Background: This article was first published in Das Reich, 28 February 1943. The battle of Stalingrad was over. The Nazis were building up to major anti-Semitic and anti-Soviet propaganda campaigns. Goebbels argues that Europe is gradually coming around to Nazi views on the Jews, who the Nazis argued were behind the events of the war.
The source: “Die Krise Europas,” Der steile Aufstieg (Munich: Franz Eher, 1944), pp. 205-212.
The European Crisis
by Joseph Goebbels
One must understand the Jewish question in order to understand the present state of the war. How else could one explain the following facts: The Axis powers are fighting for their lives in a world-wide struggle, facing eastern Bolshevism on the one side, the most blatant and most radical expression of international socialism, and western plutocracy on the other side, the most blatant and most radical expression of international capitalism. Bolshevism is attempting to put on a veneer of Western civilization, while plutocracy is putting on the Jacobin hat as needed and speaks in a revolutionary mish-mash that attempts to conceal the remaining distance between it and Bolshevism. The Kremlin tells Downing Street and the White House that the plutocracy reigning there is not all that bad. In London and Washington, fine gentlemen in frock coats and cardinals in their robes eagerly attempt to whitewash Bolshevism and Stalin, making them appear to be innocent angels. There is no greater piety than that of the Soviet rulers, and no better socialism than that represented by Roosevelt, Churchill, and Eden. Explain this phenomenon of nature to me, Count Örindor! [a quotation from Die Schuld by Amadeus Gottfried Müllner]
One will search in vain for the answer to this riddle if he fails to consider the Jewish problem. However, the answer is clear if one sees the key to world history in the racial question. There is only a superficial difference between the two enemy camps — only the agitating persons in the foreground. If one shines a light on the background, however, one quickly discovers the cause of the whole spiritual and intellectual confusion, the ferment of decomposition of states and peoples: international Jewry.
Plutocracy and Bolshevism spring from the same roots of a period of liberal-democratic decline. They may differ in nuance, but in essentials they are the same. What they want may differ, but want they do not want is the same. They do not want order among the peoples of the world. They both depend on disorder, anarchy, and chaos. They seek them because they can only draw their infernal power for evil and destruction from those sources. Jewry has two ways to gain and maintain power over unified peoples: international capitalism and international Bolshevism. The one is the more radical brother of the other. Their lust for power is limitless. Whenever they cannot reach their goal by the usual means, they seek to introduce conditions of hopelessness and desperation in which they can sow their seed. In the process, they constantly and eagerly do all they can to hinder and eliminate the natural defenses of states and peoples, strengths that spring from the ethnic strength of a nation. They attempt to discredit that force in advance and prevent it from coming into action by making the danger appear as small and harmless as possible until it is too late.
That is the point of the process at which we now find ourselves. Last November, as it began to be apparent that the German military was not in a position to hold the lines it had reached during the operations of summer and early fall, the devilish game began. The ball was tossed back and forth between Moscow on the one side and London and Washington on the other. The Bolshevists dressed for Western Europe, and the plutocrats introduced them in this initially confusing clothing to an astonished world. The Kremlin bosses would replace their fine clothing with their former robber garb once they were done. Today they are simply practicing mimicry, the art of appearance and disguise, an art at which the Jews are extraordinarily good, since they have always had to use it to maintain their precarious existence. One can imagine the glee with which the Soviets read articles in neutral and English-American newspapers that presented Bolshevism as the embodiment of bourgeois innocence. One is only uncertain as to whether these articles are written with stupidity or malevolence. But no one will dispute the fact that they represent a national, even a continental, danger for us all.
We live at the most critical period in the history of the Occident. Any weakening of the spiritual and military defensive strength of our continent in its struggle with eastern Bolshevism brings with it the danger of a rapidly nearing decline in its will to resist. The inevitable result would be only a question of time and the right moment. Things are so far along that the Kremlin no longer feels it necessary even to bother to defend itself publicly against the grave accusations that are raised against it in nearly all European states. It believes it can let its weapons speak. It was not even at the Casablanca meeting, which proved its complete indifference to English-American negotiations. Every attempt from London and Washington to get it to even approve the so-called Atlantic Charter failed. As an American journalist recently wrote, Stalin wraps himself in Oriental silence. But his mechanized divisions of robots speak clearly enough. Their aggressive spearheads are aimed not only against the Reich and its allies, but against all of the Occident. That is now clear.
