Nazism, Social Darwinism and 'Judeo-Christian' Democracy part 2 of Mein Kampf series

Mein Kampf became a holy book for the Third Reich in the 1930s. Hitler’s aim was to replace the Bible and in that he succeeded. The Reich’s Church worshiped Hitler and its orators quoted it as the holy book. It became the main instrument to idolize Hitler in a religious context. His book was set on the altar and the Bible banned. 

Let’s look at the authorship of the Mein Kampf fraud itself.

1. Who wrote it? Hitler supposedly wrote it when in a comfy prison in 1924. He writes in the introduction:

‘On April 1st, 1924, I began to serve my sentence of detention in the Fortress of Landsberg am Lech, following the verdict of the Munich People's Court of that time.


‘After years of uninterrupted labour it was now possible for the first time to begin a work which many had asked for and which I myself felt would be profitable for the Movement. So I decided to devote two volumes  to a description not only of the aims of our Movement but also of its


 What landed him in clink?  An attempted putsch or coup d’Etat in Munich organized by Hitler and Ludendorff.

Let’s first go back to 1920, when the pair visited the politically active Strasser brothers, Georg and Otto. We find that the tall and imposing General Erich Ludendorff arrived in his car with the pale-faced, former Sergeant Hitler in his tow at a respectful distance ‘like his orderly’. Ludendorff told the Strassers: ‘We must unite all nationalistic groups.’ He said he was in charge of all military operations and Hitler was responsible for political training.

By 1922 American diplomats report that Hitler as a firebrand orator addressed his 1200 ‘roughnecks.’ They shouted ‘Death to the Jews’ accompanied with frantic cheering. (When asked point-blank about this anti-Semitism by the American, he replied that he merely favored disenfranchising Jews and excluding them from public affairs.)

The US diplomat Robbins reported that ‘Hitler, the young Austrian Sergeant, leading the Fascist movement known as the ‘Grey Shirts’ is working very .. efficiently along the same lines as Mussolini. … He is obtaining a great deal of money from manufacturers just as Mussolini did. He told {us} that he is collecting funds and equipment and that all was going well.’ (Toland’s Hitler).

The Munich Beer Hall Putsch took place in November 1923. What is often not recalled was the putsch was attempted with the WW1 military supremo, General Erich Ludendorff. Secondly, Hitler was already drawing funds from industrialists, although Ludendorff was of much higher prestige as a nationalist leader and war hero. In the latter part of the war, the country was virtually controlled by General Hindenburg and General Ludendorff. Hindenburg was chief of the General Staff, but Ludendorff, who was designated Quartermaster General, overshadowed the civil government of the time.

Who was the chancellor of Germany at this time? It was, unusually for Protestant-dominated Germany, a Bavarian Catholic. The aristocratic academic Georg von Hertling was then in his mid-seventies. He was a political philosopher, writing on law and the State, medieval thinkers, as well as metaphysics and ‘Darwinism as an epidemic’. At the start of the war, he had become Minister-president of Bavaria. He was well aware through Count Lerchenfeld, his envoy in Berlin, that the military clique had started the war.

Hertling was also a significant figure in another area. He was the politics professor of Robert Schuman who later created the European Community. Von Hertling, a Catholic, created the very influential, international academic association called the Görres Society. It published a wide range of erudite and scientific publications including the multi-volume Staatslexicon encyclopedia. Hertling wrote several articles including that on Democracy. (He remarked that democratic ideas can be active outside of the framework of a Democracy and that Americans themselves related how industrialization and the mega corporations corrupted the voting system. The Presidency could be bought for two million dollars. ‘To the victors, the booty!’)

Schuman later provided a definition of democracy that surpassed that of Lincoln’s. It was firmly based on Judeo-Christian conclusions. ‘Democracy owes its existence to Christianity.’

‘What characterizes a democratic State are the objectives it proposes and the means by which it attempts to attain them. It is at the service of the people and acts in accordance with it.’

Both the objectives and their limitation and the means to attain them have to be understood by the common good of all peoples and their consent to them. He reached the same conclusion as the French Jewish philosopher Henri Bergson: ‘Democracy is by essence evangelical because it has love as its motor.

The nationalistic Ludendorff was a promoter of the Stab in the Back theory that Germany had been defeated because left-wing politicians had betrayed it. His biographer defines him as a social Darwinist who considered war was the natural condition of mankind. War was the foundation of society. Military dictatorship was the normal form of government. He considered Judaism and Christianity a weakening force within society and worshipped pagan gods such as Wotan. All that sounds very similar to what is found in Mein Kampf.

It is ironic that when Graf von Hertling became Chancellor for the last year of war, the country was virtually in the hands of a military dictatorship.

In 1920 Ludendorff had taken part in an earlier Coup d’Etat, the Kapp Putsch against the Weimar central  government. So when Ludendorff worked with Hitler in Bavaria in the provincial south, his reputation would have been even greater.

But at the Munich trial following the failed Putsch, Ludendorff bawled out the judge as if he was speaking in the parade ground. He was freed. He dissociated himself from Hitler.

Ludendorff was not therefore in prison with Hitler, although some of his ideas may have been included in the book. Among those who were in prison there was Rudolf Hess who was Hitler’s secretary. According to historians he typed many parts of the script and made substantial revisions. Others in prison with Hitler may have made major contributions. Or they may have even ghost-written it. Who were they and how did such a mixed bag of bad ideas get published in the millions?

That we will explore next time.