In the collection of Dr. V.E. Molodyakov has an exclusive material: Hitler's interview with George Viereck in 1923. It was published once, in the American Monthly, but has not been republished since then.

Hitler, the German Explosive

Today we are republishing it in its entirety as it may be of interest to historians and the general public.
Hitler’s interview to Viereck. In the collection of Dr. Vasily E. Molodyakov has an exclusive material: Hitler’s interview with George Viereck in 1923. It was published once, in the American Monthly, but has not been republished since then. Today we are republishing it in its entirety as it may be of interest to historians and the general public [Editorial].

Adolph Hitler must be handled with care. He is a human explosive. The very mention of his name induces percussions. Some look to him as a German Mussolini, the savior of his country; others regard him as a violent agitator, thriving on religious prejudice and race contention.

Idolized by his followers, execrated by his foes, he is welcomed by Big Business as the only man in Germany who can take votes away from the Socialists. To some, however, the encouragement given to Hitler by conservative circles seems like an attempt to drive out Satan with Beelzebub.

​Both friend and foe pay tribute to Hitler’s power. He and those whom he marks as his own defy with impunity the Federal Court at Leipzig. They defy no less flagrantly the government at Muhich. The Bavarian Government is inclined to look upon Hitler as a spoiled Baby that must needs be humored. In fact they are glad to have him. Hitler and his armed guard keep the Communist from painting the map of Bavaria red. Bavaria prefers Hitler to [Kurt] Eisner (1).

I met Hitler at the house of a former Admiral of the German Navy. Over the tea cups we discussed problems, temporal and eternal. Through the window we saw the celebrated Meadow of Theresa where Munich foregathers annually to celebrate the October Feast. The dying sun illuminated the gigantic statue of Bavaria gazing straight at us from the meadow.

​Hitler is not a native of Bavaria. His cradle was rocked in German Moravia [sic!], a region which, though one hundred percent German, was dished out by the four foolish men at Versailles to Czecho-Slovakia. Like every son of that soil, Hitler looks upon himself as a German.

​We have afforded a glimpse of the Greater Germany to be of which every German dreams, from the fact that a former Austrian subject is the leader of the German Fascisti. Hitler’s shock troops are Bavarians. But his influence extends far beyond Bavaria. Though not permitted to organize in Prussia and in several other states, he has followers everywhere.

​There is no one in Germany who does not recognize the importance of his emblem, the “Hakenkreuz”, the ancient swastika, sometimes standing by itself and sometimes superimposed on a cross or a shield, a mystic symbol of militant Germanism.

​The pugnacity of the man appears from the very choice of the name by which he designates his Party. He calls himself a “National Socialist”. However, his party program is the very antithesis of that commonly accredited to Socialism.

“Socialism,” he said to me, “is the science dealing with the common weal[th]. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism (the doctrine of Karl Marx, the father of orthodox Socialism) is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists”.

His face was slightly flushed. The vein on his forehead rose. He talked excitedly.

Hitler’s appearance contrasts strangely with the aggressiveness of his opinions. No milder-mannered reformer even scuttled ship of state or cut political throat. Hitler looks more like a poet than like a politician. There is about him nothing of the “rough neck”. He can sip tea or imbibe delicate cordials with any “high brow”.

Nevertheless, he fascinates his audiences, drawing followers both from the intelligencia and from the peasants. He overcomes them with his eloquence. He storms their reserve with his passion.

Hitler refuses to be photographed. I do not know if his attitude is inspired by caution or by superstition. It may be part of his strategy to be known only to his friends, so that in the hour of crisis, he can appear here and there, and everywhere, without being recognized.

A self-made man who has thought much and read much, Hitler is not afraid to meet the challenge of debate. He holds his own in controversy with remarkable skill. Of his past little is known. He admits that art claimed him before he became a tribune of the people. His friends say that he was a portrait painter. His enemies insinuate that he practiced the art of painting only by white-washing walls. I do not know if he can wield a brush. There is no doubt that he can wield his tongue.

“Socialism,” Hitler insists, “is an ancient Aryan, an ancient Germanic, institution. Our German ancesters held certain lands in common. They cultivated the idea of the common wealth. Marxism, on the other hand, is a Jewish invention. It has no right to disguise itself as Socialism. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and, unlike Marxism, it is patriotic.

“We might have called ourselves the Liberty Party. We chose to call ourselves the National Socialists. We are not Internationalists. Our Socialism is national. We demand the fulfillment of the just demands of the productive classes by the state on the basis of race solidarity. To us, state and race are one”.

Asked to elucidate his program further, he said: “We believe in the ancient adage of ‘healthy mind in healthy body’. The body politic must be sound, if the soul is to be healthy. There is no less true of the individual.

