The German Aristocracy and National Socialism

Those who are acquainted with the many books and films produced recently about the 20 July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler led by Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg may have the impression that the plot was a result of the aversion of the German aristocracy to the political ambitions of a commoner like Hitler. In fact, Stauffenberg’s failed attempt was only the last of a series of attempts to assassinate Hitler that originated from General Ludwig Beck (1880–1944). Beck was not an aristocrat but belonged to the officer class and resigned his post as Chief of Staff of the German Army in August 1938 mainly on account of his disagreement with Hitler’s aggressive foreign political aims.

The German aristocracy itself was incorporated into the National Socialist movement from the twenties on without much difficulty, even though some of the aristocratic National Socialists had to tolerate the contempt of peers who were opposed to the socialist aspects of Hitler’s government. According to Stephan Malinowski,[1] in all, about 300 noble families of the lower aristocracy based in Prussia contributed about 3,600 members to the National Socialist Party, and the number of adherents from the upper ruling families rose from 70 in the thirties to around 270 by 1945. Most of these were Prussian and Protestant rather than Bavarian and Catholic, since the Bavarian Catholic aristocrats were dedicated to the House of Wittelsbach, whose crown prince, Rupert of Bavaria, was firmly opposed to Hitler and was exiled in December 1939 to Italy while other members of his family were interned for some years in concentration camps.

It is true that Stauffenberg and some of his fellow conspirators in the 20 July plot were shocked by Hitler’s extreme persecution of the Jews, but it cannot be clearly said that all of the conspirators were impelled by philo-Semitic sentiments since the German aristocracy was, in general, anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist like Hitler himself. Count Wolf-Heinrich Helldorf (whose 1934 essay is presented here) was in fact a vigorous anti-Semite in the thirties[2] and may even have played a part in the organisation of the Kristallnach riots, though he eventually joined the conspirators led by Stauffenberg. That all the aristocratic National Socialists did not revolt against Hitler is also clear from the fact that the editor of the collection of essays here presented, Prince Friedrich-Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe, remained a proud National Socialist even after the war.

The following three extracts from the collection of nine essays by aristocratic National Socialists that was edited by Prince Friedrich-Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe, Wo war der Adel? (Where was the aristocracy?, Berlin: Zentralverlag, 1934), show that many of the aristocrats indeed welcomed the opportunity given to them by the National Socialist movement to renew their own aristocratic estate after it had been destroyed alongside the German monarchy in 1918. In turn, the elevated codes of conduct of the aristocrats as traditional rulers of the German domains helped to strengthen the chivalrous image that is often associated with the German military of the Third Reich. It is true, however, that the SS as developed by Himmler from 1929 came to represent the real elite formation of the Third Reich since it was originally created as a bodyguard for Hitler and expressed more directly the dedication to the Führer that was the hallmark of the entire Third Reich. The members of the old aristocracy were absorbed into the SS, as well as into the earlier SA, without much strain since the old and the new elites had in common a desire to renew Germany after its devastating defeat in World War I. One feature that may have been novel, however, about the involvement of the aristocrats in the National Socialist movement is the more socialist conception of themselves that they now manifested, no longer as superior leaders of an anonymous population of subjects but as close collaborators with the latter in the task of building a new German empire.

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Count Bernhard von Solms-Laubach [1900–1938]
Director of the National Theatre,

The Aristocracy is dead – Long live the Aristocracy!

We do not wish to be sentimental, we admit openly that which everybody, however, already knows. That there is no aristocracy any longer in Germany that in its entirety is still capable of representing a clear ideal. The aristocracy is dead because it has killed itself. We stand before a sad remnant, before a burial mound that has been raised up with effort but without jewels, and unlamented, to which one has given the impressive name ‘German aristocratic society’.

And there was once a time when all the names had a strong resonance and an inner significance, when all the families had a calling in the nation, all the names and all the families  as they are neatly recorded today in peerage lists and Gotha pocketbooks[4] as though for museum purposes. There was a time when the German aristocracy was a living fact, when there was bound with the aristocratic name a sacred responsibility towards the people, when the German aristocracy was the bearer of a quite definite worldview, an idealistic worldview in which one’s own advantage could have no meaning compared to the duty to serve to the utmost the people, the country, the state and its representatives. Then the aristocrat stood naturally at the very front, as a spearhead, for the affairs of his people, ready to give up and sacrifice not only his life but also his possessions, if that might help. Everywhere in the Empire they were based in their residences and castles like the conscience of the people, watchmen and preachers, but always fighters for the existence of the Holy Roman Empire,  each alone for himself, bound to one another only through the common goal – and one who did not acknowledge this goal through fighting and sacrificing and made it his own was considered a traitor, an apostate. Germany owes its life to this aristocracy.

But if Germany had depended on the present-day aristocracy it would have died along with it. The aristocrats still dwell everywhere in the Reich in their residences and castles, but it is only due to the people that they are recognised as their conscience. They no longer watch over or preach and, if they fight, then it is in defence of their property or their vanity. Every aristocrat no longer stands by himself, today they are organised, but their organisation lacks any goal that rises beyond their selfish aims.  Anyone of them that acknowledges  the goal of his nation in fighting and sacrificing and internalises this is today a traitor, a renegade.

This all of us who, members of the German aristocracy based on our origin, were able to be incorporated into the National Socialist movement during the battle period must have experienced in a personal way to a sufficient degree. One should not today expunge the fact that we took up the fight in the movement under the express disapproval of our so-called peers, that we were fought and laughed at. If we felt it as obvious to fight when our nation is in the process of fighting for its life — perhaps because we were conscious of the responsibility and the duties transmitted to us from ancient times by our name, that is, because we belonged to the German aristocracy — the opinion of our aristocratic colleagues was the opposite, namely, that we became National Socialists in spite of belonging to the aristocracy. We were, considered from the intellectual viewpoint of the German aristocratic society, actually the traitors, the renegades, and would have been condemnable if we had not been granted extenuating circumstances on account of our idiocy. Besides, it was not in good taste. Politically one had to be a German nationalist, but that one was not a monarchist was an absurd thought. For the further pursuits of the really energetic there was available, besides, the Gentlemen’s Club and, for the others, country riding clubs and — one may perhaps add — leadership positions in the Stahlhelm.[5]

To express it briefly: the German aristocracy disgraced itself to death. It pathetically missed the last chance to prove its raison d’être. Here too exceptions confirm the rule. The question is hard and clear which the people today pose to you: Where were you aristocratic gentlemen when Germany perished? What did you do when the adversity became ever more unbearable? Where did you fight and what did you sacrifice? You thought of yourselves and how you could save yourselves! You thought of yourself and the welfare of your family and perhaps regretted the misery of the people, perhaps even found it depressing, but did nothing! Did nothing! And you dare to raise a claim even today to leadership?

