Background: This is a letter from Karl Schottte, who was involved in promoting the Nazi cause abroad. He was with an organization in Berlin called “German American Press Correspondence.” It is an attempt to persuade an American friend of Hitler’s virtues. Grammatical and spelling errors are as in the original. Schotte later worked for the Nazi shortwave broadcasting system as an announcer for the North American service until he was relieved of his duties in 1943. For futher details, see Horst Bergmeier and Rainer Lutz, Hitler’s Airwaves: The Inside Story of Nazi Radio Broadcasting and Propaganda Swing (New Haven: Yale, 1997).
Source A copy of the letter provided by a descendant of the recipient.
Karl Schotte, Letter to an American Friend
August 7th, 1933.
Dont think that I am going to be taken to an insane asylum nor that the world is coming to an end. This is not so, and I must object very sincerely if the fact of my sitting down again after only several months write a letter to you gives you such impressions. The reason for this outstanding event is much rather the hotheaded criticism about Hitler and his Government which you gave us in your recent letter to Ruth, and which indeed surprised me very much. However, before giving you my point of view on the new turn that has taken place in Germany I should like to ask you to in the first place do me the favour of keeping your shirt on, otherwise it is you who is making “an ass of himself.” One should never speak the language of a truckdriver, no matter how much one likes it. Now, don’t be mad, but calm down. You did not hurt Ruths or my feelings at all, but there are two reasons why I feel I should answer you. The first reason is that your remarks are very unfair to Hitler and his new Government, and the other is that I intend to do my share in preventing the your American generation to which you belong to be equally as ignorant as the generation of the whole world was which tumbled into the last war. What makes you believe and in such a definite way state that we are unable to see the things as they are, since, as you write, we are hypnotized by Hitler. It is not true, that you and all those of our friends who you claim take the same viewpoint as you are taking are basing your opinion upon reports and comments of American newspapers and perhaps upon interviews of American visitors who recently have been in Germany, and while you are willing to disregard certain exaggerations you readily accept the rest as the truth? Is it not possible that thus you are receiving but one side of the story? You know that the American Press endeavouring to please the socalled taste for sensational news of the American Public is working according to the countrywide newspaper principal: All the news thats fit to print, and be it even lies. I do not belong to those who claim that it is the American people who have such taste, but instead it is the American Press which in order to obtain the attention of the reader considers any means good enough to beat competition. You will never find such crookedness among decent business. Such business spirit is identified all over the world with the jewish business spirit. You must not misunderstand me. Such spirit can be found among Christian Jews as well as among Jewish Christians, if you get what I mean. Nevertheless it is all over the world condemned as the jewish spirit. You will not doubt this, I suppose? Perhaps in this connection you will find it interesting to recall that the inventor of the most unchivalrous means to fight the enemy, namely the father of all newspaper liars, Lord Northcliffe was a Jew. When comparing the basis of your knowledge about presentday Germany with the basis of our knowledge, dont you think that ours at least is a broader basis? Dont you think that the possibility of witnessing present developments in Germany combined with the ability of reading and understanding American newspapers can represent an ideal basis of knowledge for such person who - and this is the important thing - is free of all feelings of hatred against either one of the two countries? The Berlin Correspondents of the American newspapers are not such persons. Many of them are jews and many have taken a hostile attitude towards Germany long before Hitler ever appeared on the stage of German Public Life. This includes also Mr. Mowrer of the Chicago Herald Tribune who, as I saw from the New York Times received this years Putlitzer Prise of Journalism for his “excellent” articles on the German development. A year ago a German Democrat, mind you, not a Nazi, expressed astonishment that I should like to call upon Mr. Mowrer, since this “excellent” American reporter has long enjoyed the reputation even among German Democrats of being a Germanhater. This hostility towards Germany on the part of American Correspondents in Berlin indeed could much more entitle me to claim that it is you who is hypnotized namely by the American Press in general.
