guaranteed. Proposal 3a: The clergy enjoy in the discharge of their spiritual activities the same protection of the state as state officials. The state will proceed according to general provisions of its law in case of any outrage directed against any clergy personally or against their ecclesiastical character or in case of any interference with duties of their office and, if necessary, will provide official protection. Proposal 3b: Clerics and religious are exempt from the obligation to undertake public offices and such obligations as are incompatible with their clerical or religious status. This applies particularly to the office of magistrate, member of a jury in law courts, membership of taxation committees or membership of the fiscal tribunal. Proposal 3c: The judicial and other authorities cannot ask the clergy to give information about matters which have been entrusted to them while exercising the care of souls and which are consequently covered by the obligation of pastoral secrecy. Proposal 4 seeks to preserve existing diocesan boundaries to avoid acknowledging the new borders created by Versailles. Proposal 4: The present organization and boundaries of dioceses of the Catholic Church in the German Reich remain in force. Proposal 5 specifies appointments of a bishop by the Pope was subject to mutual agreement and communication with the regime that no [general] political impediment existed. while affirming appointments are free to made without any co-operation on the part of the state or civil corporations. Proposal 5: As a rule, the Church has the right to appoint freely to all the Church dignities and benefices without any co-operation on the part of the state or of the civil corporations, unless any other arrangement has been made in previous concordats. Proposal 5a: Appointments will not be issued before the name of the selected has been communicated to the Reich, and before it has been ascertained that there are no objections of a general political nature against such a person. Proposal 6 specifies Bishops must take an oath of loyalty and respect to the President of the Reich. Proposal 6: Before taking possession of their diocese, the bishops shall take an oath of loyalty between the hands of the president of the Reich, the formula of which shall be the following: "Before God and on the Holy Gospel I swear and promise, as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and I swear and promise to respect the government established according to the constitution and to cause the clergy of my diocese to respect it. In the due solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavor, while performing the spiritual office bestowed upon me, to prevent anything which might threaten to be detrimental to it." Proposal 7 gives protection to the Catholic educational system. 157 Proposal 7a: Catholic religious instruction in primary, vocational, secondary and higher schools is a regular subject of tuition and is to be taught in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church. Proposal 7b: The maintenance of the existing Catholic confessional schools and the establishment of new ones is hereby guaranteed. Only members of the Catholic Church who can be trusted that they will correspond to the special requirements of a Catholic confessional school, can be employed as teachers in all Catholic primary schools. Proposal 8 grants the same rights to national minorities, with respect to the use of the mother tongue in divine services, as are enjoyed by the German population in the corresponding foreign state. Proposal 8: Catholic members of non-German national minorities living within the Reich will not be placed in a worse status with regard to the use of their mother tongue in divine service, religious instruction and Church societies, than is the corresponding legal and practical position of the population of German origin and speech living in the territory of the corresponding foreign state. Austro-German Customs Union Draft Constitution of the Austrian National Assembly (12 November 1918: [EDITOR’S NOTE: Austria exercised its right to self-determination to join Germany. The Austrian republic from its birth in November 1918 until October 17, 1919, when the Treaty of St. Germain- en-Laye was ratified, was officially known as the “German-Austrian Republic.” The change of name to “The Federal Republic of Austria” was required by the terms of the treaty.] Article II. German-Austria forms an integral part of the German republic. Special laws shall govern the participation of German-Austria in the legislation and administration of the German republic, and shall determine the force of laws and customs of the German republic in German-Austria. Provisional Constitution of the German Republic (January 1919) [EDITOR’S NOTE: Germany exercised its right to self-determination to allow Austria to join Germany.] Article 2, Paragraph 2. If German-Austria joins the German Empire, it shall be entitled to take part in the States' Committee, with a representation to be fixed by imperial law. Until then, it will take part as a consulting voice in the deliberations. German Constitution, Article 61 [EDITOR’S NOTE: The Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated powers stated that this article of the German constitution was a formal violation of the Treaty of Versailles. In reply the German government pointed to Article 178 of the new constitution which stipulated that “The conditions of the peace treaty, signed at Versailles on June 28th, 1919, are not affected by this constitution.” The Allies accepted that this meant that Austria could not join Germany.] 158 German-Austria shall, after it has joined the German Realm, have the right to participate in the Council of the Realm with such a number of mandates as shall correspond to the size of the population. Until that time the representatives of German-Austria shall have an advisory vote. Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1919) [EDITOR’S NOTE: these articles determined the frontiers with Austria and its successor states. It was understood that the boundaries were permanent unless the Allies agreed to a change.] ARTICLE 27: 5. With Austria: The frontier of August 3, 1914, from Switzerland to Czecho-Slovakia as hereinafter defined. 6. With Czecho-Slovakia: The frontier of August 3, 1914, between Germany and Austria from its junction with the old administrative boundary separating Bohemia and the province of Upper Austria to the point north of the salient of the old province of Austrian Silesia situated at about 8 kilometres east of Neustadt. ARTICLE 80: Germany acknowledges and will respect strictly the independence of Austria, within the frontiers which may be fixed in a Treaty between that State and the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; she agrees that this independence shall be inalienable, except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations. Treaty of St. Germain (10 September 1919) [EDITOR’S NOTE: The Treaty of St Germain settled relations with Austria in the same way that the Treaty of Versailles did with Germany. The clause effectively forbade Austria to decide on its own to cease to be a separate nation – deliberately directed at prohibit union with Germany.] Article 88: The independence of Austria is inalienable otherwise than with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations. Consequently, Austria undertakes in the absence of the consent of the said Council to abstain from any act which might directly or indirectly or by any means whatever compromise her independence, particularly and until her admission to membership of the League of Nations, by participation in the affairs of another power. Negotiations between Austria and Germany (1931) Vice-Chancellor of Austria to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the German Reich VIENNA, March 19th, 1931 Your Excellency, As a result of our conversations early this month during your visit to Vienna, I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that the Austrian Government has welcomed the plan to assimilate the economic and tariff regimes of Austria and Germany and has unanimously approved the Protocol as annexed hereto, laying down the principles for the agreement to be concluded. 