Book Review By Jan Peczkis.
Thus Spake Germany
Hardcover – 1941 by W.W. Coole (Editor), M.F. Potter (Editor)
Nowadays, most Holocaust materials treat the Nazis as if they were faceless aliens from another planet that landed in the 1930s and departed in 1945. In contrast, this gem of a book shows the deep roots of Nazism in centuries of German thinking. Citing hundreds of prominent Germans, it clearly shows that “Nazi” themes (such as German supremacism, imperialism, racism, genocide, drive for expansionism, anti-Semitism, etc.) were in fact held by hundreds of respected German thinkers long before Hitler.
This work is not only of historical interest. Many of the themes related to German hegemony are embodied today, in non-military form, in the European Union. It can be thought of as the Fourth Reich. For further details read my review of THE TAINTED SOURCE, by John Laughland.
NAZISM WAS FUNDAMENTALLY AND ESSENTIALLY GERMAN
The fact that Nazis and Germans can in no sense be dichotomized is made obvious by Coole and Potter, (quote) Hitler did not create this soul, for it would be impossible for any one man within a few brief years to fashion the soul of a nation from nothing. The conceptions, principles and plans at the base of National Socialism are but a new and ampler expression of the German soul…Again and again we come upon the one LEITMOTIV: Pangermanism. The Nazi revolution is no more than the fruition of inherited conceptions which find expression in varying forms in the works of Fichte, Hegel, Dietrich von Bulow, Arndt, Jahn, Friedrich List, Friedrich Ratzel, Karl Lamprecht, Prince Bismarck, Treitschke, Langbeln, Konstantin Franz, Ludwig Woltmann, Josef Ludwig Reimer, Albrecht Wirth, Friedrich Lange, Albert Ballin, Hugo von Stinnes, Kardorff, Thyssen, and hundreds of others. In their speeches and writings these men elaborated many conceptions which are today part of National Socialism, such as the racial theory, the lust for world hegemony, the HERRENVOLK thesis, the fight against Anglo-Saxon influences, the desire to create an essentially German religion, the ethic of ruthlessness and cruelty, the right of the superior German race to LEBENSRAUM (“Living-space”), the principle of exterminating the native populations of conquered territories and colonizing them with Germans. (unquote). (pp. xxxi-xxxii).
The following statements by the authors are almost chilling, (quote) In his work GERMANIEN UND EUROPA, the notorious Pangermanist Ernst Moritz Arndt wrote in 1802 that Germany, then vacillating between Prussia and Austria, ought to be molded into one whole, and that this could be achieved if a Deliverer were to be found, “a great tyrant and military genius who would conquer and exterminate nations” (EROBERND UND VERDERBEND). Hitler is this Messiah: Arndt’s dream given its practical fulfillment 140 years later. (unquote). (p. xxxii).
PRE-NAZI GERMAN RACISM AND GENOCIDAL IDEATION
Interestingly, for all the nowadays-tendency to treat Nazi hatred of Jews as something special, pre-Nazi German racial theories often linked the Slavs and the Jews together as objects of contempt:
In 1903, Ludwig Woltmann said that, (quote) “It is susceptible of anthropological proof that all European civilization, even in the Slavonic and Latin lands, is a product of the German race.” (unquote). (p. 144).
In 1907, Captain Eberhard Meinhold commented, (quote) “Not until racial consciousness has revived within us, not until we have conquered our national incompleteness and lack of dignity, will we energetically overcome racial and mixed race questions, such as Ultramontanism, Socialism, Jews, Poles, and the Negro question.” (unquote). (p. 145).
In 1912, Wilhelm Schwaner warned, (quote) “And if the Germans do not soon protect their blood against Latin, Jewish and Slav importations—of blood and the spirit—then Europe will produce nothing but a racial and cultural mob.” (unquote). (p. 145).
The authors then quote this 1905 statement by Joseph Ludwig Reimer, (quote) “It would be decidedly the simplest thing in the area of the Reich’s territory, if the expansion of the Germans could be balanced by the extinction of the non-Germans.” (unquote). (p. 123).
“GOD” IN TERMS OF NAZI RACIAL REDEFINITION
In their section on religion, the authors make it obvious that the Nazis tried to co-opt Christianity in accordance with their ideology. It is sometimes argued that the Nazis were not atheists because they frequently referred to God. However, it is obvious that they did not mean a traditionally-believed transcendent Supreme Being! For example, Baldur von Schirach, in a speech in April 1939, said, (quote) “We serve God by being loyal to our Fuhrer and fulfilling our duty towards the Fatherland. We are a God-believing youth, since we serve the divine hand which is Germany.” (unquote).(p. 18). In another instance, Martin Hieronimi, writing in VOLK IM WERDEN (September 1935) stated, (quote) The Front refuses to call itself Christian. It presents itself especially to the German youth as the German Faith Front, and claims that the knowledge of God based on Blood and Race is the only form which is truly suited to the German people.” (unquote). (p. 14).
At other times, the Nazis were more explicit in their enmity towards Christianity. For instance, an article in NORDLAND (March 1939) stated that German acts must be in service to their own people. Furthermore, (quote) “There is no need to give such acts any religious foundation, based on belief in the hereafter.” (unquote)(p. 14). In 1938, Alfred Rosenberg said that both the Catholic and Evangelical Churches, as they exist in present form, must vanish from the lives of the German people. (p. 18).
In May 1936, there were a series of destructions of wayside crucifixes and statues, in the German countryside, done by neo-Pagans. These also included various profanations of religious objects. (p. 15).
GERMAN GOALS AND THE EVENTUAL EUROPEAN UNION
The belligerent aspects of German rule over Europe, during WWI and WWII, have tended to obscure the fact that such German rule need not be realized with military force. Back in 1914, Erich Marks remarked, (quote) A new Central Europe under German leadership rises before us, as an image, as a picture, as a possibility; not one dominated by Germany, but over-topped and protected by Germany, with Germany, the German National State, which will remain such, as its core and mainstay…” (unquote). (p. 126).
Also in 1914, Maximilian Harden commented, (quote) “Germany has the right to extend her area of sovereignty according to her requirements, and the might to enforce that right against all opposition.” (unquote). (p. 127).
In 1915, Fritz Bruggemann wrote, (quote) “A federative union of Europe, through a free economic link-up under German leadership, such as that of the Middle Ages—this ought at some future time to be a goal that should not appear too high to the German people in return for the enormous sacrifices in blood and treasure which it is obliged to make in the present war.” (unquote). (p. 126).
In 1916, Karl Kumpmann opined that, (quote) “Germany, more than any other country, is predestined to be the bearer of the idea of federation (Central European Federation); it is the duty of all nations who are interested in the free development of the world to join us.” (unquote). (p. 134).
The authors provide a map (p. 339) of the “MITTELEUROPA” Economic Space. It encompasses Germany and Austria, the Netherlands, southern Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Poland, the western USSR, and southeast Europe. Shades of the modern European Union!
THE DRANG NACH OSTEN
Let us go back further in time. The authors write, (quote) The Germans of the Nibelungen legends, the Eastern Germans of medieval times who put the Slavonic peoples east of the Elbe to fire and sword and created the province of Brandenburg out of the land which they had reduced to an enormous graveyard, the Teutonic Knights, the Germans of the Sack of Rome, of Frederick the Great, of Bismarck, of Wilhelm II and Stesemann—these are the true ancestors of the Third Reich. Let them speak for themselves! (unquote). (p. xxi).