A National Socialist Feminist Writes to Hitler

Sophie Rogge-Börner’s memorandum of February 18, 1933, requesting Hitler consider establishing the Third Reich on a foundation of sexual equality

Berufstatige_Frauen

Despite its reputation as a totalitarian movement, there was a significant degree of intellectual diversity within German National Socialism; Hitler was reasonably comfortable with dissenting perspectives being expressed within the boundaries of the NSDAP so long as those expressing them remained completely loyal to his leadership. Within the Party there could be widely-varying opinions on issues such as socialism, religion, Jews, and the Frauenfrage – the ‘woman question’, the debate over the role of women within the movement and their social position in the future Third Reich. Opinions on this topic ranged from those of paternalist radicals who saw women as little more than ‘breeding machines’ of future Aryan soldiers, to ‘feminists’ who believed in the innate equality of German men and women. These ‘feminists’ (a term they generally rejected) themselves expressed a diverse range of viewpoints, but they were united in their veneration for a semi-mythical Nordic Golden Age of sexual equality and their belief that a true Volksgemeinschaft based on harmony and class comradeship was impossible if the state continued to discriminate against half of the German population. One of the most prominent of the NS-feminists was teacher & writer Sophie Rogge-Börner. Rogge-Börner never officially joined the NSDAP (although she had been a member of various other völkisch groups, including the National Socialist Freedom Movement), but she was a supporter of National Socialism, was very active within the völkisch literary movement, and like so many nationalists she greeted the new Hitler government in 1933 with enthusiasm. The memorandum translated below, written by Rogge-Börner shortly after Hitler attained the Chancellorship, expressed the author’s plea  to the new leadership that the coming Third Reich would be revolutionary in terms of gender as well as race, politics, and economy. She was not just speaking for herself. Her memorandum was soon published as the lead article of newly-established NS-feminist journal Die deutsche Kämpferin (The German Female Fighter, or The German Warrioress), and later it was compiled with multiple similar articles into the 1933 book Deutsche Frauen an Adolf Hitler (German Women Address Adolf Hitler). Rogge-Börner’s memorandum of course accomplished little, although it did receive brief written acknowledgement from Prussian Reich Commissioner Göring. Die deutsche Kämpferin was eventually banned in 1937 and Rogge-Börner forbidden from writing, but nonetheless she remained (mostly) supportive of Hitler and National Socialism even after the War. 

Memorandum
to the Chancellor of the German Reich, Herr Adolf Hitler,
and to the Vice-Chancellor, Herr Franz von Papen

NS_Frauenschaft

First published in Die deutsche Kämpferin, vol. 2, May (‘Maimond’) 1933

The gradual onset of the state’s reorganization makes it essential that German women of the völkisch-national way-of-life earnestly call the attention of the leading men to the fact that the state should not be allowed to once more be organized into a Man’s State, but must be established instead as the Lebensraum of the entire German people, comprising both men and women.

If we peer into the depths out of which emerge the spiritual driving forces behind contemporary events, then the route along which the path of destiny of white people has run becomes clear. Mankind’s first sociological age was a matriarchal order, as evidenced by its maternal family.1 After long periods of transition, of centuries (or perhaps millennia) of fluid boundaries and uncertain divisions of power, the progression to the second stage, to the patriarchal order, was fulfilled. Until, as matriarchy once had done, it too overstepped the bounds of its exclusive claim to power to such an extent that, around the middle of the 19th century, the women’s liberation-movement emerged within the Germanic countries. A Volksgemeinschaft of Germanic blood cannot in the long run be unilaterally led and directed through male dominance. The three generations presently living are drawn via an unambiguous gesture of the Creator’s will to the third of the stages: the social order of unified,2 holistic human beings.

The relationships which the sexes have with one another and with the community are intimately and directly bound to the racial essence, to the blood origin of a Volk. Because we Germans derive our origins from the Nordic race, it is essential to get a clear understanding of the validity of both sexes among our early Nordic ancestors and to draw from this the practical application for our way of life in the 20th century. The lore we have preserved draws a clear, sound picture of civilized behavior which I can only intimate here in broad outlines: Continue reading

Papen’s Marburg Speech

The infamous June 1934 ‘Marburg speech’ of Franz von Papen and Edgar Jung: a national-conservative critique of the excesses  of National Socialism

