Background: Dr. Robert Ley held a number of positions in Hitler’s Germany. He was Reichsorganisationsleiter (Reich Organization Leader), responsible among other things for much of internal party education. He was also head of the German Labor Front (DAF), the Nazi “labor union.” Despite his Ph.D., he was not one of the more capable Nazi potentates.
This article, published in January 1945, makes the argument that just as the Nazis had succeeded in overcoming obstacles in the past, so they would overcome the military situation Germany faced. He uses the January 1933 election campaign in Lippe as evidence. He indirectly refers to the Battle of the Bulge, but does not seem to know that it no longer had any prospect of changing the military situation.
The source: Robert Ley, “Lippe!” Leipziger Neueste Nachrichten, 18 January 1945, p. 1. The original is available on-line at the Berlin State Library.
by Robert Ley
When once again the people, the women and men, the boys and girls of the little German state of Lippe come together as they do each year to festively commemorate the National Socialist electoral victory of twelve years ago, all Germany joins with them. One cannot say it often enough, repeat it often enough, that it was a victory of National Socialist steadfastness and determination. The National Socialist German Workers’ Party is the party of principles. Besides the worldview principles of people and race, fatherland and soil, reason and clarity, sacrifice and community, labor and achievement, battle and honor, there are above all also the principles of method, of strategy and tactics. In contrast to the bourgeois mentality we National Socialists have never and nowhere avoided battle. We recall the pact between left and right of blessed memory of long forgotten democracy. They were all prepared to stand democracy on its head to avoid confrontation with us National Socialists. The “Nationalists” swore brotherhood with the “Internationale,” the pious fighters for God joined with atheistic Bolshevism. The election was the only unpleasant aspect of democracy, and England today shows how one can be “democratic” without troubling to ask the people. One can rightly call the present English democracy an hereditary democracy, in which seats in the lower house are passed on to children and grandchildren.
Our democrats once dreamed of that. That was ruined by the undemocratic National Socialists, who kept demanding new elections.
We wanted battle! We are of the opinion that one should never stop fighting until final victory. Fight, fight, fight! That is the first and most successful principle of any battle. He who forgets that loses the battle. He who through cowardice avoids battle will be overwhelmed and out-trumped. He is is too cautious pays with death. He who wants to be too clever will be left empty-handed. He who hesitates loses happiness and will never regain it. Action is the only way to succeed.
That applies not only when we have a 100% chance of success. It also applies to us National Socialists when the chances of success are only a few percent and seem hopeless to the ever-so-clever. Just when the opponent had us on the ground, we sprang up unexpectedly and grabbed him by the throat.
How did things look eleven or twelve years ago? Within our own ranks leading party followers shamefully betrayed the Führer, betrayed him at the most dangerous moment. We had lost an election. We got an unfriendly and painful blow to our pleasant confidence in victory, and were reminded that one can never give up the battle before final victory. Serious election losses and treasonous internal betrayal shook the party to its foundations. The structure of the party held firm. The morale of party members was exemplary, brave, and loyal. Only one thing could help: battle, bitter battle. The Führer did the only thing one should do in such circumstances: he looked for every opportunity for battle.
Our opponents thought we were crazy. They predicted further defeats for us, since so badly beaten a party could never resume battle. But fate affirmed the eternally old and eternally true principles: he who avoids battle is a coward. He who fights for a just goal with toughness and bitter determination will eventually win. That is the lesson of Lippe. That is why that election campaign has a particular place in the early history of National Socialism. Lippe was the door to power!
Is not the present time not vastly similar and related to that time? We have had serious military defeats. The Führer and Germany have been shamefully betrayed. Yet Germany and the party stand firm, unshaken, strong and loyal behind and around their Führer. Just as the Führer then brought the people forward, so today he again attacks and is victorious. True, the opponent still has great material strength, its army seems unbroken, but yet: Germany is victorious. In the end the world will not be dominated by material means, even it it seems so great and powerful, but by spirit alone, and through the idea. Herr Eisenhower believes he can right his way to Berlin with raw power. It is all just a matter of numbers for him. Weapons, artillery bombs, and shells, just as the defeat of National Socialism seemed to the Jews to be a simple matter of profit and loss. The Jewish lackey parties both on the right and the left had twice as many votes as the NSDAP. With the help of material factors such as money, the press, news media, force, and suppression they had given National Socialism a serious blow. Yet it was the spiritual forces, bitter fanaticism, courage, loyalty, and faith that defeated the masses of our opponents and led to change. Numerically the victory in Lippe was tiny in the context of the overall situation. Still it was decisive. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That was invisible to those who did not understand. Our enemies back then did not understand what the victory in Lippe meant.
We have seized the initiative again. That seems to me to be the decisive turn in military events today. We have gotten past the critical point. Our opponents must now demonstrate whether they have the same spiritual force. The Jew of 1933 collapsed because we were tougher than he was. Why should the Jew of 1945 have more power. If we take to heart the lesson of Lippe, we will and must win!
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