Adolf Hitler's Zweites Buch
Chapter 13: England as an Ally
It is fitting to review the great foreign aims of the other European powers for a closer understanding of the possibilities just adduced. In part these aims are recognizable in the previous activity and efficacy of these States, in part they are virtually laid down programmatically, and otherwise lie in vital needs that are so clearly recognizable that even if the States momentarily embark on other paths, the compulsion of a harsher reality necessarily leads them back to these aims.
That England has a clear foreign policy goal is proved by the fact of the existence and therewith of the rise of this giant empire. Let no one fancy, after all, that a world empire can ever be forged without a clear will thereto. Obviously not every single member of such a nation goes to work every day with the idea of setting a great foreign policy goal, but in a completely natural way even an entire Voelk will be gripped by such a goal so that even the unconscious acts of individuals nevertheless lie in the general line of the aim that has been set and actually benefit it. Indeed the general political goal will slowly stamp itself on the very character of such a Voelk, and the pride of the present-day Englishman is no different from the pride of the former Romans. The opinion that a world empire owes its rise to chance, or that, at least, the events which conditioned its establishment were accidental historical processes which always turned out luckily for a nation, is false. Ancient Rome owed its greatness, exactly as does present-day England, to the soundness of Moltke's assertion that in the long run luck is always with the fit. This fitness of a Voelk in no way lies only in racial value, but also in the ability and skill with which these values are applied. A world empire of the size of ancient Rome, or of present day Great Britain, is always the result of a marriage between the highest race value and the clearest political aim. As soon as one of these two factors begins to be lacking, first a weakening sets in, and ultimately perhaps even a decline.
Present-day England's aim is conditioned by the race value of Anglo-Saxonism as such, and by her insular position. It lay in the race value of Anglo-Saxonism to strive for territorial space. Of necessity, this drive could find fulfillment only outside present-day Europe. Not that the English had not, from time to time, also attempted to take soil in Europe for their expansionist lusts. But all these enterprises failed because of the fact that they were opposed by States which at that time were of a no less great racial fitness. Later English expansion in the so called colonies led at the outset to an extraordinary increase of English maritime life. It is interesting to see how England, which at first exported men, ultimately went over to the export of commodities, and thereby weakened her own agriculture. Although now a great part of the English Voelk, indeed the average in general, is inferior to the German peak value, nevertheless the centuries old tradition of this Voelk has become so much part of its own flesh and blood that vis-à-vis our own German Voelk it possesses considerable political advantages. If today the globe has an English world empire, then for the time being there is also no Voelk which, on the grounds of its general civic political characteristics as well as its average political sagacity, would be more fitted for it.
The fundamental idea which dominated English colonial policy, on the one hand, was to find a territorial market for English human material and to keep the latter in a governmental relation with the Motherland; and, on the other hand, to secure the English economy's markets and sources of raw material. It is understandable that the Englishman is convinced that the German cannot colonize, just as it is understandable, conversely, that the German believes the same about the Englishman. Both Voelks take different standpoints in judging colonizing capacities. Thus the English standpoint was infinitely more practical, more sober, and the German standpoint more romantic. When Germany strove for her first colonies, she was already a military State in Europe and thereby a power State of the first rank. She had wrested the title of a world power through imperishable accomplishments in all fields of human culture as well as in that of military skill. It was now noteworthy that especially in the nineteenth century a general impulse toward colonies permeated all nations, whereas the original leading idea had already fully declined.
For example, Germany motivated her claim to colonies with her ability and her desire to spread German culture. As such it was nonsense. For culture, which is the general life expression of a definite Voelk, cannot be transmitted to another Voelk with wholly other psychic prerequisites. This may, at best, go with a so called international civilization which stands in the same relation to culture as jazz music to a Beethoven symphony. But wholly apart from this, it would never have occurred to an Englishman at the time England's colonies were founded to motivate his actions otherwise than with the very real and sober advantages which they might bring with them. If later England espoused the freedom of the seas or of oppressed nations, it was never for the purpose of justifying her colonial activity, but to destroy ugly competitors. Hence English colonial activity was perforce successful in part because of the most natural reasons. For the less the Englishman ever gave a thought to such a notion as wanting to impose English culture or English breeding on savages, the more sympathetic did such a government necessarily seem to savages who were absolutely not hungry for culture.