Dear Kenneth, not until today in August 23rd could I find time to continue this letter. When rereading what I so far have said above I doubt if it is of any use to speak to you the way I did. I know you are not anti-German, and yet while having received your school education at a time of outright hostility towards Germany your mind is only to readily inclined to accept any piece of news about Germany as true and the correct version as long as this piece of news is presented in such form which is free from obvious sensational exaggeration. Since, however no piece of news published in the American papers is reporting favourably on the German Nationalsocialistic Revolution your mind is systematically kept from turning pro-German. This is the work of jewish influence in the American Press. In face of such mental attitude of yours you naturally hesitate to accept as the correct version anything which is told you by someone who on one hand is not even a 100% American Citizen and on the other hand is, as you know pro-German. For this reason I doubt if I can change anything of your attitude towards Hitlerite Germany and of the attitude of those of our friends who, as you claim take the same viewpoint as you are taking. When, however, after reconsideration I continue this letter it is, because even if I should not convince you I wish to do my share in trying to destroy this hostile spirit of the American People towards Germany and especially to contribute making the young Americans a more broadminded generation.
In the following I am going to copy part of my last letter to Mr. Houston. The article I sent him months ago intersted him very much. Unfortunately as he told me it was not written in good enough English. I naturally am rather disappointed that my English still is too poor. But even if my English had been correct there would have been no possibility to place my article Mr. Houston wrote, not saying of course that any favourable viewpoint is prevented from publication in the American Press. Here is what I answered him.
” Wheras the American papers beyond doubt are carrying a tremendous amount of material about Germany from their regular correspondents, and no number of interviews from all kinds of people who recently have been in Germany, all this material, and be it even just a report, is skilfully presented in such form which seemingly intentially aims at being equally offensive for Hitler and his new Government through ridiculing his deads as giving nourishment to anti-German sentiment. Most of the recent American visitors in Germany seem to be of the type of jews whose hatred towards Hitlerite Germany is a fanatical one. They of course are not in a position to give a true picture to their countrymen of what they have seen or heard. Mr. Michael Williams, editor of The Commonweal, president of the Calvert Association, and a member of the Committee appointed by the American Committee on Religious Reports and Minorities to go to Germany and investigate conditions published a report (New York Times of June 14th) of his own private visit, since the committees visit was postponed. He claimed to have spent “nearly” two weeks in Berlin interviewing members of the Hitler Government, leading business and professional men, both German and American, as well as Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders. Not one single name is mentioned in his report. “One of the most prominent German political leaders”(?) told him that the outlawing of the Jews was a mistake comparable only to the invasion of Belgium at the outbreak of the World War. It is plain that such a remark, if it really was made, could be made only by a person equally hostile towards Germany as Mr. Williams himself. Maybe this interview took place at a concentration camp. When returning to America these people cry: Democracy is at an end in Germany. But they are anxiously concealing the truth that before Hitler came jewish democratic corruption has brought Germany on the verge of Communism. Such “Democracy” indeed is at an end now in Germany. All this excitement about democracy being at an end and about “persecutions” and outlawing of the German Jews who amount to but 1% of the total German population seems very strange indeed when compared with the calmness with which the world took the cruelty and terrorism of the Russian Revolution which, as everyone knows, was prepared and created by Jews and by jewish money. Too bad that Mr. James G. McDonald, chairman of the Foreign Policy Association, can find nothing better for him to do than to call upon all American Christians to step into line with Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, as I see from the New York Times of June 15th and July 11th. He too has recently been in Germany, and on July 11th the New York Times published his address in Chautauqua, N.Y. dealing with his visit in Germany and with the situation there as it existed more than three months ago, namely on April 1st, at the time of the (24 hours) anti-Jews boycott. The report in the paper was headed by the remark: Statements that Jews are not being cruelly treated in Germany were termed “an insult to the intelligence” by James G. McDonald. Thus the American Public is made to believe that Mr. McDonald is furnishing an up-to-date denial for all new reports about improving conditions in Germany. Such is the way matters about Germany are twisted in the American Press. Senator Wagner too has stepped into line with Rabbi Wise as I have noticed. I regret it, but I am convinced that many people have done so because of absolute misinformation about presentday Germany. People trying to argue in favour of Hitlerite Germany, as Mr. Bernard Ridder tried to do, are quickly being ridiculed as one may see from the New York Times comment of June 14th, and I doubt if the wellknown Radio announcer Douglas Brinkley who during his visit in Germany in Berlin Talkies expressed his admiration for Hitler and this new Germany ever again will be allowed to broadcast in America. The Berlin correspondents of the American Press fall in line with the above mentioned general attitude towards Germany. I suppose they have to in order to keep their jobs. This might be easy for them, since many of them are Jews and some are known to be hostile towards Germany long before Hitler ever appeared in front of German Public Life. Under such circumstances it seems plain to me that any viewpoint favourable for Germany would today not be considered by the big American papers, since jewish influence in the American Press is much too strong.