The people have known you for long. I shall never be able to forget with what suspicion I was accepted into the National Socialist movement and in the SA on account of my name. With what mistrust the workers stood against me at first because they attributed to such a person everything bad rather than an honest National Socialist disposition. Remarkable how this mistrust, this suspicion accorded with the attitude of the aristocratic society members! National Socialist even though one is aristocratic. This contradiction signifies the self-esteem of the aristocracy and at the same time indicates its estimation among the people. Exclusivity, which arose from the obscurantism that was inclined to rest comfortably on the laurels of one’s ancestors and to skim off the cream of history as a traditionally born leader, the self-willed isolation, detached the aristocracy from the people and killed its instinct. The result: a great yesterday, a petty today and no tomorrow at all.

The people have become mature. The leaders and saviours have emerged from the people. Adolf Hitler arose from the soul of the people. You, aristocratic gentlemen, may bristle because that insults your vanity, because each of you in your opinion must be the leader, you might agitate and stir up trouble, as you still do today, but the aristocracy is dead, because you have killed it by your behaviour, your attitude, your selfishness. Besides, your inveighing too will cease. The aristocracy is dead and already there arises from the people a new aristocracy filled with the sacred duty of building up Germany. New names have once again a strong resonance and inner significance. A new elite has a new calling among the people. A new aristocracy rises again as the bearers of the idealistic worldview in which one’s own advantage cannot mean anything compared to the duty to serve the people, the country, the state and its representatives to the utmost. One who stands at the very front is the aristocrat!

The aristocracy is dead, long live the aristocracy!  We thank our Führer that, when the old failed, he gave and trained for the people his new aristocracy, for which it is no longer a matter of names and external appearances but which simply exists and fights.

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Dr. Achim von Arnim [1881–1940],
Professor of Military Science, Technical University of Berlin,
SA Oberführer[6]

The German aristocracy belongs to Adolf Hitler

One can grow to be a National Socialist, but the disposition must indeed be inborn. Forms that are once internally imprinted begin to develop no matter how hard one tries to disperse them. As the son of a Prussian officer and a mother from Alsace, a certain dichotomy of temperament was allotted to me. Along with Prussian sobriety I possess enough imaginativeness and sprightliness to have a quick sympathetic understanding of new things.

My parents lived in various garrisons of the Imperial Guard and, like every officer’s son, I attended the high school. It was the nineties of the last century, in which the memory of the victorious wars of 1866[7] and 1870/1[8] was still alive. It seems to me that the German nation was brought too quickly to life through the success of Bismarckian politics. Wealth and splendour had fallen suddenly into the lap of our people, who had hitherto been modest and sober.  It thereby lost its spiritual equanimity.  The German, distinguished by his depth and his rich world of feeling, developed in the last 20 years of the century into a man of rational understanding and a materialist. The school offered no counterpoise. The teachers were not aware that they had to  conserve in the best sense the  tradition of German Humanism and the idealistic tendency of German Classicism. Of course there were among them men rich in ideas and pedagogically skilled, whose instruction I still remember with gladness.

In general, however, a  too copious information was transmitted to us and, specifically, without any political influence. I can especially not forget that, during my schooldays, no explanation of the political development of our nation was given to us. We learnt nothing about social and economic development, nothing  about the significance of the battles that began with the French Revolution, of the opposition to Liberalism at the beginning of the  previous century, of the dissemination of the mercantile spirit and of capitalism. To be sure, one occasionally heard frightful things about the  Social Democrats[9] — at the elections one was frightened by the increasing percentages of their mandate. I went to school for many years in Spandau, there there was a strong population of workers with whom  there was no connection at all. We high school students met only with our peers, and I always had the feeling that the boys of the  public school were  particularly rough  and uncouth.

But a slightly better insight was then given by my entry into the army.  In just a few months — and that is too short a time,  the prospective cadet was, when he left school,  consigned to the squads. I served in the First Regiment of the Imperial Guard and this had the best reserve troop from all of Prussia, tall blond men from the healthiest families of our nation. I had imagined the time in the ‘barrack room’ as something very unpleasant, as being  in the company of a number of coarse, immature and boorish fellows and still remember my surprise that this image did not correspond at all to the reality.  On the contrary, the  young soldiers with whom one lived  — 20 in a room — were actually, in their  moral constitution and habits, cleaner and more modest than the higher society with which I later socialised. It was also not difficult to find the right tone in communication, one just could not act like something better — and indeed one was not, for, as a scholar, one was not so familiar with the practical matters of life as the young soldiers. I then had similar good experiences as a young corporal. This first period as a soldier, which lasted only a short time, was a period of learning, perhaps not for the prospective officer but for the growing man. Nowadays, the young men, and even the women, come into contact more often, through the German Youth,[10] the  German Girls’ League,[11] the Hitler Youth and  community service, with all strata of the  working people. Thereby they develop a stable judgement and learn to have the necessary consideration in dealings with  men of different backgrounds.

The pre-war officer corps, which I entered a year and a half later, did not at all correspond to the caricature that was made of it at that time in the Liberal satirical papers and in the bourgeois world. There was alive, especially still in the older generations, the  sincerity and  loyalty of the  older generation that had fought the wars for unification. Fastidiousness in service, conscientiousness,  the  consciousness that one had to set an example through personal commitment, the feeling of responsibility for subordinates and even one of the necessity of a comradely relationship with them was totally alive.

