Was Hitler really a Dictator?

by Friedrich Christian Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe

 

“I am not worthy to speak aloud of Adolf Hitler,
and his life and work are not suited to any sentimental talk.
He was a champion of mankind and a herald of the message of justice for all nations.
He was a reforming figure of highest rank, and his historic fate
was that he had to work at a time of unparalleled perfidy that ultimately beat him down.”

Knut Hamsun

Part 1 – Introduction

The American sociologist Robert S. Lynd said: “It is easier to believe a lie one has heard a hundred times than a truth one has never heard before.”

Since the beginning of this century, one campaign of lies after the other has been aimed at us Germans. No matter how often the great many untruths were refuted – it became clear that, unfortunately, it is much more profitable to spread lies than to stand up for the truth, especially if the liar had also been the victor in a war.

A country where it is dangerous to voice the truth is on the wrong path. In any case, I personally prefer to live in a country where it is advantageous to tell the truth.

But as the French author Marquis de Vauvenargues put it in his Maximes et Réflexiones: “Only few people are strong enough to tell the truth and to hear it.”

When I write in order to help truth to victory it is frequently inevitable that this involves criticism. The two are often inseparable, and sometimes people are unintentionally hurt in the process.

There is no revolution, movement, organization or other association, no matter how good, which does not incorporate both “right” and “wrong”, just as there are natural and indispensable opposites in evidence everywhere.

In Adolf Hitler’s Movement as well, there was both light and shadow, and – a universal constant – people with strong as well as with weak points. Only a genius can really assess them both, see them for what they are, and employ them in accordance with their talents.

If I learned from Dr. Goebbels, or even from Hitler himself, which of the crucial men in the Party Vanguard were not “all right”, then for the sake of truth this must not be hushed up even if the men in question had other merits to point to, without which they could not have risen to leading positions. It is a matter of calling attention to the morally upstanding, decent, honest colleagues and comrades-in-arms, even if doing so should draw criticism down on me for also shedding light on unpleasant matters in the process.

First and foremost, the issue is not individual persons – it is truth for the German people as a whole.

I will try to describe the leading men through their actions and behavior, even if the incidents are frequently relatively trivial ones. I have chosen them for events as typically human as possible, which render the person and thus his thoughts and actions easier to understand.

In their fundamental character, the German people are so decent that they have frequently been taken in by their enemies simply because they would not have thought them capable of evil – simply could not think it possible.

One judges others based on one’s self – that’s how it has always been, and that’s how it continues to be with those who slander our nation! In instances where they themselves stepped into the scene – in revolutions and wars – they were particularly cruel and inhuman. It was never the people as a whole, always the “movers and shakers”, the floor leaders. Just recall, for example, the French Revolution, the extermination of the Indians, the battle against the Boers, the Great Revolution of the Chinese and the Russians, the subjugation of India, etc.

We Germans differ from almost all of the major powers on our globe primarily in that we have never provoked revolutions or instigated civil wars in foreign countries, in other words on an international basis, and never tried to wear down other peoples through large-scale international campaigns of incitement.

I do not, of course, count those “Germans” who participated in the international anti-German incitement as members of our people! They who exploited the war in order to divide our people by mendacious propaganda and to play each side against the other, are the branded ones of our age.

In the course of my interrogation by the Chief Prosecutor in the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg, this prosecutor claimed that the Germans living abroad must all be counted as part of the “fifth column” – that is, agents of Hitler, for the purpose of revolutionizing the world – and that this mighty organization had been under the control of Dr. Goebbels.

I told him that such an organization (as had in fact existed for decades, only against Germany) would be incredibly expensive. The indispensable buying-up of the press of foreign nations in itself would require gigantic sums of cash. He agreed with this statement. I then explained that I knew exactly how large the Reich Ministry of Propaganda’s budget for foreign propaganda had been, at a time when foreign propaganda had still been possible – approximately until 1943. The largest annual budgetary allocation ever had been one million Reichsmark. This had to cover lecture tours, the tours of the great symphony orchestras and theatre companies, as well as those of the great performing artists. On top of this, there were also expenses for sports events and – “on the side “, so to speak – subsidies for newspapers of importance for cultural advertising. Altogether, therefore, it was a ridiculous, a paltry sum, just barely better than nothing at all.

Further, I remarked that Hitler himself had strictly forbidden the NSDAP to engage in any and all propaganda activities abroad, the only exception being Germans from the Reich temporarily residing abroad. I witnessed an instance once when Hitler angrily told a leading Party man that National-Socialism was not an “export article” and he himself no human panacea for the world’s woes, and that his sole concern was to help the German people!

What the enemies of Germany accused us of in those days is what they themselves did to our detriment on a much greater scale, and with funds no doubt a thousand times greater than the budget of our Ministry of Propaganda.

The British believed a great deal of what the then famous Lord Haw-Haw told them over the air – but that did next to nothing to detract from their composure as a nation.

The Germans, on the other hand, could not believe what they saw refuted by everyday life – but as of March 1945, they began to flag in their composure as a nation. And this process is still ongoing.

It is my wish that this booklet may help to revive and strengthen in our people the sense that the defiled and much-maligned generation of our fathers did their best in the struggle for Germany’s future, true to good old tradition, and holds the honorable position that is its due in the history of our people.

Friedrich Christian, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe

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