Dear Mr. Houston, when in the above I have given you my opinion about American Public Opinion it was done, because I feel confident that you will not misunderstand me. When I am arguing for Hitler and in favour of presentday Germany it is not only because of the many great deeds of Hitler (uniting the German people, crushing Communism, successfully fighting unemployment) but also because I positively know that the only way to serve the purpose of German American friendship is to bring about mutual respect between the people of the two countries. To accomplish this one must fight for mutual respect between Opinion in America and in Germany. German Public Opinion and the Germany People are showing this respect for America. Everyone here is speaking of the courage and leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt in terms of admiration. It is up to American Public Opinion to give honour where honour is due.
So much about my letter to Mr. Houston. Now I shall give you part of my article which I sent to Mr. Houston and which he showed to Dr. Wilbur Thomas, the Director of the Carl Schurz Foundation, and to Dr. Carl Ackerman, the Dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University. Although, as I said above it is not written in good English, Mr. Houston as well as the two other gentlemen found the article very interesting. Here is what I said back in May 1933.
After a short introduction I wrote: “The world war was won not with the sword but with the pen. This is a German opinion which is shared also by a good many Americans. Apart from now one might think on this subject nobody today would deny the fact that the pen, if used as a weapon, can proove to be a mightly deadly sword. If now we wish to liquidate the world war, if we seriously endeavour to promote world peace, to promote good relationship between the nations of the world it seems to be absolutely essential that we should stop using war weapons and stop tolerating warlike propaganda. In other words, we should do all we can to prevent endangering good relationship between countries. Claiming to be well acquainted with German political troubles of past years as well as with the mentality of the German People I feel that the American newspaperreader is not at all put in a position to get a clear and true conception about Germany. Above all it is to my mind equally silly as it is preventing the education of the American people if the American newspaperreader is left to believe that the Germans are a barbaric nation. The absurdity of such statements does not make them less dangerous to good relationship between the American and the German people. If in the following I am dealing with the fundamental achievement and the fundamental aim of the German national socialistic revolution I am doing it for the benefit of a better understanding between the American and the German people. This better understanding is the more necessary the more we wish to prevent that a few years of animosity between the two countries should be permitted to destroy a century old friendship between the American and the German people. Contrary to political custome Hitler said in his address to the masses on the Tempelhof field on May 1st that he is not going to tell the workman how important for the Nation the labourman and his work are, and turn around and speak to the intelligent class of people as if to the cream of the Nation, and turn around again and speak to the peasant telling him how valuable he is. On the contrary he is going to demonstrate to one class of people the importance and the value of the other. This attitude is not only wise, but it also reveals the mystery of this sudden sense of unity that has come over the German people. When I am going to apply the same methods while writing to America about Germany, it is because making one people understand and respect another people might equally well proove to be the best method to bring about the much longed for mutual understanding between the nations of the world.
