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"I dedicate this book to the old Berlin party guard." Joseph Goebbels


1 central publishing house of the NSDAP, Franz Eher Nachf. Munich; Drawings are from Mjölnir; Photographs by Photo-Hoffmann, Paul Mai, Scherl and Groß. "I dedicate this book to the old Berlin party guard." Joseph Goebbels 1. Introduction 2. Against decay - part 1, part 2 3. Beginning order - part 1, part 2 4. Terror and resistance - part 1, part 2 5. The unknown SA man - part 1, part 2 6. Bloody Ascent - Part 1, Part 2 7. Prohibited! - Part 1, Part 2 8. Incitement and persecution - Part 1, part 2 9. The attack - Part 1, part Despair and decline 11. Nuremberg overcoming the crisis 13. Not dead despite the ban! - Part 1, Part 2 Battle for Berlin Frontispiece Battle for Berlin: the beginning [: 37: 34]

2 Introduction The struggle for the capital always forms a special chapter in the history of revolutionary movements. The capital is a term in itself. It represents the center of all political, intellectual, economic and cultural forces in the country. From here it radiates into the provinces, and no city, no village remains unaffected by it. Berlin is something unique in Germany. The population of this city is not, like those of any other, made up of a unified, self-contained, homogeneous mass. The Berliner: this type results from the precipitation of old Berlinism, supplemented by entries from all provinces, all landscapes, classes, professions and denominations. Berlin is not, like Paris for France, for all of Germany decisive and groundbreaking in everything. But still, the country cannot be imagined without Berlin. The National Socialist movement did not originate in Berlin. It has its origin in Munich. From there it reached first to Bavaria, southern Germany, and only later, after it had had the beginnings of its development behind it, it also built bridges to northern Germany and thus to Berlin. Only after its collapse in 1923 does the history of the party begin north of the Main. From there, however, National Socialism was taken up in northern Germany with all the vehemence of Prussian tenacity and discipline. The aim of this book is to present the history of the movement in the capital of the Reich. However, it does not pursue any historical purposes. It will be left to later historians to record the objective chronology of the course of their development in Berlin. We lack the sober dispassion that is necessary to distribute light and shadow fairly. The person who wrote these sheets was himself significantly and primarily responsible for the course of events. It is therefore a party in every sense of the word. He only hopes with this portrayal to write down from his soul what has been laid on it as a burden in five years of struggle. It is said to be consolation for those who participated and fought for the brilliant rise of the Berlin movement (1 of 2) [: 37: 55]

3 Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Introduction. Joseph Goebbels. and be an incentive for those who stood aside doubtfully and dismissively, admonition and conscience, and for those who opposed our victory march, threats and declarations of war. It is not yet granted to us today to end this gigantic struggle with a victory across the board. May this book help to maintain hope and faith in the marching battalions of the National Socialist awakening so that the goal, already recognized today in all sharpness and consistency, is never lost out of sight and in the end, despite everything, is achieved! Battle for Berlin: the beginning

4 Against decay (part 1) In the dawning November morning, the wide, deserted hall of the main train station in Elberfeld is still lying. Now it is time to say goodbye to a city that was the starting point of the heavy and bloody fighting over the Ruhr area for two years. Here we had set up the first north-west German headquarters of the rising National Socialist movement after 1923. The spiritual center of National Socialism in West Germany was in Elberfeld, and from here the rays of our passionate struggle went into the Ruhr area. A couple of friends had come to say goodbye. Indeed, this farewell was more difficult than expected. It is a matter of one's own to be torn out of an environment that has become dear to and familiar with through many memories of struggle and success. This was where they started. It was from here that the first assembly campaigns for the Rhenish and Ruhr areas were organized. Here we had created the first center for the National Socialist bases that sporadically formed throughout the province. The station master is just giving the departure signal. A short wave, a firm handshake. My good Benno, a wonderful German Shepherd who had shared our joys and sorrows with us, howls one last time in mourning goodbye, and then the train moves out of the station concourse in long thrusts. In a hasty hurry we fly through the country lying in gray rain twilight. Past places of industry and activity, towering chimneys and steaming chimneys. How often did you drive this route, back then, when we went into the Ruhr area in the evening to break the first breach in some communist center. How often have we attacked here, were rejected bloody, came back, were sent home again with bumps and wounds, in order to fight for a safe position the third time in a tough breakthrough. Eat! Bochum! Düsseldorf! Hagen! Hattingen! These were the first places where we fortified our positions. No meeting at that time could be brought to an end without a bloody suppression of Marxist terror. If the enemy had known how weak we were, he would probably have beaten us to a pulp. It was only thanks to the measured recklessness of a few SA commands that we were able to penetrate these areas at all. (1 of 8) [: 38: 22]

5 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. It was our endeavor here and there to absolutely conquer a city under favorable conditions and to develop it into a stronghold of the rising movement, from which the fight was then carried forward to the surrounding country. One of these strongholds was the small industrial town of Hattingen, located between Bochum and Essen; There a number of favorable conditions created a soil that was extraordinarily favorable for us, which we then plowed up with painstaking diligence and brave tenacity and fertilized with the seeds of our young idea. Hattingen is a medium-sized Ruhr city that lives exclusively from industry. The Henrichshütte of the Henschel concern was the first target of our concentrated propaganda attack, and in a two-year struggle with Marxism pink and red color on the one hand and on the other, at least in the earliest times, with the French occupation, we succeeded in completely in To bring our hands, to displace the Marxist front from its fixed positions and to ram the flag of National Socialism firmly into the hard Westphalian soil. Shortly before I left, we experienced the triumph that it was impossible to hold a Marxist meeting even with the help of strong external forces. The enemy no longer came to us, so we went to him. The Social Democratic Party no longer dared to challenge National Socialism. However, she found us ready to answer questions face to face. That had certainly cost heavy fighting and bloody arguments. We had neither sought nor provoked it. On the contrary, we were determined to bring our idea into the Ruhr area in peace and without terror. On the other hand, however, we knew from experience that when the deployment of a new movement is threatened by the terror of the enemy, neither good speech nor an appeal to solidarity and fraternity will arrive. We held out an open hand to anyone who wanted to be our friend. But if we were hit with a clenched fist, then there was always only one remedy for us: to break open the fist that rose against us. The movement on the Ruhr had a strongly proletarian character from the start. This was due to the landscape itself and its population. The Ruhr area is the land of work in terms of its whole nature and structure. However, the proletarian of the Ruhr area differs profoundly and decisively from the other average proletarian. The basic element of this section of the population is still the down-to-earth Westphalian, and the miners who go down to the mines early in the morning are mostly the first or at least the second member of the sons of Westphalian smallholders. There is still a healthy, unspoiled soil rooted in this breed of people. The International would never have been able to break in here if the social conditions in this province had not really been outrageous and the injustice that had been done to the working class for decades was so contrary to all nature and justice that those affected inevitably became part of it hostile fronts were driven to the nation and to all state-sustaining forces. This is where we start with our work. And without our consciously placing any emphasis on it, the struggle to regain the Ruhr proletariat assumed a strongly socialist character. Socialism, as we understand it, is essentially the result of a healthy sense of justice combined with a sense of responsibility towards the nation, regardless of the interests of any individual. (2 of 8) [: 38: 22]

