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Old September 13th, 2018 #1
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Default Alfred Rosenberg - Political testament

Rosenberg's Political Testament

The leadership of Hitler was the necessary result of a great national awakening, the Führer state an
organically sound re-creation of the idea of the Reich. Leadership is as different from rulership as it is
from chaos. Tyrant and masses belong together just as much as do leader and follower. The two are
possible only if they are paired, and are held together in a common bond of duty. The ever greater
power given Hitler was a temporary exception, permissible only after a fourteen-year-long test. This was
not one of the goals of the National Socialist idea of state. The first leader had to come into power as
Hitler did. All others were to be elected to serve only for a limited period of time. Thus it was provided,
though no Wahl-Gremium (electoral college) was founded. Before the Ordensrat (Council of the Order)
of sixty-one men from all walks of life, anyone could, and would have to, speak confidently and freely.
Before it every minister would have to defend his measures. It was the National Socialist plan to find a
strong personality for every given task, and to give that individual all the authority he needed. Adolf
Hitler later broke this rule which he himself had made when, to all practical intents and purposes, he
put the chief of police over the minister for the interior, when he allowed special appointees in ever
increasing numbers to break into fields of activity that had been circumscribed by elections, and when
he permitted several distinct functions to be concentrated in a single new office. Naturally, these may
have been emergency measures, justified in times of revolution and war; but they should never be
tolerated as permanent practices.
Thus the Minister for Culture of the liberal epoch was, in his day, more integral than the Reich
Minister for Education of the National Socialist state. Because art, science and education belong together, it is
not necessary to turn science over to a musicologist. In a great people there always will be a certain number of
men, artistic in the best sense of the word, who really comprehend this unity. A Propaganda Ministry is
completely superfluous. An Information Department in the office of the Reich Chancellor is sufficient. The
Chief of Police must never have the rank of a minister, but must be subordinated to the Ministry for the Interior,
nor may he hold any other political post. Whether the Head of the State should also be Reich Chancellor, as in
the United States of America, is something that can be decided later. In view of the proven tendency of the
German to see everything basically, it seems safer to keep these two positions separate (in connection with
which the matter of authority over the armed forces must be carefully weighed). The Reich Chancellor,
however, must never have the decisive voice in the government, but must confine himself, as long as he is in
office, merely to directing policy. The election of a body of so-called people's representatives appears to remain
a necessity. Proportional elections, however, have led to chaos before. What is most evident is the need for
finding a method of election which makes governing
possible. Nobody can govern a people if three parties form a coalition, and a fourth with only a few members
holds the balance of power. The so-called justice of not wasting a single vote is, in reality, evidence of the
greatest neglect of duty toward the entire nation. Therefore, and without attempting to ape the English elections
with their small election districts and personal campaigns in each, the method of election must insure that a
majority wins, the others lose out. The Reich Senate, chosen partially by election, partially by the appointment
of selected men, must have as its function the confidential correction on the part of the government of open
parliamentary discussions. A one-party system was justifiable and historically even a necessity in 1933. But it
was an historical mistake to attempt to perpetuate it for all eternity. This would have been impossible anyway,
since, after Hitler's death, at least three distinct groups within the National Socialist German Workers' Party
would have entered the political arena. National Socialism at one time was, so to speak, a substitute nation,
when the country was threatened with dissolution by thirty-two individual parties. The old parties of the class
and religious wars were outmoded and had outlived their usefulness. They had in many respects become no
more than hollow shells, and had to be remoulded. This was as inevitable as the resignation of the twenty-three
German dynasties in 1918. Thus it was the historic task of National Socialism to become the spiritual-political
basis of life (Nationalism and Socialism) for the entire people. With this national union no longer disputed,
certain wing-groups could have been tolerated. But while this seemed desirable to a large number of people, it
was never approved by Hitler who (together with Ley, Göbbels, and the rest) rode a good principle to death.
