Letters to the Editor
[In view of the length of many of the letters which we receive, we would remind correspondents that we often cannot give space for long letters and that short ones are generally read with more attention. The length which we consider most suitable is about that of one of our paragraphs on " News of the Week."—Ed. SPECTATOR.
WHY I AM A NAZI [We have received the following letter from a German student of nineteen, who has just returned from his first visit to England. He apologizes for not writing correct English " because I have only been speaking English for a short time." Our correspondent wrote this letter to explain why he is a Nazi, as he feels that there is much misunderstanding of the Nazi movement in Great Britain.—ED. Spectator.] [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sut,—Reading every day a lot of English newspapers I find very often small articles referring to the great nationalist movement of the German people. These articles mostly contain a very severe critique, and express disgust about the outbursts of this movement. All these attempts to describe this movement go wrong because they are all seen from a distance, even then when written in Germany, and do not realize the motives behind the facts.
I hope it will be now of interest for an Englishman to hear of the events and the feelings of the German youth described by one who is one of Lhem and takes a lively part in them— from a student who is an adherent of this great nationalist movement. All these things gain from day to day a greater importance because the " National-Socialist-labour-party (N.S.D.A.P.) " as it is correctly called, is extremely increasing, The general election in Hesse three days ago and the general- student-election just yesterday show this fact with great obviousness.
I shall try to interpret our aims and endeavours in questions of national and international life. First of all it must be said that this present movement is the first in the history of Germany which has members of all classes of the population, dukes, leaders of the industry and finance, students, peasants and labourers. A great number of the inscribed members (800,000) is soldierlike organized for protecting the leaders and the meetings against attacks of the Communists which happen very often. The whole organization has quite a different aspect when seen from England. To her it looks much more aggressive than it is, but the aims are much more defensive than offensive.
We don't want to be a party, as there are many, which represents only a class or an interest—we feel that only a co-operation of all classes for the same ideal can save us and preserve the " Reich." The first step towards this internal restoration is to beat down Bolshevism, which is financed by Russia. We feel it not only to be a great danger for Germany, but for the whole of Europe. In these days we try with all our might to stamp it out, but our financial ruin of course makes this very difficult. The great unemployment and discontent in the great cities and black countries (industrial parts) are wells and germs of Bolshevism. We try, as Nationalists, to convert workers and labourers to national ideas and to make them members of a sound society. This is our chief effort to strengthen a feeling of solidarity, responsibility and readiness for sacrifice, a feeling which England has in such a pronounced degree. It is not the " spirit of 1914 " (as I read in a French newspaper) which lives in us, but the will of self-preservation.
With regard to our foreign policy we all have the desire for a successful international co-operation which doesn't permit of any permanent abandonment of essential interests in order to guarantee our existence. We desire to work to pay our private debts to the last penny, but we have no great hope to be able to pay fifty years further our so-called reparations, but we shall do what we can.
To sum up, the German youth strives after an international understanding on the foundation of equal opportunities for the great nations in questions of finance, trade and policy, which are in our days so connected with each other.
What I have said may seem to you sound and reasonable, even from the English point of view, but there are always three things, which struck you most and which want an explanation. These are the warlike speeches of Hitler, the
prosecution of Jewish people, and the joining with Com- munism in a certain vote.
Every great movement needs a strong impulse. We had entirely lost a sound national feeling which is now re-awaking, but this needs some strong catchwords for the crowd—nothing, however, is to be eaten as hot as it is cooked. And when you are struck by words like these : " and heads will roll in the dust," please " take them with a grain of salt " according to the English proverb. Directed have been these words only to men, who worked obviously against common prosperity in their own and Russian interests.
With regard to the Referendum for the Dissolution of the Prussian Diet last summer, in which the Nazis and Bolsheviks voted together, it is to be said that both tried to capsize the Labour-Government, the Nationalists in order to give our internal development a better, more conservative direction, the Bolsheviks (it means the same as Communists) in order to prepare one step further towards anarchy.
The third point is the prosecution of Jewish people. I only can say you are happy not to have such a large class of nouveau rich Jews, who came over to Germany in the years 1918-1923 from Poland and the East, and who made a splendid business in the misfortunes of a people which lost a war and its money. There is no word in Germany against Jews who are belonging to old families, living since a long time with us. All hate is concentrated only on these Jews I speak of, which are found mostly in the streets of the gold old West " of Berlin and which are even disliked by old Jewish families.
I hope this letter to describe the German youth's feeling may convince you, that our way has a sound spirit and that facts which shock you are only exaggerations which no great movement can avoid.—I am, Sir, &c.,
HANS-JC1RG EN SCHUCIIT.
37 Franz-Josephstrasse, Munich, Germany.