Was Adolf Hitler The Most Respected European Leader of All Times?
"I have never met a happier people than the Germans and Hitler is one of the greatest men. The old trust him; the young idolise him. It is the worship of a national hero who has saved his country." (David Lloyd George, Daily Express, 17.9.1936)
Daily Express - 17.9.1936:
"I have now seen the famous German leader and also something of the great change he has effected. "Whatever one may think of his methods - and they are certainly not those of a parliamentary country, there can be no doubt that he has achieved a marvelous transformation in the spirit of the people, in their attitude towards each other, and in their social and economic outlook.
He rightly claimed at Nuremberg that in four years his movement had made a new Germany.
It is not the Germany of the first decade that followed the war - broken, dejected and bowed down with a sense of apprehension and impotence. It is now full of hope and confidence, and of a renewed sense of determination to lead its own life without interference from any influence outside its own frontiers.
There is for the first time since the war a general sense of security. The people are more cheerful. There is a greater sense of general gaiety of spirit throughout the land. It is a happier Germany. I saw it everywhere, and Englishmen I met during my trip and who knew Germany well were very impressed with the change.
One man has accomplished this miracle. He is a born leader of men. A magnetic and dynamic personality with a single-minded purpose, as resolute will and a dauntless heart.
He is not merely in name but in fact the national Leader. He has made them safe against potential enemies by whom they were surrounded. He is also securing them against the constant dread of starvation which is one of the most poignant memories of the last years of the War and the first years of the Peace. Over 700,000 died of sheer hunger in those dark years. You can still see the effect in the physique of those who were born into that bleak world.
The fact that Hitler has rescued his country from the fear of repetition of that period of despair, penury and humiliation has given him an unchallenged authority in modern Germany.
As to his popularity, especially among the youth of Germany, there can be no manner of doubt. The old trust him; the young idolise him. It is not the admiration accorded to a popular leader. It is the worship of a national hero who has saved his country from utter despondence and degradation.
To those who have actually seen and sensed the way Hitler reigns over the heart and mind of Germany, this description may appear extravagant. All the same it is the bare truth. This great people will work better, sacrifice more, and, if necessary, fight with greater resolution because Hitler asks the to do so. Those who do not comprehend this central fact cannot judge the present possibilities of modern Germany.
That impression more than anything I witnessed during my short visit to the new Germany. There was a revivalist atmosphere. It had an extraordinary effect in unifying the nation.
Catholic and Protestant, Prussian and Bavarian, employer and workman, rich and poor, have been consolidated into one people. Religious, provincial and class origins no longer divide the nation. There is a passion for unity born of dire necessity.
The divisions, which followed the collapse of 1918, made Germany impotent to face the problems, internal and external. That is why the clash of rival passions is not only deprecated but temporarily suppressed.
I found everywhere a fierce and uncompromising hostility to Russian Bolshevism, coupled with a genuine admiration for the British people with a profound desire for a better and friendlier understanding of them. The Germans have definitely made up their minds never to quarrel with us again, nor have they any vindictive feelings towards the French. They have altogether put out of their minds any desire for the restoration of Alsace-Lorraine.
But there is a real hatred and fear of Russian Bolshevism, and unfortunately it is growing in intensity. It constitutes the driving force of their international and military policy. Their private and public talk is full of it. Wherever you go you need not wait long before you hear the word 'Bolshevismus', and it recurs again and again with a wearying reiteration.
Their eyes are concentrated on the East as if they are watching intently for the breaking of the day of wrath. Against it they are preparing with German thoroughness.
This fear is not put on. High and low they are convinced there is every reason for apprehension. They have a dread of the great army that has been built up in Russia in recent years.
An exceptionally violent anti-German campaign of abuse printed in the Russian official Press and propelled by the official Moscow radio has revived the suspicion in Germany that the Soviet Government are contemplating mischief."
