Assessing Hermann Rauschning

Article updated on 8/11/19

[It’s indisputable that Rauschning was a contemptible reactionary (the wiki adopts a contradictory label “conservative revolutionary”) and that his work The Voice of Destruction is flimsy at best, likely containing plagiarisms, invented statements and spurious additions (i.e. the account of Hitler hearing voices), various inconsistencies (i.e. Hitler saying in one dialogue that he wished to revitalize America with German migration), a general unreliability in reporting Hitler’s alleged statements, sometimes mixing in his own views with Hitler’s (at least in the English translation).]

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), August 6, 1942:
Our country to-day is over-populated, and the numbers emigrating to America are incredible. How I wish we had the German-Americans with us still! In so far as there are any decent people in America, they are all of German origin.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), August 1941:
We must no longer allow Germans to emigrate to America. On the contrary, we must attract the Norwegians, the Swedes, the Danes and the Dutch into our Eastern territories.

[Nonetheless, it is disturbing and appalling to see how revisionist historians invariably maintain that Rauschning’s work was and is largely a hoax. What’s especially noticeable is their choice of words for describing it’s unreliability, words which are typically employed by the enemies.]

Laurency (L5e22.6):
1In our times three categories can be distinguished in most fields of activity: fundamentalists who want to cling to the old views and ways, revisionists who meddlesomely want to change everything, and seekers who are toiling to lay new foundations and build a system that will hold. Of these three, the revisionists can be regarded as the least reliable.
They have realized that history can in many respects be assigned to the sphere of fiction. Therefore, history must be revised. Then, of course, every new little finding is not merely revolutionary – that would [be] wholesome – but is accepted as the finally correct one, which is the same fundamental error as the one they think they are criticizing.

[According to Mark Weber:]

Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel spent five years diligently investigating the memoir before announcing his findings in 1983 at a revisionist history conference in West Germany. The renowned Conversations with Hitler, he declared are a total fraud. The book has no value “except as a document of Allied war propaganda.”

[Keep in mind that the Swiss were regarded as contemptible people by Hitler, with very few exceptions.
From the revisionist historian David Irving we read:]

Totally worthless as a source is the book Conversations with Hitler by a former Danzig Senator, Hermann Rauschning; he as an anti-Nazi, and met Hitler only once, as internal NS inquiries established, at a formal cocktail party. It was wartime propaganda, published by the same firm who published Fritz Thyssen’s bogus memoirs I Paid Hitler.

[The mainstream narrative disputes this contention, pointing out that Rauschning wrote his book before the war began. Some mainstream historians made concessions to the revisionist narrative, but drew the same deplorable conclusion. In his biography of Hitler, Ian Kershaw wrote:]

I have on no single occasion cited Hermann Rauschning’s Hitler Speaks, a work now regarded to have so little authenticity that it is best to disregard it altogether.

[This is not even a concession to truth. This is caving into peer pressure!]

Laurency (kr5.10)
6In order the more convincingly to defeat the views of their opponent, the master’s disciples make him a saint and a wonder of acuity, whereas his opponent is made an indescribably miserable, ridiculous creature, whose conception of existence consequently must be totally worthless.

[Whatever one may think of mainstream historian Trevor-Roper and his defects, at least he exercised discretion.]

Hugh Trevor-Roper:
I would not now endorse so cheerfully the authority of Hermann Rauschning which has been dented by Wolfgang Hanel, but I would not reject it altogether. Rauschning may have yielded at times to journalistic temptations, but he had opportunities to record Hitler’s conversations and the general tenor of his record too exactly forestalls Hitler’s later utterances to be dismissed as fabrication.

David Irving:
Hitler’s War, Introduction
With the brilliant exception of Hugh Trevor Roper (now Lord Dacre), whose book The Last Days of Hitler was based on the records of the era and is therefore virtually unassailable even today, each successive biographer repeated or embraced the legends created by his predecessors, or at best consulted only the most readily available works of reference themselves.

[I would refer the reader to Richard C. Carrier’s dismissal of the table talks and the Marxists’ contempt for the pre-Socratic philosophers for comparison. The key word is “worthless”. That doesn’t mean the label shouldn’t ever be used, as there are indeed completely spurious documents (i.e. Josef Greiner’s book) in circulation which merit the description “worthless”.]

Mein Kampf:
One has good grounds to be suspicious in regard to any new idea, or any doctrine or philosophy, any political or economical movement, which tries to deny everything that the past has produced or to present it as inferior and worthless. Such an antipathy is usually due to a sense of inferiority or to malicious intention.

