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Introduction 1 hitler's english inspirers emanuel sarkisyanz


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Introduction 1 hitler's english inspirers emanuel sarkisyanz

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Introduction 1 hitler's english inspirers emanuel sarkisyanz

  1. 1. "That… could not possibly be true, because it was going against what everyone knew to be true” (Edwin Jones, The English Nation, The Great Myth, p216)". Introduction This book will most certainly be attacked. This will be done by attributing statements to it which it does not contain. The fact is, however, almost everything in it is documented and has been published elsewhere—published without coming under attack. It is nothing new to say—it was observed, for instance, by Benjamin Jowett (Master of Oxford in 1870-1893)—that "most Englishmen could not govern without asserting their superiority and that they always had a latent consciousness of the sense of colour". Nor is it unknown that, for instance, Lord Alfred Milner, High Commissioner in South Africa, insisted, "it is the British race* which built the Empire…, British race which can alone uphold it….[,] the bond of common blood”.1 And there is nothing new in documenting Hitler’s "predilection, indeed, veneration for England [and his] resulting mockery of independence aspirations in India".ii That Hitler’s admiration for England was racist is common knowledge (now becoming uncommon): * In quotations throughout the present book the emphasis has been added—wherever not otherwise stated. Toynbee’s classic study has already put on record that “the race feeling engendered by the English Protestant… became the determining factor in the development of a race feeling in our Western Society as a whole. It has been a misfortune for mankind…” iii Reprinted more than once has been the definitely exaggerated assertion by the Liberal, Sir Charles Dilke, of the uniqueness of British genocide—"the Anglo-Saxon is the only extirpating race on earth. Up to the commencement of the now inevitable destruction of the Red Indians…, of the Maoris and of the [aborigine] Australians, no numerous race has ever been blotted out by an invader".iiia Moreover, that the destruction of Australia’s aboriginal population was very largely “the… outcome of modernizing transformations in the mother country [Britain], the first European nation fully to enter the economically rationalized world of the modern era", was published—in London—more than a decade ago by Richard Rubinstein in the symposium, Mosaic Of Victims. Non-Jews Persecuted And Murdered By The Nazis (edited by Berenbaum, Director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum). He also confirmed that the "link between genocidal settler society of the 18th and 19th centuries and 20th century genocide can be discerned in… Hitler’s ‘Lebensraum’ program", adding that Hitler saw that kind of colonialism "as a model to be followed by Germany in the East of the European continent". Nevertheless, ideologically there are decisive differences between the inspirers and the inspired: the difference between a genocidal society and the genocidal state. "National Socialist Germany was a genocidal state… [British] Australia was a genocidal society". In the English sphere—and not only in its settlement colonies— the pressure of society is stronger, the pressure of the state is weaker, than in that of Germany. The extermination of the Australian aborigines was not ordered by a government but occurred spontaneously. Although Hitler very much desired his Germans to develop precisely such a spontaneous "race instinct", Rubinstein rightly makes the distinction: "the destruction of the aborigines… of
  2. 2. Australia was an unintended consequence of state policy"—unlike the extermination of the victims of Nazism, which was fully intended and ordered by Hitler. Still, it was "the very success of earlier genocidal societies [that] invited repetition by Hitler and systematic execution"iib by his state—explicitly because he did not trust the "race instincts" of German society. But this recapitulation of things long known—indeed, the very topic—breaks a taboo. There are such decisive differences in British racist practices and Hitler’s that there is no comparison between them and this fact is certain to serve as an ‘argument’ that theories derived from the former could not possibly have influenced the latter—the conclusion being that, as Hitler practised genocide in the 20th century and Britain did not, he could not have been influenced by England in any respect whatsoever: Taboos are known not to be subject to logic. This taboo is far more sacrosanct in Germany than in Britain: In Germany the Hitlerite past remains incomparably more of an issue than does the past of the Imperial Race in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Thus, British findings have provided the author with the first bases for the theme of this book: It is in British sources that insights into the English origins of some of the ideas which formed Hitler’s principal inspiration—from Britain’s Social Darwinism to Thomas Carlyle’s hatred of Democracy— are spelled out. This is illustrated by the following examples: Richard Thurlow confirmed that British "national culture did have importance in helping to develop Fascist ideas in Europe, ….Nazi racism and imperialism". "Britain’s impact on continental fascism… helped produce the fascist synthesis…, particularly in Germany."839a Paul Hayes pointed out that "The contributions of British intellectuals… to the fascist dreams of a racially-based world domination were thus not inconsiderable” . . . English “Social Darwinists” gave their Nazi “disciples an opportunity to justify” their actions…"840 He specified that "the establishment of the relationship between natural selection and national efficiency—all are present in [Benjamin] Kidd’s work and all were borrowed by [Hitler’s ideologist, Alfred] Rosenberg…."162 And he finds this idea in Kidd: "Social heredity… creates a ruling people" — "social heredity that could be steered by the state".164 Hayes comments: "Hitler found this idea very acceptable."165 Indeed, according to Hayes, the strongest and most long-lasting influence on the fascists was the racially-based social Darwinism of Karl Pearson (previously a colonial official and then a London Professor of Eugenics until 1933), with his "struggle of race with race and the survival of the… fitter race".166 British insights into the British inspiration of Hitler are not limited to “natural science”. "Carlyle’s criticism of democracy looks like fascism—and sometimes it was", wrote Walter Houghton.232c In fact, the London Anglo-German Review of 1938, canvassing for Hitler, explicitly affirmed Carlyle as "the first Nazi".232h Quoting Carlyle, Chris Bossche confirms that he anticipated Hitler’s evaluation of the poor of England [and he might have added that of Hitler’s mentor, Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s], referring to "a bestial working class, animals, or even inanimate, offal”. He saw in them “‘ape-faces, imp-faces,… dog-faces, heavily sullen ox-faces’…” In Carlyle’s “martial and hierarchical society… worked… a million black slaves and the upper portion… [was to be] occupied by a hundred thousand white slave-masters"—very much like what Hitler and SS-Chief Himmler envisaged for conquered Russia. And, just as Carlyle had insisted that it was against the will of God to train black men intellectually, Hitler warned in Mein Kampf / My Struggle that "it is a sin