“Moral and physical health are synonymous. The slums are responsible for nine-tenths, alcohol for one-tenth, of all human depravity. No healthy man is a Marxian, for, being healthy, he recognizes the value of personality.

“We contend against the forces of disease and degeneration. Bavaria is comparatively healthy, because it is not completely industrialized. All Germany, including Bavaria, is condemned to intensive industrialism by the smallness of our territory. If we wish to save Germany, we must see to it that our farmers remain faithful to the land. To do so, they must have room to breathe and room to work.

“We must regain our colonies and we must expand eastward. There was a time when we could have shared the world with England. Now, we can stretch our cramped limbs only toward the East. The Baltic is necessarily a German lake”.

“But,” I said, “Is it not possible for Germany, even without extension of territory, to reconquer the world economically?”

“Economic imperialism, like military imperialism, depends upon power. There can be no world trade on a large scale without world power. Our people have not learned to think in terms of world power and world trade. [Bernhard von] Buelow was our last statesman.

“However, we cannot expand commercially or territorially, we cannot regain what we have lost, until we find ourselves.

“We are in the position of a man whose house has been burned down. He must have a roof over his head before he can indulge in more ambitious plans. We had succeeded in creating an emergency shelter to keep out of the rain. We were not prepared for hailstorms. However, misfortunes hailed down upon us. Germany has been living in a veritable blizzard of national, moral, and economic catastrophes. Two years of democracy have lost us Silesia, the Rhine and the Ruhr.

“Our demoralized party system is a symptom of our disaster. What can the present government do? Nothing. It has no permanent support anywhere. Parliamentary majorities fluctuate with the mood of the moment. Parliamentary government is the spawn of hell. It opens the gate to Bolshevism.

“Bolshevism,” Hitler emphatically continued, “is our greatest menace. Kill Bolshevism in Germany and you restore seventy million people to power. France owes her strength not to her armies, but to the forces of Bolshevism in our midst.

“The Treaty of Versailles, and the Treaty of St. Germain, are kept alive by Bolshevism in Germany. The Peace Treaty and Bolshevism are two heads of one monster. We must decapitate both”.

“I was under the impression,” I remarked, “that the [French] invasion of the Ruhr had created a united front among your political parties?”

“The political combinations upon which this united front depends, are too unstable. They render almost impossible a clearly defined policy. I see everywhere the zigzag course of compromise and concession.

“Our constructive forces are checked by the tyranny of numbers. We make the mistake of applying arithmetic and the mechanics of the economic world to the living state. We are faced by ever increasing numbers and ever diminishing ideals.

“Mere numbers are unimportant. It is unimportant how many square miles of German territory France occupies, if the national spirit is truly aroused. Ten million free Germans, ready to perish so that their country may live, are more potent than fifty million whose will power is paralyzed and whose race consciousness is polluted by aliens.

“Need I,” he added, “remind you of the war of Liberation from the Napoleonic yoke, when only a small strip of Germany was free from invasion?

“We want a greater Germany uniting all German tribes, but regeneration can start in the smallest corner. Even if we had only ten acres of land, and were determined to defend them with our lives, the ten acres would become the nucleus of salvation, the rallying ground for the forces of reconstruction”.

Hitler is not an enthusiastic exponent of Passive Resistance. He thinks Passive Resistance is not sufficient. Sabotage, strikes are not sharp enough weapons.

“We have had too many strikes. If strikes could win wars, Germany would be the most powerful country in Europe. We must be ready not merely to refrain from work, we must be ready to die, if we would save our Fatherland”.

“But,” I remarked, “if you were to meet French violence with force, the danger exists that labor would use the weapon of the General Strike, now so tellingly employed against the enemy, against you”.

“A resolute government need have no fear of the General Strike. There are no General Strikes in Italy. The General Strike,” he went on to say, “is a method borrowed from Moscow”.

“There are those who think that the star of German redemption may rise in the East”.

“It is better to go down in honorable combat than to make pacts with the Devil of Bolshevism”.

“There are, nevertheless, in Germany many who prefer a light attack of the Scarlet Fever of Bolshevism to the plague of a permanent French occupation”.

“Our German workers,” Hitler replied, “have two souls. One is German, the other is Marxian. We must arouse the German soul. We must root out the taint of Marxism. Marxism and Germanism, like German and Jew, are antipodes”.

Here Hitler outlined his case against the Jews. There can be no doubt that his views, however biased, are shared by many, that to-day anti-Semitism is a powerful political influence in Europe, and that Hitler is one of his ablest exponents.

“The Jew,” Hitler asserts, “is destructive by nature. Unable to lead a national existence of his own his presence in the modern state provides the ferment of decomposition”.