Mein Kampf:
The meaning and purpose of revolutions cannot be to tear down the whole building, but to take away what has not been well fitted into it or is unsuitable, and to fill in the gap thus caused, after which the main construction of the building will be carried on. Only thus will it be possible to talk of human progress, for otherwise the world would never be free of chaos, since each generation would feel entitled to reject the past, and to destroy all the work of the past, as the necessary preliminary to any new work of its own.

Critique of revisionism [WIP]

Laurency (kr5.10)
6According to the moral fictionalism prevalent, it is the emotionally sovereign “saint” who has a sort of patent on the knowledge of reality in contrast to the mental genius.

Laurency (L5e1):
2Goethe was the great objectivist; Schiller, the idealist. Goethe reached the age of 83 years; and Schiller, 45 years. And still the learned dispute about who was the “greater” of them.

Laurency (kl1_7):

As long as memory geniuses are regarded as shining lights of intelligence, those who have acquired perspective consciousness will never be estimated at their true value.

[Hence the revisionist should refrain from selecting Hitler’s excellent memory and high intelligence as merits, as he unwittingly places an obstacle in Hitler’s rehabilitation.]

[One should also factor in the remarkable similarities between Rauschining’s work and reliable sources (i.e. German Table Talks), such as Hitler’s attitude against Abraham Lincoln (the only instance in which Hitler praises Lincoln is in the unreliable Bormann Diktat) and apostle Paul (there are approximately two instances in Otto Wagener’s memoirs where Hitler mentions Paul. Paul is given a largely neutral assessment, not necessarily being endorsed. Only Wagener explicitly speaks favorably of Paul. In any case, in almost all representations, Hitler erroneously treats the Acts of the Apostles as a credible account).
On the other hand, Rauschning’s Hitler explicitly reject the idea of an Aryan Jesus, which is in complete contradiction to most sources. Hitler was remarkably consistent in his portrayal of Jesus as an Aryan fighter. Rauschning’s Hitler also belittles the Jewish Ten Commandments, which are not so much Jewish as they are a basic component of civilization. He praised the ten commandments in private conversations.]


Concerning action

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“We approach the realities of the world only in strong emotion and in action. I have no love for Goethe. But I am ready to overlook much in him for the sake of one phrase—’In the beginning was action.’ Only the man who acts becomes conscious of the real world. Men misuse their intelligence. It is not the seat of a special dignity of mankind, but merely an instrument in the struggle for life. Man is here to act. Only as a being in action does he fulfill his natural vocation. Contemplative natures, retrospective like all intellectuals, are dead persons who miss the meaning of life.”

Wagener’s Hitler:
Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 172
Here is where I see the λόγος of St. John, which Luther unfortunately translated as ‘word.’ Goethe tried to rectify the error with the critical lines: ‘I cannot possibly place such a high value on the word, I must translate it differently,’ and he said: ‘In the beginning was the deed.’
But I say: ‘In the beginning was the urge! And the urge existed from eternity! And the urge was a creation of God, and God himself was this urge.’”

Hitler, Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 314:
In this connection, I am repeatedly reminded of the Gospel of St. John, which begins with the words, ‘In the beginning was the “Logos”’–which is why I translate it as ‘urge.’ Quite simply, in the beginning was the urge to fulfill this purpose of earthly life.

[An allusion to the same exact quote from Goethe’s Faust mentioned in the context of the “meaning of life”, what a monumental coincidence! Keep in mind that Wagener’s memoirs were a post-war publication.]

Concerning rhythm of life/human development

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 25-26, 1942:
Wars pass by. The only things that exist are the works of human genius.

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“At critical periods in history all the tinsel falls away and the great rhythm of life alone rules the hour. I am restoring to force its original dignity, that of the source of all greatness and the creatrix of order.”

Hitler, May 3, 1940 speech:
And life continues in accordance with its own eternal rhythm without consideration for the weakling.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 25-26, 1942:
When I hear Wagner, it seems to me that I hear rhythms of a bygone world. I imagine to myself that one day science will discover, in the waves set in motion by the Rheingold, secret mutual relations connected with the order of the world.