Meanwhile, the Jews of Western plutocracy are eagerly at work to minimize the threatening danger, to make it halfway acceptable for the European public. They maintain that in the course of the past two years, since its alliance with the Anglo-Saxon powers, Bolshevism has moderated and taken on a more bourgeois face. Exactly the opposite is naturally the case. Bolshevism has not become more like plutocracy, but rather plutocracy has become more like Bolshevism. Human experience demonstrates that when two differing temperaments join, and that is what is happening here, the most radical always wins the upper hand. That is also true of this political-military concubinage. The Kremlin’s present piety is only for show, while the Anglican Church’s sympathy for Bolshevism is genuine. Behind the Soviet leadership’s pious phrases, we detect the grotesque face of Bolshevist atheism. It has not been liquidated, but rather it is only waiting to begin again its own work of liquidation, completing its work of extermination in the European states that it began with hundreds of thousands of priests in the Soviet Union. Only then, perhaps, will the Christian churches learn what combative enmity to religion really means.
It would also be totally naive to believe the English and Americans when they say that after their arms have conquered Europe they will protect our part of the world from Bolshevization. If the German military cannot do it, no other military power in the world could do it, even if it wanted to. Today, leading English and American newspapers are saying that one must give the Soviet Union a free hand in Europe, and that it would perhaps be best to put our continent under the rule of the Kremlin. That can be said in one sentence, but it contains the tragic decline of all of civilized humanity. One shudders at the thought that it could become reality, even that it could be spoken of at all, without all of Occidental humanity rising as one to defend itself. Instead, they stare hypnotized, like the rabbit before the snake before he is devoured. The paralysis of Europe’s will has reached its epitome.
Moscow, meanwhile, is telling the workers in European states that they always had to work anyway, and they will not have to do more than work in a Soviet system. It requires a holy innocence to even hear this claim. Jewish terrorism in the Soviet Union is aimed not only at intellectuals, but even more on the more numerous working and farming classes. Millions of working people there have perished miserably in forced labor camps. If the Soviet Union prepares such a fate for its own people, what will it do with foreign peoples! They will gather slave battalions for Siberia. The compassion and concern they will experience there is shown by the terrible events in the former Baltic states during their brief Soviet period. There, too, they exterminated not only the political, military, and economic leaders, but also the entire intelligentsia. That is the goal of Jewish Bolshevism. As long as it is not firmly in the saddle, it wants to be sure that there is not the least chance of a new leadership under national leadership. We have here the most demonic attempt to attack the European states and peoples, and there is but one possible response: armed resistance until the world enemy has been defeated. That is all that is important. The danger can only be mastered by the national strength of the peoples.
We are pleased that the knowledge of the threat is increasing in international discussions. Throughout Europe, voices are growing more serious. In the areas occupied by German troops, people are becoming aware that the German military is the only protection against the steamroller from the east. In certain circle of our part of the earth, something like a sense of European solidarity is becoming apparent.
In this process of re-educating an entire continent, even the Jews may perhaps be a part of that force that always wants evil, but instead causes good. As Clauswitz once said, spiritual events do not always follow the straight path that one expects. Sometimes one thinks that he is totally confused, takes a side path, and suddenly finds himself back on the main road and sees before him the shining goal. Wide-ranging, infernal deviltry works only as long as those who are affected by it fail to see it. If the danger is recognized, the battle is half won. One may not become confused by outward aspects, thereby missing the broader perspective. One must listen to one’s instincts.
Our instincts tell us that we are on the right path. The situation is not as complicated as it appears. It is only complicated by those who benefit from confusion. They want to make us unsure, weakening and paralyzing our will to defend ourselves. The better part of Europe today is in a narcotic trance, but if it finds the courage to eliminate the poison, to stop thinking and feeling as its enemy wants it to, and instead follows its sense of self preservation, everything will be won. We have in our part of the world much more strength than we realize. We only need to use a small part of it. Danger sharpens the senses. We have the impression that certain circles on our continent are undergoing a sometimes slow, but also sometimes sudden, awakening. We do not believe that our part of the world wants to give up. It is not at the end, but rather at a new beginning, of its development.
Our soldiers in the East will do their part. They will stop the storm from the steppes, and ultimately break it. They fight under unimaginable conditions. But they are fighting a good fight. They are fighting not only for our own security, but also for Europe’s future. Many who today still do not believe that will thank them tomorrow on their knees. Here, too, one truth always shines through. Over its eventful history, Jewry has often stood at the edge of victory, only to be thrown into the darkness of its inferior existence at the last minute.
We need only remain alert to prepare the same fate for it this time as well. The material and spiritual crisis of Europe nears a dramatic climax. He who is in the best form will gain the victory. Today more than ever, this phrase is true for us: Readiness is everything!
Go to the 1933-1945 Page.
Go to the German Propaganda Archive Home Page.