Background: This page provides Chapter 7 of Eugen Hadamovsky’s book on the principles on Nazi propaganda. For more details, see the table of contents page.
The source: Eugen Hadamovsky, Propaganda und nationale Macht: Die Organisation der öffentlichen Meinung für die nationale Politik (Oldenburg: Gerhard Stalling, 1933).
Propaganda and National Power:
The Organization of Public Opinion for National Politics
by Eugen Hadamovsky
The less a culture has its own
— Krieck —
Intellect and Faith
The intellect, if it is to serve life, must be a critic of the faith and the strength behind its compelling formulation and effect. Education and training give faith its direction by creatively developing its form and content. Each generation has its own demands and seeks its own living forms; the intellect thus always has the task of justifying the faith and affirming life.
Just as it is impossible to destroy the deep longing for faith that men have, so an awakened drive for truth or the search of the intellect for truth cannot be stopped. As soon as faith has established a view like a rocher de bronze, the intellect begins undermining it by raising that which can lead to destruction, but also to new creative accomplishments. Even in the masses to whom we want to direct our propaganda, the intellectual side and the longing for faith are always present. The man from the masses is a fanatic seeker after truth. He struggles incessantly with traditional as well as with new revolutionary ideas.
Intellectuals are too scornful of the knowledge and desires of the masses, which have been aroused for the first time in decades. Take, for example, Oswald Spengler’s grotesque conception of the Marxist masses, which he thinks look vacantly from behind a book they have never read, and which their leaders have never in the least understood. The truth is something else! There are fanatical seekers after truth who do things for their own sake, who must ponder all reasons and conclusions both in heaven and on earth. And such men are not alone. An army of millions stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.
There are millions in Germany who will think this description optimistic, exaggerated, and idealistic. Well, it is not. Among the men and women of the masses, there are many who live on seven marks a week and who spend a further seven on books and knowledge. At 28, they may have a philosophic countenance and grayed hair that is a result not of hunger or privation, but of sorrow and deep pain for their people and the fate of the world [Hadamovsky himself was 28 at the time the book was written].
If one knows how to listen to the answers of the man behind the lathe or the anvil, of those of the nearest street sweeper, he will find a wonderful doubting, searching, knowledge-seeking spirit in the simple working man.
From whence does this eternal desire come? Where does this ever-renewed doubt that always troubles the soul about life arise? We do not know, but we must reckon with its existence. We may “explain” it by the principle of progress or think it necessary to the organization of life, but it is in any case inherent and it demands satisfaction. Both intellectual and spiritual hunger lead to revolt and resistance. The drive for knowledge can be satisfied to some extent by cold intellectual analysis, but better by a passionate synthesis of belief. The intellect destroys, faith builds up. The dualism of public opinion is outlined in these tendencies. It would like to seek after knowledge while at the same time holding to a dogmatic faith. The dualism is thereby intensified to an almost tragic extent. The satisfaction of the desire for knowledge is never entirely achieved by the doubts of the intellect, that is, by analysis. Faith is always being shaken; it needs constant strengthening and restoration. This is best done by intellectually supporting the faith (which is, for example, the purpose of this book). Alongside the tasks of creative propaganda, then, from a political viewpoint, is the systematic intellectual development of the arts and sciences, the schools and universities, acts not in opposition to, but as further important support for, national education.
Churches, Schools, and Universities
When we consider the question of a constructive, creative, and critical intellectualism and the problem of faith, it is necessary to consider that most powerful belief factor, the church. The church is the organized strength of religious faith, and as such does not reject or replace political faith, but rather deepens it. When schools churches, and national propaganda build a unity, the greatest possible strength of internal forces and will results. Since they are based in faith, knowledge, and intellect, they can only provide further support and foundation for faith, resulting in a total unity of all spiritual forces in the nation. They can thus reach the same unity of faith and intellect characteristic of Gothic culture, which will remain a social ideal in the future as well.