But I became aware early of one thing, that this officer corps, not only in my regiment but everywhere else, represented an exceptional class that was, to a certain extent, separated by a glass wall from the life, activity and  feeling of the rest of the nation.  In it there lived on a portion of the eighteenth century. The officer was obligated to the warlord and felt himself bound only to him,  and, because reverence for the monarchy and devotion to its sustenance was his political morality, the officer believed that he did not need to worry about other political questions. It was the time when Germany stood at its absolute peak economically.  Everywhere great fortunes arose. One did not  know of any unemployment.  Every worker could hope that he could, through  his own industriousness and  economising, conduct his children to a higher profession. There existed therefore the total possibility that the upper strata would continually supplement itself from the people.

In reality, however, that took place only to a small degree. The institution of the ‘one-year service’[12] formed an absolute class border.  One who had taken this test — he did not even have to have served for a year —  belonged to the cultivated and higher strata, everybody else was a subaltern and belonged to the people. If we look back retrospectively at this period with Liberal eyes, we must ask ourselves how it was possible that Social Democracy rose so powerfully in a period  when everybody had a good income. From a materialistic standpoint there is no answer to that. But from the idealistic standpoint, it is a  question of the longing of a great part of our people who had reached adulthood in the course of the century for a national community, for a spiritual rapprochement with the so-called higher strata. Not all of us overlooked the role of the Jews in that period. But one who spoke of a Jewish danger was laughed at as a fantasist. If as a young man I had been invited to become a Freemason I would have accepted the invitation in the belief that one may find a rich spiritual life in this order. But this spiritual  life and this  understanding were lacking precisely in those classes with whom we officers socialised. The bureaucrats, owners of large landed properties and other highly placed persons with whom we socialised were duty-conscious and industrious but matter-of-fact men careful of their careers.  Only seldom did one find intellectually open-minded and  artistically inspired personalities.  The attitude to the  people was benevolent but derived from a feeling of  an obvious inborn social superiority. Manual work was considered as inferior compared to intellectual work, which we supposedly performed.

We would have been able to obtain stronger impressions  of the life and feeling of the people if there had existed the possibility of being instructed on worldview, political and social questions.  But who would give this instruction?  We officers were considered educators of the youth entrusted to us and doubtless did our best. Indeed, in the education for the soldier’s profession and war, performance was at an optimum. But the worldview education which we had to impart through our instruction had to be a failure because we ourselves lacked the necessary knowledge. It was indeed so, as the Führer said: before the period of service nobody cared about the young man, and after his service period neither.  One knew hardly anything about the Marxist organisations and the trade unions.  Their intensive propaganda work was hidden from us.

Then there came the war and very close contact with all strata of the population on the front in cohabitation, for weeks, in damp trenches and in basic accommodation. I definitely believe that not only I but all the older officers of the front felt that we had a close sense of bonding with comrades of all service grades and that in moments of danger it did not matter if one wore the epaulets of an officer or a corporal’s cross or a lance-corporal’s button. To all those who felt in this way the Revolution,[13] with the sudden revolt of the soldiers against the officers, was then a bitter disappointment. One recognised soon that it was not the good elements of our squad that became mutineers and deserters but young elements that had been poisoned in their hometowns and were inexperienced, who had to suffer the bitter deprivations of the wartime in the last years and had perceived the affliction in their homeland. With no defenses, they were exposed to the influence of Red propaganda. The revolution period separated the men. The major part of the officer corps and the members of the former higher classes were starkly against the revolution and its manifestations. These men saw only the ugly external images and wished to hide from the knowledge that here a people who had been misguided strove for a better social status through a semi-conscious longing. They should not at that time have separated themselves in this way from the people but followed the path that Adolf Hitler did, attempting from the start to give the people what it strove for and to combat what was pernicious.

While most of the officers, also demoralised, had to take up the difficult battle for survival and persevered in their rejection of the social questions, I remained for a while vacillating and searching. Finally ,thrown in the country, I found myself one day, in 1925, a District Leader of the Stahlhelm. One had heard something of Adolf Hitler and his movement in Munich only through the Putsch. It is astonishing and hardly believable today how little one knew, here in the country in the east, of the National Socialists. I saw my duty as saving the small town workers, and especially the rural workers, in my district, filled with estates and small cities, from Marxism. These were strata of the population into which the Red organisation had not yet penetrated fully. The Stahlhelm had inscribed on its shield the spirit of the soldiers of the front, that is, the community of the comrades in the trenches. With lorries and bands we drove through the country, held speeches in every village — whereby there was also a ‘beer movement’ — and founded everywhere local groups of the Stahlhelm. Even the landowners and — what was not always very easy — the agricultural bureaucrats were won over to our ideas and, in this way, we succeeded in the beginning in achieving something that was of course not even closely as well-thought out, but similarly felt, as what Adolf Hitler strove for.

If later, after a seven-year activity as Stahlhelm leader, I turned my back on the organisation, I must give the reasons for that without wishing to hurt the former comrades of the Stahlhelm who had been won over to our cause. There had entered a certain torpidity in my feelings on account of the faltering politics of the federal leadership, which had to wriggle through with difficulty between a more conservative and military orientation and a social orientation, and, in the meantime, National Socialism had arisen among us. In all villages and small towns there were Brown departments, and the Stahlhelm people were the proof that these were really more active, that, in neighbouring Berlin, hard battles for rule were fought in the Red quarters, that a strong atmosphere of intellectual tension emanated from the Hitler movement and that a good and clearly orientated press helped the movement to move forward. The Stahlhelm found itself at a dead end since it did not want to fight in a parliamentary way and did not have the power to rise to power with arms. Finally the social question also seemed to me to fade somewhat. The workers won over by me and bound to me for a long time expressed many doubts about the goals of the Stahlhelm. They seemed to them as if they were all about a movement in favour of the old ruling classes.

So finally there was a certain discord because I freely acknowledged my view which favoured National Socialism, and that led to my exit from the organisation, which made some sensation at that time, when the SA was prohibited. There followed a period of bitter hostilities on the part of former friends and comrades. But I can only say that I have not regretted my step one day and have seen during my career in the SA so much that was elevating and invigorating that it seems to me a good fortune to be able to continue to experience the present times. If the Prussian aristocracy for the most part showed at first little understanding of the way that I took that must be explained by its strong adherence to the Prussian tradition. The feeling of rulership cultivated through the generations, especially of the rural aristocracy, perhaps made it difficult to find a way to our people the way we in the SA did. But I think that the conviction must seize some earlier, others later, but hopefully all one day, that another way than the one that our Führer has taken is not passable for our German people. If we wish to come through victoriously in the tremendous fight for survival that we must still undertake in order to sustain our nation, given our unfortunate international situation and our unequal mixture of races, it will happen only if all the strata of our sorely tested people march together with complete trust, and that is possible only in National Socialism.

