Foreword 1 hitler's english inspirers emanuel sarkisyanz
This is a blockbuster of a book.
Its essential theme is that the English example—theoretical and practical—was crucial in
determining the nature of the counter-revolution in inter-war Germany.
When the Nazi Party came to decide on a political orientation in the disrupted Germany
of the early 1920s, Adolf Hitler won the debate over those who looked east to Russia, and
to subjugated peoples for allies. Those defeated were losers; Hitler was determined to be
a winner and to raise Germany from the misery and demoralisation caused by the unjust
peace imposed by the injudicious victors of World War One and the political revolution
they had irresponsibly promoted.
Looking around the world for a model for winners, there was but one example to
impress—that of the sole Super-Power, Britannia, the ruler of the waves. Britain was still
expanding its Empire and its influence. After all, Greater Britain could not afford to
stand still: the alternatives were ever greater power or decline.
Hitler absorbed the lessons of British Imperial power and its ideology of ‘progress’. He
espoused Social Darwinism—the ‘scientific’ doctrine underpinning the realpolitik of
Might is Right—a doctrine which justified the elimination of ‘uncivilised’ peoples who
stood in the way of ‘progress’. And he set out to teach his people the lessons of Imperial
Statecraft, so that Germany could become an ally of Britain’s, exerting influence on the
Continent. In this scheme, undoing the injustices of the Versailles diktat was the first
step within a general strategy of building German hegemony eastwards, with a view,
ultimately, of colonising the Western parts of the Soviet Union.
These were Hitler’s strategic ambitions. But he had to work within the realm of the
possible. His people were absolutely opposed to further warfare and the economy was
shattered. Nazi Germany could thus easily have been contained by redressing glaring
injustices of the Versailles Treaty and a firm approach on military adventures. But
Britain applied the policy of containment, not to the Fascists of Germany, but to the
Democrats—who had formed the governments for the first decade after accepting the
terms of the Versailles Treaty against their better judgment. If a fraction of the
concessions granted to a Nazi Germany had been bestowed upon democratic Germany,
the course of European history would have been very different.
But the National Labour-Milnerite Conservative Coalition, which ruled Britain for a
decade before the Second World War, had a different agenda. Top of its concerns was
maintaining the Empire: and the big threat here was the new Soviet Union, with its
subversive support for self-determination and the rights of independence for subjugated
Hitler was anti-Communist and needed Lebensraum, an area for colonisation which did
not trespass on the ever-increasing scarlet area on the world map—the British Empire.
Professor Sarkisyanz shows that so-called ‘appeasement’ was in fact British assistance to
Hitler to pursue an objective they held in common: attacking the Soviet Union.
Hitler’s colonisation plans for Russia were nothing strange at that time. In the 1930s
colonising ventures by the ‘West’ were still commonplace. Australia was still peopling
itself with carefully selected white immigrants, filling the space which had been cleared
by genocide. Canada and the United States were doing likewise. Africa was still
undergoing settler expansion in the directly-ruled colonies of Empire. And a totally new
colonisation project had been authorised by Britain with the Balfour Declaration of 1917:
under British administration in Mandate Palestine, the gradual erosion of the 93% Arab
population by immigrant settlers intent on establishing a Jewish State was underfoot.
Professor Sarkisyanz in this book reviews both the theoretical and practical main-springs
of Empire, rescuing from obscurity the work of mainstream thinkers of the time who
created the Social-Darwinist intellectual milieu and developed Social -Imperialism, and
showing how practical Statecraft for Empire-building was transmitted to new generations
in Britain. He also demonstrates how Hitler, having taken an intelligent interest in these
matters, went on to establish institutions in Germany to replicate the results. Many
hundred sources—British and German—are used to prove his thesis, which does not
make for easy reading, but is necessary in view of the way actual British thought and
action have been covered over since 1945. Much of this historical material is not now
generally available outside specialist libraries.
This monumental work should have found a mainstream publisher in England. But the
subject matter is not acceptable in Britain. Indeed, Athol Books recently learned of a
University student who was reprimanded for suggesting in an essay that there was some
common ground between British Governments in the 1930s and the Hitler administration.
Ostensible democratic and liberal forms in fact cover discreet social control and
censorship by an elite, which is all the more effective for being administered in a
decentralised way, as opposed to the cruder and more obvious censorship in Communist
Russia. (The position is no better in Germany, as is shown in a Postscript to this book,
with reference to Heidelberg University, the Historische Zeitschrift (an academic
magazine), and Der Spiegel, on the popular level.)
Prof. Sarkisyanz therefore decided to seek a publisher in Ireland, which might have been
thought a natural market for a book of this nature. However, a full page advertisement
for a translator and publisher for his book in the premier publishing magazine, Books
Ireland, produced just one reply: from Athol Books.
Irish separation from Britain stimulated independent-mindedness over some decades, but
the distinct Irish take on the world is being steadily undermined by a stranglehold on the
media and academic institutions held by British institutions, the Universities having
placed themselves under the supervision of Oxford, and the Irish Times being conducted
in close consultation with Whitehall. The outcome is a generation of Irish intellectuals
with a very simple-minded view of Britain’s role—past and present. In fact many hold
an even less critical view than is found in Britain itself at this juncture. If this book helps
to disabuse some of them of their illusions, the effort of publication will have been work
well worth while.
NOTES: I have undertaken the translation of this work in conjunction with the author,
with the latter having final say on vocabulary, formulations and phrasing. He has also
supplied some material in English. This might not always have produced the most
readable of texts, but it reflects the author’s wishes.
The word Teutons in the text is used in its narrow, rather than popular, sense: referring to
the English, Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians. Germanic is also often used in this
The bold numbers incorporated in the footnotes refer to the number of the cited work in
the English and Non-English Bibliographies. Non-English works are indicated with a ‘+’
The author would have preferred no footnotes and continuous numbering of notes, with
references at the back of the book in keeping with much academic practice.