David Lloyd George
".... and the achievement by which the tables have been turned upon the complacent, feckless and purblind victors deserves to be reckoned a prodigy in the history of the world and a prodigy which is inseparable from the personal exertions of life thrust on a single man. ...
Those who have met Hitler face to face in public, business, or on social terms, have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner, a discerning smile and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism.
Nor is this impression merely the dazzle of power. He exerted it on his companions at every stage in his struggle, even when his fortunes were in the lowest depths....
One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated I should hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations."
- Winston Churchill, 'Step by Step', p.143
WINSTON CHURCHILL: "In fifteen years that have followed this resolve, he has succeeded in restoring Germany to the most powerful position in Europe, and not only has he restored the position of his country, but he has even, to a very great extent, reversed the results of the Great War.... the vanquished are in the process of becoming the victors and the victors the vanquished.... whatever else might be thought about these exploits they are certainly among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world." – 1935. (Ironically the author of these comments had directly the opposite effect on his own country).
THEODUR HEUSS : "He moved souls, the will to sacrifice, and great devotion, enthralling and enthusiastically inspiring everyone by his appearance."
VISCOUNT ROTHERMERE "He has a supreme intellect. I have known only two other men to whom I could apply such distinction - Lord Northcliffe and Lloyd George. If one puts a question to Hitler, he gives an immediate, brilliant clear answer. There is no human being living whose promise on important matters I would trust more readily. He believes that Germany has a divine calling and that the German people are destined to save Europe from the revolutionary attacks of Communism. He values family life very highly, whereas Communism is its worst enemy. He has thoroughly cleansed the moral, ethical life of Germany, forbidden publication of obscene books, and performance of questionable plays and films. No words can describe his politeness; he disarms men as well as women and can win both at any time with his conciliatory, pleasant smile. He is a man of rare culture. His knowledge of music, the arts and architecture is profound." - 'Warnings and Predictions', p.180 - 183
HANS GRIMM: "I witness with awe and admiration, that he, as nearly the first in the world, caused multitudes without force or any personal benefits to follow him of their own free will and volition."
G.E.O KNIGHT: "Altogether, Herr Hitler has worked miracles for the new Germany. I anticipate that in a very short time, the Chancellor will have shown the world more than it ever bargained for in its wildest efforts to crush the new regime." - In Defence of Germany
JACQUES BAINVILLE, l'Action Francais: "Is Hitler policy the result of his own unaided efforts? Or is it influenced by his counselors? At bottom, this is more or less indifferent; then he who is capable of following sound advice is just as clever as he who gives such advice ... Hitler is undoubtedly lucky. Hitherto he has succeeded in everything, since even in his most impulsive moments he is a prudent calculator, and he shapes his foreign policy with the same bold imagination as he shaped the policy which was fore ordained to make him the master of German's destinies ... Thus he is always ahead of other governments, who are invariably a day or an idea - let us hope not an army - behindhand. When our ministers were asked if they were prepared to negotiate with the Head of the German Government they replied evasively that they were certainly ready to do so, but only in full agreement with our allies. At that very time Hitler had already concluded his non-aggression pact with Poland ... Poland's leading newspaper writes; 'Hitler is the first German statesman who has found the right language at the right time. Hitler has always stressed that any treaty signed by him is worth fare more than the Treaty of Locarno. For Stressseman represented political parties which no longer existed, whereas Hitler enjoys the confidence of the whole of Germany expressed by the votes of over forty million electors.' "
HOUSTON STEWART CHAMBERLAIN: "At one stroke you have transformed the state of my soul. That Germany in the greatest hour of its need can produce a Hitler testifies to its vitality."
