The Philosophical Fundamentals
of National Socialism
A Call to the Weapons
of the German Mind
Dr. Otto Dietrich
National Chief Press Officer of the NSDAP
With an afterword by
Ferdinand Hirt in Breslau, Königsplatz 1
“Against the Publication of this writing
the NSDAP raises no concerns.”
Berlin, the 27th November 1934
Printed in Germany
Copyright 1934 by Ferdinand Hirt in Breslau
Title image photography Ludwig Harren, Nürnberg
Scan from archive.org
OCR and translation by bastila.neocities.org
I did not translate the following parts of the publication: “The Voice of the Press”, “The Voice of the Readers and Hearers” and the recommendations of the publisher because it’s really long and not really essential.
Explanations for untranslatable words:
Heimat — It’s kind of like home but has a much deeper meaning too it. It’s where you belong to, where you come from and where you fit in. It’s a broad word often applied to the region you’re from. Displaced people are heimatless.
Folk only refers to a people as an ethnic group in this writing.
You may need to look up the German concept of worldview (Weltanschauung) if you are not familiar with it.
Further explanations appear directly in the text in parentheses.
We in Germany know what national socialism is —
We Germans, and especially those who did not emerge directly from the sphere of our national socialist thinking, understand national socialism by experiencing it every day in all its expressions and effects within the national socialist folk’s community. And even the Germans outside our borders can feel national socialism from their inner blood connection with us.
However, if we place importance on making national socialism comprehensible and awaken understanding by other nations living in a different world of feelings and thoughts, then we must communicate our thoughts to them in a form that they understand.
We must express the national socialist ideas and spiritual laws of life in a language that combines the new with the old, inner world with the environment.
This scientific group of tasks is important, it is urgent. For in the absence of such a clear-cut form, I would say, in the current lack of such an internationally understandable spiritual language of national socialism lies not only the source of many errors and misunderstandings, but it also deprives us of the opportunity to oppose malevolent hostility and slander with the weapons of the spirit. And this applies not only to abroad, but also to a part of our own spiritual and scientific world.
From this sense, Alfred Rosenberg, the party’s commissioner for the supervision of the education of worldview, recently called for a stronger spiritual fixing of our worldview. “After power obtainment” — he explained — “the national socialist movement must now be more than ever mindful of the spiritual fixing of worldview, so that the unity of thought and action is guaranteed not only for today, but for all future generations.”
So far we national socialists have had enough to do inside to devote ourselves to the scientific expansion of our worldview. Unlike others, we are guided by the principle of first making practical life according to our worldview and then proving its usefulness before completing its shaping in the scientific field.
But it is now time to manifest the spirit of the new Germany, which is carried out in the feeling and will of its folk’s-comrades, as a well-established teaching. A philosophical groundwork seems to me to be one of the most important and essential requirements, and to serve this task, I want deliver a contribution to it. Not as a philosopher but as a national socialist, to whom the philosophical territory is not foreign.
I should like to add that it is not the purpose of my remarks to make statements which only wish to be true because they do not find any contradiction. On the contrary, I attach particular importance to keeping myself within the frame of purely scientific evidence. And that is why I have to expand on this a little.
If the philosophy strives to collect all the contents of world events in a single point, which is sufficient for the whole manifold of this world events as an explanatory value, then the fundamental dualism of mind and matter — or however you might call it otherwise — must be opposed. The fundamental attempts to resolve one of these poles in the other, or one due to the other, in order to gain the unity of the whole world, dominate the history of philosophy.
If we ignore the philosophy of religion and its metaphysical attitude for the moment, then the great philosophical systems before Kant can be formally classified into these two mental concepts.
Rationalism and sensualism, opt each for one of the human realisational forces, the mind and the sensuality, in order to determine the nature of the objective world.
Kant was the first to overcome this contradiction of philosophical thought and tried to dissolve it in a higher unity. The decisive prerequisite of world perception to him is not logical-conceptual thinking or sensory cognition alone, but the whole intellect, the whole consciousness in its linkage of both makes the experience, whose absolute validity it presupposes, however.
By being the sum of the pure forms in which we are able to think at all, the mind is to him the condition of what becomes experience by means of sensory perceptions. And since to him things can, so to speak, be broken only through the medium of the soul, before they become knowledge for the human, you could say in the sense of Kant: “The world is my imagination”
Like Kant came, through the perceptional-theoretical way, to the understanding that only the “unity of consciousness” makes insight possible, but at the same time limits it to imaginations and declares the absolute, the “thing in itself” as our spirit, incomprehensible, achieved Goethe, for example, from a very different, more artistic mindset of a similar synthesis. “Want to find yourself in the infinite, must distinguish and then connect.”