6 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. And since we were practically forced to use our fists to defend the movement and drive it forward through the use of hostile terror, our struggle received a decidedly revolutionary note from the start. The revolutionary character of a movement is determined less by the methods with which it fights than by the goals it fights. Here, however, the goals and methods matched one another. This was also reflected in the intellectual documents of the movement on the Rhine and Ruhr. This is where the "National Socialist Letters" were founded in 1925 and an attempt was made to clarify the socialist tendencies of our movement. We weren't theorists and didn't want to be; but on the other hand we also had to give our external struggle the necessary intellectual tools. And that very soon became a much sought-after stimulus for further and deeper work for broad circles of the movement in West Germany. In the years 1925/26 the need arose to merge the widely ramified forms of organization of the movement on the Rhine and Ruhr. The result of this process was the so-called Gau Ruhr, which had its headquarters and political seat in Elberfeld. Work in the industrial cities of the West was essentially propagandistic at first. At that time we didn't have the opportunity to intervene in any way actively in the course of political affairs. The political situation in Germany was so frozen and encrusted that it was absolutely impossible. In addition, the young movement was still very much in its infancy, so that influencing politics was out of the question even for it. Propaganda itself does not have a fundamental method of its own. It has only one goal; in fact this goal is always called in politics: conquering the masses. Any means that serve this end is good. And any means that bypasses this goal is bad. The propagandist of the theory is completely unsuitable if he thinks up an ingenious method at his desk and is then at the end extremely astonished and shocked when this method is not actually used by the propagandist or, if used by him, does not lead to the goal. The methods of propaganda develop causally out of the daily struggle itself. None of us were born to be propagandists. We have learned the means and possibilities of effective mass propaganda from daily experience and only raised them to a system in repetitive application. Even modern propaganda is still essentially based on the effect of the spoken word. Revolutionary movements are not made by great writers, but by great speakers. It is a mistake to assume that the written word has greater effects because the daily press makes it accessible to a larger audience. Even if the speaker can only reach a few thousand with his word at most, and when the going gets tough - whereas the political writer sometimes and often finds tens and hundreds of thousands of readers - the spoken word does not, in fact, only influence those who use it directly hear that it is passed on and carried away hundreds and thousands of times by him. And the suggestion of an effective speech is still towering above the paper suggestion of an editorial. [And consider that this realization dates back to before the visual media mass consumption of the television age, when a speaker can reach an audience of millions with his word! Note d. Scriptorium.] We were therefore also in the first course of the battle on the Rhine and Ruhr in the (3 of 8) [: 38: 22]

7 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. Mainly and almost exclusively agitators. In mass propaganda we had our only main weapon and were all the more compelled to use it since we lacked any journalistic weapon for the time being. It was inevitable that the first successes we had achieved in the Ruhr area were soon reflected in the disputes which the movement had to fight at the same time throughout the entire Reich. At that time, shortly after the collapse and the re-release of Adolf Hitler from the Landsberg Fortress, the party was in a desperate state. She had reached for the last thing in a bold run and was then thrown from the highest height into the deepest depths. In 1924 it was filled with grueling personal battles. The sure and firm hand of the leader who sat behind bars in Landsberg was missing everywhere. That changed when Adolf Hitler left the fortress around Christmas 1924. But what small and limited minds had smashed in one year, a brilliant mind could not rebuild in such a short time. Far and wide one saw only pieces and rubble; many of the best fighters had turned their backs on the movement and stood aside, hopelessly and hopelessly resigned. The movement on the Rhine and Ruhr was largely spared from these internal conflicts by fate. If it was available at all at this time, it was under pressure from the enemy garrison. She was put on the defensive and thus had to fight off her most primitive existence. She therefore had little time for programmatic debates that moved the movement in unoccupied Germany beyond what was permissible. Very small, secretly drawn up bases formed their backbone as long as the enemy was in the country. And when the French withdrew, these bases were quickly expanded into powerful, up-and-coming local groups that sought to conquer the terrain that had long since been taken in the rest of the empire, and in which the comrades in the fight were personal and probably also factual, but mostly very tough and unfriendly arguments romped around. Nobody is able to describe the joyful satisfaction that filled us all when we succeeded, with heavy sacrifices, in giving the Rhine and Ruhr movement in Elberfeld a permanent headquarters by setting up a permanent office. It was still primitive and by no means up to the demands of a modern mass organization. But we did have a seat, a stop, a center from which we could advance into the country for our conquests. Soon the whole province was covered with a fine-meshed organizational network; the first beginnings of the storm troops began to form. Prudent organizers and talented speakers took over the leadership of the local groups; all of a sudden new life blossomed out of the ruins. How difficult it must have been for me to give up these hopeful beginnings and to relocate my work to a field of work that I had never known before! I started here. Here I believed that I had found my permanent home forever. It was only with reluctance that I thought of giving up this fighting position and exchanging it with a still vague and uncertain hope of other successes. (4 of 8) [: 38: 22]

