Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Milieu

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Mil

Postby admin » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:16 am

21: German Anti-Semitism

"We know that there are domains in which the Jews are more able than we ... , and that we have greater ability in others; we hope that with good will on both sides, peaceful cooperation will be possible, but we are convinced that relations cannot continue much longer in their present form."

-- Ferdinand Avenarius, 1912


"I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same disease, healed by the same means, warm'd and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that."

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Shylock's speech, Act 3, Scene 1, 58-68.


Hitler's June, 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union demonstrated an amateurish misunderstanding of logistics. This same naivete led him to fall for The Protocols of Zion's implausible thesis that a tiny minority could dominate the world by means of diabolical cunning and coordinated efforts. Having never worked real jobs, Eckart and Hitler couldn't understand that Jewish bankers, industrialists, and retailers had neither the time nor power to concoct a grand conspiracy against gentile civilization. Because of superior intelligence and industry many Jews succeeded in business. They also adopted self defense measures when attacked by anti-Semitic organizations such as Theodor Fritsch's Hammerbund. At no time did "International Jewry" plot the destruction of Germany.

The prior chapter outlined Dietrich Eckart's bizarre anti-Semitic worldview. This section will attempt to describe actual historical conditions, thus serving as a "reality check" to the hogwash propagated by Hitler, Eckart, and other Ariosophists.

Anti-Semitism, or collective Judeophobia, has been a recurrent phenomenon since the pre-Christian era. In Hitler's Willing Executioners Daniel Jonah Goldhagen declared anti-Semitism "a more or less permanent feature of western culture." [1] He added that it ran in cycles, manifesting more or less severely at different times.

As aliens with a different cultural heritage, Jews evoked resentment, and became convenient scapegoats when things went wrong due to wars, plagues, famines, economic fluctuations, or breakdowns of traditional values. Many Germans demonized "the Jew" into a negative stereotype, and considered him responsible for their temporal misery. Since anti-Semitism increased in bad times and abated during periods of prosperity, it tended to follow the same curve as political revolutions.

Adolf Hitler posed as a populist to attract lower middle-class followers. He began his political career in the aftermath of World War I, a period wracked by hyperinflation, unemployment, and insurrection. His fortunes declined when Gustav Streseman's government restored order from 1924 to 1929. The Depression brought him back into the spotlight by 1930. Hitler's anti-Semitic message always gained credibility with the masses during hard times. He realized that social upheavals prompted leftist and conservative Germans -- from opposite ends of the political spectrum -- to band together against Jews. Commoners and reactionaries shared the phobia that "Jewish wire-pullers" fomented disorders in order to snatch power from gentiles.

Since medieval times German-speaking provinces in the Holy Roman Empire prohibited Jews from owning land. As late as 1905, 95% of them still lived in cities, with 20% residing in either Berlin or Frankfurt. Before 1848 Jews were forbidden to practice law, obtain civil service jobs, engage in masonry, carpentry, or other building trades. This funneled them into medicine, banking, retail and wholesale businesses, jewelry-making, lens-grinding, and a few other industries, particularly clothing, food, glass, and furniture manufacture. Christianity's taboo against usury enabled astute Jews to predominate in the money-lending business. Jewish financiers helped set up the credit and stock exchange systems which underlie our present world economy. Many centuries ago Germans coined the word "Judentum" to denote "commerce," in the same way English invented the term "jewelry" for gems set in precious metals. Thus, Teutonic consciousness associated Jewry with the complexities of high finance, and suspected that capitalism's cyclical booms and recessions were "swindles" perpetrated by crafty Hebrews. Theodor Fritsch's Handbook on the Jewish Question blamed Jews for such long-range impersonal trends as depression, inflation, secularism, and urbanization.

Daniel Goldhagen cited the spirited battle against Jewish emancipation in Bavaria as proof of widespread anti-Semitism. On December 14, 1849 Bavaria's Lower House enacted a statute granting equality to Jews. The resultant uproar showed that this legislation had little popular support. Only three districts out of 6,800 backed it. Over 1,700 towns submitted petitions signed by thousands protesting the repeal of Jewish civil disabilities. A sizable consensus of Bavarian men feared that the bill would encourage Eastern Jews to immigrate and seize economic control within a generation.

Since the Renaissance, princes all over Germany employed "court Jews" such as Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Moses Mendelsohn, Gerson Bleichroder, and others. The Jewish minorities in Germany, Austria, and Russia regularly sought protection from kings against mob violence. Their appeals were often accompanied by contributions to the royal treasury. The strategy of cultivating sovereigns often broke down. For example, Russian Emperor Alexander III (1845-1894) sanctioned pogroms after a bomb-throwing anarchist killed his father, Alexander II, in 1881. Reactionary monarchies denied Jews a future, thus transforming many of them into radicals. Anti- Semites have always characterized Jewish business achievements and political extremism as two prongs of the same plot: a synchronization of the "Red" and "Gold" Internationals. In fact, Jewish radicalism and entrepreneurial drive have been primarily self-defensive, not offensive.

Emperor Josef II of Austria wanted to improve the lot of his Jewish subjects. In 1782 he issued Das Toleranzpatent (Edict of Toleration) which granted Jews civil rights. The Edict discouraged separatism and promoted assimilation by abolishing discriminatory "Jew taxes." It also proscribed the Yiddish dialect, decreed that all birth, marriage, and death records were to be written in German, and required Jews to adopt surnames. The Toleranzpatent forced Jewish boys to attend secular grammar schools, and young men to serve in the army.

Neither Jews nor their gentile neighbors were ready for such sweeping reforms. Jews knew that "assimilation" often entailed conversion. While the Edict encouraged mainstreaming of Jews in Vienna, Bohemia, and Moravia, their Orthodox brethren in Galicia resisted secularization by remaining in ghettoes.

More than one hundred years after The Edict of Toleration, Franz Kafka and his friends in Prague found that "public education took them out of the ghetto -- and straight into oblivion." [2] German Jews were still concentrated in urban areas and restricted to occupations such as banking, mercantile trade, medicine, and manufacturing. By the mid-19th Century they entered journalism, theater, music, law, politics, and science. However, most corporations -- with the exception of chemical, electrical, and other high-tech firms -- would not hire them. Only baptized Jews in Austria and Germany could become army officers, government officials, realtors, or teachers. As a result, nearly half of Vienna's middle class Jews converted to Christianity between 1860 and 1900. Professor Saul Friedlaender affirmed that ones who remained Jewish wanted to assimilate, not vanish.

"Although the majority of Jews were more than eager to travel a long way down the road to cultural and social assimilation, most of them rejected total collective disappearance." [3]


Religious anti-Semitism prevailed in the Middle Ages. Most Christians regarded Jews as obdurate heretics who defied God's will by refusing to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. However, except for sporadic inquisitions, the Church did not actively persecute Jews, believing that they would convert -- or face damnation -- in "the end times."

19th Century German anti-Semite Jakob Friedrich Fries espoused a more "rational" approach to the Jewish Question by jettisoning all theological baggage. He held that Jews were a "criminal tribe," -- an "asocial nation," not unlike gypsies, with no stake in the monarchical-Christian order. Bible scholar Paul Lagarde (born Paul Bottischer), Julius Langbehn, Christian Lassen, and Theodor Fritsch were all influenced by Fries. Their anti-Semitic litanies typically contained hyperbole mixed with truth. Jews such as the Rothschilds and Warburgs did have extraordinary business acumen. The Ullsteins and Mosses undoubtedly exerted powerful influence in publishing. No one could deny that Karl Marx, Ferdinand Lassalle, and Rosa Luxemburg preached socialism. But from such premises it did not follow that an International Jewish conspiracy for world domination was afoot.

Eliminationist anti-Semitism did not start with Hitler. According to a study conducted by Klemens Felden 28 of 51 anti-Semitic writers between 1861 and 1895 favored the physical extermination of Jews. Anti-Semites proposed increasingly drastic measures between 1880 and 1945. Demands for immigration bans in the 1890's gave way to calls for expulsion in the early 1920's, and finally a program of wholesale slaughter between 1939 and 1945. After World War I German anti-Semites turned to their perennial bogeyman -- the Jew -- for an explanation of Germany's defeat, the rise of Bolshevism, collapse of monarchies, hyperinflation, and all other traumas and insecurities of 20th Century existence.

German nationalism and anti-Semitism had been intertwined since the 18th Century. Ardent nationalists employed the exclusionary term "Volk" to mean "united, racially pure German people." They understood "Der Jude" to mean "the antithesis of Volk."

German philologist Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) campaigned for Jewish rights and married Frau Dorothea Veit, daughter of banker Moses Mendelssohn, and sister of composer Felix Mendelssohn. Though not an anti-Semite, he romanticized the "Aryan race" as a result of his Sanskrit studies. According to Schlegel's hypothesis, the common linguistic roots of Sanskrit and German indicated a racial connection between the two peoples. He speculated that Brahmin aristocrats had spread their superior civilization from India to Europe in ancient times. The great German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) reinforced credence in Schlegel's "Aryan cult" by producing artifacts which linked ancient Indian culture with Greek and western European civilization.

Christian Lassen (1800-1876,) a Bonn University professor who studied under Schlegel, put an anti-Semitic spin on Aryanism. He created a dualistic world which portrayed Aryans as idealistic heroes, while condemning Jews as unprincipled "devil-men." In "Indische Altertumskunde" he wrote:

"History proves that Semites do not possess the harmony of psychical forces which distinguishes the Aryans. The Semite is selfish and exclusive. He (has) a sharp intellect which enables him to make use of opportunities created by others ... " [4]


Anti-Semitism has been called "the socialism of fools" since it substitutes a cabal of manipulators for complex historical processes. The likes of Lagarde, Eckart, and Hitler would have us believe that Jews from all lands conspire against the gentile world on a massive scale. This implausible theory implies that Jews can herd cats, and that "goys" are slack-jawed cretins. Even anti- Semitic historian Houston Stewart Chamberlain doubted that his Jewish adversaries possessed magical power.

"I think we're inclined to underestimate our own powers and overestimate the importance of Jewish influence. Hand in hand with this goes the perfectly ridiculous and revolting tendency to make Jews the general scapegoat for all the vices of our time." [5]


Friedrich Nietzsche referred to anti-Semitism as "a mutiny of the mediocre." He denounced his anti-Semitic brother-in-law Bernhard Foerster as one who "led the Jews to the slaughterhouse as scapegoats for every possible public and private misfortune." [6] In a letter to his sister Elisabeth, Nietzsche declared himself ready "to assert and defend the racial superiority of Jews to anti-Semites." [7]

A case can certainly be made for the superiority of Jews. Though only .076% of Germany's population in 1925, Jews owned several newspapers, 80% of the department stores, 40% of wholesale textile businesses, 60% of the retail clothing stores, and 30 out of 52 private banks. 16% of the nation's attorneys were Jewish and 11% of its doctors. Proportionately, ten times more Jews attended universities than their Catholic and Protestant counterparts. These achievements generated envy.

The overwhelming majority of Jews were steadfastly loyal to Germany, which they revered as a land of opportunity compared to France, Russia, Poland, and Rumania. Some, like Munich journalist Paul Nikolaus Cossman and pundit Karl Kraus, were right-wing nationalists. As editor of the South German Monthly Journal Cossman became friends with Dietrich Eckart's erstwhile colleague Fritz Gerlich, and Hitler's information officer Lt. Karl Mayr.

12,000 German Jewish soldiers lost their lives in World War I. Many others were decorated for bravery. Jews played a significant role in Germany's "economic miracle" of 1865 to 1914. Yet their achievements caused alarm in "volkisch" circles. Obstinate Germans resented being pushed into unfamiliar territory by these "foreign agents of modernism."

Ironically, most Jews conceived of themselves as fervently pro-German. In 1912 Jewish journalist Mortiz Goldstein wrote an insightful article for Kunstwart magazine pointing out that Germans

"... had neither expected nor desired that liberated Jewry would adopt the German cause as its own and acquire astounding prominence in its cultural life ... " [8]


The Jews did not recognize their own vulnerability. Liberal illusions about "moral progress" and "the Brotherhood of Man" prevented them from understanding that they

" ... lived in a cultural ghetto, isolated from the mainstream of German life .... They considered Max Reinhardt and Max Liebermann great German artists; Germans considered them Jewish artists ... " [9]


This disconnect between reality and Jewish optimism would have fatal consequences from 1933 to 1945.

Ernst Nolte distinguished between liberal and conservative anti-Semitism. Liberals condemned the exclusive "chosen people" character of Jews which fostered "anti-historical rigidity, intolerance, and national separateness."IO Conservative anti-Semites deplored "Jewish agitations" and the propensity of left-wing Jews to engage in subversion.

Jews did not get flattering reviews from their defenders. Progressive thinker Wilhelm von Dohms argued that Jews' objectionable traits arose primarily because of their pariah status in German society. Hence, they could be improved by better treatment. Daniel Goldhagen pointed out that liberals such as von Dohms

" ... were anti-Semites in sheep's clothing ... We will defend you, so long as you stop being yourselves was their message ... Jews must cease being Jews ... (and) become 'moral human beings.'" [11]


Radical Jew-haters such as Hitler, Eckart, and Himmler actually represented a third category of anti-Semitism. They adopted notions from both right-wing and socialist anti-Semites, then threw in pseudo-eugenics and occultism for good measure. Hitler's biological anti-Semitism contended that Jews were racially flawed sociopaths who must be eradicated to preserve the health of humanity. He also adopted "Gnostic" elements from List, Lanz, and Eckart which held that God had created the spiritual world and Aryan race, whereas Satan (or another wicked demiurge) fashioned the material plane and "Primal Semites."

Anti-Semitism as Projected Judeophobia

Anti-Semitism is a political phenomenon, Judeophobia a psychological experience. The root word "phobia" implies a direct relationship between dread and hatred. Dietrich Eckart, Adolf Hitler and Josef Goebbels all felt marginalized by modern civilization. Their general anxiety evolved into a fear and loathing of the Jews who had created this alienating mode of life. Oriental Johnnys-come-lately adapted better to the new high-pressure society they created than Germans, thus making outsiders of the natives.

Mme. Marlis Steinert and other contemporaries observed that everything Hitler hated in himself he attributed to "the Jew." Dramatist Eckart also projected his own inward concupiscence onto Jews. Psychologists call this defense mechanism the externalization of one's "shadow," or "counter image." Dr. Walter C. Langer defined projection as a

"technique by which the ego of an individual defends itself against unpleasant impulses, tendencies, or characteristics by denying their existence in himself, while he attributes them to others ... By this process the Jew became a symbol of everything Hitler (hated) in himself." [12]


Psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim theorized that projection of inner conflicts onto Jews afforded Judeophobes relief from angst. Hitler and Eckart perceived their shadows as objective reality. For them Jews became "personified-yet-demonized sons of darkness on which to vent righteous rage." [13] The act of blaming International Jewry for all wrongs not only simplified problems, but "absolved" Aryan Volk from responsibility.

In his book Desire and Fulfillment Theosophist Hugh Shearman identified projections with unverified "opinions" and "emotional values." People with very strong feelings are inclined to project.

"They love and hate with vehemence, and if anything goes wrong in their lives they hold somebody else to blame for it." [14]


Such individuals wrongly perceive inward turmoil as an "outer problem," and lash out against the perceived enemy.

"It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So is selfishness or cunning or jealously. We apprehend the world emotionally through our own ... natures and qualities. Some psychics have described how the emotional nature of a person can be seen ... as a colored and enclosing aura ... " [15]


Shearman recommends counseling, meditation, prayer, and other spiritual exercises to those afflicted with prejudices. He asserts that

"The withdrawal ... of personal projections is the essence of yoga ... It is by dissipating (them) ... that we come at last to see things as they really are." [16]


As Eckart's favorite philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer held, the removal of illusion is just as important as the acquisition of knowledge. The two endeavors go hand in hand.

Jesus, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and other Christian teachers also recognized the need to tame the "monster within" through prayerful resignation. In the Lord's Prayer Jesus said: "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," which implies passivity, and the necessity of setting our fleshly nature aside. Society of Friends founder George Fox recommended "inward retirement" as a means of expelling 'The Stranger." Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner prescribed a natural diet, education, Eurhythmia dance, and other measures to defuse the Ahrimanic and Luciferic nature of one's lower aura, lest it grow into an angry red incubus prone to project its own depravity onto others.

Under the "Redemptive Anti-Semitism" of Richard Wagner and Dietrich Eckart, Germans could only achieve spiritual regeneration by breaking the manacles of "Jewish materialism." In the minds of their disciples World War I and the Great Inflation created apocalyptic conditions which demanded an anti-Jewish crusade.

Because of his intellectual bent, Eckart read the writings of "high-brow" anti-Semites, such as Paul Lagarde and Julius Langbehn. Lagarde taught oriental studies at the University of Gottingen. In 1878 he published German Writings, a compendium of solemn, pedantic twaddle, which unrealistically recommended a return to medievalism. Lagarde wanted to turn back the clock by re-establishing huge community estates and reviving the guild system to train German workers as craftsmen. He attributed every shortcoming of contemporary society to Jews, and reacted violently against the Enlightenment ideas of individual freedom, utilitarianism, democracy, empiricism, and laissez faire economy. Lagarde identified all these innovations with Jews, even though British philosophers were their chief proponents. John Locke argued for the individual's moral autonomy as a "rational choice agent." Skeptical David Hume endorsed Francis Bacon's scientific method, while skewering metaphysical flights as nonsense. Jeremy Bentham celebrated representative government as the best means for securing the most benefit for the greatest number. In Wealth of Nations Adam Smith inveighed against state interference with the economy. His law of supply and demand demonstrated that self-interested individuals acting independently produced and distributed goods in a more efficient manner than government-controlled economies. These English and Scottish "levelers" opposed feudal authoritarianism much more vigorously than Jews.

Paul Lagarde celebrated German reunification under Bismarck because it enabled greater expression of the German Volk-Spirit. He perceived Jews as "an enemy within," a foreign group with non-German agenda, and competing nationalistic religion. Jews deemed themselves God's elect, a claim that clashed with Pan-German assumptions of superiority. In Rembrandt As Educator (1890) Lagarde's student Julius Langbehn claimed that soul-less Jews undermined Germany's destiny, her sacred mission to lead a regenerated Europe. Utilizing these sources, Dietrich Eckart constructed an ideology to support his visceral detestation of "The Jew."

Two Apostate Jews

Heinrich Heine, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka, and many other German Jews felt profound ambivalence about being Jewish. Neurotic prodigy Otto Weininger perhaps represents the most egregious example of Jewish self-loathing. During his "Hunger Years" in Berlin Dietrich Eckart eagerly read Sex and Character, and felt special compatibility with its author.

"When I have Weininger's book in my hand, hold I not his mind? His thoughts seem like my own, and mine like his ... " [17]


Ralph Engleman has identified Weininger as "the greatest single influence on Eckart's thought." [18]

Born of Jewish parents in Austria, Weininger studied at the University of Vienna from 1898 to 1902. As a result of passionate devotion to Wagnerian opera, he came to hate his own Jewish roots. He admired "Siegfried's embodiment of everything that stands for the opposing of things Jewish." [19] Plagued by mental illness, Weininger converted to Christianity in 1902, while elaborating his doctoral thesis into Sex and Character. A year later he committed suicide in the house where Beethoven died. The mourners at his funeral included novelist Stefan Zweig, fourteen year old Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jewish anti-Semite Arthur Trebitsch, and Karl Kraus, a baptized Jewish journalist with strong German nationalist sympathies.

Weininger's Sex and Character depicts human existence as a struggle between the Masculine Principle, representing idealism, transcendence, and "the divine spark of genius," and the Feminine Principle, which he associated with deviousness, materialism, and Judaism. In Sex and Character he wrote:

"Women and Jews are pimps, it is their goal to make man guilty. Our era is not only the most Jewish, it is also the most feminine (without) a single great artist (or) ... great philosopher. .. " [20]


He denigrated modern "Jewish" art for not being "rooted in a homeland," [21] and pronounced the English "nation of shopkeepers" as "closest to Jewry." [22]

In Weininger's view all men needed a measure of the Feminine Spirit to survive on earth, but an excess of it polluted the German soul. Eckart felt the same way about the Jewish Spirit. Weininger, like his fan Eckart, believed Jewishness to be a state of mind similar to the Feminine Principle.

"The archetypal Jew, like the absolute woman, is devoid of personality and soul. Both are attached to the material world and wanting in higher loyalties." [23]


Yet Weininger, unlike Eckart,

"would give no comfort to crude racial anti-Semites, who were often struggling with the 'Jewishness' within themselves." [24]


Eckart picked up anti-feminism not only from Weininger, but Schopenhauer's Essay on Women, Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Adolf Joseph Lanz's TheoZoology, and personal experience. In response to Weininger's misogyny and anti-Semitism, Eckart suppressed the tender side of his nature while cultivating an aggressive, macho persona. Hitler himself recalled Eckart's reverence for Weininger.

"Dietrich Eckart once told me that in all his life he had known just one good Jew ... Otto Weininger, who killed himself on the day ... he realized that the Jew lives on the decay of peoples." [25]


Eckart thought that Weininger had been "torn apart by conflicts between his bright vision of the future and dark reality of his Jewishness." [26]

In "Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin" Eckart mentions another anti- Semitic Jewish thinker, Arthur Trebitsch (1880-1927.)

"You know what a certain Trebitsch has said -- Germans, Bolsheviks, and Jews will easily overcome Rome. As a Jew he must know ... (He's) a Jewish writer writing against Jews, or at least thinks he does. His every other word is 'we Aryans' ... " [27]


Arthur Trebitsch was tall, blonde, blue-eyed, and handsome. He looked more Aryan than Adolf Hitler. Though born into a wealthy Jewish family, Trebitsch resigned from Vienna's central synagogue in 1909, at the age of twenty-nine. He admitted that his grandfather had been "a member of the slave race of racelessness," [28] but adamantly insisted: "I am not a Jew ... never was one, and ... will never be one." [29] Those who dared to call him a Jew were challenged to duels or sued for slander.

Trebitsch loved Richard Wagner's operas. In the early 1900's he joined Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Bayreuth Circle, and began writing books with racist themes. When these received bad reviews, he accused Vienna's "Jewish-dominated" literary and academic establishments of blackballing him. Trebitsch could not tolerate criticism any better than Dietrich Eckart. He sued newspaper critic Ferdinand Gregori for dismissing one of his novellas as "trash," and his older half-brother Siegfried for describing another work as the product of a "paranoid megalomaniac." To combat the "demonic" forces which opposed him Trebitsch founded his own vanity press, Antaeus Publishing Co., named for the Greek giant who grew stronger each time an opponent knocked him down. Trebitsch's Deutscher Geist oder Judentum contended that Aryans possessed "primary intellect" of a philosophic nature, whereas Jews specialized in "secondary intelligence" which concentrated on 'haggling," con games, and "hoarding." He diagnosed Europe with "Morbus Judaica," a wasting spiritual disease which had spread among host peoples since Jewry's emancipation. Communism, Germany's military defeat, profane modern culture, and Sigmund Freud's "erotomania" were all symptoms of this "horrible infection." [30] In 1918 and 1919 Trebitsch lectured all over Austria and Germany to warn unsuspecting Aryans about the Morbus Judaiea epidemic. Meanwhile, his behavior became so bizarre that embarrassed family members tried to have him involuntarily committed to an asylum. He complained that Jews were debilitating him with "electric rays." In a pamphlet entitled "My So-Called Paranoia" "Antaeus" Trebitsch raved: "you will not catch me with your tricks, you Jews! You cunning mob! ... I'm a match for you!" [31]

Trebitsch, who had been a friend of Otto Weininger, wrote the imprisoned Hitler letters in 1924 warning him not to trust "smart-alecky Zionist snakes in the party's cadre" [32] such as Gregor Strasser, Robert Ley, and Alfred Rosenberg. Alluding to Trebitsch, Hitler once told Hans Frank:

"I am an innocent lamb compared to the revelations by Jews about Jews ... these disclosures of (their) most secret ... qualities, instincts, and character traits. It isn't I who say this, it is the Jews themselves who say it about themselves ... " [33]


Trebitsch's writings particularly impressed Hitler, who remarked in 1935 that "he has unmasked the Jews as no one else did." [34] In 1925 Hitler toyed with the idea of appointing him Nazi Party ideologist instead of Alfred Rosenberg.

