Tagged: nazi

Kenneth Burke – The Rhetoric of Hitler’s “Battle” (1939)

The appearance of Mein Kampf in unexpurgated translation has called forth far too many vandalistic comments. There are other ways of burning books than on the pyre — and the favorite method of the hasty reviewer is to deprive himself and his readers by inattention. I maintain that it is thoroughly vandalistic for the reviewer to content himself with the mere inflicting of a few symbolic wounds upon this book and its author, of an intensity varying with the resources of the reviewer and the time at his disposal. Hitler’s “Battle” is exasperating, even nauseating; yet the fact remains: If the reviewer but knocks off a few adverse attitudinizings and calls it a day, with a guaranty in advance that his article will have a favorable reception among the decent members of our population, he is contributing more to our gratification than to our enlightenment.

Here is the testament of a man who swung a great people into his wake. Let us watch it carefully; and let us watch it, not merely to discover some grounds for prophesying what political move is to follow Munich, and what move to follow that move, etc.; let us try also to discover what kind of “medicine” this medicine-man has concocted, that we may know, with greater accuracy, exactly what to guard against, if we are to forestall the concocting of similar medicine in America.

Already, in many quarters of our country, we are “beyond” the stage where we are being saved from Nazism by our virtues. And fascist integration is being staved off, rather, by the conflicts among our vices. Our vices cannot get together in a grand united front of prejudices; and the result of this frustration, if or until they succeed in surmounting it, speaks, as the Bible might say, “in the name of” democracy. Hitler found a panacea, a “cure for what ails you,” a “snakeoil,” that made such sinister unifying possible within his own nation. And he was helpful enough to put his cards face up on the table, that we might examine his hands. Let us, then, for God’s sake, examine them. This book is the well of Nazi magic; crude magic, but effective. A people trained in pragmatism should want to inspect this magic. Continue reading


Klaus Polkehn – The Secret Contacts – Zionism and Nazi Germany, 1933 – 1941 (1975)

Anti-Semitism became official German government policy when Hitler was named Chancellor of the German Reich on January 30, 1933. The spring of 1933 also witnessed the beginning of a period of private cooperation between Zionism and the German regime to increase the inflow of German Jewish immigrants and capital to Palestine. The Zionist authorities succeeded in keeping this cooperation a secret for a long period, and only since the beginning of the 1960’s have criticisms of it been expressed here and there. The Zionist reaction has usually consisted of declarations that their onetime contacts with Germany were undertaken solely to save the lives of Jews. But the contacts were all the more remarkable because they took place at a time when many Jews and Jewish organizations demanded a boycott of German goods.
On the occasion of the Sixteenth Convention of the Israeli Communist Party, a paper was submitted at the outset of the conference in which it was stated that “after Hitler’s taking of power in Germany, when all anti-National Socialist forces in the world and the great majority of the Jewish organizations proclaimed a boycott against Germany, contacts and collaboration existed between Zionist leaders and the Hitlerite government.” (Information Bulletin, Communist Party of Israel, 3-4, 1969, p. 196) The paper quoted the Zionist official Eliezer Livneh (who had been editor of the Haganah organ during the Second World War) as declaring, during a symposium organized by the Israeli newspaper Maariv in 1966, “that for the Zionist leadership the rescue of Jews was not an aim in itself, but only a means” (i.e., to establishing a Jewish state in Palestine). To question the reaction of the Zionist movement to German regime, which in the course of its twelve-year rule murded many Jews, is a taboo in the eyes of the Zionist leaders. Only rarely is it possible to come across authentic evidence or documents concerning these occurrences. The following enquiry consists of information gathered up to this date about some important aspects of the cooperation between the Zionists and the German regime. It remains in the nature of things that this enquiry does not present a complete picture. This can only be possible when the archives (above all those in Israel), in which the documents concerning these events are under lock and key, are made available for scholarly research. Continue reading