Berlin, 15 January ,1934.

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Count Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf [1896–1944]
Police Commissioner of Potsdam

The Aristocracy and National Socialism

The entire public and private life in Germany today is influenced in a decisive manner by National Socialism. Everything that was ready and willing to cooperate in the building up of the nation is gathered under the sign of the swastika. We have to regretfully acknowledge that the bearers of old aristocratic names are involved to an extremely small degree in authoritative positions in this work of construction within the movement and in the state. This fact is especially surprising considering that the NSDAP has declared not once but many times that it would reach out its hand for the purpose of cooperative work to anybody who would place himself at its disposal unconditionally. The reasons that led to this superior aloofness of the aristocracy should be investigated here, and I think that we will reach a conclusion most easily if we review once again the political development in our nation during and after the war and, in this way, examine the attitude of the aristocracy to the National Socialist idea.

The ruling and state-governing classes in the Bismarckian empire were the officer and bureaucratic classes. Aristocratic officers and bureaucrats stood here in a preferred and leading position. When Germany decided in 1914 on the fateful four-year long armed conflict and the Prussian German army marched in the glow of its centuries-old military culture to the defence of the homeland and carried the war to hostile countries, the Prussian German aristocracy, following the old tradition, occupied a leading position within this national army. This army fought and won in the battlefields of the whole world and, at its head, fought and bled the German aristocracy. Once again, before the great collapse of the monarchy and the aristocracy, those fit for military service from the aristocratic families were conscious of their proudest privilege sanctified by tradition: they died a heroic death in a natural fulfilment of duty.

If, later, people repeatedly and rightly pointed to the total inaction of individual families and members of the German aristocracy, one must, on the other hand, rightly acknowledge and ascertain that no class in Germany took part in this four-year long conflict with such an enormous sacrifice of blood and death as the aristocracy and declare that the best of us have fallen.

In the political leadership of the German nation in the pre-war and war years the aristocracy did not live up to its duties. The aristocracy and the people no longer understood each other. The aristocracy no longer spoke the language of the people and thus it failed, detached and separated from the people, both in internal and in external politics. In the foreign policy of that time, which was especially strongly influenced by the aristocracy and unfortunately also by Jewry, there was no politician or statesman who rose even a little above the average level. After the enormous blood sacrifice of the international conflict, the aristocracy seemed to have exhausted its last strength, which had been kindled in its old families even during the war. Only a few of us confronted the mutineers of 1918 vigorously. The throne and altar were abandoned, the Kaiser empire crumbled, and with it the aristocracy.

The history of the revolution is at the same time the history of the collapse and disintegration of the German aristocracy. The heroes of yesterday, the pillars of support of throne and altar, soon became spineless servants of a state that could be created only after the strongest supports of this state had bowed down before traitors and mutineers. When the red flags of the revolt fluttered and the mobs raged in the streets, they of course complained and protested but they forgot to fight, and found the required justifications for everything that they did and were not sparing in declarations dripping with patriotism. The majority of the aristocracy accepted the situation as it was. The majority of the aristocracy came to terms with the Weimar Republic. For the majority of the aristocracy and especially for the older generation it was still only a matter of a lesser evil that one had to put up with, in order not to lose everything. On major patriotic festival days the uniforms of the old regiment were brought out now and then to keep up tradition, one gave pleasant speeches at war associations and expressed the hope that God would indeed grant us better times once again. None of us wanted battle itself. Indeed it was much more convenient to be promised peace and order from the Weimar Republic and, for that reason, to change one’s attitude a little. It is worth mentioning that, in this period, Jewish families with and without noble surnames played the principal role in the aristocracy. Everything pressed round the golden calf and one was able to note, for example, with trembling fear, in Berlin society in the years 1924–1925, that degenerate aristocrats were tolerated guests in rich Jewish families, that all the so-called good houses were open to a notorious criminal like, for example, the Jewish state secretary Weismann.[15] In general, one who disseminated propaganda for the ‘Realpolitik’ of the ‘statesman’ Gustav Stresemann,[16] eulogising with many fine speeches in cities and the state, was valued as a specially intelligent aristocratic comrade. One put up with everything, even the worst phenomena of the time, and even the German aristocratic association, as a socio-economic organisation of the aristocracy, was in no way directive but satisfied itself merely with transferring external forms of the past to the republican present.

The aristocracy organised itself after 1918 chiefly in the German National People’s Party[17] and the Stahlhelm and, in the battle years, both groups virtuously did everything that was in their power to make life bitter for us few National Socialists from the aristocracy and to mock and denigrate us and our battle for the German nation. The first great election assembly will always remain in my mind in which I was to appear in Halle for the first time in my life, in 1924, as a speaker for the National Socialist Freedom Party. In front of an overflowing assembly that absorbed with enthusiasm the programmatic representation of the National Socialist battle goals there spoke, after me, as a respondent, the party secretary of the German National People’s Party, and also the Stahlhelm leader in Halle, Senior Lieutenant Düsterberg,[18] and a war-blinded Communist. While the performances of the latter were completely moderate, Mr. Düsterberg, who, as is well-known, is Jewish, used the opportunity to oppose the young freedom movement in the harshest way.  Even at that time I was amazed by the blind hatred that filled this man but did not know that the formerly active officer of the military staff was Jewish.

Therewith I come to the saddest chapter in the history of the German aristocracy of the present. We stand before the shocking fact that that part of the population that, according to blood, race and a centuries-long tradition, was called and, as we believe, is still called to present to its people statesmen and soldierly fighters in the great freedom fight that the National Socialist movement had conducted for 14 years stood aside without any understanding of the great changes that had occurred in the German national soul, retreated into a completely misunderstood aristocracy and, often not without justification, invited upon itself the hatred and the contempt of large masses of the people.