The German nationalsocialistic revolution beginning on January 30th, still in full swing today, and going to be carried out furthermore for an indefinite time to come is a revolution of mind. It is a revolution of the national mind as well as of the social mind of the people. Only a short time ago American Correspondents and travelling newspapermen used to report from Germany that the growing of the Hitlerite Party was the outcome of general dissatisfaction and hardship. If this had been the case, if Hitler had gained support merely on the ground of promising the same bread and work which all of his predecessors had failed to produce this German National Government would today after threee months of existence have no time to sit down and do some business for the country. Instead it would have all hands engaged in fighting the bitterest counter-revolution Germany could experience, and which would come from those of Hitlers followers who formerly belonged to the Communist rank and file, since poverty and hardship are still existing. It is clear today that such assumptions were wrong. They disregarded the fundamental change of mind which Hitler was and still is achieving amongst each single one of his supporters, and at the same time they underestimated the personality of Adolf Hitler. Although mass-meetings such as Berlin and the whole country have witnessed on May 1st never before have been held in Germany, this in itself is not of dominant importance. The German political parties have never understood how to advertise their aim. The uptodate propaganda organization of the Nationalsocialist Party therefore always have had a comparatively easy job creating enthusiasm among the German people. The outstanding achievement of Adolf Hitler is the fact that this unity wave he brought over Germany at the same time has given the people new strength and new willingness to patiently endure the hardships of present life. He has not restored, but he has created a new confidene, a confidence which did not exist amongst the German people for more than 14 years, and which today has made and is making them firmly believe that the turn for the better must come, and will come as long as they keep unity.
The quickness with which this confidence and this unity spirit got hold of the German people, and the thoroughness with which people today are endeavoring to live up to Hitlers call: One for all, and all for one, represent the mystery of this German Nationalsocialistic Revolution. This call has revived and is constantly reviving private charity, and this call is daily filling the beggars hand in the street. Simple as this call may seem, and indeed it could have been exclaimed by almost anyone, the mystery of its enthusiastic welcome lies in the personality of Adolf Hitler. It is not of dominant importance, as I have said before, that propaganda could call one and a half million people to gather on the Tempelhof field, but it is of outstanding significance, that those people do not wish to see the differences which yesterday divided them. It is of outstanding significance that class differences in Germany for the first time have received a severe blow. The German Revolution of 1918 with its international program of world unity did not accomplish this. In fact it continued instead to fight for these differences, Hitlers call was heard, because it sounded from a Party platform that was national as well as social. Manual labour dishonours nobody, Hitler said in his address to the German people on May 1st. With his plan of bringing each young German once for a set period of his life in contact with manual labour Hitler intends to build up a new German generation which shall make impossible a relapse into times of classwar. By striking at classwar from a party platform that is a national one Hitler successfully gave a killing blow to Communism. This no other German political party could accomplish. Those people in other countries who do not regard this achievement of Adolf Hitler as a great deed do not realize the danger to western civilization which a communistic Germany would represent, and furthermore they do not realize the great possibility of such development before taking place in Germany. Hitler succeeded in changing the minds of his followers from the Communist rank and file. They no more are Communists, but Nationalsocialists. They have killed in themselves that hatred they felt towards the rich and towards the white-collar-man, in general to an equal extent as this white-collar-man and this rich man have been made to no more look down upon the workman or anybody doing manual labour. It is true, not all of Germany has turned to nationalsocialism. However while for this very reason Hitlers revolution still is in full swing, and will be carried out furthermore until such time when this final aim is reached, a new election, if held today, might well show an increase of the nationalsocialsit vote from 17.5 million on March 5th to close to 30 million out of a total electorate of about 44 million votes.
Hitlers revolution of mind, as I have tried to explain it, in no way is representing a danger to world peace, and again it seems strange that Hitlers assurances to keep peace frequently are ignored in reports printed in the foreign Press. As impressive as this German revolution of mind might be to the foreign observer who knows Germany and the German people it is only reasonable that it cannot be equally impressive to those Americans who not yet have had a chance to visit and get acquainted with Germany. After all, this new German spirit is nothing new to us in America. Republicans and Democrats, both call it the true democratic spirit. The workman in America always has been as much respected as the white-collar-man, and our boys have long been working their way through College through manual labour. However, for this very reason it seems to me that no people is better equipped mentally to understand this new Germany and its leader than the American people.