This new idea will somehow have to be the spiritual basis for the future. What experience taught us must never
again be forgotten. But since we will have to count on more than one political group, the National Socialist
identification of party with state is automatically eliminated. In fact, between 1933 and 1945 this identity, never
fully comprehended in its effect, jeopardized the most basic laws governing the very life of a people. Not one of
us can claim that we did not uphold the dictum, the party rules the state. For a while this was justified, for then
it was not the state that created us, but we who had created the state. True enough, but weren't we already living
in a thousand year state -- a state the party was to serve? This diffuse dualism could not be overcome by a
personal union while the party office on the ministerial level worked towards the termination of this very union.
This would have simply meant the perpetuation of a dictatorship of the antechamber. In connection with the
future multiparty system, the position of the representatives of the individual states which make up the Reich
will have to be independent. The creation of the office of Reichsstatthalter was basically sound. The
sovereignty of the Reich was upheld while at the same time the various Länder (states) were permitted to
govern themselves. That this required state governments (and perhaps even Chambers of Counsellors) though
not necessarily Landtage (State Assemblies), is obvious, if for no other reason than the preservation of national
strength. (The representatives elected to the Reichstag from a given Land could, incidentally, also make up the
majority of these Chambers of Counselors.) National Socialism turned into legal centralism, but also to
particularism in practice. Never was the unity of a central administration more of an obvious necessity than
today, when the Reich is divided into four zones. This, then, could be the basis: the appointment by the Head of
State of Reichsstatthalter (who also serve as Presidents of the State Governments), candidates to be suggested
by the Reich Chancellor. The special interests of the individual states to be safeguarded by Chambers of
Counselors, by representatives elected to the Reichstag, and by representatives in the Senate. The shocking
degeneration of police power in the Third Reich makes it mandatory that independent judges and due process of
law once again guarantee the
security of the individual. Time-tested European methods must safeguard the community. Not even the most
shrewdly conceived constitution can possibly guarantee permanent security. If a democracy tends toward chaos,
the Fuehrer principle on the other hand might lead to monocracy. Besides that, foreign political developments
might lead to social conflicts, and human passions, despite all efforts to subdue them, might break through. Fate
will not be confined by paragraphs. Nevertheless it is important to build upon a foundation valid for all, though
this is possible only when the character of a people is fully understood: its historical reaction to the world at
large, its living space with its own inherent laws, and, as today, some immediate experience that necessitates, as
never before, the examination of one and all existing problems. National Socialism was both an ideal and an
organization, but it had not yet taken on final form. This realization intrigued me long before the war, and I
began work on a comprehensive book, tentatively entitled Die Macht der Form (The Power of Form). The
leitmotiv was that in any given historical situation revolutions are made victorious by ideas. Organizations are
variable forms of utilitarianism. They can perpetuate a revolution only when they become forms, that is, natural
habits, common psychological attitudes, characteristic general reactions to the surrounding world, and
eventually spiritual disciplines. This alone can guarantee an organic continuity if the creator of the idea is dead
and fate has not provided an acceptable successor. Only a general form of life -- one might also call it type of
life, though never scheme of life -- can then serve the purpose. This holds good in every field of human
endeavor. I had a draft of about four hundred pages ready -- they disappeared during the war -- which was a
little sharp in the mode of expression and was to be rewritten completely and amplified at an older, riper age.
These writings on state, science, church, and art were lost (one copy in an air-raid shelter in Berlin, the second
in a mine in Upper Austria, the third among the papers sequestrated in Castle Banz). Seen even from this angle,
a great accomplishment of the German nation -- National Socialism -- went to pieces before it had had a chance
to become formed. If I put down a few thoughts on the form of a state, I do this because I have experienced the
birth, victory, and collapse of its auxiliary structure; for the party was never more than that, and the structure of
the Reich itself had been taken apart without ever being put together again. The following outline is purely
theoretical in nature, since the present is too dark to analyze it fully. Ideas on foreign policy cannot be discussed
at all, as is obvious in the face of existing realities. Besides, this outline cannot possibly be couched in legal
terminology. It is no more than an expression of my personal attitude, aims, and principles:
1. The Head of State (Reich President, Fuehrer, Reich Protector, Reichsführer) is elected by the people as a
whole. The majority of the ballots cast is decisive. In a run-off election only the two candidates with the
greatest number of votes can participate. The term is for five years. The Head of State is the Supreme
Commander of the armed forces. A personal union with the office of Reich Chancellor is not possible. The
Head of State can be re-elected any number of times.