The aristocracy took part only to an extremely small degree in the powerful battle within the country under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. It must indeed be said clearly that the aristocracy, and especially the post-war generation, succumbed frightfully quickly to the influences of liberalism and democracy. The smaller part of it encapsulated itself in the seclusion of conservative or nationalist clubs and in professional associations conducted in a parliamentary political manner. The German national Stahlhelm leaders in the aristocracy laughed at us ‘reckless and immature young people’ when we stated clearly in public that we love our German people and hate its enemies. They thought it was not ‘chic’ to get into close discussions in national assemblies with KPD[19] and Reichsbanner[20] people. If we fought in national assemblies and in the street with fellow Germans filled with hatred they spoke of us as hooligan elements that had unfortunately not learnt to behave according to their ‘class’.

Even if one accepts and understands — for the reasons that I have presented at the beginning of this essay  — that the aristocracy in 1918 did not oppose any decisive resistance to Ebert,[21] Scheidemann[22] and Noske[23] with their mutineering hordes, the meagre participation of the aristocracy in the political battle of Adolf Hitler will always remain incomprehensible. It cannot be explained or excused by anything that a class that presented to the people through the centuries leaders, and not the worst, refused adherence to the man who set about, after the collapse of the old leadership in Germany, to educate new young leaders, who however demanded even from these young leaders that they had to prove their suitability and set for each of us strong endurance tests before the title ‘leader’ was granted to us.

After the aristocracy had been unable through its own strength to change the fate of its people, we must, in retrospect, regretfully state that, even in the last part of the development of German history, which stood under the sign of victorious National Socialism, it did not understand to put a stop to its inner disintegration and cooperate in the new formation of affairs with all its forces. This failure of a valuable and, insofar as it is a question of the landed aristocracy, racially superior and healthy section of the population, is so much more regretful in that the National Socialist movement built and conducted on aristocratic principles had to correspond completely to the inner constitution of the aristocracy. Just as among the ancient Germans the best person in terms of family, clan and tribe was the heir-apparent and became the leader, so also in the National Socialist movement the best person in terms of performance and blood is the leader. People may say of the aristocracy that it is in the process of committing serious mistakes that can never be remedied, both to itself and to coming generations. There is no doubt there is forming in National Socialism a new ruling class of the German nation.  If the aristocracy stands aside from this great aristocratic national movement, destiny will pass over it and then it would be better if it decided to discard its aristocratic titles which have becomes worthless.

The aristocracy stands at the turning point of its history. It is up to it to demonstrate, through its conduct in relation to National Socialism, that race and blood can overcome darkness and class conflict. If the aristocratic principle of the NSDAP according to which only one who fulfills special duties may claim special rights for himself penetrates the aristocracy of today, and if the aristocracy incorporates itself wholly and unconditionally in the great national community of Adolf Hitler, then the possibility will be offered to it even today of recovering its position in the German nation which has been strongly shaken by the events of the last 14 years. And then the proudest privilege of the aristocracy will remain that of offering its sons to the fatherland.

[1] Stephan Malinowski, Vom König zum Führer. Sozialer Niedergang und politische Radikalisierung im deutschen Adel zwischen Kaiserreich und NS-Staat, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2003.

[2] See, for example, Elke Fröhlich, Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, I, iii, p.470.

[3] The rank of an SS Standartenführer was equivalent to that of a colonel.

[4] The Almanach de Gotha was a standard directory of European nobility published from 1763 to 1944.

[5] The Stahlhelm was a league of ex-servicemen of the First World War that acted as a paramilitary force of the monarchist German National People’s Party (DNVP) from 1918 to 1935.

[6] A rank between colonel and brigadier-general.

[7] The Austro-Prussian war fought between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia.

[8] The Franco-Prussian war fought between the French Second Empire and the North German Confederation led by Prussia.

[9] The Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) was established in 1863 and Friedrich Ebert of the SPD became the first president of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933).

[10] The ‘Deutsches Jungvolk’ was the junior division of the ‘Hitler Jugend’, for boys aged 10 to 14.

[11] The ‘Bund Deutscher Mädel’ was the female youth organisation of the National Socialist party.

[12] A reference to the ‘Einjährig-Freiwillger’ volunteers of the Prussian army who, after a year’s service as volunteers, were made reserve officers.

[13] The German Revolution, or November Revolution, of 1918 was a mutiny of German sailors in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel that led to prolonged civil unrest in Germany that ended with the establishment of the parliamentary constitution of the Weimar Republic in August 1919.

[14] Section Commander.

[15] Robert Weismann (1869-1942) was state secretary for Prussia during the Weimar Republic.

[16] Gustav Stresemann (1878-1929) was a politician of the Weimar Republic who served as Foreign Minister and, briefly, Chancellor.

[17] The Deutschnationale Volkspartei (DNVP) was a nationalist and monarchist conservative party of the Weimar period which rejected the Weimar Constitution and the Treaty of Versailles.

[18] Theodor Duesterberg (1875-1950) was a staunchly anti-Semitic leader of the Stahlhelm who was discovered in 1932 to have partly Jewish ancestry. He consequently resigned from the Stahlhelm in 1933.

[19] The Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, founded by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, was a major political party of the Weimar Republic. It was banned in West Germany in 1956.

[20] The Reichsbanner was an organisation of the Weimar Republic devoted to upholding parliamentary democracy in Germany.

[21] Friedrich Ebert (1871-1925) was a member of the SPD and first president of the Weimar Republic.

[22] Philipp Scheidemann (1865-1939) was a member of the SPD who served as Chancellor of the Weimar Republic between February and June 1919.

[23] Gustav Noske (1868-1946), of the SPD, was Minister of Defence of the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1920.

