8th April 1942, midday
Cowardice of the middle classes—The Nazi Party wins over the workers—Nuremberg, the citadel of Marxism—German workers and their Jewish masters.
Since the beginning of my political activity, I have made it a rule not to curry favour with the bourgeoisie. The political attitude of that class is marked by the sign of cowardice. It concerns itself exclusively with order and tranquillity, and we know in what sense to understand that. I aimed, instead, to awaken the enthusiasm of the working-class world for my ideas.
The first years of my struggle were therefore concentrated on the object: win over the worker to the National Socialist Party. Here’s how I set about it:
- I followed the example of the Marxist parties by putting up posters in the most striking red.
- I used propaganda trucks that were literally carpeted with posters of a flaming red, equipped with equally red flags and occupied by thundering loud-speakers.
- I saw to it that all the initiates of the movement came to meetings without stiff collars and without ties, adopting the free-and-easy style so as to get the workers into their confidence.
- As for the bourgeois elements who, without being real fanatics, wanted to join the ranks of the National Socialist Party, I did everything to put them off—resorting to bawled- out propaganda, dishevelled clothes, etc. My object was to rid myself right from the beginning of the revolutionaries in rabbit’s pelts.
- I ordered our protective service to treat our opponents roughly and chuck them out of our meetings with so little mildness that the enemy press—which otherwise would have ignored our gatherings—used to make much of the blows and wounds they give rise to, and thus called attention to them.
I dealt with the women from the Marxist camp who took part in the discussions by making them look ridiculous, by drawing attention either to the holes in their stockings or to the fact that their children were filthy. To convince women by reasoned argument is always impossible; to have had them roughly handled by the ushers of the meeting would have aroused public indignation, and so our best plan was to have recourse to ridicule, and this produced excellent results.
Julius Streicher rendered particularly valuable service in our struggle to gain the support of the working classes. And now it is he whom we must thank for the capture of Nuremberg, that one-time stronghold of Marxism. The population of that city—in so far as they were interested in any way in politics, and with the exception of the Jewish colony—was made up of working men who were members either of the Socialist Party or of the Communist Party.
By his unrelenting attacks on the Jews, Streicher succeeded in alienating the workmen from their Jewish masters. Even so, the workers of Nuremberg, engaged for the most part in the metal trades, were by no means an unintelligent lot, and they were most stubborn adherents of Marxism. Streicher’s success, then, is all the more meritorious, and he showed himself to be a master of tactics in the handling of a meeting. Not only did he annihilate the shop stewards with a torrent of ridicule, but he deprived them of any means of retaliation, and made use of their discomfiture as an additional weapon with which to convince the workers.