Seventy-five years ago, Nazi Germany was defeated and Adolf Hitler, one of history’s most brutal and evil tyrants, was pushed out of power.
In the seven decades that followed his death and the downfall of Nazism, there has arisen significant confusion over Hitler’s political ideology, largely to protect today’s left-wing movements.
Although it may come as a surprise to some of you, history clearly shows Hitler was a fervent socialist, and the Nazis were too. The Nazi party was named Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), which, translated into English, means National Socialist German Workers Party.
It is patently false to classify Hitler on the “right” side of the political spectrum, a tactic the Left adopted long ago in an attempt to demonize conservatives. In fact, as demonstrated below using Hitler’s own words, Hitler loathed capitalism, detested individualism, and despised democracy. Although Hitler was not in full agreement with all of Marx’s ideology (like many other socialists), he certainly held many Marxist views, and he did so openly.
Below is a compilation of quotes of Hitler, some long and some short, on topics ranging from the ins and outs of German socialism to his hatred of capitalism. At the very least, one can clearly see that the connection between Nazism and Marxism is much closer than contemporary socialists would have you believe.
This is only a partial list of Hitler’s thoughts on socialism and related topics, but it proves beyond any doubt that Hitler was a rabid socialist who held Marxist ideology in high esteem.
Although some will try to argue that because Hitler railed against communism and went to war with Stalin, he was not a true socialist, but these claims are completely false. The feud between fascists like Hitler and communists of his day was not about freedom versus oppression or centrally controlled economies versus capitalism, it was primarily focused on whether socialism should be nationalistic (Nazism) or global.
In the end, the fascism-communism debate was a lose-lose debate for all those involved. For as we learned during the Cold War, both of these despicable ideologies lead to totalitarianism. Both are based on the individual succumbing to the State’s will. Both result in murder and subjugation.
Hitler on Marxism
“National Socialism derives from each of the two camps the pure idea that characterizes it, national resolution from bourgeois tradition; vital, creative socialism from the teaching of Marxism.” – January 27, 1934, interview with Hanns Johst in Frankforter Volksblatt
Hitler on Teaching Socialism
“There is a difference between the theoretical knowledge of socialism and the practical life of socialism. People are not born socialists, but must first be taught how to become them.” – October 5, 1937, speech in Berlin
Hitler on Capitalism
“In those countries, it is actually capital that rules; that is, nothing more than a clique of a few hundred men who possess untold wealth and, as a consequence of the peculiar structure of their national life, are more or less independent and free. They say: ‘Here we have liberty.’ By this they mean, above all, an uncontrolled economy, and by an uncontrolled economy, the freedom not only to acquire capital but to make absolutely free use of it. That means freedom from national control or control by the people both in the acquisition of capital and in its employment. This is really what they mean when they speak of liberty. These capitalists create their own press and then speak of the ‘freedom of the press.’ In reality, every one of the newspapers has a master, and in every case this master is the capitalist, the owner. This master, not the editor, is the one who directs the policy of the paper. If the editor tries to write other than what suits the master, he is ousted the next day. This press, which is the absolutely submissive and characterless slave of the owners, molds public opinion. Yes, certainly, we jeopardize the liberty to profiteer at the expense of the community, and, if necessary, we even abolish it.” – December 10, 1940, speech in Berlin
Hitler on Socialism
“Socialism as the final concept of duty, the ethical duty of work, not just for oneself but also for one’s fellow man’s sake, and above all the principle: Common good before own good, a struggle against all parasitism and especially against easy and unearned income. And we were aware that in this fight we can rely on no one but our own people. We are convinced that socialism in the right sense will only be possible in nations and races that are Aryan, and there in the first place we hope for our own people and are convinced that socialism is inseparable from nationalism.” – August 15, 1920, speech in Munich at the Hofbräuhaus.
Hitler on Social Justice
“Because it seems inseparable from the social idea and we do not believe that there could ever exist a state with lasting inner health if it is not built on internal social justice, and so we have joined forces with this knowledge.” – August 15, 1920, speech in Munich at the Hofbräuhaus
Hitler on Class Abolition
“We must on principle free ourselves from any class standpoint.” – April 12, 1922, speech in Munich
“There are no such things as classes: they cannot be. … here there can be no class, here there can be only a single people and beyond that nothing else.” – April 12, 1922, speech in Munich
Hitler on Marxism and Socialism
(Editor’s Note: StoppingSocialism.com does not agree with Hitler’s description of socialism, communism, and Marxism below. He deliberately misled people about the meaning of these terms for political reasons.)