8 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. All of this passed my mind's eye once more in a confused and disorderly manner, while the locomotive hissed and howled through the gray fog, past the sites of my past work, and advanced into Westphalian country. What can I expect in Berlin? It's the 9th today.November! A fateful day for Germany itself, and especially for our own movement! It was three years ago that the machine guns rattled at the Feldherrnhalle in Munich and the approaching columns of a young Germany were patted together by the reaction. Is that supposed to be the end? Or is it not rather in our own strength and in our will that there is hope and guarantee that Germany will rise again, despite everything, and that we will give it a different political face? The November evening already weighs heavily and gray over Berlin when the express train puffs into the Potsdamer Bahnhof. Hardly two hours have passed when I stand for the first time on the podium that was to become the starting point for our further political development so often in the years that followed. I am speaking to the Berlin party. A Jewish gazette, which in later years had to reprove me so often, is the only organ in the Reich capital to take notice of this maiden speech. "A certain Mr. Göbels, they say he comes from the Ruhr area, produced himself and plugged in the old-fashioned phrases." The Berlin movement, which I was now to take over as leader, was in an unhappy state at the time. It too had to go through the trials and tribulations of the party as a whole, and like every crisis, this one in Berlin had particularly devastating consequences. Leader disputes had shaken the structure of the organization to the core, insofar as there was any question of it. It seemed impossible for the time being to restore authority and firm discipline. Two groups were bitterly hostile to one another, and experience had shown that it was impossible to assert one against the other. The party leadership had long hesitated to intervene in this confusion. It was rightly assumed that if this situation were to be remedied, things would have to be reorganized in Berlin in such a way that they would at least guarantee a certain stability of the party for a considerable period of time. Within the Berlin organization, however, there was no leader who could be trusted with the strength to restore the lost discipline and to build up a new authority. In the end they found the way out of transferring me to Berlin for a certain period of time with the task of providing the party with at least the most primitive work opportunities. This idea emerged for the first time at the Weimar party congress in 1926, was then pursued further and finally took shape during a holiday together with Adolf Hitler and Gregor Strasser in Berchtesgaden. I have been to Berlin several times and on these visits took the opportunity to study the conditions in the Berlin organization until I finally decided to take on the difficult and thankless task. It was like everywhere else in Berlin when an organization goes through a crisis: it surfaced (5 of 8) [: 38: 22]

9 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. Soldiers of fortune came up every nook and cranny, who now thought their time had come. Each gathered around himself a clique or an affiliate with whom he tried to gain influence or, if the subjects were traitorous, tried to further the confusion. It was absolutely impossible to calmly and objectively examine the party's situation and come to firm conclusions. If you included the various groups in the negotiations, you immediately saw yourself surrounded and encircled by all the camaraderie and in the end you couldn't find your way through. For a long time I hesitated whether I should even take over the ungrateful office; until finally my aim and duty determined me to boldly tackle a job that I knew from the start that it would cause me more worry, anger and annoyance than it could bring me joy, success and fulfillment. The crisis that threatened to shake the Berlin movement was essentially of a purely personal nature. There were neither programmatic nor organizational differences. Each of the two factions who feuded only wanted their husband to be at the forefront of the movement. So there was nothing left but to appoint a third party to where it would appear that neither of the two rivals could get to without serious harm to the party. Is it surprising that as a newcomer, not from Berlin at all and who at that time only knew the character of this city and its population very briefly, I was exposed to multiple personal and factual hostilities from the very beginning? My authority, which at that time was not underpinned by any services, could not be used anywhere in important decisions. For the time being, the main thing was to establish this authority in the first place. However, at the moment there was no way of leading the movement to any visible political success. Because what was called a party in Berlin at the time did not deserve this title in any way. It was a wildly mixed-up bunch of a few hundred National Socialist-minded people, each of whom had formed his own and private opinion about National Socialism; and in most cases this opinion had very little to do with what is commonly understood by National Socialism. Fights between the individual groups were the order of the day. Thank goodness the public took no notice of it, since the movement itself was so insignificant in terms of numbers that even the journalle, who otherwise leaves nothing to us, went back to the agenda with a contemptuous shrug of the shoulders. This party was not maneuverable. Regardless of their number, they could not be used in the decisive political struggle for their goodness. You had to form it uniformly beforehand, you had to give it a common will and animate it with a new, hot impulse. They had to be increased numerically and the narrow boundaries of the party-political sect had to be broken. Their name and aim had to be hammered into public thought, and if not love and respect, then at least hatred and passionate rejection had to be fought for in the movement itself. The work began by trying to bring the loose parts of the organization together for at least one joint event. A few days after I took over the leadership in Berlin, we held our first general members' meeting in Spandau, where we had the most solid base of the movement at the time. This (6 of 8) [: 38: 22]

10 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. The event actually gave the saddest picture of the conditions that had developed in the Berlin movement during the course of the crisis. The membership, which kept the hall only sparsely occupied, was divided into two parts. One part was for, the other was against. And since they had fought and let off steam among themselves and against each other, the common rejection was directed against myself and against the new course I had proposed, which the cross-drivers seemed to suspect vaguely that it would, however, put an end to all the indiscipline in the shortest possible time would do. I issued the slogan: Draw a line under the past and start over! Anyone who is not willing to work for this slogan is excluded from the movement without much fuss. We lost about a fifth of the entire party population in Berlin at the first appearance. But I had the firm confidence that the organization, when it was fused into itself and no longer had any components that endangered its existence, in the long term, precisely because of the unity of its appearance, promised more successes, also purely numerically, than a larger organization, which was threatened forever and ever by the corrosive goings-on of a handful of commercially anarchic elements. Many of my best party comrades did not want to understand that at the time. They believed that they should not do without this handful of members who turned their backs on the party and threatened it with mortal enmity. Later developments have shown that the movement itself, as soon as it is brought up to the enemy, sweats out such crises without any danger, and that what we lost numerically at that time was restored ten, hundreds and thousands of times by a healthy one consolidated fighting organization was brought in. The Berlin movement was already firmly established at that time. However, it was extremely primitive. She lived in a kind of filthy vaulted cellar in a back building on Potsdamer Strasse. A so-called managing director was domiciled there with a booklet in which he used to book the daily entrances and exits to the best of his knowledge. Stacks of papers and newspapers lay in the corners. In the anteroom stood debating groups of unemployed party members who passed the time smoking and making latrine slogans. We called this office the "Opium Den". Indeed, that designation seemed perfectly accurate. It could only be illuminated with artificial light. As soon as you opened the door, the clouds of bad air, cigars, cigarettes struck you. The "Opium Cave" (XX) First office of the NSDAP. in Berlin, Potsdamer Strasse 109 and pipe smoke. Of course, solid and systematic work was out of the question here. The administration of a party must never rely on the good disposition of its officials alone. The attitude should be taken for granted in professional party work (7 of 8) [: 38: 22]