  3. 3. against the Will of the eternal Creator when one trains Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs upward into intellectual professions".ii And this theme is consonant with Rudyard Kipling’s influence: "Much of what gives Kipling’s writings peculiar power is difficult to distinguish from… that [which] helped to constitute the ideological domination of fascism, particularly in its German version".827a "One of the only English institutions which Hitler copied" was the British Public School, emphasized Sir Cyril Norwood, making this preference of Hitler one of his main arguments for praising them. . . This Lowestoft Public School Headmaster explicitly designated Hitler’s "National Political Educational Institutions" for elite training, the NAPOLAs, the "Public Schools in Germany", when describing them in the London Times Educational Supplement in 1935.433 Similarly, two years later, the English Public School Headmaster, J. Tate, reported that Hitler’s NAPOLAs were New Public Schools In Germany.438 Also in 1937, another English Public School Master, Christopher Sidgwick, assured his readers that the products of the Backnang Nazi NAPOLA would be like White pukka sahibs . . . 439 Again, reporting to the Royal Institute for International Affairs, in 1938, on the training of future Nazi leaders, Rowan Robinson pointed out that "their institutions are in more than one respect modelled on our English Public Schools". 451 In fact, this was confirmed from Hitler’s SS, with August Heissmeyer, who was in charge of these schools in his capacity as Senior Group Leader of the SS, explaining—in the same year, 1938—that the "educational methods and tasks” of the British Public Schools “are… at home in our institutions".438 It was the view in Hitler’s Germany that educationally the NAPOLAs aimed "at training the future Führers [Führernachwuchs]”, and that these were “definitely schools for the Elite, like the Public Schools in England."ii A Nazi educational theorist, Theodor Wilhelm, promised but a little later that "in a few years we will have equalled the British Public Schools":445 The leader of Hitler’s Reich Organizations, Robert Ley, preferred this British model to the Prussian military cadet training institutions—as, "with its Etons England has built up a world empire".454 Typically, Nazi educators emphasized that the objective of "a Public School like, for instance, Eton, ‘a stronghold of good English tradition’, was… to train ‘a type of Führer [Führertypus]’ which… rules England and the English Empire".iv When, after all, Great Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, Public Schools had trained 76% of its Bishops, Judges, Directors of Banks and Railways, its Civil Servants (and those of British India), and of its Dominion-Governors. Of its Lieutenant-Generals and higher military ranks, 70% came from four Public Schools, with Eton and Harrow predominating. Though called upon to defend England—with its electoral, parliamentary regime—against totalitarian Germany, the boys were themselves educated under the authoritarian morality of Public Schools—which was not, though, a “totalitarian discipline”, as Worsley claims (with some exaggeration, in his 1940 book, Democracy And The Public Schools).v An even more devastating criticism of that very training was published in Oxford more than four decades after that year of Britain’s near-catastrophe: “The English boy is subjected to a methodical will-culture; …trained to suppress to the uttermost all external signs of emotion”. “The ascetic, desexualized, narcissistic culture of imperial manliness reduces the subject to the zero of himself. It paved the way to a culture of death” (J.H. Field). And the British historian, J. A. Mangan, pointed out that “a growing awareness of Empire among [British] Public School boys… with… their role as
  4. 4. predominantly one of martial self-sacrifice… bore remarkable similarity to that of the adolescent educational elite in Nazi Germany…”vi Against this background, it is only too understandable that a German historian, Gerwin Strobl (a lecturer in Cardiff University,Wales), should claim of Hitler’s NAPOLAs that: “it would be mischievous and absurd to pretend that these institutions were in any way copying the British Public Schools”—all the contemporary testimony of both Public Schools masters and from the Nazi themselves notwithstanding. In his otherwise excellent book on Nazi perceptions of Britain (published by the Cambridge University Press—as recently as 2000), Strobl himself reminds us that, already in the Germany of the 1920s, it is not unusual to find "eulogies on British ‘will power’, determination and toughness, on British Public Schools specifically designed to educate rulers and teach… to lead, and where they cannot lead to submit, or to come across such British sentiments as ‘my country right or wrong’”. He comments that, to read this “is to see all too clearly in which direction Germany was heading…. In Nazi eyes praising such [English] virtues was the more urgent as they had become eclipsed by… [democratic] Weimar pacifism ‘and celebrations of Britishness were increasingly also celebrations of Nazi achievements’”. Indeed, referring to a comment of an SS journal in 1935, this modern Cambridge University Press publication of 2,000 recognizes—rightly—in all this, “the readiness to see in Britain the Third Reich’s alter ego" (sic).vii (Actually Hitler himself claimed, as early as 1935: “Only I generate the brutality to press forward towards a goal, as Englishmen do”. And, that English was the language “of a ruthless act of will”, was maintained (as early as 1920) by the Nazi theorist of racism, Hans Günther: As Strobl rightly emphasizes, the “Will was… at the heart of… Nazi belief”. Thus, English studies (Anglistik) under the Nazis understood the English language as “a language of Will, a language of Struggle for Existence, in which ‘the Laws of Life’ are still