Translated from the Third Reich original Vater aller Dinge. It is exactly what the subtitle states: A book of war!
Whoever has experienced war in its reality, knows the terrors of blood and wounds, of destruction, annihilation, desperation, of deprivation, of sacrifice and renunciation.
Whoever has suffered it, unlearns praising it in the fanciful mood of a romantic.
War has in no way become more “humane” through the “progress” of a mankind pledged to unconditional civilization.
Quite the opposite, the more war was elevated from the plane of the power thought of ambitious and particularistic princes and unscrupulous power groups into the sphere of mighty and passionate struggles of ideas of whole folks and races, all the more ruthless became the clash of the troops filled with these ideas, and the more “total” became war itself.
Is war then a fate, a judgement, that folks in history hold over each other? Enthusiasts and utopians, dreamers and ideologues have tried through an allegedly “ennoblement”, which, in reality, lead to a psychological and blood, character and will weakening, to divert from the conduct of war, yes, even of warlike bearing. The bourgeois decadent pacifism of the most recent period was just as little able to fundamentally change the warrior instincts of the folks as already previously also the Christian pacifist teaching, despite the most unscrupulous application of all means of power, was not able to create a peaceful world of “little children”.
War is a reality, which can be covered over with neither slogans nor theories. Warlike bearing, the having-to-defend-oneself for reasons of self-preservation, is a security measure, dictated by instinct, of a healthy folk based on its life right and its life duty.
It is also not acceptable that war is presented as just an unavoidable evil. Whoever is not able to see in war an idea and in the conduct of war a hypothetical necessity, must at some time fail mentally or psychologically due to the distress caused by the conduct of war.
No “justification” of war is required. It is much more about that a correct position, a just standpoint on war is found.
The reality of war is harsh and brutal. Its state is for the soldier who has overcome Russia’s ice fields, the swamps of impenetrable forests, the scorching heat breeze of the sand-storm whipped deserts, who in rain and cold, day in and day out, must wait for countless nights for an ever looming enemy, for an unknown fate, which can fulfill itself destroying at any moment, sometimes hardly bearable. The state of constant threat can have such a burdening, such a hopelessly crushing effect that the soldier forced to live in this state can be driven by the desperate idea of having to be smashed by the pressure of this state.
The moment of war conduct shows only the destructive side of war, it sometimes requires the thought of an entire generation until war itself is recognized and experienced as rejuvenating and testifying power.
The soldier acting in war requires less an “intelligence” esteemed in bourgeois life than instead precisely the character often enough despised in eras of bourgeois imperturbability.
If the great soldier Boyen posited the demand that the soldier should look forward to war, then precisely this teacher of war means by this not, say, a vain patriotism, which wants to acquire cheap laurels in the often enough quoted happy-go-lucky wars, rather that bearing of the soldier, determined and ready for action, who wants to experience in war the great test of his ability in order to know himself and his warrior essence confirmed.