11 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. Be a prerequisite and therefore need not be particularly emphasized. But there is a second part of good ethos, and that seemed to be completely lacking in the "opium den": the serious will and the ability to achieve something. It was a mess here. There was hardly any organization. The finances were in a bleak state. The then Gau Berlin had little else than debts. It was one of the most important tasks of the organization to put the party on a sound financial basis for the time being and to provide it with the means with which it could even start a regular job. We National Socialists take the position that a revolutionary fighting party, which has set itself the goal of smashing international capitalism, must never and never take from the same capitalism the funds that it needs to build it up. It was therefore clear to us from the outset that the young movement in Berlin, which I now had the honor of leading, had to procure the means for its initial development of its own accord. If she did not have the strength and the will to do so, then she was incapable of living, and it then seemed to us a wasted effort to devote time and work to a task in which we could not have confidence. Needless to say, the administration of a movement must operate as cheaply as possible. On the other hand, there are certain prerequisites that must be given for a goal-conscious organization; and to create the necessary finances to secure them was the aim and purpose of my first work. I appealed to the willingness of party comrades to make sacrifices themselves. On the day of penance in 1926, the six hundred party comrades, to whom I recognized the need for a sound financial basis, gathered in the Viktoriagarten in Wilmersdorf, in a room that was later often the site of our propaganda triumphs Berlin organization set out in a lengthy speech. The result of this meeting was that the party comrades undertook to provide fifteen hundred marks in monthly sacrificial contributions, with which we were able to give the movement a new seat, employ the most necessary administrative staff, and begin the struggle for the Reich capital . Battle for Berlin: the beginning (8 of 8) [: 38: 22]

12 Against Decay (Part 2) Until then, the city of Berlin was a book with seven seals to me, politically and in terms of population. I only knew her from occasional visits, and then she had always struck me as a dark, mysterious riddle, a city monster made of stone and asphalt, which I usually preferred to leave rather than enter. You only get to know Berlin after living there for a few years. Then suddenly the dark, mysterious something of this sphinx-like city dawns on you. Berlin and Berliners enjoy a worse reputation in the country than they deserve. It is mostly those nomadic, rootless, international Jews who have nothing more to do with Berlin than the fact that they eke out their parasitic existence there at the expense of the hardworking, down-to-earth population. The city of Berlin is unrivaled in intellectual agility. She is lively and energetic and courageous, she has less soul than understanding and more wit than humor. The Berliner is busy and vital. He loves work and he loves fun. He can devote himself to something with the whole passion of his mobile soul, and nowhere is dogged fanaticism, especially in political matters, as at home as in Berlin. However, this city also has its dangers. The rotary machines spew the Jewish poison into the capital of the Reich in millions of newspaper copies every day. Berlin is being dragged to and fro by a hundred mysterious powers, and it is difficult to gain a firm foothold in this city and to maintain a secure intellectual position. The asphalt is the soil on which Berlin grows and enlarges at a breathtaking pace. The city does not feed itself from its own supplies, neither materially nor spiritually. She lives on the clod of the province; but she knows how to reproduce in tempting forms what the province willingly gives her. Every political movement in Berlin has a fundamentally different character than in the provinces. In Berlin, German politics has been fought over with blood for decades. That makes the political guy here tougher and crueler than anywhere else. The pitilessness of this city has also found expression in its people. (1 of 5) [: 38: 45]

13 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 2. Joseph Goebbels. In Berlin the motto is: bird eat or die! And if you don't know how to use your elbows, you will get under the wheels here. Berlin needs its sensation like a fish needs water. This city lives off of it, and any political propaganda that has not recognized it will fail to achieve its goal. All German party crises started in Berlin; and that can be explained. Berlin judges politics with its mind, not with the heart. But the mind is exposed to a thousand temptations, while the heart always beats its same rhythm. We only learned to see all of this very late and after many bitter experiences. But then we stopped all of our work. With great difficulty we had put the finances of the Berlin Movement in order and could now set about reorganizing the disintegrated organization. It was a fortunate circumstance for us that for the time being we could not expect any resistance from outside. We were not yet known, and as far as anyone knew of our existence, we were not taken seriously. The party's name still slumbered in anonymity, and none of us had so far been able to make our own name known to a wider public. This also has been good. This gave us the time and opportunity to put the movement on a healthy footing so that, if the struggle became unavoidable, it could cope with all storms and hostilities. The Berlin SA. was already present in considerable strength at that time. She traced her glorious, combative tradition back to the ban on the front. The front ban was the actual bearer of National Socialist party history in Berlin before the year. However, this tradition was more emotional than cognitive. The SA man, insofar as he marched under the ban on the front, was a soldier. The political characteristic was still completely absent. It was one of the hardest tasks of the first few weeks to transform the SA man into a political soldier. However, this task was made easier by the willing discipline with which the old party guards, insofar as they were in the SA. marched, incorporated and subordinated to the new course of the Berlin movement. The SA man wants to fight, and he also has a right to be led to a fight. Its existence is only justified in struggle. The SA. without a combative tendency is absurd and pointless. When the Berlin SA man had realized that we had no other goal than to fight with him for the movement for the Reich capital, he unconditionally stood behind our slogans, and it is in the (2 of 5) [ : 38: 45]