Reasons: The position as Head of State presupposes a well-known personality, and therefore an election by the
entire people seems justified, since under this system, character, feeling, and trust come directly into their own,
something that must be taken
into consideration in Germany if a real representative of the entire nation is to be elected. The German does not
want a mere representative nonentity. After the present collapse of confidence, a personal union between the
offices of Head of State and Reich Chancellor is no longer possible. For the same reason the armed forces must
be under the command of the Head of State. His title can be left for the future to decide. A dynasty need not
even be discussed, since personal reverence is unthinkable, considering the biological deterioration of a given
family, quite apart from other dangers. If it were possible to conduct elections under the decimal system, the
political rhythm would conform to the rhythm of the rest of life, something that must not be underestimated as a
creative force.
2. Leadership, government, and representation of the people are in the hands of the Reich Chancellor, the
Reichssenat (Upper House), and the Reichstag (House of Commons). The Reich Chancellor is selected by the
Head of State, the Reich Ministers are appointed upon the proposal of the Reich Chancellor by the Head of
State. The Reich Chancellor issues political directives, but does not have the decisive vote in the cabinet. It is
the duty of the Reichssenat to pass on the reports of the Reich Minister concerning important proposed
measures. It has the right to submit propositions of its own to the Reich Chancellor. The Reichssenat consists of
thirty elected and thirty-one appointed members. The minimum age of a Reich Senator is forty years. Thirty
senators are elected by Nährstand (agriculture), Städtetag (Union of Cities), German labour unions, rectors of
universities and churches. They require the approval of the Head of State. Thirty-one senators are appointed by
him. The sessions of the Senate are secret, and no member is permitted to keep a diary or to make notes on
them. The Reich Senators hold office for five years, but the Head of State may reappoint them at the end of
their terms. The Reich Senate cannot be dissolved. The Reichstag is elected by the people for five years. The
territory of the Reich is divided into five hundred election districts in which each party can nominate its own
candidates. The candidate getting the majority of votes is elected. The Reich Chancellor and the Reich
Ministers submit their planned political measures to the Reichstag. The latter is also permitted to initiate laws.
If a bill submitted by the Reich government is turned down in three readings, the Reich Chancellor must submit
his resignation to the Head of State. The Head of State may appoint a new Reich Chancellor, dissolve the
Reichstag and announce new elections, or he can keep the Reich Chancellor in office until the end of the
Reichstag term. The Reich government must resign if the Reichssenat and the Reichstag demand it by a two
thirds majority. In this case the Head of State must appoint a new Reich Chancellor, or else announce new
elections for the Reichstag. The Head of State declares war only after consulting with the Reich Chancellor, the
president of the Reichssenat, and the president of the Reichstag.
Reasons: Continental democracy with its proportional election system necessarily leads to party anarchy.
Under the system outlined above it seems possible to achieve continuity, a really responsible government, the
avoidance of majority demagogy, the attracting of men of really important achievements from all walks of
life to responsible co-operation, the prevention of a splintering of the party. This method of selecting the
Reich Chancellor, of partly appointing the Reichssenat, and electing the Reichstag,
guarantees the leadership both necessary rights and necessary controls.
3. The members of the Reichssenat and the Reichstag have the right and the duty of freely exchanging
opinions. They must not be called to account for their political opinions or maligned in any way. In connection
with any other delict provided for in law, they are held responsible just as is any other citizen. Their immunity
is purely political.
Reasons: The immunity of politicians in the democratic Germany frequently had grotesque consequences,
inasmuch as the members of the Reichstag were active in their professions, but could not be called to account
for slander. This was as much a breach of law as were the irresponsible police arrests of the Third Reich.
4. To govern the individual German Länder, the Head of State upon proposal of the Reich Chancellor
appoints Reichsstatthalter who are at the same time presidents of the provincial governments. The members
of the Reichssenat and the Reichstag from his province are at his service in an advisory capacity. The Reich
Stadtholder is bound by the directives of the Reich government. His term is for ten years.