THE DAILY MAIL : "He succeeded in ascending to the highest power-position in Germany with very little spilling of blood or loss of human life in a land of 68 million inhabitants. Austria was annexed without one shot being fired." - Daily Mail, 20th, May, 1938
SIR ARNOLD WILSON, MP: "Health statistics in Germany are satisfactory. Infant mortality has been greatly reduced and is considerably inferior to that in Great Britain. Tuberculosis and other diseases have noticeably diminished. The criminal courts have never had so little to do and the prisons have never had so few occupants. It is a pleasure to observe the physical aptitude of the German youth. Even the poorest persons are better clothed than was formerly the case, and their cheerful faces testify to their psychological improvement that has been wrought within them. Economic conditions in Germany, abstraction made of the influence exerted by rearmament, are steadily progressing. Unemployment has greatly decreased."
THE OBSERVER: "Last May, I returned, bringing my family for another sojourn, after two years spent in other European countries. I found a Germany which has advanced miraculously from the point of 1933. I found political solidarity, a wholesome tone in the life of city dweller and country dweller alike. I found living costs materially reduced and an unmistakable optimism on every hand. In every quarter I found the same answer to my questioning: Profound belief in the genius of the Leader, love and admiration for him as an individual. My observations have covered a wide range of social classification. I have talked with the humblest type of labourers, with merchants, professional men. I have yet to discover a dissenting voice to the question of loyalty to the Führer. My two young daughters are attending German public schools and are receiving an education which in thoroughness could be equaled in few countries." - John L. Garvin. The Observer
AMERICAN MANIFEST DESTINY: "These financial and industrial wonders had been performed without foreign loans. Of these miracles, Churchill gave this tribute: "Whatever else may be thought about these exploits they are certainly among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world." - American Manifest Destiny, Conrad Grieb. Examiner Books. N.Y
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW: "It was evident that Germany needed only a resolute and clear-headed leader to denounce the Treaty; declare her determination to assert her full equality with the Powers, and refuse to be disarmed, plundered and chastised under the pretext of reparations and 'war guilt', to rally to him every living soul whose native language was German, and at the same time take a great step towards peace in Europe by proving that neither France nor England nor the United States dare outrage humanity by attempting military occupation of her territory on the model of the old partitions of Poland; in short, that instead of Europe being plunged into war she would be dragged back from the brink of it by Germany ... Herr Hitler seized the hour and said the word, and France and England immediately climbed down, preserving their dignity by lecturing the Chancellor solemnly on his naughty behaviour as they descended ... Mr. Vernon Bartlett was soundly berated by the Foreign Office for imploring all lovers of peace to believe in the perfect sincerity of Herr Hitler's assurance that a free Germany would be a peaceful Germany, but 95% of the listeners who wrote to him wanted to have him appointed Foreign Secretary. When I said that Herr Hitler's action was right and inevitable, the storm of abuse that was about to bust on me was suddenly checked by Mr. Lloyd George saying exactly the same thing ... Europe breathed again. The beginnings of a British popularity set in for Herr Hitler as they had set in years before for Signor Mussolini, in spite of all the liberal protests, and it only remains to watch the results of the forthcoming general election in Germany, in which it is inconceivable that a single vote should be cast against him, even by the angriest German Jew or German Communist." - George Bernard Shaw. Playwright. 'The Observer' November, 5th, 1933
THE CHURCH: "The spectacle of Germany today is a tremendous experience. Fifteen years after the war in which the allied powers thought they had destroyed her, Germany is on her feet again. As compared with 1922 and 1931, when I last saw Germany, the change is miraculous. The people are confident, enthusiastic and courageous. They have recovered their morale. In 1931 the German people were going to pieces. But now they are themselves again, no doubt about that! The masses of the people are increasingly with Hitler. I have been fooling myself all along that this was not so, but now I know it is so." - John H. Holmes, Pastor. Community Church. NY Times, July 12th, 1935
DOUGLAS REED: "Germans in their country are not less well cared for than the English people in theirs, but better. You are faced with a country immensely strong in arms and immensely strong in real wealth - not in gold bars in a vault of the national bank, but industry, agriculture, the thrift and energy of the work people, and the conditions of life they enjoy. In German now they have a mighty organisation, equipped with full powers, for improving the lot of the work people in factories and workshops. Their engineers and social workers and artists go into the factories and see what needs to be done. They say that a shower room, recreation room, a restaurant, a medical clinic, a dental clinic is needed and these ere provided. They have a civic sense , a social conscience, a feeling of the community of German mankind - in spite of the bestial concentration camps - which you lack."