valid—and, accordingly, the will of expression of the Race, of the Blood”. As Hitler himself insisted: “…for the British press… we shall arrive gradually at equal status socially—because we proceed ruthlessly”.)viii Strobl rightly points out that, among the Nazis, “invoking the real or supposed British example… was done in a spirit… of frank admiration”. Thus, in Hitler’s Germany, “Cecil Rhodes was the subject of… books, whose titles clearly reveal the nature of the attraction held for Nazi readers: ‘The Conqueror’; ‘For a greater Fatherland, or the Dream of World Domination’”. That “Hitler had long regarded the British Empire as the exemplar for the Third Reich’s hoped-for expansion” (as that Cambridge University publication formulates it), has been far more obvious than is now remembered. The CUP book by Strobl is quoted at length here, because the status of its publishers puts it above any suspicion of ‘apologetic bias’, which would have been occasioned if published outside of Britain—particularly in Germany. Thus, its main chapter is headed, Britain As Paradigm For Nazi Expansion. At its very beginning—even before the title page—is printed this insight: “…One of the Nazis’ fundamental objectives was… to emulate the ‘ruthlessness’ of the British Empire in dealing with Eastern Europe”: “One is bound to recall Hitler’s remarks about India or North America as exemplars for future German rule in Russia… and his general admiration for… Britain’s essential ‘ruthlessness’… In 1937 young Germans [were to] study Anglo-Saxon history to overcome their moral scruples…. The Nazi leaders were not in any way discountenanced by Britain’s imperial record.
  5. 5. They were hoping to equal it.” And, to achieve this goal, “maintaining the difference between the master race and subject races seemed to [Hitler] to be at the heart of the British imperial ethos and the secret of its success… Here, surely, is the nexus between race and empire which came to dominate Hitler’s thinking…., his striking insistence that the Third Reich should copy in Russia British rule in India”.ix This elaborates an insight familiar by 1971: In his admiration for the British Empire, Hitler made it an alibi for his own imperial ambitions. “British domination in India served Hitler as a model on which… to orient… the construction of his Eastern Empire. In his Table Conversations he frequently expounded his domination plans with reference to British India—followed by his conclusions about his planned Empire in the East”—as Johannes Voigt reminds us. Indeed, the ‘Führer’s’ utterances contained innumerable variations on this very theme—as if he had been saying unto all the Germans that, unless they became like Englishmen, verily, the dominance of this world would not be theirs. But, what was the perception of Englishness, which the German race was meant to emulate? It is precisely an SS text, destined (in 1940) to be a manual for the conquest of England, that spells out in so many words the characteristics the SS admired most in the English ruling classes: “The gentlemen who never thought about philosophical issues…., of strong will power and boundless energy, who consider spiritual issues a waste of time…, but understand how to rule. These are people who… see the meaning of their lives in the promotion of the interests of the English ruling class” (The Nazi Invasion Plan For Britain). “In essence this was nothing but a disguised description of their [the SS leadership’s] own nature, projected onto one’s Opposite—through which by implication one was mirroring oneself”, commented a Hamburg conservative newspaper.x After all, it was not merely models which Nazi indoctrination saw in the “Englishman’s genuine patriotism”: “The English had achieved what we… were still lacking”, the English being “a Germanic people of Nordic nature—and already for this very reason being predestined for proud… lordliness”. The assurance was that “faith in the Führer and his divine mission" were equally "German and English and thereby Germanic”. One of the Nazi guarantors for this, by the name of Krieger, confirmed that “faith in the divine determination of racial peculiarity is natural—what man feels in himself, as the voice of his blood, this is experienced as the call of God directed to him. All the Englishmen who conquered further pieces of the world for their Empire acted out of this law of Life and Race through history”. And thus, even in the year before Hitler’s invasion project of 1940, England was to remain a model for his pupils: “We do no service to national political education by presenting British strivings for global power as egoism and by condemning their faith in their mission as an astute trick. On the contrary: Our pupils should learn that a religiosity ready for action, full of will power at stake for the nation, is the main source out of which England became such a mightily great world power so enviably early… [The more this is understood] the more decisively will our pupils’ will power be called upon to make up for Germany what Englishmen created for themselves from the same heritage.” In the context of the assumed affinity to England, so strongly emphasized from the Nazi side, there resounded a polyphonic admiration for English Imperialism, which they saw “as an attempt to create a model and legitimacy for their own plans of expansion” (Harlander). It was precisely the British consciousness of Divine Election that—like no other aspect of
  6. 6. the British national character—attracted such Nazi German sympathies, as a reminder of their common racial basis.xi So marked was this feature that the Old Testament (indeed, so to speak, the Neo-Judaic) character of English post-Puritan “patriotism…, the belief that the English were the elected nation, that ‘God is English’”* (Raphael Samuel), by no means detracted from Nazi aspirations to emulate England and share in this source of superiority feelings. However, they aspired to cultivate sentiments like those in William Blake’s Jerusalem (with “the divine Voice: I elected Albion for my glory; I gave to him the nations of the whole earth”) with only dominance in mind.1 xii * Its extreme expression was the religious cult of Anglo-Israel, identifying the Anglo-Saxon Race with the Lost Tribes of Israel (xii, see Samuel 445 I,p58; Poole 400 in Higham 214 p367; Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs in Haller 198 p87). Edwin Jones says that Foxe’s Martyrs has been the most influential book in England, next to the Bible (250 pp56,57). It was in pre-Nazi times that Friedrich Brie reminded Germans that this English God, who fights the gods of the unbelievers, the Lord of Battles of the Old Testament, is the opposite of the Dostoevskian vision of the Russian Christ, of Russia’s vision of redeeming the world.xiii