26 replies
  1. Rerevisionist
    Rerevisionist says:

    Jews make every effort to pretend Hitler was an individualist, working on his own, an evil genius inspired by his own beliefs, etc etc. It’s of course rubbish; vast networks are needed to run countries.
    May I recommend the work of ‘Hexzane7’ (Appears to be French, and oldish; but I don’t know).
    I’ve finished assembling his work (in his own English translations) on my site at
    It’s in two main linked parts: the first on the Second World War, examining about 40 absurdities and inconsistencies which have been smeared over by the Jewish media and ‘educators’. I’ve listed the topics individually; for start, look at those that interest you; for example Freemasonry, Germany & USSR and Hitler’s intervention, Vichy France, Spain/ Gibraltar/ Spanish Civil War, D-day.
    The second is his predictions for a third world war, the object being to assemble ‘greater Israel’, taking over parts of countries on the periphery, while generating a war between Muslims and whites in Europe – needing forced immigration and all the rest of it. The object being ultimately to get a white Europe, a big Israel, and a feeling of gratitude to Israel. Based on the dominance of Jews worldwide, evidence from their own media campaigns, plus common sense and thought. Hexzane527 even provides a timetable; maybe 30 years.
    The only advance can be by taking an overview, not nibbling away at small details. I recommend Hexzane527’s approach.

    • Rerevisionist
      Rerevisionist says:

      *APOLOGIES* Could you put this version up please – I mistyped the URL! Sigh

      Jews make every effort to pretend Hitler was an individualist, working on his own, an evil genius inspired by his own beliefs, etc etc. It’s of course rubbish; vast networks are needed to run countries.
      May I recommend the work of ‘Hexzane7’ (Appears to be French, and oldish; but I don’t know).
      I’ve finished assembling his work (in his own English translations) on my site at
      It’s in two main linked parts: the first on the Second World War, examining about 40 absurdities and inconsistencies which have been smeared over by the Jewish media and ‘educators’. I’ve listed the topics individually; for start, look at those that interest you; for example Freemasonry, Germany & USSR and Hitler’s intervention, Vichy France, Spain/ Gibraltar/ Spanish Civil War, D-day.
      The second is his predictions for a third world war, the object being to assemble ‘greater Israel’, taking over parts of countries on the periphery, while generating a war between Muslims and whites in Europe – needing forced immigration and all the rest of it. The object being ultimately to get a white Europe, a big Israel, and a feeling of gratitude to Israel. Based on the dominance of Jews worldwide, evidence from their own media campaigns, plus common sense and thought. Hexzane527 even provides a timetable; maybe 30 years.
      The only advance can be by taking an overview, not nibbling away at small details. I recommend Hexzane527’s approach.

  2. Aristo Boho
    Aristo Boho says:

    Thank you Mister Jacob. Time does not allow me to answer, or shall I say COMMENT, entirely on the three excellent essays you have extracted for us herein, on the relationship between the German Aristocracy and National Socialism. I will only state, that like all institutions, unless there is a spiritual force within them which consistently and unedningly irradiates all aspects of a given country with Tradition then it is eventually doomed to decay and finally encounter destruction, both from within and without. I wonder how much of German aristocracy, like other relatives of theirs throughout Europe, and even within the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church, yet not this religious institution alone, were Freemasonic. We know of the ties of the House of Savoy in Italy with the lodges of London and Paris and their eventual betrayal of the Triple Alliance. Notwithstanding, I do not point the finger necessarily at Freemasonry, which I oppose from a metaphysical position, for there can be members of that organization who can fight for one’s Fatherland and never betray. Nor do I see it as a Jesuit or Jewish plot, albeit The Black Pope and Organized Jewry can indeed like Freemasonry be noxious contributors. It is to put it quite simply, the fault of the aristocrat who fails to meet the spiritual standard required to merit just what it is to be an aristocrat. It is also true that there were authentic aristocrats who did not embrace all of National Socialism, or Fascism, because of their Socialist factors, and also their being Democratic movements of the masses. Recently, as of yesterday July 7th, 2020 in fact, an English language translation by Eric Dennis Antonius Galati of the yet to be published in Italy fourth edition of Doctor Gianfranco de Turris’ monumental study, “Julius Evola Filosofo In Guerra 1943-1945” / “Julius Evola The Philosopher And Magician In War 1943-1945” is available: This work is a primary example of the dilemma of the anti-Communist aristocrat within the throes of Fascism and National Socialism during the inferno of the Second World War and Italian Civil War. To-day we are facing the total deliberate annihilation of our civilization of which World War II was the last battle between the Spiritual and the Material. God Bless, Aristo Boho

  3. Charles Frey
    Charles Frey says:

    Articles here on who treated his gene-determined toe-fungus, and whether floating on the Euphrates or while colonizing Wales, contribute less than nothing to solving our present dilemma.

    By stark contrast, this article enables us to tighten our mental as well as leather-belt by one notch. Origins of ideologies, its named carriers; their failures and successes. Really a mirror reflecting the very origin of our current threatened position.

    And all directly from CONTEMPORANEOUS , exceedingly well-informed contributors. Lacking malodorous Jewish re-direction.

    Go to the Institute for Historical Review site to catch a video conversation [ with English subtitles ] in Finland, between Hitler and Finland’s Mannerheim [ and their staffs ], in which Hitler discloses recent discoveries about the SU’s immense and surprising preparedness: especially in tanks and artillery, and unanswered questions by the Soviets about their intentions on Romania [ oil ]. [ Corroborating Suvorov’s THE CHIEF CULPRIT, et. al. , and lectures at Annapolis, etc. ]

    Lacking even a hint as to Hitler’s alleged difficulty not to express himself as other than a historically convenient, raving, incoherent lunatic.

    Thanks to IHR for featuring it !

  4. Carolyn Yeager
    Carolyn Yeager says:

    Finding this article here today felt to me like finding an oasis with clean, cold water and shady fruit trees after months of wandering parched and hungry in the desert of White Nationalist websites. It really did, and that’s why the analogy came to me. I read it immediately and was refreshed and made happy. I basically agree with what Alexander Jacobs said in his introductory remarks. I reflect that it’s astonishing, even though we’re all used to it, that we never get **anything** on National-Socialist Germany as a normal part of our history, as it is presented here. Why not? We know one reason – The Jews. Yet this is a Jew-wise site that is critical of Jewish influence. So why else? White people who are indoctrinated with the Allied Victor’s mentality and want everything to do with “Nazis” to go away. Did any of you enjoy this article and even learn something from it?

    Thank you, TOO, for publishing it. Good job!

    • Achilles Wannabe
      Achilles Wannabe says:

      Yeah, I loved these documents and I am always looking for articles abut National Socialism and fascism and wonder why we don’t see more on White Nationalist sites

      “We know one reason – The Jews. Yet this is a Jew-wise site that is critical of Jewish influence. So why else?”