Reasons: This assures the unity of the Reich in the field of politics and the principles of general conduct, but
leaves the Reichsstatthalter every freedom for the cultural development of his home province. He is
constantly kept informed by the senators and representatives, without being burdened with an assembly that
in each province represents a tremendous squandering of energy. The title of Staatsminister (State Minister)
would have to be replaced by that of State Director.
5. Inhabitants are classified as citizens of the state or members of the state. Counted among the latter are all
recent immigrants. The Reich Minister decides when citizenship may be granted. Only citizens have the right to
active and passive election, and are eligible for appointment to state positions. In every other respect all state
citizens and state members are equal before the law. Personal freedom is guaranteed. Arrests can be made only
by court order. In emergency cases the policy may deviate from this rule, but must take the case to court within
three days. In principle, a judge cannot be unseated. He is independent in his judgments, and subject only to the
dictates of the law and his conscience. The Chief of Police is under the jurisdiction of the Minister for the
Interior, and may not hold any post other than his office. The Reichsgericht is the Supreme Court. In case of the
death, absence or any incapacity of the Head of State, the President of the Reichsgericht takes over his
Reasons: The possibility of a differentiation between political rights must be newly
incorporated into the constitution on the basis of what the experiences have been in various countries. It is an
incentive for good behaviour, makes the securing of citizenship a matter of achievement, and eliminates from
the election of political leaders external, possibly financial, factors. On the other hand a uniform human
evaluation precludes the possibility of any feeling of inferiority, and also guarantees the legal equality of all.
The election of a substitute for the Head of State seems undesirable. In case of his demise, the taking over of
his duties by the president of the Reichssenat might be considered. The election of the president of the
Reichsgericht, on the other hand, would permit law itself to assume its old honored position in German life.
6. The means of disseminating information are basically the property of the state, or are at least at its
immediate disposal, particularly, the radio and the press. The official News and Information Bureau is under
the jurisdiction of the Chief of the Reich Office. He allots the supplies to all government and private publishing
enterprises. The Reich Stadtholders issue permits for the publication of newspapers, and engage the editors.
The latter are contributors to the common weal. Articles must be published under the full names of the authors,
or must be identifiable by initials. Books and magazines can be freely published.
Reasons: The misleading of public opinion by private lust for sensationalism is a political cancer in all
democracies and a crime against the self-respect of all people. No reference to freedom of the press can justify
what has been done by irresponsible journalists in world politics. On the other hand, the attempt to invest the
profession of editor with a greater dignity eventually had quite the opposite effect, when the Propaganda
Ministry kept them under constant surveillance, and prohibited the expression of any private cultural
convictions. It is suggested that all parties, according to their numerical strength, have licensed newspapers, the
Reichsstatthalter to appoint editors from their respective ranks. Both the free expression of opinions and the
interests of Reich and people would thus be safeguarded. Simultaneously, less paper would be wasted. The
German forests must not be further depleted, nor the imports burdened, for the sake of sheer sensationalism.
Every editor is obliged to treat the subjects under discussion with all seriousness, and the will to improve is to
be his guiding light. Other provisos can be left safely to life itself to determine. In the cultural and scientific
magazine field, private initiative has free reign. The Chief of the Reich Office seems the best possible impartial
agent to direct and supervise the domestic and foreign news service. The question as to whether or not the radio
should be put entirely under his control must be carefully considered, since radio covers many fields. The same
holds good for the film industry, especially in connection with its weekly news reels.
7. Our youth is the future generation of the people as a whole. It has the right to organize freely in bunds.
These bunds, however, must not be the youth organizations of political parties and social or confessional
groups. The central bund leadership, constituted by the representatives of the individual bunds, is under the
supervision of the president of the Senate. He approves statutes and by-laws, and allocates funds for
youth shelters, hikes, and so on.
Reasons: Youth groups of the old parties were frequently the original FOCI of dissension among the people.