Rauschning’s Hitler (indirect/implied quotation):
Humanity, he proclaimed, was in the throes of a vast metamorphosis. A process of change that had lasted literally for thousands of years was approaching its completion. Man’s solar period was coming to its end. The coming age was revealing itself in the first great human figures of a new type.
Just as, according to the imperishable prophecies of the old Nordic peoples, the world has continually to renew itself, the old order perishing with its gods, just as the Nordic peoples took the sun’s passing of the solstices as a figure of the rhythm of life, which proceeds not in a straight line of eternal progress but in a spiral, so must man now, apparently, turn back in order to attain a higher stage.

Wagener’s Hitler:
Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 82
“And these Nordic peoples, who had long since lost all memory of their past, carried within themselves only one remnant: their idea of the gods, their longing, and their ethical philosophy and way of life. These were transmitted in legends and songs, they were handed down in signs and pictorial representations. The idea that the sun is depicted as a deity, circling the earth on a chariot with fiery horses, can only have originated in the north. Only there does the sun circle the rim of the horizon, only there can such a concept be born. And the same holds true for the swastika. It is the wheel of the sun that rolls from east to west–that is, from left to right–around the surface of the earth, which is inhabited by humans. That is why it seems wrong to you at once when the swastika’s hooks point to the right rather than the left [sic]. Wherever the sun god is represented in a chariot, and wherever we find this swastika used as a symbol – there we can assume Nordic peoples to have lived after the ice age drove them southward from their homes.”

Rauschning’s Hitler (indirect/implied quotation):
Just as, according to the imperishable prophecies of the old Nordic peoples, the world has continually to renew itself, the old order perishing with its gods, just as the Nordic peoples took the sun’s passing of the solstices as a figure of the rhythm of life, which proceeds not in a straight line of eternal progress but in a spiral, so must man now, apparently, turn back in order to attain a higher stage.

Hitler, Table Talk, October 24, 1941 (Jochmann):
The hardest steel becomes worn out, all elements are decomposed, and just as it is certain that the earth someday passes away, so it is certain that all the institutions will one day perish. All these phenomena are wavy, not a straight path, but upwards or downwards.

Concerning moralists

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“Yes,” Hitler continued, “man has to be passed and surpassed. Nietzsche did, it is true, realize something of this, in his way. He went so far as to recognize the superman as a new biological variety. But he was not too sure of it. Man is becoming God—that is the simple fact. Man is God in the making.”

[In his book Hitler’s Religion (p.g. 16), German theologian ✝Richard Weikart mentions a conversation between Hitler and Goebbels (recorded in a May 13, 1943 entry of Goebbels’ diaries) concerning German philosophers (Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche). According to Weikart, Hitler said something along the lines of, “Despite his rich mind and wit, however, Schopenhauer was too pessimistic.” Weikart adds: Hitler suggested that if Schopenhauer really believed the world was so horrible, he should have ended his own misery.]

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), September 23, 1941:
There are some who say the world is evil, and that they wish to depart from this life. For my part, I like the world!

[Subsequently, Hitler follows up with the assertion that Nietzsche was the “more realistic and more consistent one“. From his observations of the suffering in life, Nietzsche had deduced the “demand for an elevated and intensified life“. And so Hitler declared: “Thus Nietzsche is naturally much closer to our viewpoint than Schopenhauer.”
Unfortunately, the German version of Goebbels diaries remains inaccessible to me so I haven’t been able to verify it for myself. I couldn’t find this statement in the English translation of Goebbels 1942-1943 diaries, which seems abridged. But below, you’ll find a remarkably similar outline. I’ve amended in the proper translation (Jochmann) in italics.]

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), May 19, 1944:
Schopenhauer’s pessimism, which springs partly, I think, from his own line of philosophical thought and partly from subjective feeling and the experiences of his own personal life, Nietzsche then overcame in a unique way [Ger. überwand Nietzsche dann in einzigartiger Weise].

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“Man has eternally to strain at his limitations. The moment he relaxes and contents himself with them, he decays and falls below the human level. He becomes a quasi-beast.”

Mein Kampf:
Whoever ignores or despises the laws of race really deprives himself of the happiness to which he believes he can attain. For he places an obstacle in the victorious path of the superior race and, by so doing, he interferes with a prerequisite condition of all human progress. Loaded with the burden of human sentiment, he falls back to the level of a helpless animal.

[It’s plausible that Rauschning could have paraphrased from Mein Kampf, obviously having read the book (for instance, he distorted Hitler’s favorable attitude towards boxing, mixing it up with fear/terror) but Hitler employs this formulation (fall below the level of the human) in private conversations and even in his private notes!]