Hitler, however, was only able to see that the right to Power was associated with Englishness. But part of what Hitler failed to understand about England was that Britain’s imperial power was supposed to work as a moral force. It has been pointed out that “a saving grace of British imperialism was the comparatively high content of moral responsibility”.2068c In 1932—the very year that Hitler came to power—there was published in England a book containing one of the 19th century reminders that “injustice is injustice and is the more undefensible… when its subjects are in a helpless position….”, that “arrogance and injustice and blindness of heart… among powers in authority are sins against the Divine will and would… bring… terrible retribution”—no matter “how unintelligibly to despisers of evangelical piety” it might seem. And, a century earlier, an Evangelical hymn did warn: “Shall Britain, to remotest climes, transmit her guilt alone and not (with infectious crimes) make her Saviour known…?” Indeed, “the belief that national privileges brought national responsibilities, and that national sin would incur national Judgement, prevented the sense of divine sanction becoming merely a ground for ruthless imperialist exploitation”.xiv The “vision of public life offered by Gladstone” was part of what “appeared to transcend the embourgeoisement of society with its monied values…—and not merely… the cant of moral invocations”. This was the era when liberation was seen as a particular British mission—bringing liberty to the slaves (“after England had relinquished her world leadership in slave trafficking”). Particularly the “attack on slavery and the slave trade indicated British humanitarianism in action… It associated the right to power with moral fervour” amongst the English.xv However, in practice, this fervour came to be directed more against the Arab slave trade than enslavement by Anglo-Saxons, such as the Southerners of North America. In relation to Negroes, “Much of the easy equality… between [White] hunter and African chief, [British] trader and his African mistress, or missionary and his potential convert, came to be increasingly frowned upon by… racial authority…” And, once the Empire was securely established, there was “inability of Britons to treat the African as a human being”, to use the formulation from Prelude To Imperialism (Alan Cairns). Yet, as this
  7. 7. work points out, “the ethnocentric attitudes of individual Britons fade into insignificance when contrasted with the attitudes and conduct of African tribes to each other”. . . “African experience, as a result, was brutalizing human sensitivity”.xvi It was in this spirit that, by Queen Victoria’s third decade, a Colonel Bedford Pim revealed to the Anthropological Society of London that “to govern alien races had yet to be learned by England” . . . And then there was the massacre of British civilians by Indian “mutineers” in Cawnpore in 1857, an event which was followed by panic over an imaginary Negro rebellion in Jamaica in 1865 (“of Negroes ‘drunk with blood’ and ‘mad with excitement’”). Then there were the concerns resulting from the abolition of slavery in the United States. All these fears brought about the predominance of Racism in Victorian imperial thought.xvi (Anglo-Saxon racism was turned—not least—against the Celts. Thomas Carlyle asked, “is it not a considerable blessing to have escaped being born a Celt”, and came to consider most Irish as “deceptive human swine” (1849). “The extremes to which England was prepared to go to empty Ireland of its original inhabitants became clear during the famine years of 1846-1848. The relief given by the English government to the Irish… was deliberately kept at levels guaranteed to produce the resultant demographic changes… [which were ]welcomed by the leading members of England’s society and government[:] The deaths by famine and emigration did… clear land of uneconomic subsistence producers… for rationalized agricultural enterprise", as Richard Rubinstein points out. By 1850 the Edinburgh Professor of Anatomy, Robert Knox, was not only attributing to the Irish a series of qualities incompatible with middle-classness. He presented as science the view that in Ireland, “the source of all evil lies in the race, the Celtic race of Ireland…. The race must be forced from the soil; ….they must leave. England’s safety requires it”. For “human character is traceable solely to the nature of… race”.)xviii As a result of such influences, the British image of coloured natives came to be reversed by 1865: Even the Dissenters—who in the early and mid-nineteenth century had seen the Church as a kingdom not of this world and who consequently believed less in the divine sanction of the British Empire—were producing leading imperialists. “While the soul was still to be saved, it was not to matter beyond its proper place”—as John Wolffe put it. Thus, by the time when Hitler was undergoing his ideological formation, the prevailing school of British imperial thought presupposed that colonies existed for the benefit of the Master race in contrast to an earlier—equally British—imperial vision, which conceived the colonies “as a God-sent opportunity for the export of good [moral] government” (as Katherine Tidreck put it).xviii And thus Hitler came to see in British Imperialism only the former, ignoring the latter. He was not so much misunderstanding England as seeing only one side of it: the side which prevailed in his youth. In fact, when Hitler was still at school, Cecil Rhodes observed (in 1899): “They are tumbling over each other, Liberals and Conservatives, to show which side are the greatest and most enthusiastic Imperialists”. Among the latter, Lionel Curtis published (between 1934 and 1937, in three volumes) Civitas Dei, “to prove… that the British Commonwealth was… the ultimate expression… of ‘the sermon of the mount translated into political terms’”. Yet, even during the climax of the imperialist age, there was in Oxford also that Fabian Fellow of St. John, Sydney Ball, who used to remind students that “imperialism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” (as Dr. Samuel Johnson once said about Patriotism).xix
