Written by BDJ Desk
Too soon and too late-We lack time, because we lack space- A revolutionary State, pursuing a petit bourgeois policy- Collaboration with France was a mistake-We should have emancipated the French proletariat and liberated the French colonies- I was right in Mein Kampf... ...
14th February 1945
The disastrous thing about this war is the fact that for Germany it began both too soon and too late. From the purely military point of view, it would have suited us better if it had started sooner. I ought to have seized the initiative in 1938 instead of allowing myself to be forced into war in 1939; for war was, in any case, unavoidable. However, you can hardly blame me if the British and the French accepted at Munichevery demand I made of them!
As things stand at the moment, then, the war came a little too late. But from the point of view of our moral preparedness, it has come far too soon. My disciples have not yet had time to attain their full manhood. I should really have had another twenty years in which to bring this new élite to maturity, and élite of youth, immersed from infancy in the philosophy of National Socialism. The tragedy for us Germans is that we never have enough time. Circumstances always conspire to force us to hurry. And if at this point time is lacking, it is primarily because we lack space. The Russians with their vast expansion can afford the luxury of refusing to be hurried. Time works in their favour, but against us. Even if Providence had allotted to me a span of life sufficiently long to allow me to lead my people to the complete degree of development that National Socialism desires, you may be quite sure that our enemies would never have permitted me to take advantage of it. They would have done their utmost to destroy us before they found themselves face to face with a Germany, cemented by a single faith and National Socialist in body and soul, which would have been invincible.
Our greatest political blunder has been our treatment of the French. We should never have collaborated with them. It is a policy which has stood them in good stead and has served us ill. Abetz thought he was being very clever when he became the champion of this idea and persuaded us to pursue it. He thought he was two moves ahead of events, whereas in reality he was well behind them. He seemed to think that we were dealing with the France of Napoleon, with a nation, that is, which was capable of appreciating the importance and far-reaching effects of a noble gesture. He failed to see what is an obvious fact, namely, that during the last hundred years Francehas changed completely. She has become a prostitute, and she is now a raddled old strumpet, who has never ceased to swindle and to confound us, and has always left us to foot the bill.
Our obvious course should have been to liberate the working classes and to help the workers of |France to implement their own revolution. We should have brushed aside, rudely and without pity, the fossilized bourgeoisie, as devoid of soul as it is denuded of patriotism. Just look at the sort of friends our geniuses of the Wilhelmstrasse have found for us in France- petty, calculating little profiteers, who hastened to make love to us as soon as they thought that we were occupying their country in order to safeguard their bank balances – but who were quite resolved to betray us at the first possible opportunity, provided always that no danger to themselves as involved!
We were equally stupid as regards the French colonies. That, too, was the work of our great minds in the Wilhelmstrasse! Diplomats of the old, classic mould, soldiers of the bygone regime, petty country squires – of such were those who were to help us to revolutionize all Europe! And they have led us into waging war as they would have waged it in the nine teeth century. Never, at any price, should we have put our money on France and against the peoples subjected to her yoke. One the contrary, we should have helped them to achieve their liberty and, if necessary, should have goaded them into doing so, There was nothing to stop us in 1940 from making a gesture of this sort in the Near East and in North Africa. In actual fact our diplomats instead set about the task of consolidating French power, not only in syria, but in Tunis, in Algeria and Morocco as well. Our ‘gentlement’ obviously preferred to maintain cordial relations with distinguished Frenchmen, rather than with a lot of hirsute revolutionaries, with a chorus of musical comedy officers, whose one idea was to cheat us, rather than with the Arabs, who would have been loyal partner for us, Oh! you needn’t think I don’t see through the calculations of these Machiavellian professionals! They know their job and they have their traditions! All they thought about was the dirty trick they were playing on the British, for they were still under the ban of the famous alleged antagonism and rivalry between Britain and France in the colonial field. What I’m saying is perfectly true – they are still living in the reign of Wilhelm II, in the world of Queen Victoria and that of those artful sharpers named Poincaré and Delcassé! In actual fact this rivalry has ceased to be of any significance. That it still seems to exist is due to the fact that there are still some diplomats of the old school in the ranks of our adversaries too. In reality, Britain and France are associates, each of whom is playing his own react to any appeal to friendship, but both of whom unite again against a common danger. The Frenchman’s deep-seated hatred of the German is something deeper and different. Therein lies a lesson on which we should do well to ponder in the future.
As regards France, there were two courses open to her. Either she could have abandoned her alliance with Britain, in which case she would have been of no interest to us as a potential ally, since we knew that she would also abandon us on the first opportunity; or she could have pretended to make this change of partners, in which case she would have been of even more dubious value to us. On our side, some of the wishful thinking about this country was quite ridiculous. In reality there was only one possible policy to adopt vis-á-vis France – policy of rigorous and rigid distrust. I know I was right about France. With prophetic foresight I gave an accurate picture of France in Mein Kampf. And I know perfectly well why, in spite of all the representations that have been made to me, I have seen no reason at all to change the opinions I formed twenty years ago.