Walter Rathenau: Germany's Last Court Jew

"Rathenenau completely identified himself with his Fatherland... For this reason he rejected Zionism. Germany, not a Jewish Palestine, was his homeland."

-- Eugene Davidson


Image
Walter Rathenau, who might have been Germany's Disraeli

The German war effort foundered by the spring of 1918. British tanks and divisions of American "devil dogs" supported by heavy artillery forced retreats. Casualties, economic woes, and shortages eroded civilian support for the war. On August 14, 1918 generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff declared the army's position "hopeless" and implored the Reich's politicians to sue for peace. Hindenburg formally petitioned the Kaiser on September 29, 1918 to accept an armistice "within forty-eight hours." No Talleyrand emerged to represent German interest at this juncture. Nationalist politicians viewed peace negotiations as a no-win situation and did not want to wreck their careers by getting involved. Therefore, Jewish Social Democrats such as Kurt Eisner, Hugo Preuss, Otto Landsberg, Hugo Haase, and Walter Rathenau -- with help from gentile liberals Matthias Erzberger and Friedrich Ebert -- had to broker a peace agreement for them. The punitive terms imposed by shortsighted French and British negotiators, who ignored Woodrow Wilson's pleas for leniency, made the Versailles Treaty a bad deal. German conservatives immediately repudiated the treaty, and scorned Jewish middlemen as "November Criminals."

Dietrich Eckart and Adolf Hitler vilified Walter Rathenau (1867-1922) as a "traitor" and "ersatz-patriot." Eckart went so far as to assert that "the representatives of world Jewry, Rathenau and Trotsky, had agreed upon a Bolshevist invasion of Germany."35 But nothing could have been further from the truth.

Walter Rathenau's father Emil established Allgemeine-Elektrizitats- Gellellschaft in 1883. This company, known as "the German General Electric" manufactured generators, wiring, electrical components, light bulbs, household appliances, and other types of equipment -- including streetcars. His mother Matilde Nachman Rathenau came from a Frankfurt banking family. The Nachmans patronized the arts and entertained such notables as Franz Liszt, Ferdinand Lassalle, novelist Bettina von Arnim, and painter Max Liebermann. An intellectual prodigy, Walter combined the talents of both parents. His versatility astonished professors and fellow students alike at the University of Berlin. In 1889 he wrote a prize-winning doctoral dissertation on "The Absorption of Light by Metals," and "Blanche Tocard," a well-crafted play that teachers considered worthy of Ibsen or Hauptmann. According to Emil Ludwig, Rathenau was one of the few people who could "paint portraits, design a house, build turbines and factories, write poetry, draw up treaties, and play the Waldstein Sonata." [36] The French poet Andre Gide met Rathenau in Luxembourg during the spring of 1921. They discussed religion, art, and literature. Gide found it hard to believe that a man of such culture could be a politician.

Rathenau accepted Christian revelation as a university student, but refused to convert in deference to Jewish relatives and friends. Remaining a Jew in 1890 barred him from becoming an army officer or elected official. His Jewish identity produced feelings of ambivalence. He felt little rapport with Jews in Galicia, France, or Russia, and once asserted: "I have no blood other than German, no other tribe and no other people." [37] Theodore Herzl's Zionist movement struck him as a retrograde "Pan" crusade. Its rougher adherents were xenophobic, agrarian, militaristic, contemptuous of liberal ideals, and bent on acquiring "Lebensraum" in Palestine to fulfill their Manifest Destiny.

Although Rathenau wanted to fit in, he recognized that he and his fellow Jews were different. In an 1897 magazine article he wrote:

"Whoever wishes to see (Jewish life) in Germany should wander through the Tiergartenstrasse at 12 o'clock on a Berlin Sunday morning, or else look into the foyer of a theater in the evening. Strange sight! There, in the midst of German life, is an isolated race of men. Loud and self-conscious in their dress, hot-blooded and restless in ... manner... An Asiatic horde on the sandy plains of Prussia ... Forming among themselves a close cooperation, rigorously shut off from the rest of the world. Thus they live half-willingly in their invisible ghetto, not a living limb of the people, but an alien organism in its body." [38]


The last clause approaches the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Julius Langbehn. Like Heinrich Heine, Franz Kafka, and Otto Weininger, Rathenau had ambivalent feelings about his Jewish identity.

Hitler referred to Emperor Wilhelm II as a "crowned cipher" ... "a strutting puppet" ... "a conceited babbler who poses for monuments ... (and) political baby ... (who) dared fire Bismarck." [39] Rathenau loved Kaiser Wilhelm, calling him a "true prince." He was formally presented to the Kaiser and his retainers in 1901. King and subject agreed that Germans and Jews complemented each other. As Germany's last "court Jew," he developed a cordial relationship with Wilhelm between 1910 and 1918. Nevertheless, in Rathenau's mind the expression "true prince" had a slight edge. He genuinely revered his sovereign, and thought him a brave and noble leader, yet too many kings seemed like pampered coxcombs who never had to work a real job. Were these well-groomed "show dogs" really capable of governing the modern world?

Rathenau believed that certain stereotypes reflected folk wisdom. He spoke of Prussian officers as Mut-Menschen (audacious, optimistic cavaliers, who dreamed of glory,) and educated Jews as Furcht-Menschen (cautious, pessimistic counselors, anchored in reality.) In spite of his devotion to Germany and its monarch he favored a more conciliatory foreign policy, realizing that his esteemed Teutonic knights could not conquer Europe. The Triple Entente of France, Britain, and Russia effectively checkmated the Triple Alliance, which left Germany with two second-rate powers, Italy and Austria-Hungary. Adolf Hitler also recognized this problem, blaming Kaiser Wilhelm and his advisors for being deluded about Austrian weakness.

From 1902 to 1917 Rathenau helped his father manage A.E.G., Germany's largest producer of electrical apparatus. He immediately improved the firm's already impressive reputation for cutting edge technology. These industrial advances were accompanied by a progressive benefit program for employees that included retirement pensions, profit-sharing dividends, stock-purchase options, and other enhancements, also sanctioned by his opponent Dietrich Eckart who wanted "not socialization, but profit-sharing." [40] Rathenau wished to inaugurate a "Benevolent Plutocracy" (Euplutismus,) close to the Japanese model of today, run by ethical and capable executives, whose compensation depended strictly on performance. No rogue CEO could ever vote himself undeserved raises at the expense of workers, customers, and stockholders. A.E.G. employees began calling Walter "Jesus in a frock coat."

In a 1909 newspaper article Rathenau wrote that "three hundred men, all acquainted with each other, control the economic destiny of the continent." [41] Anti-Semites took this statement as further evidence of an international Jewish conspiracy. However, Rathenau knew that less than 20% of that number were Jews. The remaining 80+% consisted of gentile magnates such as Thyssen, Stinnes, von Borsig, Krupp, and Hugenberg.

In 1917 War Minister Erich von Falkenhayn appointed Rathenau Minister of Raw Materials. He worked indefatigably ·in that post, devising a war-time economic policy later copied by other nations, which included rationing, research and development, and utilization of female labor. With government grants German scientists invented margarine, synthetic fabrics, Buna rubber, and test-tube nitrogen. Without these discoveries, the Reich's war effort would have collapsed in 1917. Yet Rathenau couldn't win. Social Democrats denounced him as a "war prolonger." Dietrich Eckart and other radical nationalists pilloried him as an appeaser for parleying with the French and British after November 11, 1918.

Catholic Center Party leader Josef Wirth became Chancellor of Germany in 1921. He wanted Rathenau in his cabinet and offered him the Foreign Ministry. Mathilde Rathenau begged her son to turn down the appointment. He would not only take a substantial pay cut by resigning from A.E.G. and the boards of other corporations, but put himself in peril. The political atmosphere had grown increasingly dangerous, especially for a Jew. Walter told her he had to accept because Germany needed him in its hour of need. Besides, no one else wanted the job.

Rathenau immediately applied his prodigious intelligence to Germany's problems. The excessive war reparations demanded by the French made no sense, however Wirth's government, realizing Germany's impotence in 1921, sensibly pursued a policy of cooperation with the Entente victors. Rathenau realized that good-faith efforts at compliance would not only show Germany as a law-abiding nation, but also clearly illustrate the absurdity of French claims to moderate Americans. He then proposed that, instead of monetary reparations, 500,000 skilled German workers rebuild France at the Reich's expense. Such a make-work project would allow Germany to control costs, as well as provide much-needed jobs. Desiring to punish Germany, France vetoed this creative solution. In 1922 Rathenau traveled to England and obtained Lloyd George's approval to cut Germany's war reparations for that year in half The European powers met at Genoa in spring of 1922. Getting nowhere with the uncompromising French, Rathenau out-maneuvered them by signing the Treaty of Rapallo with Soviet Russia, another outcast nation. This agreement cancelled war indemnities from Germany to Russia, restored diplomatic relations, established military cooperation, and reinstated trade. The Soviets desperately needed modern technology and soon became a lucrative market for German goods. Under the secret provisions of this treaty German army officers would not only train Red Army troops in Russia, but their own soldiers and pilots as well.

Nevertheless, hecklers like Dietrich Eckart characterized him as an "Elder of Zion" who conspired with other "International Jews" to dominate the world. In a May 17, 1922 Volkischer Beobachter story Eckart falsely alleged that Rathenau had met with Trotsky at Rapallo in order to plan a Bolshevik takeover of Germany. Such claptrap influenced members of terrorist organizations like the Kampferbund and Ehrhardt Brigade. On June 24, 1922 a speeding car driven by twenty-one year old Ernst Techow overtook Rathenau's vehicle as it rounded a curve on Berlin's Konigsallee. Former naval officer Erwin Kern fired several shots, while his accomplice Hermann Fischer hurled a grenade through the back window. The severely wounded Rathenau died within minutes. Police quickly found the assassins, who refused to surrender. They shot Kern to death. Fischer committed suicide. German authorities captured nine other conspirators. Of these, two were acquitted, the others served sentences of between two months and four years. All participants in the plot were associated with the "murder club" of naval Commander Hermann Ehrhardt, who escaped justice.

Rathenau's assassination caused a great outpouring of grief in Germany. As his body lay in state at the Reichschancellery, thousands of mourners filed past. Those most moved were Catholic Center Parry members, middle-of-the-road Social Democrats, union workers, and reasonable conservatives -- the same moderates who later became marginalized during the Third Reich.

The stresses of high office led Rathenau to ponder death often in his last months. He concluded that it was an illusion.

"We experience (death) only because we have our eyes on the limb, not on the whole living structure. The leaves die, but the tree lives, the tree dies but the forest lives, the forest dies but the earth that nourishes and consumes its children is green. If the planet dies then a thousand similar ones bloom under the rays of new suns. In the whole visible world we know no death. Nothing essential on earth dies. Only appearances change." [42]


The day after Walter Rathenau's funeral, his mother wrote a letter to the mother of Ernst Techow, who had driven the assassins' car.

"In unspeakable pain I stretch out my hand to you, most unhappy of women. Tell your son that in the name of the murdered one, I forgive him, as may God forgive him, if he makes a full confession before an earthly court and repents before God. Had he known my son, the noblest person on earth, he would have aimed the murder weapon at himself rather than at him. May these words give your soul peace." [43]


After serving four years in prison Techow joined the French Foreign Legion. According to historian Erich Eyck he later aided Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.

_______________

Endnotes

1 Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners, Knopf, New York, 1996, p. 39.

2 Ernst Pawel, The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York, NY, 1984, p. 22.

3 Saul Friedlaender, Nazi Germany and the Jews, Harper Collins, New York, 1997, p. 84.

4 Gotthard Deutsch, Antisemitism, Jewish Encyclopedia.com, p. 2 of 17, op, cit. Christian Lassen, "IndischeAlterrumskunde," Bonn, 1844, p. 414.

5 Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, trans. John Lees, John Lane, London, 1912, p. 252.

6 Rudiger Safranski, Nietzsche, A Philosophical Biography, trans. Shelley Frisch, W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 2002, p. 338.

7 Ibid.

8 Ralph M. Engelman, Dietrich Eckart and the Genesis of Nazism, UMI Dissertation Services, Ann Arbor, MI, (Doctoral Thesis, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1971), p. 34, op. cit. Moritz Goldstein, "Deutsch-Jeudisher Parnass," Kunswart, XXV, 1912, pp. 281-294.

9 Ibid.

10 Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism, trans. Leila Vennewitz, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1966, p. 332.

11 Goldhagen, p. 58.

12 Walter C. Langer M.D., The Mind of Adolf Hitler, Basic Books, New York, 1972, p. 183.

13 Hannah Newman, The Rainbow Swastika, Philogos.org, p. 20.

14 Hugh Shearman, Desire and Fulfillment, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India, 1956, p. 45.

15 Ibid., p. 46.

16 Ibid.

17 Engelman, p. 65, op. cit. D. Eckart's Berlin Notebook, p. 23.

18 Ibid., p. 62.

19 Otto Weininger, Sex & Character, Leipzig, 1905, p. 600.

20 Brigitte Hamann, Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship, trans. Thomas Thornton, Oxford University Press, New York, 1999, p. 228, op. cit., Otto Weininger, Geschlecht und Charakter, 3rd ed., Vienna, 1905, p. 451.

21 Ibid., Weininger, p. 454.

22 Engelman, p. 64.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Hugh Trevor-Roper, Introduction, Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944, Widenfeld & Nicholson, London, 1953, p. 14.

26 Margarere Plewnia, Auf dem Weg zu Hitler: Der Volkische Publizist Dietrich Eckart, Schunemann Universitatsverlag, Bremen, 1970, p. 44.

27 Hamann, p. 231, op. cit. Henry Picker, editor, Hitler's Table Talk, p. 79, night of 12/1/1941.

28 Ibid., p. 231.

29 Ibid.

39 Ibid., p. 232.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid., op. cit. Friedrich Heer, Adolf Hitler's Belief, Munich, 1968, p. 167.

33 Ibid., p. 230, op. cit. Hans Frank, Facing the Gallows, Munich, 1953, p. 313.

34 Ibid., op. cit. Friedrich Heer, Adolf Hitler's Belief.

35 Engelman, p. 219, cf. D. Eckart, Volkischer Beobachter, 5/17/1922.

36 Eugene Davidson, The Making of Adolf Hitler: The Birth and Rise of Nazism, MacMillan, 1977, p. 162.

37 Ibid., p. 163.

38 Harry Graf Kessler, Walter Rathenau: His Life and Work, Berlin-Grunewald, Hermann Klemm, 1928, op. cit. Walter Rathenau, "Die Zukunft, 3/6/1897.

30 Hamann, p. 287.

40 Barbara Lane Miller & Leila J. Rupp, Nazi Ideology before 1933, University of Texas, Austin, 1978, p. 10, op. cit. Dietrich Eckart, Auf Gut Deutsch, "Guidelines of the German Workers' Party."

41 Kessler, op. cit. Walter Rathenau, Neue Freie Press article, December, 1909.

42 Davidson, p. 180.

43 Ibid., p. 181.
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Re: Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Mil

Postby admin » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:37 am

22: The Last Act

"(Hitler and Eckart) developed a close personal as well as political relationship. It was the most important friendship in the lives of both men ... (Hitler) would often lament that Eckart had not lived to see the Third Reich, where he presumably would no longer have felt "In Der Fremde" ("In the Foreign Land").

-- Ralph M. Engelman



Image Image
Adolf Hitler and Dietrich Eckart. (Both photographs taken by Heinrich Hoffman in 1923)

From summer of 1921 until his death in December, 1923 Eckart's health deteriorated. His drinking, drug addiction, irregular hours, "exclusively male company," slovenliness, and morning hangovers had become unbearable to Rose. While off "the sauce" and morphine at Schwarzek Sanitarium Dietrich had been such a charming gentleman. But his stubborn willfulness re-emerged a few months after their wedding when he returned to his "sweet poisons." She could not coax him to do anything against his will. He refused to do household chores or attend church. Her family and friends meant nothing to him. Realizing that widowhood beat marriage to a drunken bachelor, Rose evicted him and filed for divorce shortly before March, 1921. Free of her influence Eckart sunk to his former level of dissipation. His body, almost six years older, could no longer take such abuse. He now suffered from a heart condition, chronic bronchitis due to smoking, cirrhosis of the liver, anxiety, depression, and morphine dependency.

Albert Reich affirmed that the hectic goings-on since 1920 had completely enervated Eckart. To restore his health he traveled to Pension Garibaldi on the Sternberger See in August of 1921. While relaxing at this pleasant resort Eckart met a pert sixteen year old chambermaid named Anna Obster (born 1905), who had recently graduated from a Catholic convent school. He immediately offered her a position as his housekeeper and "caretaker." Flattered by the attentions of this famous man, she accepted. Kurt Ludecke and Ernst Hanfstaengl believed that "Little Annerl" was Eckart's mistress. Hitler spoke of their relationship as platonic. On October 2, 1922 Eckart made up his will, which designated Annerl as his literary executrix and heiress, but stipulated that ex-wife Rose would receive half of his publishing royalties. 64 year old Anna Obster Rosner still acted at custodian of Dietrich Eckart's private papers when Ralph Engelman met her in 1969.

On "German Day," October 14-15, 1922 Eckart traveled by train from Munich to Coburg with Hitler, Max Amann, Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, Hermann Esser, Ernst Rohm, Kurt Ludecke, and 800 storm troopers. Eckart, who helped raise the group's train fare, initially enjoyed this "party on wheels," which reminded him of an Onoldia Corps lark. After a scuffle with communists at the railroad station on Saturday around noon, Hitler made an inflammatory speech. His S.A. battalions then marched through the streets of Coburg behind a band playing martial music. Kurt Ludecke remembered Eckart yelling furiously at hecklers, then ducking as the mob responded by throwing stones. Hitler tried to deliver another speech. When unsympathetic communists shouted him down, he pointed his whip at them. S.A. men ran out of formation and beat the unruly Reds with rubber truncheons. Hitler then resumed his rant. He told communist opponents that they were being suckered by the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy, . and urged them to join his National Socialist Workers Party.

Eckart found this demonstration exhilarating, but exhausting. He took pulls from a flask of schnapps to keep up his strength. Young men like Hitler, Esser, and Hess bounced right back after such escapades, but heavy-breathing Eckart's run-down constitution required a day of bed rest. Julius Streicher, the head of Nuremberg's German Socialist Party, so enjoyed this rumble in Coburg that he merged his organization with the Nazis.

Due to illness and fatigue Eckart wrote no articles for the Volkisher Beobachter between August and December, 1922. His relationship with Hitler cooled off during this period. The ailing writer drifted out of the loop. From the inner circle's standpoint he had become a sluggish and repetitious bore. For his part Eckart feared that Hitler had morphed from idealist to megalomaniac.

On November 4, 1922 a huge melee erupted between the Reds and Brownshirts at the Hofbrauhaus beer hall. Combatants wielded table legs, billy clubs, and blackjacks, spilling good beer all over the place. Flying bottles, mugs, and other missile rudely interrupted Eckart's "cocktail hour" for over twenty minutes. He clamped on a hat and kept brawlers at bay with his cane. Such exploits suited youthful soldiers, not a 54 year old poet with a heart condition. To get away from such mayhem in Munich "Uncle Deidi" and Little Annerl traveled to Miesbach a few weeks .later for a restful visit with newspaper editor Klaus Eck.

In December, 1922 Germany failed to make reparation deliveries of lumber and coal to France. On January 11, 1923 the French responded by sending troops to occupy Mainz and other towns along the Ruhr River. To protest this action Hitler held the first National Socialist rally in Munich from January 26 to January 29, 1923. S.A. units bearing flags and standards marched all over Munich to the strains of military music. The party rented several beer halls, so Hitler could give rousing anti-French speeches and bask in the adulation of his disciples.

Eckart disdained all this phony ritual and criticized Hitler for having a messiah complex. His speeches were sinfully verbose and likely to end in slugfests. Why did a party gathering have to last three days? Were those ridiculous "flag-consecrations" at Marsfeld athletic field really necessary? The Archbishop of Munich wouldn't subject pious old women to so much ceremony! Eckart's enthusiasm for the movement waned. The escalating violence of the Nazis made him uneasy. Hitler's anti-Semitic rhetoric had turned homicidal. Eckart confided to Ernst Hanfstaengl that one couldn't base the party platform on bigotry alone. A photograph taken on January 28, 1923 confirmed his alienation from younger party members.

"Eckart appears out of place in photos Wearing a bulky overcoat and looking older than his years, he (seems) awkward beside the rows of ... uniformed S.A. and their banners." [1]


Albert Krebs claimed that most of Hitler's street fighters didn't even like his song, Sturmlied.

"The young Nazis hardly knew what to think of it since Eckart tried to satisfy their enthusiasm ... by giving them, in excessively melodramatic language, only 'Judah' an enemy. Even the simple storm trooper felt there had be more to it than this." [2]


Eckart now doubted "the Fuhrer's" vision of Germany's future. That fall Eckart met playboy businessman Kurt Ludecke, whom he liked, but did not trust. The son of a chemical factory executive, Ludecke had traveled extensively and could speak fluent English, French, Italian, and Spanish. Hitler sent him on bizarre missions. Ludecke met with Mussolini in Italy and Henry Ford in Detroit. Because Hitler lauded the U.S.'s Jim Crow laws, its genocide against the Indians, and distrust of Jewish bankers, he also ordered him to visit another American dignitary: Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans in Alabama. According to Eckart "Ambassador Kurt" promoted himself "unscrupulously ... stank of perfume from six paces ... and looked like the worst kind of dandy." [3] Nevertheless, he considered him a boon companion at Berchtesgaden's Turk's Head Inn. In return Ludecke hailed Nazism's elder statesman as an incomparable tavern raconteur and "great German writer." The flattered playwright sent his new fan a signed edition of Lorenzaccio which Ludecke praised as " .... perhaps the greatest German tragedy after Goethe's Faust."

Eckart also liked Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl, a Harvard-educated art dealer from an old Munich family. Hanfstaengl found Eckart highly entertaining. He declared that the grizzled writer "had always been one of my favorites, a big bear of a man with sparkling eyes and a genuine sense of humor." [4] Hanfstaengl and Ludecke later disliked each other, but both had good times with Eckart in 1923. Intelligent young men like them were a refreshing change from the ignoramuses now flooding into Hitler's party. Eckart succeeded in impressing his new friends as "well-to-do," though his funds had actually run low. He privately wrote importuning letters to party treasurer Max Amann for money. Between 1920 and 1922 Eckart's prosperity seemed greater than it was because of his role as a conduit for covert army funds and contributions from wealthy nationalists.