159 I have, etc. (Signed) Scirober Minister for Foreign Affairs of the German Reich to the Vice-Chancellor of Austria BERLIN, March 19th, 1931 Your EXCELLENCY, With reference to our conversations early in March, while I was in Vienna, I have the honour to inform you that the Government of the Reich has welcomed the plan for assimilating the tariff and commercial regimes of Austria and Germany and has unanimously approved the Protocol laying down the principles of the Treaty to be concluded, in the text attached hereto. I have, etc. (Signed) Curtius Austro-German Protocol (19 March 1931) [EDITOR’S NOTE: the proposed protocol has been presented to the League of Nations to ensure that it does not violate the Treaty of Versailles or of St Germain, especially regarding the clauses that require that Austria remain a separate country. In pursuance of the conversation which took place in Vienna at the beginning of March, 1931, the German Government and the Austrian Government have agreed to enter forthwith into negotiations for a treaty to assimilate the tariff and economic policies of their respective countries on the basis and within the limits of the following principles. I. While completely maintaining the independence of the two States and fully respecting the obligations undertaken by them towards other States, the treaty is intended to initiate a reorganization of European economic conditions by regional agreements. (2) More especially both Parties will, in the treaty, unconditionally declare their willingness to enter into negotiations for a similar arrangement with any other country expressing such a desire. II. Germany and Austria will agree on a tariff law and a customs tariff which shall be put into force in both customs areas concurrently with the treaty and for the period of its validity. III. As long as the treaty remains in force, the exchange of goods between the two countries shall not be subject to any import or export duties. V. (1) The Customs Administration of each of the two countries shall be independent of that of the other and shall remain under the exclusive control of its own Government. Furthermore, each country shall bear the expenses of its own Customs Administration. (2) Both Governments, whilst fully respecting the above principle, will enact special measures of a technical character to provide for the uniform execution of the tariff law, the customs tariff and the other tariff regulations. VII. No import, export or transit prohibitions shall exist as between Germany and Austria. 160 IX. (1) Each of the two Governments, even after the entry into operation of the treaty, shall retain in principle the right to conclude commercial treaties with third States on their own behalf. (2) In the relevant negotiations with third States, the German and the Austrian Governments will see that the interests of the other contracting Party are not violated in contravention of the tenor and purpose of the treaty to be concluded. (3) So far as it seems opportune and possible with a view to effecting a simple, speedy and uniform settlement of the commercial relations with third States, the German Government and the Austrian Government will conduct joint negotiations for the conclusion of commercial treaties with third States. Even in this case, however, Germany and Austria will each on its own behalf, sign and ratify a separate commercial .treaty and will only arrange for a simultaneous exchange of the ratifications with the third State in question. X. The two Governments will, at a suitable time, take the steps necessary to bring into accord with one another and with the tenor and purpose of the treaty, to be concluded, the existing commercial treaties concluded by Germany and Austria with third States so far as they contain tariff rates fixed by commercial treaties with other countries or so far as they would interfere with the execution of the existing import and export prohibitions and other regulations for the exchange of goods. Selections from the German Penal Code (Strafgesetzbuch – StGB) Censorship: § 166 Insulting of Faiths, Religious Societies and Organizations Dedicated to a Life Philosophy [EDITOR’S NOTE: the penal code only specified defamation based on insults to one’s beliefs. It did not have a clause that specifically criminalized defamation based on one’s race.] Whosoever publicly defames God in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, or whosoever publicly defames a church or other religious or ideological association within Germany or their institutions or customs in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine. Homosexuality: § 175 Unnatural Fornication [EDITOR’S NOTE: Following the ideas of the French Revolution, which altered the medieval understanding of male anal sex as a sin punishable by death by burning, many German states abolished all laws regarding same sex relations. In 1794, Prussia abolished the death penalty for such acts and replaced it with prison terms. In 1871, the Prussian law became the law of the newly unified Germany as Paragraph (§) 175, which places gay sex in the same category as bestiality. The NSDAP has proposed a revision to strengthen the law; the KPD has proposed is removal from the penal code entirely.] Unnatural fornication, whether between persons of the male sex or of humans with beasts, is to be punished by imprisonment; a sentence of loss of civil rights may also be passed. 161 NSDAP Proposed Revisions § 175: A male who commits a sex offense with another male or allows himself to be used by another male for a sex offense shall be punished with imprisonment. Where a party was not yet twenty-one years of age at the time of the act, the court may in especially minor cases refrain from punishment. § 175a:Penal servitude up to 10 years or, where there are mitigating circumstances, imprisonment of not less than three months shall apply to: (1) a male who, with violence or the threat of violence to body and soul or life, compels another male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (2) a male who, by abusing a relationship of dependence based upon service, employment or subordination, induces another male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (3) a male over 21 years of age who seduces a male person under twenty-one years to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (4) a male who publicly commits a sex offense with males or allows himself to be abused by males for a sex offense or offers himself for the same. § 175b:An unnatural sex act committed by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights might also be imposed. Abortion: § 218 [EDITOR’S NOTE: Paragraphs 218-219 deal with abortion, punishing the woman, provider, and anyone who supports either, including providing information.] § 218: A pregnant woman who intentionally aborts or kills the fruit of her womb will be punished with up to five years of imprisonment. If there are extenuating circumstances, the term of imprisonment will not be less than six months. These penal provisions also apply to anyone who gives the pregnant woman the means to perform the abortion or killing or instructs her in the methods. § 219: Anyone who provides a pregnant woman with the means or instructs her in the method, of committing an abortion will be punished with imprisonment for up to ten years. 