He makes the concept of life, felt as a whole, perceived as totality, the source point of cognition. This has led to a philosophy of life in which Schopenhauer and Nietzsche have created their immortal works too. However, they all combine that, albeit at a higher level, to that archetypal phenomenon, from whose inscrutability philosophy had assumed.
However from another point of view, a profile can be drawn from the philosophical thinking. The variety of phenomena, the infinity of being, can only be accessed by the human mind if it breaks them down into form and content.
Like the thought, on the one hand, that something in all change persists, allowing the formless substance grow to the totality of being, so there is also the attempt, to make the empty form, that which changes in all persisting things, to the supreme principle of the universe, to be found all over the history of philosophy.
The “philosophy of being” has found its decisive expression in Spinoza’s “Substantia sive deus”. In Hegel’s “Self-Movement of the Idea”, the philosophy of becoming reached its peak in close connection with the ideas of development.
From whatever perspective we look at philosophical thinking, we see from its history that the contrariety of world contents encircle all attempts of the philosophical spirit to handle them.
The philosophical striving for the last scientific unity, for the conceptual completion of the positive knowledge to a coherent mindset of being, has remained to this day lastly fundamentally unsatisfactory. The appeal to the unprovable, the metaphysic, has always been their last word.
Nor has the so-called phenomenological philosophy convinced us of the opposite, since it has no positive results.
Thus, the history of philosophy itself to date seems to confirm that the last absolute truth is an ideal to which the knowledge as a distant lightening light aspires, a guide from the dark to the bright, which leads to tireless scientific progress of humanity.
We are far from talking about a philosophical pessimism. For the value and significance of these philosophical systems for the development of the human mind remain unaffected by the temporary nature of their findings.
Like life itself, scientific knowledge is in constant flow. And how Fichte’s word “What a philosophy you choose depends on what kinf of man you are” still has its sense today, so the philosophical thinking of an epoch will always be the reflection of their zeitgeist.
If we look for the location of the philosophical thought of the present, then this task becomes significantly easier through the circumstance that a few weeks ago the philosophers of the world were united to the 8th international philosopher congress in Prague.
What was clearly unveiled in front of the world at this congress, attended by over 600 philosophers from 21 countries, was nothing more than the crisis of the philosophy of our time, as it is no longer a mystery to the philosophical contemporaries.
It would be of little value for the purpose of these statements to address the spiritual conflicts of the Prague congress in detail; we will still have the opportunity to touch some thoughts in the process.
The overall result of this philosophical discussion is in any case not any kind of positive solutions, but vice versa precisely in the absence of any great and uniform perspectives. Even the shift of the main topic to the field of modern state science by the passionate discussion of the problem of “the crisis of democracy” was not able to blur this impression, but merely reinforced it.
The result may find its best expression in the letter sent to congress by the philosopher Edmund Husserl, in which he stated that today philosophy is exposed to the threat of extinction. Skepticism, ambiguity horizons, disagreement on the philosophical discipline are signs of this.
The few still true philosophers only agree on their dispositions. The question of being had to be radically reshaped. Only then will philosophy be able to come together again for collective achievements.
Thus, one of their own ranks has uttered in front of the international forum of philosophers what the philosophical consciousness of our time is all about: the question of being must be radically re-posed in a time where the spirit faces such a fundamental re-shaping of social life in the present. Today, we live at the intersection of two epochs whose change and transition were caused by the world war and the socialist and nationalist revolutions in its wake.
Is it surprising, is it not completely natural, that this transition, in which the old one falls and the new one is not yet finished, is also reflected in a spiritual conversion, in a crisis of mind and philosophical thought as we see it today?
This crisis would only justify a skepticism for us if we were clinging to the decline of what has been. However the fact that the old is still struggling with the new all over the world doesn’t relieve us, in whom the new has already taken shape, from the need to carry it spiritually, as a banner bearer of a new time too.
If we bring the spiritual worldview, as most philosophers of the past have seen and studied it, to an all common starting point, to an all common denominator, then it has been individualism to which they almost all subjected in their thinking.
Man the measurement of all things. Man as a unity of mind and matter, of subject and object, the starting point and end point of all philosophy. The individual, the single one, was the reference center for philosophy of all time of all knowledge altogether.
The only undeniable, resting pole in the appearances escape — unless a more comfortable way of thinking preferred to also dissolve this embarrassing to bear earthly rest in the aether of a sole principle. The individualism, to speak in Kant’s terminology, was the category of philosophical thought altogether.
What is more self-evident than that the crisis of individualism that we are experiencing today must also be the crisis of — individualistic — philosophy!
And how life itself reorients, away from the divinization of the individual and towards the community, this must also be particularly expected from spiritual life in general and from philosophy if it is to rise again. This is not a cheap statement, but a hint to the fundamental context.