After the "Coburg Riot" Eckart advised Hitler to concentrate more on winning elections than street fights. They had formed a political party in order to get votes, not crack opponents' heads. The German Workers Party's original purpose had been to convert communists to volkish socialism, not fracture their skulls. On Max Josef Platz in Munich one day after lunch he told Hanfstaengl:

"I am fed up with this toy soldier stuff of Hitler's. Heaven knows the Jews are behaving badly enough in Berlin and the Bolsheviks are an even worse lot, but you cannot build a political party on the basis of prejudice alone. I am a writer and poet and ... too old to go along with him any more." [5]


Since launching "In Plain German" in December, 1918, Eckart had become a serial libeler. He called Rudolf Steiner a lecher, former associate Fritz Gerlich a "Jew serf," Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau a traitor, and the staff of benefactor Hans Buchner's newspaper "the Zeitung schmucks." In 1921 Eckart denounced his former patron Karl von Bothmer as a turncoat, "double nature, ... schizophrenic, and case for a mental institution" [6] for going too easy on Jews and supporting a merger of Bavaria with Austria. Accusations that he had betrayed Bothmer infuriated him. In the next issue of Auf Gut Deutsch, he wrote:

"I reject the charge ... I send it back with scorn, I scream and roar it back!" [7]


Eckart couldn't even get along with Germany's youth. According to Hitler, several "flabby adolescents" challenged the testy bard to a duel over some trivial slight. With the aid of a few hulking S.A. bouncers Hitler put a stop to this folly. (Cf. Hitler's Secret Conversations, Jan. 19, 1942.)

Bavarian authorities shut the Volkischer Beobachter down three times during Eckart's tenure as editor. In the August 11, 1921 edition he exhorted readers to "tear in pieces that lascivious bible of Satan ism-the Old Testament!"8 Catholic Center Parry leader Matthias Erzberger earned his everlasting hatred for signing the Versailles Treaty. When an assassin killed Erzberger on August 26, 1921, Eckart published a terse obituary in the Volkischer Beobachter: "He was a bum."9 Previous articles implicated Erzberger in all sorts of wrongdoing: sympathizing with Mau Maus who revolted against German colonists in West Africa, creating ammunition shortages by criticizing the Krupp armament works during the war, and operating as a "broker between Jerusalem and Rome."

Dr. Fritz Baron, President of the Central Union of German Jews, brought a lawsuit against Eckart for referring to him as "a disloyal Jew." During one of his drinking sessions at the Stinging Nettle Wine Cellar Eckart wrote a provocative article which promised to pay any Jew 1,000 marks who could prove that he had three sons serving as combat soldiers during the war. As a matter of fact, 80,000 Jewish men served in Germany's armed forces during World War I. Of that number, 12,000 were killed in action, over 30,000 wounded, and 35,000 decorated for bravery.

Dozens of Jewish families responded to Eckart's challenge. Rabbi Freund of Hanover persisted. He sued Eckart, and won his case by providing documentation that three of his sons fought for Germany on the front lines. The court awarded him 1,000 marks.

Eckart sparked the Viehjuden ("cattle Jews") controversy in January, 1922 by accusing Social Democrat politician Erhard Auer of accepting kickbacks from the Bavarian Cattle Dealers Association. In his article he denounced Auer as a "Judentzer" and bribe-taker, who "flashed large bills of money at the Rathaus Keller in Munich," [10] after meeting with wealthy Jewish meat barons. Following a war of words with Eckart in the Munich Post, Auer filed suit for defamation. There may have been some substance to Eckart's allegations, as the Bavarian Landtag censured Auer after the court dismissed his libel suit in March, 1922.

Eckart seemed to have a synchronous affinity with German humorist Ludwig Thoma. Both were plain-speaking Bavarian satirists with Pan German and anti-Semitic views. Thoma worked for Simplicissmus Magazine when Eckart published Der Kleine Martin Bauz in 1901. Both men collaborated with Klaus Eck on the Meisbacher Anzeiger between 1919 and 1921. In November, 1923 Eckart was incarcerated in the same Landsberg Prison cell that Thoma occupied in 1906. A mutual acquaintance described the pair as "obstinate thick skulls" who acknowledged each others' talents, but did not get along well.

Eckart's poison pen eventually got him into real trouble during the spring of 1922. Since Ludwig Thoma's death in August, 1921 Klaus Eck regularly solicited him for contributions to the Meisbacher Anzeiger On June 17, 1922, in anticipation of a visit to Munich by Chancellor Friedrich Ebert, Eckart submitted some satiric verses along with comic book drawings by Otto von Kursell, a Baltic German friend of Rosenberg and Scheubner-Richter. Their cartoon "Comrade Ebert on the Other Side (a parody of Thoma's A Municher in Heaven)" characterized the Chancellor as a puppet of France, Britain, and World Jewry. When a howling mob greeted Ebert with jeers and brickbats on June 22nd, police officials decided to punish the comedian who precipitated this commotion.

Eckart loved Berchtesgaden, an Alpine village with no industries besides dairy-farming, toy manufacture, clock-making, salt mining, and tourism. He shuttled back and forth between Munich and Berchtesgaden several times between the summer of 1922 and fall of 1923. When he returned to Munich in May, 1923, Eckart discovered that the police had not forgotten about him. On April 12, 1923 the Republican Supreme Court in Leipzig ordered the arrests of himself and Hermann Esser for libel and incitement to violence against public officials. Life lost its savor when a man of his stature had to keep looking over his shoulder at the Stinging Nettle Wine Cellar to make sure no gendarmes or process-servers were lurking about. According to Hermann Esser, Eckart put on a good front with jokes and sarcastic remarks. Despite such bluster, he wanted to avoid the "Dunkelkammer" ("slammer") for the sake of his health. The fugitive playwright laid low with the family of Hitler's secretary Fritz Lauboeck for a while, but found himself "incapable of hiding." [11] Hitler confirmed that Eckart couldn't resist the temptation "to telephone left and right." [12] National Guard troops barricaded all roads leading out of Munich, so he could not escape. Hitler sent S.A. patrols to watch Eckart's apartment building, and warn him of impending arrest. Captain Ernst Rohm planned the escape, ordering Anton Drexler to:

"take him to the English Garden. There you'll find a Reichswehr vehicle ... I'm putting at his disposal." [13]


Drexler, dressed in an army uniform, showed up with his wife, and handed the reluctant Eckart another uniform provided by Rohm. Christian Weber drove everyone out of town in a surplus army truck, which Eckart recently helped buy. From the suburbs they arranged transportation to Berchtesgaden.

Hitler got his first look at the breathtaking Alpine vistas of southern Bavaria while speeding along country roads in April, 1923 with Emil Maurice and Hermann Esser. They surprised their friend after 10 P.M.

"Eckart came to meet us in his night shirt, displaying heels bristling with hair like barbed wire. He was very much moved." [14]


Hitler asked him what time he should get up next morning in order to view the gorgeous scenery. Eckart told him 7:30 A.M. On January 15, 1942, Hitler recalled: "He was right -- what a lovely view over the valley! A countryside of indescribable beauty." (Cf. Hitler's Secret Conversations, p. 218.)

Hitler stayed at Pension Moritz with Eckart, registering under the last name "Wolf" Eckart promised to take him to Turk's Head Inn for some real Hungarian goulash. When they arrived, patrons jokingly greeted Eckart as "Dr. Hoffman." Hitler instantly realized they knew his true identity and shot a quizzical look at him. In a booming voice Eckart exclaimed: "there are no traitors in Obersalzburg!" [15] On that visit Hitler plodded up a trail near Hoher Goll Mountain with Eckart. A storm blew in and they hurried into a public cabin for shelter. A roaring wind made the little shack tremble, reminding Hitler of an artillery barrage. He closed his eyes, expecting to be airborne within seconds. Eckart chuckled and predicted that this flash storm would shoot past as suddenly as it swept in.

Hitler laughed at the sight of Eckart sitting nervously in the pillion seat of a motorcycle while Herr Buchner, owner of Pension Mortiz drove rapidly up a narrow, winding mountain road. He met fellow guest Baroness Lily von Abegg in the boarding house and went on hiking excursions with her. She was a wide reader and world traveler whom Eckart considered one of the smartest women he'd ever known. Hitler described her as being "either petulant or run down ... with "blonde as flax hair, blue eyes, long canine teeth, ... spiteful tongue ... who could climb like a goat ... Her husband drowned himself in the Konigsee, as can well be understood!" [16] Apparently while strolling with her one day he stumbled upon Haus Wachenfeld, a rustic cabin where he would build his Berghof chalet in 1936.

Eckart's final services to Hitler were to introduce him to the Obersalzburg region and sooth his wounded pride after the failed armaments seizure of May, 1923. Under the pretext of protecting Munich against a communist revolution, Hitler had tried to stage an insurrection of his own. Storm troopers commanded by Ernst Rohm broke into a police armory and made off with several truckloads of firearms and ammunition. Commissioners von Kahr and von Lossow threatened to attack Nazi headquarters with a battalion of National Guard troops if the weapons were not immediately surrendered. Hitler backed down. His frustration and despondency over this incident led him to seek out his "fatherly friend" in Berchtesgaden. That summer he made the trip to Obersalzburg three or four times, accompanied on different occasions by Heinrich Hoffman, Hermann Goering, Julius Schreck, Ernst Hanfstaengl, Christian Weber, Emil Maurice, and Hermann Esser.

Kurt Ludecke visited Berchtesgaden in May, 1923 and had plenty of laughs with Eckart at the Turk's Head Inn. He noticed that the old bard hated to lose at chess, and became jealous when younger men gazed at his nubile little Annerl. Eckart seemed wary of Hitler, whose popularity as a speaker had gone to his head. According to Drexler, Harrer, and others he had turned into a megalomaniac ever since that arse-kissing Hess started calling him "Fuhrer."

Munich authorities arrested Ludecke as a result of Hitler's recent arms-stealing incident. Offender-on-the-lam Eckart questioned him about legal technicalities, and advised him not to antagonize the police further by trying to sue them for false arrest. He cautioned Ludecke not to broach the subject of legal maneuvering in "The Great One's" presence, because Hitler's tantrums elevated his blood pressure. When in a sensitive mood, the self-indulgent poet did not like his nerves jolted by the "Fuhrer's" sudden outbursts. With the intermittent clarity of vision of which he was still capable, Eckart sometimes wondered whether the little German Workers Party had tied itself to a dangerous psychopath.

Hitler's tough guy act particularly appalled him. An ex-racecar driver named Buchner owned Pension Moritz. He had a pretty, full-bosomed blonde wife named Elisabeth "with flashing gold tooth," who had caught Hitler's eye. On June 1, 1923 Eckart saw "Herr Wolf" (Hitler's alias) repeatedly crack his rhinoceros-hide whip in front of "that silly cow" while caviling against Berlin's "Jewish materialism." Ernst Hanfstaengl witnessed a similar performance in which Hitler exclaimed:

"When I came to Berlin a few weeks ago and looked at the traffic in the Kurfuerstendamm, the luxury, perversion, iniquity, wanton display, and Jewish materialism disgusted me so thoroughly that I was almost beside myself. I nearly imagined myself to be Jesus Christ when he came to his Father's temple and found it taken by money changers. I can well imagine how he felt when he seized a whip and scourged ... out. .. the brood of vipers and adders." [17]


This exhibition gave Eckart heartburn. He was too old to be playing a role in a farce of this sort. To Putzi Hanfstaengl he complained that Hitler's monologues resembled "the ravings of a megalomaniac ... somewhere between a messiah complex and Neroism ... " [18]

"The way Adolf is carrying on now goes beyond me ... The man is plain crazy ... (He) is developing an incurable case of folie de grandeur. Last week he was striding up and down in the courtyard here with that damned whip of his and yelling 'I must enter Berlin like Christ and drive out the moneylenders!' and more nonsense ... I tell you if he lets this messiah complex run away with him, he'll ruin us all." [19]


Eckart later muttered: "when a man gets to the point of identifying himself with Jesus Christ, ... he's ripe for an asylum." [20] Hanfstaengl commented: "He had first taken Hitler under his wing in the party ... although now he was ... beginning to regret it." [21]

Eckart's manic-depressive personality made relationships with other precarious. His rocky friendship with the equally temperamental Hitler certainly had its ups and downs. How seriously should we take his complaints to Hanfstaengl and Ludecke? He was, after all, a chronic complainer with ambivalent feelings about everyone. To preserve his self-esteem this Juvenalian satirist compulsively bad-mouthed those who irritated him, whether the offenders were friends or foes. Even casual acquaintances noticed Eckart's tendency to compliment someone today, then malign him tomorrow. He railed against anyone who displeased him at the moment, but could rapidly patch things up when in a brighter mood.

Eckart was now an invalid at age fifty-five. By the fall of 1923 he lapsed into the existence of a lame, wheezing, lachrymose drunk. His routine varied little. "Little Annerl" cooked him breakfast. While he read or revised a manuscript, she did housework. Eckart did not like her to leave him alone. At noon the unlikely couple set off for Platterhof Tavern to eat lunch. Annerl left him there to read the paper, write, talk with friends, play chess or cards. His teenaged "Mutti" would return around seven for dinner, haul half-soused "Uncle Diedi" home, then help him change clothes and climb into bed.

The infirm Eckart fretted about finances. He sent repeated entreaties for money to party finance manager Max Amann. To Frau Oberhuber, his secretary at Hoheneichen Verlag, Eckart wrote requesting his "writing desk ... red-bound Plutarch ... shaving articles ... eggs," [22] and other items. The bard wrote another letter relating how he had brought his orthopedic mattress, coffee grinder, clothing, and a few books to Berchtesgaden, but had forgotten many other things in his haste to escape Munich. Amann finally came through with 30 million marks on August 25, 1923, but due to hyperinflation it only had the spending power of 6 dollars. He whimpered about the possibility of having to pawn his gold dentures. Who cared? Nazis were storm troopers, not social workers. Hitler had no patience or sympathy for the disabled. Eckart's relatives might have waited on him when he bleated about his woes, but they had no intention of doing so.

Eckart and Dr. Emil Gansser had long been an odd couple. On January 17, 1942 Hitler reminisced about Gansser's habitual tardiness and Eckart's obsessive punctuality when traveling.

"When it was a question of setting off on a journey, Eckart was the most precise man on earth, Gansser the most imprecise. Eckart would arrive at the station an hour and a half before the train's departure. Gansser was never there. Eckart used to say to me: 'Have you heard any news of Gansser? I'm afraid he's late again. You -- don't go away, or I'll be left alone!' The train would be leaving the platform when we would see Gansser, overflowing with ... luggage ... (take) a flying leap into the last carriage. Eckart would apostrophize him: 'you, you're a man born after his time. That explains everything!'" (Cf. Hitler's Secret Conversations, p. 223.)


In the summer of 1923 Eckart had given Dr. Emil Gansser a rough copy of his "interview manuscript," which eventually developed into "Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin." He became apoplectic when Gansser not only failed to return it on time, but insisted on showing it to Hitler. Eckart berated Gannser in a letter to Max Amann.

Image
Dietrich Eckart at his writing desk, c. 1922. Photo by Heinrich Hoffman.

"The devil fetch him! I could care less! I want my manuscript back immediately! Hitler mustn't under any circumstances receive it in such a state. I do not allow myself to be held up by fools. It appears as though I've been sabotaged ... It's an outrage! You cannot imagine how angry I am! If Hitler doesn't receive a completed and polished manuscript he cannot judge its true value .. that is, if he reads it at all ... " [23]


Despite his long stay in Obersalzburg Eckart wanted to remain editor-in-chief of the Volkischer Beobachter. Because he had written virtually nothing since the previous summer Hitler removed him from that post on March 10, 1923 and appointed Alfred Rosenberg in his place. Eckart bitterly resented this slight. To make matters worse Rosenberg had just written a number of tedious, ungrammatical articles in "pidgin German" attacking the Catholic Church. Didn't he know Munich was a Catholic city? This wasn't the first time that ingrate had disrespected him. In May, 1919 Rosenberg disparaged his Leading Citizens' Society as "corny" and "old hat." He seemed to gloat when it flopped three months later.

Putzi Hanfstaengl (who himself coveted Rosenberg's editorial job) discovered Eckart "literally in tears" one day in June, 1923.

"'Hanfstaengl,' he groaned, 'if only I had known what I was doing when I introduced Rosenberg into the party and then allowed him to take over the editorship here, with that rabid anti-Semitism of his. He does not know Germany and I have a strong suspicion that he does not know Russia either. And then that name of his on the first page. He will make a laughingstock of us all if this goes on!" [24]


In October, 1923 Eckart arranged to rent an apartment in the Pfnuer family's "Sunbeam Cottage" a quaint bed-and-breakfast" near Berchtesgaden. He told Karl Guido Bomhard that politics nauseated him. In the seclusion of "Sonnblick Hausl," he could begin a long-planned book about Christianity.

Eckart's influence on Adolf Hitler waned steadily from August, 1922 to November, 1923. Although he recommended his erstwhile mentor's evacuation from Munich, Hitler now pilloried him as a "malingerer," "fatalist", "pedant," "old pessimist," and "dipsomaniac." This tough-talking Falstaff now cowered in the arms of his pastoral "Lolita." Thirty-five years of non-stop boozing had taken its toll. All the empty posturing and saber-rattling in pubs had spoiled him for meaningful action. His idea of politics was to lounge around bars and swap Jewish jokes with other lushes. He could only thrive in an atmosphere of futility! Hitler told Ernst Hanfstaengl: "Schopenhauer has done Eckart no good. He has made him a doubting Thomas who yearns for Nirvana." [25]

Against his better judgment Eckart sealed his doom by yielding to this type of pressure. The Bavarian state rescinded its arrest warrant against him on October 23, 1923. A few days later he dragged his aching bones back to Munich, bringing Annerl with him. On October 30'h sickly Eckart shared the rostrum with Hitler, Esser, Streicher, and Drexler at a Circus Krone rally. While he thirsted for a cold beer, Hitler ranted endlessly to the crowd-at one point comparing himself to Roman champion of the plebeians Marius, and Commissioner Gustav von Kahr to autocratic Sulla. What buncombe! Eckart himself had suggested the Marius-Sulla analogy, but it sounded false coming from Hitler, who had become a despot in his own right. If Hitler were so damned bright why had he recently written a moralistic "open letter" in the Volkish Beobachter which criticized brewers and innkeepers, thus prompting beer halls to cancel 7,000 marks worth of advertising revenue? Scheubner-Richter and Rosenberg had cooked up an asinine scheme to kidnap former Crown Prince Rupprecht. His suggestion that Hitler reject such nonsense, and begin using the weapon of democracy against the democrats still fell on deaf ears. He argued in vain that victory at the polls would be preferable to Bolshevik terror tactics. Hitler and Scheubner-Richter would have none of it. They knew how to bring off a Mussolini-style coup, and vowed to take Munich by storm. Eckart resented the way Hitler ignored him. As Ralph Engelman commented:

"The man who three years earlier had brought Hitler to Berlin during the Kapp Putsch, mentor in anti-Semitic theory and promoter of the Fuehrerprinzip, had not been included in Hitler's greatest venture." [26]


Having been banished from Hitler's inner circle, Eckart did not learn about the Beer Hall Putsch until the day it happened. As Hitler fired a bullet into the Burgerbraukeller's ceiling with his pistol on November 8th and demanded that commissioners Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser hand over power to him, Eckart drank and played cards with photographer Heinrich Hoffman in the Fledermaus Hohle ("Bat Cave") of the Schelling Salon Bar. He didn't hear of Hitler's rebellion until Hoffman telephoned him after midnight. When he heard of Commissioner Gustav von Kahr's release, he commented: "we've been betrayed." [27] The next day Eckart apprehensively trudged over to party headquarters. Hitler, Ludendorff, and Scheubner-Richter treated him like a second-class citizen. Hitler strode out of a conference room and growled: "good day!" Ludendorff followed, giving Eckart "an indifferent tip of the hat." [28] Left out of the proceedings, he stood on the sidewalk near Isartor train station while S.A. units sang his song: "Germany, awake! Break your chains in two!" Hitler's green Selve automobile stopped in front of Eckart. He shot an angry glance at his friend and gestured for him to get into the following car. That would be the last communication between them.

At Residencestrasse Hitler, Scheubner-Richter, and General Ludendorff got out and walked briskly to the head of the column toward Odeonplatz, in the direction of Feldherrnhalle (City Hall.) Some unidentified Nazi sympathizer fired a shot that killed a police sergeant. Police then opened fire, killing Scheubner-Richter and thirteen others. Many more were wounded, including Ulrich Graf, who leapt upon Hitler to protect him. Eckart saw Hitler get up from the pavement with a dislocated arm and slowly stagger away with tousled hair, soiled trench coat, and grimacing face. S.A. doctor Walther Schultze loaded Hitler into his Fiat and drove him to Hanfstaengl's cottage in Uffing. Max Amann and Hermann Esser gave Eckart a ride to Heinrich Hoffman's photography studio. Esser soon fled to Czechoslovakia, Amann to Austria. The frowning poet just limped back to his room. On November 15, 1923 at the corner of Turkenstrasse and Schellingstrasse police arrested Eckart as a Nazi provocateur, and threw him into a noisome jail cell at Stadelheim Prison. After undergoing a lengthy police interrogation, he expected to be released. The bailiff shocked Eckart by informing him that he would be confined indefinitely. In a letter to his old nemesis Commissioner Gustav von Kahr he wrote: "I nearly went to pieces." [29]

When not writing letters, reading pulp magazines, or staring into dead space, he baited the prison chaplain for sport. When the parson encouraged him to think of the hereafter and repent, Ariosophist Eckart rejoined: 'I've given the afterlife much more serious consideration than you have ... Jean be of more help to you, than you to me." (Cf. Hitler's Secret Conversations, August 11, 1942, p. 583.) On December 17th police authorities transferred him to Landsberg Prison, fifty miles away. He languished in the large "celebrity cell" with opaque windows, that had housed playwright Ludwig Thoma in 1906, Kurt Eisner during the war, and would soon accommodate Hitler. Some of his letters to "darling little Annerl" at this time upbraided her for cheating on him; others professed undying love. Dogged by withdrawal pains, depression, and angina, he penned a melancholy letter to her in early December:

"Now it is 5:30 in the evening, the meal (potato soup) over, the light burns miserably, nothing decent to read, no conversation far and wide -- and the night is so long. I agonize so, Annerl. These lonely days are doing this to me, and it becomes worse and worse. My God, when one has so much time to think!" [30]


Though hardly an exponent of human rights, Hitler later attacked the Bavarian Provisional Government for violating Eckart's civil liberties.

"In 'national' Bavaria they placed the mortally ill Dietrich Eckart in so-called protective custody, despite the available medical testimony, without even a trace of ... wrongdoing on his part ... " [31]


Karl von Bothmer had introduced Eckart to Commissioner Gustav von Kahr in January, 1919. Although he scolded Kahr as a "sell-out" in a scathing October 30th speech at Circus Krone, Eckart now begged him for freedom. He cited his heart condition and promised to cease all political activities. In a letter to "Your Excellency" dated November 22, 1923 he compared his Lorenzaccio to Shakespeare's Hamlet and described himself as a high-strung artist plagued by ill health, who would never survive the deleterious atmosphere of Landsberg Prison.

"I had co spend the rest of the day and the whole next night in an ice-cold cell of the police (station.) No stool, no table, only an uncomfortable dirty plank bed. Despite my constant shivering I couldn't decide whether or not to use this so-called bed, until early morning. I sat half-dead from weakness on its outer edge. Some hours later, about nine o'clock I was brought by auto, at dire cost, to Stadelheim. My condition, I feel, is ever-worsening. The careful attention which by all means I need, cannot be had here even with the best of efforts. Then there is the eternal solitude which, in my present condition, I'm simply not equal to, not to mention the 'robust' food. At home lies an unfinished manuscript of mine ("Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin.") The question of whether or not I'll ever be able to complete it tortures me constantly." [32]


In the middle of the night on December 20, 1923 guards conducted a jailbreak drill with live machine gun fire in the prison courtyard. Thinking he was about to be shot along with other inmates, panic-stricken Eckart suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to make a martyr of him, Kahr finally approved his release on December 21st. Friends picked up the prostrate dramatist and drove him to Munich. Alfred Rosenberg visited him there.