162 8. Selected Bibliography (for students who want to do extra reading) Overviews McElligott, Anthony. Weimar Germany. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Bookbinder, Paul. Weimar Germany: The Republic of the Reasonable. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996. Eley, Geoff, ed. Society, Culture, and the State in Germany, 1870-1930. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1996. Feldman, Gerald D. “The Weimar Republic: A Problem of Modernization?” Archiv fur Sozialgeschichte 26, no.1 (1986): 1-26. Fritzsche, Peter. “Did Weimar Fail?” Journal of Modern History 68, no. 3 (1996): 629-656. Halperin, S. William. Germany Tried Democracy: A Political History of the Reich from 1918 to 1933. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1965. Herf, Jeffrey. Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Peukert, Detlev J. K. The Weimar Republic: The Crisis of Classical Modernity. London: Allen Lane, 1991. Specific Political Parties NSDAP: Childers, Thomas. The Formation of the Nazi Constituency, 1919-1933. London and Sydney: Croom Helm, 1986. DNVP: Leopold, John A. Alfred Hugenberg: The Radical Nationalist Campaign against the Weimar Republic. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 1977. Centre: Patch, William L. Heinrich Brüning and the Dissolution of the Weimar Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. DDP: Frye, Bruce B. Liberal Democrats in the Weimar Republic: The History of the German Democratic Party and the German State Party. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985. Jones, Larry Eugene. German Liberalism and the Dissolution of the Weimar Party System, 19181933. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1988. DVP: Turner, Henry Ashby. Stresemann and the Politics of the Weimar Republic. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963. (see also Jones) SPD: Breitman, Richard. German Socialism and Weimar Democracy. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1981. KPD: Fowkes, Ben. Communism in Germany under the Weimar Republic. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984. 163 Hindenburg and Schleicher: Dorpalen, Andreas. Hindenburg and the Weimar Republic. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964. Eschenburg, Theodor. “The Role of Personality in the Crisis of the Weimar Republic: Hindenburg, Brüning, Groener, Schleicher.” Republic to Reich: The Making of the Nazi Revolution. New York: Vintage Books, 1972. Stachura, Peter D. Political Leaders in Weimar Germany: A Biographical Study. Hemel Hempstead, UK: Prentice Hall College Division, 1992. Special Topics Anti-Semitism: Baranowski, Shelley. “Conservative Elite Anti-Semitism from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich.” German Studies Review 19, no. 3 (1996): 525-537. Christian Trade Unions: Patch, William L. Christian Trade Unions in the Weimar Republic, 19181933: The Failure of “Corporate Pluralism.” New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 1985. Culture: Brockmann, Stephen, and Thomas W. Kniesche. Dancing on the Volcano: Essays on the Culture of the Weimar Republic. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1994. Disarmament: Shuster, Richard J. German Disarmament after World War I: The Diplomacy of International Arms Inspections, 1920-1931. New York: Psychology Press, 2006. Economics: Balderston, Theo. Economics and Politics in the Weimar Republic. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Education: Lamberti, Marjorie. The Politics of Education: Teachers and School Reform in Weimar Germany. New York: Berghahn Books, 2002. Middle Classes: Lebovics, Herman. Social Conservatism and the Middle Classes in Germany, 19141933. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969. Modernization: Harvey, Elizabeth. “Culture and Society in Weimar Germany: The Impact of Modernism and Mass Culture.” In German History since 1800, edited by Mary Fulbrook, 279-297. New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 1997. National Identity: Fuhrer, Karl-Christian. “German Cultural Life and the Crisis of National Identity during the Depression, 1929-1933.” German Studies Review 24, no. 3 (2001): 461-486. Paramilitaries: Diehl, James M. Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1977. Populism: Fritzsche, Peter. Rehearsals for Fascism: Populism and Political Mobilization in Weimar Germany. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. Press: Fulda, Bernhard. Press and Politics in the Weimar Republic. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Public Spending: James, Harold. The Reichsbank and Public Finance in Germany, 1924-1933: A Study of the Politics of Economics during the Great Depression. Frankfurt am Main: F. Knapp, 1985. 164 Reich Presidency: Needler, Martin. “The Theory of the Weimar Presidency.” Review of Politics 21, no. 4 (1959): 692-698. Reichswehr: Carsten, Francis L. The Reichswehr and Politics, 1918-1933. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966. Reparations: Kent, Bruce. The Spoils of War: The Politics, Economics, and Diplomacy of Reparations, 1918-1932. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. Sneeringer, Julia. Winning Women’s Votes: Propaganda and Politics in Weimar Germany. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. Unemployment: Evans, Richard J., and Dick Geary. The German Unemployed: Experiences and Consequences of Unemployment from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich. London: Croom Helm, 1987. Vatican: Stehlin, Stewart A. Weimar and the Vatican, 1919-1933: German-Vatican Diplomatic Relations in the Interwar Years. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983. Welfare: Sun-Hong, Young. Welfare, Modernity, and the Weimar State, 1919-1933. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998. Women: Usborne, Cornelie. The Politics of the Body in Weimar Germany: Women's Reproductive Rights and Duties. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992. Workers: Guttsman, W. L. Workers’ Culture in Weimar Germany: Between Tradition and Commitment. New York: Berg, 1990. Primary Source Collections Dimendberg, Edward, Martin Jay, and Anton Kaes, eds. The Weimar Republic Sourcebook. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995. “The Weimar Republic: Primary Sources.” Facing History. Images On-Line “Caricatures from Der Stürmer, 1927-1932.” German Propaganda Archive. Digital Picture Archives of the Federal Archives. Das Bundesarchiv. Germany. See especially the photos by Georg Pahl Kladderadatsch, 1848-1844. Universität Heidelberg. Pre-1933 Nazi Posters. German Propaganda Archive. Scully, Richard. “Hindenburg: The Cartoon Titan of the Weimar Republic.” 1918-1934. Simplicissmus, 1896-1944. Simplicissimus. 