Scarcely fifteen years have passed since German heroism rested from its high and triumphant, if tragic, moment. Between lies a period of deepest humiliation. We know today that it has been necessary to sweep out every trace of naiveté from the offices, agencies, villages, cities, and high government positions, and to replace it with the manly spirit of clear knowledge and a determined affirmation of life. The nation has loudly and clearly affirmed its support of everything that is politically necessary and desirable, and has thus provided German proof of the effectiveness of our new and unified national will. Whoever thinks that all our problems are solved, however, should remember first the relations between worldviews and vote totals, and second the great use that can be made of the government’s apparatus for building the will. They show that the problem is not solved, but is rather only on the way to the solution. It is still engaged in the struggle against all other forces. Thus, we loudly and clearly demand the deepening, shaping, and expanding of national schooling for the will.
It cannot be limited to the means which one commonly thinks of as means of public opinion, but must rather be deeper, earlier, and more extensive.
It must be deeper in the direct spiritual, religious, and ecclesiastical senses. It should be begun earlier so as to reach even the youngest children.
It should be more extensive, beyond the school system, whether in adult education programs, national educational institutions, technical schools, or universities. He who affirms the nation can see it only as a totality. Political passion built on political faith can exist only when it is based on the spirit and intellect. That is why, during his first groping steps towards power, Hitler demanded the ministries of religious affairs (Kultusministerien) for his movement, to the amazement of the Marxists and the so-called economic politicians. And that is why he also stressed and encouraged a positive National Socialist attitude towards Christianity. The conquest of the liberals, who are dangerous to the nation as to the church, requires that both follow a similar course. When the Duce in Italy abolished unlicensed schools and dissolved the strongly liberal Free Masonic associations, he did it just as much for the benefit of the national idea as for the religious bodies, and his action proved to be as helpful to the Fascist state as it was to the Catholic Church.
He who speaks of the relations between church and state or of religion and the nation in Germany runs the risk of being used as a witness by both sides of our religiously divided people. This is not a discussion of religious problems or ecclesiastical politics, but rather of the unity of all devout German men and women regardless of whether they are Protestant or Catholic.
The forty million German Protestants outnumber the twenty million German Catholics, of whom four and a half million are members of Center and Bavarian People’s parties. The numerical inferiority of the Catholics should not, and under a responsible government will not, lead to any type of discrimination. The large German religious groups must have equal rights, and must enjoy the same support from the state. Whether this will occur in the form of concordants or through national and regional churches is a question of historical development. It is, however, certain that neither of these large churches stands outside the national interests, and it is just as certain that the overwhelming majority of their members affirm national interests. This goes to show the vital interest the government has in its leading religious bodies.
The fact that one can maintain a unified national outlook despite church divisions is shown by the English church as well as by the countless American churches. In the last analysis, it is simply a question of national patriotism by the masses.
Formal separation of church and state has existed for three hundred years in the United States. Close union and cooperation between these institutions has resulted despite the prohibition of cooperation and mutual support. American political life has been spared confessional struggles in the government since the political parties and the large national unions and associations do not ask ecclesiastical questions. As a result, the churches fight only among themselves, not through governmental or party means. The American churches are generally nationalistic. The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has adapted to patriotic nationalism and has prospered. Its relations with Rome could never force it to adopt any kind of anti-national attitude.
In Germany, things are quite different. As the difficulties of the war increased, the Center Party and its press joined the camp of those working against the war, such as the Berliner Tageblatt and the Frankfurter Zeitung, which advocated pacifism. The Center Party organs that support the war leadership were in contact with the military press service. As soon as the Armistice was signed, however, the entire Center press switched directions. Since then, the Center Party and its press have always been on the side of the nation’s enemies.