      Well, like you say, the “NAZI: stereotype has been so successfully fixed in the media that challenging it at least doubly complicates any criticism of Jews. But how about Anglo ethnocentrism? We talk a lot about White Nationalism but how much of “white” in White Nationalism is really Anglo or neo WASP? Germanophobia seems to go back in English and Anglo American history. Also National Socialism was socialism which violates the Anglo preference for small government and “free” markets Maybe in addition to our race realism and Jew realism we need some ethnic realism in “White” Nationalism? Obviously we are not all Anglo with Anglo tastes and interests,

      • Carolyn Yeager
        Carolyn Yeager says:

        Well, AW, you can see how the stubborn WASPS and Anglos here refuse to even comment on this article, for fear it might encourage more like it. They’re voting for what they want, and they’ll be heard.
        But hoping to inspire a little more comment, I’ll add that these essays by the German aristocrats of the time show that Hitler’s aims, from the very beginning, did not represent something bizarre or out of step with the traditional German nation, it’s ideals and people. Opposition to him was ‘politics’ then and it’s the same ‘politics’ today that paint him as something “un-German,” something weird and not representative of average Germans expectations of his day. Germans in that time were highly patriotic, were not filled with guilt, and did not love Jews! They were quite able to stand up for themselves and didn’t mind even trumpeting their own worth and worthiness, demanding fairness and their share. Unthinkable in today’s new Germany and new Europe!

        • Hannes
          Hannes says:

          Madame “Jäger”:
          Don’t idealize. For instance Count Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf was a traitor at least since 1933. Consequently he was involved in the betrayal in July 1944 against the Führer. Not all that glitters isn’t gold. But in general you are certainly right.
          Greetings from Federal Republic (previously Germany).

          • Carolyn Yeager
            Carolyn Yeager says:

            Thanks. I know of Helldorff’s treason against the Third Reich, but am not sure it began in 1933. I think he was another one of those fence-sitters, who at the end fell over to the wrong side.

    • Dave J
      Dave J says:

      “So why else?”

      Lots of people see a contrast between an anti-Jewish freedom fight and the idea that Hitler “had to” invade other white countries. Though I think that’s a bigger concern in Europe than in the Anglo sphere (for obvious reasons) so not sure if contributors on this site care much. In my observation, European white nationalists often distrust people who defend Hitler, and wouldn’t expect less hostility from a world controlled by them than from this global judeocracy. They think they would be occupied with some rationalization if economic interests would incentivize it. Hard to blame them if you look at history, though I’m yet to read extensive arguments for and against Hitler himself and I don’t yet know the specifics of Jewish warmongering, ie. how much it added to white infighting in the past. Then again I’m pretty sure we would’ve quarreled plenty even without Jews.

      • Carolyn Yeager
        Carolyn Yeager says:

        How much of an issue was “whiteness” or white countries in 1940? Do you know how recent White Nationalism is? It popped up in the USA in the 1980s! Willis Carto, David Duke etc. popularized it. There was no White Nationalism in Hitler’s time—in fact he was the first to talk about a common union of European nations to defend Europe and its values. Yet it is and was white countries who sought to destroy white Germany for economic gain for themselves alone. They had no respect for whiteness.

        You admit: “I’m yet to read extensive arguments for and against Hitler himself and I don’t yet know the specifics of Jewish warmongering” and I’m sure you’re not alone. Thus you’re not educated on the subject, but only indoctrinated, leaving us again with only Anglo-WASPism in control on this site and most everywhere else. Intelligent arguments against Hitler are hard to come by. But thanks for offering your thoughts.

        • Achilles Wannabe
          Achilles Wannabe says:

          Yeah I was hoping for more comment on your comment Carolyn, OK, so I will do it

          The thing that I increasingly realize is that the history of National Socialism is not just a sort of extracurricular interest that WN’s can pursue or not pursue in addition to the REALLY important issue which is contemporary Jewish Power, What happened with National Socialism and the Anglo countries is part of the key to understanding Jewish Power today – understanding the Semitic Will to Power and the WASP susceptibility to Semitism The Semitic and eventually Anglo or WASP -Semitic attack on Germany we foolishly still call the great fight for democracy was the tipping point between WASP -Jewish power relations and the America First and England first nationalist movements. The Jews and WASPs took us to war against Germany because National Socialist views and policies threatened Jewish -WASP interests internationally and nationally – their free market, cheap labor, antinationalist and ethnocentric ideologies and policies which have made us into the usurious free market dump we call neo liberalist today. Hitler never would have tolerated neo liberalism. He would have fought it, not with War, but with the example of a socialism that WORKED because it was nationalist and would have appealed to a great many non anglicized white people or to Angelo’s – workers, farmers – who were outside the cash nexus of the Jews and the Judaized. Destroying him and his successful movement was the absolutely necessary step to developing the Capitalist – read usurious – economics and anti society we have today and are trying to impose on the world through WASP – Jewish neoconservatism. Not understanding National Socialism and the War is like not considering the American Revolution or the Civil War when trying to understand the fundamentals of American development. Actually, It is goyishe

          • Carolyn Yeager
            Carolyn Yeager says:

            This is a very good, credible theory that helps explains why the United States was so eager to join in a European war, AW. But the same group of people set out to instigate the first “great European war” too, so it wasn’t just Adolf Hitler’s anti-usury leadership, but Germany itself. German idealism combined with strength to resist. Idealism seems to be the key word that best describes what made Germany such a target. Remember, it was Germans who kept the Holy Roman Empire going for a thousand years.

      • Charles Frey
        Charles Frey says:

        Dave, with all respect for your admission, that you are just beginning to study deeper.