The individualistic thinking is based on individual consciousness as the only given fact and compares it sovereignly to the world. With this sovereignty of the individualistic mind towards the world, philosophy is given a practically unlimited swamp of metaphysical speculation.
To gain world knowledge through philosophy: a captivating thought that has always attracted and will attract the best spirits. However all individualistic philosophy ends — as history shows us — in the unprovable.
It cannot comprehend what the whole of life is concrete, only where individualism leads to recognition requirements and limits, it gets to practical, positive findings. For individualism, the identity of the subject with the object, as occurs in the self-consciousness, in which the self-awareness of the individual comes to the fore, the last — inexplicable.
For the individualism, this unthinkable unity of the cognizer with the recognized remains the miracle of the “world knot”, like it had to for Schopenhauer.
And Kant’s ingenious individualistic theory of knowledge, which limits the world of experience to imaginations, ends up in the postulate of the ethics of practical reason — in the moral law of the community.
So the individualistic philosophy, which set out on gaining the last world knowledge, views itself at the end of its path opposed to the community and finds its practical realisations only where the universalistic thinking begins. Therefore we reached a crucial point in our observations.
Individualistic thinking is based on the as self-evident accepted requirement that man is an individual being. This requirement — however firmly rooted in the public perception — is wrong and is based on a fatal error in reasoning.
Man does not oppose us in the world as an individual but as a member of a community. Man is a collective being in all his actions and can only be thought of in this way.
Man is conceptually determined by living in community with others; his life is realized only in community.
Community is a term to which the whole history of humanity is subject, is the form in which human life runs from cradle to grave, without which it would be unthinkable.
The actual circumstances, which we find in the world, are not single humans, but races, folks, nations. Man as an individual may be a research object of the natural sciences.
Object of knowledge for the humanities he only is as a member of a community in which his life becomes real and unfolds practical.
This fundamental fact will have to be taken into account by the humanities and, in particular, by philosophy in its epistemological groundwork if they want to maintain their outstanding position in the intellectual life of the German nation and remain in a living fruitful relationship with its development.
The place of the individualistic thinking has to be taken by the universalistic, the community conscious thought, the place of the mechanical worldview by the universalistic — or if you will the organic — worldview.
I would like to stress in advance that the term universalistic, which I will use in the future, is not identical to the nondescript general term of human society or humanity, but that here universalism is the terminological opposite to individualism, a concept that becomes a reality not in the “society” but in the community.
The fact that individualistic thinking has abused the term of universalism for its own purposes will not prevent me, to return it to its true meaning.
We will see later how such a new groundwork of thought, which is based on community consciousness as a ultimately biologically conditioned fact, sensibly classifies the tremendous ideological and revolutionary events of our days.
Now the scientific consciousness of how much the individual is connected to a whole is not in itself a new discovery, which I for example take for myself. The social or societal perspective has long been one of the most significant but also most controversial problems in many of our individual sciences. In the “universalistic conception of the state”, such as Othmar Spann teaches, in jurisprudence, in the national-economy, in the social-psychology etc. it has been reflected for decades, but without any inner connection with the universalistic-organic thinking of national socialism based on a racial-biological basis.
In sociology, which Comtes has already established, the growing importance, the increasing scientific interest in the problems of society, has, as is well known, condensed to a special science. How much this problem and the instinctive consciousness of its importance has occupied the minds for a long time, can be seen from the decades-long scientific dispute over the object determination of sociology as its own science.
One direction proclaimed all sciences of human action only as parts of an all-encompassing social science; everything that is not natural science should find accommodation in this new science “sociology”.
Others however limited the knowledge field of sociology to the forms of human society, while the rest denied sociology to be a science and only accepted them as a method of social science research.
We see: The problem has long been recognized and perceived by science, its solution has been tried isolated and fragmentary, but has never been comprehensively and radically implemented for epistemological thinking.
While Tönnies has made the fundamental difference between community and society clear for science, Eucken has undergird it ideologically, but without science having recognized the worthlessness of the concept of society for its fundamental work.
Here is the national socialist worldview called, to make the scientific breakthrough and finally to raise the universalistic, community-conscious thinking to the throne of true knowledge in the humanities, which it demands for.
The scientific groundworks of such a universalistic foundation of philosophical thought, on which a new construction in the spirit of our time can take place, have long existed.
Here I name the philosopher Johannes Rehmke, who in his works “Philosophy as a Fundamental Science” and “Fundamentals of Ethics as a Science” in obligatory, strictly scientific evidence, but also strongly opposed the erroneous opinion, that man is an individual.
With its teaching of the life rules of the community, he has created valuable tools for the development of a universalistic-oriented philosophy. “Every human is unique, but not an unique individual”, says Rehmke. “We know that in the world the actually-acting is the general without exception”, and further: “At the root of all evil, the human as an individual, the axe must be placed in science.
