Background: In this 1928 article from Der Angriff, Goebbels assails international finance, claiming that is is on the brink of ruining Germany. The term “World Enemy” (Weltfeind) usually meant the Jews, although in this case Goebbels doesn’t make that connection explicit.
The opening quotation from Walter Rathenau was a staple of anti-Semitic propaganda. Rathenau was actually deploring concentrated economic power and did not suggest that all three hundred were Jews. The Nazis and others, however, concluded that Rathenau himself was one of the mysterious three hundred, and was part of an international conspiracy to destroy Germany. For these interested in tracking down the quotation, it is available on p. 207 of a 1922 collection of Rathenau’s essays.
The source: “Der Weltfeind,” Der Angriff. Aufsätze aus der Kampfzeit (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1935), pp. 333-336.
The World Enemy
“Three hundred men, each of whom knows the others, direct the economic fate of the continent. They find their successors from within their ranks.”
That is what one of these three hundred, who surely should know, wrote on 25 December 1909 in Vienna’s Neue Freie Presse: the leading capitalist, minister of the Republic, friend of the Bolshevists, and International Jew Walter Rathenau. When he died, hundreds of thousands of the Marxist proletariat demonstrated against capitalism and Reaction, for socialism and for Rathenau.
International high finance has taken command of the sovereign rights of the German people and is now making itself at home in our former realms of power. True to the ancient law of the Jewish race, “You shall devour all the peoples,” they began with us by shattering our people’s strength to resist through war and revolution, then bit by bit by taking over the most important structures of the state body.
They now own our currency and control by far the greatest part of German production, our transportation system, and as a result of their military and diplomatic capacities, Germany’s borders. The press is almost entirely in their hands; they thus control public opinion and determine the parliament and government. With the help of German politicians they put an overseer in place, the secret Kaiser Parker Gilbert [the Agent General for Reparations from 1924-1930]. He controls the colonial budget and influences income and expenditures; the parliament and government are entirely in his hands, and the conditions of slavery that have prevailed in Germany since 9 November 1918 guarantee the continuation of this miserable state.
The Marxist parties are wiling tools in the hands of these exploiters of money. With their help, world stock exchanges were able to rob the German people of its possessions. During the world-shattering military struggle they took two million of Germany’s best sons; from their blood Wall Street coined the gold bars that today obligate us to pay tribute. They used the so-called inflation to rob us of what we owned, and in place gave us a new currency, one that no longer belongs to us, but rather to our oppressors. The world enemy has the vital organs of our national body in its hands.
On the asphalt streets of modern big cities, the World Jew builds an imperialistic dictatorship of Red Gold; Its pillars are the press, the workers’ movement, parliament, and the cowardice of the bourgeois parties. Each wretched day that passes is another step in the march of gold against blood. Things are moving relentlessly, and one can already determine with mathematical certainty when the last element of Germandom disappear from politics, the economy, and culture, and we will be at the end.
That is the situation! While we break our heads and chase after phantoms, money is preparing for its last destructive blow against German labor, and today there can be no doubt that, given the continuing weaken of the German will to resist, this catastrophe is closer than we all want to believe.
The great national and international parties have long since capitulated shamefully to the lust for power of the world enemy, whether openly or not. They either work for collapse or else advance it consciously or unconsciously through cowardice and the lack of a will to resist. While parliament gives speeches and holds debates, no one knowing anything, the forces of money march directly and clearly forward in a campaign of conquest against German labor. One day we will again be unprepared to face to face the facts that confronted us in 1914 and 1918, which will then be even more terrible and unavoidable as those that prevailed when this world-historical battle first began.
Are we, then, wrong in calling for resistance? Have we Germans deserved to have our chains of slavery made from gold made from the sweat and blood of our brothers?
The lords of money are preparing their final blow. They have robbed our people of faith and will, they have shamed and dishonored us, and now want to grab us around our neck. No speeches, no begging, can stop that — only resistance, battle, attack! God will not help us. We must help ourselves.
Our life is in danger. The German people is in a constant state of emergency. Any means is appropriate to stop the enemy.
We are ready to use everything we have. If we free Germany from the insanity of gold, it will be the greatest achievement in world history! Blood against gold! Labor against money! Fists against legal paragraphs! Life against dead phrases!
That is what we march for!
19 March 1928.
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