14 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 2. Joseph Goebbels.It was mainly due to the fact that so soon a new impulse broke out of the chaotic confusion of the movement and that the party was then able to fight for position after position in a triumphant march against its enemies. It was more difficult then with the political organization. They had little tradition, and the leadership in most of the sections was weak, compromising, devoid of inner support and power of will. We had to spend many evenings driving from one section hall to another and forming a solid structure out of the conflicting organizational particles. It then sometimes happened that one came across sub-groups whose entire behavior was more like that of a patriotic bowling club than that of a revolutionary fighting movement. Then one had to intervene ruthlessly. A kind of parliamentary democracy had developed in the political organization, and it was now believed that the new leadership could be turned into the willless plaything of majority decisions by the various cliques. That was put to an end immediately. In the process we lost a number of useless elements that had crystallized in the party. But internally they didn't belong to us at all. It was fortunate that Marxism and the Jewish journalists did not take us seriously at the time. For example, the KPD would have. in Berlin only suspected what we were and what we wanted, she would have ruthlessly and brutally smothered the first beginnings of our work in blood. The fact that they didn't know us at Bülowplatz, or wherever they knew us, only smiled at us, was something that later had to be regretted often and bitterly. For if we limited ourselves for the time being to consolidating the party itself and thus our work was directed more inward than outward, this did not appear to us as an end in itself, but only as a means to an end. The party was not a jewel for us that we wanted to lock up in a silver box; it was rather a diamond that we cut in order to later relentlessly use it to cut through the enemy front. Much of the explosive that had been stored in the Berlin movement had already been removed when we soon summoned the leadership of the entire organization for the first Gautag. There the personal crisis was finally liquidated and the slogans passed out for the whole party: We'll start all over! Party crises in Berlin can never be avoided in the long run. The only question is whether the crises will ultimately shake the structure of the party or whether the organization will sweat them out. The Berlin movement has gone through many personal, organizational and programmatic crises. Most of the time they haven't done any harm here, but have often been of great use. We always gained the opportunity to remove outdated and unusable materials and elements from the organization and to restore the party's threatened health by means of a radical cure. It was the same the first time. After the party had overcome the crisis, it was cleansed of all disease substances and was able to approach its actual task with courage and energy. The first terror began even then, but it was more noticeable on the street than in the offices. Not an evening went by without our comrades returning home being attacked by the red street mob and some seriously injured. But the organization itself had already become so consolidated that the blood shed gave us more (3 of 5) [: 38: 45]

15 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Against decay, part 2. Joseph Goebbels. still cemented to one another, so that it drove us apart in fear and fear. We have not yet been able to hold large combat meetings because the organization did not have the internal strength to do so. We had to limit ourselves to gathering the party co-operative with sympathizers and followers in small halls week after week and, in our speeches, to deal less with current issues than with discussing the programmatic foundations of our worldview and thus hammering them into the heads of party comrades. that they could, as it were, pray for it in a dream. The first core of the party thus came together to form a solid structure. The organization had a hold, the idea was deepened in restless educational work. Everyone knew what it was about, the goal was set, and now all one's strength could be concentrated on it. Even then there were critics - the crowd who criticized every decision from the green table and always knew better in theory than we did in practice. We didn't care much about it. We thought that the better performance would always silence them in the end. We couldn't do anything without being criticized and condemned in the ground by the followers and know-it-alls. It was then like it is now. But the same ones who always knew better before making a decision than those who had to make the decisions on their own responsibility, were then always, when the decisions made had led to successes, the ones who had predicted it and in the end actually came about it, as if it were actually they who made the decision and could therefore claim success for themselves. We have moved on to the agenda. While the critics were practicing our pen and mouth, we worked and sometimes and often toiled into the deep nights. We have spared no effort or burden. In a tough struggle we established a firm authority in an organization that was in danger of collapsing into anarchy. Regardless of the chatter of the too many, we raised the banner of the idea and set fanatical and unconditionally fighting people on the march for it. I still remember one evening, with deep inner emotion, when I, completely unknown, with some comrades from the early days of the fight, sat on the roof of a bus, drove across Berlin to a meeting. The ant-like bustle of the big city in the streets and squares. A thousand and a thousand people on the move, seemingly without a goal or purpose. Above it all, the flickering light of this city monster was stored. At the time, someone asked with sorrowful concern whether it would ever be possible to impose and hammer in the name of the party and our own names for this city, whether it wanted to or not. Even sooner than we were allowed to believe and hope for at that hour, this anxious question received an unmistakable answer from the facts themselves. (4 of 5) [: 38: 45]

16 Beginning order (part 1) The movement in Berlin was now on its own two feet. The organization was in a satisfactory state, even if it was still relatively insignificant in numbers for the time being. The monetary relations became more and more ordered; the party had a useful leader material in the individual forms of organization and was thus able to begin the struggle externally, even if at first only in cautious forms. For us it was clear from the start that the party would have to have a new headquarters. The business premises in which it was previously located turned out to be inadequate and overly primitive. It was completely impossible to work in a regulated and systematic manner. So we very soon started looking for suitable new rooms. But even these tentative first steps, which the young organization took, met with multiple suspicious criticism, also in the party. In every organization there will always be these little ghosts who do not want to and cannot understand that with changed circumstances other means and methods must take hold, and that if a party only grows out of the smallest and most humble beginnings, the primitiveness of their organization and tools cannot be an end in themselves, but only a means to an end. A party will only ever be judged by the outside world as it presents itself to the outside world. The public usually has no other means of checking their inner spirit, their clout, the activity of their followers and their leadership. It must therefore necessarily adhere to what is visible to everyone. The National Socialist movement also had to act accordingly, especially with a view to the fact that it did not enter politics in order to participate in parliamentary debts and ministerial chairs, but rather to conquer the Reich and power as a whole. If it was obsessed with this daring ambition, then its struggle for power would have to take place in forms that would allow outsiders to believe that the party would indeed achieve its goals in the end. The final weeks of the year 1926, which was drawing to a close, were completely filled with internal building work in the party itself. There was plenty and plenty to do everywhere. Here a hesitant party comrade had to be raised up again, who had been breathless by the party's new, tempo-laden course. There you had to put cheeky critics back in their place. It was a matter of removing an incompetent section head and replacing it with a new one. The bad consequences of the crisis we had just survived also had an effect on (1 of 5) [: 39: 03]

