I told you: I became a Nazi.[Next]
I could have said: I decided to be Nazi.
I should now ask: what is being Nazi?
And I don't have - within me - an answer.
All those around me were distinct. All, however, were Nazis. Why, then, were they distinct. Or was the distinct I? And what was the meaning of this that distinguished us? How was it possible that they and I were Nazis they and I were distinct?
I can't tell you about the German people because I don't know the German people. It's an all that's invoked. It's the community. It is the people that accede to being under the tutelage and protection of the state. It is the national community that has elected its Führer. That listens to its Führer. That, before him, raises its arm. That believes in his words because it finds in them, sincere, passionately, the truth.
I can tell you of those that surrounded me in Freiburg, of Freiburgean life, of the ideas, of the university spirit, of the SA, of the men like Rainer Minder. In all of them there was something that was not in me. There was anger; bellicosity. There was, above all, hatred. I would choose to concentrate on Rainer Minder. Rainer was the perfect national socialist man. That he belonged to the SA, that he was one of the active cadres, that he used that uniform is, no irrelevant, but neither did it differentiate him from the others as I differentiate myself. Rainer was a simple, diaphanous man of Nazism, similar to the good citizens of Freiburg. He had only added to that his uniform and his militancy in the SA. In the rest, in the essential, he was like everyone: he hated the world and loved Germany. Germany was the Führer and the rest of the world was everything the Führer was not. Or worse: it was everything that had mislead, humiliated, and impoverished the nation. A strong regime, a regime that unites a people and a Führer needs, to unite itself, something or someone to hate. It needs a demonic other. The demonic other of National Socialism (so complex in the beginning: the Versailles treaty, the social democratic traitors, the Bolsheviks, revolutionary Russia, the decadent cosmopolitanism of Weimar, the finances, the Jewish merchants that devoured the country) was simplified along the way until encoding itself in a single monstrous expression: the demonic other was the Jew.
Labels: The Shadow of Heidegger