6th August 1942, evening
The peasant and the beauties of nature.
Our country today 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.
In Britain they have the sound law that only the eldest son of a peer can inherit the title; in our country we have nobles by the score, who cannot make a living and who will not die. This calls for reform in the future. The whole social structure of the State must be built up on cold, logical lines.
Once we are in a position to start colonising in the East, most of our difficulties will disappear. When the first few hundred are comfortably settled, the rest will soon follow. It is the earth that attracts the peasant. Several hundreds of thousands have emigrated from Salzburg and Upper Austria to East Prussia. It is only in the pictures of the Court artists that one sees peasants gazing at the stars in heaven. The real peasant keeps his eye firmly on the land, and he lives by the plough. The beauties of the woods were discovered, not by the peasant, but by the professor. Wherever good-quality land is to be found, there one also finds the best type of peasant. It is not, however, the good earth that has improved the peasant stock, but rather that the best type of peasant always finds and takes possession of the best land. The peasantry therefore is the solid backbone of the nation.
France, which has 59 per cent of its population on the land, is still fundamentally sound. It is a great tragedy when once a nation loses the solid foundation of its peasantry. The Italians have a splendid foundation of peasantry. Once when I was travelling to Florence, I thought, as I passed through it, what a paradise this land of southern France is! But when I reached Italy—then I realised what a paradise on earth can really be! Herein lies one of the Duce’s main sources of strength.
He once said to me: “Fuehrer, thank goodness! only a very small percentage of my population are town-dwellers!”
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