“What would you do with the Jew?” I asked.

“We would disfranchise him”.

“But if he is born in Germany?”

“Birth in itself is no sufficient qualification for citizenship. Citizenship depends upon a clear recognition of the duties implied in its rights. The Jews are not German. They are an alien people in our midst, and manifest themselves as such”.

“But think of what Germany owes to the Jewish race. Surely, some of your most respected citizens are Jews”.

“The fact that a man is decent is no reason why we should not eliminate him. Our hand grenades made no discrimination between decent Englishmen and others. Decent Jews will realize that it is necessary for us to protect the integrity of our race.

“I look upon the Jews,” Hitler continued, “as you look upon the Japanese. Both are an alien race. Both are an ancient people. Both have an ancient culture. Nevertheless, you do not admit the Japanese to citizenship. Yet, the Japanese, unlike the Jews, are not a destructive force. They have ruined no state. They are not carriers of Bolshevism. We look upon the Jews as you look upon the Japanese”.

“Many Jews,” I said, “have intermarried with your people. How would you dispose of those?”

“This,” Hitler contends, “constitute no problem. Mixed breeds lack vitality. We would forbid mixed marriages hereafter. We would treat the off-spring of mixed marriages according to their desert. If they were patriots, we could accept them, although we would not encourage intermarriage with them.

“The issue that confronts us is one between Jew and Aryan. The mixed breed dies; it is a valueless product.

“Rome fell, when it ceased to keep its race pure. In literature, in the movies, in science, the influence of the Jew is destructive.

“We are like a consumptive who does not realize that he is doomed unless he expels the microbes from his lungs. Nations, like individuals, are apt to dance most wildly when they are nearest the abyss.

“Hence, I say, we need violent correctives, strong medicine, maybe amputation”.

“Are not,” I interpolated, “teachings, such as these likely to lead to bloodshed? Is it not dangerous to preach such doctrines at a time when the enemy stands on German soil?”

“Now, more than ever, we must differentiate between elements that make for weakness and elements that make for strength. Incidentally, no deed of violence against Jews is on record in Bavaria. Not even the windows of a single Jew were smashed by my followers.

“No one, not even the Jews, can deny our honesty of purpose. We wish to purge ourselves from the Jews not because they are Jews, but because they are a disturbing influence. We wish to reserve citizenship and a voice in the council of our nation only to those who are of pure German blood.

“Our slogan is ‘Germany for the Germans’. Foreigners, whether Jews or not, will be permitted to live in Germany only by suffrance”.

Hitler believes in eugenics.

“In order,” he says, “to make our people worthy of the crown of citizenship, we must cut out every cancer that corrodes our life. Syphilitics, alcoholics, must be isolated. They must not be permitted to reproduce

“The Jews, being weak, have made a virtue of weakness. They have invented a false humanitarianism that teaches us to preserve the unfit. This false humanitarianism is the most diabolically cruel invention of the human brain. It is the source of most ills that afflict us.

“I would isolate the criminal as well as the person suffering from some physical taint. One disease breeds many. One pimp makes ten. One criminal in the course of a few generations, infects hundreds with the seed of crime, insanity and disease.

“The Bible tells us, ‘If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell’.

“I look upon those that teach us otherwise as criminal

“I look upon those that teach us otherwise as criminals against the race. The preservation of a nation is more important than the preservation of its infortunates. That, to me, is the essence of humanity.

“In my scheme of the German state, there will be no room for the alien, no use for the criminal, no use for the diseased, no use for the wastrel, for the usurer or speculator, or anyone incapable of productive work”.

For the moment there flashed, out of his eyes, something of the Blonde Beast of Nietzsche. The cords on his forehead stood out threateningly. His voice filled the room.

Already his followers were calling for him. He was to address a meeting. He addresses meetings every night, and every night the number of his followers grows. He carries his hearers with him, often against their will, by the sheer force of his personality.

Hitler can probably summon more men to arms than the commander in chief of the German army. His organization compels respect.

Hitler is honest. He is an idealist, however mistaken, who freely risks his life and his health for his cause. He lives simply in a little furnished room. He demands neither wages not honors.

If he lives, Hitler, for better or for worse, is sure to make history.

Editorial: P.S. Even then, Hitler spoke directly about his plans for the future. But some countries did not heed his words and tried to flirt with him. All this resulted in the Second World War.

American Monthly. Vol. XV. 8. October 1923. P. 235-238.


(1) Kurt Eisner (1867-1919), a Bavarian Socialist journalist, one of the leaders of the revolution that overthrew the monarchy and proclamed the People’s State of Bavaria; assassinated by a German nationalist.

George Viereck

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