  8. 8. (England is perhaps the “only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality”, George Orwell once claimed—this was before Germany’s complete Nazi disgrace: “In [some of the] left… circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman…”xx) Others who stood out included Vincent Harlow, also from Oxford, who, even though a professor, broke the iron rule that gentlemen should never display emotions—and embarrassed prospective colonial officials by his tears when speaking of the noble mission of trusteeship for the backward races . . . And there was Garfield Todd, missionary in Rhodesia since the 1920s, who was arrested there—after white Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain—for opposing racial oppression.xxi These were exceptions: In England, not only was the ethos of Imperialism pervasive in all the media in its heyday, “There was no anti-imperialism in popular culture”, according to John MacKenzie. “Criticism [of Imperialism] was muted; parodies were self-mocking” in the Music Halls. Even during the 1930s, as John Julius Norwich recalled: “Empire was all around us, …part of the fabric of our lives. We were all imperialists then…” Even after the Great War, “it was still possible for the British to retain a world view embracing their unique imperial status, …racial superiority, and a common ground of national conceit on which most could agree…. By clearly delineating the attributes of the British ‘race’, the writers of juvenile fiction placed other races firmly beyond the pale". In fact, even an Oxford professor, James Anthony Froude, opposed protecting Africans against slavery. The black slave melodramas, once played to working-class audiences, largely disappeared after 1890, while in the popular entertainment of the Music Halls “was lost… the message that the goal of British power was freedom”.xxii Britain’s long unenfranchised majority was content to “leave… governing to their betters”; to those “above the line”.xxiii Although that majority, even after obtaining some participation in political power, still only had a minimum of political consciousness, the “conservative classes thought that working men felt themselves outside the dominant values and were thus threatening…. Britain thus developed in the interwar years a middle class political culture based specifically upon opposition to what was feared as the demanding working-class”. That "from the end of the first World War middle-class Britain was increasingly mobilized… by an acute hostility to working-class politics", is pointed out by Ross McKibbin. He illustrates this (in 1991) with the middle-class suburb of Richford which feared “those great masses of humanity which accept none of its standards and are always prepared seemingly to engulf it”. The authors of The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion, referring to the General Strike of 1926, quote Lady Diana Manners, who “‘could hear the tumbrels rolling and heads sneezing into the baskets’. Her husband, Duff Cooper, answered his wife’s worrying enquiries about when they could honorably exit the country: ‘not till the massacres begin’.” And this, despite the fact that—in the face of social misery, such as that in the South Wales mining area (described in novels by A. J. Cronin)—Britain’s working class voters to a large extent remained highly deferential and accepted that the Conservative elites “are more fit to govern” than themselves]. At the same time the attitude of British workers to the outside world was one of contempt—or indifference. They cherished “open self-satisfaction at being British and not foreign”,xxiv—just as Cecil Rhodes had felt and, before that, as Disraeli wanted them to feel—very much like their betters. (Thus an Ambassador of his
  9. 9. Britannic Majesty, Sir Nevile Henderson, thought that “all foreigners are impossible: It is a matter of degree”.) These attitudes made it easier for the paper of their betters, the London Financial News, to propagate alarm that even their own “British political machine has so far mastered British mankind [sic] that it has succeeded in foisting upon nearly one-tenth of British parliamentary constituencies men of alien blood to represent them…. Alien blood… of the synagogue of Caiphas… can climb to the foremost place in the British political machine”. And the [democratizing] reform of that “political machinery is the forging of new fetters for a nation of slaves”: “‘Peace, …reform’ is a demonic phrase embodying the pure gospel of the Synagogue of Satan, …the Devil’s weapon for robbing Saint George of his sword…” According to this publication by John H. Clarke (Call Of The Sword), “‘Peace’… as an ‘interest’ is the doctrine of Mammon and not the doctrine of Christ…. The sword is dividing universal right from universal wrong”—that is what this pamphlet, published by the London Financial News in 1917, was insisting. Its author asserted: “Prussia and Germany are not Christian but Judaic nations…, Shylock their priest”, Jews and Germans being synonymous for him. According to Panayi (Enemy In Our Midst), there was in Britain an outbreak of panic about this Hidden Hand even in July 1918: “Jews, paid by Germany, undermined Britain’s strength through prostitution, venereal disease”, as it was “the tendency of Germany to infect clean nations with Hunnish erotomania”, revealed the newspaper, The Vigilante—anticipating obsessions of Hitler and his Julius Streicher about the Jews. For hostility against Jews combined with antagonism against the Germans in the Britain of the First World War: Before the sinister Hidden Hand came to be imagined to be purely Jewish, it was thought to be German . . . It was German agents that were imagined to control both the Liberal and the Unionist Party, to cause strikes, to be behind the Suffragettes and the Pacifists.” All this was claimed by the author of The Unseen Hand, Kirton Varley. Thus, already in 1917, he proposed that the King, the Navy and the Army should gather “the right men of the Nation” and endow them “with power to rule” the “New State”, after the “expulsion of all party interests”xxv—five years before Mussolini seized power in Italy or Hitler conceived Mein Kampf. In his book on Oswald Mosley, Fascism And British Society, D. S. Lewis confirmed—as recently as 1987—that, standing for a strong Empire, British Fascism had a “patriotic program”: “Fascism was not alien to Britain… As a whole it was not a foreign import. It developed from British roots to fulfill British needs.” And, “to suggest that there were unique elements within British society which made it immune to fascism… is misplaced arrogance… It is well to dispense… with the popular myth that fascism was eliminated by the moderation and tolerance of the British character”. “Perhaps too little attention has been paid to the British ‘tradition’ of fascism and its antecedents”, observed Richard Thurlow.xxvi In fact, an influential—if not nearly decisive—section of the Tories were predisposed “to view fascists in general as guardians of the established order in all those parts of the world where there existed the menace of socialism”, wrote Richard Colodny. According to Ross McKibbin, it was precisely “the common fear of socialism” that united the British middle classes in the 1930s.xxvii Their attitude toward Democracy as a principle was somewhat ambivalent.