“Socialism is the science of dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists. Socialism is an ancient Aryan, Germanic institution. Our German ancestors held certain lands in common. They cultivated the idea of the common weal. Marxism has no right to disguise itself as socialism. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic. We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party. We chose to call ourselves the National Socialists. We are not internationalists. Our socialism is national.” – 1923, Interview with George Sylvester Viereck
Hitler on State Property Control
“To put it quite clearly: we have an economic program. Point 13 in that program demands the nationalization of all public companies, in other words socialization, or what is known here as socialism. … the good of the community takes priority over that of the individual. But the State should retain control; every owner should feel himself to be an agent of the State; it is his duty not to misuse his possessions to the detriment of the State or the interests of his fellow countrymen. That is the overriding point. The Third Reich will always retain the right to control property owners. If you say that the bourgeoisie is tearing its hair over the question of private property, that does not affect me in the least. Does the bourgeoisie expect some consideration from me? Today’s bourgeoisie is rotten to the core; it has no ideals anymore; all it wants to do is earn money and so it does me what damage it can. The bourgeois press does me damage too and would like to consign me and my movement to the devil.” – May 4, 1931, interview with Richard Breiting
Hitler on the Bourgeoisie
“Over the last 40 years, the German bourgeoisie has been a lamentable failure; it has not given the German people a single leader; it will have to bow without gainsaying to the totality of my ideology.” – May 4, 1931, interview with Richard Breiting
Hitler on German Socialism
“What they hate is the Germany which sets a dangerous example for them, this social Germany. It is the Germany of a social labor legislation which they already hated before the World War and which they still hate today. It is the Germany of social welfare, of social equality, of the elimination of class differences—this is what they hate! They hate this Germany which in the course of seven years has labored to afford its Volksgenossen a decent life. They hate this Germany which has eliminated unemployment, which, in spite of all their wealth, they have not been able to eliminate. This Germany which grants its laborers decent housing—this is what they hate because they have a feeling their own peoples could be ‘infected’ thereby. They hate this Germany of social legislation, this Germany which celebrates the first of May as the day of honest labor.” – May 8, 1939, speech “Party Comrades! My German Volksgenossen!” at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich
Hitler on the Hammer and Sickle
“The hammer will once more become the symbol of the German worker and the sickle the sign of the German peasant.” – May 1, 1934, May Day speech in Berlin
Hitler on German Socialism
“Is there a nobler or more excellent kind of Socialism and is there a truer form of Democracy than this National Socialism which is so organized that through it each one among the millions of German boys is given the possibility of finding his way to the highest office in the nation, should it please Providence to come to his aid?” – January 30, 1937, On National Socialism and World Relations speech in the German Reichstag
Hitler on Profits
“And justice is on the side of those nations that fight for their threatened existence. And this struggle for existence will spur these nations on to the most tremendous accomplishments in world history. If profit is the driving force for production in the democracies—a profit that industrialists, bankers, and corrupt politicians pocket—then the driving force in National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy is the realization by millions of laborers that, in this war, it is they who are being fought against. They realize that the democracies, if they should ever win, would rage with the full capitalist cruelty, that cruelty of which only those are capable whose only god is gold, who know no human sentiments other than their obsession with profit, and who are ready to sacrifice all noble thought to this profit instinct without hesitation. This struggle is not an attack on the rights of other nations, but on the arrogance and avarice of a narrow capitalist upper class, one which refuses to acknowledge that the days are over when gold ruled the world, and that, by contrast, a future is dawning when the people will be the determining force in the life of a nation.” – January 1, 1941, speech in Berlin
Hitler on His Own Fanatical Socialism
“Germany’s economic policy is conducted exclusively in accordance with the interests of the German people. In this respect I am a fanatical socialist, one who has ever in mind the interests of all his people.” – February 24, 1941, speech on the 21st anniversary of the Nazi Party
Hitler on the Triumph of Socialism
“All the more so after the war, the German National Socialist state, which pursued this goal from the beginning, will tirelessly work for the realization of a program that will ultimately lead to a complete elimination of class differences and to the creation of a true socialist community.” – March 21, 1943, speech for Heroes’ Memorial Day
The following quotes are attributed by Otto Wagener in Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant
“In the past—that is, for most people it is still the present-the individual is everything, everything is directed at maintaining his life and improving his existence, everything focuses on him. … In socialism of the future, on the other hand, what counts is the whole, the community of the Volk. The individual and his life play only a subsidiary role. He can be sacrificed—he is prepared to sacrifice himself should the whole demand it.”
“Aren’t these liberals, those reprobate defenders of individualism, ashamed to see the tears of the mothers and wives, or don’t these cold-blooded accountants even notice? Have they already grown so inhuman that they are no longer capable of feeling? It is understandable why bolshevism simply removed such creatures. They were worthless to humanity, nothing but an encumbrance to their Volk. Even the bees get rid of the drones when they can no longer be of service to the hive. The Bolshevik procedures are thus quite natural.”
“What Marxism, Leninism, and Stalinism failed to accomplish, we shall be in a position to achieve.”
“But first, there will have to be national socialism. Otherwise the people and their governments are not ready for the socialism of nations. It is not possible to be liberal to one’s own country and demand socialism among nations.”
“After all, that’s exactly why we call ourselves National Socialists! We want to start by implementing socialism in our nation among our Volk! It is not until the individual nations are socialist that they can address themselves to international socialism.”
“But we National Socialists wish precisely to attract all socialists, even the Communists; we wish to win them over from their international camp to the national one.”
PHOTO: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich, Germany, ca. June 1940. Photo provided by Marion Doss. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Chris Talgo is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute's Socialism Research Center and an editor and writer at StoppingSocialism.com and the1818.com.