chapter  V
5 Pages


REFERENCE has already been made to the ‘black’ or irregular armies formed by the demobilized officers after Germany’s defeat in 1918. They were a resurrection of the old Teutonic warrior bands. These ruthless mercenary fighters furnished Hitler with some of his most efficient supporters, as well as with his leading ideas of what kind of a State he wanted, and how ‘education’ could be adapted to the building up of such a State. So it is necessary to have some idea of the mentality of these adventurers. We are reliably informed that these freebooters were characterized by a deliberate pursuit of danger, reckless living, and a contempt for life. ‘Their creed was intoxication and death, revolt and adventureiron discipline and unrestrained plundering, pillage, ravage, and murder.’91 Many of Hitler’s henchmen have vied with each other in their glowing praise of this kind of creed. ‘The warrior band is the noblest community.’ ‘Man standing by man, and column by column: here is the battlearray; here the temple; here the sacrament; here the State.’ In short, ‘soldiering is a religion’. ‘The State is an armed camp of Knights of the Teutonic Order.’92 That is to say, the Nazi State; all other States are only there for the Teutonic warriors to loot and ravage. Such is Hitler’s view of what Germany should be. One characteristic, and now rather amusing, expression of it is to be found in his Order of the Day addressed to the German armies near the Soviet capital in October 1941. ‘Soldiers,’ it said, ‘before you is Moscow, a big beautiful Oriental city. It has innumerable hotels, theatres, restaurants. The Führer looks to you to get there, and all that is in it is yours.’93