Background: This article from the Nazi Party’s monthly for propagandists
discusses Nazi propaganda battles with the Marxists, which to their minds
included both the socialists (SPD) and communists (KPD). The article notes
that National Socialism has gone about as far as it can in reaching the
middle class. The target now has to be the workers, which the writer notes
will be a difficult task. He directs some rather biting criticism at many
Nazi propagandists. It was published late in 1932, at a critical time.
Nazism had lost ground in the 6 November 1932 Reichstag election, and
the party was weary after a year of almost constant elections. There had
been two presidential elections, two Reichstag elections, and the Prussian
state elections, not to mention a variety of others.
The source: Fritz Oerter, “Unsere Redner im antimarxistischen
Kampf. Die Bilanz eines Wahljahrs,” Unser Wille und Weg, 2
(1932), pp. 350-356.
Our Speakers in the Anti-Marxist
by Fritz Oerter
As we review the Reichstag, provincial parliament, and city elections
of 1932, we must conclude that the day of huge mass meetings and mass
marches is over, at least when it comes to winning new supporters for
the National Socialist movement.
Those citizens whom we could interest in our world view through marches
and mass meetings, the sensible members of the middle class, have been
reached. The “middle class” reactionary front has been ground
down despite their election “victory” of 6 November.
Nationalist circles are the ones that increasingly visited our mass meetings,
that saw our marches with growing enthusiasm, and remain today about 95%
of the attendees at our meetings, although they have long since been won
over to National Socialism.
But this loyal core of National Socialist supporters will surely grow
weary of filling our mass meetings. In some Gaue, it is already
true that only the most prominent leaders of our party like Hitler, Straßer,
Goebbels, Goering, Frick, etc., are able to bring out crowds in the tens
of thousands. The high point of this form of propaganda is over, and we
must now reach those circles which our propaganda so far has unfortunately
been unable to reach in sufficient numbers.
Let us be honest with ourselves. The road is free and open, but our main
enemy has done unexpectedly well in resisting the National Socialist advance.
We have certainly succeeded in fragmenting the Marxist front and in winning
a large number of former Marxists for our worldview. The Social Democrats
are fighting desperately for their survival, and thanks to National Socialist
educational work hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people who once
were firm supporters of Marxist nonsense are beginning to waver. They
are looking into the National Socialist movement, naturally against the
wishes of their “leaders.” Still, Marxist propaganda, and especially
its press, regularly succeeds in leading people who have seen the light
back into error, and bringing them back under the control of Marxist party
Why? In opposing Marxism, we oppose a deeply-rooted worldview that is
based on over sixty years of intensive work. It is in turn founded on
the still older liberal worldview and economic order. It enjoys not only
the protection of tradition, but the strength a younger movement can bring
to bear against an older one. Liberalism was not able to resist Marxism.
The liberal parties and ideologies could only fight defensively against
a worldview with greater strength and clarity of purpose. Even the Marxist
worker who long doubted and sought for something better eventually had
to conclude that Marxism is the only worldview that can bring a new and
better society and economic order. Who can hold it against him that he
rejected the forces that denied him equality and a share in the results
of his labor? The German worker absorbed Marxism in his parents’ home,
and was surrounded by people who thought the same in the workplace. In
what remained of his sound understanding, he knew that there was a flaw
somewhere in the worldview. He realized that there was a catch somewhere
to the lovely teachings of “expropriating the expropriators,”
of “the equality of everyone with a human face,” of “international
brotherhood,” of “international solidarity,” but he did
not know where, and there was no one to show him the contradictions, the
weak points, in the thinking of Karl Marx and his followers.