The dreaming and poetizing in philosophy must come to an end. Solely the facts have the say in philosophy as well.”
However, a fact which cannot be further attributed are the communities, the races, the folks, the nations as historical and material realities.
And one more thinker I would like to mention here, who unfortunately left us too early, the young philosopher Paul Krannhals, who died a few months ago in Munich. It is my duty to honour him, who was so directly connected to us national socialists during the years of his work, by bringing him closer to the wider public and to acknowledge the place of his work in the philosophical foundation of national socialism.
I would like to describe his work “The Organic Worldview”, published in Munich in 1928, as the first, seen from the national socialist point of view, correct attempt to scientifically clarify and illustrate the organic or universalistic worldview as in accordance with the interior of our German way of life.
“The individual”, so says Krannhals too, “as such has neither the right nor the obligation to exist, since all right and all duty are derived only from the community.” He demands organic thinking as an expression of the awakening refocusing of the German soul on itself.
Not in the rational attitude of the world he sees the innermost core of the German nature-, but especially in its irrational recognition by experience. Instinct and Intuition here become active forces of cognition.
“The philosophical refocusing by the German present is the refocusing on the totality of our soul.
Its goal is the rule of the folkish pronounced soul of kind”, that, what Rosenberg calls the racial soul. As Krannhals assigns the constructiveness of the German soul, the German folk’s souls, the root of German culture the decisive place among the German humanities, so he calls for the education to community consciousness and the training of all soul forces in this regard.
“The constructive Nordic soul has shaped a number of cultures and will continue to do so in the future.” “It is the inestimable value of the great German works of art, that they make us feel the deep inner bond of all generations of German lineages with each other and with the homeland soil.”
On the other hand, the race-consciousness acquired in the gradual accumulation of hereditary properties can only be preserved, “if the racial foundation of the folkish character, if their biological root remains vital.”
Krannhals undertakes the, in the idea, great attempt of a national organization of knowledge, so that knowledge is also organically linked to life and enters into the process of life.
He asks the question: “How do we have to organize the knowledge so that the preservation and promotion correspond to the wholewise folk in material and idealistic terms, so that the development of all its abilities to the highest can provide it the greatest service possible?”
We can see from these few indications, how here a young German philosopher, who the University of Marburg made into a doctor h.C. a few weeks before his death, scientifically-philosophically captured the essence of the national socialist worldview and formed it into the foundation of a a universalistic-organic worldview, which meets the spirit of our time.
It’s not a completed system and it didn’t want to be, but it’s a start and shows the task we need to build on.
Such an organic thought construct about a national socialist world view is linked to the mentality of the best philosophers of German tongue, whose German soul-hood could not suffocate rational and individualistic thinking.
In Cologne by the Rhine roughly 1300, the Dominican prior Meister Ekkehard teached. We call him as a philosopher, the discoverer of the German soul, of the intimacy of the German mind, of the “fortress of the soul” and of the “will, capable of all things.” Kant’s moral law: “Act in such a way that the maxim of your will can at any time be regarded as a principle of general legislation”, is the almost classic formulation of national socialist ethics.
Fichte as a philosopher is at the same time preacher and prophet of the nation. He demands that the scientific situation be not understood by the letter but by the mind, that it includes the whole human being. His principle: “I don’t just want to think, I want to act” is the spirit of the national socialist spirit. His demand for state organization of labor, so that everyone can live from his work, as he calls for in the “closed trading state”, is practical national socialism in the best sense.
All this is not individualism, not liberalism, but universalistic, organic, thinking in accordance with the national socialist worldview, as Alfred Rosenberg has illustrated us in his works in so many fields of art and science.
Only in this general axis rotation of the epistemology from individualism to universalism can the revolution of spirits also take place in the scientific field.
Because the philosophical spirit of an epoch is ultimately always decisive for the structure and system construction of the individual research fields.
From this new foundation of thought in terms of the community, we can, in the age of national and social revolution open up the world of the mind and organize it sensibly.
“There is no world history in the actual sense, but only the history of different races and folks,” says Rosenberg for science of history.
The raciology and race research consequently have to become one of the most important research fields of the scientific world.
The universalistic-organic conception of the state finds its write down in the teaching of the folk’s community as essence basis of the state.
From the community, not from the individual, jurisprudence also derives its principles and fundamentals.
The economic science doesn’t have the individual but the social community as point of origin.
The philosophy has the task of educating young people to community consciousness, to community thinking, etc.
All these areas of knowledge thus gain their unity from a root, from the root that underlies national socialist thinking and determines its worldview: from the community, the only real sphere of human life on this earth.
