Hermann Rauschning

German politician (1887-1982)

Hermann Rauschning (7 August 18878 February 1982) was a German Conservative Revolutionary who briefly joined the National Socialist German Workers Party before breaking with them. In 1934 he renounced NSDAP party membership and in 1936 emigrated from Germany (eventually settling in the United States) and began openly denouncing Nazism. Rauschning is chiefly known for his book Gespräche mit Hitler (Conversations with Hitler), US title Voice of Destruction, UK title Hitler Speaks, in which he claimed to have had many meetings and conversations with Adolf Hitler.

It is against their own insoluble problem of being human that the dull and base in humanity are in revolt in anti-Semitism. Judaism, nevertheless, together with Hellenism and Christianity is an inalienable component of our Christian Western civilization, the eternal " call to Sinai" against which humanity again and again rebels.

Quotes edit

  • It is against their own insoluble problem of being human that the dull and base in humanity are in revolt in anti-Semitism. Judaism, nevertheless, together with Hellenism and Christianity is an inalienable component of our Christian Western civilization, the eternal " call to Sinai" against which humanity again and again rebels.
    • The Beast From the Abyss (1941), pp. 155-56.

The Revolution of Nihilism: Warning to the West (1939) edit

The Revolution of Nihilism: Warning to the West (1939)
  • It took three attempts in Germany to enable a coup d'état of nationalist forces to achieve such success that it could be given the character of an irresistible mass movement, a national revolution. All three attempts used the same tactics of ‘grafting revolutionary violence on constitutional legality.’
    • p. 4
  • Nationalists were gratified by [ Franz von Papen’s ] policy of making an end of party politics and of liberalism; the state began to be authoritarian, despotic… All that united it was the negative purpose of breaking with the past system. Its two main sections, representing the industrialists and the big landowners, were directly opposed to one another on first principles: the industrialists were for free trade and unrestricted capitalist competition; the landowners were for ‘autarchy,” neo-mercantilism. ‘Enlightened capitalism’ on one side, pre-capitalist patriarchalism or post-capitalist economic planning on the other. But the great new forces of the Nationalism and Socialism were unrepresented.
    • p. 8
  • Did [Franz von] Papen really see nothing in National Socialism but its nationalism, could he have overlooked its revolutionary ‘dynamism,’ its restless and boundless revolutionary energy? That is exactly what happened… the monarchist elements imagine that they would easily put those attractive young men in their place. But there was another motive, the fear of the masses and of a revolution of the Left, the fear that the National Socialist masses might go over to the extreme Left.
    • p. 9
  • Nothing was more remote from the future of the Reich in 1932-33 than a Bolshevik revolution or even a political revolt from the Left.
    • p. 9
  • Nobody took it [Mein Kampf] seriously, nobody could, for nobody could make head or tail out of it.
    • p. 20
  • Nothing is more mistaken than to talk of a ‘totalitarian State’ or a “classless” society within the realm of a nihilist revolution. In the place of these there is a machinery of absolute dominion, recognizing independence in no sphere at all, not even in the private life of the individual; and the totalitarian collectivity of the Volksgemeinachaft, the ‘national community,’ an euphemism for an atomized, structureless nation.
    • p. 26
  • The control of the remnants of the State by a party (‘the Party commands the State’) may be regarded as a phase in the process of the dissolution of the old forces of order by the revolution. This process ends with the absorption of the State and its functions by the ‘organization for rule by violent means.’
    • p. 27
  • Today, after six years, there are… still many respectable people associated with German ‘dynamism’ who have not yet realized that their imagined national and racial rebirth amounts to nothing more than the adoption of the revolutionary system of ‘direct action’ as the fundamental principle of the carrying of the ‘mass revolt’ to completion. Direct action is defined as ‘direct integration by means of corporativism, militarism and myth;’ this is to replace democracy and parliamentarism.
    • p. 27
  • The revolutionary elements within the middle class came together in the youth movement and its Bünde, and began to destroy the middle class from within… It is doubtful whether the anti-capitalist youth of the middle class origin could have entered into a fruitful association with the proletarian youth.
    • p. 65
  • The nihilist foreign policy of the National Socialism of today uses ideas as a mask, and has no philosophical basis.
    • p. 253
  • The radical dynamism into which National Socialism has developed is a dangerous, destructive fever, which spreads at an uncanny rate.
    • p. 253