One may expect that the results of the nationalization of the German public will rule out the possibility of any sort of political misuse of ecclesiastical ideas and organization in the future. Differences in belief will no longer be able to endanger national unity, for our large national churches will limit themselves to their purely religious tasks, and work hand in hand with the national leadership. The religious dogmas will thus serve as the basis for cooperation between church and state. Hitler sees in them “quite often the only basis for an ethical worldview” in the broad masses of a nation who do not have a philosophy, but need dogmatic principles. Professor Stark understands Hitler’s principle in the following way: “There is no separation of church and state. The state provides the church with protection and means for activity in the religious area. The schools and teachers are controlled by the state in such a way that religious instruction and the education of priests are exclusively controlled by the church.”
A corresponding purge of the church’s political tendencies occurred in Italy when the Holy See prohibited “priests and church officials from joining or working for political parties.” That is the way cooperation between church and state was established by the Vatican agreements.
The schools and universities are, as the churches, guardians of a spirit which should fervently affirm the nation.
The nation’s claim to the personality, will, strength, idealism, and sacrifice of each individual should be able to find its ethical justification in an educational ideal. Previously, however, no one gave the ideal political expression and educational form. After the war, the destructive forces that had wanted to see Germany lose blamed the German school teacher for the defeat. This vile slander cannot harm those who as teachers and instructors gave the best years of their lives to the young. They had to preach and prop up a system that was not in contact with reality. What they gave, and what they themselves thought the noblest and best part of their tasks, was not what they had been given as material, but rather that which they themselves brought with them as personalities, as men of the German race. Their personal wealth, which they freely gave, raised the youth of Langemarck [a World War I battle fought by young German volunteers] and millions more who were true to their duty both at the front and at home. The German teacher, the German professor, or the German and scientist did not fail. German politics gave them nothing before Bismarck’s time, and nothing after. The nation was proclaimed, but it was created outwardly, not inwardly.
Lacking a new guiding ideal, the intellects of our schools and universities had to pay homage to liberal and individualistic principles.
The principles of nationalization that Johann Gottlieb Fichte preached 125 years ago were almost entirely ignored by German pedagogy. Education was not changed to meet modern conditions, as would for example have been necessary under Fichte’s idea of education for discipline in small groups, and national will was not carried out consistently either. As national unity was born from the turmoil of the preceeding century and the German nation again came to have a political history, German schools still held to humanistic ideals. They chased after the dream of the encyclopediasts, believed themselves capable of establishing a well-rounded educational system and of making a difficult compromise between humanistic education and the technical sciences. Although the theoretical achievements of science have a philosophic character, they extend only to the technological mastery of life. The new form of the educational ideal cannot come from there. If it does, one is misusing the sciences. The new form must rather come from the national idea and from passion, not from a view of life that we create as a theoretical structure for the technological mastery of the world.
The material which our educational institutions have to teach, aside from intellectual and technical training, will essentially be determined in the future by the general goals of national propaganda.
In these observations, the creation of a political type has been shown to be a governmental and racial necessity. It cannot therefore be doubted that the first and most important task must be the building of a type with all means of public opinion in the schools, technical schools, and universities. The life of the pupil must from the first be organically bound to the community. The view of life which national propaganda has to make typical and universal will begin here, in the earliest grades and for the youngest pupils, with current events, with political happenings. If one wants artificially to keep politics, which is the life of the nation, out of the schools, he will on the one hand think the schools to be in opposition to youth organizations, and on the other hand, he will artificially limit the most lively educational forces in the young and also give the schools an outdated character that must inevitably hobble along in the wake of life. The connection between schools and youth organizations as well as the enthusiastic support of activities carried out by the youth itself leads not only to a powerful stimulus for the youth movement, but also to the securest foundation for the education of a youth that knows life and is politically schooled.
