University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 23 (January 1946)

German reactions,   pp. 12-14 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 13

characterizing them as the lackeys of-the
occupation authorities and attempting to
arouse the people against the occupation
"Certainly it is not pretty that our
cities and so many irreplaceable objects
have been destroyed. But doesn't the
shrill cry of Goebbels still ring in the
ears of all of us., 'Do you want total war?
Do you want a war more total than
total?' And the thousand times repeated
answer, 'Yes, we do!' Everyone whothen
joined in that bellowing chorus, either
at home or near some loudspeaker, or
who said to himself, 'Now our airplanes
will give it to them!' should have con-
sidered more fully the meaning of total
war. Above all he should have realized
that total war is not a unilateral activity.
It has a way of striking back, and it in-
flicts suffering on us which was intended
only for the enemy. Those who did not
know what total war meant might have
found out easily enough. They had only
to buy Ludendorff's booklet published
in 1935 and on sale in all bookstores.
There the subject is fully explained. It
will be recalled that Ludendorff was
Hitler's real master. The chancellor of
the Third Reich grew up in his shadow.
"War, for Ludendorff, was, as he states
in the above-mentioned booklet, a natural
condition for the development of -a race
-or people. Peace is useful only as a
state of preparation for the following
war. Ludendorff condemns what he calls
the chivalry of warfare, when speaking
of past wars in which the principles of
humanity were not altogether discarded.
He states that the 'glorious designation
war' is merited only when it is total,
and only then does it become the life-
principle of a whole people. This, of
course, leads to the annihilation of other
states. When one has been destroyed then
it is the turn of the next victim, after
a short pause during which soldiers may
return to their homes to recreate their
ranks' in the nuptial bed. But the day
will come when there will be no other
nations left to destroy in this- life-ful-
filling development of the German people.
What then? It is hoped by German mili-
tarists that by that time it will have
been definitely established that Mars is
inhabited. And since Mars of course be.-
longs to the German living space, the
people of Mars must also be conquered.
"Thiss is not irony. Prussian militarists
actually thought of warfare in  these
terms. But it must be total not only in
the sense that all the capabilities of the
people are made contributory to it, and
not only in the sense that the enemy is
to be completely defeated and subjugat-
ed; it must also be total in the time
sense; it must be everlasting. There must
always be war, or the preparation for
war or the beginning of war. For mili-
tarists war is the only conceivable per-
manent state. War is their element. It
gives them their sense of superiority
without which they are lost. The people,
for their part, are merely expected to
furnish cannon fodder as required and
to prepare for war in time of peace. For
that reason war decorations were invent-
ed, memorial days were inaugurated,
mothers' celebrations established, and
veterans organizations founded.
"The destruction of the cities and pop-
ulation is but a part of the total de-
struction of the enemy, according to
Ludendorff. In this connection hewrites,
'When the mi-itary and economic situa-
tion of two warring countries are ap-
proximately the same, conditions in the
countries themselves will have but little
effect on the execution of the war. But
once this balance has been upset, either
through a defect at the front or unrest
behind the lines, the opportunity must be
taken to strike with full force at the
enemy's home-front, while endeavoring,
at the same time, to reach a decision in
the field. This is the time to send out
the bombing squadrons with greater
pitilessness than ever before, limiting their

Go up to Top of Page