On top of this, to be sure, there was also the whip which one likewise could all the sooner use, since thereby one did not run the danger of departing from a cultural mission. England needed markets and sources of raw material for her commodities, and she secured these markets for herself through power politics. This is the sense of English colonial policy. If later even England nevertheless mouthed the word culture, it was only from a purely propagandistic viewpoint, so that she also could morally embroider her own exceedingly sober actions somewhat. In reality the living conditions of the savages were a matter of complete indifference to the English as long, and to the extent, that they did not affect the living conditions of the English themselves. That later still other ideas, of a political prestige character, were linked with colonies of the size of India is conceivable and understandable. But no one can dispute that, for instance, Indian interests never determined English living conditions, but instead English living conditions determined India's. Likewise it cannot be disputed that even in India the Englishman does not set up any cultural institution of any kind so that, for instance, the natives may share in English culture, but rather so that, at best, the Englishman can draw more benefits from his colonies. Or does one believe that England brought railroads to India just to put Indians in possession of European transport possibilities, and not in order to make possible a better utilization of the colony as well as to guarantee an easier domination? If today in Egypt England again follows in the footsteps of the Pharaohs and stores the water of the Nile by means of gigantic dams, it is certainly not done in order to make the Earthly life of the poor fellow easier, but only in order to make English cotton independent of the American monopoly. But these are all viewpoints which Germany never dared to think about openly in her colonial policy. The English were the educators of the natives for England's interests, the German was the teacher. That in the end the natives might have felt better with us than they did under the English would, for a normal Englishman, be far from speaking for our kind of colonization policy, but surely for that of the English instead.
This policy of a gradual conquest of the world, in which economic power and political strength always went hand in hand, conditioned England's position vis-à-vis other States. The more England grew into her colonial policy, the more she required dominion over the seas, and the more she achieved dominion over the seas, the more, in consequence of this, she became again a colonial power. But then also, the more jealously did she finally begin to watch that nobody competed with her for dominion of the seas or of colonial possessions.
There is a very erroneous and widespread notion, especially in Germany, according to which England would immediately fight against any European hegemony. As a matter of fact this is not correct. England actually concerned herself very little with European conditions as long as no threatening world competitor arose from them, so that she always viewed the threat as lying in a development which must one day cut across her dominion over the seas and colonies.
There is no conflict of England in Europe in which the former did not have to protect her trade and overseas interests. The struggles against Spain, Holland and later France had their ground not in the threatening military might of these States as such, but only in the way this power was founded as well as in the effects of the same. If Spain had not been an overseas power and thereby a power in competition with England, the latter would presumably have taken little notice of Spain. The same applies to Holland. And even England's later gigantic struggle against France was never waged against Napoleon's continental France, but rather against Napoleonic France which viewed her continental policy only as a springboard and as a basis for greater, altogether non continental aims. In general, France, given her geographical position, will be the power most threatening to England. It was perhaps the only State in which even a limited continental development could contain dangers for England's future. It is all the more noteworthy and instructive for us Germans that despite this, England decided to enter the World War together with France. It is instructive because it proves that, despite all the steadfast adherence to the great fundamental ideas of English foreign policy, momentary existing possibilities are always taken into account there and never renounced merely because a threat to England could likewise rise from one of them in the near or distant future. Our German God Punish England politicians are always of the opinion, to wit, that a good relationship with England in the future must always founder on the fact that England would never seriously give a thought to promoting Germany's interests by an alliance with her in order to see Germany counterpoised to her again one day as a dangerous and threatening power. Obviously England will not conclude an alliance to promote Germany's interests, but only in order to foster British interests. But up to now England has provided many examples that she could, very often, couple the representation of her interests with the representation of the interests of other nations. And that then she had recourse to alliances, although according to human prediction, even these were bound to change into later enmity. For divorces sooner or later underlie political marriages, since, indeed, they do not serve the representation of the common interests of both sides, but instead aim only with common means at promoting or defending the interests of two States which, as such, are different, but which for the time being are not opposed.
England's relations vis-à-vis Prussia prove that she does not fundamentally oppose resistance to a European great power of superior military importance, as long as the foreign policy aims of this power are manifestly of a purely continental character. Or will one dispute that under Frederick The Great, Prussian military power was beyond all doubt by far the strongest in Europe? Let no one believe that England did not fight against the Prussia of that time only for the reason that, despite its military hegemony, she had to be numbered among the smaller States in terms of territorial size in Europe. Not at all. For when England herself had previously fought out her wars against the Dutch, Dutch territory in Europe was still considerably smaller than the Prussia of late Frederickian time. And one could really not talk of a threatening hegemony or dominant power position on the part of Holland. If nevertheless England pressed Holland hard in decades long struggles, the reason lay exclusively only in the thwarting of England's dominion of the sea and trade by Holland, as well as in the general colonial activity of the Dutch. Thus one should not deceive oneself: if the Prussian State had not so exclusively dedicated itself to purely continental aims, it would at all times have had England as its sharpest enemy regardless of the size of Prussia's purely military means in Europe, or the danger of a hegemonization of Europe by Prussia. Our national patriotic politicians, who do little thinking, have not seldom bitterly reproached the successors of the great Elector for neglecting the overseas possessions brought into being by the Elector, indeed for surrendering them and thereby having no interest in the maintenance and further construction of a Brandenburg Prussian fleet. It was Prussia's good fortune, and later Germany's, that this was the case.