"He lay in bed, we shook hands. His handshake was weak. Despite his attempts to laugh and make humorous remarks about his condition, Eckart had the appearance of an old man ... " [33]


A day later he and Annerl were driven to the Pfnuers' "Sunbeam Cottage" In Berchtesgaden, where he died of heart failure on December 26th, while holding an open book in his hands. Before giving up the ghost he wrote a pro-Hitler poem:

"O stupid Germans! You insult everyone
Who faithfully labors for you,
With blasphemies
You repaid Hitler's goodness,
When the Pharisees
Forced him down from behind
By throwing yourselves
Into the arms of your Hebrew rulers;
Lashes around the ears,
Across the mouth!
Born for the slave's yoke
You think only about filling your guts!
Thank God what Hitler planted
Was quickly dug up
So he didn't have the misfortune
Of liberating such a worthless rabble!" [34]


Nearly a hundred friends gathered to bury Eckart in Berchtesgaden's old cemetery on December 30th. Ten speakers paid tribute. In accordance with his wishes, the headstone faced Obersalzburg's massive peak. Political colleagues such as Feder, Rosenberg, and Esser feared to attend the graveside service because of heavy police surveillance. Esser viewed the burial through binoculars from a distant vantage point.

Image
Dietrich Eckart's Tombstone in Berchtesgaden's Old Cemetary

To Hitler, Eckart seemed like a more cheerful and intellectual version of his own father: a gruff, restless, heavy-smoking alcoholic with an eye for younger women. His paternal friend's death saddened him. Surviving associates -- including Hess, Ludecke, Hanfstaengl, and Esser,-- all confirmed that the Fuhrer revered Eckart more than any other colleague. After World War II Hitler's secretary Christa Schroeder told an interviewer: "whenever the chief mentioned Dietrich Eckart's name, tears came to his eyes." [35] In the Munich Brown House Hitler placed his "Fuhrer Chair" beneath a portrait of Eckart. He spoke of erecting a monument to him between Platterhof Mountain and Haus Wachenfeld, "on a hill he loved so dearly and where he finally died, broken-hearted and alone." [36] Hitler commissioned architect Werner March to build Dietrich Eckart Theater, a huge outdoor stadium in Berlin, where the 1936 Olympic games were held. Two busts stood in the Reich Chancellery: one of Bismarck, the other of Eckart. Hitler had a statue of Eckart placed in Neumarkt's town square. Shortly before coming to power in 1933 Hitler declared: "My good friend Dietrich Eckart -- what would he say if he could see us now, and all we've achieved. I'd give a great deal if he could be here." [37] In an interview he advised reporter Richard Breiting:

"Eckart was an outstanding writer and thinker. My friends thought him eccentric, but I was convinced that ... we needed legions of men like (him)." [38] He "wrote poems as beautiful as Goethe." [39]


During the war Hitler confirmed that:

"(Eckart) shone in our eyes like a polar star... When he admonished someone, it was with so much wit. At that time I was intellectually a child still on the bottle." [40]


He told secretary Christa Schroeder:

"Never again did I find a friend with whom I was in such complete harmony, both in thoughts and feelings." [41]


Though never very conscientious about giving credit where due, Hitler dedicated Mein Kampf to his "dear friend Dietrich Eckart, one of the best, who devoted his life to the awakening of our Volk." [42] In 1943 he jailed Frankfurter Zeitung newspaper columnist Herbert Kuesel for writing a disrespectful "memorial" about Eckart on the 75th anniversary of his birth, which painted him as a down-at-the-heels Bohemian

"tossed around by vicissitudes... (who) tried again and again to secure public recognition, (but was) brusquely rejected." [43]


Hitler copied Eckart's brush-style mustache and imitated many of his mannerisms. For rhetorical effect Eckart frequently employed repetition. The whole trouble with the economy was "usury, again usury, and a third time usury. Hitler believed that the only appropriate response to Jews was "hate, hate, and once again hate." Some of Eckart's pet cliches were to become endlessly repeated Hitlerian staples, such as the one about Jews being "incapable of state formation." Zionist schemes to reclaim the Holy Land were merely efforts to secure "training bases for professional revolutionaries." Hitler shared Eckart's love for the Obersalzburg region of southern Bavaria. Though a non-drinker, he adopted his tutor's custom of holding court in cafes. Like Eckart, whose nocturnal filibusters at the Brenessel Weinstubbe were legendary, Hitler became a habitual late night sermonizer. His table talk during World War II echoes articles written by Eckart in 1919, as does his Last Will and Testament.

Ludecke and Hanfstaengl record that Eckart expressed disenchantment with Hitler in 1923. They imply that, had he lived, Eckart would have broken with him over his abandonment of the working class, and the Rohm Purge of 1934. Onoldia brother Eckart valued fraternal loyalty and would have disapproved of the Rohm and Strasser murders:

Margarete Plewnia suggested that Hitler had outgrown Eckart by 1923. She wondered "if his death had not interfered, would he have been treated as Anton Drexler, Ulrich Graf, and Gottfried Feder, and shoved aside?" [44] Although Hitler had a much closer bond with Eckart than he had with either Drexler or Feder, the acquisition of power obsessed him completely, leaving scant room for personal relationships.

Acquaintances such as Esser, Ludecke, and Hanfstaengl enjoyed Eckart's company while having a few drinks, and later made excuses for him. According to them, the poet simply had a fixation about Jews that couldn't be helped. Otherwise, he generally behaved decently -- at least according to the German code of male camaraderie. Neither they nor Eckart should be blamed for backing Hitler in the early 1920's since the latter had not become a full-fledged homicidal maniac until 1939.

One man's metaphysics is another's nonsense. During their conversations in the early 1920's Eckart often said one thing, while Hitler heard another. The playwright spoke figuratively like a prophet. The politician took things literally, filtering out Eckart's odd notion of spiritual anti-Semitism, while honing in on his conspiracy theories. Both wanted to create an earthly utopia for the German master race.

Hitler's "biological anti-Semitism" exceeded Eckart's "spiritual anti- Semitism" in virulence. Although an enraged Eckart, who confused materialism with Judaism, once blustered that Jews should be "packed into a train and driven into the Red Sea," [45] he actually favored a Jewish policy similar to Heinrich Class's program of higher taxes and second-class citizenship. Eckart wanted to expel recent emigres from the east, but did not object to assimilated Jews remaining in Germany, so long as they did not practice their religion, or amass too much power. Most third and fourth generation Jews -- like his former idol Heinrich Heine -- were almost indistinguishable from "real" Germans. In fact, as the tragic Otto Weininger recognized, they provided a stimulus to European society. People needed a certain amount of "world affirmation" to survive. Eckart opposed Zionism because not only would it concentrate an inordinate number of Jews in Palestine, but take too many out of Europe.

"That which Zionism wants or at least pretends to want, to leave us completely, would be just as fatal as the Jew ruling us." [46]


In Auf Gut Deutsch Eckart once compared Jews to "friendly" bacteria such as yeast and acidophilus, which facilitate healthy body functioning. He conceded that Jewish depredations usually provoked a "healthy defensive reaction" from Germans. Jews were a "necessary evil ... we must accept for. .. centuries to come." [47] The German Yolk required "the Jewish presence in order to remain vigorous until the fulfillment of its earthly mission." [48] Even Hitler realized the utility of Hebrew entrepreneurship. During World War II when his rulers of Eastern territories failed to popularize condom use among Poles and Ukrainians, he growled: "apparently it takes a Jew to get such things going." [49] Hitler paid another left-handed compliment to his archenemies on the evening of January 27, 1942, admitting that he could never exile them to Sweden, lest they capture all positions of leadership within a generation.

Physical cruelty disturbed Eckart. According to James Webb he emphasized that "the struggle was not to be carried on by brutal methods; ... it could only be settled on a spiritual level." [50] In Nazi Ideology Before 1933 Barbara Lane Miller and Leila J. Rupp try to explain Eckart's bewildering position:

"Jewishness is not solely a property of race, but a quality inherent in every folk, in every nation, in every individual; it is, in fact, essential to life itself. Germany, then, must keep its Jews. They must not be permitted to emigrate to Palestine and found a new state; but at the same time 'world affirmation' and 'world negation' must constantly do battle in order to maintain vital balance." [51]


Eckart deemed Alfred Rosenberg a more vehement anti-Semite than himself. In 1941 Rosenberg fell afoul of Hitler and Himmler for recommending "ghettoization" rather than extermination of Jews. This didn't make him a humanitarian -- just a less nefarious criminal than Hitler. A sober Eckart, remembering Heine, Weininger, and the Jewish landlady who let him slide during the "Hunger Years," would have sided with Rosenberg. He believed that the Jews should be reined in, not liquidated. In spite of his extreme Judeophobia, one cannot imagine Eckart sanctioning the use of slaughterhouses for humans. His prejudices resembled Richard Wagner's more closely than Adolf Hitler's. Auschwitz would have horrified him.

Dietrich Eckart, a man committed to insane asylums several times, served Hitler's principal advisor and publicist in the crucial early years of the party. His chief client before Hitler had been the quack mystic Tarnhari. In 1915 Eckart directed mental patients in a performance of Henry Hohenstaufen at Schwarzek Sanitarium. Five years later he coached Hitler. Because of Eckart gregariousness, many overlooked his irresponsibility and viciousness. He had a "Jekyll and Hyde' personality. According to Ralph Engelman,

"Acquaintances of Eckart ... attributed the two sides of his character, tender and poetic, yet given to violent outbursts of rage and hate, to the temperamental differences between his parents." [52]


Alcoholism has been identified as both a physical and spiritual disease. Those susceptible to it have a psychological void before they take their first drink. A tense and strong-willed child, Eckart suffered grievously at age ten when his mother died. Unaffectionate Georg Christian Eckart, probably a drinker himself, exiled his troublesome boy to at least five different boarding schools. When Dietrich hit the University of Erlangen fraternity scene at the age of twenty, he was ready to embark upon a dissolute life. Drinking exacerbated his existing neuroses. He exhibited all the classic symptoms of alcoholism: grandiosity, frequent changes of abode, heavy smoking, moodiness, hypersensitivity, cross addiction (morphine), binges alternating with cures, rule breaking, legal trouble, financial problems, rejection of conventional morality, association with inferiors, severed relationships, unreasonable resentments, false accusations, and bigotry.

One should bear in mind that Eckart's inflated alcoholic ego always placed himself at the center of the universe. The minions in his court included journalist Rosenberg, economist Feder, painter Max Zaeper, inventor Emil Gansser, adolescent girlfriend Annerl, and budding politician Hitler. He did not think Hitler would ever attain dictatorial power in Germany. At the time of his death the National Socialist Party was a defeated Bavarian splinter group. When the Beer Hall Putsch occurred on November 9, 1923, the NSDAP had only 55,000 members out of a German population numbering 65 million people. It remained weak until 1930. Eckart always viewed it as a small radical faction that had no chance of gaining real power. In his mind the Nazis' functions were to fight communism, expose the "Jewish conspiracy," obstruct Social Democrats in parliament, and push working-class opinion in a more nationalist direction. Hitler's ascension to the chancellorship in 1933 would have astounded him.

After a few years of post mortem fame Eckart became completely discredited in 1945 when the Third Reich fell. In the words of Ernst von Salomon "his bust went from its pedestal in the Temple of Glory ... to a dusty corner of the junk room." [53]

Nonetheless, Dietrich Eckart bears major responsibility for reinforcing Hitler's anti-Semitism and advancing his career during the critical years prior to the Beer Hall Putsch. His tendency to ascribe all ills to "the Jewish problem" resonated deeply with Hitler. Although Eckart's worst calumnies were written between 1918 and 1923, they set forces in motion which led to the Holocaust. The odious distortions and defamations in "Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin" provided an ideological justification for the perpetrators of the Holocaust. Hitler's own Last Testament rehashes the same kind of anti- Jewish rhetoric found in Auf Gut Deutsch. Despite his spiritual pretensions, Eckart was a venom-spewing drunkard who cobbled together an ideology of hate which produced untold human suffering. With judgment impaired by mental illness and intoxicants, he helped unleash a whirlwind.

_______________

Endnotes

1 Ralph M. Engelman, Dietrich Eckart and The Genesis of Nazism, Washington University, 1971, UMI, Ann Arbor, MI, 1971, p. 223.

2 Albert Krebs, The Infancy of Nazism, edited and translated by William Sheridan Allen, New Viewpoints, New York, 1976, p. 301.

3 Lothar Machtan, The Hidden Hitler, trans. John Brownjohn, Basic Books, New York, 2001, p. 268, op. cit. 3/3/23 police interview with Dietrich Eckart.

4 Ernst Hanfstaengl, Unheard Witness, J. B. Lipincott, Philadelphia, PA 1957, p. 84.

5 Ibid.

6 Engelman, p. 174.

7 Ibid., p. 190.

8 Der Volkischer Beobachter, 8/11/1921.

9 Ibid., 9/11/21.

10 Engelman, p. 213.

11 Hitler's Secret Conversations 1941-1944, ed. Harold J. Gordon Jr., University Publications of America, Arlington, VA, 1976, p. 173.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid., p. 174, Hitler's conversation of 1/16/1942.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid., p. 240, Hitler's conversation 2/5/1942.

17 Walter C. Langer M.D., The Mind of Adolf Hitler, Basic Books, New York, 1972 p. 35, op. cit. Ernst Hanfstaengl Statement to the O.S.S., pp. 902-903.

18 Hanfstaengl, p. 85.

19 Ibid.

20 Langer, pp. 35-36.

21 Hanfstaengl, p. 86.

22 Engelman, p. 227.

23 Margarete Plewnia, Auf dem Weg zu Hitler: Der Volkische Publizist Dietrich Eckart, Schunemann Universitatsverlag, Bremen, 1971, pp. 108-109, Dietrich Eckart's 8/26/1923 letter to Max Amann.

24 Hanfstaengl, p. 84.

25 Ernst Hanfstaengl, O.S.S. Report, FDR Library, New York, NY 1942.

26 Engleman, p. 230.

27 Alfred Rosenberg, Dietrich Eckart-Ein Vermachtnis, Munich, 1935, p. 60.

28 John Toland, Adolf Hitler, Ballantine Books, New York, 1976, p. 548.

29 Ernst Deuerlein, editor, Der Hitler-Putsch: Dokumente zum 8/9 November, 1923, Stuttgart, 1962, p. 438, op. cit. D. Eckart letter to Gustav von Kahr, 11/22/1923.

30 Ralph M. Engelman, "In Search of Hitler's Mentor," Yale Review, Vol. 65, June, 1976, pp. 640-41, op. cit. Dietrich Eckart's 12/8/1923 letter to Anna Obster.

31 Telford Taylor, ed. Hitler's Secret Book, Grove Press, New York, NY 1961, pp. 187-188.

32 Ernst Deuerlein, Der Hitler Putsch, Stuttgart, 1962, pp. 438-440.

33 Rosenberg, p. 65.

34 Plewnia, p. 112.

35 Christa Schroeder, ed. Anton Joachimsthaler, Er War Mein Chief, Munich, 1985, p. 65.

36 Kurt Ludecke, I Knew Hitler, Scribners, New York, NY, 1937, p. 83.

37 Ibid., p. 474.

38 Richard Breiting, Secret Conversations with Hitler, Edouard Calic, editor, trans. Richard Barry, John Day Co., New York, 1971, p. 51.

39 Joachim C. Fest, Hitler, trans. Richard & Clara Winston, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, New York, 1974, p. 133.

40 R. G. L. Waite, The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler, Basic Books, New York, NY 1977, p. 139.

41 Joachim Kohler, Wagner's Hitler, trans. Ronald Taylor, Policy Press, 2000, Malden, MA, p. 152, op. cit. Christa Schroeder, Er War Mein Chief, p. 65.

42 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925, Eher Verlag, Munich, trans. Ralph Manheim, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA 1943, p. 687.

43 Machtan p. 115, op. cit. Frankfurter Zeitung article dated 3/23/1943, signed H.K.

44 Plewnia, p. 112.

45 Ernst Deuerlein, editor, Der Aufstief der NSAAP Augenzegenberichten, op. cit. Anton Drexler's Private Papers, from German Workers Party meeting minutes, January, 1920.

46 Miller & Rupp, p. 25, op. cit. D. Eckart, "Jewishness In & Around Us."

47 Ibid.

48 Jochen van Lang, The Secretary, Martin Bormann: The Man Who Manipulated Hitler, with Claus Sibyll, trans. Christa Armstrong & Peter White, Random House, New York, 1979, p. 248.

49 Dietrich Eckart, "Jewishness In and Around Us," Auf Gut Deutsch, April, 1919, from Barbara Lane Miller & Leila Rupp, Nazi Ideology Before 1933, University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, 1978, p. 25.

50 James Webb, The Occult Establishment, Open Court Publishing Co., LaSalle, IL, 1976, p. 337.

51 Barbara Lane Miller & Leila J. Rupp, Nazi Ideology Before 1933, University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, 1978, p. 17.

52 Engelman, Dietrich Eckart and the Genesis of Nazism, p. 4.

53 Ernst van Salomon, Der Fragenbogen, Hamburg, 1951, p. 225.
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Re: Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Mil

Postby admin » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:37 am

Part 1 of 2

Epilogue: Franz Kafka: Prophet of Doom

"In peace time you don't get anywhere. In war time you bleed to death."

-- Franz Kafka


Franz Kafka lived all but two of his 41 years in Prague. Julie Lowy Kafka, wife of Hermann Kafka, delivered her firstborn child on July 3rd, 1883. They gave him the Jewish name Amschel (Adam) and secular appellation Franz, after Emperor Franz Josef.

The word "Kafka" meant jackdaw, a type of crow. Hermann Kafka's retail clothing business used the image of a jackdaw as its logo. Emperor Josef II's 1782 Edict of Tolerance required all Jews to take surnames. Franz suspected that "Kafka" represented a negative stereotype, since crows were known for hook-shaped beaks, cunning, and knavery. Ronald Hayman observed that many of Kafka's fictional works featured animals with unpleasant characteristics:

" ... ape(s), dog(s), rodent(s) -- species whose names are borrowed as terms of abuse." [1]


Franz never forgot that a teacher once called him a "crocodile" for not admitting that he left his logarithmic tables at home. When reviewing his friend Max Brod's novel The Jewesses, he remarked that Jewish yentas reminded him of "lizards." [2] This tendency of identifying people with animals may have come from his father, who referred to a consumptive employee as a "sick dog," and sometimes threatened to rip Franz in half like a herring when he misbehaved.

Hermann Kafka, energetic son of an impoverished kosher butcher from Wozzek, worked hard to become a successful clothing and accessories merchant. As a young man he attained the rank of sergeant while serving three years in the Austro-Hungarian Army. During the Jewish riots of 1905 anti-Semitic vandals bypassed his store because Hermann was a patriotic veteran who acted "more Czech than Jewish."

Julie Lowy Kafka's father operated a thriving brewery in Podiebrad. Her mother died of typhus when she was only three. After Franz's birth, she found herself in the middle of an Oedipal triangle, trying to care for a hypersensitive son as well as her gruff and demanding husband.

Like Klara Hitler, Julie lost two baby sons to childhood diseases. As survivor, Franz may have experienced both feelings of guilt and "chosenness." Following the deaths of Georg (1887) and Heinrich (1889) Julie had three girls in a row: Gabrielle (Elli, 1889,) Valerie (Valli, 1890,) and Ottilie (Ottla, 1892.) Because her husband required Julie's help in running his store, she worked twelve hour days there, six days a week, leaving the children with servants. Most evenings at home Hermann insisted that she fritter away hours playing cards with him.

Like Alois Hitler, Hermann Kafka relocated frequently. During Franz's first eight years he moved the family from Maiselgasse in Prague's old city section to Wenzelplatz, then to Geistgasse, next to Zeltnergasse, finally to Grosser Ring.

Kafka did not have many fond childhood memories. In a 1912 letter to his fiancee Felice Bauer, he wrote:

"I was all alone, forever battling nurses, aging nannies, snarling cooks, morose governesses, because my parents spent all their time in the shop ... [3]


An ill-humored servant named Frau Anna walked him to school.

Our cook, small, desiccated, thin, with pointed nose, hollow cheeks ... took me to school every morning... As we left the house (she) would threaten to tell the teacher how naughty I had been at home ... School was in and of itself a horror and now the cook was trying to make it even worse. I began to plead, she shook her head... I stopped, begged her forgiveness, she dragged me on. I threatened her with retaliation by my parents, which made her laugh ... I clung to the storefront gates, to curbstones, refused to go on until I'd been forgiven. I pulled her back by her skirt, ... but she dragged me on, all the while assuring me that this too would be told to the teacher. .. " [4]


Frau Anna called him a little "ravachol," Czech slang for "crooked Jew."

Besides reading and swimming, Kafka only admitted to liking one other activity. On holidays he wrote and directed one-act plays, using his sisters and servants as actors. The audience usually consisted of Hermann, Julie, a few relatives, and friends. Elli, Valli, and Ottla enjoyed these performances, but thought their brother was too much of a perfectionist.

Franz took after the Lowys. Men in his mother's family had been doctors, rabbis, and scholars. Brawny Hermann Kafka, who liked to show off his physical strength and sing army marching songs, did not know what to make of his bookish son. Franz's conflicts with his father eventually led to problems with other male authority figures. He once wrote: "I... became a rather obedient child, but ... suffered inner damage as a result." [5 ]At age thirty-six Kafka composed a fifty page letter to Hermann, in the form of a prosecutor's brief, but never gave it to him. He wondered why his beloved mother catered to his philistine father. Franz portrayed Hermann in the letter as

"a boss who treats his employees as 'animals' and 'paid enemies,' but turns into a deferential bootlicker before those he deems socially superior, a father who tyr;mnizes the whole household by his constant ranting, raving, and obscene threats of violence -- 'I'll tear you apart like a fish!' -- and who insists on proper manners in his children while he himself behaves at the dinner table like an orangutan ... " [6]


On the other hand, he admired Hermann's vigor, endurance, ambition, and industry.

At an early age Franz surrendered to his dysfunctional family and the despotism of local schools. Submission to these irrational forces drew him into a "Kafka-esqe" milieu. The Alstadter Gymnasium (High School) taught Latin, history, geography, and classical literature. Ernst Pawel explained that

"It accustomed the students to doing vast amounts of utterly pointless work. It trained them to fear their superiors and disdain ... inferiors, and ... conditioned them to the stupefying boredom of endless days spent shuffling papers in ... dreary offices." [7]


Of course, after graduation Jews hit an invisible barrier of discrimination. The Austro-Hungarian government, army, universities, and most corporations denied them opportunities. Jews could work as retail or wholesale tradesmen, manufacturers, attorneys, physicians, or money lenders. A tiny fraction of them became musicians, chemists, writers, and teachers. Almost all other occupations were closed to them. Franz's father objected when "Herr Sohn" decided to study philosophy at Prague's Ferdinand-Karls German University. Hermann Kafka considered philosophy gibberish, " ... a fancy way to starve to death." [8] Kant's "Critique of Pure Nonsense" plus two pfennigs couldn't buy you a cup of coffee. Bowing to pressure from family and society, Franz gave up and switched his major to law.