  10. 10. (“Lurking below there were many thousands of right-wingers in England… who had been captivated by Hitler and his New Order”. It was not just before the War that they were ready to give Hitler their support. Within the British establishment, a hard core “of right- wingers, extreme but influential, liked much of what Hitler stood for, and it is terrifying to speculate about what would have been their attitude if Hitler had gained control over the British Isles….; they had much in common with the enemy”, observed Norman Bethell—in The War Hitler Won, September 1939.) This is the more comprehensible as, almost up to that very point in time—certainly before 1914 and into the 1920s, as McKibbin says—“England was not conventionally described as a democracy: people thought of it as ‘free’ or ‘constitutional’ but not, or not yet, as ‘democratic’”. The Reverend Christopher Wyvill of 1792 was by no means the last to worry about popular suffrage placing “private property and public liberty”…“at the mercy of a lawless and furious rabble”—and to expect popular elections to create horrid chaos: Against this whole historical background, Stanley Baldwin, three times Conservative Prime Minister (up to 1937), commented: “We shall have to limit the franchise” [again]. Even Winston Churchill is known to have observed that “elections, even in the most educated democracies, are regarded as a misfortune and a disturbance of social, moral and economic progress” (and this despite the fact that more than two-thirds of all members of Parliament, elected between 1660 and 1945, came from only 368 families).xxviii Indeed, Britain’s last ambassador to Hitler’s Germany, Sir Nevile Henderson*, was understood to be “a representative of a ‘declining ruling class’ which could not reconcile itself to the social transformation…” That this transformation would go much further in the event of armed defence against the expansion of Nazi Germany, these were prospects that could be—and actually were—foreseen: “It was middle- class… interest… which [Britain’s] inter-war political economy was designed to serve….” And it was impossible to rearm without “enormously increasing the claims of the organized working class on society. The policy of Appeasement [of Hitler] must always be seen in that light. And the phoney war [until Churchill took over the government in 1940, and saved Democracy] was an attempt to prolong the pre-war order into the war”.xxix This was the pre- war order for which—according to Neville Chamberlain’s words (directed to King George VI)—“Germany and England [are] the two pillars of European peace and buttress against Communism”. And it is not only Bethell who confirms that this bringer of “peace in our time” “wished to have his hands free to allow German expansion towards the east”. * His apologetic biographer, Peter Neville, saw occasion to deny that he was “Our Nazi ambassador in Berlin”. (Contrary to customary reiterations—particularly during the Cold War period—it is now certain that the Soviet Union would have given massive military assistance to its Czech ally: It was from Russia that "the Czech government was offered seven hundred fighter aircraft… Romania had agreed… to allow a hundred thousand Soviet soldiers cross to Czechoslovakia…") Accordingly, Germany’s ‘Führer’ found a most understanding ear in Neville Chamberlain, when he complained that “he did not feel that he got rid of the danger until the abolition of the [mutual assistance] treaty between Russia and Czechoslovakia”. And Chamberlain (according to his own notes) replied: “Supposing… Czechoslovakia were
  11. 11. no longer bound to go to the assistance of Russia if Russia was attacked…; would that remove your difficulty?”xxx Thus, Chamberlain’s pressure on Czechoslovakia (and on France, its ally) gave Hitler to understand that Britain would not oppose such an attack on Russia—if not actively encourage it. And a German attack on Russia was not to be expected from a non-Nazi government. Thus, it is understandable why, as Patricia Meehan shows, “all indications of a substantial and influential opposition element inside Germany had been vigorously discounted during the years of appeasement”. Against this background, the British Foreign Office saw, even in August, 1945, reasons to regard the post-war testimony of Hitler’s general, Franz Halder, about “Germany’s military weakness” at the time when Neville Chamberlain handed over the territory with Czechoslovakia’s fortification lines to Hitler “as very dangerous”. Dangerous indeed—for the credibility of Appeasement Britain—was the testimony of the insider, General Halder, about Hitler’s 21 "divisions [located] against the Czechs’ well equipped 35 [divisions]—and the West Wall… with only 5 [German] divisions". For, General Halder’s testimony did confirm that “Munich… was an enormous and undeserved triumph for Hitler’s methods of bluff. He had gone on to describe the Putsch [against Hitler] which had been wrecked by Chamberlain’s sudden arrival in Germany". And that Halder “is on strong ground” in all this has been confirmed by Steel, the Political Officer on the Berlin Staff of the British Commander in Chief. The British Foreign Office became alarmed at the possibility “that this… might leak out, particularly to the American press—and that such mischievous evidence will crop up in… war crimes demonstrations”. However, fortunately for British prestige, “it has not occurred to the German public as a whole to criticize us for not supporting the conspirators against Hitler”, observed the Political Director at the Headquarters of the British Occupation Zone of Germany in 1951.xxxi Indeed, not only do such criticisms still remain practically unheard of in the German mass media; more than that: When the British press, after 1998, suggested Germany’s ‘leftist’ Finance Minister, Oskar Lafontaine, was like a ‘Gauleiter’ (governor of Hitler’s), there was no rejoinder, no reference to the “Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion”. And when, soon afterwards, Germany’s Social-Democratic State Minister for Culture, Michael Neumann, became a target of a massive campaign in the Daily Mail (the same Daily Mail that used to praise Hitler more than any newspaper outside the Third Reich)—including blackening his name as “a successor of Goebbels”xxxii—the attacked