Thus all the subjects taught in schools must be included in the framework of an educational-political — that is, national-political — total program. The public schools do not have the task of producing experts, but rather of training citizens. Politics must dominate the schools if students are to participate actively in great historical events and celebrations, if they are to receive an appreciation of the real accomplishments of German civilization, and if the purely individualistic scribblings that the liberals designate as world literature (but which have no significance for the nation and race) are to be eliminated. As Ernst Krieck persuasively shows, the methods of such educational form can never be guided by a general outline. They depend rather on the teacher’s personal mastery of the form. “The only thing that is essential is the same overall direction as to the national political aims within the framework of an authoritative values.” To ensure that mastery of the form will actually be achieved — at least, a good workmanly ability on the part of the average teacher — the teacher must have close relations with the state political propaganda apparatus and with active political forces. This would be best done through self-created organizations. Radio, press, film, and theatre, as well as mass meetings, military celebrations, and national celebrations, should be a constant element in the educational system. Our leaders must regularly cooperate with these means of public opinion, whether intellectually, creatively, critically, or organizationally.
Theatre and Film
We may, without limiting the concept of the artistic, call the theatre and film effective instruments of nationalization and ignore the colorless conception of a “moral institution” that is supposedly governed by principles of aesthetics and content. One can always argue about the concepts and principles of morality as long as morality conceals itself behind the façade of empty philosophy. The problem takes on a clearer dimension if we call everything that serves the nation good and everything that harms it bad. The liberal who is concerned with the theatre objects to every political “tendency,” and pleads for pure theatre. He generally knows nothing of the rather obvious facts of form and control behind the curtain and is so lost in his liberal doctrines that he believes it is possible to evaluate the value of a work of art apart from its context. That is impossible. Value can only be gauged in terms of the surrounding world. Since we have defined the nation as the highest value in the surrounding world, the requirements of the nation are the standards of judgment in theatre and film.
Every play stems from political (polis) and cultic requirements, whether it be a Greek tragedy or entertainment for the masses (comedy). The cultic need of the masses finds no stronger expression today than in the large cultic mass meetings of revolutionary nationalism that dominate the political picture of our day.
In recent times, and especially during the political struggles of the past decade, the theatre has developed in two diverging directions that may lead to a return to health if properly understood and intelligently used in productive tasks.
If one compares an effective artistic film with one of our great stage dramas, leaving aside the technical, cinematic, and photographic elements and considering only the internal structures and ideological aims, he will conclude that live drama is directed to the select taste and intellectual level of the individual, while film drama presupposes and gears itself to a certain mass type. A Macbeth, a Hamlet, or a Faust is conceivable only in drama. If it is filmed, fundamental changes have to be made in the material. We have seen this with Shakespeare and Goethe.
This by no means implies that the film is colorless, projecting only an imitation of life on the screen. The two dimensional character of film, which works only with light and shadow, does indeed necessitate a graphic form on the screen, and also a different treatment than is found on stage, on which movement and form are possible in three dimensions. The essential difference between stage and film is not, however, a matter of purely technical characteristics.
Above all, the film has become a means of mass entertainment, despite initial criticism from the intellectual and artistic elite. Intelligent photographers and directors gave it a character that had to lead to a mass medium. The film has therefore achieved definite contact with the masses, with one limitation: the problem of conscious mass enlightenment has yet to be solved.
It is interesting that, in the past two decades, a new type of play has developed that is similar to the film and different from an intellectually based theatre. The latter is concerned with the pathos of the individual and is intended for the tastes of a limited audience.
A completely primitive form of theatre, suited to mass tastes, developed alongside the classical drama. This first happened in camps behind the front and in the prisoner and internment camps of the World War. They resembled, at least in German areas, the old burlesques and popular amusements that had been forgotten by our mature intellectual culture in the decades before the war. This primitive theatre, originally acted by amateurs, but today in a growing number of theatres as well, may already have reached a really broad audience with a corresponding effect.
To think of this development as transient and to therefore ignore it would be a mistake. The agitprop troupes of the Communist Party annually give thousands of shows to hundreds of thousands of spectators. The primitive theatre is similarly well developed in the Social Democratic Party. And there have been theatre groups like the Shock Troopers and the Brown Shirts in the National Socialist Party, who for many years have combined education in the meaning of their movement with enjoyment and entertainment.