The same is true of confessional youth organizations within which the groundwork for the particularism of the
Catholic Centre or the Evangelical Bund was prepared. In the Hitler Youth organization, exclusiveness, after the
initial healthy spurt, led to a discipline unbearable to both youth and parents, and in the administration, to a
conceit that had a most insalubrious effect on character. However, the Hitler Youth as the successor to an
outmoded youth movement must not be simply forgotten. What must be carried over into the future are selfdiscipline,
the desire for unity, the recognition by the leaders of their responsibility for the physical and mental
health of the young generation. Supervision by the president of the Reich Senate seems desirable, inasmuch as
he is not involved in everyday politics, though he is directly concerned with the guidance of growing life. The
Head of State himself must not be burdened with organizational problems.
8. All Germans have the right to organize in political parties and to hold meetings. Presupposed is the
recognition of the unity of Reich and people, and the absence of class and confessional discussion.
Reasons: This point merits careful consideration. How can we be assured there will never again be a historical
necessity for another November 9, 1918, or another May 8, 1945? How can division and unity exist side by
side? How can ways and means be honestly fought over if there is no common goal to provide a basis for
discussions? Only after these questions are answered can social life be organized. It is unthinkable that any
party should take orders from outside the Reich, no matter what these orders may look like. By special law it
should be expressly forbidden that parties train their own troops, except the regular Ordnungsdienst (order
service). Occasional orderly parades may very well be held without such detachments. The breaking up of any
meeting must be severely punished by the banning of any provincial organization, or even entire party, whose
leaders have been found guilty.
9. Economic and social organizations are united in the Nährstand and the German Union (Arbeitsfront).
Professional and cultural groups have the right to organize as they see fit. Freedom of conscience and religious
freedom are among basic rights of the Germans.
Reasons: The healthy union idea became a victim of party feuds. Class war and confessional war tried to turn
unions into a reservoir of voters for their own purposes. The German Labor Front was based on the sound
idea of preventing this splitting into fragments and encouraging cooperation between employees and
employers instead of
antagonism. A special law should guarantee the possibility of such co-operation, and a trustee of the Reich
should be appointed to act as a neutral arbitrator. A commercial firm is just as much of a unit as a farm. Similar
steps should be taken in connection with skilled labor or artisans. Details must be worked out most carefully,
and particular attention given to the fact that the farmer, his health and security, are the very foundation of the
nation. It should also be decided whether the professions (attorneys, physicians, and so on) ought to be united
in professional chambers. The Kaiser Wilhelm Academy, the German Academy and other historic institutes,
should be maintained. Universal freedom of conscience must be guaranteed. The problem of film censorship
must be solved.
This basic outline for a constitution appropriate to the German character and historic situation
naturally demands that a great deal of thought and study be devoted to a great many problems. For example, the
powers to be granted the Head of State in case of a national emergency, corresponding to Paragraph 48 of the
Weimar Constitution, the organizational structure of the Nährstand and the German Union, the various
professional chambers, and so on. Today all this is mere theorizing; but all the constitutions prepared during the
occupation are not testimonies of a free will, but merely involuntary adaptations to that of the occupying
powers. Considering the position of the German nation, this is not an accusation but merely a statement of fact.
Any constitution presupposes national sovereignty and an extraterritorial area in which a provisional
government, headed by the legal Chief of State, can begin the work of reconstructing the German Reich. This
idea of a national and governmental unity cannot, must not, and will not be given up by a nation that has fought
two world wars, nor by the young men of 1939-1945. It is true that times are dark, that terrible possibilities
threaten to relegate even the best of theories into the distant field of hypotheses. The Communist world
revolution was repulsed by the advent of energetic passionate men without the aid of the bourgeoisie of the 18th
century, which alone was incapable of this accomplishment and which quickly forgot its own salvation. In fact
this bourgeoisie even attacked its saviors, safe on the soil of satiated nations where this world revolutionary
movement had never been able to take root. Above all these trials of National Socialist war criminals, which
serve no other purpose than to becloud an event of world historical importance, towers this social-philosophical,
and truly tremendous problem. National Socialism called the attention of Great Britain (and thus also of the
United States of America) to the necessity of an alliance with a strong Germany in her own interest. To be sure,
Great Britain rejected Communism, but since 1933 no man of real stature has guided the destiny of the British
Empire. London failed to understand the traditional concept of a balance of power on the continent of Europe as
it applies to the new historic situation, according to which Soviet Russia stands on the one side, and on the
other, the rest of Europe. With true bourgeois conceit they refused to listen to us. There would not be any reason
to complain if, after 1933, they had thought and acted in a modern farsighted fashion. Great Britain would be
standing firmer than ever, Europe would be strong and invulnerable, if only a competent statesman in London
had strengthened and broadened the Four Power Pact, and the wrong done Germany had been righted by
extensive revisions in the East and the return of at least one colony. That Adolf Hitler lost patience and hope is
the second tragedy in this development which, so far, has brought about only a great accusation, not a new
decision. Because of the attack upon Germany's back by the Western powers, the Soviet Union was able to
spread out so far
that today all Slavic peoples are under her sway, and the territories Russia now rules represent the glacis for
plans of conquest in the oldest Czarist tradition: the Persian Gulf, the Atlantic, the Dardanelles. Today there are,
beyond all this, Communist parties active in the democracies, and threats of revolt among the colored peoples.