165 Stab in the Back Images. UC Santa Barbara. Weimar Republic Graphics. Alpha History. Historiographies Gerwarth, Robert. “The Past in Weimar History.” Contemporary European History 15, no. 1 (2006): 122. Graf, Rûdiger. “Either-Or: The Narrative of ‘Crisis’ in Weimar Germany and in Historiography.” Central European History 43, no. 4 (2010): 592-615. Bibliographies ABC Clio Information Services, ed. The Weimar Republic: A Historical Bibliography. Santa Barbara, CA, Denver, CO, and Oxford: ABC Clio, Inc., 1984. Stachura, Peter D. The Weimar Era and Hitler, 1918-1933: A Critical Bibliography. Oxford: Clio Press, 1977. 166 9. Appendices Glossary and German Pronunciation Guide If you know a few rules and if you can spell it, you can pronounce it since German spelling is phonetic. German is more guttural and consonantal than English: “d” and “t” and “b” are pronounced hard; all syllables are pronounced fully (there are no silent vowels). The best way to figure it out is to go to an online guide with audio examples. German also often creates complex nouns, adding multiple words together to create one long one, which makes pronunciation even more challenging. Words such as Bildungsbürgertum or Katastrophenpolitik challenge the non-native speaker beyond any pronunciation problem. Aryan: a völkisch term for those who believe that “Germanic peoples” are the racially purest representation of an original racial stock who constituted a master race (Herrenvolk). Austerity: a political-economic term referring to policies that aim to reduce government budget deficits through spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both. Autarky: goal of a self-sufficient economy not requiring any trade with another country. Bildungsbürgertum: an educated class of the bourgeoisie with an educational ideal based on idealistic values and classical antiquity. Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil): ideology that celebrates the relationship of a race to the land it occupies and places a high value on the virtues of rural living. Bolshevik: anything relating to the ruling party of the Soviet Union or its policies. It is used most often pejoratively. The KPD saw no shame in that association. Bourgeoisie: the ruling class under capitalism, those who own the means of production, especially industry. Burgfrieden (“peace of the castle”): at the start of the Great War if refers to the official declaration by the Kaiser that all political differences would be put aside for the duration of the war. Comintern: The Communist International, also known as the Third International, is an international organization run by Moscow since 1919 to fight for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie. It challenges the Labor and Socialist International (2nd International) of the SPD. Concordat: treaty between the Holy See of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state that deals with the recognition and privileges of the Catholic Church, such as taxation, Catholic schools, or the right of a state to influence the selection of bishops within its territory. Council (Rat): autonomous workers, soldiers or peasant bodies of self-governance. In Germany, these emerged with the development of the revolution in 1918 and became institutionalized, in a limited and contested form, in republican law. A “Soviet” is the Russian translation. 167 Dolchstoß (“stab-in-the-back”): the notion that the German Army did not lose the War but was instead betrayed by the home front who signed the Armistice on 11 November 1918 (the “November Criminals” (Novemberverbrecher). Erfüllungspolitik (“policy of fulfillment”): pragmatic approach to the Treaty of Versailles, as opposed to Katastrophenpolitik; its proponents hoped that a moderate policy of engaging the Allies would encourage them to revise the Treaty. Femegericht: a medieval concept applied in modern times to refer to extra-legal and secret judiciary proceedings used to try and pronounce sentence on individuals without their knowledge or allowing any recourse to normal procedures. Freikorps: volunteer military or anti-communist paramilitary units that arose during the Republic, usually with the support of the largely demobilized Reichswehr. Führerprinzip (leader principle): theory that prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the ideal governmental and party structures of the NSDAP and DNVP, succinctly understood to mean that the leader’s word supersedes all written law, and that policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of the leader’s will. Gau: the administrative regions of the NSDAP created by a party statute 22 May 1926. Each Gau is headed by a Gauleiter and the 32 Gaue are generally coterminous with the federal states (Länder) and Prussian provinces. Habsburg: the Austrian (Austro-Hungarian) ruling house, 1276-1918. Hohenzollern: the German ruling house, 1871-1918; also the ruling house of Brandenburg-Prussia since 1415. Junker: the East Elbian, protestant, land-owning aristocratic elites of Prussia. They dominated state and military affairs and offices even after the collapse of the Kaiserreich. Kaiser (emperor): the title of the Hohenzollern monarchs of Germany, 1871 to 1918. Also the title of the Habsburg monarchs of Austria (and Austria-Hungary), 1804 – 1867/1918. Kaiserreich (German Empire, literally, Imperial Realm): the name given to Germany under the Hohenzollern dynasty after unification, 1871-1918. Katastrophenpolitik (policy of disaster): the policy, in contrast to Erfüllungspolitik, that sought to improve Germany’s position by openly defying Versailles, resulting in a crisis that would so wreck Germany that the victors would have to reconsider the treaty. Kulturkampf (culture struggle): refers to secularizing policies aimed at reducing the influence of the Roman Catholic Church from 1871 to 1878 by Otto von Bismarck. Land (pl: Länder): in 1929, the seventeen semi-sovereign republican federal states of the Republic, including three city-states. Prussia, by far the largest Land, constituting about 2/3 of German territory, was further divided into fourteen provinces. 168 Landtag (State Diet): a representative assembly with competence over a federal state (Land). Lebensraum (living space): claiming that Germany must support territorial expansionism as a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races to displace people of inferior races; especially if the people of a superior race were facing overpopulation in their given territories. Ministeramt (Office of Ministerial Affairs): the Reichswehr’s political office created in 1928 to directly influence politics in the Reichstag. Osthilfe (Eastern Aid): policy begun in 1929 of subsidizing large East Prussian agrarian estates largely owned by conservative Junker. Ostjuden (Eastern European Jew): generally assumed to be unacculturated and unassimilated, as distinguished from a Western Jew, differentiated by Orthodox beliefs (vs. Reformed or Conservative), Yiddish language, and distinctive dress and Hasidic practices. Pan-Germanism: the idea that all ethnic Germans should be integrated into a single state, in particular German-speakers in neighboring countries such as Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and France. Particularism: primacy of a local or regional identity vs. a federal or Pan-German identity. Petit bourgeoisie: a classical economic term, highly politicized, that signified the social classes between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It