When Dr. von Leers saw a gripping S.A. play presented by such a group, he commented that here was a new and primitive birth of art. This is doubtlessly correct, no matter how much an intellectual pride and professional arrogance want to ignore it. The ideals of the moral education system, which our modern playwrights have so entirely forgotten, come to clear and powerful expression here. It depends not on the leader or the individual personality, as does the great theatre of the classical era, but rather on a type of noble fighter from the masses, corresponding to the spirit of our times. What the film has previous lacked is completely realized in these simple plays. The reason may be their total lack of equipment and their primitiveness that scorns technology and that arouses the lively interest and enthusiastic applause of the masses. Hopefully, the German film industry will soon learn that one should not permit the rigor mortis of intellectual theatre to influence film scripts, that one does not have to make sacrifices to the individualistic idol, and that one should not bow before the so-called mass tastes, but should instead properly meet a deep mass need for a model. Then our films will hold their proper place in the nation and will exercise a truly effective national educational influence.
How can the government lead theatre and film? The strengths of each must first be explained. The film undoubtedly has a greater social and artistic effect today than the theatre. The competition between the two is limited to some degree because of their essential natures, so that film, no matter how technically advanced, will never be able to replace the theatre. Even if one would like to think it possible to stop the newly developed popular theatre, the intellectually based theatre would still be significant. Clearly, the film is an instrument of mass influence. The theatre has, over against the film, a view of existence that will keep its exclusive and esoteric character; this same view will enable primitive theatre to develop further.
The elite theatre today is dependent on subsidies and government grants. That suggests that complete control and systematic leadership may be attained without the necessity of censorship. A direct and immediate control is necessary over the popular theatre, which finds its audience in public organizations, federations, etc.
Things are different with the film. Its virtual monopolistic concentration requires, in view of its broad effect, control by the propaganda leadership. Germany had 5,000 commercial theaters in 1932, a number apparently unchanged since 1928, with a total of about two millions eats. Three quarters of the theaters are already equipped with sound apparatus. There are 30 seats per 1,000 German citizens. According to the Jahrburch der Filmindustrie, the total number of customers of German movie theaters in the year 1931-1932 was three hundred million. On the average, then, every German adult goes to a movie once every six weeks. 145 German and 87 foreign feature films were shown in 1931. In the same period, our exports were as follows: 400,000 meters of film to England, 950,000 meters to North America (USA), and 1,500,000 to France.
The average film length is 2,000 meters, which gives an idea of variety and potential importance of these exports. Both entertainment and feature films are thus among the most important means of foreign propaganda.
This powerful means of propaganda must be controlled in three ways:
This is where the film censor enters in. He undoubtedly belongs in the Propaganda Ministry. Censorship regulations in Germany are well known, especially in regards to the protection of the youth and the prohibition of so-called sex education films. In this regard, it is interesting that the Soviet Union has generally banned the Russian youth from the most tawdry and arousing American films. Italy forbids the showing of foreign language films and those that come from Russia. That our film censor is not always alert to attempts at political influence is shown well enough by a look at such films as Battleship Potemkin and Zyankali.
It must also be noted that the German film cannot simply be controlled in the interests of nationalization by censorship and prohibitions. As everywhere else in the life of the nation, the control of existing organizations and the formation of new ones is necessary. Since Tobis has a sound film monopoly while the Hugenberg group and the Deutsche Bank have a controlling interest in UFA, our largest film making company, and since the Munich Emekla concern will soon come under government control or merge with the other groups, the problem of German film production is difficult to solve from below by mass organizations. The simplest way therefore appears to be direct control of the above groups. Even though the Hugenberg group controls only three million of the 45 million marks worth of UFA stock, it has secured an almost total control of the German film industry because of its thirty-fold voting rights. A systematic national program would be possible here.