Such a new groundwork of philosophy stays now by no means limited to the limits of specifically national thought, although it also takes its starting point from it. It is a universally appliable epistemological principle, which applies to all communities and finds utilization on all nations, even though their political development is not yet ready for such community consciousness.
For not only the life of the peoples, but also the human comprehension is subject to progressive development. The German nation is far enough to take this fundamental step in the sphere of scientific recognition. The only decisive factor is that the newly gained knowledge, the acknowledgment of which still seems impossible for a different kind of thinking, is correct. I think I have given some details for this correctness.
Here, new great tasks for the German intellectuality arise not only inwardly, but also outwardly, in the face of the world. One ought to think, that it is precisely liberalism that should stand away from dogmatically frozen thinking and at least give its own principles free space where new life begins to bloom in the sphere of the spirit.
The so-called immortal ideas of liberalism are the ideas that makes the folks die. On the other hand, in the folk-becoming of the Nations, which we already see as a breakthrough in Germany and Italy, the great process of restructuring within the folks announces itself, which is not only called upon to develop their internal forces for the welfare of all, but also to ensure the order of the Nations among themselves through a natural demarcation of their living needs and interests.
This development towards a dynamic order of Nations in place of the mechanical side- and against each other corresponds to the shift from individualism to universalism, to which the future belongs.
Already today this change is more than a European mental problem, which is presented from Germany and Italy to the rest of the world. Italian fascism is related to the national socialist mind-set.
The first policy of the fascist party is introduced by the following principle: “The nation is not the simple sum of the living individuals, but an organism that includes the infinite series of generations, and in which the individuals are nothing but fading elements. It is the highest synthesis of all material and immaterial goods of the nation.”
And in the first chapter of the Carta del Lavoro it says: “The Italian nation is an organism whose purpose, existence, means are superior to those of individuals or associations in power as in duration.”
Here fascism is fundamentally opposed to individualism, but fascist teaching of state, as for example Guido Bortolotto has stated in his work “Fascism and Nation”, does not reach to the depth of an intellectually comprehensive universalistic idea.
It rejects the individualism, however without embracing the universalistic principle, but seeks to establish between the two a third, that should have specifically fascist and exclusively fascist character, the corporative principle, the corporativism.
“The difference is for us”, says Bortolotto, “that in individualism, the individual rules over the whole, in universalism, the whole over the Individual. In between, however, there is corporativism, in which the individual and the whole exist in harmony with each other.”
So here in the fascist theory of the state of Italian science, we see the nevertheless interesting attempt to affirm the community, but to save the individual from drowning in the community. And if this attempt goes hand in hand with the desire to justify certain inconsistencies in principle and to legitimize scientifically, it still seems necessary to deal with it.
It is the problem of how individualistic freedom is possible within the framework of the universalist bonds that stands against us here.
And even to this crucial question, national socialism can give an irrefutable answer. I want to try to formulate this response.
The universalistic thinking sets the community as the supreme principle, just as national socialism does not regard the “individual” or “humanity”, but the folk as the sole real organically grown whole.
Since the individual exists only through the community, it can derive its personal freedom only through the community and from it. In accordance with this, the national socialist worldview not only recognizes the freedom of personality, but even demands it.
Demands it for the sake of the community, that is, in the interest of the community and its ever more perfect forming.
The shaping forces and fertile values of the personality within the community to unfold and for the community to bring to bear is almost the defining characteristic of the national socialist idea.
The so-called individual freedom is not something, what man would be given by nature. By nature, he is given the community consciousness, the compulsory consciousness for the community in which he was born.
The concept of individualistic freedom, however, wants liberation of the Individual from this obligation towards the community. The sense of language therefore refers to such a person who rid himself of his community obligations as an “individual”. “Every human is individual, but not an individual,” says Rehmke. And we add, as individual he is personality, as “not an individual” he is a folk’s-comrade.
So we see that the natural freedom is the freedom of personality, that is for people who are creating for the community. Aristotle already taught this only true concept of freedom, which granted freedom only to the constructive people. However, constructive you can only be for a community.
Only those who are aware of and act in accordance with their duties to the community can be constructive. And that is why the concept of freedom presupposes attachment to the community. Whoever possesses this sense of community and acknowledges his moral ties, is free and feels free, because his free acts can never be against the rules of the community, but are in harmony with it.
This harmony of one’s own personal will with the duties towards the community however, cannot be created by a constructive, corporate system by violence and artificially, as it happens in Italian corporativism, but this harmony will result from the existence of the community a priori, if community awareness within is maintained and kept alive. Whoever does not possess this sense of responsibility towards the community and does not acknowledge his moral ties, places himself outside of the community. What he calls individual freedom, is not freedom, but lack of restraint.
