JR's Rare Books and Commentary


The Voice of Destruction

by Hermann Rauschning


This work was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in NY in 1940 (viii + 295 pp.).  The UK version is known as Hitler Speaks (Thornton Butterworth, London, 1939 & 1940, 287 pp.); in German it's Conversations with Hitler (Gespräche mit Hitler), Europa Verlag, Zürich-New York, 1940.  This is a remarkable volume, providing a well-spring of innumerable quotations regarding Hitler and National Socialism (NS) in the Establishment media and forming therefore the basis of belief for millions.

But what is remarkable about it is just how ridiculous it is.  It's yellow journalism at its worst, taking short snippets of speeches and publications and throwing in a mixture of fantastic, stock "bad guy" elements and stories cribbed from novelists like Guy de Maupassant (the figure-crouching-in-the-corner motif, p. 256), Ernst Jünger and Fyodor Dostoyevsky with some Friedrich Nietzsche.  About the only thing missing here is the "exterminating the Poles for living space" of Nuremburg Doc. No. L-3, although portions still come close.

I can't resist quoting here the entire preface which is supposed to convince us of the book's bona fides:

These conversations with Hitler took place in the last year before his seizure of power and the first two years (1933 and '34) of the National Socialist regime. The writer jotted them down under the immediate influence of what he had heard. Much may be regarded as practically a verbatim report. Here, in the circle of his intimates, Hitler speaks openly about his innermost ideas—ideas which have been kept secret from the masses.

Only in exclusive circles is it known what Hitler really intends and what National Socialism is. Only among close friends has Hitler given free expression to his political and social aims. It is in such exclusive circles that I myself have heard them from his own lips.

To have published these conversations only six months ago, would have earned me at that time an accusation of malicious invention and defamation. Even hints which left the essentials unspoken aroused surprise and suspicion. As the author of The Revolution of Nihilism, I was repeatedly criticized because my statements contradicted the clear statement of National Socialist aims in Mein Kampf, for example, with regard to an alliance between National Socialism and Soviet Russia. As long as National Socialism was seen as nothing more than a German nationalist movement aiming at the removal of some of the worst features of the Versailles Peace Treaty, no one took seriously my frank revelation of the real aims of Hitler. Not until today is the world prepared to accept the truth: that Hitler and his movement are the apocalyptic riders of world annihilation.

From that alone, its accuracy and historical legitimacy is asserted without the slightest proof of any kind.  Elsewhere, Rauschning (a minor provincial official, having been the president of the Danzig senate) stated that he had spoken to Hitler "hundreds of times", often alone, and he was thus privy to the innermost workings of Hitler's mind.  We now know, thru the excellent scholarship of Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel that this is bunk, that Rauschning had met with Hitler only four times maximum, and never alone.  Rauschning simply lied.  Ghost writers helping him with this lie-book were from France (Emery Reeves, originally from Hungary, as editor with perhaps another ghost writer) and England (Henry Wickham-Steele, the right-hand man of notorious German-hater Sir Robert Vansittart).  { SOURCE and SOURCE }.  The unfortunate result was three generations of gullible readers believing at face value this hack "journalism" about Uncle Adolf.  A few Establishment historians, like Ian Kershaw, have discounted this "memoir", but most continue to quote it, e.g., William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich), Alan Bullock (Hitler: A Study in Tyranny), Joachim Fest (Hitler), Leon Poliakov, Gerhard Weinberg, Nora Levin and Robert Payne.

It's hard to imagine how anyone could have given this book any credibility.  Rauschning wrote a book the year before called THE REVOLUTION OF NIHILISM (1938) in which he never claimed to have met Hitler more than 3 or 4 times, and gets through almost 500 pages before he even describes meeting him at all!  The fact that this "600-pound gorilla in the room" was ignored proves the basic dishonesty of the Establishment press.  All of this was used as part of the pretext to start a war in which millions of innocents died.

Rauschning's writings were presented as Allied prosecution exhibit USSR-378 at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, giving some idea of the quality of "evidence" presented at that trial!  Rather tellingly, Rauschning himself was not asked to testify.

This book has been quoted like Biblical chapter and verse for decades.  Now read the whole thing for yourself and laugh at this clumsy bit of anti-National Socialist propaganda.


Start thru Part I—1932.

Part II—1933.

Part III—1934 (1).    Part III was arbitrarily split into 3 sections for convenience.
Part III—1934 (2).
Part III—1934 (3).



So . . . what sources should you look at to get informed views of Germany's former Führer and NS?  A short list.  Hundreds of citations could be made:



A Straight Look At The Third Reich by Austin J. App, Ph.D. (1974)

The Young Hitler I Knew by August Kubizek.  Or...whole thing as a PDF

UNDER TWO FLAGS by Heinz Weichardt.  PDF version

GERMANY AND ENGLAND by Nesta Webster (1938)

LIFE IN THE THIRD REICH a speech by Friedrich Kurreck

WITNESS TO HISTORY by Michael Walsh (1.1M PDF version here)  <== now FULL VERSION!

THE TRIUMPH OF REASON by Michael Walsh (667k PDF here)

HITLER AT MY SIDE by Lt. Gen. Hans Baur, chief pilot to AH


INTO THE DARKNESS by Lothrop Stoddard


THE CASE FOR GERMANY by Arthur Laurie (1939)

WARNINGS AND PREDICTIONS by Viscount Rothermere (1939)

ORDEAL IN ENGLAND by Philip Gibbs (1937)

BOLSHEVISM FROM MOSES TO LENIN by Dietrich Eckart, friend and confidant of AH from 1919-23; AH dedicated Mein Kampf to him

GERMANY'S HITLER by Heinz A. Heinz (1934).

HITLER:  MEMOIRS OF A CONFIDANT by Otto Wagener, first chief of staff of the Stormtroops (SA) (1985)

February 1937 National Geographic

November 1938 (UK) Homes and Gardens, "Hitler's Mountain Home"

Also, various writings of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, both of whom had much good to say about Hitler and National Socialism.  Both received medals from the NS regime, and refused to return them.


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"Hard times are coming.  We must remain true.  Perhaps we will have to start from the bottom again."  The same thing in 1934 as in 1932.

The Voice of Destruction, p. 163.

What a choice tid-bit!  It just so happens that something similar to this curious phrase also appears in the dubious Himmler Posen speech of Oct. 4, 1943, Document No. 1919-PS, Nuremberg Trial { SOURCE }:

"...confusion arises with regard to this question because of the misery in which we have been living since 1936-1937. Since that time, we no longer have all the necessary consumer goods which the human heart desires, and which we would like to have, such as silk, stockings, chocolate, or coffee."

Also similar is that appearing in Doc. No. L-3 about how Germany's supposedly perpetual economic misery ("the Four Year Plan has failed") will be ameliorated by attacking Poland, an economic basket-case.

Germany was in fact doing very well in 1934-9, having defeated the Depression when the U.S. and Britain, having followed ineffective Marxist-inspired policies, still wallowed in it.

It seems that the Allied myth-makers were intent on having people believe that NS had produced economic hardship, the diametric opposite of the truth.


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