        You commence with: ” Lots of people see a contrast between an anti-Jewish freedom fight and the idea that Hitler ” had to ” invade other white countries. ”

        01 There is no ” contrast “: but rather a single cause and effect on one continuum, reaching well into today.
        02 In the beginning [ so to speak ] there was Versailles with its innumerable inequities and gangsterous changes of goalposts, resulting in the death by starvation, of ca. 800,000 German, helpless older men, women and children. [ Royal Navy White Paper ].
        03 FIVE YEARS BEFORE Russian Wolf Jabotinski’s Betar, with Jewish banners and uniformed, stopped parading in Berlin in 38, International Jewry DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY !!! and announced a well-executed Economic Boycott, worldwide.
        04 Berlin responded with the more than generous HAAVARA agreement which froze Jewish bank accounts, but allowed them to draw on them for purchases of German goods, particularly from Palestine; lessening the boycott’s impact. [ Read the Jewish Edwin Black’s excellent book, THE TRANSFER AGREEMENT, for which effort he was of course temporarily shunned by the Chicago outfit.
        05 The Western Allies occupied the Low Countries, positioning themselves within an hour’s drive of Germany’s industrial heartland. Criminal to ignore by Germany, wouldn’t you agree ?
        06 The Wehrmacht’s ” Foreign Armies East ” Intelligence, became aware of enormous Soviet buildups on its eastern flank, with materiel suited for offense rather than defense. As mentioned by Hitler personally to Mannerheim, in my above referred-to IHR video, even he could not at first believe the extent of their offensive buildup.
        07 Ever since OPERATION BARBAROSSA Germany has been guilted and warranted to the cash register. Irrespective of the later declassified documents proving Suvorov, several other ex-Soviet historians and one or two Germans correct. The Anglo-Chickenshits prevail.
        08 Stalin, pursuant to his speeches to his Military Academies, was coming for Germany on May 15, 1941. Hess flew to GB, so he demurred, then set July 15 as the new day for the Jewish-Bolshevik onslaught AGAINST ALL OF EUROPE, INTENDING TO USE GERMANY AS HIS “”” ICE BREAKER “”” TO CONQUER ALL OF EUROPE.
        10 Indeed, he ” had to ” invade a couple of other white countries, en route to pull Mussolini’s butt out of the fire just when he needed his own troops in Russia.

        11 Only an abject fool would give Norfolk a snowball’s chance in Hell, to reconquer Stalin’s Fortress Europa: extending from Iceland to Iran. With a Red Star emblazoned on every Spitfire, Lancaster, Wellington, Focke-Wulf, Messerschmidt, Heinkel, V -1, V – 2, and thousands of vessels.
        12 Of course America and most of the residual West will have to live with ” historian ” Shirer’s feature article in the Saturday Evening Post, entitled: If Hitler had won the War. Front page covered by an all-encompassing swastika over the entire globe. In the text, the historian Shirer has the tall, blond, blue-eyed SS-Officer rape the innocent American farm girl. Now, if that doesn’t make your inner thighs quiver: a la Madison Avenue !

        Time to start some serious reading, Dave !

    • Aristo Boho
      Aristo Boho says:

      Dear Miss Yeager, I was informed earlier this year that in Germany there has been a great amount of historical information on National Socialism published.though I doubt there is allowed a breadth, depth and width given the psychological trauma imposed upon German society after the war, and the even worse situation to-day. Yet I am sure there is much to consider. If one instead were to want to study Fascism the situation of its historiography is quite different in Italy. Since 1945 till this very day there is an enormous and never ending taking into account of every contrasting and distinct historical approach and genre imaginable, whether from the anti-Fascist, pro-Fascist or neither.The problem with these respective German and Italian studies of either political idea and their regimes, including their main protagonists, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, is that the English world of academia and publishing won’t allow such objectivity, as the Italians do. We either end up with great bias, deliberate mendacity or scholars, whether journalists or out right historians who suffer from ideological moralization. One reads of a so-called monumental biography on Mussolini, one book, by an historian of the Englsih language, and no mention is ever considered of the eight volume one by Renzo De Felice, which took him thirty-two years to write, or the three volume History Of Fascism by an ex-Fascist syndicalist turned Communist after the war, Enzo Santarelli, or the same history from a Fascist perspective by Messers Pino Rauti & Rutillio Sermonti in six volumes. The problem is an Anglo-Saxon culture of hypocrisy and more so than Anglo-Saxon, a Technocracy of Evil that controls under the banner of freedom the diffusion of knowledge. So my dear learn your languages, and then again, the cost for obtaining books from Europe and even Canada since the Winter of 2012 is another impediment: the postage can cost sometimes more than the book itself. One last point: Beware of not a few Americans enamored with Hitler and his ideology classified as Far Right and similar, who know nothing whatsoever about the topic they claim to be experts on and are only monoglots.. God Bless, Aristo Boho

      • Carolyn Yeager
        Carolyn Yeager says:

        Adolf Hitler was a monoglot. He spoke only German. I don’t think I need to read Italian to understand Hitler, who was in my opinion not a fascist. That’s why he came up with National Socialism. Regards.

        • Aristo Boho
          Aristo Boho says:

          You have missed my whole point; did you really read what I composed? It appears not. When I refer to monoglot I am speaking about people in the Anglo-Saxon sphere, not everyone nor Adolf Hitler. There are those in English speaking countries, and they are many, who claim to speak with authority about National Socialism and know very little about it and are a lot of rubbish. I know Germans who are of this belief and they want nothing to do with these cretins in America and England. Who told you to read Italian to understand Hitler? I never composed that. God Bless, Aristo Boho.

  5. Hannes
    Hannes says:

    I’m again and again surprised what precious treatises on some American blogs can be found!
    Greetings from across the atlantic.

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      Hannes, after you yourself have thoroughly enjoyed these treatises, you could honor their authors and ameliorate your future by circulating them as widely as possible.

      • Hannes
        Hannes says:

        Charles: My future is ameliorated, when a fair amount of far right, wailing wimps turn into matured resistance, Sir!
        Greetings from Germany

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      Oscar, by grade five, in post-War Germany we all started mandatory English lessons, despite half the teachers having been killed, window-less classrooms, unheated, lacking washrooms: but at least with one hot macaroni and tomato-sauce lunch per day.

      Nowadays there must be a superabundance of these English teachers in Germany. Find one sympathetic to our movement and ask them to CONFIDENTIALLY translate these articles. A superficial mistake here and there is easily made up by the entirety of the dissemination. Of course most people interested in these issues speak English – but that doesn’t mean that those who don’t should be abandoned.

      Give it a try and let us know !

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