We are still too close to the era of individualistic thought, from which the national socialist worldview has liberated us, or the individual is still involved in it too much in his former thinking, to be completely seized and imbued with the inner necessity of universalistic thinking.
The mentally revolutionary change and transition brings tensions with itself, in which one, who is still stuck to the individual, may sometimes see his spiritual freedom endangered. However in that extend, in which the sense of community will become the most natural casualness again through the education to national socialist thought — and in the young generation this is already the case today —, the problematic natures of today will be rid of the worry, to mourn the freedom of the individual, which was a now barely imaginable fallacy and has been replaced through the true freedom of personality and made irrelevant in the universalistic worldview of national socialism.
So we see, that national socialism can give space and free possibility of acting to personal freedom within the community, because it establishes this freedom teleologically through the community itself, that is, by its own principle reasoned as necessary — while corporativism of the fascist conception of the state can only gain individualistic freedom by borrowing it as needed again from the individual whose overcoming he had assumed.
Here, national socialism shows worldviewly greater consequence and a far more profound effect than fascism, as how generally national socialism, which draws from the deepest experience of the soul, extends much further in of worldviewly penetration and cognition of the folk than Italian fascism.
From the point of view thus obtained, the dispute over the freedom of science and the freedom of teaching, which some people do not want to see guaranteed in the national socialist state, is also resolved.
The national socialist state gives and guarantees the freedom of science in principle, if it meets only the most primitive requirements, which are required of every citizen, that is, if you move within the limits that nature has given us by living in the community.
We have seen that universalistic oriented, community-conscious thinking is the basic category of all scientific research, unless it is purely natural scientific research focused on the matter and lies in another level that does not touch the soul.
Whoever affirms this community-conscious thinking will also only be able to teach within its borders and at that able to teach freely and without hindrance.
Whoever denies it is from the outset mentally guided on a wrong track and the national socialist state is serving humanity, if it doesn’t offer him its academic chairs.
Such a priorly wrongly oriented teaching eliminates itself from the intellectual life of the nation, because it is no longer science, but error.
I would like to mention, as an example from past times, the Marxist doctrine, the so-called scientific socialism, which was based on the materialistic conception of history and on a scientifically impossible economic theory of value, that is, on capital scientific fallacies.
That this teaching, this scientific insanity, which ruined the entire folk, could be thought for decades on German institutions of higher education, just to meet the demand for a wrongly understood individualistic academic freedom, which declares the science without restrictions as an end in itself, is still very difficult to imagine today.
In the sphere of private research, in particular of the natural sciences, science may be an end in itself, but as soon as its results are passed on to the public but as soon as its results are passed on to the public and provided with a value judgment are is offered as generally acceptable to the community, it is impossible for them to contradict the laws of life of that community. If they do it, then they therewith prove that they are wrong.
The epistemological starting point, newly gained by national socialism, however, deposes us of all of these erroneous paths of thought, because it overcomes them from the inside out and makes them impossible. And that is why, in fact, national socialism is the power that also frees science, because it can give science full freedom, because it lies on one level with the life of the nation and the foundations of its being.
Of this universalistic or organic groundwork of thought also that new philosophical reflection therefore must spring, which can rise to the highest heights of the mind, without running the risk of losing the deep connection with life and its practical contents.
In this sphere of practical life the national socialist worldview, as our leader teaches us, has provided, in a unique way, the proof of its correctness and creative force.
From the fertile genius of an individual, an unknown, this worldview has grown, in millions of German hearts its seeds sprouted, the folk-becoming of the German nation became reality.
I would like to repeat the words here, I wrote in my book “With Hitler into the Power”:
“If there were miracles in the lives of the folks, then the German folk could rightly claim the joyous change of destiny as a supernatural foreordination for themselves. The third realm has become a reality. It looks with its foundations.
Resting on the imperishable values of the Nordic race and in the depth of the German soul. Blended with the naturally grown roots of German manner and German nature, built and shaped by the living forces of the personality that our folk have born and brought forth as the incarnation of their own will and spirit.
And if you ask, how was this miracle possible, then I would like to answer:
Because the national socialist worldview is one of those great realistic and simple ideas that make history, because they bring back the laws of life itself into the consciousness of the folks and thus unfold their forces in a natural way! From such basic recognitions, the leader has drawn knowledge, his rousing will power in 14 years of endless struggle brought the community consciousness in the people to a breakthrough again. And so he accomplished a miracle on the German folk.
Therefore, the power of his personality, his unique living relationship to the folk, can only be understood in such a way that the German folk finds itself in the personality of the leader, that it actually sees his own innermost being embodied in him.
It perceives gratefully, that his constructive spirit has again given it a far-reaching field of vision with a profound worldview, just as it corresponds to German thinking and feeling.