Art and the Artist
The closing words of this study of public opinion are dedicated to the creative personality of the artist, the carrier of our holiest ideals. There are no absolute standards based on art itself. The attempts of aesthetic philosophers have always led to differing and inconsistent conclusions. We thus want to return to the only valid standard, the standard of living results and lively effects, and apply it to art. The highest form of life, and therefore the highest standard, is the nation. What is said and written about humanity and universal humanity is but a phantom that is unable to arouse any living strength. After a century and a half of artistic liberty and licentiousness, we today demand wisdom of artists, and a determination which serves the national will. L’art pour l’art has lost its validity since the principle of freedom of the individual led to the starvation of millions. Freedom must give way to necessity and responsibility.
Art has therefore lost not its freedom, but rather its licentiousness. Great art has always been intellectually restricted, whether as in ancient sculpture, in Medieval church art, or in Gothic cathedrals. Individualistic art has always been mere display, but the creation of art is always the greatest accomplishment. When one examines the musical, poetic, sculptural, and architectural works of great artists for their rigor and purity of content and form, he will inevitably find that those who indulge in mere intellectual display are forgotten and useless within fifty years. Only the rigorous voice of life and the facts harmoniously expressed in a work of art make it possible to leave something for posterity, something that is elevating for us today.
The deep community with the people and the elevated formal tradition of the old German, Dutch, and Italian schools give an example of artistic fruitfulness and deep effect. The firm and faithful affirmation that the artist gives his people is above all responsible for his creative energies, which flood to him from all sides and enable him to move and inspire an entire nation.
Who strives to be great must unite the life of the people with art. It is not that which is in the artist himself and in his work that has a general effect, for that is entirely individual and accidental; but rather it is only that which is common and similar, which is in the soul of everyone.
Such an accomplishment raises the artist above the philosopher. He has the unspeakable joy of pouring out the creative riches of his soul and of awakening and giving life to the national soul. The calculating politician can only guide and lead it.
The heat and purity of his ideals kindles the deepest and noblest emotions of the people, enabling them to achieve superhuman accomplishments and to lead a heroic life. May the German artist recognize this as his task and as his highest freedom, and may he be worthy of it!
No passion and no idea is able to reach its final and fullest expression without a great symbol. A work of art is ultimately the strongest expression of fulfillment.
Every work of art shapes the realm of the soul. The laws of form can at times be dissected in proportion, in the unity of time, place, and action. The essential nature of art cannot be understood in this way, however. It les in the blood and race and is grounded in discipline and training. It is not born of the understanding.
All life, all politics, all searching, and all faith manifest themselves in the artistic, in the perfected and noble form, and all require a creative genius. It would be useless to search for standards and ways to intellectually understand or produce the artistic. One can, of course, avoid as much as possible the deceitful individualistic theories of liberalism, which wanted to give art absolute freedom of form and intent. Art has gained nothing by that, and indeed that freedom led to the lack of discipline and instinct that ruined art. The greatness of each genuine artist shows itself in the control and mastery of his goals and emotions. This control and mastery must lie in the rhythm of the epoch and culture if they are to work naturally with the artist. No one, not even the artist, lives independently, apart from the surrounding world and nation. Each is intimately bound to his culture and nation, and in each that which is common to all flourishes. The general worldview, of which some are aware of only in a confused way, finds the source of its creative form in the soul of the artist. If the native soil of a nation is a desert waste, the soul of the artist will also be unfruitful. Each great work of art comes from its time and from its nation. It cannot be decreed. If the nation and race are healthy, and if the national passion which affirms the faith and worldview are genuine and alive, then a great national art will also develop. The unfruitful apparatus of boards and government regulations can add but little. Of course, the selection the press makes of poets, or that the galleries and museums make of the works of sculptors and painters can encourage one direction and discourage another, making governmental control and leadership necessary at times. The creative itself, however, cannot spring from them. It can be born only of national passion and deep faith.
Oswald Spengler once said “Every deed changes the soul of the doer.” Art is a deed in that noble and deep sense.