does not translate well as “middle class” in the American sense. Proletariat: in Marxist terminology, the exploited class under capitalism, those who do not own but rather work for the means of production, especially industry; the working class. Reich (realm, or empire): the concept is more fluid than its usual translation as “empire”; in fact, Germans after World War one still referred to their nation as the German Reich (in contrast to the earlier Kaiserreich). “Weimar Republic” is a later name coined by the NSDAP. Reichsrat (Imperial Council): the upper house of the Republic, representing the interests of the Länder. Reichstag (Imperial Diet, or Diet of the Realm): may refer to the building or the constitutional assembly. The term has ancient roots in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation dating back to the Middle Ages. Reichswehr (defense of the realm): the armed forces of the Republic since 1921. Second International (aka the Labor and Socialist International): an international organization formed in Paris in 1889 to unite socialist and labor parties, including the SPD. It dissolved in 1916 during World War One, but reemerged in 1920, though now as a rival to the Third International. Stahlhelm (Steel Helmet, League of Frontline Soldiers): a paramilitary organization independent of but operating as the armed branch of the DNVP to provide armed security guards. Tariff: import duties (a type of tax), usually on imported goods, in order to protect one’s domestic products from foreign competition. 169 Truppenamt (Troop Office): the office of the Reichswehr set to surreptitiously serve as a de facto High Command in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Ultramontanism: a Catholic political conception with two meanings regarding the prerogatives and powers of the Pope: 1) papacy supremacy within the Church over all other bodies, and 2) Church autonomy versus the state secularization in affairs such as education, marriage, morality, etc. United Front: a Marxist tactic originating in the 1920s to encourage cooperation between the communists and socialists. Each, however, interpreted its implementation differently. Vernunftrepublikaner (rational Republican): those who support the Republic out of political necessity rather than moral conviction. Volk: term with several different meanings, such as “folk” (simple people), “people” in the ethnic sense, “nation,” or “race.” The adjective is völkisch. Volksdeutsche (ethnic German): the concept has racial connotations and implies that all people with a German ancestry belong to the same people and should therefore have the same state, especially those living in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Alsace-Lorraine (France). Von: when used as a part of a German family name, it almost always indicates a noble patriarchal lineage and is regarded as an inseparable part of the surname. Since 1919 there are no longer any legal privileges or constraints associated with this naming convention. Weltanschauung (world view): the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society’s knowledge and point of view. Wittelsbach: the royal house of Bavaria, 1180-1918. 170
Center Party Documents SOURCE: Handbuch des öffentlichen Lebens, ed. Maximilan Müller-Jabusch, 441-444. Leipzig: Verlag von K.F. Koehler, 1931. As a Christian party of the people: the national community of Germans; the realization of Christian principles in the state, society, economy, and culture. Views the solidarity of the German peoples toward the outside world and the turning of its energies inward as the foundation of the international standing of Germany. Longings for self-determination and self-assertion should not be guided by selfish conceptions of power but by the moral idea of the nation. True Christian community as the highest ideal of world politics. A Christian conception of the state and the constitutional party. Rejection of violent overthrow, repudiation of the all-powerful state, opposition to the denunciation and dissolution of the idea of the state. The power of the state finds its limits in natural right and divine law. Commitment to the German national state; self-government; the professional civil service as the backbone of the government. The dominance of a class or caste is incompatible with the essence of the national state. The independence of regional states within the frame of national unity. Strong central power secures the existence and free development of peoples and regional states; a centralized state structure does not correspond to the character of the German people. Solidarity of all social strata and professions; rejection of class struggle and class domination. The final goal of the economy is the individual and his higher duties; human dignity and the moral character of work may never be sacrificed to purely economic ends. The predominance of capital, alongside the attending political, social, and cultural dangers, is to be prevented. The goal of the economy is an increase in the production of goods, whereby, however, a just distribution of goods is to be maintained, which is also the guarantee of free participation in cultural values. Recognition of private property; striving for a steady increase in the number of property owners. Recognition of the economic significance of free entrepreneurial activity and the desire for personal gain; equally meaningful, however, is the promotion of joy in labor and the productivity of wage-earners; for that reason, the securing of a role for the latter in the administration of business, of the possibility of sharing in profits and owning property. The goal of social policy is to defend and promote the professions. A just distribution of public burdens and the active support of the economically weak. Safeguarding of freedom of conscience, religious freedom, and the freedom of education, and the free development of vital religious energies as provided for in the constitution. The freedom and independence of ecclesiastical communities and the safeguarding of their influence on the life of the people. The cooperation of state and church without violation of their mutual independence. Popular morality as the source of the people’s health and the fertile foundation for the forces responsible for the creation of culture. Tending the health of the family as the basic cell of human community. Recognition of the role of the state in the education of the young, while rejecting a state monopoly on schools and insisting on the right of the church to the religious education of the young. Support for the natural right of parents to the education of their children; confessional schools. Center Party Documents SOURCE: Wilhelm Vernekohl, ed., The Weimar Republic 1918/19–1933, Vol. 6, in Heinrich Brüning,:Reden und Aufsätze eines deutschen Staatsmanns, trans. Adam Blauhut (Münster: Verlag Regensburg, 1968), 66– 85. Who is capable of assessing this view of the world in its entirety and in terms of its important aspects, a view of the world that has been evolving for the past year and changes like a kaleidoscope from day to day? Now, more than ever before, the German people have an interest in keeping their currency stable. When the pound was taken off the gold standard, many people thought we would also have to chart a reckless course and decouple the mark from gold. I will fight to the end against taking inflationary measures of any kind. (Loud applause) And not