Thanks to our ten years of educational work, he is suspicious. He became
a seeker, a doubter, but unfortunately only a few of his comrades have
found their way to us. The 1932 election results prove this. We have made
inroads into the ranks of the SPD [Socialists]
and the KPD [Communists], but not
to the extent that the “leaders” of the Marxist parties have
deserved as a result of their inability, incompetence, and contradictory
Every National Socialist fighter who speaks to meetings of Marxist workers
must recognize this and draw the necessary conclusions. The Marxist party
“leaders” have made mistake after mistake. They have promised
everything since 1918 and delivered nothing. They have worked a hundred
times with Jewish racketeers and a thousand times with capitalism. They
are responsible for all the need and misery of the German people, and
of German workers. Yet if our Reich, Gau, and county speakers
do not succeed in reducing the Marxist nonsense propounded by the Socialists
and Communists to absurdity, their sacrificial work will not succeed in
widening the breach in the Marxist front. Without that, the deceptive
Marxist worldview will fail to collapse in the manner of those organizations
that supported calcified liberalism.
We should not take Marxism lightly! To defeat the enemy, we must
know its weapons. If its weapons are good, we must have better ones if
we are to survive. Only when we know, and know precisely, what Marxism
teaches can we succeed in convincing the Social Democratic and Communist
workers of the unfruitfulness of this doctrine, thereby making National
Socialists of them. Of course, it remains necessary to show German workers
who are still enthused about the doctrines of Marx, Engels, Lassalle,
or Lenin what kind of “leaders” they have. However, revealing
the nature of their “leaders” and policies shakes only their
confidence in their party, but rarely their attitudes about the worldview.
Our propaganda, our intensive educational work, must make
clear to the German worker that the aims of the “Communist
Manifesto” and the “Erfurt,” “Görlitz,”
and “Heidelberg” programs, proclaimed for decades,
are impossible and utopian, and that the materialist philosophy
and economic system of the “Capital” are erroneous
and lead in the wrong direction. We must show them that this
is the reason for the behavior of many Social Democratic and
Communist “leaders.” They have no choice but to play
such a treasonous role. Only if we do this will Marxism’s supporters
give up all hope of a future Marxist state and become willing
to consider true German socialism.
The conclusion is simple: Training, untiring and thorough training,
is necessary! It is necessary not only for the members, whom some
functionaries and speakers handle as if they were a bit stupid, but for
everyone at the political front. For officials and speakers, anti-Marxist
training is of the greatest importance. Unfortunately, many of our speakers
and often not the worst ones either have completely avoided
training about Marxism. True, they understand National Socialist thinking,
but not Marxist views and theses. They are like army officers who have
good soldiers, but do not know how strong the enemy is or where he is
That is why there are complaints about this or that speaker in nearly
every Gau. Party members want better education, better speakers,
to enable them to hold their own against opponents, even if a question
comes up that goes beyond current events. Marxist meeting visitors have
been worked on through the lies of an unscrupulous press. They are especially
critical. A single ill-chosen phrase or the least sign of uncertainly
drives these citizens away, and some who were making their way toward
us are lost forever. Our work has made them distrust their own leaders,
but the long rabble-rousing of their “leaders” has also left
them suspicious about National Socialist thinking.
It is nonsense to think that a popular style of speaking (which
often turns out to be vulgar) is enough to win sympathy for the
speaker in a meeting of workers. The opposite! The Marxist worker
can tell what is genuine and what is artificial. When he sees
that a speaker has taken on a “popular” style of speaking,
or that he wears a shirt without a collar, or rolled up sleeves
or other things like that, he becomes reserved and critical.
Obviously a workers’ meeting is not a university auditorium.
The speech must be simple and clear. But coarse language and
shabby clothing generally harm the overall impression, just as
do an elevated, lecturing style and elegant dress.
There is too much of this going on, in part due to a lack of through
training that is replaced by outward appearances. Unnecessary exaggeration
is also harmful. For example, a speaker at a meeting of workers before
the 6 November election announced that our vote total would rise significantly
and that we would win 250 seats. The half-won Marxists lost faith in this
prophet and the worldview he preached. Even worse, some National Socialist
speakers who fail to understand Marxism’s idea of class struggle said
that the NSDAP might call for a general strike if Herr von Papen dared
to dissolve the newly elected Reichstag. Similar exaggerations, of which
there were unfortunately many, destroy everything that the speaker thinks
he accomplished in his speech.
One mistake is particularly common. When National Socialist
speakers who were formerly Marxists speak in workers’ areas,
the publicity often says : “The former Marxist union secretary
so-and-so will speak on the theme “Marxism or German workers.”