The Spanish people, with its four hundred year tradition, has found its strongest symbol in the masterful works of Goya. Often, a well-intentioned patriotic kitsch poisons and corrupts weak and unimaginative art. Here, however, an inspired master gave the honor and passion of his people a lasting expression. Every day, visitors to the Prado in the Spanish capital stand before two powerful paintings, “The Execution of the Freedom Fighters by the French Guard on 3 May 1808” and “The Insurrection in Madrid.” Generations of Spaniards have received new love and faith in their people and country here, and have carried it back to every village and city of the Spanish world.
Gerhard Menzel gave Prussia something similar in his painting of Friedrich the Great and his “The Departure of King Wilhelm for the Army, 1870.” But this was not really great.
More than any one else, our happy, creative, and self-educated people, rich in personality and soul, have created such symbols of the highest artistic or religious nature. Look along the narrow streets at the gables in our Gothic cities. The framework of cathedrals rise powerfully above a sea of modest red-bricked buildings, the steep towers reach to infinity. Towns like Lüneburg or Stralsund, Worms or Cologne, Augsburg or Passau even from a distance give the picture of a living, richly organized, confident, and proud unity.
From the peaks of mountains in the fortunate land of Tyrolia, the mountain climber can look across miles of green meadows and dark spruces to the homes of mountain farmers, three or four next to each other. The Gothic steeple of a whitewashed church or chapel rises from among the almost flat, slate-shingled roofs. As these few farmers settled high in the mountains and built their own world, these chapels and churches were built alongside home and farms, but they were more magnificent, more proud. This tiny community that lived and worked to wrest its meager livelihood from the mountains through harsh daily labor gave more than the Medieval tithe to create this symbol of their immortality, their belief in God, the future, and their own existence on earth. The craftsmen, painters, and carvers decorated the interior for quiet meditation. Under the colorful tinsel and among the candles, the incense, and images of peaceful simplicity, one finds the masterful work of an inspired artist. Here, far from the intellectual world, he gave his best for a modest community of a few mountain farmers.
In the dark spruce forests of the Kaiser Mountain, just across the Bavarian-Austrian border, the wanderer hears a soft mountain melody. As everywhere in the German Alps, the air is filled with the blowing of the wind, the moving trees, the murmuring brooks and the roaring waterfalls. These sounds are scattered and mixed into a thousand sounds by every cliff, then echoed back. Suddenly, about the noon or evening hour, powerfully rising sounds enter this world of mountains, reaching to the very farthest pasture and peak with their joy, bringing nature around us to silence. It is the strong and somber voice of the Heroes’ Organ in the Kurfstein Valley, built with sacrificial gifts from everywhere in Austria, that makes the mountains and the German forests into a church, reminding everyone whether far or near of the hour of the dead. It is the largest outdoor organ in the world, a reminder of German and Austrian dead, and it is worthy of their superhuman and unforgettable sacrifice. When Beethoven’s symphonies are played by an accomplished organist, filling valley and mountain both north and south of the German border, this symbol of reverence and community becomes greater and more effective than the gravestones of unknown soldiers in other countries. May this voice of infinity ring throughout the Alps and all of Germany so that the nation will be eternally reminded of their heroic hours. May the day dawn when at the border separating brothers in the Reich from those on the other side of the bloody line, the bond of confidence, hope, and community will be renewed by hundreds of thousands gathered together by the sounds of the Heroes’ Organ in the Kurfstein Valley. We need this powerful symbol to overcome the smallness of human life and our trivial daily troubles. A strong world is never only hopes, struggles, abstract doubts and uncertain faith. It also creates a way of expressing its soul in every living, religious, and cultural way. The strongest expression of the longing and desire of a people is always a great work of art. Each perfected form renews inner strength. There is thus an eternal relationship between strength and expression, which the artist services, and which in turn enables him to rise.
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“10 Jahre Faschismus,” Europäische Revue, Berlin 1932.
Zeller, Wulf, Arbeitermythos, Berlin 1933.
Go to the Hadamovsky table of contents.
Go to the 1933-1945 Page.
Go to the German Propaganda Home Page.