only for reasons of fairness, not only to defend the weak, but also because I believe that despite all the bitterness, we must once again create an honest balance sheet for the Germany economy (Bravo!) and that every attempt and request for inflationary measures may ultimately have the goal of destroying this process of creating a clear balance sheet for the entire German economy and again conceal the mistakes of the past. (Enthusiastic approval) [ . . . ] I have repeatedly stated that our work must be marked by clarity and truth, in both the public and private sectors, and that there is no way to avoid this clarity since all successes in foreign policy can be achieved more quickly if we refrain from concealment—for which there is no reason—and we honestly and clearly present the balance sheet of German finances and the German economy for everyone in the world to see. This is the strongest and most effective weapon that the national government could have, and forging it was one of the tasks the government pursued during its first year in office. The result has been that people around the world, without exception, judge the issue of reparations much differently than in the past. (Very true!) [ . . . ] I have already said that the budgetary situation in 1932 will be extremely difficult and serious throughout the country. We must accept the fact that we will have to ask the people to make new sacrifices in order to consolidate the public budget. The second point is this: by implementing a series of coordinated measures, which must be supported by the groups enlisted in the consultations, we must and will succeed in ensuring that the process of negative growth in the economy is halted and that this termination of the process of negative growth in small and medium-sized industry and in the skilled trades is quickly achieved by having the banks adjust their policy one way or another. We must consolidate the cooperative system and quickly return to the absolutely sound principles of the prewar period in all public and private credit institutes. This is the decisive point and much more important than constantly providing state support to individual institutes or larger organizations. [ . . . ] Ultimately we will have to carry out these tasks only if the one development takes place that I have always emphasized as being at the center of all the problems. Without creating an atmosphere of trust at home and abroad, we will not achieve our desired goals. The biggest problem in the world today is not difficulties with this or the other bank; it is the fact that depositors and capitalists have grown extremely nervous throughout the world, although in my opinion there is no reason for this degree of nervousness. An atmosphere of trust cannot be created at home or abroad through constant political agitation or by preaching experiments. The German people must understand this, and I am convinced that we will Center Party Documents succeed in making the German people understand it. After all, it is only possible to produce a result that is acceptable in all the foreign-policy negotiations I have mentioned if the world is certain that no political experiments will be conducted in Germany. (Approval) [EDITOR’S NOTE: The papal encyclical refers in its title (Latin for “In the 40th Year”) to the 40th anniversary of Rerum novarum, an earlier encyclical from Leo XIII in 1890 that updated the Church’s stance on how to relate to modern society from a Christian democratic perspective that enunciates a third way between liberalism and Marxism. Pius XI describes the major dangers for human freedom and dignity arising from unrestrained capitalism and state-dominated Marxism (and perhaps fascism). He calls for the reconstruction of the social order based on the principle of solidarity. Solidarity emphasizes that all individuals are part of a collective and should work cooperatively towards the common good – a corollary to the political ideas of corporatism, but in a Christian moral context. What is the vision of corporatism advanced here that proposes a “third way” between capitalism and Marxism? How does Pius distinguish between communism and socialism and what is his fundamental critique of Marxism? How does he critique industrial capitalism with the theory of solidarity? What are his views on private property?] SOURCE: Pius XI. Quadragesimo Anno. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1931. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Pius argues that the state must develop social legislation to protect workers, women, and children.] 25. Government must not be thought a mere guardian of law and of good order, but rather must put forth every effort so that through the entire scheme of laws and institutions both public and individual wellbeing may develop spontaneously out of the very structure and administration of the State. The function of the rulers of the State, moreover, is to watch over the community and its parts; but in protecting private individuals in their rights, chief consideration ought to be given to the weak and the poor. 28. A new branch of law has arisen to protect vigorously the sacred rights of the workers that flow from their dignity as men and as Christians. These laws undertake the protection of life, health, strength, family, homes, workshops, wages and labor hazards, in fine, everything which pertains to the condition of wage workers, with special concern for women and children. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Pius advocates associations (i.e. trade unions) as long as they pursue Christian ends.] 32. Workers’ associations ought to be so constituted and so governed as to furnish the most suitable and most convenient means to attain the object proposed, which consists in this, that the individual members of the association secure, so far as is possible, an increase in the goods of body, of soul, and of property, yet it is clear that moral and religious perfection ought to be regarded as their principal goal, and that their social organization as such ought above all to be directed completely by this goal. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Pius defends private property but demands a middle ground between liberal individualism and socialist collectivism, with the state necessary to balance the two.] Center Party Documents 45. Nature, rather the Creator Himself, has given man the right of private ownership not only that individuals may be able to provide for themselves and their families but also that the goods which the Creator destined for the entire family of mankind may through this institution truly serve this purpose. 49. Men must consider in this matter not only their own advantage but also the common good. To define these duties in detail is the function of those in charge of the State. The natural right itself both of owning goods privately and of passing them on by inheritance ought always to remain intact and inviolate: it is grossly unjust for a State to exhaust private wealth through the weight of imposts and taxes. Yet when the State brings private ownership into harmony with the needs of the common good, it does not commit a hostile act against private owners but rather does them a friendly service; for it thereby effectively prevents the private possession of goods from causing intolerable evils and thus rushing to its own destruction; it does not destroy private possessions, but safeguards them; and it does not weaken private property rights, but strengthens them. 50. Furthermore, a person’s superfluous income, that is, income which he does not need to sustain life fittingly and with dignity, is not left wholly to his own free determination. Rather the Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church constantly declare in the most explicit language that the rich are bound by a very grave precept to practice almsgiving, beneficence, and munificence. