FOUNDATIONS OF GERMAN RELIGION.
For the Germanic peoples true religion is founded in race. Thus in tracing the foundations of German religion we must necessarily go back to the beginnings of the Aryan race.
According to Professor L. A. Wadell, the Sumerian civilisation of Mesopotamia was founded in 3373 B.C. This was a fully fledged Aryan culture, which some authorities consider to have been transplanted from Atlantis, thus surviving the cataclysm which then enveloped the world.
Comyns Beaumont has advanced the theory that ancient Britain was an outpost of the empire of Atlantis, the first civilisation. While Atlantis succumbed in the flood, Britain survived, together with the Aryan civilisation which consolidated itself in Asia Minor and afterwards spread itself all over the world. The civilisations of Egypt and China were of later origin, and, together with Greece and Rome at their height of power, were Aryan in origin and pattern.
From scientific observation it is clear that the Aryans. The traditionally long-headed, blue-eyed and fair-haired people in their highest racial manifestation, were the founders of social order. The creators of culture. The word "Aryan" derives from "Arya," which in Indian and Persian language meant "exalted or noble one." The Sumerian word "Ara" meant "lofty, shining." The word "aristocracy" of modern usage comes from the same root. The true leadership of nations has always derived from rule by the racial elite, with their whole life – religious, cultural and political – founded in the eternal values of pure blood.
About 2000 B.C. the fair-skinned Nordics were established in the regions of Central and South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia. These Aryans spoke one common language from the Rhine to the Caspian Sea. In those days Central Europe was probably warmer, moister and better wooded than it is today.
The Aryan tribes were nomadic. They would raise and harvest their crops, and then move on. They had bronze, and around 1500 B.C. they acquired iron. They are credited with having discovered iron smelting. They burned rather than buried their illustrious dead. Their leaders were men of action rather than priests. Indeed, the qualities of religious and political leader were combined in the one man. Their social order was based upon a racial and aristocratic idea, with leading families distinguished by racial nobility in the ruling class.
The early Aryans enlivened their periodic festivals with recitations by the bards. The Aryans had for a living literature the epics and sagas passed on from generation to generation by the bards. Social life centred about the households of their leading men. The social system in use was a type of patriarchal communism. The chief of the tribe owned the cattle and grazing lands in the common interest.
The Aryans are truly described as the founders of civilisation. In the second millennium before Christ they were multiplying their people, and developing their culture and dominion both in the East and the West. They penetrated into Persia and India. They were in England and Ireland, France and Spain. H. G. Wells, in his "Short History of the World," wrote: "So it was, while Tiglath Pileser III. and Sargon II. and Sardanapalus were ruling in Assyria and fighting with Babylonia and Syria and Egypt, the Aryan peoples were learning the methods of civilisation and making it over for their own purposes in Italy and Greece and North Persia. The theme of history from the 9th century B.C. onward for six centuries is the story of how these Aryan peoples grew to power and enterprise, and how at last they subjugated the whole ancient world, Semitic, Aegean and Egyptian alike."
It is of great significance in the present conflict and crisis of civilisation to read the concluding words of historian Wells. "In form the Aryan peoples were altogether victorious; but the struggle of Aryan and Semitic ideas and methods was continuing long after the sceptre was in Aryan hands. It is indeed a struggle that goes on through all the rest of history and still in a manner continues to this day."
Indeed, in this very day the age-long struggle continues relentlessly, and proceeds to its climax and conclusion. For it is either that the Aryan philosophy and world-of-ideas or that the Jewish scale of values rules the world. In Adolf Hitler the Aryan peoples of all the world have found their Champion, Redeemer and Saviour. Through him has the race-soul, the eternal striving and aspiration of countless generations of Aryan nations, found its focus and fulfilment. And now, just as early history was made and civilisation founded in the light of Aryan endeavour, so will the future be fashioned in the Hitlerian, Aryan, or Germanic pattern. We shall see fulfilled the prophetic words of Josef Goebbels: "This century will be named and shaped after Adolf Hitler."
Today there is no conflict in the German soul. Rather is there the unassailable conviction that the German or Aryan is called and chosen by God for world leadership. And in his way-of-life the German recognises that everything is right which serves the Cause of Germany, and her Divine Mission in the world.
Yes, the Germans are the God-appointed Lords of the Earth and those who have vowed their eternal loyalty to Adolf Hitler shall be given all power from on high. The world will understand the supreme honour that is embodied in the phrase, "Ich bin ein Deutscher." For to be German or Aryan is to be the holy or whole man – one in spirit, mind and body in the Lord of Lords, Adolf Hitler. Mere nationality is a minor matter; Race and Spirit are everything. The union in thought of the Russian-born German. Rosenberg, and the Englishman of German race, the writer of the present book, is illustrative of the Nordic-Celtic-Slav racial alliance that will be achieved in the German Religion, which has liberated the whole world, indeed, from the bonds, spiritual and material, of Jewish Mammon.
Alfred Rosenberg, in his classic book of Aryanism, "The Mythos of the Twentieth Century," described "soul" as "race" looked at from within, and race is soul seen from without. The German mission of this century is to awaken the race-soul, and to unite State and Religion in its service.
