by S.A. Chief of Staff Ernst Röhm. Dual English/German text. Translated from the Third Reich original published in June 1934 just before the “Night of the Long Knives”.
The new Germany under the swastika does not only have friends in the world.
Much has been said, much as been written about it.
But for far too long Germany and the other peoples have talked past each other, because they simply do not understand each other.
The German revolution in its meaning and essence has generally not been comprehended abroad. Again and again it is overlooked that this is not about a change of power in the usual sense, rather the breakthrough of a new world-view.
The world is used to revolutions where power changes hands from one political line to another. Despite all apparent passion, nothing changes fundamentally. For with all these revolutions share the same ideological plain, namely that of democracy.
The democratic principle of state leadership according to the will of the majority played no role at all in the German revolution. Certainly, the rise to power of National Socialist came – completely democratic – with the will of the overwhelming majority of the folk. But this – after the last election – total majority of the German folk unconditionally rejects the premises of democracy and of parliamentarianism and affirms authoritarian leadership.
In Germany’s fundamental disavowal of democratic principles lies the final reason for the complete lack of comprehension for everything that has recently happened in Europe’s heart.
The revolution of National Socialism means the inner break with the thinking of the great French Revolution of 1789.
It raised the principles of person, of the individual, to an untouchable dignity of holiness, preached as its ramification the equality of rights and the equal value of opinions, and recognized only one superior principle and honored it with divine honors: reason!
The fanfare “equality, freedom, brotherhood” soared triumphant like an eagle over the civilized peoples and conquered the world.
Politically it found its expression on the form of western democracy. According to physics principle of inertia, the teaching of the endurance of the masses, today wide portions of humanity still hold to it.
This rationalistic kind of thinking, which evaluates an intention solely according to the visible success and the correctness of an opinion purely mechanically according to the number of its adherents – this thinking that only figures with measurable and countable values – was opposed by a new form of idealism in National Socialism, which the world of democracy could not figure out, because it is naturally and innerly alien to it.
Many and precisely the highest values that are holy and inalienable to democracy and its kind of thinkings were set aside in the new Germany: the uncritical primacy of intellect, the incontestable, innate value of the person, the unconditional equality of everything with a human countenance, the worship of the will of the majority, of success and of numbers.
In their place National Socialism put forces that are not measurable with numbers and weights, that one cannot grasp with pure calculations and reason – the forces of the soul and of the blood.
The world of ideas of National Socialism and of democracy lay two different concept plains. It is impossible to understand and correctly evaluate the manifestations of National Socialism, if one does make the effort to try to comprehend the essential foundations of National Socialism. Whoever believes to come close to National Socialism while passing by, will never reach a correct understanding of what is today happening in Germany. Whoever crosses a lake a rowboat only sees the waves caused by his own movement. But whoever pulls in the oars so that the boat stands still, distinctly sees under the water surface the diverse life of the depths.
The S.A. is the combative bearer of the will and ideas of the German revolution.
Essence and task of the S.A. are only understandable on the basis of the essence and aim of the National Socialist revolution.
We understand the concept “revolution” in the widest and deepest sense.
Revolution is not the course of more or less unruly events. Rather revolution is the complete break of a time and its people, it is the transformation in the thinking of peoples – it is the emergence of a new world-view. Such revolutions, world-view revolutions, are always right. For they overcome an old and tired principle that has become rotten through the moral right and the dynamic force of a new desire. Possession only is never a right, even less a prerogative, if it does not possess its own strength to assert itself.
So a world-view also losses the claim to universality, if it does not have the living, inner strength to magnetically hold its believers to its course and thereby to prevent the breakthrough of a new thinking and desire.
That does not mean that the principles of an overcome or at least pushed back world-view are hence false. They were certainly right at the time that they triumphed. They can continue to exist under and next to the manifestations of a new time and its world of ideas. But they lose their prerogative to impose their stamp on this time.
The life of humanity is like the life of an individual person. Like the person is born, grows, reaches the zenith of his ability and is then surpassed in performance by maturing sons and grandchildren and pushed from the right of leadership, so does the development of humanity not remain at the same level – neither materially nor intellectually -, rather is reaches new material accomplishments and intellectual realizations. When they fundamentally change the perception of life forms and life tasks, we call them a revolution.
Among the great world revolutions we include the introduction of Christianity, the great folk wandering, the invention of book printing and gun powder, the discovery of America, the reformation and the French Revolution of 1789 with its children who ruled the world for one hundred and fifty years: liberalism, capitalism, Marxism, democracy.
Among them you find great deeds of intellect and explosions of the will, primeval acts of nature and revolutions with everything that according to common concepts belong to them: barricades, rolling heads and rivers of blood.
You will ask me: Since when is the discovery of America a revolution? And I reply to you” The events as such play a subordinate roll for a real, genuine revolution, regardless how unprecedented their effect locally at the time. Decisive is the changed thinking of humanity that follows them. And we now find ourselves in such a decisive period of development in world history. By my feeling the revolutionary process now underway began on August 1, 1914. For a completely different humanity entered the World War than was released from this world-spanning force field of great death four and fiver and six years later. Into the war went the man of the era of liberal, bourgeois civilization and highly capitalistic, economic prosperity. Out of this blast furnace of humanity emerged the man who had learned under the waging cyclops hammering of the material battle to despise everything that did not withstand this pitiless, merciless test of character. In the mass graves of the World War, which directly and indirectly killed twelve million people,. The world of ideas of the great French Revolution were also buried. On the blazing battlefields of France and Flanders lies the key to the inner, spiritual comprehension of the new development of humanity in our day. Out there, where millions of men died, in the constant face of death, everything paled that was only external appearance; everything sank that was insignificant. Only the genuine, true, manly kept its value, which required no helping or supporting, rather is itself a stone pillar. Pitiless and without mercy is combat’s screen of character.