Nothing speaks so well for the outstanding statesmanship, especially of Frederick William I, than the fact that, with all the scanty and surely infinitely limited means of the small Prussian State, he concentrated exclusively on the promotion of the Land Army. Not only for the reason that through it this small State could maintain a superior position in one weapon, but was thereby also spared England's enmity. A Prussia following in Holland's footsteps would not have been able to fight the three Silesian Wars, with England as an added enemy at her back. Aside from the fact that any achievement of a real naval standing by the small Prussian State would necessarily miscarry in the long run in consequence of the territorial base of the motherland which was exceedingly limited and unfavorably situated in a military sense. Even at that time it would have been child's play for the English to rid themselves of a dangerous competitor in Europe through a general coalition war. In general the fact that the later Prussia could develop out of little Brandenburg and in turn a new German Reich out of the later Prussia was due only to that sagacious insight into the real power relations as well as into the possibilities of the Prussia of that time, so that the Hohenzollerns, up to the time of Bismarck, limited themselves almost exclusively to a strengthening of land power. It was the only clear, consequential policy. If German Prussia and then later Germany in general wanted to go toward a future, it could only be guaranteed by a supremacy on land which matched the English supremacy on the seas. It was Germany's misfortune that we slowly moved away from this insight and built up our land power insufficiently and instead went over to a naval policy whose end result had been inadequate anyway. Even the Germany of the post Bismarckian period could not afford the luxury of creating and maintaining a superior armament on land and sea simultaneously. It has been one of the most important principles of all times that a nation recognize which weapon is most necessary and indispensable for the preservation of its existence, and then promote it to the extreme by staking all its means on it. England recognized and followed this principle. For England, dominion of the seas was really the substance of her existence. Even the most brilliant military periods on the mainland, the most glorious wars, the most matchless military decisions, could not move the English to see in land power for England anything but something ultimately subordinate, and to concentrate the whole strength of the nation on the maintenance of a superior dominion of the seas. In Germany, to be sure, we let ourselves be swept along by the great colonial waves of the nineteenth century, strengthened perhaps by romantic memories of the old Hansa as well as driven by the peaceful economic policy, to shelve the exclusive promotion of the Land Army and to take up the construction of a Fleet. This policy acquired its final expression in the proposition, as preposterous as it was calamitous: Our future lies on the water. No, exactly to the contrary, it lay and lies for us in Europe on land, just as exactly as the causes of our decline will always be of a purely continental character: our unfortunate territorial and terrible military geographical position.
As long as Prussia limited herself to purely European aims in her foreign policy aspirations, she had no serious danger to fear from England. The objection that nevertheless a pro French mood already prevailed in England in the year 1870-71 is not relevant, and in any case signifies nothing at all. For at that time a pro German attitude prevailed just as much in England; indeed France's action was branded as a sacrilege from the pulpit in English churches. Moreover, it was the official attitude adopted which is decisive. For it is entirely obvious that France will indeed have continual sympathies in a State of England's importance, all the more so as the influence of a country's press is not seldom exerted through foreign capital. France has always known how to mobilize sympathy for herself adroitly. Thus she has always played Paris as her most remarkable auxiliary weapon. But this did not take place only in England, for instance, but even in Germany. In the very middle of the war, in the year 70/71, a not small clique was to be found in Berlin society, indeed at the Berlin court, who made no bones about their pro French sympathies. At any rate they knew how to postpone the bombardment of Paris for a long time. And it is humanly understandable that English circles should have viewed German military success with mixed joy. But in any case they could not move the official attitude of the British government toward an intervention. Even the opinion that this is to be ascribed only to the fact that the rear was covered by Russia, which Bismarck had assured, changes nothing. For this covering of the rear was thought of primarily against Austria. If, however, England had given up her neutral attitude at that time, even Russia's covering of the rear would not have been able to avert an immense conflagration. For then Austria would naturally have been involved and, one way or the other, the success of the year 1871 would hardly have come to pass. As a matter of fact Bismarck had a continual quiet fear of meddling by other States not only in the war, but even in the peace negotiations. For what took place several years later vis-à-vis Russia, the intervention of other powers, could have been staged against Germany by England just as well.