Historical literary records of Germany go back to some four centuries B.C., when travellers from the Mediterranean areas journeyed into these Northern territories. Pytheas, the Greek navigator, and a contemporary of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), is said to have visited Germany and many of the countries around. His account of travels to "Thule" is believed to designate either Norway, Ireland or the Shetlands. Pytheas visited Britain and "travelled all over it on foot," and he also visited "the whole of the coasts of Europe."
More exact knowledge of Germany begins with the appointment of Julius Cæsar as Governor of Gaul in 59 B.C. The Rhine was practically the boundary between the Gauls and Germans, and shortly before Cæsar arrived in Gaul a German invasion had taken what is now Alsace, in 72 B.C. Tacitus (A.D. 55-120), Roman historian, wrote a book about Germany, the full title of which is "concerning the geography, the manners and customs, and the tribes of Germany." He dwelt particularly on their vigorous and independent spirit. He foresaw the danger to the Roman Empire, and contrasted the barbaric strength of the Germans with the servile degeneracy of the Romans.
No records exist of German literature prior to the age of Charlemagne (9th century). His reign had the greatest importance for Germany. It was the first time that the Germans, in political and religious outlook and organisation, became a united people. However, the sagas upon which the national and racial epics of a later date were founded owed much to the movement of the 5th century known as "Völkerwanderung" or "Migration."
During the 5th century Attila (d. 453) played a vital part in European history, and became virtually supreme in Central Europe. With many Teutonic tribes as his allies, he ruled for nearly 20 years practically without a rival, from the Caspian to the Rhine. Under the name of Etzel, Attila plays a part in the Teutonic legend, "Niebelungenlied."
In passing we should consider briefly the mythical-historical content of the "Niebelungenlied" and other Nordic sagas. The "Niebelungenlied" received its present form in Austria at the end of the 12th century. One may see the struggle against the misuse and the curse of gold symbolised in the heroic myths. The racial-soul of Germanic religion is evidenced in the conduct of the chivalrous Siegfried. The myth contains powerful parallels for the present day. For just as Siegfried was betrayed by Gunther, for whom he had previously won Brunhild, so we witnessed the betrayal by many nations, as well as by internal enemies, of the German hero. Adolf Hitler, despite his prodigious efforts for his race and people, and for whom he yet won the real, spiritual victory.
Now also we may see developing a parallel between the bereaved Kriemhild's acceptance of Etzel (Attila) as husband and the approaching German-Russian agreement. Kriemhild accepted Etzel on condition that he helped her to avenge the betrayal of Siegfried. We may be certain that the betrayal of Adolf Hitler will be avenged, or rather as He himself said on 30 January, 1943: "Every nation and every individual is being weighed in the balances, and those found wanting will fall. God will be a Just Judge." As the Siegfried legend of old lives in undying example of Teutonic chivalry and heroism, so will the Hitler legend, the ultimate apotheosis of German religious revelation, inspire this and future generations of Aryan mankind.
After the setback of the 11th century, in which a return was made to Latin in German literature, the period 1050-1350 was somewhat tentative. This period is noteworthy, however, for one of Germany's greatest sovereigns, Frederick Barbarossa, crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1152. The central years of his reign witnessed bitter quarrels with Pope Alexander III. The people were chained by religious asceticism, and the German soul languished in the prison which Romanism had constructed for its unhappy victims. This condition of spiritual emasculation continued more or less until the end of the 15th century, until the glorious age of Reformation. The Protestant Revolution, led by Martin Luther, was a turning-point for Germany, for Christendom, and for the whole world.
To early German mystics is owed much of the individual freedom of Protestantism. Notable among these early German thinkers and Truth-seekers are Meister Eckhart (1260-1327), Heinrich Suso (1300-66), and Johannes Tauler (1300-61). The Bible was translated into German, and one was printed at Strasbourg in 1466.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was the great reformer who wrestled with the Papacy, and who set the German soul on the path to freedom. Luther was born at Eisleben in Saxony on 10 November, 1483. At the age of 18 he went to study at the University of Erfurt, where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. In 1508 Luther accepted the chair of philosophy at Wittenberg, but still retained the monastic connections which he had previously made. In 1510 he went on a mission to Rome, where he was shocked at the prevailing corruption and infamy of the priesthood and higher orders.
In 1517 Luther attacked the sale of indulgences to which the Papal treasury, needing new funds, had resorted. From then on he devoted all his energies to the mission of Reformation which God had entrusted to him. In 1520 Luther addressed himself to the Christian nobles of Germany, making proposals for the complete reform of the Church. In January, 1521, the Papal Bull of excommunication was repeated against him. By 1529 the Reformation had gained many supporters, not only in Germany, but also in Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland. The year 1530 produced the famous Augsburg Confession, presented in the name of the Protestant Party to the Diet at Augsburg. presided over by the Emperor Charles V.