17 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Beginning order, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. whole party body in a devastating way. We had issued the slogan that a line should be drawn under the past and that we should start over. So we could do nothing better than to simply keep silent about all the internal disputes that had lasted for many months in the recent past and keep the party cooperative busy with new work. However, we encountered multiple criticism and hostility even within the political leadership. The party comrades had become so involved in the personal quarrels that they felt they had to be carried out to the end, regardless of the organization itself. The leadership, on the other hand, took the position that the crisis had to be considered over and that there was more important thing to do would exist than the waging of purely personal struggles, which could lead to nothing other than gradually scratching the best and most disinterested party comrades out of the organization and driving them away. Adolf Hitler had sent me to Berlin with special powers in October 1926, and I was also determined to use these powers in a ruthless manner. The Berlin organization had had to do without a steadfast and unwavering guiding hand for so long that it had become completely accustomed to the conditions without discipline, and now, of course, every sharp and compromise-hostile intervention was perceived as an annoying presumption. Perhaps I would not have had the strength and perseverance to do so, had I not been assured from the outset of the absolute trust and unreserved approval of all my decisions on the part of the Nazi party leadership and, in particular, of Adolf Hitler himself. Even then, and very often later, people wanted to admit a political and personal contrast between Adolf Hitler and me. There could be no talk of such a contrast at that time, today or ever. I have never made politics on my own and under no circumstances would I dare or even try to do so today. It is not only the party discipline which I am convinced of, which I am convinced of that gives us the strength and determination to achieve great things, that prompted and continues to do so; Furthermore, I feel so deeply connected to the leader of the movement from the day that I was very fortunate to know him personally and, I may say, to learn to appreciate and love, politically and also personally, that it is never in question for me comes to do something without his approval, much less against his will. This is the great chance for the National Socialist movement that a firm and unshakable leadership authority, embodied in the person of Adolf Hitler, has developed in it. This gives the party a secure hold and strong firmness in all of its sometimes very responsible political decisions. Belief in the Fiihrer is - one might almost say - surrounded by a mysterious and enigmatic mysticism within the National Socialist followers. Quite apart from the purely psychological value that this fact represents, it gives the party itself such enormous political power and security that it is indeed above all associations and political organizations. Adolf Hitler is not only seen as its first and highest leader in the party, he really is. National Socialism is inconceivable without it or even against it. He himself rightly pointed out that in 1919 anyone was free to declare war on the ruling regime and to raise a movement to overthrow the tribute system. That he alone felt called to this mission and that in the end he began to fulfill it visibly for the whole world, that is the incontrovertible proof that fate has chosen him for it. Morons only (2 of 5) [: 39: 03]

18 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Beginning order, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. and commercial mutineers can say otherwise and act accordingly. For me, doing this was never an option. And since fortune gave me the good fortune to win Adolf Hitler not only as a political leader but as a personal friend, my path was mapped out from the start; Today I can say with great satisfaction that I have never deviated from this path anywhere. Adolf Hitler entered politics as an unknown private. He did not receive his name as a present at birth. He has conquered it in hard and reluctant battles against the forces of the underworld. From his experience he also had the deepest and broadest understanding of the political disputes that now had to take place with irrefutable consistency in Berlin. He was one of the few who always kept a cool head and calm nerves in all the subsequent crises in the struggle for the Reich capital. When the press mob howled at us, when the movement was attacked with bans and persecutions, when slander and lies fell upon it, when even the toughest and most characterful party comrades were discouraged and despondent here and there, and always and everywhere faithfully stood by Seite, was our leader in the dispute, defended our cause with passion when it was attacked from circles of the party, had an encouraging word in every danger and a happy affirmative word for every success for the fighting front, which was under the most severe privations and growing up from the smallest beginnings, set in motion against the Marxist enemy. The more our unstoppable advance broke into the public eye, the more I personally was moved out of the shadow of anonymity into the spotlight of public observation. The National Socialist movement represents the personality principle in the strictest form. It does not, like the democratic-Marxist parties, blindly worship the mass and the number. For us, mass is unformed material. Only in the hand of the state artist does the mass become a people and the people become a nation. Men make the story! That is our unshakable belief. The German people have been wanting men since Bismarck; and that is why there is no longer any major German politics after his departure. The people also perceive this with a dull and dark premonition. In the period after 1918 in particular, the thinking of the masses was increasingly filled with a longing for strong leaders. If democracy feeds the illusion among the masses that the sovereign people want to govern themselves, they have time even for the short period when Germany fell into the delusional delusion of egalitarianism, which can only be believed because the men who really governed it , were not ideal exponents of the fine art of politics. The people always want to govern themselves when the system by which they are governed is sick and corrupt. The people have no desire, either for a specific right to vote or for a so-called democratic constitution, as long as they are permeated with the conviction that the ruling class conducts good and honest politics. The people just want to be governed properly; a system that does not have the will and the ability to do so must blow the seductive ideologies of democracy into the ears of the gullible masses in order to numb and lull the growing resentment in town and country. The National Socialist movement took the risk of declaring war on these railroad illusions at a time when it was unpopular and made unpopular. We opposed the left and irresponsible worship of the masses with the principle of personality. It was only an inevitable consequence of this attitude that gradually strong and idiosyncratic characters emerged within the party itself, and they more and more occupied the minds of the whole movement. (3 of 5) [: 39: 03]