Hitler, Table Talk, October 14, 1941 (Cameron & Stevens):
An educated man retains the sense of the mysteries of nature and bows before the unknowable. An uneducated man, on the other hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to the state of the animal) as soon as he perceives that the State, in sheer opportunism, is making use of false ideas in the matter of religion, whilst in other fields it bases everything on pure science.

Hitler, Table Talk, September 27-28, 1941 (Cameron & Stevens):
By considering what Bolshevism has made of man, one realises that the foundation of all education should be respect—respect towards Providence (or the unknown, or Nature, or whatever name one chooses). Secondly, the respect that youth owes to maturity. If this respect is lacking, a man falls below the level of the animal. His intelligence, when it ceases to be controlled, turns him into a monster.

Hitler’s Letters and Notes, p.g 284:
The Germanic Revolution

The ‘educated man’, i.e. the man who has been spoon-fed with
knowledge substitutes the idea of humanity and hence
becomes ‘cruel’ in the end.

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“Gods and beasts, that is what our world is made of.”

Hitler’s Letters and Notes, p.g 283:
The Germanic Revolution

Nothing without cause – History is made by men – 2 human types –
Workers and drones – Builders and destroyers – Children of God and Men

Mein Kampf:
If we divide mankind into three categories—founders of culture, champions of culture, and destroyers of culture—the Aryan alone can be considered as representing the first category.

Concerning the Jewish question/Protocols of Zion

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“Jews have been ready to help me in my political struggle. At the outset of our movement some Jews actually gave me financial assistance. If I had but held out my little finger I should have had the whole lot of them crowding round me. They knew well enough where there was a new thing on, with life in it.”

Wagener’s Hitler:
Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 70-71
The Jew’s parasite brain works quickly with its sixth sense. It thinks: if I can no longer engage in my parasitism in its previous form, then I must simply look for some opportunity in the new, the coming form. Until now, it was my highest aim to gain power in the state in order to secure my domination and my way of life. Now, if new forms of government develop, we must simply try to seize power in the newly formed state.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), December 1-2, 1941:
I’m convinced that there are Jews in Germany who’ve behaved correctly—in the sense that they’ve invariably refrained from doing injury to the German idea. It’s difficult to estimate how many of them there are, but what I also know is that none of them has entered into conflict with his co-racialists in order to defend the German idea against them.

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“Has it not struck you how the Jew is the exact opposite of the German in every single respect, and yet is as closely akin to him as a blood brother?
I have read ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’—it simply appalled me. The stealthiness of the enemy, and his ubiquity! I saw at once that we must copy it—in our own way, of course. Think of it—these people constantly on the move, and we with our new faith in unceasing activity, two groups so closely allied and yet so utterly dissimilar. It is in truth the critical battle for the fate of the world!”

Wagener’s Hitler:
Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 280
For among every race, there are assimilationists whom you can no longer distinguish from the race within which they live. Who is to say that a Huguenot has not assimilated in Germany? And the same thing is true for a number of Jews. Conversely, you cannot help but wonder about some Germans who, from an ethical standpoint, seem to belong elsewhere and politically may even be closer to our enemies than they are to their own Volk.

Wagener’s Hitler:
Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 70-71
It is hard for me to believe the Jew so purposeful and intellectually superior that he actually submitted these considerations so systematically in the councils of the Elders of Zion; that from the first he thought them through in the way he just elaborated—that would be uncanny. But his sixth sense guides him instinctively and unconsciously along the correct path, where, admittedly, consciousness has long since come to him.

Rauschning’s Hitler (indirect/implied quotation):
He did not care two straws, he said, whether the story was historically true. If it was not, its intrinsic truth was all the more convincing to him.

Concerning Catholic Church hierarchy

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“I found these Protocols enormously instructive. I have always learned a great deal from my opponents. I studied revolutionary technique in the works of Lenin and Trotsky and other Marxists. And I got illumination and ideas from the Catholic Church, and from the Freemasons, that I could never have obtained from other sources. The man who is not ready to learn from his enemies, and from them above all, is a fool. Only a weakling will be afraid of losing his own inspiration by studying the enemy.
Nothing could be more natural. I learned above all from the Jesuits. So did Lenin, for that matter, if I remember rightly. There has been nothing more impressive in the world than the hierarchical organization of the Catholic Church. I have taken over many elements of it in the organization of my party. To have lasted almost two thousand years, under changing fortunes, is an achievement.
The Catholic Church is a model above all in its uncommonly clever tactics and its knowledge of human nature, and in its wise policy of taking account of human weaknesses in its guidance of the faithful. I have followed it in giving our party program the character of unalterable finality, like the Creed. The Church has never allowed the Creed to be interfered with. It is fifteen hundred years since it was formulated, but every suggestion for its amendment, every logical criticism or attack on it, has been rejected. The Church has realized that anything and everything can be built up on a document of that sort, no matter how contradictory or irreconcilable with it. The faithful will swallow it whole, so long as logical reasoning is never allowed to be brought to bear on it. But if there is one thing that will perplex and demoralize the flock of believers it is an alteration of a solemn confession of faith, no matter how remote it may have become from practical realities, no matter if it has become simply a venerable ancient monument.”

