The Hitler Trial
The Hitler Trial
The Hitler Trial by Karl Richard Ganzer is translated from the Third Reich original Der Hitlerprozeß, which appeared in the September 1939 issue of Der Schulungsbrief. It provides a brief, but fascinating, look at that event from a National Socialist perspective.
The Publisher January 2009
Whoever views the history of the Weimar Republic and its countless effort to preserve its existence will find that in the struggle against its domestic enemies it again and again resorted with noticeable
clumsiness to measures that in the end benefited these enemies. It struck at its opponent – but it hit him so that he only became harder, more tenacious, more insubordinate and burst the old fronts with a new defiance. The republic perished, because it did not summon up the courage for ultimate decisions. When it was still young, it indeed mocked Imperial Germany – but it allowed itself to be saved by counterrevolutionary troops. When it believed itself to be in its peak years, but was already very aged, it removed the shirts from the charging opposition – but it did not find the courage to totally exterminate the opponents. There is not one of its measures that did not suffer from the worst of all political evils, half-measures. And there is not more precise proof for the lack of political instinct than the fact that this always the same failure, this always the same indecisiveness, this always the same half-measure could continue to thrive despite all bad experiences through the fifteen long years – to the deserved end.
One must also view the Hitler trial in the context of the system’s extraordinary inner insecurity in order to grasp it in its full significance. For indeed, on November 9th the rulers had triumphed at the Feldherrnhalle with salvos of fire. And indeed, after this bloody victory the system powers from all camps – from the red and black and bourgeois – came together in a unified front of loudly stressed confidence, but actually just poorly concealed fear. But as self-serving as they again and again confirmed their own glory, as permanently as the National Socialist movement seemed to be mashed and shot up: a single force, the decisive force in all history’s conflicts, escaped the clever and all too selfcertain deliberations of the „victors”: the folk.
For now the new political idea, which had proven for the first time that one could also die for it, sprang like a river of fire into the hearts of countless people who were waiting, hesitating, unbelieving. The folkish movement experienced an upsurge in Bavaria like never before. And opinions were henceforth sharply divided. November 9th had already, in the middle of the great despair of these hours, let one experience how quickly a folk can transform itself, if a great example stirs the slumbering courage and the hidden defiance. In the following weeks as well, the excitement did not abate. Quite the opposite: the more arrogantly the „victors” of November 9th bragged in their statesmen speeches and the louder their sympathetic press attested their great statesmanship, the more hostile the mood of the masses in broad circles became. An intensive leaflet struggle, combated by the police only unsuccessfully, put the government under the heaviest bombardment for months. The government itself brought up its heaviest guns with its official dispatches, press declarations and large wall posters. A generous influencing of public opinion against the imprisoned leaders of the revolt set in – already many weeks before the trial, which was supposed to clarify the question of guilt unbiased. But while the confidential memos of Kahr, Lossow and Speisser, in which the gentlemen put the blood guilt of November 9th on National Socialism and elevated themselves into heaven as innocents and made the rounds, spreading poison, in the loyal newspaper offices, in the circles of „good society” and
in all circles of influence and rank, the folk outside remained true in a moving way. Undeterred, Hitler’s soldiers sang their old song: „Hitler spirit in the heart must not perish, Storm Troop Hitler will soon be resurrected!” And even the children, enchanted by the name Hitler in a strange way, found a new version for their counting verses: one, two three,
[„Eins, zwei drei, der Hitler, der wird frei…”]