Kafka's parents only attended synagogue on high holy days-four times per year. He once described himself as Europe's "most secular Jew." [9] In November, 1916 Franz informed Felice Bauer that he did not celebrate Rosh Hashanah. "I scarcely said a word about the New Year. .. because for me the day has no significance." [10] Soon after making his Bar Mitzvah at thirteen, he lost interest in religion. Franz longed to assimilate into the "new Europe," but turn-of-the-century Prague had no place for young Jews -- even those who renounced Judaism. To their dismay, he and his Jewish friends discovered that public education took them "out of the ghetto-and straight into oblivion." [11]

Kafka always harbored ambivalent feelings toward the Jewish faith. While re-reading Genesis he expressed horror about "God's rage against humanity." [12] In September, 1916 he wrote Felice Bauer:

"I literally drowned in the terrifying boredom and pointlessness of ... temple services. They were hell's way of staging a preview of my later office career." [13]


While serving as an usher at his sister's wedding Kafka felt like a slapstick comedian in baggy tuxedo and top hat too small for him. His diary recorded bizarre impressions of Altneu synagogue.

"Muted stock-exchange muttering ... Churchlike interior. Three orthodox, presumably Eastern Jews. In socks. Bent over their prayer-books, prayer shawls pulled up over their heads, becoming as small as possible. At least two of them were weeping ... A man who looked like a bank clerk was shaking ... while he prayed ... " [14]


Franz spied a brothel operator and his family milling around in the background.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged a genealogical connection with his Jewish forefathers, and shared their "high literacy," which stressed the written word over idol worship. Toward the end of his life he learned Hebrew, took Talmud courses at Berlin's Academy for Jewish Studies, and bought phylacteries (headgear worn for morning prayers.) "Insufferable Jews" jarred Kafka's nerves, yet he recognized the fine line between obnoxiousness and candor. Only prideful "sons of disobedience» resented prophetic admonitions.

On November 16, 1920 anti-Semitic riots broke out in Prague. To his gentile girlfriend Milena Jesenska he confided:

"I've spent all afternoon out in the streets bathing in Jew-hatred. 'Filthy brood' is what I heard them call (us.). Isn't it only natural to leave a place where one is so bitterly hated? The heroism involved in staying put in spite of all is the valor of the cockroach, which ... won't be driven out of the bathroom. I just looked out my window: mounted police, a riot squad readying for a bayonet charge, the screaming mob dispersing, and up here in the window the ugly shame of always having to live under protection." [15]


With his dark good looks, intelligent conversation, and perfect manners Kafka favorably impressed fellow guests at Pension Ottoburg in April, 1920. However, he created a stir by disclosing his Jewishness one evening after supper. Dining companions quickly rose from the table. A retired military officer with whom Kafka had been conversing suddenly became

" ... restless, but out of politeness he (brought our) little chat to some kind of conclusion before striding hurriedly out." [16]


On another occasion well-bred Germans swapped anecdotes about

"Jewish roguery, brashness, cowardice ... They laugh with a certain admiration, (then) apologize afterwards to me." [17]


While acknowledging that highly cultured Franz was himself an exception to the rule, genteel Germans at Ottoburg still held Jews accountable for most ills of modern times. Kafka conceded his co-religionists' propensity to accelerate the pace of change, but did not think they ruined quality of life for plodding Teutons.

(Jews) have long been imposing on Germany things it could perhaps have achieved slowly in its own way, but has opposed, as coming from outsiders." [18]


In February, 1913 Dr. F. H. Theilhaber deeply affected Kafka with a lecture which argued that Jewish efforts to assimilate into Europe had utterly failed. Franz researched Theodore Herzl's concept of a Zionist homeland in Palestine. On September 8, 1913 he attended a session of the 11th Zionist Congress in Vienna. His objective was not to revive his dormant Jewish faith, but connect with fellow alienated Jews. He knew that Austrian anti-Semites lumped all his extended clan together as an "incorrigible race." The kibbutz idea -- derived from Fourier, St. Simon, and Tolstoy -- also intrigued him.

On October 4, 1911 Kafka attended a play performed by The Polish Yiddish Musical Drama Company at Prague's Savoy Cafe. He loved it. To his family's alarm, Franz befriended actor Yitzhak Levi, and began going twice a week to these melodramas. Something about the bathos and low comedy of folk-theater deeply resonated with him. Most educated Jews dismissed Yiddish drama as a debased vestige of the ghetto. Kafka thought that its exaggerations captured not only life's irrationality, but the absurdity of being a Jew in 20th Century Europe.

Franz's parents did not share his enthusiasm for Yiddish histrionics. Hermann Kafka wrote off Yitzhak Levi a "meschuggenah" (madman), and told his son that he did not want that "ritoch" (transient goofball) in their home. Hermann and Julie Kafka refused to attend Franz's fund-raising benefit for the Yiddish theatrical company in February, 1912.

Kafka empathized with his sister Ottla's indignation toward her gentile fiance Josef David, whom she married on July 15, 1920. Josef loved Ottla, but clung to ingrained prejudices against Jews. After he made offensive remarks at a party, she wrote him a letter, threatening to break off their engagement.

"Some Jews, perhaps even a majority, may now be doing what they ought not to do. But that certainly does not apply to all of them. In any case, I don't wish to be treated as an exception. I could not accept that." [19]


Franz fully appreciated his sister's feelings. He realized that to forsake Judaism would not only be an act of disloyalty, but fraudulence and self-destruction. Nevertheless, he understood why his Jewish friend Max Brod regarded orthodox Jews as "savages," [20] with whom "civilized" modernists of Hebrew extraction had little in common. While on vacation in Franzenbad with his mother and sister in July, 1916 Franz saw a Hasidic rabbi grandly sashaying about like a Hindu swami, attended by slavish hangers-on wielding parasols and fans. To Brod he wrote:

"He wears a silk caftan, open at the front, a wide belt around his waist, and tall fur hat, ... white stockings and ... white trousers ... His remarks are mostly like the trivial comments and questions of visiting royalty ... " [21]


Franz Kafka remained thin and youthful-looking throughout his short life, once wisecracking that he was the skinniest person on earth. On September 2, 1911 Max Brod wrote in his diary that Kafka quipped:

"'I'll go on looking like a boy till I'm forty, and then suddenly a withered old man." [22]


He worked on maintaining a good appearance. Anti-Semitic pamphlets caricatured Jewish males as hunched-over and bow-legged. To transcend the sedentary, "stoop-shouldered Jew" image, he swam regularly, rowed on the Vltava River, and performed exercises devised by Danish gymnast Jorgen Petersen Mueller to build up his slender frame.

Franz also wanted to avoid the "metropolitan Jew" stereotype. Therefore, he vacationed in mountain resorts, hiked in forests, and took up gardening. Influenced by her brother's interest in nature and agriculture, Ottla Kafka toiled on an experimental farm during the summer of 1915. Hermann complained to his son that, thanks to him, Ottla had wasted three months shoveling pig manure. Unfazed, Franz continued to advocate the value of "healthy, strenuous (outdoor) labor, as opposed to ghost-like office work ... " [23] However, an incident in 1913 gave him pause.

"I, who wanted to cure my neurasthenia by gardening, ... found out that the heir presumptive to (shrub and plant dealer) ... Dvorsky, and himself already the owner of a flower nursery, poisoned himself two months ago in a fit of depression at the age of twenty-eight." [24]


Since adolescence Kafka had been a hypochondriac who devised his own "ersatz kosher" dietary rules. Worries about minor ailments led him to adopt naturopathic methods of preventative medicine. He abstained from alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, and tobacco. His vegetarian fare included whole grain cereals, raw (unpasteurized) milk, yogurt, organic vegetables, fruits, and nuts. He followed Dr. Horace Fletcher's regimen of chewing every mouthful of food thirty times -- which made him seem to eat like a squirrel. Whenever constipated Kafka dosed himself with Regulin, a laxative composed of crushed seaweed. He once went through the painful ordeal of having his stomach pumped to remove toxins. Franz tried to follow the regimen of naturopath Moritz Schnitzer, who hailed the benefits of fresh air and condemned "overdressing." Thus, he endangered his health by keeping a bedroom window open on frosty nights, and strolling around Prague without an overcoat in frigid weather. On trips taken together, Max Brod surreptitiously closed hotel windows at night-to the consternation of Franz, who groused about feeling "buried alive" [25] in stuffy rooms.

Kafka's friends Else Bergmann and Ida Freund admired Anthroposophical guru Rudolf Steiner. He decided to visit the seer in March, 1911. Steiner wore shabby clothes. He had a bad cold, and kept twirling the tip of a handkerchief in his mucus-clogged nostrils. Franz tried to explain that the psychological state he reached while writing seemed similar to Steiner's notion of clairvoyance. Besides advising him to stop eating eggs, the red-nosed savant did little more than behold Kafka with a glassy stare and nod like a bobble-head.

Emancipated Jews such as Karl Marx, Heinrich Heine, and Karl Kraus absorbed anti-Semitism along with German literature, history, and philosophy. As a means of identifying and controlling objectionable traits in his own character, Kafka sometimes read anti-Semitic tracts. Ernst Pawel confirmed that

"in moments of extreme distress (he) borrowed from their droppings to indulge his self-disgust ... " [26]


Like Dietrich Eckart, Arthur Trebitsch and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Kafka admired mentally unbalanced Otto Weininger who contended that Jews had an irrepressible drive to annihilate themselves along with their gentile victims. Following Weininger's example Kafka wished to purge all traces of shtetl coarseness from his own behavior. Although a refined gentleman by nature, he studied Oscar Bies' Manual of Etiquette in order to sand off any remaining rough edges.

Though shy, Kafka had "presence." Ernst Pawel commented that "with no apparent effort on his part, he earned the instant respect of even casual acquaintances." [27] Gustav Janouch, a sixteen year old poet whom Kafka encouraged in 1920, described his kindness and beatific expressiveness.

"He used facial muscles instead of words... smiling or contracting or pursing his lips." [28]


Instead of laughing out loud when pleased or amused he would usually "(throw) back his head, parting his lips and closing his eyes to slits as if lying in the sun." [29]

An introvert by nature, Kafka felt drained rather than galvanized by other people. Acquaintances found him unfailingly polite -- to the point of suffering fools gladly. His diffidence stemmed partially from a wish to spare himself the bother of "feigning interest for civility's sake." [30] While taking a rest cure at Fountain of Youth Sanitarium in the Hartz Mountains during July, 1912 modest Franz was thrown in with a gaggle of eccentrics who paraded around nude.

"When it rained he would see a (naked) old man 'charging like a wild animal across the meadow,' taking a rain bath." [31]


Not wishing to be antisocial, Franz mingled with fellow guests, but became known as "the man in ... swim trunks," [32] because of his aversion to nudism.

Kafka worried about lacking courage. Like Heinrich Heine in Luneburg, he felt that solitary devotion to the craft of writing had transformed him into a depressed, apathetic phantom who ignored immediate surroundings and couldn't look others in the eye. Yet cruelty or injustice sometimes roused him to bravery. He quietly supported the causes of labor unions and Jewish civil rights. When a sadistic teenaged bully taunted a servant girl in public, Kafka impulsively punched him.

Franz Kafka graduated from Ferdinand Karls University with a doctorate in law on June 18, 1906. To obtain his lawyer's license, he had to work one year as an unpaid clerk in the criminal courts. Because of Kafka's intelligence and impeccable manners Generali Insurance Co. overlooked his religious background and hired him as one of its first Jewish underwriters on November 1, 1907. The company's regimentation reminded him of Alstadter High School. Generali's lengthy rulebook demanded six workdays per week, occasional Sunday work, ...

"unconditional promptness, overtime without compensation, fourteen days vacation every second year at the convenience of the company, no resignation without three months' notice, no private property in office desks ... " [33]


The grind at Generali quickly dispirited him. Through the influence of Dr. Otto Pribram, father of his friend Ewald Felix Pribram, Franz secured employment with the Workmen's Accident Insurance Institute in July, 1908. He later observed that it was incomprehensible how the two Jews (working) there managed to get in, but it will never happen again." [34] While employed at the Institute he visited policyholders' workplaces to ensure that they were correctly classified and rated, based on degree of hazard. He also inaugurated a "loss control" program which required periodic inspections, and mandatory compliance with safety recommendations. Kafka has been credited with requiring steelworkers to wear hardhats, thus sharply reducing the number and severity of head injuries. These proposals helped Dr. Pribram turn Bohemia's Workers Compensation program from near insolvency to profitability within five years. Franz continuously wrote technical manuals and long reports for the Institute. A 1910 paper expatiated

"at length on the technical details of specific safety measures, which as ... modifications of a mechanical jointer plane that eventually (would) save the lives and limbs of .. workers ... in Bohemia's ... lumber industry." [35]


While at the Institute Kafka proved himself a friend of the working man. He once jeopardized his job by secretly counseling an elderly laborer with a serious leg injury who experienced problems with a compensation claim. Franz not only coached him on how to meet eligibility criteria, but also paid part of his lawyer's fee. Realizing far before others that many returning veterans suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, Kafka inaugurated a pioneering mental health program at Frankenstein Hospital. In recognition of this service the Austro-Hungarian War Veterans Society nominated him for a medal (which he never received.)

Kafka's experience as an insurance underwriter influenced such literary works as "The Stoker" and "In the Penal Colony." It also colored his private correspondence. In a letter to his friend Max Brod, he joked:

"You have no idea how busy I am. In my four districts ... people tumble off scaffolds and into machines as if ... drunk, all planks tip over, all embankments collapse, all ladders slip, whatever gets put up comes down, whatever gets put down trips somebody up. And all those young girls in china factories (who) ... constantly hurl themselves down whole flights of stairs with mountains of crockery give me a headache ... [36]


In November, 1911 his brother-in-law Karl Hermann, convinced hesitant Franz to participate as a "silent partner" in the Kafka-esque enterprise of an asbestos factory. Karl and Elli, with tacit support from him, then prevailed upon Hermann Kafka to invest in the project. Against his will, Franz soon found himself working nights as the plant's bookkeeper and assistant manager. Drudgery in the asbestos factory office stressed him out, provided little income, and afforded no satisfaction whatsoever. Worse yet, it interfered with his writing. He came to regard the firm as a personal, financial, and ecological nightmare. When this distasteful business failed to reap expected profits, his father blamed him not only for luring him into a losing proposition, but lacking the ambition to turn it around. Franz became so dejected over this situation by March, 1912 that he contemplated suicide. When the Austrian army drafted Karl Hermann in 1914, Kafka had to devote even more time to the plant. To his relief, a materials shortage forced a slowdown, then closure by March, 1915.

Franz Kafka began writing short stories as a college student in 1904. Early tales such as "The Wish to Be a Red Indian," "Unhappiness," and "The Urban World" remained unpublished during his life time, but Hyperion literary magazine printed nine stories, including "Description of a Struggle" (1904) and "Wedding Preparations in the Country (1907.) In its March 27, 1910 edition the newspaper Bohemia published "Reflections of a Gentleman Jockey." Critics have designated "The Judgment" as his first signature work. He wrote in it one night -- Yom Kippur (Day of Judgment) -- September 22, 1912, possibly after his father scolded him for staying up too late.

In Kafka's short story "The Urban World" Oskar M.'s irascible father denounces him for being a useless "professional student." "The Judgment" also explores the theme of paternal disapproval. Georg Bendermann, a successful young businessman, wonders whether or not he should inform a friend living in Russia about his commercial success and engagement to pretty Frieda Brandenfeld. When Georg visits Mr. Bendermann senior to seek his advice, he finds him in a disoriented state, and helps him into bed. His father resents Georg for taking over the family business, even though sales have increased. The old man suddenly throws off the covers and turns into a raving fiend, shrieking that he's been in touch with Georg's Russian friend, who "knows everything." At the end of this diatribe, the older man points a finger at his son and declares: "I sentence you to death by drowning!" Georg's compulsion to obey "legitimate" authority overcomes his self-confidence, love for fiancee Frieda Brandenfeld, and all other considerations. He dutifully runs straight to a nearby bridge and jumps into the river.

With this dream-like story Kafka made the transition from realism to surrealism. By means of such "poisoned fairy tales" he wanted to reveal truth and thereby shock readers out of complacency. Literature should be prophetic. As a university student in 1903 he wrote that

"many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one's own self.... We ought to read only books that bite and sting us ... If the book does not shake us awake like a blow to the skull why bother reading it? ... What we need are books that hit us like a painful misfortune ... A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us." [37]


This commentary foreshadows the title of his later novel, The Castle. In German "Schloss" means both "lock" and "castle." Effective literature produces epiphanies, and reveals hidden dimensions of both external reality and one's own personality. This process often causes discomfort. Because of Kafka's compulsive probing Ernst Pawel and others put him not in the German tradition of Schiller and Goethe, but with that

"unruly crowd of Talmudist, Cabalists, (and) medieval mystics resting uneasily beneath the jumble of... weatherbeaten tombstones in Prague's Old Cemetery." [38]


Kafka's parents, aunts, and uncles treated his attempts at writing with hostility or indifference. Herrmann and Julie objected to him scribbling late at night. On several occasions, Herrmann stalked into Franz's room and confiscated his ink bottle, which compelled him to finish passages in pencil. At one family gathering in 1911 his uncle glanced at a page of Amerika and handed it back with the dismissive comment: "the usual stuff." [39] Franz dedicated The Country Doctor and Other Stories to his father. When he tried to hand him a signed copy in May, 1919 Herrmann barely glanced up from his newspaper and growled: "put it on the night table." [40]

Franz Kafka loved his mother and sisters, however most of his relationships with other women were troubled. He had his first sexual encounter with a shop girl in 1903 at the age of 19. From that time until his mid-thirties, he engaged in casual sex with working girls, hookers, and women encountered while on vacation. These trysts left him feeling emotionally unsatisfied and guilty. In September, 1908 he wrote Max Brod:

"I feel so desperately in need of just a friendly caress that yesterday I took a whore to a hotel... She was too old to ... be sentimental. .. " [41]


Brod's plan to loosen his friend up at a fancy Parisian bordello backfired in August, 1911. Viewing slit-eyed prostitutes in that garish Temple of Venus triggered an anxiety attack. Franz bolted out the door, ran outside, and trekked several blocks back to his hotel. He called this excursion through unfamiliar surroundings a "lonely, long, ridiculous walk home." [42]

Kafka desired personal privacy as well as intimacy with women. He noticed that his friendship with Max Brod deteriorated after the latter's engagement to his fiancee Elsa, commenting: "to me he's disengaged," [43] and "a married friend is no friend." [44] Balancing the contrary drives for solitude and a love relationship proved difficult, if not impossible. Most of the women in his life found Kafka "high-maintenance," as well as slightly disturbed. Puah Ben-Tovim, a Palestinian girl who gave him Hebrew lessons in November, 1922, described him as

"thrashing about like a drowning man, ready to cling to whoever came close enough for him to grab hold of." [45]


Twenty-four year old Franz met university student Hedwig Weiler during the summer of 1907 while on vacation in Triesch. Their short association set the pattern for future relationships. He wrote her several long confessional letters. Their correspondence lasted for a year, then trailed off She cancelled out of a planned visit to Prague in October, 1907. Sensing that her relationship with temperamental Kafka had no future, Hedwig asked him to return all of her letters in July, 1909, which he did.

Franz first met Felice Bauer, the cousin of Max Brod's brother-in-law, in August, 1912. She worked for Carl Lindstrom A.G., a tape-recorder and dictating machine manufacturer, and had come to Prague on business. They discussed literature during a get-together at Brod's sister's house. Kafka did not fall in love with Felice at first sight. In fact his diary entry for that day described her as a drab young woman, who ...

" ... looked like a maid. I wasn't at all curious about who she was, immediately taking her for granted. Bony, empty face that carried its emptiness openly. Bare throat. Blouse flung on (any old way.) Her clothes gave her an air of domesticity ... Almost broken nose, blond, rather stiff, unappealing hair, strong chin ... " [46]


A few days later Franz sent Felice a letter.

"I am enclosing the little prose pieces you asked to see; I think they should add up to a short book .... I would be happy if the material pleased you at least to the extent of wanting to publish it ... " [47]


Their party banter led to a five year relationship marked by betrothal, wedding cancellation, second engagement, and final break-up. Between 1913 and 1916 Kafka wrote Felice two or three times a day and fussed when she "neglected" him by not replying daily. On December 29, 1912 he mailed her a forty page letter. Morbidly curious about the minutest aspects of her life, he suggested that, instead of composing letters, she simply keep a detailed journal and send him carbon copy dispatches every day. He instructed her to mention in the diary

"what you had for breakfast, the view from your office window, your work there, the names of your friends, ... why you get presents, who tries to sabotage your health by giving you confectionary, and the thousand things of which I know nothing." [48]


His own epistles went far beyond the usual love-note genre. Ernst Pawel observed that

"he wrote ... not short billets doux, ... but long letters, ... running the gamut from hysteria to humor, filled with self-pity, special pleading, and soaring sentiment, ... shrewd observations, acerbic comments, ... brilliant sketches ... buckets of anguished sympathy, and elaborate therapeutic advice ... " [49]


Yet the magic usually evaporated when he visited her. His desire for social contact, " ... changed to fear the moment it reached ... fulfillment ... " [50] Kafka suffered like a "chained prisoner" at their engagement party, and lamented the "hideous impression" [51] he made on Felice's family. He noted that her mother, wearing black as if in mourning, seemed "disapproving, reproachful, observant, impassive." [52] Felice's father died of a heart attack shortly after Kafka's visit. Franz blamed himself for his untimely death.

The heavy Victorian furniture Felice picked out made Franz nauseous. His oft-repeated opinion -- derived from August Strindberg -- that marriage was the antithesis of love, failed to kindle romantic sentiments in his fiancee. Nor did marital bliss seem probable with a man who promised not

"merry chatter arm in arm, but a monastic life side by side with a man who is fretful, melancholy, terse, dissatisfied, and sickly." [53]


He made it plain that writing would always come first.

"My life consists ... of attempts to write, most of them unsuccessful. But whenever I do not write, ... I am fit for the garbage." [54]


In his June 26, 1913 letter to her, he wrote:

"What I need for my writing is seclusion, not 'like a hermit,' that would not be sufficient, but like the dead. Writing in this sense is a sleep deeper than death, and just as one ... would not drag a corpse out of his grave, I cannot be made to leave my desk at night either." [55]


In a nervous fit Kafka even rejected Felice's suggestion that they take a week-long vacation on the Riviera, explaining

"My contact with you, which I am striving to maintain with all my strength, must never be jeopardized by such a journey together." [56]


Felice began to have second thoughts about marrying a man who recoiled at the idea of spending a few days in her company. The couple finally ended their relationship on Christmas, 1917.
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Re: Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Mil

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Part 2 of 2

Kafka now regarded writing as an alternative to life. He entered the "sacred vocation" of literature, "choosing priesthood over manhood." [57] Composing parables was "a form of prayer," [58] a holy quest for truth. It became his principal reason for being. Only by exercising this gift could he meaningfully serve humanity -- even if God forbade him from doing it. Writing was the only way to justify his "monotonous, empty, insane bachelor's existence." [59] Neglecting this duty might result in mental breakdown. As he asserted to Max Brod: "a non-writing writer is... a monster courting insanity." [60] Nevertheless, Kafka later instructed him to destroy many of his manuscripts out of fear that they may have originated from evil spirits.

Kafka's story "In the Penal Colony" (1914) not only flouts literary conventions, but presages Auschwitz. On some remote Devil's Island an officer proposes to execute a prisoner for not saluting the commandant's door. He's enthusiastic about carrying out the sentence with a high-tech instrument of torture, consisting of an oscillating harrow with needle that slowly tears victims apart by engraving them with the name of their offense. In a reversal of fortune, the officer ends up mangled by his own infernal machine. This narrative portrays an absurd and unjust society equipped with sophisticated technology for killing.