Papen_Hitler_Blomberg_12March1933

Early 1934 was an extremely difficult time for the conservatives and bourgeois-nationalists in Germany who, only a year before, had been convinced that the ‘National Revolution’ and the emerging Third Reich were as much theirs as they were the National Socialists’. Under the process of Gleichschaltung the new government had been gradually dissolving or absorbing independent nationalist groups into the NSDAP. At the same time there appeared to be an escalating breakdown in order, with Party radicals growing increasingly disruptive and violent, often turning their frustration at the slow pace of reform upon the perceived forces of ‘Reaktion‘. In the midst of the chaos and the rumors of an impending ‘Second Revolution’ a group of Catholic conservative intellectuals, working within the offices of Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, began plotting ways for bourgeois-nationalists to take back the state, hoping to steer it away from ideological radicalism and towards a more traditionalist authoritarianism centered on Christian spiritual renewal. The result of their handiwork was what became known as the ‘Marburg speech’, translated in full below. Written chiefly by conservative-revolutionary intellectual Edgar Jung, one of Papen’s consultants and speechwriters, the speech was anti-democratic while still being carefully disparaging of the NS regime, critiquing its violence, its militarization of public life, its monopoly on political power, its ‘coordination’ of the independent judiciary and the press, and in particular its hostile policies towards Christianity. The conspirators cleverly pushed this speech on Vice-Chancellor Papen at the last minute, while he was still on the train to deliver an address before the University League at Marburg. When an alarmed Papen read the speech and protested that it might “cost him his head” he was informed that he had no choice but to give it, since hundreds of copies had already been provided to the domestic and foreign press. Papen conceded, and rather bravely read the speech verbatim despite his misgivings. The conspirators’ hope was that this action would galvanize the nationalist, Catholic, and conservative forces within Germany into opposition behind Papen. The result instead was the final consolidation of the Hitler regime. Goebbels used every effort possible to suppress dissemination of the speech domestically, while Papen was forced to apologize and to resign from the cabinet. Hitler and Göring, now utterly convinced of the need to sweep away their remaining enemies, began setting the course for the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ not two weeks later. Papen survived the resulting ‘Blood Purge’ by the skin of his teeth with a brief period of arrest. Others would not be so lucky, with most of the conspirators ending up incarcerated or, like Edgar Jung, shot.  

Speech by Vice-Chancellor von Papen
before the University League
Marburg, 17 June, 1934

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On 21 February 1933, in the turbulent days when National Socialism first stepped forward to govern the German Reich, I spoke to the Berlin student body in an attempt to explain the significance of this new epoch [Zeitenwende]. I spoke, as I pointed out at the time, in a location dedicated to the exploration of truth and intellectual freedom. I do not want to confess myself an adherent to the liberal conceptions of truth and freedom. Ultimate truth lies with God alone, and the quest for it derives its ultimate meaning only from this starting-point. Today, where I am privileged once again – in this medieval jewel, this city of Saint Elisabeth – to stand on academic soil, I add to the remarks I made at that time that even though the ideal of objective truth may be undisputed, we do not want to renounce the most elementary foundation of human civilization, the duty to subjective truth, to honesty, that is demanded of us Germans. This place of scholarship, therefore, appears to me particularly suited to giving a truthful account before the German people. Because the voices that demand that I adopt a principled position on German current affairs and on German conditions are becoming ever more numerous and more urgent. It is said that by removing the Weimar Prussian regime1 and by amalgamating the National Movement I have taken on such a pivotal role in German affairs that it is my duty to monitor these developments more keenly than most other Germans. I have no intention of evading this duty. On the contrary – my inner commitment to Adolf Hitler and his work is so great, and so attached am I with my very lifeblood to the German renewal currently being carried out, that from the point-of-view of both man and statesman it would be a mortal sin not to say what must be said during this crucial stage of the German Revolution.

The events of the last year and a half have gripped the entire German Volk and stirred them deeply. That we have found our way back from the vale of sorrow, hopelessness, hatred, and division and returned to the community of the German Nation once more seems almost like a dream. The tremendous tensions which we have experienced since those August days of 1914 have been broken; from them the German soul has emerged once again, before which the glorious and yet so painful history of our Volk passes in review, from the sagas of the German heroes to the trenches of Verdun and, yes, even to the street-fights of our day.

The unknown soldier of the World War, who conquered the hearts of his countrymen [Volksgenossen, lit. ‘folk-comrades’] with contagious energy and unshakeable faith, has set this soul free. With his Field Marshal he has set himself at the head of the nation in order to turn a new page in the book of German fate and to restore spiritual unity. We have experienced this unity of spirit in the exhilaration of a thousand rallies, in the flags and festivities of a nation which has rediscovered itself. But now, as enthusiasm is leveling out and as the hard work in this process comes to the fore, it becomes apparent that a reform process of such historical proportions also produces slag [Schlacken] from which the nation must cleanse itself. Slag of this kind exists in all areas of our life, in the material and the spiritual. Foreign countries, who view us with resentment, point their fingers at this slag and construe it as evidence of a serious process of dissolution. One should not be ready to celebrate too early, because only once we have mustered the energy to free ourselves from this slag will we immediately be best able to prove how internally strong we are and how resolute we are in not letting the path of the German Revolution be tarnished. We know that the rumors and the whispering must be drawn back out of the darkness into which they have fled. Continue reading

Merry Christmas for 2019!