The Marxist worker attends such a meeting to hear a discussion
of worldviews. He is deeply disappointed when he gets only a
normal discussion of current events, which does not in any way
make it easier for him to decide which worldview to support.
What good does such a meeting do the Marxist worker? He knows that his
“leaders” have betrayed the “goals of the revolution.”
He knows they supported the Young Plan. He knows that Soviet Russia is
not a land of milk and honey. He knows that National Socialism is fighting
von Papen. He knows that Hindenburg was supported by the Social Democrats
and some in the KPD. He did not come to listen to a former Marxist speaker
to hear these things again. He wants to hear something different. He wants
to know why this former Marxist left the red flag and now fights for the
swastika. He is a seeker. He has lost faith in Marx and his doctrines.
His world is threatening to collapse, and he wants a new and better worldview.
The former Marxist who found a new worldview in National Socialism should
help his former party members to make a final break with Marxism. He should
make it easier to for them to become National Socialists. The Marxist
worker wants to hear why the speaker today opposes which he once honestly
fought for, perhaps for more than a generation. He wants to know why the
speaker chose National Socialism, and how it is superior to Marxist thinking.
The attitude of a large part of the Marxists who come to our
meetings can be summarized in this way: They no longer believe
their “leaders”; they doubt Marxist doctrine; they
look to the worker-speakers of the National Socialist people’s
movement to find a justification to bring them from Marxism to
They want a plausible justification and good reasons for doing what they
instinctively feel. For decades the materialist worldview was pumped into
them. They learned to evaluate everything from a materialistic and rational
perspective. As convinced Marxists, they were ruled by cold, clear reason,
not by feelings. Mind and stomach, not heart and soul, were the driving
forces behind events. In their heart and soul, many of these former Marxist
workers are already National Socialists; only their materialism keeps
them from breaking with the false gods of the past.
The movement’s speaker has the task of making it easier for
Marxist workers to break with the past. He must be ready and
able to give these citizens a logical basis for their emotional
longing for National Socialism. He can do that only by knowing
the Marxist worldview as well as he knows his own. He must be
able to deal directly with the ideas of Marxists in the audience.
He must be able to handle even the best Marxist discussion speakers.
Can every National Socialist speaker do that? No. The news
from the Gaue proves it. The order of the day is thus
training and more training. Some good National Socialist literature
already deals with the fundamentals of Marxism. The National
Socialist who has read these materials and understood them is
capable of dealing with the average Marxist speaker, but not
with well-trained Marxist speakers who have a solid understanding
of the writings of Marx and Engels and who have mastered them.
Therefore, the training should be conducted by party comrades
who have studied Marxist doctrine in depth and are able to cross
swords with even the best opponents from the Marxist camp.
Unfortunately, many diligent speakers have the incorrect belief
that they do not need to learn anything further, that it is enough
if they keep up with current events. They will know better once
they have participated in a well-organized training course in
which Marxist workers with better than average political education
defend their worldview against the attacks of National Socialism.
In such a course, the National Socialist speaker learns what
he is lacking in order to be able to win the German worker to
National Socialism. In fair and factual ways, but also in compelling
and precise form, these training courses discuss the worldviews
of National Socialism and Marxism. These discussions prove that
the National Socialist worldview is far superior to Marxist ideology,
but also that Marxist spokesmen, including minor functionaries
and speakers, enjoy training that could be of great value to
some of our speakers in workers’ meetings. The lack of such training
is the reason that many of them lack the success they desire.
When our Führer determines Germany’s fate, such training
will be of particular importance. Hand in hand with the practical
refutation of Marxist theories that will come by realizing National
Socialism, we need an intensive theoretical education of the
working masses in order to free the last German worker from internationalism
and materialism. They need to be persuaded of German idealism,
of the principle that “the common good goes before the individual’s
This is hard work, but the goal is worth it. Millions of German citizens
will once again believe in their race, fatherland, and social justice.
To work, then, you National Socialist fighters against Marxism and Reaction!
Prepare yourselves for the final battle against Marx and his followers!
Then victory will no longer be denied us!
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