translated from the Third Reich original Der Kampf als Lebensgesetz. It was published as the fifth 1944 issue in the series of Guidelines of the High Command of the Armed Forces published by the NS Leadership Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces, which in turn had the task of promoting National Socialist spirit in the officer corps. Interestingly enough, it was not offered for sale to the general public, even though it was essentially a reprint of a Reich Schooling Theme of the NSDAP. Indeed, a note on the back cover even admonishes that it should only be ordered through official channels. The original nineteen black and white illustrations are also included. As the title already indicates, the theme, of course, is that life is struggle. This applies to the individual – man and woman, soldier and civilian – as well as the whole folk.
Germany has entered into total war for the securing of its existence. That means that each person who is in any way capable of action is utilized at the front or in the homeland. Through this war we have first really become a community of fate.
Nobody can withdraw himself from it; we must decide between victory, which can only be won through the hardest struggle, or downfall.
Hence the ancient life law of our Germanic race, the law of struggle, has an all-encompassing effect on all of us today.
Indeed, we can, front and homeland, look with pride and confidence at the war years behind us, but, nonetheless, there are in the homeland and in the life of each folk comrade moments when he is sick of the restrictions and difficulties in many eras of life. When he is sometimes discontented under the most extreme strain of work, after nights standing at alarm, our encouragement and our explanation of the meaning of this war must again lift his spirits and give him new confidence. If he even receives news of the death of a friend or family member and is deeply shaken, or if an enemy terror attack robs him of belongings and property, yes, his family, then we must and can help him over the worst through our active help.
But we do not want to confront just these great blows of fate alone here with our strength of shared overcoming; there, only really close folk comrades, friends and relatives can give comfort.
Here the small, but all the more persistent, cares, the daily strain that restrictions, discomforts, more work etc. demanded from us, should also be examined and interpreted under a special light.
It should be portrayed how – in nature, in the history of our folk and of our race, as well as in the life of the individual and of the community -, the law of struggle holds true for all living things, even if seen outwardly times of peace alternate with those of struggle:
Finally: We interpret this war as the most extreme and most difficult form of an ongoing struggle that has always been the life law of our kind.
Viewed in this sense, war is not to be perceived as just an “armed conflict”, rather as the strongest demand for overcoming all external and internal obstacles.
Every healthy person stands in the competitive struggle for his place in the life of the folk totality, both in the area of economic as well as in the area of intellectual rank. Whoever does not want to work constantly here, must surrender his place to others. Whoever does not want to develop the abilities resting within him, must experience that others get in front of him. Only whoever takes action, tests his strength, is always ready physically and mentally to employ his reserves, that person can maintain the position he was won within the folk community.
Even from this simple example from life we see that struggle cannot be avoided. We simultaneously realize how much the fulfillment of the law of struggle is dependent on the facts of our racial inclination and the related ability to keep ourselves physically and mentally disciplined. Whoever consumes his energies uselessly and senselessly, serves the folk community just as little as the one who leaves them totally unused. Our race, however, is destined to keep itself disciplined and to thereby create the prerequisite for winning struggle in any form, to neither avoid it nor to seek it.
We must win the struggle especially in this war, which has been forced upon us by the Jewish and plutocratic powers. They envy us everything that we have laboriously acquired through our worldview in the constant struggle and ceaseless work of the individual as well as of the folk totality: our National Socialist folk community, our socialism, our work accomplishments, the inventions of our strengthened economy, our high folk income, our folk health, our youth, our military strength, in short, everything that we had created for ourselves through our own strength under the most unfavorable conditions.