19 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Beginning order, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. It has nothing to do with personality.We have often been accused in the opposing press of worshiping a Byzantinism that is more disgusting than that which was practiced under Wilhelminism before the war. This accusation is completely unjustified. It comes from the inability of others to set up equal authorities in the parliamentary party swamp and to instill equal belief in these authorities in the masses. A popularity that is artificially made by the press usually only lasts for a short time; the people endure and tolerate it only unwillingly and with internal contradiction. It is not the same whether a democratic greatness is artificially inflated by the Jewish press to a certain popularity that has already been enforced with skepticism, or whether a real people's leader through struggle and devoted self-sacrifice gains the trust and unconditional allegiance of the popular masses who are attached to him. However, it would mean overstretching the principle of authority if one always wanted to throw it into the balance with every decision that has to be made. The less an authority is employed, the longer it lasts. The wise and prudent political mass leader will only very rarely claim it for himself. On the contrary, he will mostly allow himself to be guided by the endeavor to logically justify and justify what he does or fails to do before the masses and only then when all arguments prove to be ineffective or certain circumstances, at least for the time being, compel him to do so to conceal the most important and most convincing arguments, to enforce one's own decision with the help of authority. In the long run an authority is not effective simply because it is covered and supported from above. Especially not when it is more and more forced to make unpopular decisions and does not have the gift to give the masses the necessary reason. She must always and constantly nourish and sustain herself on her own. The greater the performance that the authority can demonstrate, the greater it is itself. The party organization in Berlin urged action at a time when the movement was not yet capable and strong enough to do so. We resisted this with all our might and even accepting a temporary unpopularity. The party cooperative had envisaged further developments in such a way that with the deployment of a new leadership the struggle would begin all along the line. One could not yet understand that certain preconditions had to be met beforehand if one did not want to run the risk that this struggle would soon be broken off as impracticable. It was impossible to appear before the public with an organization that could not exist in front of the public. First the organization had to be strengthened internally, then we could also take up the struggle for Berlin externally. Every organization stands or falls with its leadership. If one finds a good, useful, and prudent leader in any city or province who takes the organization of the movement into his hands, then the party will very soon rise even under the most adverse conditions. But if that is not the case, then even the favorable circumstances will not be able to give it any particular boost. Our main focus therefore had to be directed towards the organization in Berlin being preceded by a well-trained, decisive middle leadership corps, and where this was not yet available, it was made from the available human material for its (4 of 5) [: 39: 03 ]

20 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Beginning order, part 1. Joseph Goebbels. Tasks to educate. In the beginning, this was the purpose of our Gau days, which took place every month on Sunday afternoons with an ever-increasing number of participants. The entire leadership of the organization, both political and SA, gathered at these Gau days. together. The ideological principles of our movement were discussed in fundamental presentations, the essence of the propaganda, the organization, the political tactics were explained and illuminated from all sides in speeches and counter-speeches. These Gautage became increasingly important for the entire organization. Direction and path were given on them, and the fruit of this arduous educational work was soon to ripen in the political struggle of the movement towards the outside world. The character of the party in Berlin had to be different from that in any other big city or in the country. Berlin is a 4½ million city. It is extremely difficult to wake this tough asphalt monster from its lethargic calm. The resources that are used for this must correspond to the vastness of this city. If you appeal to millions of people, then you can only do so in a language that is understood by millions of people. Propaganda in the old Biedermeier style was by no means an option for the movement in Berlin. We would have made a fool of ourselves and the party would never have grown beyond the limits of a sectarian existence. Until the reorganization of the party, the public had only viewed us with a certain pity. We were thought to be harmless lunatics, who are best left alone without harming them. Nothing is harder to endure than that. We may be insulted and slandered, bloodily beaten down and thrown into prisons. That seemed positively desirable to us. But the fact that we were ignored with a provocative indifference and at best only had a sympathetic smile for us, that spurred on the last strength in us, that drove us to come up with new means of public propaganda over and over again, not to miss any possibility to increase the activity of the party to such an extent that in the end it took its breath away even in this gigantic city, even if only for a while: the enemy should die of laughter! Battle for Berlin: the beginning (5 of 5) [: 39: 03]

21 Beginning Order (Part 2) The means of propaganda in Berlin are also different from those in the rest of the Reich. The leaflet, which is widely used in the provinces and with great effect in the political struggle, appeared to be completely wrong here. Quite apart from the fact that we lacked the money to produce leaflets in bulk and distribute them, that they even made an impression on this gigantic city, Berlin is so overloaded with printed paper that at most a leaflet on any street corner is received out of sheer grace, only to end up in the gutter the next moment. The poster and meeting propaganda undoubtedly promised better results. But even this, applied in the same style as the other parties used, would hardly have brought us any successes worth mentioning. Because the other parties were firmly anchored in the masses. The political camps had already become so incrusted against one another that it was hardly possible to cause parts of them to crumble. So we had to try to make up for the lack of funds and numerical support with witty originality adapted to the thinking of the Berlin population. It was important to meet the fine understanding of the Berlin population for pointed formulations and powerful slogans as far as possible. We started early and, as later developments showed, it was not without success. To be sure, we had to be content with the theoretical knowledge of these connections for the time being, since we still lacked the means to put them into practice in practice. At our monthly Gautage these questions were the big topic that was discussed extensively on all sides. It was amazing how awake and alive the understanding of these things was in the old party guard. Only occasionally was there a slacker and bad-tempered man who also cooled his critical mood on these projects. Most of the party cooperative, however, went willingly and had only one request, as we said, to get the organization up to speed as soon as possible so that practical work could begin. I was very fortunate to find a number of friends and comrades during this preparatory work who not only showed the broadest understanding of my plans, but also seemed to be capable of doing what I said by word in one area or another in terms of character and ability and tried to achieve writing, be it with a brush or pencil, to complement effectively. In this context I must not fail to mention a man who from the first day (1 of 6) [: 39: 36]