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Pius advocate a tripartite corporatism that balances workers, industrialists, and the state – rejecting the liberal emphasis on the owners, the socialist emphasis on the workers, and the fascist and communist emphasis on the state.] 53. Neither capital can do without labor, nor labor without capital. Wherefore it is wholly false to ascribe to property alone or to labor alone whatever has been obtained through the combined effort of both, and it is wholly unjust for either, denying the efficacy of the other, to arrogate to itself whatever has been produced. 54. Property, that is, “capital,” has undoubtedly long been able to appropriate too much to itself. Whatever was produced, whatever returns accrued, capital claimed for itself, hardly leaving to the worker enough to restore and renew his strength. For the doctrine was preached that all accumulation of capital falls by an absolutely insuperable economic law to the rich, and that by the same law the workers are given over and bound to perpetual want, to the scantiest of livelihoods. That these false ideas, these erroneous suppositions, have been vigorously assailed will surprise no one. 55. To the harassed workers there have come “intellectuals,” as they are called, setting up in opposition to a fictitious law the equally fictitious moral principle that all products and profits, save only enough to repair and renew capital, belong by very right to the workers. This error, much more specious than that of certain of the Socialists who hold that whatever serves to produce goods ought to be transferred to the State, or, as they say “socialized,” is consequently all the more dangerous and the more apt to deceive the unwary. 57. The riches that economic-social developments constantly increase ought to be so distributed among individual persons and classes that the common advantage of all will be safeguarded; in other words, that the common good of all society will be kept inviolate. By this law of social justice, one class is forbidden to exclude the other from sharing in the benefits. Hence the class of the wealthy violates this law no less, when, as if free from care on account of its wealth, it thinks it the right order of things for it to get everything and the worker nothing, than does the non-owning working class when, angered deeply at Center Party Documents outraged justice and too ready to assert wrongly the one right it is conscious of, it demands for itself everything as if produced by its own hands, and attacks and seeks to abolish, therefore, all property and returns or incomes, of whatever kind they are or whatever the function they perform in human society, that have not been obtained by labor, and for no other reason save that they are of such a nature. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Pius advocates workers and owners working together with the state, especially to establish a family wage.] 71. The worker must be paid a wage sufficient to support him and his family. That the rest of the family should also contribute to the common support, according to the capacity of each, is certainly right, as can be observed especially in the families of farmers, but also in the families of many craftsmen and small shopkeepers. But to abuse the years of childhood and the limited strength of women is grossly wrong. Mothers, concentrating on household duties, should work primarily in the home or in its immediate vicinity. It is an intolerable abuse, and to be abolished at all cost, for mothers on account of the father’s low wage to be forced to engage in gainful occupations outside the home to the neglect of their proper cares and duties, especially the training of children. Every effort must therefore be made that fathers of families receive a wage large enough to meet ordinary family needs adequately. 73. Let, then, both workers and employers strive with united strength and counsel to overcome the difficulties and obstacles and let a wise provision on the part of public authority aid them in so salutary a work. If, however, matters come to an extreme crisis, it must be finally considered whether the business can continue or the workers are to be cared for in some other way. In such a situation, certainly most serious, a feeling of close relationship and a Christian concord of minds ought to prevail and function effectively among employers and workers. 88. Just as the unity of human society cannot be founded on an opposition of classes, so also the right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces. For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching. Free competition, while justified and certainly useful provided it is kept within certain limits, clearly cannot direct economic life -- a truth which the outcome of the application in practice of the tenets of this evil individualistic spirit has more than sufficiently demonstrated. Therefore, it is most necessary that economic life be again subjected to and governed by a true and effective directing principle. 94. Strikes and lock-outs are forbidden; if the parties cannot settle their dispute, public authority intervenes. 95. Anyone who gives even slight attention to the matter will easily see what are the obvious advantages in the system We have thus summarily described: The various classes work together peacefully, socialist organizations and their activities are repressed, and a special magistracy exercises a governing authority. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Pius offers a quick summary of the need for solidarity.] 110. Since the present system of economy is founded chiefly upon ownership and labor, the principles of right reason, that is, of Christian social philosophy, must be kept in mind regarding ownership and labor and their association together, and must be put into actual practice. First, so as to avoid the reefs of individualism and collectivism. the twofold character, that is individual and social, both of capital or ownership and of work or labor must be given due and rightful weight. Relations of one to the other must be made to conform to the laws of strictest justice -- commutative justice, as it is called -- with the support, however, of Christian charity. Free competition, kept within definite and due limits, and still Center Party Documents more economic dictatorship, must be effectively brought under public authority in these matters which pertain to the latter’s function. The public institutions themselves, of peoples, moreover, ought to make all human society conform to the needs of the common good; that is, to the norm of social justice. If this is done, that most important division of social life, namely, economic activity, cannot fail likewise to return to right and sound order. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Pius recognizes the distinction between communism and socialism (i.e. social democracy), but cautions against even moderate socialism despite overlapping goals.] 