Mein Kampf:
The essentials of a teaching must never be looked for in its external formulas, but always in its inner meaning. And this meaning is unchangeable. And in its interest one can only wish that a movement should exclude everything that tends towards disintegration and uncertainty in order to preserve the unified force that is necessary for its triumph.
Here again the Catholic Church has a lesson to teach us. Though sometimes, and often quite unnecessarily, its dogmatic system is in conflict with the exact sciences and with scientific discoveries, it is not disposed to sacrifice a syllable of its teachings. It has rightly recognized that its powers of resistance would be weakened by introducing greater or less doctrinal adaptations to meet the temporary conclusions of science, which in reality are always vacillating. And thus it holds fast to its fixed and established dogmas which alone can give to the whole system the character of a faith. And that is the reason why it stands firmer to-day than ever before.

“I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”

( Adolf Hitler, from John Toland [Pulitzer Prize winner], Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507. )

[This quote is typically quoted out of context via a citation from Gerhard Engel’s memoirs. Toland erroneously represents Hitler as a despiser of Catholic hierarchy and claims his motive for the alleged Holocaust was religious, going against practically every relevant source and demonstrating his work to be severely outdated. He does not even credit Engel outside of his notes.
Reading the quote in the context of Engel’s translated diaries, the story appears to be that some of Hitler’s subordinates were worried that he might be excommunicated, to which Hitler replied that the Church was far too astute to excommunicate him. Engel also describes his admiration for the Catholic Church hierarchy.
Thus, Hitler was not identifying as an adherent of the Catholic Church. It’d be better to represent him as a patron of the churches. He started off unbelievably generous towards the churches, even making freedom of religion a part of his 25 points. It was only when the churches began criticizing him that he began to crack down on them.]

Concerning Protestantism/Catholicism:

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“I’m a Catholic. Certainly that was fated from the beginning, for only a Catholic knows the weaknesses of the Church. I know how to deal with these gentry. Bismarck was a fool. In other words, he was a Protestant. Protestants don’t know what a church is. In these things you must be able to feel and think with the people, know what they want and what they dislike. Bismarck stuck to his legal clauses and his Prussian sergeant-majors.”

Goebbels (Diaries), March 26, 1925:
I maintain that Catholicism is music (feeling), Protestantism is poetry (understanding and self-responsibility). Beethoven and Mozart are not Catholics by chance, Goethe and Schiller are not Protestants by chance.
Ich behaupte, Katholizismus ist Musik (Gefühl), Protestantismus Dichtung (Verstand und Selbstverantwortung). Beethoven und Mozart sind nicht zufällig Katholiken, Goethe und Schiller nicht zufällig Protestanten.

Only when, like old Frederick, King of Prussia, his venerated hero and model, he had his wars behind him, could he proceed to the actual building up of Germany. Many times he touched on these ideas in conversation. And we could see behind his outward resignation the consuming impatience to get at last to his real work, the work of the creative statesman and legislator, the pioneer artist and city builder, the prophet and founder of a religion.



Rauschning’s Hitler (indirect/implied quotation):
More than that, concluded Hitler, he could not say. There were stages of which he must not allow even himself to speak. Even this, he said, he only intended to make public when he was no longer living. Then there would be something really great, an overwhelming revelation. In order to completely fulfill his mission, he must die a martyr’s death.

Rauschning’s Hitler:
“Yes,” he repeated, “in the hour of supreme peril I must sacrifice myself for the people.”

[Interestingly enough, the seemingly apocryphal quote “It is necessary that I should die for my people; but my spirit will rise from the grave and the world will know that I was right” comes from David Irving’s Hitler’s War, citing from Ribbentrop. It also bears resemblance to the below quote.]

Political Testament, April 29, 1945
By their work and loyalty as colleagues they will be just as close to me after death, as I hope that my spirit will linger among them and always go with them.