22 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Beginning order, part 2. Joseph Goebbels. In my Berlin work up to this hour I was bravely and unselfishly at my side in everything, and to whom a godly gifted artistry gave the ability to show the party and its as yet unexplained and only vaguely formulated artistic style. I mean our draftsman Mjölnir, who at the time had just completed his first series of National Socialist combat posters and was now being dragged into the maelstrom of a movement that was advancing at a bold pace due to the revitalized activism of the Berlin organization. He is the one who, for the first time and at all and only standing there, graphically portrayed the type of the National Socialist SA man in adorable and inciting mass posters. Just as Mjölnir threw the SA man with charcoal and brush in passionate inspirations on paper and canvas, so he will immortalize in the thinking of the coming generations. It was in fact the beginning of a new artistic style of the young movement that we dreamed of longed for, which found its first moving and rousing form of expression here without command, simple, large and monumental. This young artist has the rare talent to master not only the visual representation, but also the powerful word formulation with ingenious virtuosity. With him, image and slogan are created in the same unique intuition, and both together then result in a rousing Berlin ahead! Postcard from Mjölnir and seditious mass effects, which in the long run neither friend nor foe can evade. I have learned a lot in this respect since I started working in Berlin. I came from the provinces and was still completely caught up in provincial thinking. For the time being, the crowd was just a dark monster to me, and I myself was not yet possessed by the will to conquer and master it. Without that you can't get through in Berlin in the long run. In terms of population policy, Berlin is a conglomerate of masses; Whoever wants to become and mean something here must speak the language that the masses understand, and arrange and justify his actions in such a way that the masses can muster sympathy and devotion for it. Inevitably, under these sudden impressions, a completely new style of political speech developed for me too. When I compare the shorthands of my speeches before Berlin with those of my later speeches, the first ones seem almost tame and homely to me. And like me, so did all agitators of the Berlin movement. The tempo of the city of 4 million trembled like a hot breath through the rhetorical declamations of the entire imperial capital propaganda. A new and modern language was spoken here, which no longer had anything to do with ancient, so-called völkisch forms of expression. The National Socialist agitation was tailored for the masses. The party's modern view of life sought and found a modern, stirring style here. In addition to the Gau days, our regular mass meetings took place week after week. These were mostly held in the great hall of the warrior club house, which has received almost historical significance for our later development. However, they only deserved to be called a mass gathering to a limited extent. Crowds were (2 of 6) [: 39: 36]

23 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Beginning order, part 2. Joseph Goebbels. only set in motion in exceptional cases. The audience, about a thousand to fifteen hundred men and women, was mainly recruited from party comrades who had come together from all over Berlin with a few followers and sympathizers. That was fine with us for now. This gave us the opportunity to fully express ourselves with one another without running the risk of being confused at the outset by confusing and dangerous discussions with opponents of party politics. Here we introduced the broad masses of the party cooperative to the basic ideas of National Socialism, which were sometimes only recognized in a very vague and confused manner. Here we melted them together into a unified system of political worldview. Later it became clear what a tremendous importance this work, which we carried out with a system during the weeks at that time, was. If in the period that followed the party itself, and especially its old guard, was immune to all external hostility and effortlessly overcame every crisis that had been brought to bear on the movement, this is due to the fact that the party comrades were educated in a uniform and firm dogmatics and thus to every temptation into which the enemy wanted to maneuver them. It is the place here to speak of the lasting merits that the old party guards have earned in building up the Berlin movement. It is true that there were only a few hundred men who professed our flag as a ridiculed sect. They were exposed to all slander and persecution and so grew in the power of their suppression even beyond their own strength. The first National Socialists in Berlin did not have it easy. Those who professed to us back then not only had to assert themselves against the terror of brute force, they also had to endure the icy scorn and the smiling contempt of an indolent and arrogant crowd in offices and workshops day after day. The little man usually suffers much more severely than the one at the head of the organization. He is always in close contact with his opponent, he is his neighbor at the workbench and on the office stool. He sits with him in the bus, in the tram, in the subway. At that time it was already a daring show of gusto just to display our party badge or one of our newspapers in public in Berlin. But that's not all. As long as the little man is convinced that there is a mass organization behind him and that his cause is in good hands, that victory over victory and triumph over triumph is achieved by his movement, as long as shame and scorn and smiling can be allowed Bear contempt in silence and arrogance. But none of this was by any means the case at the time. On the contrary! We were a ridiculously small club. We weren't even known by name. We were thought to be somewhat intellectually limited sectarians; the movement was unsuccessful; instead, in addition to the hard pressures, there were now setbacks and failures. In addition, the few hundred party comrades had to make unheard of and barely tolerable sacrifices for the young, up-and-coming movement. It is well known that it is much harder to get a thing going than to keep it going. The most primitive foundations of our organization had to be laid. All of this cost a lot of money, and the money had to be raised from the meager hunger penny of the common people. At that time we would perhaps have been desperate about our task had we not been filled with renewed courage and faith by our party comrades' admirable devotion to the common cause, which would not shy away from any sacrifice. Today, party comrades who joined the party at a young age sometimes find it too much when they are (3 of 6) [: 39: 36]

24 The Battle for Berlin: The Beginning. Beginning order, part 2. Joseph Goebbels. the movement have to pay the regular, in most cases quite bearable, monthly fees. At that time, every party member willingly and happily sacrificed ten percent or more of his entire income for the party. We started from the conviction that if, under the compulsion of the laws for the current system, we were to give tithing of our income, we would have to be prepared to sacrifice at least as much under the compulsion of a moral duty for a party of which we believed and hoped that they would give the German nation their honor and the German people back their bread. The old party guard still forms the backbone of the whole movement today. You can find the comrades from back then everywhere in the organization. Even today, as then, they do their duty quietly and in silence. One as a section leader, the other as an SA leader, one as a street leader, the other as a factory cell chairman, and many, like back then, as simple party comrades or unknown SA men. Their names are not immortal. They have probably come to terms with that. But as the party guard, who picked up our swaying flag when it threatened to stumble and fall, they will be forever forgotten as long as we talk about National Socialism in Germany. We united this party guard in a special, tightly disciplined little organization.This organization was called the "Freedom League". The very name expressed that the people who stood together in this organization were ready to give everything for freedom. They met every month and for a whole year, in heroic sacrifice, made available to the party not only their commitment to blood and life but also the financial means it needed for the initial construction. At that time Spandau was one of the first permanent bases of the political organization of the SA. It is said that the Spandauer was baptized with a different water than the Berliner. Indeed, this base had its difficult idiosyncrasies. But when it came down to it, when the party struck out, be it to defend itself or to advance its position in the attack, then this SA Spandau base stood up like a man. From this section we fought the initial struggles of the Berlin movement. In Spandau, the first sensational National Socialist mass meetings were held in the Reich capital. From here the movement spread unstoppably to Berlin itself. It is still a source of joy and satisfaction today when one of the old party guards comes and criticizes this or that evil in the one-on-one movement. One then knows from the outset that this criticism is dictated by concern about the continued existence of the party, and that whoever brings it forward does not want to make himself important, but only the interest in the party prompts him to act. The same man who relentlessly criticizes real or supposed abuses of the party in private, would rather bite his tongue off than publicly harm the party through rash actions. He also has the right to criticize (4 of 6) [: 39: 36]