4th February 1942, evening
The call of the South—Struggling through the mud.
We know to-day why our ancestors were not attracted to the East, but rather to the South. Because all the regions lying east of the Elbe were like what Russia is for us to-day. The Romans detested crossing the Alps. The Germanic peoples, on the other hand, were very fond of crossing them—but in the opposite direction. One must bear in mind that at this period Greece was a marvellous garden, in which oak-forests alternated with orchards. It was only later that olive-growing was introduced into Greece.
The reason why the climate has become temperate in Upper Bavaria is that Italy was deforested. The warm winds of the South, which are no longer held in check by the vegetation, pass over the Alps and make their way northwards.
The Germanic needed a sunny climate to enable his qualities to develop. It was in Greece and Italy that the Germanic spirit found the first terrain favourable to its blossoming. It took several centuries to create, in the Nordic climate, the conditions of life necessary for civilised man. Science helped there.
For any Roman, the fact of being sent to Germania was regarded as a punishment—rather like what it used to mean to us to be sent to Posen. You can imagine those rainy, grey regions, transformed into quagmires as far as eye could see. The megalithic monuments were certainly not places of worship, but rather places of refuge for people fleeing from the advance of the mud. The countryside was cold, damp, dreary. At a time when other people already had paved roads, we hadn’t the slightest evidence of civilisation to show. Only the Germanics on the shores of the rivers and the sea-coasts were, in a feeble way, an exception to this rule. Those who had remained in Holstein have not changed in two thousand years, whilst those who had emigrated to Greece raised themselves to the level of civilisation.
The Greek profile, and that of the Caesars, is that of the men of this North of ours, and I’d wager that I could find amongst our peasants two thousand heads of that type.