And a Happy New Year from ARPLAN

Vorweihnachten_Ausgabe_1943

For this year’s Christmas article ARPLAN offers something fairly concise – a small editorial and a brief poem taken from two separate issues of Die Brücke [The Bridge], a German-language journal founded at the German Consulate in Sydney, Australia in November 1933. Die Brücke was a co-creation of the ‘League of Germans in Australia and New Zealand’ and the ‘German-Australian Chamber of Commerce’, intended to act as a cultural propaganda journal which targeted auslandsdeutsche (ethnic Germans living abroad) in Oceania with articles and artwork which would help foster their sense of ‘Germanness’, their familiarity with National Socialist ideology, and their appreciation for the achievements of the New Germany. The editorial and poem below are suitably Christmas-themed, one accenting the ethnic and racial interconnectedness of Germans all over the world and the other offering a martial depiction of an ‘SA Christmas’. The ‘1930’ date included in the title of the latter is likely an oblique reference to SA-martyr Horst Wessel, who was murdered in that year.

The Blue Christmas Candle

First published in Die Brücke, 26 December 1936

For some years now in Germany, Austria, and many countries where Germans have settled, even as far as the most remote districts of tropical South America, it has been customary to light a blue candle on the Christmas tree. Blue is the color of loyalty. Thus it happened that the tiny blue candle, which burns at the time of the Winter solstice and the ringing in of the New Year, has become a symbol of the bond uniting all Germans in the world. The Germans in the Reich, gathered around the Christmas tree in the stillness of the Holy Night, are thinking of their far away brethren, who often have to struggle hard to maintain their nationality. The Germans abroad on the other hand feel, when gazing at the blue light, that they are not forgotten, that the Fatherland appreciates and understands their struggles. They feel themselves united to all other Germans in the days of Advent and at Christmastide particularly. On this the most German of all feasts, the small blue candle is creating a community, from which no one is excluded who professes to be a German. The blue light should burn in the home of every German family and remind each family member that their union around the Christmas tree is but an expression of the close bond uniting people of German descent and blood all over the world. Continue reading

Hitler Purges the ‘Salon Bolsheviks’

Adolf Hitler’s brief letter of 30 June, 1930, instructing Joseph Goebbels to “ruthlessly purge” the NSDAP of Strasserist “salon Bolsheviks”

Hitler_und_Goebbels

A couple of months ago I published a translation of the infamous July 4, 1930 article by Otto Strasser announcing the departure of the ‘socialists’ from the NSDAP.  Otto’s article and his decision to withdraw himself and his supporters from the Party were the culmination of a long series of incidents stretching all the way back to Otto’s first entry into the National Socialist movement in 1925; I described these to a very brief extent in that article’s introduction. Mentioned in Otto’s article was a June 30 letter from Adolf Hitler to Gau Berlin-Brandenburg leader Joseph Goebbels, ordering the Gauleiter to effect a “ruthless purge” of all “salon Bolsheviks” (i.e. Strasserists) from local Party organizations. This short letter has now also been translated, and is provided for reading below. Hitler’s letter comprised the ‘final straw’ of the ‘Strasser crisis’, the internal Party conflict between Otto Strasser, Goebbels, and their respective factions which raged throughout the early months of 1930. In my earlier article I described how the spark which lit the conflict, which had been steadily brewing for years over personality issues and questions of doctrine & tactics, was Otto’s decision to start a newspaper that would directly compete with Goebbels’s Der Angriff. Like all good feuds, however, there are multiple potential sources of conflagration – another likely cause was the decision by Eugen Mossakowsky, one of Otto’s prominent disciples, to start publicly casting doubt on Goebbels’s claim to have been arrested and flogged by Belgian troops for participation in the Ruhrkampf in 1924. Openly accusing the ‘Little Doktor’ of dishonesty led to Mossakowsky being brought before the local USchlA (Party arbitration committee) and quickly forced to resign from the NSDAP. Thus began a process of expulsion of Strasser’s leading spokesmen from the Party, while in the background a propaganda campaign of speeches and articles was waged by the Goebbels faction (backed by the leadership) and Otto’s oppositionists against one another. Hitler’s letter marked the final end to the dispute, accusing the Strasserists of being disruptive elements with ‘Jewish-liberal-Marxist’ tendencies, and giving Goebbels full authority to start purging them wholesale from the Party. 

Adolf Hitler’s Letter to Joseph Goebbels
Regarding the 1930 ‘Strasser-Crisis’

Munich, 30th June 1930

Dr. Joseph Goebbels,
Gauleiter of Berlin,
Berlin.

For months now, as responsible leader of the NSDAP, I have been watching attempts to bring discord, confusion, and insubordination into the ranks of the movement. Under the mask of desiring to fight for socialism an attempt is being made to advocate a policy which fully corresponds with the policy of our Jewish-liberal-Marxist opponents. What is demanded by these circles is the wish of our enemies, from the Red Flag through to the Frankfurt Stock-Exchange Gazette.1 I now consider it necessary to ruthlessly and without exception eject these destructive elements from the Party.

So long as I lead the National Socialist Party it will not become a debating club for rootless literati or chaotic salon-Bolsheviks, but will remain what it is today, an organization of discipline which was not created for the doctrinaire tomfoolery of political wanderers,2 but to fight for a future Germany in which the concepts of class have been shattered and a new German Volk determine their own destiny! Continue reading