The Voice of Destruction (1940) edit

The Voice of Destruction (1940) reported remarks of Adolf Hitler to Rauschning; also known as Hitler Speaks (1939), the book's authenticity is disputed.
  • When the enemy is demoralized from within… A single blow must destroy him. Aerial attacks, stupendous in their mass effect, surprise, terror, sabotage, assassinations from within, the murder of leading men… that is the war of the future.
    • p. 10
  • The religions are all alike, no matter what they call themselves. They have no future—certainly none for the Germans. Fascism, if it likes, may come to terms with the Church. So shall I. Why not? That will not prevent me from tearing up Christianity root and branch, and annihilating it in Germany.
    • p. 49
  • One is either a German or a Christian. You cannot be both... We don’t want people who keep one eye on the life in the hereafter. We need free men who feel and know that God is in themselves... Do you really believe the masses will ever be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. That tale is finished… They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes.
    • pp. 49-50
  • Catholic priests know where the shoe pinches. But their day is done, and they know it. They are far too intelligent not to see that, and to enter upon a hopeless battle. But if they do, I shall certainly not make martyrs of them. We shall brand them as ordinary criminals. I shall tear the mask of honesty from their faces. And if that is not enough, I shall make them appear ridiculous and contemptible. I shall order films to be made about them. We shall show the history of the monks on the cinema. Let the whole mass of nonsense, selfishness, repression and deceit be revealed: how they drained the money out of the country, how they haggled with the Jews for the world, how they committed incest.
    • pp. 52-53
  • I promise you that if I wished to, I could destroy the Church in a few years; it is hollow and rotten and false through and through. One push and the whole structure would collapse. We should trap the priests by their notorious greed and self-indulgence.
    • p. 53
  • The peasant will be told what the Church has destroyed for them: the whole of the secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the shapeless, the daemonic. The peasant will learn to hate the Church on that basis… We shall wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion particular to our race.
    • p. 55
  • Hitler went on to say that there must, of course, come a time where there would be nothing left to take from the Jews. But then he would still hold their lives in the palm of his hand: their precious Jewish lives. The company burst out laughing again. ‘Streicher,’ Hitler continued, laughing himself, ‘has suggested that in the next war they should be driven ahead of our attacking defense line. They would be the best protection for our soldiers. I shall consider that suggestion.’
    • p. 89
  • We are obligated to depopulate as part of our mission of preserving the German population. We shall have to develop a technique of depopulation. If you ask me what I mean by depopulation, I mean the removal of entire racial units. And that is what I intend to carry out…Nature is cruel, therefore we, too, may be cruel…. I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin!
    • p. 89
  • It is not Germany that will turn Bolshevist but Bolshevism that will become a sort of National Socialist. Besides, there is more that binds us to Bolshevism than separates us from it. There is, above all, genuine revolutionary feeling, which is alive everywhere in Russia except where are Jewish Marxists. I have always made allowance for this circumstance, and given orders that former Communists are to be admitted to the party at once. The petit bourgeois Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communist always will.... Our spirit is so strong, and the power of our magnificent movement to transform souls so elemental, that men are remodeled against their will... A social revolution would lend me new, unsuspected powers. I do not fear permeation with revolutionary Communist propaganda.
    • pp. 131-132
  • My Socialism is not the same thing as Marxism. My socialism is not class warfare, but order. Whoever images Socialism as a revolt and mass demagogy is not a National Socialist. Revolution is not a game for the masses. Revolution is hard work.
    • p. 175
  • I have learned a great deal from Marxism as I do not hesitate to admit… The difference between them and myself is that I have really put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun. The whole of National Socialism is based on it… National Socialism is what Marxism might have been if it could have broken its absurd and artificial ties with a democratic order.
    • p. 186
  • In my youth, and even in the first years of my Munich period after the war, I never shunned the company of Marxists of any shade. I was of the opinion that one or other of them showed promise.
    • p. 187
  • The party is all-embracing. It rules our lives in all their breadth and depth… Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good… This is Socialism- not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape. Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the party, is supreme over all, regardless of whether they are owners or workers… Our Socialism goes far deeper.
    • p. 191
  • And above all, we shall then maintain our passionate desire to revolutionize the world to an extent unparalleled in history… Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.
    • pp. 192-193
  • Science is a social phenomenon, and like every other social phenomenon is limited by the benefit of injury it confers on the community.
    • p. 223
  • The idea of free and unfettered science, unfettered by hypotheses, could only occur in the age of Liberalism. It is absurd.
    • p. 223
  • Yes, man has to be passed and surpassed. Nietzsche did, it is true, realized something of this, in his way. He went so far as to recognize the superman as a new biological variety. But he was not too sure of it. Man is becoming God—that is the simple fact. Man is God in the making.
    • p. 246
  • Those who see in National Socialism nothing more than a political movement know scarcely anything of it. It is more even than a religion: it is the will to create mankind anew.
    • p. 246