The course of the anti-German attitude of the English can be exactly followed. It parallels our development on the seas, rises with our colonial activity to an overt antipathy, and finally ends up with our naval policy in a frank hatred. One cannot take it amiss that in England a really solicitous State leadership scented a threatening danger for the future in this development of a Voelk as efficient as the Germans. We must never apply our German sins of omission as a measure for judging the actions of others. The frivolousness with which post Bismarckian Germany allowed her position in terms of power politics to be threatened in Europe by France and Russia, without undertaking any serious countermeasures, far from allows us to impute similar neglect to other powers or to denounce them in moral indignation, if indeed they attend to the vital needs of their Voelks better.
If pre War Germany had decided upon a continuance of the former Prussian continental policy instead of her peaceful world and economic policy with its fateful repercussions, then first of all she could have raised her land power to that superior height formerly enjoyed by the Prussian State, and secondly she need not have feared an unconditional enmity with England. For this much is sure: if Germany had used all the enormous means which she squandered on the Fleet for the strengthening of her Land Army, then her interests might have been fought for in a different way, at least on the decisive European battlefields. And the Nation would have been spared seeing a Land Army, worse than inadequately armed, slowly bleed to death against an overwhelming world coalition, while the Navy, at least in its decisive combat units, rusted away in the harbors in order finally to terminate its existence in a more than ignominious surrender. Let us not find excuses for the leaders, but have the courage rather to admit that this lay in the very nature of such a weapon for us. For at the same time the Field Army was pulled out of one battle and hurled into another without regard to losses and any other hardships. The Land Army was really the German weapon, grown out of a hundred year tradition, but in the end our Fleet was only a romantic plaything, a parade piece that was built for its own sake, and which again for its own sake could not be risked. The whole benefit which it brought us is disproportionate to the terrible enmity with which it saddled us.
If Germany had not taken this development, at the turn of the century we still could have reached an understanding with England, which at that time was ready for one. To be sure, such an understanding would have lasted only if had been accompanied by a fundamental shift in our foreign policy goal. Even at the turn of the century Germany could have decided upon a resumption of the former Prussian continental policy, and, together with England, prescribed the further development of world history. The objection of our eternal temporizers and doubters that this would nevertheless have been uncertain is based on nothing but personal opinions. English history up to now speaks against it in any case. By what right can such doubters presume that Germany could not have played the same role as Japan? The stupid phrase that Germany thereby would have hauled England's chestnuts out of the fire could just as much be applied to Frederick The Great who, ultimately, on European battlefields, helped to facilitate England's conflicts with France outside Europe. It is almost stupid to cite the further objection that nevertheless England one day would have gone against Germany. For then even in such a case Germany's position, following a successful defeat of Russia in Europe, would be better than it was at the start of the World War. On the contrary, if the Russian Japanese war had been fought in Europe between Germany and Russia, Germany would have received such a purely moral increase in power that, for the next thirty years, every other European power would have carefully weighed whether to break the peace and let itself be incited into a coalition against Germany. But all these objections always spring from the mentality of pre War Germany which itself as an opposition knew everything, but did nothing.
The fact is, at that time England made an approach to Germany, and there is the further fact that Germany for her part could not make up her mind to emerge from the mentality of this eternal temporizing and hesitation and come to a clear stand. What Germany refused at that time was solicitously tended to by Japan, and thereby she achieved the fame of a world power in a relatively cheap way. If nobody in Germany wanted to do this under any circumstances, then we necessarily should have joined the other side. Then we could have utilized the year 1904 or 1905 in a conflict with France, and had Russia at our rear. But these temporizers and procrastinators wanted that just as little. Out of sheer caution, sheer hesitation and sheer knowledge, they were never able to establish what they really wanted at any hour. And only therein lies the superiority of English statesmanship, for that country is not ruled by such smart-alecks who can never brace themselves for an action, but by men who think naturally and for whom politics most surely is an art of the possible, but who also take all possibilities by the forelock, and really strike with them.
Once Germany, however, had shunned such a fundamental understanding with England, which, as already noted, would have made durable sense only if in Berlin a clear continental territorial political aim had been arrived at, England began to organize the world resistance against the country threatening British interests as regards her dominion of the seas.