In The Metamorphosis (1915) commercial traveler Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning transformed into a giant cockroach. His bourgeois family struggles to conceal this incomprehensible disgrace from neighbors. Even Gregor's affectionate sister wants him out of the family's apartment His death brings relief to everyone, himself included.

The Trial, posthumously published in 1925, also starts with the protagonist waking up to a bad dream. It begins with bank clerk Josef K. being awakened one morning and arrested, even though he hadn't committed any crime. He receives a summons to report to an Interrogation Commission. His court appearance takes place in the back room of a dilapidated apartment building. Judge and prosecutor refuse to divulge the charges against him. When he argues eloquently against this violation of his civil liberties, the district attorney solemnly informs him that such contrariness has only gotten him into more trouble. The nightmare gets progressively worse. His own lawyer proves incompetent. Josef visits the court's office, a filthy apartment where the judge's wife attempts to seduce him. Law books on the library shelf don't contain statutes and legal precedents, but lewd stories with pornographic illustrations. In the end authorities condemn Josef to death for an unspecified "crime" and execute him at a quarry. The Trial uncannily prefigures Nazism's system of "justice," even down to the detail of Josef's murder near pits outside of town.

Kafka's father's behavior influenced his bleak characterizations of "lawful" authority in "The Judgment," The Trial, and The Castle. Franz never forgot an incident which occurred during his childhood. As a four year old he could not sleep and whined for his mother. Hermann rushed in, violently shoved him out onto the balcony, and left him crying there in his pajamas. Thirty years later Franz vividly recalled his distress.

" ... I still suffered from the tormenting fantasy that the gigantic man, my father, the supreme authority, could come at night, almost without any grounds, and carry me from my bed to the balcony and that I was therefore, for him, such a nonentity." [61]


Two of Kafka's novels reprised this childhood trauma in veiled form. In The Trial police induced Josef K's landlady to rouse him from bed. In The Castle, an agent of Count Klamm named Schwarzer woke up K. and informed him that he must leave the village at once since he didn't have a permit.

Some critics interpret The Castle as an allegory about Jewish alienation. Protagonist K. attempts to contact Klamm, shadowy lord of the manor, on the pretext of conducting a land survey. Lower level employees obstruct his efforts. Unable to accomplish anything he appeals to local residents for help. They won't cooperate, and slavishly express satisfaction with Klamm's unfathomable governance. Helping K. might imperil their own interests. A lukewarm moderate tells him: "nobody's keeping you here." Wishing to remain politically-correct, he softens this by adding: "you're not being thrown out." [62] K.'s an outsider -- or non-person, the villagers don't really care about.

K. seduces Klamm's ex-mistress, a barmaid named Frieda, but she knows little about her former lover's business, and has no influence with him. He also befriends members of the Barnabas family who have become outcasts for unknown reasons -- without breaking any laws. The Barnabases have been informed that in order to clear themselves of the unstipulated charges against them, they must prove others guilty. Klamm's regime demands that innocent parties bear the burden of proof.

Since it abruptly stops in mid-sentence, most critics have pronounced The Castle "unfinished." However, Max Brod thought Kafka intentionally ended the work that way to emphasize that the problem of capricious power, wielded from behind the scenes, will never be resolved. Hitler had his Night and Fog Decree, the Mafia its code of silence. Arbitrary authority envelopes itself in secrecy to evade accountability.

In 1917 Kafka had an affair with Grete Bloch, a fashionable young secretary whom Felice Bauer deputized as a "go-between." Grete later claimed to have borne Kafka a male child out of wedlock, who died at the age of six in Munich, circa 1921. Most scholars dismiss her story as a fabrication. She probably had sex with Kafka and may have had a child by another man. Unfortunately, Grete suffered from mental illness in 1940 when she related this story to Walter Schocken. Four years later German troops murdered her and other Jews in Florence, Italy.

While convalescing at Schelesen Sanitarium in 1919 Franz met an attractive dressmaker named Julie Wohryzek, daughter of a Jewish cobbler. She had been hospitalized for depression after her fiance's death in the war. Following a month of pleasant companionship, Kafka suddenly proposed to Julie. Their engagement did not last long. Franz's interest waned because he thought her somewhat shallow, his parents disapproved, and the couple's arrangements for an apartment in a Prague suburb fell through. In the aftermath of this debacle Hermann Kafka snapped that his son should give up on love and just pay for sex at brothels.

Kafka never had a close relationship with a gentile girl until meeting Milena Jesenska in 1920. When she was thirteen years old her mother died of pernicious anemia. Her father, Czech nationalist Dr. Jan Jesenska, specialized in plastic surgery and jaw reconstruction. The choleric doctor beat his daughter severely and often, but also sent her to The Minerva, Prague's best private school. Milena flourished there as a writer and student of literature. By 1915 she frequented the Arco Circle of Kafka's friend Franz Werfel. Shortly after joining Werfel's salon, nineteen year old Milena commenced a stormy affair with Oskar Polak, a thirty-six year old Jewish writer with a reputation for womanizing. At the same time, she stole money from her father and became addicted to cocaine. In an attempt to control his wild daughter, Dr. Jesenska clapped her into Veleslavin Insane Asylum for ten months. This confinement had no effect on her feelings for Polak. Shortly after being released, she ran off with him to Vienna. A proponent of free love, Polak not only cheated on Milena, but physically abused her. By 1919 she had to support herself by working as a baggage handler in Vienna's railroad terminal.

Kafka caught her on the rebound about this time. She wrote him a letter praising his literary works and requesting permission to translate some stories into Czech. Bright and beautiful Milena immediately made a favorable impression on Kafka. He commenced a fresh round of platonic correspondence with her. Kafka prized Milena's "clairvoyant wisdom," [63] but had reservations about her common sense. Despite Polak's inexcusable behavior, she remained obsessed with him.

Franz deplored Polak's scandalous conduct, which reflected badly on Jews. He passed on to Milena the comment of one her own relatives to Josef David (his sister Ottla's husband.)

"Don't ever get involved with Jews. Look at what happened to our Milena ... " [64]


She admitted that Polak was only interested in sex -- "fifteen minutes of male business," as she put it.

Franz elevated her spirit with romantic strolls, candle-lit dinners, kisses, embraces, hand-holding, caresses, soulful looks, and heartfelt words of endearment. He claimed to be less jealous of the caddish Polak than Milena's female friends -- who wasted so much of her time with superficial "girl talk."

Milena sized "Frank" up as a "neurotic Jew." He could not deny being high strung, and once acknowledged doing "everything while literally disintegrating." [65] In 1905 and 1906 after final exams at the University Franz had checked into asylums for "rest cures." He was fastidiously clean and picky about whatever he ate. The fear that letters might contain bad news induced him to leave them unopened for days. Kafka had a phobia about receiving phone calls. The telephone's jarring alarm bell always seemed to herald sudden misfortune. Although he excelled as a letter writer, he felt vulnerable as an ad-libbing conversationalist -- especially with "prosecutors" who "ambushed" him via telephone.

Rodents terrified Kafka. While in Zurau during a vacation he discovered mice running around his cottage. He quickly overcame a lifelong repugnance for cats, inviting one to patrol the room -- even though it repeatedly startled him by jumping into his lap, and once defecated in his bedroom slipper. When Max Brod teased Franz about his mouse phobia, he struck back with uncharacteristic sarcasm.

"... You have nothing against mice? Of course not. You also have nothing against cannibals. But if, in the middle of the night they came creeping out of all your closets and flashed their teeth, you would definitely stop being fond of them." [66]


Like Heinrich Heine, Kafka could not tolerate noise. The relatively faint sound of the elevator in his apartment building drove him to distraction. He described it as:

"a purposeless noise-machine that imitates the sound of (the game) skittle. A heavy ball's rolled rapidly over the entire length of the ceiling, hits the corner and bumps slowly back." [67]


To drown out this bothersome rumbling he ordered special "Oropax" earplugs from Berlin.

In September, 1918 while resting at a cabin in Zurau with his sister Ottla, Kafka complained that he lived next door to "the only piano in north-west Bohemia." [68] He referred to his bedroom at home as "racket headquarters."

"When the noise of breakfast stops on the left, the noise of lunch starts on the right, doors are now being opened everywhere as if the walls were being demolished." [69]

"I hear every door being slammed ... I hear even the clang of the oven door being shut in the kitchen. My father breaks down the doors to my room and comes marching through ... Ashes are being scraped out of the stove in the next room ... Valli, addressing no one in particular, shouts through the foyer as across a Paris street, wanting to know if father's hat had been brushed ... Finally, father is gone and now begins the more ... distracting noise led by ... two canaries." [70]


The constant din forced him to write at night, take long walks, and seclude himself in libraries. He explained the therapeutic value of being alone to Max Brod.

"Solitude has a power over me that never fails ... A slight tidying of my interior gets under way, and I need nothing more, for in small talents nothing is worse than disorder." [71]


In April, 1910 Kafka's nervous tension manifested embarrassingly at work. During an insurance conference his boss, the portly and bearded Dr. Otto Pribram, made a mildly humorous remark. Franz burst into hysterical laughter. He desperately struggled to disguise his uncontrollable mirth as a coughing fit. Then a department head stood up and uttered some cliches with unintentionally comic hand gestures, which struck Franz as vaudeville "schtick." He completely lost it, laughing maniacally for ten minutes straight, while a room full of business colleagues ogled at him in stunned silence.

"I exploded in gales of laughter. .. as perhaps only grade school youngsters are capable... At the same time ... my knees were shaking with fear ... Thanks to a letter of apology I wrote to the president right after the incident ... the matter has now largely been smoothed over. Needless to say, I was not granted a full pardon ... " [72]


Franz did not deny Milena's charge that he was "an anxiety-ridden Jew," bur declared that only a minority of his co-religionists suffered from this affliction.

"The reproach does not apply to your husband... in my experience it does not apply to most Jews, but ... is applicable only to rare individuals, such as myself; but those it hits hard." [73]


Indefinable feelings of trepidation and doom plagued him when in his "psychic state" as a writer. Since Franz could not deny their validity, he felt duty-bound to articulate them. His hard-bargaining father was really just a clownish figure compared to sinister elements coalescing after the Austrian Empire's post-war dissolution.

When Milena invited him to Vienna for a few days, he overcame extreme apprehension and undertook the journey. "I'll need neither breakfast nor supper, but a stretcher," [74] he wrote. His telegram providing time and place of arrival implored:

"Please, Milena, no surprises. No sneaking up on me from behind." [75]


This visit went well, but their relationship cooled off. He ruefully prophesied:

"Few things are certain, but one of them is that we shall never live together, in the same apartment, body to body, at the same table, never, not even in the same town." [76]


Kafka loved Milena, but seduced a chambermaid in Meran, Italy during the height of their relationship. His interest in the liberated Czech girl waned due to his own failing health and her refusal to leave Polak. Franz conceived of himself as an old geezer who held out a "quivering ... clawed, unsteady ... hand ... " [77] to a volatile younger woman. Milena's irrationality, impulsiveness, and lingering attraction for Oskar Polak made him uneasy. He did not relish hair-raising rides on her emotional roller coaster.

"Either you're mine, and then it's good, or you're lost to me, (and) .. it's ... annihilating." [78]


They remained friends after drifting apart in 1921.

In spite of Kafka's homeopathic precautions, his health deteriorated. He frequently caught colds, suffered from migraine headaches, insomnia, and boils. On August 2, 1917 he coughed up blood, but did not go to his doctor until August 10th. The Workmens Institute granted him sick leave on August 19th due to a pulmonary hemorrhage. Dr. Muhlstein theorized that he might have contracted tuberculosis by drinking unpasteurized milk for "health reasons." Kafka's condition improved slightly until October, 1918, when he came down with Spanish flu. Influenza somehow bolstered the T.B. infection. Kafka spent time in various sanitariums, including Mrs. Forberger's in the High Tatra Mountains near Matliary, even though he abhorred

" ... those institutions rocked to their foundations day and night by cough and fever, where they make you eat meat, where retired hangmen dislocate your arms if you try to resist injections, while Jewish doctors stand by and stroke their beards ... " [79]


He spoke of the sanitarium as a "mass grave." [80]

Image
Franz Kafka, 1923

In July, 1923 Kafka traveled to the lakeside resort of Muritz, Germany with his sister Elli and her two children. On Friday, July 13, 1923 he encountered 19 year old Dora Diament, who had recently fled from her Hasidic family in Galicia. She worked at the children's day care center in Berlin's Jewish People's Home. As the older brother of three sisters, Kafka knew how to charm younger girls. Dora found him a "born playmate, always ready for some mischief." [81] Franz invited her to meals and strolled on the beach with her. The unlikely pair soon fell deeply in love.

Kafka was desperately ill with tuberculosis at this time. The inflation of 1923 had just wiped out his savings. Nevertheless, he and Dora moved into an apartment together. They spoke of emigrating to Palestine and opening up a restaurant -- though neither knew how to cook. He wrote to her parents in Poland, asking for their daughter's hand in marriage, portraying himself as a "penitent one who is returning (to Judaism.)" [82] Her father consulted his rabbi, who advised him to refuse permission.

Dora encouraged Franz to read the Talmud. Meanwhile, landlords evicted them from two apartments. Kafka's parents and sisters had to mail checks to keep the two lovebirds afloat.

In the fall of 1923 Franz was still well enough to take courses at the Hebrew Academy. While on his way there one day he saw a little girl crying, and asked her what was wrong. She replied that her doll had been lost. Kafka told her that

"the doll, whom he had only just met, had to go away but ... promised to write... For weeks afterwards he sent her letters in which the doll described her travel adventures." [83]


Like Heine, Kafka experienced love on the eve of death. For her part, Dora worshipped him.

"He was everything she had been longing for: a man with the mind and manners of an educated Western European, and a heart as Jewish as her own." [84]


From March until June, 1924 Dora nursed her dying lover with help from his sisters and Dr. Robert Klopstock. Tubercular lesions on his larynx made it impossible for Kafka to eat or drink by early May, 1924. He could not swallow so much as a mouthful of liquid, but noticed that cut lilacs in a vase of water "still swig away while dying," [85] Intravenous feeding technology did not yet exist. On May 11th, the day of Max Brod's last visit, Dora saw an owl at the window-an omen of death to Eastern Europeans. Kafka died of dehydration and starvation on June 3, 1924. At his funeral two days later Dora dove on top of his grave and wept hysterically.

Major works such as The Trial, Amerika, and The Castle never would have been published without the efforts of Max Brod, who fortunately ignored Kafka's instructions to burn his manuscripts.

If he had survived to age sixty and remained in Czechoslovakia, the SS would surely have murdered Franz Kafka. The "anxiety-ridden Jew's" dark forebodings ultimately turned into grim realities. Dora Diament managed to escape from Hitler's Germany in 1933, then Stalin's Soviet Union in 1938. Others were not so lucky. Nearly all of Kafka's relatives died in the Holocaust. His sisters Valli, Elli, their husbands, and children were deported to Lodz ghetto. Every one of them perished. Ottla Kafka David's gentile husband and two daughters survived World War II. However, upon divorcing Josef David in 1942, Ottla was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Terezin ghetto. She died in October, 1943 after volunteering to escort children on a rail journey from Terezin to Auschwitz. A German soldier shot and killed Kafka's girlfriend Grete Bloch in Florence, Italy. The SS transported his comedian pal Yitzhak Levi from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka for execution in 1942. Milena Jesenska worked for the Czech Resistance between 1938 and 1939, when Nazi Secret Police arrested her. She died from illness in Ravensbruck concentration camp on May 17, 1944. All of Kafka's surreal premonitions came to pass during the Nazi reign of terror.

_______________

Endnotes

1 Ronald Hayman, Kafka, A Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 1982, p. 6.

2 Ibid., p. 92.

3 Ernst Pawel, The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka, Quality Paperback Book Club, New York, 1984, p. 17, op. cit. Franz Kafka, Dec., 1912 letter to Felice Bauer.

4 Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena (Letters of Franz Kafka to Milena Jesenska), Willy Haas, editor, New York, Schocken Books, 1952, p. 49.

5 Franz Kafka, Letter to his Father, trans. Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, Schocken, New York, 1966, p. 18.

6 Pawel, p. 383.

7 Ibid., p. 51.

8 Ibid., p. 102.

9 Hayman, p. 261. Kafka actually used the word "western," which had the implication of "free-thinking" or "secular."

10 Franz Kafka, Letters to Felice (Letters of Franz Kafka to Felice Bauer), Erich Heller and Jurgen Born, editors, trans. James Stern and Elisabeth Duckworth, Schocken, New York, 1973, p. 723, 10/11/1916 letter of F. Kafka to F. Bauer.

11 Pawel, p. 22.

12 Franz Kafka, The Diaries of Franz Kafka, 1910-1923, Max Brad, editor, trans. Joseph Kresh, Schocken, New York, 1948-1949, entry for 10/1/1911.

13 Letters to Felice, F. Kafka to F. Bauer, 9/16/1916.

14 Kafka Diaries, Brad ed., 10/1/1911.

15 Kafka, Letters to Milena, p. 184.

16 Hayman, p. 248, op. cit., F. Kafka 4/8/1920 letter to Max Brad.

17 Ibid., p. 251, F. Kafka May, 1920 letter to Max Brad.

18 Kafka, Letters to Milena, p. 33.

19 Pawel, p. 377.

20 Max Brod, Franz Kafka, Schocken Books, New York, 1960, p. 137.

21 Hayman, p. 209, op. cit. F. Kafka letter to Max Brod, July, 1916.

22 Ibid., p. 99, op. cit. Max Brod Diary, 9/2/1911.

23 Kafka, Letters to Felice, 5/15/1913.

24 Ibid.

25 Kafka Diaries, 6/28/1912.

26 Pawel, p. 400.

27 Ibid., p. 124.

28 Hayman, p. 246.

29 Ibid.

39 Pawel, p. 195.

31 Kafka Diaries, 7/19/1912.

32 Pawel, p. 260.

33 Ibid., p. 176.

34 Ibid., p. 181.

35 Ibid., p. 187.

36 Ibid., p. 194, F. Kafka letter to Max Brod, summer, 1909.

37 Hayman, p. 41, op, cit. F. Kafka 1/27/1904 letter to Oskar Pollak.

38 Pawel, p. 100.

39 Kafka Diaries, 1/19/1911.

40 Kafka, Letter to his Father, p. 51. (Ronald Hayman states that the book given to Hermann was "The Penal Colony and Other Stories.")

41 Ibid., p. 192, F. Kafka letter to Max Brad, September, 1908.

42 Kafka Diaries, p. 401.

43 Kafka, Letters to Felice, 12/16/1912.

44 Pawel, p. 195.

45 Ibid., p. 430.

46 Kafka Diaries, 8/20/1912.

47 Kafka, Letters to Felice, 8/14/1912.

48 Ibid., 9/28/1912.

49 Pawel, pp. 282-284 passim.

50 Kafka, Letters to Felice, p. 402, 7/22/1912 letter.

51 Ibid., p. 383, 51/5/1913 letter.

52 Ibid.

53 Ibid., p. 458, 8/22/1913 letter.

54 Ibid., p. 284, 11/1/1912 letter.

55 Ibid., p. 295, 6/26/1913 letter.

56 Ibid., p. 291, 2/20/1913 letter.

57 Pawel, p. 252.

58 Ibid., p. 97.

59 Kafka Diaries, 8/15/1914.

60 Pawel, p. 97, F. Kafka letter to Max Brad, 7/5/1922.

61 Kafka, Letter to his Father, p. 11.

62 Franz Kafka, The Castle, trans. Edwin and Willa Muir, A. A. Knopf, New York, 1941, p. 64.

63 Kafka, Letters to Milena, p. 20.

64 Ibid., p. 34.

65 Hayman, p. 73, F. Kafka letter to Hedwig Weiler, mid-April, 1909, p. 67.

66 Pawel, p. 366, F. Kafka letter to Max Brad, October, 1917.

67 Kafka, Letters to Felice, p. 3/21/1915 letter.

68 Hayman, p. 226, F. Kafka letter to Oskar Baum, mid-September, 1917.

69 Ibid., p. 86, F. Kafka postcard to Max Brod, postmarked 10/20/1910.

70 Kafka Diaries, 11/5/1911.

71 Hayman, p. 87, F. Kafka letter to Max Brad, 12/26/1910.

72 Kafka, Letters to Felice, pp. 239-240, F. Kafka 8/1/1913 letter to F. Bauer. The actual incident occurred three years earlier, in April, 1910.

73 Kafka, Milena Letters, p. 43.

74 Ibid., p. 39.

75 Ibid., p. 58.

76 Ibid., p. 179.

77 Ibid., p. 54.

78 Ibid., p. 167.

79 Ibid., p. 120.

80 Franz Kafka, Letters to Ottla and the Family, Nahum N. Glatzer, editor, trans. Richard & Clara Winston, Schocken, New York, 1982, p. 77, 4/6/1920 letter from F. Kafka to Ottla Kafka David.

