"On the Revival of our Movement" by Hitler

[After Adolf Hitler was released from prison in December 1924, the party was refounded in February, 1925. At that time Hitler published the following in Völkischer Beobachter, the official party paper.]


"On the Revival of our Movement"

Adolf Hitler
February 1925


... I do not consider it to be the task of a political leader to try and improve, let alone make uniform the human material which he has at hand. The temperaments, characters, and talents of individual people are so various that it is impossible to unify a large number of completely similar people. It is also not the task of a political leader to try and remove these deficiencies by 'training' people to be united. All such attempts are condemned to failure. Human nature is a given quantity which does not lend itself to alteration in particulars, but can only transform itself through a process of development lasting for centuries. But even then the prerequisite for such a change is generally alterations in the basic racial elements....

If a political leader departs from this awareness and if instead he attempts only to seek people who come up to his ideal, he will not only wreck his plans, but also in a very short time leave behind him chaos instead of an organization. The guilt which he then attributes to individual supporters or subordinates is in reality only his own lack of awareness and ability.

For this very reason, if I try today to revive the old NSDAP, I cannot recognize commitments which derive from past events. I am not prepared to accept conditions, whose fulfilment would only represent that lack of psychological awareness and ability which I described above.

I shall, therefore, see it as my particular task to direct the various temperaments, talents and qualities of character in the movement into those channels in which by supplementing one another they benefit everybody.

In the future, the movement's struggle must once more take the form which we intended at its foundation. With all its forces concentrated together it must be turned against that power to which above all we owe the collapse of our fatherland and the destruction of our people. This does not mean an alteration in or a 'postponement' of the old and main aim of our struggle, but simply its reassertion.

At this point, I must object particularly to the attempt to drag religious quarrels into the movement, or even to go so far as to equate the movement with such things. I have always opposed the collective description 'racialist' [völkisch], because the extremely vague definition of this term has opened the way to damaging activities. For this reason, earlier on, the movement placed more emphasis on its clearly defined programme as well as on the unified trend of its struggle than on a term which was incapable of being clearly defined and which was conducive to a more or less verbose interpretation.

I see in the attempt by various people to turn the racialist movement into a struggle about religion the beginning of the end of that movement.

Religious reformations cannot be carried out by political infants and these people are rarely anything but that.

I am quite clear about the possibility of beginning such a struggle, but I doubt if the gentlemen involved are clear about its probable end result.

In any case, it will be my main task to make sure that in the newly awakened NSDAP members of both confessions can live peacefully side by side and can stand together in the common struggle against that power which is the deadly enemy of every form of Christianity, no matter what confession.

No movement has fought harder against the Centre Party and its supporting groups than our own, not for religious reasons but solely from political considerations. And so from now onwards we must fight the Centre not because it claims to be 'Christian' or 'Catholic' but solely because a party which has allied itself with atheistic Marxism for the suppression of its own people is neither Christian nor Catholic.

We do not declare war on the Centre for religious reasons, but solely for national-political ones.

History will pass judgement on who will be successful, we or the advocates of a cultural struggle.

Finally, I demand of the movement's supporters that from now onwards they direct all their energies outwards and do not weaken themselves in a fratricidal struggle.

The best local branch leadership is not the one which 'unites' the other nationalist organizations or 'wins them over' to the movement, but the one which wins anti-nationalists back to the German people.

The success of our movement must be measured not by the number of Reichstag or Landtag seats we win, but by the extent to which Marxism is destroyed and by the degree of enlightenment about its originator, the Jews.

Let those who wish to join in this struggle do so; let those who do not, stay away.

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Original Source: Völkischer Beobachter, 26.ii.25

Reprinted in Documents on Nazism, 1919-1945
Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham, editors, 1974.
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