In the national socialist worldview, the German soul has found its way back to itself. In the leader’s personality, however, the worldviewly and artistic element of this German essence join together to the completed unity, to what we call the mystery of creativity. If the newer philosophy says that the intuitive view of essence (Wesensschau) is the immediate conception of the pattern, then this characteristic finds its strongest expression in Adolf Hitler’s personality.
Such a judgment I, who is lucky enough to be close to the leader on a daily basis at his work and his accomplishments, may allow myself. The leader has not only the so infinitely valuable ability to see the essence in things, but also to a great extent the instinct and intuition to act boldly and at the correct time.
Here in our leader that magnificent word Plato’s has gained living form: “From the gods a gift to the lineage of men, so I appreciate the gift to see the one thing inside of many things.”
Thus we see, in the national socialist worldview, that truly philosophical spirit alive, who not only thinks for the sake of thought, but also acts in accordance with his findings and shapes life after them.
I believe that precisely in this ability of a worldview to master and shape practical life, ultimately lies the test of their timeless validity and truth.
Ans this ability to find a practical way of life has been proven by the national socialist worldview like hardly ever by any other. And if at the end of the previous philosophical systems, a philosophy of life gained space, which culminates in the realisation, that life can only be understood through life, then we also find here the deep connection of genuine philosophical consciousness with the spirit of national socialism.
Goethe’s word “What is fruitful, alone is true” gains from the field of view of the national socialist worldview a meaning that reaches into the deepest layers of German spirit and national socialist thinking, in their common root soil.
On this coherent and self-contained foundation, which I have tried to outline epistemologically in the course of my statements, a national socialist world view can arise, which not only corresponds to the spiritual needs, but also to the greatness of our era.
National socialism does not tend to be abstract, dry thinking. Its folk-devoted worldview will re-open science to the flood of life and the infinite fullness of life to science.
And this life is for the national socialist worldview a level of knowledge, which clearly and decisively separates itself from the religious question. I would like to emphasise once again this fact, which is sometimes not widely understood.
National socialism is far from religious question; it gives the churches space for free religious activity, without even going to this area. As it has removed the denominational influences from political life and is determined to to stay away in the future, so it also denies political interference in the religious question. Anyone who violates this principle, violates the principles of national socialism.
So we have kept it according to the will of the leader in the years of the struggle for power, and so we want to keep it now and in the future.
And that is why it is of particular interest that at the Prague philosopher congress the Munich Jesuit pater Przywara draws the same line of separation in his highly respected lecture on the relation between religion and philosophy.
He answers the question thither that religion is only aimed at god, philosophy, on the other hand, to the world. This basis is also ours.
Like the Greek philosophy being the most noble embodiment of the Greek mind, the national socialist rebirth opens the path to clear heights to the German spiritual life. “The philosophy has to determine the fate of the world”, Plato once demanded, but the Prager philosopher-congress, who prepended that proud word to the conference, barely let feel its spirit.
The German philosophers held back in the decisive questions. The few elements of anti liberal and anti individualistic influence that spoke fell on deaf ears. However while there has been fruitlessly argued about the crisis of democracy by the ever-outdated people, the national socialistic Germany has already overcome this crisis and created all preconditions to lead the creation power of the German soul to new grounds of spiritual development.
World events and folks fates are determined by ideas whose creator is the personality. All spiritual development however, if they embrace an entire folk and shall create them for centuries anew from its roots, needs time to become ripe.
“Minerva’s owl only starts its flight with the beginning of the twilight” — says a common saying. The new Germany too must first shape its life, before spiritual blooming grows from it. And to spread out the wings to new high flight, to this I wish to proclaim the German spiritual life and the German science.
The spiritual deeds of past generations obligate us. The German nation enjoys the reputation of being a philosophical folk.
The Frenchman Taine once said of it: between 1780 and 1820 all great philosophical thoughts were created by it, and the other Nations only needed to rethink these ideas. And if today this “folk of poets and thinkers” has risen to folk consciousness and political and state-forming power, then only greater opportunities opened up to it to prove itself worthy of his great spiritual tradition.
The love of science and the pursuit of the highest knowledge of the world lie in the blood of the German Nation. It is a legend to believe that national socialism would inhibit or even suppress this impulse.
Our desire is to develop it on the newly gained basis and to promote it by all means. Certainly, it has eliminated the folk-foreign and the folk’s community-destroying academic conceit, but not to strike the science with it, but to return the love of science to the folk.
Today, Germany needs this scientific striving and its strong spiritual forces more than ever. Not only in their own country, but also to the outside world.
We need not only temples of art, but also cathedrals of the spirit!
The spiritual Germany of the present has the inner power to advance beyond the borders in order to penetrate the wall of misunderstanding that threatens the peace of the world.