81 Hayman, p. 290, up. cit., J. P. Hodin, "Memories of Franz Kafka," Horizon Magazine, 1948, pp. 36-37.

82 Ibid., p. 302.

83 Ibid., p. 294.

84 Pawel, p. 437.

85 Hayman, p. 303.
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Index

A

Abegg, Lily von 404
Adler, Viktor 268
Alexander III, Tsar 181, 182, 185, 377
Alexandra, Empress 182, 187, 188,
191, 206
Alexis, Tsarevich 192, 193, 194, 195,
200, 204
Alsberg, Max 116
Altenberg, Jacob 275
Amann, Max 309, 335, 398, 401, 407,
408, 411, 421
Anderson, Walter C. "Fuzzy" 340
Antaeus 387
Anthroposophy 222, 223, 225, 226,
231, 232, 233, 234
Anti-Semitism xi, xii, xiv, 3, 113, 212,
222, 231, 235, 274, 275, 277,
281, 299, 301, 319, 321, 327,
328, 353, 354, 361, 369, 370,
375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 380,
381, 382, 384, 386, 409, 416,
418, 430
Ariosophy xi, xii, xiv, 110, 116, 222,
233, 281, 357
Armistice 68, 103, 121, 388
Arras 96, 312
Auf Gut Deutsch xiii, 12, 19, 24, 51,
128, 129, 131, 132, 133, 134,
135, 136, 139, 141, 145, 146,
149, 214, 217, 225, 230, 231,
232, 235, 279, 329, 332, 333,
337, 341, 342, 343, 354, 355,
360, 361, 371, 372, 396, 401,
416, 418, 422
Auschwitz 276, 417, 438, 447
Austerlitz, Frederick 269
Aveling, Edward 174
Axelrod, Tobias 119, 137

B

Bab, Julius 50
Bachofen, J.J. 54
Bacon, Francis 384
Baden, Max von 103
Bakunin, Michael 154, 164, 168
Bapaume 68
Bartels, Alfred 56
Baruch, Bernard 137, 365, 366
Bauer, Bruno 154, 162
Bauer, Felice 424, 426, 436, 440, 448
Bauer, Max 338
Bayreuth 6, 298, 335, 387
Bazaine, Francois Achille 65
Beamish, Henry Hamilton 340
Bechstein, Helena 321, 334, 335
Beckendorff, Alexander von 202
Belleau Wood 102
Bentham, Jeremy 384
Bentinck, Godard 104
Ben-Tovim;Puah 435
Berchtold, Leopold von 88
Berger-Prinz, Hans 246
Bernhard, Georg 12, 214
Bernhardi, Friedrich von 301
Bernstein, Edouard 80
Bertie, Sir Francis 206
Besant, Annie 222, 225
Bethmann-Holliwig, Theobald von 52
Bettelheim, Bruno 319, 382
Bhagavad Gita 294, 303
Bible 43, 161, 222, 235, 359, 366,
372, 373, 378, 402
Bickel, Travis 301
Bierbaumer, Kathe 124, 342
Bismarck, Otto von 61, 62, 71, 72, 77,
92, 95, 149, 166
Blavatsky, Helena P. 111, 222, 229,
235, 286, 288, 302, 356, 357
Bleichroecler, Gerson 70
Bloch, Grete 440, 447
Blos, Wilhelm 230
Blumenthal, Leonhard von 68
Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin xii,
23, 51, 146, 275, 302, 303, 328,
354, 360, 361, 362, 363, 365,
367, 368, 370, 372, 373, 386,
407, 412, 418
Bomhard, Karl Guido 7, 20, 324, 331,
409
Booth, John Wilkes 301
Borne, Ludwig 28, 29, 30, 34, 162,
298
Bourlis, Catherine 41
Brandler-Pracht, Karl 230
Brandmayer, Balthasar 309
Bratwurst-Glockl Cafe 53, 127
Breiting, Richard 244, 253, 260, 281,
414, 422
Brenessel Wine Cellar 313, 335, 340
Bretano, Franz 223
Brod, Max 423, 429, 430, 433, 435,
436, 438, 440, 442, 443, 447,
448, 449, 450, 451
Bruckmann, Elsa 53, 321
Buch, Walter 282
Bulow, Karl von 96
Bulwer-Lynon, Edward 297
Burgerbrau-Keller 340
Burns, Mary 161

C

Cafe Heck 127, 335
Cambrai 102
Caste System 284
Cavell, Edith 310
Chamberlain, Houston Stewart 135,
321, 358, 359, 370, 380, 387,
394
Chamberlain, Joseph 87, 88
Chateau Thierry 102
Chichini, Herr 256
Chichini, Petronella 256
Churchill, Winston 105, 107, 200
Circus Krone 340, 341, 409, 412
Class, Heinrich 118, 130, 274, 300,
416
Clemenceau, Georges 104
Cohn, Norman 211, 214, 280
Coloumb, Emma 287
Communards 163
Communism xi, 123, 149, J 50, 160,
165, 168, 171, 172, 175, 206,
218, 229, 339, 340, 344, 364,
387, 418
Comte, August 300
Conrad, Michael Georg 55
Cossman, Paul Nikolas 315
Cowles, Virginia 75, 76, 91, 100, 108
Crowley, Aleister 111, 232, 288
Currie, Arthur 102

D

Daim, Wilfred 291, 293
David, Anton 269
David, Josef 429, 441, 447
Der Froschkonig 23
d'Esperey, Franchot 96
Diament, Dora 446, 447
Dinter, Artur 132, 282, 329
Dohms, Wilhelm von 381
D'Olivet, Fabre 228
Dollinger, Friedrich 362
Dollman, Eugene 326, 332
Douay, Abel 66
Drach, David Paul 10
Drexler, Anton 113, 123, 133, 144,
312, 313, 315, 316, 336, 337,
339, 341, 342, 403, 415, 422
Duhring, Eugen 275

E

Ebert, Frederick 121, 129, 389, 403
Eckart, Anna 1
Eckart, Dietrich xii, xiii, xiv, xv, 1, 2, 4,
5, 12, 13, 14, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30,
52, 59, 76, 110, 112, 114, 115,
119, 121, 123, 124, 127, 129,
142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 149,
162, 181, 212, 217, 221, 224,
227, 228, 230, 234, 235, 275,
282, 294, 297, 299, 302, 303,
313, 315, 316, 319, 320, 323,
328, 329, 331, 333, 336, 341,
342, 350, 353, 357, 371, 372,
376, 380, 382, 384, 385, 386,
387, 389, 391, 392, 394, 395,
396, 397, 398, 411, 414, 417,
418, 420, 421, 422, 431
Eckart, Georg Christian 1, 144, 418
Eckart, Rose 52, 53, 56, 129, 134, 302,
324, 325, 342, 343, 398
Eckart, Simon 52, 333, 342
Eckart, Wilhelm 60, 145
Eck, Klaus 128, 399, 403
Eckstein, Frederick 288
Edict of Toleration 377, 378
Edward VII, King 74, 81, 182
Egelhofer, Rudolf 121
Ehrhardt, Hermann 393
Eisner, Kurt 118, 122, 134, 136, 388,
411
Elizabeth, Grand Duchess 186, 208,
334
Ellerbeck, Ellegaard 57, 133
Engel, Fritz 10, 50
Engelman, Ralph 6, 53, 336, 362, 398,
410, 417
Engels, Friedrich 28, 34, 153, 155,
156, 158, 162, 168, 173, 176,
177, 178, 214, 215
Epp, Franz Riner von 144, 321
Erlanger, Frau 277, 343
Erzberger, Matthias 99, 103, 129, 389,
402
Esser, Hermann 135, 315, 321, 333,
335, 347, 398, 403, 404, 405,
411
Eulenberg, Prince Philip 76, 81
Eunicke, Anna 224, 232
Euplurismus 229, 391
Euthanasia 294, 300
Evans, Hiram 400
Eyck, Erich 393

F

Falkenhayn, Erich von 97, 391
Familenvater 9, 15, 339
Favre, Jules 67, 68, 163, 164
Feder, Gottfried 119, 123, 127, 133,
134, 135, 138, 141, 145, 146,
218, 315, 327, 336, 337, 369,
415
Feidl, Philip 324
Feingold, Josef 276
Fledermaus Hohle 127, 410
Fleischauer, Ulrich 340, 350
Fletcher, Horace 430
Foch, Ferdinand 103
Forster, Bernhard 258
Four Seasons Hotel 118, 121, 127,
233, 339
Franckenstein, Clemens von 335
Franco-Prussian War 63, 68, 70, 72,
88, 96, 171, 232, 298
Frank, Han 239, 242, 253, 387, 395
Franz-Ferdinand, Archduke 88
Frederick, Crown Prince 65, 66, 67,
68, 70, 72, 73, 83, 86
Freiligrath, Ferdinand 162
Freud, Sigmund 277, 325, 385, 387
Friedlander, Saul 108, 299, 304, 378,
394
Fritsch, Theodore 19, 116, 274, 362,
376, 377, 379
Fritzsche, Ono 20
Fromm, Bella 334, 350

G

Galton, Francis 300
Gambetta, Leon 67, 68
Gansser, Emil 142, 321, 342, 344, 348,
407, 418
Gansser, Hans 142
Gapon, Father George 191
Gaubatz, Georg 113, 116
Gebhard, Maria 285
Gemlich, Alfred 327
Generali Insurance Co. 432
George, Stefan 53, 54
George V, King 69, 90, 206
Gerlich, Fritz 128, 315, 381, 401
German Workers Party 114, 122, 124,
143, 144, 145, 312, 315, 316,
322, 336, 339, 341, 342, 345,
401, 405, 422
Gersdorff, Wolfgang Graf van 51, 59
Gesell, Silvio 133
Gilliard, Pierre 203
Glass!, Anna 239
Gobel, Friedrich I 16
Goebbels, Josef 25, 15I, 277, 37 I, 382
Goering, Hermann 114, 405
Goethe 4, 223, 225, 354, 362, 400,
414, 435
Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah 376, 394
Goldhammer, Leo 272
Gorsleben, Rudolf 57, 133, 134
Gorrerdamerung 257
Gougenot des Mousseaux, Henri-Roger
10, 214, 362, 363
Gramont, Antoine de 63
Grandel, Gottfried 134, 32 I, 338, 342
Grassinger, Georg 113, 333, 340
Gravelotte 66, 67
Greim, Robert Ritter von 338
Greiner, Josef 260, 277
Greim, Rudolf Heinrich 4
Graener, Wilhelm 121
Guseva, Khionia 195

H

Haase, Hugo 129, 364, 388
Haeckl, Ernst xii, 4, 224, 300, 310
Haffner, Sebastian 268
Hagen, Father Theodor 245
Haig, Douglas 98, 101, 102
Halm, Alfred 19
Hamann, Brigitte 126, 265, 279, 303,
328, 332, 373, 395
Hanfstaengl, Ernst 143, 321, 323, 332,
398, 400, 405, 406, 409, 420,
421
Hanisch, Reinhold 25, 257, 261, 262,
263, 265, 269, 272, 275, 279,
280, 327
Hanussen, Erik Jan 277
Harden, Maximilien 10
Harney, George Julian 155, ]56, 160
Harrer, Karl 113, 117, 123, 316, 337,
339
Hartmann, Franz 14, 56, 222, 224,
225, 285, 287, 288, 289, 290,
302, 356, 357
Hausler, Rudolf 264, 272, 305
Hegel, Georg Friedrich 151
Heiden, Konrad xii, 7, 23, 146, 235,
262, 314, 362
Heine, Heinrich xiii, xiv, xv, 4, 12, 25,
27, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 154,
160, 162, 298, 385, 390, 416,
430, 432, 442
Heine, Salomon 26, 27
Heine, Samson 25, 26
Hell, Josef 328, 332
Hentschel, Willibald 258
Hepp, Ernst 306, 311
Hering, Johannes I 12, 113, 122
Herold Verlag 12, 50, 51
Herwegh, Georg 154, 156
Herzl, Theodore xiii, 389, 428
Hess, Moses 153, 162
Hess, Rudolf 114, 119, 321, 335, 347
Himmler, Heinrich 122, 282
Hinckley, John 301
Hindenburg, Paul von 96, 104, 107
Hintzpeter, George 83
Hirschfeld, Magnus 80, 81, 271, 324,
326
Hitler, Adolf xii, xiii, 13, 21, 25, 52,
113, 115, 123, 126, 149, 166,
215, 234, 237, 238, 239, 241,
242, 244, 245, 247, 253, 255,
257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 265,
272, 273, 279, 280, 281, 292,
313, 317, 319, 320, 321, 323,
326, 331, 332, 333, 336, 350,
357, 367, 373, 374, 376, 382,
386, 389, 391, 394, 395, 396,
397, 409, 417, 420, 421, 422
Hitler, Alois 239, 240, 242, 243, 246,
252, 255, 272, 424
Hitler, Johann Georg 238
Hitler, Johann Nepoll1uk 238, 239,
243
Hitler, Klara Polzl 243, 255, 257, 259,
275, 424
Hitler, Paula 241, 243
Hofbrauhaus 142, 316, 340, 399
Hoffman, Heinrich 307, 321, 397,
405, 410, 411
Hoheneichen Verlag 12, 303, 372
Holthausen, Eleonore 20, 24
Honisch, Karl 327
Horbiger, Hans xii, 329
Hubbe-Schleiden, Wilhelm 285, 288
Huelson-Haeseler, Dietrich von 15, 76
Huelson-Haeseler, Georg von 17, 50,
80, 128, 130, 324
Hugenburg, AJfred 344
Hume, David 384
Humer, Edouard 246
Hutier, Oskar von 101
Huxley, Thomas 300

I

Ibsen, Henrik 47, 52, 59
Ingra, Samuel 272, 326, 332
Inkofer, Josef 309
Ito, Hirobumi 188
Iwao, Oyama 190

J

Jacobsohn, Siegfried 10, 51
Jahoda, Rudolf 260
Janouch, Gusrav 431
Jaubert, Caroline 32, 39
Jesenska, Jan 441
Jesenska, Milena 427, 441, 447, 448
Jesus 27, 32, 218, 222, 226, 282, 288,
298, 299, 356, 357, 358, 359,
378, 383, 391, 406
Joffre, Joseph 96
Joly, Maurice 214
Jones, Ernesr 155, 156
Josef II, Emperor 377, 423
Judge, William Quan 284, 302
Julia, Henri 42
Julian the Apostate, Emperor 301

K

Kaczynski, Theodore 301
Kafka, Franz xiii, xiv, 140, 378, 385,
390, 394, 423, 429, 432, 434,
435, 445, 447, 448, 449, 451
Kafka, Hermann 423, 424, 425, 426,
428, 433, 441
Kafka, Julie Lowy 423, 424
Kafka, Ottla 429, 447, 451
Kahr, Gustav von 340, 410, 411, 412,
421
Kampe, Julius 134
Kapp, Wolfgang 337
Karl of Austria, Emperor 99
Kellner, Karl 288
Kemnitz, Mathilde von 218
Kernesky, Alexander 201, 209
Kinkel, Gottfried 163
Kirdorf, Emil 134
Klages, Ludwig 53, 54, 55
K1opstock, Robert 446
Kluck, Alexandre von 96
Kobylinsky, Eugen 202
Kogutzki, Felix 234
Koniggratz 62
Konigswater, Moniz 261
Kraft-Ebbing, Richard 277
Kraus, Karl 380, 385, 430
Krishnamurti, Jiddu 225
Krohn, Friedrich 57, 342
Kubizek, August xii, 251, 253, 258,
260, 263, 265, 269, 272, 275,
277, 279, 295, 297, 322, 327
Kun, Bela 137, 217
Kunze, Dora 342
Kuropatkin, Alexei 190
Kursell, Otto von 54, 128, 217, 403

L

LaFargue, Paul 157, 159, 167, 173,
177
Lagarde, Paul 4, 378, 384
Lambach Abbey 240, 245
Landauer, Gustav 119
Landauer, Otto 129
Landman, Samuel 137
Landsberger, Samuel 275
Langbehn, Julius 378, 384, 390
Langer, Walter 242, 280, 332, 350,
382, 394, 420
Lanz von Liebenfals, Adolf Josef xii, 14,
19, 222
Lassalle, Ferdinand 28, 34, 165, 166,
364, 379, 389
Lassarge, Louis 47
Lassen, Christian 298, 378, 379, 394
Lauboeck, Fritz 309, 403
Lawrence, T.E. 366
Leadbetter, Charles 222, 290
LeBon, Gustave 329
Lehmann, Julius 128, 133, 321, 342
LeMans 68
Lenin, Vladimir Illych (real name Ulyanov)
xi, xii, 23, 51, 56, 120,
136, 146, 173, 175, 200, 201,
202, 203, 205, 206, 207, 209,
216, 219, 275, 302, 303, 328,
340, 354, 360, 361, 362, 363,
365, 367, 368, 370, 372, 373,
386, 408, 412, 418
Leonding 240, 241, 245, 255
Levien. Max 119, 137, 314
Levine, Eugene 119, 137, 314
Levi, Yitzhak 428. 447
Ley, Robert 151, 387
Lichnowsky, Karl 88
Liebknecht, Wilhelm 104, 129, 134,
159, 160, 161, 162, 176, 223
Linz xii, 240, 241, 245, 246, 251, 255,
257, 258, 259, 273, 274, 277,
297, 306, 329
Lippen, Karl 277, 309
Lipp, Franz 120
Lisaine 68
Lissagaray, Prosper Olivier 173
List, Guido van 4, 19, 21, 54, Ill,
112, 116, 117, 221, 222, 233,
258, 274, 282, 285, 288, 289,
292, 303, 355, 357, 358, 367
Locke, John 384
Loffner, Siegfried 275
Lohengrin 257, 298, 334
Lorenzaccio 57, 58, 128, 132, 329,
400, 412
Lossow, Otto Hermann van 326
Lowenbrau-Keller 340
Ludecke, Kurt 131, 143, 146, 323,
398, 400, 405, 421
Ludendorff, Erich von 96
Ludwig II, King 70
Lueger, Karl 263, 268, 270, 271, 289
Lukacs, John xii.317
Lusitania 99
Luxemburg, Rosa 134, 379

M

Machtan, Lothar 272, 317, 323, 326,
331, 350, 420
Mackensen, August van 106
Malet, Edward 84
Maltselberger, Franziska "Fanni" 239
Mandel, Ignaz 268
Mannerheim Hostel 261, 269
Marie, Empress 186, 187
Marne 96, 97, 102
Mars La Tour 66
Marx, Eleanor 174, 179
Marx, Jenny 33, 158, 172, 173, 179
Marx, Jennychen 33, 155, 160, 172,
173
Marx, Karl xiii, xiv, 28, 41, 136, 149,
150, 151, 153, 154, 156, 157,
162, 166, 169, 175, 176, 177,
178, 179, 214, 215, 219, 220,
298, 373, 379, 430
Marx, Laura 173
Masurian Lakes 96, 199, 218
May, Karl 250
Mayr, Karl 144, 314, 315, 327, 333,
381
Mayroder, Josef 259
McMahon, Patrice 67
Mein Kampf 126, 141, 144, 237, 242,
244, 250, 252, 253, 265, 269,
270, 275, 279, 280, 299, 300,
307, 317, 361, 364, 369, 373,
374, 414, 422
Meissner, Alfred 31, 35
Mendelssohn, Felix 379
Mendelssohn, Moses 379
Mend, Hans 151, 308, 312, 314
Metternich, Klemens 251
Metz 65, 66, 67, 68, 96, 103
Meuse-Argonne 103
Meyerink, Gustav 115
Michael, Grand Duke 200, 206
Miller, Barbara Lane 145, 317, 353,
371, 396, 417, 422
Mirat, Mathilde Cresenda Eugenie 32
Molt, Emil 227, 230
Moltke, Helmut von the Elder 62
Moltke, Helmut von the Younger 78,
95
Moltke, Kuno Graf von 80
Mons 96, 103
Morgenstern, Samuel 275, 276
Morya, Master 283, 286, 287
Moses xii, 23, 27, 51, 146, 153, 162,
275, 302, 303, 328, 354, 356,
360, 361, 362, 363, 365, 367,
368, 370, 372, 373, 379, 386,
408, 412, 418
Mosse, Rudolf 11
Mueller, Jurgen Petersen 429
Mueller, Karl Alexander von 127, 142,
315
Muesam, Erich 119
Mukden 190
Muller, Adolf 130, 336
Muller von Hausen, Ludwig 212
Mund, Max 309
Munich 8, 15, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 52,
53, 54, 56, 57, 59, 76, 80, 112,
113, 116, 118, 119, 120, 121,
122, 123, 126, 127, 128, 134,
137, 143, 145, 146, 163, 212,
214, 219, 253, 264, 277, 279,
288, 292, 303, 304, 305, 306,
314, 315, 320, 325, 326, 327,
328, 332, 336, 339, 344, 345,
346, 347, 348, 350, 371, 372,
374, 380, 395, 398, 399, 400,
401, 402, 403, 405, 407, 408,
409, 410, 412, 414, 421, 422,
440

N

Namur 96, 103, 310
Napoleon, Louis (aka Napoleon III)
63, 64, 67, 72, 163
Nauhaus, Walter 113, 116, 121
Nazism xi, xiii, .xiv, xv, 1, 22, 25, 59,
106, 109, 110, 122, 142, 145,
150, 151, 215, 281, 317, 331,
368, 371, 372, 373, 394, 396,
400, 420, 422, 439
Neumann, Angelo 299
Neumann, Josef 272, 275
Neumayer, Josef 289
Nicholas II, Tsar xiv, 181
Nilus, Sergey 214
Nivelle, Robert Georges 101
Noske, Gustav 121

O

Obster, Anna 24, 59, 325, 398, 421
Odic Force 290
alcon, Henry 224, 283, 284, 286
Olden, Rudolf 262
Orbeliani, Princess Sonia 187
Orlov, Alexander I 82
Ostara 285, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296,
303

P

Paleologue, Maurice 195, 208
Parkinson's Disease 246
Parsifal 6, 298, 322, 355
Pasewalk 312, 314
Passau 240. 241
Passchendaele 101, 102
Pawel, Ernst 30, 32, 42, 43, 394, 426,
431, 435, 437, 448
Petain, Philippe 97
Picard, Ernest 163, 164
Plewnia, Margarete 4, 14, 22, 145,
235, 347.350, 371, 395, 415,
421
Pobedonostsev, Konstantin 181
Poetsche, Ludwig 251
Pohl, Hermann 112, 113, 117
Pohl, Max 50
Pohner, Ernst 121
Polak, Oskar 441, 444
Polzen-Hoditz, Ludwig 229
Polzl, Johanna 262
Ponsonby, Sir Frederick 73, 106
Popp, Josef 305, 310
Port Arthur 189, 190
Prague 378, 423, 424, 426, 427, 428,
430, 435, 436, 440, 441
Preuss, Hugo 136, 388
Pribram, Ewald Felix 432
Pribram, Otto 432, 443
Princip, Gavrilo 88
Printz, Johann 258
Protocols of the Elders of Zion 106,
213.214, 329
Proudhon, Pierre 164, 167

R

Rasputin, Grigori 182, 193, 194
Rathenau, Mathilde Nachman 389
Rathenau, Walter xiii, 136, 229, 388,
389, 393, 396
Raubal, Angela 257, 259, 264, 277
Raubal, Geli 327
Raubal, Leo 259
Ravensbruck 447
Rayner, Oswald 198
Reck-Malleczewen, Friedrich 335
Redlich, Fritz 328, 332
Reich, Alben 1, 4, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24,
50, 343, 398
Reichenbach, Karl yon 290
Reptile Fund 69, 70
Revendow, Ernst zu 334
Revendow, Fanni zu xiv, 53, 296
Robinsohn, Simon 275
Rodzianko, Michael 199
Rohm, Ernst 114, 144, 217, 324, 342,
398, 403, 405
Roon, Albrecht yon 62
Rosenberg, Alfred 4, 8, 22, 24, 53,
119, 128, 132, 136, 141, 145,
211, 212, 216, 217, 219, 234,
235, 282, 321, 324, 328, 331,
335, 343, 350, 364, 371, 387,
388, 398, 412, 417, 421
Rossbach, Gerhard 324
Rossius-Rhyn, Ernst 20, 24
Rousseau, Jean Jacques 152
Rubinstein, Joseph 299
Ruge, Arnold 154, 162
Rupp, Leila 422
Rupprecht, Crown Prince 98, 107,
217, 410
Russell, Bertrand 249
Russo-Japanese War 183, 188, 191,
198

S

Sacher-Masoch, Leopold von 278
Sager, Otto 52
Sage, Srephen F. 239
Salomon, Ernst von 418, 422
Salten, Felix 278
Samsonov. Alexander 96
Samuel Fischer Verlag 50, 331, 392
Sandels, Princess Augusta 79
Saxe-Coburg, Prince Albert of 71, 86
Sazanov, Serge 197
Schell, Josef 305
Schemm, Hans 282
Scheubner-Richter, Max von 213, 219,
348, 360
Schicklgruber, Maria Anna 238
Schlegel, Friedrich 285, 298, 379
Schleicher, Kurt von 106
Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Augusta
Victoria of 75
Schlieffen, Alfred Graf von 95
Schliemann, Heinrich 379
Schmidt, Ernst 309, 314
Schmidt, Theresia Polzl 243
Schnitzer, Mortiz 430
Schocken, Walter 440
Schoenerer, Georg Ritter von 138, 244
Schopenhauer, Arthur 4, 5, 24, 221,
222, 223, 324, 331, 358, 360,
383
Schroer, Karl Julius 223
Schuler, Alfred 53, 224, 288, 306
Schulze-Berghof, Paul 51
Schwarzek Sanitarium 398, 417
Schwarz, Father Franz DeSales 247
Scorcese, Martin 30 I
Sebottendorf, Rudolf von (aka Adam
Rudolf Glauer) xiv, 109, 110,
111, 113.115, 122, 124, 126,
127, 128, 130, 134, 225, 282,
333, 339, 342
Sedan 67
Selden, Camille 40, 46
Shabelsky- Bork, Pyotr 213
Shearman, Hugh 383, 394
Sievers, Marie von 224, 232
Silesius, Angelus 4, 5, 221, 359
Simplicissmus 9, 53
Singer, Mortiz 261
Smith, Adam 169, 384
Socialism xi, xiii, 7, 14, 23, 29, 114,
123, 138, 144, 146, 159, 167,
170, 175, 235, 274, 282, 290,
319, 331, 337, 341, 346, 379,
380, 401
Social Democratic Party 166
Sokolov, Nicholai 204
Somme 98, 102
Spartacist Revolt 113, 119, 134, 137,
314
Spicheren 66
Spiess, Bernhard 218
Spiral 238, 239, 257, 260, 312
Stadler, Edouard 344, 348
Stauff, Philipp 112, 118, 290, 292
Steinbach, Xavier 16, 17, 19, 23, 24,
322
Steiner, Rudolf xiv, 14, 56, 221, 222,
223, 226, 228, 230, 234, 235,
357, 358, 383, 401, 430
Steinert, Marlis 382
Stein, Walter Johannes 234
Steppes, Edmund 54, 128
Sr. Mihiel 103
Stoessel, Anatoly 189
Sr. Paul 367
Sr. Privar 66
Steyr 255; 256, 257
Strasser, Gregor 320, 340, 349, 387
Streicher, Julius 113, 114, 128, 144,
339, 341, 398, 399
Stresemann, Gustav 376
Srrindberg, August 437
Srurmabteiling 114
Sturmer, Boris 182, 197
Sturmlechner 257
Sr. Yvesd'Alveydre, Joseph Alexandre
228
Sverdlov, Jakov 136, 204, 205

