What newspapers said about Hitler in 1922 (before the Beer Hall Putsch)

Friday, June 11, 2010

I came across another interesting article from 1922, the period a year before the Beer Hall Putsch when hyperinflation was rampant, just three years after a Soviet Socialist Republic was declared in Bavaria, World War I had ended just a year before that, and pretty much everything was a mess. Since Hitler hadn't done much at the time besides grow the NSDAP and prepare it's no surprise that coverage was pretty much all favorable. A careful eye now of course can discern some warning signs even from a newspaper article of this type (Shylocks = Jewish bankers for example) but for someone at the time it would have been much more difficult going from English newspapers alone.

It's also interesting that he's referred to here as a carpenter and a mason. If I remember correctly his job after WWI was to keep an eye on political parties and report back to Captain...(checks)...here it is, Major Konstantin Hierl. He certainly was never into carpentry and masonry, even going homeless once for a few months because of not knowing exactly what he wanted to do but never deigning to work in manual labour, and even then the only way he got out of it was by cooperating with a friend who agreed to sell his art as Hitler was never into the idea of going around trying to sell wares to strangers.


German Fascisti Leader Declares Opposition to Move to Divide Country

Adolph Hitler of Bavaria, Head of 200,000 or More Picked Young Men, Sees Chance of Recovery if Every Man and Woman Will Work -- Says Debts Must Be Met and Hate Abolished.


MUNICH, Bavaria, Nov. 12 -- The shadow of the Fascisti is arising in Germany. Whether what is yet only a shadow will clothe itself in the flesh, blood and spirit of the German Mussolini, depends on a number of things.

A strong national government with sufficient power to enforce its authority.

Freedom internally and externally for a United Germany.

Unrelenting war against Bolshevism, Socialism of the Marx type, and against all nation disintegrating elements.

Purge Germany of grafters, Shylocks, profiteers and exploiters, native and foreign, who are sucking the lifeblood of the German people making sound reconstruction impossible.

The national honor of the German people demands that obligations assumed as a result of Germany's capacity to pay and that capacity must be recognized as within limits that do not endanger Germany's economic system and that make reconstruction possible.

Creation of a "national freedom fund" to which every man and woman contribute the income of two extra hours of work daily until Germany has purchased her freedom.

An understanding with France.

Abolish thought of war revenge, which is still cherished in some Nationalist circles,

With all power and influence to oppose separation of Bavaria from Germany.

Opposition to the huge monopolies and system cartels and trusts now in Germany and which exploit the people and throttle competition.

These are 10 main points in the program of the National Socialists; the Germany Fascist as unfolded today by Adolph Hitler, leader of the movement, which is causing no less uneasiness in Communist and Socialist circles than in government quarters in Berlin and Munich.

Uprising Feared.

Alarming reports alleging impending militaristic coups in Bavaria, and rumored plans for the emulation of the Italian Fascisti, arise out of the activities of several Nationalist groups, each with a would-be Mussolini at its head, all with the same goal, but each going about it in a different way. There can be no doubt about this being the situation. I find upon investigation I have talked with leaders, but they deny plans to violently overthrow either the Bavarian or Central governments unless something wholly unexpected happens.

At the moment the chief danger is said to be the fact that Socialists in Munich are arming themselves and organizing "defense detachments," and engaging in military drills.

But the real German Fascisti are the National Socialists and their "Mussolini" is Adolph Hitler, a man of the people, a private soldier during the war, a carpenter, a magnetic speaker, having also exceptional organizing genius.

Active Worker.

Aged 34, medium tall, wiry, slender, dark hair, cropped tooth-brush mustache, eyes that spurt fire when in action, straight Grecian nose, finely chiselled features with complexion so remarkably delicate that many a woman would be proud to possess it -- withal a bearing that creates an impression of dynamic energy well under control. Four years in the trenches of war, then back to the carpenter's trade and then "baumeister" or master builder.

That is Hitler, who aspires to become Germany's Mussolini. He is one of the most interesting characters I have met in many months.

With Apostolic fervor, and gifted with convincing oratory and a magnetism which is drawing to him followers even out of the inner Communistic and Socialistic circles, Hitler has the earmarks of a leader; whether it be merely a band or a great movement, only the future will reveal. He believes firmly that his mission is to arouse and save Germany from its internal foes. He has rallied around himself perhaps 200,000 followers, of whom 20,000 are said to be well armed and organized.

Born in Austria.

By birth Hitler is Austrian, but he served in the Germany army as a volunteer. He quickly makes clear that his organization of National Socialists is not against capital or private property.

"True socialism," he said, "is the welfare of all the people, and not of one class at the expense of others. Therefore we oppose class warfare.

"What is today called Socialism is Marxism, and not Socialism at all. Marxism kills personal initiatiwe and tries to bring everybody to a dead level. Capitalism has its proper place in true Socialism, but Capitalism must be held within bounds and not be allowed, through huge monopolies, trusts and cartels as now in Germany, to stifle competition and exploit the people through profiteering."

"A portion of the German press attribute to you intentions to restore monarchy and separate Bavaria from Germany," I said to Hitler.

Denies Charge.

"That is maliciously false," he answered. "Our movement is not only opposed to the idea of separation, but is actually hostile to any such attempt.

"As for the monarchy, Germany has greater and graver problems than the question of the personal interests of some throne pretender, whoever he may be. If any pretender should seek to force the issue at this time he merely establishes that he places his personal interests above the vital interests of the nation and the people, and he will discover quickly that the people are not disposed to have a monarch forced upon them against their will or before such time as they are ready to call him -- and that may be 20 or 30 years if ever."

Hitler declared that despite all talk about restoration of the monarchy, coming out of Bavaria, he believed that it would "be difficult to get many men together who would be willing to be shot to death in the streets in order to bring a king before the time he was wanted."

Hitler strongly denounced the idea of war for revenge.

"That phantom lurking in some brains would be suicidal, if it were not idiocy," he said. "An understanding with France is essential for our own peace and happiness. Our goal is a strong, national government to free Germany from these shackles laid on us by the lost war on one hand, and to purge our own house of those elements which are making the reconstruction impossible -- that includes corruption, Communism, Marxism, Shylocks, profiteers and exploiters.

Extra Work Hours.

"In order to buy back Germany's lost freedom we are for adding two extra hours of work to the eight hour day. The eight hour day must remain. It is labor's own, and shall remain so. But the extra hours and the income derived therefrom is for getting back the freedom of Germany, and is to be used for reparations and other obligations.

"Every man and woman from the President down to the lowest official, from Hugo Stinnes down to the street sweeper, must contribute the income from those two extra hours to the freedom fund."

The would-be "Mussolini" believes that only a dictatorial-like, strong government could put through such reforms. Hitler is bitterly accused by Communists of stealing their colors. He took the red flag, and placed within it a white field and upon that is the black "baltenkreuz," or swastika cross, which is also the symbol of anti-semitism.

That is the flag of the National Socialists -- the same old German colors -- black, red and white.

Hitler, who is studying Mussolini's successful methods in Italy, has had his "shock troops" uniformed in gray shirts, with black, red and white arm bands. They are all determined, energetic, picked young men.

The Bavarian Fascisti, like the Italians, are working secretly among the Reichswehr and police and there is fear that Hitler may one day proclaim himsels dictator of Bavaria.

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