Minister did not counter with any facts on the lines of those described in the present book: English models have remained exemplary ever since 1871*, and have been viewed as “the High[est] School of Politics” for German public opinion under four successive German regimes (the monarchical, the republican, the Nazi, and that of the NATO partnership). Thus reminders of Hitler’s innumerable reiterations of his emulation of Britain still pass in Germany as “apologies of Nazism”, as “rightist extremism”—no matter how anti- fascist they are in reality. This is indirectly due to the notion of German “collective guilt”, which has been established as something like a ticket of membership of NATO’s Free World and a foundation charter of the Economic Miracle since Adenauer. As the German people did not revolt in 1944-5 (as did a part of them in 1918) with the object of calling those who had led them into war and disastrous defeat to account, numerous Nazis became integrated into practically all the institutions of the post-war German Federal Republic:
  12. 12. Their talent for organizing and their genius in adjustment proved indispensable for the reconstruction resulting in the Economic Miracle. A side-effect of covering them up was the declaration of Collective Guilt, holding the entire people guilty: For, if all are guilty, then no concrete individual actually is. And then, as not all could possibly be guilty, the ‘practical’ conclusion was largely drawn that nobody was. Accordingly, as a result of such ‘logic’ (which is not exactly Aristotelian), the absurd claim is not unusual—for example, within the ‘Fraternities’ of students of Law—(as if it were ‘in defence’ of the German ‘population’ against ‘collective guilt’)—that Rudolf Höss, the Commander of Auschwitz Extermination Camp—him of all people—“received no fair trial” . . . And it became almost customary to relativize the Nazi Genocide by recalling other injustices committed (or allegedly committed) by adversaries. It was the English-speaking victors of the Second World War who imposed their patterns of democracy on West Germany after the collapse of the Third Reich. And Germany remained voluntarily dependent on Anglo-Saxon models—to a large extent ignoring what had been democratic in its own past, notably the Peasants’ War of 1524-1525, the Revolutions of 1848-1849, and the November Revolution of 1918, even though it had resulted in the first modern democracy on German soil. Such lasting results of “re- education” left the axiom firmly established that German history had not produced democracy, that the past had been one long aberration, and that Nazi Fascism is to be seen solely and exclusively as a purely German phenomenon. All this has, in turn, contributed to cementing the convention that the ‘collective guilt’ has to be exclusively German—at least in regard to the Western allies: Accordingly, no publication coming from Germany considers it appropriate to remind her mentors how it was they who once upon a time recommended racism and even genocide. While reminders of any Russian (not to mention—hypothetically—‘Serbian’) role-models for Hitler are not likely to provoke indignation within Germany, the theme of him emulating what he appreciated in the British Empire is a taboo to be rigorously self-enforced—no matter how explicitly it is described within British historiography and no matter how frequently Hitler himself re-articulated this emulation. Thus, in Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft/The Origins Of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt*, the German rendering is: “English public opinion… yielded the most fruitful soil for… biological world conceptions which were all orientated on racial doctrines”, whilst the English equivalent appears as— “English public opinion… was a fertile soil for various naturalistic doctrines which arose in those decades”. This exemplifies the unmentionables. Similarly ‘translating’ the passage about “the insuperable distance of English colonial officials by which they had made themselves hated…” resulted merely in the following euphemism in the English version, “Aloofness became an attitude of all members of the British services” xxxiii —a euphemism which may be said to obey more post-war West German than British conventions. A text of my own was mutilated in a comparable way. In the publication of my lecture, Vision Of The Third Rome And Of The Third Reich—after “careful editing” by one Mr. Peter Paul Bornhausen—there were deleted from it the following long- known quotations from Sir Charles W. Dilke and Herbert G. Wells respectively: “Naked
  13. 13. barbarians [are]… safe only from extermination because the European cannot dwell permanently in the climate of their land [India]“; “There is only one sane and logical thing to be done with a really inferior race, and that is to exterminate it”. (In England no less a figure than Toynbee drew attention to these views as early as 1934.)xxxiii * The German text by Hannah Arendt was published later than its English version, in 1955. In the same vein, the very detailed history of German anti-intellectualism by Dietz Bering,xxxiv pointedly omits the folk’ish (proto-Nazi) recommendation (of 1899) by Friedrich Lange—that, following the British model, through its “gentlemanly spirit, …there are to be in the course of time ever fewer… cultured people [in Germany]…. Instead we shall… accomplish… training for the vocation of world dominance, and… achieve equal status with our cousins beyond the Channel, who are already ruling the world… as we become more like them”.483 That “the Germans could be much more successful in the colonies if they would cease being influenced by idealistic notions”, was insisted upon by Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), an admirer of England. He was attracted to Britain and visited it frequently. And it was largely through him that British Social Darwinism had its particular impact on Germany. Haeckel popularized notions about “the aristocratic laws of Nature”, subsequently a doctrine of Hitler’s. The proto-Nazi “Thule Society” had Haeckel among its members. He saw in Englishmen and Germans two Germanic peoples that he wanted to see allied—just as did Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whose principal work had its effect before Haeckel had his main