AND OF THOSE ‘CONCENTRATION ANOTHER ENGLISHMAN REVEALS ALL: "In August, 1933 there were seven thousand 'political prisoners' (Britain's prison population is in excess of 50,000) in Germany of which about 700 are Communists. Most were convicted of political crimes as we define them, but rather of anti-social behaviour and crime ... The discipline in the camp was of the robust kind. Every man had some kind of work to do, but this was not always enforced. The camp rose at 6.00am and all lights were out at 9.0pm. The meals consisted of breakfast, dinner, supper with meat served daily except on Fridays. There was a dispensary attached to the camp and a German doctor was in charge. Severe cases of illness were sent to the local hospital ... Various trades were carried on inside the camp such as carpentry, tailoring and shoemaking. Part of the camp was set off for bathing. Shower baths and facilities for sunbathing were shown to me. There was also a splendid sports ground ... The sleeping compartments consisted of wooden beds and straw mattresses, with three blankets for each prisoner. The working hours were from 7.00am to 11.30am and from 1.00pm to 6.00pm. A library was in the course of being introduced ... Visitors were allowed once a week, and were received in the dining room which accommodated some 300 people. There were apartments set apart for music and dramatic performances. In addition to receiving free board and lodging, each prisoner was drawing 10DM to 12DM per week, which represented his unemployment allowance pay ... Instruction in ethics, religion, the new form of government in Germany, history, languages, was given daily to those who desired to attend. There was little or no crime among the men in the camp. Good order prevailed among all classes. The guards ate the same food as the prisoners, and were subject to the same disciplines as the internees, although they were government officials. One of the guards was a prince of the House of Hesse ... Letters and parcels were subject to censorship. In not one case out of many thousands received had it been found necessary to destroy any parcel or letter forwarded. Newspapers were permitted and smoking allowed. When a prisoner desired to light his pipe or cigarette, he had to go to a guard detailed off to supply lights for the prisoners, as no matches were permitted prisoners ... Services were held every Sunday and the majority of the opportunity. No objection was raised by the authorities to my taking photographs of both camps and internees ... The men looked in splendid physical condition. Having heard s may dreadful stories of brutal treatment being meted out to Communists in this particular camp, I asked some of the men to confide in me and tell me the truth of those allegations. Not a few laughed at 'the bloody capitalist liars in your country.' I took fifteen men at random and asked them to strip in my presence. I wanted to see if they bore any marks of violence on their persons. I saw nothing indicative of bad treatment." - G.E.O Knight, In Defence of Germany, (who was allowed complete freedom of movement in all camps)
JOHN F. KENNEDY, U.S PRESIDENT: "After visiting these two places (the town of Berchtesgaden and Obersalzberg) you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made." - Prelude to Leadership, The European Diary of J.F Kennedy, Summer, 1945.