If when writing about the Germany nationalsocialistic revolution I would fail to touch the jewish problem in Germany the reader indeed would miss an important explanation to a new German attitude which has created worldwide interest and partly even new animosity. Endeavouring to from and impartial point of view seek an explanation for this change in Germany one must realize two outstanding facts. One is that the percentage of Jews in Germany indeed is exceptionally small and the other is that this small percentage in postwar years has enjoyed an undue large share of public influence. While moreover a great many Jewish names are connected with all kinds of affairs of administrative corruption of postwar Germany thus making it all the easier for Hitler and his followers to gain countrywide support when calling for a radical reduction of the Jewish influence, it is wrong to regard this attitude as an affront to the Jewish religion. This it is not. Instead this attitude is directed against a postwar political system which has discredited the marxistic parties in Germany and the Jews, since many of them have played such prominent part in cooperation with those parties and the many cases of illoyalty and dishonesty they have been connected with. When I said above that the small percentage of Jews in Germany in postwar years so far have enjoyed an undue large share of public influence, this was possible because of their close cooperation with the marxistic parties. In other words it was not superior ability which entitled them to such share but political pull. Until recently conditions in Germany indeed were of such kind that many a Christian student would cease studying, since he had to realize that his road of future was blocked by political interests, whereas the jewish student would keep on studying knowing perfectly well that his father, although perhaps a businessman and not a politician, nevertheless had sufficient political pull to pave his way. In such development the new Germany sees a controlling increase of the Jewish element in the field of education which the Jewish population percentage in Germany does not justify. Hand in hand with this development the possibility of marrying has thus been made so much easier for the young Jewish generation, which fact in turning no doubt is contributing to increasing the population percentage of the German Jews to the disadvantage of the other confessions. Such developments are of no little importance for Germany, and while today under the Hitler Government a radical change is being made this radicalism is not directed against each single Jewish citizen. On the contrary the form in which the new laws are being applied show a liberal spirit and reveal the truth that the attitude of Hitler Germany towards this Jewish problem ought to correctly be regarded as directed against a political system of corruption with which the German Jews unfortunately so impressively have identified themselves.”
So much from my article. I hope I have put it clear enough to realize that the Jewish problem in Germany is a question of life or death of the German race. If such development as was tolerated before Hitler came should be permitted to continue it should be obvious for everyone that in the course of time the face of the German population would change considerably. Germany, as you know, has a population of 66 million people. Among these 66 million are but about 600,000 Jewish citizen. Under those circumstances as described above this small percentage in the course of time could increase rapidly because of conditions of life being more protected against all hardship, marriages being made easier because of professional and business protection which safeguard in turn enables the Jewish woman to give birth to children. Moreover it should be easy to realize that favouring the Jewish element to such an extent as was done before Hitler came necessarily leads to giving away the top positions in Government, industry, and education to Jews, while on the other hand the German race of Protestant and Catholic confession is being pushed back into positions of no influence which in turn in the course of time will make them unable to lead their own country because of being deprived the necessary educational training in matters of administration, big business, and education. At the same time their population percentage of now 99% is rapidly decreasing because of the German woman through hardship of life and uncertainty because of the German woman through hardship of life and uncertainty of the husbands future being unable to give birth to children.