T

Tannhauser, Eugen 308
Tarnhari (aka Ernst Lauterer) 21, 117,
233, 322, 358, 417
Tausig, Carl 299
Talmud 214, 427, 446
Tannenberg 218
Termudi 115
Theosophy 57, 111, 221, 222, 225,
231, 235, 281, 284, 289, 302,
357
TheoZoology xii, 14, 214, 292, 296,
300, 386
The Castle 434, 439, 440, 447, 451
The Metamorphosis 439
The Trial 439, 447
Thiers, Adolphe 69, 163, 173
Thoma, Ludwig 411
Thule Society xiv, 109, 110, III, 112,
113, 114, 116, 117, 118, 119,
120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 127,
133, 134, 225, 234
Tirpitz, Alfred von 82
Toller, Ernst 119, 120, 134, 137, 314
Tolstoy, Leo 181, 183, 249
Totalism 228, 229, 230
Trajan, Emperor 363
Treaty of Frankfurt 69
Trebitsch, Arthur xiv, 385, 386, 431
Trebitsch-Lincoln, Ignaz Thimotheus
338
Trevor-Roper, Hugh 22, 147, 299, 350,
395
Trotsky, Leon 56, 200, 205, 209

U

Ullstein, Leopold 11
Unger, Carl 230, 234
Urfahr 257

V

Verdun 65, 66, 97
Versailles Treaty 105, 123, 137, 144,
389, 402
Victoria, Crown Princess 183
Victoria, Queen 71, 72, 74, 75, 82,
85, 86, 91, 105, 184, 186, 187,
192, 208
Vienna 15, 25, 26, 82, 112, 116, 126,
170, 183, 223, 234, 239, 244,
251, 253, 255, 257, 258, 259,
260, 261, 262, 265, 268, 272,
273, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280,
282, 288, 289, 290, 293, 295,
299, 303, 305, 320, 326, 327,
332, 347, 373, 378, 385, 387,
395, 428, 441, 444
Vinberg, Fyodor 213
Vionville 66
Vogl, Adolf 54, 128
Vollrath, Hugo 14, 124, 222, 225, 231
Voss, Klara 115
Vyrubrovna, Anna 187, 208

W

Wachler, Ernst 57
Wagner, Cosima 6, 304
Wagner, Richard 257, 297, 299, 365,
384, 387, 417
Wagner, Siegfried 335
Wagner, Winifred 321
Waite, Robert G.L. 332
Webb, James 22, 122, 127, 146, 220,
225, 228, 235, 273, 279, 302,
362, 372, 417, 422
Wedekind, Frank 53
Weideburg, Paul Herrmann 16, 52,
131
Weiler, Hedwig 436, 451
Weil, Simone 149
Weininger, Otto xiv, 4, 47, 324, 354,
358, 361, 385, 386, 387, 390,
395, 416, 431
Weiss, Jacob 309
Werfel, Franz 44 I
Westenkircher, Ignaz 308, 309
Westphalen, Ludwig von 152
Wiesenthal, Simon 295, 303
Wilhelm I, Emperor 3, 72, 270
Wilhelm II, Emperor 52, 74, 76, 81,
85, 108, 184, 390
Wilhelmina, Queen 104, 105
Wilson, Woodrow 99, 103, 105, 365,
389
Wissembourg 65
Witte, Sergei 182, 191
Wittgensrein, Karl 248
Wingenrsrein, Ludwig 385, 431
Woenh 66
Wohryzek, Julie 440
Wolff, Wilhelm 158
Wolfskehl, Karl 53, 54, 56, 306
World War I xi, xii, xiii, xiv, 53, 57, 84,
88, 103, 107, 112, 128, 137,
139, 140, 187, 189, 195, 198,
199, 216, 223, 228, 257, 269,
307, 309, 328, 338, 365, 370,
376, 379, 381, 384, 402

Y

Youssopov, Felix 197, 198
Ypres 97, 232, 307, 308, 310
Yurovsky, Jacov 204

Z

Zaeper, Max 54, 128, 333, 418
Zakreys, Maria 258
Zinoviev, Grigori 136, 137
Zweig, Stefan 345, 351, 385
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Re: Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Mil

Postby admin » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:57 am

Conclusion

Historians should discard the notion of a linear German Sonderweg (special path) that led directly to Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. The American scholar Daniel Goldhagen in particular presents an overly simplistic version of the Sonderweg thesis in his book Hitler’s Willing Executioners. He asserts, "The Holocaust was a sui generis event that has a historically specific explanation," notably "enabling conditions created by the long-incubating, pervasive. virulent, racist, eliminationist antisemitism of German culture."1 Instead of focusing solely on alleged German peculiarities in the vein of Goldhagen, historians should understand the genesis and development of National Socialism in the context of cross-cultural interaction between defeated groups from World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution: alienated volkisch (nationalist/racist) Germans and vengeful White emigres. While the National Socialist movement largely developed in a volkisch framework, many White emigres made crucial political, military, financial, and ideological contributions to National Socialism.

Hitler's National Socialist movement would not have arisen in the form it did without the twin upheavals of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution. Far right movements in both the German and Russian Empires, while stronger in the latter than in the former, proved politically weak. Imperial German culture did develop coherent volkisch views with redemptive overtones. In particular, the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the composer Richard Wagner, and the author Houston Stewart Chamberlain urged the German people to transcend the shallow materialism that they associated with the Jews and to attain redemption by negating the will to live. Despite this detailed philosophy, no volkisch movement with mass appeal developed before the disastrous outcome of World War I. Neither Heinrich Class' Pan-German League, Ludwig Muller von Hausen's Association against the Presumption of Jewry, nor Wolfgang Kapp's German Fatherland Party gained broad popular support. Kapp and Class also failed to replace the Kaiser with a military dictatorship under the volkisch General Erich von Ludendorff in 1917.

In the Russian Empire, far rightists achieved greater political success than their volkisch German counterparts, but they soon declined in importance. Beginning in the revolutionary year 1905, the Black Hundred movement, which drew from the apocalyptic ideas of the authors Fedor Dostoevskii and Vladimir Solovev, gained a mass following. Led by the Union of the Russian People, Black Hundred organizations disseminated anti-Western, anti-socialist, and anti-Semitic views to a relatively wide audience. Imperial Russian conservative revolutionaries cast their political struggle in apocalyptic terms by associating the Jews with the Anti-Christ. They proposed drastic restrictions against the Jews in order to protect what they regarded as the imperiled Tsar, altar, and people. Yet while radical rightists in the Russian Empire succeeded politically much more than volkisch Germans, the Black Hundred movement soon fragmented, and Imperial Russian far rightists could not thwart the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917.

With the collapse of Imperial Russia that Black Hundred forces had been unable to hinder, German troops were able to advance deep into former Imperial Russian territories. The German occupation of the Ukraine beginning late in World War I engendered large-scale cooperation between right-wing German and Russian Of Ukrainian officers. This interaction in turn fostered further anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic collaboration between rightist Germans, including National Socialists, and Whites/White emigres in both Germany and abroad. The German Ukrainian Intervention furthered the pro-nationalist German careers of leading White officers who went on to serve the National Socialist cause, including General Vladimir Biskupskii, Colonel Ivan Poltavets-Ostranitsa, Colonel Pavel Bermondt-Avalov, Lieutenant Sergei Taboritskii, Colonel Fedor Vinberg, and Lieutenant Piotr Shabelskii-Bork.

German forces retreating from the Ukraine in the winter of 1918/1919 brought thousands of sympathetic White officers with them, including Shabelskii-Bork, who carried the incendiary anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion with him to Berlin. After receiving them from Shabelskii-Bork, the volkisch publicist Hausen had the Protocols translated into German, and then he published them with commentary. The Protocols' monstrous depiction of a ruthless Jewish drive for world domination through the means of both insatiable finance capitalism and bloody revolutionary upheaval greatly influenced many volkisch Germans and White emigres, including Hitler's early mentors, the volkisch publicist Dietrich Eckart and his White emigre assistant Alfred Rosenberg. The Protocols also significantly affected Hitler's own anti-Semitic Weltanschauung (world view), particularly through their assertion that the Jews used starvation as a means to destroy nationalist resistance. The Protocols provided Hitler with a sharp weapon against what he perceived as the menace of international Jewry.

In addition to leading to the transfer of the Protocols from the Ukraine to Germany, the German occupation of the Ukraine in 1918 set a precedent for further German-White military collaboration, most notably as witnessed in the 1919 Latvian Intervention. In this campaign, a combined force of German Freikorps (volunteer corps) and White units fought under Colonel Bermondt-Avalov, a White officer who had served in the Ukraine under German occupation. Bermondt-Avalov sought to work "hand in hand with Germany" to topple the Bolshevik regime. After some initial successes, the Latvian Intervention failed militarily, largely because of increasing opposition from the Entente (Britain and France) and the primarily socialist German government. The operation nonetheless strengthened the solidarity between right-wing Germans and Whites, who viewed themselves as trapped by Bolshevik expansion from the East, Entente pressure from the West, and the betrayal of the Weimar German government in the middle.

As well as serving as a German/White anti-Bolshevik crusade abroad, the Latvian Intervention tied into the first right-wing attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic, the Kapp Putsch of March 1920. Many volkisch Germans and White emigres, including veterans of the Latvian Intervention, participated in this coup. Leading volkisch Germans other than Kapp who supported this unsuccessful undertaking included General Ludendorff, his advisor Colonel Karl Bauer, Captain Hermann Ehrhardt, who led the troops that occupied Berlin and sent the German government fleeing, and even Hitler and Eckart. Notable White emigre participants in the doomed putsch included the Baltic German Max von Scheubner-Richter, who had helped to plan the Imperial German advance into the Baltic region in World War I, Biskupskii, Bermondt-Avalov, Vinberg, Shabelskii-Bork, and Taboritskii.

After the Kapp Putsch collapsed in Berlin, leading volkisch Germans and White emigres regrouped in Bavaria, where the Kapp Putsch had succeeded. Former rightist German and White emigre Kapp Putsch conspirators and their wealthy Bavarian backers soon established economic and military relations with General Piotr Vrangel's Southern Russian Armed Forces, which were situated on the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine. Scheubner-Richter led a dangerous mission to the Crimea to stipulate the terms of the cooperation between his far right German and White emigre backers in Bavaria and Vrangel's regime. Scheubner-Richter held fruitful negotiations with Vrangel that led to large-scale collaboration between the right-wing Germans and White emigres he represented and Vrangel's government. This alliance soon crumbled, however, because of the Red Army's stunningly rapid victory over Vrangel's forces.

This brief German/White emigre/White connection nonetheless spurred the creation of the Munich-based Aufbau Vereinigung (Reconstruction Organization), a conspiratorial anti-Entente, anti-Weimar Republic, anti-Bolshevik, and anti-Semitic association of volkisch Germans, including National Socialists, and White emigres. First Secretary Scheubner-Richter and Vice President Biskupskii de facto led Aufbau. Hitler collaborated closely with Aufbau from 1920 to 1923. At least four White emigre Aufbau members also belonged to the National Socialist Party: Scheubner-Richter, Deputy Director Arno Schickedanz, who had fought in the Latvian Intervention, and two close collaborators with Hitler's mentor Eckart, Otto von Kursell and Rosenberg. Other White emigre Aufbau members who did not belong to the National Socialist Party but who nonetheless supported it included Biskupskii, Poltavets-Ostranitsa, Vinberg, Shabelskii-Bork, and Taboritskii. Max Amann, a German, acted both as Aufbau's second secretary and as the secretary of the National Socialist Party. ScheubnerRichter also introduced Hitler to General Ludendorff in the framework of Aufbau, thereby setting in motion a political alliance that culminated in the calamitous November 1923 Hitler/Ludendorff Pursch.

After its consolidation as an influential volkisch German-White emigre alliance in the first half of 1921, Aufbau tried and failed to unite all White emigres in Germany and beyond. Aufbau organized the May-June 1921 Monarchical Congress at Bad Reichenhall (in Bavaria), which lent White emigres worldwide the appearance of unity. Aufbau nonetheless could not unify all European White emigres behind the Tsarist candidate Grand Prince Kirill Romanov for a pro-National Socialist crusade against the Bolsheviks, which would establish nationalist Russian, Ukrainian, and Baltic successor states.

Aufbau fought bitterly against the pro-French Supreme Monarchical Council under the former leader of a faction of the Union of the Russian People, Nikolai Markov II. The Council backed Grand Prince Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov, who lived in Paris and maintained close relations with the French government, for Tsar. The Supreme Monarchical Council counted on French military assistance to reconstruct Imperial Russia in its former borders. In its acrimonious struggle against the Council, Aufbau went so far as to envision a risky tactical alliance with the Red Army. Internecine struggle among White emigres in Germany aided the still unstable Soviet regime.

Hitler's rising National Socialist Party supported Aufbau in its struggle against Markov II's pro-French Supreme Monarchical Council. Hitler allied himself with Kirill Romanov's candidacy for the Tsarist throne in return for Kirill's considerable financial support of the National Socialist movement through Aufbau as an intermediary. Aufbau proved a valuable source of funding for the early National Socialist Party in general. The conspiratorial organization helped to finance Hitler's National Socialists by providing money from wealthy Aufbau members or allies including Kirill and by channeling funds from the prominent anti-Semitic American industrialist and politician Henry Ford.

While Aufbau could not unite all White emigres in Europe behind Kirill, it did convince Hitler that nationalist Germans and Russians should ally against Bolshevism, the Entente, the Weimar Republic, and Jewry. The Aufbau ideologues Scheubner-Richter, Vinberg, and Rosenberg maintained that the Jews had pitted Imperial Germany and the Russian Empire against each other although the two nations had possessed complementary interests. The Jews had done this, the Aufbau colleagues argued, to set the stage for their own tyrannical world rule. While he later enacted brutal policies towards the Russians in World War II, in his early political career, Hitler adopted Aufbau's pro-Russian standpoint by repeatedly urging nationalist Germans and Russians to overcome their recent Jew-instigated hostilities by combining their forces against international Jewry, which manifested itself most horrifyingly in "Jewish Bolshevism."

In addition to calling for a nationalist German-Russian alliance, Aufbau acted as a terrorist organization. The Aufbau colleagues Biskupskii and Bauer placed a death contract on Aleksandr Kerenskii, the former head of the 1917 Provisional Government in Russia. The Aufbau members Shabelskii-Bork and Taboritskii, most likely under the urging of their superior Vinberg, attempted to murder the Russian Constitutional Democratic leader Pavel Miliukov, bur they accidentally killed another prominent Constitutional Democrat, Vladimir Nabokov, instead. At least three Aufbau members with ties to the NSDAP, Biskupskii, Ludendorff, and Ludendorff's advisor Bauer, colluded in the most shocking assassination of the Weimar Republic, that of Germany's Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau. In these last two crimes, Aufbau members collaborated with Captain Ehrhardt's Organization C, a conspiratorial far right association based in Munich that engaged in terrorism, coordinated anti-Weimar Republic and anti-Bolshevik military preparations, and maintained close ties with the National Socialist Party.

As well as supporting Aufbau's terrorist activities, Hitler's National Socialists collaborated with Aufbau to overthrow the Soviet Union through subversion and military interventions. Aufbau's military schemes to topple the Soviet Union became those of the National Socialist movement, as Aufbau's de facto leader Scheubner-Richter served as Hitler's foreign policy advisor and one of his closest counselors in general. Aufbau directed anti-Bolshevik subversion in the Soviet Union and planned broad military advances into the Ukraine, the Baltic region, and the Great Russian heartland in order to crush Bolshevism and to establish National Socialist Russian, Ukrainian, and Baltic states. Hitler approved of Aufbau's Eastern strategy, as he had not yet developed his idea of Germany's need to gain Lebensraum (living space) in the East. He especially wished to wrest the agriculturally and industrially valuable Ukraine from Soviet control through collaboration with the Ukrainian Cossack leader Poltavets-Ostranitsa, who led Aufbau's Ukrainian section.

In addition to scheming with National Socialists to overthrow the Soviet Union, Aufbau helped to guide National Socialist efforts to topple the Weimar Republic through the means of paramilitary force. Hitler's closest advisor Scheubner-Richter played a key role in the preparations for a rightwing putsch against the Weimar Republic that was to be launched from Bavaria under the leadership of Hitler and Ludendorff. Scheubner-Richter developed a militant plan of action that borrowed from the Bolshevik model. While he hated "Jewish Bolshevism," he nonetheless admired the "energy" of the (Jewish) Soviet Commissar for War Lev Trotskii. Scheubner-Richter also esteemed the Bolshevik example where, as he believed, a few determined men had changed world history, and he attributed the effective tactics of subversion followed by ruthless centralization and militarization to Trotskii. While he never worded it that clearly, in effect, Scheubner-Richter wished to play Trotskii to Hitler's Lenin by leading a national revolutionary force to reconstitute Germany through violent means.

In late 1922 and 1923, Scheubner-Richter collaborated with Hitler and General Ludendorff to lead various paramilitary groupings that finally coalesced into the Kampfbund (Combat League), which displayed increasing militancy towards the Weimar Republic. National Socialist and Aufbau anti-Weimar Republic cooperation climaxed in the disastrous Hitler/ Ludendorff Putsch of November 1923, which Scheubner-Richter had goaded Hitler to launch. Scheubner-Richter marched at Hitler's side during this doomed undertaking until he was shot fatally in the heart. The collapse of the Hitler/Ludendorff Putsch caused a low point in National Socialist-White emigre collaboration, but Hitler nonetheless placed two Aufbau members in charge of the NSDAP during his imprisonment: Rosenberg and Amann.

While Aufbau failed to place Hitler and Ludendorff in charge in Germany, it greatly influenced National Socialist ideology. Early anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic National Socialist thought developed largely as a post-World War I mixture of volkisch-redemptive German and conspiratorial-apocalyptic White emigre views. National Socialist ideology combined volkisch notions of Germanic racial and spiritual superiority with apocalyptic White emigre ideas of threatened world ruin at the hands of insidious international Jewish conspirators. Hitler only began to crystallize his anti-Bolshevik, anti-Semitic Weltanschauung in late '9'9, when he started learning from his early mentors Eckart and Rosenberg. He soon became acquainted with the anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic beliefs of Scheubner-Richter and Vinberg as well. The Aufbau White emigres Scheubner-Richter, Vinberg, and Rosenberg, along with their volkisch colleague Eckart, influenced National Socialist ideology as the "four writers of the apocalypse," who warned of ever-expanding "Jewish Bolshevik" destruction.

The four writers of the apocalypse argued along the lines of Dostoevskii that international Jewry manipulated both rapacious finance capitalism in the West and bloodthirsty Bolshevism in the East. They stressed that "Jewish Bolshevism" had killed many millions of Russians through misrule and enforced starvation. The ideological quartet emphasized that worse than this, "Jewish Bolsheviks" had systematically annihilated the nationalist Russian intelligentsia. The four writers of the apocalypse maintained that "Jewish Bolsheviks" threatened to spread this terrifying process of extermination to Germany and beyond. While Rosenberg vilified what he perceived as the quintessential Bolshevik practice of eradicating political enemies, he nonetheless appreciated the efficacy of this method. Eckart, Scheubner-Richter, Vinberg, and Rosenberg adopted an apocalyptic standpoint in their arguments by asserting that "Jewish Bolshevism" threatened to ruin Germany, Europe, and even the entire world. Hitler assumed the apocalyptic stance of his four ideological colleagues by pledging to fight the alleged Jewish drive to destroy the world through the spread of Bolshevism.

Aufbau thought significantly influenced early National Socialist ideology, and Aufbau bequeathed a powerful legacy to National Socialism after 1923 as well. Scheubner-Richter's death in the Hitler/Ludendorff Putsch served as an example of heroic sacrifice for the National Socialist cause. Biskupskii continued to channel funds to the NSDAP after '923, and he led White emigres in the Third Reich as the head of the Russian Trust Authority. Rosenberg held high posts in the Third Reich, such as leader of the National Socialist Foreign Policy Office along with his colleague Schickedanz and State Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Hitler and Rosenberg worked to detach the Ukraine from the Soviet Union in collaboration with Poltavets-Ostranitsa. During World War II, Hitler's desire to gain the Ukraine for Germany in the tradition of Aufbau led him to divert strong formations of the German Army southwards away from Moscow in 194', thereby granting the Red Army a valuable respite.

Moreover, Aufbau's early warnings of the "Jewish Bolshevik" peril radicalized later National Socialist anti-Bolshevism and anti-Semitism. After a period of compromise while attaining power and then consolidating their rule, Hitler's National Socialists returned to their original intense anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic roots, which Aufbau had greatly influenced, by invading the Soviet Union and exterminating millions of Jews in the Final Solution. As the State Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, Rosenberg aided Hitler in both of these quintessentially National Socialist undertakings. To a considerable degree, apocalyptic White emigre conceptions of the "Jewish Bolshevik" menace found their expression in heinous National Socialist deeds.

When given the opportunity under the cover of World War II, the National Socialist regime sought to destroy European Jewry, and it came dangerously close to succeeding. The most striking feature of the Final Solution proved its rationalized irrationality. Great numbers of Germans and their auxiliaries from Eastern and Western Europe devoted large amounts of scarce resources to slaughtering millions of Jews at the same time that a total war was raging which was to end either in glorious victory or abject defeat. National Socialists placed a high priority on exterminating Jews when military interests dictated using as many of them as possible for slave labor. This skewed policy indicated the considerable degree to which Hitler had internalized the apocalyptic White emigre standpoint that the Jews threatened to ruin Germany and the rest of the world as they had Russia.

Historians have generally overlooked the fundamental political, financial, military, and ideological contributions that White emigres made to National Socialism. This book has partially redressed this historiographical weakness, but scholars should conduct much more research on National Socialist-White emigre collaboration, especially in newly accessible Eastern European archives. When we examine the roots of National Socialism, we find alienated volkisch Germans collaborating with vengeful White emigres. In locating the pivotal hinge of the turbulent twentieth century, historians need to focus on the broad stretch of territory between the Rhine and Volga Rivers. War and revolution there created large numbers of rancorous White emigres, several of whom played crucial roles in the making of National Socialism with its virulent anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic ideology. Hitler's National Socialists in turn committed grave crimes in the name of combating "Jewish Bolshevism," and these National Socialist atrocities undermined Western ideals of historical progress.

_______________

Notes:

1 Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), 419.
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