JESSE OWENS, AMERICAN NEGRO OLYMPIC ATHLETE: "When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticising the man of the hour in Germany." - Richard D. Mandell. The Nazi Olympics
THE MARQUESS OF LOTHIAN: "I think that it must be admitted that National Socialism has done a great deal for Germany. It has undoubtedly cleaned up Germany in the ordinary moral sense of the word. The defeatism, the corruption so manifest a characteristic in the days after the war has disappeared, at any rate from public view. It has given discipline and order and a sense of purpose to the great majority of young people who in earlier days did not know where to go or what they were living for." - His Lordship, the Marquess of Lothian, British Ambassador to Washington, June,29th, 1937
READERS DIGEST: "That Hitler’s conquest of the hearts and minds of all classes of Germans is now so complete that even if all his Brown Shirts and Steel Helmets were to be disbanded tomorrow he would still be easily the strongest man in Germany, and on any appeal to the electorate would be confirmed in power by a quite overwhelming majority of votes ... Hitler is recognised by the whole of the political and official intelligentsia as an exceedingly able man ... As of the militarist question. One may say with complete certainty that what Hitler said in his Reichstag speech on May 17 was exactly what he meant and accurately represents the policy that he will pursue ... I found no German who dreamed of the possibility of war, few who did not hope that it might be prevented in the future altogether. The truth is that the Nazi mind is concentrated on the internal problems of Germany and does not want to be bothered by foreign affairs for a long time to come ... Hitler has passed from the stage of party leader to being the national prophet of an exceedingly serious people, and it would need another prophet to replace him." - Clifford Sharp, former editor of the New Statesman writing in The New Statesman and Nation. Reprinted in Readers Digest, September, 1933
JOSEPH GOEBBELS : "This century will be named and shaped after Adolf Hitler."
EVE BRAUN TO HER SISTER: "I must write you these words so that you will not feel sad over our end here in the shelter. It is rather we who are filled with sorrow because it is your fate to live on into the chaos that will follow. For myself, I am glad to die here; glad to be at the side of the Führer; foremost of all, glad that the horror now to come is spared me."
Dr. JOSEPH GOEBBELS TO HIS STEPSON, HARALD: "My Dear Harald! We sit locked in the Führer's shelter in the RC., fighting for lives and honour. I hardly believe that we shall ever see each other again; therefore, it is likely that these will be the last lines you will ever receive from me. I expect from you, should you outlive this war, that you do only that which will honour your mother and father .. Germany will outlive this terrible war, but only if it has examples upon which to guide its reconstruction. Such an example we want to give here. Do not let yourself be confused by the uproar that will now reign throughout the world. The lies will one day break down under their own weight and the truth will again triumph. The hour will come when we shall stand pure and undefiled as our aims and beliefs have always been ... Farewell, my dear Harald. Whether we shall ever see each other again lies in the hand of God. If it is not to be, then always be proud to have belonged to a family that even in the face of disaster remains true to the Führer to the very last and true to his pure and Holy cause. All the best and my heartfelt greetings. Your Papa."
GENERAL LEON DEGRELLE: "Hitler was the greatest statesman Europe has ever known. History will prove that when whipped up emotions have died down. He was more matter of fact, generally more unfolded than Napoleon. Napoleon was more of a vanquishing, empire-founding Frenchman than a true European. Hitler, in his being a man of his time, dreamed of an enduring, just, honest Europe, unified by the initiative of the victor. A Europe however in which each ethnic group could develop according to their merits and accomplishments. The proof of this is that he offered Petain his hand. Just as Bismarck knew how to outgrow Prussia and become a German, so Hitler soon changed from being a German to being a European. At an early stage he disconnected himself from imperialistic ambition ... Without any difficulty he began to think of himself as a European and initiated the creation of a Europe in which Germany - like Prussia in Bismarck's time, was to be the foundation stone ... Some comrades of the Führer might still have been short-sighted Pan-Germanists. But Hitler had the genius, the right scale, the absence of bias and the necessary vision to accomplish the terrific task ... He had an authority, not to be found a second time in the history of the continent. His success would have established wealth and civilisation of Europe for centuries, probably forever. Hitler's plans for Europe would have meant a blessing for us all."
HITLER’S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT:
"I nourish the conviction that the hour will come when millions of men who now curse us will take a stand behind us to welcome the new Europe, our common creation born of a painful and laborious struggle and an arduous triumph - a Europe which is the symbol of greatness, honour, strength, honesty and justice."
"At the time of supreme peril I must die a martyr's death for the people. But after my death will come something really great, an overwhelming revelation to the world of my mission."
"My spirit will rise from the grave, and the world will see I was right."
"The day will come when we shall make an agreement with the men of other Aryan nations. Then there will come a union between all of the one, good, ruling race."