Compared with these threats the atom bomb is a mere firecracker. True, in the East the Soviet Union is more
vulnerable than the Western powers (especially the United States of America); but Great Britain is well within
the range of Soviet atom bombs, since England by her victory has enabled the Russians to advance as far as
Lübeck and Magdeburg. Thus western Germany is no more than a bridgehead for the Anglo-Saxons, and it is
definitely within the realm of possibility that this bridgehead might be overwhelmed, that the Russians might
appear on the Channel and hoist the Red Rag over Paris. Naturally general staffs of every country are even now
diligently studying this very problem which, during the Nuremberg trials, is being condemned with a great deal
of moral suasion as criminal in principle. But, on the one hand, is an American army which wants to go home
and does not feel that it is defending its own country in Europe; and on the other is the dictatorially led Red
Army whose members are living better than ever before at the expense of the conquered countries. The officers
of the Western powers must look with wrath in their hearts upon these frenzied prosecutors who are bent upon
killing off the last vestige of manhood in a Germany which alone could furnish a fanatical army, but instead is
subjected to defamation every day. No doubt in many German heads the thought has cropped up that it might be
best, now that they are proletarians anyway, to turn their backs on everything, to proclaim a German Soviet
Republic, and thus preserve at least the unity of people and land, no matter on what wretched terms. However,
what is happening behind the iron curtain has definitely put a damper on these thoughts which were, no doubt,
also entertained by many National Socialists. Thus Germany finds herself spiritually and politically in the most
terrible situation, which may actually grow far worse if the great conflict everybody sees approaching should be
fought out on her blood-soaked soil.
Adolf Hitler, the fascinated disciple of Richard Wagner, listened to the Nibelungenlied in the
Linz Theatre. I had someone point out to me the pillar where he used to stand. Now, like Wotan, he wanted to
build a Valhalla, but when the will to power and right broke asunder, this castle fell to dust. Hitler experienced
Wotan's tragedy in his own person without being warned by it; and he buried Germany under the ruins of his
Valhalla. Yes, we must never disdain agreements, nor ever suffer a Loki to whisper ill counsel into our ears.
The Nuremberg show trials will presently be over and our fates decided. Let my confession stand
behind them: National Socialism was the European answer to a century-old question. It was the noblest of ideas
to which a German could give all his strength. It made the German nation a gift of unity; it gave the German
Reich a new content. It was a social philosophy and an ideal of blood-conditioned cultural cleanliness. National
Socialism was misused, and in the end demoralized, by men to whom its creator had most fatefully given his
confidence. The collapse of the Reich is historically linked with this. But the idea itself was action and life, and
that cannot and will not be forgotten. As other great ideas knew heights and depths, so National Socialism too
be reborn someday in a new generation steeled by sorrow, and will create in a new form a new Reich for the
Germans. Historically ripened, it will then have fused the power of belief with political caution. In its peasant
soil it will grow from healthy roots into a strong tree that will bear sound fruit. National Socialism was the
content of my active life. I served it faithfully, albeit with some blundering and human insufficiency. I shall
remain true to it as long as I still live.


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