Why Hitler loved ‘social justice’

May 22, 2024 by

By Jon Miltimore, Mercator.

In August 1920 in Munich, a young Adolf Hitler delivered one of his first public speeches before a crowd of some 2,000 people.

During his speech, which lasted nearly two hours and was interrupted nearly 60 times by cheers, Hitler touched on a theme he’d repeat in future speeches, stating he did not believe that “ever on earth could a state survive with continuing inner health, if it were not based on inner social justice.”

This was one of the first times Hitler spoke publicly of social justice—perhaps the first time.

In his recent book Hitler’s National Socialism, Rainer Zitelmann makes it clear that “social justice” (soziale Gerechtigkeit) was central to Hitler’s social objectives.

What precisely Hitler meant by “social justice” is not easily understood, so perhaps it’s best first to understand what Hitler did not mean. Hitler was not interested in a state or society that simply treated people equally, or a state that simply left individuals alone.

This would not achieve the social change he sought. Like Karl Marx, Hitler saw the world through power structures, and the prevailing power structures made it too difficult for all Germans to rise, in his view.

Zitelmann makes it clear that Hitler talked a great deal about concepts like social mobility and meritocracy. His speeches contain phrases that talk about a German state “in which birth is nothing and achievements and ability are everything.” Otto Dietrich, Hitler’s longtime press chief, noted that Hitler supported “the abolition of all privileges” and a “classless” state.

To this end, Hitler expressed his desire to “tear down all the social barriers in Germany without compunction,” as he explained in a 1942 conversation with Dutch national socialist leader Anton Mussert.

In other words, privilege was so pervasive in Germany that Hitler would root it out by destroying the entire class structure.

Read here.

Related Posts


Share This