Men in Chaos (1942) edit

Men in Chaos (1942)
  • Gregor Strasser, Hitler's dangerous rival in the party, was out to gain control of the whole of the party formations, the organs of public administration, and those of social and economic life, particularly the trade unions, which he proposed to form into a great and comprehensive force of Workers' Guards of the revolution. This brought him into conflict with Roehm's similar ambitions for the S.A.
    • p. 17
  • At that time the issue was between the groups loyal to Hitler and those who regarded Gregor Strasser as the coming man. The opposing groups were fighting so furiously that they were continually on the verge of blood-shed. Similar violent hostilities were frequent between Nazi magnates. The tension was not as extreme as in 1934 when Hitler resolved to have several thousand party comrades shot.
    • p. 20
  • Goebbels belongs to a widespread type of revolutionary; he is the intellectual revolutionary, mentally alert, inventive in destructive ideas, and a master of inflammatory speech.
    • pp. 23-24
  • Himmler is the practical, working revolutionary. Instead of speaking, he organizes revolutionary cadres, forms terrorist groups, uses for political purposes the methods of the world of international crime extortion, maltreatment, theft, murder.
    • p. 24
  • When [Nazi] power had been attained there was not only no unity in regard to future policy but no united group of leaders. The party included a sort of sample collection of all political outlooks in Germany, from crass reactionaries to doctrinaire pacifists and the extremist Left-wing Socialists.
    • p. 26
  • At its climaxes this Nazi revolution was always half a Wagner opera. The other half was cunning conspiracy.
    • pp. 41-42
  • Goebbels is and always has been surrounded by mistrust and deep dissimulation. It was this mistrust that accounted for his being set down as a Bolshevist in disguise, though he cares no more for Socialism and Communism than for patriotism and nationalism. Germany? The testing ground for revolution. Socialism? Nothing but a means to an end a means to revolution, but never the goal of one.
    • p. 47
  • Long before the party's arrival in power Goebbels had written the famous article in which he pointed out the kinship between National Socialism and Bolshevism. At times he spoke enthusiastically in favor of a peaceful permeation of Bolshevism by Nazism and a German-Russian symbiosis. But to his confidants he always showed how clearly he realized that Communism is at all times simply a path leading to a new system of private property and private capital, and that the classless society is bound to lead to a new class formation with a new grading of incomes.
    • p. 47
  • We see then that National Socialism, like the Marxist Socialist parties, has a sort of religious element that demands the sacrifice of the intellect and of individual opinions.
    • p. 56
  • But Hess is not a man of strong character. He may be capable of a great sacrifice. But simple, straightforward opposition, when he considers that something wrong is being done, is not for him… He often acted as he did in my conflict with the party against his own better judgment. He kept silence. He capitulated to the demands of the party.
    • p. 56
  • Koch was one of the sincere Socialists in the movement. He was a follower of Gregor Strasser, like most of the North German bosses. ‘Of course the world will become socialistic,’ he said to me once when I went to see him at Konigsberg. ‘Capitalism has done for itself. Do you suppose that Hitler can stop at this reactionary beginning? My dear man, many things have to happen yet. Your Junker cousins, we shall kill the lot of them,’ he added, laughing. ‘We shall sweep them all away. Peasants must take over; we are settling them on the land. The things the slack Sozis (Socialists) never carried out, we shall put through. Away with the Junkers and the captains of industry! Do you suppose we were just talking through our hats about nationalizing the banks and abolishing the stock exchange and all that?... And if that whimpering instrument Hitler doesn't squeak out our tune, we shall get another fiddle to play on.’
    • p. 89
  • There were two modern ideas of the State which, they believed, had the same tendency to set up a despotic administrative system. One was the deification of the State and the absolute subordination of the individual to it. That was the solution of Fascism and, as they added later, of National Socialism. The other was the State of the common weal, or, as would be said today, the State of social services. It was the modern form of the ‘philanthropic’ State, in which the individual was controlled for his good by the State, down to the smallest details of life. The Bolshevist State, they considered, lay in the line of this conception.
    • pp. 138-139
  • The leading Nazis were divided as a rule between the three normal German points of view in regard to external policy. Some wanted an accommodation with France, some wanted to come to terms with Great Britain at the expense of France, and the third and most active group were trying to get an alliance with Soviet Russia against the whole of the West. I knew that [Eric] Koch was the chief advocate of this last policy. He took pains to keep in personal touch with Russian emissaries. He wanted to go to Russia himself. Assuming that I had Hitler's ear on questions of eastern policy, he repeatedly asked me to put forward his ideas in talking to Hitler.
    • p. 247

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