Dear Kenneth, my English might be very poor, but I hope you get what I am trying to explain. I hope you see that Hitlers anti-Semitism is not directed against the Jewish religion nor against each single Jew. No Jewish citizen here is being molested. News to the contrary are lies and nonsense. Such news naturally are being spread by Jews, since the Jews realize very well, as the newspaper “Jewish Chronicle” published in South Afrika recently admitted, that the Jewish fight for world control through the Hitler Revolution in Germany has received a setback of 100 years of strenuous work. The Jewish citizen in Germany shall continue to enjoy a peaceful living as he did before Hitler came with the only exception that he shall enjoy no influence beyond the frame of his own population percentage. In the interest of the German race I do not hesitate to call such attitude, as queer as it might seem to you, a “democratic persecution” and I regard it as very sound. The Jewish citizen who does not like such democratic persecution might leave the country and immigrate somewhere else. And when I say immigrate somewhere else you perhaps will realize how harmful it was and still is that the USA for such a long time had kept its doors open especially at times of business prosperity. In America the Jew saw a vast country with tremendous resources and no end of business possibilities. But he had no intention to go out and work. You will find no Jew being busy as farmer. No, such common work is good enough for the children and grandchildren of the Christian pilgrims of German, French and English birth who alone have built up the country which is called the United States. The Jew was doing the business of his own race, namely lending out money and waiting in his armchair for the return. Thus he gradually got hold of this and that business undertaking, thus he gradually got hold of the entire country. There is today no country in the whole world with a more powerful influence of the Jewish element except perhaps England, than the USA. The fact that such a powerful Christian businessman as Henry Fold is flatly denying everything he said in his book against the Jews speaks for itself. The German element among the American population used to have a great influence in the country. And when I recall the name of Steuben do you doubt that such influence was for the benefit of the country? Where are the Steubens of today? Dont tell me there are none. That is not correct. But it is true that in the course of time the German American element has been degraded to the influence of a butcher and grooceryshopowner. Where there are exceptions you will possibly find that the exception is a Jew. The USA was not governed by Washington but by Wall Street. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the first President to challenge this. It remains to be seen if the power he has been given is sufficient for the success. You may be absolutely sure that Washington and Berlin are in perfect accord although this sometimes does not seem so. Washington is not fighting against Hitler, but instead is watching Hitlers experiment with the Jewish problem with very keen interest knowing perfectly well that this experiment might lead the whole world. Watch Ireland, watch the increase of fashism in England, watch the change in France that will come, remember the American Postmaster Generals order forbidding anti-German boycottstamps on the back of envelopes.
October 2nd 1933.
Dear Kenneth: Not until today could I find time to continue this letter, and I must admit that since your last letter arrived which again was full of insulting remarks about Adolf Hitler I feel little inclined to do so. I must state that you have changed greatly. You were much more grown-up when in May 1932 you left us. I dont know whose influence it is and I dont care. I only know that while you were with us you grew accustomed to argue in a serious way seeking effect only through the sincerety of your arguement and not through a strong language. The letter method is used only by children and hysteric women and men. If I wanted to argue with you on the basis of your last letter I indeed could easily come back and picture a great many Americans who have been making an ass of themselves and still are making an ass of themselves, and I could speak much more convincing, since I know America, whereas you in your highhatted ignorance are adopting nothing but what jewish reporters publish and you fall for any line of talk as long as the lies are presented in a somewhat plausible form. You need not boast about not having Nationalsozialism in America. It is quite doubtful if such is an advantage, and the fact that the American Democratic system given to the country by men who justfully can be called great Americans has grown into a system of rotten corruption might bring about American Nationalsozialism quicker than you think. Any system of government stands and falls with its leaders. Are the leaders rotten the system will turn to be rotten too. Such was the case in Germany, and such might be the case in America too. Moreover America some day might be happy to turn to Nationalsozialism instead of turning to Communism. However as long as there are many of young Americans thinking the way you do, namely from one mooving picture to another I see great trouble ahead for the country, trouble which will be fare more serious than the Russian revolution was. When in face of your calling us being hypnotized I answer you that I am a great admirer of Adolf Hitler I am doing so in order to warn you to remain as narrowminded as you now are. You never will hear the truth about presentday Germany, for America at present is a jewish country. Jewish influence is dominating, and sooner or later the American aryans will realize what they shall have to fight for. Nationalsozialism would never come to America from Germany but from the aryan population in America and such will bring about a rebirth of Washingtons United States. Why cry about the poor little children who are called upon to join Hitlers junior leagues, when they themselves are crazy to do so. Little Jobi has joined and he is tickeled to death about it. Why throw out your chest and condemn militarism when there is no country on the face of the earth more militaristic than the United States? Or do you deny that American boys in their small years even are receiving military training? Is such a sign that America intends to go to war? You say: No. Well, I answer you, Germany wont either. A picture of Hindenburg and Hitler published in an American paper was called: A business conference between H. and H., whereas truly it was a picture of the celebration of the battle of Tannenberg. Such shows how much even in matters of minor importance American newspapers are making an ass of themselves. Even if you dont like it, Adolf Hitler is one of the greatest and at the same time one of the most modest men Germany has ever had. Future will show that I am right. Goodbye now, and dont think that I am sore, I am just a little disappointed in you.
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