by Dr. Joseph Goebbels. His diary from early 1932 until spring 1933 – while the Nazi party was achieving power and giving birth to Nazi Germany.
This is the personal diary of one of the most prominent figures in the stirring events that occurred in Germany from the beginning of 1932 to the middle of 1933, and resulted in Hitler’s accession to power.
The diary grips the reader owing to the fact that it enables him to follow the struggle between the Nazis and the Communists. Street fights, virulent speeches and press-campaign, daylight murders, fiercely-fought election battles, the organization against the Jews and the plan adopted by the Nazis to counter adverse propaganda in foreign countries, are some of the myriad facets of Hitlerite activity that are set before us vividly.
The story is dramatically told and cannot fail to hold the attention of every reader.
The historical revolution which, beginning on January 30th, 1933, wrought itself out thenceforth in the public life of the Reich before the eyes of the world, has a significance and bearing not immediately to be plumbed and measured. This event rightly bears the name of the German Revolution, for it has to do, indeed, with a revolution in values, with the overthrow of an entire world of thought which up to that date had been accepted as a matter of course by the German people.
The revolution was achieved with a clarity hitherto unknown, at least in political matters, in German public life. Its effects have placed the economical, cultural, and political life of the nation on an entirely new basis. Not only has the mental outlook of 1918, one quite alien to German nature, been given up, but those who had it, both individuals and parties, have had to abandon public life in favour of new men and new ideas.
The sheer speed by which the revolution was carried out, and the self-evidence with which it was accepted by the broad masses of the German people, have caused its effects to penetrate deeply into the national consciousness. No one in Germany today dreams they are irrevocable. They have come to stay.
Once more the government stands at the head of the country as the strong source of its will. Currents of fresh energy and resolution flow thence throughout the mass of the people, to the very last village and the very last man.
On account of the great rate at which the German Revolution went through, the contemporary onlooker may have lost, somewhat, clear perception as to how these historical events are brought about. What which yesterday was paradox, has become a triviality today. Things unthinkable, chimerical but a few months ago, are become today mere matters of course, about which no one makes any further ado.
The idea of this book is to offer a summary of the historical happenings in Germany during 1932 and the beginning of 1933, in the form of a diary. The author had neither the wish nor the power to write a comprehensive objective history of so significant a period for Germany. He stood back then, and still stands, in the midst of events. He was called upon to take an active part in them. It was neither his temperament nor his wish to watch their sequence from out the quiet of the professional study, or to treat them in an impersonal and neutral manner. From the very outset he actively espoused them, and furthered them with all his might and main, so that they might be brought about.
Whoever takes up this book looking for a history, in the ordinary acceptance of the word, will seek it there in vain. All inscribed in these pages was jotted down in the hurry and flurry of the day, and often by night. It bears evidence of the shocks and fierce emotions aroused by the events recorded, which carried away everyone who actively took part in them. It is strongly coloured by the passions of the moment, and deeply impressed by them.
God’s hand has been upon it all. He has visibly directed the Leader and his Movement. Only the faithless affirm that it has been luck that has favoured us. In reality, General von Moltke’s saying, “In the long run only the clever man is lucky,” applies to the Leader and his Party. That which had long been preparing, and which had grown organically, broke forth like a torrent on January 3oth, 1933, onwards, and swept over the whole country.
The German Revolution has imposed personal and material sacrifices on leaders and men, of which the public up to now has no idea. The peaceful unrolling of events often leads those who took no part in them to suppose that power fell into our laps like fruit, without us doing anything about it. This supposition is unfortunate, in that it ignores the wealth of sacrifice which the Movement, following its own compulsion, was bound to exact, and might even lead to the idea that we had not really deserved to come to power.
The express purpose of this book is to dispose of such errors once and for all. The unprejudiced reader will come to the conclusion that if anyone, we National Socialists, and none others, had a just claim to power, and that everything that took place was a natural consequence of the unalterable laws of higher historical development.
The adversaries of the National Socialist Movement never wearied, when opposed to us, of trying to drive a wedge between the Leader and his original colleagues. From their point of view this was easily to be understood. They were not so foolish as not to know that their only chance of deflecting the Movement from its objects, and of ruining it at length, lay in breaking up the community of National Socialist leadership.
It was seldom that the men round Adolf Hitler elected to fight the adversary with his own weapons. They knew only too well that they could not put a stop to the campaign of lies in the press. However deep they might have to wade in the mud themselves there was one thing so sacred nobody dared impugn it, but which they would or1ly openly profess under strong inducement, i.e. their unshakable love, fidelity, and devotion to the Leader.
They felt themselves one with the political troops entrusted to their guidance. They shared their sacrifices, and shared their blind devotion for the man to whom they had given themselves, and to whose hands they hoped to confide the German Nation.
This book is a monument to the Party in its great struggle, and to the “Sturm Abteilung” (S.A., Storm Troops). It offers more to the world than could be gathered from any erection of stone or marble.
Dr. Joseph Goebbels