We know: The the call to the weapons of the German mind will not end up unheard of, if it is carried by the same unbridled will that has lifted our folk from the collapse again to new strong life.
The Importance of Dr. Dietrich’s Lecture
An Afterword by Alfred-Ingemar Berndt
If with this booklet the lecture, that the national chief press officer of the NSDAP, SS group leader Dr. Dietrich, held on the 16th November 1934 in the auditorium Maximum of the new Cologne university about “The Philosophical Fundamentals of National Socialism”, is made available as groundwork for further research and further approaches of the topic for the entire German science, then it complies to an urgent need. Dr. Dietrich named his lecture “A Call to the Weapons of the German Mind” in the subtitle. This call didn’t fade away without being heard but found a thousandfold echo.
Thousands have absorbed it and carry it further within them, not only the men of the German sciences have heard it but and were invoked by it but also further parts of the folk have listened attentively and began to concern themselves with the topics covered by Dr. Dietrich.
Press and sciences, which both listened to the lecture with great interest, have expressed in their judgments, that the lecture filled a claffing hole, have said, that the lecture was the first attempt to undergrid the national socialism philosophically.
And Dr. Dietrich has said himself, that the national socialism doesn’t want to go public with a finished philosophical system, that is build after theory but that the praxis of its work itself gives the philosophical explanation of its being.
In the den introducing words of his lecture Dr. Dietrich explained why he precisely chose the university Cologne as forum for his lecture: Firstly, it has long been his wish, as born Rhinelander, to show his connection to the Rhenish Heimat through a visit in the Rhenish metropolis; on the other hand it was the fact that Rhenish spirit and Rhenish intellectual life in the German cultural space has been important at all times, since many artistic and scientific values of high rank were gifted too the Germanity of the Rhineland, values, that founded the call of the German mind and made it immortal in the world.
As border region and endangered border folkdom towards the west the Rhineland has a fulfilled a priceless cultural mission for the Germanity in its multiple thousands of years history.
The “Guardianhood of the Rhine region” had convincing evidence of its truly German resistance spirit often enough, had resisted the hypocritical temptations of that western world citizen-hood, that believed to make the spirit of the Rhineland accessible to the French culture propaganda as “génie du Rhin”.
Dr. Dietrich then mentioned the Cologne university professor and literature historian Ernst Bertram, who is said to have wrote as answer to the Straßburger lecture by Maurice Barrès in 1922: “Yes the sphere, in which the spiritual future of Germany and thus Europe decides, isn’t enough for the voices, who the France of today had to send.”
Today the western minded spirit, the liberalism of the day before yesterday, comes too late to mean more than the spiritual sterility and senilism to the Rhine region, there where blooming life reborn from German soul-hood, urges to unfold rapidly.
A highly significant event — the Cologne lecture has been commonly named, a spiritual-political enunciation that extends far over the usual frame, a revolutionary spiritual deed. However, that outlines the meaning that Dr. Dietrich’s call has for the German science. By now the philosophical faculties of German universities are beginning to make the lecture the groundwork of their work. Men of public life, scientists of reputation and rank, have spoken out about the broached topic and there is no foreseeable end to those statement.
Thereby it is transpired what Dr. Dietrich wanted to: setting a discussion in motion that startles the minds, who have become tired in the time of downfall, and shows the philosophy the way to new constructive shaping.
Maybe the meaning of the lecture lies not least in that it wasn’t a cheap scientist who held it but a national socialist fighter who isn’t foreign to scientific work or philosophical thought either.
Therefore there is a word to be added about the personality of Dr. Dietrich:
Dr. Dietrich is from Essen, part of the front generation and witnessed the hell of the west front for four years. He volunteered with seventeen, earned the 1st class iron cross, became officer of the army, like he now is an outstanding associate to the leader.
In Gent he made the war Abitur in the trench, after the war studied philosophy and state sciences and then graduated magna cum laude to Dr. rer. pol. Then he was active in economy, industry and trade, trade journalist in Essen and leading journalist in Munich.
There he found the close contact to the state leadership (Reichsleitung) of the NSDAP, has been consulted more and more often by Adolf Hitler and finally became the first national chief press officer of the NSDAP in 1931.
Besides his work as journalist, politician and man of the economy he didn’t stay away from science. So he can in a lucky way draw from theory and praxis.
As national chief press officer of the NSDAP he organized the election campaigns of the party for the press and centralized the press of the NSDAP.
He is national leader (Reichsleiter) of the NSDAP, SS group leader, vice president of the national press association and is part of the closest Stab of the leader since 1931 who he accompanied on all of his travels since then.
A front soldier of the science has taken the initiative, has, like a major newspaper wrote, liquidized several centuries of German spiritual history with a few sentences and thus created room for a reconstruction of the German philosophy, which lives up to the ever-godly truth.