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Old May 14th, 2011 #2
RickHolland
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In this passage from Mein Kampf, Hitler described the patriotic bourgeois meetings.

Chapter VII: The Struggle with the Red Front

Quote:
In 1919-20 and also in 1921 I attended some of the bourgeois meetings. Invariably I had the same feeling towards these as towards the compulsory dose of castor oil in my boyhood days.

It just had to be taken because it was good for one: but it certainly tasted unpleasant. If it were possible to tie ropes round the German people and forcibly drag them to these bourgeois meetings, keeping them there behind barred doors and allowing nobody to escape until the meeting closed, then this procedure might prove successful in the course of a few hundred years.

For my own part, I must frankly admit that, under such circumstances, I could not find life worth living; and indeed I should no longer wish to be a German. But, thank God, all this is impossible. And so it is not surprising that the sane and unspoilt masses shun these 'bourgeois mass meetings' as the devil shuns holy water.

I came to know the prophets of the bourgeois philosophy, and I was not surprised at what I learned, as I knew that they attached little importance to the spoken word. At that time I attended meetings of the Democrats, the German Nationalists, the German People's Party and the Bavarian People's Party (the Centre Party of Bavaria).

What struck me at once was the homogeneous uniformity of the audiences. Nearly always they were made up exclusively of party members. The whole affair was more like a yawning card party than an assembly of people who had just passed through a great revolution.

The speakers did all they could to maintain this tranquil atmosphere. They declaimed, or rather read out, their speeches in the style of an intellectual newspaper article or a learned treatise, avoiding all striking expressions. Here and there a feeble professorial joke would be introduced, whereupon the people sitting at the speaker's table felt themselves obliged to laugh – not loudly but encouragingly and with well-bred reserve.

And there were always those people at the speaker's table. I once attended a meeting in the Wagner Hall in Munich. It was a demonstration to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig. The speech was delivered or rather read out by a venerable old professor from one or other of the universities.

The committee sat on the platform: one monocle on the right, another monocle on the left, and in the centre a gentleman with no monocle. All three of them were punctiliously attired in morning coats, and I had the impression of being present before a judge's bench just as the death sentence was about to be pronounced or at a christening or some more solemn religious ceremony.

The so-called speech, which in printed form may have read quite well, had a disastrous effect. After three quarters of an hour the audience fell into a sort of hypnotic trance, which was interrupted only when some man or woman left the hall, or by the clatter which the waitresses made, or by the increasing yawns of slumbering individuals.

I had posted myself behind three workmen who were present either out of curiosity or because they were sent there by their parties. From time to time they glanced at one another with an ill-concealed grin, nudged one another with the elbow, and then silently left the hall. One could see that they had no intention whatsoever of interrupting the proceedings, nor indeed was it necessary to interrupt them.

At long last the celebration showed signs of drawing to a close. After the professor, whose voice had meanwhile become more and more inaudible, finally ended his speech, the gentleman without the monocle delivered a rousing peroration to the assembled 'German sisters and brothers.' On behalf of the audience and himself he expressed gratitude for the magnificent lecture which they had just heard from Professor X and emphasized how deeply the Professor's words had moved them all.

If a general discussion on the lecture were to take place it would be tantamount to profanity, and he thought he was voicing the opinion of all present in suggesting that such a discussion should not be held. Therefore, he would ask the assembly to rise from their seats and join in singing the patriotic song, Wir sind ein einig Volk von Brüdern. The proceedings finally closed with the anthem, Deutschland über Alles.

And then they all sang. It appeared to me that when the second verse was reached the voices were fewer and that only when the refrain came on they swelled loudly. When we reached the third verse my belief was confirmed that a good many of those present were not very familiar with the text.
But what has all this to do with the matter when such a song is sung wholeheartedly and fervidly by an assembly of German nationals?

After this the meeting broke up and everyone hurried to get outside, one to his glass of beer, one to a cafe, and others simply into the fresh air.
Out into the fresh air! That was also my feeling. And was this the way to honour an heroic struggle in which hundreds of thousands of Prussians and Germans had fought? To the devil with it all!

That sort of thing might find favour with the Government, it being merely a 'peaceful' meeting. The Minister responsible for law and order need not fear that enthusiasm might suddenly get the better of public decorum and induce these people to pour out of the room and, instead of dispersing to beer halls and cafes, march in rows of four through the town singing Deutschland hoch in Ehren and causing some unpleasantness to a police force in need of rest.
No. That type of citizen is of no use to anyone.
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