impact. In fact, the German, Haeckel “never attained the status of [the Englishman] Houston Chamberlain in the annals of Nazi history” (as Daniel Gasman writes).xxxv Ultimately, the impact of Chamberlain on Hitler was due not least to his pseudo-Wagnerian consecration of the ‘Führer’: It was from Chamberlain—with his ‘Wagnerian’ authority, as spiritual chief of Richard Wagner’s successors—that Hitler “received his consecration to be the Redeemer of the Germanic race”; it was Houston Stewart Chamberlain who “consecrated him to be the saviour sent by the gods” (Joachim Köhler).xxxvi At the same time, for all practical purposes, Hitler did see, behind the racist doctrines of this Chamberlain (1855-1927), their basis in the global dominance of the Imperial Race, the global hegemony of the British Empire. Nevertheless, the ways in which Houston Stewart Chamberlain inspired Hitler have not been sufficiently taken account of—not nearly approaching their scale. Thus, his influence on Nazi racism is customarily mentioned, at the most, as if it were merely in sequence with that of Count Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882). While this may be adequate in the context of the genesis (or chronology) of Europe’s “Aryan racial superiority” notions, it does not suffice to provide the particular context of Hitler’s racism: Not Gobineau, but Houston Chamberlain was called by Hitler’s Goebbels “father of our spirit, pioneer, path-breaker”.546 More than that: Hitler’s party organ (Völkischer Beobachter) glorified the work of this Englishman—who identified genuine Englishness with Germanism—as a “Gospel of the Movement” of Nazism.551 By contrast, Gobineau was by far less read in Germany. Thus, although—so to speak, through him—racist theory was first articulated in France, applied racism, racist practice was not. On the contrary, as Arnold Toynbee among others has pointed out: “Ardent Anglo-Saxon racialists… will say that for a ‘Latin’ to consort with a ‘nigger’” is easy, “for a ‘Latin’ is a very doubtful sort of a white man.” In fact, the French colonial empire served German
  14. 14. racists as a negative precedent, as an example of “race degeneration”—through miscegenation, to be warned against—while the British Empire, the empire of the Imperial Race, was again and again, with monotonous regularity, invoked as the example to be emulated (and to be far outdone . . . ). It was a paradigm that Hitler used as alibi. Against this background, the present book does not examine the influence of French racism (such as writings by Gobineau, Essai sur l’inegalité des races humaines, 4 volumes, Paris, 1853-1855, in German 1898-1900; and Vacher de Lapouge, L’aryen. Son role social, Paris, 1899, German translation of 1939) upon the ideological lineage of Nazism. Nor does it go into the (passive) role of France in abetting Nazi expansion (euphemistically called the Appeasement Policy). For in this matter France was decisively dependent on Britain.xxxvii The present book attempts to make the facts of that diplomatic history—documented, for example, in The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion by Leibovitz and Finkel—more comprehensible by recalling certain (not unfamiliar) aspects of political culture. It does not contribute new insights into Britain’s Victorian or Edwardian political culture. It merely recalls those aspects of it that Hitler admired and wanted his Germany to emulate. Nor does it deal with those dimensions of Hitler’s thought in particular, and Nazism in general, that were not influenced by perceived or actual British models. Obviously, to have proceeded otherwise would have been redundant: The ‘purely’ German antecedents of Hitlerism have been repeatedly examined in the enormous literature on the Third Reich. By contrast, what is no less demonstratively obvious has been far less articulated: indeed, the conceptual impacts of Imperial Britain on the self-image, the alibis and aspirations of Hitler’s Germany have hardly been treated at all—let alone in proportion to their importance. And yet, while Hitler decisively implemented in a totalitarian way what he considered to be his British models, the latter in themselves were by no means totalitarian. Therefore, the vast literature on totalitarianism has little bearing on the topic of the present book. The main theme is the paradigma of England’s image in German thought. On this alone the German documentation might easily fill a not too small library. The present English version has been considerably extended beyond the published German original of my lectures on the subject. Unlike that original edition, numerous authors are identified in the text itself; much of what has been paraphrased in the German version appears in the present translation in the form of indented literal quotations, both alterations having been desired by the publisher and translator. One problem of translating has been the English renderings of almost untranslatable terminology particular to Nazi Germany: In order not to burden the text, only a fraction of this is being given in the original German, the attempt is made to find some kind of English ‘equivalent’ for most of these terms. This could be achieved but approximately. For example, rendering the ideological concept of Herrenmenschentum (something like Master Manhood) as ‘Overlordship’ settles for a more institutionally feudal connotation. The author would like to thank the Heidelberg University librarians Ms Philipp and Mr. Dieter Klein for providing additional material via Interlibrary Loans; Dr. Frank Paz (New York) for access to material from the United States; Professor S. Mitra of Nottingham University for pertinent sources for pronouncements of J. Nehru on relationships of Fascism to Imperialism; and Dr. jur. D. Bahls of Heidelberg for calling
  15. 15. my attention to a quotation about Hitler and German Anglophilia in Nicolaus Sombart’s Rendezvous mit dem Weltgeist: Heidelberg 1945-1951. To Angela Clifford the author is indebted for assisting with English formulation of the text. Ms Blanca Luz Pulido has spared no pains to produce a final, printable copy of a rather complicated typescript. It goes without saying that for the content of this book I alone am responsible: My conception of it goes back to 1948. Manuel Sarkisyanz Mérida, Mexico, December 2002.