Martin Luther died in February, 1546. James Gardner, in his book, "The Faiths of the World," has described him as follows: "Luther was one of the greatest and noblest heroes this world has ever seen, one who manfully defended the rights of conscience, asserted the grand principles of civil and religious liberty, contended earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and one of whom it may well be said, many generations have arisen, and are yet destined to arise, who shall call him blessed."
Luther's greatest literary work was the translation of the Bible (1522-34). He produced a work both German in spirit and in simple language, so as to be readily understood.
The Renaissance period (1600-1740), in which foreign influence in Germany was strong, yet produced great church hymns, following on the Lutheran tradition. Mysticism revived with the speculative poetry of Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), the shoemaker of Görlitz. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646-1716) was a leading rationalist philosopher.
During the classical and romantic period (1740-1832) we see the interesting controversy in which the fundamental German demand is made that imagination and genius and inspiration should not be subservient to reason. In 1748 the epic, "Der Messias," of F. G. Klopstock (1724-1803) appeared, and inaugurated the great age of German literature in the 18th century.
Of great importance was the "Sturm und Drang" literary movement. The pioneer of this epoch in German thought was J. G. Herder (1744-1803). He collected together the "Volkslieder" of all nations, and drew commendable attention to those elements in German life and art which were essentially national.
This literary movement was also closely associated with Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832). While in Strasbourg, where he continued his studies, 1770-71, Goethe made the acquaintance of Herder, with whom he shared an enthusiasm for William Shakespeare. Johann Friedrich Schiller (1795-1805) brought skilful, theatrical presentation to the movement. Germany owes her national theatre to the "Sturm und Drang" pioneers.
This period placed Germany in the front rank of the thinking nations. As Klopstock had been the first of Germany's modern inspired poets, so Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81) was the first critic to bring renown to the German name throughout Europe. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Schiller and Goethe all contributed to philosophical and aesthetic progress of thought. German historical writing also advanced to more systematic forms, and especially notable was Johannes von Muller (1752-1809).
In the Romantic period which followed, J. G. Fichte (1762-1814) and F. W. J. von Schelling (1775-1854) were the exponents of the Romantic doctrine in philosophy. The theologian, F. D. E. Schleiermache, (1768-1834), showed the importance of this period in religious thought.
G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) occupied an important position in the intellectual life of the 19th century. Merbach, in his introduction to Hegel's "Der Staat," wrote: "At the portal of Bismarck's century stands the life, thought and activity of Hegel like the thought before the deed. ... It is not too much to say that Bismarck carried out in fact what Hegel and his disciples expressed and demanded."
Mid-century literature gave place to the philosophical thought of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). Developments in drama and music were achieved by Richard Wagner (1813-83), who at Bayreuth in 1876 established the National Theatre, where the first performance was given of his "Der Ring des Nibelungen."
The last two decades of the 19th century were periods of intense literary activity. The pessimism of Schopenhauer was replaced by the aggressive optimism of a new generation. L. von Ranke (1795-1886) was still the dominant force in German historical science. H. von Treitschke (1834-96) was a vigorous spokesman for German political aspirations.
The thinker who exerted the greatest influence of this period was Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). He had been a disciple of Schopenhauer and a friend of Wagner; but he developed his own theory of "superman," which was his special contribution to German aspirations. This thesis was chronicled in "Also Sprach Zarathustra," his masterpiece. His was a call to self-assertion, to dominance through the will-to-power.
The founder of the modern racialist school, of the teachings to which the Germans have given practical effect, was a Frenchman, Count Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882). His most influential book was "The Inequality of Human Races."
As though to emphasise the European and racial aspects of Germanism, we find an Englishman, Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1926), following up the racial fight with "The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century." This book, published in 1899, exerted a great influence throughout Germany and the Aryan world. Mention should also be made of Hans Gunther's book, "Racial Elements of European History," in which the science of race is expounded, forming the basis for further developments in the National Socialist racial-religious concept of the 20th century. Gunther was the semi-official anthropologist of the Nazi Party.
Foremost of the books of the actual National Socialist period are Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" (1924-27), and Alfred Rosenberg's "Myth of the Twentieth Century" (1930). Rosenberg was the philosopher of the Party, and in his work the pattern of developments now taking place in the religious sphere was foreseen. Rosenberg declared, "We National Socialists accept with our whole hearts the present epoch, for we feel ourselves as vital elements in the renaissance which is now shaping itself." Of great importance also is "The Political and Economic Programme of the National Socialist German Workers' Party" drawn up by Gottfried Feder in 1920. Feder attacked the central evil of Jewish capitalism, the interest-bearing or usury system.
Adolf Hitler always declared of National Socialism that "it is even more than a religion; it is the will to make mankind anew." In "The Testament of Adolf Hitler" (1951) we find the words: "National Socialism is essentially a religious movement and faith. The Germanic or Aryan world of ideas, both political and religious, will go out as a sacred Gospel to heal mankind.
Having briefly traced the historical background to the rebirth of mankind which is being witnessed in the German Revelation, in the Life which finds its highest manifestation of Almighty God in Adolf Hitler, we may now proceed to further chapters and further detail which will bring enlightenment to Truth-seekers.