The fact that I have translated this handy presentation from 1934 should not be construed as an endorsement of any statement made by Dietrich after the war, when he was a prisoner of the victorious powers, circumstances under which a number of men were pressured to make statements confirming the propaganda of the victors. On the contrary, part of the purpose here is to show what Dietrich had to say about National-Socialism was when he was a free man.
A Call to Arms of the German Mind
Dr. Otto Dietrich
national press-director of the NSDAP
We in Germany know what National-Socialism is — because we live it! With justification it has been said that National-Socialism’s work is not an abstract ideological construction, but a volume of experience that has grown out of the solidarity of blood and out of the community of the people, and corresponds to our own innermost essence. We Germans, and above all those who did not themselves come directly from the domain of our National-Socialist thought, comprehend National-Socialism by experiencing it day by day in all its manifestations and effects within the National-Socialist community of the people. And even the Germans beyond our borders can feel National-Socialism due to their inner blood-bond with us. But if we place value on making National-Socialism comprehensible to other nations that live in another world of emotions and ideas, and awakening understanding for it, then we must share our ideas in a form that they understand. We must express National-Socialism’s ideas and spiritual laws of life in a language that allows the union of the new with the old, of the inner world with the outer.
This field of scholarly activity is important; it is urgent. That is because the absence of such a clearly thought-out, distinct form, I might say the lack hitherto of such an internationally understandable intellectual language of National-Socialism, not only contains the source of many errors and misunderstandings, but robs us of the possibility to oppose malevolent broadsides and slanders with the weapons of the mind. And that applies not only to the rest of the world, but also to a part of our own intellectual and scholarly world. Indeed, sensing this, Alfred Rosenberg, the party’s commissioner, also recently called for a stronger intellectual affirmation of our worldview. “After gaining power” — as he explained — “the National-Socialist movement must be more concerned than ever about affirming its worldview, so that the unity of thought and action may be guaranteed not only for today but for all coming generations.”
We National-Socialists so far have been too busy domestically to be able to devote ourselves to the scholarly refinement of our worldview. Unlike others, we have proceeded according to the principle of first arranging practical life in accord with our worldview, and then proving its viability, before perfecting its design in the realm of scholarship. But now it is time to reveal the spirit of the new Germany, which has been actualized in the feeling and will of its folk-comrades, also as a confirmed doctrine. And laying a philosophical foundation seems to me one of the most important and indispensable prerequisites for that. And in service to this mission, I want to make a contribution. Not as a philosopher, but as a National-Socialist who is no stranger to the field of philosophy. I might add, by the way, that it is not the point of my explanations to state claims that are supposed to be accepted as true only because they encounter no contradiction. On the contrary, I place special value on keeping myself within the confines of an exclusively scholarly demonstration. And for that I must first back up a bit.