Saturday, November 11, 2006
By Richard E. Noble
In chapter nine of Mein Kampf, Adolf meets his initial backers, and eventually becomes a member of the ‘German Worker’s Party’. The two hopefuls who were attempting to start this party were Anton Drexler, ‘a simple and sickly man who had been declared unfit for military service’, and an advocate of nationalism for the German worker, and Herr Harrer, a journalist.
Adolf was still homeless at this time, living in an army barracks feeding the rats every morning pieces of his left over bread. Adolf clearly had little respect for this German Workers’ Party but in his humble way he decided to bestow on them his divinely inspired greatness and potential leadership.
“… I had been accepted as a member of the German Workers’ Party ... I was actually more than astonished at this manner of winning members [He had to come to a meeting and explaine to the other members why he wished to be a member of their group.] and I did not know whether to be annoyed or to laugh at it. I was just about to send the gentlemen my written reply, when curiosity gained the upper hand and I decided to appear on the day fixed in order to define my reasons orally ... Terrible, terrible; this was club making of the worst kind and manner. And this club I was now to join?”
To Adolf this was a group of inept, poor stumble bums. It almost seems ludicrous, Adolf Hitler, already a legend in his own mind - certainly a man of classist, elitist mentality - joining the German Workers Party. Adolf was certainly no worker in his mind. These people were simple stupid peasants or workers, but to whom would he go? The intellectual crowd certainly didn’t and wouldn’t accept him. He didn’t have any money; therefore he couldn’t start his campaign at the local country club. He spoke the words of the peasants. He had the attitude of a street fighter. He had the prejudices of the poor and uneducated. He didn’t like the college crowd, and felt rejected by the wealthy. What could he do but stoop to the level of the poor, but stupid working class. He appears to me to be a kind of a poor, homeless, broke William F. Buckley. But he was only William F. Buckley on the inside, on the outside he was more of a Jimmy Hoffa, or Jimmy Breslin type personality, rough, gruff, and out-spoken.
“... I do not belong to those who start something one day in order to end it again the next day ... I knew that for me this would be a decision forever ... Even in those days I had always had an instinctive aversion to people who start something without, however, also carrying it out; I loathed these jacks of all trades. I considered the activity of these people worse than doing nothing.”
And we already know what he thought of those who did nothing.
“… The longer I tried to think about it, the more the conviction grew in my mind that just here, out of such a small movement, some day the rise of the nation could be prepared, but never from the political parliamentarian parties which clung much too much to the old ideas or even shared the advantages of the new regime. For what was to be announced now was a new view of life and not a new election slogan ... that I had no means and was poor seemed to me the most easily endurable, but it was more difficult that I simply belonged to the great crowd of nameless people, that I was one among the millions who are allowed to continue to live by sheer accident, or who are called from life again without even their surroundings condescending to take notice of it. To this came the difficulty which was bound to result from my lack of schools ... To these ‘educated’ ones the greatest empty-head, provided he is only wrapped in a sufficient number of certificates, is worth more than even the most clever boy who does not possess these priceless paper bags …”
So Adolf would stoop to take this simple group of working peasants to greatness by bestowing upon them the wonder and graceful benevolence of his leadership, and he would show those rich, wealthy, and educated who would reject him, what a foolish mistake it was on their part not to recognize his greatness just because he had no money and no education.
“… in those days I still believed people to be better than they unfortunately are, for the greater part, in sober reality. This, of course, as everywhere else, lights up the exceptions much more brightly. Thus I learned to distinguish all the more between the eternal ‘pupils’ and the really competent …”
So by lingering in the camp of the poor, stupid worker, he realized how brightly his lamp glowed, and thus it was really a good experience for one such as him to be cloaked by the circumstance of capricious life, in the temporary garb of the lowly.
“... Thus I registered as a member of the German Workers’ Party and received a provisional membership ticket with the number seven ...”
Lucky number seven!? And what a lucky break for Germany and the world at large.
Vanity! Ego! Self indulgence! All too human and very undemonesque. Adolf, like many a man living under a bridge somewhere today, along with most of you and I, thinks of himself in terms of unfulfilled greatness. Oh but someday ... Oh but someday, the world will hear from me! And then will they ever be ... sorry!