The World War did not proceed as had been thought at the beginning in view of our Voelk's military efficiency, which was not presumed to be what it was even in England. To be sure, Germany was finally overcome, but only after the American Union had made its appearance on the battlefield, and Germany had lost the support of her rear in consequence of the internal collapse of the homeland. But the actual English war aim had not been achieved thereby. Indeed, the German threat to English supremacy on the seas was eliminated, but the American threat, with a considerably stronger base, took its place. In the future the greatest danger to England would not be in Europe any more at all, but in North America. In Europe itself at this time, France is the State that is most dangerous to England. Her military hegemony has an especially threatening significance for England, in consequence of the geographical position which France occupies vis-à-vis England. Not only for the reason that a great number of vitally important English centers seems to be almost defenselessly exposed to French aerial attacks, but even by means of artillery fire a number of English cities can be reached from the French coast. Indeed, if modern technology succeeds in producing a considerable increase in the firing power of the heaviest artillery, then a bombardment of London from the French mainland does not lie beyond the limits of the possible. But it is even more important that a French submarine war against England would possess a wholly different basis than the earlier German one during the World War. France's broad encampment on two seas would make it very difficult to carry out sealing off measures which could be easily successful vis-à-vis the confined triangle of water.
Whoever in present-day Europe tries to find natural enemies against England will always chance upon France and Russia: France as a power with continental political aims, which in truth, however, are only a cover for very widely demarcated intentions of a general international political character; Russia as a threatening enemy of India and the possessor of oil sources which today have the same importance once possessed by iron and coal mines in past centuries. If England herself remains true to her great world political aims, her potential opponents will be France and Russia in Europe, and, in the other parts of the world, especially the American Union in the future.
In contrast no inducement exists to make eternal England's enmity against Germany. Otherwise English foreign policy would be determined by motives that lie far beyond all real logic, and therefore could have a decisive influence on the determination of the political relations among nations perhaps only in the head of a German professor. No, in the future, in England positions in accordance with purely expedient points of view will be taken up just as soberly as has happened for three hundred years. And just as for three hundred years allies could become England's enemies and enemies again become allies, so will this also be the case in the future as long as general and particular necessities call for it. If, however, Germany comes to a fundamentally new political orientation which no longer contradicts England's sea and trade interests, but spends itself in continental aims, then a logical ground for England's enmity, which would then be just hostility for hostility's sake, would no longer exist. For even the European balance of power interests England only as long as it hinders the development of a world trade and sea power that may threaten England. There is no foreign policy leadership at all which is less determined by doctrines that bear no relation to life's realities than the English. A world empire does not come into being by means of a sentimental or purely theoretical policy. Hence the sober perception of British interests will be determining for English foreign policy in the future too. Whoever cuts across these interests will thereby also be England's enemy in the future. Whoever does not touch them, his existence will also not be touched by England. And whoever can be useful to her from time to time will be invited on England's side regardless of whether he had been an enemy in the past or perhaps can again become one in the future. Only a bourgeois national German politician can manage to refuse a useful alliance for the reason that later, perhaps, it can end in enmity. To impute such an idea to an Englishman is an insult to the political instinct of this Voelk.
Naturally if Germany does not set herself any political goal, and we muddle through lacking a plan from one day to the other as up to now without any guiding thought; or if this goal lies in the restoration of the borders and territorial conditions of the year 1914 and thereby in the end lands into a policy of world trade, colonization and naval power, England's future enmity with us will indeed be certain. Then Germany will suffocate economically under her Dawes burdens, politically decay under her Locarno treaties, and increasingly weaken racially in order finally to terminate her life as a second Holland or a second Switzerland in Europe. This can certainly be achieved by our bourgeois national and patriotic armchair politicians; for this all they need do is continue further along their present path of phrase mongering, shooting off their mouths in protests, making war on all Europe, and then crawling cravenly into a hole before every act. This then is what the national bourgeois patriotic policy of Germany's resurgence means. Thus, just as our bourgeoisie in the course of barely sixty years has known how to degrade and to compromise the national concept, so in its decline does it destroy the beautiful concept of the Fatherland by degrading it also to a mere phrase in its patriotic leagues.
To be sure, yet another important factor emerges in regard to England's attitude toward Germany: the decisive influence world Jewry also possesses in England. Just as surely as Anglo-Saxonism itself can overcome its war psychosis vis-à-vis Germany, world Jewry just as surely will neglect nothing to keep the old enmities alive so as to prevent a pacification of Europe from materializing, and thereby enable it to set its Bolshevist destructive tendencies into motion amid the confusion of a general unrest.
We cannot discuss world policy without taking this most terrible power into account. Therefore I will deal especially with this problem further in this book.
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