112. Communism teaches and seeks two objectives: Unrelenting class warfare and absolute extermination of private ownership. Not secretly or by hidden methods does it do this, but publicly, openly, and by employing every and all means, even the most violent. To achieve these objectives there is nothing which it does not dare, nothing for which it has respect or reverence; and when it has come to power, it is incredible and portentlike in its cruelty and inhumanity. The horrible slaughter and destruction through which it has laid waste vast regions of eastern Europe and Asia are the evidence; how much an enemy and how openly hostile it is to Holy Church and to God Himself is, alas, too well proved by facts and fully known to all. 113. Socialism is surely more moderate. It not only professes the rejection of violence but modifies and tempers to some degree, if it does not reject entirely, the class struggle and the abolition of private ownership. One might say that, terrified by its own principles and by the conclusions drawn therefrom by Communism, Socialism inclines toward and in a certain measure approaches the truths which Christian tradition has always held sacred; for it cannot be denied that its demands at times come very near those that Christian reformers of society justly insist upon. 120. If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist. 122. Let all remember that Liberalism is the father of this Socialism that is pervading morality and culture and that Bolshevism will be its heir. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Casti Connunbi stresses the sanctity of marriage, prohibits Catholics from using any form of artificial birth control, and reaffirms the prohibition on abortion.] SOURCE: Pius XI. Casti Connubi (1931). Sanctity of woman’s role as wife and mother, but her formal subjugation to her husband. 27. This does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; ... For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love. On the exclusively reproductive purpose of marriage Center Party Documents 56. Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin. On abortion and contraception 65. All of which agrees with the stern words of the Bishop of Hippo in denouncing those wicked parents who seek to remain childless, and failing in this, are not ashamed to put their offspring to death. [EDITOR’S NOTE: In reaction to the Great Depression, Nova Impendet recognizes that the economic crisis threatens the entire social order. It calls for social reform and intervention to help the needy. The encyclical also links the growing crisis to international militarism.] SOURCE: Pius XI. Nova Impendet (1931). A new scourge threatens – indeed, it has already in large measure smitten-the flock entrusted to Us. It strikes most heavily at those who are the most tender and are Our most dearly beloved; upon the children, the proletariat, the artisans and the "have-nots." We are speaking of the grave financial crisis which weighs down the peoples and is accelerating in every land the frightful increase of Unemployment. We behold multitudes of honest workers condemned to idleness and want, when all they desire is opportunity to earn for themselves and their families that daily bread which the divine command bids them ask of their Father Who is in heaven. Their cry is in Our ears; and it moves Us to repeat, with the same tenderness and pity, those words which broke from the most loving Heart of the Divine Master when He beheld the crowd fainting with hunger: "I have compassion on the multitude" (Mark viii, 2). 2. More vehement still becomes Our commiseration as we gaze at the multitude of little children who "ask for bread when there is no one to break it for them" (Jer. Thren. iv, 4). These little ones, in their innocence, are bearing the worst of the burden. Squalid and wretched, they are condemned to watch the vanishing of the joys proper to their age, and to have their rightful laughter hushed upon their young lips as they gaze with bewilderment around them. The Approach of Winter 3. Winter draws on apace, with all its train of those sufferings and privations which cold weather inflicts upon the poor, and especially upon their young children. There is every reason to fear that the plague of Unemployment, which We have already mentioned, will worsen, to such an extent that poverty may push – though God forbid it! – many a misery-stricken household to exasperation. Center Party Documents 4. These things Our fatherly heart cannot behold without anxiety. Therefore, as Our predecessors have done in like circumstances, especially Our immediate predecessor, Benedict XV, of holy memory, We raise Our voice and direct Our appeal to all those in whom Faith and Christian charity are lively. Our call is to a Crusade of charity and of succour which, by caring for bodies and comforting souls, will bring to pass a re-birth of quiet confidence, will put to flight the deadly counsels which misery engenders, and will quench the flames of hate and passion putting in their place the ardours of love and of concern to the end that the peoples, linked in the noble bond of peace, may move forward towards individual and collective prosperity. 5. It is then to a Crusade of piety and of love – and no doubt, of sacrifices also – that We rally all the sons of the one Father, all the members of the one great family, which is the family of God Himself. It belongs to the sons and to those members of the one family to share not only in the common joys, but also in the common sorrows. 6. To this Crusade We summon all, as to a sacred duty. For Charity is a formal commandment of the evangelical law which Jesus Himself proclaimed as the first and greatest commandment, including and summing up all the others. In days of War and of implacable hatreds, Our immediate predecessor so strongly and so often inculcated Charity that it became the mark of his pontificate. And now We also would put all men in mind of the same most gentle precept: not only because it is the supreme duty, embodying all other precepts of the New Law, but also because it is the highest ideal which can be set before generous souls, desirous of attaining to Christian perfection. 7. We believe, without many words, that only this generosity from the heart, only this fervour of Christian souls eagerly expressing itself in self-sacrificing devotion to the brethren (especially to those most in need, such as the multitude of innocent children) will succeed, by a grand and unanimous effort, in overcoming the grave difficulties of the present hour. Disarmament 8. As an effect of rivalry between peoples there is an insensate competition in armaments which, in its turn, becomes the cause of enormous expenditure, diverting large sums of money from the public welfare; and this makes the present crisis more acute. Therefore We cannot refrain from renewing and from making Our own the solemn warnings of Our predecessor (Adhortatio Des le. debut, 1 Aug., 1917) which have, alas! not been heeded, as well as Our own words (Alloc. die 24, Dec., 1930: Litt. Aut. Con vivo piacere, 7 Apr., 1922), We exhort you all, Venerable Brethren, to busy yourselves with the work of enlightening public opinion in this matter, by all the means at your disposal, including both pulpit and press, so that the hearts of men may be turned towards the dictates of right reason, and, still more, to the laws of Christ.

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